Living in Lebanon – part 1

Welcome to BEYThis article is meant to provide a clearer image of the lifestyle in Lebanon. Take into consideration the fact that I do not work and I am not exposed to any restricted areas. For me it’s great.:) The first thing you need to know about this country is that you will never understand what is going on here, so don’t bother trying to figure it out. Why did a bomb explode today? Where there any targeted victims or it was just another suicide bomber? Hmm! Going into politics is not my business and it shouldn’t be yours either, except of course, you are working for an institution that deals with such aspects or you are studying the subject.

On the other hand, Lebanon, and especially Beirut and its surroundings are an amazing place to live. You can go skiing in the mountains and from there, in maximum 3 hours without too much traffic, you reach the beach. Yes, traffic is a big problem in Lebanon. Well, the public transportation is very poorly developed. What can we do? On the bright side, gas is not as expensive as Europe. Concerning the climate, you have all four seasons and all kinds of landscapes. You will be surprised how alive Lebanon is in summer and how fresh in spring and autumn. Winter is a bit annoying mainly because of heating, which by the way doesn’t truly exist. Why? Few buildings have systems that can provide proper heating and if so, it is not cheap at all, and the rest either have heaters in the house that work on electricity or stoves that work with wood. But for 2 months this isn’t such a big deal. The only problem in winter is incredibly powerful storms that can literally make the building shake. These are one of my favorites. Since I was a kid I used to watch with my dad the lightnings from our balcony. I’ve never seen in my life what I saw here.Here we are talking about sea storms. They are completely outstanding.

Electricity. The most debated aspect in the country. Every day Lebanon witnesses electricity cuts. Fortunately, there is a generator that provides you with enough power in order to be able to heat your house , your food, turn on your boiler, but not all at the same time. Generators have a limit: 6 amps, 10 amps, 20 amps. You choose the one you want. Of course, the pay grows with the numbers of amps. It it also quite annoying to turn on the switch every time it cuts because you plugged in to many things and the generator couldn’t support it. I might be a bit weird, but I love it when it cuts in the mall or in Byblos on the street, or in clubs. For me it’s kind of a fun thing. I enjoy it :). It might take you weeks to get used to this issue, depending where you are from, or days if you adapt very fast.

Restaurants.  Oh my! The cuisine here is unbelievable. It made me love food. I used to eat like any other person and not really care. Lebanese food made me picky. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I sure know that I’m eating more greens, fruits and vegetables than ever and I cannot even remember when I ate pork last time because I love sheep meat more. Let me clear things up. It’s not because of the religion. NOOOO! You can buy pork from anywhere, but the climate makes it a bit harder. It’s too hot for so much fat! Plus sheep and lamb are affordable and delicious. Why eat pork? 😛

What to do in Lebanon? Well..this is something that needs a lot of time for me to write almost everything down. I’ll see you guys next time. Hope you enjoyed few of the details I shared.

Take care! Cheers!

Mino

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Travelling to Paris

Paris, the City of Light, is one of the top destinations in the world. The Eiffel Tower, the Seine, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the food, the architecture and the ambiance make Paris a perfect touristic attraction. If all these are eliminated and the romantic background is not wanted, the French capital will still enthrall. It takes only a click of the mouse to get the flight details and book the hotel. It is that easy for you to have a great holiday. Why Paris? The best things about the city are mentioned in the following paragraphs.
· Top Activities in Paris
Everybody knows the Eiffel Tower and the river Seine. The former is a must-see and a cruise on the later is a once in a lifetime experience. Nonetheless, places like Notre-Dame Cathedral, the famous Champs-Elysee, Louvre Museum, Centre Pompidou, Defense neighbourhood, The Arc de Triomphe and many others should not be neglected. Moreover, a trip to Disney Land and a show at Le Moulin Rouge will spice-up the stay in this marvelous capital. Moulin Rouge sells its tickets months in advance, thus one should plan beforehand and in detail if he or she wants to attend the number one show in Paris. Hop on hop off buses are very practical and popular. They have a stop near each touristic attraction and could be a very handy way to visit the French capital.
· Food
Known for its famous cuisine, it is a perfect place for food lovers. One can find anything from a delicious quick snack to a delighting meal. Reading a French menu is like reading a story about an enchanted land. The variety and the names of the foods will highlight the cuisine’s reputation and its importance for the Parisians. In Paris, food is the reason why one wakes up in the morning. Apart from this, France is the mother land of the best wine in the world; therefore, where, if not in the capital, can one find all kinds of wine? Even if this may seem too fancy, the City of Light has different places for savory and sweet lovers. There are plenty of bistros, crĂȘperies, pubs, pastry shops and restaurants to choose from.
· Culture The city is known for its cultural background. Who doesn’t want to see the works of art of the most famous artists in the world? Fashion, music, entertainment and media contribute to its status as one of the most popular and modern cities in the world. In the summer time and not only the city is engulfed by festivals, concerts and art exhibitions.
· Practical Information

One of the best things to do when you travel to Paris is to make an insurance to cover theft, medical issues, losses etc. The flight details should be double checked in case there are any stops or delays. Charles de Gaulle is a very busy airport, thus one might need to move swiftly in order to reach his destination on time. If the landing is on Beauvais Airport, reaching Paris is a bit more complicated, thus it should be scheduled beforehand. Getting around Paris is not hard, but the means of transport should be chosen before the departure. Taxis are very expensive; therefore they aren’t recommended for the entire stay. Paris is not hard to visit, however, a trip to this enchanting city must be planned in advance.

Getting ready for winter – Bone Broth

Winter is the time when your health needs much more attention. Your body consumes a great deal of minerals and needs plenty of vitamins. A perfect dish for this season is soup. Of course, any kind of soup has good effects, but bone broth has amazing effects. This is a super food recommended by many known people who tackled it for a long period of time. Chris Kresser, Drs. Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet (co-authors of The Perfect Health Diet) and Dr. Cate Shanahan are just few of those who highlighted its super nutritional power.

Bone broth is very easy to cook, but it takes a lot of time. You didn’t actually think that those bones will decompose after 1-hour of slow cooking, did you? No, it takes between 6 and 48 hours depending on the thickness of the bones and on their type (for example chicken bones  take the least amount of time). This food is amazing due to several factors:

– Acts as a great immune system enhancer. Your grandmother always used to tell you to drink chicken soup when you had a cold. Well, here’s your explanation. Drinking it reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the reason for all those cold and flu symptoms.

– Reduces joint inflammation due to glucosamine, which stimulates the production of new collagen, thus repairing and strengthening the joints.

– Bye-bye Cellulite! Dr. Shanahan explained in an interview that bone broth is great when it comes to cellular integrity. If you still have cellulite problems and you don’t know from where, it is probably because of a lack of collagen in your diet. According to Dr. Shanahan “cellulite is fat that lacks collagen support”; therefore this food is essential for supporting the structure of your cells.

– It can help you sleep and relax! The amino-acid, glycine, could calm you down and give you a chilled out  mental state. However, this is just an extra benefit. Do not use the broth instead of prescribed pills. You cannot treat depression or other similar mental disorders by eating bone broth.

– It contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Yup! You could say goodbye to osteoporosis by including this food in your diet. All these minerals are very important for bone formation, growth and strength. If you already suffer from a bone condition, this recipe will help you get better.

– Last but not least, it makes your skin, nails and hair healthier. This is also due to collagen and gelatin, which you find in the bone broth.

With all this said, you are probably wondering how to add some flavor to it. You can find many recipes online, but never forget to add vinegar or cider (better) with it. This aliment helps extract the minerals from the bones. Do not worry about acidity because when it is done, you will not feel the taste of the cider. Garlic is another ingredient that shouldn’t miss in this recipe. It is not only healthy, but it gives a completely different flavor. This broth served with fresh garlic and just a pinch of black pepper will make you feel young again.

Of course, you can add the basic ingredients of a soup after you finished boiling the bones. Onions, carrots, potatoes etc. work great with the bone broth and they will give it some taste. Roasting the bones before boiling them could be another option for adding some flavor.

The bone broth is one of the best foods ever due to its health benefits, and its components are crucial for the human body. And, as a last statement, do not worry about storage. It lasts one week in the fridge and in can be frozen in ice-cube trays and defrosted as needed. It is a very easy , practical and healthy food, which will keep you strong and glowing.