My Ramadan Diary: 9-26-2007 (Health, Weight loss, and the Fast)

26 09 2007

 

I’ve been cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning and….well, you get the point. It is high season for iftar gatherings right now.  Plus, I have been cooking for some sisters in the community. So, I’ve been pretty flat out. 

For those unfamiliar with Iftar gatherings. It’s basically a large dinner (Americans think of Thanksgiving Dinner). Depending on where you live/the size of the Muslim community in your area, you can expect about 3 invites per week.  If you live in a smaller community of course it will be less. If you live in a Muslim country then you can pretty much expect and invite 7 days a week.

I love the unity and the gatherings for Iftar. I think it’s wonderful to earn the rewards and gather together to maintain love and  ties between the community. However, I can’t help but notice that the food seems to always be quite fattening. Few gatherings I have been to offer healthy alternatives. This is really disappointing to me. Yeah, it’s ok to indulge once in awhile but some people are eating like this everyday. After not eating all day to have a huge spread like that is just inviting weight gain.  In fact, my first Ramadan I gained 10 lbs. Who would think that you gain weight while fasting! It’s absurd. Right? Wrong. It’s common. Very common. Since that time, I have endevored to take a healthy dish or some fresh fruit to the host’s house.  It’s a small gesture but it is good all around. The host usually appreciates it. Plus, it serves the purpose of having at least something healthy there.  Another tip, eat smaller portions. Anyone, who has been to an iftar gathering knows that if you don’t eat at least a little bit of several items you will offend your host. So, eat just that….a little bit of a few items.  Remember to compliment the host heavily on the food too. That way, even if you don’t eat a whole lot she/he knows you enjoyed it.

Click this link for an article on how to fast healthy during Ramadan:

http://health.iafrica.com/dietonline/general/ramadan.htm

 Another thing that happens during Ramadan is no exercise. Obviously if you exercise during the day you are going to be miserable and probably get dehydrated.  So, I simply change the routine and go to the gym after I break my fast. If this isn’t an option (as it often is not during Iftar season as gatherings last into the night), then I exercise at home using videos and on demand programs offered by my cable network. I try to do at least thirty minutes a night.  The programs my cable provider offers are widely varied from hip hop dance exercises to tae bo to pilates and yoga.  They also offer simple walking programs. So, there’s something for everybody. Exercise DVDs are also really cheap these days.  It’s really a great asset.  Basically, as long as you can incorporate some exercise it’s good.

Shahrazad has a Qur’an reading blog circle going. If you want to check it out insh’Allah click this link:

http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com/circle-of-unity/


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26 09 2007
Culinary Schools » Blog Archive » My Ramadan Diary: 9-26-2007

[…] AAVE Trip BLOG wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt  I ve been cooking and cleaning and cooking and cleaning and .well, you get the point. It is high season for iftar gatherings right now.  Plus, I have been cooking for some sisters in the community. So, I ve been pretty flat out.  For those unfamiliar with Iftar gatherings. It s basically a large dinner (Americans think of Thanksgiving Dinner). Depending on where you live/the size of the Muslim community in your area, you can expect about 3 invites per week.  If you live in a smaller […]

26 09 2007
Bubbles

Assalamu’alaikum Umm Yusuf🙂

It is actually possible to put on weight during ramadan. I lot of people tend to over-indulge. I used to in the past. It was psychological in the sense that my mind over-estimated how much food my tummy could handle. Thinking I was terribly hungry after not eating the whole day I heap my plate with food only to realize after seven mouthfulls I feel satisfied already. Over the years I learnt to eat little bits like you said.

Moderation is the key here. I remember the Rasul (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said when we eat a third should be fruits; a third should be food and the remaining third should be water.

Also how do you manage to exercise after iftar? I find praying tarawih helps a bit. But even so I have to wait for some hours for the food to digest without throwing up and by then I’m already feeling sleepy. It’s been a real challenge working out. I’ve lost some weight though from the fasting alone. But I don’t want to loose the momentum of pre-fasting workouts.

26 09 2007
Shahrzad

Really you cook for other sisters? Why you cook?!
After breakfast that’s good to exercise. I agree with the idea.. Me and my mom also go to walk after Iftar.. That’s easier that anything else..🙂

Thank you for link🙂

27 09 2007
adikbongsu

Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

What you said is true sister, and yes having fruits during iftar does help to balance the diet and I noticed that the spread of food for iftar are always more than enough….sometimes can be such a waste 😦

I think we all can try to change…perhaps if there are suppose to be 20 ppl coming, we should try to cater the food for only 15 ppl instead.

Thanks for this posting sister, its a good reminder and lesson for all of us! 🙂

27 09 2007
Umm Yusuf

Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu

Sis bubbles,

I don’t know. For the first few days I can’t exercise at all. I feel light headed and naseous. However, after about 5 days I find that my body adjusts. Also, for iftar I don’t eat alot. I just eat a little bit and drink a lot. Then, I find that I can exercise afterwards. You’re right if you attend tarawih that helps alot. It’s exercise for sure. I usually don’t have the opportunity to go to the masjid more than once or twice a week though since I have kids and have to get a babysitter. So, I do tarawih late night and do light exercise at home. It’s never made me sick once I pass the 5 or so day of fasting though. I think everybody’s body is different.

Shahrzad,

hehe, I know why am i cooking? I don’t even like to cook. Well, as I mentioned in another one of my posts some sisters here cooked for me last week. So, I am returning the favor by cooking for them.😉

Adik,

Yeah, Mash’Allah the Prophet (saw) said enough food for 3 is enough for 4 (and so on). We’re blessed to have so much food now that we over indulge. If we stuck to the Prophet’s guidelines as sis bubbles mentioned (one third food, one third water, and one third air). Plus took into consideration the hadiths on moderation we would all be better.😀

28 09 2007
Maryam

Asak,

I am very happy to know about you, An american coverted Muslim.
May Allah bless you,
Please do visit my blog too.

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