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Danae Mercer

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Hailed as a health drink with numerous benefits for the gut microbiome, kombucha has taken the global wellness world by storm. Yet it was never officially for sale in the UAE — largely due to concerns over whether or not it contains traces of alcohol — leaving fans to brew their own or get their fix elsewhere. But that issue appears to have been addressed, and now it’s for sale in local restaurants, shops and...

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Self-care is vital to well-being and spas are a great help. We are all worn down after the last year and anxiety is ramping up as people are being summoned back to the workplace.  The good news is, you don’t have to travel to find new treatments and places to wind down. Help is right here.  You want – Recovery Sensasia Spa This independent spa group is doubling down on helping us all get some...

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I’ve lived in the UAE for more than seven years. I’ve specialized in writing about its hotels and attractions for the same length of time and just this last month, I discovered one of the region’s best kept secrets: organized desert camping.  As a UAE resident, I always thought the whole ‘dune bashing, camel riding, into-the-desert driving’ thing was for tourists. But I was so wrong. Sleeping under the stars in a luxurious (but still...

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There is no shortage of at-home meal delivery services in the UAE – even vegan  ones – and it feels like I’ve tried every single one of them.  I’ve done the super athlete one (there were a lot of Brussels sprouts). I’ve ordered the super fancy version (such pretty meals). I’ve even tried the no sugar, no carb, vegan variety (tiny, tiny, tiny portions).  Over my four years of dabbling in this and tasting that,...

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Traveling during Covid is complex, admin-heavy, and requires plenty of research before you go. Yet for health conscious voyagers up for a bit of a challenge, the rewards can be immense.  At only a four-hour flight away, with tropical weather and gorgeous beaches, the Maldives has plenty to offer travelers. plus there are plenty of incredible hotel deals on at the moment.  So I booked myself a trip. It was both far more complex and...

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There’s no polite way to say this: residents of the UAE are a bunch of wasters. The country is sitting on an ever-growing mound of trash.  The UAE imports a whopping 80 to 90 percent of its food – and then throws away as much as a third of it, unused. The country ranks highly in plastic usage, using most of it just once.  The environment is in peril and so are we if we...

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Like everything else, wellness has its trends. There’s fasting and Fitbits and every kind of diet under the sun, all claiming to transform your health and your life. But which are the ones that work and which are the ones that disappoint? Earlier this year at the first-ever Livehealthy Festival, three experts assessed three of the most popular current wellness trends. Intermittent fasting To fast intermittently means you must consume your daily calorie intake within...

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Food allergies and intolerances are an increasing problem, sparking a renewed focus into what causes them as people seek prevention before cure. Dr Shefali Verma-Johnson, a general practitioner at the Institute for Biophysical Medicine in Dubai, is seeing how the medical profession is changing the way it treats patients with those conditions.  “When I trained, we learned to control the symptoms of diseases,” she says. “Nowadays we’re trying to look at what’s actually causing the...

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Anna MacMillan started UAE Buddy, a group focused on bringing together people who need help with people who will give it, after seeing her mother struggle with stress and worry in Spain.  “She’s immune-compromised, lives alone and has a dog that needs to be walked,” says MacMillan. “She was very stressed with the current scenario, so I arranged for young neighbors to walk the dog so she wouldn’t need to come out daily.”  The results...

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Having a goal during all the uncertainties of Covid-19 could be great for our mental health, experts say.  “Goal setting is always useful, but especially during this time,” says Reem Shaheen, counseling psychologist and director of BE Psychology Center for Emotional Wellbeing. “It is a time of uncertainty and unpredictability. Finding a goal to focus on can give individuals a sense of control over their lives and it helps distract from the difficult time we’re...

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As the UAE government encourages people to stay home and self-isolate, restaurants have had to get creative. The result? A whole load of health-focused boxes and menu options. Some arrive already assembled, while others require a bit of good old fashioned home cooking.  Dubai Cafe Isan’s cook-at-home kit  Thai food is served with a side of interactive, at-home cooking fun, thanks to this JLT venue. The box is packed with any combination of spring rolls,...