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.


El-Tanein Diet Week #2


Week #2 of El-Tanein Diet was a disaster. Fitness level was pathetic, my Fitbit was dead, and the coastal feasting was at an all-time high. For being a fitness series, this post is loaded with food. That means that Week #3 is going to have to make up for it. BRING IT.

Bi-weekly weigh-in: 0. No change. Better than gaining, I guess.
Next weigh-in will be at the end of Week #4.

Workout Tally

1 Hike
1 Taebo

That’s ONE class along with the outdoor activity. Very, very poor performance this week due to various events and commitments (wedding season, after all). However, it has shown me that I can’t rely on late afternoon classes anymore. I’m going to have to start waking up early for morning classes, doing some random 5K runs, and hoping that the electricity at home will support my treadmill days for when I don’t make it to the gym or the track.

Outdoor Activity


Unlike last week, this category is this week’s peak when it comes to getting the blood pumping. Some friends and I decided to go hiking by Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River). We managed to GPS through a mountain and ask our way to the top until we ended up at a small church. There, you can leave the cars parked and take the “Lake Trail” of Jabal Moussa which leads to the Chouwen lake of the Yahchouch Valley.

Turns out the road up there is a lot easier than what Google Maps advised. If you’re coming from Beirut, continue on after Tabarja and take the right exit (the same one that leads to Okaibeh) under the bridge after Beit el Kataeb. Stay on the main road inward and there will be a left turn across from a gas station. It’s straight up after that till you get to the church. Worst case, stop and ask how to get to Chouwen. More info on hiking in Lebanon can be found here.

Fitbit Flex

This wearable went from being great to being an inconvenience very quickly. No further comment.

Cheat Meal

Thursday lunch at Classic Burger Joint in Hamra
A Classic Cheese with fries & coleslaw.


A Nutella chocolate chip cookie cupcake from Gustav I got as a thank-you for being an expat tour guide. What a tough job.


Other Highlights


Having Grouper Fish (Likos) 3x this Week: Along with sushi as well, I feel I’ve become a human aquarium at this point. I’ve come a long way for someone who never liked seafood. I recommend O&C Fish Market for an affordable and fresh fish lunch. If you want some amazing octopus, make the drive out to Jammal in Batroun for a scrumptious lunch IN the water.


Finally going to a beach in Tyre: The water was the perfect temperature for a hot day and, luckily, there were no jellyfish, just some weird seaweed-like slug bugs. I still prefer Batroun’s beaches but it was a nice change from the rocky shores. There are still parts of Anfeh and Chekka that I’ve got to see before September!


Cards Against Humanity Nights: I’ve come to realize that if I keep attending this weekly gathering at my friend’s place, I will either have to count it as my cheat meal or duct tape my mouth shut. It’s quite the challenge to resist homemade rosé sangria and nachos.

Workout Track of the Week

I cannot understand why a megamix of Michael Jackson hits was the soundtrack for taebo this week but it was, at various tempos. Not that MJ isn’t perfect for basically anything, but I had to focus on the taebo moves instead of breaking out into dance. You can’t play this and expect me not to want to boogie instead of punch. Too many repressed shimmies and pelvic thrusts.

Cheese of the Week

While the country spent the last 6 days rolling in its own woebegone waste, it was a good week of seeing the beauty of our country’s beaches and natural greenery. You rarely get the chance to appreciate the outdoors and it made the environmental issue even more pressing after seeing what was at stake. 

All I know is, after this marathon of seafood and celebrations, this last week of July is going to be a killer. Take it away, work it kitty.