To your good health

Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, fall is really here and my friends and I are off to a beautiful cottage in Golden Lakes for campfires, scary movies, a cheeky s’more and an epic brunch on Monday. If there is anyway to make a s’more healthy, I am not sure it has been discovered and nor do I want to, something’s are perhaps best enjoyed completely adulterated (some good quality chocolate and gluten-free crackers could be a good tweak).

As I try to fathom what I have gotten myself into by offering to cook a Thanksgiving meal for the first time in my life, (it can’t be any different to Christmas dinner right?) I am grateful that there is no turkey to deal with. Before you start imagining a tofu shaped bird (an interesting idea), let me just tell you no such thing will be happening, a recipe or two will be up soon enough.

As well being really excited about this weekend, in this post I have to do a shout out to all of you, as about a year ago, I completely changed the direction of this blog as I changed the direction of my life when my late grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Looking for a way to help her I sought the advice of everyone I could think of.

My husband’s beautiful aunt told me to encourage her to eat a more alkaline based diet. Although my grandma’s cancer was too far gone to be reversed, for the first time I learnt what being healthy truly meant. Having suffered from an autoimmune disorder myself since 2008, taking medicine for it everyday never sat well with me and I was always looking for a different way to treat myself.

I came across a lifestyle called Honestly Healthy and it all just made sense. I decided to adapt a more plant-based diet, cutting down meat, dairy, wheat, salt and sugar from my lifestyle. I started drinking lemon and water, green juicing in the morning and sharing my recipes and experiences here. The change in my condition has been remarkable, I feel much healthier and stronger. Your likes and love, are a real incentive to keep sharing and writing, so thank you.

Although my grandma has moved on, I feel, even in her departure from this world she left me with a gift. I started researching all of this for her but it ended up changing my life and helping me with my illness. So this year, I hope all of you will join me in giving thanks for our health, the health of our loved ones and this wonderful community we are so blessed to be a part of. Keep spreading the good food vibes and love.

Happy Thanksgiving xo
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Courtesy: Nausheen Dadabhoy

A Time To Renew

When the much awaited summer weather finally comes it makes an all too soon exit and in its’ wake leaves behind a sun soaked haze. As much I love summer, I enjoy it’s neighbouring season, fall, far more.

Perhaps it is something left over from school days but the beginning of September always summons the sense of a new year. While in the UK, autumn brought about back to school momentum, crispy leaves on the pavements, the faint smell of bonfires in the air and the Christmas food adverts from Marks and Spencer.

Yet, I find I anticipate fall in Canada much more. Labour Day holiday, waiting for trees to turn, Thanksgiving, Nuit Blanche, Halloween, the first of the cold weather, pre-Awards film season and the run-up to Christmas. No matter where, this precious season offers a time for renewal.

Perhaps that is why the hubby and I decided to embark on a 21 day adventure in the form of Doctor Junger’s elimination detox. The past few months took away all sense of routine and virtue, the much needed visitors and sun called for BBQ’d meats, hours on patios for the World Cup, lavish picnics, ice creams on warm late nights and all other sins that are thoroughly enjoyed in warm weather.

So today was the first day of our detox. We started the morning with a smoothie, mine was my usual green go to with the additions of wheatgrass and chlorophyll and I finally convinced Ahmed to drink non-dairy milk in the form of a chocolate milkshake. Little did he know he was actually drinking a Paleo inspired superfood smoothie.

To serve one, blend 1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut and almond milk with just over a half scoop of chocolate Vega protein, 1 tsp raw cacao power, quarter of an avocado, 2tsp coconut oil and 1-2tsp organic coconut sugar (optional). You can add little water for a thinner consistency.

We made a load of our coconut lentils without tomatoes (recipe coming soon) and enjoyed some chicken rubbed down with Moroccan spices on a bed of spinach for lunch.

Here are three healthy tips to get you on your way:

Drink a mug of lemon and hot water first thing.

Swap table salt for pink Himalayan salt. It’s really not a gimmick, after giving up salt, we find, that whenever we’ve consumed it whilst eating out or something, the next day we feel terrible.

Adding an avocado to anything, smoothie, a healthy dessert (chocolate mousse), brown rice crackers, salad or meal instantly makes it decadent and nutritious.

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Oh and cheers to you all, it’s good to be back.

A Canadian Fall

It’s been a while, but I had to you write today, it was raining as I left Toronto. Fall has begun, fall and forever. What is to be said is this, there was a bus, a plane and a journey. There is always a journey, one going one way or another, but this time as we fly or drive away from each other some how it brings us closer. It’s a warm feeling, like the flame which has started colouring the maple leaves or the smell of pancakes whilst Bon Iver is playing. This is not a confession, it is a testimony. A testimony to a leap of faith, taking a chance, there are no nostalgic requiems of the past here. The moon no longer matters, old shadows do not reflect up on it anymore. I had all the glory of a small town girl in a big city, as we lay there, in between the here and now, a kind of destiny impinged its wings upon us. There were only a few stars, but it did not matter somehow. Here is the fond rekindling of a dream now, the ones we dared, when we sat in warm plush chairs gazing through innocent eyes at a world we saw through the window of cinema, with sweet salt clinging to our nails as we feasted on more than popcorn. We feasted on the idea of love and life itself as we saw it projected on to our being. Those dreams, we thought had played and ran out in the corridors of leaning towers, other scenes, other stars, another moon are as much alive as I am on the road to forever. Those dreams of special people, words, hearts, moving pictures, the momentous, glorious world of love, adventure and cinema comes back to us now on postcards with more than just stamps. The sun is not out, it is inside me, giving light once again to those darkened corners barricaded with ice and it’s very simple what I am talking about, what I am a witness to is how much wonder, excitement, peace and joy the idea of possibility can bring. As Marvin dies, I leave his room. Even though you and I are away from the sea, we now live with knowing that if we jump we are not alone. I smile, because fall is coming.