Halal Consumer - Issue 29 - page 9

It’s not that we play favorites with
; it’s just that, when
it’s a choice between more sleep and getting up at 3 a.m.
to eat, sleep often wins. With hot, long, summer fasts, it’s
even more important to give
its full rights in order
to be able to have a meaningful Ramadan. Children that are
used to balanced
will understand the value in get-
ting up a little earlier to chow down on something nutritious
when they are older and living on their own.
We spoke to nutritionists and moms to create a handy
A-Z checklist for you so this Ramadan may be your most
productive yet.
A: Always
eat suhoor because it is an important sun-
nah, or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be
Upon Him [PBUH]), with several benefits. The Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said, “The differ-
ence between our fasting and that of the people of the
Book is eating shortly before dawn” (Sahih Muslim) and
“Take suhoor as there is a blessing in it” (Sahih Bukhari).
C: Caffeine
withdrawal is real. Ask Sher Masood
of Dallas, Texas, who fasted for the first time last
year after four years of expecting and nursing two
toddlers. The first day she had a pounding head-
ache. She suggests limiting your daily caffeine
way before Ramadan begins. Having hot choco-
late with fat-free milk at suhoor helped her get
through the day.
H: Honey
in smoothies or on a whole-grain pita with
peanut butter is an easy way to incorporate this sun-
nah food in your diet. “And your Lord inspired to the
bee, ‘Take for yourself among the mountains, houses,
and among the trees and [in] that which they con-
struct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways
of your Lord laid down [for you].’ There emerges from
their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is
healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people
who give thought” (Quran 16:68-69).
D: Dates
are not an iftar-only power food.
Incorporate these calorie boosters at suhoor too,
like Sheeba Mohammadi Ali of Glendale Heights,
Illinois, does for her daughter, Manaal, so that
she can stay fuller longer. Manaal can choose
between multi-grain cereal and waffles, but she
has to have dates and a bowl of fresh fruit for
suhoor every day.
F: Fiber
is crucial to keep your
plumbing in good working condi-
tion. Illinois nutritionist, Muna
Siddiqi, suggests that two packs
of instant oatmeal can give you
around five grams of fiber. She
encourages natural, real food
as sources of fiber in contrast to
fiber powders.
B: Bananas
are great sources of
potassium and zinc and something
you can keep on your nightstand in
case you oversleep and don’t have
time to prepare suhoor.
G: Grab-n-go
items are great for college stu-
dents fasting in dorms or “married bachelors”
whose wives and children are away from home
for the summer. Fruit, yogurt, instant oatmeal,
and cranberries and chopped dates on peanut
butter sandwiches are just a few ideas for a
quick but healthy suhoor. Sure beats a cold slice
of pizza!
E: Eggs
provide a
great protein fix and
are time savers, too.
Boil enough eggs
for the whole fam-
ily before you go to
bed. Fried eggs and
omelets, in compari-
son, may make your
thirsty during the day.
Summer 2014
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