Feeling homesick after she moved from New York to Dubai in 2012, and tired of “the average burger joint all over town”, 48-year-old entrepreneur Emma Sawko decided to open her own café-cum-concept store in Dubai, Comptoir 102, so she could recreate a sense of belonging. Selling stylish furniture and sleek design as well as healthy organic food, Sawko rapidly became the pioneering woman behind Dubai’s first concept store of this kind.
In a region where fast food has become extremely popular, most people thought she was crazy. But as Comptoir 102 became cult, it was clear Dubai needed a health-conscious food spot. Sawko soon opened Wild & The Moon (her much-loved plant-based organic food cafe) in Paris and Dubai.
As we caught up with the wellness specialist, we asked Sawko to round up her six tips to sustain a clean lifestyle.
Since everyone knows organic is better, I won’t include it as a tip. Instead, I’d say “eat seasonally and locally”. What? You know that too? Then why don’t you? I saw you buy those tomatoes from Spain last week!
Cook from scratch
Now that you’ve removed most pesticides from your plate, you may want to discard all the additives, E numbers and preservatives. It’s very easy, you just need to cook… from scratch (we never said it would be easy).
While you’re at it, cut the sugar too. That one is a tough one, I know, but a lifesaver too.
Wave goodbye to dairy
And that’s just a tip okay? But gluten and dairy… they got to go too. I know, they get a bad rep and you think it’s just a fad, plus you love pasta so much you should be given an Italian passport. And you can’t live without bread and cheese. Right. For this tip, don’t take my word for it: remove them from your diet for just 10 days. After 10 days, see how you feel and admit I was right.
Don’t use plastic. The plastic cup from the water dispenser, the plastic fork that comes with the salad, the straw, the food wrapped in packaging… refuse all of this. It’s waste and makes out planet very sick.
Food is Love. Growing food organically is an act of love. Cooking is an act of love. Eating to nourish our body and soul is an act of love. Sharing a meal with friends or family is an act of love.
So spread Love. Support organic farmers, make time to cook a meal, eat consciously and share with your loved ones.