My favorite healthy foods

Nuts

Peanuts and peanut butter are my favorite way of consuming nuts. I do like cashews, almonds and walnuts too. Then there are the very costly nuts like macadamia, pine nuts, and hazelnut which aren’t easily available here. I’d gladly eat them if they were given to me as a present!

Fruit

I love most fruits, specially the summer fruits. Mangoes, Melon, watermelon, guavas, bananas, apple! All separately or together in a fruit salad make a wonderful dessert.

Cheese

We all need the calcium from dairy, especially as we are growing older. I like milk in all its forms but cheese is very convenient to eat and has more calcium as compared to other forms of dairy. My favorites are cottage cheese, feta and ricotta cheese, especially in salads.

Whole wheat roti/ naan

I love carbs and whole wheat roti/ naan are great to satisfy hunger and keep the blood sugar in check. Our local diet of roti ( flatbread) with daal ( lentils ) or vegetable curry makes for nourishing and balanced diet.

Dried fruits;

Raisins, dried figs, dehydrated cranberries, dates, and dried plums are good when one is craving something sweet and low cal.

Written for 5 Things Tuesday, hosted by Tanya

#Keepitalive

#5Things

How I made my life easy in last 2 years

This Tuesday, Tanya asks us to list; 5 “Skills” You Have “Lost” In The Pandemic for 5 Things

Pandemic, while has imposed many hardships on us, has also made certain things easier for us too.

1• No need to buy makeup, or use it but rarely;

Before the pandemic disrupted our lives, I was always ready to buy new makeup products. I liked to put on light makeup while going out of my home, even shopping. But now, I seldom buy or use makeup. I have a feeling that all my lipsticks are way past their use-by date and should be tossed.

2• Fewer clothes, fewer hassles of going to the tailor;

The clothes I wear in Pakistan are usually stitched to size by a tailor for me. Since I don’t go out socially anymore, there is no need to get many clothes made. So I’ve saved money, time and hassle since Covid started.

3• Buying fewer things, for home or for personal use;

I have admitted to being a person who liked to shop. For my home or myself! I’d buy things at the slightest excuse before pandemic struck. Now there is absolutely no need to go on shopping sprees.

4• Saved money on entertaining guest and got myself a new laptop

There is virtually no entertaining of guests at home. No parties or dinners for extended family or friends. I’ve saved enough money in the last two years to buy a new laptop for myself.

5• Learned to use Zoom, Google meets and other such apps to connect with friends all over the world;

Since Covid, I have been in touch with so many old friends from school and college. With apps like Zoom and Google meets, I connected with friends from all over the world. It was a definite plus as I saw friends I hadn’t seen for the last 35-40 years or even more.

I know the prompt was to list 5 things we have lost since Covid but I like to look at the positive side too so here’s my own spin on the prompt.

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 things that I need to remember this year

This week Dr. Tanya has asked us to list 5 things that we need to repeat to ourselves this year;

5 6 Things to Repeat to Yourself in 2022;

Life is too uncertain to take anything for granted;

Take each day as it comes. Find joy in every day and try to wake up in the morning with hope in your heart.

Staying safe is always the better option that being comfortable;

I get it that Covid protocols are tedious, uncomfortable and at times tiring but this is still a better option than falling sick.

One can always find ways to have fun at home without the necessity of going out;

Try to be innovative and make staying at home fun. Reading, watching movies, tv shows, blogging, going for walks, calling friends and family….. the list is endless.

Online shopping is there for a reason, use it and don’t take risks;

No need to venture out into big crowded malls or stores. Order online and unless you urgently need shoes that can only be bought after trying them on, wear two masks and make a quick visit to the store. Stand alone shops/stores are preferable to malls.

Meeting family and friends is nice but their safety is important too;

We have so many ways to connect with people we love through video calls that unless it’s completely safe, don’t meet in person.

And finally, but most importantly;

This too shall pass;

I know this is # 6, but it’s the most important point. Nothing stays the same for ever and things get better after a while. Or we get used to dealing with it. Have faith.

➰➰➰

#Keepitalive

#5Things

My 5 favorite cupcakes and muffins

This week Tanya invites us to share our 5 favorite cupcakes and muffins

Banana and walnut muffin;

An off-shoot of banana bread, they are really good when made at homes. The ones in stores lack enough bananas and nuts.

Blueberry muffin;

Blueberry muffins, made with lots of fresh blueberries are really a treat to enjoy anytime of the day.

Chocolate cupcake;

Chocolate cupcake, with any type of chocolate is a winner every time. White, dark, or the best one is 3 chocolate one with milk, dark and white chocolate on the top of it.

Strawberry jam filled cupcake;

There’s a bakery in Lahore which makes jam filled cupcakes. These are so yummy.

Scones;

Scones with jam, clotted cream and a nice cup of tea are the best for winter afternoons.

These are my favorite cupcakes/muffins. What are yours?

#Keepitalive

#5Things

My favorite coffees to wake me up!

Tanya asks us to share the 5 favourite ways that we enjoy our coffee, for 5 Things.

Plain latte;

My all time favorite. Lots of frothy milk and less bitter coffee.

Caramel latte /Hazelnut latte;

In other words flavored lattes. I also like vanilla latter. In America, I used to get the pack of coffee pods with different flavors.

Mocchaccino;

Coffee, chocolate and milk! Nothing better on a cold wintry day.

Cappuccino;

For times when I need to wake up pronto. Love the flavor of it with my breakfast.

Cold coffee with chocolate ice cream;

A rare treat because of my cold sensitivity but in hot summer afternoons, it’s the perfect way to enjoy my coffee.

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 songs to lift my mood

Tanya, the host of 5 things asks us to list 5 of of our favorite songs that are guaranteed to lift the blue mood.

5 Things Tuesday — Favourite Upbeat Songs

There are some songs with beats so catchy and upbeat that you can count on them to banish the blues , defy the doldrums : generally put you in a good mood.

Happy by Pharrell Williams

https://youtu.be/ZbZSe6N_BXs

On by BTS

https://youtu.be/gwMa6gpoE9I

Uptown funk by Mark Ronson and Buno Mars

https://youtu.be/OPf0YbXqDm0

Monster by Becky G

https://youtu.be/tl2uU1oVRCA

Fireworks by Katy Perry

https://youtu.be/QGJuMBdaqIw

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 ways of Beating Pandemic Blues

Tanya is the host of 5 Things for Tuesday

5 Things Tuesday – Beating the Pandemic Blues

➰➰➰

In no particular order;

Walking;

I walked for two hours daily. It was a time for thinking. Reflecting on life, mine, and of those around me. Walking gave me a chance to observe people around me too. Families, students, seniors were all trapped in that scenario and how they were reacting.

Blogging;

Blogging was a sanity saver. I would read blogs, reply to comments and write my posts for at least a few hours every day. It was a way to connect with friends all over the world. We all were going through similar situations and were supportive of each other.

Baking;

Since eating out was out of bounds, cooking at home was the other option. I’m not very fond of cooking but baking was always my favorite. Made bread, cakes, banana bread, and cookies too.

Long phone calls to family and friends;

For six months I was stuck in Seattle. I would spend a lot of time on calls to my kids and friends in Pakistan. There’s a 12 hours time difference between the two cities, Seattle and Lahore in summers, so the calls were either made very early in the morning or late at night.

Music;

I listened to music while blogging, walking or preparing meals. Music is such a mood elevator that it made all activities, fun. I had a playlist for all my moods. Hip-hop for walking, soothing music for blogging and spiritual music for contemplation.

➰➰➰

These are the ways I used to uplift my mood during the lockdown.

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 Things Tuesday – Feelings/ Emotions most felt during the pandemic

Tanya is the host of 5 Things Tuesday

5 ThingsTuesday: Feelings / Emotions you felt most often during the Pandemic

➰➰➰

As Tanya said in her post, covid-19 is a long way from being over. What emotions I have felt most during these 18-19 months are;

Uncertainty;

The first emotion I experienced during the lockdown was uncertainty. Everything in the future looked uncertain as I realized the extent of this pandemic. Never before had I experienced this situation before. Travel plans, planned outings even grocery shopping had to be put on hold.

Frustration:

Frustrating is the second most common emotion that I have experienced during the last year and a half. Frustration at people who refuse to accept the reality of pandemic, who don’t get vaccinated, and all those who don’t wear masks. These people are putting others at risk along with themselves and their families.

Self realization;

Time in lockdown allowed me to get to know myself better. The most important thing that I realized is that we don’t need all the stuff we think we do. We can do with a lot less and it has I think made me a better person.

Gratitude;

Gratitude is an emotion that I feel daily. We, the family are all vaccinated against covid and as yet safe from it. With so much illness, death, and misery that we saw during these past months, the value of counting our blessings daily and giving thanks for them has become very important.

Value of family and friends;

During Covid, we stayed isolated and didn’t meet our friends or the extended family at all. This has taught me to value my family and friends a lot. We indeed realize the importance of something when it’s taken from us. During the past 18 months or so I’ve really come to appreciate friends and family.

➰➰➰

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 Things for Tuesday- Rainy days favorite activities

Tanya is the host of 5 Things Tuesday

5 Things Tuesday: Favourite Rainy Day Activities

🌀🌀🌀

Staying indoors and watching rain;

This s the best way to enjoy rainy days. I stay near a window or a veranda and listen to the rain and thunder.

Eating samosas and pakoras;

It’s a tradition that one gets together with family too enjoy these deep fried treats with a cup of tea.

Reading;

Since one doesn’t want to venture out, staying home and reading something interesting is the best way to enjoy this time.

Blogging;

Another lovely way to spend free time. I am always looking for a few spare moments to read posts from the blogs I follow and to answer the comments.

Going for a aimless drive and enjoying my favorite music;

When I was younger this used to be my favorite activity on a rainy day. Now I am a bit cautious and don’t indulge in it often because driving in rain isn’t that easy at my age.

🌀🌀🌀

#Keepitalive

#5Things

5 Things for Tuesday- Apples

Tanya is the host of 5 Things

5 Things Tuesday — 5 Ways You Enjoy Apples

Apples, fresh and in their natural form;

Nothing better than biting into a juicy fresh apple. I like apples that are neither too hard or too soft.

Apple pie, homemade;

This was the first type of pie I learned to make. Everyone liked apple pie in my family so I kept on experimenting and improving on my skill. I have even taught a couple of my friends how to make it.

Apple crumble;

Though this dessert is quite easy to make, I have not made it myself. But I love eating warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Apple and pineapple salad with chicken;

This is a commonly served salad at most buffet lunches and hi-teas. It’s easy to make and quiet nourishing too.

Apple jam;

It was a routine in my grandmother’s household that when we had a surplus of any fruit, we would turn it into a jam or a jelly. Apple jam is easy to make and is a family favorite.

➰➰➰

#Keepitalive

#5Things