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During Ramadan, even the healthiest individuals often abruptly put the brakes on their
disciplined eating habits and go into over-drive, unable to resist reaching for the fried
savories and delicious yet calorie laden foods on display at any Iftar table. Yet as
HEALTH
investigates, Ramadan doesn’t have to mean forgoing your good habits and in fact with a
few tweaks here and there, this can be your healthiest Ramadan ever…
Maryam from Sharjah says
that she is always watching
her weight as well as instills
the habits of good eating
and healthy lifestyle in her
family. She explains, “We
always eat good wholesome
meals and make the effort,
as a family, to exercise and
walk whenever we can. I
also include lots of fresh
fruits and vegetables in my
kids lunch boxes for school.
Yet the problem is when
Ramadan rolls around,
it seems that every good
eating rule we have just flies
out the window! I try my
best to include a fresh fruit
salad and some vegetables
but the kids and my
husband always request for
spring rolls, samosas and
always a rich dessert. Even
I can’t resist at this time…
What do I do?”
A very common problem during
Ramadan is being unable to resist the
delicious offerings on the dining table
after fasting the entire day. Ahlaam
Ali, Lifestyle and Nutrition coach
explains that the bottom line as to why
we usually tend to overeat, indulge
excessively and in general let go of
our healthy eating in Ramadan is due
to a hoarding mentality that gets us
to let go of ourselves. She adds, “We
have been fasting all day and feel we
deserve all this food that we are now
inadvertently putting into our bodies.
And the worst thing is that actually we
are doing more damage to our bodies
by fasting first and then overloading
our bodies with heavy foods that may
not be high in nutrition value.”
A healthy Ramadan;
reality or fallacy
According to Ali, yes definitely, there is
such a thing as a healthy menu during
Ramadan. “A healthy menu requires
conscious effort and planning and
yes it can be achieved,” she says. “A
lot of our weight loss members find
that when they follow our plan during
Ramadan, not only do they not gain
weight, but actually LOSE the weight
surprisingly for most.” Ali’s outlines
that her philosophy is that if you are
going to cleanse your body and mind
through fasting during Ramadan, then
why spoil it by putting unhealthy foods
into our bodies? “The idea of fasting
is to completely cleanse your body
and give it a bit of a rest so as to make
sure it functions beautifully and the
metabolism stays at a high throughout
the year…until next Ramadan at least,”
she explains.
Suhour Menus made Healthy
Some super healthy Suhour options,
suggests Ali, include incorporating oat
porridge, quinoa porridge, egg white
omelet with veggies of your choice, or
a granola bar. “All of these should be
approximately one medium size bowl
as a serving,” she tells. “Oats or quinoa
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July/Aug 2014