For the past few years I’ve been experimenting with different eating plans and diets.
The first and most extreme change I made was going completely gluten free for about two years. A friend of mine had terrible food allergies and I did this in solidarity with her. I started (oddly enough) in the month of Ramadan that year, and I actually found it easier to adjust to the plan while I was fasting. Since then I’ve done a few eating challenges, tried Dukan…and again, strangely enough, alot of these I did while fasting.
Ramadan has become the month of the year I use to reset my body. I eat very clean (nothing fried or processed, no bread and very little sugar, mostly from natural sources like dates) and I also eat much less than usual.
My day starts with a suhoor (breakfast before sunrise) of 3 dates, one mug of unsweetened black coffee, one mug of boiling water, a glass of orange juice and my immune booster. For iftar (breaking of fast) I will have again 3 dates, a nice bowl of soup and a glass of water. If my mom has cooked something I like, I’ll have a little food, minus all the carbohydrates.
Every year when I do this, it never fails to amaze how great I feel. I have no bloating, I don’t feel sluggish, I have fewer menstrual symptoms and sleep better, and this year, I have tons more energy. I never thought I would be able to do any kind of exercise or training on an empty stomach, but I’ve made significant progress on my running over the past 2 weeks.
The fact that I’ve managed to be consistent with some form of exercise has also helped keep me in a positive and happy frame of mind.
My family and friends all think I’m crazy and that I’m starving myself. They may have a point on the crazy but it’s not because of this. I love food way too much to even think of starving myself. All these years of experimenting has been a long road of discovering what works and what doesn’t work for my body. How certain foods make me feel, what their effects are.
Now I am making better choices. I am trying to improve the quality of my life (I’ve been to see a doctor literally once in the last three years). I am simply listening to my body and giving it the nutrition it needs.
And every now and again, I’ll have that bowl of ice cream too.