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The 3 Negative Results of Losing Weight

This week has been hard for me and I almost feel guilty writing this post but when I told you about my weight loss surgery and subsequent experiences for many months now, I promised I would be open and honest, and this is going to be that. It’s time to throw out the rainbows and unicorns.  It’s time to talk about the other side of things. In our society there’s an all obsessive compulsion with weight loss, especially among women.  You find this in many cultures but not all. Women assume that once they hit a magical scale number all will be right and well with the world.  The problem is, it’s not. Sometimes, hitting that number means there are more problems than you started with.  For those of us *raising my hand* who have been overweight our entire lives it’s really, really hard. I know right, she’s complaining about actually having lost weight. How rude is that??!? I’m talking about it …

Amanda MouttakiThe 3 Negative Results of Losing Weight
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Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Pakora

My friend Aimee, who blogs at Goa Getter, lives in Hyderabad, India and I am incredibly jealous of her food adventures. Late one night (thanks to a 10 1/2 hr time difference) we were talking about food – go figure. She was telling me all about the different delicious-already-made food she could find by just going outside and around in her neighborhood. The next day I made a 5 course Indian meal because I couldn’t get it out of my head. I didn’t always like Indian food. In fact I’m still intimidated by a lot of curries and other dishes, but I love the variety and use of fresh spices and vegetables.  If I ever have to become vegetarian, I’m moving to India. To quell my longing for spicy dishes, and turn around a tasty meal in a short time I created this vegetarian pakora curry.  Pakoras are essentially a mix between a dumpling and a breading. They are fried …

Amanda MouttakiVegetarian Thai Red Curry Pakora
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{Expat Guest Post} Where You At, Expat?

When we decided to become expats, I knew there were others like us out there – I just had to find them.  Once I started looking, I was amazed at just how many people have chosen an expatriate lifestyle. So many people tell me that they wish they could move to another country; I want to share the stories of those who have made the choice.  I hope that these stories might encourage others to take the plunge. Today’s guest post is from Lyndsay of Discount Travel Blogger. Like me, Lyndsay started her traveling “career” young and hasn’t looked back! In 2004 When I first left my home country to work on a Mediterranean Cruise ship, in my head, it was a little downgrade of my real dream job as a Flight Stewardess but well, our titles sounds similar as a Cabin Stewardess. I thought it was still a job ‘hitting 2 birds in one stone’. Getting paid while I …

Amanda Mouttaki{Expat Guest Post} Where You At, Expat?
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Gluten-Free Chebakia

Chebakia and Ramadan and synonymous in Morocco. You simply can’t have one without the other. This presents a big problem for us. Chebakia are cookies made of flour, spices, honey, and sesame seeds. It’s the flour that is problematic. It’s safe to say that Moroccan families eat dozens and dozens of these cookies every Ramadan.  They are made (or bought) in huge quantities and are time consuming to make – which makes it very clear to me why they’re a special holiday treat.   Last year I decided I would try to make a gluten-free chebakia to serve with harira during Ramadan.  Traditionally these cookies are a very unique shape.  The dough is rolled flat, cut into rectangles, then sliced 3-4 times in the middle of each piece of dough.  It is then inverted to create a shape that reminds me of a flower. While this can be tricky to master, traditional dough has enough elasticity to make it possible. …

Amanda MouttakiGluten-Free Chebakia
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Strawberry Balsamic Quinoa Salad on #TheSaladBar

Our summer is full of picnics, BBQ’s, and this year iftars. We have spent many of our days on the run and having fun! Last month I participated in #TheSaladBar, a group of bloggers who share their salad recipes each month. This month’s theme was potluck salads. Potluck salads where I grew up were either a) pasta salad b) cold bean salad c) jello “salad”.   (If someone can explain to me why it’s called a jello salad I would really appreciate it).  I totally drew a blank when I tried to think of a potluck salad to share…so I made one up! Strawberries just came in season here last week.  We had snow until mid-May (yuck) and it didn’t get much warmer until June. I had gotten some from the farmer’s market but was sad to find they weren’t very sweet so time for plan B – strawberry dressing! I just cleaned and removed the tops of 2 cups …

Amanda MouttakiStrawberry Balsamic Quinoa Salad on #TheSaladBar
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5 Tips to Help You Have A Healthy Ramadan

Today is the 4th day of Ramadan in the United States and the hottest Ramadan I’ve experienced – and I’m not fasting!  Unfortunately my surgeon would not clear me to fast, preferring me to wait at least a year after having gastric sleeve surgery to attempt fasting.  Truthfully I’m not sure I would be able to do it even if he were to allow me. We begin fasting at 3:15am and the fasting day ends around 9pm. I simply wouldn’t have the space or ability to eat enough food or drink enough water in 6 hours to be safe.  Right now, it takes me all day to eat 800-1000 calories and drink enough liquid not to dehydrate. There have been times when I have not eaten enough and it’s immediately apparent to MarocBaba.  He says the color drains out of me and my eyes start drooping. I can feel it, I get very tired, dizzy, and unresponsive, but I didn’t …

Amanda Mouttaki5 Tips to Help You Have A Healthy Ramadan