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Monthly Archives: February 2011

I am anxiously waiting for spring/summer to start and even turned up to the office wearing t shirts!  The weather forecast says its gonna rain this evening, no way jose! in my mind it’s spring and i want it to be spring and I’m absolutely certain that in march we will be going to the beach (that is if you live in lebanon, dubai people has already beaten us to it pffffff)

It’s time to say bye bye to socks and boots! I hate wearing socks in winter, cause when I get back home to get in my gym gear, you can see socks imprint on my ankle..not a good look with gym shorts. And if you live in lebanon, you know they look at you from foot to head and then back down to foot! Its a common habit around here and honestly if I do look at someone, its because I’m inspired by what they are wearing. In lebanon, there’s a pressure to look good all the time, if I’m meeting up with a friend of mine, she will msg me and say wear flats please!! I do like to get dolled up and get out of the work clothes and feel brand new and other times, I put whatever on cause I want to feel comfortable and not care. Winter season has made me realize how much i miss the simplicity of summer clothes, the lightness and comfort of a simple dress and sandal instead of drowning in layers of cardigans and scarves and scared of wearing suede boots in case it rains.

Thats why I’m soooooooooo relieved that winter is almost over!! Girls, it’s time to get our spring mode on, get your pen and paper ready, cause here’s a checklist of the spring must have that you need to take note of.

Citrus Colors

Time to stand out of the crowd, go for bold colorful pieces, turquoise/royal blue, orange hues, striking hot pink and lime yellow and there’s no rule that says you can’t wear 2 bold colors together.

Jumpsuits & Playsuit

Yes they are back and more playful than ever! Looking forward to wear this with wedges or simple flat sandals.

Flared Jeans

After a skinny jeans world domination it’s time to hide them away (thank god cos I couldn’t stand them in the summer). Sleek 70’s jeans are cool again, tuck a white shirt in and wear with heels to look longer and leaner.

Prints

Go crazy but not that crazy! Stick to one or two colors when mixing and matching.



I’m in total awe of these bad ass girls in this video, the feeling of power, strength and to feel that you accomplish anything through determination and hard work, is one of the best feelings!

When I watch movies like Sin City, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Lara Croft, Charlie’s angels, Kill Bill, to name a few, I get really inspired and I would love to accomplish such strength but not really knowing how to get to that level. I’ve been working out for quite a while now, but never seeing any big changes, it’s because we keep training the same muscles over and over! We need to shock our body with new moves and power training in order to see change. That sore pain you get after working out, the next day, means greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build. Thats how you can tell that you killed it in the gym!

Check out this video by Brian Nunez, a personal trainer from California, this is what I call a damn good workout! Get motivated!

 

My favorite smell in the world is vanilla! I love vanilla in body spray, perfume, lotion and food (well except for lipton vanilla tea…tried it and it was too weird for me). My friend came by my place the other night and she said ‘I smell vanilla all over the house!’ My secret is I place AIR WICK scented oil plug ins ‘Vanilla & Orchid’ in my bathroom, bedroom and the corridor.

I’m too scared to use candles and I’ve smelled some gorgeous vanilla candles but I just cant relax at the thought of lighting up a candle and leaving it in the room, I have a huge fear of fire blazing in the room (and also when someone talks to me with a pen in their hand and start talking with their  hands moving around and im like ‘ummm hello I like my top, please get the pen away from me!’ I get real nervous)

One of the vanilla products I cant live without is St.ives creamy vanilla body wash! I’ve been using it for 2 years now and sometimes I try switching to other body wash but I always come back to this one!! for the reasons being :

Its made with natural ingredients
Contains 100% natural extracts
Formulated without parabens and phthalates
Does not contain animal ingredients
Not tested on animals

I watched a documentary about the chemicals that goes into beauty products and its really shocking how much chemicals we use on our precious skin that we are unaware about!! Two of those chemicals we must look out for in our products are parabens and phthalates! Take a look at your shampoo bottle and look for these ingredients: Propyl, Butyl, Methyl, Ethyl and Iso and always end in paraben.

Parabens act as a preservative in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and many other products to reduce the chance of contamination of bacteria, mold, and fungi.  Sounds simple enough, right? Where the issue is being raised is concerning Parabens acting as estrogenic compounds. Basically, the body treats Parabens as hormones, thus disrupting the endocrine system, increasing cancer risks. Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin. They have lipophilic properties, which means they can accumulate in fatty tissue such as that found in the breast. This makes the use of parabens in underarm deodorants, skin cremes, and sunscreens a concern if they are found to be harmful to our health.

Phthalates are commonly found in dozens of personal care products including deodorants, nail polishes, fragrances, and hair mousses. Research has found that this preservative is an endocrine (hormone), toxins that interfere with the normal activities of the endocrine system, which regulates hormone levels in the body. (it messes up the hormones in our body) Phthalates are one of the most widely used types of chemical compound today, phthalates are found in thousands of everyday products, from shower curtains to nail polish. Blood and urine tests done by studies performed in the United States and Europe have found that phthalates and phthalate metabolites are present in the bodies of 90-100% of citizens in these countries.

Always check the back of the products you use on your skin, shampoo, lotions, nail polish remover and cosmetics!

Last week I brought the St.Ives Vanilla body lotion in TSC Hazmieh, and its also formulated without parabens and Phthalates, it smells gorgeous and gave soft skin. Vanilla obsessed!

Please be more aware and look after your gorgeous skin!

If you know any great 100 percent natural lotions, please share xx

source credit: wiredmamas.com, greenfacts.org

Damn! This video below inspired me to go to the gym pronto, I want flat abs!! BUT I get really bored easily, especially on the treadmill and I can’t watch the TV screen they have at the gym, I get all dizzy running, panting and trying to look at the screen… AND those tv shows have arabic subtitles! (imagine going to a gym in china and trying to watch TV with no sounds but chinese subtitles, unless your super smart and you know chinese! then you’ll get my drift…) I always wonder how the people next to me running, can manage to read those arabic subtitles, its like trying to read a book while running! This is pretty much the thoughts I have on the treadmill, to stop me looking at the time and going ‘ AWWW ITS ONLY BEEN 7MINUTES??!! DAMNIT!’ I gotta think of Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba and those damn Victoria Secrets model and their perfect body to keep me going at the gym!

I think I’m gonna try out some of these workouts from this video from bodybuilding.com, some of them look totally doable, they said no rest between exercises….yeh we’ll see about that. Also I might skip the hanging raise (let’s not kid myself here, but I cant do a proper hanging raise as skillfully as a monkey so I might alternate for another workout)

Are you gonna give this a try??

Fish may not be to everyone’s liking, but it really depends on how you cook it. Sometimes I feel I got to be in the mood to eat fish, the same applies to sushi, its not something I can eat randomly. Its like I gotta prepare my mind for it, hah weird I know but that’s just me. What I love about fish is how light it is and how its so HEALTHY for you with many benefits!!!

Eating fish can provide an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that benefit your general health. At least two servings of fish per week to help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Annnnnnnnnddddd its high in protein content and low in fat! Perfect for those who are working out hard, protein helps to build muscles! Fried fish does not count !!

If you loved fish fingers when you were a kid, then you will love the grown up grilled healthy version of this. It doesn’t need a lot of time to cook and sooooo easy to do.

 

Ingredients

2 eggs

2 cups of kaak breadcrumbs (I used moulin d’or kaak breadcrumbs)  or any good very fine dried breadcrumbs

sea salt & black pepper

Olive oil

4 or 5 Bar fillet strips (known in Lebanon) or Cod fish fillet (as known as in London)

 

1.First wash the fish fillet with water and clean with lemon juice then pat the fish try with towel paper.

 

2. On a chopping board, cut the whole fish fillet into steak strips or you can ask the fishmonger to cut them for you.

 

3. In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs and add a little sea salt and pepper, but not too much as we will also add it in the breadcrumbs.

 

4. In a separate bowl, pour in about 2 or 3 cups of dried bread crumbs, add in some sea salt and black pepper.

 

5. Cover the wire rack with foil paper. Then dip the fish strips one by one into the whisked egg bowl and then dip into the breadcrumbs bowl and make sure the fish is fully covered.

 

6. Place them onto the foiled wire rack and drizzle olive oil on top of each fillet strips then place under the grill until the bread crumbs has turned golden brown, take the rack out, flip the fillet to cook the other side and place back until the grill until its golden brown. This should take around half an hour in all.

 

Serve with rosemary over baked potatoes, avocado salad, and tahina. Sa7tein and enjoy 🙂

Leave a comment if you want to know how to cook the rosemary potatoes or tahina and I’ll get back to you

 

A great post by my friend at M&M Fitness

“What is a weight burning food?” Contrary to peoples believe, weight burning nutriment is not food that burns fat. The idea is, food that burns more calories than it provides. Consuming the so called ‘fat-burning-foods’ can be the important keys to lose weight.

A good way to lose weight is to eat food with high fibers and low calorie.

Below is the list of 5 weight burning nutrition.

Fat burning food #1: Garlic. The reason why garlic is a weight burning diet lies on a compound called allicin. This bacterial like compound helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Fat burning food #2: Spinach. Spinach contains a lot of iron and is an exceptional nutritious food and is a good cancer preventer.

Fat burning food #3: Eggs. Eggs contain a high portion of protein and therefore a really good weight reducing food. The reason why eggs are not recommended is because a couple of eggs will put you over the recommended daily amount of cholesterol. Hence the solution is to remove the yolk and you will still benefit from the high proteins.

Fat burning food #4: Oatmeal. True, it is not the tastiest things that you will ever eat. But oatmeal is highly nutritious and contains soluble fibers that helps reduces blood cholesterol by flushing out those bad digestive acids out of systems. The best oatmeal is the unflavored and unsweetened. While it is tempting to select other flavors and add sugar or butter into it, you will lose out on all the health benefit. If you must sweeten your oatmeal, do so with honey which is much healthier than sugar.

Fat burning food #5: Whole grains. Your body need carbohydrates and will start craving for carbohydrates once you decided not to include it to your daily diets. The truth is, it’s the processed carbohydrates that are really bad for you. Examples for processed carbohydrates are white breads, pasta, and rice just to name a few. The key is to eat whole grain because they haven’t bee processed and still contains fibers and minerals.

Fat burning food #6: Beans. Beans are very good sources of protein fiber and iron. Some of the best kinds of beans to eat are Navy beans, White beans, Kidney beans, and Lima beans. A word of warning, make sure to cook your beans thoroughly as they contain some proteins that our digestive tracts are unable to break down.

I seriously love nachos, with the full works!! Guac and sour cream piled with everything. Every time we order it out, I literally hoover the whole thing into my stomach! But now I’m on a health kick, trying to be careful about what goes into my body, i know its easier said than done but seriously if you’re eating good on the inside, it will reflect that on that outside. Last week my skin was literally glowing, i was shocked…rarely this ever happens, as I always have to battle with dull skin that can only be temporarily saved with glowing creams. I realized i was eating a lot more walnuts, oatmeal (it’s high in iron, fiber,  phosphorous, manganese, calcium, silicon and vitamins B and E. which is great for the skin), avocados and strawberries! and taking multivitamins daily which all contributed to glowing skin!

This week I had a craving for nachos, so I decided to make my own healthy nachos at home, by using whole wheat tortilla wrap and grilling them in the oven, it tastes just as good as the ones you order out but half the fat and god knows what they put in it. This what scares me about eating out, not knowing how my food is being handled!

This recipe is great for movie nights or having a mexican feast at home, so healthy and easy to prepare.

Healthy Nachos

1 small onion
2 garlic cloves smashed
a small bowl of chopped cherry tomato
handful of chopped red kidney beans
1 spring onion chopped
handful chopped coriander
cumin
chili powder

1. Use about 3 to 4 layers of wholewheat flat tortilla wrap (I found mine in TSC Hazmieh), and using a pizza roll cutter cut them into nachos triangle shape.

2. Place foil paper on a wire rack and then place the nachos onto the foil, lay them out separately. spray with cooking spray and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on them and place them under the grill until its crisp and very light brown. Remember we are going to cook them again when we fill them later in with tomatoes and grated cheese, its important not to cook them too much otherwise u’l have burnt tortillas at a later stage (trust me, been there and learnt from it!)

Chop one small onion and smash up 2 garlic cloves and cook them on the stove medium fire, with a small spoonfull of olive oil, then add a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes onto the same pan. Chop up a handful of red kidney beans in half (I find kidney beans a bit heavy so i like to chop them up) you can use black beans as well if you like, mix them into pan, stirring constantly. then add a teaspoon of cumin and chili power (you can take out chili if you don’t like them, I find it gives it a kick) and some sea salt. Cook for about 8 mins til it resembles the picture below.

Pile them onto the lightly grilled nachos, and grate lots of Cheddar Cheese all over it, and pop back into the grill until the cheese has melted to your liking. Afterwards sprinkle chopped coriander and chopped spring onions! you can also add chopped Avocado but I’m going to give you my guacamole recipe below.

Guacamole

1 ripe avocado chopped,

1 big tablespoon of sour cream (if you didn’t find you can use low fat labneh)

very small handful of chopped coriander

a squeeze of lime (those who live in lebanon, lime is hard to find so its ok to use lemon) and a sprinkle of sea salt.

then mix it all up using a potato masher.

you can slightly see the guacamole bowl in the pic above! Its soooooooooo good! and gone in seconds!

Everything in this nachos is super healthy and benefits your health, well apart from the cheese hehe. It has tomatoes, avaocados, kidney beans, garlic, coriander and low fat fibre tortillas. Enjoy it guilt free!

Image credit: Can you stay for dinner