Ramadan has been arriving mid-summer for a couple of years and our tolerance and patience are being tested in this scorching heat. It’s truly a tough test maintaining our fast while our bodies sweat (what feels like) 90% of their water content & our patience is teased by crude street manners or an angry boss. The saving grace, though, is that at the end of the day we go back home to a huge feast of all the traditional dishes our plates can serve and the warm gathering of the family, followed by tea and coffee sipped while we chat and watch Aghani w Aghani or an Egyptian series. Some nights we go out for iftar with friends in one of the many restaurants in the city, and maybe even spend the night out till suhoor. After all, Ramadan is the only month where Khartoum buzzes until dawn.
While we think Ramadan can be a great time to unwind, the way we spend it is chaotic and can be severely unhealthy. So we gathered some hard-learned tips for you to ease into the remainder of the month.
Maghreb ≠ feast
Just because you’ve got the green light to eat doesn’t mean you should go all packman on the food. Ease up and go slow by indulging in small portions of everything on display. The hunger will subside without you having to tolerate carrying a bloated, heavy belly all the way to the next morning.
Suhoor is necessary
Suhoor is not just a cup of water and a couple of dates, nor is it a cup of coffee to sip on. Suhoor is a meal that shouldn’t be overlooked. It should be a full, complete meal that is light yet includes slow digesting food, so go for carbohydrates rich foods over fatty foods.
Image Credit: MyEnglishclub.com
Dear caffeine junkies, I’m sorry to say this but, I think it’s time you go decaf.
Hydration is the key to survive a hot Ramadan day without feeling like a truck ran you over. You can hydrate very well through the night but ruin it all with a cup or two of steamy, earthly-scented coffee or a very tempting, beautifully dewy bottle of Coke. I know how coffee can be satisfying, but you really don’t want to pay the price with a few too many visits to the bathroom. Caffeine is a diuretic and it stimulates a faster water loss. Excessive loss of water will guarantee you a terrible dehydration headache.
Decrease the number of cigarettes per day and increase the intake intervals.
If you’re a smoker, fasting is much harder on you because Nicotine is a stimulant with some tough withdrawal symptoms. If you don’t want a persistent headache, space them out throughout the night.
Juice. Juice. Juice.
I know this is logical since Ramadan is probably the only time around here when people make a juice festival to go alongside a meal, but this is a reminder to hydrate with vitamins and antioxidants rich juices & not artificially colored sugary ones.
Don’t think about it.
You know how the last five minutes before Maghreb are the hardest? Well that’s the anticipation; so if you don’t want those five minutes to multiply into hours, don’t think about the fast. Distract yourself with daily tasks and chores & make plans to immerse yourself in family catch-up sessions, spirituality, good food & good TV. Nothing works better than deceiving your mind that those few hours are tolerable.
Ramadan nights are long & awesome, but do sleep.
It might be fun to stay up late with friends, family and the remote control, but it isn’t worth the travesty that is exhaustion while fasting the next day. Moderation, people!
Now no one is claiming that they ritually do all these things, but it helps to know that some of these habits can make our fast easier or harder.
May your fast be accepted and may you break it with the best meals.