Ramadan is approaching it’s end with less than ten days left but it’s still important to know how to keep yourself well nourished, especially if you plan on spending longer nights in prayer and worship.
Fasting from sunrise till sunset is a challenge but if you follow these recommendations it can be more adaptable and will leave you feeling more energetic during the day. The good thing is by now your stomach has shrunk compared to your first day.
Here are a few tips to help maintain a healthy fast:
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!
Water is your best choice, as juices are tempting to consume but they are full of sugar and I always say don’t drink your fruits. Try to drink 6-12 cups of water between iftar (breaking your fast meal) and suhoor (pre-dawn meal) to help you avoid feeling dehydrated while you fast.
Another way to hydrate is by eating fruits that have high water content especially at your suhoor. Great examples of such fruits are: watermelon, orange, pineapple.
Eat a suhoor meal closer to sunrise (around 3 am in Canada)
Having a small yet complete meal closer to the beginning of your fast will help in maintaining regular energy levels throughout the first part of the day (about 5-6 hours).
An ideal suhoor meal consists of 40-50% Carbohydrates (the complex unrefined ones like thick oats, whole wheat grains and sweet potato while some can come from eating dates and fruits) 25-30% Protein and up to 25-30% Fat (the good and healthy fats that are found naturally in foods like nuts, avocados and coconut) and should have a low salt content and must include water.
Dates are part of the sunnah as they were known to be consumed by prophet Mohammad PBUH on a regular basis and are highly recommended at both iftar and suhoor for their nutrient dense and energy boosting properties not to mention how great they taste.
To get you on board with this here’s an easy make ahead suhoor meal:
Date Truffle & Pecan Oatmeal
This recipe makes 4 servings
For the oatmeal:
1 cup thick oats
1 ½ cup fresh milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the topping:
4 Healthy Genie Date Pops (choose your favourite flavour – I used the sesame pops for this recipe).
2 Tbsp pecan nuts (or any nuts based on preference).
Organic honey or maple syrup to drizzle on top.
In a small pan mix the oats with the milk and cinnamon and stir on medium heat until bubbles form.
Lower heat and keep oats cooking for another five minutes or until desired thickness is reached.
Once oats are cooked you can put them in the fridge and keep them for a week.
Divide the cooked oats over 4 small bowls.
Cut each Date Pop into 4 pieces and distribute evenly over the bowls.
Sprinkle nuts evenly.
drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup on top.
Tip: If you want to save time you can simply soak the oats in milk over night and just add the toppings when you are ready to serve.