FITSPIRATION – Claire Finlay, Transition Zone Founder

If you’re not yet familiar with Claire Finlay – get acquainted. Creator of Transition Zone in Parsons Green where her mantra TRAIN EAT RECOVER REPEAT is put into practise – this week, Claire filled us in on her fitness philosophy, foodie favourites and a whole lot more. Read on and get motivated to move…

Following a successful career in advertising, what inspired you to take a leap of faith and start a career in the fitness industry?

Fitness has always been in my blood. As a teenager I was a cross country competitor at county level, so turning it into a career was a completely natural progression. Having previously worked for over a decade as a Client Services Director in the advertising industry – making calls at 2am to coincide with differing time zones – I was totally ready to move on to something more fulfilling.

In a nutshell, what is your fitness philosophy?

TRAIN EAT RECOVER REPEAT – it’s the mantra I live by and one I drill into my clients at every available opportunity! I am not about fads or trends in fitness, health and fitness for me is a complete lifestyle.

What is your favourite way to work out?

For me it’s all about fusion fitness; mixing up disciplines to encourage your body to dig deep and to find new strength and stamina reserves. If you do the same thing day in day out you plateau and stop seeing results. I was a big fan of high intensity training long before it hit the headlines. My approach mixes HIT principles with strength training, knitting it all together with a strong sense of flow, which stems from my yoga teaching.

What is your top tip for staying motivated to stick to a fitness regimen? What is your main source of motivation?

Diarise. Simple as that. Treat your fitness schedule as you would your professional or social life. Look at classes as appointments, plan ahead and get them booked in at the beginning of the week. That way you can’t talk yourself out of them or get to the end of the week and discover you don’t have time. Also remember that a session doesn’t have to take up masses of time. A regular 20 minute slot – where you really go for it – can be hugely beneficial.

In terms of motivation, I’m lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see it!) to be incredibly driven. I’ve never been one to sit around when I could be doing something more proactive. It drives my husband mad, but I love the mental and physical benefits that a killer workout gives me.

With summer in full swing, what would you suggest is the most efficient workout for seeing fast results?

First off, I should say that I am a staunch supporter of the strong-not-skinny school of fitness. Drop into Transition Zone and you’ll see clients of all ages, all shapes, all sizes and all fitness levels. Age is by no means a barrier to fitness – I’m 46 myself – and I’m seeing more and more women understand the benefit of feeling strong and happy in their own skin. Having said that, we all want to look our best and the thought of revealing all poolside can be daunting. Short HIT drills mixed with strength and weight training deliver quick results. Eating clean plays a big role too.

How did Transition Zone come to be? Tell us a bit about the space…

I actually started off teaching clients in my spare room at home. My way of training seemed to really hit the mark, word spread and to cope with demand I had to find a bigger space. I started with a 6-month pop-up and then in May 2014 took the plunge and opened Transition Zone in Parsons Green. It’s a brilliant space: 3,000 square feet of open plan, urban edginess with a Recovery Cafe that offers freshly prepared organic smoothies, juices and nutrient packed power snacks. The studio is big enough that we’ve been able to host supper clubs and community events. I’m really keen to educate people on all things related to health and fitness so we’ve organised workshops, fairs and exhibitions and have lots more in the pipeline. As ambassador for Sweaty Betty I’ve also been lucky enough to work alongside some big noises in the industry.

The name, Transition Zone, comes from my triathlon days and relates to fitness training’s phenomenal transformative powers. All our classes are deliberately kept very small (a maximum of 8) so that clients receive a truly personalised service but remain part of a group environment. I wanted to create a buzz where you can see other classes going on at the same time as yours and feel motivated and inspired about what you might potentially do next. We only offer tried and tested disciplines, ones that truly bring about change. Like our general approach and attitude to health and fitness you won’t find anything faddy or trend driven on our timetable.

Aside from teaching classes at your studio Transition Zone – what other healthy activities (foodie or fitness) do you enjoy?

Aside from teaching…are you kidding me?! I’m here 7 days a week doing early morning sessions right through to evenings. On my rare days off I have a 1-to-1 swimming lesson to perfect my technique and support an ongoing back niggle. As any industry start-up knows, getting a business off the ground is all-consuming, so these days I’m finding that my work life and free time are pretty much one. It’s just as well I love what I do! I’m constantly trialling new, scientifically proven methods of training which, as I see it, are the future of fitness. Recently I was at Harvey Nichols giving the new High Octane Ride (HIT bike) a run for its money. It’s based on the Wingate theory that just nine minutes of exercise – as long as that involves 2 x 20 second bursts of pushing to the max – can make a marked difference to fitness levels. Technology plays a major part in the industry now which is why we are really excited to be launching our new metabolic conditioning zone this summer.

Tell us about Train.Eat.Recover.Repeat. What is the fundamental goal of this approach to training?

Eating and recovering properly – whether that’s through massage, meditation or mindfulness – allows you safely to continue the training process. We all know a one-off session doesn’t deliver results. To make changes, you need to keep up the effort. Put simply, if one of the TRAIN EAT RECOVER elements breaks down, you can’t REPEAT. At Transition Zone we foster all four of the parts of the cycle.

In the busy, fast paced city that is London, what is your advice for individuals short on time to factor in a workout?

Thankfully the days of long slogs in the gym are a thing of the past. I believe in keeping workouts short but keeping your effort high. Buy a TRX strap, hook it over a tree or a door and use it as a portable gym. Look for studios close to where you work or ones that have a crèche if you are a parent, to make fitness fit as seamlessly into your life as possible. Train with friends to keep motivation up. Run with your dog. Get your family and kids involved. No excuses!

Describe your typical day on a plate…

I start every day with hot water and the juice of half a lemon. It naturally hydrates, oxygenates and leaves me feeling refreshed and revitalised. It’s also incredibly alkalising and makes me feel less bad about the coffee that I drink mid-morning! Breakfast is usually chia with almond milk which I pimp up with fresh berries, nuts, seeds and CoYo. If I’m flagging later on, I’ll get one of my nutritionists to whizz up a green smoothie and then for lunch I have an amazing Pollen & Grace salad delivered. For dinner it depends when I leave the studio. If I get home in time I’ll have an omelette with salad or veg but if it’s late I’ll just pack heaps of goodness into the Vitamix (avocado, spirulina, kale) and eat my greens that way.

We love that Transition Zone includes a Recovery area with a healthy cafe – what are your must-try pre and post workout snacks that the cafe offers?

Pre-workout I’ll often down a beetroot and lemon shot for stamina and have one of our very popular no grain Protein Chunks (made from pumpkin butter, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, hemp and coconut flour). Protein-wise, it’s the equivalent of a chicken breast but is made from completely plant based ingredients.

After that I would opt for one of our Protein Smoothies which packs in chia seeds, banana, hemp, cacao, almond milk and almond butter. Smoothie combos don’t get much better: it’s high in fibre, calcium, protein, fills you up for hours and is perfect for post exercise recovery. That’s a lot of boxes ticked from one 250ml bottle! I’m addicted to the wonderfully creamy, chocolatey flavour.

We love the look of the Reformer Pilates Chair classes at Transition Zone – fill us in on the benefits we can expect from using a Reformer Pilates Chair – does it strengthen certain areas more than others or does it enable a full body workout?

The Reformer Chair is a relatively small piece of equipment (it’s a third of the size of a Pilates reformer bed) but packs a serious punch. It’s a powerhouse for the core but, as with everything we do in the studio, we ramp it up a notch by integrating light weights, Power Plate, HIT drills and cardio to ensure a kick-ass session that sculpts, lifts, tightens and strengthens. We’re immensely proud to be the only place in the UK that offers it as a class. It’s also Michelle Obama’s favourite workout. Have you seen her guns? Enough said.

Find out more about Transition Zone here. 

By Zsa Zsa Vella


#FITSPO: PILATES GURU LOTTIE MURPHY



Nakd Pistachio Tennis Ball Truffles

How cute are these raw and vegan treats by Nakd? Easy to make and the perfect healthy treat to serve at your Wimbledon final party – celebrate the Hip & Healthy way with these tennis-ball inspired truffles featuring a Nakd Cocoa Delight centre and a pistachio coating.


Serves: 8

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Nakd Cocoa Delight bars
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 100g raw pistachios, unshelled
  • A pinch of ground turmeric

Hip & Healthy icing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2-4 tablespoons water, as needed for blending

 Method

  1. Cut the Nakd bars into halves and roll each half into a ball. Rinse your hands with cold water before you begin to make it easier. Leave the balls in the fridge whilst you prepare the coating.
  2. In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the pistachios and turmeric together until you get a fine green-yellow powder. You may need to add more turmeric to achieve the classic Tennis ball colour but don’t worry – you won’t be able to taste the turmeric!
  3. Add the agave to a small bowl and dip the Nakd bar balls into the agave to cover before dipping into the pistachio powder, rolling it around to fully coat.
  4. Place on a plate in the fridge to fully set.
  5. Now it’s time to make the icing! Combine ingredients in a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary to facilitate blending.
  6. Set icing in the fridge for about an hour before transferring to an icing bag.
  7. Bring your tennis truffles to life by creating the tennis ball lines as shown in the image.

These truffles keep for 3 days in the fridge.


SUPER SKIN-FOOD SNACKS


 


Vegan & Gluten Free Afternoon Tea At Ethos

Looking for a healthy way to celebrate Wimbledon? This week we’ll be indulging in a ‘deliciously different’ afternoon tea at Ethos.

If you’re yet to experience the lovely atmosphere of one of our new favourite healthy havens, their Afternoon Tea In The Forest running all week long is the perfect chance to do so.

Served against a stunning backdrop of silver birch trees, this luxurious atmosphere is the ideal setting to get into the Wimbledon spirit, with live screenings of all matches alongside the selection of tea and treats.

Catering to both our gluten free and vegan hip & healthies, with options for those who would rather indulge in more traditional offerings, there’s something for everyone!

We can’t wait to sink our teeth into strawberries and coconut cream, the gluten free and vegan Peanut Butter Bombs and the Chocolate Kugelhopf – yum!

Afternoon tea will be served from 3-5.30pm until the 12th of July

For more info visit: www.ethosfoods.com

By Zsa Zsa Vella


OUR FAVOURITE ALFRESCO BRUNCH SPOTS


 


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Eat Alkaline!

Claiming to restore the body to its optimum state, the alkaline diet is filled with nutritionally rich food devoid of refined sugar, gluten, cow’s dairy and meat. Glowing A-listers from Elle Macpherson to Miranda Kerr credit alkaline eating as one of their secrets to maintaining a healthy physique. When managed successfully, this lifestyle can leave our bodies feeling lighter, cleaner and bursting with energy. Intrigued? Us too, and the best thing is it’s super simple to follow! Here are 10 ways to alkalize the body naturally…

Start The Day Right

Speak to any nutrition expert with glowing skin and we can guarantee they will say they start their day with a glass of warm water and lemon. Despite their acidic reputation, citrus fruits actually help clear the body of excess acids and create an alkaline forming state. Try to drink this combination within half an hour of waking to give your digestive system a kick-start before breakfast.

Eat Your Greens

Fresh vegetables should make up 70% of your daily food intake and filling your plate with leafy greens has countless benefits. Among the best sources of essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, these nutritional powerhouses are also filled with chlorophyll, a potent alkaliser and blood builder. Add spinach to your smoothies, kale to your salads and broccoli to stir fries for an instant energy boost. Leafy greens have also been proven to improve sleep quality, so expect a good nights rest.

Cut Down On Sugar

It will come as no surprise that refined sugar is one of the most acid forming substances for the body. All refined sugars cause inflammation and raise acidity levels, so try and swap your sweet treat for a healthier alternative. Be sure to cut down on fizzy drinks and fruit juices unless freshly processed in small quantities.

Be Mindful

It is not only what you eat that can cause the body to become out of sync – stress is highly acid forming. When the body moves into ‘panic mode,’ this causes the digestive system to shut down and cease to eliminate toxins. Try adding a yoga class to your workout routine, deep tummy breathing or download a meditation app to help reduce the effects of stress.

Less Meat, More Veggies

Meat is amongst the most acid forming foods, with red meat particularly high on the scale. It is not only difficult to digest, but recent studies have shown we are eating far more animal products than our body can break down. Try #meatfreemonday as an excuse to experiment in the kitchen and add more vegetarian meals into your diet.

Go Honestly Healthy

Widely credited with bringing the alkaline way of eating to the UK, Honestly Healthy’s Natasha Corrett discovered alkaline eating after visiting an acupuncturist for health issues. After being informed her body was extremely acidic, the 21 day alkaline cleanse she partook in has now inspired three bestselling books, an app and more, all ideal for those looking for an easy guide to alkaline eating.

Eat Your Fats

Avocado fans rejoice, the creamy favourite is one of the highest on the alkaline scale. This nutrient-dense superfood is filled with key antioxidants that have serious anti-inflammatory, heart health and blood sugar regulating benefits. Furthermore, the high-density of omega oils speed up the metabolism, leading to weight loss. Add to smoothies or mash it up for a creamy toast topping.

Hydrate

Keeping the body hydrated is essential for maintaining an alkaline state, so try to drink at least two litres of water a day to flush out toxins, improve all bodily functions (and even help you lose weight). However, try to ensure you have a filter to hand as regular tap water is filled with harmful chlorides. For an even better alkalising effect add a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt to your glass.

Get Active

Exercise helps to get your digestion moving so your body can eliminate acidic waste products more efficiently. However take note cardio fans, excessive exercise can actually have the opposite effect due to causing a rise in stress levels, so try not to overdo it. Instead opt for a few yoga classes per week alongside your HIIT.

Cut the CRAP (that is caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol & processed food)

Caffeine, Refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods are filled with harmful, acidic chemicals that do no favours for your body (or skin for that matter). Instead fill your cupboards with fresh produce and notice the change in how you feel. Additionally, try to cook as much as you can from scratch, as this means you know everything that is going into your body. If you’re stuck for time, we swear by a Sunday prep session to keep you going all week.

By Harriet Tisdall 


Get The Recipe: Mango, Avocado & Mint Raw Zucchini Noodles


 


Get The Recipe – Orange Sorbet topped with Louola’s Superfood Quinola

We love healthy granola, but it’s often hard to come across one that isn’t full of refined sugar, gluten and artificial flavourings. As here at Hip & Healthy we like to be all-inclusive and provide options for all of our foodie friends, gluten intolerant included, we are super excited to share with you a granola alternative that everyone can enjoy. Created by Nutritional Therapy student Louise Amy Lee, this week we caught up with the self-confessed cereal addict who was lovely enough to share a recipe she has on high rotation this Summer featuring her very own Superfood Quinola. Over to Louise…


I created Louola’s Superfood Quinola as a grain, dairy and unrefined sugar free cereal alternative, naturally high in protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, Louola’s can be enjoyed as a healthy addition to your meals and even desserts as you’ll see below.

An all time favourite summer dessert is homemade Orange sorbet. There’s nothing better than a delicious and refreshing treat to cool off on a warm summers day with the added benefit of our daily dose of Vitamin C!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Agave Nectar
  • 6 Oranges
  • 1/2 Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup of Water

Method:

  • Begin by cutting the top of the orange. Cut enough away so you can remove the flesh from the shell with a sharp knife and spoon. Be sure to do this over a container to catch the juices and place all the orange flesh into a bowl. Remove any pips from the orange flesh or juice.
  • To prepare the shells rinse them under water and set aside to dry.
  • In a saucepan bring the agave nectar and water to boil on a low heat.
  • Whilst you are waiting, put the orange flesh and juice into a blender and blend until a liquid consistency.
  • Once the agave nectar and water has boiled, stir in the juiced liquid.
  • Poor the mixture into a dish and freeze for 4 hours.
  • After 4 hours, remove this mixture from the freezer and place into a food processor or blender. Blend the mixture until it is smooth.
  • Place the mixture back into the bowl and freeze again for 1 hour.
  • Once the mixture is ready, remove it from the freezer and fill the orange shells to round ¾ full.
  • Top the shells with a large spoonful of *Louola’s Superfood Quinola flavour #3: Mixed Nuts, Cranberry and Cinnamon. Sprinkle some extra Quinola over the edges.
  • You can add a swirl of Agave nectar if you are after an extra sweet treat!

Visit Louise’s website for more information & recipe ideas here: www.louolas.co.uk/recipe-ideas


 VIEW ALL RECIPES



Alfresco Fitness – Take Your Summer Sweat Outdoors

You know what warm weather means – outdoor workouts! We love getting our fit on in the open air, and whilst nothing quite beats a beachside yoga session on a balmy summers morning, we’ve put together a whole host of outdoor workouts you need to be factoring into your fitness schedule this season…

Rooftop Hula Hooping When it comes to keeping fit we like to mix things up, so when we heard of Rooftop Hula Hooping, we were more than intrigued. In residence at the rooftop pool at the Berkeley health club and spa, this fun and summer-sensible workout offers a great mix of high intensity and toning exercises to sculpt waist and hips. Following each class, hula-hoopers can enjoy a relaxing dip and a well-deserved poolside lunch overlooking panoramic views of Hyde Park and bustling Knightsbridge.

Paddle & Prosecco Planning a beach holiday this sunny season? Make Newquay your healthy holiday destination. The perfect summer combo – Paddle & Prosecco launches on the 9th of July on Newquay’s beautiful Great Western Beach. Easier to learn than surfing but just as exhilarating, paddlers will be equipped with all necessary equipment and guided through the still waters of Newquay’s idyllic bay and surrounding headland, taking in the sights of beautiful coastline and marine life along the way. The evening ends with a post-paddle glass of bubbles on the terrace overlooking the ocean – pure bliss!

Aqua Physical You may have seen this innovative new workout popping up around London this Summer, but if you haven’t – wer’re here to give you the scoop. An effective and challenging way to enhance your yoga practise, Aqua Physical is a low impact cross training workout performed on floating inflatable boards that use the natural fluidity of water to help you achieve flexibility, stability and strength. Plus, it’s as much a workout for your brain as it is for your body thanks to the concentration and focus required to stay balanced and afloat! Stay peeled for our Hip & Healthy review coming soon.

Hyde Park & Yeotown Retreats Park lovers rejoice – The Royal Parks foundation is partnering with Yeotown Health Retreat to bring health, happiness and wellbeing to the masses in the heart of Londons beautiful Hyde Park. Ongoing until November this year, the park will host a mix of workshops in yoga, healthy eating and mindfulness – a perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors and keep fit and healthy whilst at it.

By Zsa Zsa Vella

Image Credit: Roxy


 STAY HIP & HEALTHY ON HOLIDAY | LOOKING FOR SOME SUMMER FITSPIRATION?



Stylish Sports Bras To Suit Your Shape

Stay supported (and stylish!) with our pick of the hottest sports bras to suit all shapes!

Designed to provide optimum support and stop the bouncing blues, no matter what shape or size you are – the right sports bra can make a real difference.

Whether it’s for running, yoga or cycling, the best designs give you some lift, keep sweat at bay and flatter your shape. To help you find the bra to suit you best, we’ve picked out 7 of the most flattering sports-chic styles for summer.

We Are Handsome Chameleon T-Back Bra

When it comes to summer florals, the bolder the better! And nothing says bold and floral like We Are Handsome’s Chameleon T-Back Bra. Opting for a graphic print is a good trick for giving the illusion of curves for our smaller busted Hip & Healthies. Plus, it’s bang on trend for summer!

No Jiggle Millie Bra

If the sugary pastel tone wasn’t enough to sway you, the clever V shape of this bra that accentuates your waist will. The criss-cross straps offer extra support for bigger busts and a traditional hook and eye bra fastening. Don’t want the padding? Whip it out, it’s removable.

Tully Lou Nomad Crop

Phew! The high-neck of this sheer paneled bra stops everything from bouncing around. Whether you’re training for a marathon or looking for a fashion-forward crop top for yoga – this fits the bill for almost all shapes and sizes.

Pepper & Mayne Panelled Bralet

Make a statement with this chic black bodice bralet at the gym. It gives the most flattering silhouette and hugs curves in all the right places. What better way to inject some sexiness into your gym attire? We’re sold.

Alo Yoga Goddess Bra

Block pattern is so hot right now and this breathable strappy number gives plenty of support without restricting movement. A classic choice for that hot and sweaty Bikram class, the supportive elastic under band will be sure to hold ‘em in place while you strike a pose!

Striders Edge E-Padded Sports Hyacinth

This game-changing sports bra is about as comfy and supportive as they come! Made with sweat-absorbing premium Italian fabric that offers compression without digging in, this bra is our go-to for high intensity cardio work-outs. Great for all sizes, we find this bra looks particularly good on bigger busts.

Varley Leonie Burgundy Snake Crop

With a supportive and flattering cross-strapped back, this flattering Burgunday Snake Crop from Varley is fitness meets fashion at its finest. We love wearing ours to our Sunday morning yoga session and then slipping the slightly sheer Gloria White Tee over the top to make a subtle statement before heading out to brunch with friends.

by Leonie Eastwood


SHOP ALL SPORTS BRAS | SHOP ALL ACTIVEWEAR



Hip & Healthy Holiday: The Barn, Cotswolds

Long weekends are the perfect opportunity to explore and escape but you don’t need to go far, as I discovered when I went with a group of girlfriends to the Cotswolds. It’s always tricky to find a holiday destination that suits everyone. Just sorting out a time when everyone is free and somewhere with the right budget can be difficult, as well as finding somewhere that fits everyones ideas of the perfect mini-break can be equally challenging. My personal idea of taking a break and having some well-deserved relaxation is to indulge in all things I love. Doing nothing much doesn’t provide the escape and rejuvenation I want, but keeping active and treating myself to those things I generally have little time for certainly is!

The Cotswolds is a stunning part of England at anytime of year, with beautiful countryside dotted with quaint little villages. It’s no wonder that celebrities choose to buy their country retreats here. However, don’t assume that you’ll see any A-listers on your trip, as luckily for them there’s plenty of space to hide in between the hills and valleys in the Cotswolds rural surroundings.

Now, I’m somewhat reluctant to share my ultimate find of all weekend getaways with you but I would feel selfish not to. It goes by the name of The Barn Cotswolds. Tucked away in the village of Lechlade, you’ll have access to the real country life; walks through vast open fields and along the banks of the river, cycle rides down winding lanes with gorgeous pubs and restaurants along the way. The Barn itself is a beautiful traditional Cotswold stone building and is owned and run by the lovely Deborah. It sits within the grounds of Bridge House, a 17th Century building with real period charm and a beautiful garden.

Travelling as a group of 5, I was pleasantly surprised that The Barn could sleep us all and even had room for one more! Having booked three nights, we were keen to get straight into the Cotswold way of life as soon as we arrived. We explored the property, eagerly noting the outdoor barn, a bohemian hang-out with snug cushions, candles and fairy lights. Under its beautiful beamed stone roof there was table tennis and other games we were inevitable to become experts at by the end of our stay! We spent our first evening reveling in the peace and quiet of the countryside, a welcome relief from our busy lives in London. Being able to sit outside, with a clear mind and clean air was the perfect way to kick-start our weekend. Deborah, the owner and our host for the weekend, had planned lots of activities for us over the next few days, so we went to bed excited about what lay ahead.

We awoke early the next morning and headed straight to another building on the property, a converted gatehouse turn gym! Small but well equipped with TRX’s, a running machine, a rowing machine, VipR’s and weights, we were looking forward to a spot of early morning exercise. Two of us opted for an hours workout and tuition on the TRX, which I had never used before but loved. TRX is functional training using your own body weight so is great for beginners as well as fitness gurus as you can challenge yourself as much (or as little) as you like. As a regular gym user, I was keen to try something new and I can assure you I felt the burn later on. It was a sunny day so we took the workout into the garden to stretch and cool down. It was so refreshing to be outside after all the indoor gym sessions I do at home. After a quick shower, we dressed and woke the others and were ready for our pre-ordered breakfast.

Breakfast was an optional extra which we threw in as a treat. With plenty on the menu to choose from, we decided to keep it Hip & Healthy with home made muesli and granola with yoghurt, an abundance of fruit, fresh juices, teas and coffees. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day. The atmosphere and ambience at The Barn is both luxurious and yet at the same time, chilled. The birds are singing in the garden and the occasional flash of a dog’s tail (there are two, very friendly black labs belonging to the owner, who potter about) gives a true feeling of living the country life! After a couple of hours of reading, chatting and wandering in The Barn’s sizeable garden, we decided it was time to make use of the bikes available to guests and venture in search of our lunchtime spot. We were given a couple of suggested routes and set off through the village, stopping a few times to check out the local shops, before pulling up alongside a riverside pub – the perfect place for lunch.

With spa treatments booked later at The Barn, we eagerly cycled back, feeling very much entitled to some pampering. Although there isn’t a spa at The Barn, Deborah has a team of therapists on hand and had organized a range of treatments for us all. We had a couple of manicures and pedicures and a facial and I opted for an hour-long massage. It was lovely to be able to get straight into the robes provided, have our treatments and then just chill out in the gorgeous living area looking out onto the garden.

Having had a substantial breakfast and lunch, we took the opportunity in the evening, to test out The Barn’s well-equipped kitchen and rustled up a light dinner in no time. Feeling good from the workout, our adventures, some relaxing treatments and great food, we headed upstairs for a well-deserved 10 hours sleep.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect getaway, go to The Barn Cotswolds where there’s something for everyone! I know I’ll be returning.


MORE HIP & HEALTHY DESTINATIONS & TRAVEL TIPS


 


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Try Spinning!

Whilst a high intensity spinning class is an activity that at first you may dread, we’re here to tell you that it’s one class you’ll always walk out of with a newfound swag, beaming with a sense of accomplishment and euphoria. There’s a reason why this movement has quite literally ‘spun’ out of control – the feeling of achievement that comes from completing something you never thought you’d be able to do, simply cannot be beaten.

For prospective spinners and spinning newbies, here’s what you need to know:

 Push Your Limits

Whether you believe it or not, you will have enough energy to complete the full workout. Your body is a machine and in that critical moment of ‘fight or flight’, it doesn’t want you to fail. Whether it’s the music, the lights or the good-looking trainer keeping you going, you’ll be impressed with how far you can push yourself.

Full Body Workout

Spinning doesn’t just work your legs, it works your entire body. In most classes, you’ll also be using your arms to push yourself up and down on the bike and also your butt to squat!

Detox

If there’s one thing about spinning I will warn you about – it’s the sweat. However if you thought sweating (somewhat profusely) was gross, think again. Sweating actually detoxifies your body. Did you have a heavy weekend? Indulge in a fry up on Saturday and Sunday? Sweating is a natural way to help rid your body of all the impurities and waste that may have built up in your system over time. Additionally, it cleanses pores (flawless skin anyone?) and boosts your immune system!

3 Spin Studios We Love

Psycle 

If you’re looking for something a bit different to the usual run of the mill spin classes, try out Psycle. We know you wont regret it! The closest you’re going to get to riding a bicycle in a nightclub; the classes are high intensity, low impact, total body workouts with a twist. Based on the US version, Soul Cycle, you will find yourself energized as the room gets dark, fluorescent lights start up and the music gets pumping. Incredible playlists along with some equally incredible instructors ensure you get the most out of your workout.  Head down to Psycle Canary Wharf for a spin class this week and be sure to check out the Hip & Healthy retail space whilst you’re at it!

Ride Republic

Ride Republic is all about the whole lifestyle. It’s not just about what happens on the bike that is important. The food you eat and the level of stress in your life are all taken into account. Bringing together a community of people that care about healthy living, with classes designed to suit all levels, we love the measurable training methods utilised so you can work towards your own personalized goals and strive to beat your personal best every time you ride.

Boom Cycle

With cool and colourful graffiti adorning the brick walls and minimal clean changing rooms, this is the place to go for maximum efficiency, minimal faffing! Similar to psycle, the studio is dark and clubby. They have classes ranging from 30-minute express workouts up to two hour spinning sessions. No matter your preference or fitness level, your workout is totally up to you! Plus the sound system kicking out high energy music will totally sweep you away until it feels like nothing else matters; just you, your bike and your fitness goals.

By Rachel Harrison

 


This Just In: Revolutionary Personal Training at Claridges Hotel

Here at Hip & Healthy we see fitness and nutrition as equally important, so when we heard of an all-encompassing workout combining the two, we couldn’t wait to share the details with you!

Imagine this: you arrive at the gym and are greeted with a shot of espresso before being taken through your warm-up. By the time you get to the main part of your training, the caffeine hit has kicked in and your body is approaching that crucial first stage of fat burning. Powering through your specially designed regime, you hydrate between sets with naturally isotonic coconut water. At the end of your workout you down a plant-based shake and are sent off with a raw energy ball to snack on later in the day. To us, that is the dream – a training experience that not only pays attention to your workout, but also takes into account the time before and after, enabling you to make the most out of your session every time you train.

A collaboration between landmark Mayfair hotel Claridge’s and one of our favourite fitness brands Freedom2Train, founded by elite personal trainer and nutritional expert Steve Mellor, Claridge’s state of the art gym with panoramic views over the rooftops of London will be home to this revolutionary way of training. If you’re not already  familiar with the Freedom2Train method, get yourself acquainted. Utilising Technogym equipment, the unique and effective blueprint of the method fuses the elements of HIIT, Metcon and Tabata with Yoga and Crossfit. Specially tailor-made for each clients needs and goals to create a lean, toned and strong physique whilst building up levels of fitness and stamina – what’s not to love?

Book in a session or find out more:

www.claridges.co.uk

www.freedoom2train.com


Our Top 5 Festival Recovery Essentials

With festival fever in the air, we’ve rounded up our top 5 Festival Recovery Essentials to help you get back on track come festival end. From luxurious recovery packages to nourish mind, body and soul, tips on the best ways to reboot your system through food and fitness, the DIY natural beauty must-make for all sunshine seekers as well as our at-festival essential to ensure a smoother recovery upon your return – we’ve got all your bases covered. Read on for our top tips and enjoy (and recover) from festival season in style.

1. Well Aware’s Festival Recovery Packages: Our ultimate post-festival go-to’s designed to suit the needs of any recovering festival-goer, the clever packages that our favourite (and London’s only) healthy concierge offers, provide a fail-proof way to get ourselves back on track when the festivities end. Featuring 3 packages – The Mind-Body Reboot, The Reformation and The Savasana, each collection has been thoughtfully designed to restore and revitalise even the most burnt out of festival fiends.

2. Pump up the raw: When it comes to rebooting from the inside out, we love to pump up the raw. As festivals don’t usually offer the healthiest selection of food, excess sodium and sugar combined with alcohol can make for a bloated body and sluggish digestive system. Incorporating freshly made nutrient-rich and hydrating juices, smoothies and coconut water into our diets when we get home is something that always perks us up and gets us feeling more like our usual spritely selves. Additionally, enjoying lots of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains upon your return is a sure-fire way to get digestion moving along nicely, soak up toxins and put a spring back into your step!

3. Kiss The Moon GLOW Kit: If you’re jet-setting to another holiday destination after your festival fun, be sure to pack Kiss The Moon’s GLOW Sleep Recovery Set, a travel sized kit that will help you slip back into a more sensible sleep pattern before early mornings once again become the norm. Featuring Kiss The Moon’s GLOW signature blend – a 100% natural concoction of orange, geranium, myrrh and litsea essential oils – this clever kit will help you to sleep soundly, whilst vitamins A & E will infuse sun-exposed skin with much-needed nutrients. Treat yourself to a home spa experience by taking a long relaxing soak in a warm bath featuring GLOW After Dark Bath Oil, get into your favourite comfy pyjamas and follow up by applying a layer of GLOW After Dark Face Oil, before settling into bed with your luxurious silk sleep mask included in the kit as a bonus gift – heavenly!

4.DIY Coconut & Honey Hair Mask: Whilst we all pay attention to the suns effect on our skin, what we often fail to take into account is its effect on our hair. Hat or not, hair is mostly always exposed to the sun, so if your hair is feeling a little brittle and dry – chances are that over-exposure to harsh UV rays are the culprit. To restore hair to its natural vitality, we swear by this all-natural DIY coconut and honey hair mask that is almost good enough to eat! Mix 2 parts melted coconut oil, 2 parts honey and 1 part ACV and apply from roots to tips for 30 minutes before washing as usual. If you’re a frequent festival-goer or looking for a more intensive treatment, feel free to enjoy this mask weekly.

5. Neals Yard Festival Favourites Kit: Whilst not designed to help you recover from your festival antics, this handy collection of skin-loving mini must-haves will keep those festival blemishes at bay, giving you one less thing to worry about come festival end! Containing Organic Facial Wipes to refresh and remove the days grime, a multi-purpose Wild Rose Beauty Balm that can be used to cleanse, moisturise and repair tired skin, and last but not least, a Beauty Sleep Concentrate to recharge skin and fake a full night’s beauty sleep.


Fitspiration: Imbibery Girls Lily & Meryl

So we know that Imbibery roots from your mutual love of green juice, and is influenced highly from your travels around Europe however, at which point did you realize that you were ready to tackle the juicing industry face on and set up the brand?
The second we decided we were going to live in Europe we knew we had no choice! We wanted a green juice we could drink all day every day and couldn’t find one that fit easily into our lives and were yummy!

How many times a year would you recommend someone to take part in an Imbibery cleanse?
It’s such an individual choice and you really have to know your body. We say a 3 day cleanse with the change of every season is good and a 1 day cleanse is a great way to flood your body with nutrients when in need. More than anything, we think it’s important to have a cold-pressed juice in your fridge so you can always grab it – when you’re living your life as normal and not on a cleanse!

And, we are dying to know.. is the “All green everything” collection perhaps not for the juicing novices?
Not at all! If anything it’s for people who are new to juice because it shows them all our green options and then they can choose which appeals to them from a flavor standpoint! We’d even say try one of each and figure out which one you’re #coldpressedobsessed with!

We all understand the basic benefits that drinking juice can offer, but why does making it cold-pressed elevate it to that next level of healthiness?
Because you get the maximum amount of nutrients possible. A centrifugal juicer creates friction which creates heat and once heat is applied vital nutrients and vitamins are killed. Because our juices are cold-pressed, no heat is applied. You also extract so much juice! There are about 2-3 kilos of produce per bottle. There’s also no fiber, which means your digestive track doesn’t have to work to break anything down- you get that immediate nutrient hit in your system!

…And we’d love to know what your individual faves from the juicy/mylky collection are?
It changes all the time! Right now we’re crazy obsessed with Hydro and Gazpacho.

Oooh and because we’re partial to a health kick just as much as a social beverage (if you catch our drift), we absolutely LOVE the partnership you have with Belvedere.. how do you see this escalating into a drinking revolution, and why?
We saw how much everyone in London drank! And we love to go out and have a drink with our friends. But the mixers and cocktail options are full of absolute garbage. We became close to Claire at Belvedere and learned all about how Belvedere makes their flavored vodka (through mascerations) and their commitment to making drinking as clean as possible. There was just a natural discussion of- oh my goodness! This is what we all want! It really was the same thing as starting our Detox line. We wanted something and realized we would just have to make it ourselves.

As we’re all becoming that bit more health conscious, do you see cold-pressed juice becoming something much more mainstream in the foreseeable future?
Absolutely! Our cold-pressed cocktail line with Belvedere Vodka is a total case in point. We worked with them to design the perfect balance of flavor and ingredients to be mixed with vodka. We know people are going to drink alcohol, but the options out there for mixers are so scary! This gives people an option to drink better. Of course, these can be consumed on their own as well. So we certainly think it will be much more mainstream and fit into all components of your life. We’re so excited for everyone to be able to Imbibe all day and all night! We think that’s pretty mainstream!

So aside from providing the UK with their daily health kick, how else do you like to spend your time?
We love to work out, so we go to Psycle and Lomax a lot! And we do enjoy going out for dinner with our friends and love love love the opportunity to dance!

Do you find it difficult to unwind in the evenings with such hectic lifestyles? If so, how do you manage to find the much needed balance?
Yes and no. We’re best friends and business partners and really don’t have a “switch off” mode. We’re always both.  So work and play are one in the same. And we truly love what we do and pinch ourselves everyday that this is our life. That for us is our balance.

Seeing as this is our Fitspiration after all, we would love to know just how you both love to work out?
We spin at Psycle all the time. We also really enjoy a killer blast class at Lomax. We’ve recently started doing Barrecore and that has been an awesome addition. It is so hard!

Do you have any mantras or tips you live by that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us? We could all use a bit of mantra(spiration) in our lives.. (We know that’s not a word, but we’ll go with it for now)
Have fun and laugh a lot- laughter is so incredibly important. It’s what gets us through everything. We also always say yes. When given an opportunity we’re always on board and then figure out how it’s going to get done.

Any beauty must-haves that never let you down?
At least one green juice a day and tons of water. Our exotic and ginger shot is also a necessity pre and post flight or if we’re ever feeling puffy.

We all have those days where waking up in the morning is possibly the most difficult prospect to face, how do you begin your day to ensure you make the absolute most of it?
Well, our Coffee Almond Mylk is made with cold-brewed coffee is such a happy pick-me-up! We both start our day with a green juice and get that nutrient hit pretty quickly. We also just try to get each other super excited for whatever is going on that day if we sense one is lagging. On the other hand, we also recognize when one of us is burnt out and say, it’s ok if you need a little bit of down time.   

With the idea of ‘Jet and Reset’ sitting at the heart of Imbibery, allowing people to take their juices with them all around the world, we wonder, if you could take Imbibery anywhere else in the world, where would it be, and why?
Ooh! That’s such a great question! No one has ever asked us that. Our friends and family in the states are always dying to try- so that would be great. Although, a desert island with nothing but Imbibery sounds pretty divine right now!

And finally, we can’t let you go without asking what’s next for Imbibery?
We’re really excited about our Cold-Pressed Cocktail line. Because it’s HPPed, it has a longer shelf life, which means it can be more accessible to a lot of people.  It’s been amazing seeing people’s reactions when they try it. At the same time, we’re always coming up with new flavors for our Detox line (not HPPed) and expanding that. Take our Gazpacho for example- it just embodies summer and was so much fun to create! To be honest, we truly take things as they come – so we’ll all see what’s next for Imbibery together!