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Top Five Healthy Snacks

Many of you lead a very active lifestyle and struggle to eat healthy snacks while you are out and about. One ...


How to Exercise at Home

Hello all! Many of you have emailed me asking for more ideas on how to exercise at home. Some of you have bus ...


The Start Living Right Community

Hello all!   I hope the first month of 2016 has been treating you well! I’m sure many of you a ...

Older Posts
  • Fitness Myths Busted

    by – When you are stressed you usually go for emotional eating. The problem is that junk food will make you feel worse than you already do Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian We’ve all heard too many quick fixes to getting fit, or we believe spending hours at the gym are going to make us look like Victoria’s Secret Models, or cutting out certain things from our diet will finally be the way of losing our love handles, but the truth is you’ve probably been fed a load of lies, and fitness isn’t as simple as that. So, I’m about to bust some fitness myths you’ve probably heard over the years! Myth: Crunches are the key to flat abs Crunches are probably the most well-known abdominal exercise around, but doing crunches is not actually the best way to slim your tummy area, since they don't actually burn off a lot of calories, and thus will not really help in losing fat. Moves involving your shoulders and butt more effectively engage your entire core, so next time you want to work on your “Abs” do some planks and bridges. Myth: If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard Did you sweat more than usual during your regular afternoon run? Well, I’m sorry to say that it doesn't mean you necessarily burnt any more calories than usual. In actually depends on the focus of your workout, you may bench press a ton ( figure of speech) while taking a lot of breaks in between, and not seat a lot, but you sure as well would be working hard. So, before your start agonizing about your sweating, focus on whether endurance or strength is the focus of your training. Myth: Cardio till you’re skinny People think that running and cardio are the end all be all of losing weight and fitness. However, if you want a svelter physique, focused weight training is a more effective way to lose weight than investing hours on the treadmill. Also, interval and weight training is a better way to reduce fat (try our “Start Tabata” and “ Start Pumping” classes”. Myth: Lift weights? No, I’ll get bulky! Ladies, this one is particularly for you. No, lifting weight will NOT suddenly make you look like the hulk. Women typically have less muscle tissue and produce lower levels of testosterone than men, meaning we're less physiologically prone to becoming super muscular. Myth: I need my Gatorade! While sports drink commercials will have you believe that you absolutely need them after a workout, old school water, and a high-protein snack will do the trick. Electrolyte-pumped sports drinks are really only necessary (and not even always) for gym sessions or intense cardio workouts that last more than an hour. The extra sugar in sports drinks can hinder the fat-burning process, so they should be reserved for those times when they're truly necessary. We’ll be busting some more fitness myths in another article, so stay tuned!
  • Fitness Accomplishments by Lebanese athletes

    by – When you are stressed you usually go for emotional eating. The problem is that junk food will make you feel worse than you already do Lebanese Fitness Accomplishments Lebanon is often in the news for bad and possibly dangerous reasons, or for reasons highlighting its extravagant nightlife, which is quite a juxtaposition, however, I want to bring to the spotlight the sports accomplishments rising from Lebanon. You probably don’t know the names of most of these people, but that’s about to change. Samir Bannout (Body Builder) Let’s start with the original notorious fitness star from Lebanon, Samir Bannout. He was named "the Lion of Lebanon", Samir Bannout won the Mr. Olympia title in 1983. At that time, only six men had held this most prestigious title since the contest began in 1965. He has also ranked highly in Mr. Universe, Mr. International, Middleweight, and several Grand Prix events. I also think that mustache should have an award of its own. Maxime Chaya (Sportsman, Mountaineer and Explorer So, Maxime Chaya is what one might call a little extreme, an adrenaline junky, a guy who basically wants to get as close to death without dying as possible. On May 15, 2006, he was the first Lebanese to climb Mount Everest, completing the Seven Summits challenge. On December 28, 2007, he also became the first from the Middle East to reach the South Pole on foot from the Antarctic coast, after an unsupported and unassisted journey that lasted 47 days. Then, on April 25, 2009, he reached the North Pole on foot, all the way from Canada. I’m tired just typing this down, and he did all of this? Peter Mouracade (Mountaineer) Peter, a mountaineer and adventurer, founded “TEAM LEBANON” an all Lebanese team determined to climb the world’s 7 summits (the highest mountain on each continent) and raise awareness & funds for the Lebanese Red Cross. They have already successfully climbed 5 of the summits, (with Antarctica and Everest left in the sight line). You can watch his TEDx talk about his passions and adventures here. Maya Nassar (Fitness Model) Last but certainly not least, our very own Maya Nassar broke out into the fitness model scene in 2013, after failing to place in the Miami Pro European Championships, she returned the next year at the 2014 Pure Elite UK Championships endorsed by the Lebanese minister of sports becoming the first Lebanese athlete to be endorsed by the government in Lebanon to compete in a bodybuilding event outside of Lebanon., AND she won first place in the bikini babe category. She’s continued to participate in competitions, and she’s appeared on the covers of several fitness magazines in the Middle East. So, if you any fitness or athletic aspirations take these few examples from our homeland of Lebanon, and go pursue your dreams!    
  • Healthy Lebanese snacks

    by – When you are stressed you usually go for emotional eating. The problem is that junk food will make you feel worse than you already do The Healthiest Lebanese Snacks for Busy People The clock is ticking, you’re at work, probably doing some tedious paperwork of sorts, and all you actually want to be doing is eating a candy bar, a bag of chips, or pretty much anything to distract you from the task at hand, fitness be damned. Or, alternatively, you’re just hungry in between meals and want to much on something. Well, I’m here to tell you that snacking doesn’t have to be a bad thing, there are dozens of ways you can snack without putting on extra weight, or feeling “guilty”, I’ve prepared a list of healthy Lebanese themed snacks that can get you through the day and keep your idle hands busy, and your Fitness goals in check. Green soybeans Before the rise of “edamame” in hipster bars and restaurants, we would buy ‘Foul Akhdar Soya’ from men selling them on the streets in Lebanon, and eat them as snacks in the car or at home. This was actually quite a healthy practice as it’s a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, and iron, it’s also low in sodium and does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats. Spiced Chickpeas When you roast chickpeas in a hot oven, they become super crunchy. They're also a really good low-fat substitute for nuts when you’re craving something salty. Drizzle some olive oil, mix it with cumin and all spice, and you have a great snack ready to take to work with you. Hummus + Celery/Carrot Another way to use chickpeas is Hummus! I’ve made my love for hummus very public, it makes me love Lebanon more, and I will sing its praises forever, especially as a low calorie and filling snack, while paired with celery or carrot sticks instead of bread. Watermelon + Fetta Cheese I find this to be the most summery and refreshing snack, pairing the sweetness of the watermelon with the mild saltiness of feta cheese (or any other white cheese produced in Lebanon) just makes your mouth happy, and it’s also a very healthy alternative to salt & sweet snacks, like biscuits and chocolate, you get the same satisfaction but with the fraction of the calories. Raw Unsalted Cashews If all else fails, and you don’t have energy to prepare anything, just buy raw unsalted cashews, they taste great, and they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not to mention that they are packed with proteins, but you fitness minded people, be careful as these are still considered fatty nuts, you shouldn’t go overboard with them.    

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