If you’re reading this and are still drinking coffee, or planning on having a cup tomorrow morning, you might be too late. We’re referring, of course, to Yom Kippur, which begins tomorrow at sundown. We’ve found that cutting down on coffee in the week preceding the fast is a game changer when it comes to surviving the 26-hour fast. If you’re not a committed caffeine hound, hopefully you put down the coffee — totally — on Sunday. For the majority of us who can’t do that, a gradual decrease in cups consumed still makes a huge difference. Ideally by tomorrow (Friday) morning you should be in a place where you can go without. Tea drinkers, this applies to you, too.
This might seem melodramatic, but anyone who has had to battle a blistering headache on Yom Kippur will empathize. And if you’re too focused on your headache, hunger, thirst, etc., you forget to focus on the true meaning of Yom Kippur: repentance and forgiveness. So as you read our further tips, keep that in mind. We’re sharing these because they just might help you focus on Yom Kippur instead of on your break-the-fast meal after.
- If you’re kicking coffee, substitute it with water. Make sure to drink two liters on erev Yom Kippur, but do not cram these in at one go, especially the closer you get to Kol Nidre. Instead, sip gradually throughout the day.
- Do not eat an excessively large meal at any point during the day. Eat the amount you normally would for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Remember, the fast starts before you’d normally eat dinner, so these three meals will still be overeating for the time frame. An overly full stomach leaves you feeling uncomfortable and does not diminish the next day’s hunger pains.
- Stay away from overly salty foods. Chicken soup is an ideal pre-fast meal, but let the vegetables do the flavoring, and consider adding some noodles for additional heartiness.
- Eat fresh fruit as your dessert, and try and eat vegetables with a high water content, like tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis, that slow-release liquid.
Wishing all of our readers an easy fast and Hatima Tova!