(NC) With Ramadan approaching, many Muslims are getting ready for a month of fasting and special prayers. Fasting during this time is important as it's meant to humble oneself, increase moral discipline and serve as a reminder of the plight of those less fortunate who live in hunger and deprivation. During this period, many will fast from dawn until sunset.
Before dawn, Muslims eat their morning meal, known as the Suhoor meal. After sunset, they'll have their evening meal, known as the Iftar meal. Many will break the fast by consuming dates, as these help to raise blood sugar levels after a long day of fasting. After the dates are consumed, it's time to indulge in some great food with families, neighbours and friends.
Here Mariam Faqiri, PC cooking school coordinator and someone who observes Ramadan, shares her advice for staying energized during the long workday.
Stay hydrated. During the Suhoor and Iftar meals, it's important to drink as much water as possible to keep your body hydrated. During the Suhoor meal, you can also eat salads that have a high water content, like a cucumber or tomato salad that will keep you feeling refreshed throughout the day.
Protein and fibre in the morning. During the Suhoor meal, it's important to consume foods that are high in fibre, since this keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. This includes whole grains, oats, beans and lentils. A Faqiri family favourite is a curry made using mixed lentils and ARZ fava beans and chickpeas that you can find at the Real Canadian Superstore with the rest of your groceries. Don't forget the eggs during this meal to give you extra protein.
Don't over-exert yourself. If you exercise during your lunch hour, Faqiri recommends shortening the time to save energy and making up for it after your evening meal. She also says to consider exercising indoors on particularly hot and sunny days to avoid feeling dehydrated.
Include more fruits during Iftar. Although this meal happens after the workday is done, Faqiri stresses the importance of balancing your meals to avoid feeling bloated. Since it's customary to break your fast with dates, she suggests consuming a light salad during this time as well. Try waiting a while before having the final heavier evening meal so as not to have an upset stomach overnight.