Arabic Alphabets Animation


My talented husband spent so much time creating this beautifully orchestrated stop motion animation using play dough … Please watch, share and enjoy 🙂

–Rasha Nasser Khalil

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My Transformation (Body, Weight and All)… Let Me Help You


So it has officially been a year since I gave birth to my second son.

I have returned to the gym as soon as my six week postpartum was cleared. Yet, due to personal procrastination and the use of breastfeeding as alibi, I did not couple my workouts with good nutrition. I was a vacuum cleaner bound to have a spotless surrounding and a full belly 🙂

As soon as the end of 2015 came close I took it upon myself to set a healthy eating goal for 2016 and stick to it.

In the meantime life also presented me with an online free coach who added me to a group of women on Facebook who cheer each other on and keep themselves and each other accountable through their journey of weight loss and clean eating.

January 1, 2016 arrived and so I woke up in the morning determined to make my first day of the year a success. I juiced one lemon and had it with warm water.

I continued with my usual workout routine at the gym but this time I coupled it with the 21 day fix eating plan. This meant I ate 5 meals a day, using the containers provided to help me with portion control.

I also removed all diary from my diet as it always upsets me. I added Shakeology smoothies that were oh so delicious… I used to have a daily chocolate shakeology smoothie with half a frozen banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter and lots of ice and water… It was divine … It was the greatest part of my day and was so delicious and filling… I was full ALLL day long. I had so much energy.

Then something happened…

12695028_528203447359265_3430771436899252623_oMy scale started to register fewer pounds. I started to feel lighter. My clothes fit better. Could it be?

Could it be that what people used to say was true… :”Abs are made in the kitchen…” “You need to eat clean and couple your workouts with healthy eating or else you will never see results…”

Now I am a month and a half in my new clean lifestyle. I do not feel deprived. I do have my cheat meals here and there. I always start my day with warm lemon water. I still see the pounds melting. I am already down 13 pounds (6kg).

I am so convinced with the BeachBody programs that I signed up as a coach. I get to help others now. I get to help people cheer each other into getting to their goal… and also make money…

We all know the formula to loosing weight but we never get to do it because we need incentives. We need accountability. We need support. Here I am to support you in your journey to a better you.

Who wants to join?

Please contact me …. Let me help you … Let us do this 🙂

Learn more about the challenges: http://beachbodycoach.com/RASHANK

Facebook: Healthy Living N Loving 

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Guest Blog: The Positive and Negative Sides of Dependence and Interdependence


by Kelly Everson

Recently, people have been becoming increasingly interested in discussing the fine line between the two terms of dependence and interdependence. The target of these discussions and debates are to point out the ups and downs of each term; also to understand how to better utilize them for a balanced life and a more balanced relationship amongst people.

What do dependence and interdependence mean?

The term dependence is basically when someone relies on something or someone to thrive, or simply to survive. In fact, at some point in all people’s lives, being dependent on others is just normal, and even essential, to survive in this complex world. As a child, for example, one is totally dependent on his/her parents, who help their kids acquire the necessary skills to interact with others and, most importantly, to develop the skills needed to be self-sufficient human beings. Therefore, without firstly being dependent on someone or something, there can be no chance to later become independent or interdependent.

On the other hand, interdependence occurs when two or more people rely on each other to achieve mutual benefits. This is a relationship based on the concept of living and working together hand-in-hand to develop a situation in which both parties offer a means of assistance to strive together.

Commonalities and differences:

Both terms, however, have similar and different attributes.  To know these similarities and differences is to know where to draw the line when it comes to answering the question “To be or not to be?” and to determine which one of these answers is better.

Similarities:

The distinct shared value of the two terms is the very word “dependence” as both strive to function in the existence of someone else; whether it’s as an individual or more than one person and whether it’s a one-sided total reliance or mutual reliance. Another similarity lies with the reason behind the act of dependence, which is to succeed as individuals.

Differences:

Here are the main differences between dependence and interdependence:

While “dependence” involves one person who is dependent on another person or on a number of persons, “interdependence” involves two or more people who depend on one another.

“Dependence” is a one-sided relationship where one person takes the whole advantage of others, whereas “interdependence” is a mutually beneficial relationship which involves two or more parties.

“Dependence” indicates a total reliance on others. On the other hand, “interdependence” indicates a partial reliance on each other where each party offers equal benefits.

The ups and downs

Just as there are advantages of each, there are also disadvantages of being dependent or interdependent.

Advantages and disadvantages of dependence

At one stage in anyone’s life, being dependent on others isn’t necessary a negative thing; on the contrary, it might be necessary in order to take the right steps towards life’s goals. This means putting an unwavering trust in others’ hands, which is not always as easily done as spoken. Trusting others is an attribute that not everyone has and it sometimes requires taking courses or certain measures to develop this trust. Depending on others thus requires trusting that the results would be as desired, but at the same time continuing this trust even if the results aren’t as expected.

However, too much dependence is negative when it becomes a destructive force in one’s life. When someone turns into being over-dependent, he/she can no longer function well as an individual and wouldn’t have what it takes to survive alone. At the same time, over-dependence, when prolonged, can destroy the relationship between the dependent and his/her supporters because they would feel used.

Advantages and disadvantages of interdependence

Interdependence is positive when it highlights a social perspective. It enables people to interact, work, and live together while bringing about mutual interest for all. Society strives on such interaction and improves relationships amongst people. It is also important for a couple’s relationship that they support one another for the benefit of their family well-being.

Just like too much dependence, over-interdependent relationships have risks of their own. They can risk the person’s individuality aspects which are vital for survival. Because interdependence interaction is amongst people, it is highly influenced by the moods, actions, and reactions of others. For example, marriages can be subject to divorce at any period of couple’s life; if the couples are too interdependent, their chances of survival after the divorce takes place are slim and they would need to be rehabilitated as separate individuals.

The best approach is the positive approach

There are no definite positive or negative sides to dependence and interdependence. The trick here is to know where to draw the line to ensure that one is not completely drawn into one of the two extremes. Taking the positive aspects from each perspective is the best approach. This means maintaining one’s originality while living in harmony side-by-side and bringing out the best in both approaches.

References:

http://www.addictionhope.com/mood-disorder/depression/how-common-are-co-occurring-disorders-statistics

https://www.glozine.com/lifestyle/relationships

 

1st & 2nd Week Pregnancy: What Happens In These Weeks?


When I was pregnant with my first-born I went all out and about to educate myself about what happens each week during pregnancy. This helped me know what is happening to my body and at what stage my growing baby is at. It also helped me realize what vital nutrients I should be consuming to help him grow in optimal conditions.

Here is a video by the Consumer Health Digest Channel on YouTube that clearly explains what happens during the first two weeks of pregnancy.

Also here is the full series on YouTube for you to watch: Consumer Health Digest Pregnancy Week By Week Video Series

Enjoy 🙂

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Guest Blog: Effective Exercises You Must Try to Fight Depression


I have been contacted by Kelly Everson, a contributing author from Consumer Health Digest. Kelly’s articles go hand in hand with cognitive dimensions visions and interests. I hope you enjoy the following article 🙂


Effective Exercises You Must Try to Fight Depression

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Exercise is the very thing to help decrease depression. This is because it lessens the symptoms of depression and depression as a disorder itself. Exercise does indeed work hard to release endorphins and to create a much happier mood overall for people. Therefore, it can work just as good as a drug can, without actually being a drug.

If you are feeling very depressed, it can prove to be a real battle, just to get up from the sofa can prove to be difficult. The very same can be said about doing some form of exercise. However, exercise is without a doubt, one of the very best things that an individual can do for his or her depression. This is because physical activity can make you feel a whole lot better. It is something that can also improve your mood big time and also help you to sleep good at night. There are numerous studies that have been done that do show the wonderful advantages that exercise does give to those with depression of all ages. There are studies that do clearly show that exercise can prove to be as much a successful form of treatment for depression as is medication.

Start off with a small exercise goal that is reachable and build from there

Exercise doesn’t have to be tremendously strenuous in order to help relieve depression. If anything, any type of activity that you do and enjoy, could very well turn out to assist in treating your depression. This is because it can boost your mood and rise up your energy levels naturally. It doesn’t matter if you walk around the block or go running or join a yoga class. If you feel way depressed. You should start out with a small exercise goal and build on to it from there. Just go for a short walk the first time. Your second walk should then be longer. Then go on to attaining higher exercise goals for yourself.

See Also: Success Stories That Will Change Your Mind on Depression

Get a form of exercise with social support attached

When you have social support for exercise. It is a big plus for those who do suffer from depression. This is because a lot of people will not exercise on their own. They need a bit of encouragement from a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, family member, or just a real good friend. This exercise partner can be there for the encouragement that the person does need to get their exercise regimen off to a good start and keep it that way. This exercise partner should be someone who is willing to help said person out and get him or her out for their daily exercise all the time. This is the only way that it can be done.

Get an exercise or workout you will like and enjoy

It doesn’t matter if you are depressed or not. If you don’t like a certain kind of exercise. You will not willingly do it. It is as simple as that. Therefore, you should endeavor to find, only a form of exercise that you strongly do like or believe that you could get to like with time. An exercise or workout that you do like not only brings one fun. It also brings them the like to want to engage in it regularly as their form of favorite physical fitness. So, with this said, if you do like bicycling. Do it. If you do like walking, do it. It is as easy as all that. You should also choose an exercise or workout program that is easy and convenient to you as well.

What are the physical benefits of exercise for the long term with depression and good health?

When you stay physically active. You are setting yourself up for lots of good health in the future. This is because medical professionals do always encourage people to remain active as much as possible. The physical benefits of exercise for the long term are this. Exercise makes sure that you do stay in good physical condition and to be able to fight off chances of disease. Exercise also allows one to de-stress and this distressing process is very good for the mind and body. When your body feels better. The mind also feels better to.

Can regular exercise and depression supplements work together to control depression?

Exercise in itself, is truly, a great way to treat the symptoms of depression. However, if one does want to take a depression supplement, and do regular exercise along with it. The end result could be that it may successfully control his or her depression. Nonetheless, it must be highly advised, that you should never use any form of herbal remedy, dietary supplement, or depression supplements to treat your depression. You should first discuss it with your medical care expert first.

Conclusion

Exercise is truly indeed one of the most potent of all natural medications to fight depression. There is a body of growing research to assert this claim. Any type of exercise can qualify to work. This is because the exercise itself does keep the person focused on being engaged in activity and this is what takes the mind off of the depression or anxiety itself.

About the Author

Kelly Everson (@kellyeverson12) is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders, female health and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest from 2011. Examiner from 2013, Epochtimes & Healthline from 2014

Working Out During Pregnancy: Keeping Your Routine Safe and Effective Throughout Each Trimester


Here is another great and informative article from Healthline. Please read, share and enjoy 🙂


Working Out During Pregnancy: Keeping Your Routine Safe and Effective Throughout Each Trimester

by Kristeen Cherney

Pregnancy marks a time when you need to make tweaks to your lifestyle for the sake of your baby. This includes getting rid of alcohol and junk food, as well as smoking if you have not done so already. However, exercise is definitely not something you should neglect at this time of your life. It’s not safe to play contact sports or do balancing workouts, such as bike riding, but you should not stop exercising altogether. Aside from the benefits of working out, safe exercise alone does not cause miscarriage. The key is to learn the safest and most effective workouts during each stage of your pregnancy and to modify your routine accordingly.

First Trimester: Keep Up Your Current Routine

Ideally, you should have established a workout routine before pregnancy. If this is the case, then your doctor will likely give you the go-ahead to keep up normal activities throughout the first trimester. Runners can still run, and gym-goers can still lift weights and use most machines. The key difference during this transition has to do with the method you lift weights: ideally, you should not lift them above your head so you don’t strain your neck or abdomen. As long as your doctor gives the OK, you may still perform exercises laying down, including sit-ups. Many women take advantage of this small window of time during the first trimester to strengthen their abdominal muscles while they can. You certainly can—and you should—do weight-training for your abs for toning and strength.

If you failed to exercise before pregnancy, this doesn’t mean you need to wait 9+ months to start routine. Begin by walking as much as you can, working up to at least 30 minutes per day. Walking and swimming are both ideal if you’re battling morning sickness. Add some strength-training to the mix to help build muscles you’ll need during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.

Second Trimester: Start Making Modifications

As you progress away from the days of morning sickness, you’re likely entering your second trimester. You can still exercise to stay in shape at this point, but this is also the time to start modifying your routine. Any workout that includes jumping or lying on your back is off-limits because such movements strain your abdomen and increase the risk for miscarriage. Raul Artal, OB-GYN, explains to Baby Center that between 6 and 10 percent of women rapidly lose blood pressure when lying down, which can harm a developing fetus. Walking and swimming are still preferred because they are safe while still providing resistance and cardiovascular benefits. However, you can also try prenatal yoga and workouts on the treadmill, elliptical machine, and stationary bike. To maintain and strengthen ab muscles, make sure you sit up straight with your chest forward.

Third Trimester: Walking is Your Best Bet

The third trimester may be the most unappealing stage to work out due to an aching back, swelling legs, and fatigue. You should not give up at this point: not only does exercise benefit both you and the baby throughout the latter stages of pregnancy, but exercising can also ward off excess weight gain during this home-stretch. In fact, most of the weight gained during pregnancy occurs in the last trimester because the baby is growing at a more rapid weight and you’re building more fluids in preparation for delivery.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

For the sake of you and your baby, it’s important to maintain a safe and consistent exercise routine throughout pregnancy. Still, there are times when it’s definitely acceptable to stop working out. You should not keep exercising if you:

  • feel faint
  • become breathless
  • experience vaginal discharge
  • feel feverish
  • experience any pain
  • start feeling contractions

You should see a doctor ASAP if you experience any of these symptoms. Also, talk to him or her if you’re new to exercise or are unsure about how to modify your current routine. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll likely need to take extra precautions during exercise as outlined by your physician.

Resources

Kristeen CherneyAuthor Bio: Kristeen Cherney is a freelance health and lifestyle writer who also has a certificate in nutrition. Her work has been published on numerous health-related websites since 2009. Previously, she worked as a communications and marketing professional and officially changed careers after the birth of her son. Kristeen holds a BA in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is currently pursuing an MA in English with a concentration in rhetoric and cultural studies. When she’s not writing or studying, she enjoys walking, kick-boxing, yoga, and traveling.

Guest Blog: Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy


I have been contacted by a sweet lady from Healthline. Healthline is a very informative and user friendly website where you can learn more about medical information and trusted health advice. Here is a very informative and fun article to read written by Leslie Vandever related to the topic of Pregnancy, specifically Cravinggssss 🙂 Enjoy


Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy

By Leslie Vandever

If you’re pregnant and crave certain foods—the famous pickles and ice cream, for instance, or salty corn chips dipped in cottage cheese, or frequent chocolate fixes, or even tasty helpings of steak fat—don’t feel alone. Food cravings during pregnancy are well-known and go with that rapidly rounding belly like cookies go with milk.

Scientists can’t tell us why, exactly. But at least some cravings may originate in the body’s need for specific nutrients. Pica—a craving to eat things that aren’t food, like clay, or coal—seems to come from a need for more iron in the diet. Women who crave ice cream or cottage cheese may just need more calcium. Chocolate is high in magnesium, so a woman whose body is lacking enough of that mineral may make a beeline for the candy machine. Or maybe her blood sugar level is low, so sweets sound good to her.

Or maybe she just loves chocolate.

Because a pregnant woman’s hormone levels fluctuate hugely, there may be an emotional side to cravings, as well. That urgent need for peaches and corn flakes may really be a subconscious need for emotional support, like a warm hug or a listening, empathetic ear.

The thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with craving specific foods during pregnancy. It’s an entirely normal phenomenon. Cravings have been noted—and commented upon with everything from humor to earnest seriousness—for hundreds of years. They occur in all cultures all over the world (though the foods that are the subjects of the cravings may differ).

The best way to deal with cravings is to eat a healthy, balanced, varied, and nutritious diet. By paying close attention to what and how you eat, you’ll be able to supply your body with everything it needs to keep both you and your growing infant healthy and strong. You may not have cravings as often.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person.”

By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, and legumes, and lean proteins like chicken and, in limited quantities, fish, you’ll give your new baby her best possible start in life. At the same time, you’ll be healthier than ever, gaining only as much weight as necessary.

Your body goes through ginormous change during pregnancy. You gain weight so your body can nurture and grow your baby; your breasts swell and fill with life-giving milk; your uterus stretches to accommodate an infant that will, by the time she’s born, weigh between six and 10 pounds (on average). Your blood volume will also have increased by as much as 60 percent.

For all this necessary and positive change to take place—and to keep you and the baby healthy in the process—you must get the right nutrients in the right quantities. During the second and third trimesters you need to eat an extra 300 healthy calories a day. In addition, some doctors and midwives prescribe or suggest extra vitamins and iron supplements, or recommend that you eat certain foods, like spinach, liver, and citrus fruits.

Keep your food cravings in context and under control. Feeding an occasional yen for butter brickle ice cream won’t hurt you or your baby, but eating a bowl of it every day will cause problems. If nothing else, you’ll gain more weight than you really should, which can be hard to lose after the baby is born.

And, you could try replacing that sugary, fattening ice cream with yogurt topped with fruit and granola, or something else along those lines that’s much more nutritious. Swap carrots for potato chips, or dried apricots for toaster pastries. You get the idea.

You can also curb cravings by getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and by drinking 8 measuring cups of water each day. Distract yourself with a phone conversation, a good TV show, or a good book instead of indulging the craving. Talk with your doctor. Be wise. Cravings are just that: cravings. You don’t have to satisfy them.

 

NewWren

 

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She craved cottage cheese and corn chips when she was pregnant with her daughter 32 years ago, so she knows that of which she writes. Vandever lives in the foothills of Northern California.

 

 
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