The Simplest 3-Step Guide To Staying Well at Home This Ramadan
By Ratri Arifin
Apr 14, 2020

The Simplest 3-Step Guide To Staying Well at Home This Ramadan

Keep up a good fasting streak at home by hydrating, resting and adopting a meal plan this Ramadan

To keep up a good fasting streak from pre-dawn to sunset, taking care of your health is crucial. This year, we're all staying mostly home, facing Ramadan with the added challenge of this global coronavirus pandemic. Still though, we've got the simplest 3-step guide to making the best of Ramadan right at home.

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated 

Make this Super Green Capsicum and Apple Juice, recipe here

Living in the tropics, staying hydrated during Ramadan will help you stay sane throughout the day. Even when you’re staying in, the heat and humidity tend to follow you wherever you go. To fend off the heat, planning out your water consumption for the day is a good idea. Drinking 8 glasses of water is the suggested minimum which can easily be spilt to 2 glasses for Sahur, 2 glasses for Iftar and 4 glasses throughout the night.

Another way to stay hydrated is to get some fruity goodness in. Watermelon, pineapples, tomatoes, oranges, bananas and cucumbers contain high levels of water and are always in abundance in a tropical country like ours! They are also rich in minerals and fibers, so be sure not to skimp on them.

Light and refreshing Barley Water is a lovely and easy drink that gives great hydration, recipe here

But if you're serious about elevating your hydration routine, why not do both? Infusing your water with fruits is a game changer with minimal effort. Putting in a few slices of cucumber and lemon, and mint leaves to your water not only keeps you hydrated, it also detoxes your body. Adding chia seeds to your water will also help with hydration as the superfood plays a beneficial role in regulating your body fluid levels.

This tip might be hard to swallow but reducing caffeine intake is one of the wisest things to do during Ramadan, as it's known to be dehydrating. So if having tea is in your Iftar routine, drinking something herbal like ginger or peppermint tea are much healthier alternatives. If you’re fending off the coffee temptations, switching to decaffeinated will benefit both your stomach and sleeping patterns.

2. Try Out a Meal Plan for the Month

A typical spread of food displayed at a Ramadan bazaar

A common Ramadan bad habit we tend to have is eating more than the usual portion to make up for the all-day hunger. While we all love a good indulge sesh after a hard day of fasting, a sudden weight gain is not what you want to see after your supposed 30-day fast. Sticking to a healthy diet is crucial in Ramadan, so why not experiment with a meal plan this year?

If you’ve never done a meal plan before, all you need to remember is to incorporate all food groups: grains as carbs, lean meats as proteins, dairy as calcium, fruits as vitamins, vegetables as fibre. Next step is to determine your method of cooking. Baking, roasting, steaming, and grilling are healthier options as they use less oil and fats, so they won’t make you feel as sluggish during the day. These methods of cooking do better jobs at retaining flavor too!

Something versatile and quick like this Tom Yum Vongole Pasta is a great inclusion to a meal plan

When cooking, also remember to take the MSG, salt and sugar down a notch. Processed ingredients like these are quick tickets to thirst and lethargy- well into the next day, so add in herbs and aromatics instead. Not only are substitutes like basil, parsley, garlic and onions easily available, it gives your meal more personality too.

During Ramadan, maintaining energy levels throughout the day is a challenge, but being mindful of the foods that you eat goes a long way. If a diet plan is too much for you, avoiding processed foods is a good start. Also be sure to eat light and slow in Iftar, so you won’t have an upset stomach all through the night. You can always leave the heavy feasting for Eid instead.

3. Exercise and Get Enough Rest 

One way to keep your body happy and healthy is to keep moving. Exercising during fasting does your body a great favor, as it revitalizes your body and cancels out the toxins that could cause dehydration later. Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi are great breathwork-focused activities that can easily be done at home, revitalising you and aiding digestion.

Sleeping well is also key to keeping your body healthy, so you won’t feel lethargic during the day. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule by planning for 4 hours of sleep before Sahur, and squeeze in 2-3 more hours after. If that’s not possible, switch your lunch breaks for power naps so you can get a midday power up to fend off the yawns during important work video calls.

A creamy, rich and spicy Beef Rendang, a satisfying dish for Iftar

As food tastes better when eating together with loved ones, take your Iftar get-togethers virtually. Be it with friends or family, it will definitely ease your Ramadan at a time like this. If you have the privilege to be at home with the ones you love, use this time to nurture those bonds by preparing your meals together. Despite observing Ramadan exclusively at home, it’s important to keep the usual sense of togetherness in the air.

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