Around the world right now a billion people are observing Ramadan, the time of year when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. If they’re in a winter climate their day of fast will be about 12 hours, but in the summer climates they could be fasting for 18-20 hours every day for a month!
Could you handle long term hunger where you don’t eat for up to 20 hours a day? Do you even know what hunger pangs feel like? Have you ever experienced them?
A lot of modern day people are lucky enough not to have to experience long term hunger. We’re lucky because we have ready accessibility to food, lots of it, and we can eat whatever we want when we feel like it. And a lot of the fasting Muslims also have ready access to food, so why do they fast? Well, fasting isn’t a punishment and it’s not so they can drop a dress size in a month. Muslims fast to show their gratitude for all they have in life, whether it’s a little or a lot, and they do it to be reminded that not everyone has as much as them.
What you probably also don’t realise is that during and at the end of Ramadan Muslims give food and money to people who are in need. The whole month is a lesson in humility and gratitude.
So why do I mention Ramadan and fasting on a food blog? Because we all could do with a reminder of how much we have been blessed with, and that we should be grateful for it every day. The fact that you and me, we can take our pick of dozens of stores full of food and we can buy food at any time of the day is something to be grateful for. We can eat our food whenever we feel like it too and often we do, without any thought to what we’re eating or whether it has satisfied us. Or if we were really hungry in the first place.
So, could you go hungry for a day and appreciate your blessings? Could you give up all food and water while the sun shone and donate what you would have eaten to a charity or a homeless person sleeping in the streets?
Fasting is a tough thing to do, but maybe it could teach us to appreciate our food choices. Through many of my posts I’ve been pushing the message that we should be eating fresh healthy food made by nature rather than made by man. I’m trying to show you that well planned meals is the way to good health and a life you feel in charge of. And I’ve been showing you, trying to empower you, that making your own food is the best type of self care you can give yourself. These are the things we should stop and think about, and be grateful for.
Ramadan is also a time of reflection for Muslims, so why don’t we give ourselves a time of reflection too? If you’re run off your feet and chasing around kids, or stressed out at a demanding job, when do you get any time to stop and reflect on what you eat and when?
Maybe we don’t need to fast to get that time of reflection, but we should be building it into our calendars just like Ramadan is built into the Muslim calendar. Maybe it’s just time now to stop eating a couple of foods you know aren’t good for you? Maybe it’s time to stop for a minute and plan out a healthy dinner for tonight? Maybe you could stop and share a meal with people you love rather than with a screen?
So, do you think you could go hungry for a day? Could you let go of cravings for high fat foods or sugary sweets?
Do you think it might be time for a change of attitude, some planning and learning to cook from scratch?
If you do nothing else take one action step right now! Use the next 15 seconds to write down what you’ll do or add a reminder to your phone or calendar. Which one step are you going to take to live a better life and be more grateful for the things you have around you? Please share your action in the comments below.