Tis The Season… To Eat Healthy!

 

Tis the season of blessings, joy, and love… and let’s not forget the good food too! Delicious meals, tasty cookies and cakes, great brunches, and dinners…. and just like that, the next time you will hop on that scale, you will not like what you will see! No need to worry! Myself and Live &Taste have got your back! It is absolutely doable to indulge in the deliciousness of this season while being conscious, aware, and kind to your body. Live & Taste, is the union of two beautiful women, who made the relationship between healthy and delicious possible! I have tried some of their goodies and I have loved them! So I have decided to meet up with them, dig a little deeper and offer you all what you need to know!

 

So before we get to Live & Taste, can you please tell us about yourselves? Who are you? Where are you from? What did you do before?

I’m Laetitia. I was born and brought up in Belgium. I went to law school, to pursue a career as a solicitor. I was partner in a law firm for few years.

I’m Theresa. I was born in Germany, and I grew up between Germany and France. I have a marketing degree and I was a marketing manager in a big travel company.

How was the idea for Live & Taste created? And why the name: Live & Taste (I see what you did with the initials, genius!)

Few years ago, we moved to Bahrain, having the chance to have a career break, and focus on our families. Being in Bahrain gave us the incredible opportunity to meet and become best friends. We started to do a lot of sports to get back in shape, after our respective pregnancies. Naturally, we quickly realized the huge importance of eating well. So, we slowly adopted a fully plant-based diet that was surprisingly appealing and tasty. It was a wake-up call. Then, because people were regularly asking us about healthy tips and recipes and because we love cooking, it was natural to create our blog Live and Taste and to publish healthy recipes!

The name “Live & Taste” was a nod to our first names, you’re right, Laetitia & Theresa!! The idea was: Live happily by tasting great healthy food.

What is Live & Taste?

Live and Taste is a food blog where we publish regularly plant-based (mainly) and healthy recipes. We try as much as we can to publish easy and quick recipes for weekdays and for busy mummies. Our philosophy is based on whole food, unprocessed food, superfood, raw food, refined sugar free, gluten free (mostly) or a limited amount of dairy.

Live and Taste reflects our vegan and healthy lifestyle. It’s a great place for inspiration & motivation for a balanced diet (and we use it as our own cookbook too !).

How do you come up with your recipes? From recipe books, or do you just try random things in your own kitchen?

We have a ton of cooking books and we are continuously looking for inspiration. We have the chance to travel a lot (being in Bahrain helps as we are close to so many beautiful countries) and it gives us a kick of inspiration for new recipes. We like to recreate classic recipes, with veganism and health in mind. We like to find inspiration through other food blogs too.

How do you manage to make beautiful healthy food, that also tastes so good?

The goodness is mostly coming from the combination of flavors, the creaminess (with a healthy sauce that we’ve added), a splash of nut butter on top of a smoothie bowl, a lot of herbs when you roast your veggies, roasted nuts on top of your salads (because sometimes you need something crunchy) etc.…and through the years, we’ve learned a lot about all those vegan ingredients.

Trust us, the way we eat bursts in flavor! And, we love to arrange beautiful pictures for our followers, that’s a big part of our job as food bloggers.

Do you cater for parties and gatherings?

We did few events and Pop up to inspire people to cook our recipes at home. It was a real success and we still do it sporadically. Unfortunately, we have less time right now to do it, as we need to focus first on the media (and to balance work and home).

 Do your kids eat the healthy food you make? If Yes, how do you convince them to even try it? and do you have any tips for other moms on that?

Definitely, they do. The 4 of them have different interests in healthy food but they start to be aware of healthy cooking (and can make a difference with junk food). We would say that to convince kids to try it out, we let them play in the kitchen (in a safe environment), we let them cook with us and let them try the food straight away from the oven tray for example. A great recipe you could try out with them, is our famous “Raw Truffles” (Recipe mentioned below). They can put all the ingredients in a blender, you blend and then, you let them roll the truffles ! For sure, it’s a process you need to repeat: introduce new food several times or hide it at the beginning AND keep it up. They will feel interested in healthy food, if you show them your interest into it!

What are your favorites dishes to make?

 Do we have to pick just one?? Plenty of recipes actually!

In this Christmas season, we would recommend a delicious “hot cinnamon chocolate” (Recipe mentioned below).

You’ll have to mix together 4 cups of almond mylk, 30 gr of dark chocolate (we love the local brand, organic dark chocolate) and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and heat it up. It’s a comfy and healthy beverage, that we love to drink while the weather is a bit chilly!

 Where do you see yourself and your business 5 years from now?

We had no idea how long we would eat this way (plant-based diet) but now it’s more than 6 years and we have so much more energy, our skin looks brighter and we feel both more positive. So, we will keep up posting healthy recipes, because we love it. We would like to hit the Pinterest market too, increase our blog traffic, make food videos and maybe, we might create a recipe book. Who knows…

What would you tell women and moms reading this post about healthy living, and if you have any tips for them to be able to have a healthier lifestyle yet still enjoy life’s delicacies?

 A lot of people misinterpret the way we eat and think that a healthy vegan and plant-based diet has to be so much restricted, with a lack of flavor, boring dishes, not enough protein, no more sweet etc.… but it’s actually the opposite. You’ll notice it quickly if you follow us. We feel energized and we do actually a lot of sports (high impact and yoga), while we are eating -a lot of-delicious food. So do not hesitate to look into it a bit more. Learn to care about your body. You will be fascinated by the large range of choices and flavors in our lifestyle. Try to add some vegan dishes to your weekly routine, add more whole food to your diet, reduce as far as possible processed food and refined sugars and SEE HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL. On top of it, most of our recipes are very easy and ARE FOR ALL EATERS (you can find all the ingredients in Bahrain) and you can prep a lot during the weekend! If you have any questions about transitioning to a plant-based diet or regarding a recipe, just ask and send us a message or comment on the blog or on Instagram,  and we will be thrilled to help you..

Here are the links of the recipes mentioned above:

http://www.liveandtaste.com/recipe/raw-chocolate-truffles/

http://www.liveandtaste.com/recipe/hot-cinnamon-chocolate/

Blog:http://www.liveandtaste.com

Instagram: @live.and.taste

Facebook: LIVE.AND.TASTE

Happy Holidays..!!!

Ouiam

Thyroid 101-Part 3

Hello everyone! So after knowing all about Hashimoto disease, the immune system and autoimmune diseases, today I will try to sum up ways to reboot your body, give your immune system the boost it needs to be able to do its job properly, and hopefully ways of getting your thyroid back to functioning properly and for your body to finally stop attacking your cells.

So let’s start from the liver, as we saw here, liver is what converts your T4 into T3, and so if your liver isn’t working properly, this won’t be done and therefore, you will have a malfunctioning thyroid gland. So let’s look deeper into ways of supporting your liver. The liver’s main job is to detoxify your blood before passing it to the rest of the body. It is constantly dealing with chemicals and harmful substances, to make sure your body is pure and toxin free. In order to support your liver, giving it some kind of break from time to time is a great idea. How to do that? Here are few tips:

 

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Try to have a healthy diet as much as you can
  • Make sure you minimize the use of medication, because your liver is responsible of analyzing synthetics and passing them to the blood.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • From time to time stop eating the following items, not because they are all harmful, some are very good for you indeed, but because it is your liver that is responsible of their digestion, so in order to lightens the liver’s workload it is a good idea to stop eating the following foods for a week or 10 days each season: Eggs, tomatoes, grapefruits, gluten-containing products, soy and soy products, peanut and peanut butter, Tuna, shellfish, milk, cheese, cooking cream, margarine, butter, soda and soft drinks, white or brown sugar, chocolate, ketchup, and corn.
  • On the other hand you might want to increase your intake of the following foods: Avocadoes, apples, bananas, apples, berries, grapes, kiwis, nectarines, papaya, peaches, plums, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, arugula, bell pepper, cucumber, eggplants, squash, peas, radishes, yams, mushrooms, lettuce, okra, zucchinis, spinach, legumes including lentils and peas, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cashews, milk substitutes such as rice and almond milk, olive and coconut oils, all fresh and frozen fish (except shellfish and Tuna) wild is better than farmed of course.
  • Reduce stress!!!!! I can not stress enough on that (how ironic is this sentence lol). Indulge in sports that focus on breathing such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong. Try to get enough sleep (8 to 10 hours if you can, or just as close to that as you can). Try to listen to calm, and meditative music in the car, make sure you spread meals throughout your day not to put the body under unnecessary stress and just avoid stressful situations.
  • Start your day with some warm water and lemon juice (Juice half a lemon, add half cup of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning). Lemon is truly magical, it acts like a natural cleanser and helps the liver gets rid of the toxins.

 

Now that we made sure the liver is well supported let’s move to your gut’s health. As explained here, your immune system is strongly linked to your guts, so keeping healthy guts is essential in having a healthy immune system. How do you do that? Follow these steps:

 

  • Increase your intake of fiber and fermented food like yogurt, kim chi, sauerkraut…etc.
  • Consider probiotic supplements
  • Avoid using antibiotics as they kill all kind of good bacteria in your guts
  • Stock up on anti-inflammatory foods such us spinach, kale, walnuts, almonds…etc.
  • Eat less refined sugar
  • and of course lower your stress levels.

 

Now let’s talk specifically on how to improve the health of your thyroid gland.

 

The first thing you should start doing is test your TSH, if it is high, you will need to take your thyroxin medication religiously, to adjust your TSH, as we will need to first stabilize your situation then look into getting better.

 

Then consider getting your Iodine, Magnesium, and Vitamin D levels tested. You would also want to check your liver function too, a very simple blood test can do that, because if you remember, liver is what converts T4 to T3. You might want to also test you RT3 (reverse T3, which is what your liver produce instead of R3 to get rid of unwanted and unneeded T4). Your doctor might not agree to do all these tests, (because again, no doctor in this island wants to spend more than 5 minutes with each patient), but if your insurance will cover the cost then please insist.

 

After getting all the needed tests, now it is time to strengthen the Thyroid gland, and the production of the T4 and T3. Consider adding some supplements into your diet, such as: Selenium. Selenium is a very important ingredient in the conversion of T4 into a T3. However, unfortunately it is not easily found in food, or if found it will be in very little quantities, that will not really help the body. Also some selenium rich foods are also rich in mold, or are not recommended if your thyroid isn’t working well (like Soy products and wheat). So you really have to be careful when it comes to this mineral. To stay in the safe side, take supplements that you can find over the counter. Here are some selenium rich foods however: Eggs, Mushrooms, Oats, Tuna, Sunflower seeds, Salmon, Brown rice …etc.

  • Increase your good fats daily intake, as well as zinc, vitamin A, B, and D.
  • Consider getting checked for other autoimmune diseases like Celiac.
  • Avoid mold in whatever form it is, whether it is in your house or in the coffee you have in your mug.
  • Avoid toxins, by being careful in what utensils you use in the kitchen, avoid plastic, stainless-steel. Use cast iron pots, and wooden tools instead. Drink plenty of water. Let your body sweat as much as you can (the best way to get rid of toxins) so don’t hold back in using Saunas, and hot baths.  Try to not use your phone at least at night, in your bedroom, either switch it off, or put in on airplane mode.  Avoid all the wireless devices as much as you can. And of course avoid SUGAR!
  • Finally, I can’t stress enough about exercising, getting enough sleep and avoiding stress!

 

 

I personally advice to get your TSH tested after you do all the above changes, every 2, 3 months, just to check if you need medication and if the dosage is right. If you follow all the protocols above, I guarantee you that you will boost your thyroid function, and if you won’t get a 100% results you will at least manage to reduce your medication’s dosage, as well as the inflammation in your body.

 

I really hope these three blog posts (this one you are reading now, this and this) will help you get your life back, and that you manage to finally get your body to function the way it should.

 

Many healthy vibes from me to you.

 

Ouiam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Serious Pampering at Argan Day Spa…

I am always up for trying new, exciting things, so when Argan Day Spa contacted me to try their services, of course I happily obliged.

I headed there not knowing what to expect, however I was super excited to know that one of the services booked for me was: A Moroccan bath!! I am Moroccan and I obviously know a thing or two about Moroccan baths, so I had very high expectation. However, my concerns were soothed knowing that the owner herself was Moroccan. I arrived to the Spa around 1pm, headed straight to their steam room, guided by a lovely Thai lady, with a gorgeous smile.

Basically a Moroccan Hammam (bath) is a bathroom with steam, where you can bathe, and scrub the hell out of your dead skin, using a glove that feels a bit like sandpaper. After applying the famous Moroccan natural soap, and leaving it for few minutes. You can then later resume your normal showering habits as usual (Soap, shampoo, conditioner …etc).

Once I got to the steam room, I immediately felt like I was back in time to when I was 5 or 6 years old, when I used to go with my mom every week to the “Hammam”. The lady applied the Moroccan soap so gently and I could smell the beautiful and natural smell of that fabulous soap. She then left the room and said that she will come back in 10 minutes, leaving me to relax with the steam to open up my pores. Once she was back, with her black glove, she got right into it. If you have never had a Moroccan Bath, you might be shocked and degusted with whatever is coming out of your body, but there is something absolutely satisfying about it: All the dead skin is gone forever, and you will feel so light and clean like you never had before. The tricky part is to know how much pressure you should apply when rubbing, you don’t want to be too soft, then nothing will come out, and at the same time you don’t want to be too harsh and hurt the skin. The lady who was taking care of me was so perfect that I had to ask her where did she learn all that from. To my surprise, she said that the Owner herself -Miss Fatima Hanine-, has personally trained her, along with the other ladies in the spa! Now that’s a fantastic sense of commitment!

She then washed my hair gently and applied a body mask that is very popular in Morocco, which consists of natural clay and rose water. It smells divine and feels like silk over the body.

Basically you just lay on a table and there is a wonderful lady who takes you on a full journey to Morocco to experience the real deal! She will blow your senses away! and believe me once done you will be addicted to this sort of natural, traditional yet luxurious and dazzling experience.

I then was taken to the massage room, where “Masha” was so warm and helpful- Please remember this name because I can’t recommend her enough!!- After I told her that my calves were very painful, (from all the standing, running, walking I do all day, everyday!), she said she will focus on them. She applied some pressure for few minutes, a little strong but she promised that this will help with the stiff muscles at the back of my legs. Once done I could already feel how light my calves were, and the pain was totally gone! It was such a blessing to finally walk without feeling that the muscles in my legs were going to explode!

After she finished she brought warm towels and washed away all the oil from the massage on my body. How amazing is that! I always hate to have to put back on my clothes, to an oily body, but this time I didn’t have to, there was no trace of oil, just a bunch of happy rejuvenated muscles! She also washed her hands before dealing with my super clean hair.. BONUS!!

I then headed to the salon, to blow dry my hair. Michele was so gentle and super quick, she finished my hair in less than 20 minutes, and it looked great. The Mani-Pedi station is next to the hair area, for now, but starting next month though the whole hair station will be moved to a new extension of the salon- that is currently ready and just being decorated- to fit the high demands of the salon. Also the owner –Miss Fatima- explained that because her main aim is to offer the clients the fabulous experience they deserve when they come to her Salon, she wants the treatment rooms to be as far away from the hair station as possible, so that there is absolutely no trace of disturbance in the air, hence the new extension of the salon was created.

There is also a whole section for men, that includes Mani-Pedi stations, Treatment rooms (massages and facials), and a hair section. Couples can book adjacent rooms that can be opened during the treatment so that they both enjoy the experience together.

For women into fashion, you can also find a wide range of stylish, colorful and very beautiful Moroccan dresses (Kaftans), designed by Miss Fatima herself and made specially in Morocco for her clients.

My experience was exactly what I have hoped for, exactly what every woman deserves. The service is fabulous, the owner herself takes care of the salon, so she makes sure everything is up to standard, which I admire greatly.

The Spa has been open since the beginning of 2013, at the lagoon-Amwaj, (Gate 7&8, First Floor).

For appointments you can call them: 16030888

Follow them: @argandayspa

 

Ouiam