Make it a meal, not a feast | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 28, 2019

Make it a meal, not a feast

A healthy Ramadan routine allows us to prepare the body to adopt a nourishing lifestyle. Here are some tips that you may wish to carry with you for the entire year, at least, as far as diet is concerned.

Eat real food, not processed and junk foods

Processed food may seem convenient, but they contain preservatives and high levels of sodium, which are detrimental to one’s health.

Choose unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins from chicken, fish, beans, nuts, eggs, etc.

Avoid refined foods

Refined or white foods — white bread, white rice, white sugar, pasta, etc. — lack fibre, and nutrients that make us hungry quickly, and thus lead to weight gain. Instead, choose breads from whole grains and organic brown rice, or oats to satisfy your carbohydrate intake.

Know the foods that hydrate your body.

Dates can be your staple fruit throughout the year. But, consider having coconut water by your side too.

Rely on smoothies, coolers and fruity drinks throughout the year, irrespective of the season, as these are super-hydrating. I would highly recommend having milk before you hit the bed, because this will not only fulfil your calcium intake, but also keep you hydrated.

Avoid fried and sugary foods

Fried foods are heavy in oil, making them harder to digest. You still enjoy fried items if you use little oil to shallow fry those pakoras.

Use brown sugar/raw cane sugar instead for your smoothies, or tea. Eat fruits which are a bit more on the sweeter side, like mangoes, or apple.


250 calories, 1 glass


1 cup honey and mixed nuts granola

½ cup strawberry jelly

1 cup low fat yoghurt

2 tbsp maple syrup/honey

1 banana, sliced (mango can also be used)

½ cup pomegranate, 1 tsp chia seed


Spoon some strawberry jelly (preferably with fresh strawberry pulp) in a glass, then top with some granola. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.

Now scoop some low fat sweetened yoghurt and layer the granola again, and drizzle with maple syrup. Add another layer of yoghurt on top and finally, the fruits to go on top. You can also add some chia seed to make it extra healthy. This can also be taken during sehri to feel fuller and energised the whole day.



2 cups rolled oats 

300g chicken

3 types of lentils (masoor, moong, and mashkalai; soaked and blended)

3 medium, finely sliced onions

2 tbsp yoghurt

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 

3-4 garam masala (whole)

2 tsp jeera powder, ½ cup oil

1 tbsp red chilli powder 

¼ tsp turmeric powder 

½ tsp coriander powder

2 tbsp haleem masala

Water, as required to make runny consistency

3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves 

For garnish —

Deep fried, finely sliced onions

Chopped ginger

Lemon wedges

Coriander leaves

Salt as per taste


Wash and clean the chicken pieces (boneless preferred). Put oil in a saucepan and add the garlic ginger paste, garam masala, coriander powder, jeera powder, turmeric and chilli powder, and salt, and stir. Add some water to cook the chicken; also add the haleem masala powder and cover lid for chicken to cook thoroughly. Now add the blended daal and 3 cups of water to the chicken and cook for 15 minutes more until the lentils are cooked. Lastly, put oats and mix well and add more water, if required, as oats will make the consistency a bit thicker. Add green chillies and more jeera powder and serve warm with deep fried fine onion slices, coriander leaves and lemon wedges.

Simra Khan is a Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Mentor/ Guide at ThinspiredbySimra, Managing Director Fit Food Culiary Artist- Specialized in Healthy Cooking

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

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