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Get Healthy in Abu Dhabi: Achieving a Balanced Diet in the City
Posted on May 15, 2013 by Ruth Loftus
Achieving a healthy and balanced diet can be difficult, especially for those with busy lifestyles. UMI offers tips on healthy options for eating out, taking away, and food shopping in Abu Dhabi.
Known as the city of superlatives, Abu Dhabi has lots of ‘biggest’ ‘richest’ ‘fastest’ and of course, ‘most expensive’ claims to fame. But despite the gold and the glamour, a number of food establishments are now embracing a new range of simpler superlatives including ‘healthiest’ and ‘freshest’ and ‘most nutritional’ in order to meet the rising demand for a balanced diet the city. Read on to discover some of the best places to go for healthy-style eating out, taking away and food shopping.
Abu Dhabi has a dazzling dining scene, but eating out doesn’t have to mean five star hotels and Michelin stars. If you look behind all the elite restaurants with their extravagant menus and buffets, lots of places are starting to strip down their menus and switch focus from fancy foods to meals that are more health focused.
1. Slices, Al Mamoura, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi,
This is the perfect choice for those looking for fresh, locally sourced and organic produce in the city. The restaurant has a serious health philosophy, serving everything from juices to smoothies, and wraps to soups. The range of salads promises to ‘pack the freshest punch’, and it really is quite impressive. Choose from a range of protein filled individual ingredients like beans and lentils to build your own salads, or try one of the their ready designed Middle Eastern themed options like Beetroot Salad or Rice Salad, or the Mediterranean style Pesto Pasta Salad or Rocket Salad.
2. Bocca, Hilton Hotel, PO Box 877, Abu Dhabi
The food here is healthy and includes lots of meat options like lamb cutlets and beef carpaccio, as well as seafood dishes and a large salad buffet. The main distinction is that this restaurant offers a whole menu of starters, mains and desserts which are all totally organic. Much as we hate to think about it, a lot of the food we eat is produced using chemicals, additives and preservatives. For a flavoursome and varied menu that is made from 100% high quality organic products, you must try Bocca. You can really notice the difference in the natural tastes and flavours without all the unnecessary chemicals.
Ready-Made Healthy Meals
If the idea of heading to a fantastic restaurant just to order a salad doesn’t appeal, there are an increasing number of places now offering healthy take away options so that hunger pangs don’t mean you have to opt for a rich curry or fried falafel. There are an increasing number of services that provide healthy meals all week long, delivered to the door so that your busy schedule doesn’t force you to go without the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
1. Bite Rite www.biterite.ae (02 644 6461).
This service offers a choice of well -designed healthy meals including grilled meats and low fat curries which can be ordered and delivered as and when you need them, so it doesn’t require too much planning ahead for those of you with busy schedules. These meals will be well matched to your body’s nutritional and calorific needs - calculations are done using the results of a nutritional assessment which measures your BMI and level of physical activity, and takes place when you join the service. The cost to join is Dhs2,500 per month.
2. Health Factory www.ediet.ae
The Health Factory offers delicious food and a detailed delivery service for all different ages, dietary requirements, health needs and tastes. They have an extensive database of dishes (over 2,000 altogether), and menus available to order include breakfasts, main meals and desserts; all blending local Middle Eastern flavours with lots of Mediterranean ingredients too. They also offer special healthy eating programmes including lunch boxes for children and pregnant women, and low-calorie meals and foods that boost the metabolism for those seeking both gradual or dramatic weight loss. The service costs Dhs1,400 to Dhs3,980 per month.
If you want to take the time to cook at home for yourself or the family, or to entertain guests, there are a number of good supermarkets which stock fresh, healthy and even organic products to improve the quality and nutritional value of your recipes. This means that making a good, balanced meal from scratch is easier than you might have imagined. Cooking lessons are also available from Bite Rite (see above), where you can learn how to prepare healthy and sensible meals at home.
1.Organic Food and Café, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
This supermarket is committed to selling pure and nutritional ingredients and foods that include more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than those available in other supermarkets. The range includes chemical free and hormone free fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, freshly baked bread from their bakery, as well as lots of other staples necessary for a balanced diet - meat, dairy products, fruit juices, and pulses. There is an online shopping option on their website www.organicfoodsandcafe.com , as well as attractive in store discounts on the first and third Saturday of each month.
2. Ripe www.ripeme.com
Ripe offers customers a simple, straightforward way to access fresh, nutritious and delicious produce by working with farms throughout the Abu Dhabi region. Ripe have different methods of delivering their goods; from a regular weekly market stand at Jones the Grocer in Al Raha Gardens, to a variety of different fruit and veg boxes of delivered to your door; and even a broader online shopping catalogue that includes dairy items like eggs and an ‘in the pantry’ section filled with pasta, rice, cereal - all of which can be delivered on a weekly basis.
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