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Sugar-free for Ramadan

In General Posts on August 20, 2009 by Suhaila

Well, at least mostly. A lot of you have been asking about this magical meal plan I’m following for Ramadan, so here it is (or, a very vague description of it).

No cookies in Ramadan! Photo courtesy of omnomnom.org

No cookies in Ramadan! Photo courtesy of omnomnom.org

The premise of the plan is to switch our bodies over to using fat as a fuel, as it was meant to way-back-when. With an ideal diet, the body naturally makes enough sugar for your brain and muscles, and uses fat to power everything else. So, in order to make the switch, I’m going to eat a lot of meat and a lot of fat, and no sugar. I’m not sure how much sugar I eat normally (I don’t think it’s much and I already eat a ton of fat, but I guess we’ll find out how far off I am), so I’m not sure how bad my sugar cravings will be for the first week or two, but if I seem out of it, just don’t give me any sugar and we’ll still be friends next month. Anyone who offers me gulab jamun is asking for a butt-whooping (but I think I’m entitled to have one on Eid).

The Meal Plan:

Suhoor:
3 eggs
2 oz steak/chicken/burger
5 blocks* fat
= 520 calories

Iftar:
3 dates if I went to the gym, 1 date if I didn’t
then
6 oz meat OR 3-4 oz meat + protein shake
2 cups spinach or broccoli
5 blocks* fat
1 cup whole milk
= approx. 1000 calories

Daily total:
1500 calories
50% fat, 15% carbs, 35% protein

* 1 block = 3 almonds OR 1 macadamia nut OR … just check this list under “Fats”.

I’ll also be taking fish oil and a multivitamin at each meal, and black seed oil once a day (it’s not part of the meal plan, but I want to get into the habit of taking it, since the Prophet (pbuh) said, “In the black seed there is a cure for all diseases except death”). Of course I’ll be drinking tons of water, and I’m limiting my tea consumption to one cup a day (which is a huge change from three cups a day!).

That’s it! It’s pretty simple. I have a feeling suhoor is almost always going to be eggs with chicken bacon and some mix of butter (with the eggs), half-and-half (with the tea), and nuts. I am planning to continue my regular workout routine throughout Ramadan while following this meal plan as closely as possible. I really have no idea how this will turn out; I have a feeling the workouts will need to be scaled down at least a bit.

I’m going to start logging workouts today as well; I probably should have started at the beginning of the week, so that I would have a record of my pre-Ramadan workouts, compared to my in-Ramadan workouts and post-Ramadan workouts, but alas, too late for that. I’ll just add a summary of my workouts so far for this week below:

Monday
3 hang power cleans (42 lbs)
9 (knee) push-ups
15 squats
As many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in 10 minutes
[Finished 6 rounds + 3 HPC + 9 PU]

Tuesday
Back squat 5-5-5-5-5
[Totally messed this up. Too much weight too early. Ended up doing 5-5-5-4-3-2-1 at 65-75-85-85-85-85-85 lbs because I kept failing at 85 lbs]

then

Double-unders for 2 minutes
Sit-ups for 2 minutes
Double-unders for 90 seconds
Sit-ups for 90 seconds
Double-unders for 1 minute
Sit-ups for 1 minute
Double-unders for 30 seconds
Sit-ups for 30 seconds
[67 double-unders, 159 sit-ups]

Wednesday
3 rounds of:
1 minute of (knee) push-ups
1 minute of pull-ups (with purple and black resistance bands)
1 minute of kettlebell swings (16 kg)
1 minute of rest
Score is total number of reps of all exercises
[163]

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5 Responses to “Sugar-free for Ramadan”

  1. What is the reason for only fat and protein for suhoor? Yikes, I did not realize one macadamia nut was 1 block of fat. I am so lazy about measuring. I see I need to up my protein, at least for suhoor.

    What kind of protein powder do you use to make the shake?

    I have fish oil pills but was thinking of getting the liquid (so I don’t have to swallow so many pills for the recommended 0.5g/10lb bodyweight ).

    Here are some I found (not sure which to order yet)
    http://www.amazon.com/Carlson-Laboratories-Finest-Flavor-liquid/dp/B0001VKNSM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1250966759&sr=8-3 100 servings, 1 tsp EPA: 800mg, DHA: 500mg
    I have not tried this one, so not sure if it will give a fish aftertaste

    http://www.amazon.com/Coromega-Omega-3-Supplement-Squeeze-90-Count/dp/B000FFQATA/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_img_in (I have tried this one, the taste is not bad, like orange sherbet. but not much epa/dpa per packet 350 mg EPA and 230 mg DHA )

    let me know what you think.

    • That’s a really good question; I didn’t even notice that there are hardly any carbs in suhoor. My trainer, Rachael, came up with this meal plan. She’s probably the best person to reply, so I’ll send her an email and hopefully she’ll answer this for us.

      Personally I use a chocolate flavoured whey protein powder that I got for free from my sister 😛 I can’t remember the name of it, and I’m not at home this weekend, but I’ll check the bottle tomorrow and let you know. I’m not sure if it makes much difference as long as you get the right amount of protein…

      I have liquid fish oil. It’s the NutraSea original 200 ml (also comes in 500 ml or as tablets, but the tablets contain gelatin).

  2. Sure, when she tells you let me know.

    Ok, currently I have optimum nutrition powder and have tried muscle milk. I didnt know if I should switch from whey to something else. there is so much information and many opinions that I get confused.

    NutraSea looks like good stuff. I am going to see if I can order that online because its not in a store near me.

  3. Hi kba!
    Here’s the gist of my reasoning behind the meal plan. Sounds like you already have a solid base with the Zone Diet, which I love for tracking portion sizes. By using the Zone Blocks but cutting out carbs except for breaking the fast in the evening, we’ll be avoiding any insulin spikes, which would lead to sugar cravings later in the day (among the other evils of spiking insulin). By keeping carbs to the bare minimum, the body will learn to use fat for fuel, tapping into stored resources when hungry during the day. Robb Wolf uses these principles, cramming the only carbs into the post-workout window, and Mark’s Daily Apple (probably my favourite website) has a bunch of great posts on why you don’t need very many carbs. This plan might seem a little extreme but I think it will be the fastest and easiest way to switch the body over to fat burning without sugar cravings, and without worrying about weight loss (not an issue at this time). Depending on how it goes we’ll adjust as necessary so I’m looking forward to feedback on mood and energy levels.

    Hope that helps, please feel free to reply/email if you have any more questions, and keep us posted on your experience!

    Rachael@ElementCrossFit.com

    • Rachael,
      Thanks for your reply. I will try that out. This morning I had an omelet cooked in coconut oil but it did have some carbs (spinach, mushrooms, asparagus and onion).

      I will try this tomorrow and see how I feel during the day in comparison to these past 2 days.

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