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A Balanced Ramadan food guide - From Rules To Recipes

Ramadan is a wonderful time for connection and reflection. It is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and is celebrated by Muslims around the world no matter where they are. A part of the Ramadan ritual is the daily fast between sunrise and sunset. We focused our article on how to eat and hydrate in a balanced way, including:

  1. What are the guidelines for fasting during Ramadan?
  2. How do I gracefully handle the new daily rhythm and fasting during Ramadan?
  3. How do I not overeat in the evenings during Ramadan?
  4. Sample Ramadan Menus
  5. Nourishing Ramadan Recipes

 

 

To keep it simple, the guidelines for how to eat during Ramadan include no eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset for one month. The actual times may vary where you are around the world and what calendar season you are in. Not drinking water during the day can be challenging for many reasons. And if one is not well or pregnant, they do not need to participate in the fasting.

  • Slow down, reduce expectations and let go of your to do list.
  • Remember your “why.” What is important about Ramadan to you?
  • Take it day by day. You have about 30 days to “practice” going through Ramadan with grace and finding your ideal rhythm.



  • When we fast, most of the time, we are preoccupied with food.
  • The first days are so difficult, because we are physically hungry and thirsty. This is normal.
  • Actively change the focus in your mind from food towards focusing on the connection to yourself and to others. (e.g. instead of thinking… oh my goodness I am going to eat so many spring rolls tonight to oh, I haven’t spoken deeply with father lately about how he’s doing… I wonder what questions I could ask to get him to open up a bit and share.)

  • Ramadan is a journey through gratitude and appreciation.
  • Keep track of your thoughts in a journal every day to reflect on your thought patterns and notice what comes up for you. There are nuggets of gold in those journal notes for you!

  • Get to bed at a decent hour ☺ We know it will be later than usual!
  • Getting adequate sleep will help you to be able to handle the difficult moments during the day while not eating or drinking and still needing to perform normal daily duties at work or at home.

 

  1. Take lots of breaks throughout the day to stretch and to release tension. Get outside and into the sunshine if possible. This will help you to come calmly towards breaking the fast.
  2. Eat slowly and mindfully – chew, chew and chew. Put forks and knives down after each bite. Take a mindful breath before taking the next mouthful.
  3. Instead of focusing what you are going to eat when you can, focus on connecting with your family and friends that are spending time with you each evening.

 

 

These are sample dishes to explore in the mornings and evenings. Please remember that everyone is different. Try what sounds delicious and inviting to you, then see how you feel after your meal to notice how it affected your energy, digestion and mood.

 

Glass of water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in

Glass of water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in

Choose something hearty, nutrition focused and satiating.

Watch out for sweet cereals, croissants, and toasts, which may leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Warm oat porridge with apples, walnuts and cinnamon.

Scrambled eggs with a side of spinach and potatoes.

Warm herbal tea or vegetable broth

Fruit smoothie with chia seeds and coconut water

Get outdoors and into the sunshine to breathe and soak in good vibes.

 

 

In this moment, take slow deep breaths with lots of gratitude.

 

 

Connect with family, time to pray and take time for gratitude. 

Traditional dates with warm tea

Traditional dates with warm tea

Choosing to eat something less fried, more baked or even fresh.

Samosas or Spring rolls (baked if possible)

Boiled eggs

Chopped veggies

Avocado

Hummus or Artichoke dip

 

Warm broth with or without small vegetable cubes.

Lentil chickpea soup

Focus on balancing nutrition here: Protein, carbs, and healthy fats.

Small green salad

Roasted lamb

Roasted vegetables

Whole grain rice

Small green salad

Grains with nuts and seeds

Roasted vegetables

Beans or cheese on top

Small fruit salad with coconut pieces

Berries with yogurt and honey

Evening tea

(possibly with a cheeky biscuit)

Evening tea

(possibly with a small piece of dark chocolate)

Wind down and reflect on everything good in your life whether your family, health, or what you have in your life.

Keep a glass of water by your bed.

Keep a glass of water by your bed.

 

 

 

 

One serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • Milk (or rice milk)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped into cubes

Directions:

  • Grease a frying pan (butter or olive oil)
  • Sauté the potatoes till cooked in a frying pan.
  • While potatoes are cooking scramble the egg with the milk in a cup.
  • When potatoes are cooked through, lower the heat and add the eggs to the pan.
  • Gently stir the eggs as they cook to get the scrambled egg texture.
  • Add the spinach to the pan in the very last moment, as it will wilt quite quickly.
  • Pour onto a plate and season gently with salt and pepper or some red chili flakes.

 

4 small servings

Ingredients:

  • Green leaves (Romaine, escarole, little gem or butterhead lettuce all work)
  • Feta cheese, chopped in cubes
  • Cucumber, chopped in cubes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Red vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Clean and dry the lettuce leaves. Chop into small pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Stir in the cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese cubes.
  • In a small jar, mix the olive oil and vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over the salad and enjoy!

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, already cooked
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped kale
  • ½ cup cheese, chopped into cubes (feta, cheddar or goats cheese works well.)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Your favourite dressing

Directions:

Mix gently in a bowl and enjoy with your favourite dressing!

 

 

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup frozen fruit (strawberry, cherry, mango or blueberries work well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 2 Cups Coconut water

Directions:

  • Blend in a blender and enjoy immediately!

 

1 bowl with fresh veggies to share with friends and family

Ingredients:

  • Veggies to dip (cucumbers, celery, carrots or endive leaves)
  • Can of chickpeas
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tahini paste (sesame buttter)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Prep your vegetables. Peel, clean and chop into dipping sticks.
  • Drain the chickpeas and rinse well with cool water.
  • Place into chickpeas into a blender or a food processor.
  • Add in the lemon juice, Tahini paste, and garlic clove and blend till smooth. Add a bit of water if it is too thick.
  • Pour mixture out into a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
  • Add a swirl of olive oil on top and enjoy!

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 liter vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can of chopped/crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Swirl a bit of olive oil in a soup pan or deep pot.
  • Sauté the celery, onion and carrot till the colors go bright and are tender. Do not burn.
  • Add the broth and lentils to the pan and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to simmer and let cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add in the chickpeas, the tomatoes and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. And serve!

 

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of yogurt or plant based yogurt
  • ½ cup of frozen or fresh berries (we like strawberries)
  • Honey

Directions:

  • Place yogurt into a dessert cup.
  • Chop the berries into smaller pieces and place on top of the yogurt.
  • Drizzle honey on top of the berries! Enjoy!

 

For more information on how to have a nutritionally balanced Ramadan, read the article by the British Nutrition Foundation.

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/seasons/ramadan.html?limitstart=0

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