PREPARING FOR THE BLESSED MONTH | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:53 PM, June 15, 2015

AN APPLE A DAY

PREPARING FOR THE BLESSED MONTH

Ramadan is a blessed month. It is a month in which, according to our religion, we get the chance to start anew and wash away our sins and bad habits. It also gives us an opportunity to detoxify ourselves and take better care of our body and health. 
To be truly prepared for 30 days of fasting, one needs ready the body, mind and soul. 

There are lots of rules and regulations to follow for us fasters, which we need to keep in mind throughout the month, since they apply for each day during Ramadan.
First and foremost, we need to prepare our bodies for fasting. In many cases, the lack of preparation can take a toll on your body when actually fasting, and may make you ill enough to not be able to fast for the rest of the month. 

If you have a caffeine addiction (tea or coffee) which you know will affect your mood and health during Ramadan days, it's best to start weaning yourself off early. Try reducing your intake per day, and most importantly get into the practice of staying away from caffeine during the day time- before Maghrib. Starting a habit to drink more water is also very helpful. Getting used to drinking a lot of water can help you consume larger amounts during iftaar or suhoor, which can help you stay hydrated during the whole month. You can also start making a habit of eating nutritious, slow-releasing foods. These include things such as oats and whole grains. During our fast, our bodies rely on the nutrition of the food we eat, instead of the amount of food. Especially for working people, and also those who have to spend their day in scorching heat on the roads, we need our brains to function- and thus, slow-releasing foods will help. You can ease your stomach by trying fast from a week before Ramadan begins, as a trial period. You can also start a liquid diet for yourself during the day before Ramadan, but it is better to consult a nutritionist before doing so. 

Ramadan also teaches us the values of life. To get into the spirit of Ramadan, just fasting is not enough. We have to also prepare our minds for the blessed month. One of the best ways to celebrate Ramadan is by committing to yourself. You can start by refraining from cursing or using provocative or aggressive language. You can also commit to doing one good act per day. Recitation of the Qur'an before the holy month can also help you get in good spirits. Prioritise your work, organise your day, practice your daily prayers, and always remember the purpose of this Holy month- to give us the ability and time to change ourselves for the better. And that is exactly what we shall do. Happy Ramadan, everyone!

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