It’s that time of year again, where we pay our dues by fasting to practice tolerance in the sweltering heat. But come sundown, fasts break and feasts begin – and following feasts, the festive season of Ramadan always leaves room for dessert! Following our own traditions, we’ve compiled a go-to list for your dessert fixes, be they midnight snack, for a post futoor gathering, or something decadent to end breaking your fast on a sweet note.
With the holy month of Ramadan upon us, we can’t forget what this special season is all about. This is an exciting time for Muslims everywhere, and feelings of spiritual rebirth and acts of kindness and tolerance fill the air – in a sense, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
But we can’t lie – especially not in Ramadan. Though this season is filled with heartwarming emotion, peacefulness and tranquility – it’s also filled with extreme hunger and post sundown food comas.
And to award the struggle that this month is meant to encompass, we often reason with ourselves by thinking that binging from iftar to fajr will balance out our food intake. Unfortunately, this compromise doesn’t exist, and can cause a dramatic toll on your body, starting with, say it with us now… noticeable weight gain.
And let’s point out another obvious concern to consider: The weather. In Kuwait, we have 15.5-hour fasting days in sweltering heat that has reached over 50 degrees Celsius, and sundown doesn’t happen till at least 6:30.
Despite all these obstacles, your health shouldn’t suffer. To help you stay on your spiritual journey, we’ve created a helpful list of things you should avoid to get through this month in one piece – preferably the same size piece that you started with.
Oh, those family Iftars.
When you’re a guest at a relative or friend’s house, the slow-eating flow you’ve grown accustomed to can be difficult to maneuver. Aunties and Mamas are infamous for taking it as a personal insult when you don’t try everything on her 3-meter long dining table. To avoid over indulging, try serving yourself a small spoonful of the delectable offerings. If you’re still attempting to stick to a healthy eating plan, then avoid the fried goodness that is those incredible Ramadan sambosas, and load up on salads, healthy fats and proteins.
This should really be a rule of thumb in your everyday life. But, in Ramadan it’s especially important. Just because you’ve got about 9 hours to eat every night doesn’t mean you should waste precious stomach real estate with crap. Eat things that are full of vitamins and minerals (like fruit and salad). You can have potato chips again when the month is over.
So, your favorite dish is on the table, and you want to attack it singlehandedly with a spoon. Binge eating at the end of a long fasting day can really put your stomach through the ringer, and your body needs to digest all of this food, which requires energy and will make you feel even hungrier the next day. If you overeat from day one, by day 30, life will not be pleasant.
Being outdoors in the daytime
Try to schedule your errands and outings late afternoon or right after iftar. Avoid being in the sun, or even in your car for too long. Try to get as much done during the weekend as possible.
Not only is breakfast the greatest meal of the day (foul, eggs, pancakes! YUM!), it’s also the most important. Prepare your suhour before you go to bed, so that you can wake up in the middle of night to heat everything up.
Ramadan and laziness tend to come hand in hand. You’re too hungry all day, and too busy at night to really do anything. FIGHT IT!! Take a walk right before iftar to avoid hangry moments you might regret later. Take up a crafting project to do when you get home to keep your hands busy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t nap in the afternoon, but don’t spend your waking fasting hours in bed or in front of a TV screen.
We know it can be hard, but we believe you can do it! Ramadan is a great, spiritually awakening month that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Just remember to pace yourselves, Kuwait – be kind to your bodies while training them to be tolerant, and they in turn, will be kind to you.
Ramadan Kareem and mubarak 3aleikom il’shahar – from all of us here at bazaar.