Saturday, June 30, 2012


We have all heard of superfoods and how many health benefits they yield. The term “super-food” is in no way a medical term and it is not used by doctors or nutritionists, however it is a useful term to define foods that are full of nutrients that help reduce the waistline and make for a healthier heart and body. If you increase your consumption of these super-foods you will notice a definite change in how you feel and also how you look. Your skin will glow and you will feel lighter and healthier.
Many people think that superfoods are exotic and expensive, such as the goji or acai berries. And while these fruits are high in anti-oxidants and nutrients they are by no means the be all and end all of superfoods. In fact what defines most superfoods is their content of flavonols. Flavonols are found in plant based foods and drinks. They are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. Flavonols are full of anti-oxidants that can help oxidate the cells and the DNA.

Basically what we’re saying is that any plant based natural product contains flavonols, anti-oxidants and nutrients, some more than others. Therefore all fruits and vegetables are superfoods, the brighter their colours the healthier they are. Here are some top superfoods that you should try to consume on a daily basis in order to boost your nutrient levels for a healthier lifestyle.

Goji berries
Acai berries
Kiwi fruit
Capsicum and hot peppers
Beans and lentils
Nuts and seeds


We’re super excited about this one!!!

CHOCOLATE!!! – Cocoa to be precise, so dark chocolate is more beneficial but I can already hear the ladies "whooping" and "yaying" this discovery!

Everyone can benefit from increasing their intake of these superfoods; even those that lead healthy lifestyle can tweak their eating habits for optimum results. Eating these foods will help prevent cholesterol and lower you risk of heart disease. Never self-diagnose!! Always consult your doctor for professional medical advice, but keep up a healthy diet. Not only will you be a healthier person but your mood will be uplifted and you will have more energy!

Happy eating!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feed Your Face and Nourish Your Body

10 Top at Home Beauty Tips, when the Salon is just too far away

Dubai has some of the busiest and best beauty salons. The manicures, pedicures, facials and peels leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle life, love and career. Sometimes you might find yourself slightly cash poor but in need of a revitalizing scrub. Maybe you just can’t get an appointment for the next day. Perhaps you just don’t feel like leaving your house. There is great news for you. Most of the items you require can be found in your kitchens. Food is not only delicious and nutritious for your insides but can also be used as part of a regular beauty routine.


Summer Skin care - facials at homeFollowing a daily facial routine is essential. However you might want to deviate from it and give yourself a facial, facials do wonders for your skin and they play an important role in elevating your mood. A facial makes your skin glow and glowing skin makes one happy healthy looking lady. 

Before putting any mask on your skin, whether it be one of our home-made goodies or a store bought alternative here are some basic rules that you should follow.

1) Always cleanse you face, this means that any make up should be removed and the face should be washed with a facial wash or a homemade one.
2) Exfoliate your face with a scrub; yes we have a recipe for one of those too!!
3) Steam the impurities out of your face.
4) Use a mask, clay based for oily skin or a hydrating gel or cream based one for dry skin… or follow an inexpensive recipe and make your own mask that caters to your skin type.
5) Moisturise.


Cleansing the skin is important and we have a 2 minute DIY solution to the traditional store bought facial cleanser. All that you will need is 1 tsp. dark honey and 1tbsp. full cream milk.

Warm the honey until it becomes runny and mix it with the milk. There’s your simple cleanser that takes less than a minute to prepare and can be made fresh every time.


Exfoliating is important as it removes the dead skin cells and makes space for the skin to be renewed and refreshed. The go to exfoliating ingredient is sugar. Now you can mix sugar and honey or sugar and olive oil and use it as an exfoliant for the face. If you have sensitive skin just combine some water and oatmeal and use that as a gentle exfoliant.


Steaming your face brings all the impurities from deep within your pores out. If you do not want to go out and buy a steamer you can get a pot of hot water and put you face over it covering your head with a towel. If this is too much hassle for your there is an easy peasy go to method for steaming your face. Fill the basin with hot water, soak a face cloth in the water, and ring excess water from the face cloth and place over your face for an instant steam. Repeat 2 or 3 times.


Oatmeal facial: Oatmeal masks have been used to moisturise and refresh the skin. All you need to make one is a few simple ingredients and around 20 minutes and voila; glowing skin awaits.
What you will need: oatmeal, plain yoghurt and honey.

- Grind half a cup of oatmeal in a blender OR mix half a cup of oatmeal with boiling water and leave to soften.
- To this add 2-3 tablespoons of yoghurt and mix.
- Add 2 teaspoons of honey.

Make sure that you have cleansed your face and patted it dry. Apply the mask to your face avoiding the sensitive area around your eyes. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes and remove with a damp wash cloth. Moisturize as per your daily routine.

If you have oily skin, then add one diced tomato (seeds and all) and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the above recipe.

Avocado facemask: Avocado is full of ‘healthy fats’ and makes a particularly good moistuising face mask. This recipe is for dry skin only.

What you will need: half a soft avocado and two level tablespoons of honey.

- Mash the avo into a paste
- Mix in the honey

As always make sure that you have cleansed your face and patted it dry before applying the mask. Apply the mask to the entire face avoiding that sensitive eye area and leave on for 10-12 minutes. Cleanse with a damp washcloth and moisturise as per your daily routine.

Facial mist

During the Dubai summer heat there is no better way to refresh your skin then with a facial spray. Now these can be quite pricy when bought at the pharmacy or a beauty store that is why we have come up with a DIY facial mist that will cost you less than 10 AED. 

What you will need:
-1 cup water
- ½ a vitamin c tablet
- The peel of 1 lemon
- 2 small spray bottles 

- Bring the water to boil and add the vitamin C tablet until it is dissolved.
- Remove from the stove. Place the lemon peels in a glass container and pour the liquid over it.
- Cover the plastic container and leave it in the fridge for 24hrs to absorb.
- Decant into the spray bottles, and voila you have a facial mist made in your kitchen. 
Lemon refreshes the skin and body, so this facial mist will be perfect for the summer as it will keep the skin radiant and oily patches at bay.


Summer Skin care - body scrubs at homeSometimes spending hours at the salon may not fit into your schedule but you need to get your skin to glow and your feet party ready!! Here are some great easy to follow body routines that you don’t have to leave the house to do.

Body scrub

Use this body scrub in the shower. Just put a dirham sized nugget into the palm of your hand and start with your legs working your way up the body. This will remove dead skin cells and invigorate the blood flow. To make the scrub you will need:
- 1 cup sugar or salt, if you are using salt have a good moisturizer on hand as salt is harsher then sugar.
- ½ cup olive oil
Combine the sugar/salt and oil until it becomes a paste. You may need to deviate from the measurements to get the consistency right. For an anti-cellulite treatment add the used ground coffee from your morning java. Caffeine is an amazing soldier at fighting that dreaded cellulite war.

Foot scrub

The summer is here Dubai and we will all be hitting the pavement in the latest sandals and flip flops. There is nothing worse than seeing a lady with cracked heels, so take care of those feet and look smashing in your havaianas tomorrow!!

First scrub your feet. A scrub is easy to make with salt or sugar being your base. Just combine equal parts olive oil and sugar or salt to create a thick paste. Scrub your feet paying particular attention to your heels.
Then soak your feet, you can soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, or until sufficiently wrinkly and soft.
Finally moisturise those feet and put on your favorite fluffy socks so the moisturizer is absorbed.
You can use this foot scrub method on your hands also ;)

Body moisture

Using a moisturizer is imperative to keep your body hydrated but I find that putting a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into your bath can do wonders for the body. It makes your skin soft and silky. 

Now that you have to know-how, get into the kitchen and begin doing it yourself!! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Personal training at Symmetry Gym

Symmetry GymWhen I first stepped into Symmetry Gym, I was very in need of fitness help! I had a baby 6 months ago so to say I was unfit and out of shape would be an understatement...not to mention a little sleep deprived!

I turned up to the gym, located in the Gold and Diamond Park, a little nervous to find out what was in store for me, but the (perfectly toned!) team quickly made me feel at ease. We started with a chat about my fitness and nutrition. The team gave me some simple tweaks to my current diet to help me see results, and I then had a simple fitness test. 

Symmetry promise that they are different to the numerous boot camp and fitness solutions in Dubai, as they offer a totally personalised solution so I was hopeful that they would be kind to me as there was nowhere for me to hide!

Over the next week, I visited the gym 3 times, with 3 different trainers, for half hour sessions of intense, but fun fitness...everything from squats and planks to jumping jacks and bicep curls...everytime, I left the sessions feeling great, even though slightly sore, so it definitely worked! I without doubt did more reps of each exercise than I ever would if exercising alone, the team had a great way of keeping you motivated and pushing you to your limits, without pushing you too far.

The sessions at Symmetry are just what I needed to kick start shifting this baby weight and I'm now working with them to come up with a long term food and fitness solution that works for me, is cost effective and fits into my life as a busy mum! Plus, when joining Symmetry, you get a free membership to Appleseeds play centre next door for you and your little ones to enjoy!
Symmetry GymSymmetry Gym

If you are serious about getting in shape and staying in shape through a sensible diet and exercise over time, Symmetry Gym could well be for you! 

Fiona for