Fasting for wisdom and appreciation

Happy Ramadan Friends!

This week I joined millions of Muslims, albeit for only 4 days, to fast (no food or drink) from sun up to sun down. While not being a religious person, I knew there were many benefits to reap from detoxing the body.

The human body is a machine that runs on food, rest and upkeep. Sometimes we forget to take care of it and suffer from the buildup of everyday wear and tear. These four days helped me tidy up the body, but also the mind. And all the clear thinking left me with new wisdom and appreciation for the small things that are overlooked or taken for granted.

Here are three small reasons why I’d recommend all of you to fast (not for religious purposes, but for personal ones).

1. Fasting makes you productive. you are overwhelmed, bored, stressed or simply wanting to take a break, food looks like a good distraction. Getting up to go to the kitchen, or introducing a new flavor to your life promises to make you happy. In reality, it just pushes the important things aside. When your life revolves around food, it declines in productivity. This week, when I wasn’t distracted by thoughts of food, I executed many tasks and activities I’ve been putting off. In a short time I became the living and breathing motto of Nike: “Just do it!”. This new change suited me well. I felt accomplished and satisfied, and will likely adopt it for good.

2. Rationing helps you appreciate each bite. you have something in abundance, you stop seeing it as something ‘special’. Restricting my food intake to the hours of dawn and dusk meant that I had a short time to indulge in good food. And prolonged times of fasting meant my stomach couldn’t accept large volumes of nutrition, so I could eat only the healthy and essential things. I filled my body with protein, vitamins and limited the sugar. The result is that each slow bite was delicious and fully appreciated by me.

3. Detox does wonders to your body. is good for you! It means that you have more energy to shift your body’s focus from digestion towards recovery and clean up. Giving your body time to breathe and take care of itself means you can start enjoying clear skin, clear mind and more positivity to open your eyes to the beauty scattered around you! Most importantly working on your willpower makes you more confident and secure in your abilities to accomplish even what seems like the most daunting of tasks.

Fasting is a blessing that should be enjoyed every now and then to realign your body and mind, and to put yourself back on the right track. After this holiday weekend I think I might go back to fasting for at least another week! Want to join?

If you’ve been fasting or tried it in the past, did you experience any of the positive effects listed above?

Happy holiday, friends!

Happy Food Day – Let’s fast!

food-dayIt’s Food Day. A time to stop and reflect on the bounty and beauty of colorful, healthy and fresh food. Without the fruits, which extract vitamins and nutrients from the ground and seal in kisses of the sun, we wouldn’t be as energetic and agile as we are!

So, let’s focus on the bigger picture. The food system is run by corporations and governments who created policies that favor profit over sustainability. As consumers, we are not free of guilt. Our desire to save money pushed a wave of cheap, ‘food like’ substances, which substitute real organic matters in foods we consume. And even current trends of ‘healthy’ have caused companies to green-wash our beliefs, labeling things Natural or Organic, even when they are not truly so.

Large-scale farms, over use of fertilizers and intensive farming has weakened our environment and soil. The food we produce today is lower in vitamins, lacks in diversity and lost its taste. But it looks better, and as long as it’s cheap, we buy it! This illusion of abundance, of cheap and attractive food is costing us! To solve this problem, we need to study it. We need to analyze the flaws and gaps, and really take time to share information, to collaborate on a solution.

Fasting_4-Fasting-a-glass-of-water-on-an-empty-plateSuch clarity of mind comes only with patience and silence. It also comes with the cleansing of the system. And with that said, today I’m embarking on a fasting journey for a better food system. For the next two days I will consume no food, drink lots of water, and I live simply. With a clear mind and time on my hands, I will read about the problems plaguing our food system. Then, I will share them with you through an obstacle road map. And together, we will brainstorm the solutions. If passionate about food and sustainability, I encourage you to join me. Of course, you should pick a fasting option that suits you best. But even if you don’t fast, then spend some time in thought. Ponder about the process that brings food to your table, and ask yourself: Do you like what you eat? Does the food you consume harm the planet and you? What can you do about it?

Let’s celebrate the building of a happy future!
Will you join?

By Hokuma

Ramadan Mübarək!

Dear Friends, past weekend marked the start of Ramadan. This means that for the next month, until July 28th, individuals who follow Islam will go without food and water during the hours of sunlight. Is this easy? No. But for all their effort and strong will there will be a reward! Whether or not this reward includes the fruition of prayers is sadly out of my knowledge scope. But, those who can control their needs and strengthen their willpower will be better off.

As for me, being a curious soul, I joined in. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to stop after two days. Yet, in this short time I learned a few things.

First off, our body and mind are capable of extraordinary things! We just need to believe in our strength and power. Yes, you, darling you. You are a power to reckon with. If you believe in something with all your being, you can achieve it. No matter how difficult or how hard it may seem, you will do it! Sometimes, it will take long periods of time and many attempts. But in the end, you will find a way.

Two, cleansing your body is healthy. Try it once or twice a week. Of course, before you do, consult your doctor, or just make an educated decision. Sometimes, we forget all the junk we throw into our bodies. Especially when faced with moments of stress. We consume unnecessary amounts of caffeine and sugar. And, at the end of the day seek to depress the surge in energy with alcohol and who knows what else.

Balance – that is the key, but it is so hard to find. Something like searching for a needle in a hay stack. Still. With the right tools, it is possible. For instance, using a magnet to find the needle is much easier that going there blind and using only your hands. So, work on developing the tools and you will arrive at your desired destination. Meditate. Eat healthy. Do yoga. Listen to music, or anything else that helps you form a stronger and better you.

world is a trying time for many, but probably hardest for those currently in Brazil for the World Cup. Whether coaches, fans or players, the heat and humidity of the country require lots of hydration. Impossible to do for those observing the fast during sunny hours. And as any religion understands, there are always exceptions. Including for those traveling or those who must abstain for health reasons. Those who can’t fast are doubly encourage to be kind and give to those in need.

My take away message is this. Ramadan can teach us all something important. It can teach us that kindness should be practiced on a daily basis and that we should value food, not waste it. Neither should we over indulge in it. If we try this for 30 days, we can start developing a new habit and continue it for the rest of the year. It also shows that living a balanced life leads to success and general well-being. But, it reminds us that we are all different, and something that works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. So be wise, do what best suits you, but never forget to be giving and caring.

With lots of love!