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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 4M ago

The Bystro Group, a family-friendly restaurant brand in Dubai and Sharjah, is making its mark on the foodie hub that is JLT. Bystro Deli will be taking everyone’s lunch game up a notch with its deli concept while El Mostacho will be dishing out Mexican soul food.

Bystro features a hearty menu of modern European classics, with something to satisfy every member of the family. Parents can unwind over a coffee while the little ones get busy in the kid’s corner. More than just a restaurant, Bystro is a second to much of the local community and laptop warriors alike.

Bystro Deli

Bringing your favourites from the original Bystro in Al Manara, Bystro Deli promises to be your go-to destination for fresh, filling, and flavoursome treats. Serving breakfasts, smoothies and delicious, powerful brews, provided by RAW Coffee. When noon comes around, ditch the pre-packed lunch and zoom down for a soul-satisfying salad, soup, or sandwich.

El Mostacho

Bystro’s new Mexican concept, El Mostacho, leaves Tex-Mex grub at the door. Indulge in everything from freshly concocted agua fresca to zing-loaded savory delights, with a focus on street food tacos. Surrounded by quirky decor with trinkets and ornaments curated from artisanal markets in Oaxaca and Guadalajara in Mexico El Mostacho boasts a zesty menu packed with authentic Latino delights.

“We pride ourselves in serving food that’s not only good for the body, but good for the soul too. JLT has been on our radar for a while and we’re excited to be catering to this enthusiastic community of foodies”, says Josh Benson, founder of The Bystro Group.

The Bystro group has outlets in Dubai’s Al Manara area and Sharjah’s Mleiha archaeological site with another to come in Souk Al Jubail on the Sharjah waterfront later this year.

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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 4M ago

The Bystro Group, a family-friendly restaurant brand in Dubai and Sharjah, is making its mark on the foodie hub that is JLT. Bystro Deli will be taking everyone’s lunch game up a notch with its deli concept while El Mostacho will be dishing out Mexican soul food.

Bystro features a hearty menu of modern European classics, with something to satisfy every member of the family. Parents can unwind over a coffee while the little ones get busy in the kid’s corner. More than just a restaurant, Bystro is a second to much of the local community and laptop warriors alike.

Bystro Deli

Bringing your favourites from the original Bystro in Al Manara, Bystro Deli promises to be your go-to destination for fresh, filling, and flavoursome treats. Serving breakfasts, smoothies and delicious, powerful brews, provided by RAW Coffee. When noon comes around, ditch the pre-packed lunch and zoom down for a soul-satisfying salad, soup, or sandwich.

El Mostacho

Bystro’s new Mexican concept, El Mostacho, leaves Tex-Mex grub at the door. Indulge in everything from freshly concocted agua fresca to zing-loaded savory delights, with a focus on street food tacos. Surrounded by quirky decor with trinkets and ornaments curated from artisanal markets in Oaxaca and Guadalajara in Mexico El Mostacho boasts a zesty menu packed with authentic Latino delights.

“We pride ourselves in serving food that’s not only good for the body, but good for the soul too. JLT has been on our radar for a while and we’re excited to be catering to this enthusiastic community of foodies”, says Josh Benson, founder of The Bystro Group.

The Bystro group has outlets in Dubai’s Al Manara area and Sharjah’s Mleiha archaeological site with another to come in Souk Al Jubail on the Sharjah waterfront later this year.

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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 4M ago

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not so great at sticking to a routine, I never have been and, at this point in time, I probably never will be. However there is one thing that I have been doing religiously every morning and that is drinking apple cider vinegar.

Sounds gross right?

Honestly, I love vinegar, I put it on pretty much everything, but the thought of just drinking it is a little too much even for me. So when I was told that a cup in the morning does wonders I poo pooed it and just thought it was another ridiculous trend. But a little while later I actually looked into it and thought why not give it a try.

Now, before you freak out, no, it is not just a cup of straight vinegar – that would be madness. I mix a tablespoon (ish) of ACV with a mug of hot water and drink that, and yes the taste does take some getting used to and if you don’t like vinegar it will probably take you longer to get past the flavour but I promise you, it is worth it. (You can also add a little honey to it, if that helps!)

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • It promotes a healthy gut thanks to the probiotics found in this simple kitchen condiment which promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
  • It regulates your bodies PH and helps prevent acid reflux and cancer as a result.
  • It boosts your energy, making it the perfect thing to have in the morning.
  • It helps to flush toxins from your body thanks to the antibacterial and anti microbial properties found in each bottle.
  • It stimulates your digestive system and acts as a natural laxative, keeping you healthy and regular.
  • It helps reduce sugar cravings and stablise your blood sugar levels thanks to the acetic acid.
  • It helps with allergies and and colds by breaking down mucus build up and supporting lymphatic drainage.
  • It can, as a result, help with weight loss.

So does it work and has it helped?

Well, since January 1st when I started making sure I had it every day I have noticed a few things. Not only have I been sleeping better but I have had more energy during the day, I have also broken out in some of the most painful spots I’ve had in my life.

As a teenager I had acne and as a result was put on a course of Roacutanne, a dangerous medication for acne that can (and did) cause depression, and a whole host of other nasty side effects (so please, don’t take it, find another way). But as a result of that medication I now rarely get spots, so for so many to have come up over the last few weeks tells me my body is doing its best to rid itself of toxins.

Most of the spots have been on my forehead and my chin, signifying my stomach and digestive system – no surprises there, but it tells me the ACV is doing its job and cleaning up the damage done over Christmas.

So which ACV should you be using?

Well, to put it simply, any. But as with anything the least tampered with is best, in fact unfiltered ACV is the best (its cloudy and looks like it is full of cobweb type bits) this has the most gut healing bactiera and enzymes and brings with it the most benefits.

One of the most successful uses of ACV is in people with type 2 diabetes which is characterized by elevated blood sugars, (either as insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin). But elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don’t have diabetes… it is believed to be a major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases, meaning everyone can benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable.

But, remember, you don’t have to drink it. While this may be the most direct way of getting your ACV fix you can also add it to your food. Personally I put it in sauces, stews, I love it on broccoli and corn, add it to stir fries and salad dressings, it is incredibly versatile and well as super good for you!

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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 4M ago

Dubai is not a city where you struggle to find a decent burger, from the locally owned hot spots like Moylos, SALT & Meat Me There to the well known and loved international names like Burger Fuel, Five Guys, Cali Burger and now Blaze Burger.

For some reason the people of Dubai are obsessed with burgers, you will very rarely see an empty burger joint in the city, and if you do then it probably isn’t any good!

Blaze Burgers, founded in Bahrain, is home to one of the most Instagram famous burgers in the city, the 6abooga burger (aka, the brick burger) a 200g feast which features two cheese stuffed patties between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Yes, really.

Not in the mood for a cheese overload though we opted to try some of their less heart attack inducing offerings. The way blaze burger works is that you choose your patty, either American Angus, Australian Wagyu, chicken or portobello mushroom. Then you choose your bun, white, brown or a lettuce wrap. Next is the good bit, your toppings. You can choose from 12 varieties including Heaven & Hell which has a whopping six red chillis! Then you choose your fries, and the toppings for those.

If, like me, you’re a fan of street art and Banksy, you’re going to love the decor, a distinctly urban eclectic style which blurs the line between industrial and diner; the walls are decorated with nods to the famous gurilla artist and other stunning examples of grafiti. The space is split into different seating areas including a high table or bar seating, large private booths or comfortable diner style tables and chairs.

From the decor to the wet wipes everything here has been taken into consideration and given a little quirky twist, at the end of the meal you can whip out a burger crime scene clean up wipe and get rid of the evidence. It’s little touches like these that make all the difference and really sets Blaze Burgers apart from its miriad of competitors.

Before you start your meal it is imperative that you choose your sauces, because what is a burger without a little hot sauce, ketchup or A1! Blaze Burgers have an impressive hot sauce selection, if that’s what you’re into, so you can spice up your burger until your heart’s content. So grab a basket, load up on your favourite condiments and prepare to feast.

Every burger is cooked to order, and you can tell, each burger is packed with flavour. Twinned with a milkshake it was the perfect burger meal. I devoured the Green Ranch burger with a lettuce bun, which was divine, light and perfectly cooked it was juicy and surprsingly easy to eat thanks to the large lettuce leaves – a rare fine as 9 times out of 10 you end up having to chow down with a knife and fork, so that was a massive plus.

Around the table we also had the Texas BBQ, Awesomeness Blaze and a Blue & Crunchy chicken burger and not a single complaint was heard from anyone. The fries are cooked to perfection, the onion rings are crispy and sweet and the service is exceptional.

I feel like the only downside to the whole experience was that Blaze Burger does not have local water, which if you know me, you know really winds me up.

By the time you’ve finished indulging chances are you’re going to be too stuffed for dessert – we were – but my god do they look tempting but we just could not bring ourselves to it, the burgers were just too good.

While Blaze Burgers may be a little more pricey than your average burger joint you get what you pay for, from the exceptional, friendly staff and speedy service to the flavour packed meals and array of options, there is a little something for everyone.

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Cravings are something we all know too well, there is no one who has never suffered from a craving. Sometimes they feel like they will just never go away, especially if you’re on a food restricting diet.

One of the most common cravings is refined sugar, thanks to it’s addictive qualities and popularity in most processed foods our bodies will always crave it.

So how do you beat a sugar craving?

First of all you need to understand what a craving is.

A Craving is “an overwhelming emotional experience that takes over your body and produces a unique motivator of behaviour”. Often triggered by the memory of a rewarding feeling your brain learns to love the effects certain foods have on your body and tries to convince you recreate that feeling.

Cravings can have emotional triggers including stress, anger, sadness, loneliness and boredom but they can also be brought on by sights and smells (which is why food advertising works so well).

Most of the time your cravings are not a sign that you are hungry but recurring cravings can be a sign that your body is lacking a specific nutrient.

Before you give into a craving you should always stop for a minute and consider what it is you really want, ask yourself questions. Why are you craving a piece of cake? Is it because you’re hungry or is it because you’re bored? Is it because you saw the cake in the coffee shop downstairs on your way into the office or could it be because you need to increase your magnesium intake?

When a sugar craving hits you can often wait it out, distract yourself for 20 minutes doing something else, colouring, writing, go for a walk (not to the shop to buy that chocolate bar, that doesn’t count!) or have a glass of water – a lot of the time the reason you’re cravings are kicking in is because you’re dehydrated – once the 20 minutes are up you won’t be quite so overwhelmed. But if it’s still hanging around try eating some of these:

Fruit

Naturally high in sugar a piece of fruit will satisfy a sweet tooth while also providing your body with a number of other nutrients. Have an apple, banana, some berries or an orange and get your sugar fix naturally.

Raw Chocolate

One of the most common things people crave is chocolate, so why not switch out your processed chocolate bar with something that is better for you. Raw chocolate is packed with magnesium, vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, oleic acid (a healthy fat also found in almonds), protein and of course, fibre.

But why raw over dark? Mostly because of the enzymes which aid digestion and maintain digestive health. When chocolate is “cooked” as it is in the process of making dark chocolate many of the friendly enzymes our bodies likes are killed off by the heat. Raw chocolate is cold or stone pressed allowing the enzymes to make it into our bodies. Plus most dark chocolate bars will have sugar added to them, which defeats the purpose.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble dietary fibre, which absorbs water and swells up to form a jelly-like substance in your gut, which may help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

They make great desserts or breakfasts, can be put into smoothies or added to your water bottle.

Soda Water / Sparkling Water

Kicking your coke habit (and I don’t mean the powdery kind) is easier said than done and most people I know have the hardest time letting go of their beloved sodas, so a great way to beat your brain when it is trying to tempt your hand to reach for a can is to have a glass of soda or sparkling water. You will still get the bubbles and if you add some cut up limes, lemons of berries you can give it a little flavour kick.

So the next time you’re feeling a craving coming on, don’t give in to it, remember these tips. Give the craving time to pass and if it doesn’t, make a healthier choice for your body and mind, with time your brain will learn that it can get it’s kicks from things that are good for you.

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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes

3 chicken breasts, chopped into cubes

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1 can coconut milk

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons ginger past

2 teaspoons garlic paste

1/2 medium brown onion

Salt & pepper

How to

  1. Wash and prick the sweet potatoes, place in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Chop up the onion and place into a food processor and pulse until forming a paste.
  3. To a bowl add half the can of coconut milk, peanut butter, spices, garlic, ginger and onion and mix well. Add the chicken and mix until well coated.
  4. Take the sweet potato out of the microwave and place in the oven coated in olive oil and salt.
  5. In a large pan or wok heat a little cooking oil (I used olive oil but you can use coconut or anything of your choice). Add the chicken and sauce.
  6. When the sauce starts to thicken add the rest of the coconut milk, allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked.
  7. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, cut and let cool a little. Spoon on the chicken and serve with salad.
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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes

3 chicken breasts, chopped into cubes

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1 can coconut milk

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons ginger past

2 teaspoons garlic paste

1/2 medium brown onion

Salt & pepper

How to

  1. Wash and prick the sweet potatoes, place in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Chop up the onion and place into a food processor and pulse until forming a paste.
  3. To a bowl add half the can of coconut milk, peanut butter, spices, garlic, ginger and onion and mix well. Add the chicken and mix until well coated.
  4. Take the sweet potato out of the microwave and place in the oven coated in olive oil and salt.
  5. In a large pan or wok heat a little cooking oil (I used olive oil but you can use coconut or anything of your choice). Add the chicken and sauce.
  6. When the sauce starts to thicken add the rest of the coconut milk, allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked.
  7. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, cut and let cool a little. Spoon on the chicken and serve with salad.
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I always hear people talking about “cheat days” or “cheat meals” and in the same breath hear people talking about how they’re frustrated not being able to loose weight or they’re struggling on their diet and I just shake my head.

The idea that you have to “cheat” on eating healthy breeds guilt, it trains your brain to think about your cheat foods as something forbidden and therefore encouraging cravings, which in turn lead to you “breaking your diet” causing you to feel a sense of failure and could lead to binge eating and resulting weight gain.

Just think about it; when you binge on your cheat day you probably consume around 3,000 – 5,000 calories in a single sitting because you can – you justify it as “it’s just one day, I’m going to the gym tomorrow”. But that amount of calories is more than the average grown man should consume in a day, in fact it is closer to two days worth.

Cheat meals are supposed to prevent you from feeling deprived, boost metabolism, and increase chances of success with a diet; at least that’s what they tell you. Sure the occasional indulgence is not going to kill you, in fact it could benefit you – even if that benefit is just a mental one – but that does not mean that pigging out on sugar and empty carbs until you feel like you’re going to pop is the right way to do it.

In fact, chances are that by over-indulging on the foods you’ve restricted yourself from you’re going to make your cravings worse, meaning you’re going to spend the whole week dreaming of that burger, pizza or milkshake waiting for you on Friday.

Thinking about cheat meals and cheat days increases the chance of you “falling of the wagon” and binging. If you’re spending your week waiting for your next cheat meal, you’re going to become obsessed, you will loose focus and it becomes almost like a self hypnosis, the more you think the more you crave, the more you crave the more you think.

Break the vicious cycle.

When you change the way that you eat your body will take some time to adjust. Your system needs a few months to adapt to the new way of eating and figure out where and when it needs to get its nutrients. This process can take up to three months, so by throwing “cheats” at it every week you are confusing yourself and you’ll find yourself struggling to loose weight or build muscle.

Things like transfats, gluten and various oils can linger in your body for longer than most other foods; so when you find yourself scarfing down a Burger King on a Friday afternoon, chances are that by the next week you will still be suffering from some of the effects of your cheat meal whether it’s obvious or not.

Instead of a cheat meal why not just find a healthy alternative to your favourite binge foods, yes without the sugar, empty carbs and grease, the chances are they won’t immediately fill the craving but it is all about training your body and mind. Fight the craving with homemade burgers topped with all your favourite bits and some homemade oven baked fries, wedges or sweet potato fries. Make a simple flat bread base, whip up a quick pizza sauce with tomato paste and spices and top it with a delicious cheese and the toppings you love the most and serve it with a salad.

Change your perception.

I’ve had people tell me that they have woken up craving a smoothie but because it was their cheat day, they knew that if they didn’t indulge in a full English breakfast, they wouldn’t be able to get their bacon, egg and beans fix for another week, so they forced themselves to have a full English, even though that wasn’t what they wanted.

Listen to your body, if you’re craving something, have it. If you feel like having a salad for lunch but it’s your cheat day, don’t force yourself to have a burger, you will end up feeling worse for it. In fact you should feel proud of yourself and your body that your commitment to a healthy lifestyle has paid off and your body and mind have started to learn what fuels them rather than hurts them – listen to them.

There’s a difference between wanting a small treat and a craving. Cravings are often a response to environmental triggers, habit or emotions and aren’t good reasons to eat. Take the time to learn to control cravings by figuring out what they are, what has triggered them and try work through it; cravings will often last about 20 minutes and you can normally encourage them to pass by distracting yourself with another task. But most importantly, in order to control cravings, stop making certain foods forbidden by labelling them as “good,” “bad” or a “cheat,” and you won’t feel deprived.


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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 5M ago

Tucked away behind Mall of the Emirates is an unassuming hotel, it sits on one of the busiest corners in Al Barsha and, if you live in Dubai, you’ve probably driven past it a million times as you leave the mall. Inside this little hotel is The Huddle, a sports bar that is serving up a cheap and cheerful Friday brunch with a side order of the latest games broadcast live.

When we arrived for brunch on the Friday I was a little confused, I had been to The Huddle before, a few years ago but it had moved – just across the lobby to a bigger space.

Inside you would be hard pressed to not immediately realise it’s a sports bar – it has all the markings of one from the leather chairs to the big screen TVs never mind the pool table and the sports memorabilia adorning the walls. In the corner is a small stage and tucked behind the bar, a pool table (an accompanying beer pong cover for their Monday night tournaments).

We took a seat and glanced around in search of the food but found nothing, looking at each other confused we waited for our waitress to return. After taking our drinks order we were given the run down: food was in the other room, just through a set of doors behind the bar and there is a non-alcoholic package and then a choice of house or premium beverages for brunch. Fairly standard, so we made our way in search of a buffet.

As you step through the little doorway you enter a dining hall, full of tables and at the far end the buffet. There are families enjoying their brunch, kids running about and more importantly an international spread of nibbles to keep you going through the afternoon.

Navigating the buffet is not as straightforward as you would assume it should be, the island in the centre offers salad, bread, bruschetta, soup, fresh juice and breakfast pots. Flanked by the live cooking stations serving crepes, eggs and pasta and a selection of cheeses there is little order to the layout so don’t expect an orderly queue (not a problem for most but my inner true brit was struggling to make peace).

We grabbed our plates and made a start, trying a little bit of almost everything.

As we headed back to the table armed with the much awaited sustenance to get us through the day we noticed a pool table tucked behind the bar and – more exciting still – a beer pong table which i was told comes into play on Monday nights (if anyone is in the mood for some frat boy style midweek fun).

For the rest of the afternoon we worked our way slowly through the buffet, sipped on our drinks and enjoyed the tunes. By the late afternoon the live music had begun and The Huddle started to fill up a little bit more and create the lively atmosphere we craved.

All in all this is a brunch that requires a good group of rowdy friends, a desire to party and a disregard for food in favour of alcohol, it is a cheap and cheerful party brunch with a kick.


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Middle Eats by Middle Eats - 5M ago

It is that time of year, the week between Christmas and New Year that people start promising themselves they will be better in 2018 – as if they were terribly behaved in 2017. Suddenly every one is making their list of

New Year’s resolutions

I will go to the gym, I will eat healthy, I will save money, I will stop eating chocolate, etc, etc, the list goes on.

But in classic New Year style by February they will be out the window and you’ll be on the same track as you were in February of 2017, and 16, and probably 15 – let’s be honest.

So why don’t resolutions work and why do we always use the new year as a time to make profound – and unrealistic – changes in our life….why do we have to make 12 months to decide that we really want to be better?

Honestly, I can’t tell you why, I could probably sit and do the research and dive into a deep hole of psychology and analysis of human behaviour but as I write this it is 6:30am on the 27th of December and I have things to do today…

What I can tell you though is why the resolutions don’t stick.

Because they are not goals. There is no clear intention. They are vague, overarching ideas of what you want to change in your life but you haven’t actually defined when you want to achieve it by, how you will and what you really want the outcome to be, You haven’t actually set yourself a goal.

Early in December i went to a vision board workshop held by A Journey to Wellness and I learnt a great deal about setting goals and creating the life that I want for myself in the year to come. I have had my vision board for almost a month and i look at it every day and I already feel clearer in my own mind about exactly what I want in the months ahead.

For me it is not about starting in 2018, that is just kind of the way it has worked out, but it is about finally putting into place some actual goals, so what are they?

  • To get back to a UK size 14 (in general, I know it will never be a 14 across the board with the way different stores size their clothes) by the end of the year.
  • To be in a job I enjoy with a liveable salary by the end of January.
  • To start our vlog and have the first video live by the end of January.
  • To finish my nutrition course by the end of January
  • To create my own nutrition programme for people with auto-immune conditions by the end of March.

As you can see my goals, bar one ongoing one, are short term and manageable, I have given myself a tangible way of knowing when i have achieved them. Once I have met my realistic goals I can add more, i do not have to wait until January rolls around again, I can change, update and create new vision boards as the year goes on in order to keep my goals and my vision aligned.

If you want to learn about the power of vision boards and learn to create your own and set actual achievable goals then check out this page.


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