Eid al-Fitr is the most important religious holiday in the Muslim calendar observed at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Indeed, Eid is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims must abstain from fasting. This week brings the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the 30-day fasting period practiced by all the Muslims living worldwide. During this period, the body gets adjusted to eating foods at only certain times during the day. While eating before sunrise and eating only after sunset might scare some, individuals observing the fast get used to it, enjoy it and savor it. Get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com who can help you with healthy food suggestions and eating habits post-Ramadan to help your body adjust itself to daily routine in due course.
Feasting after Fasting
After fasting for a month, it is natural to indulge in some high-calorie treats and savories. But remember, the body has been subjected to extensive fasting and smart eating can help an individual eat a variety of foods. Suddenly forcing numerous foods and beverages can put the body into a shock mode and such intense changes can be extremely harmful on our body such as indigestion and bloating. Eid is a time of gettogethers and celebration which cannot be ignored. Instead, surely follow certain regulations to ensure that 2018 Eid is healthy and happy.
Talk, Walk, Exercise
How does exercising make you feel energetic? A walk or exercise does make you happy, relaxed and refreshed due to the release of feel good hormones that enhance appetite and uplift mood. Also, these regulate diseases, keep them out of sight and make you energetic. You can happily attack a bowl of Mughlai biriyani with curd or Palak Paneer with Naan on the eve of Eid.
Prioritize Eating Vegetables
Eating veggies is a punishment of sorts, especially on Eid. But the best way to control appetite and reduce intake is to eat a bowlful of veggies as they are brimming with nutrients and fiber. These nutrients make you feel full sooner and you are left with no choice but to eat small portions of high-calorie delights. Starting your meal with a bowl of veggies makes your tummy yearn less for carrot halwa or malai kofta.
Note your Portions
Gettogethers and social gatherings might take us off the food track and we might start eating foods beyond control. Portion control is of upmost importance when you are in such public places. Availability of food is not an excuse for overindulgence. Don’t pile up food onto your plate just because it is there right in front of you. When you do this, somewhere you are forcing yourself to abstain from wasting food and end up eating a lot more food than needed. Make it a point to say a strong ‘no’ to second helpings even when your close neighbor keeps pestering you. Start a chat with your loved one or speak on something that interests you. Doing this makes you focus more on the topic at hand and less on the food in our plate.
Aerated Beverages are your Best Foes
People love to sip on aerated beverages in between heavy food options as they believe that such drinks help in digestion. But, the reality is far from truth as these beverages are loaded with sugar and do no good on the body. Rather, go for a glass of thickly churned butter milk with pudina leaves as they aid in digestion and also remain sugar-free.
Leave the Table Once You Are Done
Mealtime is to satisfy hunger, help you try a variety of delicacies and enjoy time with family members. Once full, the tummy sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Stay attentive and look for such signals. Indeed, you have relished your meal and enjoyed your Eid delights greatly. Leave the table once you are done with your meals.
The Big Day
In a few places, people usually start celebrating Eid with a plate of Shir Khurma (vermicelli and milk pudding spiced with cardamom and cinnamon). Eat a small breakfast rich in fiber and proteins. Baklava is an important sweet but engaging in high quantities of sweet after fasting can make one feel nauseous and ill due to high blood sugar. Eat small portions of a variety of foods including baklava, roti and sabji ensuring that you get the right quantities of protein, carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day to keep your body healthy. It is also advisable to include probiotics such as cheese and yogurt to provide energy for the good bacteria (these crop up during the fasting period) in your gut.
After a month of fasting it is crucial that you stay healthy to spend quality time with friends and family. For this, you need to eat nutritious foods without overindulging in delicacies but enjoying the festive mood. Share gifts, buy new clothes and offer prayers on this holy day. Ultimately, one should enjoy and have a good time.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.