Ask Dr. Denton: It's Lent. Can You Explain the Effects of Fasting?
the remainder of our needs come from our own fat stores. The brain is rested because its needs are not in competition with the gut and the reduced insulin release allows the brain to get its supply of energy from balanced blood sugars.
A few simple recommendations:
Follow our Lenten calenda. Make Fridays, perhaps even Wednesday, your days to fast.
Start slowly - no meat. Then extend this to a low carbohydrate/ low fat day with water, a small piece of fish, honey on whole grain bread, a spinach salad with olive oil and a touch of vinegar.
Drink water over coffee, soda, or fruit drinks. If you need something else, or your caffeine headache is kicking in, the answer is tea. Try green tea as the primary choice followed by herbal teas or fruit teas such as lemon tea, hot apple spice or chamomile.
Remember prayer time in the morning to set the right priorities. Start the day right and you will finish right. A little walk in the evening or even midday will ward off those urges for sweets.
The truth is, fasting is extremely healthy for the body if the fast is not extreme. By that I mean not performed for days or weeks at a time.
But Dr D, there has to be more
Yes, there is more. The benefits of fasting are not just about the physical world, they are also about the spiritual world. Fasting is about becoming identified in solidarity with the poorest of the world in order to feel their hunger, their ache, their longing for sustenance. That is what compassion means. To enter into the suffering of another. It is for love - and for the beauty and dignity of the human person. In our small sacrifice we become one with each other and then we truly are one with Christ, one with God.
May we all fast together and then share our gifts as one.
Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He, and Michelle, are contributing writers to Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Lent, Dr Denton Weiss, Fasting, Beautiful living,
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