Partnering with Jusoor, a US non-profit organisation that has been working in Lebanon since 2013, the 25-year-old Russian national will run seven ultra-marathons in as many days across the country’s seven emirates at the end of May.
With temperatures expected to reach in excess of 40 degrees during the day, the UAE resident has chosen to run between 2am-8am each night such is the toll of the desert heat.
Syria’s situation is well known, with war ravaging the country and leaving behind nearly one million refugees roaming the land.
Zolotova recently travelled to the Syrian border through Lebanon, an experience that led her to taking on this challenge.
“I have a lot of friends from Syria and I know a lot of people who actually moved from Syria to Dubai who lost their parents and relatives,” Olga told Sport360. “This is something that it happening in front of me and that’s why I chose this one.”
“It was a big eye-opener. I expected the situation to be a lot better than it was. It is that bad, as described by the media. I talked to the people, most of whom have lost their parents.”
“I understand education and children in developing countries is a broad subject, but I went to a specific school here, met the kids physically. These are people I know now and I want to help. It’s not just some broad charity.”
Olga is no stranger to extreme challenges and cycled 400km across the UAE in the space of 24 hours last October for Children Cancer Hospital in Karachi.
Two months later, she ran 200km in 22.5 hours in Dubai for Egypt-based charity organisation Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run and Aramax. It proved a massive success as the team managed to collect 100kgs of toys from Dubai residents.
However, being such a newcomer to running, Olga’s latest crusade is all the more challenging.
“The most important question to ask before any challenge is what are you ready to go through and to sacrifice in order to achieve the target of completing an ultra-marathon. I honestly think the training is more challenging than the actual event. It takes months and months of ups and downs and it’s a mental and emotional pressure,” said Olga.
“I run 3-4 days per week and usually it is a combination of interval training with long aerobic runs. Every week I am covering 50-60 km on average. Another three days are allocated to the gym where I practice strength and general physical exercises.”
“Running has to become as essential and regular as I would eat a meal. You have to do it slowly and steadily. When I started running, 2-3 km was my limit. Now 15 km is the shortest distance I run. Patience and dedication is the key. I always train regularly and regardless of weather conditions.”
If people want to know more about the school they can contact Oga directly at: [email protected]
Here’s a typical scenario.
You head to the supermarket to get your groceries. You fill your cart, check-off most of the items and finally head to the cold section to get some eggs and milk. When you get there, you’re faced with an isle of eggs of various colors, sizes and labels to choose from. You quickly scan through the different health claims, certification labels and compare prices trying to figure out the best option, and wonder when did buying eggs become so confusing?
Isn’t an egg just an egg? Apparently not these days.
We have brown eggs, white eggs, and even eggs rich in omega-3. Some are labeled “organic”, “all natural”, “free-range” or “cage-free”, and others are “organically fed” or “vegetarian fed”. Some have yellow yolks while others are bright orange.
What do all these labels and colors mean and ultimately, which one is the best?
When nutrition becomes too confusing, always go back to basics. This means, look for eggs that come from chickens that eat what they’re supposed to eat, move the way they’re supposed to move, and be raised, treated, and slaughtered humanely.
Brown or white shells make no difference. The color of the shell and yolk vary with the breed but the color of the yolk also ranges with the hen’s diet.
So What Are Chickens Supposed to Eat?
Before genetically modified corn and soy became the staple feed for most mass-produced animals, chickens are naturally supposed to forage in a pasture, dig for grubs, insects, worms, and seeds and eat wild grasses.
Chickens can also hunt other animals like frogs, mice and snakes too! (Did you know?) Pasture-raised eggs are in line with how nature intended it and are obviously more nutritious for us too.
So how and where do we find these eggs? Let’s examine the labeling terms more closely…
By definition, the egg laying hens are given organic feed, must have access to the outdoors and are not given antibiotics.
However, these guidelines don’t guarantee the best quality eggs.
Most mass-produced chickens are given manufactured “organic feed” that contain corn, soy and other grains, which is not the natural diet of a chicken. Also, having access to the outdoors does not guarantee that the chickens ever go outside or have access to green pasture. These may be better than conventional factory farmed eggs, but the best choice is still to find truly pasture-raised eggs.
More on that later.
I laugh when I see this label on eggs. I mean, aren’t all eggs, even the mass-produced ones that come from antibiotic-pumped hens, naturally laid?
This term has no meaning whatsoever except to make consumers believe that the chickens are healthier than what – “un-natural” artificial eggs?
Don’t be fooled in thinking that “all natural” is providing you with better quality eggs. It’s just a marketing and sales gimmick.
“Allowed access to the outside” is how the USDA defines free-range.
This means that there needs to be a door on the cage or shed to the outdoors but the chickens can still eat substandard food and live in cramped conditions. The term “range” can also vary from being a real green pasture to a small patch of concrete or dirt.
Unfortunately, most mass-produced “free-range” chickens never even venture outside because they typically aren’t allowed to leave the shed until they’re a few weeks old and by then they have grown accustomed to the indoors.
This just means that the hens don’t live in cages.
It doesn’t mean that their living conditions or feed are any better than the other overcrowded hen houses. Again, this doesn’t give much indication about the quality of the egg.
Many people buy those cardboard boxed eggs from the supermarket thinking that their eggs are “organic”. “Organic fed” eggs are not to be mistaken with certified organic eggs.
This just means that the hens are given organic feed that is free from pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and genetic modification.
It does not ensure that the chicken has access to the outdoors and is free from antibiotics. It also doesn’t ensure that they are being fed a high quality diet the way nature intended.
Chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians. The term vegetarian probably evokes images of a happy chicken pecking away in a grass-filled pasture making consumers believe that it’s healthier for them but in actuality, it’s a better indication that the egg is an industrial product.
Due to the increased consumer demand for more omega-3 sources, even egg producers have jumped on the bandwagon and are feeding hens flax, linseed or an omega-3 supplement.
However, plant-based omega-3’s (ALA) are only converted into EPA and DHA in very small amounts so these eggs aren’t really a good source of omega-3. And due to the fragile nature of omega-3 fats, these eggs are more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs.
In my opinion, if you’re looking to get more sources of omega-3, consider eating more fish or supplementing with krill oil which are far better sources of essential fats than eggs.
To be in good health, not only do we need to concern ourselves with what we eat, but also what our food eats. Clearly, the best choice is to find a local farm that offers organic pasture-raised chicken eggs.
I purchase my eggs from Greenheart Organic Farms here in the UAE. They have always been very honest and transparent about their farming methods and practices earning my trust in them.
Otherwise, your next best options would be organic, cage-free, free-range eggs. The added cost might be difficult to swallow at first, but your long-term health is worth the price.
For sure you’ll raise a lot of eyebrows, and roll even more eyeballs, if your health and fitness studio’s tagline is “We Know Gyms Don’t Work; We Are Not a Gym”, but up-and-comer BARE in Dubai only looks hipster, we promise, and their concept has a great argument.
The “Anti-Gym” is that place in town where fitness is treated like a lifestyle and not just an after-work hobby. They don’t like stocky, static fitness equipment and instead try to really put your body to work as both man and machine with very little accessory (that way you really know how to use it properly for the rest of your life).
You can identify an “anti-gym” by how much time members increasingly spend there, staying on after training to shower, catch up on work emails over in-house organic coffee, shakes, eats and complimentary wifi at the communal table; and learning about the new ways of ‘living well’ body, mind and even business from “wellness coaches”, not “personal trainers”.
BARE is guilty of being such a place. If you stroll past its all-glass façade in Downtown Dubai, you’ll identify an eye-catchingly sparse Scandinavian design, and a general lack of exercise equipment. BARE is minimalistic to the point where even the logo on their front door has intentional bits missing in it.
But we spent an evening there getting to know the gang and soon realised that it’s not all just done up to meet the trendsetting boutique needs of the Downtown area.
What stuck out most was that they are one of the few fitness clubs willing to scream the truth at you – that results are best achieved based on a 30 per cent exercise/ 70 per cent nutrition model programme (which we’ve heard before but always just nod our heads at, right?).
“BARE from the very beginning started based on evidence that a lot of people who train are not getting the results they’re after,” says Club Manager Josefine Wallstromer.
“The training part of fitness is easy – people come in and do what you tell them to do… people will always be training; but BARE founder Dylan Eiffe knows that what people really need help with is nutrition. All the hard work is for nothing if you’re not fuelling your body correctly.”
We definitely offer that feeling of community – Wallstromer
Alongside noticeboards and projectors announcing a new CrossFit/HIIT training-style WOD (Workout of the Day), are those scribbled with additional helpful tips, recipes and reminders grouped under the headings: Eat, Train and Learn, emphasizing Eiffe’s desire to properly educate and integrate members.
“Those who sign up as a member of course receive a thorough consultation, including an InBody Scan and discussion and guidance on their personal goals, as well as tailor-made meal plans to fit what they’re after,” says Wallstromer.
Their feel-good ‘Eat Bare’ meal plans feature an attractive selection of real, balanced low-glycemic foods known to optimise health, performance and metabolism. And on top of BARE HQ being stocked with local healthy drinks and treats too, everyone is further connected and communicated with through an inter-club app. Part of their mission statement really got to the heart of the awesomeness of the “anti-gym”, and we’re all on board.
It said: “Being left to our own devices is being replaced by being part of a community. Above all else, people are having fun rather than dragging themselves through workouts, which means they keep training, and they train better; which means they are finally getting results.”
Wallstromer agrees, and adds:
“We definitely offer that ‘vibe’, that feeling of community. I mean, we know people can go do any kind of training anywhere, so we put some emphasis on creating an experience for our clients too. We offer the same sorts of stuff, but how we deliver it is what’s unique.
“Our members are all becoming friends, with the coaches too, and they are coming more regularly, and we all just have a really good time together.”
Where: Retail 2, Clover Bay Tower, Al Abraj St., Dubai
When: Open daily with early classes from 7am, and last classes kicking off from 8pm
Pricing: Drop-In class rates are available for Dh100 a session, but it is understandably more beneficial to become a member, reasonably priced at Dh800 a month (excl. Dh400 set-up fee) and that allows you access to all of the above.
Contact: www.bare.fitness | +9714 558 4720 / +971 50 639 3496 | [email protected]