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Ramadan- Plan a Food Schedule

ramadan kareem 600x450 Ramadan Plan a Food Schedule

Ramadan is just around the corner! We should start to plan and prepare ourselves for the holy month and get the most out of the blessed days. But, we forget one main concern: food. As with anything important, it is always good to be prepared.

Make Your Weekly Ramadan Meal Plan

Thinking of what to cook takes about as much time and effort as the actual task.Make a schedule for one or two weeks and rotate it during the month, or make it for all 30 days! Put it up on the fridge so you see it constantly, are prepared and in the mindset of what needs to be done, rather than scouring through your recipe books trying to
locate your menu at the last minute.

Stock Up on Dry Groceries

The whole process of making a grocery list, going to the store, shopping and then putting them away is more time and energy consuming than most of us realise. This includes doing the bulk of grocery shopping for things that can be stocked up. Narrowing the list down to just perishables every week,means that the chore of doing groceries does not seem like such a big task anymore and can be done in minimum time.

Share the Workload

Division of labor is a wonderful thing. This applies to making all the samosas/other snacks before Ramadan or even the chores of the house during the month itself. Get your kids involved in cleaning up after themselves, setting the table and helping you around the house within their capacity.Let them know the amount of reward they get with the right intention is multiplied during Ramadan.

Manage your time to Finish your Kitchen Work

This will greatly help maintain your routine. It will ensure that you are not cooking right up until the adhan for the Maghrib prayer. Make sure you start early in order to be done early to make the most of the blessed time before iftar.

 Eat Healthy

  • During Ramadan it’s important to eat healthy and stay healthy.
  • Drink lots of water. Proper hydration is essential.
  • Replace sugar with fruit when possible, Sugar robs our bodies of minerals and vitamins.
  • Try eating whole wheat bread and unpolished rice.
  • Avoid foods high in salt such as pickles, salty crackers and nuts, and canned foods.
  • Do not over eat. This might cause indigestion.
  • Choose fresh vegetables as they contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  • Use fresh fruits to prepare juices and serve them in moderation.
  • Use low fat milk and other low fat dairy products.
  • Avoid using butter and ghee in cooking and substitute them with vegetable oils in small amounts.
  • Try using lean meat, fish and skinless chicken, and prepare them by grilling, boiling and baking rather than frying
  • Try and avoid having a large quantity of starters and sweets which will lead to weight gain
  • Walk or participate in some kind of physical activity.

Health FAQs

Should a person with diabetes fast?

  • People who have their diabetes under control, either by their diet or using tablets, may fast. However, their GP may require them to change their medication to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Those who need insulin to control their diabetes should not fast

I get severe migraines when I don’t eat and they get worse when I fast. Should I fast?

  • People with uncontrolled migraines should not fast. However, managing your migraines is possible with the right medicine and with changes to the person’s lifestyle. Ask your GP for further advice on controlling your migraines.

Should a person with high or low blood pressure fast?

  • People with well-controlled high blood pressure may fast. Their GP may require a change to their medicine to help them take tablets outside fasting times. Someone with low blood pressure who is otherwise well and healthy may fast. They must drink enough fluid and have enough salt.

Is fasting harmful when a woman is expecting a baby? Must pregnant women fast?

  • There’s medical evidence to show that fasting in pregnancy is not a good idea. If a pregnant woman feels strong and healthy enough to fast, especially during the early part of the pregnancy, she may do so. If she doesn’t feel well enough to fast, Islamic law gives her clear permission not to fast, and to make up the missed fasts later. If she is unable to do this, she must perform fidyah (a method of compensation for a missed act of worship).

Is Ramadan a good time to quit smoking?

  • Yes. Smoking is wasteful and seriously bad for your health. Ramadan is a great opportunity to change many unhealthy habits, and smoking is definitely one of them.

Can I use an asthma inhaler during Ramadan?

  • Muslim experts differ on this issue. Some say that using an asthma inhaler isn’t the same as eating or drinking, and is therefore permitted during fasting. In their view, people with asthma can fast and use their inhalers whenever they need to. But other scholars say that the inhaler provides small amounts of liquid medicine to the lungs, so it breaks the fast. They say that people with poor control of their asthma must not fast until good control is achieved. Some people with asthma may opt for longer-acting inhalers so that they can fast. See your GP for further advice.

Can a person fast if they are getting a blood transfusion in hospital?

  •  No. A person receiving a blood transfusion is advised not to fast on medical grounds. They may fast on the days when no transfusions are required.

Could dehydration become so bad that you have to break the fast?

  • Yes. You could have harmful levels of water loss if you were poorly hydrated (not drinking enough water) before the fast. Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions, and even everyday activities like walking to walk or housework. If you produce very little or no urine, feel disorientated and confused, or faint due to dehydration, you must stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. Islam doesn’t require you harm yourself in fulfilling the fast. If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date.

Can I fast while I have dialysis?

  • People on peritoneal dialysis must not fast and should perform fidyah. Haemodialysis is performed about three times a week, and causes significant shifts of fluids and salts within the body. Such patients must not fast and should perform fidyah.

Do people normally lose weight during Ramadan?

  • Some people do lose weight, but others may not. It is recommended that meals eaten during Ramadan be light, but most people can’t resist sampling special sweets and foods associated with Ramadan.

I am on regular medication. Can I still fast?

  •  If the medicine needs to be taken during fasting, do not fast. If this medication is required as treatment for a short illness, you can compensate for missed fasts by fasting on other days when you are well.If you are on long-term medication then you could talk to your GP whether to change your medication, so that you can take it outside the time of the fast. If your disease is unstable or poorly controlled, do not fast. Those who are unable to do the missed fasts later, due to the long-term use of medication, should do fidyah.

Does a breastfeeding woman have to fast?

  • No. Islamic law says a breastfeeding mother does not have to fast. Missed fasts must be compensated for by fasting or fidyah once breastfeeding has stopped.

Let’s Beat Procrastination Before Ramadan

June 28th, 2013
by Sufia

Procrastination Now vs Later Let’s Beat Procrastination Before Ramadan

Procrastination is the big daddy of productivity busters and seems to spare no one from its deadly clutches. It is something that we as humans fall for subconsciously at one time or the other.

As a child I was always told by my beloved mother not to delay what is to be done to a later time as it is something that stems from carelessness and laziness. Procrastination is a habit that is difficult to shake off once developed. Continue Reading →

Ramadan: The month of Mercy raining

June 11th, 2013
by Sufia

ramadan month Ramadan: The month of Mercy raining

Imagine for a moment that it’s raining. It is pouring, in fact. And inagine that you are inside your house, watching as it falls. But imagine that there is something very different about this rain. It is unlike any other you’re ever seen. On this day, it is not raining water. It is raining something much more precious to you. Imagine that on this day it is raining hundred rand bills. Continue Reading →

Why Religious Fasting Could Be Good for Your Brain

August 26th, 2012
by Sufia

ap ramadan sandals ss jp 1208117 ssh Why Religious Fasting Could Be Good for Your Brain

Most animals are similar in the way their bodies work physically. In all the animals, food is digested in a similar way and air intake occurs through a similar process. Energy generation, movement and all other bodily functions occur in a similar manner.

What makes humans unique as a race is the fact that their minds are much more developed. Scientists have always connected the functioning of human mind to the processes that occur in the human brain. Unlike animal minds, human minds do not just gather information about food, water and shelter and process it accordingly to reach these things. Human mind carries the powers of visualization and reflection. In this article, we will discuss the possible effects of religious fasting on the human brain.

According to researches carried out at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, fasting can help people with mental conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Fasting for one or two days per week can even help people with perfectly sound brain operations. Professor Mark Mattson who is a professor of neuroscience at a leading medical school in the U.S was the lead author of this study. A great part of the study was based on the comparison of humans to other animals, and a lot of deductions of the study were drawn from an analysis of the specific effects produced by different actions in the other animals.

The results of the study were striking. Scientists who carried out this study have compared the effects of a cut on human food (energy) intake on the human brain cells as the effects of exercise on the muscle cells. Although most people think that a carefully crafted and properly controlled diet plan that runs throughout the week is a great way of losing weight. This continuous dieting, however, can affect the brain and some hormones in the body adversely. Scientists who carried out this study suggest that intermittent breaks from meals for one or two days per week work better than continuous dieting plans, because these ‘fasting’ plans help improve the functioning of the brain.

In the following, a few positive impacts of fasting on brain are enlisted:

-          Short term fasting induces an increase in neural autophagy

-          Boost in the production of ketones

-          Reduction in risk of trauma, stroke and depression

-          Calorie restriction through intermittent fasting reduces the risks of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.

In some animals, restriction of calorie intake results evidently in a prolonging of lifespan, and most scientists believe that the same is true for humans. However, no concrete evidence of this has been furnished yet.

Religious fasting may help us to not only become better human beings, but also to improve our physical and mental fitness.

Controlling anger and staying away from sins in Ramadan

August 26th, 2012
by Sufia

Muslim community terms Ramadan as the month of blessings. Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed on the final messenger of Allah. Quran too is the final revelation of the Almighty God. Allah declares “learning self-restraint “to be the main purpose of this month in following verse:

“Fasting has been prescribed upon you as it was prescribed upon nations before you so that you may learn self-restraint“.

Beautiful Quran Controlling anger and staying away from sins in Ramadan

In the month of Ramadan Allah alters the rewards of our deeds. He rewards a Nafl prayer with the reward of an obligatory Farz prayer and increases the reward of a good deed seventy times. A person seeking forgiveness is granted forgiveness and Muslim community is rewarded with the day of Eid for keeping fasts throughout this month. However, abstaining from sins is just as important as committing good deeds.

Allah dislike sins and committing sins in the holy month of Ramadan is even more disliked. Committing a single sin in this month is equivalent to committing seventy sins in any other month. In this way Allah discourages believers from sins and at the same time Allah encourages them to seek forgiveness from their past sins. A hadith says “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”

Furthermore, in this month Muslims are obliged to observe fasts. Fasting in Islam is not merely abstaining from food and drink; it is also abstaining from any wrongdoing, in general. If a Muslim does not anything from dawn till dusk but takes or any other haram activity Allah does not accepts his fast so when a believer keeps a fast he gets bound to keep himself away from sins. Not only, he has to avoid all haram activities but also control his temperament.

If a Muslim keeps a fast he cannot abusive or insulting language against anyone, also he cannot harm anyone by his hands if he does he violates the basic rules and regulations of the fast. Generally, any individual uses his hands against others when he is in angry so when Muslims keep a fast, they ought to control their anger. In this way fasting teaches Muslims to control their diet and anger thereby learning self-restraint.

In a nut shell, all sources of Islam clarify the fast that fasting makes all believers control their anger and remain away from sins. Allah has used fasting as a tool so that all believers learn self-restraint i.e. they learn to control themselves from evils and Allah gives Muslims several incentives so that they may start following the right path. The following hadith further clarifies the point; it says “One day of fasting keeps a person away from hell 80 years”.

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