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Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Top 10 Books to Date

10 Clive Barker’s Mister B. Gone
“This book will do you harm beyond description unless you do as I’m asking you to.” -- Jakabok Botch

This book had me literally fearing for my life and sanity. Throughout this book Jakabok, the main character, keeps saying that if you keep reading you’ll suffer the consequences of your decision. It’s very horrific and entertaining at the same time. It’s basically about this demon who tells his disturbing story and why he’s addressing you; the reader. Clive Barker’s creativity is phenomenal. What can I say, when I read something I obviously give it enough attention for it to become my reality at the time of reading.

9 Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude
This was a very confusing read but exceptionally entertaining. Marquez’s style is vibrantly prominent throughout the book. There’s also a great deal of imagery in the story that implies that the story bears a resemblance to real life. It’s a fictional story about Jose Arcadio Buendía and his wife who set out to look for a new town to live in only to found his own utopic town, or so he thinks. It also tells the story of seven generations of the Buendía family and the misfortunes and unusual events they keep encountering. 

8 Wilkie Collins’ The woman in White
The use of multiple narration is spot on. This book tells the story of a young art teacher and his love interest and how they manage to get together and solve a disquieting problem. It’s a work of fiction, a classic and one of my all-time favorites. I read this when I was in college. I even remember being asked by this girl why I was reading it even though it wasn’t assigned to me by any of my instructors. And need I say that it was an infuriating question?

7 Sidney Sheldon’s The Stars Shine Down
Most of the works of Sheldon that I’ve read are some of my favorites but I had to pick! This book tells the story of the fictional character Lara Cameron. She struggles in a male-dominated world but is determined to make it big. She does but she has to do things that she dreads first, and later gets the nickname “Iron Butterfly.” She then marries a renowned pianist and lives happily with him until one day she encounters a problem that might cause her to lose everything she’s ever achieved.

6 Sidney Sheldon’s Tell me your dreams
This was the book that made me love reading again. A high-school classmate (my best friend at the time) had been reading it and then she let me borrow it. That’s when I was first introduced to Sheldon’s work. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the book as I don’t own a copy.
This novel is about a woman who is both an introvert and a workaholic. Strange things happen to her. It is then revealed that she is hiding a secret about her past and because of it she hurts people with the help of another character.  She gets help at the end and is pronounced cured and is given her life back. The ending has an expected twist as it is revealed in earlier sections of the book.

5 Stephen King’s 11/22/63
This novel is about a fictional high school English teacher who goes back in time to try and prevent the Kennedy assassination. He’s then faced with the consequences of his actions as changing the past also changes the future. At the end, he makes great sacrifices to save the world. 

4 Stephen King’s Rose Madder
This is a story about a reserved woman called Rose who is constantly beaten and abused by her husband. She eventually builds up the courage to leave him, but knows that he will find her as he’s a policeman and good at finding people. She finds people who help her get a job and an apartment and she makes new friends. One day she trades her engagement ring for a painting after finding out it was worthless. This painting turns out to be a gateway to another dimension. It is what saves her from her murderous husband. 

3 Richard Dawkins’ The greatest show on earth
Dawkins is another favorite of mine. His use of simple language makes it easy for anyone to read his books. This non-fiction book basically provides proof of evolution. He explains what a theory is and gives living examples of evolution as well as others. He also discusses how evidence is found. It’s a very informative book to say the least.

2 Stephen King’s Gerald’s game
I read this book a couple of years ago to keep myself from obsessing over some bad incidents that had taken place. It’s one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, and being the horror chick that I am I couldn’t put it down. This fictional story revolves around Jessie’s struggle to get out of the handcuffs in which her husband had put her for his sexual gratification before he had a heart attack. She sees and hears things during the process that may or may not be real. What happens at the end made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

1 Derren Brown’s Tricks of the mind
The title is self-explanatory of this non-fiction number. Brown shares some of his tricks and places emphasis on the psychology of delusion. He also shows how you can lead and read people by being intimidating and confident in your skills. Derren presents real life evidence that debunks alternative medicine and the paranormal. This book also reveals that Derren isn’t as scary as people think he is. He’s down-to-earth, witty and probably reserved. Or maybe it's just an act..

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My 80 10 10 Journey

I didn’t just start eating this way all of a sudden. It was more of a bumpy road, but certainly enlightening. I was a vegan, however, I wasn’t so healthy. In 2012 I started eating healthily. I stumbled upon fruitarianism which led me to read about 80 10 10 (80%+ from carbs, 10%- from fat and 10%- from protein. It should be low in sodium as well). At first I wasn’t eating high carb, low fat. I went fully raw or so I thought but I was consuming high fat foods like avocados and nuts and seeds. I did this for about a year and I lost so much weight because I simply wasn’t eating enough. Everyone was telling me that I looked sick but I was happy that I weighed so little. I had struggled with weight for so long that weighing way less felt so awesome and victorious. I felt literally sick, I couldn’t think straight and I had no energy. I would seriously drag myself to the gym where I worked out really hard (very very bad combo). 

In August of 2013 I decided to give 80 10 10 a go. I still wasn’t eating enough but I was seeing results. I started feeling much better and lively. I also started incorporating 80 10 10 cooked foods into my diet. In October of that year I finally decided not to restrict my calories anymore. It was a very emotional journey really. I started gaining weight and that was a nightmare to me. I hated it and I just felt so betrayed. On the plus side, I felt amazing. I was happy most of the time, I could finally focus and I actually accomplished things and wasn’t out of energy all the time. I used to have irregular periods now I don’t thanks to this lifestyle. My face looks healthy and I am in general a more positive person because of it. 

I’ve embraced the weight gain (which will eventually come off on its own) and therefore accepted myself the way I am. Ever since that happened all sorts of good things came into my life. I haven’t weighed myself in a while now but the last time I did I was 73 kilos. It’s, of course, impossible to be obese on this lifestyle and the reason why I’m gaining this much weight is because I come from a background of calorie restriction and yo-yo dieting. My metabolism is slow due to past eating habits. Even though I gained weight I won’t ever be obese eating this way. I feel satiated all the time and I never worry about my calories anymore (unless I’m not eating enough). I eat somewhere between 2600-3500 calories a day. (Women should eat no less than 2500 cals. and no less than 3000 cals. for men). It’s best to eat more at the beginning. When I was transitioning I was consuming up to 4000 calories. 

My meals consist of fruit and cooked starches, basically. My staples are dates, bananas, seasonal fruit, potato, rice and rice noodles. On the other hand, my back up staples are, Turbinado sugar, whole wheat, pasteurized juices, pasta and oats.

I would feel miserable and very depressed if I didn’t eat enough (usually below 2700 calories). I would feel as if everyone is out to get me. My eye-sight would be terrible and I would look sick! Let alone not having enough energy.

I keep hydrated, now. When you get the hang of it you won’t go back. You’d start noticing when you need water (back when I didn’t used to drink much, I couldn’t tell when I was dehydrated). In general, I have three liters of water per day. Sometimes more. But I can definitely tell now when I need water. I would feel sluggish and basically dehydrated. Yes, I would feel dehydrated! 

Don’t be intimidated to eat and drink this much. It might be a bit challenging at the beginning but you can do it. And if you’re not already a vegan maybe you should go through a transitional period first (being vegetarian then vegan then high carb, low fat vegan). Also, keep in mind that falling off the wagon is just an expression. If it ever happens just get back on! It’s that simple. Don’t be down on yourself and feel like a failure if you don’t stick to this lifestyle 100%. Just make sure to eat clean and healthily (whole foods, cooked starches, no salt (substitute with lemon juice), fruit and eat as little as possible of heavily processed foods, in other words don’t consume foods that have preservatives, added salt and artificial coloring agents).

Working out shouldn’t be a chore. Just be active throughout the day and make sure you eat enough. And anyway, if you’re active and you don’t eat enough your body will make sure to let you know that you need fuel. Of course, you can join a gym just don’t overdo it. And pick a sport or an activity you enjoy. Do not force yourself to workout but be persistent and consistent.

Sleep is essential too. Get 10-12 hours of sleep each night. Personally, when I don’t have enough sleep I feel grumpy and really tired! 

People will think you’re crazy especially the people you live with. Don’t let that discourage you. People teased me for gaining weight on this lifestyle and gave me dirty looks for eating a lot. Sometimes I even avoid eating in front of them because I know they will criticize me and I don’t want to feel judged. I just don’t need that kind of stress in my life. I do believe this is the way to go nevertheless, and I won’t go back. Know that you’re not alone in this. There are a lot of people out there who follow a high carb, low fat diet. Check out it has a lot of helpful tips and you’ll find people like you.

In summary, don’t restrict your calories; just smash down the carbs! Get rid of stress in your life, get enough sleep and keep hydrated. Make sure to go out in the sun every once in a while too ^_^

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. Although she eats fully raw, consuming enough carbs and low fat is what matters. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

An update

I know I haven't been posting much and it makes me feel bad but here's an update!

This year has been great! I finally can tap into being healthy while enjoying my life. The 80 10 10 lifestyle makes me feel great and healthy but one thing I'm hating right now is the weight gain. I'm not sure if I posted this before but around June 2013, I started eating a lot of low fat vegan foods and stopped restricting my calories (2500-4000 cals). The result? Some weight gain (apparently being obese on this lifestyle is nearly impossible) but I feel great and energetic. I stopped going to the gym around two months ago because I just thought I should take a break and now I'm going to go back very soon. The thing is I can't fit into my old clothes but I'm trying not to think too much about it and focus on what's going to happen in the long run.

Just a quick reminder; a high raw/carb, low vegan diet or 80 10 10 is a vegan diet which breaks down like this: 80% or more of your daily caloric intake should be from carbs, 10% or less from fat and 10% or less from protein.
Some people eat only raw fruit and vegetables and some eat a combination of fruit, vegetables and cooked starches but both consume roughly the same percentages.
On this diet one can eat as much carbohydrates as one chooses or wants. Excess carbs get burned off by dietary thermogenesis.

Since I feel great on this lifestyle I'm starting a website about it. It will include tips, FAQ, and my daily diet and exercise routines and some helpful links. I will also start a YouTube channel. I'm not sure how this is going to go since I'm camera shy but I'll try my best. This website will be basically about my experience and progress on this lifestyle.

I will post more details soon, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Living Well Magazine Article

This article is mainly about food standards in Jordan. When I initially contacted Living Well Magazine I had the intention of writing about Veganism, but since this subject is too "extreme" to most people here we agreed that I write about "health." Of course a lot of editing went into it and I'm not sure I should be taking credit for it but I did the writing and the research.
This is the article --> You Are What You Eat