El-Tanein Diet Week #39, #40, and #41


Week #39 was spent at Biel because I was on trade show duty for Wesley’s, the family biz. Although it was a successful business experience, it was horrible for ETD. Being in a hospitality industry atmosphere surrounded by food for 4 days straight does not a fit person make. Let’s skip that week and FFWD to weeks 40 & 41 where I got back on track…in terms of exercise.

Workout Tally

– (4) NRC runs
– Iron Core, 45min elliptical, 20min bike
– BodyPump, 30min elliptical
– BodyAttack, 30min elliptical
– Iron Core, 30min elliptical
– BodyPump, 30min elliptical

Totals out at 4 runs and 5 classes for 2 weeks. I’m working on an alternating schedule of classes and NRC runs with a weekend activity in between. The only downside so far is getting my food intake down now that I’m attempting to morph into a gymrat.

Outdoor Activity

Spending Nike runs all over Downtown Beirut and Mar Mikhael hasn’t been enough on the weeks when we don’t have out-of-city excursions. Sure, they count but I need more nature every week. MUST GET TO THE HORSH.

Nike+ App

I beat my best 5K, 1 mile, and 1K time in these two weeks. All records were thanks to my NRC crew’s constant encouragement. My average running pace has also been going down (-14 seconds from last month) steadily along with my average 5K time. Although you can’t tell from looking at me, it seems my body’s endurance is improving.

Best Meal of the Week(s)

A sushi burrito at Horeca and one too many Smoking Buns, a pricey lunch at é cafe in Sursock, and a BBQ extravaganza on a sunny Sunday would be my top 3 for this category. The sushi burrito, while I always love me some spicy salmon, is like eating a giant California roll. The pricey lunch was satisfying and refreshing but I wouldn’t go back unless my parents were footing the bill. Hi dad. Call me simple but I’d choose BBQ any day.

Other Highlights

Missed out on meeting Chirine Njeim with NRC:
 Due to Horeca duty, I missed out on meeting our star athlete/Olympian, Chirine Njeim, the first Lebanese person to qualify for the Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

Discovered Fayrouz is my sedative: I haven’t really listened to Fayrouz since my high school days when our driver used to play her every morning when we were still half asleep on the way up to Ain Saade. Maybe that’s why she soothes me, it reminds me of simpler times: IB stress and sweatpants.


From Smoking Buns to Protein Bars: After Horeca’s debauchery, I shifted to eating Pro Bars and obsessing about calories & carbs. I’ve become one of those people who’s scared of tortilla chip bags. They follow me home.

Workout Track(s) of the Week(s)

 Multiple tracks of multiple genres have been on repeat these last few weeks. These combined with Fayrouz = my taste in music makes no sense whatsoever.
Conor Maynard’s cover isn’t as good as Drake’s original when it comes to something to get your butt moving but they’re both addictive.

Cheese of the Week(s)

Click here.



We’re Not Braindead, We’re Heartbroken

I have written countless posts about my sentiments on the topic of bashing or supporting our country and its self-destructive behavior. If you want another dose, it’s all summed up in this particular post from last June. Upon reading some other old posts of mine, I realized that I’ve also written a lot about the internal battle that the Lebanese youth face, the frustration we experience when returning from a visit to another city, and the decision to stay being about more than you alone. As I go back into the archives, I see that Bambi’s Soapbox is more of a diary than a soapbox because it’s all feels, most of which haven’t changed – heck, they haven’t shifted a millimeter.

I’m trying, once again, to formulate the argument for staying but I can’t find the cinder blocks that will support such a weight. I am here for my family and the enterprise that we are building together but I want to feel like I haven’t made this ridiculous tradeoff by choosing Beirut one more time. It’s my city but am I its child?

When the Ministry of Tourism came out with the latest video of a beautiful Lebanon, a friend of mine shared it on Facebook and appropriately added, “When will we deserve you?” This was what came to mind while spending last Sunday morning in the Bekaa. With all that natural wonder, you don’t know whether to be proud that exists or disgraced that it’s being thrown away.

Holding up a mirror to someone who’s chopped off their hair while telling them, “it’s bad but it’ll grow back” is taking a situation, admitting it’s a disaster, and presenting how it will be fixed. This is how I (and others) try to write about the status quo without defecating all over an entire population. The options are black & white: you can complain, leave, or do something about it.

Beirut Madinati is a volunteer-based campaign that is presenting technocratic candidates for the Beirut Municipality elections in May. Once elected, these people will work for the people because they are OF the people: qualified citizens who have the know-how to address the countless issues on the table.

Even if you can’t vote in Beirut, the participation in such a movement could still create a butterfly effect. It may inspire the Lebanese as a whole, not just those in Beirut, to believe that we can be active members in pulling Lebanon out of the garbage-filled gutter. I understand reluctance to take action because of so many failed attempts in the past. Plus, a Municipality’s ability to create real change may not feel like enough but it’s a first step. If we fail, then nothing changes so where’s the risk in trying?

Our problem is simple: we’re not braindead, we’re heartbroken.
But Beirut is my city, isn’t it yours too?

El-Tanein Diet Week #38


One of the tips for having consistency in your diet & exercise plans is to “set rules and stick to them.” So, in the effort to have one main rule for each, my workout rule is “I won’t go 2 consecutive days without exercise” and my diet rule is “I will eat bread only during breakfast.” And you know, drink lots of H2O. I’ll be on duty for 4 days at the Horeca trade show for week #39 so following these rules will be difficult.

Workout Tally

– (3) NRC runs
– (2) 30 min elliptical

Outdoor Activity

The NRC crew hopped on the NRC bus and went for a Sunday morning run in Domaine de Taanayel, 230 hectares of agricultural terrain managed by Arc en Ciel. It’s a beautiful spot in the Bekaa Valley and it’s open to the public. If you’re ever looking to escape the city’s drudgery, this is a gorgeous getaway.

Nike+ App

I have yet to beat my new best-5K time but my overall pace has improved from when I first started running with NRC. In 4 months, I’ve shaved off 30 seconds on average and that’s without hardcore training. I imagine, if I stick to my regular gym routine and NRC runs, I can keep the momentum going – I hope.

Best Meal of the Week


Our morning breakfast at Khan el Maksoud, part of Arc en Ciel’s ecolodge, can take this title this week. Coffee, labneh, zeitoun, and eggs. A beautiful way to conclude our morning run around the lakes of Domaine de Taanayel.

Other Highlights

NRC gets you Nike Points: Recently, Nike decided to convert each NRC run you participate in into loyalty points. Each run gets you 20 points; 1000 points gets you $100 to spend at any Nike branch. In the end, it’s just another bonus to an already great initiative.


Women’s Day Present from Nike: I was out of town on March 8th but I got my Nike sports bra this week. I love getting free gear, and I have to say, Nike’s marketing methods have been really impressive. The NRC and NTC training sessions make participants feel like their campaigns aren’t just advertising, they’re living up to what they’re preaching. They’re helping us adopt a healthier lifestyle which makes you want to be loyal to the brand – that is, if you weren’t already.

Animals Lebanon: I passed by Animals Leb with a friend of mine. He was looking for a new feline friend and I was looking for feline affection. So many kitties are in need of homes but there are a lot that are content in their Hamra haven. If you’re interested in adding a member to your family though, visit the shelter and get acquainted.

Workout Track of the Week

Cheese of the Week

How’s that for running?