Ruba Zainad on how to have a happy and healthy Ramadan

Ruba Zanaid is a Life & Success Coach, Certified NLP  (Neurolinguistic Programming) Practitioner and the founder of Healthy Living with Ruba. She helps People find the clarity, the road map and the action plan to achieve success, ultra health, happiness & a passion driven life. Ruba has helped hundreds of clients worldwide and leads dynamic coaching programs, women circles, workshops and retreats on mindset, emotional health, confidence, mindfulness , life work balance, health including lifelong solutions to lose weight, happiness and living on purpose. She is a speaker, mom of 3 girls, half marathon runner and a world traveler.

What advice do you have for Muslims at the start of Ramadan for suhur meals that will give them the most physical and emotional energy to last through the day ? What foods should they eat and what should they avoid ? Suhur meals should prepare you for your long day of fast. It should include protein, healthy fats and high fiber carbohydrates. Don’t overeat thinking that this will aid you in the fasting process, in fact overeating will make you more sluggish and having lower levels of energy.

Some great examples are:

  • Oatmeal topped with fruits and almonds
  • Berry smoothie: Dark Berries, 1 TSP almond butter, dates or dried figs as a sweetener, unsweetened almond or coconut milk. You can make it thicker, serve it in bowls and top it with coconut and slivered almonds
  • Whole wheat toast with hard boiled eggs or omelet
  • Greek yogurt topped with fruits and mixed nuts with a drizzle of honey
  • Hearty homemade baked goods in small amounts and fine ingredients such as whole wheat flour, farina, dates, honey, dried fruits.
  • Foods to avoid: White bread, fried foods, store bought pastries and donuts

What about the iftar meal ? Some people tend to binge in this meal, particularly on sweets. What would your advice be around eating during iftar? Fasting is meant to cleanse the body and the heart not to binge and overeat by the end of the day at the Iftar meal. In fact, binging and overeating will wipe out most of the fasting benefits both to your body and your spirit. Here are some practical tips that can help you slow down and eat mindfully so you can enjoy your fasting experience: 

Break your fast with water and or few dates. Dates and dried fruits are excellent sources of nutrients but also packed with natural sugars so consume them mindfully.

Take a small bowl of soup, aim for clear soups not creamy ones. I know it is a tradition to have something with the soup especially fried rolls ..etc: my advice try to bake those, I actually do that for my family. The other thing you can do, allow yourself to grab one roll or samosa with your soup but be mindful of taking more.

Pause and go for your Maghrib prayer. Use this pause to reflect and slow down

Drink some water

Eat your usual plate of dinner: Protein, healthy fats and high fiber carbs.

Sweets: Be mindful and selective of what you take in this precious body that will carry you through life on this earth. Take one small piece, few bites with a cup of tea.

Drink water again and make sure you stay hydrated.

Ensure you are feeling light and energetic to complete your night prayers, reflect and connect with you Lord , your family members and your loved ones.

I know we are almost half way into 2019 and my advice for all muslims fasting, Ramadan is an opportunity to change your habits on the physical and emotional levels. If you take this month as a training time into how the rest of the year should look like, you will have great health, better attitude, inner peace and a true sense of happiness in your life.

Tell us about your own journey to transform your weight, life and health… It all started when I was very unhappy with my weight and body image after giving birth to my beautiful girls, I tried everything under the sun so what I see in the mirror is a true match of my soul. I had minor victories and multiple setbacks. One day in 2010 I DECIDED to do it all over again with a game changer { Success Plan for a true and lasting change} because I know some can relate; I was done! It worked and when I mastered it I decided to become a health coach in 2010 to support others get exactly what I got, aka feeling on top of their game in life because getting in the best shape of your life can truly do that.

Fast-forward to 2014 I hit another hurdle in life, I was juggling a thriving career in Clinical Research and traveling across the country. Being away from my family (3 girls and my husband) for longer times had thrown off my life’s balance, inner peace, connectedness and made me question my own purpose. I stopped being  the breath of fresh air as people around me used to call me  and I wondered what happened to that happy and excited person whom I used to be. I didn’t stop here, I decided to switch things around and went on a self discovery journey. And through self development, certifications, lots of reading, seminars and conferences; I combined all of it with the coach in me and my vision got greater to change the world one person at a time through an inspiring and empowering message.

What is your advice for people who want to set new intentions and establish new habits during Ramadan ? It is so crucial to set intentions for the month of Ramadan and moving forwards for any intended outcome. Here are few points that I would love to help the readers make clear about setting intentions:

An intention is part of your inner world, it is the energy that can hold you towards achieving any goal you set your mind to such as a career or school goal, a personal goals such as: becoming an active listener, feeling more peace within, deepening your relationships with your family and or loved ones, losing weight, eating cleaner to increase your energy levels or working out more.

It is the trust and faith that you hold in your heart which will get you to where you want.

It lets you see your path clearly; to understand that challenges and obstacles are indeed part of your path towards achieving anything.

When you are connected to your intention you will be able to see the opportunity in the challenge which will allow you to course correct and continue moving forwards.

Most people stop at the challenge if they are not connected to a clear intention.

Taking action with the resources you have at the very moment you are in is an integral part of making an intention so that there are no delayed intentions or intentions without actions. There will be no perfect timing to start on any goal you set your mind to; the perfect timing is now, the gift of time you have in your hands today.

To establish new habits: Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to establish new habits and get rid of bad ones. Experts say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit and here you have a full month. You also have an added layer of awareness and focus to you as a result of the physical fast along with higher emotional and spiritual state you are in due to closer connection to your Lord.

1 comment

Would like more info on women’s retreat July 27?

Jeannine alick May 14, 2019

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