Top Benefits of Healthy Eating & Well Balanced Diet

Benefits of Healthy Eating with Yalla Cook

They say we only live once, so we should live life to the fullest. Since we have only one life, one body, shouldn’t we take the utmost care of it? Knowing the benefits of healthy eating is a step in that direction.

But how do you take care of your body through diet and healthy meal prep?

Eating a well-balanced diet isn’t about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.

Let’s have a look at some amazing benefits of healthy eating… 

 

  • Weight Loss with Healthy Eating

Weight Loss is a crucial benefit in itself. But a lot of health-related issues also trace back to weight. Losing weight can help you reduce the risk of chronic diseases and conditions. If a person is overweight or obese, they have a higher risk of developing several ailments like heart diseases, diabetes, bone density, cancers to name a few.

Use fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains to replace high-fat, high-calorie foods. Staying within your required calorie range is vital for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Standing on the weighing scale after healthy eating
Stand proud

 

  • Improved Memory with a Balanced diet

A healthy diet may help in the prevention of dementia and cognitive decline.

A study, ‘Neurology, Psychiatry, and Brain research’ (2015) identified nutrients and foods that protect against these adverse effects. They found out that the following intakes are beneficial:

    • Vitamin D, C, and E
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Flavonoids and polyphenols foods
    • Fish

Improved memory with a well balanced diet

 

  • Better Sleep for Better Health

‘Sleep apnea’ is caused by an unhealthy diet. 

In this condition, the sleep pattern is disturbed, and you wake up tired. It occurs when the airways are repeatedly blocked during sleep. The medical condition arises due to obesity, an unhealthy diet, and irregular diet patterns.  

Reducing the consumption of caffeine ensures restful sleep, whether or not a person has sleep apnea.

women sleeping restlessly
Enjoy better sleep

Read how you can sleep peacefully in these stressful times.

  • Better Mood for Better Self

Ever wondered why you feel happy after eating molten lava cake? Well, it’s just not you. It’s biology!

A study by Dartmouth has indicated the relation between food and mood varies dramatically depending on the person, so they recommend a well-balanced diet rich in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat since this could generally improve the mood of most people.

Let’s jump into what we can do.

Women in a sunflower field, happy
Soak that sunshine too

Yalla Cook Healthy- FREE nutritional sessions

They are a team on a mission to enhance the quality of healthy eating in the Middle East. Their approach is simple which started with a slightly unconventional marriage between Jon Dean from England and Heba Faqih from Saudi Arabia. 

Yalla Cook Healthy is the way forward through Jon’s passion for nutrition, movement, sport & fitness, and Heba’s service industry background and her love for her community.

Date & Time

Saturday, 18th July

12 PM – 60 minutes fixed session

Absolutely FREE!

The session focuses on food preparation, calorie composition, and tasty, simple cooking. You’ll learn about food science, food labels, ingredients, ethical methods of eating, food link and emotions, hunger hacks, fat metabolism, and best practices to individualize your diet.

Visit their kitchen live with your kids & family as they teach you how to craft the perfect diet using real, affordable, and simple healthy ingredients. 

Don’t just take our word for it, come live the experience … no charges!

Book now from Hala Yalla and start enjoying a healthy life!

https://app.halayalla.com/group/jeddah/yalla-cook-healthy-with-jon-hiba/

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Quick and Easy Recipes for Ramadan

Try these top 5 Quick Recipes in Ramadan

All around the world, Ramadan is a special time for Muslims to get together and celebrate the Holy month. This month brings families together to enjoy the feasts in iftar and suhoor. People try different dishes with different recipes to spend delicious Ramadan.

Unfortunately, this Ramadan will be spent in lockdown, without amorous family gatherings and congregational prayers. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate this month in high spirits. 

This month forces us to enhance the performance of our religious duties. Likewise, we can upgrade the cooking experiences and enjoy scrumptious food even at home.

Here’s a list of Ramadan recipes for Iftar. 

Beef Stroganoff

Originated in Russia, this dish is popular throughout the world with little variation. It’s easy and quick to make, and tasty to eat.

First, grill tenderloin boneless beef and cook it with raw onion and mushroom. After seasoning it with hot paprika, add tomato paste, water, salt and let it simmer for 10 min. Mix the evaporated milk with the cornflour in a small bowl. Add it to the meat and stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.

In 30 minutes, a tasty treat is ready for you and your family!

Beef Stroganoff served in a white dish
Yummmm

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken is the quickest recipe one can make. Made from accessible pantry items, it tastes like magic.

Take chicken (preferably boneless) and dust it with cornflour and grill it. Put a pan on the stove and butter it. Add lemon (or vinegar), soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic paste, and honey and let it simmer until it thickens. Pour the sauce on the chicken and enjoy the blend of sauces.

It takes less than 15 minutes to cook this terrific dish. Enjoy it in the iftar or dinner.

Honey garlic chicken.
Try it

Caramelized Hazelnuts Parfait with Caramel Sauce

This dessert is going to be your next favorite dish. This mouthwatering treat takes a little long in preparation but the effort is worth it!

There are three steps for the preparation:

  1. To make Caramelized hazelnuts, place sugar and butter in a small non-stick saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat. When sugar changes its color to a golden brown, add chopped hazelnuts. Remove the pan from heat and continue to stir. After that, spread it over a baking tray and allow it to cool. After it gets solid, crush it to crumbs
  2. For the parfait: Add fresh liquid cream, vanilla, and caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, mix it until it becomes almost stiff. Add the prepared crumbled caramelized hazelnuts to the cream mixture and fold using a metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture in an individual cup or in a rectangular cake pan then cover and freeze until it sets
  3. Caramel sauce recipe: take a non-stick pan and melt butter in it. Add sugar and stir constantly over medium heat until sugar becomes golden brown. Add liquid cream and stir on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool

Take the frozen Caramelized Hazelnuts Parfait and serve it with caramel sauce. 

Caramelized Hazelnuts Parfait with Caramel Sauce
Hear the crunch?

Tabouli salad

If you want to have healthy food in Ramadan, you can try different types of Salads. 

Tabouli salad is originally Lebanese Salad which is served in all Arabic restaurants in KSA as well. If you want to eat this healthy treat, prepare it at home. It’s easy and quick to make. All you need is a good knife and basic ingredients.

This Mediterranean appetizer is made with bulgur, parsley, mint, and very finely chopped vegetables (tomato and onion). Season it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together and enjoy your side dish.

 Tabouli Salad.
Nom nom

Thai Style Chicken & Corn Soup

Soups in iftar is a part of the culture in Saudi Arabia. After breaking the fast with dates, Saudis prefer to have soup. 

If that is the case with you too, here is a quick iftar recipe of Chicken & corn soup in Thai style.

In a large saucepan, add water, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, chicken broth, chicken cubes, and corn. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then add chicken pieces, sweet chili sauce, and fish sauce(optional). After the chicken is well-cooked, add cornflour and stir for 2 minutes. When you achieve the thickness you wish, add chopped coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice, and spring onions. Remove it from heat and serve hot.

3 bowls of Thai soup.
Garnish it well

The recipes of soup vary on the basis of personal choice. This Ramadan, try Thai style chicken & corn soup.

These were our top 5 Ramadan special recipes. If you want to learn more recipes, join the live stream cooking classes through the Hala Yalla app. 

In the live private session, you can learn baking, international cuisines, and vegan dishes. Try different kinds of recipes this Ramadan.

A secured link will be shared for the live stream before the session. For the best streaming experience, kindly ensure your internet connection has a bandwidth of 3.2 Mbps.

https://hyapp.app.link/fAuvFAUm65

Download the app on Android or iOS

Iftar Items Enjoyed Throughout Saudi Arabia

Top 7 Popular Iftar Items in KSA

All over the world Muslims rejoice for the month of Ramadan for spiritual reasons. This month allows people to get together, pray together, and eat iftar together. 

In Saudi Arabia, Ramadan holds a special place for a lot of different reasons. The Ramadan experience that it offers is different from any other place. 

For Muslims, Ramadan is incomplete without the iftar gatherings. Sitting on the iftar table waiting to break the fast, talks and laughter that follows is something so specific to Ramadan. 

Here are a few quintessential items you’ll always find at an iftar

Dates

Dates are one of the most important Saudi fruits, with or without Ramadan. People distribute dates to celebrate weddings, religious ceremonies, and in everyday life.

In Ramadan, the importance of dates increases tenfold. No iftar table is complete without dates. It’s part of Saudi culture and tradition. 

People usually break their fast with one or two dates before getting into the main course iftar.

Dates served in a blue and gold bowl

Vimto

This drink is the favorite soft and carbonated drink for the month of Ramadan. You’ll find bottles or cans of Vimto in every iftar party you attend.

Its ingredients include the juice of grapes, raspberries, and blackcurrants, flavored with herbs.

Vimto bottles.
Bottoms up

Laban

Laban is a mixture of fermented milk and yogurt. It’s a traditional yogurt drink that instantly quenches the thirst. 

The body temperature drops after one sip of laban. It feels so refreshing on a hot summer day. Laban is high in nutrients, calcium, proteins, and vitamins. This combination improves digestion and boosts the immune system.

Soup

After eating one or two dates, Saudis normally start with soup. It’s gentle on the stomach after fasting for nearly 14 hours. 

There are various kinds of soups, all are easy and quick to make. Packed with deliciousness, soups are nutritious and filling too. 

Soup in a blue bowl.
Slurrrp

Hanin

For people with a sweet tooth, this is a treat in iftar. This dish is a mix of dates, wheat flour, ghee, and sugar. 

This dessert is famous in the central region of the country as a Ramadan special. 

Sambosa

This fried treat is irresistible. People throughout the country enjoy Sambosa with different fillings (minced meat, potato, cheese). With added spices and flavors it is savored in iftar. 

3 Sambosa placed on a table.
3 Sambosa placed on a table.

Gahwa – Arabic coffee

In Saudi Arabian culture, serving Gahwa is a sign of hospitality and generosity. It’s not only part of the Iftar table, but it’s a true Saudi tradition to serve them at all gatherings.

The Arabian coffee is served in small cups called ‘Finjan’, typically with dates.

dates served with gahwah

Enjoy this Ramadan in the safety of your home. Download the Hala Yalla app to book exciting live-stream cooking classes in Ramadan. Book the Blend culinary cooking class to try different recipes this Ramadan.

https://hyapp.app.link/fAuvFAUm65

A secured link will be provided before the time of the live session. For the best streaming experience, kindly ensure your internet connection has a bandwidth of 3.2 Mbps.

Download the app to book a live session on Android or iOS

Top 10 Travel shows to binge while you can’t travel

The global situation ushering people indoors has definitely thwarted a lot of travel plans. But you can have an equally amazing globe-trotting experience from the comfort of your home.

Yep, you read that right. When platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime provide unlimited binge-worthy fun, it’s gonna take some real effort to get bored at home. 

We’ve compiled a list of top 10 travel, food, and overall adventurous shows for those seeking a touch of wanderlust during the quarantine. Read on!

 

 

  • Parts Unknown

 

Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown

No ‘best travel shows’ list can ever be complete without mentioning this legend. At first, it may seem like a show all about food since it’s host Anthony Bourdain is a former celebrity chef. Soon you’ll realize how different cultures are tied together by the love for food.

He visits cities all over the USA, Europe, and even goes as far as Congo and Libya to explore his love for people, their lifestyles, histories, and of course – good food. 

Bourdain created 12 seasons of the show before he tragically passed away in 2018. The last season was aired posthumously without his legendary voiceovers. 

There’s enough to learn and discover in each of his episodes, so if you’re truly looking for something to binge on – start here!

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQgOKK62GBU

 

  • Planet Earth

 

Planet Earth's cover image

A groundbreaking natural docu-series created by BBC One both seasons of Planet Earth are one of the most extensive and extraordinary shows about our planet. 

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the series was filmed over four years across 64 different countries. Covering oceans to the deserts to the polar ice caps and wildlife in all these regions.

The first season was aired in 2006, and owing to its massive popularity, 10 years later in 2016, Planet Eart II was released. Sir David returned to narrate the second season that ventured into jungles, islands, and wild mountains.

A second sequel, Planet Earth III is currently announced and planned to air in 2022.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aETNYyrqNYE

 

  • Street Food: Asia

 

Street Food Title Image

Highlighting street food vendors in almost 9 cities all over Asia, Street Food is your no-frill, on-the-ground, as local as you can imagine food show. From the creators of Chef’s Table, it’s the new addition to Netflix’s growing originals’ list.

Combining mouth-watering food with travel, each 30-minute episode ventures deep into the history, culture, and struggles of vendors and the stories behind their businesses. 

Experience hawker stalls in Thailand, food carts in India and get to know the world beyond from the comfort of your home.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI_LjETc_Ak

 

  • Ugly Delicious

 

Ugly Delicious title image

Chef David Chang is trotting the globe in hunt of the purest and most authentic forms of food. Rather than just being about food, the series focuses more on the culture behind food in these cities.

Each episode highlights one dish or concept and explores how it’s evolved in different regions. Chang picks up one popular food, like tacos, and traces its history with some famous personality always accompanying him. 

Ugly Delicious is available on Netflix.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN_XItALHmM

 

  • Chef’s Table

 

Food is truly viewed as art at Netflix’s original docuseries, Chef’s Table. World-renowned chefs share their deeply personal histories and unique styles within the food industry. The Emmy-winning show is about as close as you can get to eating at a restaurant without physically being there.

This is not just a cooking show. It’s about the chefs who’ve carved their own roads to reach where they are now. Step into their shoes and see food from an artists’ perspective as they create super complicated dishes.

A glimpse behind one of the most sought after dining experiences in the world, from your living room!

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKqj85oo2wI

 

  • Dark Tourist

 

Most tourists, adventurers, and thrill-seekers visit popular attractions like beaches, islands, bustling cities, and museums while on vacation. There are also quite many who visit less-known places associated with ancient cult activities. This is dark tourism. 

And journalist David Farrier is doing just that in his docuseries Dark Tourist. It’s the most infamous and recent trend in travel. Farrier visits wicked, dangerous places like chemical disaster sites, to museums housing controversial artifacts in his 6-episode season. 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vV1xaLCONw

 

  • Departures

 

Two best friends from Canada heave their backpacks to venture the world in their semi vlogging series. It involves road trips to remote places, street food, and discussions on random things.

Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach end up exploring vast areas of the world, looking for unique and thrilling experiences. They show you how fun and low-budget travel can really be. So you can make some impromptu arrangements when you’re out of quarantine. 

Departures seems totally unscripted and improvised showing us the real, raw face of traveling. 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nq8UYqKwYc

 

  • Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father

 

A father and son duo set out to explore places and strengthen their bond. Watching it will bring back memories of traveling with your parents – only with more comedy and mishaps.

British comedian Jack Whitehall takes his senior father, Michael to an adventurous trip across Southeast Asia in the first season. They both learn a thing from each other by taking part in unique experiences. 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4PihmWMaSI

 

  • Somebody Feed Phil

 

This Netflix original follows Phil Rosenthal, the creator of hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond on his food adventures to Bangkok, Mexico, New Orleans, and more.

He takes viewers on a goodwill tour of culinary exploration with his affectionate and sometimes over-enthusiastic personality. You can virtually travel with Phil and experience authentic cuisines.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv29Sjt7LnA

 

  •  The Kindness Diaries

 

In the Kindness Diaries, former broker Leon Logothetis travels around the world on a vintage motorcycle. It might seem like a weird concept at first. But wait till you hear the twist. For the entirety of his trips, he must rely solely on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter, and fuel.

The acts of kindness offered by strangers are heartwarming and humbling to watch. Leon doesn’t accept any money on his travels but listens to endless endearing stories the strangers offer him. 

Kindness 2 and 3 followed after the success and popularity of the first season,. 

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN51oWwwbqg

So who says you gotta travel far to learn and experience things? You can do it right from the comfort of your home, by binging on these amazing travel shows.

—–

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Restaurants to Dine in once the Lockdown is Over

Top 5 Restaurants that you should try

What are we doing these days other than wishing this pandemic to be over?

Sitting in our homes, we are daydreaming about the time when lockdown will be over and we’ll be free to go to places we’ve missed so much! We’ll roam around the streets and eat delicious food in restaurants and cafes.

We’re all craving the best dishes during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia!

Here are some suggestions for the best restaurants in Saudi Arabia that you can rush to eat in once the lockdown is over.

Kaboria Restaurant

Kabroia restaurant.

Located on the King Abdul Aziz Road, Kaboria restaurant serves the best seafood in town. It’s an embodiment of the quality of both food & service so the customers can enjoy the ultimate experience of seafood. 

It has soups, salads, rice dishes, shrimps, and appetizers on its menu. Order what you’ve missed the most during quarantined days!

If you’re craving for perfectly cooked fish you need to visit this restaurant as soon as the lockdown is over. So you can enjoy the ultimate experience of seafood dining.

Aromi Restaurant

Enjoy the aromatic food in the Aromi restaurant in Jeddah. 

Experience a contemporary Italian menu with a Roman twist. Watch the sun setting into the Red Sea as you relish your favorite pasta, soup, or risotto.

In the modern elegant decor, treat yourself to a leisurely lunch or dinner in this Italian restaurant.

Off white Lounge

Off white lounge logo

Located on King Abdul Aziz Road, Off White Lounge serves the best Lebanese food in Saudi Arabia. 

From an extensive menu, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Select your taste of spices from substantial, medium to extra hot. 

For serving the good quality food in an elegant ambiance with courteous service, the restaurant also won a Certificate of Excellence award 2018- 2019.

Rush to this restaurant to dine in if you want to eat deliciously spicy food.

Al Bustan restaurant

Overlooking the tropical garden, the all-day dining restaurant is located in InterContinental Riyadh.

It offers an extra scrumptious international buffet combined with renowned theme nights. The open kitchen and live cooking station combined with luxurious surroundings, indulge you with the best dining experience. 

Shami Restaurant

Shami restaurant logo

Express your love for Shami food at Shami Restaurant.

Enjoy soups, barbeque, shawarma, sandwiches, rice dishes, and much more from the menu. They also serve dessert, cold & hot drinks, salads, and seafood to treat your tastebuds.

Savor their mouth-watering treats with the unique flavors from the Sham region. You’ll have an experience that will fulfill all your needs for taste and quality after months of lockdown.

You can reserve your table from the Hala Yalla app for any of the above restaurants and many more. Reservations from the app can also provide some deals and discounts, so look out for those.

Download the app now on Android or iOS to enjoy offers

Try these 5 Arabian restaurants in Saudi Arabia

Try these 5 Arabian restaurants to fall in love with Arabic cuisine.

Arabic food is popular throughout the world for its use of rice and meat with a perfect blend of spices and sauces which makes your mother water!

In Saudi cities, you’ll find restaurants of every cuisine around the world. However, the taste and popularity of foreign cuisine couldn’t sideline the traditional and local food.

Arabic food is known and enjoyed in every corner of the world. Not just the Arabic food, Arabic restaurants are equally popular for its warm ambiance, unique seating arrangement, and mouthwatering aroma.

Here’s a list of Arabic restaurants that you should try.

  1. Al Nafoura

The Lebanese restaurant Al Nafoora is one of the most famous Arabic restaurants in Saudi Arabia.

This restaurant offers authentic traditional Arab taste to the food lovers throughout Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

It serves Middle Eastern food including all types of Mandi and Kabsa. Its seafood is especially famous.

Al Nafoura operates various branches in the country. Just in Riyadh, there are more than 10 restaurants in different locations.

Al Nafourah's kebab.
Grilled Kebab

2. Al Romansiah

In the year 1418 AH, Romansiah opened its first branch in Riyadh. Since then, Romansiah is busy catering to the needs and wants of their customers.

The love for Romansiah is evident from the fact that they’ve opened up 30 branches in the regions of Riyadh, Al-Kharj, Al-Qassim, Al-Ahsa, Dammam, Jeddah, Medinah. They have also exported the Saudi taste of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

They pay attention to every detail of quality and taste. The restaurant chain is known to be the ‘branches of romance’ which provide a relaxing atmosphere with luxury and sophistication. 

In this restaurant, you can order sweets, barbeque, chicken, meat, and Spanish.

For the love of food, enjoy the romance in Romansiah!

Al-Romansiah-branch
Al Romansiah branch

3. Najd Village Restaurant

Enjoy the most art of taste in the most traditional way possible. 

Located right in the middle of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Najd region holds traditional and historic importance. 

Najd Village restaurant is popular for its delicious dishes and traditional architecture. People gravitate back to it for its combination of simplicity, privacy, and taste. 

Besides the main course, they also offer special village bakery made products and various lamb specialties.  

Najd Village seating area
Najd Village seating area

4. Bait Shawaya.

Bait Shawaya is a local restaurant chain for traditional food. The first branch was opened in 1425 AH, now there are more than 90 restaurants throughout the country.

They give special focus to the hygiene and quality of the products used.

It’s popular for its grill dishes. It serves various delicious combinations of grilled meat and rice. 

Grilled chicken.
Grilled chicken

5. Rise

On the Makkah highway, this restaurant is worth a try.

In the traditional seating arrangement, the restaurant offers a warm and relaxed environment to enjoy your food in.

Mandi dish.
Mandi dish

If you haven’t tried any of these restaurants, what are you even doing in Riyadh?

To get a prior booking, and know more about food & drinks in KSA, download the Hala Yalla app.

Get the app on Android or iOS