By Sakinah Mohammed-Nur, Grade 10
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu! Insha’Allah you all are doing well and enjoying what is for many of us the eleventh day of Ramadan. SubhanAllah, we’re already past the first ten days of Ramadan– and it feels like Ramadan just started!
As we near the infamous “mid-Ramadan slump,” I wanted to provide a few health tips to keep you energized throughout the day, including some meal suggestions for suhoor and iftar, as well as…well, when best to get your caffeine intake (yes, I know, but it really is necessary). Before we begin, though, I’d like to inform readers that it is not recommended to read this post before iftar. You have been warned.
With that being said, let’s begin with suhoor! Out of the two meals, suhoor is really the one that will get you through the day, so rather than consume cereals, sugary foods, or white flour (which will only satiate your hunger for a few hours), try to eat protein.
Some of my favourite go-to suhoors are:
An omelette, scrambled eggs, a frittata…whichever way you like to makeyour eggs! Add vegetables for an extra pop of colour and more nutrients.
Egg burritos are a favourite in my house! While your scrambled eggs are still hot, grab a tortilla wrap and some shredded cheese, and spoon a bit of eggs onto the tortilla. Since the eggs are hot, when you sprinkle on the cheese, it should melt and turn gooey and delicious. Wrap up the tortilla tightly, making sure to fold in the sides first so that the filling doesn’t spill out. Cut into halves, and enjoy!
Note: If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can fry the burritos in a bit of oil or bake them on a pan in the oven to turn the tortillas golden-brown.
Plain greek or normal yogurt with some crunchy granola…top with fruits like bananas, blueberries, or strawberries…add a bit of honey on top for a hint of sweetness!
You can either use instant oatmeal sachets or – for a healthier option – make your own! Add some fresh fruits, dates, or nuts for an extra kick of energy and nutrition. Drizzle with honey… because… honey.
In terms of iftar, a lot of people normally either don’t have the energy to cook a lot, or don’t have much of an appetite after the many dates they consume when the adhan comes in. A simple solution for this is to make a healthy, flavourful soup with enough in it to fill you up after one or two bowls.
Below are some of my family’s favourite soups:
- Lentil Soup
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Libyan Soup
- Chicken Soup (you won’t find a good one online – go ask your mothers to write down their amazing, unbeatable chicken soup recipes and use that)
- Butternut Squash Soup
All of them are super delicious, hassle-free, and fairly easy to make – definitely recommended for iftar!
Whether you’re a tea or coffee drinker, you’re probably experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms (headache, grumpiness…) if you didn’t work on adjusting your schedule before Ramadan–these tips are also for those people who have awful sleep schedules during Ramadan and take up caffeine to remedy the intense drowsiness after.
My main suggestion would be to either make a delicious aromatic cup of tea or coffee right after iftar, or sip some during suhoor and right before fajr. While I recommend the second option mainly for those who aren’t really affected by caffeine (meaning they are able to fall asleep right after drinking a cup of coffee), I’d avoid it if you’re sensitive to caffeine and don’t intend to stay up after fajr. And honestly, the main reason I suggest drinking coffee right after iftar is so that you can avoid falling asleep during taraweeh or qiyam – definitely not speaking from experience here, haha.
So those are some food suggestions for suhoor and iftar! May Allah make fasting the month of Ramadan easy for us all, and bless us with abundant, healthy food throughout our lives, ameen.