Day 10

by Naila Sheikh


I've always been a firm believer that in life - whether healing from childbirth, or getting your body used to a new exercise regimen or just acclimating to any challenge or happening in our lives - one is to give at least 10 days before results are shown. 

ย 

ย 

This 10 days formula has helped me in the past and I still believe it to be true. Now, I don't conclude within this time frame for the body to heal or adapt right after, but I believe that mentally & physically we tend to become ready or form shape to a new concept. 

 

 

I've been particularly excited about my new workout routine. I decided to not skip the gym starting from Dec 1st, to lessen sugar in my life and wear my workout clothes in the morning when dropping my kids off to school. This mind shift in thinking and my little decision pertaining my morning outfit, has made a tremendous change in my routine. 

 

 

Today marks DAY 10 and I can say with surety that I feel much healthier (I've always been active)  and more leaner. The first few days of attending those gym classes - although I've always loved Zumba - may have been the hardest, especially when trying out new methods such as Kickboxing or a class called Pound in which sticks are used to drum your way through exercise. One feels like dying at the moment and wanting to just lay down but the good part is that the stretching towards the end, is something one can look forward to. 

 

 

So, while I was on my busy schedule to visit the gym daily, I had done some meal prep at home to avoid stress on what to eat. The best decision I've made is to cook minced chicken or minced beef (keema) and have it ready for serving to either put in salads, pastas, naan rolls (as lunch to-go for the hubby) ...

 1 whole packet of minced chicken cooked in masalas, pasta sauce w/ peas. 

1 whole packet of minced chicken cooked in masalas, pasta sauce w/ peas. 

I like to cook it with peas since peas are easy to chew for my kids who are extremely picky when it comes to hard chewed foods/veggies๐Ÿ™„ - also, the beauty of minced meat is that is becomes multi-functional rather than cooking the whole chicken. However, when REAL Pakistani dishes are served, I am of course the first to opt for chicken with bone since it's definitely more flavorful. 

ย 

 It's December 1st! ๐Ÿ˜Ž  Day 1 of my fitness journey begins; to a healthier, toner, more leaner, meaner ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜œ ME.  #resistingtheholidaybinge #gymeveryday

It's December 1st! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Day 1 of my fitness journey begins; to a healthier, toner, more leaner, meaner ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜œ ME.

#resistingtheholidaybinge #gymeveryday

ย 

ย 

 My mysterious 'trench coat look' ๐Ÿ˜Ž every morning leaving the house. Wearing my workout clothes when dropping off Imaad and running errands, has made a huge difference in getting motivated to go to the gym. Luckily my destinations are aligned so I'm not going out of my way...๐Ÿค”  The STRIKE kickboxing class was amazing; so much energy & fun! But also very very tough! (Do I wanna sit on the couch and read a book? Or sweat it all out and get it over with? Hmmm...  Feeling stronger! Happy Thursday Everyone!

My mysterious 'trench coat look' ๐Ÿ˜Ž every morning leaving the house. Wearing my workout clothes when dropping off Imaad and running errands, has made a huge difference in getting motivated to go to the gym. Luckily my destinations are aligned so I'm not going out of my way...๐Ÿค”

The STRIKE kickboxing class was amazing; so much energy & fun! But also very very tough! (Do I wanna sit on the couch and read a book? Or sweat it all out and get it over with? Hmmm...

Feeling stronger! Happy Thursday Everyone!

 post-workout on-the-go ๐Ÿš—lunch...  #naturevalley

post-workout on-the-go ๐Ÿš—lunch...

#naturevalley

 Vinyasa Yoga!  #heatedroom #coldoutside

Vinyasa Yoga!

#heatedroom #coldoutside

ย 

Love,ย 

Naila ~ย 


What's for lunch?

by Naila Sheikh


I am pretty sure the majority of people must contemplate every day what to eat for lunch. Back when I was working in Real Estate, I would buy myself a Subway sandwich or on some days, frequent Panda Express for much needed carb-cravings. Fast forward into present time: I have now the privilege to prepare lunch at home, for myself and the hubby on-the-go. I firmly believe that lunch really sets the tone of the day, more than breakfast - however, breakfast is vital to not overeating during lunch and one should have it as early as possible. 

 

 

My day begins before 6 AM: I try to become regular in my prayer, especially the Tahajjud & Fajr Islamic prayer, but most of the time, I'm unfortunately either too lazy to roll out the prayer mat, or it just skips my mind. I find it frustrating and it saddens me that I'm not strong enough to take out my time to worship God, talk to Him, rely on Him. I wasn't like this. Nor am I like this during the month of Ramadan. Why is that as humans, when a deadline or reward is given, we are more likely to respond? I feel like we haven't grown up in that regard or maybe life has slowed us down. Of course, the rewards of praying are infinite and I should really score those extra points with God as my heart pines for solace at times. 

 

 

Breakfast is as usual; crepes for my daughter and left-overs for me (this will be covered in another Blog Post) , and during drop-off, I drink my big bottle of mineral water with a squeeze of lemon, 1 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar (keeps the nasty flu ๐Ÿ˜ท away) - not only is it good for digestion but it also instills the habit of staying hydrated. 

 

 

Today marks December 1st - oh how fast time has flown! For us to embark on 2017 very very soon, and for Trump to be president, is a harsh reality we will have to live with. But one can not be disheartened by what the future might bring since we are unaware of the prospects. All we can really do is pray for the best and prepare ourselves to be stronger and better. 

 

 

To keep strong and not think of what I should have for lunch every day, I've made a pact with myself to eat fruit. I cut up all the fruits I have (gotta love organic bananas, apples and dates! Always have medjool dates!), I sprinkle chia seeds, fresh squeezed orange juice and some black pepper. Keeping it simple. I usually have lunch - my bowl of fruit salad - during my drive when picking my daughter up from school. My son eats it first, and only then I allow myself to have my lunch. ๐Ÿ˜Š The baby bird gotta be fed first! ๐Ÿฃ

 

 

By the time we reach home, I've finished my fruit salad, drank my water and feel happy with having my daily intake of fruits which I'd normally ignore. Unless the fruit isn't cut up and presented in a plate, we are often ignoring the good things we can eat and should eat. My daughter has her "fruit time" which I obsessively remind her of. Either slices of apple or a whole banana after school. I tell the kids that there is no way out - but they are free to chose the fruit of their liking. 

 

 

If not a fruit salad, then a regular salad with baked chicken nuggets and no dressing can suffice on days when it gets too boring or I've come back from an intense workout.  

 

 

It keeps me excited and going! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ  

What's for lunch in your neck of the woods?  

 My fruit salad bowl on-the-go. It might take time to cut up the fruits, but the labor pays off! ย 

My fruit salad bowl on-the-go. It might take time to cut up the fruits, but the labor pays off! ย 

ย 

Love,

Naila -ย 


Confused/Infused Shrimpy Shrimp

by Naila Sheikh


To be honest, shrimp isn't my bestest of friend. I hold a love-hate relationship with these species of the sea. Love: they're fun to cook. Hate: not so gaga over the taste. The chewiness and inadequate content of meat does not satisfy my expansive appetite, but I'm all encouraging and cheery sitting on the sideline watching you inhale SHRIMP. Go for it. 

ย 

When I do happen to risk myself to enter the seafood section of the grocery store (the smell. cant help it...ok guys, yes i'm way too sensitive), I'll order freshly peeled shrimp, half a pound. The worker behind the counter sees me as a friendly lady strolling casually along the aquariums filled with living catfish staring at me for mercy. Either EAT ME or RELEASE ME! My every sense is amplified and all I want is to make a run for fresh air. *Note: the before-mentioned is NOT an exaggeration. Ask my kids.

ย 

When I do make it out alive and arrive safely in my Kitchen, trying to forget the lingering smell of deathly-piranha-looking fish - *def an exaggeration* - I am keen on removing the gory images of the day and making pleasant memories in my head with the help of music of course. 

Turn to Frank Sinatra or Kumar Sanu for creating a nostalgic mood - listen to the oldies and let's make this SHRIMP will ya!

ย 

What you need:

- Shrimp (preferably peeled)

- 1 onion, 3 straws of green onions: you can slice it thick, no need for it to be looking thin.

- 1 red & 1 green bellpepper (or the color you prefer) : slice it long and thin

- Himalayan Salt: just a pinch- Red Chilli flakes: 2 tbsp

- A tangy garlic sauce: I prefer Maggie's Chilli Garlic Sauce

- Tartar Sauce: half a cup

- Jasmine Rice - 2 cups and 1 packet of Spicy Jambalaya Rice Mix (found at seafood aisle)

- As for Masalas: I use Shan's "Achar Pickle" : 1 tbsp

ย 

Instructions: 

Drizzle your pan with olive oil. Pour in the onion and green onions with the Achar Pickle Masala. Add the red chilli pepper flakes. Keep an eye on it until the onions turn golden brown. I like hearing it sizzle. You can go ahead and pour in some of the chilli garlic sauce.  To make it a bit more spicier, I would recommend 1 tsp of red chilli powder. 

Add your shrimp and mix well. Put a lid on medium heat. After 2 minutes, add your tartar sauce. Put the lid back on. Let the shrimp soak it all up. 

See the shrimp all happy and gooey with its fellow-ingredients? Now, burst its happy bubble by adding the bellpepper slices, cuz its veggie time! This will add much color to your culinary creation...and perhaps to your life...just sayin'.

Put the lid back on, yo.

I'd say 15-20 minutes (i really do cook the shrimp until its officially dead in my eyes) let it be on medium heat...now, be aware; the last 5 minutes requires attention:

You turn up the heat, take off the lid and start stirfrying your Shrimpy Heaven. Just like  the cooks you see at Pei Wei or Panda Express working that wok! Go with the flow. Stand steady. Do NOT move. Texts and notifications can be checked later. Your mom calling? Yes, do pick up your mamma's call. I don't want that on my conscience! Now, you gotta multi-task but you can do it...let it fry...mix! Ask your mom how she's doing. How was her day? No, don't look at me. Look at your pan...you're almost there... Mamma aint happy with you ignoring her for all these days? Dude. you gotta call her. Let her vent. It's okay. Remember, she gave birth to you and you weren't the size of shrimp, ok! 

ย 

ย 

You did it. Smile. Say "love you" and end the call. Make her happy, be there for her. You did it. We're good. All's well. 

Uhmm, by the way: don't forget to boil your jasmine rice (add 1/3 of the jambalaya rice mix to your jasmine rice before cooking the rice. This will add color and flavoring to your pretty jasmine :)

                     

ย 

DINNER'S SERVED:

SAUTEED PAN-SCRATCH SHRIMP SERVED WITH SPICY JAMBALAYA MIX INFUSED JASMINE RICE.

ย 

Yes. I come up with my own titles.

ย 


Thanksgiving Hangover Cure: Eat Yo Salads!

by Naila Sheikh


Don't worry. I'm not adding kale to my amazing discovery, although, I should start incorporating it into my diet, hmmm.  

 

I feel as parents we tend to sometimes contradict ourselves and we possibly can't help it either: "Ah, finally, a break! No more school" ๐Ÿ˜„...3 days later: "I can't wait for them to go to school! They're driving me crazy!" ๐Ÿ˜ฌ...On the first day of school upon waking up before that irritating bird in your Oak tree: "WHY do they even go to school?!?!" ๐Ÿ˜ซ

 

While we're all in it together, as parents or contributing productive citizens of society, the very first day of returning to the REAL world can be quite a shocker no matter how many years of experience you've gained in this game of Life & Survival. 

 

Why can't kids just grow a pair of wings and fly themselves to class? Why can't these beautiful angels actually act like angels - form a pact, start a Kid Uber service or something. I guess I must not be pessimistic in the prospect of my dreams becoming reality one day. Also, those who've already judged me, shaken their heads and "tsssk-ed" me as a bad parent while reading this dreadful paragraph - chill out - I'm justtttt kiddin'. 

 

It's all good. We love our children. If it wasn't for our hard work and sacrifice then everrrybody would probably be popping em out right? ๐Ÿ˜† Oh. They do? In 2016?

 

Maybe most of them are ignorant of sexually active consequences, just sayin'. Yes, I do believe in the sheer innocence of the human spirit and I'll stand by my own naivety even when I'm faced with hard evidence. Why, you ask? Because it's fun to live in a bubble that's why. Argh. Now don't annoy me further okay. Let's get to business and complete this Blog Post with a conclusion. (note: the sarcasm is derived from my throbbing migraine, so pls don't cry. I'm not trying to hurt you, it just so happens subconsciously *accept apology*) --

 

So yes, salads! The one that I can't live without...(grab a pen, make a note, add onto your grocery list) ... ***drumroll*** I hereby present:

ย 

FullSizeRender.jpg

This packet is available at Sam's Club and it's truly my Asian Aunt/Top Chef/Nutrionist all in one coming together on plate. I'm serious. I add left-over meals to salads or some other green leafs, olives - basically anything that can go or sets my mood. 

This. Is. Awesome.

ย 

okBye. Gotta put my monkeys to sleep๐Ÿ’ค. ย 

Below is a pic of my daughter actually wearing wings during outdoor backyard play: ย 

IMG_2197.JPG

Love,ย 

Naila -ย 

IMG_2192.JPEG