The sacred month is upon us. People expect more from you this month -- your husband/wife, ailing parents, young schoolgoers who have decided to fast for the first time -- so much so that it is hard to prioritise. Let the last week leading to Ramadan be the week you plan ahead for the month, both for your spiritual and worldly needs. Let this be the start of a blessed and peaceful time. Ramadan Karim!
"Therapeutic fasting is not a mystical or magical cure. It works because the body has the capacity to heal itself when the obstacles to healing are removed. Health is the normal state. Most chronic diseases are the inevitable consequence of a lifestyle that exposes us to disease-causing stressors. Fasting gives the body an interlude without those stressors so that it can speedily repair or accomplish healing that could not otherwise occur in the feeding state."
- Joel Fuhrman, M.D., in Fasting and Eating for Health
Avoid gorging yourself when breaking the fast at sunset. Break your fast with dates and either milk or water. After the Maghrib prayers, continue with a light starter such as soup and crackers. After a long period of fasting, you need to bring your fluids and blood sugar level up without overdoing it.
…and the don'ts
Caffeine withdrawal is the most common cause of headache while fasting. Scientists outline several steps for avoiding Ramadan headaches like reducing caffeine consumption in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. If it's too late to give up your double latte or diet cola, physicians recommend a cup of strong coffee/tea at sehri, just before the start of the fast, saying this may prevent a caffeine withdrawal headache.
A good deed
Let a positive vibe overwhelm the pessimism that you might be feeling. The pre-Ramadan schedule is possibly already hectic but amidst all the chaos, even some of your simplest actions can make a difference. Make it a point to greet not just your friends and relatives but also the salesman at the grocery shop, the rickshaw-puller or any random person you meet in the course of the day. Let Salam --“Peace” -- be the word.
A good read
Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is one of her many autobiographical novels about her early years. In the course of the book Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. A soulful read.
If you still think flaxseed (Isabgol) was only for those suffering from constipation and was nothing more than an excellent laxative, it's time you revised your opinion. Flaxseeds alone contain a large amount of essential omega -3 fatty acid and may play a significant role in detoxifying the body. Detoxification is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities are not properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected. So make sure you soak isabgol husks overnight and consume with your iftar drink. It is nutritious as well as tasty!