Nourishing Soup, Juice & Smoothie Recipes To Support Your Immunity

As we have recently learnt with all the research that has come out of the Zoe study, upping your variety of plants in the week (you need at least 30 different types to be precise) helps build a healthy microbiome in your gut and support your immunity. Eating that many new plants can be tricky, which is where a good smoothie, soup or juice comes in as you can knock quite a few off your list with one fell soup. So find yourself a great blender (we love Ninja’s selection) and get creative in the kitchen. Here are some of our favourite recipes, created by Hip & Healthy founder Sadie Reid (and self-confessed soup and smoothie devotee), to get you started!

Juices

BE GREEN

2 Cups Spinach

1/3 Cucumber

1 Cup Watercress

1 Apple

1cm Grated Ginger

1 Sprig Mint

Juice of Half a Lemon

1/2 cup Coconut Water or Water 1/3 cup Ice

Blend using a Ninja 2-in-1 Blender. 

BE HYDRATED

1 Fennel Bulb

1 Pear

Sprig Parsley Juice 1/2 Lemon 1/2 cup Kale

1 Cup Coconut Water

Blend using a Ninja 2-in-1 Blender. 

BE IMMUNE

3 Carrots

Juice of 1 Orange

Juice of 1 Lime

1 cm Ginger

1 cup Water/Coconut Water

Blend using a Ninja 2-in-1 Blender. 

Smoothies

BE AMAZING

3 Cups Spinach

1 Banana

1 Cup Blueberries

5 Brazil Nuts (soaked) 1 Cup Oat/ Almond milk 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon

1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds

Blend using a Ninja 2-in-1 Blender. 

BE BLISSFUL

1/3 Cup Pomegranates

1/2 Cup Blueberries

1/3 Cup Cashews (Soaked overnight or soaked in boiled water if short on time!) 1 Banana

1.5 cups Oat Milk

Blend using a Ninja 2-in-1 Blender. 

Soups

BE RESTORED

1/2 Avocado

250ml Vegetable Stock 1 Large Tomato

1/2 Red Pepper

4 Asparagus Stalks

2 cups Kale

Chop and lightly sauté the red pepper, asparagus and kale. In a blender (we suggest the NINJA 3-in-1 Food Processor and Blender), blend the vegetable stock and avocado then add the rest of the ingredients and blend all together. If you don’t feel the soup is runny enough for you then add a bit more water.

BE ROOTED

1/4 Butternut Squash

1/2 Red Onion

1cm Ginger

1/2 tsp Crushed garlic

1/3 cup Cannelloni Beans Scatter of Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Bouillon powder / Veg Stock 250ml Boiling Water

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Peal and chop the squash, scatter with cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil. Cook for 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally. Peal and chop the onions, garlic and ginger. In a pan heat some oil and sauté until onions brown. Rinse and strain the beans. Boil the kettle and mix 250ml of water with the bouillon. In a blender (we suggest the NINJA 3-in-1 Food Processor and Blender) blend the squash, onions, beans and stock.


6 Nutritionist-Approved Strategies To Enhance Your Gut Before Christmas

Did you know that we have more gut bacteria than skin cells on our body? In fact, they weigh around 2 kg, which is the same weight as two bags of Brussels sprouts and outnumber our human cells by 10-1! The gut microbiota is a collective term for all the microorganisms residing within the gut. We have a mutualistic relationship with our gut bacteria, they need a place to live, eat and reproduce and in turn, their metabolic activity supports our own health in multiple ways. Our gut bacteria play a key role in digesting the food we eat, including the production and absorption of nutrients. Our gut microbes have also been shown to play a role in optimum immune function, weight and even mood. Unfortunately, due to the widespread antibiotic use, chronic stress, and low fibre diets our gut microbiota and overall health can become compromised. 

Below nutritionist, Lily Soutter shares what to eat for good gut health this Christmas for a healthier and happier you…


Eat a high fibre diet
We all know that fibre is good for us, yet on average we drastically under consume this critical component of the diet! Results from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed that on average we’re only consuming 18g out of our recommended intake of 30g per day! Since fibre is the primary source of fuel for our healthy gut bacteria, a diet rich in wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds also helps our bacteria to flourish and grow. 


Opt for antioxidant and fibre rich berries
We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us, but as many as 70% of adults within the UK are currently not even consuming the recommended five a day! Having sufficient fibre, which is found in fresh fruit and veg is a must for gut health. Berries are especially important, partly due to their high fibre content. Did you know that fresh raspberries have as much as 6.7g fibre per 100g? 

Berries are also a super-rich source of special antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are plant pigments that give berries their distinctive blue/red hue. These anthocyanins are metabolised in the gut and help healthy gut bacteria to flourish and grow whilst offsetting unsavoury gut bacteria.


Prebiotic foods
There are some foods which are particularly effective for encouraging our healthy gut bacteria to flourish as they are rich in special type of prebiotics fibres. These fibres act as a potent source of fuel for our healthy gut bacteria and can effectively stimulate their growth. Top sources include Jerusalem artichoke, flaxseeds and even garlic and onion! 


Eat the rainbow and consume 30 different plant-based foods weekly
A lack of diversity with the types of bacteria within the gut is thought to be associated with disease, and diverse microbiome is thought to be a healthier and more robust microbiota. 

Rainbow coloured plant-based foods provide a range of plant chemicals such as polyphenols which our gut bacteria feast on. A diverse diet can encourage a diverse range of healthy gut bacteria to grow. Therefore eating the rainbow and counting the colours within our diet can really optimise our microbiota.

It’s also interesting to note that there isn’t just one type of fibre, in fact, there are numerous types of fibres and including a diverse range of fibre-rich plant-based foods within the diet can result in a more diverse microbiota. According to research from The American Gut Project, our gut microbiota thrives if we aim to consume 30 or more different varieties of plant foods each week! 

 Aim for two fistfuls or fill half your plate with rainbow coloured fruit and veg. Aim to switch things up weekly by opting for a mix colourful fresh berries including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. 


Fermented food and drinks
Fermented foods have been around for centuries and they provide a whole host of beneficial bacteria for the gut. The fermentation process is a method of preserving foods and adds a  delicious tangy flavour to food and drink. Yeast and bacteria feast and ferment on starches and sugars in foods, which help these microbes to flourish and grow. They also produce an acidic by-product which provides a zesty tang.

There are numerous fermented foods you can try:

  • Yoghurt with live cultures
  • Kombucha – fermented green tea
  • Kefir – fermented milk drink
  • Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage


Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a rich source of plant chemicals called polyphenols which have prebiotic properties. When our friendly gut bacteria break down these polyphenols they produce metabolites which are thought to support gut health.

Whilst this may be music to our ears, it doesn’t mean we can eat as much chocolate as we want, chocolate is still high in sugar and fat, therefore moderation is key. You could always try dipping some gut-friendly strawberries into dark chocolate for a healthier twist!

 

Words by Lily Soutter, BSc (hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT
Lily Soutter Nutrition 


A Trichologist Shares Her Winter Haircare Rules

There’s every chance that you’ve diligently switched up your skincare routine by now. Perhaps you’ve retired your lightweight serums for richer creams, made nourishing face masks your mainstays and swapped fresh cleansing gels for nourishing oils – but have you paid your hair and scalp the same service? As an extension of your skin, your scalp is just as sensitive to temperature changes, indoor heating and the inevitable dryness synonymous with the colder months. Plus, it’s always as winter looms when our hair becomes brittle, it loses its natural shine and looks more lacklustre than it was in the height of summer. 

These are just a few of the reasons why switching up your hair routine is so important come winter. ‘As the seasons change, your hair changes too,’ Hannah Gaobardi, a trichologist and Viviscal expert ambassador, explains. ‘In the autumn and winter months, many will find their hair becomes dry, often leading to split ends and damage as exposure to the harsh cold elements and heating can take away some of our hair’s natural moisture,’ she stresses. From tending to your scalp to simple lifestyle changes, consider these the seven holy grail winter haircare rules to live by for healthier-looking lengths peak-winter.

Take care of your scalp

‘Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp,’ says Gaobardi. ‘During summer, the sun dries out your scalp along with the hair shaft due to the increased sun exposure; UV rays penetrate the hair shaft at the roots causing damage to the scalp and structure of the hair, meaning it’s especially important to ensure your hair is nourished as we head into winter,’ she says. Treat your scalp as you do your skin with a targetted routine. An overnight treatment like Aveda’s Scalp Solutions Renewal Serum or Sisley’s Pre-Shampoo Purifying Mask will help eliminate impurities and add moisture back into the scalp. Meanwhile, look to ingredients like salicylic acid to exfoliate, squalane to nourish and hyaluronic acid to help lock in hydration.

Avoid heat styling

‘Using heat can damage the keratin proteins (important for the hair’s strength) taking away any moisture from the inside of the hair strand and damaging the cuticle of the hair,’ says Gaobardi. ‘This makes your hair super dry, damaged and brittle and you’ll find it snaps off more easily. I would always suggest limiting heat use where you can and always make sure to use heat protection,’ she adds. Retire your trusty tools and opt for heatless curls (like the Kitsch Satin Curling Set) or use a sea salt spray to add texture and volume without damaging your ends.

Load up on nutrients

Eating a well-balanced diet is key when it comes to hair health. ‘Oily fish is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids which help support growth; chia seeds work to stimulate new hair follicles and eggs are packed with proteins, minerals and B-complex vitamins helping to fight dryness,’ Gaobardi explains. Similarly, foods that contain iron and zinc (such as pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, flax seeds, red meat, Quinoa and green vegetables) also help keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.

Try an at-home treatment

‘You also need to look after your strands topically to ensure they’re getting enough nourishment,’ she continues. Giving your hair a much-needed boost of hydration, a weekly hair mask helps lock in moisture and feeds your hair with essential nutrients. For a leave-in treatment, use a keratin care complex to restore lost protein, says Gaobardi. For a densifying leave-in treatment, she recommends Viviscal Elixir, which leaves hair looking thicker and shinier.

Take a hair supplement

‘I always stress the importance of taking an inside-out approach,’ says Gaobardi. Though your diet, stress levels and sleep play a significant role too, taking a daily hair supplement could help ensure you’re getting all of the right nutrients. As for the ones to look out for? Zinc, Biotin, Iron, collagen and B12 are all important for hair health, according to Gaobardi. ‘If someone’s B12 levels are low, hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair efficiently,’ she shares. 

Switch to a silk pillowcase

Did you know, that switching from a cotton pillowcase to a silk one can do wonders for your hair at this time of year? Think everything from minimising split ends to avoiding breakage and ensuring your hair stays nourished around the clock. During winter, silk actually helps lock in moisture. Unlike cotton, which is porous, a silk pillowcase keeps the hydration in our hair, making it look and feel less brittle.

Change your showerhead

Not too hot and not too cold – you want your shower temperature to be just right. But it’s not just the temperature of the water: if you’re living in a city, hard water can also take a toll on the health of your hair. That’s because the minerals penetrate the hair and then crystalise upon drying. Not only does this make your hair more prone to breakage but it can also stop your shampoo from lathering making your scalp more susceptible to product residue and dandruff. An easy solution is a purifying shower head, which helps minimise these impurities.


“I Did A Biological Health Test And Was Shocked At The Results”

As Founder of Hip & Healthy, where we talk the talk, I reckon I have to walk the walk, so I live a pretty healthy lifestyle; intermittent fasting; running nearly every day; eating a lot of veg, and, of course, a good dollop of self-care; I’ve always been the person driving at the end of a night out as I don’t tend to drink a lot (if any) and I’m the first to put my hand up to try anything new and innovative within this wonderful wellness industry we work in. So I was delighted to put myself forward to trial GlycanAge. GlycanAge is a pioneering biotech start-up committed to changing the way we see and do preventive healthcare, with the ultimate goal of empowering individuals to live longer, healthier lives. With three decades of rigorous scientific research, the at-home GlycanAge test measures your current health and gives you a biological age based on IgG glycans which reflect both genetics and lifestyle factors that can affect the way we age. GlycanAge is the first biological age clock to measure chronic inflammation using these particular glycans – complex sugar molecules vital for cellular communication that can indicate the risk of 72 diseases up to 10 years in advance. In a nutshell – your glycans point to how healthy you are and how at-risk you are of chronic age-related diseases. So if, like me, you’re keen to stay as healthy for as long as possible, this is the test to check how much your lifestyle is affecting your health.

Doing the test couldn’t have been easier. It turned up in the post swiftly, and all the instructions were super clear within the neat little box it came in. GlycanAge measures glycans and detects chronic inflammation and inflammaging in your body, so it needs a small blood sample to do this. After a completely painless prick on the finger (all equipment is provided for) you squeeze a few tiny drops of blood onto a piece of card and then pop back in an envelope to post back to them. Pop a plaster on and you are good to go.

The results come a few weeks later. Naturally, given how health-conscious I am, I thought I would ace the test. How wrong I was… I was absolutely shocked to learn that though my chronological age is 38, my body was telling a different story as the number that was staring back at me was that of a decade later – 48!! I immediately started to panic. How? Why? What am I doing wrong? How can I be any healthier with my lifestyle choices? When your results come they arrive on an easy-to-read dashboard and you can see the different markers that the team at GlycanAge are measuring. I seem to be ok for most of them but it was my “Lifestyle Glycans” that seemed to be most off. But the good news is that Glycans reflect your body’s response to lifestyle changes, so change your lifestyle and you can change your health.

To make sure that your results are interpreted correctly, and also to help you make some positive changes that will impact future readings for the better, GlycanAge recommend that you speak to one of their experienced consultants. The GlycanAge specialists are experts in interpreting the data and working out exactly what you need to do to reduce your biological age moving forward. The advice I received only shocked me further as it turns out that a lot of what I was doing was actually causing chronic inflammation in my body. The constant running was something I was advised to take down a notch – and I’ve been told that adding in some HIIT training, yoga and Pilates would do my body much better. The intermittent fasting was also challenged – the specialist suggested that for me it might not be the right thing to do so often and instead, a few days a month of water fasting whilst eating normally the rest of the time might be better. And, finally, I had to manage my stress better. This was something I knew but I was yet to implement a proper strategy around reducing my stress levels. If I made all these changes, I was assured that I would see an improvement in my biological age. 

Lifting the lid on your health really is one of the most empowering things we can do as health really is so personal to each of us. What works for one person might not for another and GlycanAge’s blood test allows you to see really what is going on in your body and hopefully make changes before anything more serious happens later down the line. With preventable chronic diseases causing three out of five global deaths, health management is key to reducing your chance of being amongst these numbers. Age is the most significant risk factor for chronic diseases, and while we can’t alter our age, we can influence how we age on a molecular level, potentially preventing age-related illnesses. 

I’m already implementing all of the advice I have been given and am super excited to see how this might hopefully reduce my biological age in the future. So, stay tuned for my next installment in about 4 months time when I can test again!

EXCLUSIVE READER OFFER:

Click here to get 20% off GlycanAge & for more information


Pomegranate & Walnut Brussels Sprouts

Embark on a culinary journey with this exquisite Pomegranate and Walnut Brussels Sprouts recipe, a super simple and quick-to-make side dish that effortlessly combines the robust flavours of Brussels sprouts and the refreshing sweetness of pomegranates, promising a delightful and unique twist to elevate your dining experience.

INGREDIENTS

700g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2tbsp olive oil

50g walnut halves, roughly chopped

3tbsp pomegranate molasses

80g pomegranate seed

METHOD

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Drain well.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds. Tip in the Brussels sprouts and toss well with the garlic and cook for about 6 – 8 minutes until starting to turn golden.

Add the walnut halves and pomegranate molasses and toss everything together cooking for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir though the pomegranate seeds and season well to taste. Serve scattered with a few extra chopped walnut halves.

Recipe by Poppin Poms


Tendril: The (Mostly) Vegan Restaurant

Few restaurants jazz up vegetables quite like Tendril. Perched in the heart of Mayfair, chef Rishim Sachdeva is the creative force behind the (mostly) vegan kitchen and bar. Londoner’s got a taste for his veg-centric cooking over several supper clubs, residencies and pop-ups. Proving an appetite for the concept, Tendril opened its doors to its permanent spot on Prince’s Street this summer.

Rishim Sachdeva, once a self-proclaimed hardcore meat eater with a resume that includes stints at Chiltern Firehouse, The Fat Duck, and the Dairy, took an atypical path to becoming a plant-focused restaurateur. After embracing Veganuary in 2019, Rishim underwent a personal transformation in both his eating habits and culinary approach. From time to time, Rishim dabbles with a good cheese to enhance a dish, hence the ‘mostly’ vegan menu, but what you’ll find at Tendril is a celebration of vegetables. 

The cosy nook of a restaurant is licked with terracotta paint, complimented with rich tones, plush royal blue velvet seating and low lighting. Bustling with people, every table is packed out and that chaotically brilliant buzz of a London restaurant is present. The service is impeccable from start to finish, with waiters and waitresses who are genuinely curious about your take on each dish.

Tendril is on board with the mindful drinking movement, catering for all preferences. It’s refreshing to see a menu that plays to the crowd so well, with a vegan wine list, punchy cocktails and aperitifs, plus low and non-alcoholic cocktails alongside kombuchas and drinking vinegar.

The tasting menu takes you on an odyssey to showcase what Tendril represents, drawing inspiration from the flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine. Humble vegetables shine through each course, with no fake meat substitutes in sight.  Embracing root-to-shoot dining and collaborating with carefully selected suppliers, each course is exquisitely thought out and unleashes a sublime mix of flavours.

A medley of small plates arrive together, starting with a blistered aubergine, kalamata olives and tahini, garnished with pickled red onion; a sharp preserved “summer” fennel with a dollop of aioli; and vibrant lentil parfait with a hit of chilli and warm hunks of Coombeshead sourdough to mop it up with. The taste buds are well and truly ignited after this flavourful sharing-style feast!

The only choice put into my hands was between the grilled squash wrapped in hispi cabbage accompanied by a smearing of muhammara (red pepper and walnut dip) or the sesame-baked feta with crispy rice and chilli honey, which is the only interjection of dairy on the menu. If there are two of you dining, my advice is to get one of each and share…squash and feta are a match made in heaven!

The next course comes in the form of a crispy celeriac croquette, centred in a harissa sauce and enveloped in a ribbon of apple to add an unexpected freshness to the moreish deep-fried dish.

An elevated twist on a modest pie is the final savoury course. This winter season classic has a meaty oyster mushroom base topped with layers of potato formed into a delicate rose, a silky butter bean mash and charred leeks with a zingy chive emulsion.

No winter feast is finished without a warming pudding. The dessert of the day; a stewed rhubarb crumble with velvety oat custard, beautifully rounds off this tasting menu. Nostalgic and comforting, it’s served unfussy and completely indulgent!

Tendril offers an À La Carte menu during lunch service and dinner Monday to Wednesday but to experience the true spirit of what their ethos is all about, the tasting menu is where it’s at. Whether you’re plant-based or not, Tendril’s food is bound to leave a lasting impression. The tasting menu changes to sync with the seasonality of the vegetables, so there’s always more to discover. Pouring his culinary expertise into this forward-thinking concept, chef Rishim Sachdeva has created a place that suits the modern city-dweller to a T.

To book Tendril click here


Editor’s Notes: What To Buy, DIY & Try In Wellness Right Now

We all say it every year but time flies in the Autumn, doesn’t it? It’s a funny old season Autumn… you go from having beautifully sunny mild weather that tricks you into thinking you’ve brought the winter coats out too prematurely but then, just like that, you wake up to the first frosty morning of the season and your fingers inch ever closer to the thermostat! I love the lead-up to Christmas… there’s a sense of motivation in the air as you tie up loose ends before taking some much-needed time off and festive spirit fills the air. This month I’m thinking about a few swaps to make christmas a more sustainable affair, willing my body not to succumb to any winter lurgies and thinking about some wellness focused New Year’s resolutions.

Austin Austin Limited Edition Palmarosa & Vetiver Hand Set

Elevate your hand care routine with Austin Austin’s Limited Edition Palmarosa & Vetiver Hand Set. Immerse your senses in the captivating blend of palmarosa (my fave) and vetiver essential oils while nourishing your skin with the finest botanical ingredients. This luxurious set not only pampers your hands but also adds a touch of sophistication to your daily self-care rituals. This aesthetically pleasing duo is sitting pride of place in my newly renovated bathroom and I’m happy to say it’s got style AND substance. 

Sustainable Christmas Crackers by Happy Crackers

Happy Crackers is a brand that combines tradition with innovation, proving that sustainable choices can be both festive and responsible! These absolutely stunning crackers crafted from the most beautiful ribbon-adorned fabrics will really make your christmas table stand out. There’s a whole range of colours and patterns to choose from but I love these baby blue ones because I reckon they are versatile enough for Easter too!  

Immunity-Boosting Vitamin C Smoothie

Blame any lingering pandemic anxiety but I am desperate to avoid the lurgy this winter. I know NO ONE wants to get ill but I really really hate it! Last year I got two nasty non-covid viruses that knocked me for six and I’m not having it this year. Nuh-uh. Aside from hygiene habits, I am trying to eat as well as I can and, while I don’t believe a smoothie can totally stop you from getting sick, I think ingredients with high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C can do no harm! At the moment I’m adding FS-Green Mango into my immunity smoothie… it’s chock full of good stuff and it’s a lovely flavour which is a bonus. 

The Priorities Method Journal

Journalling is something I think I need to build into my daily routine. I know the myriad of mental health benefits and it’s something I want to commit to in the new year. Through a systematic approach to setting and achieving goals, The Priorities Method Journal empowers you to prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and cultivate a mindset of success. Newbies to journaling need helpful prompts rather than staring at a black page hoping thoughts will magically come to you so this one is perfect for getting started. 

Rent A (Real) Christmas Tree & Give It Back After

Christmas, for me, isn’t Christmas without a real tree in the house. If you feel the same, why not choose sustainability without compromising on holiday traditions by renting a pot-grown Christmas tree this year? These living trees not only bring festive charm to your home but also contribute to environmental conservation. Green Elf Trees ensures a hassle-free rental experience, providing a tree that can be enjoyed during the holidays and then returned for replanting. Make a meaningful choice this festive season, reducing your ecological footprint while still relishing the joy of a beautifully adorned Christmas tree.

FUL Intense Moisture Hair Mask

Live True London is my go-to salon for cuts, colour and amazing hair treatments but they’ve just launched their own range, FUL, which means I can get a smidge of the salon experience at home! Their luxurious hair mask is designed to rejuvenate and nourish your hair, leaving it silky, smooth, and irresistibly healthy. Packed with intensely moisturizing ingredients, FUL’s formula works its magic, restoring vitality to dry and damaged hair. If you’re still craving an in-salon experience, they have some incredible hair and scalp treatments which you can add on to your colour or cut service. My hair always looks and feels incredible when I indulge in one of their treatments.

words by Molly Jennings


Beat The Cold: The Items You Need To Keep You Running Through Winter

I have been a runner for most of my adult life now, having fallen in love with it when I went to University. In the same breath though I must tell you that I am in no way a “good” runner. I plod along for as long as I can manage but ask me my personal best and I simply wouldn’t know, as for the distance, I rarely log it. For me running is all about how well I feel, not how well I do. I have said it time and time again but it is my mental health that most benefits from clocking up the miles. Especially since I have started working from home in the countryside, running has helped focus my mind whilst I am at my desk and the fresh air and change of scenery helps me feel less anxious and stressed – I am sure of it. 

I am not a fair-weather runner either and a bit of ice, sleet or snow won’t put me off lacing up and getting out the door but I know for many, especially those who only recently discovered the joys of running, it can be an adjustment. So I wanted to share the absolute must-have winter running items that will have you heading for the park or the trails or the pavements in no time. 

What To Wear

Airpods

They stay in your ears and absolutely help the miles fly by if you listen to a great playlist or podcast (see below for some suggestions). 

Apple Watch

Although I am not big on personal bests or tracking my splits, I love seeing how far I have come quite literally and the Apple Watch helps measure that for me. Also, it’s like a mini control centre allowing me to take calls, change tracks and even schedule reminders as I run.

Running Gilet

The humble gilet offers more than just warmth in the winter month – it also offers pockets (and a bit of protection from any slips you might encounter). I love this simple black one from New Look. There is absolutely no need to spend a fortune on a piece of kit like this.

The Leggings: Ronhill Women’s Tech Revive Stretch Tight- Green

Machine washable, reflective and stretchy – these leggings will see you through to spring. The side pocket is also incredibly useful for those who need to have their phone on them at all times (basically anyone with a child!).

The Top: Ronhill Women’s Tech Afterhours 1/2 Zip Tee-Green

I love a matchy-matchy run outfit – so team this top with your leggings. Called “Afterhours” because of how highly reflective it is – it is perfect for the shorter days.

What Podcasts To Listen To:

Post-Winter Run Warmers I Love:

One of the best bits about winter running is the post-run self-care ritual. Mine is all about getting into a hot bath with oils and salts and following that some uber-comfy clothes starting with a slipper!


H&H Reviews: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Bidding farewell to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, our seaplane ascends over the azure expanse of the Indian Ocean, leaving behind a truly enchanting island. The memories created and the exceptional people we encountered have rendered our stay unforgettable. While a tinge of sadness lingers, the anticipation for the next chapter at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru soon takes precedence. Nestled in the heart of the Baa Atoll, Landaa Giraavaru, though a bit more secluded than its sister property, stands as an embodiment of luxury, sustainability, and holistic well-being.

The journey to Landaa Giraavaru is an integral part of the adventure. Guests typically embark from Velana International Airport in Malé, the Maldivian capital, on a scenic seaplane transfer that offers a mesmerizing bird’s eye view of the atolls below. For those commencing their holiday at Kuda Huraa, the resort seamlessly facilitates travel between the two havens via seaplane, ensuring a hassle-free transition from one paradise to another.

For those uninitiated to the thrill of a seaplane journey, let me affirm—it’s a must-try at least once in a lifetime. While closer islands often use speedboats, opting for a more remote destination necessitates a seaplane ride to reach island utopia. Having previously stayed at resorts accessible by boat, this marks my inaugural experience of reaching an island by air. Brace yourself for a tight squeeze, zero air conditioning, a lot of noise, barefoot pilots, and an awe-inspiring journey that is nothing short of incredible.

As our new abode materializes in the distance, the anticipation builds. The journey, coupled with the signature Four Seasons welcome on the jetty, serves as a prelude to the enchanting experience that awaits. Escorted by a golf buggy to our Premier Oceanfront Bungalow with Pool, this time situated on land rather than overwater, we discover a haven surrounded by lush vegetation, a spacious pool, and direct beach access. The villa, a masterpiece in itself, takes a backseat to the sheer expanse of outdoor space, offering unparalleled privacy.

After the obligatory leap onto the bed, we set out to explore the island and immerse ourselves in the second leg of our holiday. Here are the highlights and essential insights into this captivating resort.

The spa at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru demands attention, strategically positioned to capture the breathtaking views and serene atmosphere of the Maldives. Enveloped by crystal-clear waters and verdant greenery, the expansive spa provides a tranquil haven for guests to rejuvenate. Offering wellness programs rooted in traditional Ayurveda, the spa ensures a holistic well-being experience. Guests partake in personalized wellness journeys featuring in-depth health analyses by renowned practitioners, spa treatments restoring dosha tendencies, activities like yoga and sound healing, and nutritional guidance seamlessly integrated across the resort. These programs cater to individual needs, presenting a comprehensive approach to health.

During our stay, we immersed ourselves in the “Wake Up To Wonder” sound healing and yoga journey, a transformative experience designed to reconnect with nature. With a 5 am wake-up call, we commenced our morning with a soul-soothing sound bath amidst the dark stillness, accompanied by the enchanting melody of exotic birds welcoming a new day. Though not typically an early riser, the magical solitude, experiencing a hidden side of the island, made it a truly special moment. The journey concluded with a “jungle walk” to the beach, culminating in a beachfront yoga session as the sun painted the horizon with its first light.

What’s also important to note is the resort’s commitment to the environment. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is renowned for its dedicated conservation efforts and commitment to sustainability. The resort actively engages in marine conservation through its Marine Discovery Center, serving as a hub for research and educational initiatives focused on protecting the delicate marine ecosystem. Involved in coral reef restoration, the resort undertakes projects such as coral planting to revive damaged reefs. Additionally, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru contributes to manta ray and sea turtle conservation, conducting research to understand their behaviour and implementing protective measures. Emphasizing sustainable practices, the resort integrates eco-friendly initiatives into its daily operations, from waste reduction to responsible sourcing. Community involvement and environmental awareness programs further showcase the resort’s holistic approach to fostering environmental responsibility among guests and staff, making it a beacon of conservation in this tropical paradise.

Reflecting on my overall experience, I find myself returning to the unparalleled service that defines Four Seasons. Hospitality isn’t just a feature; it’s their forte, acting as the enchanting glue that elevates the resort’s reputation to extraordinary heights. Every facet of their operation is underpinned by authentic, warm, and familial service. Our time at Landaa Giraavaru introduced us to truly exceptional individuals, whose heavenly demeanour left a lasting impression. Months later, we continue to cherish connections forged during our stay. In essence, it’s the genuine and heartfelt interactions that make Four Seasons not just a destination but a memorable journey where the magic of hospitality leaves an indelible mark.

Visit Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

words by Molly Jennings


READ MORE: H&H Reviews: Four Seasons Maldives Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa Review

Vegan Christmas Cake

As the holiday season approaches, there’s no better way to spread joy and satisfy your sweet tooth than with a delicious slice of Vegan Christmas Cake. Bursting with festive flavours and adorned with the warmth of seasonal spices, this vegan Christmas dessert is a perfect centrepiece for your holiday celebrations. Whether you’re embracing a plant-based lifestyle or simply looking to add a delightful twist to your traditional Christmas spread, this recipe promises a moist, rich, and utterly scrumptious cake that everyone at the table will love.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 10–12

250 g (8 oz) vegan butter or coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

175 g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar

finely grated zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (reserve 1 tablespoon juice for the icing)

150 ml (1/4 pint) rum or brandy, plus extra (optional) for feeding

875 g (13/4 lb) mixed dried fruit of your choice, such as sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries and chopped figs and apricots

100 g (31/2 oz) chopped candied peel

175 g (6 oz) plain flour

125 g (4 oz) ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground mace

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

225 g (71/2 oz) apple purée

Icing

625 g (11/4 lb) icing sugar,

plus extra for dusting

75 ml (3 fl oz) aquafaba

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons apricot jam

500 g (1 lb) vegan marzipan

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3.

Grease a deep 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin and line with nonstick baking paper.

Melt the vegan butter or coconut oil in a saucepan along with the brown sugar, citrus zest and juice and rum or brandy (if using). Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Add the dried fruit and candied peel to a large bowl, pour over the vegan butter/coconut oil mixture and stir well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and spices.

Mix the apple purée into the dried fruit mixture, then fold in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 11/2 hours.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the tin. Once cooled, pierce holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer, drizzle over 2 tablespoons rum or brandy and let it soak in. Make sure the surface is fully dry before decorating.

When you are ready to decorate, whisk together the icing sugar, aquafaba and lemon juice in a large bowl until you have a stiff and glossy icing. Cover the bowl with clingfilm until needed.

Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan, then brush over the top and sides of the cake.

On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan into a rough circle until about 2.5 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

Lay carefully over the cake and gently smooth it on to the top and down around the sides so that there is no air trapped inside. Neaten by smoothing over with the flat of your palm or the rolling pin and trim away any excess.

Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread over the icing in swoops and flicks to look like snow, or you can make it completely smooth. Let the icing set completely for at least a few hours before cutting.

A Very Vegan Christmas by Sam Dixon. Published by Hamlyn. Photography: Charlotte Nott-Macaire


The Best Immunity Supplements For Kids

In the quest for ensuring optimal health for our children, navigating the sea of nutritional supplements can be both challenging and crucial. This article delves into 6 of the best immunity supplements for kids designed to bolster children’s well-being, ranging from immune-boosting oral sprays to omega-3 supplements tailored for little ones.

BetterYou Kids’ Immune Oral Spray, £9.95

BetterYou Kids’ Immune Oral Spray is a convenient and effective way to support children’s immune health. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, this oral spray is designed to be easily absorbed by the body. The £9.95 price tag makes it an affordable option for parents seeking a quick and fuss-free solution to boost their children’s immune system.

Bimuno Kids’ Immunity, £14.99

Bimuno Kids’ Immunity is a £14.99 supplement aimed at supporting children’s immune systems. This product likely contains a blend of prebiotics and other immune-boosting ingredients to promote a healthy gut, a key component of overall immune function. The price point positions it as a mid-range option, offering parents a balanced investment in their children’s well-being. 

Tonic Health Kids Multivitamin Combo Pack, £64

The Tonic Health Kids Multivitamin Combo Pack, priced at £64, is a comprehensive solution for children’s nutritional needs. This combo likely includes a range of vitamins and minerals essential for growth and development. While it falls on the higher end of the price spectrum, the pack’s completeness may appeal to parents looking for a one-stop solution for their kids’ health. 

Hifas da Terra, Dr Immune Five Syrup, £26

 Hifas da Terra’s Dr Immune Five Syrup, priced at £26, is likely formulated to provide immune support for children. This product may contain a blend of natural ingredients known for their immune-boosting properties. The mid-range price suggests a balance between quality and affordability, making it a potentially attractive option for health-conscious parents. 

Bare Biology Omega-3 for Children, Action Heroes, £32.95

Bare Biology’s Omega-3 for Children, Action Heroes, priced at £32.95, is likely a premium omega-3 supplement tailored for kids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development and overall health. The “Action Heroes” branding suggests a child-friendly approach, and the higher price reflects the quality and purity of the omega-3 sourced. 

WelleCo Kids Superfood Protein Powder, £35

WelleCo Kids Superfood Protein Powder, priced at £35, is likely a nutritional supplement designed to provide a range of essential nutrients. The inclusion of protein suggests a focus on supporting growth and energy levels. The slightly higher price may be justified by the product’s unique formulation and potential benefits for children’s overall health and vitality.


The Tracking App That Connects The Dots To Your Health

Content & Creative Designer and Level 3 PT, Isabelle Shury delves into how MyFitnessPal it is much more than just a calorie counter.

You can’t out-train a bad diet. No matter how fiercely you exercise or how many steps you rack up on your step count. Nutrition is the key to health and every element of how we move, how we feel, how we look and how we sleep stems from what we choose to nourish our bodies with. 

Calorie counting can often get a bad rap for provoking restrictive eating habits but tracking your food delves into a plethora of insights that will help educate you and leave you better informed to make healthier choices when it comes to meal times. The app that has dominated the food tracking world since 2005 is MyFitnessPal, rated the #1 global nutrition and food tracking app. 

What I’ve come to learn about the app recently is that it’s so much more than just a food tracker. MyFitnessPal ultimately joins the dots to each element of your well-being, and the brand-new sleep feature is the cherry on top. MyFitnessPal seamlessly integrates with all major fitness trackers and Apple Health to log all your health and fitness data in one place that is easy to navigate and simple to digest. Delving deep into your nutrition, MyFitnessPal allows you to set customised goals, unique to your body and personal nutrition.

As a PT and somebody who has experienced the benefits of tracking my food, I’d say it’s the one change that will surprise you the most when it comes to making positive lifestyle changes. I don’t doubt that many of my clients or any H&H readers are eating ‘unhealthily’ per se, but the macro breakdown that MyFitnessPal gives you insight into will fundamentally change the food choices you make to align with your goals. Yes, calories will be one of the readings shown when you track your daily food intake but what I’m more concerned about is the macros and nutrients breakdown. Now if this is foreign to you, your macros consist of your carbs, proteins and fats. MyFitnessPal will work out your personalised maintenance calories depending on whether you’re looking to lose, gain or maintain weight, or build muscle and lose fat. The app will set you a personalised macro breakdown that will determine how many grams as a percentage you need to hit of each. From there, you’ll be able to keep a food diary that is super easy to log, with a handy barcode scanner and a meal scanner that uses AI to detect what is in your meal (this is not 100% accurate but gives a rough idea and is useful when you’re not sure what’s in your meal). The other original way works perfectly fine too, you simply search for the food type and then enter the amount.

Aside from macros, MyFitnessPal also gives a full breakdown of your full nutrition, displaying insight into details you’d properly not have the foggiest idea of judging over the course of an entire day. I keep a close eye on making sure I don’t exceed on sugar, saturated fats and sodium, plus I’ve become so diligent in making sure I hit my daily goal of 30g of fibre, keeping my gut health in check (top tip: beans are the BEST for fibre and help me hit my protein goal). The score on your vitamins and minerals is also a key indicator to show you what you may need to supplement if you’re lacking it in your diet. 

All this information may sound overwhelming but honestly, knowledge is power when it comes to nutrition. There may be some simple changes you can make to hit those all-important nutrition goals; a little sprinkle of nuts and seeds into your salad to increase your healthy fats and protein, swapping an apple for a pear to help increase your fibre intake, ditching bog standard bread for rye bread to reduce sugar and also add fibre or wilting spinach to your morning scrambled eggs to increase your iron intake. Notedly, once you have an understanding, eating this way will become more intuitive. I actually find it interesting that food tracking can be associated with restrictive eating, what I’ve learned is that it is more conducive to adding foods (albeit health-focused) into your diet to get as much variation as possible and MyFitnessPal helps you navigate what key nutrients you’re lacking to make those necessary changes. 

I track my health data using a plethora of devices to feedback on all the stats and data to gain as accurate insight as possible. First up, the mecca of all devices is the iPhone 15 Pro, which houses all my data and allows me to navigate my way through. Then, I wear the Apple Watch Series 9 which I find most useful for tracking my fitness, especially when it comes to running. Finally, I’ve recently started wearing a WHOOP Band which gives a detailed account of sleep and relays a ‘Strain’ score to optimise performance. Together, using MyFitnessPal too, I can gain a complete 360-degree view into my wellbeing, delving into fitness, nutrition and sleep.

In recent years, we’ve become fixated on our sleep, and it makes sense with a hefty 43% of Brits admitting they never get enough sleep. The new sleep integration on MyFitnessPal refines tracking your sleep one step further to assess what foods may be impacting how well or not your slumber score reads. You’ll need a tracking wearable, such as a Whoop (my personal favourite for tracking sleep), Apple Watch, Google Pixel watch, Oura, Sleep Cycle, Pillow, Withings, Sleep++, Auto Sleep, Garmin or Fitbit, to get the most out of this function. Relaying in-depth, reliable stats about your night’s rest, trackers are essential to correctly analyse how much of that all-important REM sleep you racked up. This data is then compared against your diet choices to measure how food patterns are affecting sleep.

The knock-on effect of a bad night’s sleep leads to a lack of energy, which impacts exercise, mood and productivity. Sleep deprivation can often encourage poor food choices the following day too, with sugar cravings heightened due to increased ghrelin levels. Tackling the problem from the root, MyFitnessPal’s new sleep function shines a light on the connection between nutrition and sleep, to guide you to make better choices to promote quality rest. 

Alongside the new sleep function, the Eat Right Sleep Tight plan aids users in breaking the cycle of doomed sleep with a 5-day programme that addresses meal timing, hydration and a bedtime routine for a restful, restorative night’s sleep. Curated alongside Neurologist and Sleep Specialist, Dr. Chris Winter. 

We asked Dr. Chris Winter his top tips for better sleep…here are his do’s and don’t’s for nailing your sleep routine:

  1. Find a cut-off for caffeine consumption that works for you and stick to it.
  2. Don’t go to bed hungry.
  3. Try to stick to consistent meal times.
  4. Heavy, spicy and fatty foods late at night don’t usually provide the best night’s sleep
  5. Create circadian triggers for yourself. For example, if you drink a cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before bed, that will send a trigger to your brain that it’s nearing sleep time.
  6. Find a sleep ritual that works for you – even if it involves watching a bit of TV before bed. There’s no one-size-fits-all all.

Changing the narrative on the negative connotations around food tracking, this invaluable tool could be the missing piece to what has prevented you from reaching your health goals in the past. Connecting all aspects of your health and wellbeing, MyFitnessPal is an all-encompassing platform that gives you personalised insights into how you fuel your body correctly to ultimately help you feel the best version of yourself. 

THE WEARABLE EDIT

Words by Isabelle Shury

To learn more about MyFitnessPal click here