My job as a Health and Wellness expert has taken me all over the world. I have been lucky enough to meet people from all walks of life and experience many different cultures. Not too long ago, I was based in the Middle East for two and a half years where I decided to partake in the fasting to gain a deeper understanding of it.
Aside from my in-depth research and my collaborations with other experts in health during the fasting month, this experience also helped me to appreciate the health and dietary needs of my Muslim friends and clients during the one month of fasting.
During Ramadhan, one’s daily schedule may be somewhat disrupted and it can be physically taxing. However, if done right, Ramadhan can be the opportunity you’ve been looking for to kick-start your healthy lifestyle and develop better eating habits and discipline.
Here are some tips for you for this upcoming Ramadhan.
- Fast, not feast. Overeating, as practiced often, is not only counterproductive for your body, but also for your spiritual growth.
- Never miss your sahur. This is when you prepare your body for the day’s fast so never miss it. Eat complex carbs that will keep you full longer and release energy slowly such as chia seeds, oats, buckwheat, brown rice and other whole grain products. Mix them up with some fruits or veggies and that should keep you fuelled for the day.
- Break your fast as suggested by tradition with dates (approx 3-4) and water. Dates are easy to digest and not only provide the needed sugar and reduce cravings, they are rich in vitamins and minerals and fibre – the last helping to prevent constipation. Dates also contain a high level of potassium (the same mineral which you can find in bananas and dark leafy greens) which is ideal for refuelling.
- Avoid anything that contains caffeine such as coffee, tea or soda as they will cause you to lose water due to their diuretic properties. Also, don’t drink too much at once as this will flush out too much liquid at one time.
- Have a balanced meal each time: half your plate with fruits and veggies, ¼ protein and ¼ carbs.
- Avoid simple sugars like white rice, roti canai, sweets and white bread as this will drop your blood sugar quite fast and leave you feeling hungry.
- Avoid foods that are too salty or too sweet, as these will leave you thirsty.
If you need some inspiration on what to prepare for sahur or for breaking fast, check out our PurelyB recipes below:
• Chia Seed Pudding
• Sauteed Vegetables with Mashed Potatoes and Oven-baked Fish
Look out for more of our healthy Ramadhan tips throughout the month.