How to Do a Spring Equinox Fast
The spring equinox marks the turning of the seasons. It’s a day when daylight and nighttime hours are just about equal, and it generally falls around March 20.For some cultures and religions around the world, this is the time of year to celebrate renewal and rebirth by fasting.Either observe traditional religious guidelines or design your own cleansing fast. Soon enough, a cleansed new you will be ready to greet the coming of spring!
Deciding Which Fast is Right for You
Consult with your doctor to find out if you can fast.It’s a great idea to talk to your doctor about your fasting plans even if you’re completely healthy. They can advise you how to safely fast, and they’ll be able to tell you if there’s a reason why you shouldn’t. For example, if you have certain medical conditions, a fast is not right for you. These conditions include:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Liver problems
Plan a 24-hour fast if this is your first time.If you aren’t fasting for religious reasons, you can design your own rules. To come up with these rules, consider your past experience. If you’ve never fasted before, it’s important to start small. Going over 24 hours could cause unnecessary stomach pain.
- This will allow your body to adjust slowly to the shock of fasting. Over the course of the year, you can fast a few more times for slightly longer periods. Next equinox, you’ll be ready for a longer one.
Choose a longer fast if you’ve fasted before.If you’ve done this before and you’re setting your own fast limit, consider fasting for a few days. Don’t fast for more than about a week without professional supervision.
- While some detox or juice cleanse diets recommend fasting for several weeks, this can be dangerous. Don’t attempt a fast of this length without being closely supervised by a doctor.
Do a two-day semi-fast the week before for weight loss.If you’re considering fasting to lose weight, plan to regulate how many calories you consume over the course of the week. Start one week before the equinox to finish up your fast just as the holiday arrives.
- Since people usually do this as a long-term diet plan, you can use the spring equinox as your motivation for starting! Keep it going after the equinox is over.
Celebrate the Baha’i fast for nineteen days before the equinox.First encouraged by the Baha’i faith’s founder, the fast is used to encourage meditation and prayer for nineteen days before the equinox. Count out the days ahead of the equinox, and start so day nineteen falls on the day before the equinox.
- Usually, you’ll be starting up on one of the very first days in March, or the last day of February. Since the equinox doesn’t fall on the same day each year, be sure to check a yearly calendar to make sure you’ve got the date right.
Cleanse in preparation for Ostara on the equinox.Pagans or Wiccans celebrate Ostara on the spring equinox. This holiday is about celebrating the rebirth and growth that occurs in nature each spring. Fast for a few days before the celebration to purify yourself and renew your energy.
Observing the Fast
Consume mostly liquids for a detox fast.If you’re fasting to detox, you’ll set your own rules. If you don’t want to do a complete fast, eat one or two small pieces of fruit (such as an apple) during the day. If you choose, you can also just stick to water and brewed tea while you fast.
- You may also want to add a detoxifying soup or juice to this kind of fast.
- Drink about 2 liters (0.5 US gal) (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day while you fast. You can add lemon juice or orange slices to the water to flavor it.
- Any tea will work! Add spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to help manage your hunger.
- You can also have a bowl or two of bone or vegetable broth on your fast days. Pick up some organic broth from the grocery store or make your own!
Limit your caloric intake for two days for weight loss.To follow the one-week fasting program for weight loss, you’ll need to eat a lot less two days out of the week. Consume only 500 calories for two days at the end of the week. On the other five, you can have a standard intake of about 2,000 calories.
- On your 500-calorie days, have a 100-calorie breakfast, a lunch under 200 calories, and a dinner of about 200 calories.
- A sample menu for a fast day could include 3 tbsp (about 40 g) of greek yogurt, 50 blueberries, and a kiwi for breakfast.You could then have a cup (about 236 ml) of potato and leek soup for lunch.Finally, whip up ratatouille for dinner!
Do not eat or drink during the day for the Baha’i fast.During the nineteen days of the fast, you cannot eat or drink from the hours between sunup and sundown. This includes water. Observe these rules closely if you’re doing the Baha’i fast.
- Be sure to take time during your fasting hours to renew your spirituality and reflect on your inner life.
Choose your own cleansing rules for Ostara.Since not all Pagans or Wiccans fast before Ostara, there are not set rules for fasting.Consider eating lighter, more natural meals for several days before the equinox.This will purge your system of heavier winter foods.
- Cut out any sugary or processed foods, along with fruits. Stick with whole-grain rice, plain oatmeal, and raw vegetables.
- This partial fast can also remind your family of the importance of the spring and summer harvest.
Breaking the Fast
Eat small, light meals if you’ve been on a total fast.Start slow. You don’t want to upset your stomach. Have a handful of nuts or a few spoonfuls of whole-grain rice. Wait about 15 minutes and eat a bit more.
- You can also eat a bit of fruit or a small salad.
- It shouldn’t take you more than 24 hours to readjust.
Go for healthy, light meals after detox or weight loss fasts.To get the full health benefits of these types of fasts, you need to continue to eat healthy after they’re over. Stick with lean meats, healthy fats like avocado, and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and sugars.
- Cut out sodas and artificial sweeteners. Consider replacing sugar with a natural sweetener like honey.
Drink water and eat moderate meals at night for the Baha’i fast.During the nineteen days of the Baha’i fast, you can eat and drink whatever you’d like when the sun’s down!To avoid giving yourself a stomachache, however, you may want to stick with smaller meals during the evening. Start the day with high-fiber breakfasts that’ll take you a long time to digest.
Make a celebratory feast to break the pre-Ostara fast.Once the equinox arrives, it’s time to celebrate! Break your fast and ring in the spring with some homemade bread, cookies, and a meal filled with grains, fruits, and vegetables. Be thankful for the earth’s bounty.
- You can also have dandelion wine, honey cakes, and nuts, which are a few other staples of the Ostara celebration.
QuestionExactly when do you fast? It's not clear from this at what times you don't eat.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are different start-dates and times depending on the type of fast. Decide what type of fast is best for you and which you want to try, and do some research on that specific type of fasting for more detailed guidance.Thanks!
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