The Perfect Chia Seed Pudding

June 04, 2017

Variation is key. This chia seed pudding has been the perfect twist-it-up breakfast item at home. Yes, I got courageous enough to jump off the oatmeal and peanut butter bandwagon. These little seeds are known for having 4 things: fibers, protein, omega 3 and antioxidants. & that ladies and gentlemen, would be a list of all the things I’m constantly talking about.

Chia seed pudding recipe by Baraa El Sabbagh, Registered Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist and Personal Trainer at Healthy Happy Us, Beirut Lebanon

Chia seed pudding in the making

This post is written by  Baraa Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon.

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How I turned cooking from a chore to a passion

December 29, 2016

It was around two and half  years ago, on a sunny spring morning that I sat on my balcony in Beirut deshelling fresh fava beans. My mom calls me a perfectionist, and as much as I try to prove her wrong, that morning was a great example of my perfectionism getting the best of me. As a dietitian, and wife of one year, I was trying to do things right. Fresh and seasonal, full of nutrients, home-cooked with love – yes deshelling fava beans to make Riz B Fool ticked all the boxes. A slow hour later, a hungry husband waiting and hardly enough fava beans to make more than 2 portions, I realized how bad of an idea this was and thought: “Seriously, WHO HAS TIME?!” I always received and made sarcastic comments about my cooking and about being a great house wife (! أوف شو ست بيت شاطرة), and that day, I thought “rightfully so, it wasn’t a title I wanted anyway.”

[This post is written by Nadeen Haidar, Co-founder and dietitian at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and sports diet center in Lebanon.]

 

Cooking didn’t seem to be my “thing,” at that time, it was a chore – something I had to do because, as a dietitian, as a wife, as a future mom, it is the “right thing” to do.

 

As we count down the days to start 2017, I can’t help but think of the change of heart I’ve had about cooking. This December, my husband and I prepared around 150 meals and sold them for a charity event, and oh how much we loved it. Today, preparing a meal is an experience that engages all of my senses, each dish is an exploration, a marriage and a story. It a process of changing dull and sometimes even poisonous ingredients, to a wonderful, delicious and nutritious creation. It is as close as this world comes to magic.

 

 

Here are four lessons I learned about cooking in 2016 that helped me find my path to a more enjoyable cooking experience. I hope you find inspiration in them:

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8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas by Sports Dietitian and Personal Trainer Baraa El Sabbagh

December 11, 2016

 

Not for any specific reason (nope, not because breakfast is the most important meal of the day) but because food is joy and when you wake up in the morning you should eat something great. 

 

This post is written by Baraa El Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon. And I present to you some of my favorite breakfast meals!

 

 

  1. Peanut butter on one and Hummus on the other

Healthy breakast ideas by Baraa El Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon.

Peanut butter and hummus on rice cakes

That’s one of my favorite combinations! It gives me that sweet taste of peanut butter right after a savory rice cake of hummus. They’re both high in protein and rich with healthy fats. I choose corn rice cakes on days where I know I’m not working out or on days when I know my second meal will be rich in carbs.

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Spirulina: A Rich Vegetarian Source of Protein

July 10, 2016

For all of you who are searching for a plant-based protein source, “Spirulina” is the answer!

 

 

A type of non-toxic microalgea called “Spirulina” has been consumed for centuries due to its remarkable nutritional value. It consists of high protein concentration in which protein makes up 65 to 71% of its dry weight. In addition, it is unique for its vegetarian, complete protein property necessary for health and contains a total of 18 amino acids. This post has been edited and updated by Baraa El Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and diet center in Lebanon.

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Suhoor Smoothie: The One That Keeps You Going All Day!

June 16, 2016

Ramadan, especially during the summer months, really calls out for eating and feeling fresh. And if you’re one of the people that really does not have an appetite at Suhoor, or you simply want to change it up while keeping it nutritious, we’ve got the solution for you. Below is our favorite Ramadan Suhoor Smoothie. This post is written by  Baraa Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and sports diet center in Lebanon.

 

 

All you need is:

Banana Date Suhoor Smoothie Ingredients  This post is written by Baraa Sabbagh, registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and diet center in Lebanon.

Banana Date Suhoor Smoothie Ingredients

 

  • 1.5 cup skimmed milk
  • 2 banana
  • 6 soft dates
  • 2 tsp light peanut butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Chia seeds to sprinkle (optional)
  • Ice cubes

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Food Safety at Home

December 03, 2015

How long should my leftovers stay in the fridge? How should I defrost meat? Should I wash chicken? What’s the deal with the food safety of eggs? I’m sure if you’ve stepped in the kitchen and attempted to cook something at least once, one of these questions must have crossed your mind.

We’re going to walk through the cooking process step by step from defrosting your food, to washing, cutting, cooking, holding, and storing it.  You can watch my TV interview discussing all of these points in Arabic at the end of this post. 

How to defrost meat, chicken, fish or veggies? It can be done through 4 different ways depending on what suits you best:

Defrosting Food

Defrosting Food

  1. Microwave: if you’re going to cook it right away, you can pop it in the microwave until it defrosts then proceed with cooking it.
  2. Under cold running water: you can place the frozen food in a bowl or strainer under cold running water. Here, you have to make sure not to only put it in a bowl of cold water since the temperature of the water can warm up which allows bacteria to grow, instead you need to make sure it’s running. Bacteria is less likely to grow under cold versus warm water.
  3. In the fridge: if you’ve got your meal planned from the day before you can simply take out the frozen chicken or meat and place it in the fridge from the night before. This will allow it to defrost overnight and you can proceed with cooking it the next day.
  4. Directly on the pan: lot’s of times you can simply take the food out of the freezer and put it straight onto the oven. You can do this when you don’t necessarily want to marinate your food or if the piece of chicken or meat is not very thick.

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