It has been Ramadan for less than a week, and it already feels as if I’ve lived this way forever. Not for everyone? Maybe just me 🙂
I truly love this time of year. There is never such unity, happiness, friendliness, etc amongst Muslims (except maybe on Eid) and there is so much food and dessert that it’s almost too easy to gain weight despite fasting. Being a relatively slim woman, I know that I can surprise people with the amount of food and or dessert I can pack away. I’ve said before what a strange eater I am (check out these posts: Funny Eating and You Eat Like a Girl!) and the month of Ramadan just gives me an excuse to placate my strange palate 🙂 However, in looking at what is often served versus what is sunnah (tradition of the Prophet, peace be upon him) I am often amazed at how perfect or imperfect a food item can be.
Regarding what we usually find at the time to break the fast: fried food, while delicious, is not exactly the first thing you want to put in your stomach after a day of fasting. Yes, you might feel full, but it’s with something unhealthy that will make you feel lethargic pretty quickly. And please, try to stay away from the soda because you will crash within the hour, for sure.
The sunnah for Muslims is to break their fast with a date. And I don’t mean of the non-kosher variety; I mean a date, as in the fruit. The best are the juicy black dates from Medinah called Medjool dates. Now I’m a scientist, so I like things explained to me. When you look at a date, it’s essentially a shot of glucose. Now while some of you may turn up your noses at that, let me tell you that your entire body uses glucose as an energy source, and having a date as the first food is the biggest, best, and purest shot of energy to replenish and rejuvenate your body. There is truly nothing better for you to eat when breaking your fast.
The other thing to consume is simple: water! It really is the sustainer of life (aside from God, of course) and it replenishes the veins and quenches the thirst. Also, it helps to fill you a bit faster so you don’t overeat (as is the tendency for many to do during this month).
It’s also great to eat/drink (whatever the verb is) soup! It fills you with the liquid you need and provides you some nourishment as well. There really is no need to be eating 5 meals during Ramadan; the stomach will shrink during the day anyway, so you don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on it by consuming too much food. The symptoms of that are a lot of gas and an uncomfortable stomach, so do yourself a favor and pace yourself by eating small amounts of food over time.
Now again, there needs to be a reminder that just because the physical fast ends at sunset, that doesn’t mean the spiritual fast ends too. How you spend your nights is just as important as how you spend your days, so please try to take advantage of all of your time this month! In the immortal words of Batman,
Happy Ramadan again to you all 🙂