“Two blessings that many people take for granted; health and free time.” Hadith of Prophet Muhammad pbuh
When we are in good health, we take it for granted and don’t always appreciate what we have. It is only when we fall ill that we realise how blessed we were. A few weeks ago I was constantly tired, very weak, and quite often sleepy as well. Seeing as I’ve been so busy lately, I simply put it down to being overworked. However when it persisted and as a result I was becoming impatient with the children as well, I realised something wasn’t quite right. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything too serious, and I was then diagnosed with iron-deficient anaemia.
I was advised to start a supplement to help stabilise my iron levels for a short while, but more importantly to implement healthy eating habits. My initial reaction was to immediately cut out all the bad stuff, and go on a completely organic, free-range, vegan style diet. Exactly 2 minutes later, I realised how futile it is, and how difficult it would be to sustain.
Instead of big drastic measures, I’ve been doing smaller things which are easier to sustain in the long run. For example, instead of 3tsp of sugar in my morning I reduced that to 2tsp, and now for the last week, just one tsp. I’ve been sharing my journey back to good health on my Facebook page, and I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response and many of the suggestions shared.
Below is a few of my favourite suggestions, and the best part is that these are mostly hassle-free and easy to fit into a mums busy schedule.
•Substitute regular sugar for non-refined or coconut sugar.
•Replace a post-dinner/lunch dessert with a selection of vegetables (carrots/cucumbers) and a cream cheese and herb dip.
•Instead of always making chips (french fries) as a side, try baked potatoes instead.
•Another alternative to potatoe chips, try butternut chips or even sweet potato chips.
•Switch from normal white bread to a low GI option.
•To make water more appealing to little people, try adding in frozen strawberries instead of ice cubes. Also try, sliced cucumbers, lemon, or even kiwi.
•Replace regular tea with rooibos tea. Its a caffeine free option, but still full of antioxidants. Use honey instead of sugar to sweeten.
•Opt for coconut oil instead of veg oil.
•Instead of rotis, or pitas for wraps, make thin flat omelettes, and add fillings of choice.
•When baking, use half the amount of regular flour and substitue almond flour for the remaining half.
•Also for baking, half the amount of sugar in a recipe, and use grated pineapples, or softened berries as a natural sweetener instead.
•Always have salads and lots of fruit available in the home.
•Replace regular snacks with a variety of nuts and dried fruits, yoghurts, grainy crackers and cheese.
•When it comes to meat, chicken, or fish, choose to grill! Less added fats and oils make it so much healthier.
•Switch from normal pastas to a wholemeal pasta. Also add in lots of veggies into the pasta sauce to balance it out.
Eating well is not simply a modern-day revolution, but also in line with Islamic principles as well. Various verses and texts within Islam promote the eating of healthy wholesome food and eating in moderation. Allah clearly states in the Quran:
“Eat of the good things which We have provided for you. (2:173) Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth.” (2:168)
A healthy nutritious diet must also be balanced, in order to maintain the balance that Allah has established in all things, this is addressed in the Quran when Allah says:
“And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly; and fall not short thereof.” (55:7-9)
Make healthy choices for a healthy life while you raise some healthy kids along the way. Your body with thank you for it with shinier hair, clearer skin and you will loose that bloated belly feeling that you hate, as well as help decrease the risk of diseases such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. You have complete control of what you put in your mouth, you may just have to reprogram your taste buds in order to make better choices.