Healthy starts, stress-busters and giving back

Little tricks that make all the difference

The UAE is a fast-paced place – how can we take a step back, look after ourselves and be more aware of what’s happening around us? Let’s see what the experts have to say...

The importance of breakfast

In order to get the most out of your day, start it with a nutritionally balanced breakfast. That means a dose of protein, slow-release carbs, some fibre, vitamins and minerals, as well as a few healthy fats. I suggest scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast with an orange on the side, or oats soaked overnight in a little fresh fruit juice served with Greek yogurt, chopped kiwi and almonds.

Mind, body and soul

“I firmly believe that health, particularly women’s health, is intrinsically linked to mindfulness, whether that’s through eating, exercising or sleeping. Mindfulness is a gift that helps remind me what it is I genuinely enjoy. Exercising mindfully encourages me to listen to my body so that I can work out effectively. Setting aside time to eat mindfully has a direct impact on my health, and spending just three or four minutes doing some mindful relaxation before bed means I sleep far better.”

- Catherine Williams, Qualified fitness pro and nutrition consultant

Plate power

Whether it’s lunch in front of a computer or dinner absorbed in a TV show, we can all be guilty of not paying enough attention to what we’re eating. Yet research shows that eating mindfully can help to improve digestion, regulate appetite and even teach us to enjoy our food more – and who wouldn’t want that?

  • Take a minute to consider how you’re feeling. Are you actually hungry or would a glass of water suffice? Is your stomach rumbling or is the urge to eat linked to stress?
  • Rather than selecting your usual sandwich on autopilot, spend a second mulling over what’s on offer and what you feel like eating.
  • Devote time to preparation. Whether that means spooning yogurt into a bowl or artfully arranging salad on a plate, try to be conscious of what you’re doing.
  • Resist the urge to eat quickly. Take your time to chew each mouthful slowly and with care so that you can acknowledge the smell, taste and texture of what you’re eating. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and give your brain the chance to register when you’re full.

Tips for alleviating the stress of modern life

“We need to ‘breathe’. Most of us completely forget that we should take a moment from our hectic lives and just pause. Everyone is trying to do everything, but we need to learn to slow down. Daily meditation and physical activity, regular sleep and a healthy diet are so important to achieve a balanced lifestyle.”

- Eda Gungor, Owner of Jumeirah-based wellness centre Life ’n One

Small steps

There’s always a chance to give a little back. You can recycle used household batteries and mobile phones in almost all of our stores. And it might seem like a small thing, but if we all reused our Spinneys shopping bags, it would make a real difference. Don’t forget, you can buy our hardwearing reusable bags for just Dhs 3.50.

Looking for more simple ways to better your day? Here are five things you can do before you leave home in the morning.