MANKATO -- This past weekend we wrote about backup safety Husain Abdullah's plans to fast during the month of Ramadan, which began Wednesday.
Abdullah will not have anything to eat or drink from dawn to dusk for 30 days. That includes no water during practice other than to rinse his mouth.
Unlike last year, Abdullah developed a plan for how to deal with the challenges with the help of the Vikings nutritionist Carrie Peterson. We talked to Peterson on Wednesday and she discussed the plan in detail.
"Husain said he is going to bed about 10 or 10:30 so we've got about 4 to 4 1/2 hours to get some food and drink in him so to speak," Peterson said. "His total caloric needs are about 3,800 a day. We have a large amount -- probably 2,400 to maybe 2,800 -- coming at dinner time at night."
Peterson gave Abdullah a list of foods that he should eat for breakfast. He has to eat three items designed to give him energy. She also added three for muscle, including eggs, turkey bacon or an omelet.
Peterson gave him another list of foods to eat at dinner to make sure he gets at least 2,400 calories.
"Husain needs at least probably 1,500 more [per day] than the average guy just because of what he's doing," Peterson said. "And we only have two meals to do that in."
Peterson has Abdullah set his alarm clock every night at 2 a.m. to have a protein/carbohydrate shake and also drink one bottled sports drink.
Peterson, who works with other sports teams, called Abdullah's situation a "unique" experience.
"He's going to eat all this stuff and then he's going to go lay down and try and get some sleep because he's tired," she said. "Over the next 30 days, we're going to lose about an hour of sunlight, which is really good for him because I want him to be able to eat sooner and have more time to digest. We just have to kind of be careful. We want to watch what he's doing."
On a side note, Peterson said the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are going to be held over Ramandan.
"It will be real interesting to see what happens with the world's athletes," she said.