How to Have a Healthy and Easy Fast



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Foods for Fasts

By Nechama Cohen

We have two fast days coming up and fast days can play havoc on healthy regimens. Before the fast we have the urge to eat a lot forever afraid that we might starve. Not eating all day can cause us to eat too much and too fast when the fast is over. The Three-Bean salad below is great to have before the fast since it is light and filling. One can add a bit more chickpeas or other complex carb, protein rich beans. Teamed up with a protein and some whole wheat bread, this salad will help keep you going before the fast and serve you well after the fast.

Beverages should be refreshing, easy, light and yet filling. These choices will prove how easy it is to serve lovely, filling beverages that are healthy and enjoyable. Teas are great to have before a fast and shakes are a perfect first course immediately following a fast—they are very filling and will help curb that first initial urge to eat anything and everything that comes to mind.

Remember to drink lots of fluid before the fast and immediately after. If it is very hot on the fast day, it would be best to try to stay indoors and not over exert yourself. This is in order to avoid dehydration which can be serious.

Strawberry Milkshake (Dairy)

Low Carb, Low Fat / Yield: 2 servings



1 cup low-fat, low-carb soy or skim milk
2-3 tablespoons plain, nonfat yogurt (optional)
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup chopped ice or 3/4 cup ice cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sugar substitute equal to 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sugar-free, vanilla-flavored soy protein powder (optional)


Use a strong blender that can easily chop up ice cubes.

Process all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into nice glasses and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size (cup) 1 (approx. oz) 7, (g) 210

Calories 95
Protein (g) 8
Carbs (g) 5.1
Fat (g) 2.3
Sat. Fat (g) 0.2
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 27
Calcium (mg) 110
Fiber (g) 1.2
Exchanges: Milk protein 1 Fruit 1/4


Lime-Mint Iced Tea

Carb Free, Fat Free / Yield: 4 servings


2 decaf tea bags
1 mint tea bag
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
sugar substitute to taste

Fresh mint leaves for extra taste garnish


Mix tea bags, mint and sugar substitute in hot water, and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and leaves. Chill.

When ready to serve add lime juice and stir.

Serve in tall nice glasses over ice and garnish with additional mint leaves.


Fresh herbs can be rinsed, wrapped in paper towels and refrigerated and/or frozen in a zip-lock bag.


Three-Bean Salad

Reduced Carb, Low Fat / Yield: 10 servings

This lovely classic Three-Bean Salad can be made with any combination of beans. For those who are restricting carbs, use only 1/4 cup each of the kidney beans and chickpeas (starchy beans), or none at all. The taste is the same and just as satisfying – even for your guests.


1 (10-ounce) can green string beans
1 (10-ounce) can yellow string beans
1/2 (8-ounce) can red kidney beans
1/4 (8-ounce) can chickpeas
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup green pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, seeded and sliced


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
sugar substitute equal to 3 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Open all the cans and discard the liquid. Rinse kidney beans and chickpeas in their open cans under cold water and drain.

Put all beans into an airtight container and shake to mix.

Add the remaining ingredients. Mix dressing with a whisk and pour over salad. Toss and refrigerate.

It is best to prepare this salad a day in advance. When ready to serve, transfer to a glass bowl and toss ingredients.

Garnish with onion rings.


1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and sliced into rings

Nutrition Facts

Serving size (cup) ⅔, (oz) 3, (g) 90

Calories 65
Protein (g) 2.2
Carbs (g) 7.2
Fat (g) 3
Sat. Fat (g) 0.4
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 450
Calcium (mg) 53
Fiber (g) 1.6

We at JDA are very happy to be part of the Jewish Magazine group and hope you enjoy the recipes! Please let us know what you would like to see.

Nechama Cohen is the CEO of the Jewish Diabetes Association and Author of EnLITEned Kosher Cooking. She can be contacted via email: Log on to the newest Kosher health forum on the web

EnLITEned Kosher Cooking: and Our web site is not just about diabetes—it’s about being and staying healthy!


from the July 2007 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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