Bal­ance Café

Friday - - Living -

Tested by Fri­day sales man­ager Tripti Singh The Con­cept: Healthy meal plans de­vised ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional Ayurvedic con­cepts us­ing mac­ro­bi­otic foods and tai­lored to each in­di­vid­ual’s meta­bolic re­quire­ments. The ex­pe­ri­ence: As I’m lac­tose in­tol­er­ant, cheese, milk and other dairy is au­to­mat­i­cally ruled out for me, and gen­er­ally I don’t like any al­ter­na­tives such as soy milk, so it can be a chal­lenge to pre­pare ex­cit­ing food within those re­stric­tions.

Liv­ing a busy life­style, it’s re­ally hard to pre­pare healthy food at home, and I was also hop­ing to lose a bit of weight. I ar­ranged a meet­ing with Dr Chandy Ge­orge, the Ayurvedic life­style con­sul­tant of Bal­ance Café, and took him through my di­etary habits, fit­ness and gen­eral rou­tine.

Af­ter check­ing my BMI and body fat/mus­cle com­po­si­tion, he rec­om­mended a food plan with a max­i­mum of 1,500 calo­ries per day, based on some­thing called six-tastes ther­apy: Sweet to in­crease body tis­sue; Sour to bal­ance the ap­petite; Salt to help in the body’s me­tab­o­lism and re­move tox­ins; Bit­ter to re­duce blood-su­gar lev­els; Pun­gent to re­duce ex­cess body fat; and As­trin­gent to strengthen the im­mune sys­tem.

The cal­cu­la­tion of 1,500 calo­ries a day was based on 1,100 calo­ries from the meal plan, while I was told the bal­ance of 400 calo­ries would be de­rived from my body’s ex­cess fat. The menu: The menu was fresh and more varied than I would usu­ally eat, con­sist­ing of In­dian, Ara­bic, Chi­nese and Euro­pean meals. The sal­ads were re­ally in­ter­est­ing and I par­tic­u­larly en­joyed the chicken and pineap­ple, gar­den greens and Thai pa­paya sal­ads. The dals and veg­etable cur­ries were other high­lights and I rel­ished the wok-fried green veg­eta­bles with plum sauce, the veg­e­tar­ian plat­ter, the shish tawook and the spicy chicken ke­babs. The fish menu in the main meals was also great, with meals con­sist­ing of crispy red snap­per, salmon, Nile perch and tuna. The dessert was mainly fruit based, plus the oc­ca­sional tart (le­mon, mango, and choco­late). Even though I was eat­ing only 1,100 calo­ries per day, I never felt hun­gry. Pros: Lead­ing a busy life­style, which gives me no time to cook healthy food, the meal plan from Bal­ance Café was fan­tas­tic. You get the food de­liv­ered to your doorstep con­ve­niently ev­ery day. The calo­ries are enough to ful­fil your daily re­quire­ments and if you stick to your plan, a re­duc­tion of 2-3kg a month is very likely. Cons: I can’t think of any­thing that I was un­happy with. Al­though break­fast isn’t in­cluded (lunch and din­ner only), that was per­fect for me as I eat just one meal be­tween break­fast and lunch times. The re­sult: I lost 4kg at the end of the month, which I am re­ally pleased about, con­sid­er­ing I don’t have a daily fit­ness reg­i­men due to lack of time. Verdict: Bal­ance Café’s ser­vice is great. The food is fresh and tasty and I even got reg­u­lar fol­low-up calls from Mr Azeem, the man­ager at Bal­ance Café, to check if all was well and to my sat­is­fac­tion. Price and de­tails: Dh2,970 for 30 days. Call 04 515 4051, email info.bal­ance@ land­mark­group.com, or log on to www.bal­ance-well­ness-cen­tre.com.

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