Meal Planning to Maximize Energy


As many are preparing to fast for Ramadan, we wanted to provide some simple tips to help maximize your energy before and while fasting. Although Ramadan is a chance to “cleanse” your lifestyle of poor eating habits and junk food, many people crave these foods in response to intense hunger. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are staying healthy during Ramadan and getting the most out of the month: 

Focus on nutrient density during mealtimes 

Make sure that the food you do eat is going to provide you with adequate nutrition to last throughout the duration of the fasting period. This means getting appropriate amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in addition to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Include a source of lean protein (ex. Chicken, fish, legumes, etc), healthy fats (ex. Olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds) and high fibre carbohydrates (ex. Amaranth, bulgar, quinoa, etc.) at each meal. 

Although they can be enjoyed in moderation, try to avoid over-consuming sugary treats or salty snacks. These snacks provide minimal nutrition and energy. If you find yourself craving sugary treats, try having some dates or another fruit instead. 

Focus on snacking 

Between breaking the fast and going to sleep, try and include at least two small snacks that include easily digestible, nutritious foods. You may find that you sleep better if you are not overly full from a big meal. Examples of snacks you can try include eggs, fruits, yogurt, nuts or whole grain cereals. 

Some healthy snack recipes you can try: 

Chia & Amaranth Crackers 

Zesty Lemon & Moringa Protein Balls 

Maximizing Suhour 

Perhaps the most important meal to get you through the fasting period is Suhour. It’s important to make sure that this meal is properly balanced so that your fullness and energy last longer. Protein, fats and fibre are key nutrients to consume during this meal. All three break down slowly in the body, so they keep you full for longer and allow for slower digestion. 

Examples of healthy foods to include are: 

Proteins = fish, seafood, chicken, beef, beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, seeds, milk 

Healthy fats = avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, chia seeds 

High-fibre foods = fruits, vegetables, beans, chickpeas, lentils, whole grains (including amaranth, quinoa, barley, oats, wheat bran, corn bran) 

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