This is the official blog of the Landmark Group with insights
and stories from the people behind our many brands.

PITTA: The Energy of Digestion and Metabolism - Ayurveda: part 4

pitta.pngBalance or homeostasis is the cornerstone of Ayurveda. In Ayurveda the ideal physical condition is when the tridoshas - Kapha, Pitta, and Vata - are in harmony. When aggravated, your dominant dosha creates imbalances that affect your physical being and psychology.

Pitta, the energy originated from fire, assimilates everything from sensory perceptions and ideas to food. The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat.

In a Pitta body type the bones are less conspicuous than in the Vata individual. Pitta individuals have a tendency towards hair loss and premature greying. They seldom fluctuate in weight when in balance. They have soft, oily skin and have excess urine, sweat and thirst.

In terms of physiology, Pitta individuals have a relatively higher body temperature than those of Vata and Kapha, resulting in increased exhaustion during the summer months.

The Pitta clan generally has a sharp memory and an inquisitive mind. They exhibit strong leadership qualities. They make effective public orators and love to splurge on luxurious possessions.

When imbalanced, the Pittas tend to be irritable, stubborn and cynical. They also are capable of extreme anger, hatred and ego. Dr. Chandy says, "There is an old Ayurvedic saying that says 'An imbalanced Pitta individual doesn't go to hell; he or she simply creates it wherever they go!'"

Pitta imbalance commonly results in problems like acne, boils, ulcers, heartburn, hot sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, anemia and jaundice.

Nutrition Guidelines

Pitta provides the body with energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. The Pitta body type has a strong appetite and good digestive system however they are sensitive to deep-fried food. Pittas have a natural craving for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and enjoy cold drinks.

To retain the balance of body and mind, Pittas should avoid excessively oily food as well as caffeine, alcohol, red meat and salt.

Your Food and Your Mood - Sugar

fruit-vegetable.jpgSugar is an essential energy source. "But sugar is not just an ingredient in your favorite recipe. It is also the energy source of your body. Without sugar a body cannot function properly," says Dr. Chandy.

Addiction to sugar doesn't just result in diabetes; it can also lead to obesity, dental cavities and adrenal deficiencies.

Ayurvedic practitioners emphasize the necessity of a healthy diet consisting of fiber, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables to balance blood sugar levels. These food items release energy gradually, avoiding sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels that usually result from consumption of processed foods.

The Big Villain - Hair Loss

According to Ayurveda, the health of the hair is dependent on the body's digestive fire and basic body type of an individual. The first step towards treating the issue is identifying the root cause in your lifestyle behavior.

Amla.jpgThe major causes of hair fall include hormonal and nutritional deficiencies along and complications related to other diseases and stress factors. Excess of Pitta dosha in the body is aggravated by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of spicy, salty and sour food, caffeine, alcohol, meats, and excessive smoking.  Eating a balanced diet rich in protein and iron content, including leafy vegetables and fresh fruits is also an effective way of tackling hair fall.

Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend the use of a natural shampoo like amla or shikakai to clean the hair. Oiling and massaging of scalp, with coconut oil or medicated oils like Neelibhringadi oil and traditional Ayurvedic treatments is very beneficial for stopping the hair loss.

Additional Details:

Dosha

Hair quality

Problems

Vata

Dark, coarse, wiry, inky, and frizzy hair.

Easily tangled. Dull. Split ends. Susceptible to dandruff infection

Pitta

Light, fine and silky.

Premature graying of hair and premature baldness. Tends to become oily in hot and dry weather.

Kapha

Thick, heavy, wavy, and slightly oily. Lustrous.

Generally very healthy hair.


FLASH : Bring your excess blood sugar under control by adding fenugreek and cinnamon to your diet.

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

VATA: The Energy to Get Going - Ayurveda: part 3

Vata.jpgVata, derived from the elements of space and air is the most powerful of the three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and is the energy of movement.

Physically, Vata individuals are usually tend to have dry skin, hair, and lips. They also sleep lightly and have a sensitive digestive system. The balanced Vata individual is active, creative, and gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate. Psychologically, they are distinguished by a quick mind but a short memory. They are also quick to anger and to forgive.

In an individual, an imbalance of their Vata dosha can result in irregular thirst and appetite and digestion problems. In addition, it also results in drastic weight loss, hypertension, and weakness.

Psychologically an imbalance results in a propensity to get bored very easily, a penchant to act without thinking things through, and an inability to save money. Imbalance will also result in feeling out of control, anxious, and depressed.
 
Vata-meditation.jpgIt is advised for Vata individuals to dress warmly as they are prone to feeling cold. Steam and usage of humidifiers and a daily pre-shower oil massage using warmer, heavier oils like almond or sesame is also recommended.
 
Dr. Chandy believes that one of the most important things a Vata individual can do to ensure balance is to devote some time to sitting still. He says, "It is very important to have 'me' time." He further adds, "One needs to spend some time meditating. You don't have to sit cross legged and chant a mantra for this. You can meditate even when you are dusting your house or cutting the vegetables or going for a walk or a run. And this is something that everybody irrespective of their dosha should do."

Nutrition Guidelines

A Vata body type should eat warm, moist, slightly oily and heavy foods to counteract the dosha's dry and cold attributes. The best flavors to calm the Vata imbalance are sweet and salty dishes - but in moderation. As Vata individuals are naturally lean, they can eat larger quantities than individuals with other dominant doshas. It is recommended they consume warm milk, wheat, fresh fruits like apricots and vegetables which include asparagus, beets and carrots. For non-vegetarians, it is suggested to stick to fresh organic meat.
 
Your Food and Your Mood - Yogurt

yoghurt.jpgWe have all grown up believing that if there is one thing that we can binge on, it is Yogurt. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins like B complex and protein. It is a lesser known fact that to digest yogurt, one must have a strong digestive system due to its tendency to ferment in the digestive tract. This is why practitioners of Ayurveda recommend consuming yogurt at noon when the digestion is at its best and pairing it with honey, goose berry or sugar.
 
Dr. Chandy says, "In moderation, yoghurt is a nutritional item as it strengthens the body, accelerates digestion, stimulates the taste buds, and reduces bladder irritability. However, bear in mind that the consumption of incompletely coagulated yogurt may flare up psoriasis, bleeding in hemorrhoids and may cause giddiness."
 
The 10 Big Villains

In this column we look at the ten big villains of modern life that have made us so susceptible to ailments. One of the biggest villains of the piece is the 'Sedentary Lifestyle' most of us lead. In recent history the incidences of heart diseases, joint problems, obesity, and diabetes have increased and are no longer limited to the middle aged and elderly.

According to Ayurveda, a direct result of a sedentary lifestyle, where people spend the majority of their time seated and not taking up any form of physical activity, is rheumatoid arthritis (Vata Sonita), which is a result of Vata imbalance.  

With diet modifications, active lifestyle and Ayurvedic treatments from qualified Ayurvedic doctors, Vata individuals can control these conditions without any of the side effects that stem when you use allopathic medicines.

Flash

Applying sour curd once a week to one's scalp and hair prevents formation of dandruff.

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

Eat and Live Healthy This Ramadan

The Holy Month of Ramadan is here with us again. This is a time for fasting, meditation, and sharing with friends and neighbors. It is also a time to remember those ailing from conditions that might hinder them from fasting and promote a healthy and holistic lifestyle. It is in this regard that the Landmark Group has launched an e-cookbook in an initiative dubbed the Beat Diabetes campaign. We have launched this e-cookbook as part of the larger 'Beat Diabetes, Eat healthy' campaign to encourage the community to adopt a healthy balanced diet.

BD-ebook.jpg
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that one in every nine adults in the Middle East has diabetes.  According to the IDF the number of people living with diabetes worldwide rose from 366 million in 2011 to 371 million in 2012.

Through the Beat Diabetes campaign, the Landmark Group continues to encourage individuals in the Middle Eastern communities to regularly check their glucose levels for early detection and remedial measures. The initiative has benefited nearly 150,000 individuals in blood glucose testing centers across the region.

In our effort to reach out to all families, we have made this Beat Diabetes e-cookbook available for free in a digital format and can easily be downloaded from our Beat Diabetes Facebook page. It comes with 30 easy-to-make nutritious recipes which will be very helpful to families with assorted cuisine choices such as Arabic, Indian, and Thai. These are great recipes aimed at educating individuals on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet in management of diabetes.

Know Your Body Type - Ayurveda: part 2

According to Ayurveda the human body is balanced in three combinations called the tridoshas (body types) - Vata, Pita and Kapha. Everybody is predominantly a particular dosha (body type), with the other two doshas being present to a lesser degree.

vata-pitta-kapha.jpg
The three doshas' primary qualities can be tabulated as given below - but this is just an overview.

Doshas

Vata

Pita

Kapha

Elements

Ether and Air

Fire

Earth and Water

Physical

Slim

Medium built

Stocky

Skin

Rough and Dry   

Soft

Smooth and Oily

Movement

Quick

Sharp

Slow

Taste

Sweet, Sour and Salty

Cool, Sweet, Bitter and Astringent

Pungent, Bitter and Astringent

Digestion

Irregular

Strong digestion

Sluggish digestion

Emotions

Enthusiastic, active

Determined, impatient

Patient, even-tempered


When the doshas are in a balanced form in a body the body will function at its best.

For this you need to have a rough idea of what your body type is by picking the best option that describes you, to answer the questions below. For a proper diagnosis and understanding it is recommended that you meet a qualified Ayurveda practitioner. The body type that has been picked the most number of times will reflect your dominant body type.

FIGURE OUT YOUR BODY TYPE?

Ayurvedic-Room-2.jpgWhat is your skin like?
  1. You need to bathe in moisturizer or you are left with scaly skin. (V)
  2. Sensitive and warm (like your best friend) but with a tendency to reddishness, inflammation. It could also be oily. (P)
  3. Thick skinned (no, we are not talking about attitude here) and rather prone to acne. (K)

In terms of physical built, you are...
  1. Thin built, with small bones and prominent joints. (V)
  2. Medium built with a fairly well-balanced body. (P)
  3. Of solid, ample or stocky built with a larger bone structure. (K)

In terms of appetite and digestion...
  1. You have an irregular appetite and are hungry at times and sometimes you are not. (V)
  2. You have a large appetite and digest food quickly. You tend to get irritable if you miss a meal, however too much hunger results in inability to eat anything. (P)
  3. You tend to feel heavy after a meal and have a very sluggish digestion. (K)

Your brain resembles the latest super computer or a rather rusty analog computer...
  1. You are good at picking up new things but things get hazy when it comes to long term memory. (V)
  2. You are blessed with a good memory. (P)
  3. You take your time to assimilate new information, but once you remember something it tends to stick. (K)

Is nap time your favourite time or do you dread it?
  1. The smallest sound wakes you up. (V)
  2. You sleep well. (P)
  3. You are lost to the world once your head hits the pillow. A heavy and sound sleeper. (K)

The weather also plays a role in our body type. Usually...
  1. You don't like the cold. You prefer warm good and drink to cold ones. (V)
  2. You don't like the heat. You sweat easy and it makes you tired. (P)
  3. You don't like humid or damp environments. (K)

How do you handle stress?
  1. It makes you anxious, fearful and / or insecure. (V)
  2. It makes you angry, frustrated and / or irritable. (P)
  3. You tend to avoid difficult situations but are fairly calm under stress. (K)

Your weight is a pointer to many things - emotional and physical. Which best describes you?
  1. You don't put on weight that easily. (V)
  2. You put on weight easily but find it hard to lose. (P)
  3. You put on weight like most other people - over a period of time. (K)

Your attitude is also influenced by your dosha. You are normally...
  1. Creative, enthusiastic, active and somewhat restless. (V)
  2. Determined, impatient, critical, stubborn and easy to anger. (P)
  3. Even-tempered, patient, compassionate and not particularly high energy. (K)

These are some of the illnesses you are usually prone to...
  1. Constipation, anxiety, nervousness and / or insomnia. (V)
  2. Inflammation, hypertension, hypersensitivity (to allergies, rashes, arthritis etc.) and / or aggression. (P)
  3. Congestion, water retention, cystic acne and / or lethargy. (K)

chandy.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

The science of life - Ayurveda: part 1

chandy1.jpgDr. Chandy George, the Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant at Balance Wellness Club brings over 15 years of experience in the field of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. His uncanny and remarkable ability for accurate diagnosis (using no other diagnostic tool than his three fingers to  feel your pulse - an ancient process called nadi pariksha) and his compassionate, intuitive skills have helped him treat some of the complicated imbalances with great insight and success.

In his role with the Balance Wellness Club, Dr. Chandy leverages his understanding of  Dubai and the demanding lifestyle it dictates to offer holistic therapies that blend the nuances of pulse diagnosis, Panchakarma treatments, marma treatments, herbal remedies, therapies, rejuvenation and Ayurvedic nutrition. He also offers consultancy on identifying, preventing, controlling, containing and reversing the disease process caused by lifestyle, metabolic, ageing and stress generated disorders.
    
In this series, Dr. Chandy first introduces us to the science of life called 'Ayurveda'. Mention the word Ayurveda and most people will think exotic, ancient, Eastern medicine that is a closed door for anyone but those steeped in its lore. But nothing could be further from the truth. In today's crazy, frenetic life, where ailments and illnesses rear their heads in progressively younger and younger patients, Ayurveda and its lifestyle tips may be of more relevance than ever before.
 
ayurveda1.jpgAyurveda, ('Ayus' means Life and 'Veda' means science) is a form of alternative medicine, which originated in India about 5000 years ago.

Ayurveda doesn't just aim at treating illnesses, it aims to prevent illnesses and preserve life. Its basic premise is that the universe is made up of five elements - air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in human beings by the three 'doshas' or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas ('tridoshas') and this varies from person to person. When the doshas accumulate beyond the individual's desirable limit, the body loses its balance. To regain balance and good health the excess dosha(s) have to be reduced.

In modern times it is quite common to come across people whose doshas are in complete upheaval. They are born with one particular dosha in the ascendant but their lifestyle results in one of the two other doshas becoming dominant with time. These changes mean that they are not treating their body the way it should be and result in physical ailments and emotional problems.

But the change of doshas in one's body can also be sighted in as inane a statement as, "I used to be so calm and patient, but now I snap at everything." This could be your doshas being out of balance. While suppressants and pills will treat your symptoms, they will not necessarily leave you calm; rather they will leave you lethargic and dull. And worse they will not address the basic cause of your problem. Ayurveda however will approach it from the angle of the cause and treat that, thus getting rid of the symptoms and the root cause.

It is understandable for one to wonder - "All this is great but how does this form of alternative and ancient healing apply to me? What is in it for me?" Simple - an Ayurvedic body cleansing or detox, followed by adherence to the basic Ayurvedic tenets regarding your body type will help you deal with everything ranging from stomach bloating, hair loss, body pain and chronic illnesses to addictions, sinusitis, allergies, chipped nails and, the bane of life in the UAE, dry skin. Ayurveda can also help one deal with stress and manage one's anger and extreme emotions of rage or depression.

ayur-veda.jpgEven on a non-medical level, Ayurveda can help one achieve one's best in terms of physical health and well-being. We have all envied a neighbor who can eat anything and everything and not put on a kilo and pitied ourselves or a friend, who only has to look at a buffet table to add a few kilos to her waist. One's doshas has a huge impact on the kind of body one basically has. Understanding one's doshas can also guide one in ascertaining the best time of the day for a person to exercise and the best food for one to eat thus achieving the best body possible.

And while you will not end up with a body like Gwenyth Paltrow's, you will find yourself feeling healthier inside and outside - your digestion would be back on track, your skin will feel smoother and softer, your eyes will look brighter and your hair will glow with health. And no, this is not magic. It is science. Just ask Dr Deepak Chopra, an internationally renowned practitioner of Ayurveda or better still take a leaf out of the books of adherents of Ayurveda - Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Max Burgers: The Sweet Taste of Success

Max is on the move! Max's burgers, a long-time favorite in Sweden and Scandinavia, has partnered with the Landmark Group to launch new ventures in the UAE. We have already opened outlets in Jumeirah 3, on Jumeirah Beach Road, in Mirdif City Centre and in Oasis Centre. Plans are unfolding for dozens of Max openings throughout the region. The 100% family-owned Max brand, voted "Sweden's Tastiest Burger" for 10 years in a row, is now poised for immediate success in the rapidly expanding GCC market.

Max-Burger (1).pngAt Max's we aim to build upon the 45-year tradition that we have established with our commitment to tasty, healthy and environmentally friendly food service. Founder Curt Bergfors, along with Britta Andersson, opened a single food kiosk in the north of Sweden in 1968. Their great tasting burgers were a hit and the business quickly outgrew the little kiosk. Our growth meant we were soon taking on, and winning against, industry giants such as McDonald's. The 2003 addition of our Delifresh menu, with it's combination of flavorful health-conscious ingredients, ushered in a new chapter of the Max story.

With our Max heritage we literally bring a lot to the table. When customers spot our famous blue-and-white décor they know it signifies something special. Patrons can rely on Max to quickly provide the best-tasting, high-quality and freshly-prepared foods in a clean and wholesome manner. Our partnership with the Landmark Group means we have joined hands with a company whose solid regional foundation and remarkable marketing savvy will allow us to compete with global heritage burger brands in the exciting new Gulf arena.

Max-burger.pngMax is innovative and creative. Throughout our entire brand we zealously pursue our mission to provide the best food in a globally responsible fashion. From our industry-first carbon-dated menu labeling to our enviable 100% carbon-emission offset (achieved with our African tree-planting project), along with our award-winning programs to provide employment to persons with disabilities, we are in the vanguard of conscientious business practice. For all the new customers that the Landmark Group will introduce to us we have prepared an enticing array of menu specialties, starting with our signature Max burgers and including wonderful fresh dips and our superb side dishes that include such healthy items as salads, apple wedges and carrots.

At Max we are confidant that working with the Landmark group will lead to prosperity for all concerned and that we will be able to show the world what it means to have a real Max experience.

Cakes and Candy

Based on a dream, Candy Cakes was created in 2006 to bring something special and innovative to the cafe and cake world.

Spotting a gap in the market, the founders successfully merged the concept of a cake shop with the appearance of a sweet shop. With the clever addition of some irresistible coffee, the storybook cafe retreat was born.

candy-cakes.jpg Fast-forward to today and the company's signature range of colourful, sweet-topped cakes is in high demand. People of all ages just love them, for weddings, social gatherings and everything from eighth, eighteenth or even eightieth birthday parties.

Candy Cakes confections make the sweetest treats for family and friends to share. Complete with eye-popping coloured icing and elaborate edible toppers, these mouth-watering novelty cakes will make a special occasion even sweeter.

The creative team lovingly craft the delicious colourful treats, for all ages to enjoy. Whether you're throwing a party for a budding princess or a pirate in training, a custom-designed birthday cake will add something extra-special to a big day.

The concept is simple: fun, playful, bright products within cafes that reflect Candy Cakes' Pop Art style and sweet shop vision. This unique brand sells fresh coffee, delicious cakes and cool shakes.

Splash: the determined teenager turns 20

Thursday 21st March 2013 was an exciting day for the team at the offices of Splash fashions. It marked the culmination of two decades as one of the Middle East's favourite fashion brands: from its humble birth as a single store way back in 1993, its growth through the difficult early years into adulthood, to its success as a mature business that continues to go from strength to strength.

mikky.jpgThe brand can reflect on an exciting journey to get where it is today. Tickets for the now legendary Splash fashion shows are prized items, as these spectaculars have become one of the "must-attend" events in the Middle East. Add to this three limited edition calendars, campaigns that use new technology such as 3D, an international portfolio of brands like Being Human, Lee Cooper and ELLE, plus numerous awards and industry recognition, well... you get the idea.

20-years.jpg

The company has plans for yearlong celebrations to mark their 20th birthday, and the partying began with the annual staff event, held at Rixos, Palm Jumeirah. This was closely followed by Retail Employees Day (R.E.D), an event that recognises and rewards the day-to-day contributions of the people who make the Splash stores run so smoothly. These events were just the beginning of a very busy calendar of festivities to come.

raza-beig.jpgSplash launched the Emblem Design contest earlier this year, aimed at creating a dedicated logo to mark the 20-year anniversary. The response was overwhelming, and the winner can proudly see the chosen design featured on the brand's collateral for the coming year. Other competitions and contests are planned that engage customers and get them involved with the company's celebrations.

When the first Splash store opened its doors to the public in Sharjah over two decades ago, who could have dreamed the company would grow into the Superbrand it is today? Some may consider the story complete, but for CEO Raza Beig and the team, this is just the beginning.

Balance Wellness Spa connects with ladies night

The Balance Wellness Spa recently reached out to a key target audience by hosting a ladies night that also involved forming partnerships for the event - which was a real success.

IMG_6264.JPGThe spa, located in Dubai's Oasis Centre, held the get-together along with ila, a British firm that makes all-natural skincare products, and Scene, a magazine with celebrity news and photos, and news about entertainment, shopping and style.

Balance Wellness Spa, which covers 22,000 sq. ft., and has 21 therapy rooms, offers 65 therapies that include techniques from all over the world. The spa also provides customised Pilates and yoga sessions.

Selected Scene readers were invited to join us at the facility for a pampering party featuring the spa's treatments and Ila's products to try, with the magazine providing promotion, photography and media coverage.

The ladies began the night with a refreshing cold towel and a soothing cup of herbal tea to immerse themselves in the spa's relaxing atmosphere. Our guests were also offered a foot massage, which used Ila Body Balm and generated plenty of positive feedback from our guests.
IMG_6270.JPG
The lucky ladies, who enjoyed healthy snacks and beverages from Balance Cafe, also received a goodie bag with a copy of Scene, a sample from Ila, an AED 100 spa voucher and more.

Everyone who came out for the event clearly had a great time, and a number of people booked treatments at the spa.

Working with Ila and Scene and creating this event presented an opportunity to connect with the target audience in a way that was fun for the ladies and productive for the Balance Wellness Spa.

What unconventional techniques do you use to reach your target audience?

Home Centre website for our Arabic-speaking customers

Back in October 2011 we announced the launch of our Home Centre website, which was launched in 9 countries: UAE, India, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The site gives customers access to a variety of Home Centre products across many different product categories: furniture, bed and bath, home décor, kitchen and tabletop, and kids furniture. It has been a long journey, but we have evolved since then and become bigger and better for the experience.

arb_homepage.jpgThe site has some great features and gives customers the opportunity to view our catalogue while relaxing at home and, if they like a product, our store locator will spotlight the nearest outlet for them to visit. We also keep customers up-to-date with our new House Proud blog - a go-to place for affordable tips, trends and inspiration to keep your home beautiful, tidy and safe. It also features our latest offers and promotions.

The past year has been busy, encouraging and quite a learning experience for all of us at Home Centre. We've been working harder every day to cater to our Arabic customers - October 2012 saw the launch of our Home Centre website in Arabic.