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Do you crave ice to chew or have the urge to eat dirt? Are you looking particularly pale as of late? Do you have a swollen tongue that feels sore? Don’t worry, you’re not weird! You may just have iron deficiency. According to the World Health Organization iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood to the different tissues of our body, and is also needed for many cellular functions.
Restless legs, (when your legs feel uncomfortably “antsy”, like you have to move them constantly), can also indicate a deficiency in iron. Other common symptoms of low iron include constantly feeling tired and fatigued, poor immunity, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath or palpitations, dizziness, and brittle nails. If you are having trouble getting through your workouts this can also be a sign of low iron. Muscles in motion need an abundant oxygen supply, and when iron is low we just can’t supply them with enough.
When we reach the lobby of the Indian-born Nair family’s Wanjing apartment, we’re greeted by younger son Sparsh (age 11), handsome in his shiny midnight-blue suit. He ushers us upstairs to meet dad Sukesh, mom Sonia, and older brother Yash (14), and we can’t help noticing that everyone in the family is looking super sharp today.
Sparsh and Yash attend Beijing World Youth Academy, conveniently located near the family home. Sukesh, who is manager of after sales consultants for BMW, has been in China for 20 years, in various roles across the BMW retail and wholesale networks. Today, he is acting head chef, ably assisted by Sparsh. Sukesh’s joke that the boys do all the cooking in this house is quickly cast into doubt by Sonia’s watchful hovering, and helpful tips. “Don’t let it burn,” she laughs. Sonia, who substitute teaches for many international schools in Beijing, originally came to China on a scholarship to Beijing Language and Culture University, for an advanced program in Chinese language and literature. She and Sukesh met at an embassy event 15 years ago, and have made their life in China since, living in Shanghai, Dalian, Chongqing, Chengdu, and now Beijing. Over an Indian spiced-tea, and the delicious chicken legs, we chat about how much Beijing and Wangjing in particular have changed in the decades the Nairs have been here.
Beijing’s second branch of the Singaporean-based chain, Crystal Jade, has opened in Indigo Mall. Crystal Jade La Mian and Xiaolongbao serves up authentic Cantonese cuisine, with a contemporary twist. Dim Sum dishes include spring rolls, pork buns, dumplings, and xiaolongbao, with innovative fillings such as foie gras and ginseng. Some of the more popular dishes are from the wide selection of seafood, such as deep-fried mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce and pine nuts, and sautéed shrimp with long jing tea leaf.
Danish-born Asta Fris-Lodahl (age 6) is in full flow when we meet at House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten’s Quanfa Campus (HoK). She regales us with stories, breaks into song, dance, and impersonations, even restyling my hair at one point. A natural performer and entertainer, she and older sister Laura (8) are genuine movie stars! Both girls had roles in upcoming feature film The Last Race , acting alongside British star Joseph Fiennes. Asta’s dad Jesper Lodahl is CEO of Smartots, and mom Charlotte Friis-Lodahl is a product marketing consultant. The Lodahls moved to Beijing in 2004, when Friis-Lodahl’s work for Nokia brought her to Beijing.
The bowling alleys at East Gate Plaza Bowling Club in Dongzhimen is the most frequented by expats however the staff speaks Chinese only. Both places are clean, and there are packages available that include soft drinks and snacks in the price. Shoes rental is available at both locations.
Age suitability: 8-17
Price range: RMB 100-250