Saturday 21 June, 2014 by Uncle Spike
Uncle Spike has his own Ramadan dietary regime to aid fasting 🙂
First of all, fasting means to go without for 30 days, but unlike some fasts you hear about, fasting in Islam is absolute; it’s not just saying no to chocolate or something like that. Fasting is between the hours from first light (around 3:50am) right through until sunset (around 8:40pm). These timings vary day by day according to the sun, and the Islamic calendar changes by -10 days every year too, so the dates of Ramadan also change. But needless to say, these next three years will be the longest physical fasts for a long time – some 16½ hours a day 🙂
Whilst we have the heat to contend with, the closer you are to the poles during any Ramadan in summer, the longer your fasts (e.g. northern UK is 18 hours)!
Put simply, one cannot eat or drink during these times, so no meals, snacks, chewing gum, water, coffee, tea – nuffink! Oh, and doing naughties either; but there again, fasting in this heat (40-45C or 104-113F every day) tends to put a stop to that quite naturally, lol.
However, it’s a personal choice, so I never have any complaints about it. But I’m also no numpty either, and have perfected what I consider to be a dietary regime that really works (for me anyhow). Many folk really pig out something chronic at Iftar (the breaking of the fast at sunset), and drink copious amounts of tea and coffee, and consume all manner of sweet things too. Me, I’m just the opposite, but I know what works for me…
One of the biggest challenges of fasting are headaches, especially in the first 3-5 days when your body goes through a period of adjustment from ‘normal’ to ‘fasting’ mode. But, I have had ZERO headaches for three years now, having sussed out how to avoid that particular headache (haha, literal pun intended) 😀
It’s simple stuff really, of course it’s based on what is available here, but gives you the idea.
1. One week before fasting, I cut out all coffee, tea and chocolate (caffeine withdrawal is reckoned to cause >50% of the headaches associated with fasting.
2. Caffeine is also a diuretic, so makes you go to the loo, so for every glass of tea, you lose that amount +10% more. For fasting in hot climates, fluid retention is key. If you lose more than your intake, obviously it’ll cause additional problems, and believe me, you don’t want to be dehydrated.
3. I then do not have any caffeine until Eid, simple, but it works. Eid follows 30 straight days of fasting.
In a second post, I have looked at what I eat and don’t eat – I have my own system, but it works for me 🙂