Top 6 hydrating fruits for Ramadan

What a blessed time of year when the glorious month of Ramadan connects with this sweet summer season. All this heat though, will tire us out quicker in fasting season.

The recommended amount of drinking water is 8-10 glasses per day. In Ramadan it will be a digestive challenge to drink vast amounts in short periods, particularly after breaking the fast. 

Top up your water shortage by eating these 6 juicy fruits per meal for bursts of energy.

1. Watermelon

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Blend watermelon chunks with ice and coconut palm sugar for a light Iftaar dessert.

Hydration rating 92%. As this fruit is mostly water and sugar it’s packed with essential rehydration salts magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium so it can actually hydrate you more effectively than water.

 

2. Oranges

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Squeeze fresh orange juice into chocolate drinks and cut up segments into fruit salads.

Hydration rating 87% water. Oranges are sweet and packed with more than 100% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C.

 

3. Berries

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Eat berries with cereal for Suhoor (morning meal) or as a parfait with yoghurt and granola.

Strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant fruit and are made up of 92% water. Raspberries and blueberries are also at their peak during the summer. Full of vitamin C, berries are known to clear the arteries, regulate blood sugar and taste awesome. Go for organic, eat a handful each day.

 

4. Figs

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Slice fruits with coconut milk ice cream/Kulfi, blend into a fig smoothie or make a fig chutney with some medjool dates for breaking the fast each day.

Known as At-Teen in the Qur’an, these summer beauties are indulgent fudgy fruits with a high-output on the health scale. They’re known to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, help with weight loss; even the leaves of the fig tree lower the insulin required by diabetics.

 

5. Grapes

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Slice into fruit salads or just eat whole. One particular mix-up is eating a single grape with a morsel of cheese and sprinkling of coffee granules. Sounds weird but tastes gooood!

These hydration gems are known for their extremely high content of Resveratrol, a substance that acts as an antioxidant and is heart-friendly. Bursting water with each bite, take your pick from purple, red, black or green. One of summer’s most delicious fruits.

 

6. Grapefruit

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Pan fry segments to caramalise grapefruit and eat with waffles. Cut a fruit in half, sprinkle with fairtrade sugar and scoop to eat with a spoon. *Warning, do not get into eyes. Ow.

Hydration rating 90% water. Sweet but zingy, grapefruits contain only 30 calories and the detoxifying limonoids, which according to research, may inhibit cancer tumours.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

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6 refreshing drinks to relish, this Ramadan

Refreshing drinks plays a big role in celebrating Ramadan, with specialty dishes and drinks served during the Muslim fasting month.

Drinks like Jellab, Amar al-Deen and Tamar Hindi are essential during the holy month. Fasters want to refill their body’s water levels after long hours of fasting. Sweets are considered part of reviving Ramadan traditions.

There are traditional drinks considered an integral part of a Ramadan meal. These are the top 6.

 

1. Amar Al Deen

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Amar al Deen or Amar Addeen is a combination of two words in Arabic: Amar (moon) al Deen (the religion). Amar al Deen is made from sheets of dried compressed apricot. In order to prepare the Apricot Drink Sharab. the apricot sheets should be soaked for several hours. It is customary to serve the drink at Iftar during the Holy month of Ramadan as it is refreshing

The best Amar Al Deen, or the dry apricot sheets come from Syria, which is a major producer for this type of product.

 

2. Tamar Hindi

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Tamar Hindi, or Tamarind, is a sour chilled drink usually sold throughout the year in several Arab countries.The drink is a sour-sweet combination, so it is better to add a dash of rose syrup for an extra drop of sweetness.

Tamar Hindi was the name given to the tamarind fruit by Arabs, the name literally translates to ‘Indian dates’.

 

3. Jellab

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Jellab is a very popular drink in the Middle East. It’s made by diluting the syrup made of grape molasses, dates and rose water with water and serving it in a tall glass with crushed ice.

The best part about it is the heap of pine nuts and golden raisins that are so much fun to fish out from the bottom of the glass with your straw!

 

4. Karkadeh

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Refreshing hot or cold with a color that is as intense as the flavor, Karkadeh is a sweet infusion made from hibiscus flower.

Karkadeh, which is a typical Ramadan drink, is also served for other occasions such as weddings.With a hearty Iftar meal the cold version is preferred.

 

5. Kharoub

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Carob juice, also known as Kharoub, is a traditional Egyptian drink, that is usually made during the Islamic month of Ramadan, made from carob molasses. Carob juice, which can be used to make sugar as well, gives the feeling of drinking a glass of thin honey.

The healthy and refreshing drink is full of fiber, protein and antioxidants, that helps Muslims go through the long hours of fasting.

 

6. Erk Soos

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Extract of the licorice plant are mixed with water to make this drink that is served in Egypt and the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria).

The process of making it involves put the ground roots in a muslin cloth and drop water over it drop by drop all night long. As you can see it is complicated and time consuming so no body makes that at home.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

5 Tips to help your fasting, this Ramadan

Ramadan is the one of the most predictable events of the Islamic year, yet it takes us by surprise every single time. And before we know it, our bodies are struggling with the first day of fasting. Being low on sugar, caffeine or nicotine is never a fun way to start the holy month.

Well before Ramadan starts , you can start planning ahead and coaching your body to cope with the routine fasting. 

Here are 5 tips for before and during Ramadan to ensure you are never drained of energy.

1. Ditch the Addictions

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Everyone has that yearning in the morning when you unconsciously reach out for the coffee jar, then stop half way because it’s the first day of Ramadan.

To avoid the sudden shortage and withdrawal of caffeine, start by reducing the number of cups your drink per day, and increase the hours between each. Also try to avoid drinking coffee once you wake, and increase the time you give yourself before the first cup of coffee.

The same rules apply for nicotine addiction – if you try weaning yourself slowly off shisha or cigarettes now, you’ll be better come Ramadan.

 

2. Move often

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One great way to stay focused and energized without having to eat or drink coffee is by moving. So make sure that every hour, you spend at least five minutes moving. Take a walk around the office or stretch at your desk. It will help you pump blood through your body, and you’ll get a fine boost to help you through the day.

Just make sure you don’t engage in exhausting exercise, or you will get thirsty.

 

3. Stay hydrated

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This may sound silly, because how can you stay hydrated if you can’t drink water all day long, right? Wrong.

You can make sure you’re well hydrated by eating foods, especially fruits, that are rich in juices when you break your fast or before you start your fast.

Also, it’s very important to make it a habit to reach out for water instead of sodas and coffee post iftar, which won’t really quench your thirst.

 

4. Eat foods that take longer to digest

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Since you won’t be eating for a while, you want to make sure you have enough nutrients lingering in your body for as long as possible. That’s why it’s important to include complex carbohydrates into your meals, especially at the Suhoor (predawn meal). This will help to release energy throughout the day.

 

5. Eat consciously

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With regular meals turned into huge feasts, a lot of people tend to eat much more than their body actually needs. Let alone the kind of foods they stuff their bellies with …

Avoid deep fried foods as much as possible, and limit your use of salt.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Business in Dubai

You’re heading to Dubai on business? That’s no surprise: The city rocketed onto the list of the top five most robust economies in the world last year, and it’s considered one of the Middle East’s most cosmopolitan cities.But Islamic influence makes doing business in the City of Gold a bit more nuanced than in, say, the City of Light.

SKETCH MARRIOT DUBAI BUSSINESS

 

Here are some of the most common professional pitfalls — and how to avoid them.

 

1. Swashbuckling

Your hard-charging, Type A alter ego should be benched. Meetings here move at a slower pace, with manners and courtesy making the most impact on your hosts. Graciously accept the refreshments you’re offered, which might include cardamom-infused coffee or a puff from the shisha, or hookah. Embrace the culture and let patience be your guide.

Do: Stand when any guest — of either gender — joins the meeting. And in Dubai, your word is your bond. If you agree to terms — even verbally — be prepared to deliver on what you’ve promised.

 

2. *&#@&!!!

Arabs love good banter as much as the next person. But profanity is uber-offensive in the Muslim world, so save your R-rated repertoire for your bar buddies back home. You could be fined and jailed for offensive language and gestures. And avoid dishing disparaging views of Islamic culture — you could be fined, jailed or deported.

Do: Impress your hosts by learning the Arabic phrase assalaamu alaikum (“peace be upon you”). You’ll hear this often, and you’ll discover that it’s a nice alternative to “Howdy” and “See ya.”

 

3. Leading with your left

Keep that left hand tucked away when eating, gesturing and glad-handing with your Dubai colleagues. Muslims generally consider the left hand to be unclean.

Do: Let your host initiate handshakes — the usual greeting — and be prepared that handshakes can last a long time. Use only your right hand — covering the handclasp with your left hand won’t be appreciated.

 

4. Eating in public during Ramadan

Visitors during the ninth, and holiest, month on the Islamic calendar will want to make sure they’re respectful of Ramadan’s restrictive customs. (In 2016, the observance will run from June 6 to July 5.) Eating, drinking and smoking — even chewing gum — during the day in public is against the law for Muslims and non-Muslims.

Do: Remember that Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol. While your Dubai colleagues may have adopted Western habits — many business types went to U.S. universities or have lived in the West — it’s best not to drink unless you’re invited to.

 

5. Worrying too much

Dubai’s population is nearly 90 percent expat, and the business community is comfortable with all kinds of cultures.

Do: Relax! Try your best to respect the Emiratis’ values and avoid the preceding mistakes — but also know that you’re dealing with forgiving folks who understand that their culture is, most likely, pretty foreign to you.

 

 

Original Post by Jordan Bressler/MARRIOTTTRAVELER

5 Oscar-nominated destinations to make your next trip a Winner

Over the span of two hours, a good movie can transport viewers not only to a different state of mind, but a completely different part of the world.

 

Just in time for the upcoming Academy Awards, here are five travel ideas inspired the locations of some of this year’s nominees.

 

1. New York City

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The Big Apple played backdrop to three vastly different Oscar-nominated films this year.

The Big Short covered the lead up to 2008’s financial crash on Wall StreetBrooklyn was a story of the immigrants in 1950s Brooklyn.

Head downtown to Wall Street for a peak at the financial world. Although the public can no longer visit the New York Stock Exchange, economics-minded visitors can take a “Financial Crisis Tour” to learn more about Wall Street. While downtown, be sure to check out Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement found its footing.

Brooklyn has undergone a complete transformation since the early 20th century, when it was a hotbed of immigrant communities. Fans of Brooklyn the movie can visit Coney Island to relive scenes from the film. The Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side recounts the story of Irish and Italian immigrants to New York and gives visitors a look at what life was like for them.

 

 

 

 

2. Copenhagen

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The Danish Girl is the story of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, and her former wife Gerda Wegener.

The film showcases the burgeoning art scene that was Copenhagen in the 1920s.

Visitors hoping to retrace the film can follow the city of Copenhagen’s guide to the filming locations, including Rainbow Square, which was renamed in 2014 in support of the LGBTQ community.

A pivotal scene of the movie takes place at a market in Nyhavn. Today the canal-front neighborhood is a bevy of outdoor restaurants and tourist boat tours.

Through May, the Arken Museum of Modern Art is showing a retrospective of Gerda Wegener’s paintings, many of which feature Lili Elbe.

 

3. Berlin

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In Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks plays a Cold War-era lawyer sent to Berlin to negotiate a prisoner exchange with the Soviet Union.

Although Berlin has changed considerably and rebounded from its division, many Cold War sites remain.

Glienicke Bridge — the real-life Bridge of Spies — still stands. As one of the only places where Americans and Soviets met face-to-face, curious visitors can go relive both the movie and actual history.

Although the Berlin Wall — the physical manifestation of the Iron Curtain — fell in 1989, a part of the wall still stands, in memorial to those who died while the city was divided.

Another must-see stop on any Cold War inspired itinerary is the Gethsemane Church, where civil rights activists in East Berlin used to gather.

The city’s newest museum, the Spy Museum,  that — on top of being a definitive resource for Cold War era espionage — is interactive, offering visitors the chance to imagine themselves as spies.

 

4. Alberta

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Although the story behind The Revenant may make viewers want to completely avoid tundra conditions for the rest of their lives, the landscapes of Alberta, Canada, are beautiful enough to make anyone reconsider.

Most of the filming locations are actually pretty easy to visit. Kananaskis Country has campsites and hiking trails, and the desolate Badlands of Drumheller offer activities for those looking to test their survival skills like Leo DiCaprio. It’s also where Tom Hardy’s character, Fitzgerald, sees a shooting star.

At one point, filming had to be relocated down to the southernmost tip of Patagonia in Argentina. DiCaprio attributed the warm conditions to global warming, however this happens every year in Alberta due to a phenomenon called Chinooks.

 

5. Mojave Desert

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Mad Max: Fury Road is two hours of nonstop action, an unusual choice among Oscar-nominated films, but a welcome choice for adventure travelers. The film’s location of post-apocalyptic Australia was actually filmed in Namibia, but the Mojave Desert is a good stand-in.

Those seeking to replicate the film’s heart-thumping action can dirt bike or 4×4 through the desert. Zero1 Vegas offers extreme extreme tours, races and multi-day trips.

When the time comes to slow down, there’s horseback riding, hunting or even just settling in for a night of desert camping.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

 

Original post by Cailey Rizzo/MASHABLE

11 D.I.Y. Valentines to surprise your True Love

Why waste your hard-earned cash on flowers and candy when you can give something that truly comes from the heart?

Holidays are the perfect time to break out your craft supplies and make some thoughtful gifts for friends and family. But Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the one you love most, so it’s important to go above and beyond construction paper hearts. If you really want to wow your significant other, you’ll have to be a little more creative.

There are plenty of easy and fun projects to do to show your sweetheart that you care. Not only will a beautiful handmade gift make your valentine smile, you’ll receive plenty of hugs and kisses in return.

1. Fortune Cookie Valentines

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Use a takeout box or small plate to dress up these adorable love notes for the apple of your eye. You can write as many sweet nothings as you like.

 

2. Giant Crepe Paper Rose

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Normal-sized roses are nice, but bigger is always better. This simple tutorial not only yields gorgeous results, your loved one will be reminded of how much you care for years to come.

 

3. Celery Stamp Rose Card

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Who knew you could show your love with groceries? Perfect for kids and adults alike.

DIY stamp..how is it that so many natural fruits & veggies make for fabulous art?? Hmmm…God is GOOD!

 

4. Paper Roll Owls

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Use these cute little owls to hide love notes, or just hang them for decoration. Either way, they make a cute handmade gift for the one you love.

Great material to re-purpose & this is so cute! (you could always play with the color combos as well). Is there anything you can’t make with a toilet paper roll?

 

5. Vintage Style Message Arrows

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Be your own Cupid with these colorful and stylish message arrows. Write a short message or a whole sonnet and send it over to the object of your affection.

 

6. Paint Chip Valentines

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When you need a quick and inexpensive way to say, “I love you,” head to your local home improvement store and pick up some swatches. It’s not just easy, it’s a clever use of resources.

Walking by the paint section at Home Depot, it’s hard not to be distracted by the array of colors mounted on the walls. Sometimes you even find yourself wandering in the section, looking at the different shades, even if you have no plan to paint anything! Maybe you’re even guilty of taking some.

 

7. Chalkboard Mug

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Give your Valentine something personal and a great gift, all rolled into one. Write your own thoughtful message, Valentine’s Day drawing, or just a simple “Be Mine.”

“Naturally when I discovered porcelain chalkboard paint I had to grab some. The inventor must be some kind of genius. Now I have the most amusing coffee mug ever, and you can have one too.”

8. Personalized Tea Box

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If your significant other loves tea, why not make it all their own? Grab their favorite brand and customize it for a Valentine’s Day treat.

Make your own tea blends from herbs from your Summer garden, dry in the fall, mix and have wonderful tea-tastic 2016

9. Duct Tape Rose Bouquet

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Flowers are great, but duct tape lasts forever. A bouquet of realistic roses is stunning and ever lasting – kind of like your love. Have fun with the wide range of multi-colored duct tapes out there. Everyone loves a rainbow!

 

10. Glitter Glass Jars

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Add some sparkle to your Valentine’s Day gift with these jars. Fill them with candy, small gifts, or use them as votives to make them extra special.

 

11. Felt Envelope Valentines

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Don’t be afraid of a needle and thread to make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. These adorable felt envelopes are perfect for love notes or even wrapping gift cards.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Original blog by Andrea Romano/MASHABLE

5 Adventurous Movies to Inspire the Traveller in you

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot

Nothing inspires wanderlust quite like a good travel film, however far removed from reality it may be. From the rogue adventures of The Motorcycle Diaries, to the secret world created in The Beach, look no further than the following list to ignite that traveller’s itch.

 

Under the Tuscan Sun

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Under the Tuscan Sun tells the story of a recent divorcee who, heeding the advice of a friend, travels around Italy before impulsively buying a Tuscan villa. If the scenery isn’t enough to have you reaching for your wallet, the romance and charming streetscapes should do the trick.

 


 The Motorcycle Diaries

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“We travel just to travel.” — Ernesto Guevara de la Serna.

The Motorcycle Diaries tells the tale of two comrades who travel from Brazil to Peru on, you guessed it, motorcycles. Their trip takes roughly nine months, and the epic road trip is totally repeatable thanks to this comprehensive guide — you know, in case you’re interested. This film proves that journey can be more important than the destination.


Into the Wild

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Perhaps the best travel film, or at least the most deserving of a spot on this list is Into the Wild. The film details the off-the-grid adventures of Christopher McCandless who abandons his conventional life after graduation and ventures across North America. Despite its grim conclusion, this real-life tale is firmly anchored in the hearts of travellers everywhere.

 


 The Beach

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The Beach is the ultimate white sands, turquoise water and isolated paradise dream. Until things get strange, it will make you want to throw out all your belongings, fly to Thailand and camp out under the stars at Maya Bay. While the bay is much, much busier in real life, there is one tour company that offers the “real” beach experience. You arrive after everyone else has left, camp out on the beach, then pack up and leave before the boats of tourists arrive. Oh, and if you’re like someone people we know, you’ll probably try and find a 90s Leonardo Di Caprio of your own.

 


 Lost In Translation

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Unlike the other films on this list, Lost In Translation won’t inspire you to off-the-grid. Instead, Sofia Coppola’s beloved 2003 film will inspire you to plant yourself in a completely alien culture — in this instance, the neon lights of Tokyo. The film is driven by the friendship between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson’s characters. There’s karaoke, drinks and plenty of new experiences and perspectives.

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

ORIGINAL Post on MASHABLE