Easy Tips for a Better Fast

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Image by @camerasncupcakes

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 Pop & Pecan Oatmeal

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Image by @camerasncupcakes

This recipe makes 4 servings

For the oatmeal:

1 cup thick oats

1 Β½ cup fresh milk

Β½ 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.

Method:

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.

To serve:

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.

Enjoy!

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.

Healthy Genie

7 things Dana Mccauley didn’t know about Ramadan

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With Ramadan upon us and as the Muslim community in Canada embraces the holy month which involves fasting for 30 days there’s no better time than now to introduce a few fun facts about Ramadan to the non Muslim community.

The idea came up during a conversation I had with Dana Mccauley, Executive Director at Food Starter while I was talking about what goes on during Ramadan and Dana had a lot of ‘ Oh I wasn’t aware of that’ moments.

Here are a few fun facts:

  • Ramadan starts at a different time every year simply because the Muslim calendar is based on the moon sighting and a special committee in every country is assigned to watch out for the moon to determine the beginning and end of every month. In general Ramadan marks a shift of 11 days earlier every year.

  • Fasting involves no consumption of food or drinks from dusk till dawn which adds up to about 17 hours in Canada this year.

  • Fasting is not mandatory if you are ill, pregnant, breastfeeding and when travelling. Only if you are a healthy adult capable of fasting without it causing you any malnutrition or illness then you are required to do so and it’s healthy for you.

  • Most Muslims break their fast by eating dates as it was known that the Prophet Mohammad did so and turns out they are ideal for that as they are nutritious and help rejuvenate your energy levels quickly. In fact dates are a big gift item during this month so if you want to surprise a friend or colleague then choose one of our gift boxes which will definitely put a smile on their face.

  • Fasting is meant to help a person appreciate the value of having food on the table, to feel with the poor and to be at his/her best behaviour. It’s similar to a detox only it’s both physical and spiritual.

  • Muslims are not offended when they see other people eat or drink during their fast. It’s a nice gesture to spread wishes of happy Ramadan.

  • Ramadan decorations are a big thing. Special accents and lanterns are usually used to turn the household into a Ramadan themed one and children love that. It’s like Christmas only it goes on for a whole month and ends with a big celebration called Eid.

Ramadan is a beautiful and peaceful experience for the Muslim community, and Iftar time (breaking the fast) is best when shared with people. I encourage you to share Iftar with someone this year. I will be posting more tips on how to prepare for a healthy fast and special Ramadan recipes in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Wishing the Muslim community a happy and healthy Ramadan.

Healthy Genie