Happy Ramadan 1438 – 2017
Ramadan is once again upon us and praise be to God Almighty, Who permits us to see this month of fasting. I am extremely grateful to be healthy enough to participate in this Pillar of Islam.
In addition to religious obligations, I will continue working towards improved mobility. Recently, with renewed inspiration and physical therapy, I surpassed the benchmark of 6,000 steps, walking in place, at home. Ambulating outdoors is still laborious and made more difficult by an incomprehensible healthcare bureaucracy. A prescription for a walker issued in October 2016, lacked one signature and consequently confines me still to the wheelchair.
Preparations for Ramadan often include planning numerous recipes and meals. With an entire day spent fasting, I envision breaking the fast with something delicious and special, but ultimately, after a few days, the usual pasta with pesto, chicken, rice, and some easy to prepare vegetables like French fries become the mainstay meals once again.
Studying, designing, writing and the culinary creative will occupy some of my time, God willing. The challenge is being creative on an empty stomach and lack of sleep.
First and foremost, lack of sleep is the most unexpected, as well as, an underreported dimension of Ramadan for us converts. As a newbie, I thought managing hunger would be the main impediment to getting through the day, but on the contrary; it is the lack of sleep resulting from adequate hydration. This year, as in recent years, Ramadan encompasses the summer solstice, therefore fasting encloses the longest days on the calendar in the Northern Hemisphere. New Yorkers will begin fasting just before 4 A.M. and finish at around 8:30 P.M. You can do the math and see the fast endures for more than 16 hours. In order to remain well hydrated, the normal 2-liters liquid intake must occur from sunset until the break of dawn which invariably results in urinating throughout the night.
This unyielding physiological response to consuming great quantities of liquids during a short period of time results in sleep disruption, rendering your otherwise cheery and friendly Muslim friend or colleague into a fatigued, and sometimes cranky version of themselves. In my opinion, hunger is not the problem.
In conclusion, I would like to wish Happy Ramadan to those of you who are Muslims. To those of you who are friends of Muslims, Happy Ramadaan to them and you, and if you do not fall into either category, Happy Ramadan and enjoy a cookie, preferably something with marzipan, on for me.
Ramadan Mubarak – Blessed Ramadan
1438 – 2017
To learn more about Ramadan, click here.
Looking for wholesome and easy to prepare recipes for your small kitchen? Click here.