And just like that, it’s time to get ready for another Ramadan. I do this thing every year where I’m like “Girl, this is your year. This is the Ramadan you eat raw/vegan/cut out sugar.” And I’ll tell ya I’ve had a lot of Ramadans and it hasn’t happened yet.
After not eating all day, I just want to spend all night eating all the good things my mom only makes once a year. And wallah, Ramadan in a Somali house is something out of a dream.
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few little tricks to make sure my Ramadan nurtures more than just my spirit. Here are my top six:
This seems so simple, but somehow in between plates of mahshi and biryani we forget to drink water. Considering Ramadan has been and will be in the summer for the next few years, you need to keep your body hydrated. Headaches aren’t fun. Neither is your mouth feeling like the Sahara desert.
Eat your greens!
TRUST, my mama makes sambusa’s that are better than most, and I could eat just that for 30 days. You know what would happen after though? I would need breaks when I try to walk up a flight of stairs. Remember that Ramadan is about nurturing your mind body and soul. Filling up on heavy foods for 30 days doesn’t reflect that. Your body is a gift and taking care of it is a religious obligation.
Wake up to eat Suhoor!
Just do it! My mom is one of those people who doesn’t eat breakfast. I don’t understand people like that. I don’t understand how you can wake up and not immediately think about what you’re going to eat. It’s so important to put something in your body before fasting, plus it’s Sunnah. A smoothie is always a good option because you can pack it with fresh foods, protein and fats. You wouldn’t run a marathon on no fuel, or go for a road trip with the tank on empty, so why spend an entire day having eaten nothing?
Slow down your pace!
You know when you’re so hungry you basically inhale your food, can’t remember if you even chewed it, and burn your tongue multiple times? Let’s be real, after 12+ hours of fasting, that’s most of us. But how many of us feel good after? Exactly. Chew your food and use one hand, you savage!
Move your body!
“But sistah, I’m so tried after I eat!” I get it. I totally get it I get it. Post-iftaar I just want to curl up with some chai and listen to my baba tell stories from once upon a time, but that’s the last thing you should do. Get into the habit of going for a post-iftaar walk with some friends. It’s good for the body and soul, and a great way to grow more connected. Walk to taraweh, walk for slurpies, or just want to appreciate how beautiful summer nights are.
Keep your heart happy!
Ramadan is not about starving yourself, and it’s not even about long hours at the mosque. Nurture yourself. Write your goals, decide what makes you happy, and be good to yourself. Connect with people who help you grow, challenge your ideas, grow your faith, grow your community, and give back. And don’t forget to make peace with those who have wronged you and you’ve wronged.