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LifeStyle Reviews

My #HHU21days Experience

Around 2 months ago, I teamed up with beautiful ladies from Healthy Happy Us to try out their 21 day program.
If you’re already following me on Instagram, then you will remember that I was spamming you with my daily life throughout the challenge: what i was having for breakfast, snacks, lunch, when i was working out, when i was feeling down …
Please note that it is not a DIET! I did the challenge in order to focus more on what I eat,exercise more, and most importantly feel positive and happy because I am doing this for my body and for myself.
My main goals included:
– Feeling stronger and more energetic
– Decreasing my body fat
– Looking leaner
The full program includes, 5 juicing days that are spread throughout the 3 weeks,  weekly supermarket lists, recipes, and workout videos that can be done from the comfort of your home with the use of just dumbbells. It also includes weekly follow up sessions.
PS: You are capable of taking on the challenge with or without the juicing days. It’s up to you!
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I wanted to try the full experience, so I did the program that also included the detox juicing days provided by Fitness Bar Lebanon.
To know more details about the program, check out the link HERE.
(you can even book an online appointment with them).
Prior to the program, Rola took my body fat and weight and discussed my eating and exercise habits.
I generally lead a healthy lifestyle, however at the time I hadn’t been working out much and wanted to loose some belly fat.
I actually enjoyed the challenge more than I expected. I was worried about what I was going to eat when I went out especially since I love eating out and trying new restaurants.
Also, in the 3 weeks of the challenge, it is recommended not to consume alcohol, so I decided that I wanted to strictly refrain from having alcohol and that was easy for me.
Here are my favorite parts of the challenge:
– I loved meal prepping, especially since one of my latest obsessions has been cooking and experimenting with different ingredients and recipes.
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– The idea of planning my meals ahead of time and knowing what I was going to eat made life so simple.
– Drinking more water:
Although I always remind people to drink water, I’m the type of person that tends to forget to drink water. So, I started making it a habit to never leave the house without a bottle of water and always tried keeping a bottle of water at sight.
– I learned a lot about my body, such as trying to more easily understanding the signals it was giving me.
For example, sometimes my body would be thirsty however it would give me a signal as if I were hungry, I would then sit and think about the last time I drank water in order to analyze if I was actually hungry or just thirsty.
Another example is the idea of snacks. I’ve always had fruits for a snack or a quest bar. I then discovered that 1 fruit is not enough, I would still stay hungry. I never imagined the huge impact a small portion of nuts had along with a fruit. 6 almonds really did make an immense difference.
– My favorite recipes included the chia seed pudding, you can find my recipe here. I also had the chance to attend HHU’s halloween edition – healthy deserts workshop that was super fun. I learned a lot of simple and easy recipes.
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I highly recommend this challenge if you are looking to learn about yourself and your body. Get introduced into the healthy living style of life and the idea of cooking and preparing your own meals. The program helps you grow in so many different ways!
On a different note, I just get so frustrated when people say that eating healthy is so boring, difficult to cook, and has weird ingredients. All the recipes that were provided took a maximum of 30 minutes to make, included well known ingredients that we are already familiar, looked pretty and colorful, and most importantly tasted delicious!
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Finally, I just wanted to let you guys know that they’ve recently launched a longer program : the #HHUgimmefive which is a 5 weeks program somehow similar to the 21 day challenge. I can’t wait to try it soon and give you my feedback about it.
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LifeStyle

2017: You were Great !

Hello, so I know I’ve been away for a while but I wanted to start the year by sharing with you the things I’ve learned and the memories that were created in 2017 instead of sharing with you the typical New Year solutions post.

I’m so thankful for the new people I have met in this journey, the experiences I have been exposed to and I can’t wait to share with you more and more fun times!

  1. Let’s start off by mentioning that I graduated from AUB with a bachelor’s of Arts in Media and Communication and a minor in Economics. “Shit got real!”

I have been slowly trying to understand and learn how I am going to build my career. I was exposed to different internships, working freelance and I am constantly on the lookout for opportunities and experiences.

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  1. Discovering my passion for Food Styling

I’ve always enjoyed sharing with you pretty pictures of my meals and especially my breakfasts, since it is my favorite meal of the day. As I create more and more pictures, mainly for Instagram, I’ve discovered my passion for food styling: trying out different layouts, combos, and colors that work together in order to deliver the best picture, mood, and story. It is because of this that I decided to enroll in a photography course that starts in February in order to further explore this field.

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  1. Love for Cooking

I’ve always loved food! However, I recently enjoy discovering new flavors and trying out recipes even more than before. Learning the techniques and experimenting with food is so much fun especially when the meal turns out perfect, it just gives me so much self-satisfaction. My favorite ingredients include lemon, black pepper, and garlic!

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  1. Camping for the first time

I would always look at my friends’ pictures in nature, camping, and say to myself “Wow, that looks amazing”. However, I never had the courage to take the decision and pack my bags to join them. The idea of sleeping in a tent didn’t sound very comfortable. I was worried about where I was going to pii and I simply was over thinking everything until one day I decided that “khalas” it was time to try it!

My first camping experience was with a large group of people, we camped by the sea in Chekka and my favorite part was waking up the next morning to the sound of the waves.

My second camping experience was a month or so afterwards, it was in Baskinta. A totally different setup, in the woods, between the trees. I was so worried about flies and insects so my bags were filled with bug spray and everyone kept making fun of me. Luckily, there were not any flies and insects that night!

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Photo by my friend @Freakgmb

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  1. Traveling to new places

Last year I had the chance to visit a new country on my list, Romania, during the month of August. We went for 2 weeks and had the privilege to have a local Romanian friend to tour us around. The trip was Amazing!

Remember how I kept bombarding you with beautiful pictures on Instagram?

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My favorite location in Romania – Vidraru Lake

I then travelled to Dubai for a week in November! Although it was my 3rd time in Dubai, this was one of my favorite trips. I spent the first couple of days alone, meeting Instagram friends and working on some collaborations. My close friend then joined me a few days later, I had organized our entire journey and thankfully everything turned out to our advantage! I was even able to attend the Dubai Fitness Expo and meet so many interesting people.

It was my first solo girl’s trip and it was memorable.

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  1. Getting featured in several publications

I feel so honored and happy to see Beirut Fitness growing and reaching more people day by day. I was featured in 3 publications last year: Step FEED, Al Bayan magazine, and as a guest blogger on the beautiful Jetsetter Diaries website.

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Check the full article HERE
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Check the full article HERE
  1. Becoming a tea lover

I never thought I would say this, but for the past couple of months I’ve been drinking at least one cup of tea daily and it feels great! I am slowly entering “the tea world” and enjoy trying new flavors and combos.

  1. Launching shop Beirut fitness

I took a risk and decided to share my love for fitness with the public. People always ask me where I usually get my leggings from and I always find that question super hard because I never stick to one specific brand of type of leggings. I enjoy experimenting, trying different brands, and simply just buying the legging if the print is cool. So I decided to launch Shop Beirut Fitness, in which I got a small selection of sportswear (handpicked) that reflect my personal style and was selling them through social media and pop-ups.

You can read more about this here!

Selling was not as easy as I thought it would be, however I believe that many things in life are learned through trial and error. I will go back to advertising about Shop Beirut Fitness very soon so stay tuned!

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I hope 2018 will be filled with lovely experiences and memories for all of you.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media for more personal and day-to-day activities.

Instagram: @beirutfitness

Facebook: Beirut Fitness

 

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LifeStyle

Online Grocery Shopping with Spinneys

Ever since I started driving, almost 4 years ago, I have been in charge of the grocery shopping. I love going to the super market and taking my time to choose the items I want to add to the cart and discover new brands; however some days you feel lazy, sick, or simply overwhelmed with work and you have no time to go to the supermarket and get stuck in traffic.

With Spinneys’ latest service, their online delivery, your groceries come to you. Simply open the Spinneys website, choose the items you need from the different sections available such as but not limited to, the bakery, veggies & fruits, dairy, snacks, health & beauty, meat, chicken, & fish and Shop!

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The website, in general, is fairly easy to use. Start off by creating an account on the website or simply log in with your Facebook account, if you do not want to create an account from scratch.

A good variety of options are available and if you are unable to find the product you are looking for, you can search for it by typing the product name in the search box.

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As you navigate around the website and add items to you cart, you will see your cart and bill adding up to the right of the page; this feature helps you keep track of the items, price, and quantities you are choosing.

When your shopping cart is complete, click proceed and move to the checkout.

In the checkout, you will find another feature that I found useful, the notes section. Write down the items that you did not find and if they are available, Spinneys would send them to you with the rest of your order.

Concerning the customer service, I was impressed! When I placed my order, around a week ago, I did not find cherries on the website, so I wrote it down in the notes. The next day, my personal shopper contacted me to inform me that there was a small quantity of cherries left that were not very good. So she immediately suggested alternatives.

The best part is that you can choose a specific date and time period and schedule the delivery in advance.

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Your first online shopping experience may take you some time, but once you’re familiar with the website you’ll be able to use your time efficiently and spend that time wasted in traffic doing more enjoyable things.

Don’t forget to check out the little video I created on my Instagram and Facebook page!

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LifeStyle

This summer: Be the Happiest Version of You

Hello Monday! February is coming to and end and the sun has been shining more often and I can’t be happier! Here are some ideas I was thinking about over the weekend that I’d like to share with you:

As soon as spring begins, you suddenly see everyone worrying about their bodies and wanting to achieve the so called “summer body” but what does this actually mean? I believe that the term “summer body” is a socially constructed term that the society and media have created in order to make people feel uncomfortable with their own body so they consume services and products that “claim” to aid in losing weight/re-shaping the body.

However, reshaping the body, toning, and losing weight is not something that happens over night or in couple of weeks. I’m sure you’ve heard of so many people who have suddenly lost weight, or look better but these quick and easy alternatives and methods are usually not sustainable.

Personally, I do not believe in something called “A summer body”. Day by day, new trends emerge; we’ve been constantly bombarded, in the past couple of months, with the trend of big butts, for example, and more. These trends create pressure on many people and may lead to extreme measures being taken in order to feel accepted and “fit-in”.

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I haven’t been blogging or working out as much as before since the beginning of the year. It’s my last semester at University; I’m finishing up a double major in Economics and Media and Communications as well as working on a very exciting project for the blog that I can’t wait to reveal (I will be revealing clues soon, but full Revelation will be around May hopefully). My schedule includes long hours and breaks that are exhausting.. I won’t lie, I do feel weaker; I’ve stopped private boxing session (and it’s so frustrating); I’ve been doing Power Stretch class once a week as well as Pulse class, mainly weights; 2 to 3 times a week and from time to time some aerial yoga.

Being fit and healthy is not only about having abs! I don’t have abs; but I’m totally OK with that.

Be happy with your body, your curves, and most importantly LOVE YOURSELF. Don’t let the media make you question how beautiful you are!

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PS: All of these photos are taken in Mar Mikhael – Beirut 🙂

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LifeStyle

Hello 2017!

Another year has come to an end, and everyone is probably still thinking about their new year’s resolutions and setting a long list of things to do and goals to achieve.

Here’s some advice:

  • Don’t create such a long list that you know you won’t even fulfill.
  • Choose a couple of things that you want to improve in yourself as well as a few goals you want to achieve.
  • Let them be a total of 5 things, maximum. Also, don’t forget to include in that mini list something new that you want to try.

We sometimes tend to be very harsh on our self and therefore end up judging our self too much. So, we end up feeling frustrated and unease when we see our self not fulfilling the long list that we thought we would be able to immediately put into action.

If you are not fully convinced about the goal, just don’t add it to the list. Once your mind is willing to achieve a certain thing it will get to it, no matter what!

Here are a few of my year’s resolutions: (I choose the ones that first came to mind):

  • Starting my yoga journey: Since I already have several hobbies, it was hard for me to start yoga and add it to my schedule. I would always join a couple of yoga classes here and there but I was never consistent.
  • Go back to dancing: For the past year, I stopped dancing. I had been dancing salsa for the past 4 years. I was focusing more on fitness and boxing. I love dancing, it makes me feel happy and alive and I do miss dancing.
  • Get my personal training certificate: Since I started my fitness journey and my blog began to grow. I became super interested in the fitness field. Although I am not a fan of Biology and I haven’t taken a biology class since grade 9 (6-7 years ago); I am willing to challenge myself and know more about how the human body works and the benefits of exercise in the pursuit of becoming a certified personal trainer.

Since I graduate in 2017, I decided to keep my list short and concise. I have no idea what doors and opportunities life has prepared for me as I enter a new phase in my life.

I would like to end this post by sharing with you few things I have learned and will carry onto 2017:

  • Always challenge yourself; your body is stronger than you think! Don’t be scared of pushing yourself.
  • Try something new; break out of the routine and do something you’ve always wanted to try or something you’re just curious to know more about:I tried aerial yoga in august and fell in love with it from day one; I also tried pole dancing a few weeks also and it was so much fun, can’t wait to make some time to start pole classes.
  • Last but not least, always make time for people you love!

I hope this year will be blessed and great for all of us! I’m ready to see what surprises and challenges life has prepared for us.

Persistence, perseverance and patience are the 3Ps that will guide you in your journey. Don;t forget to stay positive and don’t let anyone stop you for achieving your goals.

With love,

Christine 🙂

 

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LifeStyle

Eyes on Diabetes

Today, November 14, is World Diabetes Day.

Because someone I love has diabetes, I’ve joined efforts together with The National Diabetes organization (@dialeb) for the past 6 years as their youth coordinator to raise diabetes awareness and prevent its complications.

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My number is 96 , #Whatsyournumber? 

Dialeb was founded in 2011 by Dr. Jackie Maalouf and Mrs. Sylvie Issa. Dialeb’s main mission is to help those affected with diabetes, not only health wise but also on the moral level, creating support groups and spreading the awareness all over Lebanon.

In these 6 years, Dialeb has visited over 36 schools; around 40 universities (some universities are visited more than once); and over 50 municipalities across Lebanon.

We proudly announce that Dialeb will very soon be announced as an official member at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

According to the IDF, approximately 415 million people, worldwide are affected with diabetes. This is actually quite a large number.

Many studies have shown that lifestyle changes can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and other diseases. General recommendations include:

  • Regular sleeping patterns
  • Eating healthy and moderately
  • Exercising regularly
  • Qutiting smoking

Finally, I would like you to join me on Saturday at Hilton Beirut for Dialeb’s 6th annual fundraising gala dinner. It is the only event of the year that helps us raise funds for the NGO. Get your tickets by contacting me or by contacting the office at + 961 1 88 88 74 or by email to events@dialeb.org

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Don’t forget to follow Dialeb on Instagram and Facebook for daily nutritional and health tips 🙂

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LifeStyle

“I don’t diet, I eat according to my goals”

 

One of the most talked about subjects among women is weight loss.

When I was younger I actually believed many of the advertisements concerning weight loss. Media keeps creating and showing us an unrealistic image of what a female body should look like; making many of women who don’t fit this image, feel insecure and unhappy with their bodies.

In an attempt to reduce my weight, I have fallen victim of the fad diet a few times. I’ve tried the Kellogg’s Special K challenge where you eat a small bowl of milk and cereal for breakfast and dinner for a period of 1 week or 10 days. I did end up losing 1-2 kilos, however, as soon as I stopped it, I would gain it back and I’m not going to stay stuffing myself with milk and cereal forever!

Like me, many people try all these types of so called “diets” that most of the times are very unhealthy and destroy your body. Whether it is an all fruits diet, cabbage soup diet, drinking vinegar and so many other unrealistic ideas, they are unsustainable and absurd options for immediate weight loss.

The problem with these fad diets is that they lead to immediate but temporary results. What is the point of losing a certain amount of weight in such a short period if as soon as you go back to your normal routine you will gain it back?

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The body needs carbs, proteins, and nutrients in order to function properly. I’ve discovered that in order to achieve the body of my choice, a balanced diet is what is needed. And by diet I mean a lifestyle and not a temporary diet. As I’ve previously mentioned, I lost close to 7 kilos in a period of 3 months simply by eating healthier, cutting down some carbs, eating whole grain instead of white starch, and cutting down on fried foods and junk food in general. I always mention that French fries are my weakness but that doesn’t mean that I don’t eat them, I just do it in moderation, no more than once a week, and in controlled portions. You will find that with time, as you stop eating certain fatty or sugary foods and replace them with clean, leaner options, you’re body will no longer crave them as much.

My way of living is quite simple; I don’t deny myself from eating anything. I do allow myself to “cheat” and indulge in some of my favorite foods, but not all the time! I try to follow a simple 80-20 rule: eat 80 percent clean and 20 percent other foods.

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LifeStyle

I don’t want to be SKINNY!

I want to be HEALTHY and HAPPY!

Arab women have always been known for having the beautiful curvy body with focus on the thighs.  However, mainstream media have continuously carved the image of females as being tall, extremely thin, having the tiniest waist line, long legs and perfect skin and hair – changing the perception of the “ideal woman look”. Seeing the perception of women change makes me so sad.

Many people suffer and aim to become this so called “living Barbie”. We live in a world where many people do not appreciate themselves and the lives they live. Many eating disorders have emerged in the pursuit of reaching this unrealistic image that DOES NOT EXIST. But is media purely the one to blame? Definitely not! Media has a great impact in one’s life but personality, attitude, and self confidence are what define you. With the advancement of technology several editing programs such as Photoshop which have excellent features for photography and graphic designers also have the power to make someone look skinnier and flawless.

The aim is not to have a perfect body. I don’t work out to lose weight; I work out to feel healthy, strong, and lean.

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Aiming for perfection is aiming for something unreal. We all have flaws and learning to embrace them and be comfortable with them is the challenge. I have some stretch marks and a few traces of cellulite on my thighs but these imperfections are what make me human. Every human being is beautiful in his/her way and the most beautiful part is how they express their love to their self in front of the world.

When I look around me, I see how blessed I am to have such a beautiful family by my side and most importantly for having good health. Be thankful for what you have, life is a surprising game that can change when we least expect it to. Eat healthy, exercise and be the best version of yourself.

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LifeStyle

Reviving an Old Habit: Coloring

Colors bring life, or at least to me, they do!
Summer and vibrant colors are my favorite, I actually feel depressed when it’s not sunny.
Anyways back to the main point, I have always been a fan of coloring however, as I grew older and started spending less time at home, my coloring habits started decreasing.

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Although I took a few art classes in school, I never learned how to draw or properly color using paint or water colors. Therefore, this still remains an ambition I hope to achieve one day.

Today, adult coloring has become increasingly popular.

Few months back, my best friend Gaelle told me about this little bar she went to in Tabaris that offers you coloring pencils, markers and different coloring sheets. I loved the idea, so we decided to go to Joon on the Moon on a rainy Sunday. What better than sitting in a cozy little place with your best friend, coloring and listening to the sound of the rain pouring.

They say that colors reflect your mood, and here is my first painting, the one I colored at Joon on the moon where the colors show my happy mood.

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When it comes to coloring supplies, Sharpie is what I use. Since childhood they have been my all time favorite markers. I remember buying their jumbo multicolored pack from Costco around 4 years ago and have not used them much. What’s nice about this brand is that as soon as I used them, this year, it felt as if I was opening them for the first time. They were moist and not dry, not one bit!

According to research, it has been proven that coloring releases stress, relaxes your body and soul, and boosts your mood. While I was coloring, I was unconsciously more than consciously solely focusing on the drawing, the colors I wanted to use, how I wanted to color… So you end up zoning out of the world and find yourself in a peaceful little place.

Ever since that day, I printed few mandalas from Google and started coloring during my free time or even at times when I was down.

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Owl Mandala image found on Google, I absolutely enjoyed coloring this image!

I attended another coloring event held at minus 1 where I decided to upgrade and paint the wooden, bigger sized, Mandala (supplied by Aryan Art Collectors) shown below.

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Adult wooden Mandala

If you haven’t tried coloring, it’s never too late to try! It will help you remember the child in you. Self reflection and relaxation are key elements for a happy and healthy soul. If you share the same hobby, feel free to share a picture in the comment below 🙂