Most peeps would say it’s meditation. These are the grown-ups. The same people that retired before 40, do yoga every morning and drink 16 gallons of water a day🐍. Naturally, being a free spirit, it would not be my immediate answer to the question: What is the single fastest way to live more in the present?
My answer: Get a living thing and take good care of it. Now by living thing, I don’t mean a plant that you can casually murder and use as click bait on your dating profile to endear yourself to your future ex. No, I mean a breathing, living thing that can bite and scratch like a dog or a cat. Or a bird or any other small animal depending on the amount of space available.
In June, me and my husband got a dog. An extremely demanding little dog named Rhubarbe. Our lives have changed so much since then. For one thing, we’re more relaxed and we laugh more. We also play a lot more. Mostly due to those sharp teeth which she uses freely whenever she wants to play and we’re not displaying enough enthusiasm 😩. With her around, no matter how hard I try I can’t stay mad or sad for long.
A loving animal however small can pull you out of your head and Bring you back to the present moment. I think this is the best thing that could have ever happened to us this year considering how tough the whole year has been.
What about you guys? If you had to pick a single fastest way to live more in the present, what would it be? Please share below!
”Post-quarantine, I am the heaviest I’ve ever been yet the happiest. Still, happiness is not an excuse to double in size unless of course you’re training to be a sumo wrestler…which I am not.”
Monday, July 13th:
Post-quarantine weight: Undisclosed due to a massive amount of ego😎
Progress report as of as of July 13th: So far I’m down 5. 94 lbs (I am strongly tempted to round the .94 to 1 lbs 😋)
First stepping on the scale since quarantine: Monday, June 29th.
On this diet you can eat as much as you want and being a natural-born glutton I find that comforting. There’s just one caveat…it’s strictly protein and veggies. To my knowledge most people are not inclined to overeat when carb and sugar are not the main ingredients. So skinnytown here I come!”
To be fair this post should be titled losing the pre and post-quarantine weight. As much as I would love to blame quarantine for my surprising (although I know exactly how it happened😉) weight gain, I still somehow feel the need to accept some responsibility for this weight gain🙄.
Today marks three weeks since I’ve been on the Dukan diet. The last time I was on this diet I had about 10 pounds to lose which I lost very easily. Maybe because I wasn’t as fat as I thought…🙄. If you were skinny and you didn’t know it raise your hands🙆🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️.
Well, this time unlike last time, I am really overweight (About 20 pds overweight😶)
You can eat as much as you want as long as long as you stick with the list of food below which is pretty extensive if you ask me.
2. Since you’re eating strictly lean protein and veggies for a while, it acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Most people are not highly motivated to overeat where carb and sugar are not the main ingredient.
3. You can go the the Dukan website and have an outline made for you using the 4 phases of the diet depending on your current weight, goal weight as well as your true weight. The plan tells you how long each phase will last based on your ”predicament😉”
4. Have you ever had recipe books with ingredients so exotic, you’d need to travel around the world just to get them🙄? Well, not with their recipe book. But then again I could be wrong since dear husband cooks most of our meals. I am only the assistant chef after all. It may take a little time to get around but the ingredients used are easy enough to find and most importantly they are ”swappable”.
5. In the book, there are plenty of dessert recipes to chose from which is always a plus. As an example you have a cheese cake recipe that is not bad at all (food pic number 1).
And just in case you’re tempted to feel sorry for me, here’s a few pics of what I’ve been eating so far😁
Number 1 and 2 are from the Dukan recipe book. The fries are rutabaga fries and they were so good! I think I may turn this into a serie complete with food journal where I’ll report weight and observations while on this diet. What do you think? Let me know!
”Whenever my husband tries to give me advice on skincare I shrug…I mean what can somebody with a one-step skincare routine teach ME, a person with a cabinet full of unused beauty products; about skincare?’‘
Following my previous acne posts (here and here) I want to introduce you to two other amazing acne-fighting products I’ve been using constantly these past few weeks.
Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads and Neutrogena Deep clean facial cleanser normal to oily skin.
This combination is a miracle worker. I use the Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads in conjunction with the Neutrogena Deep clean facial cleanser normal to oily skin (this one needs no introduction and is pictured below). I put a tiny amount of each of them together on a cotton pad, add a tiny bit of water and start rubbing gently in a circular motion. The Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads contains salicylic acid and doubles as both a cleanser and a scrub. I like the fact that it’s made of tiny little grains that really do an amazing job of getting rid of all the dead skin and extra sebum on a daily basis.
Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads
This little gem stayed in my beauty cabinet for quite some time before I even cared to look at it. Why? Because dear husband bought it for me and as a true self-respecting ”beauty expert”😌, I like to think I know better than my husband when it comes to skincare. I mean How can someone with a one-step- routine advise me about skincare? Hence this conversation:
Dear husband: ”Honey I have a surprise for you!”
I summon all the excitement I could muster on such short notice 🥱 and profusely thank him more to convince myself than to convince him. Of course he saw right through me and continued:
Dear husband: ”You’ve been complaining about your pimples so I bought you this”
The man could barely contain his excitement and for a brief moment I felt a bit ungrateful. That din’t last long though but it’s worth mentioning…
Me (eyerolls): ‘‘But I already bought some stuff, you know…”🙄
Dear husband: ”Listen to this: the sales lady was black like you and I made sure to specify that I needed products tailored to your skin tone…not just acne, you know”
Hearing that I almost cried😳. I was as proud as a mother on first day of kindergarten. How did I get so lucky? I became riddled with guilt, guilt for all those times I laughed at his advice because well, what can somebody with a one-step skincare routine teach me about skin? As it turns out a lot. But since we’re not here to bash ourselves, we won’t talk about that.😋
What about you guys? Do you have any products that you consider a miracle worker when it comes to acne? Let me know!
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my nutritionist about the benefits of fast walking for lowering stress and she insisted one of the best low impact exercise for lowering stress is a long leisurely stroll where you actually have the time to enjoy the scenery. I politely nod to demonstrate agreement while privately disagreeing. If you’ve read this Post, you know I am more of a break-a-hip type of exercise person than a breathing-practice one. Nevertheless, I decided to give the leisurely stroll a try. Plus, where I work there are plenty of clothing stores to browse from. Personally, I think there is nothing sadder than looking at things you can not afford. But then again if you’re gonna be broke for a while you might as well make peace with it and make it look like you’re one of those very, very difficult people on a mission to find that perfect “coup de coeur” (read extremely broke). And if the sales clerk tries to pester you, you tell them: «Well, I am looking for something very particular. Once I’ve found it, I’ll be sure to let you know». Naturally, saying the whole thing with a Brittish accent would certainly give you more credibility.
”You’d need to be a clothes hanger or a broom stick to fit into this size. Having pliable bones may also greatly help.”
During said leisurely stroll, my steps somehow led me to Aritzia. Naturally, I started browsing their pants section and became super excited when my eyes fell onto the most perfect pair of high-waisted pants in a slightly stretchy material. I’ve been dreaming about a pair like this for ages. So I decided today was my lucky day. Thinking I was probably a size 6, I grabbed a few colours and headed for the changing rooms. There was already a lovely sales person on location manning the dressing room with the appropriate frozen smile platered across her face. Who can blame her? Dealing all day with people who refuse to face their size all day long can be taxing.
”Sizes are not really important because our bodies change. Pursue the right fit not the right size”.
Little did I know I would get a break-a-hip type of workout in the dressing room in the form of trying to wrestle my frame into a size that claimed to be a 6. I couldn’t even get it up to my waist. For this to fit me I’d need to either be a hanger or a broom stick..or maybe have pliable bones..! There is just no other way. How can that happen? Last week at old Navy, I was a solid size 6 with end of day bloat and all! I was crushed. After a couple of painful thoughts, I decided to ask for a size 8 thinking to myself: ”It’ll probably be too large but…”. The relief expected was not to come since surprise while I could pull it all the way up I couldn’t zip it up. And believe me, I tried. I had to take a couple of minutes to give myself time to digest that newsflash: The 8 did not fit either.
”To me, if there’s room on the fllor for double zeros, there should be room for sizes 8 and up….But then again, I suppose a size 10 would take up so much room, the whole thing would fail to look like a minimalist closet (Insert eye rolls).”
I debated if I should just get out of there comforted in the idea it was their fault, not mine. Their size 6 was clearly a double zero in denial. But then again the fighter in me (or the glutton for punishment) decided to stay and ask to try on a 10. To which I was answered by the sales clerk: ”I’ll check but you might have to order it online. Is that all right?” Naturally I nodded in approval. What else was I going to say? Your size 6 is a lie and fetch me the manager while you’re at it? Certainly not! Upon trying it, the size 10 was way too big and made me look like a sack of mashed potatoes.
So all in all, I went into the changing room full of hope and came out in great despair. My world of medium sizes had been shattered. While thinking about the whole ordeal, I couldn’t help but notice that only what was considered small sizes were displayed on the floor. To me, if there’s room for double zeros, there should be room for sizes 8 and up. Where is the logic in there? But then again, I suppose a size 10 would take up so much room, the whole thing would fail to look like a minimalist closet? Go figure!
Lessons learned: ”Sizes are not really important because our bodies change. Pursue the right fit not the right size”.
These pants were such workouts that I am now considering buying them as replacement for my workout dvds. You see, it wasn’t a complete disaster after all….
What about you dear readers? Have you had similar experiences? Please do share! Bisous!
“Apparently, being in a happy relationship is making you fat…I sincerely wish I had this important piece of information before marrying my awesome husband. I would have insisted on marrying my prick of an ex and being miserable and skinny for life.”
BUT. There’s always a BUT, if you happen to belong to that select group of people who are extremely vain and I am talking Kim Kardashian type of vain, there’s hope, you may be able to have your cake and eat it too. As a Libra, I do believe I have all the prerequisites to ease into that category. Funnily enough Kim is also a Libra (please correct me if I am wrong).
Lately, I have been wanting more and more to regain a healthier version of the body I used to have. Honestly, I don’t want things they way they used to be. I don’t want to go back to being single and skinny mainly because my body refuse to fit back into that old mold and also things are so so good right now. I am content. I just want to be fit at whatever weight I am at. That’s all. So right now I am trying to get back to weight lifting and eating healthy and balanced meals and not use the weekends to go on a food rampage but to reconnect with good wholesome food.
What about you dear reader? Have you noticed something similar in your relationships? Do you tend to put on weight when you’re in a happy relationship? I can’t be the only one:)
“There is nothing a good selfie can’t cure includinga shitty day!”
Picture this: You’re in a restaurant, your food is getting cold, your husband is this close to murder you, neighboring tables are starting to give you the look usually reserved for unaccompanied children but yet, here you are, still trying to take that perfect selfie. This has been a constant dilemma of mine: Should I capture this moment or enjoy it? (Go ahead and say a little prayer for me, I’ll wait…). I can not tell you how many times I agonized over this or should I say my poor husband agonized while watching me try out every corner of our home, phone in hand, in search of perfect lighting.
Actually, there is only one living being in our household that seems to always get good lighting: Our cat, Cleo 🙂
It’s not unusual for me to go to my selfie folder when I am depressed or low in search of pick-me-up. It brightens my mood right away. When I recently changed my phone I had only one requirement: It has to be able to take good selfies. That was my only requirement.
“It’s the silly stuff, moments of unguarded happiness that usually bring the most joy.”
A good selfie can literally save lives. I don’t know about you but when I am having a shitty day and somehow manage to take a good selfie it certainly makes me feel like the day is not entirely lost. Below is a few selfies that never fail to crack me up 🙂
Pic 1: Me trying to act sexy…epic fail…I look more like a drunk pervert:)
Pic 2: Cleo overstepping her boundaries as usual thinking she is the queen of the household and as such deserves to be in every picture!
Pic 3: Cleo trying to play dead so we can rush to rub her belly. In my next life I want to come back as her, obviously. And next time I want a belly rub, I think I’ll do the same:)
What about you guys? Do you have favorite selfies? Do you use your selfies to lift your mood? Feel free to share! Gros bisous!
“You never know how good you have it until you don’t…Happiness is a question of perspective.”
Can you remember moments in your life when you had everything to be happy but somehow you weren’t?
I myself can remember loads of moments in my life when I did have everything to be happy but I just refused to play along and be happy. I insisted on being miserable. In my life it’s always when looking back I often realized that I was indeed happy in a specific moment. Happiness is a question of perspective. My mom used to always say: No matter how hard things get they can still get worst so enjoy the bad cause it may all change for the worst before you realize it. I used to think that was so pessimistic. Whenever she would say such things, I would hurry to cut her off with the usual:” Mom you’re ruining my fun!”. But now that I am older I am forced to realize mom may have been up to something besides trying to ruin my fun.
In this pic, I was at my skinniest. Probably the skinniest I’ll ever be. But still I was not ahappy.
“To get that skinny level again, I’d actually need to cut off limbs which quite frankly I am not prepared to do.”
What I did: I spent most of my time stressing over things I had absolutely no control over.
What I should have done instead: Pull out all of my old clothes from my 20’s and try the hell out of them with pics to boot.
Take that other pic for instance with me standing holding a bag of popcorn…. (not my brightest hour, I know…).
“I looked like a snack in this pic but felt like a big bowl of mashed potatoes”
In retrospect, I look damn well perfect but believe me I still wasn’t happy with my size. I thought I was fat. I remember agonizing over wearing that pair short thinking to myself I had gained way too much weight. I can’t believe I thought I was fat. If that’s not insanity, I don’t know what is.
But then again it’s not just with my weight I do that, I also do that with plenty of areas in my life, always waiting for that future when I’ll finally be perfect and have everything I have ever wanted, forgetting in the process that I, not too long ago, was very much wishing and praying for what I do have now. I can’t promise I’ll change overnight but it is definitely an uphill battle I am willing to fight:).
What about you dear readers? I am sure I am not alone in this, feel free to share:)
“Finding your passion is not enough, you’re also gonna need someone to nag the hell out of you when you try to quit”.
I was talking to a friend the other day and she was noticing how constant I have been with publishing on the blog lately. After thanking her profusely and gobbling down the compliment I was forced to come clean and admit it had more to do with the constant nagging of my husband rather than any new found sense of purpose on my part.
Thinking back I now curse that day I jumped the man’s back and accused him of not helping me accomplish my “purpose” (here’s that word again, a favorite of tortured artists the world over…). I accused him of not supporting me in setting up the blog you guys now know as the FFliles. And supporting me he did. I am still paying for that moment of temporary insanity. My husband nags me day and night about producing blog posts.
” People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily. “ Zig Ziglar
I am at a stage now where I can’t even go home without being interrogated about the state of my ambition and discipline. Napping on weekends is out of the question since that time could obviously be used to get a head start on future blog posts. It’s like living with my parents all over again except this time I have no hope of ever getting out. That is unless, of course I am willing to go back on e-harmony and recruit another husband. Which quite frankly I don’t want to do. So I am left with the only option of producing content under inhumane threats. The latest of those threats: No new blog post, no brunching at Mirazu. If you read my post on Mirazu, you can gauge how cruel that was! Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to say a little prayer for me lol.
The second cruelest thing he did to me was every single time I try to give him advice about his career, he asks me about the publication date of my next blog post. This is the cruelest thing you can do to a Libra person considering giving unwanted advice to loved ones is one of our favorite sport.
On Saturdays, I used to go to one of my favorite coffee shop and pretend that I am working on my current “project” which usually involves spending the entire day jumping from one idea to the next like a rabbit with a serious attention deficit; well, no more of that. My husband simply won’t have it. Now, if I don’t text him to confirm a blog post has been published before leaving said coffee shop, my weekend is ruined.
Lately, he’s been inquiring about the book I am “supposedly writing” (his exact words) and trying to give me deadlines and such. I can now say without reserve this may be the cause of my recent night sweats. Although I consider myself a very strong person, I don’t think I can survive being nagged for both the blog and the draft of my book. Of course, another option would be to do what I promised myself I would do as part of my “revamping my life” effort at the beginning of the year. Which is what I’ve been trying to do lately.
And to think all this time I was paying a coach while all I had to do was getting my husband on my case by accusing him of “not supporting my dreams.” Who would have thought? Incredible but true…..
What it is: A Turkish style restaurant that serves Middle-Eastern type of dishes located in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal.
“Wear loose clothing and reserve the rest of the day for a food coma”
What they serve: Things you wished your grandmother made you for breakfast instead of pestering your mom about how to raise you.
The making of the dough: Bread is made on the spot, right under your eyes.
Watching those dutiful angels of mercy below working through the dough verges on meditation. You feel like you’ve been chosen to partake in a sacred ritual that’s been passed down from generation to generation. The words dedication, respect and tradition come to mind.
A bit of back story on our brunch routine:
Before the restaurant:
Husband: “Okay, we’re gonna go there and we’re not going to eat any bread, right?”
Me: “Of course not! Why do you have to repeat this like I am deaf or something?
Husband: “Well, because the last time somebody promised the same thing but when I tried to stop them from digging in the bread basket, I almost lost a hand.”
Me: “What did you expect? You were getting between me and a fast-releasing dose of happiness!”
Husband: “How far some people will people go to justify their lack of discipline….”
Me: “This time will be different, honey, I promise”.
I said that with all the honesty my dishonest soul could muster. I could see he does not believe me. Heck, I don’t even believe my own damn self! It’s just one of those things you say so often it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Just like saying “I am fine” when somebody asks you how you’re doing. They don’t wait for the answer and we don’t thank them for asking. It is understood that they don’t care.
At the restaurant:
We get to the restaurant, head to our seats. Like secret lovers on a much needed break, we developed a ritual: first coffee and then orange juice closely followed by a session of hand kissing and staring into each other’ eyes. That is until the server drops the first bread basket with two round fluffy and buttery little buns. Then we become like animals when they eat: silent and deadly.
“I am quite sure if somebody were to catch a pic of us eating they’d think we’re hunger games contestants catching a breather. “
For two people who swore a minute ago they didn’t want anything to do with bread, it’s kind of funny. At this point, I think we’ve developed a sort of silent understanding. If we wolf it down without any eye contact, it never happened.
Pafik: A spinach and feta flat bread as an entree. Some people take it as a meal, we take it as an entree. They have different sort depending on your taste.
This is of course followed by the Gurme, their own version of egg benedict with delicious pieces of lamb with yogurt sauce on top with a side of fruit and freshly made potatoes.
There is also the Menenmen au Queli : An egg casserole with tomatoes, spices, beef and lamb. Super warming.
Considering the huge amount of carbs we usually indulge in, we naturally vow to never come back again until of course the next time witch usually amounts to no more than two weeks.
Price point: Affordable, considering the service, ambiance and quality of food.
The staff: Discreet, friendly and courteous. The type who’ll bring you extra bread without charging extra. The rare kind, as you can see.
Final advice: If your conscience tries to pay you a visit by reminding you how much of a pig you really are, shut it down with a power nap.
Don’t forget to comment, share and like this article to your heart content.
I recently signed up for a food writing class and it’s been a blast! Lately I’ve been trying to spice up my writing and attack the whole process from a different angle which is why I’ve specifically signed up for the class. Here is an excerpt of the class introduction on the QWF (Quebec writer’s federation) site:
“But it isn’t just what’s on our plates that we write about when we write about food. As the famous American food writer M.F.K. Fisher once wrote: “It seems to me our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it… and it is all one.”
As a first generation immigrant, food is a way for me to carry a bit of my culture’s ADN with me wherever I go and being able to hopefully pass some of it down to my children some day. I am Haitian and the surest way to kill me is to prevent me from eating rice or all sort of grain for that matter. You do that and you’ll have my death on your conscience :). I was raised on grains, healthy grains that is. I have been eating that stuff since I was a baby! In fact, in Haiti, we don’t really have food specifically dedicated to babies, except for the occasional Gerber baby pot which is not used that often. Our version of baby food is usually a mash version of adult food except that it’s packed with a lot more food designed to fortify and nourish like spinach, carrots, bananas, beans, plantains, etc.,. All of this is introduced as soon as the doctor allows solid food.
“Food is not just about fuel and sustenance. It’s about people and places and the history behind those people and places. It’s about a mood, a specific time and place coupled with a specific emotion…”
Throughout the class, one question that keeps coming up time and time again is: What makes for a happy, satisfied and memorable meal? Is it the people we share it with? the emotions and memories it evokes long after the experience is gone? Is it a specific time and place? I am inclined to think it is all of the above. Food can carry so much memories, so much meaning fueled with faces and places and emotions. In class, we are encouraged to use all of our senses when writing a piece of food review.
Our third class was about food photography. For this class, our teacher prepared a tray full of all kinds of sins worthy of a game of throne gathering. Here is a pic below. It is not one of my best because we were pressed for time and my phone was dying:
Mood: “A lazy Friday night in with sex on the menu and possibly a few episodes of Game of thrones…”
Taste: “This bread right here tasted like the first day of Spring after a long harsh winter…” and yes I am on a low-carb diet 🙂
I came to this class to better my writing and instead it’s been like a trip down memory lane and a reminder of my roots. Our exchange in class makes me realize food is one of the few small pleasures we can all enjoy to some degree. A way to make life more full and happy. Since starting the class, I try to be more appreciative of what I eat and enjoy it a bit more more and not rush it. I am also happy to report writing scenes demanding a great deal of description in my novel has gotten a lot better and easier. I now feel like I have the right tools to progress in the right direction.
Thank you for passing by and don’t forget to comment, like or share this article. Gros bisoux!