RAW Sushi Bar

Post by Mark

raw1

Friday night I passed by RAW Sushi Bar with a few friends to try the place out. RAW is a new sushi place located in a very industrial part of Shuwaikh and currently opening just on the weekends. Actually up until last week they were opening only Friday evenings but starting this coming week they’ll be opening Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. They’re still in a soft launch phase which was why their menu wasn’t the final edition when we passed by but I liked the place so wanted to post about it.

raw2

First to get the food aspect out of the way, we ordered a whole bunch of rolls and starters so we could try a variety of dishes. The worst dishes we had weren’t really bad but they just weren’t anything that really stuck out. On the other hand the stuff we did like we would go back for more. Their Negimaki was the best I’ve had and from the rolls we ordered my favorites were the Cali Wearing Orange and the Pink Ink rolls. Forgot what was inside them but just look for them on the menu if you pass by. One of the things I liked about their rolls was the ability to order half portions so you can order more of a variety without over ordering.

raw3

The interior of the place was dim, industrial and trendy looking. It’s not that big with a small bar running along one side of the restaurant and four small tables scattered around. They’ll soon have outdoor seating but I think I’d still prefer the inside more just because of the mood. It’s a local business run by the owners themselves who happen to also be the sushi chefs. I asked one of the owners why he chose to open up in that location and he told me he was actually a bike builder and spent a lot of his time in that area. There literally isn’t anything else around them open that late, there aren’t even any street lights which can be a bit creepy. But, it’s where he feels comfortable and along with all the location quirks I thought they helped make the place seem that much more special.

raw4

The only issue we really had was with the service. It was fairly slow but that was to be expected since they had only been open a handful of times and are still working to fix all their kinks. Price wise I found them extremely reasonable. We were four people and our bill came out to KD26. It actually should have been around KD31 since we ordered 4 starters, 5 different rolls, 4 waters and 2 green teas but, they didn’t charge us for two half portions of rolls because there was a mix up and we ended up getting them really late. Still, KD31 add tip plus divided by 4 is KD8.5 per person. That’s really good. As I mentioned, starting this week they’ll be opening Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7PM till midnight. Their instagram account is @eatrawkwt and here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Fork Fed: Going Bananas!

Post by Fork Fed

banana

As I’m getting ready to move apartments, I can’t help but feel like I’m going bananas! Which, brought me to think about discussing bananas. I’ve realized that people can be divided into 2 groups – a group that loves bananas and think they’re healthy and a group that wants to stay away from one of the starchiest fruits out there. So are bananas worth the calories? Let’s take a look.

Taking a look at the Nutrition Facts (please keep in mind that a banana comes in a variety of sizes and ripeness, this information is for the average medium sized banana)

– Energy: 105 kcals
– Carbs: 27 grams
– Protein: 1g

The calories in bananas are mainly from 2 types of carbohydrates – resistant starch and pectin. Both are mainly found in unripe (green bananas).  These type of starches are essential in maintaining gut health (feed your good bacteria), keeping you full, and helping avoid a blood sugar spike post meal. All of which are key factors to helping anyone eat less and hopefully lose some weight regardless of the caloric amount. This makes banana an excellent choice for a quick and easy breakfast, along with a nut butter, or alone as a snack. Keep in mind that the more ripe a banana is the less pectin and resistance starches are available, BUT don’t let that bring you down, ripe bananas contain a good amount of soluble fiber, the kind that attracts water turning the food into a gel-like consistency and slowing down absorption. I guarantee you you’ll be full regardless of the ripeness of the banana.

Bananas are also high in antioxidants like dopamine and catechins (similar to those found in white tea), provide your body with many nutrients and help protect your heart’s health. The antioxidants and nutritional profile make a banana an excellent snack for athletes as it provides a quick source of energy as well as many electrolytes to help avoid dehydration.

I personally find bananas to be worth every single calorie. I know that some may prefer another 100 calorie snack, but not all calories are the same, and if you choose to alter your taste buds to favor the unripe kind, bananas could actually keep you full and help you achieve your weight loss goals. In the midst of packing up my kitchen and not having any cookware to prepare a meal, a banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter might just be my dinner of choice.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.


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Does anybody know where this place is?

Post by Mark

raw

So a new sushi place opened up in Kuwait called RAW and I’m in love with their branding. But, nobody seems to know where they are located, their website rawsushibar.com doesn’t work and I can’t find any info about them. Does anybody have an idea where they’re located?


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Fork Fed: Vitamins and Your Weight – Is There a Link?

Post by Fork Fed

vit

We have been blaming carbs, fats or overeating for our weight problems, but none of us or at least I never blamed my weight issues on vitamins. There is a link! Yes, some  vitamin deficiencies could be the reason why you’re not losing the weight you’d like to (provided you are eating well). Before you run to the first multivitamins bottle you see, let’s take a look at what specific vitamins play a role in weight management and where we could find them naturally.

Vitamin E – isn’t only for your skin, but this powerful antioxidant can boost your immunity therefore ensuring there is no distraction when trying to burn calories. Some research has shown that individuals who consume enough vitamin E rich foods tended to have a higher metabolism in comparison to individuals within the same age group that were deficient. Now, it makes sense that people consuming healthy fats would have a higher metabolism than those deficient in Vitamin E and therefore consume a lot of empty calories. This study could have many interpretations. It doesn’t hurt to make sure you get your dose of vitamin E though.

What to eat?
Think of oily foods when you think of this vitamin. Almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin E. Aim for 1/2 a cup to avoid excess calories.

Vitamin A – also commonly known as beta-carotene can actually help with fat regulation. Yes, you are not seeing things, this vitamin can actually help control the hormones secreted by your body and further help you to maintain a healthy body weight. With vitamin A you should be careful of toxicity, therefore getting it from a food source is always better than a supplement and also keep in mind that Vitamin A deficiency is somewhat rare.

What to eat?
1/2 cup of cooked spinach, 1 cup lettuce, 1 cup carrots or 1 medium sweet potato will all give you a good dose of vitamin A for the day. Remember it’s a form of beta-carotene so aim for greens, reds and oranges in your food.

Vitamin D – is probably one of the most common and frequent of deficiencies in Kuwait. Almost everyone I’ve met has a deficiency. Leptin, the hunger hormone, is controlled by levels of vitamin D. Meaning, enough vitamin D levels can help control how hungry you feel and research is still being conducted on whether or not it can help control where fat is stored.  Again, you can get toxicity from over-consuming vitamin D, so be careful if you choose to go the supplement route.

What to eat?
Vitamin D is best obtained from the sun, but if you have a job that requires you to spend most of your time indoors then you might be in need of a supplement. Otherwise, 1 egg, 3 ounces of wild salmon or 1 cup of fortified milk can give you small doses of vitamin D.

I’m definitely heading to the grocery store to make sure my fridge is filled with greens.

Keep in mind that all the information provided for you here is based on research being conducted, and with research many things change over time. The main message that I am trying to deliver is that having a variety of fruits and vegetables can help change your lifestyle into a healthier one, which could improve your overall health and perhaps your weight. Weight is definitely not the most important marker of someone’s health. Not all weight is the same. I hope this helps!

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

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Fork Fed: Avocados

Post by Fork Fed

avocado

If there is just one food item I think you should add to your diet everyday, it’ll definitely be avocados! Creamy, delicious and most importantly super nutritious! There just isn’t one reason I can think of as to why you shouldn’t have this food everyday, except for the fact that if you’re not careful your calories could get out of hand.

When talking about fats to any of my clients I always sense some hesitation in adapting them into their day-to-day eating habits; but not all fats are created equal, after all i’m only pushing for them to have more fruit – but a fatty one this time. Despite being called a fat, some fats can actually make you thinner! Let’s take a look at avocados because I really believe they are one of the supreme fats out there.

Bye-Bye Hunger!
Yes, fats will keep you feeling full for a very long time. Who wouldn’t want to feel full? I certainly do! Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats that keep your heart happy and tummy feeling full. Research has proven that eating just 1/2 an avocado can help keep you feeling full for hours to come; just be sure not to have chips with your avocados and instead aim to have them in a salad to feel fuller for longer.

Hello Waist-Line
We all want to shrink our waist-lines and believe it or not avocados have been proven to help. High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, no wonder this miracle fruit can help us with weight loss. But! It’s not just general weight loss that we’re talking about, research has actually found an association between reduction in belly fat and consumption of avocados. Yes, we can still eat and lose weight. It’s the type of fat in avocados that has been linked to regulating the gene that stores fat in your belly area. It definitely is worth a try, just make sure to swap your avocado for other fats you were eating and not add it to your diet. A swap will help cut down some of the calories.

Nutrient Booster
Not only are they loaded with antioxidants and minerals, but avocados can also help boost the absorption of other vitamins. Adding avocados to other veggies (like your salad) can help you absorb about 3 to 5 times more antioxidants than you would had you chosen to have that salad alone. See some vitamins (A,D,E,K) need fat for better absorption and you can’t go wrong with a fat like an avocado. But, like I said not only does it help you absorb more nutrients but avocados are also loaded with nutrients like vitamins K, C and potassium.

Bad Fat Crusher
Worried about your cholesterol? You shouldn’t be worrying if you’re including healthy fats in your diet like avocados. Avocados are loaded with mono and poly unsaturated fats which boost your heart function by increasing the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the bad kind (LDL). Stronger heart, stronger you!

Control that Sugar Spike!
My favorite benefit of having avocados is the fact that it will limit how much your blood sugar spikes after a meal. There are many times where we have sugary foods and if you don’t pair those sugary treats wisely you could end up with a sugar spike which is always followed by a crash! Ever feel sleepy after indulging in carbs? My solution is to always add a healthy fat to whatever you’re eating, this way you somewhat control your sugar from spiking too high. Avocados on the other hand, are not just healthy fats, they’re loaded with fiber and vitamin K – both have been shown to improve your insulin sensitivity helping control your blood sugar levels.

Before you run and grab your avocados keep in mind that 1/2 an avocado contains 161 kcals, 15g fat, 8.5g carbs (of which 6.7g are fiber) and 2g protein. If you choose to substitute your oils with avocado oil (which I think is a great idea) then 1 tablespoon contains 124 kcals and 14g fat – you do lose the fiber and protein if you choose to have the oil. With this in mind, baby steps are all it takes to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you can do it!

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

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Fork Fed: Superfood – Seeds

Post by Fork Fed

superfood

Ever since the paleo diet gained popularity, seeds have had a new and profound role in our diet. What was once looked at as a garnish or snack food has now been found to be an essential addition to our diets to reap the benefits they have to offer. Today we’ll be taking a look at the different small but mighty seeds that you can include in your diet to get the much needed nutritional boost.

Chia – we can’t talk about seeds without mentioning the infamous chia seeds. Believe it or not, chia seeds actually come from the mint plant family. What makes chia seeds so versatile is their ability to absorb almost 10 times their weight, therefore they have become a great thickening agent to add to foods like puddings, pancakes or even shakes. Let’s take a look at what makes this seed a number 1 superfood (nutrition facts provided for 1 ounce/28g/2 tablespoons):

  • Protein: 4g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Fat: 9g (5g are Omega 3)
  • Calories: 137 kcals
  • Rich in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium this tiny seed is a great addition to your daily dietary habits. I would personally add it to water sometimes (but drink up quick or else it’ll form a thick gel), green juices, and salads. Weight loss capabilities of this seed have not been scientifically proven!

    Flax – this super oily seed is rich in omega 3’s, fiber Vitamin B1, copper and magnesium. Definitely a must add to your daily eating habits. Flax seeds should be ground before consuming, but do keep in mind that it is a seed rich in fats therefore it can go rancid if ground and not refrigerated. Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of flax seeds (per 1 ounce/28 grams/4 tablespoons):

  • Protein: 5g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Fat: 12g (6g are Omega 3)
  • Calories: 150 kcals
  • Looking at the nutritional profile, you can see that the flax seed contains more fats that the chia seed yet almost the same amount of omega 3’s; making the chia seed a greater source of omega 3’s with lesser calories.

    Sesame – very commonly used in our region, yet I for sure never thought twice about the nutritional benefits of this mighty seed. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, great for your bones and migraines, and zinc, an immune system booster! Definitely worth thinking twice about, before skimping on the zaatar mix or bread with sesame seeds. As for it’s nutritional profile for 1 ounce/28 grams/2 tablespoons, the following is what sesame seeds have to offer:

  • Protein: 5g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Calories: 161 kcals
  • Compared to the previous two seeds, sesame seeds are the fattiest so far, but still has a decent amount of protein in it. Sesame seeds stand out with their iron content, one of the richest seeds in iron, I highly recommend it for vegetarians suffering from anemia.

    Pumpkin – who would’ve thought that this nutritious vegetable would also have very nutritious seeds? How nutritious? Let’s start by saying that pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc and manganese, which have huge effects on helping boost your immune system, bone health and possibly help control blood sugar (to a certain degree of course). Looking at the nutritional facts, pumpkin seeds have the following to offer (1 ounce/28 grams/2 tablespoons):

  • Protein: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Calories: 160 kcals
  • All those seeds provide us with various forms of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, protein and healthy fats! You cannot go wrong by adding them to your diet, just be sure to control your portion by measuring out how the amount you’d like to eat. I love adding them to salads or my oatmeal and my green juice at times. How would you add those seeds to your food?

    Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
    Founder of Fork Fed.

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    Fork Fed: 2015 Nutrition Trends

    Post by Fork Fed

    2015

    As we’re approaching the end of 2015 and going onto 2016; I thought it would be interesting to go through some of the food/nutrition trends that have emerged this year and discuss whether or not we should take them with us onto 2016. Quinoa was a big hit in 2013, that year was even declared as the “International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations; while gluten-free products became a hit in 2014. Reflecting back at the year 2015, many nutritional trends have been adopted, some are great while others are not so great. Let’s take a look at the top 5 nutrition trends for this year and you can decide whether or not they are worth keeping in your diet.

    Kale – I would have to say that nothing made it big this year as much as kale did. Loaded with vitamins A, C and K this leafy green vegetable is a great addition to any diet; but so are most leafy greens! Kale is not the only veggie that is a nutrient powerhouse; therefore if you like the taste and enjoy it keep it, otherwise just stick to locally grown seasonal veggies like spinach, jute leaves (molokhiya), parsley and coriander leaves.

    Greek Yogurt – This dairy food is one of the most versatile out there. Used as a snack or accompanied with a main dish, Greek yogurt is very high in protein and low in carbohydrates making it a favorite food among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. You do have to be cautious with Greek yogurt as it can be very high in fat. My recommendation is to choose a low fat option and aim for around 2 servings of dairy a day.

    Green Tea – This has been a trend for a while and I have yet to understand why. Yes, green tea is loaded with antioxidants but so is black and white teas. Green tea does have a high amount of polyohenols (antioxidants) which can be absorbed at higher amounts by adding lemon to it. So if you can have your green tea without any sugar and add a lemon to it, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor! But don’t worry if you haven’t developed a liking to green tea as research shows black and white teas are just as good as long as you have them sans the sugar!

    Avocados – My favorite trend of the year! I have been a fan of avocados ever since my freshman year at university; creamy, delicious and a great addition to any meal to help boost that good cholesterol in your body. Definitely a keeper in my book! Loaded with healthy fats, potassium and fiber this fruit is a great daily addition to anybody’s diet. Add it to your salads, your breakfasts or even shakes but be careful to not over do it – 1/2 an avocado is all you need as it is a very nutrient and calorie dense food.

    Coconut Oil – This craze, in my opinion, will go on to 2016 in the nutrition world. Researchers have not reached a conclusion as to whether or not it does cause heart disease, increase weight loss, or even suppress your appetite, but the research is still going on, and it will take time before any conclusions will be made. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats (the heart disease causing kind) and therefore we should be a bit more cautious when using them, despite the fact that many argue otherwise. I think olive oil seems to be the safest fat to use in moderation, so until I hear more from research I’ll be using coconut oil as a beauty product and hold off on using it in my food.

    What do you think of this year’s nutrition trends? Are there any that you are planning to keep? I think the best advice I can give is for you to test foods out yourself and see how your body reacts to them. What could be beneficial to one person might not be to another. I, for example, have tried adding in quinoa to my diet several times but was not successful because of my sensitive colon. Just remember that no one knows their body better than you do. I wish you all a very happy new year filled with health and happiness!

    Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
    Founder of Fork Fed.

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    Chinese Food House and Ginza Market

    Post by Mark

    ginza

    A reader emailed me a few days ago letting me know they had found another Korean supermarket in Kuwait. According to the reader they were trying to find danmuji so they went to Singarea Supermarket and couldn’t find it there. So they asked their favorite Korean restaurant if they knew where they could get it from and they were told about another Korean supermarket in Shuwaikh called Ginza Market. So I passed by over the weekend to check it out. The store is small and seems to be catered more to restaurants than consumers since I was offered a list of all their items to keep with me in case I needed to order anything. But as a consumer you can also pick up whatever you want from their shelves. They’re open from 8AM to 8PM and their phone number is 22205091. Here is their location on [Google Maps]

    chinesefoodhouse

    While looking for Ginza Market I also ended up finding a Chinese Supermarket called Chinese Food House. It’s located in the same building block as Ginza and the store specializes in food products imported directly from China. I couldn’t figure out what they had since everything was written in Chinese but I did find some odd items like century eggs and salt baked chicken feet. They’re open from 8AM to 5PM and their phone number is 97533702. Here is their location on [Google Maps]

    Both those stores have very friendly and helpful staff so don’t be afraid to ask them newbie questions.

    Thanks Karissa


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    Fork Fed: Is Juicing Worth It For You?

    Post by Fork Fed

    juicing

    As I think of topics to write I always aim to do one thing, and that is to provide you with information to help you make your own decisions. We are all under the assumption that nutritional guidelines can be applied on anyone, not realizing that food is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Many things that work with one person might not necessarily work for you, we all have different bodies, different lifestyles, and different needs. Today I want to give you some information to help you decide whether or not juicing is for you!

    Let’s take a look at the facts:

  • Juicing is a great way to get in good amounts of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Juicing does NOT cleanse your body.
  • Juicing is NOT better than eating a whole fruit or vegetable.
  • I know many of you think of juicing as a way to cleanse the body (detox), but I only think of it as a great way to supplement with fruits and vegetables if and only if you do not consume enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day. There are many times where I find myself too lazy to make a salad – and that is when ill opt for a green juice. You should not rely on juicing for better health and definitely not for weight loss.

    There are key points you need to keep in mind when creating or purchasing your green juice. Firstly, when thinking of juices you should focus on green juices! You should add in lots of green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, parsley, radish greens, lettuce) and always limit your fruits to 1-2 portions. Fruits can easily add in a lot of calories, and I personally think the worst thing you can do when you are trying to limit your caloric intake is drinking them! Drinking your calories just isn’t as filling and you can sometimes be taking in more calories than expected. Other vegetables can be used in a juice to enhance the flavour (beetroot, cucumbers, lemons, limes, celery) and they don’t provide as many calories as fruits do.

    My personal favourite green juice ingredients include:

  • A bunch of parsley
  • 4 leaves of Kale or a bunch of spinach (depending on what I have on hand)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 apple
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • Green juices can last from 48-72 hours in the fridge, but to get the most health benefits it’s best to drink up immediately! You can use a blender or preferably a cold-pressed juicer. The cold-pressed juicers don’t heat up, therefore many of the enzymes and vitamins in the fruits and veggies are not destroyed by heat., giving you that extra health boost. Whether you choose to juice or not, always remember that there is nothing you can do better for your health than eating your fruits and veggies! We all need the extra fiber.

    Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
    Founder of Fork Fed.

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    Brunch at ORA

    Post by Mark

    Friday brunches are usually reserved for Cocoa Room but on Saturdays I like to go to other places. Recently it’s mostly been Street (their egg and shroom bao is a killer) but last week while having dinner at ORA I found out they had a brunch menu on Saturdays. So I passed by a couple of days back to try it out.

    orabrunch1

    Their brunch menu really only has 3 or 4 breakfast items with the rest being mostly dishes you could have for lunch or dinner. That’s not a bad thing but if you’re expecting a bunch of intricate breakfast items cooked up by their talented Chef Tiger, you’d be disappointed.

    orabrunch2

    I ended up ordering the Short Rib Eggs Benedict to start with, and then a Steak & Egg Donburi to share with friends followed by French Toast & Banana Tempura for dessert. The steak & egg was easily my favorite, the eggs Benedict was also really good except the hollandaise sauce was cold which made the whole dish seem like it was cold. Finally I didn’t like the french toast but thats because I didn’t read the description of the dish properly and turns out it had peanut butter and I hate peanut butter.

    Overall not a bad option for a Saturday brunch although I do hope they add more “breakfasty” options to the menu. They open at 11AM and brunch is served till 2PM. If you’ve never been to ORA before click [Here]


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