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.


Baby Talk: How to deal with fears of first time parents

Updated 09 December 2019

Baby Talk: How to deal with fears of first time parents

  • Babies are totally dependent on their parents and care-givers for all their needs
  • Learning is on the job, but you can be prepared

DUBAI: It is natural for a first time mom (and dad) to have fears and worries about the responsibility of their brand new little baby. Babies are tiny, they are vulnerable, and they are totally dependent on their parents and care-givers for all their needs. This can seem overwhelming, and as each baby is different, it is not possible to provide a text-book of answers with each new arrival. Learning is on the job, but you can be prepared.

Common worries of first time parents:

  • Recognizing your baby’s cries

At first your baby’s cries may sound similar to you but soon you will learn to recognize the difference between a hungry cry for feed, a cry of discomfort for a diaper change or other discomfort, or a more serious discomfort such as colic or something else. An unusually high pitched cry can mean illness. You will soon not only know what your baby wants but also recognize your baby’s cry among other babies.

  • Going out of the home with your baby

It can be scary leaving the house for the first time with your new baby; the outside world can seem hazardous and contact with other people give risk to sources of infection. It is perfectly natural to feel this way but important to remember that the benefits or getting out and about with your baby will outweigh the risk with planning and preparation. Take sensible precautions with safety when you are out and ensure you have everything with you that you need including a cell phone for emergencies. Strangers may wish to admire your baby but it is reasonable to not allow others outside immediate family and friends handle your baby. Keep your first trips out short until you feel more comfortable and take someone with you if that helps you build confidence.

(Shutterstock)
  • Waking your sleeping baby

New parents are often frightened to make a noise during their baby’s nap times in case they wake. Naturally you have finally got your baby to sleep and will not want to wake them. It is best to carry out general house chores and conversations as usual because babies are used to noise from within the womb. Background noise of TV, vacuum cleaner, chatting or fans should not be avoided and your baby will become accustomed to sleeping through such noise. Loud and sudden noises will wake a sleeping baby but they should not wake because of usual household noise and there is certainly no need to tiptoe around a sleeping baby.

  • Putting baby down to sleep while they are crying

It is emotionally hard to put your baby in their crib whilst they are crying, particularly if they double their efforts as soon as you have laid them down. However it is also not idea to be in a situation where you cannot put your baby down to sleep for hours whilst you rock and sooth them, exhausting yourself and also possibly your baby. Babies can become overtired and if you have taken care of feeding, changing and winding and your baby is still fussing and crying they may need to sleep and will soon settle if you allow them to cry on their own a short while. The more used a baby is to settling themselves the better for baby and parents. Be brave and try to leave them briefly whilst close at hand and see if they settle by themselves. It is not wise to leave a baby to cry for too long and always seek medical advice if you have any concerns.

  • Handing over the baby care

One of the hardest things for a new mom to do is hand her baby over to another to care for in her absence, sometimes even if the person is her husband and she is only gone for a short time. This is natural and does not mean that you do not trust the person it means that you are programmed to be present for your baby at all times! However it is very important in modern society that you are able to leave your baby with your partner, trusted family members and friends. It is important that your baby leans to be soothed by others than yourself. It will become easier with time. Remember it is not important that your baby is wearing the outfit you would have chosen or if things have not been tidied away like you would have done, the important things is that you were able to have time away from your baby and that your baby is safe on your return.

This article was first published on babyarabia.com.