As we approach bikini season we tend to panic about how our bodies look. But how about how we look inside? WTM investigates how we can change what we’re eating for the better.
In the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity levels worldwide and this rate doesn’t show any signs of slowing. This statistic is particularly shocking in this part of the world, where records show that, on average, 25 per cent of people are classified as overweight and, in Bahrain itself, a shocking 37.9 per cent of women are obese (‘Journal of Obesity’, August 2011).
The strain put on the body from this excess fat has been shown to lead to various types of cancer and heart defects, as well as many other illnesses. So how can we combat this? It’s simple: eat healthily. We all know it, we’ve all been told it and how to do it should be firmly ingrained in our minds.
However, in addition, you need to ensure that the good food you eat actually is just that. Sometimes, even though you feel you are eating healthily, the food that you are putting into your body can be harmful, in ways you won’t have predicted. For example, picking the biggest, shiniest tomato in the store might make you feel self-righteous about adding to your five-a-day, but you might not actually have cause to celebrate. Many of the more attractive looking fruits and vegetables have been chemically enhanced — injected with antibiotics and hormones — additives that are not easily digested by the body and which can cause some really unwanted side-effects.
Here in Bahrain, although it can be tricky to purchase healthier foods, there is hope. One supermarket stocks and serves everything you need to better your lifestyle and improve your diet. The Organic Foods & Café shop, located in Seef Mall, is bursting with healthy options that are not only wholesome, but entirely delicious, and the products are at least 95 per cent organic and affordable.
The brand now has four outlets — two in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi and the Bahrain store, that owner Ali Al Khalifa opened last year. The aim of the shop is to educate customers on the importance of eating quality, healthy and safe products. Similarly, we should only use makeup, skincare and cleaning products that are also gentle and kind to skin, as it is just as important to care for our exterior as our interior.
Organic Foods & Café offers plenty of options to alter your eating habits for the better. For example, you can switch your caffeinated drink intakes for an energy water drink, which includes higher-energy levels, but with less additives and sugars. You can shop for fruit, vegetables, gluten-free breads, dairy products, delicious free range meats, and good quality pork. The shop’s eggs — imported from Holland and Saudi Arabia — fly off the shelves, as do the products in the specialty Italian and Japanese sections.
Food items and merchandise for babies, plus cleaning solutions can also be purchased, and are, of course, organic. Similarly, a whole corner of the shop is dedicated to skincare and makeup — a learned employee will outline how best to treat your skin and what to use.
Additionally, the supermarket boasts a café, which is unique to Bahrain. All of the chairs, tables and furnishings are recycled and the expansive menu features tantalising options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Live on the wild side and try a slightly obscure juice, or opt for one of the chef’s daily specials, such as a cold roasted vegetable salad.
A helping hand
Organic products can be confusing unless you know the brands, so for a first timer it can be tough to know what to choose. This is something that Ali and his team are working on, by highlighting the top selling products to give you an idea of what may be a good first option. Similarly, you online casino canada can ask for direction from the staff or take note of the menu cards scattered around the store. These suggest easily preparable meals that can be made from food purchased in the store.
If you are at a complete loss with where to begin to suit your dietary needs, it can be a great idea to put forth your questions on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Your questions will be forwarded on to a professional dietician and nutritionist who will respond with a detailed answer.
If you are looking for a good place to start, begin by purchasing one of the specialist books or DVDs sold in the shop. With these resources, you can educate yourself about how eating healthy and organic products can reduce the risks of cancer and other such illnesses.
As one of Organic Foods & Café’s aims, Ali regularly visits schools around the Kingdom to teach children of all ages the importance of eating well. It is a great idea to explain to children whilst they are young that there are many options available, which are far more delicious than fast food! This tutoring is available to adults as well, as the café is used as a host for regular events, such as talks from experts in the field. Previously, Ali has invited Nils El Accad, the brand’s founder, to conduct a talk to the parents of young athletes. Nils outlined the importance of maintaining a healthy diet whilst completing strenuous exercise. Famous nutritionist Patrick Holford has also held an event, providing his insight into the world of healthy eating. Many more guest speakers of this calibre are expected to be showcased in the future, and generally the events are free to attend.
Call 17 822-230 or visit www.organicfoodsandcafe.com