Day Four: Lethargy and Fasting

Happy Eid-al-Fitr! I can't say much as I personally do not observe the holiday, but some of my dad's friends invited him to their annual feast and I was surprised at the variety of dishes there were. He personally couldn't even recall most of the food that was served, but the highlights were the lamb kebabs, the potato dumplings, the creamy spinach, the lettuce and cucumber in yogurt dressing, the baklava, the sweet dough balls, and other Mediterranean delicacies.

What interested me wasn't the feast, however. (Although I've got to admit that the all-out feast and partying the Muslims have at the end of Ramadan is indeed an impressive display.) It was the fasting itself. In the words of my sister, "How can people go an entire month without food?" The thing is, they can only eat when the sun is down. That pretty much means sixteen hours fasting with two light meals before and after the day. With all of the temptation surrounding us, that in itself is already an impressive feat, not to mention how everyone else must be pigging their days away. I once had a teacher in middle school who would let Muslim student stay with her during the fast of Ramadan just because their friends in the cafeteria would be so obnoxious with their food. That kind of tells you how our society's been going.

Studies have been done showing that lethargy and fatigue are indeed consequences of this fasting. Because they cannot eat when their body most needs it -- during the day -- the observers become malnourished. Athletes who are playing during the season must condemn themselves to a less-than-stellar performance, as well as possible injury due to their lack of nutrients. How would such a fasting be worth it?

It's really more of a cultural and ethical thing than any. Most religions believe in charity, and that helping other and keeping the well being of peers above ourselves is ideal. However, to be reminded of this we must step in their shoes for some time. Fasting is, essentially , literally adopting the lifestyle of those living in poverty. If a month with no food sounds bad, imagine living an entire lifetime in starvation.

What I cannot imagine is how the body deals with such punishment. Of course, it's not mentally a punishment, but fasting does take its tolls on the body. Speaking of which, my Bites and Blogs has been going pretty well, but I'm still having trouble controlling my own thoughts at times. I had the strangest craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich today, and I literally have not eaten those for ages!

Breakfast: Mango, Pears, Yogurt
Lunch: Turkey Wrap
Dinner: Rice, Salad, Wintermelon, Steak

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