Ramadan Reflection Day 21: The Day I Stopped Eating Rice

Photo by Pittaya Sroilong
Bismillah.

So yesterday I decided to stop eating rice for a week.

You have to understand the "heresy" of that statement. Being an Asian, rice flows in my blood. I've been eating rice all my life - for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. Occasionally, I'll eat other stuff like noodles, burgers, bread, etc.

But rice is my staple food. It is in fact the official staple food where I come from i.e. Malaysia.

So when I decided to stop eating rice (just for a week by the way), I realized that the air is filled with a pinch of skepticism.

"Wow, if I was you, I can't do it."

"You can't just quick cold turkey like that. That's not healthy."

"I can't live without rice."

This is not a stunt that I'm pulling to lose some weight. That's not the main reason. The main reason behind this short experiment is to put into conscious perspective the things that I take for granted and to realize that I am not really dependent on things that I think I am dependent upon.

I have been eating rice like I have been breathing air. I take it for granted because that's what everyone's doing where I come from. It is normal to me. It is routine.

I am personally concerned with things that are routine because I simply don't think about it. Plus, I might convince myself that I need it. If I am able to live my life normally without eating so much rice everyday, then why not? I thought the first R in the 3 Rs of being environmental friendly is Reduce.

Besides, it's not hard to give up rice considering that I am fasting. I am already abstaining myself from eating and drinking the whole day. Isn't abstaining a part of the spirit of fasting? Why not abstain from rice? I can save some money and lose some weight on the side. It's not a bad deal after all.

To be clear, I am not starving myself to death. When I say I'm quitting rice for a week, I think some people hear "I'm quitting food for a week."

I need food. I don't need rice.

There's a difference.

Besides, it's just a week without rice. It's not the end of the world.

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