Uncategorized 0 comments on 5 Things To Do To Stay Fit in London (without joining a gym)

5 Things To Do To Stay Fit in London (without joining a gym)

If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last four years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes. Continue Reading “5 Things To Do To Stay Fit in London (without joining a gym)”

Uncategorized 0 comments on Himaya

Himaya

I’ve always admired people who make it a life purpose to help others, especially children. What we think only happens in movies is actually drawn from reality. Child abuse, be it physical or emotional, is a harsh part of reality. In a society governed by taboo, shame and guilt, it is even harder for kids to ask for help when abused by a parent.

Among the many NGOs we have here in Lebanon, I think that Himaya stands out. It might be because I am aware of their activities more than others’ or because I know a few people who work there, but I hold their cause close to my heart because it helps vulnerable children.

Children are truth and life. They are our hope that the future can be better. They hold the key to hard-to-find solutions in their bright minds full of creativity.

April is the month of child abuse prevention. I thought it would be great to highlight what Himaya does especially that foodies can help them make a change.

Their ongoing campaign this April is all about raising awareness and trying to erase the taboo. If you’ve noticed the “Ma tkhabe, khaber” billboards all over Lebanon and heard about their game on Virgin Radio, you must be aware of the efforts Himaya makes to spread the word.

Also, they have partnered up with Divvy for the #DVhimayaSlide challenge. Basically, people head to Divvy’s branch at The Village in Dbayeh, upload a video of them on their slide with the hashtag. For every video upload, Divvy will donate $1 to the cause Himaya strongly supports.

There are many other ways people can contribute in general. Mainly:
– You can volunteer with Himaya
– You can purchase Himaya products available on Lebelik
– You can attend their events
– You can sponsor the children of their Resilience Center through their Sponsor a Child Program
– You can donate through their website
– You can order the himaya items on the menus of their foodies4change partners; with every order of those items 1,000 LBP is donated to himaya
– You can spread the word, share their posts and just help them raise awareness
Himaya | Breadonbutter
There will never be enough words to praise the work people at Himaya do, but I hope I at least influenced some of you to spread the word!
Check their website www.himaya.org for all the details you might need to help!
Have a great positive Monday all! 🙂
Uncategorized 0 comments on The Benefits of Green Garlic

The Benefits of Green Garlic

Back in London last month, we discovered lots of new ingredients. Food markets are something to see in that city and we were in our own little paradise. When we went to Borough Market, Jean was in the lala land of fruits and vegetables. Among the amazing ingredients on display, was green garlic. We came out of there wishing we had this amazing selection back at home and daydreaming about the dishes we could cook.

We came back to Beirut our heads full of ideas and the willingness to make it happen. That’s when Jean went exploring the selection of fruits and vegetables our country offers and found green garlic!

Before that trip to London, I wasn’t aware of all the benefits of green garlic. So I did some research and it turns out it is full of virtues. It looks like spring onions as green garlic is a younger form of garlic that is collected before the cloves form and mature. I love the taste it gives to food and frankly, I’m starting to get addicted. So here are the most important benefits of green garlic:

  1.  It’s great for the health. It basically boosts your immune system by increasing defense mechanisms. It’s rich in iron and fights all kinds of infections and inflammations. It prevents heart disease and keeps cholesterol levels at their best.
  2. It’s full of flavor thus perfect for cooking. You can stir-fry it or easily use it raw in salads and other entrees. You can also crush it and make it into a paste, then use it in pasta sauces or even in soups.
  3. Its smell and taste are truly delicious – as opposed to normal garlic that can sometimes be heavy and annoying to the stomach.
  4. It’s easier to chop than normal garlic. You won’t have to think twice about adding garlic to your dish if you’re feeling lazy.
  5. It’s as good as ginger for weight loss. It helps with the reduction of body fat as it has a high fat-burning effect (combined with healthy eating and exercise of course – don’t go thinking an unhealthy diet full of garlic will make you slim down now 😉 ).

That’s about it! For now at least 🙂 Anything you might want to add?

 

Uncategorized 2 comments on What’s Your Coffee Routine?

What’s Your Coffee Routine?

Every year, approximately 400 billions cups of coffee are consumed, which makes it one (if not the one) of the most popular drinks in the whole world.

Other than being an important commodity, coffee is also the new target for those looking to develop a new hobby. I like to call them the bean-lovers – i.e. the people who love the smell of coffee so much they start to experiment with it. I’ve still to research and observe bean-lovers as they’ve only recently appeared on my radar.

I’m not a bean-lover yet but the truth is, coffee inspires me. Its smell fascinates me even more than its taste. It all starts with coffee for me – my day, my productivity or even any random activity. I mean, thank God for it. It makes me feel alive, safe, and at ease in my own little world. I even feel it understands where I’m coming from. All the time.

coffee routine | breadonbutter

So I noticed that I’ve been quite inconsistent in my choice of coffee lately. I jump from one brand to the next, one kind to the next and find myself wanting all kinds of coffee machines (even though we already have two at home). It got me thinking about my coffee routine (and yours). That’s when I came to the conclusion that coffee habits change according to 3 factors: time, place and most importantly, mood.

I have my coffee “moments”, depending on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling comfy and a bit hungry, a huge Nescafe with a bit of creamer is my go-to. In the morning, I press the filter coffee machine button and wait for our filter coffee to diffuse its morning smell. My favorite filter coffee currently is Café Younes’ Special Blend (oh my!). Nespresso or Turkish coffee, I reserve for social encounters (i.e. if everyone’s having it). Cappuccino and latte are a treat. I drink them either when I’m out having coffee with friends or on the go from any Starbucks.

coffee routine | breadonbutter coffee routine | breadonbutter

One of my favorite coffee ads is actually a Bollywood one of a cartoonist. Click on this link to watch it. I most certainly relate to this ad’s character.

coffee routine | breadonbutter

I’d love to know about your coffee routine! When do you have it? Which one do you prefer? Any favorite brand? 

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Uncategorized 1 comment on 5 Healthy Snacks That Get Me Through The Day

5 Healthy Snacks That Get Me Through The Day

There are two sides to the snacks story. One that says you should have three set meals a day and munch on nothing in between; and another that encourages small snacks in between meals to keep your metabolism busy. Naturally, I’m a fan of the latter. There’s nothing worse than not being able to satisfy your afternoon munchies or eleven o’clock “screw-this-I’m-having-lunch” envy. That’s why I keep these 5 healthy snacks handy at all times to get me through the day. So here goes:

healthy snacks | breadonbutter healthy snacks | breadonbutter

  1. A shiny Granny-Smith apple or a banana – these are the only two fruits I feel I can carry around wherever I go. I would love to snack on strawberries, oranges or clementines, but I keep them at home as I enjoy them more there than at work on in the car on my way to meetings
  2. 0% fat yogurt – I keep this snack for when it’s 6 o’clock and I still have to wait one workout and a shower until I have dinner. Trust me, this is the best snack you can have to curb that 6 o’clock appetite.
  3. A teaspoon of peanut butter – this is for when I’m craving for something salty. A single teaspoon of it keeps me full for at least 2 hours straight.
  4. Granola – Instead of helping myself to brown bread at breakfast or lunch, I swap it for a handful of granola when I need something to munch on. Jordan’s is my current favorite brand.
  5. Lindt Dark Sea Salt Chocolate – I keep a 10g square of this dark chocolate for the days when I’m desperate for a piece of chocolate. Just letting it melt in my mouth removes all the sweet cravings I might have.

 Note: Of course, I never have all 5 snacks on a same day.

Any other healthy snacks ideas? What are yours? 

healthy snacks | breadonbutter

 

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Uncategorized 0 comments on 3 unusual things to do on Valentine’s

3 unusual things to do on Valentine’s

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s. It actually always felt like pressure to go out and buy teddy bears and red piggy banks to give to my significant other. So when I learnt that Jean was a Valentine “hater” himself, I was delighted. Still, I respect the cute couples who celebrate their love on that day, so I’m presenting you today with 3 unusual and un-cheesy things to do on this big romantic weekend.

1) Bring the restaurant to your home. With Bibayti, you can book your private Chef and enjoy an amazing dinner experience in the comfort of your own dining room. Just light some candles, and they’ll take care of the rest. Check their website here.

valentine | breadonbutter

Photo by Zein el Cheikh for Bibayti

2) Invite friends over and have a huge cook-off, or buy barbecue material and find a spot in nature to enjoy it. The point is, have a group Valentine dinner, it’s kind of fun!

valentine | breadonbutter

3) Just pizza/pasta and a movie would do. Valentine’s Day is all about pampering after all 😉

valentine | breadonbutter

Any plans for Valentine’s?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Christmas, Uncategorized 0 comments on *Sobremesa*

*Sobremesa*

The literal meaning of ‘sobremesa’ is “over the table”. This untranslatable Spanish word designates the time spent in conversation right after a meal. It can be with friends, family or even business partners.

In Mediterranean cultures, sobremesa is something that is practiced with absolute spontaneity. That time spent around the table chatting about life is one of my favorite things in life. Picture everyone full and happy, discussing interesting topics and deep revelations.

For me, December is sobremesa. Friends are back in town, families reunite, and new friendships are made. It all happens around some table, sometime in December. The Holidays and twinkling lights open up our hearts and minds, bringing out the good in us.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes like to imagine a dinner between friends before it happens. I imagine the conversation and its direction. I imagine talking about my friends’ plans for the next year, or about life’s big changes. I imagine discussing my sister’s job or fitness resolutions, my husband’s entrepreneurship journey or even my own career and travel goals.

2015 has passed by at the speed of light. We’re at a political and technological turning point. Technology is growing faster than us and we’re all growing up so fast. So let’s live this month like it matters more than anything. Let’s make the most of it and be ready for the new year to come.

Until Christmas, every post I write will include a topic for your Sobremesas. Conversation is something we should hold on to and avoid technology taking it away.

So, what will you be talking about this Christmas?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 4 comments on Lebanon Perceived by International Media – How We Can Change That Image

Lebanon Perceived by International Media – How We Can Change That Image

All Winter, we’ve been running home every night to finally get in bed and start new episodes of The Mentalist. I know the show’s been on for 7 years but we decided to view it all in one shot. A few days ago, we reached the final episodes (very very sad I know). To our surprise, 2 episodes take place in Beirut (not sure if Patrick Jane actually came to Beirut but there were shots of our beloved city in the episodes). Not so surprisingly, it wasn’t the Beirut we know that was shown in The Mentalist. We would’ve expected more from Patrick and I must say we were disappointed. I didn’t make much of this and quickly forgot it, maybe because we became used to this bad portrayal of our country in the media. But then Jean sent me this post and it brought on new thoughts. How can we possibly change the perception of our country in the media?

1- Rely on some of the Lebanese bloggers. The internet is powerful and can convey information faster and more efficiently.

2- Expats, we know the nice job you’re doing at educating the ones who don’t know about us so thank you.

3- We have so much talent that we shouldn’t just showcase it in Lebanon. Mahrou’ Leila are on the way with their occasional international concerts, and Hiba Tawaji is making us proud.

4- Photographers and videographers, use your connections and present your work (including photos of the real Lebanon) outside the country.

5- Spread initiatives like LiveLoveBeirut, LiveLove Lebanon and Positive Lebanon.

We must fight this ugly image and show the positive side of Lebanon. Of course, I am not saying it’s flawless but picturing it like a battle field is the other extreme.

What do you think?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and don’t forget to tag us if you try out our recipes!

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 1 comment on What I Learnt While Backpacking

What I Learnt While Backpacking

In August 2012, inspired by many readings and travel photos on the internet, we took the decision to do it. Backpack in the true sense of the term. Choosing the destination was a piece of cake as Sri Lanka had been on my mind for literally a decade. Listening to stories and having Sri Lankan food had been one of my favorite activities for a long time and it was time I saw the real deal. Planning the trip was no trouble at all as there was no planning to be done. Just booking the ticket sufficed.

backpacking | breadonbutter

After carefully organizing our gear and packing the least of things in our backpack, off we went. You can view our whole trip on this link and this link, but now, I want to share what I learnt while backpacking to Sri Lanka.

I knew backpacking was not going to be easy and that there were going to be moments where I’ll be longing for a proper bedroom and shower, but boy did I learn things: about myself, about Jean, and about the world. Basically, I completely changed perspectives.

When you head to the unknown, that’s when you discover what you’re truly capable of. You discover to which lengths you can go, how much you can take – physically and mentally. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t sometimes cranky and hungry, hot or tired, neither am I going to pretend I wasn’t scared of nature and what I saw. But I learnt my limits and how to overcome those little fears that creep in uselessly.

When we live in a comfort zone, we get used to having everything easy. No insect here to bug you all the time, you rest whenever you feel like it, you don’t have to climb a mountain if you don’t want to. But there, I had to. Not only because I was in the middle of a mountain and couldn’t take the same way back, but also because in my head, I couldn’t not do it. I had to, to prove myself I was strong and in control of my feelings and actions. While we were climbing the famous Ella Rock, known to have the most breathtaking view on top, I reached a point where I literally broke down. The level of hiking difficulty suddenly became too much to bear, but yet again I was so close to the goal. That’s where my mind took over. Had I come so close to the best feeling of being on top of the world, only to stop and go back? Never would I have thought I would continue and get there. But I did, and that’s one of the dearest life lessons I hold on to now. It is actually true that when you feel like giving up, when times become just too tough to bear, the goal is just a few miles away. Never give up, even if you think you can’t move on anymore, the truth is: YOU CAN.

I also learnt to let go of small things and go with the flow, because life is much bigger than the small of you really. I overcame my fears of nature (except cockroaches – go figure) and the unknown and saw how it’s all a matter of mindset.

I learnt about people and different cultures. I saw that people you never even thought of meeting one day would come in your path for a reason, either to show you something or teach you something. I also learnt a lot about my husband, surprising things that made me sure he was the one I could spend the rest of my life with.

Finally, I learnt a lot about myself, what I truly love and what I truly don’t, and about the length I would go to to save something I love or to get it.

And most of all, you learn that life is just: Perspective, perspective, perspective! Switch your perspective and you’ll open the door to complete happiness. I guarantee it 🙂

backpacking | breadonbutter

Have you ever been backpacking? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 2 comments on Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Yesterday, an article about Lebanon came out in the Telegraph online. In it, Victoria Moore writes about how Lebanese wine is booming and calls her readers to try it.

During times when the Lebanese are famous for being porn stars, or when the only news we hear all day are the bad things happening around us, this is good news indeed!

The article basically depicts the Lebanese Wine production scene, mentioning the recently deceased Serge Hochar and nominating “two particular stars” : Domaine des Tourelles and Ixsir.

The last sentence says a lot:

It’s time to recognise the new Lebanon. The king is dead; long live the king.

You can read the article on this link.

I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 0 comments on FedEx Shows The World Llewelynn Clarke’s Hot Pepper Sauce

FedEx Shows The World Llewelynn Clarke’s Hot Pepper Sauce

A while ago, I was sent one of the spiciest most delicious sauce I’d ever tasted and was asked to film myself having a spoon of it. It was all part of the new Fedex campaign that came out a few weeks ago, just in time for the end of the year.

The campaign, produced by AMV BBDO London, follows a small chili sauce company, based in the Caribbean, on their journey to becoming world famous, thanks to the help of FedEx.

In the video (below), you have Llewellyn Clarke, a chili sauce maker and charismatic gentleman.  And you have the chili sauce, a red pepper blend with a touch of fresh thyme. You can read a little about his sauce and how great it is (and how great he is) here.

AMV simply sent me a bottle of Chili sauce, and in return asked for a short film clip or photo of me tasting it. The ad is now live in the UK, France, Italy and most of Asia.

You can watch the film here  and all of the selected reaction videos are in place on this campaign page as well, Breadonbutter’s included (search for Lebanon)! Enjoy!

Uncategorized 0 comments on Vacation Is A Beautiful Word

Vacation Is A Beautiful Word

Dear Breadonbutter Readers,

Today, I’m packing swimsuits, shorts, dresses, flip flops and the likes because I’m going away for 2 weeks. It’s just a holiday and I will be back on August 25th with new posts, new ideas for the home, new recipes and of course, travel guides! I’ll tell you all about Italy and Croatia once I’m back. Thank you all for reading and following me and I promise you more of life’s colors when I’m back.

Lately, the situation in our region has been tough. I haven’t mentioned it and continued sharing bright things instead just to get your minds off everything. I believe we all need it in these difficult times. Of course, we all pray for things to get better and all that’s left is our hope that it will.

I will be with you again soon but meanwhile, I thought I’d compile a selection of links to previous posts in case you seek some breadonbutter during these 2 weeks.

Recipes: Lemon Cake, Fresh Seafood Spaghetti, Chocolate Tart, Thai Shrimps, Baked Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Sweet Sesame Chicken, Stuffed Vine Leaves, Banana Boats

Home and Kitchen: A cooking playlist, Creative kitchen, What’s really in your pantry?, The multipurpose coffee table DIY, Candle jars DIY, Sweetest BalconyBaking tools

Travel: 16 reasons why travel is good for you, Summer travel playlist, Backpacking through Sri lanka, A day in Rome, Yet another side of London town, Istanbul: to the city, World food: Barcelona, A food story: a day in Zahle

Fun things from around: What your coffee says about you, Where in the world will you have beer this summer?, The language of food, Seinfeld on the supermarket experience, Are you thirsty?

Things to do: Papercup store: behind the scenes, A day in Beiteddine, A foodie book

Breadonbutter guests: Guest chef Jean Fares’ ultimate lamb chops and their compote, The Veggie diaries: happiness with a pinch of nostalgia, The world is his oyster, Mateus’ awesome beef and coffee stew, Guest chef Khater’s fig jam and brie crispy shells, Guest chef Jean Fares’ veau blanc au miel

Parties and Happenings: An afternoon birthday gathering, Cocktail-style birthday party, Apres la pluie le beau temps

Breadonbutter’s feature in The Carton’s Asrouniyeh issue: Who’s jam is it anyway? 

Arrivederci! 😉