Run. Eat. Repeat!

If there’s anything that I love more than running or working out is food. Combine those 2 things together, you get a marathon that is worth repeating year after year! Twincity Marathon is unique because it is a big-scaled running event that has an abundance of food (the only event that I have experienced lots and lots of food are ultramarathons because there are not many participants). On top of that, it also provides prayer facilities at several water stations that is well-planned for both fast and slow runners.

Our big family of runners and pacers

Our big family of runners and pacers

I decided to participate again in this year’s half marathon category. Last year, I went as a “ghost” runner in the same category (run without a bib, no medal at the finishing line waiting for you, and pray you don’t get caught!) so I did not have the privilege and luxury of time to enjoy the generous spread of food at several water stations. However, I still had a great experience so it was worth paying and registering instead of participating as a “ghost” again.

Me after crossing the finishing line last year. Run at your own risk, "ghost" runners

Me after crossing the finishing line last year. Run at your own risk, “ghost” runners.

Except for the inconveniences during the bib collection (the Men’s 21km bib were not ready on time), Twincity Marathon was certainly an event not to be missed. Besides the food and the thoughtful prayer facilities, it is also a relatively flat route with minimal elevation. It would have been a great opportunity for me to set another PB, however I admit I did not train enough prior to this event but mainly, I was distracted by so much food. Blame it on my short attention span!

Do you expect me to choose between running and eating?

Do you expect me to choose between running and nasi lemak?

Can you make mine with those swirly leafs on top with extra foam?

Can you make mine with those swirly leafs on top with extra foam?

After all of that good food, you need dessert at the end to top it all off

After all of that good food, you need dessert at the end to top it all off. This is Malaysian ice cream by the way, with frozen pink syrup and condensed milk.

Even more food at the finishing line! Wait, there was a finishing line? I forgot that this was a running event, not a feast

Even more food at the finishing line! Wait, there was a finishing line? I forgot that this was a running event, not a feast

For once, I was not really disappointed about not hitting any PB or target. I might have not been able to perform my best for that day, but I still had a good time because I really enjoyed myself. I would do this run all over again next year, and I hope that the organizers keep up the fun vibe for this event!

Too much sugar and ice cream, girls?

Too much sugar and ice cream, girls?

A familiar face that requires no introduction. So glad to be seeing you back in running events, buddy!

A familiar face that requires no introduction. So glad to be seeing you back in running events, buddy!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

Home-made solutions for coughs and cold

In my pursuit of clearing up my cough and cold as soon as possible so I can get back on track with running, I knew that on top of the normal medication as prescribed by my doctor, it does not hurt to explore other natural alternatives. Sometimes in this modern world, we need to go back to basics.

Based on the good ol’ Google search engine, I found countless of blogs, writings, and recommendations about natural remedies to help cough and cold. Unfortunately, most natural remedies are not properly researched, and there is a lack of journals and papers written about them. So I decided to do a little ‘experiment’ on myself to test if these home-made remedies work as they claim it should:

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My personal favourite would be the honey + olive oil combination. Not only did it helped to soothe my throat, it also helped me clear up my complexion, and reduced my eczema and allergies. I hope it works for you too!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.




Tips and Tricks for Dining Out

Eating out shouldn’t be considered as an excuse to sabotage your whole diet, especially if you eat out regularly. Eating out can still be a fun experience filled with delicious, but healthier, choices. Here are some tips and tricks for staying healthy at the restaurant:


Have the right mindset

Take some time to prepare before going out to eat. The first thing you want to do it’s create the right mindset. Don’t think of it as one big ‘cheat night.’ I like to allow myself a small treat every day, rather than dedicating a whole meal or day to binging. Surly you can enjoy yourself, but instead of choosing to most unhealthy meal you can think of, choose a balanced meal that is still healthy, but can also be considered a treat.



Plan ahead

Choose your restaurant ahead of time. Most restaurants have their menus available online. Check it out and make your decision before you even get there. This way, you don’t have to look through the menu while you’re hungry and ready to eat. Not only telling yourself you will make a smart choice, but committing to a meal before you get to the restaurant will make you more likely to stick to that goal.


Don’t starve all day

Many people make the dire mistake of skipping meals before a night out to eat. They think they can make up for missed times. Skipping meals will only make you hungrier and more inclined to crave the fattier options. Think about it; you’re starving and you’ve been waiting for a good 30 minutes for your food to come out…would you be excited for a grilled chicken salad? Not so much. Eat like you normally would any other day. Try to plan it out so that your last meal is a light snack about 2-3 hours before going to the restaurant.


Control portions

Make sure to control your portions, especially if you decide to treat yourself with your meal. Here are a few tips for portion control at a restaurant:

  • Order from the kids menu if they have one
  • Split a meal with a friend
  • Turn an appetizer into a meal with a side salad
  • Ask the waiter/waitress for a to-go container so you can put half of your plate out of sight to take home
  • Ask the waiter/waitress not to bring bread to the table



Make substitutions when necessary. If you’re going to treat yourself to a cheeseburger, you probably don’t need the fries on the side. Order a side of salad or veggies instead and order a vinaigrette dressing, or oil and vinegar, over creamy salad dressings.




The most important question, should I have dessert? If are out to dinner for a special occasion, and you don’t do it often, I say go for it…only if you have room for it of course! If you ordered a healthy meal and were good with your portion sizes, a little piece of dessert on a special occasion is perfectly fine. Be sure to split it with at least one other person. On the other hand, if you tend to eat out often, and/or you decided to treat yourself with your main meal (maybe you ordered a cheese burger or a creamy pasta dish), then I would say skip the dessert for the night.


Remember that healthy eating is all about balance. Going out and treating yourself to a delicious dinner is fine,  just find your balance by choosing a meal that is well-balanced (meaning it contains protein, carbs and fats), watching your portion sizes, and substitute with healthier options when you need to.


Featured IMage Credit

Fit Muslim Girl Recipe: Blueberry Pecan Protein Pancakes

First off, don’t mind the super amazing photograph of my pancakes…I have awesome photography skills if you can’t tell ;). Just kidding, I try to take professional-looking pictures but my lack of artistic skills always stands in the way. But they still look delicious right? I hope so!



Anywho, if you’ve ever taken a look at my recipes on you know that I am in love, maybe a little obsessed, with protein pancakes! I love them because you can really do so many different things with them and they taste so good…you would never know they are healthy! I experiment with different kinds of pancakes all of the time, and these may be one of my favorites.


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Blueberry Pecan Protein Pancakes 

Yeilds 1 serving (2-3 pancakes)



  • 1/2 cup wheat four
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp non-fat blueberry flavored Oikos Greek yogurt (you can use any kind of yogurt but I find this brand tastes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp Stevia in the raw
  • 1 tsp halal vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • small handful chopped pecans


  • In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, stevia and cinnamon.
  • Add the yogurt, egg, almond milk, and vanilla into another bowl and mix.
  • Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated together.
  • Fold the blueberries into the batter (put a small handful off to the side for topping later).
  • Take two or three even scoops and scoop the batter onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook on one side until the batter on top starts to bubble, then flip and cook on the other side.


Sprinkle the chopped pecans and leftover blueberries over the top of your cooked pancakes.

As for pancake syrup you can really use any kind of syrup you’d like but I prefer to stay away from sugar free. You can also replace syrup with honey or agave. A good idea, is to heat up some maple syrup (or honey/agave) in a small saucepan mixed with the leftover blueberries to create a compote. So delicious and it’s a great method for using less of the sugary syrup because you get all of the juices from the blueberries!


Healthy Stir Fry

It can be quite hard to decide what to eat/cook when your trying to be healthy, especially when you need something quick and easy but also enough to fill you up for a while. I find that stir-fries are a great way to make a fast and healthy meal with whatever is already in the house!

The other day I realized that I had some baby spinach and broccoli that I knew would go bad if I didn’t use them up soon so I decided that throw everything together and make a stir fry. This is probably the easiest meal you can make because you can literally throw in anything you want. I don’t have an exact measurements for this stir fry as I just kind of threw everything in there, but here is how I made it.

Your Base








I always keep brown rice in my house, and to me, rice holds up really well to the traditional flavors of a stir-fry. Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice as it contains dietary fiber that aids in digestion and provides a slower release of sugar giving you a more lasting energy and feeling of satiation. For a non-traditional route you can also use couscous or quinoa. If you love noodles, try to use some variation of whole wheat pasta instead.



It’s a good idea to throw in some protein for added flavor, appeal, and to help you get fuller faster. I decided to go for a vegetarian stir fry and used chickpeas as my protein source because 1) I already had some in the house and 2) meatless meals contain less fat and cutting down meat consumption proves to be extremely beneficial in preventative health. So to go vegetarian you can use any kind of beans you like, or you can take the meat route and use some diced up chicken, beef, or any meat you prefer.


Organically grown head of celery behind which were two bell pepp

The suggestions are pretty much endless for this category. I used broccoli, carrots and baby spinach because I already had these in the house and my aim was to use whatever I had without making a trip to the grocery store. A tradition stir fry typically contains a lot of greens like broccoli, bok choy, watercress, celery and mushrooms. However, you can use any vegetables you prefer and as little or as many as you’d like.

Sauce and Spices


I always keep low-sodium soy sauce in my fridge because it is a great flavor enhancer to many dishes so this was the sauce for my stir fry. I find that ginger, cinnamon and curry work really well with soy sauce, and I also used some crushed red pepper flakes for a kick, and garlic powder because I didn’t have any fresh garlic to use. As with the vegetables, the spices you can use are limitless. Don’t be afraid to add your personality and culture to the dish; this is what makes cooking so great!

Putting It All Together


Because stir fries can contain many ingredients it may seem a little overwhelming to cook.But, if you have even the slightest experience with cooking you’ll be able to figure it out quite easily.

Prep Your Ingredients – Decide exactly which ingredients you want to use and get them prepped. Chop your veggies, cook your rice and beans ahead of time, and get everything together that you will need.

Cook in Steps – If you are using meat, get those going first and cook your veggies separately. If your not using meat, then start with the vegetables as they are going to take the longest to cook. I started by sauteing my broccoli and carrots in a little bit of olive oil because I know they take a while. Because they are quite hard I cooked them covered in order to retain their moisture. Once they were about halfway cooked I added in the spices along with salt and pepper to release those flavors and continued cooking them covered. When they were just about done but not quite, I got my cooked rice in there to heat up, then added the beans (which were already cooked) to get those nice and warm. Once everything was just about done I added my baby spinach because I know it cooks very quickly. I added some more salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil and some soy sauce.

Taste – Give your stir fry a small taste to make sure the flavors are there and your meal is done! So easy and it only takes three simple steps.

Next time you want to make a simple, nutritious dish that will leave you feeling full and satisfied, try your hand at a stir fry. If you keep the right ingredients in your house then you won’t even need to make a trip to the store!




Avoid Overeating After Your Workout

I don’t know about you, but after an intense workout I am super hungry. Not only do I feel hungry but my mind starts to convince me that after all of that hard work I deserve a special treat. After all, I have the extra room after burning off all of those calories, right? Not so fast. Research suggests that one of the biggest plateaus to weight loss is eating too much after a workout! You may be eating more calories than you previously burned off without even knowing it. If you’re spending a ton of time in the gym but aren’t feeling as though your hard work is paying off, this may be why. Check out these tips to help you avoid overeating after your workout.


Plan a meal after your workout


If you already plan on having a meal after a workout then there is nothing to feel guilty about. Decide on what you’re going to have, and even prepare it before hand if possible that way there is no excuse to reach into the freezer for the tub of ice cream!


Have a pre-workout snack


Eating a small, nutritious snack before exercise can help curb your hunger, give you the extra energy you need to perform your workout and can also help in muscle recovery. Dates are great to eat just before a workout. Not only does a small amount fill you up, but the high sugar content will give you a nice boost of energy.


Have a post-workout snack


Whether you plan on having a meal after your workout or not, a smart post-workout snack will fuel your muscles and help curb your appetite. I’m a big fan of drinking a glass of milk or chocolate milk just after a workout. It has the protein you need to refuel those muscles and to prevent extreme hunger. Low-fat/skim milk, almond milk or soy milk are all good options. In addition, milk is a much better replacement for the sugar-filled sports drinks that are out on the market.


Surround workouts with protein and carbs



This is where you do not have to go “low-carb.” Pair up carbs and protein for nutritious snacks or meals both before and after workouts, with a ratio of about 4:1 carbs to protein. A general rule of thumb: if you are going to eat 60-90 minutes before your workout, have a solid, balanced meal containing a good amount of carbs and protein; if you are going to eat only 30 minutes or less prior to working out have a small snack or easily digested liquid like a smoothie or shake. Some research suggests that higher glycemic foods, such as the “white carbs” could be advantageous right after a workout. So, if you love white rice, white potatoes, white bread, or even have a favorite kind of cereal, post-workout would be the time to eat it!


Bring a water bottle


Be sure to have a water bottle by your side during your workout to sip on. Try to also drink a lot after your workout as well. This will keep you hydrated and helps with appetite control.


Make your workout fun

Brent Doscher's Best Action Pics

Some very interesting research was done at Cornell University suggesting that the more fun your workout is the less you will eat afterwards. During this study, researchers led participants on a 1.4 mile walk. Half of the group was told the walk was exercise while the other half was told that it was a scenic stroll. The “exercise” group ate more calories and more chocolate pudding for dessert after the walk than the “fun” group did. Thus, creating a workout that you love, whether it be fitness classes, biking, hiking, swimming, etc. may make you less likely to overeat after that workout.


Don’t overestimate the calorie burn



Even though you may feel that you got a great workout in, you probably didn’t burn quite as many calories as you thought. Remember that in order to lose weight we need to be consuming fewer calories than we burn. Don’t waste all of your hard work by eating more than you burned off after your workout.


Although these tips are a great way to keep from over-indulging post workout, remember that the key to weight loss is overall healthful eating and consistent exercise. Combine that with these tips and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goals!

Canadian Purple Wheat recovers your energy at WOW RUN 2015

Hey Runners, good news for you! Gardenia Bakery is sponsoring Canadian Purple Wheat for our run.

100% natural whole grains plus the added goodness of Canadian Purple Wheat which is extremely rich in antioxidants. Unique in taste, low in fat and very high in fibre and vitamins.



Register now and enjoy your healthy food at WOW RUN 2015. See you guys at the run!

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Healthy Substitutes for Your Favorite Foods

As I receive many emails from women looking to eat healthier, I’ve noticed a few common problems. First, many people don’t actually know the difference between healthy foods and unhealthy foods. Now in the broad sense we all know that home-cooked meals are better than fast-food, that veggies and fruits contain a lot of nutrients, and that sweets, for the most part, are the enemy. But when it comes down to specific food groups, people generally aren’t aware of healthier food options.

The second problem is people’s perception of the word healthy. The general public thinks healthy means either sacrificing taste or giving up the foods they love, neither of which are true. There is no legitimate definition of “healthy eating” as it is a subjective term based on person preferences, likes, and beliefs. To one person healthy might mean vegan, to another it might mean gluten free, and to us Muslims, it includes staying away from pork and alcohol. In reality, healthy should include getting the majority of your daily calories from whole, nutrient-dense foods, while maintaining a balance and still allowing for some of the things you love.

For these reasons, I have put together a simple list of healthy food substitutes. What I do want to make known is that I am not advising anyone to completely CUT OUT the foods being substituted. It’s not that these foods should be off limits, it’s simply a guide for those who may benefit from the knowledge of healthier options. As mentioned above, healthy is about a diet containing a majority of the healthier options, while balancing it with foods you love.

So without further ado, I present to you a list of healthy substitutes for some of your favorite foods!


Carb Smart

In very basic terms, there are two types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are those that are made up of only one or two sugar molecules (a simple structure), whereas complex caboydrates are made up of a longer chain of sugar molecules (a more complex structure). Typically, simple carbs are absorbed and digested quicker, spiking up blood insulin levels, while complex carbs are absorbed and digested more slowly by the body without creating that spike in blood insulin, while also creating a greater sense of satiety and lasting energy.

In general, complex carbohydrates are also a bit more nutrient-dense. Simple carbohydrates are processed; a method during which many important nutrients, such as fiber, are stripped away. So, while simple carbohydrates do not have to totally be avoided, complex carbs do have an advantage in terms of micronutrients.


Therefore, this list contains some healthier carb options.

  1. Brown Rice over White Rice
  2. Quinoa over Couscous
  3. Whole-Wheat Bread over White Bread
  4. Sweet Potato or Yams over White Potato
  5. Whole-Wheat or Brown Rice Pasta over White Pasta
  6. Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini Noodles over White Pasta
  7. Mashed Cauliflower or Turnips over Mashed Potatoes
  8. Granola over Croutons
  9. Rolled or Steel-Cut Oats over Cereal or Instant Oats
  10. Rolled Oats over Bread Crumbs
  11. Crispy Lettuce Leaves over Taco Shells or Tortillas
  12. Dry Beans over Canned Beans
  13. Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, or Nut Flours over White Flour


Proteins: The Good and the Better

The reason I say the good and the better, is because there are not really “healthier” substitutes for meats, aside from halal meats that are organic and fresh as opposed to non-halal meats. Certainly there are some meats that are much more advantageous than others, but in general it comes down to which meats have more or less fat. Thus, we are going to focus on lean versus fattier meats. Now, there is not a significant difference between lean and fatty meats in terms of nutrients, rather it is a matter of certain types of meat containing more fat and calories than the other.

This section also will not apply to everyone, rather it will vary based on individual goals. If your goal is to eat a significant amount of protein with fewer calories, than lean meats are probably better suited for you. If someone is not worried about calories, or is trying to gain weight, than fatty meats are a perfectly fine option.


Therefore, this list contains leaner substitutions for fattier meats.

  1. Chicken Breast over Chicken Thigh
  2.  Turkey Breast over Turkey Thigh
  3. Ground Turkey or Chicken over Ground Beef
  4. Bison or Leaner Cuts of Beef like Sirloin over Fattier Beef
  5. 93% Lean Ground Beef over Fattier Ground Beef

Other (Non-Meat) Healthy Options for Protein

  1. Egg Whites (or 1 whole egg mixed with egg whites) over Whole Eggs
  2. Fat-Free or Low-Fat Yogurt over Whole Yogurt
  3. You can also use some of the above mentioned carb choices as protein if you are not a meat-eater, e.g., beans and quinoa can be a good protein source for vegetarians!


Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Included here are some  baking hacks and healthy substitutes for sugar and sweets, fats, condiments and other miscellaneous items.


  1. Honey, Agave, Truvia or Stevia over Sugar
  2. Unsweetened Applesauce or Fruit Baby Food for Oil
  3. Mashed Avocado or Banana over Butter
  4. All-Natural Nut Butters over Low Fat or other Nut Butters
  5. Evaporated Skim Milk or Coconut Milk over Cream
  6. Skim, 2% Milk, or Almond Milk over Whole Milk
  7. Kale Chips or Popcorn over Potato Chips
  8. Dark Chocolate over Milk or Semisweet Chocolate
  9. Pureed Avocado or Non-Fat Plain Yogurt over Mayonnaise
  10. Frozen Yogurt over Ice Cream
  11. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese for Sour Cream
  12. Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or Rice Vinegar over Soy Sauce
  13. Seltzer Water over Soda
  14. Organic Crystal Light Packets (for water) over Juice
  15. Olive Oil over Butter