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Avoiding the Dubai Stone!

livfreshrThose moving to the emirate will find themselves floating in a fantastically vibrant social atmosphere. Dubai dishes up a heady dose of everything in its supersized form, from water parks to world-class restaurants. For the expat whose idea of fun is cruising the aisles, the city center can be exhilarating; with selections of malls, souks and specialist stores everywhere you go.

Surrounded by the sultry heat of desert, expats will find that the lifestyle in Dubai largely revolves around activities that leave us all strapped for time as we try to balance work with our ever growing social endeavors. As a result it can be difficult to take a hard look at what we are putting into our body to fuel our ambitions and excited lifestyles. A common trap that many moving to the emirate will fall into, one that I was most unfortunate to fall into myself, was the ease of which I could have anything delivered to my doorstep. With the stresses of relocating, making headway in your new position, uprooting your families and beginning over again, it is easy to take advantage of the huge array of different fast food (even McDonalds delivers to most areas now!). One of the biggest culprits when it comes to piling on those killer kilos is the extravagant brunches that play a big role in expats social lives.

While you continue to settle in and explore the wonders that the emirate has to offer, what you don’t realize however is the rapid progression of your waistline. Many health practitioners warn that long working hours, junk food and a climate that discourages outdoor exercise is increasingly leading to obesity and other health related issues. A Dubai lifestyle, coupled with finding no time to exercise, high stress levels, lack of sleep and easily available and affordable fast food is the perfect recipe for a sluggish metabolism and quick weight gain. With worrying statistics around how obesity could triple among expats in the next decade and overtake smoking as the number one cause of preventable deaths, what can we do to avoid the dreaded Dubai Stone!

If you have been in Dubai a while you will have noticed a steady rise in dedicated healthy eating take out establishments.  They even offer monthly packages and deliver your food pre-cooked to your doorstep. However, before you start to think “Okay! That’s what I will do!” – This can often cost upwards of 4-5000AED/month Per Person! While this has the good intention of establishing a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle; how many of us want to have microwave dinners for that price every night? It is not necessarily a sustainable solution for all.

Personally, after moving here, my wife and I decided to take the initiative, and on the odd occasion, cook for ourselves. However, it always managed to feel like a chore and there was always a heated debate over who was going to go to the grocery store, what we were going to cook for dinner and where I could find a recipe for “I don’t know, just give me anything!”. It also didn’t help that the selection of the nearby markets were poor and would leave us to visit several shops, just to find the different ingredients we needed. It soon became obvious that we were spending roughly AED 8,000-12,000+ on fast food in just under a year, by having to buy more than we needed and often resorting to ordering take out 80% of the time. On the rare occasion we did cook, we would often waste 40% of the food we bought just because we didn’t need it all, or cooked too much. Given that, on average, more than half of the meals eaten outside of the home are fast food and people often do this at least 12 times within one month, we weren’t even out of the ordinary in our spending habits. When we started looking into this concept ourselves we couldn’t believe the amount we were spending on junk food. For what benefit?

How sustainable is eating out all of the time or continuing a package that costs upwards of AED +4,000 a month when you are a university student, family on a budget or a person who wants to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. We decided that we loved cooking and eating healthy, fresh food and we knew we could cook healthier alternatives quicker than any food could be ordered and then delivered to our doorstep. We wanted to bring back home cooking while still maintaining the convenience that has become ingrained in our Dubai Lifestyle.  This is when Livefreshr was born! We felt that the concept of healthy eating in an environment that encourages poor lifestyle choices while still maintaining the convenience factor was going to resonate with a lot of other expats in the emirate, just as it did with us.

Livefreshr pulls together meal plans of either 3, 4 or 5 meals a week which can be delivered to your door on a weekly basis. You can choose to sign up for a set number of weeks and for 1-6 people. You get a tailored price for your exact requirements and when compared to what you spend on take out and raiding the larger supermarket chains you can save your money for the more important things in life (like spending time with friends). As all of the ingredients are pre-measured for your convenience, you can make delicious, healthy meals that don’t compromise your waist lines, and minimize your food wastage. Livefreshr aims to give people the convenient opportunity to create amazing food that won’t break the bank, waste valuable time, and frustrate the family.

Ultimately, Dubai is beautiful and exciting opportunity for families and individuals alike, but it masks a hidden danger that can be difficult to avoid. There are a lot of different solutions and it is something to consider when moving to the emirate. If dining out is your downfall, you can try and keep it in check by selecting healthy choices and taking control by utilizing services like Livefreshr. Going back to the basics of cooking your home meals doesn’t have to be a daunting and challenging prospect.

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