I am pretty sure most of you know that this month is Ramadan and for us Muslims it’s a month where we put aside our demons and flaws and try to repent to cleanse our systems and souls of all the negativity. It is also a month where it is important to truly experience the life of the less fortunate. I actually love this month and remember being excited about since I was 5 or 6. I remember asking my mom to do it but she wouldn’t allow me because I was still too little. Yet, she let me try it for a couple of hours. Basically, you fast from sunrise to sunset and go on about your day but still manage to find the time to pray and read Quran. Islam is such a beautiful religion, it teaches us patience, virtue and compassion. I really try, whether it is Ramadan or not, to go by those teachings. In our world, it is quite hard to walk down the path of kindness because of all the bad shit we see around us, but it is the best way. Being evil, that doesn’t need work, it just comes to us so naturally I find; which sucks, especially when someone really hurts you. Revenge is usually our first instinct. Unfortunately though, there are those extremists that start spreading the religion in a bad way, which happens with any religion really. I don’t find that you need to go around town and spread your beliefs on anyone, practice it for yourself in your heart. For me, religion is about your relationship with yourself and God and basically how you decide to treat others. It’s not about how many times you go to the mosque to pray, it’s about having a pure and kind heart. So, sometimes, when I accumulate so much negativity in my core, I find that Ramadan is a good way for me to let that go and regain focus on the beauty of humanity and life itself.
With that aside, as y’all have seen, I am now 24 weeks pregnant and I decided, with the clearance of my doctor of course to take on Ramadan and fast as much as I could. I gave myself a day or two to see how I feel but thankfully, it has been wonderful. I am super thankful that I have the current energy to fast and that makes me feel so proud. Here in Jericho, we fast about 15 hours (maybe 16) and this is how I decided to keep myself healthy throughout this Holy month.
Suhor is the time you take before sunrise to eat something sustainable to get your through your day. It’s the meal where you should get most of nutrients to stock up on energy. I like to eat light yet healthy and I make sure to add as many vitamins as possible since I am preggo. I opted to go for avocados on toast with a side bowl of oats filled with fruits and nuts with a dash of maple syrup. For extra energy, I sometimes eat 3 dates. With that of course, I drink 2 cups of water. So far, this little meal has given my battery the necessary energy to keep rolling through my day. Since I get tired a little easier now (preggo problems), I try to take it easy during the day. I do the basics at home, like the cleaning and washing, but I don’t run marathons, you know what I mean? It’s been a week now since Ramadan started and I can safely say that so far so good. Haven’t had real issues or complaints; on the contrary, I feel like I am more active.
This is the meal you eat to break your fast and it basically happens once the sun sets. People tend to go ham and eat loads of food all at once, but since I want to avoid vomiting and stuff (which happened only once since I started fasting), I eat pretty slows and start with a warm soup and a basic green salad. Then take a little break and end up eating whatever there is that day. Since my in laws are receiving everyone this Ramadan, I don’t cook and we just end up going to their house every day to do iftar. I don’t like to feel bloated or heavy, so I eat little just to keep myself vertical until I have time to have a little snack a few hours later. So for my snack, I wait about 3 hours after breaking my fast and then just end up having a plain cup of tea with a small little chocolate cake (caffeine I know, indulgent I know, but it’s so yum!) and then take my prenatal vitamins. In the meantime, between those hours I try to drink plenty of water to keep my body hydrated and cool. It has been very hot around here lately and so water is vital for me since I dry up pretty fast.
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So this is my Ramadan update, I wanted to write those blog because I was looking for some to read up on to know what other Muslim women experienced but couldn’t find any. So I figured, this could be helpful to some and sharing my story seems pretty easy. Now I know everyone is different and our reactions our different and so before you try fasting long hours, I suggest you talk to your doctor first to make sure that baby’s health is good. I of course don’t want to harm my child and so if at any point I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I will stop, but for now, this works for me and if you want to try it for a day or two first, do so at your own convenience. But remember to always eat healthy and stay hydrated!