Well, it has been a while since I last wrote something for Zomppa, and while chatting over email with Belinda and Patty, I realized that I should really write about my experience of not eating food during daylight hours for a nineteen day period every year.
Yes, since the age of 15 I have carried out the Baha’i Fast, which takes place over a period of nineteen days every year between March 2 and 20 inclusive. Baha’is refrain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset. As has been the case with other revealed religions, the purpose of the Baha’i fast is spiritual in nature, it is to reinvigorate the soul and bring the person closer to God. So it is a period of prayer and slowing down in one’s daily routine.
So what does this all have to do with a blog about food? Well, a lot actually, as when you are fasting, you certainly come to appreciate food on a whole different level!!!
Now I am not a breakfast person so most mornings I generally just make myself a cappuccino and munch on a piece of toast. During the fast though, breakfast is an absolute necessity for me. Over the years, I have experimented with different food types in the morning and have found that oatmeal and protein are the best stables to get me through the day. Nothing like getting that Irish steel-cut oatmeal going in the slow cooker the night before then adding some raisins and nuts and agave syrup in the morning along with my two eggs. I generally stay away from anything like bacon because of the salt factor. Dehydration is definitely a factor you have to be careful of so I make an effort to drink plenty of water in the mornings and evenings.
Once sunset comes along I like to break my fast with a nice sweet tea. That first sip is simply divine! Hot tea just opens up my stomach for the food that it is about to be ingested, ha ha. Here in DC, it has become customary for my fellow Baha’i friends to descend upon Moby Dick’s House of Kabob restaurant in Dupont Circle to break the fast on the first day. My favorite dish there is the Persian chicken kabob with basmati rice, tahdig and a dusting sumac spice. I have to give a special shout out to “tahdig” which is quite possibly my most favorite part of a Persian meal. This is the crispy rice, bread or potatoes taken from the bottom of the pot in which rice is cooked, and it is the yummiest thing out!
I have been lucky this last fast to share an apartment with a friend of mine who is also fasting and another friend who lives a couple of blocks away. We have had a great time getting together for breakfast and saying prayers as the sun rises.
If any readers have any of their own fast experiences, I would love to hear them. It’s always interesting to hear people’s eating habits during this very special period.