Nutritional advice for Ramadan.

Hello and welcome back to my site! As all muslims know around the world that Ramadan is fast approaching and to welcome this beautiful month I’m writing a post about nutritional advice during Ramadan! Shall we begin?

For some of you who may not know Ramadan is a period of 30 days of fasting where muslims fast from sunrise to sunset without consuming any form of food or drink throughout the day. And yes, not even water! Sometimes it can be hard to keep up a certain diet or to eat healthy during this time and that’s why I am going to try and give some nutritional advice to keep healthy during this beautiful month!

First of all, it’s important to stay hydrated during the period of time that you’re not fasting. After sunset and before sunrise, there is a period of time in the night time after breaking your fast and if you’re a student or you like to stay up until sehri time then I strongly advise you to try and drink plenty of water during that time!

If you’re from an Indian, Pakistani or Asian family like me you’ll find that during ramadan you’ll be eating a lot of fried foods or a lot of chicken and it’s hard to eat more healthy meals. So another piece of advice would be to try and eat lesser portions or maybe to spread out your iftar meal over an hour or 2 hours and move around while in between eating so that you can digest your meal and won’t feel too full.

If you’re someone who likes to keep fit and likes to exercise, the best way to keep up with your exercise is to do a session after Iftar time, it doesn’t have to be your regular heavy workout at the gym it can be something as simple as going for a walk or a 20 minute workout at home!

Recipes!

In this section I’m going to recognise some recipes that I think will be perfect for Iftar! The first blog I’m going to share is another blog that shares a bunch of really delicious iftar ideas. https://savoryandsweetfood.com/2017/05/24/ramadan-recipes-round-2017-savory/ this blog is also really pretty and I’l be keeping my eye on this blog for more recipes soon!

Another recipe I found is chicken and cheese patties! Patties and pastries are very popular in iftar time in our family so this is something we’re trying out! https://www.chilitochoc.com/chicken-and-cheese-box-pattiessamosas/

They weren’t many recipes but I hoped they gave you a little bit of an idea of what to make for iftar! I’m going to be making a seperate post with all my recommended recipes for Iftar and Sehri in the next post!

I wish you all a very happy Ramadan Kareem and I hope we can all make the most of this blessed month!

Calorie Counting: Is it good for you?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my corner! Today I’m bringing you another nutrition-related post and this post is about calorie counting. Shall we begin?

What is Calorie counting? So just to summarise it it’s basically when you count the calories of everything you eat during the day. You can keep track of your calories just by looking at the nutritional labelling on the front of packaged foods, but these days technology has become more advanced and there are now apps that can help you do this! There is apps like MyFitnessPal and Lifesum which are really good to use!

Now I’m gonna start with the bad side of this, because I’ve heard that people who calorie count then end up having bad relationships with food, they may miss some meals or restrict their diet and eventually that leads to finally giving in and binge eating. That is mainly the case with calorie counting it can go a good way, where you don’t restrict what you eat but you learn to have a balanced diet while also eating within your calorie limit. These calorie counting apps allow you to set a certain limit and will give you a recommended number of calories to eat during the day. With technology and wearable devices such as Apple Watch and if you are an iPhone user like me you can connect Apple Health and track your steps. You can also search and add any exercise to your diary and count how many calories you lost!

I am currently using the LifeSum app and for me it is working great! I can scan the barcode of any food item and track what I eat througout the day, my steps for the day are automatically counted and I can see how much calories I have burned. The LifeSum app has an amazing range of foods that you can search and add to your food diary, this especially works if you’re from an ethnic minority like I am and you can search for your own culture’s foods I found many pakistani foods on here. I can set a personal goal in my profile if I want to lose weight or maintain weight or gain weight and Lifesum automatically gives me a recommended amount of calories I can eat daily.

It’s a very easy and user friendly app that helps you to manage your diet more effectively and to lead a healthier lifestyle. The best part is you can choose to pay for a premium account but there are a lot of accessible features on the app that are for free users too!

This is what your food diary page looks like. You can track your calories here!

I really enjoyed my experience with the app and I did reach out to the company by email in the hopes of maybe supporting them in the future or becoming a brand ambassador but sadly they have not yet replied to my emails, inshallah I hope one day in the future they will!

Overall, to summarise I don’t believe calorie counting is all bad as long as you can still manage to keep a healthy, balanced diet and not to restrict yourself too much then you will see the best results and also have a good relationship with food! I hope you enjoyed this very short blog post discussing about calorie counting and I’ll see you again next week inshallah!

Food in quarantine that are good for your health.

Hello everyone! I’m back with another blog post. Recently I watched a webinar on nutritional advice to give to people in quarantine and so I wanted to share that with you all. Shall we begin?

A while ago I watched a webinar about nutritional advice that we can give to the public while there is a lockdown and people are staying at home. There were some important pieces of advice that I would like to talk about in this blog post.

First of all, eating a balanced diet and getting all of your vitamins and minerals in your diet is more important now than ever. As we are spending more time indoors, our lifestyles may not be as physically active as they were before and our diets also may have changed. It is important to consume all of your vitamins whether it is through supplementation or if it is through the food sources that we eat.

Although there is no food or nutrient that helps prevent COVID-19 there is new research to suggest that Vitamin D improves the immune system in our bodies making us more healtier. In the UK, there is a nationwide deficiency of vitamin D because of having lack of sunlight source and therefore, it is recommended for people to eat 10mg supplement of vitamin D if they do not have a good source of it in their diet. Therefore, it is at least recommended to meet that recommendation.

People may think that frozen fruits and vegetables or canned fruit or vegetables may not be as nutritious or healthy but it’s actually false. Frozen fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients as much as organic fruits and vegetables are. This is because as the food is frozen or stored in cans the nutrients are more preserved and last longer than organic foods that have been out and could lose nutrients quickly. So this advice is for people who may live alone or they work a lot but frozen fruit and veg are definitely a part of your five a day too!

I know that there are many FAD diets and specific diets that people like to follow but now staying at home may not be the best time to follow such diets. It’s more important to have a balanced diet and meals because we at home we are living a less physically active lifestyle and will have an affect in diet and health. Therefore, it is recommended that you should try to refrain from following specific diets and have a balanced diet overall.

For people who struggle financially or would like to save money during lockdown there are some money-saving tips you could use! One of them would be to grow your own fruit or vegetables in your back garden or indoors as well. This can save some money on having to buy fruit or vegetables from the supermarkets. Another money saving tips could be substituting meat with beans and veggies as meat can sometimes be costly.

This next piece of advice can shock you a little and I’m not saying that you should do this every day but on a particular day where you feel like you are not doing well mentally or you have had a rough day, eating small amounts of chocolate a few times that day can help boost your mood may leave you feeling the slightest bit better.

A last piece of advice I would add from my own knowledge would be to try and do some exercises in your home. It can be some stretches or some exercise positions that you like, or if you have an hour free search for a workout video on Youtube and take a break and exercise for a little while. It can help relax your mind and body as well as keeping fit.

I hope those pieces of advice helped make your time staying at home a little better and be sure to leave a comment if your have any nutritional advice too!

Mental Health Awareness

Today I’m going to be talking about a topic that is not my area of expertise as of yet but something I want to keep an open mind about and learn more about it. This week, we’re going to be talking about Mental Health Awareness. Shall we begin?

Keeping physically fit and nutrition has become a big industry with a lot of trends. People are starting to take care of their body and becoming more aware of physical health. What we don’t realise is that mental health is also really important too. Having a bad mindset and bad mental health can really affect your physical health a as well.

What is mental health? “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Many factors contribute to mental health problems including: biological factors (such as genes), life experiences (such as trauma or abuse) and family history of mental health problems.” https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

Mental health problems don’t have to be big problems such as trauma and abuse they can be as simple as school work stress and work stress. Being a workaholic and not knowing when to stop can also be a big problem, it can lead to the person not eating or sleeping well and this can cause nutritional deficiencies as well as their overall health. These small mental health problems matter a lot too and that’s something that we always overlook and we need to also raise awareness about.

In my previous posts I also mentioned eating disorders and how body image representation is a major contribution to it. Mental health is also a contributor as one individual may see this body image representation in the media and feel inferior which can cause certain disorders such as anorexia or bulimia just because the individual may want to reach that body image representation. This is just one example of how mental health can relate to eating disorders, there a some more examples that I will give in detail in another blog post.

Mental Health Awareness Week is a national week in the UK that is dedicated to raising awareness, organising events and raising money for mental health charities. This is all to raise awareness and educate people about mental health and the gravity of the situation. How can we deal with mental health problems and help our loved ones?

Physical fitness and mental fitness both come hand in hand and mental health is something we need to take into consideration and start raising awareness about. Especially for nutritionists who are giving their clients and patients advice, we should also be taking their mental health into account and giving our advice based on both of those factors.

Body image.

Hello! Welcome back to another post. This week’s post is going to be about something that is a major concern in our media today. It’s a lot to discuss so shall we begin?

Unrealistic body image in the media has a huge cause to eating disorders and eating behaviours. We see a lot about body image in the media from books to movies to social media platforms like Instagram. We fall prey to the “perfect” body image we see on our screens and forget that we don’t necessarily have to look like that.

I was reading a journal that looked at some scientific studies linking social media, body image and food choice in healthy young adults. They looked at previous studies and found that social media engagement and specifically exposure to image-related content (Instagram can be a huge example of this!) can negatively impact body image and food choice in young adults. I will paste a link here so you can read the review in more detail. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1747-0080.12581

So who is body image in the media affecting the most? The main victim that falls prey to the media’s portrayal of body image is indeed females. I found another study that tests whether the increase in major depression in adolescent girls is caused by body image and eating disturbances. This was a study that lasted for four years and they found that after puberty major depression in girls was indeed caused by body image and eating disturbances. You can read more by clicking on this link. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0021-843X.109.3.438

There are many other studies like these that investigates body image representation in the media and how it can affect people. TV Shows, films, social media, books all of these things show one type of body image as the “ideal” body type and because of this representation it affects people to believe that they are obligated to look a certain way.

The fact is that every single one of us is not the same shape or size, think about it, how boring would this world be if we all looked the same? But because of the media’s representation of body image it affects mental health and ultimately eating behaviour. It can lead to eating disorders and poor health.

The main group that is largely affected by this is females as there is a lot of body image representation in the media that is targeted towards girls and this causes bad eating habits and affects food choice. That’s not to say that there isn’t a stereotypical body image representation for males too, I’m sure you’ve all heard the cliché “Tall, fair and handsome” that is thrown around a lot in the media. Isn’t that a stereotypical body image representation for males too?

The truth is the media is just a fantasy world that people create. In reality, we are all different in our own unique way and beautiful too. It’s time to put away stereotypical body images in the media and start being more practical about eating a balanced diet to take care of our health instead. Just remember you’re so beautiful the way you are and it’s time to start taking care of your health instead of chasing an unrealistic body image. So try not to skip meals and I’ll see you again next week!

Nutrition and Psychology

Hello! Welcome back to my blog it’s good to have you here! This week I’m going to be talking about a certain nutrition and psychology and how the two areas are linked! Shall we begin?

According to https://www.nutritional-psychology.org/what-is-nutritional-psychology/ nutritional psychology looks at the relationship between diet and eating patterns and it’s link with mood, behaviour and mental health. This area of study focuses on people’s eating behaviour and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and things such as stress-eating.

It’s a interesting research area as we all have varying eating behaviours and how simple things such as our mood can affect our food choice and what we choose to eat. For many of us so-called “unhealthy” foods can be comforting for us when we are going through a bad time. As you often see in TV or movies there is a stereotype of girls eating ice cream when they go through a breakup.

Another huge issue is body image representation in the media and this affects many people, particulaly girls as they see that they may not have the body image that is portrayed in the media and this can be the cause for some eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

As many of you know and this is something I have written in my previous post is that I have become a Registered Associate Nutritionist. I would like to open my own practice in the future and for that I woud have to specialise in an area of nutrition. I would like to work with patients who may be struggling with eating disorders and have an unhealthy relationship with food.

I believe it is an area that needs to be worked on and I would like to work specifically with women as the rates of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are higher in women and a main cause of this is body image representation in the media.

I’m still considering about specialising in Nutrition and Psychology and it seems like an interesting topic so I’ll be posting more about it here and so I just wanted to kind of introduce the topic through this post. I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you next week!

Becoming a Registered Associate Nutritionist!

Hello and welcome back to the Nutrition side of this blog! I have some good news to share and I’m going to be talking about some changes that are going to be made to “TrulyRaisa”! Shall we begin?

As you can probably tell from the title of this post that I’ve officially become a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr)! In the UK the title “Nutritionist” is not as protected as the title “Doctor” or “Nurse” what this means is that anyone out there can give one piece of nutritional advice and call themselves a Nutritionist. So, the Association for Nutrition is an organisation of officially Registered Nutritionists who are professional Nutritionists that have completed an accredited course and has experience within the field.

My university course is accredited and after graduating I was able to officially register as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). This title is different from a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) as I have the sufficient knowledge but I have yet to gain professional experience in the field. After one year of working in a Nutritionist position whether you are working for another company or you are taking clients and working for yourself, you can apply to become a Registered Nutritonist (RNutr) and that is a professional nutritionist title.

I hope that wasn’t too confusing! This week I was finally able to submit and have my application approved for a Registered Associate Nutritionist! I can now open up my own practice and gather some clients! However, before doing that I would need to find a niche that I am going to specialise in. After talking to my old lecturer she gave me the idea of maybe specialising in Nutrition in South Asian women. Nutrition in South Asian countries are quite rare and almost non-existent and the obesity rates there are high, therefore working with South Asian women and creating a presence for nutrition in those countries would be a huge achievement!

Another niche I am considering specialising in is Nutrition and psychology. Eating behaviours, eating disorders and things such as food choice and body image is a topic that needs to be worked on especially in women. It’s also a really interesting topic to go through and study what influences food choice in certain individuals!

Once I decide on what niche I am going to be working with I am going to be working on this blog a lot and creating more nutrition-related content that could be useful to potential clients and sharing lots of information in the process! So please stick around if you’re interested to learn more! For now I hope you enjoyed this blog posts and I hope you can help me achieve my dreams together!

Breakfast ideas for a homebody.

Hello! I’m back with a Nutrition post after a long time! I know I have done a post like this in the past so this time I’m going to try and include some different recipes and ideas that are good for people who are at home during breakfast time! Shall we begin?

Since I’ve pretty much been at home most days fixing breakfast just seems so dull at the moment. I don’t really have much appetite to eat breakfast anymore and so I decided to write this post so that I can find and share some recipes that are fun, creative and easy to cook in the morning.

Working from home has become more common among this pandemic and people are spending more time at home, thats why the recipes that I am going to share with you today are better suited for homebody’s who work from home!

The first recipe I want to share with you is French Toast. This si something I’ve been craving and have eaten for breakfast once or twice. I like to have my French Toast plain but this recipe will show you how to make a delicious French toast with all kinds of fruits and syrups that will make your breakfast colourful! https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/french-toast/

I was curious about this so I googled and researched about the origin of French Toast and did you know the actual name came about in 17th Century England? Also the French consider this as a dessert rather than a breakfast and it’s called “pain perdu” meaning “lost bread” because the French would make it from stale bread in order to prevent food waste. I found this out from a website so I’m not sure whether this is true but if it is, it’s interesting to know!

The next recipe is actually something I talk about in literally every post when recommending foods. And maybe you guessed is but yes it is overnight oats! I talk about this so much because they look so good but I’ve never actually tried making them myself! I have a link that shares 6 different recipes for overnight oats! https://www.andianne.com/blog/6-overnight-oats-recipes-you-should-know-for-easy-breakfasts?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=922851144_40602310_333301

I literally adore my toasts and am always trying something different to make a nice toast out of! So this next link shows 5 healthy toast toppings! My favourites from this would be “Strawberry Yoghurt”, “Cucumber Hummus” and Avocado egg! All these toasts are high in protein so if you’re looking for a high protein breakfast then these would be the perfect toasts for you! https://www.liveeatlearn.com/healthy-toast-topping-ideas/

Energy balls or Energy bites were literally my favourite thing to eat when I was studying in University and they’re super easy to make! This recipe only consists of 5 ingredients which are peanut butter, chocolate chips, old fashioned oats, ground flax seed and honey! Read more to find out how to make these! https://chefsavvy.com/5-ingredient-peanut-butter-energy-bites/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=955394690_42385942_157318

My last recipe that I would like to share is something you can literally bake a few days before and grab it and go! This is Healthy Banana Brekafast Cookies! I will probably try this out myself soon too! https://thecleaneatingcouple.com/healthy-banana-oatmeal-breakfast-cookies/

Which recipe is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

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