Posted by Fahad AlYehya | Core Fitness – Kuwait

Consistency in dieting can be a challenge, especially when living in a country that endorses food more than anything else. Most of our days start out with food, some coffee and dessert, a little strolling around and shopping, and some more food. And at night, a small gathering of friends that involves barbecuing and a lot of muffins.

Some clients, relatives and friends call me every weekend, with inquiries such as “I’m at Gaucho. What do you recommend?” or “Pinkberry! Yay or nay?” and “Dude, why isn’t my girlfriend returning my calls?” For starters, you can’t really go wrong with Gaucho if you stick to Filet De Lomo; Pinkberry’s loaded with 20g of sugar per serving; and you should try being less douchey.

I’m not saying you should eat out everyday, but when you’re cornered into a meal, the right recommendations will prove useful. Moreover, dieting puts you in a state of hunger similar to that of a heroin addict; aching and scratching for that next meal. One last advice before I start dissecting each and every restaurant: if it tastes too good, then it’s probably not what you’re looking for.

Oh, Fahad-san! Ret us begin with hearthy restaurants!

What I hate more than carb and fat-infested fast food chains are eateries that preach about health, but are everything but healthy; which is why I’ll be poking at them first:

Subway:
A study was published a while back, comparing both Subway and McDonald’s consumers. The research concluded that McDonald’s consumers were more careful at calculating calories than Subway, since they were well aware of their sins. Moreover, since Subway did a phenomenal job at advertising how healthy they are, their consumers ended up eating 56% more calories than the individuals who went to McDonald’s.

The Good: Turkey breast, roast beef, tons of fibrous veggies, some sauces and dressing (yellow mustard, ketchup, olive oil, vinegar, hot sauce), honey oat or whole wheat bread.

The Bad: Tuna with supposedly light mayo (I asked them what kind of light mayo and they said “not light mayo, we put little mayo”), imitation crab, imitation chicken breast, and essentially everything else not listed above.

The Verdict: Has anyone tasted Subway’s chicken breast? It’s like eating sugary rubber or plastic, mostly because it is. Subway is actually my LAST option if I’m surrounded by nothing but endless fast food restaurants for several miles. Their breads are very low in quality and extremely carby if you opt for the 12 inch.

Recommendations: 6 inch whole wheat or honey oat, 2 piece of cheese, turkey breast and/or roast beef (double meat if you want to “high protein” the meal), veggies of course and 2 lines of ketchup, hot sauce, yellow mustard or a combination of all three. If you’re on a low carbohydrate plan, a salad would do; just make sure you use turkey and/or roast beef and ditch the fatty dressings (Caesar, Ranch, and Thousand Islands) for a few squirts of olive oil, lemon and some salt & pepper.

Health Stop:
This is my first option if I’m sticking to a strict bodybuilding diet, since their food is high in essential muscle building nutrients and very low in taste. You’ll need taste-buds of steel to get through their meals without sauce or dressing.

The Good: HUGE chicken breasts, roasted potatoes, brown rice, broccoli, steak tips and sirloin burgers.

The Bad: The broccoli (al bight good) smells funky, steak tips are cooked with copious amounts of barbecue sauce (VERY sugary in comparison to ketchup), they use white flour wraps and salad dressings are as fatty as can be and not a lot of healthy options for sauces.

The Verdict: A large South Beach Platter, which includes two steroid-induced chicken breasts and a side order of plain broccoli and brown rice or roasted potatoes. If you’re on a low-carb plan, ditch the rice and potatoes or opt for a salad. You may also go with a large Steak Tip Platter; just be an inconsiderate fag and ask them “PLEASE DON’T MARINATE THE MEAT IN BARBECUE SAUCE!”

LoFat:
What I like about this chain is its ability to do everything in-house, including breads, wraps and pizza dough. Moreover, their menu has more options than you can imagine.

The Good: Whole wheat tortilla (pronounced “TOR-TIYA”, not “TOR-TILLA”) wraps are satisfying and surprisingly low in carbs, lettuce wraps are extremely fibrous and also satiating, they use olive oil as a base for their fatty dressings and they go light on the sugary options.

The Bad: Their pizza’s can be DISASTEROUS if you end up eating it alone. Very high in protein (100g!?) and extremely high in fats (130g! Holy SHARKS!) and carbs (100g+, but fibrous). If you’re going to order some, share it with at least another person.

The Verdict: This is what I order most of the time if I can’t stomach Health Stop’s funky smelling broccoli. You can’t go wrong with the carby options since they use whole wheat for everything; just make sure you stay below 50g per meal. If you’re low-carbing it, 1-2 orders of lettuce wraps will do wonders to shut your appetite for 2-3 hours.

Salad Creations:
This is by far the best salad place in Kuwait. If you’re careful, you can reap the benefits by accomplishing both your fitness goals and taste-buds. However, since they specialize in salads, they pretty much rape every other option.

The Good: Everything associated with making a salad! Grilled chicken, turkey slices, shrimp, tuna, copious and numerous amounts and options for veggies, alfalfa sprouts (yes, I’m an alfalfa sprout whore), chick peas and CARB FREE DRESSING!

The Bad: They use white flour wraps and are extremely fatty, they don’t add in a lot of protein unless you annoy them about it, and their new paninis are wonderful but contain more overall calories than a Burger King Whopper!

The Verdict: Eating a salad and feeling satiated can only be achieved here. Stick to Salad Creations only for your low-carb options, advising them to add in more protein and to chop instead of toss.

What about Ord McDonard?
A lot of you would be surprised if you knew how healthy you can go at fast food chains. You can’t be liberal (you probably said “riberer” didn’t you) with your options, but if there isn’t anything worthwhile around you or you simply want to blend in with your fatty buddies at the duwaniya when you’re ordering derivery, then this is what you do:

1) Kentucky Fried Chicken: Order a lunch box with 2-3 chicken breasts, thighs or drums (no fatty wings) and peel off the breaded skin, since it’s too carby and it pretty much sucked all the oil while it received the fry treatment. Order a salad (for your vitamin/mineral quota, sans the dressing) and 1 white bun for your carb source. Limit your ketchup intake to 2 packets (8g of sugar) and absolutely NO coleslaw or dessert. Low-carb the meal by saying bye-bye to the bun. The majority of you probably said “F*ck it” right after I said “peel off the skin.”

2) Hardee’s (with an S at the end, not a Z for the love of God): Grilled chicken sandwich (order an extra patty) with 1 slice of cheese, but no mayo. Ditch the fries for a salad with no dressing. If you’re on a low-carb meal plan, go with 2 Low Carb Grilled chicken sandwiches (a slice of cheese, but no mayo), and a salad to fill you up pretty good.

3) Burger King: Grilled Chicken Whopper (add an extra patty), 1 slice of cheese, no mayo, no fries and a side order of salad.

4) McDonald’s: Premium Grilled Chicken (again, extra patty), 1 slice of cheese, NO SAUCE (only ketchup) and a side order of salad. Yes, no dressing.

5) Domino’s Pizza: Small, thin crust, tomato sauce, veggies, grilled chicken and/or minced beef. Notice that I didn’t include cheese and pepperoni into that equation. You can either tell them to go light on the fatty cheese or ditch it altogether to bring the fat calories way down. Personally, I’d add in some pineapple pieces for that sweet and salty sensation (that’s what she said).

No Bairgair!?
If you’re aching to lose those last kilos of fat, then no burgers for you. However, some individuals have a hard time gaining muscle due to their miraculous metabolisms, so adding in mass-boosting burgers prove beneficial. If you’re in this category, then here’s what you do:

McDonald’s: Yes, this is your only option since I trust their quality protocol in avoiding contaminated meat. Depending on the person’s physical assessment, this meal might range from a double burger (no cheese, since the fatty content is already high due to the burgers), a triple burger or 2 double burgers, with a side order of salad.

What if I Eat Onry Rean Steak and Carifornia Rorr?

We spend a lot of time at the Avenues, Mall 360 or Marina Mall on weekends, and restaurants/cafes are a dime a dozen to say the least. I’ll try my best to cover all bases with this category:

Steak Houses

1) Gaucho Grill: I’m there a minimum of once a week; that’s how diet/bodybuilding friendly this restaurant is. Since Gaucho is well known for its Argentinean red meat, you’ll pretty much have to order this every time you’re there. A marinated Filet is the best cut you can get anywhere, with enough protein to tickle your muscle cells and the exact amount of fat to provide nothing but exhilarating juicy taste. If your diet includes carbs, compliment your steak with a side order of Gaucho’s Sweet Potato and a small salad. Sprinkle your steak with salt & pepper, but no dipping sauce.

2) The Meat Company: Their steaks are just as good (sometimes better if Gaucho’s chef isn’t too faggy that day, which coincidently he is whenever I’m there), but cooked in South African style. A pepper-crusted Filet Mignon with a side order of a salad and the absolutely BEST baked potato in Kuwait.

3) The Butcher Shop: I used to love this place up until they screwed up every order I made for the past 10 times. Personally, I’m very picky with my steaks since I prefer the “medium rare” (bloody) way of cooking. If I’m paying over KD 10 for a steak, then it better arrive perfect. The Butcher Shop makes it pretty clear that in order for them to cook in perfection, they need time. After 30 minutes of wait, my steak arrives extremely well done with a sweet potato the size of a peanut and a yellow hue instead of its usual orange.

Oriental

1) Maki: Pure quality is only served at Maki, but in incredibly small portions. I always order extra when I’m there, but I’d also pay extra for perfection. You never can go wrong with sushi in Japan, but for some reason, Kuwait took the formula and kicked it right in the nuts. As long as you avoid all that crunchy, mayo/spicy sauce shenanigans, then you’re good. These options were introduced to pull in customers that hated classic sushi which involved RAW cuts of fish. Nonetheless, options are still available. If you’re into eating sushi the way it’s supposed to be served, then limit yourself to 12 pieces of maki, 2 orders of sashimi and a seaweed salad with the apple sauce. You may also low-carb the option by going with 2 orders of sashimi, a seafood salad and 1 order of edamame without any salt. Soy sauce is OK as long as you only “tap” the maki instead of “dip”. Avoid the imitation crab since it’s nothing but sugar and white fish. For your cooked options, go with the Teppanyaki (salty) instead of the Teriyaki (sugary).

2) Wasabi: Larger servings than Maki. Both are more or less the same; Maki’s seaweed salad beats Wasabi’s hands down. Wasabi’s salmon is a lot juicer and thicker than Maki’s. Wasabi’s edamame sucks, but their salmon avocado salad (without the dressing) is the best.

3) Sakura: HUMONGOUS servings! You get more bang for your dinar here, and they have much more sashimi options which never run out (are you listening Maki?). If I’m feeling cheap, and the urge to feed my muscles with style increases (which is 3-4 times a week), then I’ll definitely choose this.

4) Edo: A few days back my cousin and a few friends invited me to Edo and surprised me with a dish called “Suriyaki”. My curious self kept on chipping and asking away “What’s Suriyaki?” and everyone was in the know, except for yours truly. When it comes to restaurant food I’m known for being a very picky bitch, so I waited since I wasn’t entirely acquinted with everyone to bitch away even more. We ate away at the high quality sushi and sashimi, served in not-so-surprisingly homosexually small portions, up until the Suriyaki arrived. The waiters came with this mini stove, and placed a big bowl of broth. Then they brought in a pile of lean raw meat (nom nom nom!), delicious veggies and raman noodles. “Oh, for the love of God” was exactly what my heart said right after my cousin dropped in the raman noodles, which instantaneously high-carbed my already low-carb meal. 10 minutes later, we ate away at the most deliciously served dish I have tasted for a long time! Too bad I had to ruin the experience by picking out the noodles. 

5) Meli Melo: The biggest menu amongst all Japanese restaurants (I’m assuming in the world). They specialize in new-age sushi, and their only sashimi options are salmon and tuna. I’d go there for a cheat meal or if I’m in the mood for some really good salmon sashimi.

6) Wagamama: Delicious carby fatty mess. Eat here when you feel depressed or borderline suicidal. Whoever said this was Japanese food needs to be executed. Delicious nevertheless.

7) P.F. Changs: Chinese food can be an extremely mixed bag of hmm’s and aaah’s. They do have great options, just as long as you abide by their appropriate portions, which I’ve clearly seen no one do. Their appetizers are mostly fried (including the orgasmic dumplings), but you can get away with 1-2 pieces. If you’re going with a group, then order 1-2 appetizers and share. For your entrees, avoid fried, breaded and sauteed protein options and try to look for steamed, grilled or boiled sources. To fill you up carbodasciously, opt for a cup of steamed rice and a salad.

8) Kei: One of the first Japanese restaurants in Kuwait, serves classical high quality sushi, served in their appropiately originated portions. Kei is as close as you can get to true Japanese food.

Other

1) Nino: I love this place because I can customize whatever I want. Nino’s famous for its Chicken Livers order, lightly sautéed in butter (the bastards won’t use Olive Oil) and served with a side order of Rocca leaves. However, do not dip that sucker into the spicy mayo sauce unless you want to add 300 useless calories to your meal; the liver is fatty as it is. Use lemon, hot sauce and Dijon mustard. Before ordering, you need to be extra careful when looking at the menu, since they go way too liberal on the sauces. Opt for anything that isn’t fried, breaded or smothered in fatty white sauce. For your carb source, shy away from the fried potatoes and the yeasty bread, and go with whole wheat pasta with a side order of tomato sauce.

2) Rice: They might as well call it “GET FAT HERE”.

3) Crimson Gardens: Best Persian restaurant ever. I haven’t tried every option available, but my first order was exhilarating: lentil soup, a green salad and shrimp kabab with saafran oil lightly simmered on top. F*ck Yeah!

4) Asha’s: I’d like to apologize to our Indian readers, but I’m about to drop a nuclear bomb on your crown jewel. It’s high in carbohydrates and fats, and annoyingly low in protein. I tried my best to shy away from anything breaded and fried, and came up with their delicious Chicken Tandoori served with a bowl of the least fatty rice and a salad. I kept on asking for more protein portions, which can be very annoying for both the waiter and I. I’m pretty sure I heard him call me gandu.

Oh, Masta of the Fitness Universe! You have bressed us yet again! What is your concrusion!?

I wasn’t obviously able to cover all the restaurants in Kuwait, but feel free to ask me all the whats and hows of restaurant eating, and I’ll be sure to dissect accordingly. For those of you who are wondering “why the f*ck is this douchebag talking in Japanese?” is because I was eating Sushi and watching Tokyo Drift while writing this.

Posted by Fahad AlYehya | Core Fitness – Kuwait