Ramadan is for life …

Posted on August 2, 2011


not just for Ramadan.

I picked up a copy of Time Out this week and there was an article titled ‘How to fast healthily this Ramadan.’ The article started off by saying that a vital part of completing a Ramadan fast is to know how to break it properly.

Reading on however, I noticed the rules shouldn’t just be limited to Ramadan at all. Rather they should be taken as rules for everyday; rules to incorporate in our lives day in and day out, regardless of creed or religion.

They are:

  1. Try to stay as hydrated as possible – esp in our desert climate
  2. Break your fast with dates and juice – despite the feeling of innate hunger, don’t just gorge on the site of heavy carb-laden foods on first sighting of a buffet
  3. Don’t overeat – eat slowly and if you have missed a meal, there’s no need to double up in portion size or calorie intake to make up for lost time
  4. Avoid dishes served in a sauce – prob. high in fat and prob. high in sodium, sauces are the devils work and should be given a wide berth in place of salads, grilled meats and broth-based soups
  5. Swap traditional deserts for fruit – refined sugars should be avoided and will only cause a great dip in your energy levels leaving you feeling lethargic and lazy … fruit, on the other hand, improves your mood, controls your blood sugar levels and keeps cravings at bay for longer
  6. Get moving – exercise and general activity throughout the day aids your digestion and keeps your energy and concentration levels up … fact!

Come to think of it, the whole ideology behind Ramadan is to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality and humility. It is a time of spiritual reflection and worship, a time of giving to the poor and homeless.

Ditto then.  Why should these practices and reflections be limited to Ramadan, a one month per year practice? Surely, we should always try to live by such ideas.

From my own point of view, at times in the past, I have found Ramadan to be just a little inconvenient.

I get frustrated being unable to hydrate when thirsty, by putting my training on the back burner and by putting my afternoon caffeine fix at Caribou on hold … but then I try to think this …

  • I think that millions of people in the world would love to hydrate, if only they had access to clean water
  • and I think that millions of people in the world would love to run, if only they had a safe environment or even a pair of shoes to do so
  • and I think that millions of people would love the freedom and luxury to spend afternoons in a coffee shop, surrounded by laughter and lattes, if only they were so spoilt as we are

And when I think of these things, I have a sharp injection of reality and a newfound respect for Ramadan.

A respect for life, not just for Ramadan!


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