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Sabrina's Story


The health and wellbeing project is motivated to improve the overall health and fitness of women from a wide range of migrant communities across the dudley area through education and physical activities. The project will provide women with the opportunity to be informed on major issues of health, mental wellbeing and nutrition matters. The health and wellbeing team aims to increase ladies understanding of healthy eating and cooking, by maintaining their culture but incorporating healthier foods. The team also want want ladies to actively participate in workshops and fitness classes, such as; Tai Chi, Zumba, Pilates, walking the parks, badminton etc. The desired outcome of this project is to reduce the feeling of isolation, marginalisation and increase the participant's sense of belonging.

During the fitness and nutrition sessions held at a venue in Dudley on Monday's out team was approached by a lady named sabrina who was in between her late twenty's and early thirties. Sabrina had concerns over her diet during the Islamic month of ramadhan. Through discussions with Sabrina, her concerns were that of she was fasting which meant she had to go without any food or drinks from sunrise to sunset; and when it came to the point where she had to break her fast she was only able to eat very little as she felt full very quickly. Her other concern was that she was drinking very little water between sunset and sunrise and the food she ate between was very oily, high in ghee and remained very unhealthy, this had meant she felt bloated throughout the day. She also consumed very little vegetables and fruits over the days in which she observed her fasts.

Fasting can be good for you as long as it is carried out correctly. In a normal state, body glucose stored in the liver and muscles are used as the body's main source of engery, however during fasting this store of glucose will be used up first to provide the engery followed by fat which becomes the next source. Meanwhile during prolonged fasting, the body will break down muscle protein the produce engery which remains to be unhealthy. Due to ramadhan fasting only lasting from dawn till dusk, it means that the body's energy can be replaced in the pre-dawn and dusk meals using only glucose and fat as the main source; but to prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain enough food energy such as fat and carbohydrates.

A balanced food diet and fluid intake is necessary between fasts, even though kidney's are efficient in maintaining body's water, sodium, potassium and salt, however these can be lost through perspiration.

The health and wellbeing team suggested her to consume food from all major food groups such as fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, bread, cereals, milk, dairy products and food containing sugar and fat. She ate very few fruits and vegetables so we advised her to incorporate vegetables into her meals, and after dinner to consume a fruit salad probably as a desert. We told her that foods such as basmatic rice, wholemeal flour, wheat, oats and beans are good for her as they are complex carbohydrates and would release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting, as well as fibre rich foods such as whole wheat, potatoes with the skin, grains and fruits.

The health and wellbeing team also suggested her to stay off fast buring processed food such as chocolates, biscuits, cakes, sweets such as Indian mitai as they are reinedcarbohydrates and break down very quickly, as well as caffeine as they stimulate a faster water loss through urination.

She made notes on the tips given and did come back to us after ramadhan and said she acted upon the adivce which we gave her and she felt a lot more healthier and happier through ramadhan.

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16a Stone Street, Dudley DY1 1NS.
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