Preparing For Ramadan: Top Tips On How To Get Your Body Ready For Fasting

With Ramadan just around the corner, we have put together 5 easy ways in which you can prepare your body for fasting. By planning and adjusting now, it’ll be easier to kick habits and cravings, making the transition a whole lot easier.

So let’s get started…

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Image: Personal Excellence

Reduce your intake

In the lead up to Ramadan, it’s important to reduce your portion sizes now. Some of us think to spurge on food before we fast to sort of ‘stock up’, but this is exactly what not to do. The aim is to reduce your appetite and hunger for larger quantities of food, as this will ultimately help your body transition to fasting.

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Image: Belle News

Eat breakfast, early

By getting your body use to eating breakfast earlier than usual, the transition won’t feel so foreign for your metabolism. Start putting your alarm on a little earlier each morning and, even if you’re not hungry, eat. You want to trigger your stomach into understanding your new routine and when to expect food. As an added bonus, waking up a little earlier to eat breakfast will also help adjust your sleeping pattern too.

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Image: Canadian Living

Don’t snack

If you’re an avid 10am and 2pm lover of snacks or fizzy drinks, then Ramadan could prove difficult. In the lead up to Ramadan, stick to only three meals a day. Like breakfast, you want to train your stomach and mind now. This will ensure you lose the desire for these goodies and begin not to expect them in your routine. It also means, by cutting the snacks out now, you’ll only be dropping one meal out of your diet during fasting, rather than multiple.

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Image: AZ Central

Cut down on coffee

Caffeine withdrawal, it’s a thing. That headache will feel much worse while you’re fasting if you haven’t prepared your body in advance. If this seems inconceivable, then start small and work your way up. First, reduce your coffee intake to only one day. Second, switch to decaffeinated coffee. And lastly, finish with cutting it out of your day all together.

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Image: Barista Exchange

Begin shopping now

While you are still full of energy, prepare your meals now. Shop and stock up on nutritious foods that can be served at Suhoor or Iftar so that you’re not so tempted by guilty pleasures later. Learn and prepare two to three nutritious breakfasts in advance (like overnight oats) or cook and freeze meals now for when you break fast. This way, you can can ensure cravings won’t hinder what your body actually needs.

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Image: Fit Wirr

In our next blog post, we will be talking about what kinds of food our bodies actually need and what to avoid, so stay tuned to our Ramadan Blog Series.

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May 30, 2016
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The Sweet Life

This month at Amazin’ Graze, we have been focusing on the perception of food and the on-going ‘good vs. bad’ battle. We looked at the common misconceptions behind gluten and learnt more about the benefits of wholefoods. Now let’s move onto to the sweet life…

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Image: Healthy Life

In Malaysia, we love our sweets and like many countries in the world, the new flavour of frappuccino seems to break the Internet. But here lies the problem. So much of what is available to us is packed with refined sugar.

Refined sugar is basically sugar that has been so processed that what’s left has little to no essential nutrients and is a pure carbohydrate. Consuming excess refined sugar can have harmful affects on your liver and heart and being addictive, can lead to obesity.

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Image: Bon Appetit

Amazin’ Graze is all about using nature’s gifts to sweeten our goods. Maple syrup, molasses, honey and rice malt syrup all come from natural, plant sources. And while we should still consume these wholefoods in moderation, it is certainly better for us than the alternative.

Here is a deeper look into what makes our products naturally sweet and delicious…

Raw Honey

Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, iron, calcium and zinc, raw honey also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. While it does have more calories than sugar, because it’s sweeter, you only need a little amount. Honey is fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free, making it a true super food. According to the Penn State College of Medicine, honey also reduced night time coughing and improved sleep quality in children.

When shopping for honey, make sure you choose one dark in colour. Once honey has been pasteurized, it can lose some of its health benefits.

We use honey in our best selling granolas. Click here to shop.

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Maple Syrup

Native to North America (hence the maple leaf Canadian flag), maple syrup comes from maple tree sap. As well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and potassium, maple syrup contains antioxidants with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Similar to honey, the darker in colour, the more nutritious the maple syrup will be. It has lower GI than sugar, meaning it’s less likely to cause dramatic spikes and drops in your blood sugar.

We use maple syrup in our moreish nut ranges. Click here to shop.

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Image: Em Powher

Molasses

Molasses is one of the most beneficial sweeteners with a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium and given it’s sweeter than sugar; you don’t need to use a lot of it. Molasses is a bi-product of the sugar cane or sugar beet production. You might also know molasses as ‘black treacle’.

We use molasses in our cookie ranges. Click here to shop.

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Rice Malt Syrup

Rice malt syrup is a gluten and wheat free result from boiling down brown rice. This process breaks down the starch and results in a very sticky, sweet butterscotch flavored natural sweetener. Rice malt syrup is also fructose free meaning it’s a good alterative for those with IBS. This sweetener does have a higher GI than others however so best to consume in small amounts.

We use rice malt syrup in our delicious range of clusters. Click here to shop.

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Image: Bakery Production

The Bottom Line

While natural sweeteners are certainly a better option than refined sugars, they should still be consumed in moderation for a healthy, balanced life. If you would like to know more information then get in touch with us! We would be more than happy to talk you through the nutritional value for each of our products.

Stay tuned! We are currently working on new and exciting products that include more natural sweeteners such as, coconut sugar, agave and stevia.

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May 24, 2016
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Our Life Changing Loaf.

A life in balanced perception

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The Amazin’ Graze Academy has focused on all things antioxidants recently, the benefits of oats and walnuts, learning about LSA mix and the misconceptions of gluten. So what better way to reflect than with our life changing loaf?

Packed with incredibly high amounts of fibre and protein, this whole grain, nut and seed loaf is complete in goodness for optimal nutrition and digestion. With no butter, no flour, no egg and no sugar, you won’t believe it’s a) bread and b) as good as it looks. The key here is the psyllium husk, also known as, nature’s fibrous absorbent so make sure you drink plenty of water whilst nomming down on this delicious concoction.

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Ingrédients

2 cups of oats

½ cup of flaxseed

½ a cup of sunflower seeds

½ cup of chopped walnuts

2tbs of chia seed

3tbs psyllium husk – I used Nature First Premium

1tbs LSA mix – click here to find out more 

2 cups of water

2 tbs coconut oïl

2tbs honey

Click here to shop the ingredients at Amazin’ Graze

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Method

Heat your oven to 160 and line a rectangle baking tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients then in a jar or bottle, shake the water, coconut oil and honey together. Pour the liquid over the oat mix in three stages, each stage, stirring well. You want to gradually work the chia and psyllium husk into a milky paste, coating the oats and seeds as you go. The outcome should be slightly wet and sticky.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and flatten evenly using the back of the spoon.

Bake for 40 minutes then transfer the loaf into a baking tray and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes upside down.

The loaf will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks. Alternatively slice thinly and freeze.

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May 24, 2016
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Friends of Amazin’ Graze: Learning about the social enterprise, ∫(inclue)

Being a business in a small neighbourhood such as Sentul, it matters to us to give back to the community that is helping us grow.

While our products are handmade in our kitchen every day, we couldn’t operate without the partnership of other enthusiastic companies. So that brings us to ∫(inclue).Working together every week, Inclue is a vital part of our team, so we would like to share this incredible initiative with all of you grazers out there.

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Photo courtesy of ∫(inclue)

∫(inclue) is a social enterprise  that aims to help people who are living on the streets of KL to reintegrate into society. ∫(inclue) provides them personal support and access to jobs. The project also provides companies the opportunity be socially responsible by outsourcing simple jobs to those whom are willing to work.

Health & HR Manager for ∫(inclue), Dr. Sharminithevi Paramalingam said, “We are a team of six people who work passionately to help the homeless in KL. We aim to break the cycle for these people by providing training and encouragement so that ultimately, they can find their feet again”.

∫(inclue), began three months ago as a short-term program initiated by the National Blue Ocean Strategy and supported by the Ministry of Finance and is run by Impact Hub and Scope Group. As well as this, Street Feeders of KL and My Perintis also provide project support through their extensive knowledge on stigmatized societies. The team however is currently working on securing a longer-term commitment from various businesses in KL to ensure the initiative can continue its growth among the homeless.

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Photo courtesy of ∫(inclue)

So where do we come in?

Every week our team works with ∫(inclue) to stick the labels on our packaging. Given this is around 700 labels a week, it is no small task for the four or five workers that help deliver this project.

Dr. Paramalingam continued, “Once a week, Amazin’ Graze engages and employs a different layer of society. Our aim is to increase our client base to ensure more regular work for KL’s homeless people”.
As for training, ∫(inclue) works with the team members to identify areas in which they can secure longer-term employment. Dr. Paramalingam says however, we first need to break the stigma attached to those living on the street.

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Photo courtesy of ∫(incluse)

Walk With Me

Walk With Me is a collection of stories from the homeless people ∫(inclue) works with. Currently found on Instagram, the campaign connects with people living on the streets, through understanding their passions, dreams and fears. Search the hash tag, #walkwithmecampaign to dig deeper into the people that make ∫(inclue).

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Photo courtesy of ∫(inclue)

Want to learn more?

Inclue is located right near us! Visit the team at Impact Hub KL at D7, Sentul or get in touch with Dr. Sharminithevi Paramalingam at sharmparam@gmail.com or visit their website: Inclue.

∫(inclue) wouldn’t be possible without the support of the following organisations:

National Blue Ocean Strategy
Ministry of Finance Malaysia
Street Feeders of KL
MyPerintis
Scope Group
Impact Hub KL
2016 Volunteering for International Professionals

Photo courtesy of ∫(inclue)

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May 17, 2016
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The mind game: how to consciously engage with what we eat

Given we live in a society in love with food, why are obsessed with the latest diet trends and worse, why do we let ourselves feel guilty when we eat for pleasure? Let’s ditch the fad diets and negative feelings and learn to enjoy food by being mindful of it. The concept of conscious and mindful eating is not about what you can and cannot eat, but understanding what we eat and why.

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Image: Spare Space

Food for thought: intentional eating
Listening to our body and taking ownership of habits is a great place to start the mindfulness process.

Have a think about these questions. Do you consider food as an act of taking care of yourself or rather an indulgence? Do you eat for nourishment or because it’s in front of you? Let’s apply consciousness and intent to the way we eat by dropping the comparisons, looking within and taking charge.

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Image: Pepper Passport

Drop the comparisons

“Comparison is the thief of joy” Theodore Roosevelt

Yes, some people can eat donuts for lunch and lose weight and others can go on juice detox diets and gain weight. There are an infinite variety of viewpoints out there, so how can our bodies and reactions possibly all be the same? What works for others might not work for you, so rather than comparing yourself, engage and listen to your own body. When was the last time you celebrated your uniqueness?

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Image: Dewaele

Look within
“A healthy outside starts from the inside” Robert Urich

Reflecting on our relationship with food is the easiest way to create change. In order to change our behaviours though, we have to first have to understand them.

For one week, write down your morning, lunch and dinner routines. Start with why you ate, when you ate, what you ate, how you ate, how much you ate and where you ate. Were you on your phone? Were you watching TV? Where you sitting at your desk? How did you feel afterwards?

Now look back at the week and reflect on your patterns and behaviours.

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Image: Joyus Health

Take charge
“Knowledge isn’t power until it’s applied” Dale Carnegie

Now that you have identified your eating habits; it’s time for action.

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May 09, 2016
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