Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 39, Tuesday October 2, 2007




Fasting for fitness of body and mind

With Ramadan kicking off, it is time that we realize its positive effects on our body and mind. Eating more does not make our body or mind more efficient. On the contrary, it robs us off a healthy body and a clear mind!

There is a reason why most major religions include fasting as a necessary act of purification both mental and physical. For most of us who do not indulge in heavy physical work, the body really needs only 1/3rd of what we consume as food. In fact it is proven that feeding oneself less than what is considered 'normal' prolongs the life span of cells and delays ageing. Now it is obvious that giving every single cell in the body less work than it needs to do should make them more efficient. Thus, it becomes very easy to believe in the spirit of Ramadan and fast with more reason and enthusiasm.

Also a healthy food habit which includes more natural foods and less of artificially made food items has a great deal of effect on our stomachs and the working of our minds. References can be drawn as well from the Geeta, a treatise on Indian philosophy to support this very fact. It has made it clear as to what type of food can influence an individual to have the predominance of the three gunas or qualities classified into sattva, rajas and tamas, or more generally good or bad. Each one has its impact on the mind, body and behaviour of the individual. When one eats sattvic food, for instance fruits, the energy concentrated in the body-mind is refined, bringing one closer towards killing the ego-mind and opening up infinite possibilities. Thus, the breathing, which again is intimately linked to the mind, becomes very deep and rhythmic as well. With the stomach not overworking with trying to digest food, breathing becomes natural and easy.

Now having found substantial reasons for fasting, for having healthy food and their effects on our body and mind, we can definitely set a new goal for a healthier life style this Ramadan.

On a more practical note, to combat with the price hike situation and still maintain a healthy balance in our Ramadan diet, we can try picking an alternative for the items which are very costly in the market. It is like replacing one of the sources of carbohydrate or protein with another without offending a healthy diet. If chhola, an inevitable iftar item is dear, for instance, one can think of replacing it with something of equal food and nutrition value. At the end of the day, what is most required is a healthy diet with the right proportion of carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals and essential vitamins in it.

So, happy fasting! Eat wise, live long and live healthy.

By Fatima Tuz Zahra

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Eid Shopping Tips

Eid shopping is at its peak now. Malls and markets are now haunted by shoppers from morning till evening. There is huge rush in every mall and marketplace. The traffic is terrible and the price is sky high. But despite all these difficulties associated with Ramadan, we all shop for our loved ones and ourselves. However, don't get carried away by the shopping spree- keep your eyes and ears open as you go shopping for Eid.

Security Issues
Although members of the law-enforcement agencies are keeping an eye on the malls and bazaars in uniforms as well as in disguise, muggers are still out there to rob you off your belongings. Clutch your bags tightly when you walk in a crowd. If you are using a public transport, be extra cautious about the way you keep your purses, wallets, handbags and shopping bags. Some thugs are so expert that they can lift things in a jiffy.

Food & Drinks
The traffic is so heavy in the latter part of the day that you can never speculate the number of hours it will take you to go home from shopping. To make sure that you can break your fast on time, carry a bottle of water with you. If possible, carry some dry food to calm your stomach after a daylong fast.

By Wara Karim





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