how to keep slim for a sugar addict

It is not a secret. I love food. I love looking at it. I love thinking of it. I love making it. And you tell me to keep slim. Mission impossible. From my youngest age, where my female hormones kicked in and rounded my shapes, I remember being in love with bread, pasta, spinach pies and chocolate cakes. There was always a reason to bake or cook and invite friends over. Sitting in my childhood’s kitchen, mixing flavors and spices while discussing world issues with my closest friends are deep anchored memories.

My relationship to food is a mystery but not a totally strange one. Throughout the years,  food become also a remedy for boredom, for unhappy thoughts, a place that I knew would provide me with warmth, comfort and also gratification after a long tiring day (how many times didn’t I hide chocolate in the cupboards and then binge on them late night, between baby shifts and sleepless nights?).

Bad habits grow and stick like caramel. It takes tremendous effort, concentration, will power, focus, and stamina to break them, to live without them and finally to replace them by better ones. It can take years. Don’t believe anyone who says habits die after 7 days. They have no clue what they are talking about.

Am still struggling but I have found a way to sneak behind them.

Last year, at the peak of my weight (I had the same weight than when I delivered my daughter and that was without being pregnant; that’s when you realize that you have lost control and that some habits were just taking over), Facebook started sending me suggestions about a group called Whole 30 ( FB must be the biggest spy on this planet, how else would it know about my long terme diet struggle? :)).

Whole 30 is basically a detox plan that lasts 30 days. The rules are simple; you avoid certain food products for 30 days, which is the period your body needs to detox and get rid of bad habits (hmm). It also is meant to help you deal with your sugar dragon (later about that; it never goes completely away), get rid of toxins, clean your organism. The product groups are : Grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol.  Eat everything that is whole and not processed. Sounds easy?

whole 30 chart

Well, I did it for 6 months. Lost 9 Whole kilos. Felt amazing. Light. In control. Deprived from the constant need of food. Ate because I was hungry. I managed to stick to the plan for this long because it became easier and easier. A way of life. I didn’t think of calories, or counting. I knew what I could eat and what I shouldn’t be looking at.

Unfortunately Came Christmas.

One gingerbread cookie after another throw me slowly back to the crazy cycle of sugar addiction. It became harder and harder to say no. And my body didn’t listen to me. My cravings got back.

6 months later I am finding a middle ground between Whole 30 and letting myself indulge. A gourmet eater will never cease to love eating. But I can take “Whole 30/15/45” breaks in between and thus calm my rollercoaster.

What is your plan to stay slim? I would love to hear about it 🙂

For more info on Whole 30.

 

 

 

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Back to Blogging :)

Good evening sweet people… Years have passed by without a word from me. I apologize sincerely for that. Basically I found a job that occupied most of my time, leaving little time to the creative mind and much less to this sweet place where I was happy to share thoughts and recipes with you.

It is 2018 now, and I am ready once again to write (this passion has never left me) and my paths have brought me back to what I love most; writing, cooking, photographing and sharing. I am starting a new journey, which might or might not bring me to write a cookbook with my cherished recipes.  This platform is going to be my testing ground where I will be posting anything related to this exciting endeavor.  I hope you will enjoy this adventure with me and I would appreciate any feedback related to the upcoming posts.

I salute each one of you and look forward to connect with you again.

Greetings from my balcony where coffee, sun, flowers and street vibes are becoming my best friends 🙂

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{bake} easy yummy date cake

Baking makes me think of other things…

Let me explain…

Living these days in Lebanon is worrisome. We are in the middle of an unknown era where each hour can change the lives of too many. Having experienced war since my 5th birthday (born and brought up in Beirut), waiting for the next car bomb to explode brings fearsome and very annoying memories to the surface. Mind you, i am lucky in so many ways but today my life is about raising two beautiful children and making the best decisions to ensure that they at least grow up with some sense of security and carefree moments.

So I turn to baking. Because baking is about smells, textures, the anticipation of flavours melting in your mouth, the mixing of ingredients who by magic turn into rewarding comfort food.

So here is what i baked this morning:

ready to be tasted
ready to be tasted
served with white tea! a treat...
served with white tea! a treat…

DATE CAKE

ingredients:

185 g dates (without stones) and cut into smaller pieces.

1 tsp baking soda

2,5 dl boiling water

90 g softened butter

115 g brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence (or powder, works fine)

2 eggs

185 g flour

1,5 tsp baking powder.

how to:

The making is quite easy and forward.

In a bowl add the dates, the boiling water and the baking soda. Let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the rest of the cake. This will soften the dates and makes it easier to mix with the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, mix  with a mixer (or by hand with a wooden spoon, that will make you burn extra calories!) the softened butter with sugar and vanilla. It should become a light brown homogenous dough. Add one egg at a time, and mix well. Then sift half of the flour and add it to the dough, by mixing with a wooden spoon (here i suggest avoiding the electrical mixer, as it will remove the fluffiness of the dough). Add half of the date mixture. mix again. then add the rest of the flour, the baking powder and the date mix.

Give it one last blend by hand(spoon) and pour into a greased cake pan, any form will do. I am using the round one with the whole in the middle. the result is beautiful.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes, in the middle of a pre-heated oven.

When baked let it rest for 10 minutes before you remove it from its form.

Sift white powered sugar sprinkle over the cake!

done!

Bon appetit!!!

Make {Sunday Crêpes }

amazing crepes from Leelouz husband!

Leelouz World

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crepe 2-001

Sunday morning is the day we make crêpes (thin pancakes)! Usually my husband makes them, but this time it will be me as he is away on a business trip and won’t be back before tomorrow…:(

The recipe is quite simple and needs 5 minutes to prepare. However I remember my mother placing the batter in the fridge for half an hour, to rest she said, but I am not a patient person, and I frankly don’t think it makes any difference in the taste, only in its consistency, it becomes a bit thicker while standing!

So for the ingredients: (for approximately 8 crêpes)

1 egg

1/2 cup brown flour (any kind would do, buckwheat flour…)

1/2 cup white flour (I like mixing these because it gives a nicer, thicker and healthier texture)

2 cups milk

2 tbsp melted butter

pinch of salt

pinch of sugar

Whisk all the ingredients…

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Leelou goes back to work…

Good morning everyone! I owe you readers an apology for my lack of posts and endeavor the last 6 weeks…my blog is always on my mind, has been part of my life for the last 7 years, exactly the amount of time i have been taking care of my two adorable children (Georges and Sara) as a full time occupation. But there comes a time where the working environment with adults (!) becomes a necessity for my little curious mind! and 6 weeks ago, I found a job that I like! with adults! dealing with books! how good can it get? I am now a marketing manager for Hachette Antoine, a renown publishing house in Lebanon, dealing with the Middle East. I couldn’t have wished a better place to be. And I owe a big thank you to my readers because my 7 years of blogging have opened up new doors and were partly why i got this job in the first place! being a blogger showed my current boss that i was up to date social networking and that was exactly what my job would be about! So here i am, happy to be working with something i like, and enjoying ever bit of the learning  experience it is giving me…

Funny how your choices end up bringing you a better place…or at least to where you can grow and learn and use your skills…

Deciding to go back to work was not an easy decision and yet it was. The minute i decided to put my wish into action, my angels started working for me…i really believe in synchronicity…things happening in the right time with the right people. Did it ever happen to you?

I also owe a thanks to my sweetest childhood friend Ida, whom i have known since the age of 14. She came to visit me in January, a surprise visit, which actually triggered the big change in my life.. talking to your best friend, and listening to her, makes you realize where you are in your life and what you need to move on.

As for my blog, it is an ongoing process. I will continue my wandering in the streets taking pictures , trying new recipes and sharing them, thinking and exploring and sharing with my readers…

{from pinterest}
{from pinterest}

Beirut ashrafieh {melting pot}

would love to have this balcony!

My walking this morning took  me to the streets of Ashrafieh in Beirut. Still a reminiscence of the old lovely Beirut, but mixed totally with super modern high rises that pop up like mushrooms in between the soon to be ruins of old Beirut.

It is quite a contrast to see old artisans side by side to super sleek and modern buildings. And maybe that is the way it should be. A mix of today and yesterday. I just hope that the signs of yesterday will prevail, they add such  strong charm to the neighborhood, and a feeling of history that you will not see anymore once the last yellow stone and red tile has been removed.

Enjoy the street…

more lovely balconies
more lovely balconies
a mix of the old and the new, side by side, or wall to wall!
a mix of the old and the new, side by side, or wall to wall!
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funky shop on the first floor of an old house, preserving it from demolishing!
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bakery around the corner, perfect setting
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opposite the old house and the bakery, the contrast is huge!
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wood artisan repairing old chairs and cupboards, facing the high rises!
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the artisan has probably never changed the setting of his little shop in 50 years!
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charming last breath of what must have been a lovely house surrounded by trees and gardens!
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i have a soft spot for shabby wooden doors and windows
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someone is still living behind the green shutters…

For those enjoying the virtual walk, why don’t you join the one in Hamra and Ain EL Mreisseh, just click here and here.

Danish design; {public library}

Gentofte main library has a special meaning to me! I used to spend 100’s of hours borrowing comics and books in danish, reading magazines, browsing the encyclopedia section, even studying for my thesis in the latter years..the place has evolved throughout the decades only to become a bit more digitalised and self serviced, but keeping its calming charm and effect on its many readers. A well endowded kid play-area is impressive as it offers adapted areas for babies, toddlers, youngsters and teenagers.
Bringing my kids over is a perfect afternoon outing where i get to browse all the magazines i want while they go exploring the different areas, spending a good 2 hours excluding the hot cocoa taken in the new cafe Nema by the big windows overlooking the lovely greeneries..
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