The second Tuesday of every February marks the National Sports Day in Qatar. In a bid to get the nation moving and active, corporations and sport clubs throughout the country organize sport activities on the streets for everyone to join and have fun with their family and friends (don’t be surprised to find the Emir running or riding next to you). So yes, its technically an official day off from work, but (yes there is a but), it warrants that you have take part on this day. HA!
Last year, having committed to my 2013 resolution
of making it my year of fitness (I swear it did not perish by the third week of January), I proudly lost 9 Kgs and that came with a lot of hard work. I was fortunate enough to meet a few people who I call fitness freaks and helped with my journey to bettering myself. I was just fed up of miraculously gaining weight while being on a normal diet. You don’t notice it until you see yourself in pictures! Nightmare I’m telling you! So I decided, enough is enough, it’s time to take my own promises seriously. Why is it that one can commit to a job at work and execute it really well, when they can’t do the same for personal projects? That’s it, I had to do it and find out for myself.
I ate clean, changed and tweaked my eating habits, omitted fried and junk foods, went to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, severely minimized on eating out with friends (yes ma 3endi
salfa they kept saying), I weighed myself every morning, not for the obsession of losing weight, rather to track the fluctuations of water retention and find out what worked and what didn’t work when I ate something the day before. Then I cheated (mainly when I travelled for work because it’s okay) and went back to eating clean all over again. It was a work in progress and I enjoyed every
part of it, from dropping 2 dress sizes to feeling lighter and getting compliments from everyone. It was highly rewarding. I’m not a nutritional expert, but I know what works well
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for me now. Therefore, as cliché as it may sound, eating healthy is NOT a diet, it’s a lifestyle change, truly and deeply, and one that I have planned to continue in 2014 and the years to come inshallah.
On sports day, I was excited about trying out a new cross fit gym that opened in Doha. I’ve been doing my research on Cross Fit for a few months now and took the odd class here and there in Abu Dhabi, so when I found out that it finally docked the Doha shores, I had to give it a try. They hosted an open day to give people a taster of the place and we tried a sample workout that lasted 7 minutes and involved reptitions of performing 7 push ups, 7 burpees and 7 box jumps (conquered my fear of box jumps, woot!). Repeat the rounds till the buzzer times out and record your score. It was intense yet very thrilling, and nowhere near the real deal of a 50 minute workout that involves a full body workout of more strenuous moves. The good news is that you can always work at your own pace and develop the skill and stamina to beat your own record. I’m signing up and I’ll share my journey with you all in due time.
Food and fitness go hand in hand (yes it’s still possible to be a foodie), so to complement an active day, I thought I’d make something simple and prepare my meal for the next few days. So here is my recipe for a basic chicken with greens and I will show you how to make it interesting with a few additions every day, so watch out for the quick “What’s in my lunch box” posts.
I first chucked it in my gas oven to bake, but an hour later I peeked through and noticed it was just getting warm (despite pre-heating) so I transferred it onto the stove and it cooked much faster. What a confused chicken. Anyhooo:
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 sweet potato (chopped)
- Bunch of Asparagus sticks (chopped)
- Bunch of Snow peas
- 2 Onion bulbs (quartered)
- 5 garlic (uncut)
- 1/2 cup water
- Layer the chicken on a pot, and add the garlic, sweet potatoes and onions.
- Add the herbs, and water onto the pot, Cover and let it cook under medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Finally add the asparagus and snow peas and turn the heat off, but keep the pot covered so it cooks from the steam. This will retain crunch and color.
- Serve as is or enjoy it with some Quinoa.