The first week of back-to-school activities is now over and at this time of year, the hustle and bustle of life and getting back to a regular routine has many of us thinking about what we are going to use for fuel to get through the day and week. So many of us around the world are on the go and commuting to school, work, or just doing life things to maintain the home and family unit. We pack our lunches for our daily nutritional needs and we try to add healthy additions and alternatives to avoid the very tempting sugary alternatives, which we’ll admit, we also love and cave into at times. Who doesn’t love a fresh donut and freshly brewed coffee to start a busy morning?
Whether you are young or old the need to revitalize and replenish vitamins and minerals with your food intake is critical. For Muslims and for people of many faiths, dietary concerns are extremely important. The need to have a ‘Halal’ and options in our food ingredients have become more widely available and vegetarian options are now being created in every category of texture by food scientists.
So many of us are on the go and we’ve all had bouts of microwave meals pre-made meals at times. One-off the go to snacks we find some of our teammates going to are Japanese Noodles. Many of us have all had an appreciation for quick noodles at some point in our lives and in many parts of the world. The famous and relatively inexpensive snacks are to be found everywhere and in all kinds of flavours.
We asked Madani Chronicles creator Kelvin Ali about his experience in Japan and Asia and asked about what he experienced in his cuisine choices.
“Japan was awesome to experience for a kid from Toronto. I have been blessed and I’m very grateful to have been able to visit many Asian countries. As a business traveler, it is always awesome to see how another culture lives and thrives.
Being a person who is selective about what I eat especially when traveling is critical. The need to make very with and correct portion sizes is essential when you begin your day. I am very careful of what I eat and drink and I’ve had food allergy testing to ensure I know what may not agree with me. For myself, I actually eat very wisely and healthily despite many Asian hotels having all-inclusive breakfasts and incredibly interesting choices for someone from the west. Once you’ve experienced ‘food poisoning’ which I have in South America, India, and the Middle East, you become very careful of what you eat when on the go in a new atmosphere, but the need to energize it critically and supplements are critical when I travel. Omega 3’s, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Honey are things I usually consume to start my day during travel and lots of fresh/bottled water is essential.
Sometimes you are wiped and need something quick when you are on the go and when I was in Asia, I regularly ate noodles at all times of day as it is an essential part of the staple diet in many parts of the world.
I found myself going to 7-Eleven or another Asian other corner store and grabbing 5 or 6 cups of seafood noodles to keep in my hotel room in case I was offered something that I don’t eat at events and had to politely decline which I’ve done often.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Halal restaurants and small Islamic grocery shops near the local masjid. This is one of the first things I seek out first on any travel I make to a foreign land. I like to pray in local masjids and see how the community is interacting with each other. Many times, when people speak to me, they are baffled that I am Canadian and in their little town and very hospitable as they wish to help me experience their local customs and pride I’ve found many great small Halal options and being from Island heritage, Seafood is always a choice at any time of day.
Seeing how Muslims live and interact around the world is critical for me and my own faith. Before the Pandemic, on Friday I will always make an effort to attend the Jummah prayer with the local community wherever I am. That even involves rescheduling meetings as I never want to miss an opportunity to so a good deed on a Friday afternoon as a traveler. Often many Masjids will be selling local or community-based foods so it’s always a pleasure to do a good deed, support a local community, and get a wonderful and new food dish.
Once you have had food poisoning and survived the terrible ordeal you will become very aware of what you take in and consume despite being invited to events where they have food available and I am very weary now of what I eat.
I have been blessed with knowledge and I know what falls under halal and try to stick to that or eat very lightly.
Food is the fuel for your body and what do you want to put in yourself? As you get older those choices matter a lot more. I found myself starting many days in Asia with a cup of seafood noodle soup. Hot water is provided in the convenience store along with a recyclable utensil and I will say, when you find a brand or product you like, it’s hard to avoid it.
Eating noodles all across Japan, I can say, was pretty awesome. In fact, many Asian countries have a wonderful presentation of dishes in all types establishments large and small and it was awesome to witness locals display their creations with pride. It is definitely something you notice coming from North America.
I took the Japanese Public Transit system many times and that was truly gut churning experience. Even then, I did enjoy cup noodle soups and cold coffee from vending machines which were located everywhere I went in Japan. So, those noodles brought me some comfort and nutrition to keep on going.
I loved all of Asia, each country is similar, yet so vastly different and all have Muslim communities to varying degrees. It gave me pleasure to pray in foreign lands and certainly I had some very good noodles along the way. Morning, afternoon, and evening, it’s also the perfect midnight snack, so whatever you are having in your meals, my best advice is to just be grateful and enjoy it.”
Do you have an awesome snack or cultural staple that is just awesome?
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Beyond Badr Dev Team!