It’s that time of year again people. The time of year where the days seem never ending, eating healthy is out of the question and your patience is truly tested. Yes, Ramadan is here: a month long spiritual event where Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset and attempt not to strangle their non-fasting friends for eating a Big Mac meal in front of them.
Ramadan isn’t easy, not by a long shot. Not being able to eat or drink anything (not even water) for upwards of 12 hours is hard enough but that’s just the start. If you are fasting you are also supposed to abstain from swearing, anger, fighting, gossiping, gambling, smoking, back biting and so on and so on. It’s sort of like a spiritual as well as physical cleanse except it’s a month long.
Did I mention that it’s not easy? It’s only the 5th day today and I’m already about ready to curl up and go into hibernation for the rest of the month. Staying patient and serene with a hyperactive toddler around and no caffeine? Riiight…
So yes, to put it mildly, it’s a difficult month. If you want to get through it all in one piece and manage to hold onto your sanity in the process, here’s a few nifty guidelines on what NOT to do while fasting:
1) Go grocery shopping
Trust me on this one: going to a place that is literally bursting at the seams with food on an empty stomach is not a smart move. It will definitely not do your budget any favors. You’ll tell yourself you’re just popping in for some eggs and before you know it you’ll be trying to stuff 23 jars of salsa into your pantry and wondering where you went wrong.
2) Look up recipes online
No, just no. Do you enjoy torturing yourself with mouthwatering images of amazing food that you can’t eat? If not, then keep this activity for after sunset when you are no longer hungry and won’t want to poke your eye out at the sight of yet another perfectly grilled chicken breast you wish you had on a plate in front of you.
3) Worry about housework
Trying to stay anger-free and not swearing a little under your breath while doing your daily chores with a hyperactive toddler running around tossing your freshly laundered shirts around your not-so-clean kitchen can be a challenge even on the best of days. Trying to do that while fasting can become nothing short of impossible. So accept that your house will be just a little messier, your laundry will pile up more than usual and your toddler will be just a little wilder for the duration of the month and that’s fine.
4) Forget your sunrise caffeine
When fasting, you get to wake up before sunrise (around 3am depending on where you are) to have a last meal before the fast begins at sunrise. Do not, I repeat DO NOT forget to have your dose of caffeine at this time because having to deal with a caffeine-withdrawal-induced migraine when you can’t take pain killers just might ruin your day.
Having a fitness regime and sticking to it is very important for healthy living, especially in this era of easy to get junk food. That being said though, attempting to stick to your gym/swimming/running/dance aerobics schedule while fasting is kinda suicidal. Let’s focus on surviving the month and worry about that bikini body later shall we?
Happy Ramadan everyone!
Are you fasting this month? Share your stories, experiences and advice in the comments! Have a question about Ramadan or fasting? Don’t be shy to ask! 🙂