Vanessa Widener is a Spanish tutor. She lives in North Charleston.
I’m doing a liquid fast right now. I’m a Christian, and in the church where we go, we fast for spiritual reasons. We do it with purpose. Personally, I want to listen to the guidance God has for me this year. Some people do it because of healing, or because they have a family member going through a hard time. A lot of people in church just really want to start the year more spiritually connected.
They give us three options. There’s three days of water, which a lot of people are doing. Then you can do a seven-day liquid fast, or 21 days of the Daniel Fast. That’s becoming really popular. It’s pretty much you just do vegetables, fruits, no sodas, no sweets.
I wake up between 4 and 5 in the morning, so that’s when I have my shake. Yesterday, I had a banana-blackberry-strawberry shake with almond milk and a little bit of Monk Fruit sweetener. It’s really natural: It’s not like Splenda or anything like that. And just to get a little bit of fat, I added one spoon of vanilla gelato.
I usually have five meals a day, and that’s what I try to do even with the fast. So mid-morning, I had a protein shake from Atkins. It’s 15 grams of protein and only one gram of sugar. I also had herbal chamomile tea with creamer.
Then, for lunch, I had Progresso minestrone soup that I blended and drank just like a drink. Then, for mid-afternoon, I had a nonfat yogurt smoothie. I got it from Spinx, you know, the gas station. The guy showed me how they make it with ice.
In the evening, I had chicken noodle soup, and then I had another shake with banana and blackberries and Monk Fruit sweetener, and soy milk instead of almond milk.
The purpose of the fasting is to spend more time in the presence of God and be more spiritually aware. Definitely, you need to have willpower to do it. And if you don’t pray, you’re just starving yourself.
As told to Hanna Raskin