Green Mask

unnamed (3).jpg

Give this simple DIY Avocado Mask a try, it’s great for all skin types and will help soften your skin, hydrate and brighten all at the same time!

unnamed (5).jpg

¼ Avocado

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp coconut oil

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or glass container. Apply 2-3 tbsps over your face and neck, avoiding your eyes, leave on for 15-20 minutes, rinse off. You can keep the remainder of the mask in the fridge covered for up to 1 day.

unnamed (4).jpg

5 Simple Ways to Rock Your Monday!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a beautiful weekend and are pumped for the week ahead! I know, it’s easy to dread Mondays, and sometimes it feels like we’re already behind before the week has even begun, but what if we were able to shift our perspective even a little and could retrain our brains to look at Mondays as an opportunity to start fresh, to reinvent ourselves for the better, and to take positive action towards achieving our goals?

Here are 5 simple but super important tips you can put into practice RIGHT NOW to help make sure you hit the ground running this week.

_EB_7182.jpg

1. Get outside -  I swear it feels like 90% of my problems can be solved by getting some fresh air and sunshine. As long as the weather isn’t downright miserable where you are, take advantage of that to get outside.  Getting out into nature has numerous physical and mental benefits for us, yet if we’re not careful, it’s easy to sometimes go the whole day without seeing anything green. So make a plan for how you can fit an outdoor break into your day, whether it’s a short walk on your lunch break, or unplugging from your devices in the evenings to get outside.

2. Take 3 Minutes for Gratitude - Take just three minutes at the start or the end of the day to practice gratitude.  No need to overthink it, just think of 3 specific good things that happened that day. The good things could be anything - bumping into an old friend, a positive remark from someone at work, a pretty sunset.  Celebrating small wins has a proven effect of powering motivation and igniting joy. As you make a practice of noting good things on a daily basis, the better you will feel. It’s also a great activity to do together with the whole family at bedtime  

ZA-0306-27.jpg

3. Drink More Water - We all know how important it is in get in that H2O, but sometimes it can be a real struggle to remember and drink enough water on our busy days. Make today the day where you finally start getting in that 1L. Grab your favourite bottle, fill it up, and set up a timer on your phone to remind you to take a few swigs every hour.  Don’t love drinking water on it’s own? Try adding in some flavours by throwing in some mint, lemon, or berries!

4. Move - You knew this was coming, right?! Our bodies were created to MOVE! So get up and just do it. Movement can take any form you wish, from dancing with your kids, to doing squats while you’re brushing your teeth, or getting in a quick but awesome bodyweight workout. Don’t wait for the perfect time, otherwise it may never happen. Just make it a point to move more than you did last week. Get your heart rate up and those endorphins pumping and you’ll quickly find yourself in a

4H7A9098.jpg

5. Smile - You know that old saying “Fake it till you make it”? Well even if you start your Monday off and you already feel like you’re behind, just take a deep breath, pause for a moment, and smile. The simple act of smiling can lead your body into feeling genuine happiness, joy, or amusement. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry and can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. What do you have to lose?

Like I said, these are super simple things you can put into action right NOW. Remember, none of us has any control over what the day throws at us, but you DO have control over how you react to it. Follow these 5 tips to upgrade your Monday and you’ll be better equipped to take on the rest of your week!

xoxo,

Zehra

5 Ways to Reduce Waste This Ramadan

5 Ways to Reduce Waste This Ramadan

4f02a4184df12788ebd66b429902681a.jpg

Ramadan is an exciting time for Muslims worldwide. Not only is it a time to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, but it’s also a time to recharge and reassess our faith. We look forward to this time as it brings the community closer together to do positive and charitable work; we break fast together, we pray together and it’s truly the best time of year for Muslims. Unfortunately, amidst all these good deeds one area that is often overlooked during Ramadan is how our actions impact the environment. Ironically, we tend to produce more waste (plastics, disposable plates/cutlery, food) than when we’re eating freely. I’d like to share a few behavioural tweaks you can make this Ramadan (and Insh’Allah thereafter) that will have a sustaining impact on the environment.

1. Purchase a Reusable Water Bottle

The number of disposable water bottles you see during the month of Ramadan are quite frankly alarming. While staying hydrated is extremely important, it doesn’t need to come at the expense of the environment. Did you know that plastic requires up to 1000 years to begin composting in landfills?
While I personally like the Green’s your colour water bottle due to its size and the fact that it keeps my liquids cold for up to 36 hours, any repurposed mason jar as a water bottle will do.
 

IMG_5645.jpg

Rule of Thumb: Don’t leave home without your reusable water bottle! For example, when you’re heading out after Iftar to get to the mosque, take your reusable water bottle with you. I have seen a few of my local mosques put up signs saying they will not be providing plastic water bottles and to bring your own, as they are trying to be more environmentally conscious. Instead, these
mosques have water fountains for convenient refilling. Last year, our friends over at TorontoMuslims.com introduced a GreeningInitiative aimed at reducing disposable plastic water bottle usage during Ramadan. They distributed 10,000 reusable bottles across GTA mosques. I’ve contacted them about re-launching the campaign for 2018.

2. The Reusable Bag and Container System

Although we’re fasting for the majority of the day and cutting out at least one meal daily, it seems like grocery shopping actually increases during Ramadan. More groceries often means more waste, as our supermarkets seem to package everything- but it doesn’t have to.

IMG_5699.jpg

When going grocery shopping bring reusable bags instead of purchasing plastic bag at checkout. You can purchase yours directly from your local grocery store. In addition, use reusable produce bags. I live by these, but you can make your own. Alternatively, don’t use bags at all - you’ll be washing your produce when you get home anyways.
If you have a store that sells bulk items in your area go in and explore. You can find all your pantry items such as rice, lentils, spices and dates. Bring reusable bags and containers with you. I use old jam and sauce jars that I have saved and bring them with me. Weigh your jars before filling them and when you cash out, the cashier will take the difference. Here’s a quick “How To” guide provided by my local bulk store -

3. You Might Have to do Dishes and That’s Okay!

With Ramadan comes Iftar gatherings - whether it be chez vous, at your localm osque or at your bestie’s place. Often, people opt for disposable dinnerware because who wants to wash dishes after fasting for 16 hours? Remember, doing good for the Earth that Allah created for us will bring lots of reward (especially in Ramadan where rewards are multiplied).
If you’re hosting, don’t be afraid to accept help. Cleaning as a group after a meal
seems to bring the party to the kitchen and it’s where the most fun-filled conversations initiate.
 

a8b563d9373e0b132e028d9c74d93cf7.jpg

If you plan to attend Iftar at your local mosque, bring reusable plates and cutlery with you so you can politely refuse the disposable options. Suggest that your mosque use compostable options or have them encourage the community to bring their own.

89bf11d3c444b102cf0be9d2552130ad.jpg

 

4. Avoid Food Waste


It is He Who has brought into being gardens, the cultivated and the wild, and date-
palms, and fields with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and variegated. Eat of their fruit in season, but give (the poor) their due on harvest day. And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful.

I remember growing up Iftar meals seemed like there was enough food to feed us for the full month of fasting - soup, three different types of salads, rice dish, meat dish and lets not forget dessert. While I thought I could eat the world as I watched the countdown to Maghrib, in reality I felt full halfway through the soup. Let’s face it, our bodies can’t consume as much during Ramadan, but our appetites grow. Learn to strike the right balance. If you’re hosting, ask guests to bring reusable takeaway
containers. Send food to your neighbours – this will reduce waste and potentially even spread dawah. Also, accept that it’s okay to eat leftovers!

IMG_5706.jpg

If you have no choice but to dispose of food, remember to compost. Food should not go into landfills as it will generate methane gas which some argue is a bigger contributor to climate change than carbon dioxide.


5. Decorate Mindfully

Our generation is working hard to make Ramadan more festive, especially for our kids who look at other holidays and wish it were theirs. We should get excited and we should decorate, but we need to be mindful that we are not hurting our planet in the process. This is a good time to get creative. Try to get decorations that you can use every year, or use things that come from nature such a flowers and plants. Also use items made out of sustainable material such as lanterns made out of bamboo or
go to thrift stores for some unique decorative ideas. Choose items that can be composted or repurposed. Avoid balloons, disposables and plastics. This Ramadan let taking care of the environment be part of your spiritual journey.

IMG_5745.jpg

“The Earth is Green and Beautiful, and Allah has Appointed you Stewards Over It

-
Sahih Muslim

 

IMG_0107.jpg

Kenda Al Yakobi is a certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner who advocates a healthy, environmentally conscious, waste-reduced lifestyle.

Through her blog “Simply Kenda”, she aims to educate readers on how they can create restaurant-style cooking from the comfort of their homes using organic, locally sourced, package free ingredients. Kenda also helps provide recommendations on DIY beauty care and how to look fashionable in pre-loved clothing.

Skin Resolutions

Skin Resolutions

Sure I know, resolutions may be cliche, but let’s face it, they can also be incredibly helpful. Many of us make resolutions to work out more or eat healthier, and those are definitely important, but I’ve got a resolution that I’m sure you’ll have little trouble getting behind.  Here it is.  In 2017 I want to take better care of my body and pamper it more. Not only is this a resolution that’s fun & easy to keep, it also makes a ton of sense. I’m so incredibly grateful to my body for all that it does for me, so I also want to make sure that I take the best possible care of it, starting with my skin. In the past few years as my skin, umm, ‘matures’, I’ve noticed that it isn’t quite as resilient as it used to be, and it’s not uncommon to have dry patches, a few spots here and there and the early sign of some wrinkles as we get older.  

Read More