How can we sustain our energy levels during Ramadan? Unfortunately there’s no magic formula as it’s just not possible to go through the day and not have moments of fatigue while fasting.
This is all part of the Ramadan purification process - consider this time as one of ultimate detox. This brings us to the important point of eating correctly so you don’t end feeling like a complete sloth! Suhoor is integral and what you eat will set you up for the day.
The first thing to do is drink plenty of water. A good rule to follow is to drink half your body weight in ounces. E.g. if you’re 130 lbs (59kg), drink 65 oz (1.9l) of water. Our bodies are predominately made up of water - our brain is almost 85% water - so not drinking enough is going to slow us down physically and mentally.
Add the following ingredients to enhance water intake:
Chia seeds - provides fibre and protein, feel full longer, contributes to fat loss
Lemon - aids in alkalising your gut so you can digest and absorb nutrients better
Apple cider vinegar - drink a glass of warm / room temperature water with 1 tsp of vinegar as soon as you wake up. This helps lower blood sugar levels and alleviate that midday fasting slump.
Nabeez - This is a Prophetic inspired drink made by soaking dates overnight. Soak 7 pitted dates in 4 cups of water, cover tightly, keep overnight and drink the liquid in the morning. It provides iron, fibre and energy; and can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Take into consideration that whatever food you eat during suhoor and iftar has an impact on your body during the day. Fried food, heavy protein, over processed food and too much sugar contributes to lowering energy levels. Treat Ramadhan as both a spiritual awakening and a physical renewal, and instill dietary changes. It takes 21 days to break a habit and create a new one; so there’s no time better than the present!
The food we eat at this time must keep us energised and feeling content through the day.
Eat food that keeps you full for longer and that contain protein, fibre (keeps you ‘regular’ too) and healthy fats; e.g. toast with peanut butter and banana or sweet potato with eggs.
Protein keeps hunger pangs at bay and provides energy. Try these nutrient-packed, easy-to-prepare choices - scrambled eggs with black beans, quinoa salads, and yogurt with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
Remember to break your fast in a calm and present state of mind; or you’ll just end up overeating. Digestion begins in the mouth so chew slowly and savour the food.
During Ramadan, there are so many wonderful dishes to indulge in and we all get cravings. It can be hard to say no, but be aware of how much you eat and how you will feel after. Great options to keep you feeling good during the night are broths, salads, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, soy beans, black beans) and whole grains. Add avocado and olive oil for the healthy fats; and limit the amount of fruit you eat as it can disrupt disruption. Keep fruit as a treat an hour after your meal.
Be conscious of the food you eat and how they make you feel. Remember that all things begin with intention. Being intentional and thankful with our meals will inspire a deeper gratitude and infuse it with the energy we need.