IT’S 1:10am. The sky is tarmac black outside and all life seems to have grounded to a halt. But not in many Muslim households for it is the holy month of Ramadan, a time of reflection, a time of fasting and a time of devoting oneself to Allah. And there is only four minutes to go before another long day of fasting commences.
This year has so far proven to be a particularly challenging Ramadan. The fasts are long due to Ramadan falling at what is near enough to the height of the summer. Leaving only four hours for many Muslims to eat in and that’s if you discount the time taken for prayers in those four hours as well.
You do end up feeling like Adam Richman at the end of one of his conquests as you fill your boots up ready for what is a 20 hour fast. But while at first I adopted a strategy of scoffing like an zoo lion just coming off its starve day, I found myself and my slight frame struggling to cope.
Naturally I am a slow and light eater, so to all of a sudden go from one extreme to the other proved to be a step too far. But slowly as we approach the half-way point in this month of fasting I have begun to tailor my diet and eating habits.
As obvious as this may sound fruit is a big winner. It’s the one thing that won’t leave you immediately bloated and slowly releases energy throughout the day – Oranges, Kiwis, Passion fruit, Bananas and Pineapples.
South Asian people can struggle in Ramadan thanks to our love of fried foods such as Samosas and Pakoras. But I’ve found myself eating healthier this Ramadan than I have all year. The long fasts necessitate the need to balance your diet and to eat carefully and healthily. Of course this doesn’t mean an end to the Samosa, Pakoras, Cheese balls and other delights.
As for the actual day? It isn’t too bad despite the hours of fasting. It seems patience is a virtue increased in Ramadan. The hours slowly whittle away as another day and fast come to a close.
It’s now 1:14am, a large glass of water washes down all the food and another day of fasting until 9:11pm commences.