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Healthy Eating in Ramadan for Detox

Ramadan DetoxAs salaam alaikum peeps – it’s almost Ramadan again! Is it just me or is this like one of the best times of the year?

So I know we all start getting ready to have our spiritual game on – but somehow we tend to overlook the physical benefits that fasting has on our system… Like boosting our metabolism, clearing toxins, improving our sensitivity to insulin and decreasing our blood pressure and so much more

The problem is not a lot of us actually get our body into detoxification. You see just because we are fasting doesn’t automatically mean that we are detoxing … 

In fact, if you gain weight during Ramadan – as most of us tend to do – then you’re body isn’t really detoxing like it should be. So what are you doing wrong you might be wondering…

While I’d love to answer this for you in this post, I think it would take me many many pages to really give you the info you’re looking for – and more importantly you might just fall asleep while you’re trying to read it all.

So instead Ayesha (my sister and business partner – also a nutritionist) and I have put together a FREE webinar on:

Healthy Eating in Ramadan

And you’re invited to attend at your own convenience!

If you’re interested all you have to do is sign up (on the right) and I’ll send you the link for the session! Oh and in case you’re wondering, this one-hour Seminar covers healthy eating during Ramadan including how to make healthy choices for suhur and iftaar that will help you start detoxing your system!

Ayesha and I really hope you enjoy the session – do let us know what you think and leave us a comment below with any questions you might have.

RAMADAN KAREEM!!

How to Detox in Ramadan

detox in ramadan - rejuvenateCan you believe that Ramadan is just a few days away?! Now I know all of us intend to not just have a spiritual cleansing but a physical cleansing during this month but by the time Eid rolls around we’ve some how managed to gain NOT lose weight!

Now most of us realize that it’s all the feasting that takes place after the fasting that leads us to this unfortunate end … And while this is partially true, there is another very important factor that is at play here as well…

I don’t know if you know this but during long stretches of “famine” – or in this case fasting – our body automatically kicks into self preservation mode. And one of the first things that it does to make sure we “survive” these hard times is lower our basal metabolic rate i.e. our metabolism slows down. Oh yeah! And everyone knows that a slow metabolism is NOT a good thing if you want to LOSE WEIGHT!

detox in ramadan - cleanse more than your spiritBut before you throw your hands up in the air in utter dismay, let me say all is not lost… You see fasting is really about detoxing your system – that is giving your body time to flush out any toxins it’s accumulated over the year – and if you do it right, you CAN actually lose weight while you’re at it too. (I know, I know there are a lot of people out there who believe fasting is only about detoxing your spirit… but science would have to say otherwise and honestly Islam is as much about science as it is about getting closer to your Creator)

On that note I recently came across some really BAZAAR articles on how to lose weight/detox in Ramadan – one of them suggested that you exercise for an hour, 2 hours before you open your fast and then only drink -get this – ONE glass of water when you finally DO have iftaar (I wish you could have seen my face when I read that one!)… So I thought this would be the perfect time to give you guys some REAL tips on how you can detox in Ramadan.

Now first let’s tackle the obvious – unfortunately you won’t lose weight or detox in ramadan if you eat a lot of fried foods or desserts! I’m sorry but not eating all day does not give you a free pass to eat how much and whatever you want… in fact since your metabolism is shot, it’s quite the opposite!

But don’t worry, aiming to detox in ramadan doesn’t mean you have to give up all those special ramadan foods we’re so used to enjoying either – coz honestly that would just suck!

OK so enough said, let’s get to it shall we…Detox in Ramadan

These are My Top 5 Tips on How to Detox in Ramadan

  1. Be mindful of what and how much you eat – I know I said you CAN enjoy your special Ramadan cuisine, but here’s the caveat: choose those dishes that are also wholesome :) . Now I know every culture has it’s own special yumminess. For example, being ethnically East Indian, we grew up with fruit salad, lassi and chole along with fried pakoras and vade… and since Hanny is Egyptian, I know lisaan asfoor is a healthy and delicious way to open your fast if you hail from that part of the globe. As for how much to have… well I’ll get into that in my next post AND you can also sign up for my FREE 4 Week Detox in Ramadan Program (info on how to do this is at the end of this post)
  2. Take that discipline you’ve been culminating throughout the day one step further – now we all know that even though the Prophet (S) and his companions (R) fasted through the day, they didn’t actually eat much when they opened their fast either. And if they can do it as our role models, than we can do it too… in fact I’ve found that when you approach iftaar with mental discipline you actually don’t feel that hungry and even better you don’t feel ridiculously stuffed later. So plan your iftaar ahead of time and take time to eat slowly so you’ll recognize when you are full.
  3. Subtract these foods from your Ramadan diet @least 6 days of the week – OK so I know Ramadan without samosas is hard for me… me love my samosas people! But rather than having them every day, I keep these kind of treats for one day of the week… Now if you are a person who gets invited to a lot of iftaars (or invite people for iftaars) than plan to incorporate your one day of treats into these days. But beside the obvious fried and overly processed foods there are also a few more foods that, if you want to get the full benefit of detoxing, I would recommend you eliminate for this 4 week stretch (especially if you regularly suffer from digestive issues, headaches, joint pain and allergies): caffeine (this includes coffee, black tea, pop and chocolate), leavened breads – especially those made with white flour (this means no fatayar), and milk. Why these foods? Mainly because if your system is out of sorts they can add to the problem. Luckily 4 weeks is often enough time to get your gut sorted out so it’s not a forever thing!
  4. Add these foods to your Ramadan diet to help rebalance your gut – I think during this time of year, it goes without saying that it is important to try and stay hydrated (by drinking @least 2 L of water /day) but adding a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it at iftaar; as well as yogurt with live cultures (kefir is a great option) daily will help detox your liver and rebalance your gut bacteria.
  5. Don’t use being hungry and spiritually busy as an excuse to stop moving – Now I’m not one for doing long periods of high intensity exercise when you’re fasting (though if you are a regular exerciser who keeps going even during Ramadan I applaud you) but I think short bouts of exercise and definitely incorporating some yoga into your nightly routine is a must if you want to effectively detox.

detox in ramadan - iftaar
I should mention that taking the time to detox your system over these next 4 weeks will benefit you in so many ways (less bloating, gas, indigestion, heart burn and better skin in the long run)

Oh and don’t worry… the good thing about the human body is the second it realizes there’s no longer a “famine”, it’ll boost that metabolism back up where it needs to be!

P.S. I’ve decided that this year as one of my good deeds for the season, I will be offering a FREE 4 Week Detox Program for Ramadan (something I usually charge $199 or AED 750 for!) . So if you’re interested and you aren’t already subscribed, simply join my mailing list to get the weekly program updates! (You’ll also get my 5 key strategies to losing weight and keeping it off :) )