you are what you eat
We all strive to live healthier whether it is before, during or after Ramadan. The 30 days of Ramadan is the ideal time to reset your eating plate, try to eat healthier and better, for 30 days most experts say is the time period you need to form good habits. Eating healthier during this blessed month will also ensure you can make the most of your nights in prayer without the side effects of indigestion, constipation, lethargy, fatigue and even mood swings! If you struggle to get in enough fibre during the fasting month, start your Iftaar and Suhoor with one or two fibre rich dishes to boost your fibre intake.
Fruit and vegetables are naturally high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. They give you the boost needed to pray without adding empty kilojoules to your diet. Something like a fresh fruit platter, a fruit salad, fruit skewers, fruit pieces or even a few pieces of dried fruit can make a big difference! Fruit juices do not give the same benefit as most of the fibre has been removed during processing.
But starting your fast with a fibre rich smoothie, shake or fruit salad will keep you fuller for longer, keep your blood sugar levels controlled for a longer period of time and also add something quick and exciting to eat at that part of the morning. Adding chopped dried fruit, nuts or seeds to your oats, porridge, cereal or yoghurt will add good fats and fibre to your meal. If you prefer a smoothie, soak the oats overnight in milk or yoghurt then blitz in a blender in the morning with a banana, apple, berries or dates. You can also add a teaspoon of an omega 3 seed mix to your smoothies to add extra fibre and good fats to the meal.
Starting your meal with a vegetable or fruit based item will ensure you get the maximum amount of your nutrients during the first part of your meal, give you the boost you need and also fill you up with something healthy before you start on your regular Iftaar goodies – as opposed to leaving it for last- when it can be so easily skipped and you may be too full or tired to actually eat it!
My fruit salad:
Include a small vegetable portion where you can. Vegetables can be added to scrambled or omelet eggs, roasted in the oven (use the leftover in a panini or toasted sandwich), stir fry, a vegetable based soup or even a salad to accompany a meal. Use the plate method to keep your carbohydrate and protein intake in check while ensuring you have sufficient vegetable intake.
We had a deliciously crispy and simple salad today, using rainbow carrots, lettuce, cucumber, tender stem broccoli, steamed baby corn and reduced fat feta cheese. Freshly sliced avocado can also be added!
Which ways do you use to ensure you have enough fibre and nutrients to your diet this Ramadan?