It All Comes Down To This … Happy New Year


Happy New year everyone.

I don’t fully understand the concept and the excitement over the start of a new year. Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed a full moon. It was always about the full moon which is at its the last stages . Never was I called out to check the birth of a new moon; it was just not as fascinating, “oh look, there is a crescent forming in the sky”. Really? A crescent?

Happy-New-Year1Even in a solar eclipse, where the sun entirely disappears, the climax is during the complete black out. It’s towards the end of the existence of the sun. A few seconds of complete darkness. After that when it’s re-emerging back, it is not as fun anymore.

When people reach the end of their life that is exactly what they call it; The end of their journey. They never say, I will start a new life in Heaven / hell or I will be reincarnated in 10 days.

It is sad in a way that we contemplate on everything and we label them based on their expiry date. But why can’t we do the same with the celebration of the new year? Why can’t we celebrate the end of the existing one instead?

If I had a great year so far, I would like to be warned just like they do in malls, “dear shoppers, we will be closing in 30 minutes”. Maybe not along the same lines, but something like: “Hey, you’ve had a wonderful year so far, but you still have 10-15 days before your luck runs out. Do something about it. Buy a lottery ticket, or do something crazy.”

And if you’ve had a not so great year, you will hear something like: “Hey I know you’ve had a shitty year, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, don’t despair”.

The current year as it stands, is something I am very well experienced with. The one to come is still unknown. I may not be too eager to see the year over yet, but I can only wish this upon everyone: “for those who had a good year, I hope it extends indefinitely. And to those who have experienced sorrow and misery or even consider themselves unlucky, I can only wish them a happier life with more ups than downs.”

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Just like in the movies, it isn’t over until you see the words “the end”.

You know what they also say, “ it’s not the end of the world”.

So Happy End of this Year to all 🙂

Raghid Khalil 

Inkling’s Interactive Cookbook: Modernist Cuisine at Home


As an instructional design specialist I value a well designed website that enhances the users experience. Inkling is just that.

Inkling is an interactive books website/App that is very well organized and user friendly.

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I would like to share with you access to a full preview of the first chapter titled, “A Modernist Meal at Home” by Chefs Nathan Myhrvold & Maxime Bilet. It is such a well written and designed cookbook. The step by step recipes and the perfect images that accompany each are a delight to look at and salivate for.

Access by simply logging into Inkling with your Facebook credentials. You can find the content at the following link: Modernist Cuisine at Home

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I was  also provided a few pieces of content that are currently not accessible from the website. It includes sections on Mac & CheeseGrilled Cheese Sandwiches, and Potato Puree (the best variation on mashed potatoes ever!)
As Ameila Salyers, from inkling suggested: “You and your readers will love the variety of foods and recipes to be discovered!” And I definitively positively truly DO 🙂

Take a few moments of your day and enjoy browsing the website: Inkling
Again here is a direct link to the dedicated book page: Modernist Cuisine at Home.
And here is the: food category page for your eyes to browse through.
Enjoy browsing, saving recipes and trying them out 🙂
Rasha Nasser Khalil

Spying on us U.S.?


So they’re spying … big deal!

ImageLately, that’s all we hear about on the news, how the US is spying on almost everyone on earth, even its closest allies. Well to reassure everyone, the USA just like any other country is also spying on its own people. In other words, they are employing the “equal spying opportunity” and that is something anyone spied on should feel proud of and should take advantage of.

But I am still not happy about that for one main reason. A few days ago I got the flu, and I was shivering in my bed with a high fever. I couldn’t even make it to the kitchen to prepare myself a soup or even get my own medication. Did they check up on me? No. Did they send me any medication? No. Did they at least send me a “get well soon, card”. No, Nothing. I got nothing from anyone. Yet we both know that they know I was sick.

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That same night, my one year old son started crying in the middle of the night, in his own crib. I felt helpless towards him. I wanted to go pick him up, but I couldn’t for two reasons, I was extremely sick, and I didn’t want to spread my virus or whatever I had on to my son; but I expected uncle Sam who spends sleepless nights watching us and over us to at least send in a Nanny to soothe my child back into sleep. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either.

Now tell me, am I asking for too much here? Isn’t that why they are spying on us? Isn’t it to provide us care when we need it the most?

I am a bit disappointed to be honest with you, but I will keep on giving them another chance since I have no other option. With that being said, I could really use a hand with the laundry. If only someone was listening closely …

 

Raghid Khalil 

 

Hit List


Fotor0524101740If every Lebanese was asked to write down the names of five people he/she would like to see dead before the end of the day, knowing that their request would be granted, I guarantee you that the following morning we will wake up to a country with not one politician left. Now one might think that every Lebanese person hates the entire political crew, but this is where you’d be wrong. They only hate the parties that do not represent their religion and sect in particular. If they have it their way, they would rather eliminate any obstacle or in this case any other party that stands in their affiliation’s way.

Being a Lebanese myself, I think I can somehow project how the majority of Lebanese think.

Here it goes, if I have a list of Five:

To begin with, I will keep two names aside just in case something arises at a later point. Those would be like the Jokers in a deck of cards that I can use whichever way I want and whenever I please.

So now I am left with three names to write down.

I can’t just go ahead and write down the names of the high ranking politicians, because one way or another it would be redundant for I am sure someone else will have them on their list. Why one might ask? Simply because that person might have had a project that was turned down, or was asked for some percentage in return for a simple signature on a form. I guess you get the point; these officials have their own haters.

So those high ranking ones will be cleared out by others, if not, that’s where my two jokers will come into play. I would only need to choose only two names simply because any Lebanese will select only two of the top three but never all three at the same time.

Next we’re left with the parliament members. There are only a few of them compared to the 4 million people in Lebanon and the remaining 6 million outside of Lebanon who have a list of 3 blank names left, which makes up around 30 million variations provided they all keep two names as backup jokers. But we all know that the Lebanese don’t trust each other. So even if you write a name down, another person will definitely write it down too, just because you can’t be too careful and it’s better to be safe than not. It’s like double checking.

Since the Lebanese are known to be very smart, they know better not to waste their time with a name of a politician that represents a section, a city or a village other than theirs because they know for a fact someone from that area will get to the name, so they try to keep it local.

If however, the politician that represents them has won the last election and is currently a parliamentary member, they would then write the names of his 3 top members of the opposing party. If their representative failed in the last election, then it goes without saying that the currently serving will make it to their list.

Fotor0524101536In some cities and villages or sections of Lebanon, there is an overwhelming majority of one party. Of course those choosing the names wouldn’t wish anything bad to their leaders, so they will start writing down the names of the leaders of the opposing parties.

So far, we have the top 3 positions eliminated, then the leaders of all the parties, then all the parliament members as well as their next in line or their competitors. But what about the politicians that still exist, those we barely hear their voices or see their faces, they could very well surface when the dust settles?

Again, the Lebanese have a solution for that. And with that solution comes money. So just like money floats around during the election season, money will start playing an important role. You will see people filling out the list  of five names and will actually buy a couple more lists from people who are financially in need. They would manipulate their cousins and family members to fill out names they haven’t selected themselves. After all it seems like they want to diversify their lists.  That way, they can surely get a goodnight sleep knowing that every name they can think of, gets shot, stabbed, or blown up.

The end result will be a new day with no politicians, but the question remains, how long before we see the same flags being raised again and a new government with new names being formed? If I were to answer that, I would say before sunset of that same day, because our governments are not formed within, they come pre-packaged and poorly wrapped from the different corners of the world.

Raghid Khalil

Guest Blog: Don’t Break Your Healthy Eating on Vacation!


Guest blogger: Cole Millen

I have been contacted by Cole Millen, an avid traveler and foodie. Here is a post he wanted to share with us. Thank you Cole for considering my blog.

Don’t Break Your Healthy Eating on Vacation!

Just because you are taking a break and going on vacation does not mean you should take a break from eating healthy. While it can be easy to reach for fast food or high fat snacks, a little planning and savvy thinking can help you to make the right choices when you are on the go!

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At the airport:

Airports are full of unhealthy foods but if you look around you can find places with fresh fruit, water, and salads. In fact, use your downtime to walk around your terminal and get a little exercise. Use the stairs instead of the escalators! Get your blood pumping before you are stuck in an airplane for a few hours.

Most importantly, make sure to bring along some healthy snacks of your own that will curb your appetite and keep you from grabbing one of those high in sugar and fat items. These snacks can be dried fruits, vegetables, or even nuts!

At the hotel:

One of the most important parts of your vacation is finding the right hotel. After all, you are living there for the time being. It is important to make sure that your hotel offers the appropriate amenities and services that can accommodate to your healthy lifestyle. I have had trouble with this in the past but found that doing a little research beforehand can go a long way. On my most recent trip out west I found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding not only their amenities and services, but also on the restaurants in the surrounding areas. This made it easier than ever to plan out my trip and to eat right while in and out of the hotel. Healthy_Eating (1)

Stop by a grocery store before you get to the hotel to grab some healthy foods. Almonds, fruit, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs are great for giving you an energy boost before you venture out for the day. Pack a few portioned out snacks and bottles of water in your bag when you head out so you aren’t left hungry and reaching for fried foods or sugary snacks. Also, ask your hotel to not stock the mini bar or to not give you a room service menu. They are there to accommodate you, so let them! Even better, look for places and hotels with a healthy edge before you go. Plenty of hotels now offer gyms, yoga studios, and healthy menus for their guests! Treat your vacation as a mini-spa getaway!

At the restaurant:

Speak up when choosing a place to eat with your group. Try to find a place that has healthier options and scope out their online menu before you go. When in doubt, choose lean protein with veggies for a side. Avoid carbohydrate-rich (and calorie laden) entrees and ask for your dish without heavy sauces or oils. If you’re totally lost, look for entrees that have lots of vibrant colors. Usually foods that are bland colors (whites, tans, browns) are the ones with the most.

calories and fat. Also, be weary of tempting restaurant salads. They can sometimes pack in as many as 1500 calories!

Above all, try to drink lots of water when you travel. Flying and restaurant foods are very dehydrating and can leave you zapped of energy. Also, try popping a multi-vitamin and fitting in a little exercise when you can. It may be tempting to let go of your diet when you travel, but it will likely leave you feeling sluggish and disappointed with yourself. Eating healthy and taking care of your body should be an all time habit, not just when it’s easy.

— Cole Millen

Cole

Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.”

Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice


It has been such a long time since I last posted on the blog.

I gave birth to a healthy handsome baby boy. Throughout my pregnancy I juiced every single day. Green juice, apple juice, carrot juice, and different combinations of juice all ran through my veins and replenished my system and that of my baby. He was born and could hold his head up and I still do believe that his strength is directly related to the juices I have been consuming. I focused on fetal development and requirements and juiced ingredients that would help boost my health and that of my growing baby in me.

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My Baby Boy

I want to share some juice recipes that would help those who are planning to get pregnant, and those who are already going through their journey at being pregnant.

To Those Who are Trying to Get Pregnant

First thing I want to share with you is a detox. It took me a while to get pregnant and I read somewhere that a cleanse can help reboot my system. I did a four day juice fast (read my blog post about it here). A month after the cleanse and healthy eating I got pregnant. All you got to do is try to eliminate sugars in your diet. Eat healthy food and if you have the will to go vegan for a few weeks then go ahead and do that. As for me all I did is I went on a juice fast for 4 days. I eliminated caffeine from my system and all sugars. I ate a lot of greens. I exercised daily and drank lots of water and fluid.

Here are a few juice recipes that help with fertility.

Natural Fertility

This juice has a ton of vitamins and minerals. It is high in iron, calcium and is alkalizing. Drink this blend to nourish the reproductive system and enrich your cells, boosting your fertility and chances of getting pregnant (Natural Fertility Info).

5 Fertility RecipesTo Those who are Pregnant

During the first trimester, the embryo becomes a fetus with all organs fully formed. Taking these dramatic changes and developments in your womb many things are also happening to your body to be able to accommodate the needs of the baby. One of the well known physical side effects is nausea. Here are a few juice recipes to help you through the first trimester.

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During the second trimester you are most energetic and happily pregnant. Now that all the major organs and systems have formed in the fetus, the following six months will be spent growing. This means that you require a lot of vitamins and nutrients to help the growing fetus in you. I drank a lot of grapefruit and green juice during that time. Here are a few recipes:

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In the third trimester heartburn kicks in. More growth happening to the fetus and lungs are developing and maturing. I started to feel heavy and easily tired during the last few weeks. To keep your energy up and to help you through what is to become of your life try these healthy recipes.

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To Those Who Gave Birth

Enjoy motherhood, stay healthy and juice on 🙂

—-

Rasha Nasser Khalil 

Also see my other juice recipe posts and related articles:

– Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Guest Blog: Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy

 

Juice Recipes for Weight Loss


Who wouldn’t wanna shed a few pounds?

I do not believe in diets… I believe in the approach.

If you adopt a healthy approach and lead a lifestyle full of healthy nutritious food and actively working out you will automatically lose weight and keep it at bay.

Healthy eating and working out are the two essential ingredients for looking and feeling good.

Here are a few juice recipes that will aid in the process of weight loss.

Carrots, Tomato, Broccoli and Cabbage have essential ingredient that will help you digest your food quicker and speed up your metabolism. read more here

Try juicing celery, a beet, spinach, zucchini and cucumber. Your system will clean itself out. You will feel refreshed.

Watermelon and Cantaloupe with a kick of ginger will provide your body with essential nutrients and aid in weight loss. No to mention its refreshing taste on the palate.

Someone should come up with a superhero carrot cartoon character. Carrots are full of so many nutrients and help in preventing and reversing so many diseases. Carrots, Celery, Apple, Spinach and Lemon are to be juiced together and consumed quickly so that all the nutrients would pass through your system and help your cells replenish and stabilize.

Good luck juicing 🙂

Check out my other juicing blog posts:

Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

Juice Recipes for Aliments

Detox Juice Recipes

Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

Green Juice Recipes

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Putting Things in Perspective


Ever since we learned how to talk, it was imperative to tell people how old we were, “I am Two”,  “I am three and a half”. Of course, when children say it, it sounds so cute. As we get older, we start measuring things in the same exact way we did as children, using years, days and months; which seems the only normal way of doing things.

We make this much money a year, we will retire at this age or in this many years. All seemed going smoothly until we discovered that animal years are different from that of a human. For instance, a 14 years old dog is considered to be like an 82 years old man in human years. So when we look at a dog that is 14 years old, he might be thinking “This human is more like a dinosaur, he is at least 200-250 years old”, right?

So we just did a comparison between two living organisms, the human being and the dog. We can definitely expand the list to include mammals, fish and all sorts of other species.

Now the fun part begins. I think by now you might have an idea of what I am proposing. Let us compare our human years to the years in heaven. Are they the same? Are they different? Well, what if they’re different. What if one day in heaven is equivalent to one year on earth? What if one day equates to 100 or a million years?

Now here’s where the scary thought really is. What if God has a day off?

If our time here on earth is relatively equal to heaven’s time, then we risk an entire 24 hour without any divine interference due to God’s day off. Think globally now! Galaxies, planets etc… Everything is hanging by a thread.

If our time here on earth is vastly different from heaven’s time, then what? If our earthly 100 years equate to one day, and that happens to be the day God decided to have a day off, then what? Then the fun begins. Do you really want to be around on God’s day off?

You would pray to God, but he’s not listening because it’s his day off. Try praying in a 100 years when he’s available.

P.S: I am not saying that God has a day off. I am not trying to insult anyone, but I’m simply trying to put things in perspective. Be grateful to what you have.

Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure


After having covered general juice recipes such as: Green Juice Recipes, Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes, Detox Juice Recipes, Juice Recipes for Ailments, and Juice Recipes for Pregnancy, I think it is time to start posting juice recipes for specific ailments.

Here are some juice recipes that may help you combat high blood pressure

Celery is one of the most important vegetables we have to use daily. Celery provides a natural way to lower blood pressure. Drink celery juice as much as you can… If you cannot tolerate its bitter taste mix it with a bit of orange juice (which would also give you a vitamin C kick.) Read more here.

Beat High Blood Pressure with Beet. A recent research study discovered that drinking just 500 ml of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure. Read more here.

Lemon juice with water is such a refreshing and quenching drink, especially in the hot summer days. Adding Lemon juice to your water will help alkalize your system and is also shown to lower blood pressure… even if it does nothing, why not change the taste of your water from time to time 🙂

Juice 1/4 cantaloupe and blend in a banana and enjoy the yummy effect… both ingredients have potassium which will help reduce high blood pressure.

Green juice is mainly beneficial to all ailments and will definitely improve your overall health and stamina.
All of these vegetable juices make the blood more alkaline and can help remove cholesterol deposits on arteries that lead to the heart. Read more here.

Last but not least, the quatro super juice ingredients Kale, Celery, Carrot and Beet. Juice the ultimate ingredients and you’ll not only combat blood pressure but you’ll conquer all aliments and regain your full health and vigor.

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Once Upon a Time… (1)


Once upon a time on a not too far galaxy from here… As a matter of fact I can take you there. Really! it’s just around the corner. If you want we can go there right now. Even better, I will give you directions.
From this location, keep going straight until you hit the second stop light, you make a left. In less than half a block you will see a grocery store, you walk into it, around the middle of the second aisle, on the third shelf from the bottom you will see the Galaxy I was referring to. Just so no one gets confused, it’s the regular plain Galaxy bar, no nuts, no caramel. Anyway, on that specific galaxy was a coupon with a discount and I bought it… The End.

— Raghid Khalil Khalil