Keeping ourselves fed is already becoming challenging! It’s not impossible, though. I’ve found that I need to constantly remind myself and hubby to eat frequently. While the food of the fast is highly nutritious, it is probably lower in fat, carbs, and calories than most people are used to. I had originally planned one snack per day, but I’ve found that I really need 3, spaced out throughout the day. Here’s an example:
Midmorning: banana or orange, a small handful of almonds or pistachios
Afternoon: almonds or pistachios again, 2 whole grain crackers with coconut oil, orange or dried plums
Evening: almonds, 2 whole grain crackers
The oatmeal breakfast has been great. I have found that adding a little lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon works well for the flavor.
The easiest way to do lunch has been to make enough dinner the night before to have leftovers for lunch the next day. The quinoa salad was decent, but last night’s chili was so much better. (I know, I owe you a chili recipe! )
Here are a couple of tips and tricks:
- Use oils in place of butter and spreads. Extra virgin coconut oil works well for this, but if you don’t have any yet, put extra virgin olive oil in a small container in the refrigerator. When it has completely chilled, it will become a semi-solid oil that you can spread on flatbread and crackers. You can add some fresh ground black pepper or herbs to the oil before chilling it.
- Buy walnuts, almonds, and raisins from the baking aisle. They’re cheaper there. If you prefer the nuts roasted, you can spread them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at about 150 degrees C for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re slightly browned.
- Eat one of your snacks before bedtime. Your body is metabolizing this kind of food faster, so a small bedtime snack will keep you from waking up 2 hours early, feeling like you’re starving.
- The Wasa crackers I originally recommended all have yeast or milk in them. Next to them on the shelf, though, there was a pack of Eden crackers that have worked just as well.
It has been interesting for me to do this fast during the first week of my Master’s classes. Although I felt God was leading me to this area of ministry(Professional Counseling), I still questioned the decision, so my prayers have included a request for direction and peace. Today’s classroom reading assignment drove right to my heart a confirmation that I am on the right path. The book I am reading from is Competent Christian Counseling, but some of the passages that stood out to me were direct Bible quotes:
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
but the one that had me in tears was Isaiah 61:1-2
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord‘s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;”
More than a year ago, I read that passage during my daily devotions, and I was struck with an overwhelming sense that the Holy Spirit was telling me, “That’s you. This is your calling.” The words may have initially been for Isaiah, but they resonate in my heart, too.
Ten years ago, I chose an Arabic name for myself when my husband began studying the language. I chose it then because it was close to my first name, but over the past year, I feel that God has been telling me that it’s my new name, the one that fits my calling for this season of my life. So, with the confidence that I’m finally beginning to feel, I will share it with you: Mushira, which means “counselor.”