Ramadan is a time to rejoice our belief and deepen our worship. But also, it is a time to purify from all the taints of the mundane world and heighten our spirit through self-discipline and sacrifice. Being Ramadan’s main ritual, a fast should never be a punishing or burdening experience, but welcomed with spiritual dignity and commitment. It is a manner in which we all connect into a community of prayer and celebration, and it can certainly be done in a healthy way. Here’s how.
Devise a Balanced Meal Plan
Apart from the religious one, the whole point of fasting is to clean our bodies from all of the aggravating toxins our diet has exposed us to all year round. Accordingly, fast-breaking meals should not be an opportunity for overeating – overindulging in unwholesome feasting during the pre-dawn and dusk meals can be extremely unhealthy. For that reason, keep you Suhoor and Iftar meals simple and don’t diverge too much from your usual diet.
Focus on complex carbohydrate foods like rice, lentils, oats, wheat and lentils, for they are known for releasing their energy gradually over a period of time. Fibre-rich foods have a similar effect, so be sure to include grains, seeds, vegetables and fruit in your diet.
Start Your Day with Wholesome Foods
For fast-breaking dates are acceptable, nutritious and a wholesome way of breaking the fast. They will recharge your energy, revitalise your body and help you avoid temptations.
Complex carbohydrates and fibre-rich foods are therefore both perfectly suitable for Suhoor. Meals composed of such ingredients will not shock your organism, but fill it with enough energy until the dusk meal. Enjoy a simple pitta bread, oatmeal, or some wholegrain toast and include a veggie salad on the side, especially one made with tomatoes.
To get your daily fill of necessary vitamins, have a bit of fruit or a glass of fruit juice. Apricots, prunes and figs are an amazingly tasty and a flawlessly healthy choice.
Keep Your Snacks Healthy
As an opportunity to indulge your cravings, dates will certainly tempt you to return to your old eating habits. Sweets, as well as cakes, chocolates and biscuits, in however small morsels you intend to relish, are still fatty foods and can thus cause great distress to your fasting organism. Replace them with dairy-based puddings and you won’t even feel the difference.
The same applies to sweetened caffeine-based drinks; even the unsweetened black coffee might cause an irritation – as a diuretic, it stimulates water-rejection, and liquids are certainly a thing you’ll need in order to retain your energy. Being heavily processed as well, white flour is another thing you should try avoiding. Instead, take some time to bake homemade desserts and pastry.
Keep away from samosas and pakoras, or any other kind of food that requires deep frying – instead, try baked or grilled snacks or boiled dumplings.
Rethink Your Cooking Methods
After a whole day of fasting, heavy meals might upset your stomach and make the fast even more difficult for the next day. For that reason, avoid every kind of deep-fried food or meals prepared with a lot of oil, and start practising your baking skills. Chicken and fish are the healthiest alternative to any type of meat, and they are perfectly healthy for Ramadan.
When baked, these meats retain their original taste, which makes them even tastier than when fried. If baking and boiling are still not your expertise, try grilling your meals, but still be careful not to be too excessive with oil.
Surprise Your Little Ones with a Kids Menu
However young, our children should be allowed to feel the joy our religion rewards us with, and fasting is certainly one way of doing so. Even though they are not religiously obliged to fast until they reach puberty, some kids still enjoy supporting their families throughout Ramadan. Children’s fasting nutrition, however, should be adjusted with even more care, since their organisms are still unfit for such a feat. Surprise them with fruit or milk-based treats like orange and strawberry salad, orange granola, samoa cookies or a wholesome shake with Deglet Noor Dates on top.
Tasty without being unhealthy, dates are packed with essential nutrients to help you retain your energy until the next fast-break. In order to keep both your faith and your discipline strong, remember to refresh and replenish your body with nutritious wholesome meals.