Where We Are Going Today: Elna Cafe

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Updated 13 December 2021

Where We Are Going Today: Elna Cafe

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  • From anywhere within the cafe, customers can snap pictures that will turn out to be a masterpiece for their social media

Elna Cafe looks like it has been taken out of a fairytale book and placed in the Saudi capital.
The cafe, located in Riyadh’s Al-Mohammadiya district, is decorated with lush flowers and colors that represent spring.
Flowers cover everything inside the cafe, the walls, the lamps, and even the unique decorations like a giant pink teddy bear, a car, and telephone booth. From anywhere within the cafe, customers can snap pictures that will turn out to be a masterpiece for their social media.
The food doesn’t just look good but tastes amazing as well. Their sweets are sophisticated and perfectly well-balanced in their flavor and sweetness.
Their coffee is always picture-perfect. It is made with high-quality coffee beans to elevate the experience of this dream-like place. It is a perfect place for ladies to hang out with their friends and take time out of their busy schedules to sit and relax among the thousands of flowers.
Check their Instagram @elna.cafe for more details.


Adding peanuts to young children’s diet can help avoid allergy: study

Adding peanuts to young children’s diet can help avoid allergy: study
Updated 21 January 2022

Adding peanuts to young children’s diet can help avoid allergy: study

Adding peanuts to young children’s diet can help avoid allergy: study
  • Six months after the treatment, the children in remission could tolerate a dose equivalent to 16 peanuts

PARIS: Including peanuts in children’s diets early in life could help stave off allergies against the legume, which can be fatal and affect swathes of youngsters globally, according to a new study Friday.
Researchers found that introducing peanut products to babies and infants, and gradually increasing exposure, led to greater tolerance for the common allergen.
The peer-reviewed study, published in The Lancet, involved 146 peanut-allergic children aged between zero and three over two-and-a-half years.
Of the group, 96 were given peanut protein powder every day, with the dose increasing progressively to the equivalent of six peanuts. The other children received a placebo of oat flour.
Twenty of the children who received peanut powder showed allergy remission, meaning no allergic reaction occurred six months after the therapy ended.
One child in the placebo group showed remission.
Six months after the treatment, the children in remission could tolerate a dose equivalent to 16 peanuts.
An additional 20 children who received peanut powder were considered ‘desensitised’, meaning they had a higher allergic threshold but were not considered in remission.
These children could tolerate a dose equivalent to between six and 12 peanuts six months after the treatment ended.
The youngest children in the study experienced remission the most often, and the best results were in those under 12 months.
“Very early interventions may provide the best opportunity to achieve remission,” said co-author Stacie Jones.
Peanut allergies affect two percent of children in Western countries, according to the study, and can last a lifetime.
Affected children must avoid eating peanuts and have self-injectable adrenaline available to fight allergic shocks, which can be fatal if they are accidentally exposed.
Exposure can even occur when a child hugs someone who has just consumed peanuts.
“There are no treatment options, resulting in a considerable burden on allergic children and their caregivers to avoid accidental exposure,” said co-author Wesley Burks.
“In severe cases, this can restrict peanut-allergic children’s freedoms, particularly when it comes to navigating daycare or schools and public spaces where access to a safe diet is in jeopardy,” he added.
Previous studies have produced similar results but the length of the latest studies makes it unique.
Although it provided important results, it may not reflect the behavior of the children’s bodies in real-world conditions.
The study was conducted under close medical supervision, and adrenaline injections were administered on 21 children during the trial.


Pandemic hasn’t slowed China’s love for US lobster

A lobster rears its claws after being caught off Spruce Head, Maine, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP)
A lobster rears its claws after being caught off Spruce Head, Maine, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2022

Pandemic hasn’t slowed China’s love for US lobster

A lobster rears its claws after being caught off Spruce Head, Maine, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP)
  • American exporters sent more than 13.2 million pounds (6 million kilograms) of lobster to China during the first 11 months of 2021

PORTLAND, Maine: China is showing no signs of slowing its demand for American lobster this year despite disruption to the supply chain and international trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese demand for the crustaceans grew dramatically during the 2010s in part because of the expansion of the country’s middle class. The lobsters are especially sought after in winter because they are a popular delicacy on Chinese New Year, which is Feb. 1 this year.
American exporters sent more than 13.2 million pounds (6 million kilograms) of lobster to China during the first 11 months of 2021. That was about 6 percent more than the same time period the previous year.
The pandemic has made the already difficult task of sending live seafood across the globe more challenging, but Maine lobster exporters are gearing up for a decent Chinese New Year, said Bill Bruns. The operations manager at The Lobster Co. in Arundel said shipments are complicated by the fact the company can’t send lobsters to Beijing because of COVID-19 restrictions — but they are able to send to other airports, such as Shenzhen.
“Chinese New Year is always a crapshoot the last couple years,” Bruns said. “But I’m prepared for it. I have the staff. Because otherwise it’s going to be a long spring.”
China buys lobsters from the US — where the industry is based mostly in Maine — and Canada, where the industry is situated in the Atlantic provinces. Exports from Canada were up even more than the US the first 11 months of 2021 compared to 2020, said John Sackton, an industry analyst and founder of SeafoodNews.com.
Signs point to a strong season for the industry, Sackton said. Consumption of seafood could also get a boost from the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are set to start a few days after Chinese New Year, he said.
“I’ve seen nothing that consumption of lobsters at Chinese New Year this year won’t exceed last year’s,” Sackton said.
The US lobster industry weathered similar challenges during the first year of the pandemic in 2020 and ultimately had a strong export season. The value of exports was down from the record year of 2018, but still well over $100 million.
High prices for lobsters have played a role in the value of this year’s exports. The price of a live 1.25-pound hard shell lobster was $11.25 per pound in New England this month, according to business publishing company Urner Barry. That was more than a third higher than January 2021.
To send lobsters to China, American and Canadian fishermen have to trap them in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Bad weather has made that difficult for Maine fishermen this year, but harvesters are still having a decent winter on the water, said Kristan Porter, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
“When guys get out there, they are doing OK,” Porter said. “It takes someone hardier than me to fish the wintertime.”


A taste of what’s to come: What food trends can we expect in 2022?

A taste of what’s to come: What food trends can we expect in 2022?
Updated 17 January 2022

A taste of what’s to come: What food trends can we expect in 2022?

A taste of what’s to come: What food trends can we expect in 2022?

DUBAI: Entrepreneurs and husband and wife duo Luma Makhlouf and Haider Al-Assam are the founders of Dubai’s hugely popular Maiz Tacos and Good Burger. Here, Makhlouf pens her thoughts on the food trends we can expect to see in the region in 2022.

Coming off the back of a challenging year largely centered around the pandemic, we are declaring 2022 the year of health and rebuilding.  Looking forward, food trends will incorporate a return to local produce, entertaining and sustainable food practices.

 Luma Makhlouf. Supplied 

Homegrown produce

More than ever before, consumers are focusing on their health and are looking to strengthen their immune system, making fresh local produce their preferred choice. What used to be an industry that knew no borders, the pandemic meant importing food became more expensive and less timely. Returning to basics, consumers will choose organic, local produce and clean ingredients. Post pandemic, some of the most successful brands are the homegrown ones that built up their resilience under tough conditions. Local suppliers offering authentic “farm to fork” produce will resonate with consumers seeking to focus on their health.

Return to entertaining

As people start to celebrate events they missed out on during the pandemic, catering demand is set to increase. Consumers are looking to create new, out of the box experiences and are therefore seeking tailored, personalized catering solutions. We are seeing increased corporate marketing budgets as demand for events such as product launches increase in line with the reduction of pandemic restrictions.

Sustainability

Photo: Getty Images

Consumers are increasingly choosing sustainable produce as they become more aware of their carbon footprint and the impact of their choices. As the population increases, so too will food production. Aquaculture and hydroponic farming are two aspects that will help the UAE in particular create a more sustainable food industry, and consumers will favor the health benefits of fresher, healthier produce. An increase in plant-based diets means consumers’ choices will be less taxing on the environment and they will be looking for ethical, sustainable ingredients that can help them achieve their health goals.

The increase in demand for healthy, nutritious and sustainably sourced foods will shape the food industry this year. Consumers will look for foods and catering options with nutritional benefits as healthy eating becomes mainstream and entertaining with our loved ones finally returns.


Where We Are Going Today: Flour & Firewood

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Updated 10 January 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Flour & Firewood

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  • For salad lovers, the salmon salad and the house salad are top-rated dishes

Flour & Firewood is a staple for freshly baked bread and gourmet pizza in Riyadh.
Located on Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Road in the Sulaymaniyah district, the restaurant is the perfect location for a cozy and casual family brunch.
Here, most of the dishes on the menu are served with excellent bread, but you can also order a slice of sourdough served with butter and oil.
Brunch lovers who prefer a lighter breakfast selection over pizza and pasta should try the sunny eggs platter served with grilled halloumi and bacon, or the sweet and fluffy French toast.
For starters, we recommend trying the shrimp pil-pil, which pairs surprisingly well with the shiitake mushroom pasta. The creamy and decadent pasta wraps around freshly sliced shiitake mushrooms to create the perfect blend of flavors.
For salad lovers, the salmon salad and the house salad are top-rated dishes. The portions are generous and each dish in the restaurant is served for sharing.


Hitting the gym in 2022? Try these expert tips to reduce muscle soreness

Hitting the gym in 2022? Try these expert tips to reduce muscle soreness
Updated 08 January 2022

Hitting the gym in 2022? Try these expert tips to reduce muscle soreness

Hitting the gym in 2022? Try these expert tips to reduce muscle soreness

DUBAI: Dubai-based former professional rugby player and current fitness coach Nino Barbu, who comes armed with a master’s degree in sports performance, walks us through the process of easing muscle stiffness that comes after an intense workout. If you plan to hit the gym to kick of 2022, make sure to follow these expert tips. 

For the past few decades fitness and health experts have been trying to find a way to explain or cure muscle soreness usually felt after an intense workout.

The bad news is that a complete cure has not been found, but the good news is exercise physiologists discovered some methods that can ease the symptoms of muscle soreness.

Researchers found that when muscle temperature is increased, blood flow increases, bringing fresh oxygen and healing nutrients to the sore area. (Shutterstock)

What is muscle soreness or delayed onset muscle soreness, also knowns as DOMS?

Specialists describe it as the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity, and it is perfectly normal and is simply an indication that muscles are adapting to your fitness regimen. The mild muscle strain during the effort creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists believe this damage, coupled with the inflammation that accompanies these tears, is the cause of the symptoms.

Here are some tips to reduce these symptoms…

Stretching

Stretching is one of the most underrated remedies and best performed straight after a workout during the cool down period. If you are not sure how to stretch the muscles you worked out, find some inspiration on the internet where there are a multitude of resources to guide you.

Apply heat 

Brigham Young University in Utah has researched the use of heat remedies to treat muscle soreness. Researchers found that when muscle temperature is increased, blood flow increases, bringing fresh oxygen and healing nutrients to the sore area. 

Ice baths

Ice baths or cold showers can also ease symptoms due to the fact that they lower the damaged tissue’s temperature and constrict the blood vessels. This helps reduce swelling and inflammation, and even numbs the nerve endings, usually bringing immediate relief. Ice baths can also help your central nervous system by aiding in sleep, and consequently, making you feel better by reducing fatigue. They can be performed after each workout for intervals of 3-6 minutes. In order to maximize the benefits of cold therapy combine it with hot therapy (a hot shower or sauna). The recommended routine for an athlete would be three rounds alternating three minutes of a hot shower or sauna with three minutes of a cold shower or ice bath.

Anti-inflammatory treatment

A naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compound is curcumin. Research suggests that curcumin can help in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and subsequent performance in active people. Speak to your doctor about other anti-inflammatory treatments if you wish to take the allopathic route. 

Rest

In more severe DOMS cases, the best solution might be to give your muscles a chance to heal by themselves and repair. Ideally, it is recommended to skip any kind of high-intensity cardio or power lifting sessions when sore which may only worsen and delay recovery.