A healthy and balanced lifestyle should include eating the right food that will help us achieve our fitness goals. Last week, for the launch of our new Food Log series, we reviewed beauty guru Huda Kattan’s daily diet with the help of our nutritionist. Read on to find out what our regional influencers are eating right and where they can improve.
Bahrain-based Dana Al Khalifa of The Overdressed is one of the top style influencers in the region. Apart from sticking to a healthy diet, she incorporates weight training and Pilates in her weekly workout routine. Her aim is to fit in as much cardio and stretching as possible, as her long-term goal is to have strength and energy to feel great. This week, nutritionist and sports coach Keith Littlewood, who has been involved in the health, fitness, and wellbeing industry for 20 years, assesses her daily diet.
Littlewood has worked with a variety of organizations and undergone multiple trainings and courses. His holistic approach has enabled him to work with a wide variety of people who had previously not achieved their targets and has made him a go-to expert on health and body related issues, such as pain relief, movement, corrective exercise, chronic fatigue, energy, and digestion.
Part one: A glass of warm water and lemon, followed by a bowl of berries or any mixed fruits.
Part two: Organic eggs (two) sunny side up with organic rice crackers, avocado, and green tea.
Our nutritionist says: Dana starts the day with fruit and protein—an excellent way to increase energy and reload the liver with enough carbohydrates.
Blueberry and spirulina smoothie made with homemade almond milk and chia and flax seeds.
Our nutritionist says: I often do not recommend eating seeds or nut milks as they tend to promote digestive irritation. Seeds are not meant to be eaten by humans on a regular basis; they provide adequate nutrition for hibernating animals whose metabolic rate is low. Chia and flax seeds are problematic in this regard.
Brown rice, grilled prawns, vegetables, and a green salad.
Our nutritionist says: A little bit of saturated fat and dairy would not be amiss in this diet.
Mixed raw nuts that have been soaked in water overnight.
Our nutritionist says: I discourage nuts for a similar reasoning as seeds. However, eating nuts a few times a week should not pose a significant problem. Soaking the nuts really only releases phytic acid, but does not decrease their digestibility.
Homemade chicken broth-based vegetable soup and gluten-free buckwheat pasta with vegetables dressed in ginger lemon and sesame oil. Small grilled chicken breast marinated in lemon and pepper with a spinach and cucumber salad.
Our nutritionist says: I love the fact that chicken broth or any meat broth is used on a daily basis. This helps calm the nervous system and reduces the load of eating muscle meats on a daily basis. Buckwheat has properties that render it quite irritable to the human bowel.
To exercise effectively, increasing carbohydrates to meet the body’s demands is less stressful than limiting them. Trying to put the body in a ketogenic state for exercise is quite stressful and the intake of adequate, easily digestible carbohydrates—like papaya, pineapple, guava, mango, melon, and watermelon—is recommended.
Dessert: I don’t usually have dessert but on the rare occasion, I’ll have a medjool date stuffed with peanut butter and sprinkled with organic cocoa nibs.
I often call this the “zeitgeist” diet as we have a preconception of what is healthy and what is not. With a daily diet, context is everything and provided that Dana is not suffering from energy and digestion-based issues, there’s a good mix of foods in her diet.