Weekend Stay At Raouche Arjaan by Rotana

IMG_4986There is nothing better than packing your bags, getting a breath of fresh air, and just focusing on yourself for a couple days!

My mom and I started the month on a positive note with a relaxing weekend stay at the Raouche Arjaan Hotel.

Raouche Arjaan is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Beirut overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea and the raouche rocks (also known as the Pigeon Rocks). It is a short distance from Hamra, downtown Beirut, Beirut Souks, as well as the airport.

We were given the suite up on the 10th floor. It had a large space that included a living room, dining table, a small kitchen and a bedroom. The suite included two bathrooms, a guest bathroom near the entrance and a large bathroom inside the room that included both a bath tub and a standing shower.IMG_5181Depending on what you are looking for, you can choose from a wide category of rooms and apartments (You can check all the categories here)

We were welcomed with some refreshing rose water drinks as we checked in on Saturday around noon. The team was so kind to have prepared for us a nice journey to discover the hotel and spend some quality mother-daughter time away from home.

Upon our arrival to our suite we were surprised with the cutest gesture! Two personalized towels were placed on our bed with a letter. The letter explained the activities that were going to take place throughout the weekend.

We started off with a relaxing massage at the spa where we were surprised with some dark chocolate with nuts snack.

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Post – Massage happiness!
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Breathtaking view of the Raouche Rocks from our suite

We spent our afternoon on the roof enjoying the breathtaking view with some sunset drinks.  We then had a light international dinner under the stars with the October breeze. During dinner, they sent over a special selection of healthy snacks that included quinoa on toast, smoked salmon on toast, labne and more, as an appetizer.

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Enjoying the sunset with some wine and some healthy appetizers (Chef’s choice)

After dinner, it was very nice of them to surprise my mom with a birthday cake; knowing that her birthday was coming soon. (PS: The cake was simply DELICIOUS!)

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Quality time with my mommy

One of my favorite things about staying at a hotel is the breakfast buffet! For those of you who still don’t know, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

We woke up the next morning, had a small photoshoot in our beautiful suite, enjoyed the view from our balcony and although we were soo tempted to order room service, I was super excited about the breakfast buffet downstairs!

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The breakfast buffet had a rich variety of items that included the typical continental breakfast, items from the Lebanese breakfast (foul & hummus), a variety of eggs, some pastries, and a selection of fruits.

During breakfast, another letter was sent to us along with some pouched eggs (which are to be ordered a la carte) on whole wheat bread with a side of veggies.

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In house guests as well as the public can enjoy the breakfast buffet everyday starting 6:30 am till 11:00 am for $22/person.

After a few hours we passed by the gym for a bit,

and then enjoyed the rest of the day taking advantage of the sunny weather and tanning by the pool on the roof.

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Several cute letters were sent to us throughout the day. Every time I went to a different location of the hotel, I was anxiously waiting to see the next surprise.

Before our checkout, the team had booked us an appointment at the hairdresser to finish our pampering weekend on a good note!

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All the cute letters I received from the Rotana Team throughout the weekend !

Thank you Rotana for the superbe hospitality and for hosting my mom and I. We can’t wait to be back!

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Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more insights into my daily life!

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Online Grocery Shopping with Spinneys

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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!

EMS workout with Voltfit

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I love trying new things! New year’s eve is right around the corner, have you started thinking about your new year’s resolutions? I’ll be telling you more about my long list and another blog post, soon 🙂

So, I’ve recently tried out a relatively new  type of workout called EMS. After trying 2 sessions of EMS and interviewing Elie, Owner of Voltfit, in order to know more about how the workout works; I am sharing with you my experience below:

EMS or Electrical Muscle Stimulation is a type of workout that involves the transmission of electrical impulses, in the form of electrodes, directly to the muscle.

For those of you who claim to not have time to work out, I have found a solution for you. Shut the excuses away and say “Yes I can make time for myself and my body!” The EMS workout is ONLY a 20 minutes workout so I’m sure you can make time for 20 minutes 😉

The EMS workout is thus equivalent to about 3-4 hours of regular gym training because you are using almost all (95%) your fiber muscles at the same time.  Around 440 contractions are made in 20 min!

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At first, I did not know what to expect, I had not tried anything of this sort before. The electrodes feel like vibrations across your body. In order to feel the vibrations properly, you are advised to wear the special leggings and top that they provide to you. The machine is then attached to a vest that you wear on top of the top in order for the electrodes to flow.

So, how does it work? The machine is made up of 3 currents:

Each current has a specific frequency, intensity, and period.

  • Current for fat loss:

Continuous current

Fast Frequency

Lower Intensity

Involves Cardio

  • Intermittent Current:

4 seconds on and 4 seconds off

Mainly used for toning, shaping and muscle building

  • Relaxation/ Recovery Current:

Fast intermittent (the impulse comes and goes)

Throughout your 20 min workout, all the 3 different currents are being used (not at the same time).

According to Elie, 2 EMS workouts per week along with some regular PT sessions is recommended.

So, are you ready to get shocked?

Book your first FREE session now by contacting Voltfit at +961 76 109 409 and check out their website for any additional information: www.voltfit.com

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Post EMS workout selfie with Elie, Owner & Trainer at Voltfit

Strawberry Blossom Smoothie Bowl Recipe

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Here it is, my second smoothie bowl recipe. It will only take up to 10 min of preparations!

According to Best Health Magazine, strawberries help boost your immunity, promote eye health, is rich in antioxidant properties, reduce inflammation and more.
Ingredients needed:
8-10 small strawberries
1/2 cup of almonds or walnuts or any other nut of your choice
1/2 mango
1 small banana
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tea spoon of raw cacao powder or chocolate protein powder (optional)

Procedure: [The quantity used creates two small smoothie bowls]

Add ½ a cup of nuts of your choice into the blender;  almonds are my personal favorite. Peel and cut 1 mango into pieces and add 1/2 of it. Add a small banana. Add the strawberries. Pour in ½ a cup of almond milk or any type of milk. Finally add a pinch of spices of your choice such as cinnamon, raw cocoa powder, or even some protein powder. Blend all together for a few minutes until smooth.
Once smooth, pour into a cup or bowl and add toppings. I usually like the toppings to be the ingredients used within the smoothie. So in this case, I topped my smoothie bowl with mango slices, banana, raw cocoa powder, and I added some oatmeal.
If you like your smoothie on the go and not in a bowl, then add a little more milk to make it smoother and blend for a little longer.
Sahtein!!
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Eyes on Diabetes

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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.

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 🙂

My 2 Day Detox Experience with Succo

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For all of you wondering what a detox is and why I decided to try it out myself, this post is dedicated to you! I warn you this post is going to be long because I will be sharing with you my full detox experience (during and post).

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@beirutfitness) and Snapchat (Christinem961) then you probably know that I just finished my first detox cleanse in collaboration with Succo Beirut. For the past 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) I’ve been living on juices and water; NO food. I’m sure you guys know how much I love food; I usually plan my days around food, what time are we going to eat, where are we going to eat, what to eat…

As I’ve mentioned earlier on some social media platforms, I’ve never done any type of detox cleanse before, so I decided to give it a try and allow my digestive system to have a break. I only wanted to do one day because I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to stay without food, but the team at Succo kept motivating me and assuring me that I would be able to complete more than a one day detox plan.

Therefore, together with Succo, we chose the Beginner package for me to try. I was told to eat light and have no alcohol, one day prior to the detox. I was actually very worried about this detox, especially because it’s something new; I didn’t know what to expect!

According to SuccoBeirut, “our bodies are constantly bombarded with toxins which can overwhelm our natural coping mechanisms,” and the detox cleanse allows us to give it a break and get back on track. The one day cleanse consists of 6 cold pressed juices. I woke up on Monday, drank water and went to Succo,on my way to university, to pick up my juices. It was one of the few times I left the house without having breakfast (P.S. breakfasts are one of my favorite meals!). Here’s a list of the juices and what each was made up of.

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Green 3

Juice #1 – Cacao Almond Mylk: Almond milk, dates, cacao and chia seeds

Juice #2 – Carrot Cleanse: Carrot, apple, lemon, and ginger

Juice #3 – Green 3: Apple, cucumber, spinach, lemon, broccoli, and ginger

Juice #4 – Beet water: Pineapple, apple, beetroot, lemon, and filtered water

Juice #5 – Green 2: Pineapple, cucumber, spinach, kale, broccoli, lime, and celery

Juice #6 – Cinnamon Almond Mylk: Almond milk, dates, cinnamon, and chia seeds

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Carrot Cleanse

Overall the juices tasted sweet, my favorites were the Carrot Cleanse, Green 3, and Beet water juices.

Throughout the 2 detox days I did not work out, since I was only living on around 950 calories I already felt tired and drowsy,so exercising was not a good idea.

The first morning I felt extremely hungry, my stomach was used to having a good healthy breakfast. I had a mild headache, however within a few hours I got used to the feeling. In the afternoon, I regained some of my energy and felt better. The urge to eat had gone away but what I missed was chewing. I felt the detox to be more of a psychological test that involved patience and will power. I am having all the nutrients I need so I’m not supposed to be hungry; it was just the idea of not eating solid food that kept roaming around in my head. As the first day finished, I felt better than I expected so I spoke to Succo team and decided to do a second day. Surprisingly, I felt even better; I did not have my full energy back but my body had adjusted to this change. I also drank lots of water along with the juices and I’ve never visited the restroom this many times in just 3 days 😛

I was so happy and proud of myself for being able to withstand the smell of food and not cheat throughout the detox. However, I really did not want to do the 3rd day. On Wednesday I had decided to eat, and have the juices as healthy snacks. I have been regaining my energy and eating slowly in order to get my digestive system back working!

I assure you it wasn’t easy, it was a challenge for me. If you are looking to give your digestive system a break, give it a try!

It is important to keep in mind that each body is different and you might experience other side effects during a detox! Also, remember to always check with your doctor if you are taking prescribed medicine or you have any medical condition before undergoing a detox.

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Mango Sunrise Smoothie – Recipe

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I’ve always seen smoothie bowls all over my Instagram home page and although I knew that they are super easy to make, I never seemed to take the initiative and try making my own smoothie mixes.

So here it is my Mango Sunrise Smoothie, it’s a delicious mix that only takes up to 10 minutes of preparation.

Ingredients needed:

½ cup of almonds

1 mango

1 small banana

½ small avocado

½ cup of almond milk

1 tea spoon of raw cocoa powder

Procedure:

[The quantity used creates two small smoothie bowls]

Add ½ a cup of nuts of your choice into the blender (you can mix two types of nuts such as walnuts and almonds); I chose almonds for this smoothie. Peel and cut 1 mango into pieces. Add a small banana. Peel an avocado and add half of it into the blender. Pour in ½ a cup of almond milk or any type of milk that you happen to have at home. Finally add a pinch of spices of your choice such as cinnamon or raw cocoa powder. Blend all together for a few minutes until smooth. (If the smoothie happens to not be very cold, add a few ice cubes into the blender and blend until the ice cubes are crushed). Once smooth, pour into a cup or bowl and add toppings. If you’re in a hurry then pour into a cup and drink it on the go. But if you are feeling creative, pour it into a smoothie bowl and decorate the top with toppings. I usually like the toppings to be the ingredients used within the smoothie. So in this case, I topped my smoothie bowl with avocado slices, mango pieces, banana, and raw cocoa powder.

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Stay tuned for some more smoothie recipes soon!

PS: don’t be scared of experimenting and trying to make your own smoothie recipes (I suggest using not more than 2-3 types of fruits).