The world’s 1.8 billion Muslims wait in anticipation for the month of Ramadan the whole year – it is one of the most beautiful months, where we take one step towards God and He takes ten towards us. With spiritual bliss surrounding us in all its might, it is when we can easily renew our relationship with our Creator and with ourselves. Abstaining from food, drink, smoking, anger, and intimate activities from sunrise to sunset, fasting during Ramadan is all about re-affirming one’s commitment to self-restraint and reflection.
Experiencing hunger can tell you a lot more about why, when, and what you eat. Contrary to popular beliefs exhibited by those that do not practice the Islamic faith, fasting is not a diet, nor is it a detox. Instead, it is a spiritual practice that assists you in learning the only skill that can protect you in an environment of plenty: restraint.
Although Ramadan comes with its own palette of mouth-watering foods and drinks, it is best to opt for choosing healthier meals to ensure that you’re able to exercise the utmost food discipline in Ramadan. Here are 5 solid tips to help you have a healthier Ramadan:
You’ve got to eat a variety of foods from all the main food groups, so your diet contains all the different nutrients you need, especially after a long day of fasting!
A balanced diet looks like enough starchy foods to keep you on your feet all day, and tons of fruits and vegetables, plus calcium-rich foods like tofu. Don’t forget to add something that helps you stay full and feeling regular, like fiber-rich foods and lots of proteins like meat, eggs, or fish.
Don’t forget, you’re only going to be able to eat and drink at Sahur for the next however many hours the fast generally holds for in your region, so make sure your water levels are up.
To stay hydrated and upright all day, you’re going to want to drink lots of fluids little by little after opening your fast to make up for all that water lost during the day.
To ensure that you’re healthy and happy during Ramadan, forego the dinner deals and Halal hotel buffets as often as you can and instead, opt for some healthy Halal foods at home or perhaps quick family meals instead.
If you’ve had your eye on that local Halal BBQ steamboat restaurant or that Halal brunch and breakfast for a while, well, a little indulgence never hurt anyone — so long as it’s only a little.
We know that the impulse to chow down on everything in sight at the Iftar table is a strong one; however, it is something you need to avoid, especially in order to practice food discipline in Ramadan. Your restraint should not end at your fast opening, instead, should continue into the rest of the day.
Don’t leave thinking about Iftar meals till the very last minute! Plan your day beforehand by scheduling food shopping for Iftar well in time. You definitely don’t want to be stuck running around in the supermarket right before your fast opens.
Most importantly, don’t let soul-crushing, healthy eating guidelines stop you from enjoying the delicacies of Ramadan. Base what you eat around great ingredients, ignore trends and indulge in a heavy dose of healthy skepticism.
Lastly, Ramadan Mubarak! May this Holy month bring you endless joy.