Friday, 14 December 2012



I can't believe I haven't blogged for good long half a month. What was I so busy with that my blogging took a back seat? Even my husband got concerned. He'd go 'When are you going to blog; you haven't blogged since a long time...' I don't have an answer, except....I was busy. My detox diet was a success. I lost 9 kilos in 8 weeks. After vowing to myself that I would never travel to any cold country during winter, we are off to visit our daughter in UK and spend our winter vacation with her, since she very much wanted us to spend Christmas and New Year with her. December is my favourite month because my birthday and Christmas falls one after the other, followed by the joy of New Year.

I'll be back on January 2, 2013.  In the meantime, do visit my blog. You can read my old posts on inspiration, positivity, weight loss, art, interesting stuff, humor and so much more. I'll continue with my blogging with a little more dedication, once I return. Here's wishing all my readers a beautiful and joyful Christmas and very Happy New Year. May the New Year usher in wonderful things for you. See you next year in 2013!



Friday, 30 November 2012



A few days back, we watched in our home theatre, a beautiful, heartrending french film 'The Kid with a Bike' (Le Gamin au vĂ©lo). It won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival 2011. It is French drama film written,  and directed by the Beligian brothers, Jean Pierre and  Luc Dardenne. Young Thomas Doret immaculately and amazingly dons the role of Cyril, a 12 year old boy who is desperately in search of his father who abandoned him after leaving him in a farmland foster care. A kind hearted hairdresser (Cecile de France) enters his life and takes care of him during the weekends. Cyril is troubled and unpredictable. He has behavior issues and finds it difficult to express his emotions, due to the deep pain of rejection and abandonment he suffers. The hairdresser helps the boy locate his father but all his hopes are crushed when his father makes a confession. Cyril's  natural desire for a father figure lands him to trouble thats teaches him certain facts about life at a young age. All along the hairdresser never gives up on him and sticks by him, even during the most trying and toughest times she experiences with Cyril. The movie is a master piece work with the directors having touched realities of a child's emotions and sufferings, fighting to survive under cruel circumstances, and his deep need  for parental love, acceptance and support. 

No words will suffice to explain how beautifully this movie was crafted and the entire cast has put in great perfomances. It's a movie worth watching (with subtitles). There are so many profound messages and lessons the movie expresses without articulating them in words....

 Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Thomas Doret, Cecile de France and director Luc Dardenne at the Premier, Cannes Film Festival 2011



If you are on a weight loss regime and find it difficult to stick to a calorie controlled meal plan or regular exercise, it can be frustrating, disheartening and bit of a mind war. And you end up looking at the thin friends or people around you and secretly wish you could be like them and seal your fate by thinking, you can never do it. And you continue to carry the burden of your weight, and you and only you know how tired you are it. Everyone who has been on a weight reduction plan, has experienced this. There could a be a lot of reasons for this. Let's explore some of them and what reinforcing and positive action plan you can take

* You cook for your family and you are tempted to eat what you cook for them
Action - Start small by making minor or small changes. Eat whatever you cook for them but in less amount using a small plate. Avoid the fried items and sugary stuff. Slowly introduce more of salads, fruits, and grilled lean meat, chicken into your diet and eat less of what you cook for your family. Slowly give up junk food and all those hight calorie sweets by realizing they really do you no good except harm. Within one or two months, women can go on a 1200 calorie diet, gradually moving to a 1000 calorie diet. Men can go on a 1500 calorie diet and move on to 1300 calorie diet. Use less oil while cooking. During this process prepare healthy meals for your family. Get them into a healthy eating plan.

* You hold a party or attend a party and you are tempted to eat all that you prepared or offered
Action - Temptation can be overcome by two important actions - understanding and self restraint. You can restrain from eating whats fattening by understanding what food groups will help you lose weight and what food groups will increase your weight. What do you choose? You dont want to sabotage your diet by consuming foods that's not necessary for your body right? Go for the salads or any foods that have lesser calories in them during a party. Don't fill your plate. Eat in managed amounts. Don't go for a second helping. Enjoy the interaction and companionship of your friends rather than stuff yourself with food.

* At a buffet
Action - If its just you and your immediately family, you can opt for an a la carte menu rather than a buffet so you reduce your temptation and inclination to overeat. If you are invited to a buffet by relatives or friends, its natural you can't refuse the invitation just because you are trying to lose weight. There will be a variety of tantalizing food which you'd be eager to try. Look for low calorie foods in the buffet, avoid the fried and sugary items. Go for the soup or have lots of salad with least dressing. That should fill you up. Take your own time to finish the soup or salad, so you feel full already. Wait for a while and go for a small main meal comprising of one of two items, whatever is least in calories. By all means, skip the dessert - don't even look at it! Enjoy the company of your family or friends giving the least improtance to food.

* When you are offered juice, cakes, pastries, savouries, cookies at the office or friends' places
Action - If its fresh juice without added sugar, you can go for it. Say no to everything else, even if its home made. You are not going to offend anyone. Tell them you are avoiding all this as a part of your healthy eating plan and change in lifestyle. Avoid artificial juices. Be polite and firm while declining. Don't subject yourself to pleasing them by eating what your body does not require.

* You are surrounded by kids or siblings or family who munch on snacks or eat chocolates and you get tempted
Action - Leave that room. Say no if you are offered these snacks that have lots of calories. Slowly talk them into eating less of those which are not good for them either.

* You dislike exercising
Action - The truth is a lot of people dislike exercising. The bigger truth is we are not built to be sedentary. As humans we are not supposed to be sitting in one place for a long time. We can't help it if we have a 8 to 5 job that requires a lot of sedentary work. Then come home and sit in front of computer t.v. makes it worse. Exercise makes the body release good hormones that makes us feel good, reduces stress, creates more clarity of thought, helps burn calories and keeps us fit. A lethargic life is not what we are meant for. Start slow, start small. Exercise for 10 minutes, gradually increasing it to half hour in two weeks. After a month or two, try to exercise for an hour, for 3 to 5 times a week.

* You feel you can never reach your target weight
Action - Remember, it took you a long time, perhaps years to gain all the extra weight. Losing all that will take time. Its important to be patient and not worry about 'when' you would reach your goal weight. Concentrate on each day. What you do each day is more important. Be true to yourself. When you follow a low calorie diet the entire week, it can get boring. So allow yourself a cheat meal once a week. A piece of chocolate, a tiny burger, or a scoop of icecream or a tiny piece of cake. The important thing is not to go overboard by  overeating or overindulging during a cheat day. You have the power within you to eat in moderate amounts what you desire staying within the 1000 to 1200 calorie range. Read as many weight loss success stories as possible. It will make you realize, how so many overweight and obese people managed to lose weight within 6 months to one year. It does not matter if its take even more than a year. What counts is you don't give up and strive to carry on.

* Stress eating
Action - Sometimes we feel like eating when we are worried, sad or stressed. All the fats and sweets give us a temporary sense of comfort. But at the end, you'd be feeling worse for having indulged. All this perhaps in utter secrecy - the pain of which is only known to you and no one else. No amount of overeating or indulging has solved any problems or issues. So whatever action you need to take or need not take regarding the problems or issues, please don't go to seek comfort in food. No one has felt any better for long after doing so.

* Hard to lose weight because you eat out or at the canteen/cafeteria during lunch
Action - Take a little trouble. Prepare low calorie food for yourself the previous night and carry your lunch to office. Or choose foods that have least calories from the restaurant menu or cafeteria. The former is the best option so there is no room for excuse.

* When you look at thin people, you feel you can never be like them
Action - Everyone is unique and so are you. Your features, looks, body shape, even weight is determined by your genetic makeup. You certainly don't share your friend's genetic make up. You dont have to be like anyone and you cannot look like anyone else, well except by mere coincidence. You might have a pear or apple shaped figure, while a friend might have an hour glass figure. You can exercise those areas that require extra toning. When you lose overall weight, you are going to look fanstastic.  Losing weight is for your own good, for your health, so you don't lose out on life or become ill due to excess weight. Your sincere everyday efforts and patience will pay off. You will lose weight and the thin person hidden inside of you will come out. It shouldn't matter if you are an hour glass, apple or pear shaped (which you are genetically predisposed to). What truly matters is a healty weight and healthy lifestyle free of disease. Be happy with the person you are. With every little effort and ceaseless determination to lose weight, you will be a witness to  fabulous results each month.

Saturday, 24 November 2012



Last evening, while at Marina Mall, I dropped into Bath and Body Works. They had this wonderful smelling 'Cashmere' range of body lotions, fragrance mist and  scrub. I am not sure if they have the shower gel. When I tried the 'Cashmere' body lotion, I loved it instantly, the enticing smell and the softening effect it had on the skin. The body lotion comprises of shea butter, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E. The fragrance of the body lotion is more towards  woody/orient note. It comprises of a blend of golden peach and shimmering vanilla with soft cashmere musk which give out a lovely fragrance, that lasted on my skin for over 6 hours. The moisturizing effect of the lotion is meant to last 24 hours. Try it out, its very different from any of their other body lotions.



I stumbled upon this short but profound statement....

Life is hard. You just have to choose which hard you want - obesity or transformation 
(Bellyfit Club)

I couldn't agree more with this statement. You know, reading this statement took me way back to 2004, when  I was on the heavier side. I was getting treated for a severe hip injury.  My doctor told me all sorts of scary things that can happen if I wasn't going to lose weight. I was at a turning point in my life, where I had to decide whether I chose illness or good health. My doctor literally forced me to lose weight.  The only magic that happened really was changing my attitude and mindset towards food, exercising restraint against cravings, a healthy low calorie diet and plenty of exercise and giving priority to my health and wellbeing. It took me around 8 to 10 months to reach my target weight ideal to my height. And at the end of it all,  I was so happy, relieved and I cannot express how good and lighter I felt. Over the years, I had to manage my weight and like all people, I do get tempted, and I do have a tendency to put on a few kilos if I don't watch my diet or exercise. I know weight management is  a life long process. But it's not a hard thing, as I have understood why it's so important to eat right and eat healthy. So I've grown to be aware of what I eat and drink.  At times I do allow myself to eat some of my favourite stuff in managed amounts that would not obstruct my calorie intake.

If you choose transformation then you also know what you have to let go, and what you have to do to lose weight. It's simple, eat less, eat healthy and exercise. It's just a matter of changing your old food habits to an improved one. The transition from unhealthy eating habits and sedentary life style to a healthy one might seem hard. It's only temporary phase and you will get through - be hell bent on transformation! And believe me, you have all the power within you  to lose weight. Just don't go back to your old eating and drinking habits and say no to junk food, overeating and binging.

Visit my previous posts on healthy weight loss, go to the title 'Labels' on the right column of my blog page and click on  'weight loss'.


In 2010, Rotterdam-based artist Florentijn Hofman  along with some students, constructed a giant installation sculpture called 'Fat Monkey' using 10,000 flip flops that was initially displayed in a park . This was created  for 'The Pixelshow' conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2010. In case you are wondering why did I put up a 2010 art work, well, art has no expiry date, it's eternal and Hofman's work is indeed unique and one of a kind.

Friday, 23 November 2012


Becoming a better person is a whole life project. It requires focusing on your step by step efforts on multiple areas of your existence. In an effort to be a better person, respect should be a key element of your efforts. When you acknowledge that all people are deserving of your compassion, consideration and dignity, you are naturally more apt to treat them in the manner you yourself wish to be treated. As you endeavor to develop yourself further, you are cultivating consciousness within yourself through the choices, actions and behaviors.

(Excerpt from "Growing Day by Day - Becoming a better person" by Madisyn Taylor)


I took this photo at the Waterfront beach close to the Towers.


Now a lot of Cooperative Societies (co-ops), Geant and Sultan Center have a section for Farmer's Market that sells fresh milk, several kinds of cheese (both goat and cow), yoghurt, natural honey, organic fruits and vegetables and lots of other foods. I really like their Halloumi cheese. What I don't like in some types of cheese is the high salt content. Halloumi Cheese from Farmer's Market has less salt content. The other Halloumi I like is from Farmland. If you are a cheese lover, and you like haloumi cheese, try the one made from cow's milk available at all Farmer's market. Oh before I wind up this post, there's one thing, remember, cheese has high calorie content, so restrict the quanity you consume. 80 gms (one serving) of halloumi cheese contain 253 calories, 17 gms of protein and 19.7 gms of fat. I prefer to add halloumi to my salad, which makes it a healthy meal. I usually avoid bread and sandwiches which would add to the calories.

When you buy this, the container would be quite full; I took this photo when my halloumi cheese was almost over



Finally the long wait is over with everyone wondering how would the Avenues Phase III look like? The Phase III architecture, shops, restaurants and decor of all these look fabulous. We dropped into Grand Avenues (in Phase III) last week and had a great time looking around. There is still lot of work going on and lots of more shops will be opening soon. The Phase III has several parts to it - the Grand Avenue District, Prestige, The Mall, Souk and Soku. They all have their own distinct style of design and architecture. They have a nice looking fountain being construction near 'The Mall'. Grand Avenue district might remind you of UK or Europe. The Avenues is anyway, one of my favourite places to be and I could spend hours there not knowing time fly by. As much as I love being in nature, I enjoy spending leisure time at the Malls. One of the interesting things I have noticed is that, there are lots of health conscious people who come to take a brisk walk in the mall for exercise, as it's so huge an spacious. And then do whatever shopping or looking around they want to do. I used to do that last year, walk around the mall for exercise for one hour and then enjoy looking around in my favourite shops. One of the hardest things to resist would be the beautiful restaurants that has come up in the Grand Avenue District. Here are some photos of Grand Avenue District (Phase III)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012



I was passing by Va Va Voom the other day and they were promoting the new perfume from Nina Ricci , 'Mademoiselle Ricci'. Its a floral woody fragrance in beautiful bottle with a golden hue and gold cap, launched in mid 2012. I liked it a lot when I tried it on. At first you won't get a definite smell, but just wait for 5 to 10 minutes and the fragrance turns beautiful. It lasted over 8 hours (possibly more)! The top notes comprise of wild rose and pink pepper. The middle notes contain Nerium oleander, rosehip and laurels. The base notes are made of white wood and musk. Try it out and see if you like it.

In the photo I posted, on the right is the older fragrance released in 2010 'Ricci Ricci'. I tried that too. Its quite fruity and if you like fruity fragrances you will like Ricci Ricci. Its also long lasting (over 8 hours) and has a lovely smell. The top notes contain bergamot, zesty rhubarb and moonflower. The middle notes have centifolia rose, tuberrose and floral accord 'belle-de-nuit'. Base notes contain patchouli and sandalwood.



One of the most fascinating things for me is photographing children. They are happy for no reason and they are so busy, totally engrossed while at play. Sometimes, there's a lot an adult can learn from a child.

This photo was taken at the waterfront beach park


I have a relative, he's is in early sixties now. Many years ago, although he was a slim person, he had this unbelievably huge stomach and he suffered from gas and bloating and discomfort after having food. Finally after years of suffering, he visited a doctor, who put him on a healthy wholesome diet that brought about unbelievable results. His stomach became almost flat. When you change your eating habits, understand what foods your body can digest and cannot, you will find enormous changes in your body and you will actually feel healthier and relieved.

Do you experience bloating, gas, belching, reflux, heartburn, burning in the stomach, constipation, or a heavy feeling in the stomach after eating?. This is due to the fact that the stomach is unable to make enough acid for the digestive process. And usually we mistake the symptoms for high stomach acid. Relying on antacid tablets are not good for the body and will not solve your problem on a permanent basis. When the stomach does not produce enough acid for digestion, the food stays in the stomach and starts to ferment, which causes gas to be released. The gas is released by burping or it can get trapped giving terrible, sometimes excrutiating pain in various parts of the body like under the shoulder, shoulder blade, around upper or lower spine, in either of the arms, around the ribs, or aches in upper or lower back. Sometimes while the gas escapes, some of the stomach contents, which are acidic, travels into the esophagus. This is what causes "heart burn".

I've listed various reasons that cause tiredness or lethargy after eating, gas, bloating, heartburn, belching, pain in chest or back.  You can avoid them to prevent indigestion. Try to eat less and light at every meal. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables. Include salads, vegetable proteins, lean meat and fish.

* Overeating
* Consuming high fat, fried and sugary foods
* Wheat based items (breads, pasta, pastries, cakes etc.)
* Stress (and eating when upset)
* Alcoholic beverages
* Too much salt in the diet (causes water retention and bloating)
* Eating too fast

* Eating large meals
* Overconsumption of protein
* Dairy (some find it difficult to digest milk, butter, cream, cheese. However, consuming low fat yoghurt is okay)
* Smoking
* Constant binging on high calorie snacks
* Eating too  many processed foods, juices and drinks
* Consuming too many nuts (although nuts are healthy - to some people they cause indigestion, bloating and gas)
* Too much fibre (Although fibre in diet is a must, some cannot digest fibre)

Through years of unhealthy eating patterns, whether on a meat based diet or vegetarian diet, people carry within their bodies anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds of accumulated toxic waste . Majority is stored in the colon. The fermentation and putrefaction of undigested food become toxic waste in the large intestine. These toxic waste sticks to the walls of the large intestine and becomes a breeding ground for many diseases. They not only cause disease, but rob you of your vital energy and your power to concentrate.

The treatment that helps remove toxic waste from the colon is called Colon hydrotherapy. It's a natural method that involves gently washing long-term wastes from the entire length of the large intestine or colon. Purified water is slowly and carefully introduced into the colon via a speculum inserted in the rectum. The water is set at a pleasant temperature, and a trained colon hydrotherapist is present at all times to monitor the comfort of the client. Wastes flow out through a clear plastic pipe attached to the speculum into a clear glass tube in the colon hydrotherapy machine. It is safe and not painful. You can discuss with a gastroentrologist to determine the reason behind your symptoms. If you don't have any other issue related to your stomach, you can request for a colon cleasing. You might have to repeat the sessions once every two months until all the toxic waste is completely cleared.

When these toxic waste is removed, it is only natural, that you will experience 3 to 7 pounds of weight loss! the body's digestive power would be restored, your body will gain back its natural strength to heal, fight disease and you will experience renewed energy and vitality.