Sunday, 23 May 2010

Saudi Detoxing, Exercise and Health Shops

We Need to Detox
We've put on a bit of weight lately because Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh especially, has loads of restaurants.  Far too much eating out has been going on.  I thought it might be nice if we looked good for our daughter's upcoming wedding in September.  So, I bought a Detox program.  Look up Icon Herbs....that's the one we did.  Basically eat fruit and veg and take a few herbal combinations.

It was an easy program - Glenn thought it was so it must have been.  The problem is the program has finished.  Do you think I can whip up a vegetarian dish now that I don't have to?  In fact, do you think I can whip up a meal at all when we live in the middle of Riyadh and there are so many eating places we haven't tried yet? 

Our frig....not very inviting

We could eat somewhere healthy but signs outside eateries in Riyadh proclaiming healthy dishes within mostly has fried food on the menu.  And salad making is an art form that hasn't quite caught on here yet (sigh).

Oh, for a halfway decent Soul Food cafe with vegetarian menu.  Detoxing wouldn't be needed then.

What about Exercise...?

Women aren't meant to do anything physical (apparently), so a woman's gym outside of the compounds is hard to come by.  Rumour has it that a short while back all public women's gyms were shut down in Saudi Arabia because nothing in the Quran indicated that women should have gyms.
Men can have them though (what the?)

I have no excuses....we have a gym onsite. So I can treadmill to my hearts content and stationary cycle my little heart out.  There are a few weight machines too, though I prefer the free weights to machines.  But our gym is a reflection of society at large meaning it caters mainly for males, so there are no in between weights for ladies.  I was contemplating buying some one day...will let you know when contemplation moves into action.

Jogging isn't an option for me.  Our compound is too small and both jogging and cycling outside is frowned on (for women anyway).  I tried jogging around the block a few times in the early days after my arrival.  Seriously.  I figured if Saudi's slept in till late it would be OK and it would be nice to join the husband on his morning run.  The only people up early in the morning are drivers or workers (and most of them don't care what anybody else does) or the occasional  fellow jogging expat.  The abaya is a bit of a nuisance when jogging and, though they never bothered me, the husband was less than happy with the workers staring.  So I no longer jog Riyadh's back streets in the morning.

We also have a lovely pool and a squash court on site -  the husband has deigned to play me tonight which means I'll get to run around a bit but him, not so much.  And the tennis court outside our door isn't getting much use in the 40 degree heat these days.

I've been searching for a health food shop here in Riyadh.  Unfortunately the only place I've found mostly sells protein powder for weight lifters.  The other products this shop stocks are organic skin care for women....if I succumb to their marketing I might be bulked up but my skin should be beautiful.

I mentioned to an expat nurse that I was having difficulty getting health food products.  Her response 'health isn't really a concept the masses here have managed to grasp yet'.  Hmmmmm.  Maybe I should look at health food and detoxing as a business building opportunity here in Saudi Arabia because with the obvious increase in girth of both expats and locals, I'm guessing weight loss and detox will be huge future business.

Ka Kite,


  1. This is a great read Gae still Saudi is not at the top of my Bucket List.Glad to hear that you are if not keeping your body active your brain is certainly working over time.:)When you are home next we will schedule a game of sqash in followed by a wine session.

  2. Oh could definitely do a wine session

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