Why aren’t you fasting?

Why aren’t you fasting? It’s a question practicing Muslim women around the world dread being asked during Ramadan. For weeks many of us have been talking about our upcoming long fast and suddenly your co-worker whose been stressing out about it walks into the office with a grande soy latte and a sheepish look on her face. If you’re not Muslim, and maybe even if you are, you’ve probably completely forgotten that it’s Ramadan. But she, the Muslim woman with the soy latte, is stressed out because she’s worried that someone might ask her, “why aren’t you fasting?” The reasons are often very personal, not the kind of thing she may want to discuss around the office. So I’ll do it for her (and me).

1) She got her period and is excused from the fast. OR
2) She’s pregnant and isn’t ready to tell the world. (Technically women who are pregnant are allowed to fast but when Ramadan falls during the summer, it is best for them to make up the days later in the year since dehydration can endanger their health and the baby’s health).
3) She’s breastfeeding. Women who are nursing are also exempt.

There you have it. It may not seem like a big deal but for that Muslim women, believe me, it is something she is definitely worried about.

Ramadan Kareem to all 🙂

Why aren’t you fasting?

Since I didn’t get any Ramadan Advice…

No one responded to my request for Ramadan advice, most likely because no one is reading this!  Just in case you are, and have been waiting to see what people come up with, The Economist recently posted a piece about how Muslim athletes competing in the World Cup have been advised to cope.  The one caveat is their fast is much shorter that for those of us living above the equator.  Still, they are taking part in a far more strenuous activity, to put it mildly, than I am.  Though I do plan on working out twice a week through out the month so that I don’t lose all the muscle and endurance I’ve gained over the last year.  Below that article I have also posted other links for advice I’ve found.

How professional sportsmen cope with Ramadan

Jun 22nd 2014, 23:50 by B.R.

THIS year Ramadan begins on June 28th, just as the knockout stage of matches gets under way at the World Cup. It is the first time since 1986 that the tournament has coincided with Islam’s holy month. This will cause a dilemma for some Muslim footballers. During Ramadan observant Muslims are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and sex, from dawn until sunset. Contrary to their licentious reputation, most players can cope with the latter. Nutrition, though, is considered critical to a sportsman’s preparation—particularly in Brazil, where the climate can be punishing for even the best-prepared athletes. In Fortaleza, which is hosting several big games, daylight lasts around 12 hours, with the sun rising and setting at around 5.30am and 5.30pm. The average maximum temperature in July is 30ÂşC (86ÂşF); humidity reaches an average of 92%. How do footballers who observe Ramadan cope?

Many teams in this World Cup have a large Muslim presence—and not only those representing predominantly Islamic countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, Algeria and Iran. Star players from France (Karim Benzema), Germany (Mesut Özil), Switzerland (Philippe Senderos), Belgium (Marouane Fellaini) and Ivory Coast (Yaya Touré), among numerous others, will have to decide how to deal with Ramadan, should their teams make it that far in the competition.

Players are advised to eat plenty of slow-release carbohydrates, like sweet potato and corn, outside of fasting hours, according to Zaf Iqbal, Liverpool FC’s club doctor. They should also avoid anything with too much sugar, which is a quick-release carbohydrate. However, sports nutritionists suggest that the lack of fluid has a bigger impact than the lack of food. Dehydration can affect cognitive functions. Muslim athletes often report feeling fatigued and can suffer from mood swings during Ramadan, according to a 2009 paper in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. It can also increase the risk of injury. Muslim footballers are told to drink plenty of liquid before dawn, and to make sure they do not train during the hottest parts of the day. Indeed, as fasting can also affect sleep patterns, some team doctors advise players to take a siesta instead. Where such steps are taken, most studies suggest that athletes’ training performance is not adversely affected.

But dehydration during matches could be a problem. Unlike training sessions, match times cannot be tailored to a sportsman’s needs. So many Muslim athletes take a pragmatic approach. While some, such as Kolo TourĂ© (pictured), an Ivory Coast defender, are strict observers, others, like Marouane Chamakh, a forward for Morocco (which did not qualify), fast on most days but not on the eve of a game or on matchday itself. (Mr Chamakh says he makes up the lost days later in the year.) Others postpone fasting altogether during important events. During the London Olympics in 2012, which also coincided with Ramadan, Abdul Buhari, a British shot-putter, told the Guardian he believed it was impossible to stay in peak condition while fasting, so he came to another arrangement: “I believe God is forgiving, and I’ll make up for every single day I’ve missed.”

– See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/06/economist-explains-11?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fwl%2Fbl%2Fee%2Fhowprofessionalsportsmencopewithramadan#sthash.sgQ5oiEu.dpuf



Other recommended reading:

These are tips for early preparation: http://www.irusa.org/blog/seven-ways-to-prepare-for-ramadan/

Another good one: 10 Tips for Fasting This Ramadan in New York


Since I didn’t get any Ramadan Advice…

Advice for Ramadan

The holiest of all months for Muslims is less than a week away. I really want to be the person who is excited for this blessed month, who can’t wait to spend my time in deep worship. Instead I’m stressed. How will I make it through 16 hour fasts while working full-time, taking care of my very active 3 year old son, trying to get a few hours of sleep and getting time away for worship. If anyone has advice on how to get through it with a good attitude please do share!  (Not fasting is not an option for me.)
Ramadan Kareem to you and yours 🙂

Advice for Ramadan

Back to Blog

Well, it’s been about 2 years since I last blogged. With the millions of mommy blogs out there I doubt anyone noticed. But I blog mostly as a means of self-expression and I really miss doing it. I got busy. All you parents out there know the drill. Between being a mom, working full-time, trying to maintain my friendships, spending time with my husband, trying to get in shape, and reading the thousands of articles and blogs about whether or not women can have it all, there was little time to do anything else. But for this I must make time. I have always loved writing. I’ve kept a journal since I was nine years old. And damn it, I have a lot to say. Whether or not anyone wants to hear about it is really irrelevant. It’s a blog. Read at your own risk. I’ll write about being a mom, about my struggle to get in shape and stop eating the shit in all our food, and about the people who inspire me or anger me. This is my journal, like the journal I kept when I was nine. But it’s no longer behind lock and key. I’d prefer not to talk to myself, so join this conversation.  Leave your comments. I’ll try not to disappear for a long time again.

All of the thoughts are mine and do not represent the company I work for.

Shout out to Liya Kredie who inspired me to return to this.  Read her blog here:


OC mom has won't have anytime to blog but as a founding member I'll keep her represented.
, OC mom won’t have anytime to blog but as a founding member I’ll keep her represented.  She’s expecting baby #2 but she didn’t even have time with baby #1 hence my skepticism about her current participation.  She’s also getting her master’s degree.  I give up.
Back to Blog