The blessed month of Ramadan is coming to an end which means Eid is just around the corner. Despite the Covid-19 bringing about changes to our lives and how we might be celebrating this year's Eid, for example having video calls instead of visiting, we could still enjoy delicious food at the comfort of our own homes. Food and drinks have always been essential in our Eid celebration. Often, we would give or exchange food with our loved ones and neighbors.
The typical Eid menu consists of:
On top of that, we usually have sweet treats like:
Some very lucky ones would also get to eat savory treats like:
All these awesome treats do not go unaccompanied. We would always have drinks to go with the sweet or savory treats.
Our typical drinks consist of:
After a month of fasting, it is important to be kind to your stomach by not over-indulging this Eid even though the food is just too irresistible. Here are some tips on how to have a healthy Eid this year!
Controlling your food portion is of utmost importance as it helps to keep your weight in check. Remember, it is not about being skinny but it is definitely about staying healthy (you could check whether you are in a healthy range here).
You could follow this simple My Healthy Plate guide to see how much food and which kind to put onto your plate for that healthy meal.
Additionally, chewing your food many times slowly can reduce your overall food intake. Take smaller bites so that you do not feel pressured to chew extremely quickly and even swallow before you are done chewing properly. This helps to ensure you have proper digestion and that you could get the nutrients from the food you had just eaten.
Instead of just adding fruits and vegetables to your menu, be sure to start your meal with fruits and vegetables. This would allow you to consume food that is high in fiber and low in calories. After consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, you are less likely to overeat. On top of that, fruits and vegetables would provide you with natural sugar content that would make you crave the sweet treats lesser (and stay healthier).
Instead of drinking Teh Tarik or Coffee (caffeinated drinks), carbonated drinks, syrup drinks, and all the other sweet drinks, drink water after your Eid meals. It would be good if you could drink alkaline water (like Zam Zam water) so as to reduce acid reflux. Drinking water is much preferred to drinking all of those drinks mentioned above.
Some benefits of drinking water include:
It is important to keep ourselves hydrated during this festive day. If we decide to do some vigorous activity or exercises, remember to drink more water.
Even though you are mostly at home on Eid, you could still spend some time to exercise. One such way is to do simple exercises like sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, and so on. Remember to do warm-up and cool-down stretches so that your muscles are ready to work (after warming up) and cools down well before you hit the showers.
Even doing house chores could be like a simple workout for you. Remember, even prior to doing house chores, you need to warm up your muscles and cool down once you are done.
Another important thing to note is to ensure that you do not sleep right after a meal as this may cause you to feel more tired. Wait for the food to fully digest first which typically takes about 4 hours before it is fully digested. Additionally, do not exercise immediately after your meal as this could cause to either vomit or be too exhausted to move your muscles.
So how to stay awake right after a meal? You could start by looking at the food that you eat. Try to replace the usual ingredients with healthier ones as well as changing some of your usual cooking methods.
It is good to replace the usual white rice that we consume with brown rice. Brown rice has vitamin B which aids in converting nutrients into energy.
As for Eid dishes, there are also some ingredients used that could be replaced with healthier ones. In lontong, rendang and some other Eid dishes, we would usually use coconut milk to give that creamy taste (which adds the extra tasty flavour). Instead, we could replace the coconut milk with fiber creme (non-dairy) or fresh milk or even a healthier choice of coconut milk (less creamy hence lesser cholesterol).
Also, instead of eating deep-fried keropok, we could replace such snacks with nuts. Some examples of healthy nuts include almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
As for drinks, we could use fresh milk instead of sweeteners in our hot drinks for a healthier cup of hot Teh Tarik or coffee. Also, we could drink fruit juice instead of carbonated or syrup drinks. One of our highly recommended juices is pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice has a lot of benefits; it is high in vitamin C, improves digestion, has high antioxidants, and many more.
As for our awesome readers who bake their own sweet/savory Eid treats (salute!), you could replace white sugar in your sweet treats with natural sweeteners (such as honey and stevia). You could also replace butter (which is high in cholesterol) in your cookies with natural oil (like vegetable or olive oil).
Apart from replacing the usual ingredients with healthier ones, you could also change some cooking methods. Instead of deep-frying, you could switch to air frying. Air fryers require only a fraction of oil that deep fryers require. Therefore, people can have a healthier meal that has similar flavors and textures. This is desirable as air frying lowers a person’s oil intake.
We hope with these simple tips, you could enjoy not just a memorable Eid but also a healthier Eid. Stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy. Eid Mubarak!