The power of food

I’m in love with food. In love with the endless options and opportunities.

Food has the power to heal, destroy, adjust mood swings, make you pause and grin, and just make your life a little better. And maybe even a lot better.

Yesterday I was offered a home made bar made with all homemade ingredients and Himalayan salt. I kid you not, I have never had  to pause over a bar. But this bar made me stop and moan like a dumbass and make funny faces, saying things like “oh, man!” and taking deep breaths before taking the next bite. Food can do that to you. And that’s amazing ( Thank you Muneera, if you’re reading this 😉 )

As I grow older, food has become one of the finer things in life. I no longer eat food as I used to. Sure, from time to time I view my foods strictly as fuel. But most of the times I simply enjoy tasting, combining and experimenting. Especially converting traditional fatty unhealthy foods into healthy devouring dishes.  I see some people drool over unhealthy dishes or dishes that make no sense at all. And I just don’t get it. Even my favourite food of all. FRUITS. Even fruits cannot be combined in a non sensical way. A simple example is, you cannot combine watermelon with bananas. That is just a no no.

Melons are suppose to be eaten solo. It’s a delicacy of its own class. Same with certain pastas, stew and rice dishes. I love learning about food combining and to test out foods. Sure I don’t eat a lot of kinds of food and people think its restricting. But I see it as an opportunity to be creative and expand even further with the “limited” food that I eat. To expand and enter a world of unlimited possibilities. I’m going on a rant here and this rant is making me hungry.

Food is something we think about almost 90% of the time. It’s something we can all relate to. We gather around it. If you really think about it, food is a one sure way of connection. Wanna impress anyone. Introduce them to an incredible dish. Want to start a conversation, ask about a certain restaurant and you have a conversation. Food in 2016 is the single most important topic we should all be learning in depth about.As much food options that there are, sadly there is also an abundance of food that isn’t food. And it’s the most accessible and affordable kind in today’s reality.

This picture below isn’t real food and most people don’t know that

not-food-2

 

Start educating yourself and start eating from the earth. Have more picnics, together around food that makes you feel like a 100% before,during and after the process.

Let’s eat more of these foods and less of the above

raw-food

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I truly believe food is the answer to world peace.

How they digged their own graves

There he was. Smoking his way to the grave. A pretty good way to go if, if you ask me. If you enjoy it. Until you’re almost at the grave and then you really don’t wanna go. It’s not that you just don’t want to go anymore, cause who does? It’s what happens to you before you go. He was detoriating slowly. Deteriorate here means die slowly and painfully without you having any control over it and no amount of painkillers can stop it, but maybe deteriorate it even more ( make it slower ) which is bad news really. You’re just staying alive to be punished. Maybe that will make it easier after you’ve died already.

I asked him after his second diagnosis of confirmed cancer if it was from all the smoking, but he was quick to reply “NO”. I’ve been smoking all my life, can’t be it. If it was, it would have killed me a long time ago. But his premature aging and wrinkly cheeks were signs that this was coming sooner or later. Bless him.

This other guy I knew was convinced that he’s healthy and that his oversized gut was genetic and that it runs in the family. After a stroke he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol ( heart disease) and high blood pressure. He was later served the same food he always ate and refused to make any dietary changes or take medication because he was healthy and the stroke was just an incident that had occurred and was unavoidable. The next stroke he had numbed half his face leaving him partially blind and they had to amputate one of his legs due to poor blood circulation. He wished the stroke took him all the way to the grave instead of the emergency room.

What did these 2 stubborn but loving men ( to their families ) have in common ?

Well for one they became a damn burden to their loved ones and society as  a whole. They were living on the concept that if we have all done this for a long time then it’s perfectly fine. Their loved ones now had to take special care of them.

I like how the word “special” can mean the exact opposite depending on context. You’re a special boy, can mean you are mentally retarded ( literally and/or figuratively) and it can mean you’re wonderful ( Extraordinary). Their kind of “special” treatment led to others being handicapped by serving them in “special ways” no one had the pleasure of doing.

What does this teach me though?

It teaches me to look past culture and society. It teaches me that cultural habits can be very damaging if done long enough and it can damage myself and others around me in the long run. It teaches me that to deteriorate through cultural habits is bad. It teaches me to have an open mind when someone tries to teach me or even tell me something new and not be dogmatic about it. It teaches me also to be bare the pain of seeing dogmatic and stubborn loved ones dig a hole while I can’t do a single thing about it. That’s always the hardest part.

Good news for the diabetic dude though. The next stroke took him. Not sure if it was good or bad news for his loved ones. Maybe a little bit of both. A sort of a mixed feeling.
God rest their souls, and ours too while I’m at prayer mode.Amen.

How I stay trim year round

I’m trim all year long with sometimes little to no exercise. I remember winter last year I was super busy and was ordering and eating out every single day, and of course what do we do on the weekend? You guessed it We eat out some more! I gained 8 kilos, and no not muscle but by fat! Fat that gave me man boobs, a horrible belly and maybe a cute butt.

It was a harsh time. Then I cut down eating out to 90%, eating the same exact foods I eat out but home made. I lost half the weight. I was shocked. I’m eating the same amounts and eating the same type of foods, why did I gain weight at the time? It’s the sh** they put in our foods. That’s what got me big. I really hated my man boobs. I’m glad to have regular boobs right now. Really puts me at ease. Then came ramadan and I went like 80%-90% raw and lost all the weight that I put on. I was literally stuffing myself with bananas, mangoes, avocados and watermelon. What a beautiful month of raw foods. Miss it. I vlogged about it almost daily on my Youtube channel, you can check out the series right here

So what do I eat to stay lean all year round? And mind you, I’m a foodie. I’m all about the vegan dishes that make you go…mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmm. Here’s a typical day in the life of what I eat. In the morning I always start with a liter of water. Then depending on if I’m working out or not I eat. If I am then I just have a date or 2, or nothing. Smash in a liter of water while and then hit breakfast. Breakfast consists typically of fruits. I usually make a smoothie in the morning. Here’s a recipe that’s a staple for me. Coconut water/milk or regular water, 12 bananas, blueberries and chia seeds. The base is always at least 10 bananas, the rest I just throw in what I have that day.

Lunch would be a cup of rice ( a cup of rice is what some cook for a whole family of 4) , some steamed veggies, or a vegan stew along side that.

Dinner maybe another 10 bananas, or some baked sweet potatoes. Sometimes around 3-4. It’s great with cinnamon and brown sugar. Ahhh man, I’m drooling.  But here’s the thing most of my food has very very very little to no oil or salt on it. We condiment our food using spices, herbs, lime, homemade sauce/dressing etc. My food is always naturally low in fat, and high in carbs. I don’t mean processed carbs, but whole food plants. All from mama nature. Mother’s always got it right.

This is a typical day for me and slightly varies from time to time.

Welcome to the high carb world where restrictions of portions isn’t just in my dictionary. To see more of what I eat or my shenanigans, follow me on Instagram @elcotth or add me on Facebook: Hady Elcott. Here’s also another way I stay lean.

Cut carbs Cut life.

 

 

The time it takes to get fat (Pt.2)

One night as he looked as his body, he felt disgust and he has been slightly overweight for as long as he can remember but all that changed for him in his university years. He went from fat to chubby in less than a year and stayed that way for a good 4-5 years.

That one night, it all changed for him. It was his breaking point where he has come to hate his body, his lifestyle, eating habits and wanted out of that dead-end life. He took a decision that night that changed his life forever to the very best and he keeps getting better and better. Not only was it a diet, but a whole mind-set shift where he wanted to be a new person, a shift in diet and lifestyle.

He didn’t let his emotions get ahead of him, because he as failed plenty of times on fad diets that has given him temporary results only, taking back to where he has started and maybe even gaining a few pounds over that.

He wanted SUSTAINABILITY and a change for life. So he took it slow, and started working towards his goal using baby steps. He started changing what he eats, eating mainly whole foods and eating a high carb, low-fat diet.

He began to lose 4-5kgs a month on diet alone, and then began adding a daily walk to his life every single day. Those simple changes made a tremendous effect on his life and he was able to do them because they were small, measurable, achievable goals. He began to add a little jog now and then just to get his heart beating. Once he saw the changes, he was motivated more than ever and would not stop until he has done a complete transformation. It took him around a year to just lose the weight.

He then was a transformed man, who wowed everybody he knew with how well he has done, after the big change and being so optimistic about life again, sky was the limit. He wanted to go above and beyond after he knew what his body and mind were capable of.

He then got a used up bike to train on. He would go for a 20-30 min spin on it and would sometimes jog. Then an opportunity for a challenge arose and that was a triathlon. That’s right, a triathlon, for those of you who aren’t aware what a triathlon is,a Triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines which are swimming, cycling and running that happen in immediate transitions. He did his first every triathlon and he finished it successfully. The guy who could barely walk a mile was now getting into races that the average people would think twice about.

tri

He then decided to get into bodybuilding and get into a whole new sport if its own. Ladies and gentlemen, it takes years of abuse for you to get fat and years to get fit, but the years spent getting fit and healthy are shorter, healing, exciting and bright. So make that change. I now share with you pictures of my good buddy Ahmed Awad and his transformation.

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And this is him now

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Here are Ahmed’s top 3 tips:

  1. Don’t quit: When you’re about to quit ,remember the pain is only temporary and then you’ll be happy for life.
  2. Eat clean and exercise: Eat clean, exercise/get moving at least 4-5 times a week to reap the health benefits of this lifestyle and add a cheat meal once a week only, so you can indulge when you have to
  3. Keep pushing : Number 1.

If you like this post, please share and comment. You never know who you’ll inspire.

Fast food is fast money! 

As I ordered my brown rice, broccoli, and tofu I was grateful for the option available to me and grateful that eating whole foods has become more common in the Arab world, but as I reach out for the bill, my wallet is very ungrateful for how light it gets every time (or most of the time ) I eat out or even just buy food. 

Then, I look around the fast food joints and see how crowded they are with customers and how they have conquered the food industry. The marketing, the kids meal and how they make the meals with a theme and how you have to come back and collect all happy meal toy figures. It’s all brilliant. I wish health food restaurants would put in the same effort, but most of them are too busy overpricing their foods or just surviving through this fast food epidemic

Then, I look at the price of their meals and its shocking how dirty cheap it is. I hadn’t eaten at a fast food restaurant in over 2 years, so I was kind of living in my own bubble for a while, but as I took a look inside again, it makes complete sense that people are fat, sick and nearly dead.

The food is so cheap and its easier and more convenient to feed a family of five, affordable FAST food. We are going through an epidemic here, and all we can do is vote with our coin.

Please let’s ask ourselves why is fast food so cheap?! How can meat be that affordable (hint: it’s not real meat) and why have we become sicker than ever. Just food for thought.

A  few simple tips to eating healthier whole foods would be to simply eat outside less, buy in bulks and invest your time learning how to cook simple healthy foods such as rice, corn, vegetables, wholewheat pasta etc. 

I urge you all again to vote with your coin, save yourselves and your loved ones from  diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol and boycott the fast food mafia with all you’ve got.

Please leave below your comments and criticisms.  Happy and healthy reading 😀 

What is Veganism and who are vegans? ( A brief history too)

What is Veganism and who are vegans?

Most people in this day and age do have an understanding of who vegans are, but this post is for those of you who aren’t fully aware of the term. Be enlightened.
 vegan
Vegetarianism can be traced to Ancient India and Greece, but the English word vegetarian came into use in the 19th century to refer to those who avoided meat. The Oxford English Dictionary attributes its earliest known use to the English actress Fanny Kemble, writing in Georgia in the United States in 1839. Vegetarians who also avoided eggs and dairy products, or avoided using animals for any purpose, were referred to as strict or total vegetarians.
But the term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England, at first to mean “non-dairy vegetarian” and later to refer to “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals. Interest in veganism increased in the 2000s; vegan food became increasingly available in supermarkets and restaurants in many countries, and several top athletes in endurance sports, such as theIronman triathlon and the ultramarathon, began to practise veganism and raw veganism.
Under the vegan umbrella today we have a lot of sectors and the most common ones are:
  1. raw vegan ( those who eat only raw fruits and vegetables with the occasional nuts and sees)
  2. High carb vegans : Those who consume a diet high in carbohydrates such as fruits, rice, pasta etc
  3. fruitarian : these vegans consume only fruits as their staple but some may say mostly fruits and some vegetables or fruits nuts and vegetables but fruit being the dominant food.
  4. Raw till 4:  this is where you eat raw foods till 4 or lunch time and then you can have a cooked meal.
  5. Ethical vegan: The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet, but extend the vegan philosophy into other areas of their lives, and oppose the use of animals and animal products for any purpose. Another term used is environmental veganism, which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

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These are the main types of vegans out there today!! And I myself am an advocate of this life style and have really benifitted  from eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and I suggest you all give it a go and see how fantastic how you feel 🙂

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And there you have it! 🙂

Leave your comments down below

Happy reading.

What is Pesceterianism

Pescetaraianism

What is a pescetarianism and who’s a pescetarian?
pescetarian_defined_by_blackestrose_13-d6v0evz
Pesceterian is a term that is derived from the Italian word meaning fish “pesce” with a blend of English “vegetarian” and thus we have pescetarian.
So a pesceterian is a person who eats fish and/or other seafood but not the flesh of other animals. One of the most commonly cited reasons is that of  , based on findings that red meat is detrimental to health in many cases due to non-lean red meats containing high amounts of saturated fats, choline and carnitine. Eating certain kinds of fish raises HDL levels, and some fish are a convenient source of omega-3 fatty acids, and have numerous health benefits in one food variety. A 1999 meta-analysis of five studies comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in Western countries found that in comparison with regular meat-eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 34% lower in Pescetarians.
Now this may be a great way for someone to transition into a more plant-based diet. Eliminating read meats and other kinds of meats will really boost someones health and reduce the risk of heart disease and even obesity.
So, I suggest if someone’s is planning on getting healthier than this may be good diet lifestyle to lean into, incorporating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some seafood.
Try it and see the health benefits that you’ll experience.
keep-calm-and-go-pescetarian
Let me know what you think.
Sources: Wikipedia

What is Lethargy, and how to overcome it?

Lethargy is not a word we hear everyday here where I live but I think its time that we start using it since more people are showing symptoms.

So lethargy ( Aka fatigue) is where you are feeling weak, light-headed, constantly tired and weary, familiar? .
Lethargic
Now feeling all this can be fine, but the problem is that more and more people are feeling this way at times where they should be most active, like in the morning at work or while driving etc.
Now did you ever stop and think why am I constantly tired? Have you tried something different? The solution to feeling lethargic could be easily treated or at least reduced drastically but we usually don’t pay attention to it and keep living our lives filled with lethargy and it’s no fun seeing your life pass right before you while you yawn all day.
lethargy 2
So let’s take a look at why we could be feeling lethargic, maybe we didn’t sleep well the night before (which has been going on for months/years) or maybe we haven’t been eating right, or maybe even we haven’t made time to get our bodies moving (read my previous post : Just do it! ) and maybe your’e overweight and that’s taking a toll on your body, and even maybe you’re dehydrated and your body is in need of some H20 ( but you reach out for some tea/coffee instead for a quick fix and you end up causing even more damage overall ) and maybe there’s been a weather change and your immune system is just not taking it, and those are the main maybe(s) that I have for you for now.
Now, how can we make ourselves feel better, more energetic, more aware, and more present (especially at work)?. Here are a few tips of mine and I really hope that you try them out because it has worked wonders for me:
  1. Drink water people!! Yes, water could be playing a key factor on how you feel everyday and you are simply ignoring that by having caffeine which causes you to dehydrate and leaves you lethargic in the long run. My advice would be ditch the coffee/tea, red bulls and all those other drugs and drink a liter of water upon waking up followed by a green smoothie, a fruit smoothie or even 100% natural pasteurized juice would be a better option than caffeine. Get high on nature’s juices.
  2. Move a little people: A little brisk walk could make the world of difference. We are always constantly sitting. At work, at home, in the car and when we finally decide to leave the house we go to a restaurant/coffee shop. That simply cannot be good for our bodies.
  3. Check your diet:. Are you eating clean, eating real foods or are you constantly eating out, snaking on biscuits and potato crisps? Switch your diet to a more natural diet and instead of the biscuits aim for dates, fruit juice, raisins, dry fig, nuts, apples and bananas( or any other fruit of that matter ). You will feel better, mentally and physically and you will start to have that raw energy.
  4. And last, but definitely not least ,get some sleep: Early nights will really help you feel better. Sleep early, so you have the energy to wake up early and maybe prepare a smoothie for work or even go for a walk. I know in this time and age it’s really difficult for people to do that, but I really suggest you consider it and just get your ego out of the way (which probably tells you to stay up watch some tv , meet friends, you’re not 60 or 6 years old, and maybe go through Instagram/Facebook for the 50th time today). I say shut it down, shut down your phone while you’re at it, tell your friends that you’ll all meet them for early morning for a walk instead 😉 win!
I have written a lot and don’t intend to bore you, my posts are usually short and up to the point but I feel like this was a topic that had to be brought up and all the things mentioned are simply habits that we all have to instill in us for it to be don long-term . So, I propose you challenge yourselves and do like a 30 day clean up which will extremely difficult at first but will be very rewarding and worth it at the end.
Wishing you all clarity, energy, wellness and RAW POWAH!!
Hope this post was helpful, share your thoughts down below.

The power of FRUITS

The power of fruits compel you, the power of fruits compel you, the power of fruits compel you…ok! just kidding, they don’t possess you 😉

Fruits! Wow, I can’t even begin to type, I’m all hyped up about it already. Well, I will obviously be posting a lot about fruit so let me start with a brief introduction to fruits.
Fruits are the super foods of nature, the candy of nature, the sugar to our veins, the apple of our eyes..can I get any more romantic!? The health benefits of fruits are endless, I will mention only a few out here..so why fruits?!

Fruits are nature’s wonderful gift to the mankind; indeed, medicines packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and many phyto-nutrients (Plant derived micronutrients). They are an absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their color and flavor but for their unique nutrition-profile that help the human body free of diseases and stay healthy!

  1. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
  2. Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
  3. Fruits contain many anti-oxidants such as poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins. These compounds, firstly, help human body protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly; help the body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant value, which is something measured by their

    “Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity” or (ORAC).

  4. Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some “blue-fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberry, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections, etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
  5. Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants, which helps the body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs. Their overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite! You are protecting yourself from minor ailments like wrinkling of skin, hair-fall, and memory loss to major ailments like age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) of the retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis)…etc., and the list of fruit nutrition benefits simply never ends!

    fruit-in-medicine-bottle1fruit appple

    Not to bore you anymore with all this stuff I googled!! Fruits have simply changed my life, my energy, my stamina and the way I look at them.

    Have you ever had fruit for a meal?! and by a meal I mean a MEAL MEAL(Not one banana and 2 apples or a bunch of grapes..that is not a meal but a snack) the kind of meal that leaves you full. Not many people have experienced that, and it’s a magical experience. Have you tried a meal of 10-20 bananas, 5 papayas maybe?, 5 kilos of mangoes?. I know these numbers sound bizarre to you, but do you know since fruit are low in calories, that one meal i’m talking about maybe be less than a big mac meal?! So is a big mac bizarre!? Yes it is..Don’t go near one or any fast food meal for that matter.

    The next time you don’t know what to have for lunch/breakfast/dinner…Think fruits!!

    I’ll end this post with a question I’ve already asked. Have you ever had fruit for a meal?

fruit istanbul

This was taken in Istanbul, they call them Vitamin shops there! I could’t agree more.

This is how my fridge looks like

This is how my fridge looks like

Was having watermelon as I sight see!! Stopped almost at every stall ^.^

Was having watermelon as I sight see!! Stopped almost at every stall ^.^

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What is Organic and why Organic?

It all began while I was teaching a class about food( An English class) and we began talking about aisles, groceries and so on. So I brought up “Organic” and was shocked at all the responses I got. Not many people knew what organic was. So I decided to write blog post about it. What is organic?! As referred to in the textbook I teach from: “organic is foods made like in the old days ( with no artificial chemicals )”

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Most people think that organic foods are a luxury, a high-end product and that it’s unnecessary to purchase ( it could be a little pricey compared to conventional) and there isn’t really a difference at times with certain products, but on the contrary the conventional food we eat is the special one if you think about it. It is either genetically modified or sprayed with pesticides/fungicides etc in order for it to grow faster and to be produced in larger quantities and we end up eating that. I know I know, organic is expensive and we can’t afford it and wouldn’t be able to buy everything organic and so on. I totally agree, heck I don’t even buy everything organic. Unfortunately the time and world we live in makes it hard and expensive for us to really consume what is truly natural, but we can all make an improvement on what we put in our bodies. 

non-organic vs organic

Why organic again?! Here are just a few of the many good reasons:

1) Cause it’s food made with no artificial chemicals, need I say more? )
2) It’s what we are supposed to be eating (Remember the old days, where people longer, healthier, happier and less stressful )
3) Our bodies function better having what is intended for it to eat ( Natures food and not labs food ).
4) GMO (Genetically modified organisms) and the pesticides in our food?!
5) Organic food is more nutritious due to better soil
5) Need I be more convincing?

So how about the next time you’re out shopping for some groceries, try to aim for organic whenever possible and choose foods wisely. Some products are all not that expensive. The difference may be very little but our bodies will thank us for it in the long run and will thus function better and keep us healthier and happier beings.  Affordable Organic options to opt for:  1) pasta  2) rice 3) sugar (raw cane or coconut) 4) cereal  5) vegan mayonnaise 6) ketchup 7) quinoa  8) seeds (flax, hemp, sunflower and chia) 9) dried fruits  These are some options that you can start with and if you’re not going to buy organic at least avoid food that contain loads of unknown ingredients and go for the more “natural ones”. Fruit juices especially nowadays are just loaded with unknown crap and the ingredients are mostly numbers. Go for all natural “ no added preservatives and color” and start from there.
Let me know down below what you think, your comments and criticisms are welcomed!!