Monthly Archives: ديسمبر 2009

Horse Riding into the Bahrain sunset

I took the kids horse riding this afternoon.  It was probably one of the most beautiful places in Bahrain that I have been to for a while. It was our first time there and I was thoroughly impressed.

The place was tucked away in Saar and the reason I liked it so much is because it had a feeling of being ‘untouched’.  There were lots of horses roaming around, the weather was beautiful, and there were palm trees everywhere!

It kind of reminded me of the Bahrain I remember when I was a kid – palm trees and greenery combined with farmers and rain puddles here and there.

I just thought I’d share this photo with you from this afternoon.  I think horse riding is a beautiful sport to get into.  I wish I had done it as a kid and I wish I could do it now (I’m still not comfortable getting on a horse).  But if my kids want to do it I would totally encourage it!  They seemed into it today so let’s see what happens.

I love it when kids learn a skill while having fun!

And the best part?  It was an ‘almost-full’ moon tonight.  That was a beautiful sight behind the palm trees. The year will end tomorrow on a perfectly full moon, don’t forget to look up at the sky on your way to your new year’s eve party!

I hope you have a wonderful year ahead.  2010 here we come!

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My book in Saudi

A good friend got very excited a few days ago when he saw my book at Jarir bookstore in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  He said he was happy that he ‘knew a famous author’ *blush blush*

I just wanted to share with you the photo he took (thanks R.) 🙂

The great news is that my book I Want Healthy Kids has just been translated into Arabic by Jarir Bookstores!  I got one sneak copy on me and it looks wow! But more will come soon inshallah!  And it will be in stores before you know it.  Watch this space!

In the meantime, if you would like to get hold of a copy of the English version in the photo, you can find it in Bahrain (Jashanmal, Virgin, Zen-Do Kickboxing). It is also sold in Jarir bookstores in Saudi and Jashanmal Dubai.

Or you can buy it from Amazon I Want Healthy Kids!

Enjoy, and remember to keep your kids healthy!

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Holiday Indian-style!

While everything was quiet here in Bahrain this weekend, we celebrated Indian-style!  On Saturday, we had a ‘Dosa party’ brunch.  Gracy made some delicious dosa (a rice-based dosa and a bean-based dosa) with scrumptious toppings.  If you are not familiar with dosa, I guess the closest thing to it would be pancakes (but it’s more savoury than sweet).

You can see some of the selection in the photo above.

The lighter-coloured type of dosa is made from brown rice, urid dhal (white lentils) and fenugreek. Everything is soaked in water the day before, then blended, then cooked like pancakes.  I don’t know too many cooking details because I still cannot make it myself.

The other type of dosa is made from a blend of different beans and lentils, which are also soaked and blended and then cooked like pancakes.

To go with that, we had some lovely toppings:  hummus and zaatar, a mint dip, a coriander/coconut chutney, eggplant/lentil sauce, and some potato mash.  Oh, and some honey as well.  They were all D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!

I would highly recommend you go Indian over your next holiday.  Yum!

That’s all from me for today…

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Almond scrub

I’ve spent the last 45 minutes experimenting with something very interesting! Thanks Noor!

It all started when..

A few months ago Almond milk became part of our daily lives.  I made home-made almond milk which we started using for everything: porridge, cereal, mashed potatoes, and even pancakes (yes, we do have pancakes sometimes).

When you make almond milk, you blend the almonds and water together, then you sift everything in a cotton cloth.  What you end up with is lovely creamy almond milk (see exactly how to make it here) BUT you are also left with a powdery muddy pile of almond residue that you just throw out.

What a waste!

Since then, I’ve been trying to find a recipe for that residue but I wasn’t happy with anything online.  If you have any good recipes for the dry almond residue, let me know.


I was speaking to Noor this morning and she gave me a wonderful idea.  She has made a powerful switch to almond milk after she found out that cow’s milk and soya milk are no good.  And she is now a big fan of almond milk, just like I am!  But she has gone a step further…

Noor suggested I try making the almond residue into a scrub.  She said she mixes it with a bit of honey and uses it as a scrub for the face and even for the whole body!  “Hmmmm, interesting,” I thought.

So I went home and made sure to keep the almond residue after making today’s batch of almond milk. I then poured in some honey and had a lot of fun mixing it together and eating most of it.

I used it as a facial scrub, and I must say OH MY GOD!  She’s absolutely right.  It is wonderful.  It leaves the skin soooo smooth and sooooo soft!  You will only believe me when you try it.

Here’s a picture of my almond/honey mix.  I guess you can make it more gewy and use it as a mask (maybe mixed in with yoghurt or something).  I can’t wait to have an almond bath next time!

Thanks Noor 😉

Try it and let me know what you think!  All ideas welcome.  Leave a comment below.

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Kids toilet trouble

I wanted to quickly tell you about an email that I got from a mother (I’ll call her Mariam – not her real name).  It is very similar to lots of email I get, outlining the same problem: a child with disrupted toilet patterns and a confused parent!

Have a look:


“Dear Alia.  I am writing to ask you about my son. He is 4 years old and he has a problem. When he was about 3 , he would go to the bathroom alone, I mean he used to tell me that he needed to go to the bathroom BUT these days he does it in his clothes and this lets me wash his clothes several times and I feel bad about that. Sometimes his clothes cannot be cleaned and I have to throw them although they are expensive.  My husband tells me that he is just a kid but I feel that he has a problem because he could do that before. The whole week, I have been encouraging him that he can go to the bathroom the next day, but he seems to be doing the opposite. I hit him the last time and I felt even worse. Please help me. Thank you and I am looking forward to receiving your advice”


“Dear Mariam.  Of course I don’t know enough about him to answer your question, but from my experience and from talking to others, children sometimes go through a phase like that and then come out of it if the parents don’t make a big deal about it.  It’s better not to pressure him to improve. And please don’t shout or hit him because of it, it will only delay the progress.  You must be very calm and normal every time he does it, and tell him that you still love him even when he does that.

I would also look into possible stress factors for him that might have caused it (i.e. A scary incident, peer pressure, abuse, etc.).. Ask him to talk about what scares him or what bothers him, it might help.

Other children start doing that after experiencing constipation or any other condition where there is pain when they go to the toilet.  This way they hold it until it’s too late and end up doing it in their pants. If that was the case, try to find the cause, address it, and explain to him that it will not hurt.  Most importantly,  just give him time.  Make the toilet experience more positive by reading books on the toilet, etc. And let him drink lots of water to ease digestion.”

Mariam’s case is very typical.  I totally understand her frustration.  Parenting is tough and it can be very frustrating when you feel that you’re taking steps backward instead of forward.  It’s better not to feel guilty about the things you think you did wrong (e.g. shouting), but also to make a conscious effort not to do them again.  The child usually knows they’re doing something wrong but can’t help it.  They need all your support and love.

I hope this can help other parents going through the same thing…

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Apple Lassies

I apologise for the long break from blogging.  But I’m back and that’s what counts!

On this wintery rainy day, I thought I’d share with you a recipe for a nice warm dessert. I made it with the kids the other day and they just loved it.  I invented it as I was desperately trying to find a healthy dessert option for us to make together.

Have a look! Baked apples with walnut/cinnamon/maple syrup stuffing.  If you could only smell it!

The name

First of all, we called them Apple Lassies.  The ‘Lassies’ comes from our initials L (Laith), A (Alia)  and S (Selma) and then the name evolved to Lassies. Corny, I know, but it stuck!

The method

Making them is so simple!  Have a try yourself and let me know of any variations you add.

  1. Preheat the oven to around 250-300F
  2. crush some raw walnuts and mix them with cinnamon and organic maple syrup to make a yummy stuffing for the apples
  3. Then cut the apples in half (I use a combination of red and green apples, whatever works for you). and core each half deep enough to add the stuffing.
  4. Put a tiny amount of butter into each apple half and scoop in a generous amount of the walnut stuffing into it.
  5. Put the apples on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for about half an hour or until you start smelling the wonderful aromas.  I keep them until I see the apples have reduced in size and there’s a good amount of sizzle and smell.
  6. Take them out and enjoy!  But be careful, they can be hot!
  7. When I serve them, I also give topping options of plain cocoa powder, a sprinkle of dessicated coconut, or more maple syrup.  You can choose your extras!  See the picture above

They make a wonderful wintery dessert and the cinnamon/apple/walnut aroma goes wonderfully with the holidays!

Enjoy and please feel free to give them a different name!

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Happy holidays!