Good Morning


Sunday mornings are the best; I wake up super early, put my laundry to wash and then dry and then make myself a cup of coffee and relax as I watch the sun come up from my balcony. Ni and D are still sleeping, so I’ve got a couple of hours to myself to write some blog posts, collect my thoughts and plan for the week ahead. 

I know I’m sleep deprived but these couple of hours by myself are totally worth losing sleep over. Rarely do I get to spend time without a worry in the world to just be on my own. So, I cherish Sunday mornings as if they’ll never come again. Luckily, for me they do and I get to enjoy them watching the beauty of our world. 

Next week is going to be a very important week for me. Something I’ve worked extremely hard for will be decided. The last four years of my professional life have been dedicated to working hard, learning as much as I can and developing and pushing myself to the limits. This upcoming week will decide whether I have succeeded or not. I’m confident that I’ve done a good job, I’ve built my reputation and experience enough to land me where I think I should be. I just hope that the people around me see that and feel that way too.

I’ll let you know once I have more information on this big change hopefully coming to my life. Just wish me luck, cross a couple of fingers and pray for me, in case I need the extra push in blessings and luck to get me where I want to be. 

Have a blessed Sunday. I hope it’s productive, relaxing and spiritually uplifting; mine sure has begun that way! 

Maha Ashtami – Durga Puja

Originally posted on Ziddi Tamana:

Today us Durga Ashtami. It is one of the most celebrated festivals for Hindus. The Goddess is bathed and dressed for the battle, where she kills the buffalo-demon, Mahishasur. It is believed that in the old days, a buffalo was offered as sacrifice to the goddess. These days bananas, pumpkins and cucumbers replaced the animal.

Devotees celebrated the day yesterday with elaborate rituals since early morning across the India and the world.

D and celebrated by making channay and halwa and by doing aarti first thing in the morning.

Here’s a quick recipe to make kalay channay (black chickpeas):

1. Soak chickpeas over night in water
2. In the morning, in a steel pot heat ghee (butter) and jeera (cumin)
3. Once the jeera begins sizzling and turns golden brown, add salt, pepper, curry powder, green chili, red chili powder and haldi (turmeric)
4. Let all ingredients cook for a…

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Recipe of the Week: Masala Rice

A while ago, I posted a pilaf rice recipe, my neighbor absolutely loves that recipe and when I make it, she gets a big bowl of it for lunch and dinner. But recently, I’ve started experimenting with spices and ingredients and one of my experiments was a big success. I’ve added a twist to old pilaf recipe and spiced things up. It’s become a big hit in my home and with my friends. They love it because it’s a filling, hearty solution when you don’t know what you want to eat but crave a savory meal. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 whole black peppers
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • salt to taste (1-2 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I use the mix with carrots, corn and snow peas – soak in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 2 cups rice (washed and soaked for 10 mins)
  • 4 cups water (remember, one part rice to two parts water)
  • 1 chopped large onion (I like red onion because it adds color to the dish)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 1/2 chopped tomato
  • 1 cup nutri (soya chunks – soaked and lightly salted)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat oil in a large pot, add black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole black pepper and let sizzle until all the ingredients brown and swell.
  • Add jeera and let cook until golden brown.
  • Add onions and chopped ginger and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add dry spices; ginger powder, salt, pepper, red chilli powder, garam masala, haldi, curry powder and chopped vegetable bouillon, cook until oil starts to separate from the mixture.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well. Cook until all ingredients nicely mixed into a thick paste.
  • Add thawed mixed vegetables and mix until all are coated with the paste.
  • Add nutri (soya chunks) and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add rice and water and mix paste into the rice.
  • Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, lower heat to the least setting and cover.
  • Cook mixture for about 15-17 minutes without removing cover.
  • Remove from heat after rice is fully cooked and serve with yogurt.

Voila! You’ve just made masala rice. I know there are ton of ingredients that go into this recipe. But if you’re like me, you’ve already got most of these spices in your kitchen and if you don’t 95% of local grocery stores (especially in Canada) will have small packages of these items that you can buy for cheap.

Enjoy your new go-to meal and do let me know how enjoy it!

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Coming Soon: Progress Report For The New and Improved Me

I know this is a tight deadline. I know I need to have a lot of confidence, discipline and control over myself. I know this will be hard. But I’ve done it in the past and I am confident I can do it again.

On April 1st, I am embarking on a journey of weight-loss. A last attempt to make myself look and feel right. I’ve started this journey many times. But have constantly failed because I gave up far too easily and didn’t fight for myself. Today, I am not going to give up. No matter how hard it gets, no matter how much it hurts and no matter what anyone says; I am going to succeed this time; which is why this is my last attempt.

I recently purchased a dress. A stunning LBD that made me feel like a princess in a fairly tale. As I put the dress over my head, I knew it was tight. But I managed to get it on and even took some photos in it. I loved it, despite it being extremely tight from the bust and waist. I twirled in it. I just loved it. I sent the photos to my hubby, sister, mother, neighbor and good friend and all of them gave me the same reaction, “you look stunning”. Too bad, they couldn’t see how tight it was on me due to the black color of the dress.

The Dress

For the first time in nearly 5 years of being with D, he told me that I looked absolutely stunning, the dress was beautiful and despite it being tight, he wanted me to keep it. He told me

that I look gorgeous in it, but if I could lose 10-15 lbs. to fit perfectly into it, I would look even more stunning. No this was not his way of putting me down. He truly was amazed at how confident I felt and beautiful I looked in this dress and was only trying to encourage me to fight one of the biggest battles of my life; weight-loss.

I took his words to heart. I knew I felt amazing in that dress. I knew I wanted to wear it when we went out to dinner in the summer. But I just needed to fit into it, properly that is. So, I’ve decided to challenge myself to fit into that dress.

Without much effort and probably due to having a stomach flu and bacterial infection for the past few weeks, I’ve managed to lose 15 lbs. But the dress still does not fit as it should; which means, I need to lose more weight. I know I am overweight, probably more than 50 lbs. overweight. Right now, my goal and challenge is to lose 20 lbs. by the end of May 2015.

I’ beginning my weight-loss challenge by preparing for the next seven days, limiting my junk-food intake, gradually reducing sugars until completely coming off them and limiting starch.

On day one, April 1st that is, I will begin my day with warm lemon-water and Freshii’s juice cleanse for three days, followed by a 9am – 5pm diet containing mostly of raw vegetables, fruits and plenty of water. Dinner(s) will consist of fish and chicken sauteed and served with plenty more veggies.

Here’s how I look right now.

Me After Losing 15 lbs. - March 23, 2015

Every couple of weeks, I’ll post a full-body selfies as my weight-loss progresses. To see even more progress, meals and other exciting photos of my weight-loss challenge, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@ziddi) or Twitter (@zidditamana).

Stay tune for the progress towards the new and improved ME!

I Didn’t Follow Freshii’s In-House Nutritionist’s Post-Cleanse Instructions: My Results

A couple of months ago, I posted about starting Freshii’s new Juice Cleanse. Immediately after my cleanse, I couldn’t find information on how to maximize the results of the cleanse and reached out to Freshii to provide some post-cleanse suggestions; which their In-House Nutritionist gladly did. By the time I received the information from the Nutritionist, I had already been off the cleanse for a few days and didn’t feel I could follow her instructions/suggestion at that point. But like she said, I definitely had a lot of bloating, constipation and nausea. I had terrible cramps, lethargy and just didn’t feel like myself.

The cleanse was hard, but the after part was harder because I didn’t know what to do.  It took me nearly 2-3 weeks to feel like my pre-cleanse self again. Did I lose any weight during or after the cleanse as a direct result of the cleanse, highly unlikely. Had I followed the Nutritionist’s suggestions, I probably would have. Not following her suggestions caused a lot of grievance to my poor digestive system.

I’ve decided to re-try the 3-day juice cleanse again and follow the post-cleanse suggestions. My plan is to continue with warm lemon-water every morning, during and after the cleanse. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I won’t be making smoothies for breakfast. However, I will be replacing the smoothies with fresh juices from Freshii, especially my favorite of them all, the Red Power Juice. Lunch will be a combination of home-made and Freshii bought salads and dinner I will try to incorporate some fish and chicken with lots of raw veggies. I plan to stay away from bread, rice, roti and all kinds of unnatural sugars.

I’m going to begin my 20 lbs. weight-loss challenge on April 1st. Will you join me on my challenge and start your own?

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What An Amazing Weekend

I rarely count my blessings, but today I surely am. I hadn’t slept properly all week and was feeling the lack of sleep’s toll on my mind and body. I asked my parents to pick up Ni for the weekend so I could relax and get some rest; which my mother was ever so kind in doing. D was at work on Saturday and so I had the complete day to myself and Sunday we woke up late and spent the rest of the day with my parents.

It was a much-needed break on my part. But I did miss my Ni throughout the weekend, especially at times when I’d be sitting and doing nothing; the house was so quiet. But she enjoyed her time with her grandparents and I too enjoyed my time alone. I went shopping on Friday evening and then again on Saturday. Walked the mall peacefully without worrying about Ni getting agitated or hungry and tired. I even sat in the food court with a friend and at lunch (very rare event for me).

Saturday evening I spent over at my neighbor V’s house. She tried one so many dresses and outfits in preparation for her upcoming vacation. We sorted through her jewelry and she was ever so kind in giving me a pair of gold earrings with my birthstones on it. Later Saturday night, D and I went out for dinner and a long drive. It was really nice spending some alone time with him.

Sunday was well spent too. After lunch with our parents, my mother and I went shopping. She bought me a Pandora bracelet with charms. She knew I had wanted one for the longest time and so she took me to Pandora and let me pick and choose whatever I wanted. We even picked one up for my sister. My mom’s the best. I don’t say enough but she truly is the best and I’d be lost without her.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. How was your weekend?

Top 20 Life Hacks

All over Pinterest and the internet there are hundreds of Life Hacks available to make your life slightly easier. I’ve pinned many of them lately, trying to look for  solutions to make my days a bit simpler. After I get home from work in the evening, I feel so exhausted and don’t want to do anything. But there are so many tasks and chores to do and I have Ni with me, so making sure she sticks to her schedule is a big task in itself.

I’ve compiled my Top 20 Life Hacks here for you.

  1. Delete your cookies before searching for airline tickets; prices go up if you constantly visit the same site.
  2. If you can’t find a candle or flashlight, burn a crayon instead; it will burn for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Instead of hitting backspace multiple times to correct misspelled words, erase the word by pressing CTRL + Backspace.
  4. Eating more spicy foods will fool your taste buds into being more satisfied with smaller amounts., resulting in some weight-loss.
  5. To get the built up residue from your shower head, tie a baggy of vinegar around it. Leave it there over night and it will clean everything off with no work on your part.
  6. Put coffee in an ice tray and freeze it. When you make an iced coffee, it won’t get watered down.
  7. Spraying Febreze on ants will kill them on contact and will make your home smell amazing.
  8. Put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave pizza to keep the crust from getting chewy.
  9. Blink fast for a minute. Tired eyes help you fall asleep faster.
  10. To tell if an egg is fully cooked or raw, just spin it. If the egg wobbles then it is still raw and if it easily spins, then its fully cooked.
  11. When doing your nails, use Elmer’s glue around your nail, let it dry and go crazy with paint and then peel off the glue.
  12. Download music legally: copy a YouTube URL with the song you want. Go to and enter the URL & press “convert” and download!
  13. How to remove permanent market: Clothes & skin: hand sanitizer. Carpet: white vinegar. Walls: toothpaste or hairspray. Wood: rubbing alcohol.
  14. Cornstarch will untangle all kinds of knots. Rub some into a knot in shoelaces, chains, strings, etc. and watch as it comes apart.
  15. Turn toaster on its side, slide bread with cheese on it in and get a grilled cheese
  16. Recycle Mio bottle for salad dressing. Peel off label, pop off top, wash and fill. Great size for lunch boxes and it doesn’t leak.
  17. Rub Vaseline on your pulse points before spraying perfume to make it last longer.
  18. Microwaving a lemon or fruit for 15 seconds will double the juice you get from it.
  19. Use Bounce sheets to get dust off almost anything and tame static hair with it too.
  20. For cracked/dry/sore feet, mix 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup Listerine, 1/2 cup baking soda with warm water. Soak for 15-30 minutes and dead skin will rub off with a wash clothe.

a stubborn desire…


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