Ramadan is a great opportunity for Muslims to reconnect with their faith and give back in every way to their Almighty and the community. Fasting helps us understand the hunger of those who cannot afford the luxury of several meals a day. It tests a believer's patience in every way when Muslims are starving for 14+ hours but are expected to remain steadfast, truthful, humble, modest and polite to everyone around.
Apart from the spiritual replenishment, Ramadan is also a great way to ditch the unhealthy food you're consuming and get in shape physically. I say if you're going to starve yourself, might as well take full advantage of it. Furthermore, scientists have proved that intermittent fasting can help cleanse your mind and body of negativity, stress and in most cases, improve physical performance and mental well being.
I am getting back on my diet and Ramadan is right around the corner, so here are a few tips that I will be following (after consulting my nutritionist) and I would love to share with you all!
- First things first- our goal is to eat a small portion packed with all the nutrients we need for the day- and one thats quick to make!
- The best items to consume in Sahur are complex carbs and foods containing high fiber!
- Complex carbohydrates are foods that are rich in energy but release this energy slowly throughout the day. Examples include wholewheat, oats, beans, and rice.
- Foods that are rich in fibre and are also digested slowly include fruits (raw and unpeeled) and vegetables.
- Also don't forget the all-important fluids as they maintain water and salt levels in the body.
- Fruits rich in water content (watermelons, melons, pomegranate, grapes)
- As much as it hurts to say this- ditch the chai/coffee, if you can! (unless you're going straight to work after Suhur)
- Caffeine – cold drinks, tea, and coffee – is a diuretic and promotes faster water loss through urination, which can lead to dehydration.
- Prep in advance, just like meal prep- to make your mornings smooth
- Try not to drink water after you eat- drink water empty stomach before your Sahur!
So what must one consume in Sahur, you ask?
Oatmeal (this is the best option- you can add fruit, cinnamon or whatever you like)
Whole grain bread
Some of my favourites are:
Oatmeal with honey and berries
Gluten free bread with peanut butter, avocado, a fried egg and chia seeds
Gluten free bread with boiled egg slices, avocado, tomatoes, spinach and feta cheese (toast in oven for a special crunch)
Gluten free flat bread (or paratha without ghee) with yogurt and honey
A combination of these along with a fruit cup, or a fruit smoothie.
Fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt (or just yogurt with fruit)
(A great way to do this is by making smoothie packets for the week & throw them in the freezer)
I don't know about you guys but I cant eat a whole lot at once during Iftar, Since we open our fasts with dates and water, this helps replenish the sugar and salt levels in our body and rehydrate us.
Lets ditch the pakoras samosas this Ramadan and adopt healthy habits that will keep us energized and looking forward to the next day (compared to the zombies that we are mostly post Iftar)
- Again, our goal is a small portion that is balanced and filling
- Remember to drink your water BEFORE you start eating
- Opt for a protein portion: Chicken, Fish or Sea food - Substitute with lentils, beans or eggs if you're vegetarian.
- Add some healthy carbs- potatoes, broccoli, spinach or any veggies you like
- Bakes potatoes are a great side with meat
- Alternatively add a soup (I make fat burning cabbage soup every week!)
- Sweet potato baked chips or wedges
- A cup or fruit
- Date and milk smoothie (trust me its amazing) with chia seeds and nuts
- Fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt (or just yogurt with fruit)
Finish off with hot green/herbal tea with ginger and lemon that will help you relax, digest your dinner and also burn some of that fat in the process.
Here are a few recipes that I really liked on this buzzfeed article I came across!
I'm going to be heading to the gym an roughly hour a after Iftar so I can be back home in time for Isha'a prayers. This is the best time for me to get in shape and get back on my diet
Yo I gotta fit in that Eid outfit!
If any of you are studying this Ramadan, this is what I am going to try:
- Try to study post Sahur- get your work in early.
- Say your Zuhr prayer, take a nap!
- Wake up in time for Asar. Say your prayers
- If youre up for it, you can do some body weight exercises post namaz
- Study some more. Post Asar and pre Maghrib is a great time to pray (as per my mom).
- Get ready for Iftar- plan your meal. Be excited about opening your fast, decorate your table.
Lets take full advantage of Ramadan this year and make it big and beautiful as it deserves to be!
If you guys enjoyed this post, please share your feedback so I can come up with fun idea for Eid for you guys as well!