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The 3 Nutrition Tips: 2 Weeks Before the Marathon

October 31, 2016

We’re two weeks out, how should you be eating from now until the marathon? Get the tips and best advice from Baraa El Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon.


As part of the running family this year, I will be sharing this article from an “us, we and our” perspective. At this point, we have a common goal: no injury, help recover our muscles, improve our nutrient stores, and feel as ready as we can be during the marathon. Our training regimen has now tapered down, we’re not running the kilometers that we used to run and we’re trying to recover. So how does this change our eating? Read below. 


3 Steps to a Healthy Vacation

August 08, 2016

This article was originally written for by Baraa El Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainer at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon.

Summer vacations, the best way to disconnect from work and responsibilities and recharge for the coming months in the year. Food is a joy and I believe a huge part of travelling and learning about a culture, is in fact by tasting their food. So yes, you do get to spoil yourself a little more than the usual, but here’s a mini guide on how enjoy a healthy vacation.


Traditional Oatmeal Recipe: You Won’t Regret it!

August 19, 2016

As dietitians and food lovers, we are always asking people to have oatmeal for breakfast. And the reaction is always quite blank with a nod of “yeah, sure I’ll have oatmeal.” And then I ask “have you had it before?” and there’s always one of two answers: 


  1. Yes, it tastes like cardboard.
  2. No, how do you make that stuff.

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.

But, because I really love oatmeal and it tastes great if you prepare it right, I’m going to share with you a very basic recipe that actually tastes super good. 


Our favorite breakfast recipe

Our favorite breakfast recipe


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


Healthy Breakfast Recipe – Baked Oatmeal Cups

December 21, 2015

If you’re the kind that’s always on the run and never have time for breakfast, this healthy breakfast recipe is ideal for you. We love to prepare it on weekends and eat it throughout the week. It’s great as breakfast, as a snack, or even as desert. So, say goodbye to those “hangry” mornings that may result in a lot of unhealthy snacking and having larger meals throughout the day. (more…)

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.


Your Full Body Home Workout

September 22, 2015

A full body workout is where we all need to start. Full body workouts are also good when you want to save time and you don’t have enough times per week to visit the gym, instead you can do this workout 3-4 times per week and you’re set. Better yet, you can do a full body workout at home. This workout applies to both males and females even though weights may defer.

All you need for a home-workout routine is a set of dumbbells (weights are according to your athletic history, if your goal is to do this for the long-term I advise getting the interchangeable dumbbell set).


1. Push-ups, target muscle: chest

This is a great workout for your chest and core.

To do it: Your hands should be placed slightly wider than your shoulders. As you’re going down and back up, keep your back and trunk area straight and parallel to the ground.

Variation: Doing the form while on your knees is easier. If you can’t do the regular push-up form, start out on your knees for the first few weeks making sure to be lowering your entire torso and not only your arms. You will eventually find yourself getting up to the advanced position.

Sets and reps: 3 x 12


  pic-2---pushup pic-1---pushup


Hummus, Falafel, & the Rest of the Legumes! What’s the Deal?

August 04, 2015

We love our traditions. Especially when it comes down to food. We always hear our parents boasting about the benefits or even reminiscing over a legumes dish! You guessed it, they’ve been right and have had the right to boast all along.


Legumes consist of chickpeas, beans, soybeans, lentils, lupines, carob flour, and peas. What’s so magical? They’re excellent sources of vegetarian protein especially in comparison to red meat which are marbleized with fat. These proteins Continue reading…