Updated: June 7, 2016 8:57:25 pm
Ramadan is the month of spiritual nourishment and reinforces the values of humanity.
As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, people are worried about how to keep a balance between fasting, dealing with scorching heat, and continuing daily activities.
The 30 days of Ramadan require a strict schedule to be followed that includes fasting (Roza), reciting the Holy Quran (Tilawat), offering prayers (Namaz) five times a day, special prayer called ‘Taraweeh’ and, above all – good behaviour.
Rather than giving up fasting just because the time and conditions are not in your favour, it is better to plan your days in a way that lets you make the best use of this holy month of Ramadan.
Here are a few tips on how you should spend Ramadan:
Those who are observing fast need to have at least two meals a day – Surooh (pre-dawn meal) and Iftar (a meal at dusk). As fasting is one of the five main pillars of Islam, this exercise cannot be ignored or skipped. So, it becomes important to have such a diet during Surooh and Iftar that you can go on throughout the month with ease, especially during summers.
#Diet for Suhoor
* Suhoor should include foods that digest slowly and provides enough energy for rest of the day. For Suhoor, one should prefer meal that is rich in carbohydrates, fibre and potassium over the food that burns fast – bananas, milk, dates, avocados, khajla-pheni, dried peaches, pistachios, pumpkin, peas, dark chocolate. Bananas are high in potassium and suppress your thirst while dates will give you a good stock of energy to be consumed slowly throughout the day.
* Some people prefer milkshakes made with syrup as it is easy and quick to prepare. This should be avoided as it contains high amounts of sugar, additives and colourants. If you really want to have it, then reduce the number to two per week. And oily food should be kept miles away.
#Diet for Iftar
* Following the Prophetic tradition, one should break fast with dates as they provide a burst of energy. Avoid attacking food as soon as you break the fast and keep your dusk meal light. During Iftar, do not drink lots of water just because it takes less effort to fill stomach with water than with food. Rather, compliment your Iftar meal with fresh fruits. While breaking your fast, chew food slowly as it will speed up digestion and help maintain your weight.
#Again, avoid having deep-fried, fatty and high-sugar food.
2. WHAT TO DO BETWEEN SUHOOR AND IFTAR
The best way to spend your day during fast is to qualify the basic requirements of fasting.
Ramadan is not just about fasting, and fasting is not just about keeping from food the entire day. The concept of Ramadan expects a Muslim to surrender himself to Almighty (Allah) and refrain from activities that pleases him or provokes him to do anything bad.
When a person says he is fasting, it means his entire body is at fast. A fasting person would not look at the opposite sex with lusty eyes. He would not speak anything that may hurt the other person’s feeling. He won’t do anything that may physically hurt anybody. He would not hear anything bad.
Ramadan is a month-long effort to install a healthy lifestyle that one can follow throughout his life. Whether it’s avoiding unhygienic food, behaving well in the society, doing physical exercise (namaz) regularly, personality development or making a good name, this is the month where one can improvise his inner self.
3. WHAT TO DO BETWEEN IFTAR AND SUHOOR
# Once you have broken your fast, have a glass of water after every two hours. This is very important to restore the water level in your body.
# Those who are fitness freaks are not advised to work out immediately after Iftar as body’s blood flow is concentrated around the stomach at that time. There should be a gap of at least two hours between you gym and Iftar.
# If you like desserts, have them, but leave at least a two-hour gap between Iftar and desserts to stay fresh and awake for Taraweeh prayers.
# Your body has a right over you, and when it wants rest, then rest. Go to bed on time and wake up fresh for the next Suhoor.
Following this routine-cum-guidelines would hopefully allow you to enjoy a healthy lifestyle throughout the the holy month of Ramadan and even after that.
Note: Do not forget to take out time and appreciate the ladies in your house for their efforts to prepare your meal while they are also fasting and more tired than you are.
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