Startup of the Week: Protein Laboratory: Making healthy eating fun and easy

Updated 17 September 2019

Startup of the Week: Protein Laboratory: Making healthy eating fun and easy

  • And with growing health awareness, many Saudis are switching over to more nutritious dietary habits

JEDDAH: An enterprising Saudi family is aiming to take the world by storm with its scientific approach to healthy eating.

The Bogari’s newly opened Protein Laboratory restaurant in Jeddah is the brainchild of brothers Ahmed, Hussain and Hassan.

The three doctors got the inspiration for their startup from hospital laboratories while studying in medical school, and with the help of their parents set about establishing their innovative culinary venture.

In recent years the health and fitness fad has become a flourishing business sector in the Kingdom, which has witnessed a dramatic rise in the number of gyms and fitness centers.

And with growing health awareness, many Saudis are switching over to more nutritious dietary habits. However, eating clean can be a challenge for those with busy, modern lifestyles who do not have the time to prepare meals.

Enter the Protein Laboratory, opened to add fun to the idea of healthy food. “We wanted to reintroduce the concept of healthy food to the Saudi health and fitness community,” Ahmed, 27, told Arab News.

“We believe that healthy food does not have to be boring and achieving your goal of fat loss can actually satisfy your taste buds and leave you happily full at the same time.

“We are planning to expand in Jeddah and Makkah to help more people achieve their fitness targets while enjoying tasty food, and we are aiming to be recognized globally,” he said.

The trio started planning their enterprise while studying at medical college but credit their parents’ support for helping turn their vision into a successful business launch.

Their father guided them in setting up the company and their mother took responsibility for the restaurant’s kitchen, playing a major role in developing recipes and supervising operations.

The brothers’ association with the field of medicine also helped them in their efforts. Ahmed was first inspired by hospital laboratories and the way researchers worked on minor details to get the best possible results.

“The long counters, glass walls, and test tubes are what I liked the most, in addition to the complete transparency of the place. It is exactly how I wanted our restaurant to be. Everything to be prepared and cooked just in front of the customer with a high level of attention to detail,” he added.

The idea behind the name Protein Laboratory was to ensure customers had the option to select, mix and create ingredients according to their taste or preference.

“Customers can order their meals according to their nutritional needs and preferences, starting with selecting the protein base, cooking method, side dishes, the sauce and portion of the meal’s components in grams.”

Ahmed said: “We use the healthiest cooking methods possible. We don’t use frozen meat; we blend our own spices and make sure everything is always made in the healthiest way.”

The brothers and their mother work like scientists. “We spent one year testing ingredients and creating healthy recipes. We had only one goal in mind: High protein in a healthy meal and a portion that could help us and others to stay healthy while still eating the food we desired with higher quality and better taste,” Ahmed added.

Their lab salad dish includes more than 20 organic ingredients high in protein, fiber and antioxidants. The restaurant’s burger has only 396 calories, and one of their best-selling desserts is a sugar-free banana pancake.

“We aim to make our prices within everyone’s reach,” Ahmed said.

One of the services offered by the restaurant is subscription to a meal plan drawn up according to the nutritional needs of the customer and delivered to their workplace or home.

Protein Laboratory is located in Helmi Kutbi Street, in Jeddah’s Al-Zahra district and can be followed on Instagram @proteinlabsa.


Newborn sleeping patterns: A guide for new mothers

Newborns can generally sleep anywhere between 16 and 17 hours a day. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2019

Newborn sleeping patterns: A guide for new mothers

DUBAI: One of the first things that experienced parents warn you about before you welcome your bundle of joy into the world is about how little sleep you will get during that first few months. You have probably heard people say “get your sleep while you can”, which seems easier said than done when you are so big and uncomfortable while waiting to give birth. This is both true and not really so accurate. It is usually not the amount of sleep that babies get that is the issue, rather how regularly they wake up.

Newborns sleep a lot. They can generally sleep anywhere between 16 and 17 hours a day. However, they will only sleep for about 2 to 4 hours at a time before waking up needing food and diaper changes as well as just spending time with you. The reason for this is because the REM cycle of a newborn is a lot shorter than an adult’s sleep cycle. This short cycle is believed to be a necessity for the rapid and extraordinary development that is going on in their brain.

The good news for you is that your newborn will eventually start sleeping more at around 4 months. This may seem like forever when you realize that you spend as much time watching infomercials as you do watching regular television shows. There are some things that you can do during this time to help both you and your child survive.

Newborns will eventually start sleeping more at around 4 months. (Shutterstock)

Teaching the beginnings of a healthy sleep pattern

You will need to teach your infant that there is a difference between day and night. When he is wide awake during the daytime, you should play with your child and interact with them while keeping the house as bright as possible. At night-time, you will want to avoid play time and instead do calming activities with your child like quietly reading. When they do wake up at night, comfort them, feed them and change them but avoid playing with them. That will begin to teach your baby that daytime is for playing and night-time is for quiet and sleeping.

You should not keep your child up too long during this time. If you wait longer than a couple hours at a time to put your baby to bed, they will become overtired and fussy. This will make putting them to sleep an almost impossible task that will only frustrate both you and your baby. You can also start putting your child to bed when they are sleepy but awake at around 6 weeks. This will help to establish an excellent sleeping habit of going to sleep on their own.

How to survive newborn sleep patterns

You can sleep whenever your child does, even if this seems like odd hours to you. Raising children is tiring work and you will need to keep up your energy by getting as much sleep as you can. The dishes can wait, and accept any help that is offered to you. You will be thankful when grandma wants to come and visit and lets you take a nap while she smothers your child with love and attention. 

This article was first published on babyarabia.com.