My Heaven Has Chocolate Clouds

cocoa powder

In life, it seems there are two sorts of people: chocoholics and everyone else. You may have figured out from the title of this post which camp I belong to.
Unfortunately, while I would love to incorporate chocolate into every meal and snack, I realize that this may not be the healthiest option. Wouldn’t want to end up with Chocolate Fever or something, right?

chocolate coconut cream mousse

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Fit Friday: Getting Out of the Breakfast Rut

Welcome to your first instalment of Fit Friday with Arun! I will be periodically posting about incorporating health, nutrition and fitness into our daily routines.  My target will be posts that help you balance family, work, and wellness.

As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  But how many of us are guilty of skipping breakfast, grabbing something from the drive-thru window, or resorting to nutritionally lacking breakfast options? We all do it.  We’re pressed for time and end up running out of the door with a bagel and a coffee.  For me, I was packing oats every weekday.  That’s 260 portions of plain oatmeal every year.  BORING!

breakfast box

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What’s a Chickpea Anyway?

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and while we might be on the cusp of summer, it was hard to tell if you looked up at the sky.   The weekend was mostly dreary grey and rainy, true to Vancouver style.  On days filled with grim, grey skies, don’t you find that you crave something warm and comforting?  Sorry, salad.  I’ll get to you when I’m on a patio basking under the glow of the summer sunshine.  For now, I want warmth.  And spice.  And nostalgia.

Enjoying some chana bhatura

Enjoying some chana bhatura

Cue the chana masala.

Chana masala, or simply ‘chane,’ is a popular stewed chick pea dish.  Unlike some of the restaurant Indian fare that you get, chana masala is a meal that is often made at home, and can range quite a bit in ingredients from home to home.  But for me, chana masala brings back memories of outings to a popular, local Indian restaurant, where I would always, always, always order the chana bhaturaChana bhatura is a meal of chana masala served with leavened, deep-fried Indian bread.  Move aside, naan, because bhaturas have a special deep-fried spot in my heart.

While I love this dish with bhaturas, you could serve it with almost any Indian flatbread, basmati rice, or even have it on its own.  Top it with cilantro or sliced (raw) onions and serve alongside yogurt.  Delicious no matter how you eat it!

This dish is fast and easy, and while you might have all the ingredients lying around in your pantry, you should also be able to find the ingredients at any major supermarket.  Indian grocers would also carry all of these items. I use dried chickpeas that have been softened before cooking, but you could also use canned in place of the dried.

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The 93 Best Days of Your Life

I’m technically not a summer person – I prefer the fall, with its cool days and changing leaves.  Over here in Vancouver we have grey skies and rain, rain, rain all through the fall.  Doesn’t that sound like a great time to just curl up with a book and cup of hot cocoa? *sigh*

But until we get to September, I anticipate the start of fall by doing the exact opposite and spending countless hours outside and soaking in every bit of sunshine I can get (well protected by sunblock, of course!).  Little Bear is 2 now, and when he wakes up at 6 AM and sees the sun pouring through our windows, he insists that it is time to play in the backyard! Breakfast? Gosh, no! Change out of your pyjamas? Wouldn’t dream of it! If Little Bear had his way, he would be outside from the moment he woke up until the moment he went down at night! I might be a fall person, but 2 year olds are made for the summer months.

You’ve probably seen those summer bucket lists floating around Pinterest.  If you haven’t, they’re basically a list of a million things to fill your time with through the summer months.  They’re especially helpful if you have little ones who don’t seem to want you to lounge by the poolside doing nothing all day.  I thought it would be a fun idea to create our own, customized for the 2 year old, truck loving sort!

So, in anticipation of the solstice and your 93 days of summer, here are 33 things for you and your 2 year old to do this summer!

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