Ramadan is a time of worship, a time to return our focus to Allah and His blessings. To remember all that we have been blessed with. To remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. During this time, Muslims fast from before sunrise until sunset. During the fasting period, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and anything else that may bring them pleasure. Instead, they focus on acts of worship and in earning good deeds.
And because Ramadan involves fasting, there seems to be a big focus on food. Too many Muslims tend to break their fast with huge feasts, rather than simple, small meals that will give them the required energy and satisfy their hunger. Iftaar meals tend to be more like Thanksgiving Day feasts in America that are filled with foods high in fat, refined carbs and sugars.
So, how can we then earn good deeds and get the most out of our fasting? You should make sure to do extra acts of charity, worship, reading Quran, and making duaa. In doing so, InshaaAllah (God willing) you will earn extra good deeds. During the month of Ramadan make sure that you avoid drinking sugary drinks and juices, as these will make you feel even more thirsty and hungry; instead drink plenty of water during the evening hours, in order to be well hydrated during the day.
If you do not want to feel like you have gone into a food induced coma then do not overeat when breaking your fast. Make sure that your meals are clean whole foods rather than processed foods or packaged foods that are chock full of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and other ingredients that are body doesn’t know how to properly digest. Also avoid foods that are high in bad fats, sugar, refined carbs and low in fiber. When possible adding fermented foods to your diet will help in the digestive process and reduce bloating.
In order to avoid any bloating after meals, be mindful of what you are ingesting and the amazing processes that are happening within your body. Thoroughly chew your food. Digestion starts in our mouth and yet few of us chew our food properly. So, while you are enjoying your iftaar, slow down while chewing your food and enjoy the tastes and flavors on your palate.
Whenever we eat too quickly, air can get trapped up in our stomach causing gas and bloating which in turn may prevent you from performing your prayers. You may also want to avoid chewing gum, drinking through a straw, eating fruit after your iftaar meal, as all of these can lead to gas and bloating. When eating fruit, eat it on an empty stomach as it digests much quicker than animal proteins, dairy and grains.
Courtesy of the TIES Center: the TIES Center aims at empower Kuwait’s expats through social and educational services that promote a positive and productive role in society, and to facilitate opportunities for intra- and interfaith interactions that promote social solidarity. For more information, you can contact TIES at Tel: 25231015/6; Hotline: 94079777; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Angela Smith