Fasting can be better for health than medication: UK nutritionist and life coach

Fasting can be better for health than medication: UK nutritionist and life coach
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Updated 25 January 2024
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Fasting can be better for health than medication: UK nutritionist and life coach

Fasting can be better for health than medication: UK nutritionist and life coach
  • Practice most beneficial for physical and mental well-being, expert says
  • Nigel Calland fascinated by Saudi culture, people and country

RIYADH: Fasting is the most beneficial practice for our physical and mental well-being, says Nigel Calland, a nutritionist and life coach from the UK.

“If you want to actually be healthy, well, hopefully, Insha’Allah, the doctors tell you to fast instead of giving you medication,” he told Arab News in an interview for the “Mayman Show” podcast.

Calland explained how fasting brings about significant changes in our bodies. During fasting, the body starts producing more growth hormones and cortisol, and the lack of food causes the body to use the bad cells as energy. The body operates most efficiently when subjected to a shock, which essentially triggers all the internal mechanisms geared toward survival, he said.

He views it as a place where Islam and fitness can meet. This year also marks his inaugural participation in Ramadan, after he recently became a Muslim during a trip to Saudi Arabia. After reading the Qu’ran twice and feeling that he was on the right path, Calland expressed his desire to convert to a tour guide that he met in Riyadh. On that very day, the tour guide took him to the Al-Rajhi Mosque in Riyadh.

“I converted there with Abdulaziz, and he was such a gentleman, he explained everything in detail and actually it brought up a lot of emotion to me, to be honest. And yeah, to be involved in that was wonderful. And so now, I’m a Muslim,” he said.

He believes that Islam will guide him in staying on the right path. “A lot of people are far from the truth these days. And I feel like we’ve got to look a lot deeper inside … People, they look for satisfaction externally in an environment,” he said, adding, “until you break it down and understand yourself, then that’s when things come to light.”

Before becoming a personal trainer, Calland spent several years working as an engineer. This occupation required a lot of physical effort, involving heavy lifting, which proved to be beneficial for his fitness sessions. Using his muscles both inside and outside the gym inspired him to turn his passion into a business.

Calland realized that psychology was a key factor in his domain. He views himself as a psychologist who emphasizes that health starts from within and the best way to improve it is by moving your body. “What people don’t know, the best antidote for depression is training, because even resistance training actually builds antidepressant mechanisms in the muscle, so it actually defends the body,” he said.

He criticizes modern practitioners, particularly in the Western world, for merely acting as drug suppliers who prescribe medication without providing holistic information. According to him, prevention is the solution, not just a temporary fix.

“If you’re moving your body, you’re feeling good … Get the body moving, there’s unlimited benefits.”

Calland places a significant emphasis on online training to maintain connections with clients worldwide, primarily in the Arab world. This is the reason he was in Saudi Arabia initially, having accepted an invitation from one of his clients. He saw it as a way to escape the hectic atmosphere of his daily work in Baker Street, London, which is always bustling. Calland said that he feels more at ease in Riyadh, thanks to the friendliness there, and believes that there is more time to treat people the way they want to be treated.

“It’s so beautiful to see the culture. People are just more happy, more focused. And the main thing I’m observing, because we’ve been on a few trips, is how well-behaved the children are. Everyone so calm and very well spoken,” he said.

Fascinated by the culture, the people and the country itself, he hinted at making Riyadh his home base.

To put his words into action, the interview closed with a live performance by trainer Nigel. You can see how it went by checking out the full episode on YouTube.


Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season
Updated 29 May 2024
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Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

Visa holders may not enter Makkah around Hajj season

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Interior has announced visit visa holders will not be allowed to enter or remain in Makkah during the Hajj season.

Between May 23 and June 21, only pilgrims with Hajj permits may do so, with penalties imposed on anyone violating the rules.

The ministry emphasized that visit visas did not give the holder permission to perform Hajj. It also urged visitors currently in Saudi Arabia to avoid travel to Makkah during the specified period.

“Violators will be subject to penalties according to the Kingdom’s regulations,” said a statement from the ministry.

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior said it would start imposing fines amounting to $2,666 on anyone, including Saudi citizens, caught entering Makkah without a Hajj permit between June 2-20.


Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact

Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact
Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact

Saudi Arabia and Austria sign economic-cooperation pact
  • The pact was inked at the ninth session of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee in Vienna
  • The parties aim to encourage cooperation in trade, industry, research and development, tourism, and small and medium enterprises

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s Ministry of Economy and Planning has signed a cooperation agreement with its Austria counterpart, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The pact was inked at the ninth session of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee in Vienna between the Kingdom’s Economy and Planning Minister Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim and Austria’s Labor and Economy Minister Martin Kocher.

The parties aim to encourage cooperation in trade, industry, research and development, tourism, and small and medium enterprises.

The countries will also organize conferences and seminars featuring experts in their fields.

The parties are committed to protecting mutual intellectual property rights, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia and Austria first signed economic, commercial, industrial and technology agreements in 2004.


Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership

Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership
Updated 29 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership

Saudi Arabia reelected to Global Research Council leadership
  • The governing board voted unanimously to reelect Vice Chairman Munir bin Mahmoud Eldesouki at the body’s 12th annual meeting

RIYADH: The Kingdom has retained its leadership position in the Global Research Council, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The governing board voted unanimously to reelect Vice Chairman Munir bin Mahmoud Eldesouki at the body’s 12th annual meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland this week.

The reelection to this position, for the second time since the body’s establishment in 2012, confirms the council’s confidence in Saudi Arabia, the SPA reported.

The council highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts in promoting research, development and innovation in the Middle East North Africa region, the report added.

The council comprises heads of research institutions that fund projects globally.


King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj
Updated 29 May 2024
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King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj

King Salman issues royal order to host 1,000 family members of Palestinian victims for Hajj
  • The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah
  • Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program

RIYADH: King Salman ordered the hosting of 2,322 Hajj pilgrims on Tuesday, including 1,000 family members of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israel or held in Israeli prisons.

1,300 people from over 88 countries and 22 family members of conjoined twins who were separated in the Kingdom will also be hosted for the pilgrimage, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The gesture is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance.

Since its inception 26 years ago, more than 60,000 pilgrims have been hosted under the program.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikhb said the order reflects the Saudi leadership’s constant care for Muslims around the world and its efforts to strengthen unity and brotherhood among Muslims by bringing them together for Hajj at the expense of the king.

The minister said preparations to host these pilgrims have begun and a strategic plan has been developed.


Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 
Updated 3 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 

Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s continued acts of genocide in Rafah 
  • The Kingdom holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for what is happening in Rafah
  • Saudi Arabia reiterated that the Israeli forces’ blatant violation of all international and humanitarian laws

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned on Tuesday the Israeli forces’ continued “genocidal massacres against the Palestinian people without deterrence” by targeting the tents of defenseless Palestinian refugees in Rafah.

The Kingdom holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for what is happening in Rafah and all the occupied Palestinian territories, a foreign ministry statement read.

Israel’s military denied striking a tent camp west of the city of Rafah on Tuesday after Gaza health authorities said Israeli tank shelling had killed at least 21 people there, in what Israel has designated a civilian evacuation zone.

Earlier, defying an appeal from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israeli tanks advanced to the heart of Rafah for the first time after a night of heavy bombardment, while Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognized a Palestinian state, a move that further deepened Israel’s international isolation.

Saudi Arabia reiterated that the Israeli forces’ blatant violation of all international and humanitarian laws and norms, amid the silence of the international community, exacerbates the unprecedented Palestinian humanitarian catastrophe, and puts the credibility of international legitimacy institution at stake.

“The Kingdom stresses the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities to stop the massacres against the Palestinian people and hold those responsible accountable,” the statement concluded.

- With Reuters.