Fork Fed: Does Time Matter?

Post by Fork Fed

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For many years we’ve heard our parents tell us to have our breakfast, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t have dinner and sleep, you’ll get fat! Are all these claims really true? Well, that’s the beauty of research and science – we come to new conclusions everyday! The current research shows that when you choose to have your meals is not really correlated with your weight. I found that to be quite interesting because I, for one, hate having food when I wake up and could usually satisfy any hunger I may have with a coffee and banana.

So, you’re probably thinking what nutrient timing is really about? The idea really started with athletes and body builders to be more specific. Nutrient timing mostly referred to the anabolic window also known as the 15-30 minutes post workout where one could load on carbs and protein to replenish their muscle stores. Research has later on shown that we do not all need to be consuming a high carb high protein meal post workout to replenish our stores within 15-30 minutes, and we can actually do it within an hour or more. Again, this is RESEARCH and research is ongoing. As for consuming a meal before working out, that is only necessary depending on the intensity of your workout. Many research papers have shown that exercising in a semi-fasted state can actually help burn more fat. Again, timing your meals will all depend on what your goals are.

Let’s take a look at breakfast. Have people that changed their habits and consumed breakfast lost weight in comparison to those that opt not to have breakfast? The quick answer is it depends. The idea behind having a meal “breakfast” before lunch is to be able to better control your portion at lunch. If I choose to not have breakfast then by the time lunchtime comes around I will probably overeat and/or make wrong dietary choices. If you are not used to having a meal for breakfast and can somewhat control your hunger by lunchtime then having breakfast may lead to an over consumption of calories. Therefore you might not necessarily lose weight.

As for having dinner before going to sleep, no science has shown that it can lead to weight gain. While completely eliminating carbs at dinner or night time has not been associated with significant weight loss either. On the contrary, some research has shown that consuming carbs can actually help with relaxation and the release of serotonin at night.

So you’re probably thinking what could we further do to enhance our lifestyle and lose some weight? It all boils down to the number of calories you eat! Of course quality is important, but when it comes to weight control specifically, it doesn’t really matter when you have certain foods. As long as you stay within a certain caloric requirement for weight loss (food in is less than energy burnt) then you’ll be losing weight. Now, to stay on track and avoid falling of the bandwagon, it is important that you focus on whole grains and lean protein as well has healthy fats with lots of fruits and veggies to stay full all day! It’s not when you eat your food, it’s how much you choose to eat that will really make an impact.

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

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Fork Fed: The “Pre” and “Pro” Biotics – Explained!

Post by Fork Fed

stomach

I don’t know about you guys, but pre- and probiotics have always been confusing for me. It hasn’t been until recently that scientists and nutritionist have felt that strongly about the benefits of pre- and probiotics, as well as the importance of including them in our diet. Personally, I don’t like taking supplements and always prefer taking in my nutrients from a natural form. Let’s take a look at them in a bit more detail.

– Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria (good bacteria) that enhances our gut flora. These types of bacteria helps protect our digestive tracts from fungi.

– Prebiotics are usually found in the fiber that our gut is unable to digest THAT the probiotic bacteria uses as food.

You might be thinking why it is important to include the probiotics to enhance your gut flora?

– The reason is that sometimes we make food choices that can impact our gut health, which could make us feel bloated or easily prone to getting sick. We already have both good and bad bacteria in our gut, the key point is to enhance or help the good bacteria overgrow the bad bacteria and therefore helping us feel better and digest food better.

– High-sugar and high-fat foods enhance the growth of the bad bacteria in our gut, which could slow down the digestive process making you feel unhealthy and could stop you from losing weight.

Taking a look at our food:
Prebiotic Foods (foods that feed good bacteria):
Foul (broad beans)
– Chickpeas
– Bananas
– Berries
– Garlic
– Onion
– Oats

Probiotic Foods (foods containing the good bacteria):
– Kefir
– Fermented  Cheese/yogurt (soft cheeses)
– Miso
– Non-pasteurized pickles
– Kombucha
– Kimchi

As you can see, getting probiotics from your diet is a bit difficult, while getting prebiotics is much easier. This is were probiotic supplementation could come into play. When looking at supplements, make sure they label the number of live bacteria available per dose (20 billion should be your target),  as well as the type of bacteria being used, and the expiry date (live bacteria can’t live on forever). 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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Kuwait the World’s Food Capital by 2030

Post by Mark

There are several steps which might develop Kuwait and make new national income for the country, and one of the ideas it to make Kuwait a touristic city where people visit to try high standard quality and ingredients. Creating the world’s food capital within 2030 in Kuwait is the main goal. And this video is the first step toward the main goal.

I have mixed feelings with this idea, on one hand Kuwait does have some really great local food concepts but I don’t think we have enough of them. The majority of the local food concepts basically lack any creativity and are just clones of one another. Plus, the lack of alcohol will definitely be an issue for elite chefs as well as the food tourists coming here. And what about the elephant in the room? Dubai like it or not is more of a GCC food capital than Kuwait is right now. Just thinking about Dubai is making me crave the warm chocolate mousse at La Serre. Yum. [YouTube]

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Blue Zone Juice Bar

Post by Mark

bluezone

Blue Zone is a juice bar that just opened up a few days ago at Sultan Center Shaab. For those of you who’ve been to Sultan Center Shaab, the juice bar opened up near the main entrance once you walk in where the sliced fruits used to be on display.

I was at Sultan earlier tonight and spotted a friend sitting at the bar. Turns out the place was for a relative of his, Khalidah Alessa, a former health coach was behind the bar busy baking a hemp seed and date protein bar. She’s managed to turn the little corner into a cute space serving healthy cold-pressed juices, smoothies and small treats. She even has wheat grass shots and will start serving healthy breakfast options soon.

If you’re interested in trying Blue Zone out, they’re open from 8AM to 8PM and you can check out their instagram account @bluezonekw


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Xocolat Handmade Chocolates

Post by Mark

xocolat

I can’t remember the last time I posted about a home business but something about Xocolat caught my attention. Maybe it was the packaging or all the mouth watering shots in their instagram account but I had been meaning to try them out for awhile now and I finally got to do so at the last Qout Market.

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Xocolat was created in 2013 by Sarah AlHajji, a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. She got into handcrafted, artisan chocolate because she saw chocolate as a platform for experimenting with new flavors and she wanted to pass on these flavors to her customers. Xocolat is pronounced sho-ko-laht and comes from the ancient aztec language of nahuatl. The word Xocolat translates to “bitter water”, because pure chocolate has a very bitter flavor profile.

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Sarah makes the chocoaltes herself with a bit of help from her husband who also takes care of the business and marketing side of Xocolat. If you’re interested in trying her chocolates she’s usually selling them at Qout Market but you could also order them by calling 98771742. As I mentioned earlier, her instagram account is filled with mouth watering shots but she also shares a lot of behind the scenes photos of her making the chocolates. It’s pretty interesting to see so make sure you check out the instagram account @xocolat_kw


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Fork Fed: It’s NOT All About the Numbers

Post by Fork Fed

scale

Recently, I decided to measure my body fat percent on a body composition machine and boy oh boy was I nowhere near happy by the numbers. I’ve been going to my workouts religiously and watching what I eat, for the most part. My pant size has gone down 2 sizes, I’m much more toned and definitely stronger than I’ve ever been before. Why haven’t my numbers changed?? Here are some reasons as to why numbers do not really reflect that change that is DEFINITELY going on within you.

Equipment used to measure body fat percent is not always accurate!
The most common of all equipment to measure body fat percent is the bioelectrical impedance, and despite the fact that this machine is commonly available and easy to use, it is probably the least accurate way to measure body fat percentages. Bioelectrical impedance works by sending electrical impulses through the body and measuring how long they take to return; the quicker the return of the impulses are equates to a leaner body (fat hinders the movement of the impulses). This technique is not always accurate because hydration levels can also affect how fast the electrical impulses move through the body. The more hydrated you are the faster the impulses move; therefore if your body was somewhat dehydrated, you will be getting a false reading in regards to your body fat percent. The calipers are probably the most accurate, BUT you need to have a skilled person taking measurements and the measurements need to be taken in the same place at different times to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to remember the exact skin-fold that was measured previously.

The scale and BMI are the worst measures of weight loss.
Both the scale and body mass index (BMI) do not take your muscle mass into account. Therefore if you are someone that is working out and doing a lot of resistance training – you are building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, your weight might increase or stay the same regardless of the fact that you are actually losing fat and dropping in size. If you are not exercising and only restricting your food then using a scale to monitor your weight loss could actually be beneficial. Although to be completely honest with you, I do not like the term weight loss and prefer to focus on fat loss. Taking a look at BMI, it is a calculation of your weight and height. It does not take into account how much of your weight actually comes from muscle or fat, therefore it is the worst indication of whether or not you are at a healthy weight range.

The numbers may frustrate you, but don’t let them bring you down! Numbers do not always reflect everything. As long as you feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well. Remember, any change you make should be a lifestyle one and not a temporary one. I hope this helps you if you’ve been let down by your weight.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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