Every Ramadan, many Muslims make a resolution to be healthier and not go overboard with the feasting. Not everyone succeeds though, because it’s not that easy to avoid sambosa or traditional sweets, when you’ve spent all day fasting.
Here are some tips to help you have a healthier Ramadan:
1. Plan your meals.
Plan what you’ll have for iftar ahead of time.
2. Shop in advance.
It’s extremely important to complete your food shopping at least a day in advance. This ensures you will be prepared and helps you avoid going for unhealthy options like microwave meals.
3. Approach a balanced diet.
Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains like oats and pulses for an all round energy approach. Make sure to avoid sugars and white flour as much as possible.
4. White vs. Brown Pasta
If you’re in the mood for something wholesome, then make whole-wheat pasta; Quaker’s has a good one, with veggies and baked fish.
5. Craving sambosa? Bake it
You can have a samosa, perhaps with healthier fillings. If you bake it with minimal oil or olive oil, it will be delicious and often tastes much better.
6. Make sure to eat suhoor.
Have suhoor right before the adhan as per sunnah, and make sure to eat dates.
7. Slow energy release foods for suhoor.
Eating these for suhoor is your best option. Go for oats, barley, cereals, not cornflakes, whole wheat or mixed grain sandwiches, beans, lentils, etc. A bean salad with dates and milk is also a great option.
8. Smoothies to the rescue.
If you’ve overslept and don’t have the time to make a proper suhoor, do not panic. Throw in some yoghurt, milk, 5-6 strawberries and 2-3 spoons of oats into a smoothie maker to prepare a delicious and wholesome suhoor smoothie. You can add a date to sweeten things up, or add overnight soaked chia seed pudding for long-lasting fullness.
Top Things to Avoid:
If you’re not motivated enough to make healthy recipes, there are a few things you can avoid to have a healthier Ramadan:
- Deep-frying; replace it with baking, grilling or shallow frying.
- Processed juices; replace with fresh juice or smoothies.
- Vimto; sorry about this one, but Vimto can be really sugary and bad for you, so replace it with iced tea, infused water, coconut water or flavored milk.
- High sugar and high fat foods like luqaimat and ghee can be replaced with healthier options, with less oil.
- Overeating and eating quickly; break your fast slowly and break down your evening into 3-4 small meals.
- Never skip suhoor; it’s sunnah to eat suhoor and your fast will be tougher if you skip it.
Following most of these tips will help you have a wonderful and healthy Ramadan. Remember that Ramadan is not about weight loss, so make sure to eat properly and don’t starve yourself.