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I have endless thoughts to write on this topic, but below is a quick article I wanted to share with you, that I wrote for:

www.samuslima.com

Ramadan is a time for worship, charity, remembrance, education and fasting. From dawn until dusk each Muslim is required to refrain from consuming anything; therefore what is eaten before and after fasting is of upmost importance, and preparation prior to this month should be of the highest priority in every household.

It is essential to eat breakfast every morning during Ramadan (suhoor), without this the body has no energy or nutrients to survive the day. The best meal to eat would be one of meat/poultry/eggs/fish and vegetables; this would provide the body with protein and fibre rich foods, as well as low GI carbohydrates, keeping you fuller longer, giving you lasting energy and the necessary vitamins and minerals to the areas needed.

If cereal is the only food you can stomach in the morning, try to reach for the oats instead of the cornflakes. Oats are Sunnah, therefore eaten and recommended by the Prophet SAW; they are a complex carbohydrate therefore they sustain energy levels as well as containing a level of protein. Or, a quick, easy and tasty option for a balanced breakfast:chop up a banana (complex carb + vitamins & minerals), dollop on some plain yoghurt (protein) and dribble on spot of honey (Sunnah). Nuts are also a high protein, convenient food., perfect for those last minute mornings.

High sugar or high GI foods such as berries, white bread, white rice, pastry, potatoes, sweets and some cereals; will spike your sugar levels, giving you lots of energy straight away, this will then quickly run out, leaving you feeling tired and hungry early in the day. It is best to stay away from these foods in the mornings.

The food consumed when breaking fast (iftar) is just as vital as suhoor. Firstly, breaking fast with a high sugar fruit like dates or grapes will help to rejuvenate the body. It is then recommended to make Maghrib Salaah before a main meal. Following this, a small balanced meal (one third carbohydrates, one third protein and one third vegetables) will replenish the body with everything it needs. Where possible, avoid fried oily foods; the body needs foods that will replace what is missing and not be given foods difficult to digest. Also avoid artificial and high sugar foods.

Due to a day of fasting the body may need another similar smaller meal later on in the evening, again balance between carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. Or, just a snack such as fruit and nuts can suffice. Try not to snack on foods you don’t need, or overload on large meals; just because you can eat doesn’t mean you have to.

Water should be drunk consistently from Maghrib to Fajr, dehydration is common during Ramadan and can be very dangerous. Drink as soon as fast is broken and at least every half an hour (during waking hours) until fasting starts again, it is more likely to suffer health difficulties through lack of water than anything else in this month; always be aware of how much you are drinking.

It’s not haram to treat yourself; so a little something every now and then is completely fine and absolutely normal! Cravings while fasting can be intense, so make sure you eat a proper meal first to help control binging, then if you feel you would like a small luxury then go ahead. Just remember the Sunnah of moderation, don’t overdo it. Fasting teaches discipline, control and willpower; so don’t forget it all as the sun goes down.

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I hope this helps as a few starter ideas for Ramadan ladies 🙂

Asalaamu Alaykum ❤

Safiyah Esack – 02/06/2013

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