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healthy body

DIY, Health & Fitness

Health Benefits of Almond Milk

A lot of people eat almonds as it is or in a dish but almond milk has become popular over the last few years.

It might seem like a health fad but have you ever wondered if almond milk is good for you? Or what are the benefits of almond milk? Read on…

Almond Milk Nutrition

Almond milk is derived from the almond nut, which can be found in the Middle East, India & North Africa. Almond milk is a plant based alternative to traditional milk from cows.

It’s made from raw almonds and filtered water and can be flavored with a few ingredients. Almond milk is low in calories and doesn’t contain saturated fat. It’s also a suitable fat free replacement for people with allergies.

Find out the awesome benefits of almond milk for the body and skin

What Are the Health Benefits of Almond Milk?

  • Almond milk contains many nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and potassium, which are excellent for a healthy body.
  • Almond milk is a very good source of vitamin A, a vitamin essential for healthy eyes and vision.
  • Almond milk is lactose-free and suitable for vegans.
  • Almond milk is a good source of protein and calcium although not as much as traditional cow’s milk but it can be fortified with these nutrients.
  • Almond milk helps boost and maintain the body’s immune system.
  • Almond milk contains vitamin E, which helps repair damaged skin and boost skin health. You can also cleanse your skin with almond milk.
  • Since almond milk doesn’t contain cholesterol or saturated fat, it’s an excellent option for people with high cholesterol. Additionally, it is high in the same heart healthy omega fatty acids usually found in fish.
  • Almond milk contains B vitamins such as iron and riboflavin, which work together for strong muscle development and helps the body repair itself.

Is Almond Milk Healthy?

A cup of almond milk is roughly 50 – 60 calories and less than 2 grams of fat making it a great option when you’re on a fitness regimen. You can use it as a liquid base in your daily smoothies.

Best Almond Milk Brands

The best almond milk brands are natural and shouldn’t contain carrageenan, an ingredient derived from red seaweed and algae, which may cause issues for the GI tract. Some good brands include:

EcoMil Sugar Free Almond Milk

EcoMil Sugar Free Almond Milk

Australias Own Organic Almond Milk

Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk

Both brands can be found at Choithram’s Supermarkets. Wondering how to make almond milk yourself instead? See below –

How to Make Almond Milk

You will need 2 cups of raw almonds and some filtered water.

Directions for DIY Almond Milk

  • Soak the raw almonds in filtered water overnight.
  • Strain the next morning and blend the almonds with more water.
  • After blending, strain the milk through a cheesecloth and add any flavorings you like such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  • Store in a milk bottle and use within a few days.

If you make your own almond milk, keep in mind the protein and calcium content is not as much as you require and you will need to make up for it in other ways.

Is Almond Milk Good for Your Hair?

Almond milk contains a lot of good fats, vitamin E and vitamin A – ideal for moisturizing dry and dull hair, as well as maintaining softness. Read Almond Milk Benefits for Healthy Hair.

Where Can You Buy Raw Almonds?

Raw almonds can be found in most local supermarkets packed or in the bulk bin section. You can also purchase it online HERE.

Now Foods Raw Almonds

Now Foods Raw Almonds

Health & Fitness

Control Your Chocolate Cravings with Avocado Chocolate Mousse

The avocado tree can be found in Mexico although they are cultivated in several tropical and Mediterranean regions of the world. It is aka alligator pear.

The avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, and can also be used in smoothies, milk shakes, salads and ice cream or mixed with other dishes.

Avocados are incredibly nutritious and contain up to 20 vitamins and minerals with the most abundant being vitamin K, C, B, E, potassium (more than bananas) and folate. Additionally, it contains small amounts of iron, zinc, vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). Can you spot some vitamins vital for healthy hair growth in there?

Avocados are also rich in fiber, can help lower cholesterol, loaded with potent antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are excellent for healthy eyes.

Avocado itself is a bit bland in taste for me except when combined with something else so when I came across this recipe while researching healthy ways to indulge chocolate cravings (I’m a serious chocoholic), it felt like a godsend.

The recipe has only a few ingredients, is simple to compile and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

avocado-mousse-for-healthy-weight-loss

Ingredients for Chocolate Avocado Mousse

  • 3 – 5 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk (I used regular milk)
  • 4 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (I used a bar of dark chocolate instead)
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

There are many recipes online but below is the one I used as a guideline. I customized it based on my personal preferences. For instance, I didn’t use as much honey as she used.

1 serving comes to about 295 calories. The great thing about this recipe is a little of it fills you up faster, which means you consume fewer calories overall when included as a cheat day dish within your diet.

By the way, you can use this as a frosting for cakes and donuts as well although not sure how that would end up tasting!

3-seed-butters-essential-for-weight-loss-goals
Health & Fitness

3 Seed Butters Essential for Weight Loss Goals

This is a continuation from the earlier article on 7 Essential Nut Butters to Include in Your Diet for Better Weight Loss. This article will look at seed butters.

Seed butters are just as nutritious as nut butters and whichever one you choose boils down to personal preference. It is made the same way as nut butters by grinding suitable seeds into a paste via a blender or food processor. Seed butters are also a great alternative if you’re allergic to nuts.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Food To Live Organic Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seed butter is an excellent source of selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, vitamin E & B vitamins. It’s also full of omega-6 fatty acids. It makes for a great dipping for veggies like carrots and cucumbers, as a base in salad dressings and in baking.

Sesame Seed Butter

sesame seed butter for weight loss

Sesame seed butter is aka tahini in the Middle East. The butter is made with toasted sesame seeds and is full of omega-6 fatty acids. The many benefits of sesame seeds were covered in the earlier article – Benefits of Adding Sesame Seeds to Your Diet. The consistency is creamy and slightly runny. Sesame seed butter is excellent for use in sauces, salad dressings and the popular Middle Eastern dish hummus.

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Now Foods Organic Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seed butter is packed full of omega-6 fatty acids as well and falls into the category of a superfood. It contains a significant amount of zinc, which can help you contribute to about one third of the recommended daily allowance for women. Additionally, it contains iron, beta-carotene, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium and copper. Pumpkin seeds make an excellent snack and can be eaten whole.

You can find seed butters in most supermarkets but check the ingredient listing before purchase as there might be additives like sugar, which defeats the purpose of helping with weight loss.

How to Make Seed Butters at Home

There is a detailed recipe in the earlier article – 7 Essential Nut Butters to Include in Your Diet for Better Weight Loss as well as other healthy ingredients you can include in your recipe.

8-nut-butters-for-weight-loss-in-dubai
DIY, Health & Fitness

7 Essential Nut Butters to Include in Your Diet for Better Weight Loss

Nut butters are made by grinding suitable nuts into a paste via a blender or food processor. Nut butters are high in protein, fiber and essential fatty acids, and make a suitable healthy replacement for margarine and butter in sandwiches, toast, etc. Nut butters are also suitable for vegan and paleo diets.

Peanut butter is the most popular and easily recognizable to a lot of people but it doesn’t contain that much omega-3 fatty acids, which is required for more effective functioning of the immune system. You can acquire this by incorporating other nutritious nut butters in your diet with the best 7 being:

  • The best nut butter is almond butter, which contains the least amount of calories per serving. It also contains the most fiber out of all the nut butters. Almond butter stabilizes the blood sugar levels, which leads to increased energy and reduced likelihood of unhealthy cravings. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Walnut butter is full of omega-3 fatty acids and helps to trigger leptin, an hormone that tells the body when it has had enough to eat. Additional nutrients include biotin, copper, manganese, B vitamins and
  • Cashew butter has a high content of protein, B vitamins and protein. Cashew butter can also be added to smoothies, oatmeal, and used as a dip for crudités like apples, cucumbers, celery sticks and carrots.
  • Pistachio butter improves heart health and helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). They contain omega-3 fatty acids and a significant amount of omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain protein, fiber and potassium.
  • Hazelnut butter contains a good amount of omega-6 fatty acids as well. They also contain fiber, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and protein although the protein content is less than the protein content of other butters. It can be paired with other benefits or ingredients for maximum benefit.
  • Macadamia nut butter has a great flavor profile and is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Macadamia nut butter has a very high fatty content so consume in moderation. Macadamia nuts can be a bit pricey though so if budget is an issue, try some other nut on the list.
  • Pecan butter is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B & E, potassium, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, as well as a lot of fiber. It can also help lower bad cholesterol but should be consumed in moderation.

You can purchase nut butters in supermarkets but it’s best to make your own at home. If you have a frying pan and food processor, you can whip up any type of nut butter in minutes. You will need:

  • 2 – 4 cups of whichever nuts you’re using. Organic nuts work best.
  • A few tablespoons of oil (I like coconut and extra virgin olive oil for this recipe)
  • A few teaspoons of sea salt but this is optional.

DIY-nut-butter-for-weight-loss

Directions for DIY Nut Butter

  • Heat up a dry frying pan over medium heat then toss in the nuts. Move around every few minutes until toasted to your preference then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Some people prefer to soak and dehydrate the nuts before processing into butter. This is up to you. If you’re doing this, don’t soak and dehydrate macadamia nuts. Here’s a detailed article on how to soak and dehydrate nuts.
  • Pour into your food processor and start pulsing initially then move on to processing for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Add in the oil slowly as you process until creamy and smooth. Go easy on the oil as nuts already contain natural oils, which are released as you process them.
  • Taste and add salt if you’re using.
  • Store in an airtight container. It should keep for up to a month in the fridge.

You can jazz up your nut butters anyway you like with some suggestions being cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cayenne pepper, rosemary, basil, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar etc. Add in these ingredients after the nut butter is already creamy and smooth. You can also mix and match nut butters if you like. A great suggestion is pistachio and almonds.

While they fill you up and help your metabolism work more effectively, which leads to better weight loss, it’s important to keep in mind they are also high in fatty content and should therefore be consumed in moderation (not more than 2 tablespoons per serving is suggested).

An upcoming article will examine seed butters as well as their effectiveness for the body and weight loss goals.

Hair

The Connection Between Desalinated Water & Hair Loss in Dubai

When you start experiencing hair loss in Dubai, one of the first things people tell you could be the cause is the water, which is desalinated.

Desalination is the process of eliminating salt from seawater in order to produce drinking water. As the pollution of seawater increases, more and more must be done to purify the water including increasing the chlorine content as well as adding lime to control the chlorine levels.

Unfortunately, chlorine strips out the natural oils that protect the hair strands. Repeated dousing of hair leads to flaking on the scalp, dandruff, build up on the scalp thus hindering healthy growth, dry hair which eventually leads to breakage and weakening of the hair’s structure. How much damage the water does to your hair depends on your hair type and other simultaneous hair care activities you’re involved in.

If you’re losing a lot of hair, the water isn’t the only culprit and shouldn’t be solely blamed for it. Look to other activities such as how often you wash your hair, the products you use, how you handle your hair while wet, etc.

5-ways-to-control-hair-loss-in-dubai

So what can you do to mitigate the potential damage from caring for your hair from desalinated water in Dubai?

  • Look into a water filter for your shower. More HERE.
  • Try out rosewater for hair loss. More HERE.
  • Control the pH levels of your hair. More HERE.
  • Replace traditional shampoos with natural shampoos. More HERE.
  • Try natural hair rinses. More HERE.

You should be able to eliminate most common hair loss issues in Dubai by including the suggestions above in your hair regimen. If you’re still experiencing hair loss despite trying this, then speak to your physician to arrange a check up. There could be a vitamin deficiency or something else going on in your body.


reasons-to-replace-soy-sauce-with-coconut-aminos
Health & Fitness

7 Reasons to Replace Soy Sauce with Coconut Aminos

Soy sauce is a common condiment in Asian cooking. It’s made from soybeans and gives dishes a rich intense taste but the problem is it also has high sodium content. A tablespoon of soy sauce can contain up to 1,000 mg of sodium.

Foods high in sodium can cause increased blood pressure and has been linked to thyroid dysfunction. Additionally, a lot of soy sauce is produced using a highly chemical process.

I’ve developed a lot of interest in Asian food since the beginning of the year, which has led to including soy sauce in my diet. However, as I’ve studied it more, I’m not comfortable with the health implications. In searching for a suitable alternative, I came across coconut aminos.

Coconut aminos are derived from the sap of coconut. The sap is collected and blended with unbleached and unrefined sea salt then aged (up to 1 year) to produce coconut aminos. While not having the exact same taste as soy sauce, it provides a good balance to dishes and isn’t as salty as regular sodium sauce. It’s a dark and rich colour as well.

benefits-of-coconut-aminos-for-health

  • Coconut aminos is gluten free.
  • It contains a significant amount of amino acid, up to 17 types, which is the base for building protein in the body. They also help boost the functioning of the immune system.
  • It’s suitable for vegans.
  • It has a low-glycemic index (GI of 35).
  • It contains up to 65% less sodium than regular soy sauce.
  • It has a neutral pH, which helps to maintain proper acid/alkaline balance in the body.
  • It contains several B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, panthothenic acid, niacin, biotin and folic acid (excellent for healthy hair growth) as well as vitamin C.

My favourite brand of coconut aminos is Coconut Secrets Coconut Aminos. The brand is economical and certified organic. I haven’t located coconut aminos anywhere in Dubai and usually get mine from iHerb. Once opened, coconut aminos should be refrigerated.

coconut-secrets-organic-coconut-aminos-dubai

You can get 10% off your first order HERE. If your order is above $40, you also get cheap shipping to Dubai for only $8 no matter the weight of your shipment.

the-most-powerful-compounds-in-cinnamonthe-most-powerful-compounds-in-cinnamon
Health & Fitness

The 3 Most Powerful Compounds in Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of a group of aromatic trees from the genus Cinnamomum. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and parts of Asia.

It has a sweet and fragrant taste and is available in dried bark form or in powder form. There are two types of cinnamon – Ceylon cinnamon (true cinnamon) and cassia cinnamon, which is the most common type of cinnamon.

Cinnamon has many powerful health and unique healing abilities, which are provided by 3 compounds – cinnamaldehydecinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol.

Cinnamaldehyde: Cinnamon contains up to 80% of this compound. This chemical is what gives cinnamon its flavor and smell. The compound helps fight against bacterial and fungal infections. It is also protects the immune system from cell damage, which can lead to several diseases including cancer. It’s especially beneficial for colon health.

Cinnamyl alcohol: This compound is pale yellow and has a pleasant fragrance. It’s used in the production of perfumes and other hair care and household products.

Cinnamyl acetate: The third type of compound found in the bark of the cinnamon. It has a sweet, floral fragrance with balsamic notes. This compound is also used in making perfumes and several household products.

Other Benefits of Cinnamon Bark & Powder

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, cinnamon also helps the body in the following ways:

  • Cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels. This is very useful if you have diabetes but check with your doctor before including it in your diet.
  • It improves oral health. Studies have shown cinnamon can protect the mouth against common bacteria that causes halitosis (bad breath), decay, cavities & gum disease.
  • It can protect women against common candida infections. It boosts the immune system and fights the infections internally especially if they are drug resistance.
  • Additional nutrients of cinnamon include magnesium, manganese, and a significant dose of calcium. A complete breakdown of the nutritional content can be found HERE.

how-to-include-cinnamon-in-your-diet

How to Include Cinnamon in Your Diet

  • Making cinnamon tea by steeping the sticks in hot water for up to 30 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of manuka honey and enjoy. You can also use this recipe as an iced tea.
  • I add a few dashes of cinnamon to practically everything I cook especially Middle Eastern dishes.
  • Use it as a sweetener instead of sugar in drinks.

Cinnamon barks can be stored for up to a year in an airtight container in the fridge or cool area of the kitchen. Cinnamon powder can be kept for up to 18 months or as per the manufacturer’s directions on the product.

How-Cauliflower-Can-Help-You-Improve-Your-Hair-loss-Issues-Dubai
Hair, Health & Fitness

How Cauliflower Can Help You Improve Your Hair loss Issues in Dubai

Cauliflower came onto my rader a few weeks ago via a ton of recipe videos on Facebook. They look similar to broccoli, which I find repulsive by the way, but the end results in the videos looked incredibly yummy.

I’ve seen videos for cauliflower rice, cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower hash browns and roasted cauliflower. The fried rice and hash browns looked quite appetizing so I decided to conduct some research about cauliflowers and find out if it’s something worth including in my diet.

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. While white is the main colour of cauliflower, it is also available in orange, green and purple

Cauliflower also features on the list of 25 foods with the highest ANDI scores. The ANDI (aggregate nutrient density index) rates food on their nutrients per calorie density. The higher the score, the more nutrients are provided in relation to the caloric content. 

6-benefits-of-cauliflower-for-hair-growth

  1. Fights cancer causing free radicals in the body. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a chemical compound research has shown has the ability to protect the body from cancerous tumours. Sulforaphane can also be found in cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, collards, argula, radish, bok choy and watercess. 
  2. Cauliflower has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep inflammation within your body in check.
  3. One serving of cauliflower contains up to 77% of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin C. 
  4. It can assist to lower cholesterol levels, maintain heart health and strengthen your immune system.
  5. A low carb alternative to starchy foods like rice, potatoes and pasta.
  6. If you are on a detoxifying diet, cauliflower aids in detoxifying the organs as well. You can include it as a midday snack while detoxifying.

Why You Should Add Cauliflower to Your Diet for Hair Growth

why-you-should-add-cauliflower-to-diet-for-hair-growthIn conducting the research for cauliflower, I found 5 vitamins and minerals that are vital to hair growth. They are present in enough amounts to make a difference when it comes to healthy hair and hair growth. They are:

Thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), panthothenic acid (vitamin B5) & folate (vitamin B9): This is a family of vitamins known as B complex. They work in conjunction with each other and often exist in the same types of foods. These vitamins are responsible for strong hair, moisturized hair and healthy follicles.

Vitamin K: This is another family of vitamins that contain K1, K2, & K3. Vitamin K contributes to bone health. Lack of vitamin K in the body manifests itself in brittle bones. Hair loss is one of the signs of brittle bones. 

Iron: Iron deficiency is directly linked to weak hair and hair loss. The right iron levels in your body means your body is working at an optimal level to grow healthy hair. Eating foods rich in iron helps keep anemia at bay. You can also do a quick test at the hospital to check your iron and vitamin levels.

Beta-carotene: Deficiency of beta-carotene can lead to hair breakage. Consuming cauliflower will especially help to encourage regrowth in thin areas of your scalp.

Sulphur: The presence of sulphur in cauliflower helps promote hair & nail growth. Sulphur powder (MSM) is one of the ingredients used in a lot of hair growth oils.

If you take any hair, skin and nail supplements, you might have seen some of the vitamins above on the ingredient listing. Now you know why. In addition to the vitamins and minerals above, cauliflower also contains vitamin C (this also enhances the absorption of iron), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and protein.

Cauliflower is versatile and can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sautéed and stir fried with the best method of cooking being sautéed as this retains the most nutrients while keeping its structural integrity. Adding turmeric to the cauliflower before sautéing also boosts its effectiveness in protecting the body against cancerous growths. I love this recipe from the World’s Healthiest Foods.

The awesome thing about cauliflower is its budget friendly. You can get a medium sized head for as low as AED 5 at your local grocery store. A head can provide a filling meal for up to 4 people.

I will be trying out a few receipes over the next few weeks and upload the results on Instagram & Pinterest. If you aren’t following the page on Instagram & Pinterest already, you can do so HERE & HERE.

Below are some of the recipes I intend to try:

Caution: If you are on anticoagulants, you should speak to your physician before adding cauliflower to your diet.

Get-the-Antioxidant-Power-Cranberry-Juice-Your-Diet
Beauty

Get the Antioxidant Power of Cranberry Juice into Your Diet

Cranberries are native to North America and the juice is derived from the fruit. It has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants compared to other fruits.

Additionally, it contains vitamin C, salicylic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and other trace elements. It also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin E & vitamin K.

Cranberry juice has many health benefits but is particularly useful for women as it helps control bacteria that lead to more common infections in women like UTI, candida & bladder infections (cystitis), as well as acne.

benefits-of-cranberry-juice

What Are the Benefits of Cranberry Juice for Health & Diet?

  • It helps reduce inflammation; assisting the body’s immune system to work at optimal levels.
  • Consumption of cranberry juice helps lower the risk of cancers like breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Another excellent berry for this is the blueberry.
  • Cranberry juice contains a high amount of proanthocyanidins (PACs), a class of polyphenols, which helps improve the functioning of the immune system, a crucial advantage when it comes to the stress levels we experience in Dubai.
  • If you have issues with digestion and bloating, cranberry juice can help regulate your digestive tract and foster an environment for a healthy gut wall.
  • The proanthocyanidins (PACs) contained in the cranberry juice also helps prevent cavities by inhibiting harmful bacteria from adhering to the teeth.
  • The high vitamin C content is a great boost for the skin and vital for collagen production.

Cranberries can be found in juice form, dried or fresh. When purchasing fresh, look for cranberries that are firm to the touch and a deep red colour. You can buy unsweetened cranberry juice or make your own at home.

How to DIY Cranberry Juice 

1 – 2 glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice every day is more than enough. A glass of cranberry juice is only about 50 calories. The taste can be a bit much for some people so you can try cutting it with 100% apple juice or just water. You can also consume dried cranberries as a snack during the day or add it as toppings in a salad.

If you are on any medication, you should consult your physician before you start consuming cranberry juice.

Easy-Recipe-for-a-Quick-Energy-Boost-Before-a-Workout
DIY, Health & Fitness

Easy Recipe for a Quick Energy Boost Before a Workout

I’m a fitness aficionado and make an effort to stay on top of my diet and what goes inside my body. However, one of my major challenges with this is finding the right meal to eat prior to a workout.

I’m a picky eater and I also don’t like eating heavy meals in the morning but I also need to get something in me before my tough Beachbody workouts.

I’ve tried apples, toast and cereal bars but they didn’t quite give me the energy I wanted or they made me feel heavy during the workout. Last week, I came across this great recipe on Tasty’s Facebook page. It’s so simple; it’s crazy I never thought of something like this before. It consists of peanut butter, oats, honey, chocolate chips and flaxseeds.

I’ve modified the recipe slightly in the following ways:

  • Ground flaxseeds instead of whole flaxseeds. Your body cannot process whole flaxseeds so definitely mill it a little. You can purchase whole flaxseeds and blend yourself or purchase already milled flaxseeds.
  • I added a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and toasted pine nuts.
  • I added a spoon of plant protein powder.

I make enough of a batch to last around 5 days in the fridge and pop a few every morning before my workout. They’re awesome and keep me going throughout the 30-minute workout.

A possible substitution for the oats, which I haven’t tried yet includes coconut flakes, quinoa, chia seeds and hemp seeds. You can also replace the peanut butter with almond butter or cashew butter and the honey with agave nectar or maple syrup.

Detox Your Body with a Juice Fast for Healthier & Better Skin
Beauty, DIY, Health & Fitness

Detox Your Body with a Juice Fast for Healthier & Better Skin

In case you’ve missed it, juice fasting is the practice of consuming fruit and vegetable juices in a bid to flush out toxins and other undesirable things from the system; a sort of reboot for your body.

Juice fasting is a bit controversial because it involves denying your body food for a certain amount of time, which is viewed as unhealthy. However, practiced within reason, intermittent juice fasting can lead to excellent results for your body.

The first time I heard about juicing was when Dreamgirls came out. Beyonce was incredibly skinny in the movie and I went searching for what she did and stumbled upon juice fasting. Without doing proper research, I practiced juice fasting for about 7 days afterwards. The results were outstanding but by day 4 of the fast, everyone I saw or spoke to looked like a huge drumstick to me. Luckily, I managed to restrain myself from biting anyone. However, I vowed never to do it again.

In the last year, after much research, I’ve started juice fasting again going a round of 5 – 7 days every few months and the results are much better this time. I practice a modified version of the juice fast. I juice for breakfast and lunch and then have a very light meal like salad for dinner.

5-benefits-of-detoxing-with-a-juice-fast

5 Benefits of Detoxing with a Juice Fast 

  • For the duration of the fast, your body improves on other internal processes that were neglected previously; boosting your body’s ability to heal itself.
  • Juice fasting makes it easier to eliminate addictions like alcohol, caffeine & smoking.
  • When toxins are eliminated from your body with the juice fast, you will have increased energy levels.
  • Your skin will start to glow as nutrients are spread across your body.
  • Juicing allows your body to absorb all of the nutrients from the vegetables and fruits as opposed to the minimal quantity it does when you eat these items whole.

The Wrong Reasons to Practice Juice Fasting

  • To be part of a trend. It’s not a trend or fashion statement and if you jump on it because everyone is doing it, you will likely fail and put on even more weight.
  • Primarily to lose weight. Juice fasting is for detoxing your body and preparing it to work at an optimal level not weight loss. Of course you will lose some weight but this is only temporary until you start eating again. If you make juicing your primary mode of weight loss, you will end up putting on even more weight as you will overeat when you eventually stop juicing.

What Kind of Fruits & Vegetables for a Juice Fast?The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing- More than 200 Fresh Recipes to Cleanse, Cure, and Keep You Healthy

This is a matter of personal preference but a good selection of fruits include dates, oranges, lemon, pineapples, grapefruit, cranberries, apples, while a good selection of vegetables include argula (rocket), cilantro, spinach, carrot, cabbage, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, capsicum, parsley, cucumber, kale, mint, radish, tomatoes, and wheatgrass. Mix and match to your taste.

A standard recipe is your fruits/vegetables, spirulina powder (dietary supplement) and some water. You can get a comprehensive combination of juice recipes from Juicing Recipes for Vitality & Health and The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing: More than 200 Fresh Recipes to Cleanse, Cure, and Keep You Healthy (both available on Kindle & Paperback). 

Drink roughly 15 – 25 oz of juice every time you’re juicing and consume it slowly over 1 – 2 hours.

tips-for-a-successful-juice-fast

Tips for a Successful Juice Fast

  • Your body will be uncomfortable in the beginning as it goes through a withdrawal of food stage. Don’t panic and think you’re dying. If it persists for longer than a day or two, discontinue the juice fast for some time.
  • Start with the modified version I mentioned above then as your body gets used to it, you can move on to all day juicing if you prefer.
  • Use a blender instead of a juicer so you retain all of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables.
  • While juicing, also give up smoking, drinking and coffee in order to have a more effective detox. You will likely crave these things less after your juice fasting session.
  • You can do it with a friend so you’re both accountability buddies.
  • Avoid any avenues like bars, brunches, TV shows etc that will tempt you to break your fast.
  • Take a walk every evening or engage in some light exercise like stretching for the duration of the fast.
  • Drink lots of room temperature water or caffeine free teas like bamboo leaf tea in-between your juice meals.

If you are on any medication or have any other health conditions, please do not engage in juice fasting without consulting your doctor.

how-to-eat-organic-in-dubai
Health & Fitness

How to Eat Organic on a Budget in Dubai

In a world where we read a lot of alarming things about chemicals in food products, GE (genetically engineered) and GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods, it has become imperative to pay attention to where our food comes from.

Investing in organic farmed produce, free of harmful chemicals with all its nutrients retained is a smart choice for personal health and the environment.

5 Reasons Organic Produce is Better

  1. Organic food tastes better. They’re nurtured for taste rather than appearance.
  2. Organic food is free of additives. It’s grown in a well-balanced, chemical free environment.
  3. Food grown organically has retained all its nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
  4. Organic farming supports the ecosystem, preserves the land, wildlife and organisms, protecting the environment for the generations that come after us.
  5. Buying organic supports independent small-scale farmers.

Having said all that, organic food doesn’t come cheap and can get expensive real quick if everything you buy is organic. In that case, how does one eat organically and still sustain a healthy wallet? Here are my top 10 tips for going organic without breaking the bank:

10-tips-for-going-organic-produce-on-a-budget

  • Compare costs between several organic shops and farms. Prices usually vary greatly and sometimes, you can get things cheaper if you buy in bulk.
  • Create your menu around items that can be used across multiple dishes.
  • Canned organic foods are also available and sometimes, they are cheaper than the fresh or frozen version.
  • Prioritize your shopping list. Every item in your pantry doesn’t have to be organic. There are some things you can buy generic like herbs, grains & onions. The most important organic foods are meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk, vegetables and some fruits.
  • You can also buy directly from the farmers to save money.
  • When you buy non-organic conventional foods, peel away the outer layer and skins and quadruple rinse them before use.
  • Some of the organic stores in Dubai have discounts on specific days every week/month. There are also organic markets in some parks that offer food at a discount.
  • If you’re up for it, you can grow some of your own organic produce at home. A few things here and there like herbs, vegetables and some fruits.
  • Eat foods that are in season. They are usually cheaper.
  • Consider buying foods in bulk when they are in season and freezing them for use later on. Buying foods out of season is super expensive.

Where Can You Find Organic Produce in Dubai?

The list keeps growing everyday and below is a cross-section of places where I have shopped for food items at one point or the other:

If you are an organic store and would like to be included in the list above, please get in touch with me HERE.

Benefits of Adding Sesame Seeds to Your Diet
Beauty

Benefits of Adding Sesame Seeds to Your Diet

I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency sometime last year. I was surprised as it’s sunny as all get out most of the year in Dubai and I don’t make much of an effort to stay out of the sun so I expected I was getting the required amount but apparently not.

As a result, I’ve started consuming more foods that help with bone formation in addition to the doctor’s recommendations.

One of the foods on the list are sesame seeds. I love it lightly toasted and add them to almost everything as they give food such a distinct nutty flavor. They are also the main ingredient in tahini (sesame seed pasted) used in hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes.

Sesame seeds are rich in minerals and contain two unique substances – sesamin and sesamolin. They help lower cholesterol, prevent high blood pressure and protect the liver. A handful of sesame seeds provide copper, selenium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and molybdenum. A quarter cup of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk.

hummus-sesame-seeds

How to Consume Sesame Seeds for Better Bone Health

  • You can add sesame seeds to homemade baking like bread, muffins and cookies.
  • You can garnish the same dishes above as well as other dishes with sesame seeds. I sprinkle sesame seeds on sautéed spinach, pan-fried salmon, noodles, pasta and salads.
  • Make your own sesame paste (tahini) at home and use it like you would butter on bread, etc.

Sesame seeds are readily available in the nuts aisle at Carrefour and other department stores. Buy only about a cup at a time and preserve in an air-tight container in the fridge where it will come for up to several months.

Caution: If you have a nut allergy, you may want to stir clear of sesame seeds.