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I am sharing a basic green pressed juice recipe that I really enjoy and think that it is perfect for beginners who are not used to these type of juice. This green juice has a lemony, sweet, and refreshing taste to it. I hope you give it a try!

If you are new to drinking the common "healthy" vegetable and fruit blend pressed juice, you may notice that sometimes your taste buds find fresh mix juices to be slightly "earthy". This is because of the blend of vegetables in these juices that give off a strong earth type of flavor and if your taste buds are not used to this type of flavor, it may take a few juices to get used to it. But sometimes, an easy fix to this is to add an extra sweet source fruit such as an apple. But be careful not to turn your healthy juice into a high sugar blend in a glass by using too many fruits!

I finally pulled out my juicer after shoving it in my cabinet for more than a year after moving into our new apartment. When my husband and I first got married, we juiced and made smoothies often. Then, as both of our jobs became more hectic and lifestyles became consumed in other needs, making fresh vegetable and fruit juice blends became a bit of a tedious project every week. Like anything, a habit takes a bit of consistent work. We built a habit by consistently making sure we had something healthy and natural to sip on in our refrigerator but after a few moves, relocations, and new jobs, a new (bad) habit formed, which was to stop making our delicious fresh juices. I truly regret getting out of the habit of making these juices as they used to make both of us feel so refreshed daily. So to start off fresh with the new Spring season, I made the decision to start juicing again.
Now, when I say I "juice", I want to clarify that I do not use juices as a meal replacement or a detox. To have a healthy and fit body, I highly recommend a well-balanced meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Add a vegetable and fruit blend juice as a post-workout recovery drink or just a little "pick me up" refreshment throughout your day.

2 medium green apples (cut in halves)
3 large stalk of celery
1 large cucumber
1/2 thumb ginger root (peel off skin or leave it on)
1 whole lemon (use half if you want a less tangy flavor)-Peel off the skin
3-4 cups of fresh spinach
Cold-Press or Centrifugal Juicer (I used Breville Juice Fountain Duo HERE)
Large airtight mason jar for storage (in case you don't drink it all right away)

Start out by putting in the tough fruits or vegetables first such as the apples, celery, cucumber. I also like to throw in the ginger in between other vegetables to assure it gets juiced. After I have shoved and juiced all of my vegetables and fruits, I like to go back into my jar that collected the "pulp", form into large balls and put it through the juicer again at a very low speed. You'd be surprised how much more juice you can get out of that pulp/fiber! Enjoy cold. Store in an airtight mason jar, refrigerated.

Happy Saturday!

It has defiantly been quiet around the blog lately and Rasmin and I apologize for our lack (of) social interactions. Sometimes life takes over and it becomes difficult to find the time to take authentic photos and blog about what we love sharing!

But I am on Winter Break for a few days (yay to being a teacher!) so in between the long list of things I have to do this week, I hope to whip up some delicious recipes, take some badass photos and share it with you guys!

Anyhow, this morning I woke up early (unintentionally). I didn't even set my alarm last night because I thought "heck! I'm on break now...no need to wake up early this Saturday...plus it's a much needed REST DAY from the gym for me today too". BUT...the hubs was working his night call and came home early this morning...which of course woke me up. Owell.

I usually love making [protein] pancakes on the weekends or sticking to my usual breakfast but today I wasn't craving either. I wanted something...savory yet not over filling. Then I realized I have like 6 zucchinis in my refrigerator (don'y ask why lol) and I really need to use em' up soon AND some ciabatta bread that also needs to be eaten before the end of the weekend so I decided to incorporate both into my breakfast.

Here is a simple recipe breakfast/brunch Ciabatta with Poached Egg + Coconut Oil Sautéed Zucchini:

-1 whole egg
-1 egg white
-Deep wide pan
-1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
-1/4 zucchini (100g)
-Ciabatta Bread (I used a loaf and cut off about 1/4 [31g] of a piece)
-1/2 teaspoon (about 2g) coconut oil
-One medium sized baby bella mushroom
-Garlic & Herb Goat Cheese (10g)
-Sweet Potato Fries (I used frozen Alexia Brand) OR you can make your own following one of my older recipes HERE.

1) Heat oven to 400 to bake the fries for about 20 minutes
2) 15 minutes in, place your ciabatta toast in the oven to slightly toast
3) In a pan, sauté chopped zucchini in coconut oil for about 3-5 minutes. DO NOT overcook the zucchini as it will lose it's crunch and get soggy. Turn off stove and throw in sliced mushroom to sauté on off heat with the remaining coconut that is already in the pan.

*At this point, go ahead and take out your ciabatta toast from the oven (if it looks lightly toasted).

4) Now EGG TIME: Bring a generous amount of water to a low simmer in a large sauté pan and then add about 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar to help egg whites coagulate.
5) In a small dish/bowl, carefully crack one whole egg, making sure the egg yolk does not spread. Pour one egg white into same bowl.
6) As the water simmers, starting at the edge of the pan, gently ease the egg into simmering water. Let the eggs simmer for about 3 minutes (5-7 if you don't like your eggs too runny).
7) Using a slotting spoon, remove the egg from the water and place it on a paper towel to blot away excess water. Trim the edges of the egg if you'd like (for appearance purpose).
8) Spread goat cheese on toast, top off with poached egg, sauteed mushroom and chives
9) Serve with a side of the sauteed zucchini and sweet potato fries.


Nutritional Info: (approx.)- 314 cal, Protein: 18g, Fats: 12g, Carbs: 32g Fiber: 5g
Lately my hormonal cycle has been on a roller coaster and my tastebuds for sweet cravings are insane. I normally don't fancy sweet things as much but these days, I am craving it. Maybe it's the weather? Maybe it's the political stress? I don't know. But I made these healthy butterscotch chip muffins that are SUPER macro friendly if you #iifym and even if you don't log your macros, you can STILL enjoy these without having any feelings of guilt...because let's be real, food should NEVER make you feel "guilty"...only HAPPY :)

Enjoy and tag me if you create this recipe #thelipstickpantry #amlin_
xo- Nil

-1 whole egg
-1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
-2-3 ripe bananas (I used 3 but I think 2 would have been perfect)
-5 teaspoon Coconut Palm Sugar (use Stevia if you want to cut out more carbs...or use regular sugar if you want higher carbs)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup (72g) Whole wheat flour (use regular flour if you'd like)
-2-3 tablespoon butterscotch chips (I used 2 tablespoons and then threw on a few on top right before baking the muffins---also use can use chocolate chip...peanut butter chips...whatever your heart desires chips instead...butterscotch chips didn't seem to MELT as nice as I thought they would so just a heads up!)
-Sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 (baking time 18-20 minutes)

In a blender, blend egg, apple sauce, bananas, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Fold in the butterscotch chips. Pour about 1/4 cup (or slightly less) of batter into lined muffin tins. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top as well as some chips. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy. Be HEALTHY + HAPPY :)

Serves: 12
Calories for 1 muffin: 75
Fat: 1.4g
Carbs: 14g
Protein: 1.7g

Hi beauties! HAPPY (almost) HALLOWEEN

I am so excited to finally show off this fun & exciting collaboration with my blogger babe Maryam Ishtiaq from Pizza and Perrier. Neither of us have ever attempted Halloween makeup but when our girl crush Desi Perkins posted a tutorial on the melting skull- we had to at least try it. It is an inexpensive costume that is relatively easy and perfect for throwing something cool together last minute!


1) We started doing the glam on half of our face first, created the hallows using a liquid liner pen and shaded out the top part. The key is to have the top part of your hallow the darkest and fading it downwards. 
2) Then we took Crayola black paint & shadow to create our nose and moved onto giving ourselves the black eye. (Be careful doing this as eyes are sensitive. Start with layering Maybelline black eyeliner, gel liner & then paint Set with Urban Decay/Colourpop black shadow - we used both)  

3) Afterwards, we used a NYX white eyeliner to outline the areas for our skull. Then taking a paint brush + Crayola white paint we started filling in the other side of our face.

4) Then pain over your lips with the NYX white liner, paint and add in the details with gel liner from Maybelline using a detailer eyeliner brush.

5) Last step! Place the Mehron 3D gel in fleshtone (bought from Amazon) in a cup of hot water and let sit for 2-3 mins. Be careful placing this on your face if it is too hot- it cannot be too cold either otherwise the drips won't fall naturally. Over a sink, we did not squeeze the bottle but simply guided it in the areas we wanted our face to be melted and let the bottle drip by itself. (Sometimes the gel would harden again and we would place the bottle back in the warm water and repeat).


My glam side was done with the following products: 

Foundation - NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli 
Concealer - Anastasia Beverly Hills highlight stick in Banana
Highlight - Dripping in Gold from That Glow Kit (ABH)
Eyes - Modern Renaissance Palette (ABH). I used Burnt Orange, Cyprus Umbar, Venetian Red in the crease blending each out. Finished the cut crease off with black market shadow from Urban Decay Smokey palette 
Brows - Dipbrow Pomade (Ebony) - ABH
Mascara & Eyeliner - Maybelline Spide Effect / Liquid & Gel liner were used
Shading - To add more depth to the skin melting, I blended in Venetian Red and Red Ochre from the Modern Renaissance Palette. Be sure to blend into the white paint so it creates a gradient. 

I paired my black H&M jeans/tee with a biker leather jacket from Armani and Guess boots. To add some more edge/glam I added a gold/silver necklace. 


 Maryam's glam side was done using the following products: 

Foundation - Revlon PhotoReady 008 (Golden Beige)
Bronzer - Baked Matte Satin Bronzer by Lorac
Highlight - Light Beam from Sephora
Brows - Dipbrow Pomade (Dark Brown) - Anastasia Beverly Hills
Mascara & Eyeliner - Maybelline 
She paired her black boots with leggings and a a knit grey sweater dress from Altr'd State.  To tie the look together for some edge, she added a leather jacket from Wet Seal.  

Growing up in a Pakistani/Indian household, I have always known the importance of seasonings and spices when it came to cooking. My mother often used many of the basic Indian spices in most of the meals she'd make. I often tried to do the same when I cooked at home. One of my favorite "non-Indian" meals to make was "taco night"...mainly because it was so easy, filling and delicious. Easy because of the prepackaged taco seasoning that pretty much all grocery stores sell.

Once I started my new healthy lifestyle journey, I began to pay more attention to the ingredients label on foods that were prepackaged...yes, even some spices. What I learned by doing this was that so many prepackaged "ready to use" spices contained many ingredients that seemed extremely unnecessary to put in my body. This is what one of the taco seasoning packages read: Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color (sulfites). Whaaaat? WHY does my taco seasoning need corn starch, sugar and caramael color anyway? 

Aside from the long list of ingredients, my real concern was the amount of sodium that was in them. 430-600 mg of sodium per serving (about 1/6 of the package). No thanks. I used to have the biggest problem feeling bloated due to a high intake of sodium in my daily foods (which most of the time I didn't even realize it) and once I became more cautious of how much salt I was putting in my body, I am not caring that extra water weight!  

Give this low-sodium seasoning a try for your next taco or fajita night! 
-2 tablespoon Peprika 
-1/4 cup Red Chili Powder 
-1/2 tablespoon Crushed red chili flakes (optional)
-1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Powder 
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder 
1 tablespoon Cumin Powder 
1 tablespoon dry oregano
-Pinch of Crushed black pepper 
-1.5-2 tablespoon Sea Salt 

Mix everything and store in a air-tight jar & use when needed


One of the biggest mistakes people often make during Ramadan fasting is that they lack sufficient amount of nutrients that their bodies require on a daily basis. Yes, we "feast" during Iftaar, but unfortunately, in some homes these feasts include no nutrient dense food or the daily macronutrients that help our bodies stay healthy: Carbs, Protein, & Essential Fats.
If you feel that your Ramadan lacks some healthy "pick me up's" then give this delicious nutty protein shake/smoothie a try! Since I am fasting and am not eating as many meals as I normally do to get the appropriate amount of protein in my body, I try to add this smoothie as an addition to my post-iftaar snack. It is cold, smooth, creamy & yummy.

You Will Need:
-1-1.5 Cups of (Unsweetend) Almond Milk
-1 Tablespoon of Almond Butter
-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (for this particular smoothie, I enjoy some type of peanut butter flavored protein powder--I use Impact Whey Protein flavor "Peanut Cookie" by MyProtein. Here
-1 medium banana (sliced and frozen)
-Blender or Magic Bullet

*Put everything in your blender until smooth. Put shake in freezer for about 20 minutes or more if you want it thicker, more like a smoothie instead of a shake.

Enjoy & Ramadan Kareem from the TLP team!
xo- nilma

As a Muslim, one of the biggest celebrations in the Islamic calendar (which is based on the lunar cycle) consist of: Ramadan and Eid (al-Fitr). Flashback to my childhood days, I remember being in Pakistan and India during the months of Ramadan or Eid and my surroundings were full of festive Ramadan talks and Eid celebrations. Flashback to about 4 years ago when I went wedding shopping in Pakistan, we were fortunate enough to be still there for the first few weeks of Ramadan and it was such a delight to be in an Islamic country during this holy month, especially as an adult, where I was able to soak in all the memories.
In Pakistan the month of Ramadan is celebrated with numerous prayers and rituals. I remember the Men would go visit the mosque to perform prayers while the Women did the same at home. I would wake up to the sound of EARLY morning prayer Azan (prayer call) that was heard from a mosque miles away. Every morning special foods were served which are unique to this month’s breakfasts. A popular breakfast food that I remember being served in Pakistan (literally with LINES of people at the sweets dukaan/shop) was the Halwa Puri combo as well as cholay (chickpeas). Then in the evening people prepare special refreshing drinks made of rose water (raise your hand if the words "rooh afza" make your heart skip a beat!) and fresh lemonade, and many different kinds of deep fried dishes. The bazaars(shops) opened late and usually have a break during the evening prayers and then re-opened again till about 10 PM or midnight. I remember during the first few weeks of Ramadan that we were there, all restaurants, food stalls in the streets and even the "Paan shops" closed and it was frowned upon to eat or drink in public.
Ever wonder...what exactly is this month full of happiness...giving...praying and err...fasting from sunrise to sunset without any form of food or water that about 1.6 billion Muslims celebrate worldwide? 
In Islam there are five pillars that every practicing Muslim must fulfill in his or her lifetime. Ramadan (month of fasting) is one of the pillars. The sole purpose of Ramadan is to be in abstinence from certain earthly pleasures and curbing away from certain intentions and desires. Fasting during this month is regarded as an act of obedience and submission to Allah (God) as well as an atonement for sins, errors, and mistakes. Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset without any form of water or food. Fasting during this month is done out of the deep love for God. Islamically, it is obligatory for every sane, able and healthy Muslim.

And then after Ramadan, there’s Eid. Eid is such a wonderful joyous celebration at the end of the month long Ramadan cycle. Not just Eid al-Fitr but any Eid is a special treat for Muslims, and especially the children. Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) is a delightful 3-day celebration of breaking the fast. It is a time to give to charity and to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy aka Ramadan. During these three days, muslim families donate food and money to charity, gather early in the morning in (usually) outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer and sermon, and after the prayers, families usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives. Many Islamic countries, Eid is celebrated via a 3-day holiday from all official government jobs and school. One day before Eid, as a Muslim, you should give a determined amount as a form of donation to those in need. Sadqa-al-fitr is a donation in the form of money, rice, barley, dates etc. to insure that the less fortunate have a holiday meal and are able to participate in the celebrating of Eid.

The first day of Ramadan changes every year because of the Lunar calendar. This year, Ramadan will begin sometime during the first week of June and will end exactly one month after that (July). If you are planning to celebrate Ramadan and Eid this year, Rasmin & I wish you Ramadan & Eid Mubarak!