Perusing the dairy aisle at the local supermarket shows just how many choices we have when it comes to not only old-fashioned cow’s milk, but also non-dairy options like soy, almond and coconut milks. But most of us don’t spend more than a few seconds deciding which carton to grab. Every milk offers its own nutritional perks and drawbacks – some more than others.
Here is the low down of common milks to help you decide which one is best for you!
While cow’s milk contains more calcium and protein than other milk alternatives, it does have its downfalls. The cow’s milk we buy in the supermarket these days holds little nutritional value. The amount of processing that it goes through significantly affects its nutritional composition, so you may be better off choosing a more nutritious option. Adding to this is the way that cows are treated, what they are being fed (cows fed GMO grains do not have an ideal omega3 profile), and the environment they live in.
If you can tolerate dairy, experiment with raw, organic dairy products where cows are grass fed and free to roam, particularly fermented dairy such as Greek yoghurt and raw cheese. If it is found to be problematic, eliminate it.
If you’re lactose intolerant where the body doesn’t produce the enzyme to break down the milk sugar, then you need to avoid milk. If you have an allergy (over reaction of the immune system to a specific food protein in dairy) then again you will need to avoid milk. However, this problem can be alleviated through a controlled gut healing diet.
Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. So drinking milk made from these nutritious nuts are a great milk alternative. Almond milk is also high in vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper and good fats. However, be careful when you buy the costly store-bought almond milk from a carton. Some have a lot of sugar added, so check the label and buy the non-sweetened version. With all cartooned store-bought milks be aware of unknown ingredients and food additives such as carageenan, a a concerning additive which has been associated with gut issues.
Better yet, make your own at home!
Soy milk used to be the popular dairy alternative but now people are starting to think otherwise. The main issue with soy is that it is not a natural food source. Almost all soy that isn’t labelled as organic will be genetically modified. Soy also contains phytoestrogens which mimics estrogen in the body. You would need to consume a large amount of soy for this to have a huge negative effect on you, but if your hormones are already out of balance – which most people’s are due to lifestyle, inactivity, diet and stress – then I would suggest you avoid soy.
My favourite milk alternative! Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamin C, E and B vitamins. It is loaded with minerals such as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. There is a compound in coconut that is antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a variety of disease causing organisms so it plays a protective role against infections and viruses. It is also great for skin! The type of fat that is found in coconut is rapidly metabolised by the liver and used for energy so it is less likely to be stored as fat. Again, like all store-bought milk you buy in cartons, check the ingredients list. Or better yet make your own, click here for my recipe of homemade coconut milk.
Check out Chloe’s blog, Chloe Moir Nutrition, where she shares nutrition tips, her view on current nutrition trends and a lot of delicious, nutritious recipes.
Fitness First Middle East (FFME) has brought to town a whole new look and feel to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) this month with the launch of a fun and vibrant XFit studio in Dubai Media City.
Even though in the UAE we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the cool and new in fitness, from niche private training facilities and boutique anti-gyms, to scenic outdoor workout spaces – and okay, even free at-home exercise assistance in the form of apps – we can’t ignore the fact that regular affordable group fitness, and the atmosphere of an old reliable community gym, still go a long way in getting us to our wellness goals. They just make us feel comfortable, no flashiness needed.
Backed by more than 17 years’ experience in the fitness industry, Fitness First has been that old friend – even if today the global mega-brand, which originated in the UK, has grown into a network of over 380 clubs and one million members in more than 15 countries worldwide.
Boasting 49+ locations in the Gulf alone, it’s likely to be one of the first that comes to mind when considering an all-inclusive gym package. In the face of such popularity, it’s nice to see that they’ve not grown complacent, though. “Cool and new” doesn’t have to mean bad. Still as social and supportive a community as ever, they’re now just scaling new heights by working smarter.
HIIT, is the smart way to train harder and faster in a shorter space of time, and for more explosive, exciting results. And that’s what FFME’s XFit, Media City’s new 3-in-1 concept studio is dedicated to. The expansive and eye-catchingly designed, custom-built facility covers three zones: LIFT, BOX and HIIT, all of which feature their own unique equipment and space to partake in fun, alternative high intensity and dynamic exercises during a range of no-nonsense classes.
“When you put the three toget-her it offers a variety of strength, conditioning and cardio training under one roof. These classes are for the individuals who want a 30-45 minutes blowout, in and out, they don’t have to think about their workout as it’s instructor led”, says George Flooks, Fitness First’s Chief Operating Officer, referring to it as a sort of ‘ready, steady, go’ sort of place.
But what excites us most is that everything is electricity-free (self-powered). XFit is fitted with functional based equipment to help you learn to maximise the use of your full body along with variations in workouts. You will hardly ever do the same thing twice.
Yes, those are treadmills in one corner, but they’re not just any treadmills; they’re Woodway’s non-motorised variety, which, unlike the traditionally hard-decked treadmills, are curved and built with an efficient no-friction foundation that offers huge relief on the joints. They hit top speeds when you want them to (just run faster), and allow users to burn more calories while engaging more muscle groups than when on conventional treadmills.
Less is more too when it comes to XFit’s other kit such as plate and free weights, kettlebells, boxes for jumping activities, Assault AirBikes (which uses natural resistance from air), and a dynamic boxing ring. They’ve got a rig, some rowing machines, a few massive tyres for functional lifting, and have paired it all with coaches who live and breathe the HIIT method.
We sampled a XFit DEEP class and saw that a huge portion of the CrossFit-type class went towards dynamic warming up and detailed instruction on technique when lifting an assortment of weights in more efficient ways (again with the less is more approach). After skill sets, 12 minutes was literally all we needed to experience a long-lasting burn during a powerful WOD (nicknamed here DEEP – Daily Extreme Exercise Program). Every day in this all-sorts class is meant to be different, dynamic, and will certainly get you digging DEEPer into HIIT trends and training.
What we can say is that if you’re a HIIT and CrossFit fan, you’ll be in your element at XFit; and if you’re not, it’s an exciting place to learn and experience a fresh perspective on training differently, efficiently.
Location: XFit, Ground Floor, Business Central Towers, Media City, Dubai
Contact & Information: 04 424 3999 | www.fitnessfirstme.com
Now in its second year, the event is taking place at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, against the incredible backdrop of the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Open to fitness enthusiasts of all levels of abilities, Sandstorm sees competitors taking on a series of sea and sand-themed challenges and obstacles.
Designed to test resolve and determination, athletes have to run, jump, climb and crawl across the 4km sprint course.
Wearing Reebok apparel featuring the latest technology to help athletes keep their cool, no matter how intense the competition gets, six members of Team Reebok will be taking part in the event: Emirati national Nuha Al Marri, who specialises in CrossFit; Emirati nationals Saood Al Noori and Bader Al Noori (CrossFit and circuit training); British-born George Roberts, a training enthusiast; German athlete Martin Ziegler (CrossFit and weight lifting); and Nabil Ibrahim, a Romanian/Lebanese national (professional CF-L1 Trainer and CrossFit).
Launched earlier this year, the mixed gender Team Reebok was chosen from UAE-based athletes across a range of different sporting disciplines, including CrossFit, circuit training and weight lifting.
So far, the team has shown off its skills representing Reebok at some of the region’s toughest challenges, including the Spartan Race in Dubai and the Battle of Heroes in Bahrain.
Follow their progress and training regimes on Reebok’s social media channels via @ReebokMENA.