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Everyone has their tips and tricks on how best to prepare for a fast. My brother likes to drink a bottle of Powerade to build up his electrolytes.  My father slowly weans off his coffee starting a week before to help avoid the caffeine withdrawal headache.  My mother always made us bland food so we wouldn't be thirsty from too much salt (she didn't care if we were extra hungry because the bland food was so bad).  Some people feel you have to just eat like crazy the day before so you are so full you won't feel hungry the next day. Others gradually eat less and less beginning a few days before the fast.  Whatever your personal eating strategy, the most important advice I can give is to drink plenty of water the day before.  The hardest part of fasting and the side-effects are caused by dehydration.  So drink up the whole day before and then enjoy a well-balanced meal before your fast begins.

Before we get to the menu here are 5 tips for an easier fast:

1.  Drink lots of water before the fast.
2. Include protein in your pre-fast menu.
3. Don't skimp on carbs, but do make them filling.
4. Eat good healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
5. Avoid or limit added sugar (it just makes you want more). 

Now a menu suggestion for a hearty, healthy meal before the fast. 

Arugula Walnut Pesto Pasta

Arugula Walnut Pesto Pasta horizontal

I love a good hearty pasta with whole grain pasta for extra fiber to really fill you up.  When you add walnuts and greens for the pesto sauce you get extra vitamins and healthy fat to really sustain you through the fast. 

Cod Fillets with Gratin

Cod with spinach

Pair that pasta with a high protein fish coated in nuts and a side of Venetian Spinach and your meal is complete. 

All that's left is a something sweet...

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

Chocolate mint cheesecake

I like the idea of ending your meal with something minty fresh, like this chocolate mint cheesecake or some homemade Thin Mints or even some mint chip ice cream.  We want to keep added sugar to a minimum so keep your portions small and save the rest for after the fast. 

Wishing you an easy fast. 

MORE: 5 Best Foods To Eat Before a Fast