Many of us have developed a culture of indulgent eating… lavish five course meals, daily indulgent snacks and more!The Holy Quraan states,“…and eat and drink but do not be excessive, certainly He (Allah) does not like those who are extravagant.” (Quraan 7:31)
Fasting gives our digestive system a much needed rest, where the energy usually used in food digestion and metabolism is directed towards the bodies detoxification, repair and healing…Subhaanallah!
Fasting is one of the oldest forms of natural healing. The West are in fact now highly recommending fasting as an ideal detox and a brilliant way to supercharge the immune system. This Ramadan, let us stop indulging and allow our bodies to obtain maximum spiritual and health benefits, Insha’Allah.
What can we do?
Introduce live food intake into our diet: Live food refers to all foods that Allah Ta’ala has gifted us naturally from the ground, ready to eat and cook. No need for processing, preservatives, machines and factories.
Did you ever realise that during the time of our Beloved Prophet there were no fridges and freezes? Our Beloved Prophet preferred to eat live, simple uncomplicated food that was easily available and required minimal preparation.
Fruits & vegetables
Nuts and seeds
Beans and lentils
Whole unrefined grains – barley & wheat
Meat and poultry
Our bodies and brains will express delight at receiving real food after several hours of fasting. So ensure you are organised this Ramadan and prepare a wholesome, well balanced menu plan before the holy month commences.
Good ideas for Sehri:
Dates & almonds
Raisins consumed whole or in a Sunnah drink known as “nabeedh”
Sliced Seasonal fruit or Fruit smoothies incorporating nuts & seeds
Eggs & beans or lentils
Wholegrain cereals – barley & oats (Barley was a staple in our Beloved Prophet diet consumed as “talbinah”)
Good ideas for Iftaar:
Fresh or dry dates
Date, avocado or strawberry shakes (Remember to avoid adding refined sugars. Rather make use of raw honey, xylitol or stevia – more natural sweeteners)
Attractive fruit platters or individual skewers served with a drizzling of honey & a sprinkle of cinnamon
Freshly squeezed seasonal fruit juice
Vegetable sticks & olives served with yoghurt or hummus & Dukkah or zaatar spice blends
Assorted salads – Coleslaw, carrot, beetroot, apple, avocado salads
Wholesome broths/soups cooked with meat, lentils and wholegrains. Similar to a broth made with barley called “Sawiq” consumed by our Noble Prophet
Rice and meat dishes
Remember to use beneficial cooking fats as used by our Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) – Olive oil, Ghee, Butter & Fat from meat. Other beneficial fats to include would be Organic coconut oil, avocado or macadamia oils.
In conclusion, remember processed food, laden with sugars and harmful fats offers minimal nutrition, requires increased effort by the body to digest and is detrimental to health. We need to consume foods that are closest to their natural state, as the Quraan beautifully describes, “Oh mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome on earth.” (Quraan 2:168)
With a healthy body and mind, the quality of our Fasting, Salaah and all other Ibaadah (worship) will increase, Insha’Allah. Fasting is indeed food for the soul and healing for the Body!
Umme Faatimah (B. Dietetics Univ. of Pretoria)
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)