#360fit: Love Food - Organic, Sustainable & Paleo Meal Delivery

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In demand: Meal plans with Love Food start from 729Dhs per week.

We LOVE food; real, nutritious food. So when we came across newly launched gourmet organic meal plan delivery service,  0px">Love Food, we felt it was speaking to us directly. We had a moment.

Much as we’d all love to have the time to cook all the time, there are weeks or months where life gets a bit hectic. Rather than getting off track with your diet and into bad habits, these are the times we think food delivery services like Love Food are ideal – they provide nutritious food straight to you daily with no-fuss on your part.

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The gourmet organic meal plan delivery service offers a variety of nutritional food plans using fresh local produce, while also promoting sustainability. All food is cooked from scratch with zero preservatives, and their Australian chefs make sure to use local organic product, free range and grass fed meats, and food which are 100 percent processed free, GMO, refined sugar and additive free.

Love Food has the extra bonus of an eased conscience. The healthy gourmet specialists also support a sustainable environment by packaging food in reusable glass containers and reusing these, rather than creating waste.

Love Food offers three types of meal plans, depending on your lifestyle; Vitality, Lifestyle and Power, with gluten and dairy free options.

Vitality is full of wholesome ingredients, which are free from added sugar, low GI and is packed full of nutrition and is perfect for those who are trying to watch their waistline. Lifestyle is Paleolithic, or based on the Paleo diet. CrossFitters, listen up! This nutrient dense anti-inflammatory meal plan uses nature’s finest ingredients, completely organic ingredients, grass fed and free range meats and is also totally gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and low GI. 

Power is for the more active person and is packed full of protein and you will receive at least four meals of protein per day. In each serving you can expect to receive at least: men 150g-200g women: 100-150grams of protein.

When we tried some of the food from the Lifestyle meal plan, we found the meals delicious and the ingredients of high quality. The steak was tender and tasty, the fish fresh and well-cooked, and the vegetables fresh and varied. Food aside, we especially liked the bottles of naturally flavoured water, with bursts of lemon/ginger and watermelon making them a truly refreshing hydration source.

Love Food can also cater to dietary requirements and works with customers to structure an ideal monthly plan. Monthly menus are shared upfront while all meals are delivered to your preferred address, whether at home or office.

In general, we found the food to be the opposite of bland (which we have, at times, found with other meal plan services), the service great and the extra factor of reusable containers eased our environmental conscience as well, so kudos to the company for that.

Meal plans start from 729Dhs per week. To learn more about Love Food, check out their FitnessLink profile.

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Lifestyler with Josie McKenlay: Benefits of massage in sport

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Weekend warriors can reap positive rewards from a regular deep tissue massage.

Last week I treated myself to a massage, something I rarely do.

All my aches and pains disappeared and my body felt better than it has in a long time and it reminded me of the benefits massage can provide, especially for the physically active.

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Athletes, sportsmen and the weekend warrior can all reap positive rewards from a regular deep tissue massage. Here are my top five benefits:

1. Flexibility: This is something most sports people lack. Overused muscles tend to become short and tight, creating muscle imbalances which eventually lead to injuries. The effects of this tension in the muscles may include disturbances of collagen scar tissue and development of various adhesions where the muscle, fascia and other tissues stubbornly stick together.

Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched via the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways during a massage. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up. Apart from preventing injury, a good level of flexibility can improve performance, so it’s worth stretching those muscles after exercise and sport and what better way than with a massage to get to those parts other stretches cannot reach?

2. Recovery: During intense physical activity, tiny tears occur in muscles and fascia. The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood and lymph vessels. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.

Massage improves blood circulation which means that nutrients and oxygen are carried more efficiently to the injured areas.

So massage improves blood circulation which means that nutrients and oxygen are carried more efficiently to the injured areas to help them heal and recover quickly. Tight muscle will restrict blood flow, so by releasing and relaxing the muscles, blood may flow freely. Waste products such as lactic acid will also be removed as the lymphatic system get a boost.

3. Pain relief: Obviously, the source of severe pain needs to be investigated and dealt with, but the pain of sore, overworked muscles can be greatly relieved with a good massage. Sore, tired, overworked muscles will have a negative impact on performance for the athlete, so it is important that pain is dealt with and alleviated. This may mean rest and other forms of treatment too, but for most, a massage will help greatly. The common DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) many of us experience after an intense training session can be reduced during massage.

4. Relaxation: Sports people need to be competitive and relaxation does not tend to come easily to them! Massage promotes relaxation and reduces stress which will remove tension from both the body and the mind.

5. Sleep: As massage reduces discomfort and promotes relaxation, sleep will come more easily. Both quantity and quality will be improved. Our bodies recover and repair during sleep, but we perform much better if we feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep.

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BudoFlow Yoga at Zoga Yoga Cafe fuses yoga Budokon

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More than Yoga: BudoFlow is another brilliant adaptation of yoga asanas.

From Yogalates’ ingenious blend of yoga and Pilates to the guy whose Koga (yoga meets Kickboxing) classes were introduced with great success to a Westchester Martial Arts studio at the start of the year… it seems there’s no slowing down the hybridisation of India’s ancient mind and body artform. 

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Purists may never warm to it but we can’t deny that hybrid yoga classes are proving a great way to renew or attract peoples’ interest to the mat. And after trying it this week, we’re expecting great things from the latest in line, BudoFlow. It is a fusion of yoga and some Budokon elements/techniques, created by local fitness fanatic and martial artist Becky Hart.

Held Sundays and Mondays during Ramadan at the new yoga studio and café Zoga – who clearly aren’t afraid to take on board something new themselves – BudoFlow Yoga puts contact-free martial arts moves in the same room as asana to better develop flexibility, stability, agility and body organisation. 

The strong and playful practice’s movements are challenging, controlled and strengthen the entire body outside and in, developing balance, focus and a range of motion as well. 

Hart, also a FlyBarre teacher in Downtown Dubai’s popular cycle and barre cult club Flywheel Sports, has been into mixed martial arts since the age of 12 and has since then taken many other fitness disciplines into consideration including yoga, and could not wait to introduce the two in one studio.

“Why? It’s the integration of movement, wanting to allow the body to flow and get some range of motion,” she says.

“I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who struggle just trying to hold the static postures [in yoga] and don’t allow their bodies to get into position. But when they come and combine the integration and that flow of movement, they can actually get further than when they’re just trying to hold all the time and eventually tense up.

“I think BudoFlow will be most beneficial to people who have already got a bit of a healthy foundation in movement, have done a fair amount of training but who want to be able to coordinate better. They may have done Hatha Yoga, but want to take their level a little further and be able to do more advanced and powerful techniques such as balances. And importantly, be able to do it with control, whether they’re on one leg or one arm or whatever. 

“But generally, any male and female of all levels, looking to develop their flexibility and strength, develop mental focus will enjoy it. That said, because of all the arm balance work, including things like moving into handstands and gymnastic movements, BudoFlow Yoga is not suitable for pregnant women.”

In our introductory session, a powerful and incredibly slow and controlled flow, we did a number of rolling fluid movements from neck to all along the spine and back, just to wake and warm everything up before going into a series of basic but beautifully transitioned standing, lunging, and mild twisting balancing yoga postures.

Amazing grace: BudoFlow Yoga is a clever mix of the ancient Indian artform with Budokon.

Despite having a strong yoga practice ourselves, once the martial arts element was introduced in the later portion of an hour and fifteen minutes, it got us questioning just how strong we really are in the grand scheme of things, as well as pondering the possibilities of how much stronger we can really be if we just moved more in different ways and planes.

It’s true yoga works wonders in opening up the muscles and the mind, but imagine what yoga and the discipline of martial arts could do, we thought. Indeed, the seemingly nonstop series of elegant, sweeping karate-like moves continued to further test our balance and stamina too.

Becky is very good at utilising her years of knowledge and skill to enable your body to move through asana with power and grace, and we suspect, after all the little aches and pains the next day, that it will all really pay off. 

We certainly worked that much harder every time we caught a glimpse of her incredibly sculpted, muscular yet lean figure in the mirror as it performed controlled but easeful transitions and contortions – obviously the result of commitment to incorporating as many complementary disciplines as possible into your fitness routine rather than sticking to, well, a routine, and one that your body will eventually get tired of.

Budokon is a full contact martial artform that incorporates elements of capoeira, jiu jitsu and taekwondo among others, and we were actually surprised how well such an opposing technique fit in on the yoga mat.

As strange as this will sound, the practice left us feeling comfortably out of our comfort zone; that is to say challenged, energised and excited, as well as grounded; a weird and welcome combination. Kind of like yoga and mixed martial arts.

What: BudoFlow Yoga
Where: Zoga Yoga Café, Southridge 6, Downtown Burj Khalifa
When: Currently, classes take place Sundays and Mondays at 20:15 during Ramadan. 
Cost: Dh85 a session, but your first class is free
Contact & Info: www.zoga.ae; 04 276 7657; [email protected]

You can also keep up to date with the BudoFlow community and any of Becky’s other pop-up sessions via her new Facebook page ‘BudoFlow Yoga’.

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