The holy month of Ramadan is soon dawn-ing upon us! For Muslims, it is a time of spiritual discipline to deeply contemplate one's relationship with God; a time for increased charity and generosity; a time of celebration and joy, to be spent with loved ones. The end of Ramadan is marked with a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitri, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast!
New to fasting, looking to improve your fasting experience, or simply fasting alongside your muslim friends for support? Here are some tips gathered from our Muslim friends in the office. These tips definitely helped us better experience and understand what they go through yearly!
Many would say that abstaining from drinking liquids the entire day is the hardest part of fasting. A good habit to cultivate is to drink water in small amounts regularly before dawn, and after sunset. This allows your body to stay hydrated as much as possible to prepare for the fast. Dehydrating drinks such as coffee and sugary sodas are also best avoided - caffeine is a diuretic that pulls water from your body while drinks high in refined sugars may encourage your appetite, leaving you thirstier.
2. Avoid Salty Foods.
Be conscious of your salt intake during Sahur and Iftar (i.e. before and after the fasting period) as foods high in sodium increases the body’s need for water. You know what this means: eat less packaged foods and takeouts, and try to make time to prepare your own meals instead!
3. Eat Regular Portions.
It's easy to feel like eating larger meals to compensate for the lack of food during the fasting window. But stuffing your face is not advisable, as overeating too late in the evening can often cause indigestion and heartburn that may affect your sleep. Instead, eat regular portions to prevent overly elevated blood sugar levels and ensure you feel comfortably full. Practice eating mindfully and take a moment to tune into your hunger and satiety levels when breaking fast!
4. Eat mindfully. Variety is key!
Be conscious not just of how much you eat, but what you eat - try incorporating a variety of foods into your diet. Fill up first on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats such as olive oils and nuts. These foods, along with protein, are high in fibre and keep you fuller for longer while you fast! Complex carbs and low glycemic index (GI) foods are also your best friends during Sahur as it provides more sustained energy and helps to control your blood sugar levels while you fast. Choose foods such as oats, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats!
On that note, check out our specially curated Sahur Kits! Thoughtfully crafted with these nutritional profiles in mind, these 12-day kits are a fuss-free way to prepare a yummy, high fibre and energizing breakfast! Available in 3 amazin' flavour combinations, so you can eid right and eat right just the way you like.
5. Have Sahur as late you can
This tip is pretty self explanatory, but it is apparently a piece of legitimate advice in Islam! This is to prevent painful stomach ulcers from forming, as the protective layer of stomach lining slowly becomes eroded by the acidic digestive juices released on an empty stomach. Because of this, it is also advisable not to delay buka puasa (breaking of fast).
6. What can I do to be respectful of my Muslim friends during Ramadan?
If you're in the company of friends who are fasting, remember to be considerate! That means eating your delicious, juicy cheeseburger in the office break room rather than at your desk in the vicinity of your Muslim co-workers, and being mindful when offering them a bite or sip of what you're having - they might absentmindedly accept the mint that was offered to them without realising.
All in all, be respectful and supportive of your Muslim friends! As a family of grazers, we all benefit from learning more about, and being more understanding, of everyone's culture and religion! #eatingbettertogether
Check out our IGTV on @amazingrazemy to watch us fast for the first time.