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How Sleep Helps Regulate Your Weight

February 26, 2018

Sleep plays a big part in your overall health. With healthy sleep, you are at a lower risk for certain diseases, and healthy sleep supports a regular metabolism. Insufficient sleep can lead to imbalances that may result in poor metabolism and unhealthy weight gain.


What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Generally, sleep deprivation is associated with a tendency to gain weight and add more fat. Maintain a regular habit of insufficient sleep, and it can result in cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance.


When you have sleep debt, your appetite increases and your self control is reduced. Your cravings for carbohydrate rich and high calorie foods increase as well, and you’re more likely to turn to late night snacking. The more nights you go with insufficient sleep, the worse your food choices may become.


Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin in your body, which acts as a natural appetite suppressant. At the same time, it raises ghrelin levels, a hormone that signals hunger. This makes your brain think you’re hungry and need to eat food, even if that’s not really the case.

Does sleeping affect your weight pattern?

Does sleeping affect your weight pattern?

A lack of sleep can increase your risk for metabolic syndrome. This syndrome can include hypertension, obesity, excess belly weight, and insulin resistance. Accumulating sleep debt can result in long term metabolic issues, leading to type 2 diabetes and obesity.


5 Ways I keep Lent Healthy & Exciting

February 20, 2018

Healthy lent for me is exciting, it’s a healthy fresh start for my body and mind. This holy period allows me to create healthier habits that last beyond these 40 days.  Also I find it amazing that during these 40 days many people are capable of controlling their cravings and committing to a different lifestyle whether it was food or habit related. Even though it may get tough, pushing through will do wonders to your soul!  

Worried about giving up meat and chicken?

If you are giving up meat and chicken and worried about your protein intake this one’s for you! The most obvious substitute is fish such as salmon, tuna, shrimps etc. Even though there are many fish in the sea it doesn’t mean it’s the only source. During lent you’re gonna learn to love legumes! Chickpeas, lentils, beans and peas are the heart of many healthy dishes. Explore new recipes and you’ll find yourself loving them 365 days a year!


6 Super Seeds to Add to Your Diet

November 05, 2017

Hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds – these are the new super foods and current talk of the town! These tiny but mighty seeds offer a wide range of essential nutrients for our bodies. 

Firstly, they are very rich in fiber which aids with weight loss and digestion. They are a great source of protein, minerals, antioxidants and heart healthy oils. Studies have shown that incorporating these life-enhancing seeds to your diet decreases your risk of unpleasant diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.


This blog was written by Angela Azar , licensed dietitian and intern at Healthy Happy Us and edited by Baraa Sabbagh, US registered dietitian nutritionist, sports dietitian, personal trainerat Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Lebanon.

1- The Powerful Chia Seeds

The powerful chia seeds, nutritional benefits by Healthy Happy Us, Beirut Lebanon

The powerful chia seeds, nutritional benefits by Healthy Happy Us, Beirut Lebanon


Chia seeds are known as the runner’s favorite as they boost your energy and enhance your metabolism. They are also rich in proteins and help build lean muscle mass and maintain blood sugars. One of the most interesting properties of chia seeds is its gelatinous texture when soaked in water which makes it a perfect ingredient to add to your puddings!


Top Cancer Causing Foods: How to Replace Them in Your Diet

November 01, 2017

As always, we did our research and compiled the latest information on cancer-causing foods. We prepared a list of the top 7 cancer-causing foods based on scientific studies. Limiting or even better, avoiding these foods will reduce your risk of developing cancer. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean you have to be on a starvation diet. We’ve got some healthy yet very tasty alternatives for you!


This blog was written by Angela Azar , Licensed Dietitian and intern at Healthy Happy Us and edited by Rola GhaddarUS Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Beirut, Lebanon.


The Top 7 Cancer Causing Foods 


1- Sugar


One of the biggest cancer threats are refined sugars. Sugar is the main fuel for cancer cells, without it cancer cells can’t grow and spread. Did you know that  there are around 10 teaspoons of sugar in sweetened fruit juices and sodas?


How to replace sugar:

  • Enjoy 2-3 dates with a few almonds to savour your sweet cravings.
  • Use honey as a sweetener (in moderation) instead of sugar. Honey is filled with nutrients, unlike sugar which is contains absolutely no nutrients i.e empty calories. 
  • Enjoy fruit infused water instead of fruit juice or sodas.
  • Bake your own sugar-free desserts. Here’s a link to a delicious vegan sugar free brownie recipe


Tip: Start reading food labels. Sugars are hiding everywhere!


10 Cancer Fighting Foods: How to Add Them to Your Diet!

October 07, 2017

Since it is breast cancer awareness month, we would like to raise awareness in our own way by sharing with you the top 10 cancer fighting foods according to the latest research.


This blog was written by Angela Azar , Licensed Dietitian and intern at Healthy Happy Us and edited by Rola GhaddarUS Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Beirut, Lebanon.


The main cause for developing breast cancer is a genetic abnormality due to inheritance or other risk factors such as age and lifestyle habits. HOWEVER  there are some super foods which you can incorporate in your daily diet in order to significantly decrease the risks of developing breast cancer!


Top 10 Cancer Fighting Foods


1- Carrots & Sweet potatoes


These orange vegetables are rich in beta carotene that protect the DNA of cells from mutations that can cause cancer. 


How to add it to your diet: 

  • Prepare a bowl of carrots with a drizzle of lemon and a sprinkle of salt for an evening snack. 
  • Replace french fries with sweet potato fries for a boost of beta carotene! 
  • Add carrots to your stews (goes perfectly with green peas) and side steamed vegetables. 
Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries



Casper & Gambini’s Fit n’ Healthy Menu by Healthy Happy Us

July 18, 2017

The collaboration

Healthy Happy Us has officially partnered with Casper & Gambini’s to create the fit n’healthy menu. This big step we’ve taken has the main goal of creating a healthier and happier lifestyle for all types of people. Whether you’re a gym addict or just prefer sticking to healthier cuisines, our diverse menu aims to satisfy both your appetite and nutritional needs. After all – if you eat right, you feel good!


Oat & Yogurt in the fit'n healthy menu at Casper And Gambini by Healthy Happy Us, Beirut Lebanon

An oat & yogurt breakfast!

Healthy options are a must!

Most of the time, our favorite restaurants lack appealing and healthy food options. The selections are generally limited or unappetizing, which forces you to choose the menu items that are loaded with empty calories and do not benefit our bodies at all. Even when healthy food options are available the calories and nutrition facts on the menu are not always reliable. For the people who are watching out for their weight, eating out becomes pretty difficult. So we’ve found a solution, we’ve picked some of the most exciting dishes from the Casper & Gambini’s menu and transformed them into healthier meals. Now everyone has the choice to order the same delicious foods we’ve all come to know and love, but with less calories and more valuable nutrients!


The Sugar Free Ramadan Challenge

May 27, 2017

This is my second year celebrating Ramadan in London, where the sun can shine for around 19 hours each day; this means no eating and drinking for that long as well! I was very nervous about it last year, so an older and religiously well-read relative gave me advice. He said, “It’s all about your mindset. If you believe that you can do it, then you will be able to do it”. I smiled and thought, “If a seventy year-old man can fast 19 hours, while gardening, cooking, and exercising, then I have no excuse to not try”. I also remembered an article I read about marathon runners who encourage themselves with pep talks, which helps them enforce the strength their mind has over their body. This pushed me to try it, since it must be easier to fast for 19 hours than to run a 42 km marathon!


So here it goes: another year of fasting. I’ve also decided to push myself even further, by making it a Sugar Free Ramadan Challenge.

Ramadan Sugar Challenge Best Dietitian Diet Center Beirut Lebanon

“It must be easier than running a marathon”


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Peanut Butter

April 28, 2017

PEANUT BUTTER! It is definitely one of my favorite ingredients. It’s sweet, salty, smooth and sometimes crunchy, all the reasons for me to include it in my diet day after day.


This post was written by Reem Al Ahmadieh, dietetic intern and it edited by Rola Ghaddar, US Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise diet center in Beirut, Lebanon.


In this blog, I will be sharing with you 5 fun facts I learned about peanut butter that you probably did not know before.


1.  Peanut Butter can actually reduce diseases 

Did you know that eating peanut butter can help reduce heart disease, cancer, diabetes and aging? Peanuts are a very good source of  antioxidants. This triggers our body’s defense system to act out against various different diseases.



4 Lessons About Weight Loss I didn’t Learn in University

February 26, 2017

Weight loss and building healthy eating habits is a journey for everyone, including dietitians. There’s always that awkward moment when I meet people for the first time over a meal and I get asked “What do you do?” When I say “I’m a dietitian” there has to be a reaction and it’s usually this: They take a quick look at their plate (to remember what they are eating) then their eyes glance at my plate. This is either followed by an embarrassed “Oh, I better watch what I am eating. Heh.” or a judgmental “Oh so as a dietitian, you eat (insert name of food I am eating)?!”


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: