Bake with me!

Hello everyone! I’m a little excited for today’s post because it’s been a while since I wrote a post like this! Today’s post
I’m going to be sharing some things I’ve been baking during the lockdown! 

Brownies

The first thing I baked was brownies! I liked brownies before, but because we baked them two or three times I started to dislike them. 😦 The recipe is actually very easy, but with this recipe I would recommend that you add something else to give it more flavour, some things I would recommend would be adding some walnuts or orange zest to it. It’s quite plain by itself. This is the recipe that I use to make these brownies Chocolate Brownies recipe.

Cinnamon Rolls 

I also attempted to make Cinnamon Rolls! I have to be honest and tell you that they looked delicious but I must have done something wrong because they did not taste good at all. I also didn’t make the icing but it is also included in this recipe. But the first try doesn’t always have to be successful! This is the recipe I used Cinnamon Rolls recipe.

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Oat Bars

This was probably the most easiest thing I’ve baked! It was a really simple recipe to follow through and when I had made them I didn’t add any of the seeds and instead of berries I used raisins but they still turned out delicious! This is the recipe I used Granola bars.

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Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are probably a very straightforward thing to bake but when I baked them for the first time they didn’t turn out as I had hoped. But when I tried them for a second they were just perfect! The recipe is quite easy to make so you can try this at home too!

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Shortbread

Shortbread is something I bake often because it’s the easiest thing in the world to make. It doesn’t require too many ingredients or even much effort and they taste delicious anyway! The recipe I use is Shortbread recipe

 

That’s all I have for today! I hope you will try and enjoy some of these recipes and be sure to leave a comment or tag me in your photos on Instagram! 

 

Truly Raisa

 

Life of an ex-university student.

So I unofficially finished university back in May and since then, things haven’t been the same! So I thought I would write a blog post about it! Shall we begin?

The Coronavirus was probably a shock to the whole world. It changed life as it was and because of it I wasn’t able to cherish my last semester at university. All my classes had moved online (I’m guilty for not attending them!) and I was knee deep in a pile of assignments!:(  However, I managed to complete all of them and unofficially complete my semester!

But because of the Coronavirus it meant that I wasn’t able to graduate or even meet any of my friends to celebrate the end of the last ever semester. 😦

Graduation Hat - Zerochan Anime Image Board

Since March the country has been on lockdown and things are finally starting to reopen again but nothing has changed for me because I don’t have a full-time job yet or a school to go to. It’s been weird not to have a daily routine or anything to look forward and honestly speaking it’s starting to become depressing. But I’ve been actively trying to look for a job and hopefully soon I’m sure something will come along. I’ve also been trying to keep busy by cooking and baking things and posting them on Instagram and trying to write more blog posts! I’m aiming to at least try to write one blog post a week, but there are no promises!

I’m curious to know how other graduates around the world are dealing with this situation, because I know we’re all facing the same problem so it would be interesting to know!

But for now, I will have to work harder at producing more content and trying to find a job. I have a fun blog post coming up where I share everything I’ve been baking so far and linking the recipes too!

That’s all I have for today, if you’re also a graduate comment how you’ve been getting on as an ex-student!

Truly Raisa

For the love of food…

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my space 🙂 Today I’m going to be talking about the most common problems or situations I have surrounding food and nutrition and “keeping healthy” So, shall we begin? 

I wasn’t always interested in nutrition. In fact I didn’t know that there were courses on nutrition and until I came across it while doing some research on what university to go to. But I was a big foodie (I still am now!) and I think that’s what got me to think “I really want to learn more about food”. I was originally a media student but it wasn’t a practical career field I saw myself in.

Simple pleasures: our favourite foodie anime | littleanimeblog.com

Adapting from being a media student in the Arts to doing Nutrition in Applied Sciences was a huge change. I swear the first few lectures were gibberish and the first year I would wait until I was home to properly take notes and understand the lectures!

Apart from learning about nutrition I tried to pay more attention to what I ate and I had a lot of struggles. Some of them maybe some of you will be able to relate to. Something that I had struggled with in the past is snacking. In my opinion I think snacking is a bad habit and for us who should be eating three meals a day, that should be more than enough to satisfy our energy and caloric intake during the day. In the past, I used to snack a lot and it often lead to binge-eating. So recently, I have tried not to eat anything in between my three meals and occasionally I still snack on something (unhealthy, usually!) but I am working on it more.

Another struggle I had ever since I was a student was stress-eating. A-levels were a particularly hard time for me, even harder than university and because of my bad habit of snacking I used to stress eat a lot. I’m glad that with time I can now say that I’ve completely eliminated that struggle!

Finding time to exercise is a struggle I can say that there are some of you who can relate to this. The NHS guidelines for physical activity is 150 minutes of moderate activity. I really wanted to achieve that, but working a part time job while being a university student meant I had barely any time on my hands. I’m not really comfortable with completing exercise with others and it’s something I like to do on my own so I don’t go to a gym. We have a treadmill in our house so I usually go running 2 or 3 times a week. Occasionally I also find a YouTube video and follow a Yoga or Pilates routine! But any type of physical activity is great! Just getting your body moving and being active is all that’s required!

anime and sailor moon 이미지 (With images) | Sailor moon aesthetic ...

After three years of learning about food I can tell you it’s not just black and white. The constant pressure to eat healthy and stay active isn’t as simple as gaining weight or losing weight. That is not the only goal, yes it’s amazing if everyone can be a healthy weight but that’s not the only goal. Foods are so much more complex and believe it or not, what you eat can prevent you from having diseases and being ill in the future. Having a good diet and exercising often can improve your health so much, do you ever see some people that look in their early 40s and they’re actually so much older? The chance of that is because that person has a good diet and they are active. Food is amazing and there is so much more to it than what meets the eye.

That’s all I have for today, but if you have any questions then let me know in the comments below! 

Truly Raisa

Snacking is the problem!

Hello! Welcome back to my space! Today’s post is all about snacking! It’s a problem 😦  Shall we begin? 

Let’s face it, we all eat when we’re bored. Don’t even deny it, we all get bored at sometime at home and end up in the kitchen cupboard or the fridge looking for food. What if I were to tell you that most of the time people gain weight not because of the three meals a day they eat, but because of the snacks they eat in between.

I’m not going to deny it, I’m also guilty of it! But its something I am trying to eliminate. Well, I guess you don’t have to completely eliminate the element of snacking, maybe if we change what we eat then maybe it can make a difference.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like eating fruit……..shame on you (I’m joking) because you should be eating five a day anyway.

I know there are a lot of people who say to swap your snacks for fruit but you can make the fruit any way you feel comfortable! There are a lot of recipes out there to make sweet, delicious snacks from fruit in your home! It’s a few ideas to try while we’re stuck in quarantine too!

I created a Pinterest board with some ideas and recipes to try out: Fruit Snack Ideas!

Pinterest fruit snack ideas

 

There are also other things that are considered healthy snacks too, such as popcorn, crackers that you often get from the  supermarket, oat bars and more! So maybe swap that bar of chocolate for one of these snacks and you’ll benefit much more!

Truly Raisa

Getting back into routine after the holidays!

Hello everyone! I’m back with another post! As you all may know from my previous post I went on holiday for the month of December to Dubai and Pakistan and we all know getting back into routine after a holiday is the hardest thing to do. That’s what this week’s post is going to be about! Shall we begin? 

As you all may know from my long hiatus and from my previous post I went on holiday for the month of December. If you missed the post you can click on this link and read that first Dubai 2019! .  I missed all the days where I can just wake up and have no checklist or anything to do but do nothing.

funny, gif, gifs
Me on Holiday

 

Work and student life can get stressful sometimes and a break away from it all sounds amazing sometimes. So then the long-awaited holiday comes and you’re living your best life and it all passes by pretty quickly and the dreaded journey home finally comes. Dreading going back to work and back into studying can be the worst. I was absolutely dreading it when I had to come back and I only had 6 days to revise for my exam! I spent 6 days cramming revision in when I wanted nothing more than to be back on holiday again. After my exam had ended it was the biggest sigh of relief but I still hadn’t got back into any routine. My diet was a mess and I so badly wanted to go back to my regular exercises but was too lazy to do so.

I slowly went back to work but only once or twice in the week where the rest of my days were spent either at university preparing for my dissertation or at home being the lazy ass I was. Image result for sailor moon lazy

I spent about two weeks being lazy and watching too many dramas with take-away twice or skipping dinner altogether. One thing I am happy is that I am reunited with my laptop and my blog! There is nothing I wanted more than to write a post as I am now!

I started getting back into routine last week and started running after work and applying for some work experience and jobs. This is my latest struggle. I am studying Nutrition in university and want to build on my work experience but haven’t been able to find a placement. If there is anyone in London who is a fellow Nutrition student or even a Nutritionist and has any advice about where to look for work experience please comment some advice below and help a sister out! 😦

I also kind of lost most of my appetite since I’ve been back, I’ve been skipping breakfast and lunch when I’m not at home and I’m quite used to it because back in Pakistan I used to skip breakfast and lunch too and just eat dinner at weddings or something. Now before any of you say that it’s not good to skip meals I know it’s not, but I can’t force myself to eat when I’m not hungry because that can easily turn into binge-eating for me so I need to find a healthy balance soon.

Now you can see my struggle of getting back into routine 😦  University will officially reopen next week and it will be back to the same old stresses about dissertations and assignments but, I plan to build a healthy routine and get a head start on my assignments soon so I won’t be stressing too much!

That’s all I had for this week! I’ll be back next week with another post, if you have any topics you want me to talk about let me know in the comments below! 

 

-Yours Truly Raisa 

Cafe Gnocchi

How to diet when you’re not dieting + Holiday 2019!

Hello everyone! Although I literally say this all the time, but it really has been a long time since I have blogged and I’ve missed it a lot 😦 There is just a certain type of creativity here that somehow always brings me back to this space. Moving on, the reason for my unannounced hiatus was because I went on holiday! This week’s post is all about my time off and some advice about dieting. Shall we begin? 

Dubai 2019!

The first part of the trip was our short stay in Dubai. We stayed there for 4 days and it honestly was amazing! It felt so good to step into hot weather after being in the cold London winter. On the first evening, we went out to this place called Global Village. Inside there were little marketplaces representing each country in the world and they sold famous things from that specific country. It was quite interesting to go into some of the marketplaces and see the specialities of different countries. I even tried Turkish ice-cream too! Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures from the Global Village that I can share publicly 😦

The second day was actually my favourite. We left early in the morning and took a drive to Abu Dhabi to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and it was a sight to see. In all the mosques I have visited in my life so far this would have to be my favourite. It had this peaceful, serene vibe that made me not want to leave the place. Enjoy a few pictures of the mosque and it is a place that I recommend everyone to go to!

Sheikh Zayed Mosque    Screenshot_20200112-160418_Instagram    Screenshot_20200112-160400_Instagram

Later that night we went to the Dubai Mall and we saw the water fountain show near the Burj Khalifa which was pretty amazing, considering it is my first water fountain show. There was an animated show that played on the Burj Khalifa first and was beautiful seeing the Burj Khalifa light up in different colours! This is a picture I took from the water fountain show.

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On the next morning, we took a yacht ride around Dubai and the views were breathtaking. with the sun shining on the blue water as it was sparkling. This is a picture of the view from the yacht.

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In the afternoon, we went sight seeing to Jumeirah Beach to take pictures near the Burj Al Arab. We didn’t spend very long as we were all tired so we took pictures and we had to go to the Safari desert for dinner. The Safari dinner started off actually really well with a very jumpy ride on the safari desert and to top it off there was dinner and entertainment such as traditional dances and more. The sunset on the safari was something of a painting and although my phone’s camera wasn’t so good I hope I managed to capture a good picture.

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On the last day we just had lunch and headed to the airport to go home to Pakistan. Pakistan was just really busy and there was literally no room to breathe because there were so many weddings! I won’t share in detail what happened as it was a personal holiday and there was so much that happened that I’ll literally be ending up writing an essay! So that’s all for my holiday for 2019, I hope you enjoyed it and all the pictures, there is more on my highlights on my Instagram! The link should be on the Contact page so you can find that there!

 

How to diet when you’re not on a diet.

Now, if you have read my previous post about diet culture you’ll probably be questioning why I’m writing this post. But, while I can rant about how disgusting the diet culture is I can only offer advice to the people that still choose to diet regardless. If you are a person who likes to diet or even doesn’t like to diet but still wants to have some control over what you eat then be free to read on. I won’t be asking you to follow any of those celebrity-endorsed diets that helps you lose weight but works only for a period of time before you gain weight again. Hopefully, these tips will help you gain healthy eating habits.

  1. Cut down on portion sizes: The first step to any kind of diet you want to follow might be cutting down on portion sizes. If you have two slices of bread for breakfast and lunch maybe cutting it down to consuming bread only once in a day.
  2. More physical activity: 1 hour of exercise a week may not be enough, maybe completing 2 and a half hours of any kind of physical activity including house chores.
  3. More fruit and vegetables: Fruit and vegetable consumption is very low recently and more fruit and vegetables mean more nutrients and fibre in your diet.
  4. Eat a balanced diet: Try to balance what’s on your plate between protein, vegetables and some carbohydrate. An example of this could be some rice and chicken with asparagus on the side.
  5. Decrease snacking: One of the biggest culprits of gaining weight is snacking. Maybe trying to decrease the number of snacks consumed in a day or even to swap some unhealthy snacks with some healthy ones.

This is all the tips I have for now but starting off with these tips could really lead to a healthier diet.

This is all I had for this week but I hope you enjoyed my post and I can’t wait to see you guys next week! 

 

-Yours Truly Raisa

 

Cafe Gnocchi

Diet Culture.

Hey everyone! I’m back with another post! Recently, I’ve been watching the news and there’s talks about banning eating on public transport as a tactic to prevent childhood obesity. If you ask me, I think it’s worth an effort but it won’t be entirely effective because people can just eat the same regular sugary foods before or after their bus or train ride. So inspired about talking all things diet, I’ve decided to talk about diet culture. Shall we begin?

What is Diet Culture?

These days diets, clean eating and the fitness world are becoming a popular industry. There’s a million different diets out there, some of which are sponsered by celebrities and social media influencers but do these diets really work? Diet culture is literally the whole system of following different diets in the hopes that individuals can have that “perfect” body image in the media that is haunting innocent souls. Books, Apps, magazines and many other things are being bought by individuals in the public about different fad diets to try and the money companies are making brainwashing individuals that their diet actually works! I’m not going to lie, most of the diets actually work and people lose the weight, but what happens after they finally get that “perfect” body image? They’ll feel accomplished and then go back to eating all the foods they restricted from their diets for so long and eventually gain back all the weight they worked so hard to lose.

Fad Diets

Fad diets are usually diets we see in the media that are often really restricting and have claims of losing a large amount of weight in only a week! Fad diets could either be a diet that promises that one ingredient can make you lose weight without any effort, or how one food has this crazy effect that can help you lose weight and you should only consume that one food. I know drinking celery juice is a huge hype and while it has been proven not to have any harmful effects, there isnt any studies suggesting it can help any medical condition or weight loss problem you might have.

The only advice I would have when following a specific diet is to find a diet that promotes balanced eating of all nutrients including carbs and fats, and something that won’t promise that one special food or one special ingredient is the magic bean to all your weight problems. A diet that seems realistic, promotes eating healthy and eating a balanced diet while placing emphasis on physical activity and eating fruit and vegetables! Most of these fad diets do work, I’m not denying that they dont work, but they may not necesarily be good for your health so eating a balanced diet is the best with flaws and carbs and all.

My last piece of advice I would like to give to anyone who is trying to lose weight is to try and enjoy the food you eat and try to indulge in the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t hate food and try not to overthink too much about “clean eating ” its okay to have a chocolate filled Krispy Kreme doughnut every once in a while. And definitely NO cheat days! You can have an unhealthy snack or a meal every once in a while don’t set a specific day to do this otherwise it might be hard to turn back into a habit of eating healthy. Just try not to have a bad relationship with your food and constantly obsess over your weight and your appearance and how you eat, it’s not healthy mentally or physically. You’re perfect just as you are!

 

Thank you all for being with me today! I hope you like this post and together we can overcome diet culture!

 

-Yours Truly, Raisa

 

Cafe Gnocchi

My Dissertation Topic: Herbs and the body.

Hello everyone! In just a week I will be starting my third year in university so I decided to talk about my dissertation topic! It’s all about herbs and the affects it can have on some of the systems of our body. Is it good for us? Should we stop eating herbs?
Shall we begin?

So, to explain in detail and in a simple way, herbs are known to have some effects on our body and in a good way. It has been experimented and there are a lot of studies on herbs and the effects it has on our body. My dissertation is focusing on two different things, the effects it has on glucose levels in the body and the antioxidants in the body and the two herbs I am focusing on are Rosemary and Sage.

Image result for rosemary          Image result for sage

Glucose is a sugar component that can be found in food sources and is part of the carbohydrate family. Glucose is very important in our bodies and it can be digested and stored in our bodies for use when we are fasting and not eating. The process for glucose being stored and digested needs insulin which is a hormone that allows the process of glucose use in the body. I hope this is all making sense! In some bodies insulin stops being produced and the glucose levels in the body become irregular. This then leads to illnesses such as diabetes. Some foods help maintain and regulate glucose levels in the body, my dissertation is researching the effects of rosemary and sage and what happens to the glucose levels in our body after we have consumed these herbs.

Antioxidants are components that could be found in food sources and are very beneficial for health and reducing what is called ‘oxidative stress’ in the body. This oxidative stress can damage body cells and can lead to illnesses and diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. These antioxidants can be found in herbs that I am studying which is rosemary and sage. My dissertation will be focusing also on the antioxidant activity in these herbs.

So that’s basically what my dissertation is about, in a nutshell. It’s very lab-based and will be very interesting! I will keep you all updated about the progress of the project throughout the year and hopefully it all goes well!

That’s all I had for this week! If you have any requests or any topics you would like me to discuss than be sure to let me know! I actually have a blog post planned which is a little different from what I usually write about and it is more nutrition based.

 

-Yours Truly, Raisa

Cafe Gnocchi

 

Dinner ideas.

Hello everyone! I’m back with another blog post, and if you have seen in my previous posts I mostly discuss breakfast ideas or ideas for packed lunches but this week is going to be about dinner ideas. So if you’re planning a party or a dinner for family or friends then this is the post for you! Shall we begin?

 

So the first idea is dedicated to my undying love for prawns and shrimp! And this recipe is for shrimp pasta with creamy mozarella sauce! This is a fairly simple recipe that takes about 30 minutes to make, so if you are someone who tends to be fairly busy in the day, I would recommend this to you! I would definitely try this at some point! The link to the recipe is here: Shrimp pasta with creamy mozarella sauce!

Soup is usually a perfect starter for any dinner planned! I love my family’s famous chicken soups in the winter, so I found a recipe for a chicken soup that is similar! Italian Chicken Soup! This recipe is a little different than what we are used to making in our family as we like to add more spices and have a nice tingly flavour in the mouth as you’re eating your soup, however this is a really simple recipe that would bring a warm, cozy feeling on a cold winter’s night!

For me, I’ve always liked the idea of a rice bowl! It’s always a filling and healthy way of a dinner! So I have found the perfect recipe for Cajun chicken with coriander and Lime rice! It’s a 30 minute recipe which includes a lot of vegetables and nutrients such as vitamin C, A and protein! The link to this recipe is here: Cajun Chicken with Coriander and Lime Rice. 

If you don’t already know, I absolutely LOVE salad bowls! It makes a perfect side dish or even a main course! It’s very simple to put together some rice, vegetables and any other ingredients you may enjoy! So this next recipe is for a healthy quinoa summer salad which consists of quinoa, avocado, cucumber, spring onions, tomatoes and her s! The recipe for this delicious salad is here: Healthy Quinoa Summer Salad.

Burritos also make a very delicious dinner idea! This recipe I found is specially for anyone following a vegan diet! It is rich in fibre and protein and packed full of vegetables! I have personally never ate a burrito but after reading the recipe I would definitely try it out one day and when I do, I will upload it onto my instagram!  You can find the recipe here: The Ultimate Vegan Protein Burrito. This burrito is a very healthy alternative and is packed with nutrients and a LOT of protein!

The Ultimate Vegan Protein Burrito
This is the picture of the burrito from the website!

 

So that is all I had for now! Honestly there were so many recipes to choose from and my main problem is that I can’t seem to choose just one! If you have any recipe suggestions feel free to leave a comment or if you have anything you want me to write a post about you can always DM me on my instagram which can be found on my contacts page at the bottom!

 

-Yours Truly, Raisa

Cafe Gnocchi

Perfect packed meals for school or work!

Hello everyone! I’m back with another post! This week’s post is about perfect packed meals for school or work! I am guilty for not keeping up with making meals for work this week but I have put together some foods that I enjoy taking to work with me! Shall we begin?

I usually work early in the mornings until the afternoons but I always end up packing “lunch” and end up having my breaks in the morning and eating it then. But for those of you who work work a full day instead of just in the morning like me, then I have some delicious packed meal ideas for you!

One of my classic easy-to-go packed lunch is carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus. I have packed this for lunch more than once and its very easy to make, it literally takes me 10 minutes to cut the vegetables and then just scoop some hummus in a seperate box and you’re good to go!

Another thing I have made quite often is stir fry. I usually just whatever vegetables I can find in my fridge most likely bell peppers, onions, carrots and sweetcorn, sometimes I like to just have a plain vegetable stir fry so I add no meat but that is entirely up to you! Its just easy for me to chop up some vegetables and throw them in a a fry pan and add some noodles!

Salads are always THE way to go! I absolutely love packing salads with me as they literally require no kind of heating or cooking at all! The foundation ingredients that are always in my salads are cucumbers, lettuce and carrots. I like to made my salads colourful so I would add sweetcorn, bellpepper and cherry tomatoes to add more flavour and colour to your salads!

This next type of meal is something I have always mentioned but never tried and this is perfect for anyone who works in the morning times and that is overnight oats! I’ve never tried it before because we dont usually eat oats at my house very often so I would have to go out and buy some ingredients to try it sometime! But I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to try!

I would also recommend trying to make a meal with rice. It is a common staple food for many cultures and it can be very easy to make and throw in some vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, onions, sweetcorn, peas etc. and some chicken and make it into a meal!

So there you have it! A short but hopefully effective post on perfect meals for school or work! I hope you enjoy this post and until next time…

-Yours Truly, Raisa

Cafe Gnocchi