Hi all! Ramadan Mubarak! This is a common greeting during the month of Ramadan, which means Blessed Ramadan or happy Ramadan.
Yesterday, we had a health screening fair at our local mosque for community members to get ready for the month. It was so nice to get out and meet so many people! And of course, a delicious dinner was served.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Ramadan is the 9th Month of the Muslim calendar, observed by those who practice by fasting between dawn and sunset. Muslims will refrain from eating and drinking (even water) between these times. There is a communal meal at sundown called iftar, and then a meal before dawn called suhur. Ramadan is celebrated at the end of the month by a celebration called Eid-el-Fitr.
Of course, fasting has many physical implications so as advocates it is important to help any Muslim clients understand steps they can take to feel their best during this month. These tips were shared by Dr. Ibrahim Yusuf, an Internist at Rhode Island Hospital:
First, know that your physicians are likely not Muslim. Therefore, you have a duty to inform your doctor that you will be fasting
Anyone with a chronic condition needs to talk to their doctors before Ramadan starts to ensure that there are no implications from fasting
It is possible that you will need to adjust your medication - make sure to ask about this as well
Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink enough water, and when you can drink, avoid anything sweetened like soda and drinks with aspartame
Do not consume large amounts at the same time - try to eat frequently with smaller amounts
Diversify your diet and include complex carbs like lentils
Make sure you include protein in your diet, especially during suhur (the meal before dawn)
It is important to continue exercising. You don’t have to become sedentary during the month - you can even still go to the gym, but don’t go close to iftar and don’t life heavy weights.
Use it as an opportunity to change unhealthy habits - try and avoid smoking until iftar as well
If you are working with anyone who celebrates, remember to be a bit flexible with them as routine is definitely shaken up during this month. Also, try not to schedule any meetings at coffee shops or lunch meetings if you can avoid it.
If you're comfortable -- definitely ask to join an Iftar!! It is a community meal, and anyone is usually welcome to join. The food is always delicious! Bring dates, and you will fit right in :-)
Thanks for reading! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.