The Lenten period is a time of solemnity among Christians. This six-week period beginning on Ash Wednesday (February 26), is usually marked by fasting. And just like other religious fasts, the Lent fast is a time for faithfuls to practice self-discipline and self-denial.
Traditionally, meat and poultry products are abstained from during this period. And food is abstained from 6 am to 6 pm. However, in recent times, Christians are being encouraged to observe Lent with more than just fasting from food.
As it’s a time to be a better human, by showing love to others and devoting time to being closer to God.
This might seem too much for someone who wants to join the fast but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to observe Lent is by devoting oneself to a personal observance of the period.
Since the period is all about being a better person and denying one’s self, abstaining from one’s excessive or irresponsible habits can be part of the elements avoided during the fast.
However, below are five suggestions to make the Lenten fast healthier and better.
Always break your Fast with Fruits
It’s tempting to want to break your fast with a feast. It makes sense since you’ve been without food for a long period of time. However, this is counter-intuitive as breaking your fast with too much could leave you bloated and fatigued.
Instead of feasting, break your fast gradually beginning with non-acidic fruits such as watermelon, cucumber, apples, berries, and even nuts. Critic fruits such as grapefruit, and lemons are the type of acidic fruits to avoid when breaking a fast.
Having had some fruits, wait a while and then proceed to eat the main course. Water is also a great alternative to breaking a fast. You may even include some fruits (non-acidic) in the water.
Adopt the Bitter Kola Hack
Most people might not be aware but fasting especially long hours of fast, produce bad breath. This is quite usual and not to alarm you.
Because the flow of saliva in the mouth (which plays a vital role in protecting the mouth) is reduced during the fast, the mouth may smell. This could be embarrassing especially for people who may be unaware that their breath stinks.
To avoid being plagued with bad breath during the fast, make use of the Bitter Kola hack. Bitter kola is a proven natural compound for healing bad breath as its potent smell covers the stench of bad breath.
Cinnamon sticks are another option to explore in curbing bad breath during fast. Also, drinking lots of water helps in stimulating the saliva flow and therefore, stopping bad breath.
Adopt a Plant-Based Fast
Since the Lenten period values plants, it makes sense to adopt several of the available plant-based diets. A popular fast tied to Christianity is the Daniel Diet.
The Daniel Fast is an Evangelical fast which strikes out wine, meat, and other rich foods. This fast usually lasts for three weeks. The Daniel Fast is a great way to learn self-discipline and explore a plant-only diet.
Drink Lots of Water
Ideally, the Lenten fast should be completely dry [beginning from 6 am to 6 pm]. However, this isn’t necessary. Health conditions, lack of capacity, and lack of experience might make it impossible for everyone to attain this feat.
Because you’ll be denying yourself food, it’s important to substitute your body with water. This should be done to avoid blacking out or feeling dizzy during fast periods.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
Instead, opt for meditation (on God’s word) to rejuvenate your soul and mind. If a necessary activity needs your attention, postpone it until after the lent period or get assistance from others willing to help.
As earlier established, observing Lent without being a better person is pointless. So be nicer to your neighbours and colleagues, give alms to the needy, replace your anger with patience and work on being a better version of you. By doing so, almighty God will see you through.