This Family Day—and every one going forward—my family and I are going to do what we can to build the kind of Canada we want to live in.
When you're living outside your birth country, with friends and family scattered around the world, you get used to running conversations over Skype and text message. In fact, when news of the ban stopping all refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations entering America broke, I was texting with a close friend from Palestine who moved to Washington D.C. with her husband and three children in 2015.
They left Gaza because of the uncertainty and instability shrouding the region. She wanted what all parents want for their children: a better future. Now, she's been plunged back into uncertainty. A Green Card holder, she doesn't know if she can visit her family and friends in Egypt. Her texts became worried questions: What will happen to her family if the ban expands to include Egypt or Palestine?
Since the ban was announced, the sands have continued to shift beneath refugees' and migrants' feet as legal battles are fought over its legitimacy. No one is sure from day to day whose travel plans will be affected, but millions of people are on edge—and there's a strong psychological toll to the uncertainty. I've certainly felt it: I'm a Palestinian-Canadian, and I travel frequently for work. I can't shake the fear that on my next visit to the US, they'll only see my birth country, my last name or the colour of my skin.
As I took in the news, I did what most of us in this country probably did in response and silently gave thanks that I'm Canadian. My immediate thought was to encourage my friend in Washington to move here with her family. Then, days later, I watched reports of the attack in Quebec City and learned of the six men who were killed while praying at their mosque.
We may not have a so-called "Muslim ban" and I'm proud to think of the nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees who now call Canada home, but we are not immune to the hate and division that is growing both north and south of the border. The ban and the attack are connected by the poison of intolerance.
Since the attack, MPs have been calling on each other to ditch the divisive politics that plays on peoples' differences. This is a good start—but it doesn't answer the question of why the mentality of "us" and "them" so easily wedged itself between Canadians.
As we mark the 150th anniversary of our nation, we need to recommit to a true culture of inclusivity for the next 150 years.
Hate comes from ignorance. The best way to learn empathy and to combat ignorance is with exposure. And that's where parents, and the lessons they teach in the safe and supportive space of the home, play a decisive role. As a family, my husband and I plan to use Family Day—this year, and every year moving forward—to help build the type of country we want for all families.
If you live near a new Canadian family, help your children get to know the neighbours, why they left their country and why they chose Canada. Select children's books that emphasize diversity. Connect complex issues back to something kids can relate to, like schoolyard and classroom antics. Ask them how it makes them feel when they get left out or picked on for being "different." Volunteer at a New Canadians Centre, or learn to cook a meal from one of the seven countries affected by the back-and-forth ban in the US.
There are incidents of Islamophobia in this country, but as both a Canadian and a Muslim, I have hope. At a funeral service for the victims, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard stood in front of thousands in attendance and declared, "We are all Quebecers." We are all victims of hate and we all have a chance to recommit ourselves to the best of Canada.
Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins
Photography by Mark Burstyn Image by: Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins <br /> Photography by Mark Burstyn
Classic, healthy and savoury muffin recipes to bake fresh or made in advance and frozen.
Whip up a dozen moist muffins on a leisurely Sunday morning. Or better yet, set out the muffin recipe ingredients the night before and let the first person up bake a batch for everyone. Most of these muffin recipes can be made in advance and frozen.
Before you start baking your favourite muffins, take a few tips from The Canadian Living Test Kitchen about muffin recipe dos and don'ts in this article: Muffin know how.
Classic muffin recipes
These classic muffin recipes are designed for maximum taste and pleasure for minimum effort.
Banana Pecan Muffins
Crunchy-Top Blueberry Muffins (pictured above)
Morning Sunshine Muffins
Streusel Apple Raisin Muffins
Mini Carrot Cranberry Muffins
Peach Poppy Seed Muffins
Pear Upside Down Muffins
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Morning Glory Muffins
Apricot Orange Muffins
Cranberry Pear Upside Down Muffins
Apricot Orange Yogurt Muffins
Anything Goes Muffins
Rhubarb Muffins or Loaves
Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Ginger Pear Muffins
Oat and Apple Crumble Top Muffins
Pumpkin, Orange and Raisin Muffins
Healthy muffin recipes
These muffin recipes contain more good-for-you fibre. Reducing the amount of sugar will further boost the health benefits of these recipes.
Honey Oat Muffins
Apple-Orange Oat Bran Muffins
Apricot Oat and Bran Muffins
Cranberry Flax Muffins
Date Bran Muffins
Prairie Honey Oatmeal Muffins
Applesauce Bran Muffins
Fruity Oatmeal Muffins
Bran Flaxseed Cranberry Muffins
Savoury muffin recipes
Not all muffins need to be sweet! Satisfy your savoury tooth with these 5 muffin recipes - great for breakfast, snacks or a side-dish for dinner.
Red Pepper Corn Bread Muffins
Corn Muffins with Green Onions
Mashed Potato Muffins
Cheddar Bacon Muffins
Aside from being an easy snack for the office, yogurt is chocked full of ingredients that help your body run smoothly, no matter what age you are.
Although yogurt has been a staple in the health food world for what seems like an eternity, it has made a comeback in a big way with society's newfound love of greek yogurt. Now, people eat yogurt with a variety of tweaks and alternations to make it their own: with oats and grains sprinkled on top, honey drizzled in, and all and any fruit for added flavour and health benefits.
Whether you eat it plain, low-fat, greek, frozen, from a tube or a bottle, or in your smoothies, yogurt has health benefits beyond what you may think. Read on to find out what the good stuff is that makes up yogurt.
1. The probiotics.
You know yogurt has probiotics because every commercial for yogurt says that, but what does it actually mean? In the simplest of terms, probiotics are good-for-you bacteria. They help in regulating your digestive system and decreasing gas, diarrhea and bloating. Research has even suggested that probiotics can aid in boosting your immune system, weight management and reduce the risk of cancer.
2. The calcium.
Just like all products in the dairy family, yogurt is a great source of calcium, which plays a huge role in many health benefits. Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy and strong bones and teeth. It is also important for blood clotting, healing wounds and maintaining a normal blood pressure. Some yogurts contain vitamin D, which helps the small intestine absorb calcium to its fullest potential, so finding those yogurts or pairing yogurt with foods high in vitamin D is highly beneficial.
3. The proteins.
Plain yogurt made from whole milk is a highly rich source of protein. The proteins in yogurt can increase the absorption of minerals, promote lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.
4. The vitamins.
Yogurt made with whole milk contains every single nutrient the human body needs, although the way it is made and ingredients used can alter the levels of the vitamins and nutrients in the yogurt. Yogurt contains vitamin B12, which keeps your nerved and red blood cells healthy and can only be found in foods originating from an animal. Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is also in yogurt. This helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, or 'food into fuel.'
Want to incorporate yogurt into your diet, but don't want to be stuck with buying processed, sugary yogurt cups? Check out Canadian Living's recipes:
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