We have recently recovered from a bout of food poisoning.
When the friends with whom we had eaten three days previously emailed from the UK to say that they had a bout of “Delhi belly” or traveller’s sickness, it was then clear what it was as we all only ate together once.
– Lifestyler with Josie McKenlay: Senses and your health
Food poisoning isn’t that uncommon, especially at this time of the year in the UAE due to the extreme heat.
If food isn’t prepared and stored properly at the correct temperatures, bacteria can grow by the millions in a matter of hours and this is where the danger lies: although we are surrounded by bacteria and our gut contains bacteria, if it is allowed to grow in large numbers and is then ingested, the balance is upset.
People travelling to underdeveloped countries also risk becoming ill whilst abroad and bringing it back with them.
Of course, it can happen anywhere in the world. Symptoms can start anywhere from six hours to weeks after eating the contaminated food.
The longer they take to surface, the more difficult it is to diagnose whether it is food poisoning or where it came from. The sickness can last for a couple of days or drag on for months, depending on the type of bacteria.
Symptoms tend to be similar in all cases: diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea and perhaps vomiting, fever and dizziness.
The best way to draw a conclusion as to what caused the illness is to have a stool sample analysed.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if your body doesn’t show signs of dealing with the problem itself.
It is essential that small children and the elderly are taken for medical care immediately as they are the most vulnerable and severe cases can lead to death.
However, there are some remedies you can try at home if it is not so severe:-
1. Rest. The discomfort, perhaps sleepless nights and the fact your body won’t have absorbed much in the way of nutrition following a purge will leave you feeling weak.
2. Stay well hydrated. Drinks that contain electrolytes are particularly useful.
3. Don’t eat for a few hours so that your stomach has time to settle. When you do start eating again, eat very small amounts of bland foods. Plain white rice, dry toast, bananas, for example, then see how you feel after a good night’s sleep. Avoid spicy, fatty foods for a few days.
4. Once you are on the road to recovery, bananas are good because they are prebiotic and live yoghurt as the probiotics will help rebalance the bacteria in the gut. Ginger tea can help soothe your stomach and will help keep you hydrated.
Avoid food poisoning in the home by following these simple rules:-
► Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
► Keep work surfaces clean.
► Keep boiled water in the fridge for washing vegetables and fruit thoroughly before eating.
► Don’t leave food out in the heat and eat as soon as possible after preparation.
► Always ensure that meat/fish is thoroughly cooked.
► Keep raw animal products away from other food in separate containers.
► Reheat cooked food thoroughly.
With the yoga market approaching the size of a trillion dollar industry worldwide and at the behest of the Indian Prime Minister, last December the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
To celebrate the occasion, we took a closer look at internationally recognised spiritual master Bharat Thakur’s unique expanding yoga franchise in Dubai, which is set to grow even bigger this year.
Thakur started his company with the vision of spreading a form of yoga that would help people first get in shape, become disease-free and then move towards the higher practices akin to Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, and now Artistic Yoga has centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Dubai and Moscow.
Within the year they plan to open centres in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Johannesburg and France.
New outlets teaching Bharat Thakur’s Artistic Yoga (BTAY), the leading brand of yoga in the Middle East, are now located in Jumeirah, Motor City and Al Ghusais and will provide world-renowned ‘Living Himalayan Master’ Thakur’s unique take on the ancient art form – an innovative and dynamic form of yoga combining traditional yoga techniques with modern cardio training and stretching.
Artistic Yoga is the way forward for better health and fitness. “Simply doing difficult asanas or postures will not take you there. Yoga is about breaking your habits, not the body,” says Thakur.
Signature programmes at his studios, including Artistic Yoga for Good Health & Fitness, the Reduce Every Day (RED) fat loss programme, Bharat Thakur’s Himalayan Challenge, the 90-Day Transformation programme and the Age Reversal programme, will all be available at all outlets.
“The beauty of BTAY is that unlike conventional yoga, every class is unique and focused on different body parts, and Dubai’s discerning clients appreciate that.
Physically, they work on flexibility, strength and endurance whilst mentally they gain a great sense of self-awareness,” said Thakur, who practises what he preaches and regularly teaches classes at all outlets when he is in town.
“We have taken into account the varied clientele and tailor-made the schedules in each outlet to make classes as convenient and accessible as possible.
“For example, we offer RED classes early morning so the mothers in Motor City can join us post-school run, whilst the early and late afternoon RED and Artistic Yoga classes will appeal to our youthful working audience in Jumeirah and Ghusais,” he adds.
Women’s only classes are also available at all centres and at various times throughout the day.
“Man is a creature of habits, when you do yoga you unlearn habits” Bharat Thakur
— Yogathlete (@yogathlete) June 13, 2015
Thakur says: “Women were hungry for a safe and sacred space to voice their personal challenges, discuss what was and what was not working for them, and explore alternative ways of practice.
“The whole world should be doing yoga. It’s not just for the slender or the flexible, and it’s not about incense sticks, religion or Sanskrit chants anymore (though neither is a problem).
“Yoga is an amazing way to transform your mind and body,” says Thakur.
There are an aray of runs and marathons that you can get involved in and train for in the Middle East. One of the most popular formats is the 10km.
If you fancy getting involved and entering one, Matthew Graham at Talise Fitness– Madinat Jumeriah, has kindly produced a day-by-day training guide to help you feel fit and ready for the race.
10km Training Plan
Sundays: Sundays are active recovery days. Run at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace to help loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination.
Mondays and Fridays: Mondays and Fridays are rest days. Don't ignore rest days — they're important to your recovery and injury prevention efforts. Your muscles build and repair themselves during your rest days. So if you run every day, you're not going to gain much strength and you're increasing your risk of injury.
Tuesdays and Saturdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage.
Wednesdays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (such as biking or swimming) at an easy to moderate effort for 45 to 50 minutes.
Thursdays: These distances should be run at your 10K race pace. If you're not sure what that pace is, run at a speed that you think you could hold for 6.2 miles.
Matthew Graham is the GM of Talise Fitness Madinat Jumeirah