El-Tanein Diet Week #7

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This is going to be a short one because I’ve got to get to bed. I’m joining the workforce again tomorrow and I need to get my sleeping patterns back on track. Also, I hardly moved during week 7 so there isn’t much to report.

I can feel the momentum slipping away from meeeeeee. Week 8’s mission is to create a fitness plan for Barcelona. I don’t want to spend my evenings working out so I’ll have to see if mornings are something I will finally stick to…or come up with a better solution. I can always resort to DVD programs if gyms aren’t in the cards? Ew.

Workout Tally

Walking around Barcelona for 6 hours

I’m not kidding. That was it. I spent the 6 days prior seeing people, hanging out, and – as lame as it sounds – saying goodbye to Beirut. It also felt like it took me 4 years to pack. Even with that, it took a while for my brain to catch up with what was happening while I walked around Plaça Catalunya. I still can’t believe I’m here.

Outdoor Activity

I’d say my stroll to and through Parc de la Cuitadella would have to be the outdoor activity (and only activity) for this week. Yes, one day in Barcelona has taken over every category.

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Fitbit Flex

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That one afternoon in Barcelona came to a total of 17K steps. I see that this pedestrian-friendly city will be keeping my totals high. Even with the internship about to start, I think my numbers will be higher than in Beirut since I won’t be relying on a car to get around. I at least hope that is the case because I have yet to find out if I can afford the gym nearby.

Best Meal of the Week

A friend of mine had been raving about the double cheeseburger at Urbanista for about 6 months now. We finally decided to make a plan out of it since we’re both trying to make healthier meal choices.

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Much like the Souks’ The Met, Urbanista is not a restaurant you’d go to when you’re craving a meaty burger but they both have pretty good ones. Urba’s double is a mean burger but I recommend you share it with someone. It’s heavy and very filling; it’s a cheese overdose. You’ll want to finish it but it’s probably best if you don’t. Don’t ruin a good thing. Also, have it when you’re ravenous. If you’re in a “meh, I could eat” mood, you’ll be wasting the meal.

Other Highlights

Lost 4kgs: I know I said I wouldn’t focus on what the scale says but I couldn’t help checking while weighing my suitcase before the flight. Considering I was a sloth up until Sunday, I found this to be very perplexing. My doctor friends say it’s because my basal metabolism has changed after the sustained activity. Keyword here is sustained. The challenge now is figuring out how to do that in a new city.

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Another lunch at Jammal: I had to say adios to Batroun. We grew so close this summer. Ixsir rosé, octopus, and shrimp rolls with a gorgeous view and company. It was the right way to remember my country.

Workout Track of the Week

 

I don’t know what it means but it’s provocative and it gets the people going.

Cheese of the Week

Lufthansa Business Class: I don’t know if I got upgraded or my original ticket was Business Class to begin with (highly doubtful because cha-ching) but there I was. And then I fell asleep during the meal distribution. You win some, you lose some. I got the breakfast on the next flight though! A cheesy vegan nightmare.

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Not photographed: croissant and fresh bread. They were good, I swear. I’ve come to see that these El-Tanein posts are looking more about food than about fitness. I have no interest in becoming a food blogger but fitness has A LOT to do with what you put in your body. And food is more photogenic than my sweaty self at the gym.

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El-Tanein Diet Week #3

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Week #3 has me feeling like less of a fitness fraud after last week’s debauchery. It’s gotten to the point where having a weekend without gym-time or activity just feels wrong. I can’t go two days without getting workout drenched, it’s an endorphin addiction.

Workout Tally

2 Boot Camp
2 Body Attack
1 5K Run
1 Taebo

5 classes and a run! Nothing like a bumpy week to make you move your bum during the one that follows. The trick is keeping the momentum going and not eating the entire ocean like week #2. The hardest side-effect that accompanies this endorphin addiction is constant hunger mode. This week, I’ve learned that with a lot of activity comes a lot of appetite so self-control becomes more important than ever and that’s something I’ve got to work on.

Outdoor Activity

I decided to go for a 5K interval run on the AUB track which would’ve been a fine idea on a regular day…in February. Of course, I went at 3:30pm when it 36ºC in July. In all fairness, it is not the 40s and 50s of the GCC but it can feel quite damp when you have to do 15 laps by the sea. Running around sunset would be a better idea but I doubt it’ll get that much cooler before November.

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• New goal to add to the original list: 5K run in 35 min or less

Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit has returned! Well, almost. It recorded the entire week except for Monday. My highest count this week was on Friday thanks to 2 classes followed by Decks on the Beach. Since the parties run late and we were dancing past midnight, the dance-steps counted all the way into Saturday giving me 8K total for that day even though I spent most of it leading a sedentary life behind my computer screen. Looks like Decks is another cardio class. Win!

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I hope the Fitbit will be back to 100% next week.

Cheat Meal

Thursday dinner at Acoté, Mar Mikhael
Bab el Wad Merguez Sandwich with Fries

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I waited for this sandwich all week and, it seems, my expectations were set too high. It wasn’t as good as I remembered and I felt like I had been cheated out of my cheat meal. The whole point of having a cheat meal is anticipation and reward so when you miss the mark, your brain is shrieking, “WASTED CALORIES!” The aches and sore muscles of my 5K run were mad at me for ingesting calories that didn’t make me happy, just guilty. I started calculating how many classes I sacrificed for that sandwich. The fear of disappointment from a meal is actually causing anxiety – WHO AM I?

I should’ve gone with my gut and had a slice of cake instead. Week #4 will be dessert-oriented.

Other Highlights

Arrival of the First Maktoub 3 Loubnan Postcards: I returned from a few hours at the beach in Batroun to find two postcards in my mailbox. Now that’s a good Monday. Check them out up close here. If you’re Lebanese abroad and haven’t sent a postcard already, get to it!

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Workout Track of the Week


I didn’t have my iPhone playlist updated for the 5K run so I used Soundcloud, where I also had not created a workout playlist. Thus, I just let it play remix upon remix of this track. It did the trick but my earphones didn’t do the bass justice. The track seemed appropriate given that he was in Beirut this week. My conscience wouldn’t let me go to his concert though.

Cheese of the Week

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Literal cheese: rkakat mi’leh ma’a basterma, or fried cheese rolls with Anatolian pastrami. Delicious. Just two of these suddenly made me feel better about having a dud of a cheat meal. Considering it was the only fatty item on the table, I’m reminded that our Lebanese mezza is a colorful variety of dishes that are healthy choices full of greens, legumes, and olive oil. It’s not hard to OD on mezza though; a dozen meat pies and a full plate of spicy potatoes with cilantro will still go straight to your thighs so it’s best to stay leafy. Our cuisine is a blessing, when you eat in moderation.

Time for week #4!
Warning: video below has profanity. OH SNAP.