October 31, 2010

Weekly WW #5

I'm feeling mighty hyper today. Happy cause I lost a kilo and a half this week. Thats 3.3 pounds, which brings my total loss so far to 12.5 pounds or 5.7 kilos. Yay!

I know this sounds so corny and cliche but I'm really proud of myself. I'm making smart choices and finding that balance between eating everything I want, whenever, all the time and going overboard and depriving myself. The middle ground is really OK. I'm eating things I enjoy and learning I like vegetables more than I thought. I even have a little chocolate each day. (After Eight)

I don't have a goal weight in mind, I just know it's really far off so I'm not sure if it's a good idea to set a long term  goal weight or a short term one or what. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, inshaAllah.

October 29, 2010

Birthday Dinner ♥

We went to this Greek place for my birthday. (34!) It was good and I discovered I love mousaka. I loved the mural on the staircase wall so I had to snap a pic. E is so used to the requisite blog photo that he knows to wait a second before digging in so I can snap a pic. the appetizers were delicious. I didn't count points yesterday but I didn't even feel like eating rice, fries or bread. I had to LOL at the raw potato garnish animals on our plates. We'll definitely be eating here again.

October 27, 2010

Your Blog And Your Life

So, bloggers. When do you tell people in your life about your blog?  Do you tell them at all? How do you feel about people in your every day life, friends, family reading your blog?

My blog's not a secret or anything,  but I don't go telling people about it all the time. Close friends know about it and family does. You can't assume everyone that knows about your blog reads it regularly, so it can be a little awkward when you go to tell someone about something, then you realize you wrote about that on your blog, so you're just being redundant if they do read regularly.

What do you think? Do you tell people? No? Why or why not?

October 24, 2010

Weekly WW #4

This week, I didn't lose weight. Well, .2 kilos, or less than half a pound but that's negligible because it fluctuates throughout the day by fractions of a pound all the time. I'm a little bummed but not too badly. I knew this would happen sometimes and that's OK. I just don't want to lose my drive, which feels a little weaker these days. I'm still following the plan but not as super excited about it as I was in the beginning.

We went out to dinner this week at my favorite place. I was doing so well. I ate a little of E's Greek salad and I ordered a small-ish steak and saut√©ed vegetables.

I felt satisfied and proud of myself.  I came back from a trip to the bathroom to find that the restaurant owner gave us free deserts. Not what I needed.  I ate it. It was worth it. Banana and nutella filled crepe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

I don't know if that's why I didn't lose this week or not but I'm ok with it. I can't imagine life with no deserts, ever. I hope next week is better.

October 17, 2010

Weekly WW #3

Another week, come and gone and I'm super happy today. I thought I hadn't lost anything this week because last night my weight was just .1 of a kilo less than last Sunday's weight. However, this afternoon I weighed and I and lost a kilo, 2.2 lbs. :) I'm glad, but I was OK with a week of not loosing. The important thing to me is that I stick to it. That I keep on keeping on. So the lost kilo is a happy surprise.

The above photo was my dinner yesterday, garlic green beans & almonds. This was really delicious. It was flavorful and filling. I used this recipe and added the sliced/toasted almonds. The recipe is 1 weight watcher's point and with the almonds that makes it a 3 point meal.

I'm really excited when I find a recipe that both tastes good and doesn't have too many points. Then I can eat a lot of it without guilt.

Last night I had 14 points left at the end of the day and was craving something sweet. I sliced a banana, smeared a Tbsp of peanut butter on them, then chopped a bit of baking chocolate over it and nuked it for 20 seconds. It was decadent. The banana was 2 points and the PB 2 and the chocolate 4.  That's the beauty of this program. You can eat what you want if you can afford the points.

This morning I made Cinnamon Oatmeal with honey, the kids loved it and it filled me up until the afternoon.

So that brings my total loss in 3 weeks to 4 kilos or 8.8 pounds! I just squealed when I converted that on my phone. Somehow the kilos don't resonate with me. InshaAllah I'll stick to this and be a healthier, lighter me.

October 16, 2010


I took these this morning and this is the typical, every day street.

Landfill on the side of the road.

2 stray dogs catch some z's.

Looking for breakfast.


A pack of dogs take a walk.

I love the guy on the left.

One of the many piles.

Is it futile?

See the one peeking out from underneath?

They usually get scared when you approach.

How can this be acceptable?

While taking these pictures I felt like I was doing a 20/20 expos√©, but the truth is trash and strays are two of the biggest problems Egypt faces today. It's no secret. The trash is everywhere as you can see, and the poor strays are living in it.  The men you see sweeping the street here, sadly, are ineffective. They sweep it all into piles or to one side and a truck is supposed to come take it away but trash sits on the side of the road this way for days, piling and spilling out of the dumpsters. It smells horrible. The odd thing is, inside people's homes, they keep clean  and throw the trash out, and shops all sweep up everything into the street. Not their problem any more. Then of course there's the rampant littering.

The stray cats and dogs are almost always nursing or pregnant. They are often abused by children and eat garbage. It breaks my heart when I see the injured ones limping along. I don't know what can be done.

These are my 2 biggest peeves about Egypt. Will it ever change?

October 15, 2010

Yummy Salad?

It used to be, for most part the phrase "Yummy Salad" was an oxymoron. I thought salad was boring and the opposite of yummy. Now I love it! Now that I'm not eating everything and anything in huge portions and at any time, I really enjoy a nice big salad.


Here this was my yummy salad. It includes:
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow peppers
  • Tomatoes 
  • Cucumbers
  • Shredded carrots
  • Grilled chicken breast

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of one lemon
Chopped  fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh basil

If I was to add anything, maybe a little bit of shredded cheese. This is now one of my favorite things to eat. I had it for lunch with my cool friend Jujey yesterday and then later made this delicious Tomato Basil Soup.

Some of my other favorite things to eat are:

Low fat yogurt with musli and honey
Sliced granny smith apples with a slice of cheddar or a Tbsp of peanut butter
Roasted cauliflower with garlic and parmesan

Anyone have a low fat/calorie meal or snack to share?

October 13, 2010


This is going to sound so odd but in all the years I've lived here I've only ever bought bread from the supermarket. Today on my way back from my walk, I stopped at this little bread oven near my house and got 10 whole wheat/grain (?) pitas for half a pound! 50 piasters! That's  like 9 cents. It was fresh and delicious. And I'm not just saying that because I haven't eaten bread in a long time.

October 12, 2010

Kindness vs Politeness In Egypt

What's the difference between kindness and politeness? People will tell you, all the time, that Egyptian people are some of the kindest people you'll ever meet. It's true. Most people I know here are really sweet and will help you if you need anything. There's no question about that.

There's a sort of over nice-ness that I can't really pull off. I can't compliment someone on her ring without her taking it off and wanting to give it to me. It's called "3azoomet morakba". Like when someone stops by and you're in the middle of dinner, you have to say "come join us" even when there's not enough food. I'm sure some people are sincere but mostly people are just trying to be nice. People insist that you must have something to drink if you visit and will swear by Allah that you simply MUST. I think this is one of the cute quirks about Egypt and it shows how kind they can be, even to their own detriment.

Politeness however, is another matter. Sometimes I think it's a bit of an American phenomenon. We were taught to say please, thank you, and excuse me as toddlers. In KG we pushed in our chairs after getting up and learned to form a single file. Lining up or forming a cue here is a problem. People can't seem to get the idea of one person in front of the other, first come, first serve in a setting simple as a busy supermarket.  I'm the only fool who holds doors open for people and children rarely say thank you when I give them something.

Why is this?

October 10, 2010

Weekly WW #2

So another week's gone by and I lost a kilo exactly. 2.2 lbs. I'm happy with that. I hope it just sticks to a steady loss. This week, I feel like I was better in some things and worse in other ways. Like on Thursday we were invited to a birthday party and I skipped dinner to have a piece of cake. I also used about a quarter of my points today to have a couple of THESE that I made for the kids today. It's Safiyah's 6th birthday and she requested the chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. They are so good, I'm telling you, just THE best double chocolate chip cookies.

The kids had a couple of days off school this week for a national holiday (Oct6, war holiday) and I didn't go walking on those days but the last time we walked longer, We're doing an hour instead of 40 minutes now and I just love it. I feel good.  I'm drinking a lot more water. I put some lemon in it to keep it interesting sometimes.

For breakfast I usually have a bowl of corn flakes mixed with fiber cereal, musli and skim milk, sometimes a sliced banana in there too.  Later I'll have a light yogurt or fruit. I start off my dinner with a big salad. I'll put lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and shredded carrot. For dressing a Tbsp of Olive oil and lemon, salt and pepper. It tastes good and fills you up so you don't want to eat as much. I'll usually have a small portion of chicken or meat and veggies. If I have macaroni for the kids, I'll add a little bit to my salad.  Roasted cauliflower with garlic prooved to be delicious. Also a good snack is air popped popcorn. 3 cups is just one point and it satisfies that crunchy craving and fills you up. I make it over the stove, in a pot old school style and add some salt. Good stuff.

So that makes my 2 week loss 6.6 lbs or 3 kilos. I'll take it. I'm really looking forward to seeing and feeling a real difference in my clothes etc. InshaAllah.

October 9, 2010

Animal Funnies

I love these and wanted to share. :)

October 4, 2010


Presents from E from a business trip!
I love this bottle and the scent is nice, different from what I have.
I like the pink color best.
Isn't this cute? Gift with purchase.
It's a coin purse.

I also got this watch but didn't take a pic. I love it. Alhamdulillah for my sweet husband. :)

October 3, 2010

Weekly WW #1

It's been one week on Weight Watchers and I feel good about eating better. I lost 2 kilos (4.4 lbs). I was kinda hoping for more the first week but I'm not complaining. I survived my first eating out on WW today, we were at the mall and I opted for seafood, soup and grilled salmon. I have to admit, while my kids' fries and Chinese smells wafted my way I was feeling the crave but I knew that once I got my food and ate, I'd be fine. I was completely satisfied actually, without that stuffed feeling, it was delicious. I don't know how many points these were but it's all I had all day except for a small bowl of corn flakes with skim. I usually prefer 4-5 small meals/snacks throughout the day but this was an exception. I was grocery shopping afterwards so it was a good thing we had dinner first. Shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. I'm happy to say I bought lots of fruit and veg with meals in mind.

I kind of feel bad about not baking goodies for my kids lately. I think I will make some cookies this week and send a bunch to neighbors so there isn't a whole lot in the house. I like that Food.com (previously recipezaar) has nutritional info on all the recipes so you can figure out how many points a couple of cookies will be. The beauty of the points system is that it teaches you portion control. You can have whatever you want but in moderation. Here goes another week, inshaAllah.

October 1, 2010

Weight Watchers

So I was hesitant to blog about this, but I figured if I'm really serious about this I should be able to share and talk about it. It kind of holds me accountable and I thought maybe I could ask if anyone else has been on this plan. Now, I'm not enrolled in Weight Watchers, but I'm using their points system. All the info is available online with a few simple Google searches. It's just been 5 days but so far so good. I'm finding it pretty simple to follow.

The idea is you get an allotted number of "points" each day, for me it's 30. Every food or drink has a certain number of points. You can eat whatever you choose as long as you stay under your daily points. You also get an extra 35 points a week to splurge or for leeway. You're just not supposed to spread them out evenly throughout the week. I haven't used mine yet, I can't decide what I should use them on. A burger? Ice cream? Pasta? The choices are limitless. You can eat these things any time but the thing is they're a high # of points so the plan encourages you to eat a lot of low point items like vegetables (most are 0 points) and fruits. As you lose weight your daily points go down. Most of the time I find that the points are plenty especially when I eat healthier foods.

I'm also trying to drink a lot of water and I'm walking 40 minutes 5 times a week. I feel good. I just hope I can stay motivated long enough to see some real results.  Anyone ever do the points system?