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Going Vegan? Start With Breakfast

The trendy cafe Comptoir 102 in Dubai is known for serving up healthy, tasty food that keeps customers coming back. Every month or two, the owners invite a guest chef to come in, cook, teach and share healthy new ideas. The most recent was Sati Faulks, a 25-year-old American-born raw, vegan chef visiting from Paris who is quickly gaining respect and fame in the global raw and vegan world. Through his workshop, called The Art of a Healthy Breakfast, he offered up new ideas on how to maximize nutrition in the most important meal of the day. “It’s really nice in the morning to start with some kind of juice or tea because it starts our system working again,” he said. “It’s waking your body up in a gentle way, getting it ready for the day and ready to digest some food.” Faulks prefers smoothies to start the day and he’s adept at designing recipes packed with nutrition, loading them with protein, fruits, veggies and superfoods such as chia seeds, which are known for their ability to keep you full longer. Instead of milk, yogurt or cream, Faulks uses bananas or almond butter to get a creamy texture. He also uses coconut water to keep the body hydrated in the scorching UAE heat. Some of Faulks’s recipes are complex, containing a dozen or more ingredients. Others are much less involved. For those who believe juicing takes too much time, Faulks says simply: “Do some preparation in the evening. Have it ready in the fridge and just process a little bit in the morning. It’s just having a little more value for your life and committing to something. It doesn’t have to be so hard.” And it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, either – even juicing a little bit each week or just eating vegan sometimes is beneficial. Faulks himself isn’t vegan. He eats meat (he prefers game) and fish, though not red meat or chicken. “It’s balance,” he says. “You see what works for you. I eat most things if they’re good quality. I appreciate good food.” These days, Faulks gravitates towards cold-pressed juices to get the maximum nutrition out of the produce. He says: “When you do regular juicing, it mashes and spins really fast and that process kills some of the nutrients and enzymes.” Cold-pressing, which uses no heat as it hydraulically presses produce between two metal plates, keeping more of those nutrients intact. It does take more time and Faulks admits it may not be practical for everyone. “I think as long as somebody’s juicing, that’s great. I don’t want to push someone away from juicing.” Faulks is opening a raw, vegan cafe in the city that will serve cold-pressed juices, protein smoothies and innovative healthy bites near the end of the year. “All of our recipes, all of our juices, we’ve worked extremely hard for a long time with natural therapists and nutritionists to get these completely balanced.”

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