Friday, August 13, 2010

Ramadan Protocol Meal Checklists

Just for my own benefit, really:

Suhoor Checklist:
  • Multi-Vitamin with Iron (2) -- Multivitamins are important for general health, especially when reducing or restricting calories. It's even more important during Ramadan, I think, because I'm eating even less. I take a supplement with iron because I'm a woman basically.
  • Fish-Oil (3) -- Good for general health, also for lowering cholesterol (which is why I take a lot of them, as prescribed by my doctor.)
  • Protein (>20g) -- Important for muscle-building and fullness. The challenge is to get enough protein in without too much fat. Lean proteins include chicken breast meat and egg whites. Really 20g isn't enough, 40g is more appropriate but these days I'm not hungry at suhoor time and have a hard time eating that much food without feeling sick. 20g is about 3/4 cup of egg whites.
  • Healthy Fat (10-15g) -- It's part of my daily habit to eat at least 10g of fat with my breakfast, as it helps stave off sugar cravings normally. I might eat a little more fat in Ramadan suhoors than a normal breakfast because it needs to last for longer.
  • Complex Carb (1/2cup) -- A slow digesting carbohydrate food like whole wheat bread (I like Dave's Killer Powerseed Bread personally), oatmeal, lentils or other whole grains.
  • Fruit -- I like oranges in the morning because they're full of water which helps with hydrating. Dates might also be good, since it's from the Sunnah and you don't have to eat a lot volume-wise to get the calories. (1 date is about 70 calories.) Fruit is a simple carb though, so best not to have too much.
  • Water (32oz) -- In a day it's good to get 64oz of water as a minimum. I try to break it up by having 32oz at suhoor, and 32oz at iftar.

Iftar Checklist:
  • Date (1+) -- It's from the sunnah to break fast with dates, and it helps raise blood sugar quickly while helping you to rehydrate. I have to remind myself not to eat too many, because as I mentioned before, each date is about 70 calories, which adds up fast.
  • Water (32oz) -- The rest of that 64oz. I try to drink a glass when I break my fast and then sip it for the rest of the night.
  • Fish Oil (3) -- I take six of these each day (if I remember) according to a doctor's recommendation. And I do have to remind myself to take it both times or else I'll forget.
  • Protein (>30g) -- Important to have plenty of protein after breaking fast as well, especially from lean sources.
  • Complex Carb (1/2 cup) -- Half a cup at suhoor and iftar is really enough.
  • Veggies (1 cup) -- Too many reasons to eat veggies.
Why a Ramadan Protocol Checklist? So when I'm insanely sleepy (like right now, although I'm bright-eyed and bushy tailed compared to my husband who got even less sleep) I can check my list and see if I remembered to eat everything I was supposed to.


Amy said...

What suhoor looked like today:

1/2 cup of egg beaters (12 g protein)
1/2 piece of toast (3 g protein, 11g carb)
.75 tsp butter (3g fat)
1 tsp jelly (3g carb)
Orange (2g protein, 23g carb)
8oz whole milk (8g protein, 12g carb, 8g fat)
Multi-vitamins (2)
Fish oil (3)
24oz water

A lot of my fat and protein today came from the milk--whole milk which is not my norm. But the total calorie balance was 400, and was kind of low on protein. The milk helped bring up the protein a lot, and also the fat. Butter isn't a "healthy" fat exactly, but that's how I eat my bread and it works for me.

The water was low, but I drank an extra 8oz of water in the night so I had less with suhoor, so right now (I just finished) I don't feel as full. To make this meal better, it would be good to have more egg beaters and toast actually (with less jelly) to have more protein and more complex carbs. Most of this meal's carbs were simple--milk, fruit, jelly. Peanut butter on the bread might have been healthier overall.

I think the last minute choice for whole milk (normally I'll have skim but the extra fat in whole was needed here) helped balance the meal a little more. Thoughts?

Saladin said...

I had two burritos. *chuckle* And 2 quarts of water w/ lemon juice. Even counting your milk, that's just not a lot of fluids for a hot day and this weekend will be worse.

Still, I hope your fasts are a terrific success.

Umm Aaminah said...

A'salaamu alaikum sis. That sounds like a really regimented diet masha'allah. :-) Even though I need to be, I'm not on a calorie restricted diet.

For suhoor we often have an egg and whole wheat toast with a little butter or mayo (me) and milk to drink. I try to down some water as I have to stay really hydrated because of my kidney transplant.

For iftar we prefer something light. We make homemade shorba (soup) with a protein in it and a medly of non-carb veggies plus carrots and potatoes. Add a nice salad with romaine, peppers, cucumbers, black olives, fried onions or homemade syrian bread croutons and a full-fat dressing. Maybe we squeeze in a little extra protein but to be honest, I'm stuffed by then. :-)

Anyway that's our breakdown; not as scientific an approach as yours but alhamdulillah I feed my family a filling and nutritiously balanced meal.

Ma salaama and ramadan mubarak

Amy said...

I can easily drink much more water at night than at suhoor. In fact, my suhoors are smaller than I'd like these days because I just get so full and feel sick.

Umm Aaminah--that sounds delicious and healthy to boot! MashaaAllah, good job!

Nezro said...

Good call on the whole milk. Fat is not the enemy people make it out to be. I would switch to real eggs and cut out the toast. ( )

Check out this site for a good fish oil calculator:

I use the liquid fish oil as it gone annoying taking so many pills. (