Kimberly Walker gained a passion for cooking from her favorite chef—her mom. Chef Kim, as she is known, is now a culinary professional serving on board of the American Culinary Federation’s Miami Chapter and she is also a private cook to pro athletes.We caught Kim in the midst of festival meal prep and got to ask her a few questions on what’s it like to fast as a chef and what inspires her creativity in the kitchen. She had a lot to say.
You’re around food for a living, how has your fast been? Has sustaining a fast been difficult?
Actually, I do not think it has been more difficult for me. Sure, I am around food and probably think about it more than most. Studying it causes me to think about the purpose of nutrition and I am better able to apply what I learn. I can say the same with regard to the things of God.I think what’s important for new believers or people who’ve never done a fast before, or at least not one that was spiritually connected, is to know the reason why. Before anything else, I consider myself a servant of God and take that approach in everything I do, including a fast. That’s my why. So, I focus on what he is calling me to do.
You bring up a good point on what to think about for someone who may be new to fasting.
Yeah. Based on what I know to be true about fasting, you choose which fast works best for you! Your body, your schedule. You can be realistic with your approach. Apart from a complete fast, eating when you are able is imperative. There are so many types of fasts. Partial fasts like the Daniel fast with no delicacies, meats, and alcohol or intermittent fasts with variations like having an 8-hour eating window, fasting every other day, or a 5:2 with five days off, two days. There are also media fasts as well. It all comes down to what you in your conversations with God decide on. You may even be led to do an absolute fast, which is without food or drink, for a period.
That’s great to know. There can be distractions as we prepare our hearts for the sacred time.
Sometimes, leading into a fast people try to “stock up,” eating everything they can to excess. Instead, it is best to eat healthy before, during, and after your fast, even if it isn’t a food-related fast. While a fast can result in weight loss, our ultimate goal is spiritual gain. Fasting is not unintentionally going without food. It is a deliberate tool we use against the adversary which pushes us to be even more reliant on God.
Wow, that's a great truth!
It’s bigger than you and your physical desire for food or whatever your fast is linked to. It’s knowing God is our true source of and for everything we can want or need.The Bible speaks about not seeking attention while fasting, so it is good not to publicize your fasting journey with others who aren’t fasting. Keep in mind that we’re not fasting for brownie points from God or man.
Hmm, speaking of brownies…temptation! Jesus cited Scripture when he was tempted during his fast. Do you find yourself citing Scripture, singing, praying during those testy moments in a fast?
Of course! Worship is a lifestyle, steady conversations with God are vital. There is a reason why the word is also called our daily bread. During a fast, especially when we are abstaining from physical nourishment, these are the things that fill us up! Prevention is better than cure, but temptation is a real thing. And if Jesus was tested, who are we? It will come no matter what. One verse I keep close is “' Everything is permissible,' but not everything is beneficial,” from 1 Corinthians 10:23. On a practical level, don’t set yourself up to fail. If you know you are not capable of say, a complete fast you probably should not do it. But if you happen to fail, do it quickly and get back on track. Understand that in God weakness are strengths. You may think you are unable to handle something and you may be right. On your own, this is very difficult but we have Jesus as an example.
Does the restriction lead to innovation in the kitchen?
Yes, of course, fasting helps with creativity. I believe anytime there is a limitation, it encourages creativity. So, for example, my thought process is not, Oh no, no meat! Rather it is, Oh yeah, I’ll incorporate more quinoa or lentils or any other suitable plant-based foods, ones high in protein because having some form of protein is essential. A few months ago, Pastor Oneka McClellan spoke about being and staying scrappy. It spoke to me so loudly, not only as it relates to our church but also on a personal and professional level. I love maximizing whatever I have access to, whether I’m cooking for my clients or just for myself. When I’m fasting, it keeps me focused on the focus—Jesus.
How can we avoid getting tripped up transitioning out of a fast?
A healthy way to shift back into a season of ordinary eating is to do it gradually. Just like you should not try to “stock up” leading into a fast, you should not end it by eating any and everything in sight as a way to make up for the lost time. Maybe we missed those items, but they were not missing from us. We have everything we need. Even if you are on an intermittent fast, you want to pace yourself. The same goes for non-food fasts.
Any quickfire tips that will help anyone going into, maintaining, and ending a fast?
Ok, yes.1. Throughout, it is important to prepare your body, along with your spirit.2. It’s wise to modify your food intake to your fast at least a few days before. 3. You can stock up on juices such as apple, cranberry, and infused waters. Not mixed drinks. If you have a juicer, this is a great time to pull it out! 4. Consume whole foods and high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables5. Just as you prepare and gradually head into your fasting period, after ending your fasting period, gradually return to your regular eating.
Thank you, Chef Kim, for sharing with us. This was so helpful. We’re thankful for God’s hand on your life and craft.If you want to catch Chef Kim, you can meet her serving on the Broadcast Team at VOUS.