Friday, September 12, 2008


Salaam, and Ramadan Kareem to those who appreciate the gesture at this time of year. So what's with the bloody photoshoots? Well...I've been tryin' a ting as they say on the island. I'm fasting, and I'm so glad I have the option of not doing so whenever I please because of my faithlessness. So these were taken at 5:35pm yesterday, while I counted down the gruelling minutes to the time I was able to eat, 6pm (or is it actually 6:45pm as my brother informed me? Maybe my Muslim friends can tell me wot's wot). Even if I wanted to fast or not, there was not a morsel of food in the house and the other day when I tried to order takeout, they said to call back at 5pm, which was the Ramadan hour at which they started taking orders/delivering, not to mention you're not allowed to eat or drink in public before 6. So there's no way around Islam.

So at 6pm, I dressed and decided to go to the mall. My sister wanted to share a taxi with me to meet her friends there so I ended up getting there at a painful 15 minutes past 7. I ran into my sister's friends and they were puzzled at my urgency in escaping them because the Food Court was just inches away from my angsty stomach. I explained to them the situation in an attempt not to be rude, and they sent me on my way with a hearty "enjoy!" Oh, I will.

Now, normally I wouldn't be so feverish about my hunger (having once been anorexic) but there is a particular way to go about fasting and I certainly did not follow it. For one, I didn't even wake up before dawn to eat so basically the last time I ate was around 7pm the previous day. According to, and Sunna (the practices of the Prophet Mohammed), this is the correct way to eat during Ramadan:

Breakfast, iftar:

Dates, three
Juice, 1 serving (4 oz.)
Vegetable soup with some pasta or graham crackers, 1 cup

The body's immediate need at the time of iftar is to get an easily available energy source in the form of glucose for every living cell, particularly the brain and nerve cells. Dates and juices are good sources of sugars. Dates and juice in the above quantity are sufficient to bring low blood glucose levels to normal levels. Juice and soup help maintain water and mineral balance in the body. An unbalanced diet and too many servings of sherbets and sweets with added sugar have been found to be unhealthy, Gumma et al. (7).

Consume foods from all the following food groups:

Meat/Bean Group: Chicken, beef, lamb, goat, fish, 1-2 servings (serving size = a slice =1 oz); green pea, chickpea (garbanzo, chana, humus), green gram, black gram, lentil, lima bean and other beans, 1 serving (half cup). Meat and beans are a good source of protein, minerals, and certain vitamins. Beans are a good source of dietary fiber, as well.

Bread/Cereal Group: Whole wheat bread, 2 servings (serving size = 1 oz) or cooked rice, one cup or combination. This group is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are a good source of energy and provide some protein, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Milk Group: milk or butter-milk (lassi without sugar), yogurt or cottage cheese (one cup). Those who can not tolerate whole milk must try fermented products such as butter-milk and yogurt. Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein and calcium, which are essential for body tissue maintenance and several physiological functions.

Vegetable Group: Mixed vegetable salad, 1 serving (one cup), (lettuce, carrot, parsley, cucumber, broccoli, coriander leaves, cauliflower or other vegetables as desired.) Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil or any polyunsaturated oil and 2 spoons of vinegar. Polyunsaturated fat provides the body with essential fatty acids and keto acids. Cooked vegetables such as guar beans, French beans, okra (bhindi), eggplant (baigan), bottle gourd (loki), cabbage, spinach, 1 serving (4 oz). Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, carotene, lycopenes, and other phytochemicals, which are antioxidants. These are helpful in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and many other health problems.

Fruits Group: 1-2 servings of citrus and/or other fruits. Eat fruits as the last item of the dinner or soon after dinner, to facilitate digestion and prevent many gastrointestinal problems. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C. Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber.

Fruits and mixed nuts may be eaten as a snack after dinner or tarawiaha or before sleep.

Pre-dawn Meal (Sahur):

Consume a light sahur. Eat whole wheat or oat cereal or whole wheat bread, 1-2 serving with a cup of milk. Add 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or any other monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats in a salad or the cereal. Eat 1-2 servings of fruits, as a last item.

Anyway, I had two of those gargantuan pizza slices at SBarro's, carelessly splattered with all kinds of greenery and mushrooms, which completely satiated me. I'm surprised I stayed true to my vegetarianism and didn't go Super Size crazy at Burger King next door. And I slurped on my coke while sitting in the kiddie Non-Smoking section of the Food Court where they were playing (to my ridonculously extreme delight) back to back Tom and Jerry episodes on a large screen. Don't hate. It's good. And I think I'll leave you with some from YouTube in some other post.

IN OTHER SMASHINGLY GOOD AND BREAKING NEWS!!! I found my coat for the scorching desert, yes! I browsed the shops after my meal for lack of longing to go home. Topshop is such a bore out here but Zara is heights. And so is this coat. it looks super crash but I assure you it's just my photography skills, or lack thereof. It's the most amazing thing a rich Londoner junkie could wrap around their tiny frames during Fall. It's 450 AED, which (after asking Panda to convert for me) came up to roughly 69 pounds. And it's warm, which is something my previous coats never were. Will have to inform the Daddio with the sweetest of faces. And then figure out how it's fitting in my already bulging three bags.

N.B. Another thing you might not have known is how much work black hair can be; not to mention the fact that I am one of those token black girls who CANNOT style her own hair. If only you had seen my hair before these pictures (which is why I am beheaded/masked in my last photoshoot). I haven't straightened/relaxed it in maybe over 2 months. The standard interval for the relaxing process is every 6 weeks. And another thing. I also absolutely don't comb my hair. So, the sheer joy part of this post not only has to do with the stellar coat, but also with the fact that I was able to turn my hair from a rasta into that without getting it relaxed. But the kudos shouldn't go to me. I would like to thank the Matrix Smoothing System shampoo and conditioner which made my hair ridonculously sleek, combable and hence, white-person-ish. And I would also like to thank my Swing 1400 Braun hairdryer. I suppose this N.B. is for all my black ladies out there with similar hair woes. Hope that shed some light.

Okay. Peace!

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