Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eating out without the weight gain

The weekend is a time for families to go out together for lunch or dinner and for mothers to take a break from cooking. An overwhelming dilemma these days is that most restaurants serve very large portions of food, and meals are too high in total fat, saturated fat, calories, and salt. If you do not control what you eat, frequent dining out can cause weight gain.

However, if you know where to go and make the right food choices, you can eat out and still avoid putting on those extra kilograms. Indeed, eating healthy does not mean that you should miss out on fun outings with your friends or family or that you should give up restaurants all together. You just have to be more aware of which food selections to make and which to avoid. Saudi Gazette conducted some research to guide you when eating out while maintaining a healthy weight.

No matter where you go, you should strictly avoid any deep fried foods: battered and fried shrimp, fish, chicken, and French fries. Fried foods soak up too much oil so they are extremely high in fat. Look at it this way: One gram of carbohydrates from a potato contains four calories. Then when you fry it, one gram of fat from the frying oil adds nine calories. In addition, the excessive heating of oils changes the structure of foods and produces potentially carcinogenic compounds, that can be harmful to one’s health. For more read here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mr. Sarkozy, Burqa is sign of modesty

I THINK French President Nicolas Sarkozy has not visited a convent of late. If he had he would have noticed nuns in wimples and robes. Would he call the dress worn by nuns “a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement”?

In the first presidential address to the French parliament in 136 years, Sarkozy chose to call a dress willingly adopted by many Muslim women all over the world as a sign of subservience and degradation.

The burqa or abaya, as it is known in Saudi Arabia, is a body robe. What covers the head and face is called niqab. But it is not a question of semantics, because Sarkozy meant a head-to-toe dress when he referred to the burqa.

Sarkozy was right when he said the burqa – the particular type of dress ­– was not a religious issue. Islam asks its followers – men and women – to dress modestly, and so do all religions. The Islamic concept of hijab is not only physical but also moral. It tells men to lower their gaze in front of women other than their wives and other close relatives. It tells women to be mindful of their gait and garments.

The debate here is on two counts: the issue of morality and the freedom of choice.

Who is indecent and spoils public morals: a burqa-clad woman or the one in a bikini? Those, who are brought up on moral values which teach respect for women and not maintain that they are not mere objects of desire or enticement and mannequins for public display, will say a woman in a bikini is indecent. But those who have grown up seeing scantly-clad women around them, will find a woman in a burqa objectionable. For more read here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Benefits Blog: Parenting tips from our predecessors

WHENEVER I’m at my wits’ end with my children, I find myself wondering how people in the past managed to raise families without the plentiful resources, help, diversions – not to mention disposable diapers – that are available to us today.

How did they raise men and women whose memories inspire and illuminate our paths? Where are modern parenting techniques – and the gurus and super nannies who make a fast buck expounding on them – falling short? Why has parenting become an angst-ridden exercise for parents and children alike, leading to heartrending stories of abuse, traumatic breakdowns and alienation? What important ingredient are we missing out on in our overzealousness to get the recipe right?

In his bestselling book ‘Children Are From Heaven’, author John Gray (of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ fame) talks about “five positive principles of raising children to be compassionate, confident, caring adults,” one of which is: “It’s okay to say no, but remember Mom and Dad are the bosses.”I find it interesting that modern counselors are discovering in hindsight what our predecessors knew instinctively: that children need the emotional security and mental stability that comes with having parents who are ‘in charge’, not helpless putty in the hands of their children. For more go here.

Wasta, protests and patience

THE hot wind was unbearable as I waited outside the bank for the doors to open along with some 20 more people. After 20 minutes we all took a ticket and waited, frustrated and anxious, for our turn. An elegantly dressed man entered. His garments were exceptional and the aroma of Oud filled the bank. As he proceeded towards the teller, a worker came and greeted him just as you would a sovereign. I took the responsibility to inform him that we were in a queue and asked him to join the queue at the back. The man was oblivious to my comments.

However, the worker informed me that he was a VIP. “VIP?!” I said. “Why don’t you build a bank especially for him?” The worker replied, “In heaven you have different levels and so do we on earth and he is from the highest level.” “Money and status don’t get us into heaven,” I responded. I was fuming and could not believe the impudence. We had been waiting for nearly 40 minutes, then all of a sudden someone enters and the bank is at his disposal!

It must be clear however that it is Haraam to use Wasta or one’s status to intercede if it infringes upon the rights of others. This is injustice and the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts of Saudi Arabia has already issued a Fatwa on this topic. (Fatwa Islamiyyah, 4/300)

The harsh reality is that bribery and Wasta has become the norm in Saudi Arabia. May Allah remove this social evil from this blessed country. The only thing we are able to do in such cases is observe patience. We often underestimate the value of patience and anger always gets the better of us. For more go here.

The Pearl Necklace – II: ‘I pinned my hopes on Allah for reward’

FOR the first few days, the voyage was smooth and enjoyable. Then suddenly a violent storm overtook us. The mountain high waves tossed the ship around like a tiny toy. A mighty wave crushed the ship and wrecked it completely. I saw some floating boards and a few survivors swimming around trying to save their lives. When I recovered from the shock, I found myself clinging to a plank and moving with it at the mercy of the waves.

After drifting for two days, in a semi-conscious state, the waves tossed me upon the shore. I thanked Allah for saving me from the jaws of death. I was so weak that I couldn’t move. I lost track of time and was in a state between dizziness and deep slumber.

After some time, I slightly opened my eyes and saw a few strange faces staring at me. They carried me to a nearby town. When we approached near it, the first man-made thing which caught my eye was a towering minaret of a Masjid. I thanked Allah for being among my own brethren of faith. They took me to a house belonging to one of them and laid me on a comfortable bed. With proper care, feeding, and treatment, I soon regained my lost energy. I told my kind host all about myself and the mishap of the shipwreck. My host, whose name was Faleh Hasan, informed me that I was in Hodeida, a coastal town of Yemen.I began to attend Masjid to offer my regular prayers and there I came to know many persons of nobility and of high-ranking positions. They all knew my unhappy episode through my host and treated me with understanding and respect. One of them was the aged and pious Sheikh Ahmad Bin Suhail who usually led the prayers. He always greeted me with fatherly affection. For more please read here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Israel: Road map to nowhere

Former US President Jimmy Carter is one of those rare birds who have retained their humanity even after four years in the world’s most powerful job. The architect of the first Arab-Israel peace accord was moved to tears when he visited the ruins of Gaza this week, comparing the condition of the Palestinians to “worse than animals.”

Granted, most Americans are not familiar with the Palestinian way of life, I often wonder what the Israelis themselves think of the people living next door in a permanent hell. Are the Israelis ever moved by the Palestinian suffering, as Carter has been and rest of the world often is? If they are, it is yet to be seen. No matter what happens to the Palestinians and what the rest of the world thinks of their suffering, Israel and its leaders remain as indifferent and as unreasonable as ever. When Benjamin Netanyahu promised his own road map, after President Barack Obama gave him those stony looks in the Oval Office with the world media watching, even the most hardened cynics began nursing hopes of peace.

We thought, maybe, Israel, prodded by its faithful ally and biggest backer, finally has had a change of heart. Maybe, we hoped, it’s finally time for the doves of peace to descend on the Holy Land. Perhaps, the time has come for Palestinians to find themselves a home — even if moth eaten — of their own.

But Israel is nothing if not consistent. Netanyahu did unveil a “road map” in his much-hyped speech but you do not know what to make of it. Having refused to acknowledge the existence of Palestinians all these years, Netanyahu has finally agreed for “peace” and a Palestinian state, if it can be called one. However, his one hand takes back what the other proffers. The “sovereign and independent” Palestine envisaged by Israel will have no military or security forces of its own. It is not permitted to possess or import any weapons. It cannot control its own airspace. And, yes, the borders of this Bantustan will be controlled by the able and efficient forces of the great state of Israel. His Imperial Majesty Netanyahu is kind enough though to grant the future Palestinian state the right to have its own flag and currency. In return, all Israel asks from the Palestinians is the surrender of their rights over their lands and homes in what was once Palestine. They must recognize Israel as the Jewish state and the divine right of Jewish people to the Holy Land. So what if this means the Palestinians can never dream of returning to their homes and lands from which they were driven out or even hope for recompense? In any case, where’s the land and where are the homes that the Palestinians dream of returning to? For more read this.


Fajr prayers on Fridays

Q- Is it permissible to habitually recite Surah As-Sajdah and Surah Al-Insan in the Fajr prayer on Friday?

A – It is prescribed to recite Surah As-Sajdah and Surah Ad-Dahr (i.e. Al-Insan) in the Fajr prayer on Fridays, and there is no objection to one habitually doing so. However, if it is feared that some of the people will think that it is obligatory to do so, then it is lawful for him (i.e. the Imam) not to recite it sometimes.

– Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Verdicts; Fatawa Islamiyah, vol. 2, pg. 458

For more read here.

Winning gold through intentions

1. Intention before the act: Use the golden touchDaily acts can be converted into acts of worship by making our intentions pure for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. This is Ikhlas (doing our deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah).

2. Intention during the act: Spend it wiselyThis means accomplishing our acts of worship in the right manner, i.e. as per the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).Scholars say the above two are conditions for any act of worship to be valid, i.e. Ikhlas and having been done according to Sunnah.

For more read this.

The Pearl Necklace – I: ‘I cannot accept your reward’

Qazi Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Abdul Baqi Ansari is an illustrious personality of Islamic history. He was one of the most pious persons of his time. His biographers tell a number of stories about his honesty and reliability but the one that affected his whole life is full of strange and unique events. He has narrated this story in his own words and it adorns the pages of history books:

IN the middle of the 5th century Hijrah, I was a student of the Qur’an and Hadith in Makkah. I once became jobless and my means of income came to an end. I managed to subsist for a few days but soon it became hard to obtain even two square meals. My studies were discontinued and I had to sell a few of my books to support myself. I was at the edge of starvation but self-respect did not allow me to borrow or beg.

One day, hungry as usual, I went to the Ka’ba to pray to Allah to save me from my sad plight. On my way back I saw a velvet cloth pouch lying near the road edge. I picked it up and looked around to find its owner but the road was deserted and nobody was in sight. I carried the pouch to my house.

I was curious to know its contents. As I untied the silk cord, a very precious necklace of pearls slipped into my hand. The luster of the spotless pearls almost lit my room. It was a radiant beauty and I was thrilled to hold the valuable ornament. My thoughts went to the unfortunate owner who had lost the precious jewelry. He must be sad and very worried. The course of action which I instantly decided on was to look for the owner and give him back his necklace to relieve him of this mental suffering. Leaving the bag behind, I went straight to the place were it was found. For more read here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who’s afraid of learning Arabic?

EVER wonder how many of us offer our prayers perfunctorily, or even incorrectly, barely understanding what we say? Ever notice how many of us aren’t interested in picking up and reading the Qur’an in our moments of solitude and despair to gain solace and comfort from it, simply because “we don’t understand it.” Ever wonder why things are this way?

This lack of spiritual connection with the Salah and Qur’an in a large chunk of our Ummah is one of the penalties we are paying for neglecting Arabic, the language which holds the key to understanding, and consequently, implementing the Qur’an.

The enormity of this omission is especially glaring in non-Arabic speaking Muslim communities – more so, since they have enthusiastically embraced the teaching and learning of English, with great success.

Having made the connection between acquiring English language skills and worldly progress, most of us are willing to jump through a lot of linguistic hoops to acquire the perfect pronunciation, the trendiest turn of phrase, the most effective presentation.

What prevents us from putting in the same efforts towards learning Arabic, in pursuit of success in the Deen? For the answer please go here.

Making use of leftovers

MY mother never throws away leftover or old bread. The idea of food landing in the bin is heartbreaking to us all. We would rather that it be consumed by any living creature than go to waste.

Every day my mother collects the stale bread, tears them into small pieces or crushes the hard ones into crumbs, places them in flat open containers and carries them out in the back yard along with a water can. She pours water in the tray containing bread pieces to let them soak and soften. The dry crumbs are left as they are. Along side these two, she places a bowl of water.

This is food for the birds. And this has been regular practice for years. As a result, everyday literally hundreds of birds visit us in two-shifts to partake in the feast. The Laughing Doves relish the big moist pieces while the flocks of House Sparrows peck on the crumbs. The Red and Blue Vented Bulbuls stake claim to both ‘dishes.’

Occasionally, the Hoopoe, Parakeet, Common Myna and Tree Pipits also drop by to grace the banquet with their presence, if only for the water.Our mornings and afternoons are infused with the chirps and twitter of ‘mum’s birds’, as we call them. By evening, the trays are empty. For my mother, this is her way of earning ajr (reward) from Allah. Any deed, however small, that serves or benefits the creatures of God is reward-worthy. For more read here.

Joining ties of kinship

RELATIVES are those who are related to you through blood and close ties; such as the brother, the uncle, the aunt, or their children. Everyone who has a tie of relation with you has certain rights upon you in accordance with how closely they are related to you. Allah said regarding this: “And give to the relative his right.” (Qur’an, 17:26). Allah also said: “And worship Allah alone, and do not setup any partner to Him in worship, and be kind and good to the parents, and to the relatives.” (Qur’an, 4:36)

So it is obligatory upon everyone to treat his relatives in the best possible manner, and to support them in accordance with their needs, and what they seek of help and support. And this is what is enjoined by the Shariah, the ‘Aql (sound reasoning) and the Fitrah (natural disposition).

There are several textual evidences encouraging and urging Silat-ur-Rahim (joining the ties of kinship). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day let him keep the ties of kinship.” (Al-Bukhari, no. 6138). For more read here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Preparing nutritious and delicious food for babies

With young babies, every day brings new joy and surprises. We eagerly watch them accomplish new developmental milestones each month, fall in love with that first smile and our hearts flutter with delight when we hear their first coos.

As babies grow every mother look forward to feeding them solid foods for the first time. The perfect food for an infant in the initial stages of life is breast milk, as it contains the right quantities of amino acids and fats for growth, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, and C for energy, and iron. The mother also passes on protective antibodies to her child through her milk.

Ideally breast milk (or infant formula) should be the only source of nutrition for babies for the first five to six months. Many parents mistakenly try to feed solids to their babies at four months. This is too soon as the baby’s digestive and immunological systems have not yet fully developed. Early feeding can result in poor digestion, allergies, and obesity. Approximately six months is the best time to begin feeding your little one solid food. Excellent nutrition is key to your baby’s mental and physical development. The following guidelines can help you in shaping the healthiest diet for your baby:


Start your baby on iron-fortified rice cereals which is the easiest type of cereal to be digested. Wheat cereal should not be introduced until after seven months because it is likely to cause allergies. Infant cereals supply B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. In the beginning, only provide one meal of solid food a day as the baby’s diet should still mainly consist of breast milk.

For variety, add a little blackstrap molasses to the rice cereal to boost its nutritional benefits. Blackstrap molasses is very rich in iron and calcium. Other ways to vary the taste and nutritional value of your baby’s cereal include: soaking two dried apricots or two prunes or two dates or several raisins in warm water. Then mix the dried fruit with the grain cereal in a blender until smooth. That way you naturally flavor your baby’s cereal and you add fiber and vitamins and iron. Make sure the cereal with fruit has no chunks to avoid choking. For more read here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Do you ‘see’ Allah?

Who doesn’t enjoy beholding something beautiful? So much of our time is spent in beautifying things, places and our bodies, that it must indeed be worth the extra effort to incorporate beauty into any endeavor. Whether it is a bunch of cilantro leaves adorning a dish, a long-stemmed rose in a vase accentuating a dining table, a scenic watercolor painting giving life to a bland room, or blooming flowers livening up a lush green garden during spring, a thing of beauty, as they say, is “a joy forever.” So much so that, one of the best traits of a believing Muslim wife is that when her husband beholds her, he is pleased.

This point – beauty in people – invites us to ponder on what really beautifies a human being? Apart from physical appearance and inherent qualities of character and etiquette, it is Ihsan, as our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained in the Hadith of Jibreel:
“(Ihsan) is that you should serve Allah as though you see Him, for though you cannot see Him, yet He sees you.” (Sahih Muslim)

The root of the Arabic word “ihsan” comprises of the letters ‘ha-seen-noon’, which also forms the root of the word “husn”, or ‘beauty.’ Allah says in the Qur’an, that “He loves those who do ihsan.” (Qur’an, 2:195). Ihsan is, therefore, the epitome of good Islamic behavior and action. If a believer were to truly incorporate ihsan in himself, the first and foremost requirement of that would be, to live as though they “see” Allah.

The obvious question that crops up is, “But Allah can never be seen in this life?!” True. Since Allah cannot be seen by anyone in this world, a believer’s actions reach the lofty state of ihsan when he worships Allah at such a high level of consciousness that it is as if he sees Allah. For more read here.

Sheikh Uthaymeen: Humor while answering

Some humorous tidbits from the Fatwas of Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen (d. 2001):

Q – Sheikh, my question is: what is the ruling about a young lady who has not reached adulthood with regards to the following three situations: covering the face outside the house? And wearing pants in any form, situation, or reason? And the khimar in the Salah?

A – This man is intelligent. He combined three questions in one, may Allah forgive us and him…. (Baab Al-Maftooh, 139)

Q – Is it allowed for a man to be with his female servant, and what can he see of her?

A – If he marries her, then she can uncover her face in front of him, and this is the solution….

...But I am afraid that if she becomes his wife, she will demand a female servant, and then this will be a problem! (Al-Liqaa Al-Shahri, 3)

Q – Is it allowed for me to buy a rooster so that when it crows, I ask Allah of His bounty?

A – I don’t know about this. It’s ordained for a person that when he hears the crowing of a rooster he asks Allah of His bounty, but I am afraid that your rooster will be silent! Alhamdulillah, you ask Allah for His bounty if you hear the rooster or not. Ask of His bounty always. (Al-Baab Al-Maftooh, 200)

For more read this.

Hope is to strive By Umm Haneefah

IBN Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on him) said while explaining the distinction between true hope and mere wishful thinking (tamanni):

“The difference between it and mere wishful thinking is that mere wishful thinking involves laziness wherein the person neither exerts himself, nor strives (to achieve what he wishes for).

Hope, however, entails striving, exertion and beautiful reliance. The first is like the one who wishes that the field would itself plant and sow its own seeds for him. The second is like the one who (actually) tills the soil, plants the seeds and then hopes that crops will grow.

This is why the the people of knowledge are agreed that hope is not correct except if accompanied by action.” – SG

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finding solace in the company of disabled kids

WHEN Uzma Raheem graduated in Turkey with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, she had no idea that her destiny was to work with children with exceptional needs – her speciality was working with adult schizophrenics. She is from India but she came to Saudi Arabia as an infant with her parents and attended the International Indian School. “Saudi Arabia is home to me – I am not comfortable anywhere else.”

Her first job in Saudi Arabia was at Tender Loving Care, a rehabilitation center for Arabic speaking children. After nine months, she resigned: “I realized that there were no centers for children and families who cannot speak Arabic.” She began taking children for therapy at home on an hourly basis and her time was quickly filled up. “Then the summer holidays came and I found myself thinking: ‘What am I going to do? I am going to get so bored!’ So I started a small summer group in my house. We had nine children, all with a disability or disorder, and we just had fun together, there was nothing commercial about it.” For more go here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Made in Arabia

BEFORE you dig into that plate of succulent pasta thinking of it as ‘real’ Italian food, you might want to have another look at what history says about the origins of this quintessential Italian staple.

Though the credit is often given to the Venetian merchant Marco Polo for bringing home pasta from his journeys to China in the 13th century, it is in fact, the Arab Muslims - who ruled Sicily 300 years before Marco Polo was even born - that introduced foods that would later on go on to become integral parts of the Italian cuisine.

This astonishing revelation was made by Sergio Grasso, a visiting food anthropologist and food writer from Venice, who brought the facts ‘home’- quite literally. Speaking on a range of topics like ‘The Arabic roots of pasta’, ‘Mediterranean diet, health and sustainability’, and ‘Arabic influence on the Italian cuisine’, Grasso was a guest speaker at “The Mediterranean – A journey through the history of Italian food”, a 5-day festival that ran from June 1-5 at the Il Villagio Restaurants and Lounges in Jeddah.

“About 30 percent of Italian food has Arabic origins. Moreover, it is believed that frying is a Chinese technique, but in reality, the technique was transferred to China by the Arabs when they conquered it,” remarked Grasso.

Elaborating on the Arabian-Italian link, he added: “During their reign, the Arabs brought in many foods, such as, pasta, rice, lemon, spices, sugarcane, artichokes, the Italian names of most of which have Arabic derivatives. For example, the Italian word for artichoke derives from the Arabic Al-Kharshuf. The eggplant, believed to be originally from India, was introduced to Italy via Spain by the Muslims.”

Monday, June 8, 2009

Overlooking major sins

The Prophet (peace be upon him) often highlighted to his companions, and to all Muslims in all ages, the importance of actions that may either lead them to earning God’s reward or make them incur His anger and punishment. He was keen to do so when such actions are not given the necessary attention. A case in mind is that outlined by the following Hadith reported by Abdullah ibn Abbas: “The Prophet passed by the wall of a cemetery in Madinah, or perhaps Makkah, when he heard the sound of two people enduring torment in their graves. He said: ‘They are enduring torment, yet for no major sin.’ Then he added: ‘It is major indeed. One of them did not guard himself against his own urine, while the other used to go about with slandering tales.’ He then called for a green branch of the palm tree, split it into two and placed one half on each of the two graves. To the question why he did that he answered: ‘I hoped that their plight would be lightened as long as these branches have not dried.’” (Related by Al-Bukhari). For more read here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Prophet Muhammad as a husband

PROPHET Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the epitome of human character. He came to guide us and lead us by example. Allah Almighty in His Book praised him and directed us to take him (peace be upon him) as our role model:

“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful example (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an, 33:21)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a multifaceted personality with different roles to play and various responsibilities to attend to. One such was his role as a husband and his relationship with his wives. He lived and demonstrated how a perfect husband should be. He understood the nature of women. He knew that though women are created beautiful and attractive, they also are volatile and emotional, which husbands will just have to learn to accept in their lives. He knew that patience, wise usage of words, and a control over temper are mandatory qualities a husband must possess while dealing with women. The following narration displays how the Prophet (peace be upon him) beautifully handled his wives’ outbursts:

Narrated Anas Bin Malik: “While the Prophet was in the house of one of his wives, one from among the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet (peace be upon him) was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother felt jealous.” Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the good dish to the wife whose dish had been broken, and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.” (Al-Bukhari, 7/62, no. 152)

(Notice how the narrator has abstained from mentioning the names of the Mothers of Believers in order to cover their shortcomings.)

Picture this scenario happening in an average house: a woman breaking another’s crockery piece (and we all know how passionately women feel about their crockery), laden with food the latter had freshly cooked. How would you expect an average husband witnessing such an action to react? He may lose his temper and shout angrily, “What have you done? Are you out of your mind?!”

For more go here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Get the most out of Kuala Lumpur in three days

ONLY got a short while to explore Kuala Lumpur? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short visit to the Malaysian capital.

Day one: When the sun sets, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown comes to life. Under Petaling Street’s red glow, take in the steamy smells of Malaysian Chinese delicacies while looking for the perfect fake designer accessory in the bustling night market. Save your tastebuds for “Ikan Pari,” stingray cooked in spicy chilies or a bubbling pot of claypot noodles: just look for the signs bearing the dishes’ names at the end of the street.

For more go here.

What Chain-Food Favorites Cost In Exercise!

My "two scoops won't hurt and neither will these french fries" approach to eating doesn't lend itself well to swimsuit season. Although the beach treks may have begun, there is time to make change. So, let me have it. What's that ice cream going to cost me in workout minutes? To tell us is Charles Stuart Platkin, also known as the Diet Detective. He is the author of five books and and host of WE TV's I Want To Save Your Life. Here is his report on what some of our chain-food favorites should cost us in time spent doing common exercises...

Note: Calorie content of foods are based on official website information at the time of publication. Minutes of exercise are averages based on a 155-pound person. The greater the weight of the person the more calories burned per minute.

For more go here.