Ramadhan has always proved to be a challenge to Muslims all over the world because after 11 months of eating and making merry, Ramadhan is the one month that restricts them from eating, drinking and participating in activities that would break their fast (be it intentionally or unintentionally) from dawn til dusk.
Growing up, I was one of those few Muslims who had the thought of just giving up and grab the next drink I can find and chug it down (No worries, I managed to get a grip of myself); especially if the weather that day is hot and dry. Over the years, I have learned that everyone has had that one moment of weakness and we simply eat more during sahur, focus on the anticipation of breaking fast as well as holding on strongly to the sheer determination of not replacing it next year. So, after years of fasting, I have finally discovered the (food) secret(s) of staying healthy and energetic for Ramadhan.
Since Ramadhan is the month of blessings and generosity, I am feel generous enough to share my secrets to our tired, fasting readers in order for you to be able to stay awake, healthy and energetic during Ramadhan.
1. Cereal Grains
Cereal grains such as rice and wheat contain high level of complex carbohydrate. Each grain of cereal contains only 38 mg of carbohydrate and during fasting, especially for Malaysians, it is crucial and important for us to eat rice in order to stay energised and healthy during Ramadhan. Need some idea of rice-based recipes to cook for berbuka? Check out the rice dishes that can be typically found serve in Malaysian homes here.
Example: Nasi Kukus
The next best dish to have during the month of Ramadhan to stay healthy and energised is potatoes. Potatoes are not only rich in Vitamin C but also contains other essential nutrients that are needed by the body such as Vitamin B6, iron and fibre. Besides, potatoes have a rich flavour that will surely make you feel full in just a few bites. Don’t believe me? Make this potato-based dish and tell us what you think!
Example: Potato Soup
3. Wheat bread
A piece of wheat bread is approximately 20g of carbohydrate. Apart from that, it is also rich in vitamins, minerals and good fibre to boost the metabolism rate. It is advisable to replace your delicious yet fatty white bread with the wheat one since it contains high-level of carbohydrates that may cause you to get hungry faster. You definitely would not want your stomach to grumble before noon, right?
Example: Massimo Wheat Bread (spread some butter and sprinkle some sugar)
4. Egg whites
Besides being rich in protein, egg whites also contains high level of carbohydrate, riboflavin and the best thing about it is that it is low in fat. The intake of egg whites will leave you full till your next meal or in this case, when you break your fast at dawn (not a minute earlier).
Example: Herb-Poached Egg Whites on Wheat Bread
5. Vegetables (especially the green ones)
What is not to like about vegetables? They are colourful, great to eat with meats and helps you go in the morning. Green vegetables are a good source of fiber and not many know this, but vegetables have high level of carbohydrate that are very much needed by our bodies to keep it energised over long periods of time.
Example : Fried Broccoli and Mushroom
6. Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits are not only good to consume during Ramadan, fruits are great snacks for you to munch on throughout the year, at any time, anywhere. However, during Ramadan, It is advisable to choose fruits that contains vitamin C, vitamin B6 and antioxidants. Why? These fruits are refreshing and help your wilting body becomes fresh and ready to perform the taraweeh prayers after a huge meal. Fruits suggested are bananas, berries and watermelon. Don’t eat too much, though, because you may end up cooped in the toilet rather than performing prayers.
There you go, dear readers, here are some of my (food) secret tips that should help you to stay healthy, energised and focus throughout the day. I know the list does not come as a shock to you but hey, I am proof enough that they work! So, stock up your fridge and cabinets and complete this year’s fasting with a bang. Hopefully you will not be snoozing tomorrow onwards.