Ramadan Day 2

May 20, 2018

This day was so much harder! We woke up literally minutes before we had to stop so We chugged a bottle of water and passed out. That was a brutal day for me since I had to wake up at 8 and get to restaurant depot and to work. I also managed to do a very light shoulder and biceps workout too.

But the rest of the day was tough. Cutting cold turkey on most things leads to a very bad headache, which has been happening recently. I also noticed towards the end of the night a change in my mood from monotone to Hangry. So I refocused my little energy I had to staying positive and not let the negativity build up effect anyone around me, inspire through example. I ate right away first since I’m the fastest and was able to work the longest right after.

Ramadan Day 1

May 18, 2018

To be honest, it wasn’t as an eventful Ramadan as I had thought it would be. I guess working in a smaller restaurant would mean less walking everywhere. I wasn’t as hungry through out the day, just a bit thirsty. I did though hit up the gym for a good 50 minutes doing back exercises, which didn’t wind me out but did add to the thirst building up.

After lunch I was able to get a quick 30 minute power nap before heading back to work. Since it wasn’t as busy, fasting was pretty much a breeze. What I ate for Iftar(Breakfast) was salad,brown rice, lentils,protein shake and eggplant.

By the time I went home after work it was 9:45, I was able to stay up for 45 minutes playing with my daughter before we passed out to wake up again at 2:30AM. So far it’s been a good start, but for as long as I can remember, there had always been a major problem during Ramadan that always casted a cloud on the whole family. I’m afraid this year wouldn’t be the same.

Ramadan Day 0

May 17, 2018

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So far so good. I had Set everything up so that it would be nice transition from eating during the day to not eating during sun light hours. The things that i have noticed from the past years is that everyone i know just right away cut food and water out without slowly tapering into it. For me, i would slowly stop eating at certain times during the day to help with my body to adjust to how it would be this year. Fun Fact: The Islamic calendar has Ramadan going back 10 days every year. Last time i remembered Ramadan was in the winter when he days where shorter, i was still a kid in elementary school, waking up early, wrapped in my blanket, eating my bowl of cereal and sipping on some green tea, the good old days. Thankfully we have passed the hardest parts of summer, when the days would be almost 17-18 hours of daylight and just a small window to eat.

I had made 2 decisions with myself on how i should go upon Ramadan this year. The first one is to go Gluten free, since i have noticed the whole swelling of the stomach every time i would eat it. The second decision is to write on my blog every day and make a Vlog on my YouTube channel everyday, just to get people knowing and seeing what I’m doing. So technically  its a day behind and today is the first day of Ramadan, but I’ll let you know how it is tomorrow for sure. It may seem like a lot to me, but since my gym time has been cut to almost half, besides taking naps during the day, i would just plainly work on my video editing and writing for now, hopefully i can keep it up. Personally, when we as human beings say we are going to do something, we should do something. But sadly, we also are creatures of habit and laziness. We learn to asses whats more important and do that first, like eating, sleeping, drinking red bull to keep us going, picking up the kids from daycare. All of this list of demands that we tell ourselves gets numbered from 1- whatever else you have to do but don’t have time or don’t want to do it now. In Ramadan, the first thing we start is not eating or drinking for day One. Its tough, 16 hours or more sometimes, but we get it done. As I’m writing this, all i can think about is Pizza, chips and big bowl of Pasta, yet i just have my work in front of me to keep me busy, while I’m at my restaurant making sure everything goes smoothly.

To me, when i wake up every morning, i open my eyes, check on my baby next to me, then i stare at the ceiling for a good 3 minutes which does seem forever. I tell my brain exactly what needs to be done in the next 30 minutes, what should be finished in the next hour and what the plan is for the day, almost like a computer. It’s not easy at times, sometimes i just want to wake up and do nothing or do my own thing, problem is, through trial and error, i have lost a lot of time “winging it” and therefore late to work which even though i do own the business with family, still irks me.

Come the middle of the day, before lunch ends, i again think to myself what needs to be done for the rest of the day and if i had completed the tasks thought about earlier in the morning. Things get prioritized to finishing up what needed to be don’t then i have a staple in my day…..Go to the gym. I heard somewhere once that time is always flowing forward, that it doesn’t stop for anyone or go backwards, therefore its sacred. In this case, I could plan my day accordingly to what i think is important, or plan my day around the gym. I decided to do both, because its my life and i learned later on in life that sometimes, you should just do what you want when you want because its your life. I plainly day around a specific time during the week, 3pm, is when i get to work out for 1-1.5 hours. I have learned to not waste time at the gym, get in, do your work, get that pump and get out. Only problem is, i don’t have as much time anymore for cardio vascular exercises. Your thinking well who does?! I did, i would spend a good 2 hours at the gym every day when i was comfortable at my other job, i would wake up early, have my mom watch my baby, hit up the gym and come back home to shower and go to work. But sometimes life throws you curve balls and you learn to adapt in any situation.

I had gone to Costco, picked up everything in Bulk which should hopefully last us 20 days, Special K cereal with almond milk, Protein Pasta with beans and pasta sauce also to help carb up in the morning. One thing i did forget to buy was coconut water, which can help me stay hydrated throughout the day, but for right now Green tea should suffice. I’m excited to see how amazing this Month of Ramadan will be and how far i can get with keep everyone up to date. Lets chat tomorrow!

Finally, about the UK…

September 24, 2017

I have finally gotten some time to write about the United Kingodm trip that we had gotten back from 2 weeks ago! First off, it was great, amazing journey to a country we have never actually been outside the airport from. The first country that Lailah has ever been too with her baby passport, heres here baby passport photo:

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Little side note, when we had left London, we stopped over at Brussels before going straight back to JFK Airport. Weird thing is, they have 3 gates, all the way at the end of the terminal, it was a 25 minute walk, from where we had left. We were scared of missing our flight due to the unecessaryly long walk, but what was even crazier is that there was a random, cresent desk with 5 employees and their laptops, surrounded by a large crowd of people, with their passports in the air. It looked like a scene from a movie, or a scene from the news when we see a large amount of refugees trying to pass a check point. We had to get our passports checked again, but “thoroughly” by security.

Lets detail how it went first:

We do a routine security check into the terminal, said our good byes, had our luggage checked into the plain as well as our carry ons scanned, us as well scanned before entering the Terminal and Gate. Before getting on the flight, we had our passports checked again, which was normal, like most airlines, they check your boarding pass and passport. Once we landed in Brussells, they checked our passports leaving the plain, which i thought was weird but whatever, I needed to stretch my legs. Then after that long walk, we got to that random Island of computers,right before our gate, for another thorough passport check. People kept cutting others, some were very nice to offer us their spot in line, just because we had Lailah. with flights that were delayed 20 minutes, they would jump the passengers waiting to the front, assuring the crowd that their flights will  not leave without them. Once our turn had come up, i just asked the employee if this was a new policy, they said that it had started 9 months or so ago, just to beef up security only going to the US, which i personally don’t mind, but have it done way earlier in advance, not last minute. Also we were told to change the babies passport phot or renew her passport after shes 1 or 2 years old because they have stopped children from flying, just because how the photos dont look anything alike, which truthfully, if they had gotten this far with the right paperwork, then it would just be ridiculous to stop a child from traveling with their parents over them looking slightly different, but drasticaly then i understand, thats why its also always important now to keep a copy of your hcilds birth certificate with you whenever your traveling with them, even yours too if you were born here in the USA, you never know really. Then they checked our passports again before we entered the airplain, so kinda over kill in my opinion.

 

So that was the traveling experience on our way home, not bad, but just unecessarily longer than usual. Another experience I would like to talk about was the one where we stayed in the WORST HOTEL IN LONDON. I made 2 videos on them, i’ll post it now so you can get an idea first of where we were before i go into detail about what went down:

 

 

 

 

Mid Ramadan Update

June 11, 2017

fullsizeoutput_11caIMG_2924fullsizeoutput_11cbIMG_2959IMG_2964IMG_3010.JPGMashaAllah so far so good. I haven’t lost any pounds yet, i guess i should actually check, problem is, i only check when I wake up in the morning. Problem with that is, i fill myself up with food 5 hours earlier, therefore thats not my ideal time to weigh myself to see my lightestweight. This few days though have been crazy hot, so naturally, all of us are very thirsty. Most folks during Ramadan now tend to try and sleep in a lot on the weekends or when they are off, but most still get up,work hard, come home, pass out till Iftar(Break fast) time. I fell like during Ramadan, i have more focus on my tasks, i would just need to figure out what task to do first, also my wife helps me stay on topic with things in life.

What i really want to do is go to a water park, just get lost in it, just like the good old days when i didn’t have to worry about bills, relationships, drama, stress and other sorts like that. I’ve always been good at organizing things like this, where the only thing that everyone had in common was being friends with me and wanting to have a good time. One of the best quotes i have ever heard was from Andy, from the Hit tv show The Office,”I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Above are some photos of the meals i have been eating to break my fast, half the time its with a protein bar and tea just because we are so busy at work. Ramadan ends June 25th or arount there. We leave for London and Scotland July 2nd, so hopefully i can save up enough money before hand and get the things we need ahead of time before anything.

So its day 6 of Ramadan, I am feeling a bit tired mostly and thirsty. We have 25 more days left, within those 25 more days i need to atleast cut 10 lbs of fat and PRAY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Fasting without prayers is pretty much like expecting to be forgiven without even asking for forgiveness. The great thing about Ramadan is that it allows me to have more time to sit, think and understand what’s going on in life, to help me get my life together instead of worrying what am I going to eat or when I’ll be going to the gym. Speaking of what to eat, every morning I have been eating 1-2 big bowls of Whole wheat Chex cereal with almond milk, followed by 1.5 scoop of cassein protein and a bottle of water. That usually holds me over until 6 pm, at that time i start to get either hungry/thirsty or just very fatigued. In Ramadan we cannot eat or drink during the sunlight hours, therefore most of us are a bit lazy or just not all there. Those who have my upmost respect are the athletes, first responders and construction workers, who during Ramadan, would have to work outside or give their 100% each day to their jobs, those people are just insanely hard working and driven, with or without food. I was thinking about maybe going to the gym one day right after I eat in the morning, which is at 4 AM, or right before I break my fast, which is around 8:30 PM, but that would be when I have a lot of time on my hands or already caught up with sleep, mind you I work almost 12 hours a day at the restaurant, with maybe an hour of nap time in between lunch and dinner, POWER NAP!

Here are some photos of my foods I have been breaking my fast with:


So far so good, I have been able to hit up the gym 4 days this week, mostly after 9 PM, but my cardio game is a bit slacking, I would like to get at least 30 minutes in after my workouts. 
That also reminds me, I have to get a new battery for my heart rate monitor, it takes a watch battery so it lasts a good 3-4 months with how i use it everyday. 

On a side note, the family Thank God are doing well, trying to save up as much as possible for the London and Scotland trip in early July. Also trying to show my brother and m other everything when it comes to the cash register so they will be fine without us for 11 days. We are leaving July 2nd, which is the July 4th week, where everyone is out at the beach, which in turn is usually the slowest 1-2 weeks of the year, perfect time to take a vacation. When we get back though, my brother wants to head out to California to visit family from my mothers side and enjoy being on his own, hopefully he uses his head for the most part and stays safe.

My brother recently made a dessert he saw on Reddit, I need to actually start going on it to read, I haven’t gotten the time yet. I haven’t even gotten the time to finish the 5 books i started reading! Hopefully on the plain, they have only a few good movies to watch, I think they might have Spider-Man Homecoming because in my experience, Airlines usually have movies that are in theatres on their list to watch, I’m just hoping for now, then i can catch up on my kindle and read a whole lot, or if they have wifi, plan our itinerary for London, find out the closest gyms and book our hotel in Scotland, check out the Games of Thrones Castles. I heard in Scotland, they filmed a lot of scenes there that was supposed to be Winterfell, if somehow I can get my hands on the DJI Spark Drone, then that would be an awesome aerial view that i can add to the VLOG, PLEASE CLICK THE WORD TO GO STRAIGHT TO IT, SUBSCRIBE AND LIKE, THANKS!

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They were nice, soggy, crunchy and over all, delicious. Now that i have footage of my brother cooking I can use it for my dating episode for him on the VLOG, which will follow right after with my second episode of Ramadan, which technically was day 1 of Ramadan, but I couldn’t finish in time. I will definitely make a day 10 episode, hopefully InshaAllah I will have time to film and get it all. Until then, thanks for taking the time to actually read this, hope you all have a wonderful day!

My current weight for the last week is 167 lbs. I have changed my cardio regiment to speed rope, 50-100 jumps after every set followed by a 30 second cool down before going again. All my workouts would be 4 sets of 12-15 reps each with always going up in weight. With this method I haven’t been as crazy strong as what i was used to, this morning i was also thinking it may be that I have been doing fasted workouts with my speed rope as well. In the morning I would wake up nice and early, down my pre workout, take my BCAA’s with me to drink during my workout so I won’t get fatigued. This way i save time, instead of waking up  earlier, making a pre workout meal, then waiting an hour before getting to the gym. I would love to actually do that, but when your raising a baby, your plans are never solid. Most nights i get less than 6 hours of sleep, just because i need to help the wifey with the baby, God bless my wife, she’s a soldier and she’s the one raising the baby, so whatever help she needs, i try my best to help her. 

My diet so far has been ok during the day, it is the night time cravings that get me real bad. I would look for chips, sweets or just have another big meal, since at work I barely eat during the dinner shift, usually maybe a small snack which leads to a huge craving/appetite when i get home to relax. I have Cassein Protein in the closet, maybe I should make some type of ice cream with it, sprinkle some whole wheat Chex cereal and just down a water. bottle before hand, that might be able to do the trick. 

Here’s a typical meal I would eat 2 times a day usually;100% whole wheat bread, sweet potato fries,Kale salad with blue berries,walnuts, carrots and sun flower seeds, Halal Wagyu Angus Beef.
NOW……..Ramadan starts Thursday or Friday so I would have to figure out what to cook ahead of time for basically my 2 meals a day, the second meal would probably be followed by a post workout shake or something. Each meal would have to be designed to have fiber, fats and protein to hold me over for some time. I would only do little carbs, most likely half a whole wheat pita or 4 ounces of Sweet potatoes, followed by maybe 3-4 steamed broccolis and a white meat. Hopefully i can get some time to get some Halal Turkey from Paterson, make some Turkey Meat balls so that it can be enough for my meals. I have read somewhere too that not everyone can eat 5-6 small meals a day, thus they opt for 3-4 larger meals a day and maybe a snack here and there. Ramadan will be an amazing opportunity to test out how my body reacts. I know for a fact that during Keto,5 years ago, i had cut down a lot of weight. But now, since I have to causally take some carbs out, if i start with fasting and adjust the carbohydrates and making them at a smaller amount, maybe after Ramadan then the body can react to switching to Keto for maybe 4-5 weeks without taking a big hit. Of course i would have my refeed days filled with abut load of carbs and protein, which most people don’t understand when it comes to ketosis. 

Being a father has been amazing, it has opened my eyes to what really is more important in life to me and what matters the most. Time with my family is important, time is something no one can get back. Growing up my parents were able to have some time for us to go on vacation and trips, but towards my middle school and high school career, they were nowhere to be found, always working. Which i now understand completely, money makes the world turn, but the sacrifices that are made should never be up against spending time with your kids. I have realized that spending time with your kids equals raising them, every moment you have with them is a moment to teach them about life, a moment to mold them into being a better person than yourself. I have a different outlook than my parents now on how to raise my kid. I think most children, when they have their own families, know what to do and not to do, thanks to their parents and their style of parenting. Ever since I have become a father, I put  my family first on everything, as it should be with every parent. But unfortunately others see it as a negative because it doesn’t benefit them and their agenda. Try and stay away from negative people, even if they are in your own family, stay peaceful, patient and do not react, take some time to chill and then revisit the problem with a positive outlook without trying to seek revenge. Only then will you be able to stop and smell the roses. 

Now with my workout routine, this will be challenging. Last year, i just ate whatever and workout out maybe 3 times a week or less. This time, i would like to hit up the gym 4 times a week, probably during the night, right after work, then followed by keeping up with the baby and then taking a nap for an hour or two before waking up to eat again. Then I would be able to sleep for 6-7 hours before work, followed by an hour nap after the lunch shift. Everything always looks easy on paper compared to actually doing it. 

Here are some photos of our recent trip to the Zoo, Even though Lailah is too small to probably remember, at least we got photos with her so she can see later on in life,also Madina had a blast with everything:


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