Six ways to get healthy this Ramadan

Whole fruits are preferred over fruit juices and other fatty sweets since they contain less calories. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 May 2018
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Six ways to get healthy this Ramadan

  • Follow these quick tips to stay healthy — and possibly even lose weight — during the Holy Month
  • Don't worry, you can still enjoy iftar and maintain a healthy diet

JEDDAH: There are some of us who find ourselves piling on the pounds in Ramadan. Follow these quick tips by nutrition expert Myriam Sakr to stay healthy — and possibly even lose weight — during the Holy Month.
Drink water
With the long fasting hours this year, drinking eight cups of water a day (250 ml each) might seem hard. This quantity can be distributed throughout the night, however. Bear in mind that coffee and black tea are diuretics while juices are high in sugar and, therefore, not an adequate replacement for water. If you are craving something hot, try herbal teas, which are a great replacement for water as they help with digestion.
Snack on whole fruits
Whole fruits are preferred over fruit juices and other fatty sweets since they contain less calories and more fibers, which aid in digestion. Have a whole orange instead of orange juice, for example!
Cut the salt
During Ramadan, having high amounts of salt at night will increase your blood pressure, make you very thirsty the next day and will leave you bloated. It is best to avoid foods that are high in salts, such as ketchup, pickles, olives, packet soups and processed meats.
Have a balanced suhoor meal
You should have a balanced pre-dawn meal that contains whole carbohydrates and fat free proteins so that the glucose levels in your blood will remain regulated the next day and you will not feel dizzy.
Be careful at iftar
Again, a balanced meal is the key to maintaining or losing weight during Ramadan. Two dates, a glass of jallab, half-a-cup of lentil soup, two cups of salad and two cups of a homemade stew will leave you satisfied and ensure you remain healthy throughout the month.
Move it, move it
Try to exercise lightly during the day and keep in mind that the body burns more fat during the fasting period.


Ta’ateemah: Giving Eid a Hijazi flavor

Ta’ateemah includes a variety of dishes such as dibyazah, red mish, chicken and lamb stew and bread. File/Getty Images
Updated 19 June 2018
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Ta’ateemah: Giving Eid a Hijazi flavor

  • Dibyaza is made of melted dried apricots, roasted nuts, figs, peach and sugary dates to create a marmalade-like dish that can be enjoyed with or without bread
  • The dibyaza is also similar to an Egyptian dish called khoshaf, but dibyaza is often partnered with shureik — a donut-shaped bread with sesame sprinkled all over it

JEDDAH: Ta’ateemah is the name of the breakfast feast Hijazis enjoy on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr. It is derived from the Arabic word, itmah, or darkness, because the dishes served are light, just like midnight snacks.

Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al-Fitr to feast after fasting for the holy month of Ramadan. But it is called Al-Fitr from iftar, or breakfast when translated to English, which is a meal Muslims do not get to experience during that month.
The first day of Eid is a day where they finally can, and they greet the day with joy by heading to Eid prayers and then enjoying this traditional meal.
Amal Turkistani, mother of five from Makkah who now lives in Jeddah, told Arab News all about a special Eid dish.
“The most famous dish is the dibyaza, and making a dish of it is a work of art that I can proudly say I excel at. Dibyaza is made of melted dried apricots, roasted nuts, figs, peach and sugary dates to create a marmalade-like dish that can be enjoyed with or without bread.”
She revealed that dibyaza is not a quick meal — it is usually prepared a day or two before Eid with the ingredients simmered to reach the correct liquid thickness.
No one can trace the origins of dibyaza — it remains a mystery. Some people claim it originated in Turkey, while others attribute it to the Indians.
A number of women who are famous for their dibyaza agreed that it is a Makkawi dish. This marmalade dish was developed and improved, with tiny details to distinguish it.
The dibyaza is also similar to an Egyptian dish called khoshaf, but dibyaza is often partnered with shureik — a donut-shaped bread with sesame sprinkled all over it.
Turkistani said sweet shops sell 1 kg of dibyaza for SR50 ($13), competing with housewives who make their own.

 

“I think it is always tastier when it’s homemade because of all the love that goes into making it. It’s also a wonderful way to greet your family and neighbors with this special dish that you only enjoy once a year.”
Her younger sister, Fatin, said: “My siblings always have Eid breakfast at my place, so it’s up to me to prepare the feast. My sister spares me the exhausting dibyaza-making, so I prepare two main dishes: Minazalla, which is a stew of lamb chops with tahini and a tomato chicken stew.
“She also serves what we call nawashif, or dry food, like different types of cheese and olives, pickled lemon, labneh, red mish — a mixture of white cheese, yogurt and chili pepper and halwa tahini,” Amal said.
Mohammed Ibrahim, 23, from Makkah, told Arab News: “It always feels unique to have minazalla and nawashif during Eid, and not just because it is followed by the Eidiyah.”

Decoder

What is Eidiyah?

It is money elders in the family give to the youth to celebrate Eid and to congratulate them on completing Ramadan fasting.