Fueling Life’s Moments: In Noureen and Navaz’s Kitchen

By: Noureen Habib

For our first-wedding anniversary, the gift we gave to ourselves was health. In our first year of marriage, I had put on 30 pounds – that is 3 sacks of potatoes. Navaz – well you all know his story. We are pre-disposed, due to our genetics and ethnicities, to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and the rest of it. However, in that moment, we decided that we would not assume that medications would solve our health conditions for us. We decided that we were going to control our “pre-dispositions.”

When my dad’s younger brother passed away six months ago from a heart attack (he was 48), as we were all grieving, we as a family made a commitment to live in the moment. When we are sick, are on a cocktail of medications, are worried about the hills of acne on our faces, have packets of Kleenex stuffed in every pocket, constantly feel a knot or ache in our bellies, suffer from migraines that feel like nails were hammered into our skulls; we aren’t really living in the moment – are we?

I really believe, and if you observe people carefully, you will too – that often, people have no idea how good their bodies are designed to feel and they forget to live in that moment. Let yourself feel amazing, fuel your body correctly and let it take you to success – career, business, family, relationship, health, anything you want; it is all co-related. Work to fuel your body with the best foods possible and let it show you what it was made to do.

I committed to starting this recipe blog because I truly believe that eating and living well can be incorporated into the insanely busy world we live in. Hopefully, this blog will inspire you to still enjoy food, yet show you that it is really easy to manage and treat our “pre-disposed” diseases through our diets. We all have our commitments, most of mine have me leave the house in the morning at around 7am and home around 11pm. If I can make time, so can you!

To all those who let me know that their mouths were salivating with the pictures Navaz posted, thank you for sharing your love of food with me! Now you can enjoy eating the food, just as much as we do :-).

We are all on this journey called life together, let’s commit to fueling our bodies properly so that we can achieve our personal goals while always living in the moment!



Lunches for the Week

I find when I have lunches ready to go, I do not have to make a decision of what I will have for lunch. No decision, no drain on my willpower reservoir! This week, we were craving some slow-cooked beef! Chipotle’s barbacoa is amazing, shredded beef on top of veggies load with guac – can you go wrong? This recipe took about 10 minutes to put together – time will not be your excuse for this one!

Barbacoa Salads: Inspired by Chipotle


  • 3-4lbs of grass-fed beef (rib-eye, eye of round, whatever your butcher has on sale works)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 chipotle peppers and sauce, can be found in the International Foods section of the grocery store (ensure no sugar or other preservatives are added)
  • 2-3 chopped green chilies (I used 1 tablespoon of my homemade green chili paste instead)
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup of lime juice, fresh is more flavorful
  • 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (we use Mr. Braggs Organic Brand)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried oregano (use Mexican oregano if you have)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of natural sea-salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
    • We used a slow cooker and threw everything in, but you can easily create a slow-cooker environment in your oven. Just set it to 275F and use an oven-safe pot, casserole dish or dutch-oven


    • Cut the beef into 3-4 chunks, will cook faster. Then add to slow cooker.
    • In a mixing bowl, add the remainder of the ingredients. Mix together and then add to slow cooker.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Use your judgment to see when the beef is tender enough that it will fall apart easily when shredded with a fork.
    • Once done, using two forks, shred the beef to your liking. Let the shredded beef soak up all the juices for 10-20 minutes.

Done! (you might need an easy button for how simple that was!!)

We immediately portioned it off for our 10 lunches with the juices. You can also make a big batch and freeze it!

For the Salads:

    • We used spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, and fresh avocado. You could also make your own fresh salsa and guac or use whatever you have at hand. Our thing on Sunday was trying to get the Jays game – needed to keep it as simple as possible!!

*Recipe adapted from www.gimmesomeoven.com