It’s almost that beautiful time of year again, Ramadan is almost here. For many this presents the perfect opportunity for a spiritual reboot, while at the same time providing us with an opportunity for a physical reboot as well. Although some would argue that major dietary shifts should not happen at this time, and instead we should concentrate on the spiritual gains, we believe that the two are not independent of each other. Food ties in to Islam so much, that a month of fasting has been ordained for us by Allah, in his infinite wisdom.
With modern science just about catching up and now becoming proponents of regular fasting (at least twice a week, they say, who else did that??), they are even beginning to tout the benefits of dry fasting (as in, no food or drink) for alleviating medical conditions that would otherwise not be able to be controlled with intermittent fasts or other types of fasting in which you can drink water.
Changing dietary habits is hard. We get that. And so we decided to relaunch our message in a different way. This is why there was radio silence from us over the past few months. We had a lot of going back and forth about the direction we should take. Our intentions are still the same – to have people take back control of their health through food.
We realise that not everyone is accustomed to the Paleo or the low carb, high fat lifestyle, which is fair enough. But we do believe everyone should do their best to ‘unprocess’ their diets and eat real food as much as possible in order to be the best version of themselves. We have realised this through our own dietary changes. Yeah, we like cake too but we choose the times we would eat cake based on time of week and activity level.
So why now? As we did last year, we decided to use Ramadan again this year as a platform for change. Asking someone to change their diet is sometimes akin to asking someone to change their religion. Seriously. We’ve been there with people asking us how to lose fat but often times people want quick fixes. The simple answer is, there is no quick fix – not one that will keep the fat off anyway. It will come through lifestyle changes and we feel there is no better time of year to make positive, lasting changes to one’s lifestyle both spiritual and physical than in Ramadan.
Mentally, we are all capable of so much. We’ve established this through 18-hour fasts, only eating Halal and abstaining from items that are prohibited in our religion. Utilising this strength we have in the dietary choices we make could literally turn your life around. We know, we’ve been there. And over the next few weeks and months, you’re going to learn our story and how we got to where we are.
This year, we are not launching a new meal plan. We kept the same meal plan as last year and if you are inclined to follow meal plans, it’s available for download here. Instead, we are creating a series of infographics that you can keep on your phone or tablet for reference or print out and put up next to your Ramadan calendar.
The first of these graphics is designed to promote and help build good habits through the month so we don’t lose the spiritual benefits and rewards. The second is a throwback to the ‘7 Golden Rules’ that many found very helpful, from last year – these relate mainly to how we should approach food this month (coming soon!). And the third, is one we thought would be ideal next to your blender: Simple Iftaar smoothie recipes that will give you some essential micronutrients to kickstart your Iftaar meal on a positive note (also coming soon!).
We will also be doing a weekly vlog series/ facebook live, to explain key components of each of our infographics and our thinking and research behind them and it will also give you guys an opportunity to check in with us. In addition to this, we will also be creating a facebook group (join here), WhatsApp group (separate one for males and females) capped at 20 people in each group so you can share your journey and where you can post pictures of your food and get immediate feedback on the meal you’re prepping, prepped or thinking of prepping. If you don’t make the list, don’t fret, you can still get in touch with us by email, Instagram and facebook messages. Most significantly, the group will set you up with 19 like-minded, goal-oriented accountability buddies who will be able to help you on your journey. You don’t have to be alone on this journey. The success of the pack is determined by the pack, as a collective. And it starts with food.
Yours in Health and wishing you and yours a truly blessed Ramadan Insha’Allah!
Mohammed, Fahim and Rukma
The Halal Paleo Team