Tag Archives: lifestyle

Post to read if you want to turn vegan

I practised being vegan for a short while just out of curiosity. I wanted to know how difficult or easy it was and how this lifestyle shift would benefit my health. I am a vegetarian and so the only things I needed to cut out of my diet were honey and diary products. It the beginning I found it difficult to cut out yogurt but after a few days, it didn’t matter. Did I feel any different health -wise? I certainly felt my bloating had reduced but other than that I didn’t see any major change. I even tried vegan meals from a home -based vegan meals set up and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I felt I needed to know more about being vegan means and embarked on a research around the same. This is what I found- 

Veganism is being practiced widely these days and there is always a debate about whether it is just another food fad or whether opting for veganism has its own benefits. Before getting into whether it is fad or not, it is important to understand what being a vegan means.

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

As per this definition, being vegan is not just about changing diet habits but is a major lifestyle change. More and more people are opting to be vegan due to dietary and health concerns than moral reasons because they are either lactose intolerant or as a weight loss measure. Turning vegan means shifting into a lifestyle where shopping for cosmetics, clothes, holidaying, dining out should be vegan-friendly.  

Generally, a proper vegan diet is considered healthy because it is plant based and omits meat, sea food, eggs, honey and all dairy products. But there is a chance that newly converted vegans may take time to adjust to quitting meat by replacing it with refined carbohydrates like pasta, rice, breads etc.  In that case, vegan diet may not necessarily mean a healthier lifestyle. Before going vegan there are few things to keep in mind –

  • You may need a vitamin B12 supplement and an iron supplement. These nutrients are more easily available in animal foods and cannot be obtained from plant –based diets.
  • In a community that craves meat for every meal, it can be quite challenging to follow a plant based diet. People around will ask all kinds of questions which may be annoying or amusing and they won’t stop anytime soon.
  • Sources of protein will diminish and soy and soy products become the go-to source. But there are health concerns related to soy based “vegan- meat “products and they should be used sparingly in the diet.
  • You will have to take time out to read all the food labels, cosmetic labels and clothing labels.

But all the above reasons should in no way deter anyone from trying this lifestyle because people who have switched to this kinder and healthier way of living life, swear by the benefits.

  • The average vegan diet is higher in vitamin C and fibre, and lower in saturated fat than the one containing meat
  • Vegans have a lower BMI (height-to-weight ratio) than meat eaters, which means they are skinnier
  • Vegans have lower cholesterol levels and lesser risk of heart diseases because the diet is lower in saturated fat.
  • Turning vegan is an opportunity to discover food flavours and recipes that you may not have tried before.
  • A vegan lifestyle is a kinder way to live on this earth.

In Bahrain, being vegan means you are certainly in the minority and  it is bound to raise many eye brows. However, there is a small yet strong vegan community that supports and strongly advocates the choice of being vegan. What’s more, many restaurants and hypermarkets have changed their outlook and have more vegan-friendly food and ingredients making life easier for this community. Here are some of the sources that may prove useful if you are planning to adopt the vegan way of life –

  1. Vegan meals at your doorstep – @veganmealsbh delivers healthy, homemade vegan meals at your doorstep. Follow them on Instagram and you would know the menu which changes week after week. Having tried this diet for a week by ordering vegan meals from Vegan Meals Bahrain, here are a few observations –
  • Felt lighter
  • No bloating
  • Portions are just enough to feel full and on more.
  • Vegan take on classic dishes like shepherd’s pie were refreshing to taste.

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  1. Vegans in Bahrain community – @veganbahrain is a community that provides all the necessary information about being vegan and where to find products and ingredients that are vegan – friendly.
  2. Vegan Blog – One Arab Vegan ( onearabvegan) is a blog you must follow, in case you are planning to try the vegan lifestyle. All information about how to tackle unfriendly questions about your vegan lifestyle to the most sumptuous vegan recipes grace this blog penned by Nada. Be sure to subscribe to this one!
  3. Vegan products – Lulu Hypermarket and Al Jazeera house vegan- friendly products. All it takes is some effort to read labels to ensure you are picking the right product.
  4. Eating out – Initially, eating out may feel daunting but there are many restaurants in Bahrain that offer vegan- friendly menus. Café Amsterdam, Orangery, Pauls Bakery offer many vegan choices to diners.

Adopting a vegan lifestyle does not have to be an overnight shift. It can be done in baby steps, allowing the body and  mind  the time to accept the change by first cutting out refined, in-organic and processed foods and including more vegetables, fruits and whole grains in the diet.

Rant & a soya mince – peas stir fry

Rant alert! 

You know that feeling when everything is spinning out of control despite your best effort? We all go through our fair share of troubles in our personal and professional lives. Then you try harder to control it by switching gears, changing direction and honking constantly, yet the derailment is imminent. What do you do, when it is all flailing arms, despair and utter confusion? 

I understood two simple things-Wait for the storm to pass and life goes on. 

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Come to think of it, there are so many struggles and choices we face everyday. The struggle of striking that work-life balance, of finding that balance between finding time for yourself versus rest of the world, choices relating to eating healthy etc.

Life of an entrepreneur is extremely demanding and I always find myself struggling to balance my time for everything. I feel I am rushing all the time and sometimes ( well, most of the time) it is quite overwhelming. Food choices suffer because of this rushed state of mind. Not to mention all the food tastings and restaurant reviews I have to do. I keep making resolutions about cutting down sugar, exercising and I find myself steering away from it quickly. I fall for what is convenient and NOT what is beneficial. The most worrying part is, I do not feel guilty anymore. I find some excuse or the other to justify my indulgence and complete lack of discipline. Eating at odd hours has become a norm and desserts are an every day affair. I have sort of developed an addiction to sugar which is very, very disturbing. When I do not get my fair share of sugar each day, I grow irritable and cranky. An immediate infusion of sugar in any form quickly transforms me from a maniac witch to a fairy godmother. The transformation post sugar, is remarkable.

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One of my recent pictures was an eye-opener for me. I rarely spend time in front of the mirror to assess my deteriorating state. But it caught me off-guard when I saw a random picture of mine clicked my someone else. I could see how different I was in my head vis-a-vis for real. Hence, I knew I have to act fast before it was too late. Plus coming from a family with all kinds of medical history, doesn’t help.

So I have decided to officially end my hedonistic food lifestyle and really take a closer look at how I am going to transform it. I believe I need to do this not just for my sake but also for my daughter who is absorbing everything that she sees. 

I have started  gym schedule with a trainer that is more endurance focused. I also have a diet plan. Mind you, it is not for the weak of heart – this diet plan. It is quite extreme and I need to be on it for 6 weeks. Usually I don’t write about my exercise or diet here because I am insecure in my head about not keeping up with it. But this time, I am going to be confident about it and I have no qualms in sharing this diet with anyone who reads my blog. 

My diet for each day shall be as follows:

Starting 15th of July, up until 30th of August, 2015 ( 6 weeks) with 6 small meals

Only 1 liter of water through out the day.

Meal 1 

100 g chicken + 100 g rice + 50 g almonds

Meal 2 

100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables 

Meal 3

2 whole eggs + 50 g quinoa

Meal 4

2 whole eggs+vegetables

Meal 5 

100 g chicken + 3 rice flakes + 50 g almond

Meal 6 

100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables.

Work out – 1 hour 15 minutes with the trainer in the evening

After one of this diet, I will try and including some cardio in the morning along with training in the evening with the trainer.

I really, really hope to stick with this plan and see it through. It is a matter of 6 weeks and it will be huge test of my will power especially because I am so addicted to sugar. 

Before I sign off on a healthy note, here’s the recipe of a delicious soya mince- peas stir fry which is wonderful with chappatis and even just by itself.

Bread Poha
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Bread slices, torn into small pieces ( atleast 8-10 slices- older the better)
  2. 2 large onions, chopped
  3. 5 green chilles, chopped fine,
  4. peanuts - half cup( boiled)
  5. salt as per taste
  6. chilli powder - 1 tsp
  7. coriander powder - 2 tsp
  8. tumeric powder - 2 tsp
  9. sugar - 1 tbsp or less
  10. lemon juice - a dash
  11. sprinkle of water
  12. mustard seeds,- 1 tsp
  13. cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  14. dash of asafoetida
  15. curry leaves - 8 -10 leaves
Instructions
  1. Tear all the bread slices into bite sized pieces, keep aside
  2. Take some oil in a flat frying pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and add asafoetida
  3. Add chopped onions and fry until light & translucent
  4. Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
  5. To this add, all the spice powders including salt and sugar and mix well.
  6. Add boiled peanuts and fry well
  7. Add bread pieces and let the spices coat the bread pieces very well.
  8. Once the bread is mixed well, sprinkle water to soften the bread.
  9. Take the pan off the heat and add a dash of lemon juice and serve hot
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

 

Icflix & Uber: A true moment of interconnectedness

I recently had been to Dubai for a business trip. Having tried Uber in India previously, I got my first ride with Uber Dubai there using my smartphone. I am happy to note the high level of safety and comfort using the Uber cab experience, and am already a fan of their enterprise. As a single business woman traveller, safety and comfort are of utmost importance to me, and Uber has always made me feel comfortable and safe.

But what really pepped me up was that getting a first ride with Uber also got me a month of subscription to ICFLIX absolutely free! This was absolutely wonderful news for me, because it meant I could catch up on all the Bollywood and Hollywood movies without having to spend time to go to the movie cinema halls to watch them. With my tight schedule in business and blogging, I can barely spare the time to go to a cinema hall to catch up on the latest flicks. But with ICFLIX, I can watch these movies in my hotel room or at home on my phone or tablet or laptop, whenever I wanted to!

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Now, for those of you who have not been following my blog from the start, I have, in my past life, been a movie critic and reviewer, and many of my reviews have even been published in online and print magazines and newspapers. I am an absolute movie buff and love movies across genres right from rom-coms to suspense, action movies to thrillers and even the odd dabble of horror and chills. My husband and daughter too share this love for movies and we enjoy watching movies together, both at the cinema and at home.

icflix and Uber join hands towards technology and innovation

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This is a true moment of interconnectedness. Yesterday, the world would have gawked if two industries like entertainment and logistics shook hands and became business partners. Today, icflix and Uber have joined forces, and shifted the paradigm of how businesses can collaborate in this world of increased access and mobility. In the words of Carlos Tibi, the founder and CEO of icflix , “We like to think outside the box”. This is innovation in collaboration at its best.

I also came to know that even the opposite deal holds – so if you get a month of icflix subscription, you get 80 AED credit to your Uber Dubai account. Now this is a truly innovative way to enhance user experience – leveraging technology and innovation and creating a killer combination.

ICFLIX is Middle East and North Africa’s first unlimited streaming platform that provides Jazwood (Arabic content), Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV series, cartoons and documentaries, all of which can be watched on any internet connected device. By providing all this entertainment content in one place, ICFLIX serves as a unique video on demand platform that can be enjoyed by its subscribers. ICFLIX is even equipped with social media features that allow users to comment, rate and share what they’re watching.

The ICFLIX service offers HD content, a large selection of titles, simplicity and convenience. Subscribers can access icflix on the go via their smart phone, tablet or laptop, or at home via their computer, smart TV or gaming console. With ICFLIX, you can be assured that you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want, and enjoy a commercials-free movie or TV show.

One more feature that I love about ICFLIX is that it has special screenings of movies or TV shows very frequently as well. Right now, as a Ramadan Special, ICFLIX is screening the 1001 Arabian Nights TV series, which has many rave reviews. Although language would be an issue but seeing familiar tales with modern production values would be an experience.

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 Ramadan 2015 icflix Exclusives

In case you wish to access this offer the following code need to be entered while ordering- UBERUAE  for the UAE, UBERKSA for the KSA, UBERBAH for the Bahrain, UBERLEB for Lebanon, and UBERQAT for Qatar.

And enter the code when you sign up to icflix , or if you are already a member go on , “Your account” , “Manage subscription” and enter your promo code.

So get onboard and enjoy the ICFLIX experience.

(This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are mine)

Indulge your senses at Rimal Spa, Movenpick Hotel

While health is the state of the body, wellness is the state of being. Day to day stress of work, managing a house, keeping up with social commitments takes a toll. Going to the gym may feel like an act of taking care of the body, but the lifting of weights, running on the treadmill stresses out my muscles and I find myself constantly complaining of some ache or pain everyday.

The mind commands the body to keep pushing but the body seems to saying the exact opposite. It is important to keep observing what the body is telling us. People say that wellness is a state of mind but at times, that state of mind needs to be induced. How can you do that? The easiest option would be to go to a spa. Once in a while, I stop everything that I am doing, push my meetings to another day and dedicate a few hours of a day, once every quarter to restore my balance.

This time around it was special because my husband and I were invited by Rimal Spa to try their spa and wellness packages at the Movenpick Hotel.  

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 We happened to visit Rimal Spa on a weekday morning and were quite looking forward our time of R&R. On reaching Movenpick, we were guided to Rimal Spa, where we met with the Spa Manager. The Manager, first explained the concept of the spa where she told us that Rimal Spa is a European-style spa with Arabic influence that aims to provide result-driven treatments to its clients. We were seated in the waiting area as our masseuses prepped for our massage. We were offered a rejuvenating herbal drink that really helped us relax. The Spa Manager then took us around explaining the different types of treatment rooms, the services and the different types of treatment products.

What stood out in all the explanation was the attention to detail.

During our short yet detailed tour, we were told that Rimal Spa features 12 treatment rooms, including single treatment suites, one double female suite and two traditional Turkish hammam suites with their own steam rooms and heated wet tables. All treatment rooms have private showers and to ensure privacy, the wellness facility offers segregated male and female wings with relaxation lounges. 

There are different kinds of treatments to choose from at Rimal Spa. There are the regulars like the Aromatherapy massage, the Swedish Massage, the Hot Stone Massage and then there were the very special Hammam treatments, the Well-Being Massage and the Signature Jewels of the Sea Massage. Apart from the massages, there are also body treatments, facials for both men and women. 

Hammam/ Turkish bath suite
Hammam/ Turkish bath suite

 

Turkish Hammam Pot
Turkish Hammam Pot

After our brief tour, we were asked to choose our treatments. I chose a ‘Deep tissue’ massage while the hubby opted for an ” Asian blend”. We were housed in the same suite with double beds which felt very special and private. In my head I was thinking about this being a perfect anniversary or a Valentine’s day gift. 

A Deep Tissue Massage – I chose this one especially because this is a massage that uses firm pressure and friction. Going to the gym 5 days a week and training had really made my muscles tight. This massage promised to relieve stiff, tight and fatigued muscles and joints by releasing tensions and knots on the back, neck and shoulders. I requested my masseuse to also focus on my calves in particular. My masseuse’s deft hands worked their magic and after an hour + 30 minutes of massage, my body felt light and relaxed. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and calves and I felt fresh and full of energy. 

The Asian Blend – The hubby tried the Asian blend which uses Thai massage combined with aromatherapy oils, acupressure and special stretching techniques. This 90 minute massage was meant to relax, increase flexibility and boost the immune system. After the treatment, I heard him humming a tune on our way home which proved that he was in a great mood.

Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage

What stood out for me?

1. Great attention to the customer’s comfort

2. Great choice of treatments and products that not are not restricted to body massage. There are special kinds of non-invasive treatments for face and body lifts. There are special treatments meant for pregnant women as well. I wish I could have got one when I was pregnant!

3. The ambiance is very relaxing with soothing music and that herbal tea really caught my fancy. I wish I could have a cup now!

4. The staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. All doubts are dispelled promptly and every request is catered to with great warmth. 

The Rimal spa experience for me was one of a kind that helped me unwind and forget about my tensions. When I caught up with the busyness of life yet again, it felt like I had a new- found source of energy inside me. I certainly look forward to trying the Hammam experience during my next visit.

To book an appointment with Rimal Spa, call 17460051 or go to their website

Photos : The Movenpick Hotel

This was a sponsored post but the views expressed are solely mine.