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When I found out that my LeBootCamp Diet book was going to be translated into Serbian, I was literally jumping for joy! Two reasons: one, it meant that more women would be able to discover my healthy weight loss method, and two, I was finally going to be able to visit Serbia!
I am a chicken when it comes to flying, so I insist that it is Air France or nothing. I get my ticket – a round trip on Air France – so I feel reassured. But all too soon I discover that it is an Air France flight operated by Air Serbia…perfect way to throw me in a panic! But thankfully all calm is restored when I find out that the company was bought by Ethiad which has a great reputation in the world of aviation. I luck out with two super nice seatmates, and everyone on board is warm and friendly!
I arrive in Belgrade at midnight. My publicist, Marija, is waiting for me – she pampers me like a queen throughout my stay! We head to the hotel – it’s simple but functional, and hey, there’s not much sleep to catch on my first night anyways, because my first TV show is at 7am! I am quite the zombie, but feeling good all the same in my almost-neon pink Herve Leger dress I start the day with on the set of the National Broadcasting Agency morning show (which certainly earned me recognition later on the street – even men came up to me saying, “I love your approach!” etc.).
A quick wardrobe change (I go a little more classy in green lace) and we’re off to the Press Conference organized by my Serbian publisher, Vulkan (who, incidentally, is the biggest publisher in this entire country!). While waiting for the meeting to begin I do my signature “Iron Triceps” to tone my arms.
This event serves as official launch of the International Belgrade Book Fair which will open its doors next week. I have the privilege to be one of three guests of honor, among them novelist Gordana Kuić who is famous in Serbia for her writings on the Jewish People, and literary champion Aleksandar Gatalica.
Plenty of questions to tackle! I am amazed because journalists have thoroughly read my book and there’s lots they want to know.
A TV interview for the KCV channel follows next, with a journalist who has given LeBootCamp Dijeta a really good read!
Keeping up with our non-stop pace, we move right into an interview for the weekly magazine “Hello”, followed by a photo shoot.
A delicious meal on the go (compatible with my Detox Phase ;), and then I’m all decked out in red lace for a show with PINK TV.
When I first heard the name of the TV channel, I thought to myself, “it must be a pretty small channel with a name like that “. Well, never judge by externals! Turns out they are actually part of a prominent TV group that has 40 channels, radio shows, etc.! The program is not live and the show will air next weekend.
Thinking naptime? Not happening! I’ve got to prep for dinner (wardrobe change!) and only finally, at 11pm…some long-awaited sleep!
Keeping up with such a chockablock schedule was made that much easier thanks to lemon water all day long, and Detox or Booster style meals to keep my body detoxified and energized!
The next day is a little quieter and that’s a relief! My schedule includes an interview for another channel at PINK TV, and then a book signing in the largest bookstore in the Balkans (Serbs like to describe their features as “the biggest”, “the strongest,” etc., – a little like the Corsicans!). I’m told that Serbs are shy and only very rarely attend book signings, and that I might only have 4 or 5 people show. So everyone is truly surprised when the first young girls show up (nutrition students), followed by men and women who want to learn more about my approach and get a signed copy of my book. I am amazed! There are even strangers on the street who recognize me. In Serbia! It’s absolutely crazy and amazing at the same time.
Before my departure, I do my classic foreign-country activity: a tour at the local pharmacy and supermarket to explore the city’s fruits and vegetables, buy local specialties (and yes, this includes chocolate) and other little treats.
I’ve been asked more than once “so, what do you think of Serbian food?” From the little I observed, Serbian food appears quite high in fat and sugar, and very salty. This explains why it seems that Serbians don’t have great skin. On the other hand, Belgrade women have great bodies! Lots of them are pretty and tall, with slim figures (but not necessarily toned, so there’s work to do there!).
Finally, when it comes to the city – and until I can get back to really visit and experience it deeply – what I will say is you don’t come to Belgrade for its architecture but for its people who are simply adorable and incredibly hospitable. I felt totally loved and welcome. I even took the opportunity to learn a few words in Serbian which made communication a little easier! Here’s a little taste:
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