Award Season

Did you all watch the Golden Globes last night? Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of yet another stellar year in movies.

While it may seem that the glitter of festivities has worn off, award season kind of keeps it alive for me. I love braving the cold in order to watch movies at the cinema, look forward to seeing the sparkling and glowing faces of the epic films and continuing to work on my own scripts and ideas hoping they make it to the big screen someday.

I definitely want to be healthy today following all that jazz from the red carpet last night, but something came to mind, on Mondays, given everything else that is going on (back to work, back to school, the beginning of the week, etcetera, etcetera), it isn’t always easy to make that a priority.

My sister-in-law shared a link to uber-avocados-on-toast with me over the weekend. I put it up on the Confessions of a Quirky Princess Facebook page saying I could live off green smoothies, lentils and avocados on toast. The only way I get through Monday without tearing open bars of chocolate are these go-to recipes.

Although having said that, my friends Haji and Jared can attest to their Christmas chocolate stash having significantly diminished after my visit to their home this weekend before a garage rave on Queen Street. Which also means I’ll be doing my Tracy Anderson treadmill workout for much longer today.

Mondays are busy and hectic for us (for anyone) and the last thing anyone wants to worry about is what to cook and eat. Between Ahmed working on shows, my deadlines, ballet and chores it’s so easy to succumb to an easy and not always healthy fix.

That is why our freezer is laden with frozen portions of homemade dahl, which we gorge on for meatless Mondays. A Sunday night grocery trip for smoothie ingredients, organic spelt and kamut bread, avocados and lemons for hot water ensures we don’t go awry.

So today, keeping up the momentum of January, I am sharing with you my foolproof Monday menu, which gives me my best start to the week so you can make post-festive season most awarding.

I love to start the day with lemon and hot water, (and drink plenty of fluids throughout). I need snacks while I write, (it’s true) and keep a stash of nuts, apples and Nākd bars nearby.

Breakfast – Go Green

Monday morning and emails go hand in hand, that’s why a filling smoothie with greens and a banana is my solution. Here are my favourite recipes, you can even chop up your ingredients and put them in your blending cup the night before.

Karachi Green Juice
Power Green Smoothie
Pick-Me-Up Smoothie
My Green Go-To

Lunch – Avocados on Toast

No kidding.

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(Serves 1)

Two slices of bread (for example rye, spelt, kamut)
1/4 of a large avocado
1/2tsp coconut oil
Squeeze of lemon
Himalayan pink salt, pinch
Freshly ground pepper
Small handful of alfalfa sprouts
Some raw pumpkin seeds

Pop your bread to toast.

Meanwhile prepare the avocado, by mashing it with coconut oil, lemon, salt and some pepper.

Once the toast is done, spread the avocado, arrange the alfalfa sprouts on top of it and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Dinner – Dahl

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This is my easiest lentil dish yet, without the onions but all the taste.

(Serves 4)

1tbsp coconut oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp ginger paste
1tsp garlic paste
1tsp curry powder
1tsp Thai red curry paste
2tbsp tomato paste
2 cups of red lentils, washed and soaked for at least an hour
1 cup of coconut milk
3 cups of water
Himalayan salt to season

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the cumin seeds for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn them.

Add the ginger, garlic, curry paste, curry powder, tomato paste and fry for a few more minutes. Add a little water if it starts to dry out.

Next stir-in the lentils once they are nicely coated pour the coconut milk and water into the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, adding more water if necessary depending on how thick you like your dahl to be.

Season with Himalayan salt and serve.

The Essential #TIFF Handbag

Toronto’s streets are alive with the scent of TIFF! We found ourselves traipsing through King Street West yesterday after a little foraging in the Entertainment District.

If you are dashing in and out of festivities, watching movies, stargazing and partying during TIFF this year, throw these bits and pieces in your bag to keep you going and glowing like a pro.

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Magnesium

The one thing you will need plenty of is magnesium. Studies have shown, that a lack of it, could leave you with lower levels of energy, that may lead to fatigue, weakness, anxiety and irritability. The last thing you want at a film festival when you want to look and feel your best!

The body keeps using magnesium so eating magnesium-rich food throughout the day will keep you on top of your game.

Give your body a head start in the morning with a leafy green juice. Why not try cold pressed green elixir from Greenhouse Juice Co? They have one that is full of The Good stuff.

Keep up your momentum by throwing some seaweed and nuts in your bag to munch on through the day.

Sparkling Skin

Don’t just leave glowing skin to the stars. Drink Dr. Stuart’s Skin Purify, this little goodie bag has the highest essential oil content possible in a packaged tea.

Stay fresh-faced with Juicy Bamboo Natural Cleansing Cloths. Soaked in organic honey and vitamins, these beautifying wipes are free of cruelty, alcohol, synthetic fragrance, parabens and sulfates.

Keep your skin soft, supple, loaded with nutrients and vitamins with The Hydrating Fusion by La Mer, laced with their transforming Miracle Broth.™

Sweep some Mac Beauty Powder over your face as a soft blush or overall finish and make skin, your highlight of the night.

Leave Your Mark

Be unforgettable with a scent from Jo Malone. Start with something light and flowery for the day, like Blackberry and Bay and add some drama with the hues of Pomegranate Noir as the sunsets on festival street.

Screen Siren

Don’t let the carpet be the only red at TIFF this year. This season’s hot ticket is crimson tones. A scarlet accessory or flush on your lips will take your outfit from day-to-night in a flash and ensure you are camera-ready. My favourites are Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Hollywood Red or a bright cashmere scarf, perfect for those Indian summer evenings so typical of September in Toronto.

Hollywood Classic

Black sunglasses, enough said.

 

 

Zombies, apes and the living dead

To the ape eye, zombies may seem ugly but they are a beautiful metaphor and for centuries they have been unfairly touted as an allegory symbolic of ape values in society. Prime examples are the connotations derived of them from cult films both new and classic, where zombies have been stereotyped and pigeonholed. These unreasonable comparisons do a great disservice to zombies, who are in actual fact thriving entities contrary to Hollywood portrayals of them. By far the greatest outrage zombies have faced yet is the romanticised depiction of the vampire being desirable, through the incarnation of Robert Pattinson and damned damsel in distress, Bella.

In more recent history apes have evolved into so-called human beings, however, to the zombie nation they are still seen to harbour an ape like culture. Apes find this association highly insulting, as they do not have corrupt mullahs, generals, politicians, leaders or civilians amongst their population. In our present day, real apes have been banished to their diminishing eco-systems or imprisoned in zoos or are being wiped out by the “human race” as a means to retaining power over the zombies and apes.

After 28 Days Later (where it was finally revealed to the world that zombies can actually run and don’t walk around like Frankenstein) and Shaun of The Dead (where zombies became acceptable household pets so long as they were your friend in their past life), they have become acceptable acquaintances, lovers or family members, alongside the human variables, pod people (sheeple), hybrids (part alien and part human) and of course cyborgs (part human and part machine, enslaved to the matrix: 9 to 5s, taxes, mortgages, car loans and reality TV based on some shore or another).

While zombies have had to face a great deal of discrimination, unlike the humans they have managed to make their peace with the apes to some extent – particularly after the end of their cold war in the 20th century. Since then zombies have dedicated their time on Earth into researching God’s beings, leading to the findings of the most tragic of all creations: the living dead. One zombie, a philanthropist and prominent researcher of the living dead, speaking exclusively said, “I often wonder if my driver knows the secrets of the living dead, when he picks me up and listens to Sufi music on radio, whilst I read my notes on the ape mind and stare out the window at birds and contemplate angels.”

Rare zombie literature from the Age of Technological Enlightment shows that the living dead have many sad secrets. Since the creation of the cell, zombies have found that the living deads’ interaction with world has diminished even more. The living dead will almost always get answering machines and won’t leave a message. Their SMS’ will fail to reach recipients of them. Quoting from Willam Zakespeare’s famous zonnet, “the living dead have been substitutes, until one finds the real thing, like a barman waiting for his love, holding a rose and hopping from one foot to the other.”

This zonnet tries to show that the moment in between each one of the barman’s transitions, replicates the living dead’s feelings, easy enough to miss, easy enough to be there but not exactly be noticed. How relevant is it to anyone what leg a barman is standing on, akin to how irrelevant the living dead feel they themselves are?

Other limited zombie literature deals with their melancholy dreams. Much of the living dead have not spoken of their night time visions and what little zombies do know has been salvaged from precious dream diaries and journals discovered. Zombies have found that even ghosts have more resonance as they belong somewhere, even if it is to the underworld, “most of the time the living dead are in a limbo, oscillating between this life and the next. They fade into walls and sink into sands, whilst God’s other creations lean against them and run hands through them, failing to realise what marks they leave on them.”

It is hard to understand the living dead; as there is not much literature, music, art or film on them. It is said that many of them have contributed significantly to each medium – many of them meet an untimely expiration, due to their experiences which began as early as their childhood. Over the years, the most difficult task zombie historians and sociologists have faced, is distinguishing the living dead between supposed humans. Much of the living dead are impersonators, not living real lives, but one’s that have been imposed on them or have been adopted by them in a bid to fit into society, leaving them feeling despair. Famous author and historian, Zark Zain says, “the living dead have been pretending to live for years, and they are voracious in the craft of it, having passed it on from one generation to the next. Most humans would not know the living dead if they came and slapped them across the face. Their cries have almost always fallen on deaf ears and have even resulted in genocide in the history of non-mankind.”

The living dead remain to this day one of the world’s greatest mysteries. As one of their lost souls once so finely said, “I may feel dead inside, but know I’m still alive, if when I lie down at night – my body is able to produce a single tear and my cheek can feel the warmth of it as it falls.”