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5 Things You Are Doing Wrong

Growing up, people find it hard to face change..even if it means endangering their health.

Did you know that even supplements can cause damage to your body? Any artificial substance consumed in excess may harm your body. Science proved it.

Find some of these elements listed below:

  1. Loading up on Vitamin E:

Most people especially women take Vitamin E supplements, particularly if they have hot flashes. Intake on the long run may become ANTI-anti-oxidant and harm DNA causing cancer according to research. Solution: Pistachios are naturally rich in Vitamin E.

  1. Low-Fat/ Light/ Sugar Free/ Fat Free Food:

All these products that consist of refined carbs and simple sugars. These ingredients have a negative impact on your digestive system producing weight gain and increasing your chance of developing cancer. Solution: Opt for the full fat- this way it will be filling and you will eat less than usual.

  1. Being a Night Owl:

Staying awake most of the night. Melatonin helps regulate and fight cancer. When you sleep less than 6 hours every night, melatonin will not run normally thus increasing the risk of getting colon cancer.  Solution: Make an effort by sleeping at the same time every night till you get used to sleeping 6 to 7 hours each night.

  1. Forgetting about Flossing or Brushing your Teeth:

Causes bacteria and plaque to grow. A study showed that poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of having cancer. According to research, there was a 75% increase in breast cancer in women with gum disease. Solution: Try brushing your teeth for 2 minutes and flossing at least once per day.

  1. Eating Whenever:

Eating at different times every day: Causes a spike in cortisol (stress hormone) leading to inflammation and many different types of cancers. Solution: Pack a light snack: light mozzarella sticks, bananas, apples, or carrots. Keep them in handy in case you get in a traffic jam or find that you will skip lunch time.

There are foods that fight disease. Surprisingly, the list reads delicious. Please find the most popular foods below and take advantage of the benefits they bring:

Papaya: It was found that papayas contain cancer-fighting elements also found in tomatoes. Moreover, carotenoids inside papaya fight free radicals against disease. Lower your cervical cancer risk by eating one papaya per week.

Shrimps: or any seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, haddock, flounder and sardines.) This substance destroys tumour cells and help fight against cancer.

Cashews: According to research, this nut reduces the risk of getting colon cancer by consuming 12 cashews daily. Chinese Cashew Chicken anyone?

Beets: The rich red color of beets actually comes from the cancer-fighting antioxidant “betalain”. It was found that “Betalains” starve tumors and hinder cell division. Researchers have shown that adding a quarter cup of beets to your daily diet can reduce the risk of kidney cancer.

I don’t know about you, but however coined “This is spreading like cancer,” was not exaggerating at all.  Since one may wonder what causes his relative to suffer from cancer, this may be it. Please check the list below:

47 % of cancer patients suffer mostly from physical pain- isn’t it easier to prevent it from ever taking place?

Live better.


Shirley Gerges @shirleysplace8


Supermarket Monster

Going grocery shopping in Lebanon is mind-blowing. There are so many grocery stores opening up. There is so much to choose from. Variety allows consumers to choose from a huge variety of products. For parents bringing their children along, this is not always the case.

The other day, I was at the grocery store shopping for my sister’s graduation gift “Korean Rice Cake with Sesame Cream Filling.” It is not easy to find international food especially Korean products. Finally, a really nice employee assists me with my shopping list and the checklist is “Done.” Excited about my new cooking adventure, I made my way swinging my basket like I didn’t care.

As I was passing by, a young boy was picking up a chocolate bar while the mother is nowhere to be found. Seconds later, to my horror, I see a lady grasping the same boy violently by the arm; She swung her hand around slapping him twice across the face.

This was all done in public.

In psychology, it is well known that all kind of childhood experiences (whether positive or negative) will shape the kind of person a child grows into

For this reason, it is crucial for people to learn and exercise proper etiquette.

Do you have any ideas of how a parent should treat his child?

I welcome your input.

Shirley Gerges @shirleyspace8

Things to Make your Exercise More Enjoyable

Some people do not enjoy exercising, are you one of them?

It is a solid ritual: my friends are subscribed to an exclusive gym and take advantage of a huge variety of evening classes. From toning to fat burn courses, there is just no way they can find an excuse to opt out.  Some people do not seem to feel motivated to try any type of exercise no matter what. For this reason, I have provided some guidelines, anyone can follow that will surely fire your enthusiasm.


Ask yourself the following questions:


1. Do you have a motivated partner? We all know how we get after a full day at work.


Do you want to get rid of the extra weight? Do you desperately need to tone up?

The secret is to find commonality with other people. If driven, people usually motivate one another to workout. Does your friend want to exercise? Well, this is your chance to call your friend and start now.  When committing to another person, you will feel obligated to start, and once you start the rest is easy.


2. Do you have the right shoes? Walking shoes are different than running shoes. Football shoes are different than cycling shoes. Basketball shoes are different than all the above.

“The biggest mistake people make when they start any exercise program, is just reaching into the closet and pulling out an old  pair of sneakers,” says Tracie Rodgers, PhD, an exercise psychologist.

To choose the cross-trainer best for you, please look for:
– A firm heel
– Ideal support (you shouldn’t be able to bend the shoe too easily)
– Lightweight (you don’t want to add a lot of kilograms to your feet)
– Do you have an arch?

Another feature to consider is: How old are your shoes? If you work out only once in a while, you should replace your shoes every year, otherwise you should replace your shoes every six months.


3. Do you have the right outfit? If no, update your wardrobe: Most people get dramatically motivated once they shop for the perfect workout outfits. Most brands focus on style, comfort, breath-ability etc. Find a great outfit and find yourself training again.


4. Do you enjoy dancing? Dancing is a wholesome activity that can be a sensational cardiovascular workout for people who enjoy dancing.  If you want to dance, finding a dance school near you is easy.  Many local dance instructors adopt new genres. Did you hear about Zumba dancing? It is the new fitness craze that fuses both Latin and International music providing and effective vigorous cardio workout.


5. Do you like music? Listen to your favorite music. Do you get bored after you have been walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes?

Organize your music.
a) Design a playlist: If you have several training activities, divide your music accordingly.
b) Name and time your playlist: name your playlist and time sequence according to each activity example: “Jogging Playlist” 30 minutes “Cooling off Playlist,” for 2 minutes “Sprint Playlist ” 10 minutes etc.


6. Are you a morning or evening person? According to research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels, the optimal energy to exercise is during 6 p.m. If you are a morning person, then workout in the morning but body temperature will be at its lowest; therefore, you may be prone to injuries.


7. Do you enjoy competitive activities?  Try outdoor games such as Football, Basketball, Tennis, Hiking, or even indoors squash.


8. Do you keep a diary of your workout? Research has shown that people are motivated by keeping an offline or online journal of their workout goals. Applications are available on websites, iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, even Google Chrome. Try: Fit Day application or MyNetDiary.


9. Do you pair your activities? Do you need to finish your book? Try biking as you finish your reading at the gym.
When was the last time your family came from out of town? Organize a team activity such as kick ball, hiking, volleyball, or rugby.


Shirley Gerges @shirleyspace8

What You Need To Know About Managing People

Do you think we all feel good in our skin?

NBC show “the biggest loser”, portrays a team of overweight individuals whom sole purpose is to achieve a common goal: a healthy weight loss regimen.

How would individuals change their old habits and lose more than 50% of their body weight?

To invest energy, time, and patience is a challenge all by itself. This is also true when you come across an obstacle and decide for or against self-empowerment.

Not all of us hold the same approach when it comes to training, thus a quick overview on the history and efficiency of coaching will help you find direction.

According to the doctoral dissertation by Vikki Brock dated May 2008 entitled: “Grounded Theory of the Roots and Emergence of Coaching,” The history of coaching leaped during the 1800’s when it was introduced in the sports industry. In 1988, Thomas Leonard started using what he called “Personal Coaching.” Not only did Leonard have a clear vision, but he also made an impact on hundreds of thousands of people. It was not until later that coaching rose in additional industries (business, psychology etc.)

Thus the emergence of coaching spread in the United States, the UK, and Australia.

Coaching not only has gotten popular; it also became exceptionally high in demand. According to Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., research on a published article on coaching effectiveness in Fortune Magazine, executives reported these changes:

  • Productivity increased by 53%
  • Customer service increased by 39%
  • Retention rose by 32%
  • Cost reduced by 23%
  • Bottom line profitability increased by 22%

On the other hand, the telling strategy is a whole different story.

Let us compare both styles:


Next time, will you tell or coach?


Shirley Gerges @shirleysplace8

Energy for Life

While reading an article in a business magazine, I stumbled upon Newton’s famous 3rd law of physics “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

This made me wonder about people’s habits which go unnoticed for many reasons such as poor local law enforcement laws.

One of the bad habits that I can relate to in our society is the garbage that people leave when they litter.

How can we simply change some habits to make sure that the inverse relation is not negative? Here are a few tips


Green Light
Many companies keep all their lights on across the night- even during closed hours. Research pointed out that turning off the lights upon leaving the office can squeeze around 20% of your electric bill.

Follow these tricks to live better:

o   A lot of organizations rely on natural daylight as a free source of lighting for the office- a study showed that it actually improves team members’ productivity and satisfaction.

o   If you have no need for the coffee maker or the microwave, unplug the appliance to save electricity.

o   Make an effort to shut down your laptop/ computer before you leave work for the day: making sure you disconnect adaptor / UPS etc.


You Have a Love Hate Relationship with Paper:
Some people hate going paperless. It’s true. I see millions of receipts stacked around the ATM machines on a weekly basis. If have no need for a receipt, there’s an option that gives you a choice to opt out. You can choose whether you do or do not want to print a receipt.

As a result:

o   You will not get caught with a printed receipt you have no use for.

o   Less electric energy and paper is wasted.

o   More paper is saved.


Green Take-Out?
A great way to preserve energy is to use recycled resources. So many options are available at your local store.  For example: some business cards are printed on recycled cardboard. Another option would be using ceramic/ glass cups and saving extra ones for guests- eliminating the use of paper/plastic cups.


Gasoline: With the fuel prices going up and the cities air congested with pollution you can do your part by following these instructions:

o   Turn off your vehicle if there is heavy car congestion.

o   Share a cab or carpool with friends/ neighbors.


Clean and Durable:
Every team member cleans his desktop computer twice per week. Research shows that keeping your appliances free of dust, grime and dirt is the best way to ensure maximum sustenance.


The Digital Generation:
A study showed about 97 billion emails are exchanged daily on a global. Do you really need every email printed? Print your email if it is urgent.

Small actions can make a difference, and it is you who will feel it not only your children.


Shirley Gerges @shirleysplace8

The Drivers of Communities


An emerging trend is being witnessed in the Middle East. In Lebanon, Lebanese women are provided full rights such as: voting, joining the workforce, and starting their own business. When it comes to settling down and choosing a future partner for marriage, he has to be Lebanese.


Why is our Lebanese government not modernized enough?


Women are the majority here: According to CIA fact book, females outnumber males by 79,830.


When majority rules, why is the Lebanese government still discriminating against women?


If a Lebanese woman marries a foreign man, the Lebanese citizenship is out of the question for him and the children. Lebanese men who are married to foreign women can easily apply for the Lebanese nationality for his wife and children.   A Lebanese woman can provide the Lebanese citizenship for her children only when the father is unknown. (According to the Lebanese tradition, this behavior is considered disgraceful.)


Did you know that women’s participation in the workforce is 59% in the UAE according to Reena Amos Dyes?   It is hardly 23% for females in Lebanon according to Central Administration of Statistics (CAS). Therefore, 36% less women work in Lebanon.

This discriminatory trend not only forces more waves of immigration towards other countries, it also drives Lebanon to lose valuable talent.


We reached the 21st century. Many Lebanese claim being modern, progressive, and challenge-oriented.

More Lebanese women should recognize the importance of our political and legal system, so they can become independent and great leaders of change.


Shirley G. @shirleysplace8

The Science of Chocolate

We grow to believe that chocolate is a guilty pleasure- come to think of it: For most people, chocolate accompanies almost everything; a “passe-partout” or “master key”. Don’t you think?

There is such a wide usability for chocolate such as:


  1. You can drink chocolate.
  2. Snack on chocolate truffles.
  3. Bake a chocolate pound cake.
  4. Dress your baklava or ice cream cone with chocolate sauce.
  5. Make a chocolate Halawa sandwich.


And the list goes on…


There is more to chocolate than just the candy:

“Chocolate produces a high identical to marijuana because “cannabinoids” cause this effect, which can be also found in marijuana,” said Dr. Johnson. He is a distinguished professor in the departments of psychiatry and pharmacology. He is one of the highly acclaimed addiction researchers in the state. He points out that “tyramine” and “tryptophan” convert into dopamine and serotonin central yielding pleasure in the brain.


“Even opening the wrapper and looking at the contents starts your serotonin fibers firing,” Dr. Johnson says.

Studies showed that 20% of your antioxidants causes a boost in your brain when you eat chocolate. Antioxidants kill radicals that are responsible for aging and heart disease. White chocolate contains coco butter, sugar, and milk. It is free of cocoa solids- thus it has no antioxidants.

A study showed that eating dark chocolate causes less food cravings than plain chocolate. Dark chocolate eaters usually consume 15% less calories than milk chocolate eaters.

Dark Chocolate has more antioxidants than fruit juice. It is the new “Super Fruit”-the nutritive value is beyond macronutrient composition according to Dr. Debra Miller, senior author of the paper, “Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit” providing nutritive value beyond their macronutrient composition.”

Dark Chocolate has twice the antioxidants found in red wine and three times the antioxidants in green tea according to Astrologyzine. Livestrong indicates that antioxidants help block oxidation of other molecules.

Organic Chocolate: Does not consist of pesticides, fillers, sugar, and dairy. The organic stamping might drive you to over indulge so beware of the serving size.


Now, there are even more reasons to spoil yourself with chocolate.. in moderation of course.


Shirley G. @shirleysplace8