Saturday Brunch at Secteur 75!

Two weeks ago I attended with a couple of friends a Saturday brunch. It was such an amazing experience; we spent like 3 incredible hours enjoying the place, atmosphere and of course the delicious food.  Sharing the experience, here’s a full blog post!

1 Friends at Secteur 75

An old traditional Beiruty house turned into a must try artistic resto-bar. It’s located in the heart of Beirut, Mar Mikhael Street. Its name refers to the area where it is located “Secteur 75”, which means district 75.

2 Secteur 75

The atmosphere is very artistic with graffiti decor and wall paint along with old style rustic chandeliers, doors, windows and unconventional furniture. The music is so nice, not too loud and not too low, you simply enjoy the stay while chitchatting peacefully with your friends.

3 Secteur 75 Menu

Here’s the delicious part!  The food is simply mouthwatering. We tasted a couple of their must try dishes that you should definitely give a try.
La Vie en Vert Cocktail (a mix of passion fruit, apple juice, litchi and alcohol)

4 La Vie en Vert Cocktail

Eggs Benedict

5 Eggs Benedict

Croque du Chef (with Bresaola)

6 Croque du Chef

Champignons des Dieux

7 Champignons des Dieux

Mushroom & Swiss Omelet

8 Mushroom & Swiss Omelet

Scrambled Eggs

9 Scrambled Eggs

Calamari Salad

10 Calamari Salad

Fish Tartar (one of their star dishes)

11 Fish Tartar

Omelet Burger (with a + 200g beef, bacon, Swiss cheese, and omelet)

12 Omelet Burger

Pancake Tower (excellent for groups)

13 Pancake Tower

Gaufre with Chocolate and Ice Cream

14 Gaufre with Chocolate and Ice Cream

See for yourself! Don’t wait long, go give it a try and let us know what you think!

Oh! and by the way, we were 4 girls, and we literally kept nothing in our plates :)

Best Foods For Active Brain Health

Today we’ll have a guest post on the best foods for active brain health.

About the guest blogger:

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer from Los Angeles whose writing covers everything on health and fitness, travel and dining and marketing and social media. To keep her mind active throughout the day, she drinks coffee every morning.

Hope you’ll enjoy it :)

Just as eating the right foods can protect your body from disease and improve its ability to function, eating well can also help to protect and enhance your mind. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are all necessary to keep your brain working at an optimal level, while helping prevent certain debilitating illnesses and boosting performance.

Maintaining a healthy diet is an excellent way to get these necessary elements. Many of the nutrients needed to keep your body healthy are the same that constitute a “brain-healthy diet”, as defined by The Alzheimer’s Association: “one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol.”

Here are a few of the best foods that will help keep your brain healthy:

1) Avocados: This fatty fruit contributes to healthy blood flow, which in turn, means a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, which can protect against hypertension—a condition which can lead to a decline in cognitive abilities.

2) Apples: Eating an apple a day can help keep the doctor away…from your brain! The quercetin (a phytonutrient) found in apples protects the brain from deterioration due to oxidative stress, which can lead Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

3) Eggs: The “perfect protein,” eggs provide steady energy to fuel the body and brain. They are also are high in choline—a necessary component in the production of brain cells specializing in memory.

4) Whole grains: Folate found in whole grains plays a great part in the development of brain cells. Enriched whole grain products not only provide this much-needed nutrient, but also are an excellent source of fiber—for energy regulation—and other B vitamins, which help enhance alertness.

5) Blueberries and strawberries: The antioxidants found in these sweet and tart berries are associated with improved motor skills and memory. Some research also suggests that a diet high in antioxidants can also inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

6) Salmon or other fatty fish: Research has shown that people who regularly consume fish have a better memory than people who do not eat fish. In addition to the protein for energy, fatty fish are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids—which are linked with an improved ability to learn, and provides protection from Alzheimer’s disease.

Of all the fatty fishes, salmon is the number one source of DHA, the predominant omega-3 fat in your brain, which can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Salmon is also nature’s top source of vitamin D (a deficiency in vitamin D is linked to cognitive decline amongst older persons).

7) Coffee: A recent Finnish study found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65-percent (compared to individuals who drank only two to three cups a day).

The antioxidants found in coffee are believed to provide these protective effects. And the caffeine—a natural stimulant—found in coffee helps enhance focus and concentration, and can stimulate the production of endorphins, which can improve mood.

8 ) Dark chocolate: Like coffee, dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidant properties and contains a small amount of caffeine. Additionally, the polyphenols found in cocoa is considered to help increase blood flow to the brain.

A Journal of Nutrition study in 2009 found that eating dark chocolate (the type that has the highest levels of polyphenols and antioxidants) each day helps protect against age-related memory loss—a third of an ounce was all the subjects needed to eat in order to see the benefits.

These eight foods will help you protect your brain from disease and deterioration while also boosting performance. The best “brain foods” not only help to improve focus and memory, but also provide energy for busy days. Try to incorporate some of these foods into your daily meals, and eat them frequently to see the biggest benefits.

Baladi Eggs eaten Raw??

General Overview

The Yolk

The yolk, the yellowish part of the egg, is a rich source of cholesterol. 1 egg contains around 200mg of cholesterol which contribute more than half of the daily cholesterol allowance. Thus, egg yolks ought to be consumed in moderation; when you want to consider egg yolks in the diet make sure you cut cholesterol from other sources during that day. 1 egg yolk is around 50 Kcal.

The White

Egg whites are very rich in proteins with no fats in comparison to the yolks (considering the egg whites are not fried). 1 Egg white is around 20 kcal. Moreover, the white is rich in folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

BALADI EGGS and EATING IT RAW!!

We always hear our Teta severely recommend raw eggs (what is widly known in Arabic as “Brishit”); the most famous recipe was mixing 1 raw egg with a cup of milk and drinking it for breakfast considering it as a way of enhancing health.

Especially the eggs coming from Teta’s backyard chickens; backyard chickens were always linked to raw eggs; what they call in Lebanon as “The Baladi Eggs”. Having the conception that if the egg comes from our own backyard chickens then it’s for sure highly nutritious, safe and should be eaten raw.

ALERT!!

Consuming raw eggs poses high risks of food-borne infection, such as Salmonella. Moreover, eggs contains a compound named “Avidin” which is an anit-nutitive protein found mainly in the whites, that prevents the absorption of Biotin, a vitamin having a key role in metabolism regulation.

It’s very important to cook well the eggs before consumption and that also include the sunny face cooked eggs.

“Baladi Egg does NOT mean SAFE or Highly Nutritious”

Additional References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/442750-list-of-health-benefits-of-eating-raw-eggs/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/252979-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-egg-whites/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00051/rss=6

Picture Source: ArtifectDesign

The Manoushe…

The Manoushe is a traditional Lebanese pie; initially know as the Thym Pie.

It’s a traditional street on-the-go food found everywhere and on all streets of Lebanon. It’s usually eaten on breakfast.

The Manoushe has evolved over the years. It’s now made with different ingredients and flavours. Flavours include: Lebanese Thym, Cheese, Kishik, Spinach, Lahm b Ajeen (Meat), Eggs, Awarma, kafta etc.

Those flavours evolved to include a mix of cheese & thym, cheese & tomato sauce, thym & labneh, thyme & hot pepper paste, shanklish, Bulgarian cheese, Feta Cheese, kishik with awarma, Kishik with walnuts, purslane, eggs with awarma, awarma with labneh, kafta & Cheese, kafta & Hommos, soujouk, soujouk with eggs etc…

All those combinations developed with the development of consumer preferences; some people prefer it plain, others with extra spices, extra lemon, cocktail etc…

It has been also transformed into a dessert pie, with chocolate, halawe, sesame and butter, honey and their combinations with fruits such as bananas or dried fruits and nuts…

Caution:

If we consider a regular thym manoushe of around 150g (the dough); that means the dough alone is around 5 exchanges of carbohydrates, which is equivalent to 2.5 loafs of medium sized Lebanese bread. Thus, if you eat a manoushe you’ll be consuming most or all your carbohydrates (of course depending on each individual daily intake requirements) in a single meal, not taking into consideration the stuffing yet.

That being said, if you have the choice to chose between two manoushes of the SAME size (diameter) and the same type; yet one is of a thinner version (made of less dough) go for the thinner one…

Sumac and Lebanese Cuisine

Sumac is the berries of a shrub that mainly grows in the Mediterranean area. It is well known in all regions and harvested from almost all the mountains of Lebanon.

The sumac hangs on the branches of the shrub as clusters of dark red balls.

Sumac is harvested during the month of August, they are harvested during this season and then they are sun dried, the drying process can take several days up to weeks, when the sumac is completely dried; it is then grounded into a coarse powder. The main purpose of drying the sumac is to be able to use it during winter times.

The grounded sumac has a strong astringent acidic taste, where it’s used as a seasoning and a souring flavouring agent in the Lebanese cuisine, mainly in the “meza”. For example, the traditional Lebanese salad “fattouch” is characteristically served with sumac sprinkled on top. Traditionally, it was used with fried eggs, kabab, in stuffing { Fatayer ex. Fatayer Sulik}, and the famous Lebanese thyme mankoushe, others also add it to the tabboule salad.

Moreover, it is can be used as a substitute for lemon juice in salad dressing, and can also be added to meat and chicken marinades.

Sumac has considerable amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, some antioxidants (such as Tanin), and around 140Kcal per 100g. Some say it’s used as a herbal remedy for urinary disorders (yet I still don’t have any scientific evidence).

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