Gingered Apple Turmeric Oats

It’s officially porridge season! Time to start fixing up a hearty and warming breakfast now the chilly mornings are setting in. The turmeric in this Gingered Apple Turmeric Oats recipe adds great health benefits to the oats such as immunity support, energy, and improvement in overall health which couldn’t provide a better start for your morning routine. 

INGREDIENTS

50g oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

½ tsp cinnamon

80g unsweetened apple puree

1 x Ginger Turmeric Shot

240ml plant-based milk

1 tbsp almond butter

To serve: 1tbsp coconut yoghurt, extra nut butter, fruit of choice

METHOD

Add the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, Ginger Turmeric Shot and milk to a saucepan and slowly heat until creamy. Add more or less milk as desired.

Stir in the nut butter until creamy.

Serve warm topped with your desired toppings.

Recipe by The Turmeric Co


WIN A Wellness-Filled Day Out At Eccleston Yards

Fancy a day out at London’s ultimate wellbeing hub? Win free tickets for you and your wellness buddy for ‘‘In Your Elements’ festival, filled with energetic exercise classes, inspiring workshops and relaxing meditations, centred around women’s health and wellbeing in the beautiful courtyard of Eccleston Yards. Taking place on Saturday the 30th of October from 10am to 6pm in the heart of Belgravia.

Plus receive a £100 voucher for MasterPeace, the mindful art studio inspiring you to discover your inner creativity and a £250 voucher for Wild by Tart, the restaurant showcasing a sustainable and seasonal approach to food.

Eccleston Yards is a year-round wellness destination with the likes of Barrys Bootcamp Hotpod Yoga, Masterpeace, Re:Mind and Studio Pottery within its beautiful vicinity. The dining follows suit with amazing restaurants and cafes such as Wild by Tart, Morena, Jones and Atis. Just a stone’s throw away from Victoria, the courtyard is Belgravia’s hidden gem, with everything you need to enhance your wellbeing!

Hip & Healthy Top Picks Of What’s On At ‘In Your Elements’ Festival

CLASSES…

  • Barre Classes by Psycle London
  • Pilates by Ten Health & Fitness
  • Workout by Barry’s Bootcamp
  • Dance Flow Yoga with Anna De Pahlen

WORKSHOPS…

  • Mastering Your Menopause with Katie Brindle
  • Mindful Art Classes with Masterpiece
  • Empowerment, Energy & Mindset  with Hanna Flores
  • Hair Care Through Menopause with Smuk London

Can’t wait to win? You can buy tickets HERE with 20% off using discount code HIP20

ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN..
• x2 Tickets For ‘In Your Elements’ Wellness Festival
• £100 voucher for MasterPeace
• £250 restaurant voucher for Wild by Tart

*Terms and conditions apply. Competition closes on the 17th of October. Entries limited to the UK only. If  you do not opt-in your details will not be shared at all, unless you win and then your address is shared for the prize to be fulfilled ONLY, after which your details are discarded.


Brad Pitt To Kate Moss – 9 Celebrity Skincare Launches To Know About

It’s been estimated this year that the global beauty industry is worth just shy of £400 billion. A staggering number that’s hard to comprehend! The evolution of beauty has been an interesting one to observe over the years… we’ve talked a lot about the integration of wellbeing into the industry and how the modern conscious consumer has started to dictate the direction of product development and other aspects of the industry. 

What has become apparent is that many celebs are now tapping into the market and what a piece of the pie too. Gone are the 2004 days of celebrity perfume endorsements (Remember “Curious” by Britney and “Glow” by J-Lo? Good times) Just like the wellness industry, more and more celebrities are branching into the beauty industry and 2022 has seen a huge influx of new brand launches with some pretty famous faces behind them. Below are 9 celebrity skincare launches to have on your radar if you’re a beauty lover…

Stella by Stella McCartney

Need to know: “Skincare with a clear conscience” this brand puts the green-washing industry to shame. True to form, Stella has put eco-credentials at the forefront of the company and is committed to changing the landscape of the beauty industry.

Le Domaine by Brad Pitt

Need to know: Brad is known for being a wine enthusiast so it comes as no surprise that his new skincare line, Le Domaine, is inspired by that passion. This genderless beauty range consists of simple skincare and grooming products with formulas that are up to 99% natural origin.

Cosmoss by Kate Moss

Need to know: While Brad’s entry into the world of skincare might have come as a surprise, Kate Moss is no stranger to the beauty world. Cosmoss is a wellness and beauty brand, harnessing ingredients like CBD and herbal heroes to promote a holistic sense of wellbeing.

Rhode by Hailey Bieber

Need to know: Named after her middle name, Hailey Bieber’s venture into beauty has been very successful. So successful that it sold out 2 days after it launched. Glossy, glowy skin is the theme of the line so if you’re into a dewy complexion, this is for you.

S’Able by Idris & Sabrina Elba

Need to know: This power couple launched S’Able back in 2020 and it has gone from strength to strength ever since. Ethically sourcing African ingredients, the line is geared towards combatting pigmentation and enhancing brightening. Ideal post-summer skincare!

Keys Soulcare by Alicia Keys

Need to know: Alicia’s ritualistic skincare line has wellness at its core, something we can definitely get on board with. Offering dermatologist-developed, clean skin and body care, she’s just starting to dip her toes into makeup too with beautiful sheer cheek tints and lip balms.

Sknn by Kim Kardashian

Need to know: Kim’s no rookie entrepreneur… having lots of fingers in different Kardashian enterprises she knows what it takes to build a successful brand. Sknn claims to offer a “new era of skincare” with 9 hero products (all vegan and cruelty-free) designed for high-performance and rejuvenation.

The Outset by Scarlett Johansson

Need to know: If you’re a sensitive skin sufferer, Scarlett has your back with The Outset. It’s designed to restore your skin’s barrier, helping it defend against free radicals and environmental factors. It claims to be ultra-gentle and has even won an award in the sensitive skincare category by Allure.

Cay Skin by Winnie Harlow

Need to know: Born out of an experience of a horrible sunburn on a photoshoot, Winnie Harlow has dedicated her time to developing Cay Skin. Fusing SPF with performance skincare actives this is a really exciting brand that cares about skin AND planet protection (it’s reef-friendly which is wonderful to hear).


READ MORE: 7 Celebrity Wellbeing Brands To Know


Still Debating Sober October? 5 Health Reasons That Might Convince You

Whatever your reason for cutting down your alcohol intake may be – whether it’s to improve your sleeping pattern, help heal your mental wellbeing or boost your bank balance – Sober October is a great initiative to get involved in.

While taking a ‘dry month’ like Sober October may seem daunting for some, it can give your mind and body a much-needed rest after a summer of over-socialising. 

Still, debating whether or not to take part? Martin Preston, Addiction Specialist at Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has revealed the benefits of taking part in Sober October and how regularly taking breaks from booze, can help you reassess your reasons for drinking.

  1.  Sleep patterns improve

Alcohol is often used as a sleeping aid to help you drift off, but despite helping to relax you, drinking in excess can affect the quality and pattern of your sleep due to headaches, dehydration and the increased need to urinate.

When you give up alcohol during Sober October, you will often find that your quality of sleep will be better, without frequent interruptions. This in turn will mean you have more energy to spend on other activities instead of waking up feeling groggy after heavy drinking the night before.

  1. Blood Pressure reduces to healthier levels 

Drinking in excess for a prolonged period of time, whether that’s been over the summer period or you drink heavily regularly, can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels that could lead to more complicated health problems down the line.

Giving up the booze even just for a month will help lower those blood pressure levels to a much healthier level and could even help reduce the risk of other health issues that are associated with high blood pressure and alcohol consumption.

  1. Skin starts to look better

A minor benefit to cutting your alcohol intake is the look of your skin. Alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated more quickly which can lead to dry and scaly skin when drunk in excess. Not only that but consumption of sugary drinks like cocktails can also lead to outbreaks due to increased hormone levels.

By taking a break from alcohol during October, you might notice spots or dry skin patches that you have been struggling to keep under control over the past few months start to clear up while you reduce the amount you drink. 

  1. You may lose weight 

One major issue that comes with drinking alcohol, is the number of calories it contains. Drinks such as beer and wine are particularly calorific, meaning that you are likely to gain weight by drinking them too regularly.

If you decide to take part in Sober October this year, in just four weeks you might find that you begin to shed the pounds you put on over the summer or when you consumed too much alcohol. Losing weight by cutting the calories from drinks may also lead to other health benefits including the reduction of high blood pressure.

  1. You’ll feel generally better

Drinking in excess can often lead to feeling groggy, lethargic and generally unwell the next day because it interferes with the day-to-day functioning of the body.

When taking a break this month, you may find that you have more energy to do things that you normally wouldn’t like being more active or spending more time out of the house with friends. So if you find yourself craving an alcoholic beverage sometime this month, think about how much better it might feel to wake up having slept well and no hangover. 

Martin Preston Founder and CEO at Delamere says:  While Sober October only lasts a month, breaking the cycle of drinking on a regular basis can be a great way to reset your body and mind, away from alcohol as well as lowering the tolerance that you have become accustomed to. 

“Those who have a drink regularly might also find that during those breaks, they are in a better mood than they were previously. This is because alcohol is a known depressant that can leave you feeling deflated when consumed regularly.

“Breaks throughout the year from drinking are therefore a great way to establish new habits and really assess the reasons we drink and whether we actually need to. Most people will find that the more they do it, the less time they think about or slip into drinking a little bit more than they should.” 


READ MORE: Caleño Founder, Ellie Webb’s Wellness Rituals + Her Summer Non-Alcoholic Tipple Of Choice


37 Autumnal Activewear Buys For The New Season

The leaves are falling off the trees, the nights are drawing in earlier and temperatures are dropping which means one thing…autumn is here! After the epic summer we’ve had, we’re actually quite excited to get cosy… dare we say it. Fluffy jumpers, autumnal shades and warm layers here we come. Here are 8 autumnal activewear looks if you’re needing a wardrobe refresh.

Castore Astro Ore Seamless Leggings

Castore Astro Ore Seamless Bra

Zen Running Club Running Shoe

Sporty & Rich Health Printed Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt

Vuori Daily Leggings Catus

Vuori Yosemite Bra Catcus

Adanola Oversized Hoodie

Axel Arigato Marathon Runner

Rue Clotilde Yoga & Matcha Tote Bag

Vaara Technical Knit Legging Brown

Vaara Technical Knight Bra Brown

Vaara Socks Bicolour Neutral

Vuori Cozy Sherpa Jacket

New Balance 530 trainers Beige & Silver 

Lululemon Everywhere Crossbody Bag

Pokita Black Zebra/Wave Print Embossed Leggings

Free People Good Karma Grey Bra Top

Lululemon Scuba Oversized Half-Zip Hoodie

On Runnings Cloudstratus Trainers

Adidas Originals Adicolor Ankle Socks

PE Nation Expedition Jacket

Kin Studio Bag Blush Pink

Varley Allen Sweat Pant

Varley Charter Sweat

Outdoor Voices Fast Track Stretch-Mesh Tank

Varley Andale Sweat

YMO Full Circle Seamless Legging Black

Nike Free Metcon 4

Alo Yoga Ribbed Stretch Tank

The Upside Francisco Gigi Striped Cropped Cotton T-Shirt

The Upside Ditsy Paisley-Print Low-Impact Sports Bra

Girlfriend Collective High Rise Compression Leggings

APL Navy Slip On Trainers

WIT LSKD Elixir Sports Bra

Alo Yoga Renown Heavy Weight Sweatpant

Nike Dunk High Pink Prime

Isabel Marant Étoile Azra Jacquard-Knit Sweater

Ganni Rib Knit Beanie


Does Exercising In Pregnancy Make For An Easier Labour?

It’s always important to lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly, especially when you’re pregnant. In fact, research shows that you should be taking part in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week, which can be anything from walking to gardening. There are even some interesting benefits to exercising whilst pregnant. This 2018 study found that pregnant women who exercised had a shorter time in labour!

However you decide to spend your time exercising, your pregnancy shouldn’t ever get in the way. Instead, try to take part in exercises that embrace your beautiful baby bump. Nuby has shared some of the things you should consider before heading to the treadmill or picking up some weights.

Consult your doctor before you start – To make sure you’re ready to start exercising, consult with your doctor and ask for professional advice. If you and your baby and healthy, there shouldn’t be any risks, but it’s always good to check as your body changes.

Let your routine adapt to your changing body – If you don’t feel like you want to exercise as intensely or regularly as you could before you became pregnant, that’s completely fine. It’s no secret that mothers-to-be can feel tired during this time, especially while you’re in your third trimester. So take it easy.

Start slowly and ease yourself into it – Just like anybody else, people that are pregnant should ease themselves into their exercise routine. Try not to head straight into your 30-minute run or full-body workout. Instead, start with shorter sessions while remembering to complete a warm-up.

Wear comfortable clothing – The secret to a successful workout is comfortable clothing. It’s normal for your feet and ankles to swell while you’re pregnant, so you’ll want to wear high-quality trainers if you’re exercising. The same goes for your sports bra and pants, making sure that your breasts and bump are supported.

Exercises that embrace your bump
Some exercises are better suited to people who are pregnant. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, learning these activities can help you stay healthy while embracing your pregnancy journey.

RUNNING
First and foremost, running is a great way to exercise while you’re pregnant. There is evidence to show that running can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

If you weren’t running before you became a parent-to-be, pregnancy is not the best time to start. And if you were a keen runner before pregnancy, don’t expect to run as fast during pregnancy. The bigger you get, the harder you will find it, so listen to your body and only run at a comfortable pace.

SWIMMING
If running isn’t for you, swimming is perfect if you’re looking for another aerobic exercise. Spending time in the water can help you stay healthy, improve your blood circulation, and even ease morning sickness.

There’s nothing to suggest that swimming is bad for you while you’re pregnant. Chlorinated pools aren’t known to harm your baby, but you might want to take a look at the bacteria levels and water temperatures of going into public swimming pools.

YOGA
If you’re eager to relax and recharge, yoga might be the perfect form of exercise for you. But it isn’t all stretches and breathing. Yoga can help you tone and build muscle all around your body, including pelvic exercises that can help you to deliver your baby a little easier. You just have to avoid hot yoga and any asanas that involve lying on your back, as this can limit the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby.

What to avoid as your due date approaches
There are a million and one things to think about when you’re pregnant. As well as preparing for the arrival of your child and collecting all of the newborn essentials you’ll need, think about certain exercises you should avoid as your pregnancy progresses.

Medical professionals advise that you should avoid lying on your back for a long period of time, especially if you’re over 16 weeks pregnant. You should also avoid contact sports, such as kickboxing or rugby and horse riding, and take a break from scuba diving or fitness programmes that take place 2,500m above sea, as this can cause altitude sickness.

These are some of the things to keep in mind if you want to start exercising while you’re pregnant. This is a beautiful time in your life, and although everything around you might be changing, you can still continue to lead your life exactly how you wish to. And if that means meeting with your friends for a weekly Pilates session, so be it.


READ MORE: The Best Pregnancy Treatments For Mamas To Be

The Best Pregnancy Treatments For Mamas To Be

Marathon Recovery Tips + Products To Use Post-Race

Running the marathon this weekend? You’re gunna need these essential marathon recovery tips from PT, Georgie Okell!

After a marathon, especially if it’s your first one, you’re going to feel it. Our bodies go through a lot – physically the joints take a hit from all the pavement pounding, and your muscles will accrue small tears in them through overuse, but also in new muscles that your body starts to recruit once the usual ones get tired and sore. You will likely be dehydrated post marathon and have a dodgy tummy. Your immune system takes a knock, and on the surface, you’ll probably have blistered feet and some chafing marks, maybe a missing toenail or two. For me, I always find the emotional comedown worse than the physical one, marathons play havoc with my hormones. But the good news is there’s plenty to be done about all of these things to soften the blow.

Marathon recovery tips:

Take a magnesium salts bath the day after the race and if you can, have a stretch afterwards.

A couple of ibuprofen will help with your inflamed muscles, but turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory too, whack it into a healthy curry or stir into some warm almond milk and honey.

Drink plenty of water, ideally during the race but also as soon as you’re done and the next day.

Sleep is such an important recovery tool, as is hydration, so although a couple of beers after the race are very well deserved and to be enjoyed, try not to stay out on the sauce until late- get at least 8 hours and keep a glass of water by your bed.

In the week following the marathon, try to get a cycle or swim in, or a big walk – the endorphins will be great to counter the marathon come down and it’s important to get those muscles warmed up and working again

The immune system takes a knock during the marathon, so in the few days post-race get plenty of healthy herbal teas in. Lemon and honey or ones involving echinacea are particularly beneficial. Straight after the race, get out of your damp sweaty race kit as soon as you can and into something warm, although obviously keep your medal on!

Post-race blues are real. Surround yourself with good food and good company the day after the race if you can, rather than lying in bed overthinking your aches and pains and snacking on rubbish.

 

better you magnesium

Magnesium Flakes | Better You

Defence Drops | The Nue Co

Pukka Turmeric active

Turmeric Active Tea| Pukka


READ MORE:5 Great Reasons To Workout When You’re On Your Period


Hip & Healthy Women’s Health Awards 2022

Welcome to this year’s Women’s Health Awards! We want to highlight the pioneering brands making incredible female health products that work to help your intimate, womanly needs… from the best period pain remedy and best natural lubricant, to the best hormone test kit and fertility supplement, here are our winners for 2022.

Best Period RemedyUnfabled PMS Power Pack

This is a great little set to make your period a little easier. Period chocolate from Phasey (a no-brainer), Our Remedy CBD drops (for under the tongue or even to soak your tampons in to ease cramps), Face period face mask (for unwanted breakouts) and DR VEGAN Premenstrual Support capsules (PMS, mood swings, cramps, breast tenderness be gone!).

Best Ovulation TrackerOvia

Gaining insights into your cycle via an app is incredibly useful for understanding your period better. Our favourite for simplicity is Ovia… the more data it accumulates, the better the algorithm can predict your cycle and offer advice in managing each stage of the month. It offers useful tidbits of information, has a community to ask questions to fellow users and can easily transition into a conceiving function for when the time is right to start trying.

Best Fertility SupplementBetter You Conception Oral Spray

Don’t fancy swallowing large, sickly preconception pills whilst TTC? Better You have the solution just for you! In partnership with Madeleine Shaw, they’ve created an oral spray that delivers all the essential nutrients your body needs to get ready for pregnancy and aid conception. It’s fast, hassle-free and quickly absorbed making this a great option that needs very little thought! 

Best Period Pioneer Brand –  Planera 

The world’s first certified flushable pads! Over 200,000 tonnes of sanitary waste is produced every year in the UK, with 30% ending up in our waterways and 56% in landfills, not degrading away. Planera pads use existing sewage infrastructure to safely break down their products once flushed, like toilet paper, to ensure a sustainable disposable product. 

Best Tampons + Sanitary pads – Natracare

Say goodbye to plastics, fragrances and chlorine, with Natracare’s amazing organic and natural range of tampons and sanitary pads. Natracare offers a wide variety of organic period care products, serving all women whether you prefer liners, tampons, pads or maternal care. With 75% of gynaecologists believing that conventional period products are the cause of intimate irritation, we’re truly converted to switching to Natracare for a healthier, happier period and planet.

Best Period Cup – Saalt Soft Cup

Having made the switch to a menstrual cup a while back, Saalt has been my trusty choice the whole time! The whole point in menstrual cups is they’re built to last which Saalt’s certainly do. The soft cup makes the insertion process easy and simple, with a bendy yet durable material. If you’re yet to try a menstrual cup I urge you to give them a go, it’s way better for you and the environment, plus reduces all the faff of having to remember tampons wherever you go.

Best For Menopause – Mpowder

Being the first generation of women to really break the taboo around menopause and experience the incredible outbreak of brands pioneering new natural products to support us through menopause, Mpowder’s is definitely up there as the leader in my humble opinion as someone who has suffered every symptom imaginable (sleepless nights, constantly hot or cold, weight changes, going doolally, you name it!). Of course, this isn’t to replace HRT, which for me has had a beneficial effect, but using the two together is when my symptoms are most at bay. Packed with 24+ wholefood-led ingredients targeted at relieving menopause-related symptoms, taking Mpowder gives me confidence that I’m supporting my body in a natural way with a quality supplement.

Best Sexual Health Brand – Randox Health

Taking all the hassle out of getting testing, it’s never been easier to keep your sexual health in check than with Randox Health. With quick access to all the relevant tests that concern women, from the signature everywomen test, every mother test, female hormone test, anti-mullerian test and STIs test, Randox Health is the key to locking all you need to know about your body.

Best Intimate Soothing Balm – WooWoo Saddle Sore! Soothing Balm

Whether you’re a spin goer, you suffer from ingrown hairs or your thighs rub…the Saddle Sore! Soothing Balm from WooWoo will be your new best friend. Packed with soothing rosehip and aloe vera, the little wonder tube is great to use as both a preventative and curative barrier to prevent chafing.

Best Brand For Intimate Skincare – Woowoo

Woowoo has long been the pioneer of intimate skincare, with everything from freshening cleansing wipes to post-hair removal care products that won’t cause any negative side effects and have been specially formulated to care for intimate areas. Once you have tried this brand you will wonder how you ever lived without it. 

Best Hormone Health Supplement – MPowder

Helping menopausal and pre- and peri-menopausal women rediscover themselves is something we can absolutely get on board with and this is MPowder’s mission. MPowder is the world’s first plant-based supplement powder range crafted to target the three distinct biochemical stages of menopause. Born out of frustration of the Founder’s own experience and a lot of research, MPowder is a fantastic solution for helping so many women experiencing these hormonal changes.

Best Women’s Health Supplement – BoriCap

Formulated by women for women, BoriCap is a unique, naturally pure supplement suppository that helps balance the pH level and tackle the root cause of vaginal infections at the source, with none of the nasty side effects of traditional medication. The testimonials on their website speak for themself and we love to see a product that finds a gentle solution to a really tricky womens health problem and helps restore confidence and self-esteem.

Best Brand For Pleasure – WooWoo

Woowoo is the go-to trusted brand by H&H for intimate pleasure products. From the water-based Slide It! Pleasure Lube, formulated to stimulate your senses, the arousal boosting Bliss Oil With Hemp and the Protect It! Ribs & Dots Condoms, which are as close to that skin-on-skin feeling as you can with heightened pleasure, the products are both fun and safe, with natural ingredients used throughout the range.


3 Great Gut-Friendly Recipes To Try This Week

Give your gut a boost with these gut-friendly recipes! When it comes to boosting your gut health, diversity in what you eat is going to help populate your microbiome with lots of good gut bacteria. These recipes from Love Your Gut (who are celebrating Love Your Gut Week 21st-27th September) are chock full of plant goodness which is exactly what your tum needs in order to thrive.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas
2 small ripe avocados
80g almond butter (rough or smooth)
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g of fresh berries i.e. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

METHOD

Peel and roughly chop the bananas. Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and scrape the flesh from the skin.

Place the bananas and avocado in the bowl of a food processor. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder and vanilla essence. Process these ingredients for 30 seconds or until you have a smooth puree.

Divide the chocolate mousse into serving bowls or glasses and top with berries.

Alternative serving suggestion – This chocolate mousse could be used as a dip with biscuits as a snack, or as a topping for a cake.

Veggie Risotto

Ingredients

180g cooked, whole chestnuts roughly chopped
200ml of semi-skimmed milk (or plant milk if making this dish vegan)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
200g pearled spelt
125ml dry white wine (optional)
1.5l vegetable stock
5–10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
75g Parmesan cheese, grated, or non-dairy hard cheese for the vegan version of this recipe
200g Brussels sprouts, halved
2 springs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stem

METHOD

Put 100g of the cooked chestnuts in a saucepan with milk and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blending in a liquidiser to make a smooth chestnut purée. Set aside for later.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until the onion has softened but not coloured.

Add the rice and pearled spelt to the saucepan and stir for a few minutes until the grains become coated in a little oil from the pan. Add the wine, if using, and continue to cook until it has evaporated.

Begin adding the stock to the rice and spelt mixture, a ladleful at a time. (Reserve 50 ml of stock to cook the sprouts a little later). Continue to stir the risotto until all the stock is added and the rice and spelt grains are firm but not chalky when bitten into. This will take about 15 minutes. The spelt remains slightly chewy when cooked.

Add the chestnut purée, half the cheese and half of the chopped sage leaves to the rice and spelt mixture and stir well. Add a little more stock to the risotto if required. It should be creamy and not too dry. Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if required.

To cook the sprouts. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan together with the thyme leaves. Place the sprouts cut side down in the pan and cook until golden brown. Turn each sprout over and add the remaining stock. Cook the sprouts for another couple of minutes until they are cooked through.

Add the remaining chopped cooked chestnuts, chopped sage leaves, Brussels sprouts and cheese to the risotto and serve.

Frozen Berry Yoghurt Cake

Ingredients

300g sunflower seeds
14 medjool dates, stones removed
2 tbsp coconut oil, warmed slightly to soften
450g fresh strawberries, raspberries or mixture of berries
juice of 1/2 lime
120ml clear honey
500g Greek yogurt
edible flowers to decorate

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. Remove the seeds from the oven and pulse in a food processor for a few seconds so they roughly chopped. Add the dates, coconut oil and process until the mixture resembles a thick paste. Press the date and seed mixture into the base of a 20cm (8in) spring form cake tin.

Purée the strawberries with the lime juice and honey in a food processor and add the Greek yogurt. Mix well and pour onto the date and seed crust in the cake tin. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours to freeze. Remove a few minutes before serving. Decorate the top of the cake with berries and edible flowers.

Cooks tip
Some examples of edible flowers are violas, lavender, oxalis, marigolds, chamomile, rose petals.


Natural Lubes Are The Way To Go: 6 Of The Best

Using lube seems to be a bit taboo but it really shouldn’t be! It’s great for enhancing sexual pleasure and I bet loads of your friends use it without you even realising it! Let’s ditch the stigma and learn to love lube. As you might expect, we tried to find the best natural lubes on the market and here are our top picks… because let’s face it, no one wants itchiness or stickiness in the heat of the moment.

Hanx Vegan Lubricant

We’re big fans on Hanx and their water-based lubricant is non-sticky, non-staining and free from unnecessary chemicals. It’s also vegan-friendly which is an added bonus.

SHOP HERE

Yes OB Lube

YES OB is a plant-oil based personal lubricant which feels luxurious, nourishing and long-lasting. Certified organic, YES OB provides smooth lubrication for intimacy and doubles as a massage oil.

SHOP HERE

Lovehoney Enjoy Lubricant

Another great water-based lubricant is this one from Lovehoney. Being water-based, it’s great for use with condoms (no breakage please!) and is best to use if TTC as oil-based ones tend to inhibit sperm.

SHOP HERE

Maude Shine Lube

This latex-friendly, organic lube from Maude is completely plant-based and fragrance-free. The gentle pH-balanced formula is free from glycerin and parabens and has an easy pump mechanism enabling more time for pleasure and less time needed for faffing around.

SHOP HERE

WooWoo Slide It! Lube

WooWoo is one of our favourite sexual wellness brands (they’ve won a few of our women’s health awards) and we love this lube for its silky texture and ability to alleviate vaginal dryness.

SHOP HERE

Luviss Luxury Lube

LUVISS is a luxury lubricant that is water-based, completely UK-made, and offers discreet shipping. The ingredients are all-nourishing, soothing and hydrating, and they don’t become sticky, thick or drying.

SHOP HERE


READ MORE: “I’m A Doctor And Here Are 6 Natural Ways To Boost Your Libido”

“I'm A Doctor And Here Are 6 Natural Ways To Boost Your Libido”

We Tried Tim Spector’s Famous Gut Plan… Here’s What Happened

H&H Contributor, Francesca gives her verdict on Tim Spector’s famous gut plan, ZOE, and shares what she learnt along the way.

I have been plagued by bloating for years. From the moment a morsel of food passes my lips, my stomach balloons and I look six months pregnant. In an attempt to resolve my bloating and heal my gut, I have tried every possible diet, consulted with dieticians, gastroenterologists and undergone numerous tests. I take various supplements, prescription medicine, exercise daily, practice time-restricted eating but to no avail; the bloating never ceases. 

As a consequence, I have become obsessed with gut health. I am the biggest fan of Tim Spector, one of the world’s leading gut health scientists and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College, London. Spector’s research into twins led to the discovery that identical twins only share 30% of the same gut microbiome and respond to the same food very differently. He discovered every single person has a unique gut microbiome which affects our responses to food and provides the key to our overall health. 

Excitingly, Spector has co-founded the personalised nutrition programme ZOE with the aim to test every individual’s gut microbiome, their responses to food and deliver a personalised plan of how best to eat. Could this finally be a way to resolve my bloating and gut health? Of course, I sign up to find out!

The 2 Week Testing Period   

I am delighted when my bright yellow ZOE box arrives through the post. In this box contains a blood sugar sensor (glucose monitor) which I will wear for the 2 weeks’ testing duration whilst also logging my food on the app, a gut health test (to test my stool), a finger prick blood test (to test my blood fat response) and a box of muffins (a controlled way to accurately test my responses to fat and sugar which will be measured against the rest of the ZOE community). 

Day 1: Attach Glucose Monitor

Although attaching the monitor looks a little daunting, it’s relatively easy and doesn’t hurt. 

The aim of using the glucose monitor is to check my glucose response to food, what impacts my response and how I feel. A fasting glucose level of below 5.6mmol/L is considered normal for people without diabetes. Eating will of course increase the levels of glucose in my blood but the main goal is to ensure there are no huge spikes; a level of 3.9-7.8mmol/L throughout the day is ideal. There are many variables which affect our blood glucose; our gut microbiome, genetics, exercise, our sleep, age, stress, menstrual cycle all play a part. 

Having never given my blood glucose levels much of a thought before, I am amazed to see my own glucose levels and check them constantly throughout the day.

Alongside the testing, there are ZOE lessons and quizzes to take daily to learn more about the gut microbiome and how best to eat.

Day 2: Gut Health Test (Stool Test)

I think of the late Dame Deborah Jones and her lasting, ‘check your poo’ message. And honestly, it’s fine, ZOE provide disposable gloves, a flushable poo collection paper seat and a little scoop for the poop too! 

For breakfast, I eat a big slice of melon and my blood sugar rockets to over 9. I’m shocked to see it rising so rapidly. For the rest of the day, my glucose levels form a series of peaks and troughs, far from ideal. 

I begin reading Jessie Inchauspé’s book, The Glucose Revolution and follow her social media account @glucosegoddess. I am dumbfounded by how little I’d known until now about the impact of dramatic glucose spikes. Not only do extreme spikes cause those feelings of fatigue, they send us off on a glucose rollercoaster throughout the day; big spikes are followed by big dips and these make us want to eat more, especially sweet and sugary things. These spikes also cause inflammation, ageing us more rapidly. I think of my afternoon chocolate cravings in a very different light. 

I discover that eating vegetables before a meal helps curb big spikes. Vegetables act as a mesh because they take longer to digest so eating these first will slow down the absorption of any subsequent simple starches and sugars like bread and chocolate which are normally digested quickly. This is also why food combining is so crucial, adding fats and proteins to carbs again helps slow down digestion.

Day 3: Muffin Testing

I’m feeling gung-ho for the big test day. The plan is; eat three muffins for breakfast, fast for four hours, eat two muffins for lunch, fast for two hours and then a finger prick blood test. Easy peasy I think.     

The muffins are stodgy and taste artificially sweet. By the time I’ve eaten the first muffin, I’m struggling and find sipping black tea a welcome relief between mouthfuls. My children greedily eye up my plate in the hope for some last remnants, I’d gladly pass them over but I have to eat them all. I’m feeling sick by the time I’ve finished, I can safely say I’m feeling less gung-ho and I’m not looking forward to more muffins at lunch. 

I’m relieved to see that my blood sugar levels haven’t done too badly and there is no dramatic peak at least.  

Fast forward to lunchtime and the sight of more muffins makes me feel queasy. Thankfully this set of muffins are made from a different composition; they’re lighter and easier to eat and there are only two of them.

After the muffins, my blood sugar level quickly zooms up to almost 9. I’m quickly realising my blood sugar response can’t be very good.

The finger prick blood test hurts more than I’d expected but it’s fine and last I can eat! I’m hungry and end up eating far more than usual, even succumbing to a takeaway. I feel tired, sickly and grouchy with a bad headache. 

I note my blood sugar is a spikey series of peaks and troughs. During the night my glucose levels fall below normal for a fair amount of time. 

Day 4: Muffin Test

Thankfully I only need to eat the muffins for breakfast. I force them down as quickly as possible, I fast for three hours and then resume normal eating. Within a few hours, I feel terrible. I have the worst migraine, I can barely cook lunch, I feel sick and my head is pounding.

Interestingly, despite my symptoms, my blood sugar levels remain fairly constant. Probably because I don’t feel well enough to eat much. 

Days 5-7: use a glucose monitor to test my response to my usual foods

I notice a trend; during the mornings my glucose levels are steady and I feel more energetic but after lunch, I have a dramatic spike and feel exhausted. I crave chocolate immediately after lunch and will eat something sweet. (One day I eat some Deliciously Ella caramel cups and my sugar levels rise to their highest; 10.9!) I begin to realise the impact of the sugar connection.  

Oat milk, which I see as my ‘treat’ milk because it’s lovely and sweet causes my levels to spike to over 8 no matter when I consume it. I vow to stick to unsweetened almond, hazelnut, soya or normal full fat. 

Days 8-12: try the ZOE blood sugar challenges

I am too busy trying to cram test all the food I normally eat so I choose not to attempt these. I already know I need to be careful with anything even remotely sweet! But exercising after eating can help reduce glucose levels, I stop sitting down after lunch and push myself to go out for a walk, it definitely helps to counteract the tiredness. 

However, I am disheartened to realise I’ve only been able to keep my glucose levels in the ideal state for one day within the 14-day test period. 

Day 14: End of Testing

The ZOE lessons continue daily and I try and up my plant intake. I’m learning a lot. I need to feed up my good gut bacteria by adding a diverse range of plants and fermented foods like kefir, yoghurt and kimchi. I have tended to restrict a lot of foods in the past like beans and pulses as these make my bloating worse but interestingly, the idea is to feed these microbes which will in turn increase their number and help with digestion. Avoidance only worsens my sensitivity. On top of this, improving my gut microbes will in turn help improve my blood sugar control.  

Results: Dietary Inflammation Profile (muffin test)

This is provided in a scoring system to reveal how I compare to the rest of the people within the ZOE community. I score 52 for my blood sugar control, almost smack bang in the middle. I sneak into the ‘Good’ category but only just. I knew I wouldn’t score highly in this area but I’m surprised I’m so average. 

I score a whooping 75 on my blood fat control which places me in the ‘Excellent’ category, I feel a little smug but I can’t help thinking I’d rather eat chocolate than cheese. 

Results: Gut Microbiome (gut health test)

I’m given a list of all the bacteria present in my gut, including 30 key microbes broken down into the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones. I note I have a huge amount of the bad bacteria Edi (Eggerthella lenta), I wonder if Edi is causing my gut health symptoms, I’d quite like to get rid of him. 

My gut diversity isn’t great, I only have 109 different species of gut microbes which places me in the lower 25% of the ZOE community. However, my ratio of good to bad gut microbes is what’s crucial and I score 74 which means I have a high level of good versus bad bacteria. The more good gut bacteria, the better our metabolism and blood sugar control will be alongside lower blood pressure and lower levels of the inflammatory marker GlycA. 

The ZOE Food Scoring System

The results of both my sugar and fat control tests together with my gut health results are put together to create a personalised food scoring system. The scores are completely unique to me. The higher the score for food, the better it is for me. I swiftly pop onto the app and there are all my wonderful food scores. Wow! They are colour coordinated so it’s easy to tell at a glance how healthy a particular food is. 

As I’ve been discovering, the magic is all about combining food properly. No food is off-limits and I’m able to use the app to view recipes, build meals and work out their score. 

Learning and Thriving

The results do not signify the end of the ZOE plan, it’s only the beginning. Now I need to master eating according to my biology using my food scores and my daily lessons. I’ve got a long way to go yet. 

My Thoughts

The whole ZOE process is fascinating: it has changed the way I eat and this in turn has improved the way I feel. I enjoy thinking about food in the ZOE way; to stabilise my sugar and fat levels whilst feeding up my good gut bacteria. I’ve never been one for calorie counting and thankfully ZOE isn’t about this either, it’s all about diversity and eating a wider range of health promoting foods. I’m much more careful about when I eat certain foods, I’ve stopped eating fruit on an empty stomach and I’ll try and have some carrots and hummus or a spinach salad before my main meal. It’s these little changes which are transformative. I no longer suffer from the terrible afternoon tiredness I once did. This is dramatic and has improved my days hugely. 

As for my bloating? It hasn’t gone away but I now understand it’s a slow process and will likely improve as my gut health improves. I therefore no longer avoid the traditional ‘bloating’ foods in the hope that one day my gut will be diverse and healthy enough to tolerate these.

Sadly the programme will be cost prohibitive for many (the test kit alone is £259.99 and there is a membership fee on top of this). ZOE also doesn’t diagnose any diseases, its purpose isn’t medical but designed for overall health and general wellness. This means no allergies or intolerances are picked up (at least for now).  But there are plenty of take-homes for everyone to adhere to regardless of their individual responses to food. I think the most useful are:

Eat fewer ultra-processed foods

Increase your vegetable, fruit, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds intake 

Include probiotics such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir

Do not eat simple carbs on their own

Eat vegetables or a salad before a meal

And finally, don’t count calories! 

words by Francesca Londono-Richards – @wimbornemummy


Nutritionist & Foodie Shares Her Cooking Tips For Better Gut Health

A healthy gut is not only important for digestion, but also crucial for our brain, mood, and overall wellbeing. To help educate on how we can all nurture our gut health through the food we eat, Dr Joan Ransley has shared her top tips – from why plant foods are a gut’s best friend, to why we need to eat more whole grains and how we can cater for everyone’s gut health when cooking for a special occasion.

Dr Joan advises:

Put plant foods first… and eat 30 a week! Plant foods are the foundation of a gut-friendly diet, so when you’re cooking for a healthy gut, remember “plant foods first, meat and animal produce second”.

Plant foods such as fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans and pulses), and herbs and spices provide a diverse range of compounds for the ‘good bacteria’ in the gut to feed on. Introduce more plant foods into your diet, by making small changes one step at a time. For example, aim to eat a new fruit or vegetable each week, or try swapping your usual mid-morning snack for a handful of nuts to increase plant variety in your diet.

Thirty is the recommended amount of different plant foods we should be eating every week, and while thirty sounds a lot, all minimally processed plant foods count towards this total – anything from a clove of garlic to nuts, seeds or even wholegrain pasta.

To get to 30, each unprocessed plant-based food has a plant type score, which then contributes to the 30 points a week. Foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds all count as 1 point each – with herbs and spices a ¼ point each. Remember variety of plants and colourful fruit and veg is key!

Fermented foods are your friend. Another easy way to improve the diversity of your gut microorganisms is by introducing more fermented foods into your diet – such as live yoghurt or kombucha. These fermented foods have been shown to increase diversity in the gut microbiome which could help to support the immune system[1].

Eat plenty of whole grains. To help keep the gut healthy, you should also be including whole grains in your diet. Whole grains such as whole wheat, spelt brown rice, oats and quinoa, contain soluble and insoluble dietary fibres and a range of bioactive phytochemicals that can help improve overall health due to their antioxidant properties.

Cooking for someone with a gut condition? Make sure you plan! No two gut issues are the same, so if you’re cooking for someone else who has a gut health issue, make sure you have as much information about their condition as possible (in advance), to make sure you cater for their needs.

As a starting dish idea, offer grilled lean meat or fish or plant protein options like tofu, flavoured with herbs such as parsley or dill, steamed green vegetables, such as spinach, and steamed new potatoes or rice.

Avoid serving too much fat which can upset the gut and avoid basing a meal around pulses or wheat, which are high in fermentable carbohydrates, that can trigger symptoms in some people due to the type of fibre in those foods.

If you are cooking for a special occasion, choose a recipe with a variety of ingredients. This way, if a guest cannot eat one or more ingredients, you can omit them or swap them for something else.

Prep to stop stress (and gut symptoms!) Cooking for guests can sometimes be a stressful job, and stress can lead to an upset gut. So, take the stress away for your next dinner party, and prepare a dish in advance that is still guaranteed to please. This Platter of Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables, which I created for this year’s Love Your Gut Week, is a perfect example of how gut-friendly food can be prepped, with just small finishing touches needed before serving.

Include fish in your dish. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are good for the health of the gut and can be found in fish such as sardines, trout, mackerel, pilchards and salmon.

Salmon tastes great on rye sourdough toast with a squeeze of lemon and some black pepper. Tinned fish can be a good way to include oily fish in the diet at a lower cost, try tinned sardines or salmon, both delicious in pasta dishes and salads.

Both smoked and fresh salmon are great to eat in salads and with fresh vegetables. Aim to eat one portion of oily fish a week. Alternatively, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds can provide a source of omega 3s.

For more information on how to improve your gut health, visit www.loveyourgut.com