Case Study - My Plan for Ramadan
Issue 59 August 2009
Musa Karim, 45, Leicester
This Ramadan, fasting will be a more challenging task than usual as the holy month will take place in the high summer season when the days are at their longest. The last time I experienced a similar Ramadan was around 20 years ago; I broke my fast very late at about 9.30pm. This year, I want to benefit from it spiritually and nutritionally. By planning my time carefully and eating healthily, I hope I can achieve my goals.
I usually eat a light meal for suhoor, but as I will be working through the week and fasting for long hours, I will be eating slow-releasing energy foods such as granary bread, oats and cereals. I like porridge with chopped bananas and dried fruit; it usually keeps me quite full for much longer. Also, I read that high-protein foods such as cheese, eggs and nuts keep you full for longer. Scrambled egg on toast is a good start to your fast as well. Suhoor is important to me as it keeps me focused during the day.
I like to drink tea and coffee, so I’m usually prone to migraines as a result of depriving myself of caffeine in Ramadan. So, by avoiding caffeinated drinks a week before Ramadan, I will gradually get used to not having any before I begin fasting.
When I wake up, I find I’m usually thirsty. But, I know after a few minutes, the feeling disappears and I’m ready to start the day full of energy. However, I try not to over-do it as I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate after noontime when energy levels start to dip. During my lunch break, I don’t stay seated at my desk and prefer to get some fresh air outdoors as it helps me feel revived, but I won’t go into direct sunlight as I don’t want to feel dehydrated. After work, I usually return home and have a short nap to relax myself before reading Qur’an and praying. Short breaks during the day prevent me feeling exhausted.
As iftar time will be so late in the evening, I will break my fast on fruit juice and dates for a quick sugar fix. Then I will combine chicken or fish with salad and pasta or rice. I try to have a balanced diet, as fasting is supposed to be a cleansing process for your mind, body and soul.
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