Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadan: The Healthy Suhoor Options

It is that most blessed time of the year again for Muslim around the world, Ramadan. Ramadan is a very special time because it is almost like a reset. It is considered as the holiest time of the Muslim Lunar calendar. As a kid, I started fasting slowly. The half day fast gave way to the whole day fast gradually. This was in Lagos though where fasting usually goes from 5.10am-ish to 7pm. Now that I am living in Boston though, fasting is going to be a 19-hour daily extravaganza.

It is not my first time fasting during extremely long summer days. It is actually my second year fasting in Boston. The first time I really did the long day fasting was in Manchester in 2009. I find that my body gets used to it as the month of Ramadan progresses. At some point, everything is euphoric and all I have left keeping me going is faith and adrenaline.
Since I am going to be abstaining from sustenance during the long days, it is important to eat the right thing during the pre-dawn meal or Suhoor. For the first Suhoor, I had a bowl of overnight soaked oatmeal with chia seeds and raisins. I actually soaked the oatmeal in a combination of almond milk and full-fat coconut milk because one of my co-workers that is into nutrition recommended that I focus on eating lots of fats and protein to power me through the day. I followed her advice and supplemented the oatmeal with baked chicken breasts.
It was physically exhausting eating at 2.30am. I had to be deliberate in the way I was eating. I wanted to make sure I did not get full on little food. I also wanted to be sure I saved space for water. Going to bed after eating more than I have eaten in one sitting recently was uncomfortable. I felt heavy and really had to sleep on my back.
I woke up late this morning to a delightful article on eating healthy options for Suhoor from Buzzfeed. Even if you are not fasting, it is still a great read because it is about eating food that would sustain you instead of making you crash.

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