Sunday, 18 February 2018 08:35
MIC Movie Reviews - Black Panther
Black Panther 2018
"Wakanda Forever" truly

At the center of the film ' Black Panther' lies the fictional African nation of Wakanda, a civilization with futuristic technology and wealth beyond that of the outside world. And the film asks the question as to why Wakanda never prevented the suffering of black people all over the world. This core concept brings about questions regarding socio political commentary which is rather relevant in the political landscape of today touching on topics such as the ethics of humanitarian aid as well as, the refugee crisis (briefly). Although touching mature themes, the film is a well rounded and fun movie which the whole family can watch with only a few instances of inappropriate language being used.
Friday, 16 February 2018 14:13
Amuse Bouche - Dear 18 year old self ....
I have decided that 2018 will be the year of letting go. Not of everything of course, because, control freak. But, of what can and should be let go. This will therefore also be known as the year of letters; some to be delivered IRL, some just to exist in this space, a form of public therapy if you like. Let's get straight to the source with a letter to someone who is responsible for who I am today - Me.

Dear 18 year old Amuse,

I see you, with your baggy black clothes, smudged eye liner and big boots; wearing that dark brown lipstick that makes your grandmother wince. I see you trying to stand out, to be seen, to make an impact; and I see you doing those things even as you desperately want to disappear, fade into the back ground and be left alone.
Akeela Mariff Fayaz
Monday, 12 February 2018 11:57
Valentine's Day - What is it ???
"Mama what is Valentines' day?" asks my eleven year old son. As the go-to parent who deals with all sorts of awkward questions I should be used to this by now. But still, I panic. My son is a bit of a late bloomer compared to his peers. He has been eavesdropping on the aiyyas in the school van. So as of late I have been bombarded with questions such as this. The last question he asked me was "what do they mean by the guy gets the girl?"

But me being the mom who promised myself to tell the truth as much as possible to my kids, I decided to be a realist. To be honest in this case it was easier being realistic and narrating the story of Saint Valentine to him than explaining the whole Valentine's day saga created by the media and advertising agencies. So I told him about poor old Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in 3rd century Rome. The sympathetic priest helped Christian guys and girls get married during a time when it was prohibited by the Pagan emperor Claudius II to do so. And since it was against the law and he committed a grave crime, the brave priest was sentenced to die. Then he asks me "Is Saint Valentine the fat baby angel flying around with a bow and arrow?" I answered by promptly reminding him about his homework and chores. Because I know next he will ask me why is cupid trying to kill people with his bow and arrow if he wants them to get together!
Thursday, 11 January 2018 13:18
Dietitian Bites - Committing to better dietary habits long term
Do you, like millions of people of at the beginning of the New year, want to lose weight? It naturally follows then, that you have already decided how much weight you want to lose weight and you want this to happen as fast as possible.

What I help my clients see, however, is that when it comes to losing weight, it is very similar to any other goal in life, you need to focus on systems instead of goals. Say for example, you like baking, and your goal is to become an award winning home baker. Your system is then how many hours per day you spend on learning how to bake different things and practicing till you can execute perfectly. Say for example that you are working in management at a company, you goal might be to become the CEO of the company or get a BIG promotion. Your system is then how you show up to work every day and add value to the company (and to your boss).
Amuse Bouche
Friday, 29 December 2017 14:17
Amuse Bouche -  Another year ends...
And just like that another year is nearly done.

It's been a mixed bag hasn't it? I mean for all time sad and low ways to begin a year, you would be hard pressed to beat Trump being voted in as President, wouldn't you?

But sometimes, when the balance tips so far into the red ('The Donald' has the nuclear codes!) only something incredibly powerful can help restore the world's equilibrium, and for me, the sound of women breaking their silence and saying #metoo, is doing its part to help bring back that balance.

It takes incredible courage to speak out about abuse and sexual assault. The kind of courage I am yet to find within myself. I posted a #metoo on Facebook when the call went out. But I didn't have what it took to add a story. I am working on that.

Men hope that men learn to listen to these stories better. To listen, not so they can respond, but to truly hear what is being said. To listen and not jump in with 'not all men are like that'. To listen unconditionally and to know the irrelevance of what a woman's outfit was, what she was drinking or what her reputation was. Men need to listen with one aim, to believe what they hear.
Sunday, 24 December 2017 15:49
Dietitian Bites - How to avoid Liver Loaders in the New Year
For a lot of people, Christmas and the New Year holidays are a time when consumption of alcohol and refined sugars, in particular, can creep up. While it's important to enjoy yourself over the holiday period, you still need to be aware and mindful of your consumption of 'liver loaders'.

What are liver loaders? Liver loaders include any substance that can influence the liver detoxification process such as alcohol, caffeine, trans fats (damaged fats usually found in store bought cakes and biscuits, muesli bars and deep-fried food) and refined sugars.
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 09:03
Dietitian Bites - How to enjoy the season and not put on the pounds
With the holiday season around the corner and faced with the abundance of food wherever we go, most people are gearing up for weeks of overeating and drinking. While indulging in your favourite foods during this season is certainly recommended and a healthy and exciting part of social life, you can do this without compromising your health goals and packing on the pounds.

Firstly, it will be far easier to eat and drink less over the festive season than regretting and trying to work it off in the New Year. Prevention is far better than cure. Recent research has shown that the danger zone times of overeating, such as Christmas and New Year, often result in small fat gains which account for majority of our weight gains year after year. Overeating is simply the cause of these fat gains, and exercise is unlikely to counteract the problem. Faced with plenty of delicious of food to eat and poor motivation to exercise or move your body, only the most diligent people would be able to maintain their weight during this season. So how can we overcome this seemingly impossible feat?

Image - Holiday splurging can accumulate year after year. 

The solution is simple as changing your focus.

Firstly know that restricting or completely saying no to your favourite foods, or viewing it as a ‘BAD’ food that needs to be avoided can actually be counterproductive. Our self control is actually a limited resource, and you are most likely to give in sooner than later and there is no stopping your next binge after that.

Instead, start savouring, rather than, gorging food. This is a concept called mindful eating and it involves putting emphasis on slowing down and enjoying & relishing the food, without any judgement. There is nothing wrong in having an indulgence now and then. No food is good or bad, and while some food can provide more nutrients to the body, others provide nourishment to our souls through pleasure. However, having a better
understanding of how our body our feels when we are hungry or full and learning when to stop eating would be much more effective at preventing overeating and weight gain and eating the perfect amount for our bodies.

Image - The point of mindful eating is to savour, not gorge

Here are 3 techniques on how to eat mindfully:

1)     Firstly, slow down the pace of your eating. The food isn’t going anywhere!  

       It actually takes 20 minutes for our blood sugar to respond to eating, and it is this       rise in blood sugar that tells our brain we’ve had enough food. Unfortunately, it’s possible to eat a very large amount of food in 20 minutes, especially when eating mindlessly.

2)     Be more aware of when you are hungry and when you are full. Hunger should be the primary reason that you decide to eat, not stress, depression or boredom. You can always wait till you are a bit hungrier before you eat so you can enjoy your food much more.


3)     Pay attention to the change in taste of the food. We often ignore the subtle change in how much we are enjoying the taste of the foods as we eat, a signal called the “taste specific satiety” or TSS. Our taste buds are chemical sensors that tire quickly. This means that the first few bites of a food taste better than the next few bites. And after eating a large amount, we may have very little taste experience left at all.  What we experience at that point is likely to be memory traces of those first bites. Many people will keep on eating in order to get back the intense flavor from the first few bites, but this is impossible to do.


Some other quick tips, besides mindful eating:

-         Keep an eye out for sugary drinks, a popular indulgence over the festive period, as they can easily add empty calories to your diet.

-          Don’t skip meals in order to allow for “extra calories later.” If you are ravenous at a buffet or dinner party you are much more likely to overeat and consume more calories than 3 of your regular meals combined!

-          Always serve a small amount of food and reach for more if you are still hungry.

The good news is by learning how to enjoy food mindfully, most people find they can just eat the right amount without the urge to binge. 

 For those who are so used to restricting and then overeating or caught up in the diet cycle, it might be much harder to start eating mindfully and develop a healthy & confident relationship with food. If you are one of those people, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional Registered Dietitian to support you.

Friday, 01 December 2017 10:17
To be me - Separation Tales
Once there was a woman who lived in hope, prayed every day that she would save herself from an awful lot of trauma that was her marriage. She waited and waited for long years and then found to her utmost disappointment that nobody gave a toss. It was time to take her trauma by the hand and handle it.

Separation, the word conjured up of one of the most terrible tales of a marriage gone wrong.  I went around in circles trying to fix things which could not be and in the end, decided to separate. The adults in my family were shocked and dismayed to find that I was forthcoming with most gory details. I felt I was explaining myself and they would help me. The men In my in-laws family were kind enough to give me time for me to sit and hear my story.  I was so confident that my problems will be solved and I would be back with the love of my life in no time.
To be Me
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 10:49
To be me - Let me please you, my darling
The smashed cake on our sofa was a mess to clear. My mind, this confusion of mine was fogged with sadness. I also had the task of cleaning this up.. Have you ever tried to clean butter icing from a white sofa? The color and the smell stay for a long time. Ants start invading and eating up crumbs. Getting professionals to take it away to clean would have been a costly affair and time-consuming. Maybe I will throw a rug over it to cover the stain of my mistake.

The MISTAKE. Oh yes the cake was not the perfect peach color, and the design was not neat enough. I had hired the best baker in town to bake it. It did look as perfect the photo that I had got approval for. But I had spoilt the anniversary, a day of celebration by bringing the cake which seemed to have triggered rage.
Monday, 13 November 2017 14:47
Picking the right pre school for your kid
Making the decision of which pre-school or Montessori your child should go to, is perhaps the most important decision you will make in relation to his future education. The strides your child takes on the stepping stones of learning, must lead to the happiest and most contented period of his life.

There are some key points to look out for on your first visit to a pre-school or Montessori school.
 Are the buildings and environment inviting?

 Does the property have adequate outdoor space for the child to feel free and safe?

 Do the children have easy access to the outdoors, with grassy areas to play in?

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