Silence is golden (22K Indian gold in fact)

India has been said to take your breath away, but Dhula took my voice away.

Those who know me, and even some I’ve only just met were “shocked”. Much like India itself, I like any entourage to expect the unexpected from me. Hailing from The 6ix as was dubbed by our widely adored Drake, I firmly subscribe to YOLO (you only live once). While Hinduism teaches us about reincarnation, I want to outdo and outlive each of the lives I’ll be graciously handed throughout my many transcendences.

There is literally not a single thing I would change about the Essential India tour. You’ll appreciate the juxtaposition of chaotic city life in sharp contrast to the serene countryside on your adventure.

As a journalist, I make connections and conversation with others immensely easily but the bonds made on buses, trains, planes, tuk tuks, etc surpass friendships I’ve made while travelling elsewhere.

Rather than calling them my tour group, I’ve taken to calling them my team. We are all in this together – Delhi belly and all. (Sidenote: my cousin Cassy made sure to purchase traveler probiotics ahead of our departure and it has saved us from any, um.. diarrhea). Do yourself a favour and nab a bottle before heading out on your excursion.

A stepwell of knowledge, our CEO Anurag is one of the rarest gems the country has in its possession.  His charisma and passion are contagious. From one storyteller to another, it takes one to know one.

Enough about him – As you will come to see this trip isn’t about the CEO, it is aboutyou. CEOs facilitate your trip. If there is something you’d like to do (like get the symbol for OM tattooed on your hand while in Delhi), he’ll hook you up.

Back to the vow of silence. I thought when quieting my voice, my mind would increase in noise and volume. This was not the case. Everything felt clear. After struggling through depression in the past year, this trip truly has awakened my senses. It has sharpened and allowed me to realign with me. I am beyond grateful to myself – my own built in travel buddy. Do not hesitate when contemplating touring India solo or with some pals, you’ll have the time of your life.

Following in the footsteps of one brilliant Bryan Cranston, I am going to dedicate one day a week to silence.

Leave a comment if you think you would join in solidarity for #SpeechlessSunday. I would suggest selecting a weekend, otherwise your boss may notify HR of your reluctance to partake in your Monday morning meeting.

Namaste,
Kim

Kimberly Lamontagne is a freelance writer and social media marketer with an unwavering need for paneer. Stay tuned for the book she is currently penning about Usher Syndrome.

12 Reminders That you Are Exactly Where you Need to Be

I wish I was wise enough to write the below words, but alas ’twas not I. A good friend of mine shared the following with me yesterday. I am paying it forward. My bloggy senses have been tingling. 2016 was personally a tough year pour moi. I am thrilled by the thoughts 2017 generates for “without the low, there ain’t a high“.

Keep well,
Kimberly


1. You’re allowed to walk away from relationships that leave you drained.

Even if you can’t explain why.

2. You are worth so much more than your productivity.

Your life doesn’t have to represent a constant incline on some universal graph of ‘success’. Improving is fun, pushing yourself is fun, but don’t get so hung up on constant productivity and success that it starts to dictate your sense of self worth.

3. Being disliked or ‘not for everyone’ is actually a great thing.

It means at one time or another you weren’t afraid to be loud, to stand up for something your believed in, to hold your ground, to take up space, to take a decision. Get comfortable in the position of not being liked by everyone. It probably meant you did something awesome.

“The reward for being liked by everyone is everyone likes you but yourself.”

4. On mindfulness, your spiritual journey, and the pressure to do it ‘right’: you’re not going to be ‘in the moment’ every second of your life.

Please don’t get neurotic about being an A+ mindfulness student, cause that’s just replacing one neuroses with another. It’s called mindfulness practice, not mindfulness perfect. Do what you can in small little pieces, even if its just taking thirty seconds to feel the texture of the food on your tongue or making a concerted effort to breathe a bit deeper and longer. Start there. That’s a good start. You’re doing great.

5. Let go of age anxiety.

This idea of where you think you should have been in your life compared to where you actually are now. Age is so damn irrelevant. Some people are old at 29 and some are young at 92. There is no correct way or timeline in which to do life, except the life that feels true for you. Flow with what is, and do the best with what you have and you’ll see how quickly you fall in love with your life and start manifesting all the good shit that was meant for you.

6. Your life doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.

Got that?

7. Sometimes, when someone gives you advice, it’s good to say thank you and then do whatever the fuck you were going to do anyway.

You don’t have to take advice that people give you. Be grateful they have given you some of their time and shared some of their life experience with you but the truth is you can’t abstain from life and you can’t abstain from risk. The only person who knows what’s best for you is you.

8. Some days you feel like you are ten feet tall and could break through walls. Some days you find yourself standing in the shower reevaluating all your life choices.

Love and accept yourself in both times. We so often acknowledge moods when they come, but not when they leave. Breathe through it, watch it wash over you, then watch it leave. It will always leave.

9. One of the most powerful things you can do in this life is talk to yourself with love.

We can be so unconscious of how we speak to ourselves. But ask yourself, if I spoke to an employee the way I speak to myself, would they still be on my team? How about a lover? We demand respect, consideration and integrity in all our relationships, and we should expect the same standard for ourselves.

10. Give yourself what you need.

If you’re an introvert, respect that fact about yourself and allow yourself that time to recharge in solitude to remain on an even keel. If you’re someone who needs to be constantly challenged to feel alive, then don’t keep yourself stuck out of the fear of the unknown. Put your hand up for new opportunities and push yourself into situations you might not quite be ready for.
If you need to cry sometimes for no particular reason, get into a childpose on the floor and let the tears flow. Feels weird? Whatever. We’re all a little weird. Some people just hide it better than others.

11. Sometimes the only thing that heals is time.

And usually saltwater and maybe a plane ticket. But mostly time.

“Just keep throwing six months at it until it goes away.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.

12. Don’t punish yourself for those cringey crazy things you did for that person who didn’t deserve you.

We all go a little nuts over love sometimes. It just proves we are raw, emotional beings with the capacity to feel things deeply. And that’s alright, that’s just part of being human. We just need learn to gracefully let go of the things that aren’t meant for us.

Copy courtesy of http://saltysoulsexperience.com/ 

How much fibre do you really need?

All bran cereal | Sheknows.ca

Photo credit: Lauri Patterson / Vetta / Getty Images

FIBRE KEEPS THAT TUMMY TRIM

First things first: Fibre is your friend. Make sure fibre RSVPs to every meal, because it’s the life of the party and it keeps things going — literally. Fibre is largely responsible for those bathroom visits.

The facts on fibre

Fibre works as a bulking agent, training our intestinal muscles to push waste out of the body, which helps to prevent constipation, says Dominika Zarzeczny, B.Sc., N.D. “The amount of stool we expel per day is largely dependent on the amount of fibre we consume, so more fibre means more regularity.”

Soluble or insoluble, both types of fibre have their perks. Soluble fibre slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full, which is great when keeping an eye on your weight. It’s also helpful in controlling diabetes and cholesterol. Fibre can be found in oatmeal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, beans, blueberries, carrots and the list goes on.

Leave the bloat behind

Did you know?

Fibre is also an important fuel source for the healthy bacteria living in our intestines, making for healthier bowelInsoluble fibres act like a natural laxative. They are present in the skins of vegetables and fruits and in the bran portion of whole grains. “Insoluble fibre passes through the gastrointestinal tract largely unchanged, helping to promote a regular and healthy digestive system,” says Zarzeczny.

Whole wheat, wheat bran, seeds, nuts, dark leafy vegetables, raisins and grapes are just some sources of insoluble fibre.

Fibre it up

Women aged 19 to 50 require approximately 25 grams of fibre a day. Incorporating fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet is a simple way to meet that quota quickly. For instance, Zarzeczny says, an apple consumed with the skin or a cup of broccoli both contain about 5 grams of fibre. A cup of cooked lentils contains 16 grams, and a cup of whole-wheat spaghetti contains just over 6 grams of fibre. Add that up, and you’re already looking at 27 grams of fibre (and you’ve reached your recommended daily intake).

A cup of split peas and black beans each provides about 15 grams of fibre per cup. Green peas make an excellent side dish, and a cup contains about 9 grams of fibre. Grab a handful of almonds — or 23, to be exact — which provides 3.5 grams of fibre and makes for a perfect snack.

FACT:

Bran is rich in fibre and essential fatty acids, and it contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Flaxseed fan club

Looking to increase your digestive wellness? Zarzeczny recommends flaxseeds, the “Cadillac of fibre.” Not only are they an excellent source of soluble fibre, but they also contain essential fatty acids and lignans (chemical compound found in plants), she says, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid found in flaxseeds has been shown to help prevent heart disease. Lignans also have powerful antioxidant properties shown to help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Make bran your breakfast

Kick-start your metabolism with the most important meal of the day by tossing fibre into the mix:

  • Eat the skins and seeds of vegetables and fruits.
  • Use whole-grain bread when making toast.
  • Add Kellogg’s All-Bran buds to your yogurt.
  • Add a small handful of almonds or other nuts to your cereal.
  • Grab a Kellogg’s All-Bran bar when you’re on the go in between classes or meetings, and it will carry you through to lunch.

TELL US:

How do you get your daily fibre fix? Tell us in the comments section below.

More on fibre

Homemade, super-healthy fruit and seed bars
8 Tasty ways to get more fibre
3 Ancient grains you should be eating

Article sponsored by Kellogg’s All-Bran

Free online workouts

What’s better than getting fit and seeing results? Doing it all for free! We’ve rounded up the best of the best online workouts, and you’ll be feeling the burn in no time.

GET IN SHAPE
AT NO COST TO YOU

Put a stop to muffin top

The best part of a muffin is the top, right? But not when it’s hanging over your jeans. It’s uncomfortable, unflattering and unwanted. XHIT is promising to rid us of our not-so-lovely love handles. With eight core exercises, you’ll be on your way to a muffin-topless life in only 10 minutes a day. Planks are perfection for your posture and for targeting that rebellious overhang. The starfish crunch is just as fun as it sounds and really engages those core muscles.

Feel the rhythm

Blogilates is your one-stop shop for getting your groove on while shedding those glutinous indulgences. Most of Cassy’s videos are under 15 minutes, and you can bet she’ll get your heart rate elevated quickly. It’s never too early to be thinking about bikini season, and with the Hot Summer POP Cardio Dance Workout, you’ll be bathing suit ready. Plus, maybe you can use a few of those moves when you’re out there on the dance floor this weekend.

Be the biggest loser

Be Fit’s goal is to help you “transform yourself.” Their YouTube channel boasts a variety of exercise videos. Feel free to peruse your options, but for this article’s sake, I’ve chosen to highlight “America’s Toughest Trainer,” Jillian Michaels. You’ll feel like Jillian is in your living room, and let me tell you, the lady gets results. I bought her 30-day Shred on DVD a few years ago in preparation for a wedding down South, but you can enjoy it for free. You won’t be sorry, just a little sore (beware of the butt kicks).

Pirouette your way to a smaller waistline

I’m partial to this next one, because any instructor who places a sweatband on a puppy has my vote.Jessica Smith and her pup, Peanut, will sweat their way into your heart. Have you dreamed of being a prima ballerina but maybe lack the coordination (like this writer)? Fret not! You can still share the same physique. Jessica will sculpt you into tip-top shape. You’ll confidently take centre stage after a few pliés.

Fitness for two

Besties Karena and Katrina might inspire you and your BFF to Tone It Up. The pair of perfect 10s have their own reality show on Bravo, aptly called Toned Up. The beach-ready babes have teamed up with Victoria’s Secret to create the Love Your Body series. Karena and Kat want you to discover a confident, fit and fierce you. The fabulous females say there’s a side of you that you never knew existed, a strength deep inside you that is ready to drive you toward your dreams and goals. What are you waiting for? HIIT play on this High-intensity Interval Training workout now!

More on fitness

Why everyone should run a marathon at least once
Belly fat-busting tips
4 Great leg workouts for the new year

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Moussaka: Mediterranean shepherd’s pie

TRADITIONAL FLAVOUR IN ONE TASTY DISH

If you’re tired of the same old recipes for dinner, you’ll love this spin on the classic shepherd’s pie. A mouthwatering combination of eggplant, ground beef and béchamel makes this dish a meal the whole family will enjoy. Pop this platter into the oven for a quick Mediterranean meal any night of the week. The best part is you’ll likely have leftovers for the next day!

Moussaka: Mediterranean Shepherd's Pie | Sheknows.ca

Moussaka

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggplants
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash the eggplants, and slice them into 1- to 2-inch slices.
  3. Place the eggplant slices onto a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden, flipping them over after 10 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven, place them on cooling rack, and lower the heat to 350 degrees F.
  5. In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the ground meat along with the cinnamon, basil, salt and pepper. Once the meat is browned, add the tomato sauce and wine. Reduce heat, and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. In a saucepan, add the butter and flour. Using a whisk, cook the mixture for 5 minutes on medium heat before adding the milk and cheese. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat while continuing to whisk as the sauce thickens.
  7. In a greased casserole dish, place half the eggplants to create a layer (think lasagna). Spread the meat sauce over the eggplants to form another even layer. Add another layer of eggplant, and top it off by pouring the béchamel sauce, covering it completely.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.

More Greek recipes

Kopanisti: Feta and red pepper dip
Chicken soup: Avgolemono
Loukoumades: Honey donuts

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http://www.sheknows.ca/food/articles/961227/moussaka-recipe