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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Sourdough Vs. Commercial Bread: Who wins?

May 15, 2017

Have you ever wondered how long it took to make the bread you are consuming?


Well, as much as this question may sound pointless while the bread is in your hands, its answer tells you all about how healthy it is.


Bread: How it’s made?

Sourdough Vs commercial bread Healthy Happy Us Beirut Lebanon

Sourdough Starter Culture

Bread is mainly made of flour, water and salt. To ferment bread and have a tasty airy textured loaf, the healthy bacteria are needed. This bacteria is naturally present in organic untreated flour and is required to make up the sourdough starter. It is exactly the same process as in yogurt making whereby a bacterial starter is needed.


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Breastfeeding and Fasting – What does science tell us?

June 16, 2016

Every year, as Ramadan approaches and we prepare ourselves for a month of fasting from dawn to dusk, breastfeeding mothers face a difficult decision: To fast or not to fast?

A lot of questions are raised- Will fasting effect milk supply? Will it affect the quality of milk? What impact will it have on the health of mother and baby?

The answers to each of these questions is, as always, it depends. It depends on the mother’s diet, what she eats when she breaks her fast as well as many other factors. Here are 4 findings from research that will help mothers make a more informed decision about breastfeeding while fasting. This post is written by Nadeen Haidar, nutritionist at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and sports diet center in Lebanon.


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6 Steps to a Healthy Ramadan

June 11, 2016

Fasting in Ramadan, is it healthy or not? Well, it depends on what you put in your body! Even though Ramadan is a spiritual month, it is a great opportunity to  also benefit your body. Fasting, if done correctly, can decrease your risk of heart disease and diabetes, boost your mental health and help you break addictions. 

This post is written by Rola Ghaddar, US registered Dietitian and Nutritionist at Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and sports diet center in Lebanon.



How to do it right? It is very simple, follow these 6 steps to help you stay healthy and happy this Ramadan. 


Step 1- Stay well hydrated 

It is very crucial to avoid dehydration during Ramadan. It will make you feel tired and dizzy, it can also lead to constipation, headache and dry skin.  And trust me, you don’t want that in Ramadan. Make sure you drink at least 8-10 cups between iftar and suhoor.

8-10 cups of water are crucial in Ramadan

8-10 cups of water are crucial in Ramadan


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Chestnuts: The Winter Snack

February 02, 2016

I came across an article around this time last year and  it was due to my interest in chestnuts: where do they come from and what are their benefits. To my pleasant surprise both answers were in the same article, and this same article, brought warmth to my heart, given I love chestnuts and winters in Lebanon. So I am here sharing this article with you too, hoping it also brings warmth to your heart!


For the full article you can click on this link Nutricycle. To find a summary of where chestnuts come from and what’re their benefits as presented by the author, read below, but I won’t let you miss out on the heartwarming bit either so you will also find that in here too. 




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Is your new year’s resolution “Lose Weight”… Again?

December 30, 2015

2016 is almost here an it’s time to sit down and write those new year’s resolution(s)! Most of us make a new year’s resolution as a result of a brief inspiration and excitement to start the new year differently, to make 2016 the year of health, wealth and all things good.


2016 healthy living new year's resolution

More often than not, “lose weight” is on the top of our new year’s resolution list. In fact, research suggests that it is THE most popular new year’s resolution and most people have it on their list every single year. But does it really work? Well, if it’s on there every year, it probably isn’t and there’s a very good explanation as to why that is.


5 reasons “Lose Weight” is not a good new year’s resolution:



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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…)

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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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On World Diabetes Day, we ask: How is Lebanon Doing?

November 14, 2015

Saturday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. We’ve gathered the 5 facts you should know about this disease:

  1. There are 3 types of Diabetes:
    Type 1, common in children.
    Type 2, the most common type and is associated with being overweight or obese and usually occurs in adults. The rates of type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise.
    Gestational, specific to pregnant women and puts them at a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes in the future.
    Mother. Website
  2. Diabetes Mellitus is 4th of Lebanon’s top causes of death and research shows it’s on the rise! YOU or someone YOU LOVE may be at risk!

    WHO Publish Date: May 2014

    WHO Publish Date: May 2014

  3. A study in Lebanon showed a strong association between a diet high in refined grains (pasta, deserts, white bread, breakfast cereals & desserts) and fast food and type 2 diabetes.

  4. The same study showed that people who follow a traditional Lebanese diet high in olives and olive oil, fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, traditional Lebanese dishes and whole wheat bread are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

  5. The most common symptoms of diabetes type 1 and type 2 are:
    • Urinating more often than usual, particularly at night
    • Feeling very thirsty
    • Feeling very tired
    • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
    • Blurred vision caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry


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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


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