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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    Netflix is Now Available in Kuwait

    Post by Mark

    Earlier today Netflix launched their service globally in over 130 countries including Kuwait. This means you no longer need a VPN or DNS service to be able to access Netflix. I’m not sure how much the TV and Film catalog in Kuwait will vary from the US one but I’m assuming they will be pretty similar. For a list of all the countries Netflix is available in click [Here] or click [Here] to sign up.

    This will definitely have a huge impact on OSN and other providers like Telly. Maybe OSN will finally realize their prices are just too high.


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    TSC Express Now Open

    Post by Mark

    tsc

    The mini Sultan Center at the Gulf Road (Shaab) Alfa petrol station opened up last week and surprisingly it also has a Dunkin Donuts, Second Cup and an Ooredoo branch inside. No idea why it took them such a long time to open up a convenience store in that location but I’m glad they finally did although truthfully, there is a much larger Sultan Center located right behind it so I doubt I’ll ever use this location.

    lulu

    Speaking of Sultan Center I noticed they’re opening a new location right next to LuLu and Saveco in AlRai. Like right next door to LuLu. It’s either a really ballsy move or a really stupid one, I’m having difficulty deciding.


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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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    3D Printers Must Now be Registered with CID

    Post by Mark

    3dprinter

    If you’re planning on ordering a 3D Printer off the internet you should know that customs have released a new decree stating that all 3D Printers must now be registered with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID). I am assuming this has to do with the fact that it’s becoming possible to print firearms with these printers because I can’t imagine why else the CID would be interested in knowing who owns a 3D printer.

    via @forzaq8


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    A Blog of a Domestic Worker in Kuwait

    Post by Mark

    nana

    Back in September when I posted about Abdulai (the school teacher from Ghana), I had a feeling we would be hearing a lot more similar stories. With more people having access to smartphones and internet, I was confident more people would come forward to share their story. Then last week I got the following email from a domestic worker in Kuwait:

    Journalism have been one of my passion since childhood but I had these infantile reasoning that being into journalism might also mean you re signing your death warrant.I have witnessed some renowned journalists being killed and other being put into prison custodies with out persecution but that doesn’t move me to give up on ma dreams of becoming one the worlds finest journalists.To be frank this blog has motivated and inspired me a lot.You have given me the reason why I shouldn’t give up on ma dreams I always say “HARDWOR AND DETERMINATION LEADS TO SUCCESS” .Am an African working in Kuwait as a househelp an I will really fight hard to accomplish my dreams when my contract is over

    So after a bit of back and forth by email, I convinced her she didn’t have to wait and that she could start writing from now. I told her she should start a blog and I explained to her how she could set one up and be able to post articles from her phone. So she did that and got back to me today to let me know that not only was she able to set up her blog but she had also posted her first post. I’m not sure how often she will be updating the blog, she told me she will try to whenever she is free but in any case its still a big step forward. So check out her post and story on how she ended up in Kuwait by clicking [Here]


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    November Cat Adoption Campaign at K’s PATH

    Post by Patrick

    link-small-2

    Ever since I was a kid, I loved having a pet. I’ve had a turtle, rabbits, birds and a dog (not all at once thankfully). Ever since getting married my wife and I have been debating whether or not we should bring a pet into our family. Problem was, my wife loves cats and I was never a cat person, I love dogs. My opinions of cats were pretty generalized. They’re independent, have an attitude and just aren’t really affectionate (at least not as much as dogs). But, owning a dog would have been challenging because of our work schedule among other annoyances (like walking a dog in the heat). So I decided to research different cat breeds and discovered that even though cats can’t be as affectionate as dogs, they can still be loving and they can still be great companions, but only if you pick the right breed for you.

    link-small

    Last week, as chance would have it, K’s PATH posted a picture on Instagram of a lovely Balinese kitten. Balinese cats are related to the Siamese and they’re similar in temperament and in looks. They’re also Hypoallergenic which means they’re good cats to own if you have allergies to them (like both my wife and I do). The Balinese are also very vocal and love to communicate with their owners, they’re friendly and don’t mind having anyone petting them or playing with them. And even though they are independent to a certain degree, Balinese enjoy chilling on the couch with their owners.

    Screenshot-2015-11-15-12.29.36

    So the next day after seeing the Instagram post I called K’s Path. The process for adopting a cat from them is pretty extensive, but simple. You book an appointment for an interview at their facilities in the morning from 10AM to 1PM either on Wednesday, Friday or Saturdays. The entire family (or whoever is going to interact with the cat extensively) has to go. So I made an appointment and my wife and I drove up there Friday morning. The drive was pretty long, about an hour or so from where we live in Salwa. Once we got there we were met by friendly staff and their offices are pretty laid back with cats relaxing or playing out in the open. We were interviewed for about 30 minutes and asked various questions from our history with pets, what kind of environment our house is like, if we have any knowledge on raising cats and so on. Once we were done with the interview, we were taken to a room with the Balinese kitten. They do this to make sure that the kitten would interact well with us and to make sure that it’s the kitten we actually wanted. The Balinese was sharing a room with a couple of other kittens and we got the chance to play around with all of them and even though I nearly picked a different kitten, we were certain we wanted the Balinese.

    Once we were done with that room we went back to the interview room to finish up the process. Normally the charge to adopt a cat is KD35, which includes vaccinations, neutering, and a microchip. But if you adopt a cat in November, the fee is just KD10 and if you don’t bring an animal carrier, K’s PATH would supply you with a used one for an extra charge of KD5.

    So if you were ever on the fence about owning a cat, pay them a visit this month. I’m absolutely in love with the kitten we got (named him Link, duh) and couldn’t be happier.

    Visit the K’s PATH website or instagram account for more information.

    Posted by Patrick


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    Kuwait the Worlds 3rd Fattest Country

    Post by Mark

    A new world fattest countries list was released and Kuwait surprisingly came in third:

    #1. Samoa
    #2. Qatar
    #3. Kuwait
    #4. United Arab Emirates
    #5. Fiji
    #6. Bahamas
    #7. Bahrain
    #8. Saudi Arabia
    #9. United States
    #10. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
    #11. Lebanon
    #12. Barbados
    #13. Trinidad and Tobago
    #14. Oman
    #15. Jordan
    #16. Turkey
    #17. New Zealand
    #18. Egypt
    #19. Australia
    #20. United Kingdom
    #21. Mexico
    #22. Canada
    #23. Papua New Guinea
    #24. Chile
    #25. Solomon Islands

    When these lists started popping up nearly a decade ago I couldn’t agree with them more, but today they just no longer make any sense. There is no way on earth Kuwait is currently the third fattest country in the world. Just no way. I can’t remember the last time I saw an obese person and the population is so much more health conscious than they’ve ever been.

    When I first posted a similar list back in 2007 we were ranked 8th. Kuwait didn’t have as many gyms back then, the organic food craze hadn’t hit yet, we didn’t have a lot of healthy food options and people as a whole (including me) were not properly educated on whats healthy and whats not. Our ranking made sense back then. So there is no way we’ve moved up the list and are now currently ranked 3rd, not unless they’re using old data which is the most likely scenario. [Link]


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