After yet another extended period of sickness for me I felt I had to make this post. We really need to make the most of our health as when we become sick and unable to do everyday things we truly realise the blessing we had when we were well and able. In the books of the medicine of the Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) we are taught that the food we ean be a cause for sickness. Living in Western Society its very easy to take what we put into our mouths for granted.
Rasoolullaah (sallaahu alaihi wa sallam) taught his ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one-third with food, one-third with drink and one-third with air.”**
However in this day and age manipulative commercials with Technicolor pictures inviting us to stuff our bellies to the brim, addictive ingredients that keep us coming back for more, its easy to say that this year Gluttony is in!
A fact that is often neglected is that different types of food can affect us and the quality of our lives. It can affect our ability to work, study and much more, subhan Allaah it can even affect our ability to be happy. It may sound hard to believe or at least a little far-fetched but allow me to channel my inner infomercial to explain…
*picture haggard looking woman in a grayish dull background with messy hair and sad face sitting at home then the man with a heavy American accent says….
“Do you suffer from headaches? feeling depressed? easily distracted?, are you finding it hard to concentrate on even the most simple of tasks that used to be a breeze? Do you have trouble waking up in the morning, needing 2 or even 3 cups of coffee to shake off that sluggish feeling? Do you find yourself feeling increasingly irritable? Are your energy levels going through the floor?
Do you lack motivation, is your get up and go…gone!”
Now all of the above are signs of a body suffering from the effect poor diet high in refined sugar, flour with too much oil and meat. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming here to tell you to cut everything out of your diet but rather if you find yourself feeling any of the symptoms above then you might want to cut back for a while or at least increase in fresh vegetables and drink more plain water and excercise a little every morning maybe even just a little walk to wake you up instead of tea/coffee the deep breathing can make you feel alot more alert.
Another thing you might like to try is eating your main/largest meal in the afternoon rather than the evening. This is how people eat in a lot of the Muslim countries and it helps to make sure that the food is fully digested while we are still mentally and physically active rather than eating late at night when our bodies have already started shutting down for the day. This kind of thing can lead to that sluggish feeling in the morning as the body has been trying to digest late night meals instead of resting itself fully. By the permission of Allaah with these few changes you might just be amazed at the improvement in your energy levels and how different you feel when you next sit to memorise.
Another thing to be aware of are the amount of stimulants we use in our lives. Many of us recognise the effects of a sugar spike where we eat something high in sugar and feel energetic at first and then when the sugar wears out we feel worse than when we started and might eat more to get back up again starting a mini addiction. Well this goes for all stimulants from the caffeine in tea and coffee to the stimulants that come in the form of television and internet.
More and more people are becoming addicted to using the internet and social media sites like facebook and youtube and this to me is the reason why. The brain craves the stimulation that they gave and makes them feel down (bored and depressed) without it and they return again and again, sounds strange but look around it is happening. We move from computer screen to phone screen and the manufacturers are brainstorming new ways everyday to make these things more and more stimulating/addictive to make them more money. We find ourselves wasting so much time but we actually can’t help it as we have set our brains to crave it. For those that are affected It’s not a lost battle but we just need to sit and think about what we are doing with our day in advance planning ahead the things we’d like to do including a set time for facebook time etc. If you give it a time it should be harder for you to give it all of your time by accident. we should try to make it later on in the day when we have have completed most if not all important tasks so as not to start the addiction cycle early.
I was taught a Muslims prime/chief investment is his time so he should use it wisely otherwise if he wastes it (his time) then he has wasted his prime investment.
May Allaah make it easy for us to take care of the amazing bodies feeding our bodies that He has blessed us with nourishing our bodies and our brains with that which benefits us and may He keep us close to that which is pleasing to Him and far from that which angers Him.
** Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1381), Ibn Maajah (3349); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2265).