Health & Physical Activity

My Momma’s Homemade Traditional Meghli Recipe

Oh, how I love traditions! The older I get (yep I am reaching the post mid-30’s mark), the more and more attached I get to traditions. Maybe because they remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings people together and offers a forum to celebrate the things that really matter in life.

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Spirituality & Balance

Is Routine Necessarily A Bad Thing?

Routine… What a dreaded term for most of us?! But then again I have to ask, “is it really all that bad?”
 
The other day, I went out for my weekly dinner meal with someone I consider a friend, sister, mentor and soulie (yep, we have called each other that since the start of our friendship which was in diapers). Smiling face with smiling eyes Anyways, during this dinner we always touch upon some deep, intellectual topic (at times, I so wish that I wasn’t an over thinker! Naive would have been great… Just go with the flow).

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Health & Physical Activity

A 10 Minute Deeelicious Skinny Chocolate PB Smoothie Recipe

How many of us crave cold, quenching drinks when the sun is out? How many of us turn to frappuccino’s, iced drinks, packaged fruit juices, sodas and beverages from Starbucks, Costa, Caribou, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Capri Sun and the like? Do we really know how much sugar we are consuming? Or do we just focus on the calorific content and think I will just cut down on what I eat today? 

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Health & Physical Activity

A Simply Divine Banana Pecan Pancake Recipe

As highlighted on my Instagram and Facebook post, I started my ‘wholefoods’ journey when I first got diagnosed with H. Pylori, then IBS and then Celiac (even the Doctors are confused) but I am glad it happened (truly, a blessing in disguise) because slowly but surely, I began to discover so many new, easy, yummy recipes and superfoods!
 
It is funny how confused and lost you first get when you are just told to get on a FODMAP diet. Who is FODMAP was my first thought? What is left to eat when they say gluten free, lactose free and avid high fructose? I used to constantly read a powerpoint document I downloaded from my best friend GOOGLE, highlighting in CAPITAL letters what to AVOID everything and I always felt overwhelmed with all the confusing information out there. 

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Health & Physical Activity

Coconut Chocolate Chia Cups

At Umbrella, we believe in the concept of bio-individuality – one persons food is another persons poison. What works for me, may not work for you. So, together we tune into your body and choose foods that are suitable for you. No dieting, just sustainable lifestyle changes!

I am highlighting this because one of the most common question I hear from my clients is, ‘but how do I stop chocolate and sugar? I hate dieting.’ When we start working together, there are no restrictions. Yes, we move away from processed and artificial foods. Yes, we cut out a lot of unhealthy sugars but you start to learn how to choose quality foods. You eat wholesome foods that are packed with nutrients and don’t make you feel sluggish or tired. Your energy levels go up, your skin glows, and you still get a healthy dose of delicious treats that don’t comprise of empty calories. 

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Relationships

Faith in Humanity

A few months back, my baby sister had written about faith in humanity due to a touching experience that had happened to our brother. I got reminded of this story recently when something very similar occurred at first hand and I felt it was essential to share it with all of you so we don’t keep losing hope in humanity. 

In today’s world, faith in humanity seems very hard to come by.. Lately the world just feels like pure chaos. Every other morning you hear about shootings, killings, rape, illnesses, disease and wars against ‘terror.’ It is funny we have become so accustomed to the word terrorism that nowhere seems safe (except maybe Antarctica). The whole earth feels like it is hurting, even nature itself seems sad. We walk around conscious of who we are, who we will be identified as – Whether it is based on skin color, a religious symbol or just a name that can give away a little too much.. But amongst all, this someone found a wallet and inside that wallet a picture of an Arab man with the name ‘Ahmad’ (that Arab man being my brother) and an address. This someone didn’t owe it to Ahmad to return his wallet, this someone could have just left it or even stolen it, but most of all, this someone could have at least identified themselves to get a pat on the back, some gratitude, some attention. But this someone didn’t care for all that nonsense. There was one intention this amazing individual was focused on and that was to do the right thing.

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Spirituality & Balance

My Very Own Mother Theresa – Part II

I am back for part two which I hope doesn’t run for more than eight seconds (kidding, kidding – I do hope I can hold my readers’ attention for at least ten seconds).

So, a few days ago, we had a conversation about whether or not ALTRUISM comes naturally to us humans. Altruism is defined as the willingness to do things that bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantages for ourselves. The debate was endless, prompting me to look up scientific research behind the act of good deeds.

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Spirituality & Balance

My Very Own Mother Theresa

Today I chose to write about something that hits closer to home, she is the remarkable and inspirational woman of my life, my very own mother whom I personally choose to call ‘Lebanon’s Mother Theresa.’

Growing up, she constantly reminded my siblings and I to have a sense of gratitude for everything around us. No matter where we were in our lives; be it emotional, financial, or mental, my mom would always respond with one word and one word only, ‘Hamdellah (defined as Thank God).’ If I was to criticize how I looked (trust me I did a lot of that back in the day), I would get, ‘Mama you are beautiful. Say Hamdellah.’ But in my mind all I heard was, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ She is my mom after all, right guys? In brief, she always reminded us that no matter what you had to complain about, others have it much worse. REMEMBER THAT. REMEMBER THEM.

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Relationships

An Open World Begins With An Open Mind

We are all inherently connected in this world, whether it is from our individual make up or simply being creations who share the same infinite space and resources to survive. Yesterday, I came across a video that truly touched my heart (yep, I cried! Not surprising as Disney cartoons still get me to this day).

To get back to the video.. A random group of people were asked to name countries or nationalities that they don’t particularly get along with or like. Everyone spoke up freely and many had strong point of views. They were then asked to spit into a test tube for their composition to be analyzed via DNA testing. The results were phenomenal. It showed that most of our genetic make up originates from a melting pot of different areas and continents. For some, it was even the races they truly disliked (I am not going to use hate as it is too strong an emotion). Ironically, two of the individuals in the group even turned out to be related!

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Health & Physical Activity

Vanilla Matcha Chia Pudding with Yummy Strawberry Nicecream Recipe

Many of you have been asking me, ‘What is matcha?’ Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan. The powder can be used to brew a rich, frothy green tea or it can be added into recipes, such as the one I will be sharing today.

To be honest, the first time I tried matcha, I didn’t particularly love it. Maybe it was my not-so-great ingredient combination (yep, I decided to go all out with spinach so it was waaay too bitter). However, I didn’t want to give up on it just yet! One of the main reasons is that this magical powder offers many great health benefits.

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Spirituality & Balance

4 Additional Tips to Follow when Faced with BIG Life Decisions

So here I am still outweighing my BIG life decision (I am Aquarian after all – not only known to be free-spirited but quite indecisive). As shared in my ‘Wrinkled Wisdom’ blog a few weeks ago, taking life-changing decisions are never easy and should never be taken lightly as the consequences are far greater than just an online picture that fails to get over a 100 likes (hoping that is a today relatable example).

One things for sure, we have all made our fair share of regrettable decisions. Making sound decisions, like any other skill set, needs to be developed through personal experiences, your current situation, and of course, thinking straight and clear. So, I have put together my top 4 tips that can hopefully help you when faced with BIG decisions 🙂

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Spirituality & Balance

Back 2 Basics

I recently jumped at an opportunity that appeared out of the blue. Within a day I booked a ticket and hopped on a plane to one of my favorite cities, Barcelona!

A part of me was apprehensive as I hadn’t even prepared for the meeting nor did I feel the desire to step out of my comfort zone (only because I feel I have been ‘stepping out’ WAY TOO much lately) nor did I feel the desire to travel alone (then again, thank God for phones right? Keeps us connected and all).

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Spirituality & Balance

Connect with your Roots

Let me begin by apologizing for being MIA the past week but we have all experienced that unexpected curveball that life throws at you. That situation which occurs within seconds and your thought out plans have to be readjusted (also within seconds – just kidding. No stress here but you get the gist).

I had just landed in Dubai for a 10 day breather; which in my books involved reconnecting with old friends, attending a wedding, networking with some like-minded Health and Wellness Coaches, attending a workshop and just relaxing on the beach (in Dee’s self care definition that involves 5 hours of volleyball and palette).

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Relationships

Wrinkled Wisdom

Lately, I have found myself at crossroads with too many BIG decisions weighing me down. I am not referring to our daily no-brainer decisions, such as, what to wear or what to eat or how to spend our week-end (or nowadays what filter to use on social media).

What I am talking about are the BIG decisions that no one ever truly prepares us for in life. I mean I loved studying biology and mathematics at school (a nerd at heart) but don’t you think we should start prepping kids today on proper life skills? Tools to assess what type of career best suits them, how what they choose to study at university can truly influence 50 plus years of their life, how to maintain and keep good relationships, how to deal with loss and change, how to live well, take care of their health by cooking more, moving, finding what makes them happy, meditating, and the list goes on and on.

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Health & Physical Activity

Chocolate Chia Pudding – To Blend or Not to Blend?

Chia pudding has now become one of my all-time favorite breakfast or snack (replacing, what I used to think was ‘heart healthy, wholegrain’ (or should I say processed, sugar packed) cereals).

Chia seeds are protein and nutrient dense! There are many simple and delicious recipes to easily get the benefits of these seeds. Today, I am going to share my ultimate favorite recipe, requiring only 6 basic ingredients.

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