19 Apr How Ramadan Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals
The holy month of Ramadan is a month of dedication and self-discipline. Muslims worldwide abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. However, Ramadan is more than staying away from just food and drink; it is a source of purification for the soul, heart, mind, and body. Ramadan allows us to develop and strengthen patience and self-control. It is a month dedicated to working on our inner selves by giving to charity and connecting with others and is a humbling reminder of all the blessings we have. As the month is so powerful in helping us become better versions of ourselves, it provides a perfect opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes. If you are looking to improve your health, lose weight or give up some unhealthy habits, then this is a perfect time! Below are a few tips to help you make the most of the holy month of Ramadan this year.
1. Mindfulness. We should always practice mindfulness, but it is much easier to do so during the holy month of Ramadan. There is something about staying away from water and food all day and being more in tune with our thoughts and intentional with our actions. Abstaining during the day allows you to realize that what you do in your day to day is not necessarily a need but more habit and routine. Ramadan is a great time to reflect and to gain a better perspective of your wants and needs. For example, the same discipline that tells you not to smoke during your fast – is still there after you break your fast. Don’t underestimate the power of your mind.
2. Nourishment. When you have been fasting all day, thank your body by nourishing it with wholesome foods that are found close to its natural state. It is recommended to break fast with a date. Dates are a natural quick source of energy, which is a great food to have after a day of fasting. Dates contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fibre and antioxidants. As tempting as it may be – hold off on fried and refined carbohydrate foods and save those for after you enjoy a nutrient dense meal or skip it altogether 😉 Do your best to include whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, water and fruit when you break fast – giving your body what it needs to thrive and to feel your best during the long days of fasting. By following this simple tip, you will quickly realize the foods you choose to eat when you break fast can be incredibly impactful on your digestion, energy, and mood. Once you experience the positive effects of wholesome foods on your well being, it will motivate you to choose more of these foods outside of Ramadan.
3. Eat like you would if you weren’t fasting. Remember the holy month of Ramadan helps strengthen your disciple. Try to eat as you normally would when you break your fast. There is no need for several side dishes and elaborate fancy meals. Cultural foods are enjoyed more often in Ramadan than at any other time of the year. Unfortunately, these foods tend to be deep-fried and contain refined flours and sugars. Try to make healthier versions – in place of deep frying try baking or use an air fryer. Swap out refined flours for whole grain versions. Or you can simply reduce the amount and frequency of choosing these cultural foods. Working on your self-control after you break your fast is where the magic happens!
Wishing you a healthy, blessed and uplifting Ramadan!