My Weight Loss Journey: Episode 1

It’s been a minute since I stepped foot in a gym. I’ve taken the decision to relocate back to Beirut back in January, and April marked my last month in Dubai. Back then I was committed to indoor cycling, practically since October… The changes weren’t drastic, but yet again, depression, living alone, not having the time or energy to cook properly played a major part against me achieving my goal.

My goal which was not only to lose weight, but to tone. Finally, tone. I’ve been through this weight loss journey since the age of 21… Hustling, battling against it. Every. Single. Day.

On September 2012 I started dropping from 130Kgs (almost 290pounds) to 80Kgs. The diet was harsh but fast. But harsh. It was just what I needed for a confidence boost to go through my most critical “what-the-fuck-is-going-on-in-my-life” years. The twenties.

I had to graduate, get a real job, dress like a fucking “cool” guy. You know… Nothing out of the norms. I’ve never been anything but “normal” anyway.

It happened. I dropped those 50kgs. I looked fine. Fine enough to walk straight, look up and pretend like I have everything figured out. LOL! LOL at the fact that I thought this would last. Of course it didn’t. I moved to Dubai, and this is when weight gain caught back on track, like it never fucking left.

Anyway, this is not a novel, nor a depressed adult’s diary. I’m just laying down the thoughts that lead me to take F45 Challenge. It’s been a week. And MAAAAAAAAN do I feel good.

F45 Challenge is an 8-week fat loss program, designed to give life-changing results.

Phase 1, designed for 2 weeks goes like this:

The first phase of the 8-week Challenge focuses on bringing your diet back to basics. Here, you remove gluten, refined sugar, high fructose fruits, and temporarily, red meat, dairy and caffeine.

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Meals are packed with lean white meat, fish and plant-based proteins, fibrous vegetables, and gluten-free grains. But since my diet was previously high in caffeine, I was feeling fatigued all through these first two weeks as my body needed to adapt to its elimination, as well as the calorie deficit. On the upside, half-way through this phase I started noticing exciting changes as my body responded to the increase in high-intensity physical activity from the 6-times-a-week F45 sessions coupled with the challenge meal plans.

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The supportive F45 team has also assembled a pool of nutrition experts to develop the meal plans and recipes provided in this ecosystem to help lazy fucks like me achieve their goals. Which is what I’m currently on: 5 meals a day, 3 mains and 2 snacks.

The goal is to lose 15 kilos of fat and gain 4 kilos of muscles. A lengthy journey, but hell to the yes doable.

This was episode 1 of 4, see you next week for episode 2.

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Can Lebanon outlive our immigration?

I can’t adequately articulate the impact of the past three years and the effect they have had in my life. Aside from the fulfilling experience of living in a country as beautiful as its culture, I have to say that the most beautiful bit has been the people I’ve met.

Today, I’ve decided to move back to Lebanon.

One Way Ticket

The rusty, old-fashioned, fuck-all-people-mentality Lebanon. A country so “open-minded” and “liberal” yet at the same time so outdated and with nothing to give back.

You put your heart and hard-earned cash into a nation ruled by hungry thieves who could collectively feed Africa if they want to.

But let me tell you something you haven’t heard before, away from all the #LiveLove fantasies: Lebanon’s potential isn’t born in the womb of our parliament and an economic miracle won’t come from a beautifully directed ad campaign. It all comes from the firm believers, young entrepreneurs, concept creators, movers and shakers, and trilingual well-traveled youth like you and I.

They say Lebanon has potential. “If they legalize smokeables,” “if they give us metros and trains,” and so on and so forth … but to what end?

The 20-somethings are the ones who hold the weight of a paralyzed country on their backs. Just like the global youth are revolutionizing the world when it comes to the environment, gun violence, and corrupt governments, Lebanese youth with the same power and drive can make something out of their country with the help of nothing but their imagination.

So can Lebanon outlive our immigration?

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GAUCHO: Steak-World Royalty

The Dubai branch of Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho is tucked away in DIFC in a beautiful unflustered spot. Inside, everything is pristine.

This prestigious UK brand serves an exceptional quality of beef, excels at infusing traditional Argentinian style with cutting edge South American influences, in a stunning atmosphere for an ideal timeout amidst the frenzy of city life.

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Swiftly after arriving and being seated, “Zola” (probably the finest and most attentive waiter I’ve met in Dubai) arrives with a wooden board topped with slabs of uncooked ‘display’ steak, and delivers a podcast-worthy description of the different Argentinian cuts on offer.

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The steaks were dazzling: The Ancho Ribeye was flavoursome, delicately marbled throughout for superb, full-bodied flavor with the meat juices flowing readily over the plate at the press of a fork. The Churrasco De Lomo, meanwhile, was enviably tender, heavenly slathered in quantities of garlic and olive oil.

22. Iftar menu - ancho steakchurrasco de chorizo(spiral cut of sirloin) a la carte

One of my favorite steak sides on that night had to be the Humita Sateña. Gaucho puts their own unique twist on this classic dish, serving it in a corn husk with sweetcorn and mozzarella.

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Desserts, too, were outstanding; with the highlight being the Banana and Coconut Mess, garnished with a splodge of sticky meringues, was sweet and decadent.

With waiters like Zola frequently swooping in to top up wine and unmatched experience; Gaucho’s still and will forever be steak-world royalty.

To book your lunch, dinner or private function at Gaucho: +971 4 422 7898. Gate Village Building 5, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, UAE.

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Gordon Ramsay’s Twitter Version of Hell’s Kitchen: Roasting Edition

Gordon Ramsay: famous for his Hell’s Kitchen TV show and fiery comebacks that could roast you well-done. This chef is as brilliant at cooking as he is at trolling.

People of the internet have taken a liking to Ramsay ever since he graced us with his existence, and are constantly interested in his opinion towards the meals they prepare.

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He’s been focused on his TV shows as of late, which means he’s taken a break from roasting anyone’s failed attempt at cooking; However, he infamously burnt anyone and everyone who would tag him in hideous photos of meals in the past.

And here is a list of some of the burns from which you could draw inspiration.

Well, he’s blunt about his opinion, that’s for sure!

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Could you blame him for this comment? Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.46.15 AM.png

We hope they got to the hospital on timeScreen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.46.49 AM.png

RUN! Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.47.17 AM.png

Not sure the cat would even get close to this plate Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.47.52 AM.png

Is that a lasagna you would eat? Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.48.19 AM.png

Right to the point “WTF is that?” Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.48.46 AM.png

Yum, looks like cholesterol Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.49.17 AM.png

Future husband? Get him a cooking book maybe Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.50.18 AM.png

Looking for ice to apply to this sick burn Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.50.46 AM.png

A one-word burn Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.51.45 AM.png

Poor mate Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.52.39 AM.png

“Second hand profiteroles” Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 11.53.07 AM.png

Maybe love is stronger than the stomach Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 1.14.13 PM.png

Stop torturing your pets! Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 1.14.52 PM.png

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ZOMATO SCANDAL: A Lesson to Brands on How to Handle Crisis Management & Brand Sustainability

A couple days ago the world of Zomato (the food Empire) was shook by a video of a delivery executive in a Zomato t-shirt, carrying a Zomato delivery bag, eating food out of boxed orders and replacing each one after resealing them, back into the delivery bag. The video suggests that he consumed some of the food meant for delivery to users, on his way to the drop points.

The internet bombarded Zomato with furious comments after the video went viral in a few hours. An internet user wrote along with the video: ‘It’s really shocking how these reputed food delivery companies are functioning. People order food online expecting basic hygiene and this is how it is delivered? I am definitely not gonna encourage my kids to order food online, I suggest even you guys don’t!’

The uproar on social media led Zomato to release a statement, acknowledging the incident and calling it “a human error in judgment”.

Below is how the professionals at one of the world’s fastest-growing Delivery & Restaurant review app have responded:

“We want our users, restaurant partners and all stakeholders to know that –

1. We take these kinds of reports extremely seriously and upon thorough investigation, we’ve found that the video was shot in Madurai. The person in the video happened to be a delivery partner on our fleet. We have spoken to him at length – and while we understand that this was a human error in judgement, we have taken him off our platform.

2. We would like to iterate that given our multiple communication channels with users, who expect the highest standards from Zomato and highlight the smallest of deviations to us as soon as they receive their orders, this is highly unusual and a rare case.

3. Unfortunately, this also highlights a real possibility for tampering with the food on the way to delivery from a restaurant. We take this very seriously and will soon introduce tamper-proof tapes, and other precautionary measures to ensure we add an extra layer of safeguard against such behaviour. Additionally, we will educate our delivery fleet of over 1.5 lakh partners to highlight or escalate any such deviations to us, while also encouraging our users — the custodians of our platform — to highlight the smallest of anomalies to us.

4. And finally, our delivery partners are the face of our brand, and the heart of our success in growing to become the largest food delivery platform in the country. Our food delivery business has grown immensely over the last year on the back of our large delivery partner fleet that work very hard to ensure that Zomato translates to a high quality food experience. We thank them and the strong support and trust from our restaurant partners, consumers and investors.

Zomato maintains a zero tolerance policy for tampering of food. This particular incident, while unfortunate, only makes our commitment to fleet training, scheduling and process even stronger. We stand behind our extensive fleet who do the right thing across many hours of the day.

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MAMMA MIA! HERE THEY GO AGAIN!

MAMMA MIA! HERE THEY GO AGAIN!

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FREE WATCH: Voldemort | Origins of the Heir 2018 – HD

To put it in a nutshell this fan film is something that Warner Bros will regret not taking part of.

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With creative plot, class-A acting and dark atmospheres, this is a film every Potterhead will enjoy watching.

Telling the story of infamous Tom Riddles’ late years in Hogwarts, his time at Borgin and Burkes and beyond.

The story is consistent with the flashbacks of Tom Riddles past gathered by Dumbledore in the books and additionally there are some new, very interesting insights.

Enjoy the free watch below

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IS “FOODIE-ISM” A MILLENNIALS EPIDEMIC?

When and why did we start spending half of our income on truffle fries and avocado oil?

In the midst of planning my overdue summer vacation, I scroll down my contact list, hunting a few people I dare call “foodies”, in hopes of getting some recommendations of places where they dined and wined in Barcelona; luckily, the biblical list forms quickly.

Some of these people work in online marketing. They are, in the gastronomical realm, inhabitants. Their leisure time and shy unrestricted income, however, is devoted almost exclusively to food and restaurants.

Most of them will say “I’m not a foodie, I just eat what I like”. Yes, I know. You’re probably thinking this sounds exactly like when a hipster claims he’s not actually one. The cliché cracks them up.

But God knows how I feel when I hear the word foodie. I think Zomato, TripAdvisor and shit of the sort. I don’t want to be lumped in with Zomato though, the team here in Beirut are friends. Nonetheless, denying you’re a foodie is like shying away from the fact that even your phone’s screen saver is a close-up photo of a pile of “truffle crispy potato allumettes”.

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“For years, the word “Foodie” was used sparingly. A populist food critic might have been described as a “foodie.” A gustatory pleasure seeker with the time and money to invest in obscure cooking methods, niche coffee roasting techniques, and not-to-be-missed meals might have earned the distinction too. It wasn’t a compliment; it was just a descriptor. It was an unpretentious way to categorize a growing but still relatively small group of people. Over time, the word has undergone an all-too-familiar transformation, bubbling up to a point of ubiquity that has stripped the word of any semblance of meaning. On a good day — or bad, depending on how you look at it — most people would qualify as a “foodie” to someone. The net the word casts is just too wide.” – The Washington Post

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There is of course, people in today’s world to whom food is a solemn cultural quest. And yes, being an “epicurean” has unquestionably become an outlining fascination among Millennials. It’s not soccer or Xbox. It’s more like K-Pop. Just like the music of, say, PSY blasting off in a Parisian club, food is observed as a genuine choice for a pastime.

Food’s revolution from a boring hobby to today’s “sensation” has occurred extremely fast. The concurrent rise of Instagram and Snapchat deserves a share of the praise, but none of this would’ve happened without the popular uprising in fine dining. Typically, you’re either the type “I eat to live” or “live to eat”. Nowadays, you’re likely to add another category, the “I live to eat, and Instagram it” one.

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So is being a “Foodie”, a twenty-tens’ epidemic? Let me know what you think.

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How To “Wingardium Leviosa” Your Summer

Summer is meant to be appreciated. If you don’t relish the sun, outdoor excursions and everything else that comes with it, you’re literally doing yourself an injustice.

Below, I listed some of my favorite activities for the temperamental season (excluding everything that requires an Episkey spell).

Lake gawking.

Bring a 6-pack, some munchies and dive off a rental boat. If you’re into fishing, then do some fishing. This is really a good way to unwind, but leave your cigarettes pack at home; this one’s for clearing the throat too.

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Bnachii Lake, Zgharta, Lebanon – June 2016
Go camping.

Sleeping overnight at a friend’s while watching a Euro game, I do consider camping. The woods work as well. The point is to spend as much time alfresco as you possibly can.

Throw plenty of BBQs.

Invite your colleagues and friends. Invite your neighbors if they’re hot. Invite lots and lots of ladies (optional). Yeah I know it may take a little time to make dinner, but beer is best served chilled. Outdoor roasts are really just excuses to get together and get day-drunk, tbh.

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Casual Butterbeer gathering, disguised in the shape of a BBQ party.
Go hiking.

Hiking’s a subtle way to spend some time with the most important being you know: Yourself. It’s also a great combination of exercise and meditation for the health junkies reading this.

Outside reading.

Grab a good book and head to Horsh Beirut. Or to Urbanista (if you like to be seen at it). But if it’s a Coelho you’re on, stay home young child.

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My everyday crush, Luna.
Last but not least: People watching (I love this one)

Summertime is by far the finest time to people watch. Why? Well, because everybody is casually half naked. For that, the beach might be the answer.

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Mrs. McGonagall approves
Don’t let your summer pass you by in a haze of replays and Instagram stalking, it only comes once a year.

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