Sleep Your Way to a Better Body

Over the past 30 years, research into sleep and metabolism has been uncovering a very interesting (and pleasantly surprising!) truth: to achieve our best physique, we need to be sleeping more! In fact, loss of sleep may be a major factor in weight gain, or difficulty with weight loss. Why is this? We all know we don’t feel great when we haven’t slept enough; but why should it affect our body composition in any way? Let’s check out a few reasons.

Sleep & Your Hormones

Body composition, weight loss and weight gain are regulated by hormones. Hormones are essentially chemical messengers that tell our body what to do in response to stimuli. During our waking hours, hormonal levels ebb and flow in response to the stimuli we provide: eating, training, work are all examples of the typical stimuli of a regular day. To be lean, healthy and toned, we want our system to be hormone-sensitive. This means that for a given stimulus, we only need a tiny bit of hormone release to get the job done.

Let’s take insulin as an example, because it’s a major player in weight management. In response to eating a meal, an insulin-sensitive person will produce much less insulin compared to a person with lower sensitivity. Insulin is primarily a storage hormone, so the more insulin is produced the more likely we are to store what we’ve eaten. In other words, an insulin-sensitive person is much less likely to gain weight, and will find it much easier to lose weight, compared to a person with lower sensitivity. Insulin, together with a few other hormones, also plays a massive role in food cravings, especially for sugar. We all know how much cravings drain our willpower: improving sensitivity to these hormones could help eliminate cravings completely. So how does sleep come into this picture? Restful sleep can make us more hormone-sensitive because it can reset how well we ‘hear’ hormonal messages.

Motivation

Sleep also affects cognitive ability, decision-making skills and willpower. When we sleep less, we are more likely to overeat, comfort eat, and make poor nutritional choices. By getting enough sleep, we don’t just improve our ability to hear our hormones better (which removes a huge chemical and metabolic barrier to weight loss), we also improve our ability to hear ourselves better – to make better choices, to keep up motivation and to sustain positive action.

There’s more to lack of sleep than just feeling a bit crabby and irritable. Securing those 7-8 hours a night for yourself puts you in the best chemical, physical, mental and emotional space to achieve your best physique.

words by Martina Avellino – PhD RTS

image hush-uk


5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD EXERCISE ON YOUR PERIOD



Gluten-Free Buckwheat Waffles with Summer Topping

Delicious and Nutritious Buckwheat Waffles (GF)

with passionfruit, bananas, coconut and strawberries

 

Makes 3-4 waffles 

Ingredients

120g buckwheat flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoon coconut sugar

180ml coconut or almond milk

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

pinch of salt

For the topping

Coyo coconut yoghurt

1 passionfruit

handful of sliced strawberries

1 banana, sliced

drizzle of maple syrup

Method

Simply combine all of the dry ingredients.

Then add in the beaten egg, melted coconut oil and the milk.  Give it a good stir.  It should be a relatively thick pancake batter.

Now pop into a waffle mould.  Put the filled mould into a hot oven at 220C.  Cook for 8 minutes.  Take the tray out of the oven, de mould the waffles onto an oven tray and cook with the pattern side up for a further 4-5 minutes until golden. Or if you are a fancy pants, you can just pop the batter into a hot waffle iron and cook for about 3 minutes until they are golden and gorgeous. Either way, you are just a few minutes away from waffle heaven.

Don’t panic if you don’t have the means to make waffles, you can just make these as pancakes and they are amazing!  Simples.

These are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast, or I also love them for pudding.  Or afternoon tea.  In fact any excuse I have to eat these waffles, I leap at.

Recipe by Margie – make sure you check out her website: http://madebymargie.co.uk

 


Fitspiration: Madeleine Shaw

Nutritional Coach, instagram inspo, author of “Get the Glow” and all round mega fit, sexy, strong, healthy babe, Madeleine Shaw gives us an insight into her day

What’s your morning routine?

I am an early riser, usually getting up at 6.30am. I start the morning with warm water, fresh ginger and turmeric. Then I do a few yoga stretches and sit down to meditate; I have been loving listening to the head space app or I will do my own meditation in silence. Then it’s breakfast – usually eggs with avocado, a smoothie or a big bowl of oats with nuts and seeds.

What does your work space look like?

It’s anywhere with wifi. I often work out of soho house or little house mayfair. You will often see me in Planet Organic or Wholefoods too. I try not to work at home too much as I like to be out and about.

What do you always make sure you have in your fridge? 

Veggies, fresh fish and green juice.

How do you keep fit and toned?

Yoga and interval training; I like to mix it up.

What gives you your glow?

Yoga, eating lots of healthy fats and smiling.

Who are your healthy inspirations?

Natasha Oakley, Rocky Barnes and my mum.

What’s your favourite recipe from your book?

There is a chocolate cherry fudge recipe that is just soooo good!

Do you have any go to beauty products?

Pai Rosehip oil and Coconut Oil are my faves.

What books are you reading at the mo?

Miracles by Gabby Bernstein.

What do you like to wear to workout in? 

Leggings, a tank and good, supportive sports bra (I need it for my boobs).

Fave smoothie combo?

Chocolate, vanilla and coconut smoothie with avocado and bee pollen.

What’s next?

I am launching an online program called The Glow Guides, that empowers women to be strong not skinny, healthy not hungry and above all HAPPY! Ill keep you in the loop 🙂

For more of Madeleine Shaw visit her website.


#FITSPO: LILY SIMPSON OF THE DETOX KITCHEN


 


London’s Healthiest Restaurants

Eating out and staying healthy can be a problem, with the temptations of the bread basket and wine list breaking even the strongest of restraints. Well, fear no more, we’ve found the healthiest places to dine in the capital that don’t compromise on taste or threaten your waistline…

Bumpkin
The brainchild of superfood chef and yoga teacher Julie Montagu, Bumpkin’s Healthy Options menu is filled with plant-based, guilt free choices. Expect superfood salads and quinoa pancakes for dinner, and for weekend brunch a Green Goddess smoothie bowl or chia pudding. Furthermore, if you’re dining with any meat lovers, Bumpkin’s seasonal menu offers plenty of less virtuous options to keep them happy.

Best For: Eating out with the ‘non-healthies,’ in your life.

Visit BumpkinUK.com

Nama Foods

Aiming to blow away the misconception that vegan food is boring, London’s only ‘artisan raw food restaurant,’ offers organic, unprocessed alternatives to comfort food favourites from pizza to curry. The food is just made to be Instagrammed here, with artful presentation, bright colours AND delicious flavours, plus can we mention they do the best vegan blueberry cheesecake in town.

Best For: Luxe Vegan Dining.

Visit NamaFoods.com

Pure Taste

In case you’ve missed the fuss about the Paleo diet, Paleothic eating focuses on the food that cavemen ate with grains, refined sugar, wheat and alcohol off the menu. Pure Taste, the new fine-dining spot in the heart of Notting Hill, offers Michelin Star-style food with a Paleo twist. Expect gourmet dishes such as seabass with citrus fruits and fennel, or your very own personalised Pure Taste vegetable garden, followed by a completely guilt free chocolate lava cake.

Best For: Meat lovers, though there are plenty of plant-based options available.

Visit PureTasteRestaurant.com

Pont St

Located just off Sloane Square in the Belgraves hotel, Pont St is headed up by Britain’s youngest female head chef Sophie Michell, previously of Channel 4’s ‘Cook Yourself Thin’. Offering a range of nutritious yet delicious choices, this is healthy luxe at it’s best – feast on a superfood salad filled with quinoa, pomegranate and mint whilst the less virtuous diner can tuck into Lobster Bisque spaghetti.

Best For: Fine-dining minus any guilt.

Visit PontSt.com

Mildreds

A favourite amongst health foodies, there is a reason that Soho institution Mildreds has constant queues round the block – the unbeatable taste. Serving internationally inspired vegetarian food, this is the restaurant to take any reluctant herbivores too, we dare them not to be impressed by the range of flavours, plus the best Sweet Potato and Cashew Curry in town.

Best For: Vegetarian comfort food at it’s best. Mildreds is a great place to take carnivores, they won’t miss meat at all here.

Visit Mildreds.co.uk

Andina

Bringing South America to the heart of East London, Ceviche’s little sister offers Peruvian menus paired with British produce in bitesize portions, allowing you to sample a variety of different tastes without overindulging. For anyone forgoing alcohol, the restaurant also offers a range of fresh juices to pair with your supper.

Best For: A night out with girlfriends.

Visit AndinaLondon.com

Grain Store

Grain Store puts vegetables first on it’s extensive menu, meaning you know you’re in healthy hands. Celebrating your 5-a-day, chef Bruno Loubert’s restaurant is a must-visit for any bonafide foodie. Choose from veg-centric dishes, including cauliflower and pickled cucumber salad or celeriac and hay mousse tartlet, all served up in a stunning Victorian warehouse.

Best For: Flavour, the food here will set your tastebuds alight.

Visit GrainStore.com

Tanya’s Cafe

If you love alcohol but aren’t such a fan of the sugar content or guilt, then we have found your answer. Serving up superfood cocktails, Tanya’s Cafe in Chelsea has taken classic sugar-filled drinks and given them a healthy, clean twist – adding cold-pressed juice, superfoods and organic alcohol to the mix. We recommend the ‘What The Doctor Ordered,’ complete with chia seed float or the ‘Acai Ya Tomorrow,’ containing a creamy mixture of peanut butter and banana.

Best For: A cocktail and snack, we can never resist Tanya’s range of raw desserts and healthy bites.

Visit TanyasCafe.com

Nopi

Ottolenghi fans nationwide flock to Nopi for the chefs trademark Middle Eastern cuisine. The perfect destination for a healthy dinner out, this luxe restaurant is worth a visit for the interiors alone, not to mention the flavours on offer. We recommend the courgette and manouri fritters, coriander seed-crusted burrata with slices of blood orange, and twice-cooked baby chicken with lemon myrtle salt and chilli jam. Can we just say Yum!

Best For: The most stylish interiors in town, alongside healthy plates of goodness.

Visit Ottolenghi.co.uk

Wild Food Cafe

Hidden away in Neal’s Yard, Wild Food Cafe’s sharing tables and relaxed vibe may not make it the ideal date night, but it is worth a visit for the desserts alone. Serving raw, unprocessed vegan food this is truly where healthy meets delicious, we recommend the falafel served in a dehydrated coconut wrap and the superfood salad with creamy avocado.

Best For: A casual dinner post-work.

Visit WildFoodCafe.com

words: Harriet Tisdall

image: AndinaLondon.com


If You Only Do One Thing This Week: Eat for a Toned Tum

 

 

I read a quote once that really made me smile: “I’ve been getting out of bed every single day for 31 years. That’s 11,315 sit-ups… and not a single ab to show for it!!” Here’s a thought: what if you could get a brilliantly toned tummy without doing a single sit up or ab crunch EVER? Sounds crazy right? Yet here’s the thing: the best way to tone your tummy is not endless stomach exercises but careful nutrition.

There is a saying in bodybuilding circles: abs are built in the kitchen, not in the gym. This is because 80% (yes, 80%!) of the results we achieve are down to careful, intelligent nutrition. So, how can we change our diet to tighten and transform our tummies?

Eat protein in every meal
Protein keeps you feeling full and helps build muscle tissue. The more muscle we have, the more energy we burn at rest. Cue less of the food we eat being stored and more being burned as fuel. Good protein sources are fish, chicken, eggs, lentils, nuts, beans, and high quality protein powder (we like Sunwarrior and Pulsin). Try for 1-2 fistfuls in every meal.

Choose good quality carbohydrates
Swapping refined sugars and processed grains for fruit and whole-food carb sources keeps your insulin balanced, and insulin is one of the main hormones that contributes to fat storage around the tummy area. Low sugar fruits like berries, and high fibre starches, like spelt, German rye breads, pulses, oats and quinoa are your best friends here.

Drink plenty of water
Hunger and thirst can send very similar signals to the brain, so we think we’re hungry when in actual fact we’re thirsty. This can cause us to eat more than we need. Here’s a trick: when you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first. If you’re truly hungry, you’ll still be hungry after. If you were actually thirsty, you’ll feel fine and satisfied, and have saved yourself the extra calories. Top tip: have a jug full of water at your desk or in your kitchen and top up your glass throughout the day so you know how much water you have drunk… especially important as the temperature rises this summer.

Take a probiotic
Keeping our gut bacteria happy is essential to avoid symptoms like gassiness and bloating. Also, as we eat the digestive tract releases hormones and neurotransmitters that signal fullness and contentment to the brain. Keeping the digestive system in good working order means these signals get through loud and clear. This can help us avoid overeating and comfort eating by ensuring we feel happy and satisfied with healthy foods and portions.

Take a digestive enzyme
Gassiness and bloating can also arise if we don’t have enough digestive ‘fire’ to break down the foods we’re eating. Enzymes give your system that extra boost, especially when it comes to foods like dairy or pulses. As we’ve seen, these can be healthy additions to your diet, especially when it comes to eating more protein and choosing better carbs. So if you’re trying to eat healthily but having trouble with digestion, try adding an enzyme supplement after every meal, and then taper off slowly as your system gets used to the new elements in your diet.

Eat slowly and stop at 80% full
Hunger and fullness are regulated by hormones. These hormones, however, only kick in about 20 minutes after we start eating. What does this mean? If we eat too fast, we don’t give our brains time to realise we’re full, and can end up eating more than we need. So slow your eating right down: chew well (this helps digestion too), put down your utensils between bites and breathe. So often we rush through meals without ever really breathing correctly! By the time your hormones have caught up, you’ll be glad of that spare 20% – it will ensure you feel happy and satisfied instead of heavy and stuffed!

Choose exercise you enjoy and FORGET no pain no gain!
Ok, this may be a bit controversial. Because to get a great body you need to slog your guts out in the gym, right? Not really. Putting your body through exercise it hates, which leaves you aching for days just ramps up your stress hormones. And when your stress hormones are going crazy your body is more likely to go into fat storage mode because it perceives a state of emergency. Most importantly, when it comes to achieving results one of the essential things is consistency: what you do every day counts way more than what you do every now and then. And if your exercise regime is leaving you feeling depleted and drained, sooner or later you may have a ‘**** this!’ moment and let it fall by the wayside. So choose exercise that challenges you by all means, but try to make it something you enjoy. As long and you’re moving consistently and a few times a week, you’ll see results!

words: Martina Avellino – PhD RTS

image Seafolly


TIME TO HYDRATE: FOUR REASONS WE SHOULD ALL BE DRINKING MORE WATER



Cauliflower Mumbai-Style

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, 175g
  • 1 ¾ cups water, 420ml
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cauliflower, florets trimmed, 650g
  • 1 carrot, shredded, 70g
  • 1 bag of washed rocket, 70g
  • ½ cup flaked almonds, toasted, 45g

CAULIFLOWER SEASONING

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

DRESSING

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in mesh sieve (this helps keep the quinoa fluffy once it’s cooked).  Bring the quinoa, water and pinch of salt to a boil then reduce and simmer for 12-15 minutes with the lid on until all water is absorbed and spirals are revealed. Turn off the heat and place a dry dishcloth over the pot for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, trim the cauliflower fleurets and coat in olive oil.  Mix the seasoning spices and toss cauliflower.  Bake on a lined tray for 40-50 minutes, turning a few times in between until a deep golden colour.
  4. Toast the almonds in the oven while roasting the cauliflower for 15 minutes (set a timer so you don’t forget!).
  5. Make the dressing by mixing the shallot, mustard and vinegar until smooth, then add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Shred the carrot on a grater.
  7. When ready to serve, toss the carrot, rocket and quinoa. Gently mix-in the cauliflower.  Evenly coat with the dressing and garnish with almonds.

This recipes requires a bit more work but don’t worry about making extra because the spiced cauliflower tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!!!

Maple & Fitz

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 09.56.04

 

Opened in Fitzrovia on 2nd March 2015 Maple & Fitz is the new eatery and cold-pressed juice bar focussed on healthy yet satisfying food and offers delicious salads, grain bowls, the very best in-house cold-pressed juices and guilt-free treats that nourish customers from the inside out. With the option to eat-in or takeaway, the new ‘London local’ provides well-balanced, colourful and wholesome dishes to satisfy ‘real food’ cravings. Set up by engineer turned chef Adria Wu, the healthy hot spot has become a hub for health-conscious workers on the go looking for tasty lunch options! The salted caramel brownies are a must!


CHI YU: The Ultimate Holistic Haven

With green beauty and organic nutrition on the rise, there’s a lot to be said for holistic treatments and remedies. They help revitalise the mind, body and soul in the best way possible – the natural way– and there’s no better place to do this than at holistic wellness spa, Chi Yu, located in the heart of Marylebone, London.

Mami Tsang, Owner and Principle Practitioner of Chi Yu, has personally reaped the benefits of Eastern medicine, having suffered headaches and back pain during her early years.  With the utmost faith in herbal remedies, Mami has become a master in massage, having trained in over 16 different types of treatments. Her portfolio boasts repertoire of massages from Somato Emotional Release Therapy, a process designed to rid the mind and body of residual physical and mental stress collated from negative experiences, to Tui na, a hands-on Chinese treatment that works to open up the body and restore the natural flow of energy.

Having opened in 2005, Chi Yu is Marylebone’s best kept secret! Incense candles softly burn, fresh herbal tea brews and shelves upon shelves of organic oils such as avocado, apricot kernel and borage seed greet you as you enter. For complete mind and body rejuvenation, Chi Yu’s signature ‘Integrated Therapy’ is a must-try. Designed to eliminate toxins from the body, this luxury treatment is tailor-made to individuals following a personal consultation. ‘Taking the pulse on both wrists is one of the diagnostic methods of traditional eastern medicine. Different locations on the wrist corresponds with different organs of the body, so the quality of energy within each organ can be understood through the pulse, which helps to determine what needs attention and which acupuncture points are to be treated’, says Mami.

Following a unique formula, the Integrated Therapy treatment includes components of aromatherapy, acupuncture, craniosacral and cupping therapy. Working in harmony, acupuncture physically relieves built up tension in each muscle whilst cupping therapy aids blood flow for stress-relieving bliss – you can physically feel the tension leave your body. Cranisosacral therapy then comes into play, and because all events in life are perceived by the body through the sensory network of nerves, this gentle head massage focuses on communicated movements across the skull and facial tissue allowing for a deep state of relaxation. The blissful treatment ends with a light, warming foot massage thanks to heated oil and speaking from experience, it’s very difficult to rise from such tranquillity!

Following the treatment, your therapist will discuss any findings made and advise on how best to proceed – eat more beetroot for blood nourishment or perhaps start the day with two minutes meditation for controlling anxiety. Did you know that drinking warm water is much softer on the kidneys? Next time, try swapping your ice cold beverage for a warm glass of water and visualise your body reaping the benefits!

Chi Yu is THE holistic haven for beating the Sunday blues. Open 7 days a week, it may just be just what you need for a stress-free week ahead…

For more information, visit www.chi-yu.co.uk 

020 7486 0304 | 36 George Street

words by: Samantha Organ


Yummy Mummy: Post-Natal Fitness Month by Month

Getting your fitness back after pregnancy is hard work but it is certainly not impossible… we chat to Personal Trainer, Charlie Laudner of Bumps & Burpees, about what you can do each month after you pop to get back on the workout wagon…

1 Month

One of the most important things to remember in this first month as a new mum is that your body needs rest. It takes time to recover from birth so make sure you don’t underestimate the amount of down time you will need. Let people help you wherever possible, you’ll be back on your feet sooner than you think so just try to enjoy this time. Whether you are breastfeeding or not make sure you are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

2 Months

You will be getting used to the demanding life of a mum now and ready to become sociable again and get active. Whilst your doctor will advise you against going back to the gym just yet, a great place to start is walking, whenever and wherever you can! Pop your baby in the buggy and off you go. It’s free, great cardio and you can do it with friends. It’s a great way of getting out of the house and active again. It is also important to continue working on your pelvic floor strength exercises as this will set you up perfectly for your return to exercise.

3 Months

Right, time to exercise again! The doctor should give you the green light to start exercising again around the 12 week mark. This doesn’t mean booking straight back into your old body pump classes or setting out for a 10K run, you need to ease your body into it by steadily building up your strength again. Your will need to have your abdominals checked for any separation (diastasis recti) to assess the type of exercise you can be doing. Your doctor should do this but if they don’t then ask! When returning to the gym, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a postnatal personal trainer to begin with, especially if you do have any separation as they can advise you on the types of exercises to do to close the gap.

Your trainer will focus hugely on your posture to begin with in all the exercises you do together, reminding you to keep your pelvis in a neutral position, pull in your core and keep your shoulders back and down. This will feel difficult to start with and as if your abdominals aren’t doing what you tell them to but persevere and it’ll become second nature again soon. You will want to avoid any jumping exercises until you have strengthened up your pelvic floor muscles again.

Tip – if you’re breastfeeding, make sure you feed your little one before training to avoid discomfort and leaking. Make sure you have a supportive sports bra and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

4 Months

By now should be feeling much more like your old self again. Your abdominals will be feeling awake and you will be able to contract them more easily on demand.

Make sure you are continuously checking your abdominals to assess the separation. If they aren’t fully back together yet, don’t worry, you’ll get there. Just keep going with your twisting exercises and pulling your abdominals in before starting any exercise.  If the gap has now closed up then you may now start adding in planks, crunches and all the exercises you might associate with core work.

Your baby will weigh somewhere between 5 – 8kg now and want to be carried all the time. This means that good posture and upper body strength are now more important than ever. It is very common to see mums sticking their hips out to balance their baby, or puffing their tummy out while holding the baby in front of them. This will eventually cause deferred pain to the knees and many mums will suffer for months with painful knees without knowing why. Build up your upper body strength with dumbbell shoulder presses, tricep dips, press ups (starting on your knees and working up to full body) cable rows, all starting with a light weight and building up as you get stronger.

5 Months
In the gym you will be starting to build up your overall strength again with compound exercises that encourage mass activation of large muscle groups like squats and lunges. Still always keep an eye on that posture to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly. Cardio can come into play now and you may want to see how you feel in a spinning class or on a run.

Now that you are feeling stronger, the thought of a training session will not seem so alien to your body anymore and you are hopefully enjoying seeing all the improvements in your ability and physique. Mix up your sessions with both cardio and strength training to keep your metabolism firing. Spinning is a great place to start, as there is no doubt that it will get your heart pumping and those endorphins rushing. It also is a good way to ease back into cardio in terms of your pelvic floor as it doesn’t involve any impact. If you feel comfortable running and wish to do so, this is of course ok, just ease yourself back into it with a few shorter runs to see how you feel.

6 Months

Half a year as a mum and nothing should be stopping you now! Think how far you have come over the past six months. You will be making improvements left, right and centre and you should be very proud of yourself. No matter how confident you feel exercising now, don’t forget about your posture in the gym, and in your everyday activities. Keep your shoulders back and down, your core pulled in and your pelvis in a neutral position. It will be fast becoming a natural posture for you if you work at it.

In terms of exercise you should now be able to do anything you wish to, whether it’s pilates, running, spinning or sessions involving heavier weights but you must listen to your body. Don’t jump in at the highest level as you will be disappointed and it may result in injury, setting you back a few steps. Your best bet is to see how your body copes with the exercise and then make adjustments if you need to. Tell your instructor if you feel nervous and they can keep an eye on your form, making sure you are ok through the class. Jumping exercises may still not feel comfortable for you and that is ok, just let the instructor know you’ll be avoiding these.

Quality is always better than quantity so don’t rush through the numbers just to keep up with others around you, focus on you and before long you will be right up there with them!

 

 


Facial Phenomenon: why oil based beauty is best

Francesca Londono-Brasington experiences the new Facial Massage Treatments that uses oils to balance the skin…

I love facials, in particular a good facial massage as part of the treatment which is rare to come by.  I was therefore thrilled when an exclusive offer from the Recentre in Balham winged its way into my inbox offering an alternative Facial Massage Treatment by Elaine Tomkins, Head of Massage training for Neal’s Yard Remedies.  Promising a completely unique facial using massage as a tool to promote a clear complexion, I was keen to sign up!  I grind my teeth at night so I always find my jaw muscles particularly tight each morning which causes headaches and general discomfort, I was excited to see whether Elaine’s Facial Treatment made a difference.  Luckily I wasn’t disappointed!  This is so much more than just a facial, as Elaine aptly terms her facials as a Facial Massage Treatment, this is the best way to describe it.  Elaine managed to work her way into all the little bones in my jaw and face area finding areas I didn’t realise existed or were causing tension.  The effects of the massage not only help to ease tension but to also boost circulation, encourage lymphatic drainage and smooth out lines for a more even complexion.  All treatments are tailored to your own needs after an initial consultation in order for Elaine to understand and address any underlying issues or health problems.

Throughout the treatment Elaine uses essential oil which has been scientifically proven to help rejuvenate and balance the skin.  She has now teamed up with Rosalena to offer the most beautiful, plant based oils as part of the treatment.  For those oil phobics out there, don’t be scared off by this – these oils are simply moisturisers in the form of an oil rather than a cream.  They are incredibly light and blend easily into the skin without any greasy residue.  Plus the molecules in the oil are much smaller than those in a cream so they’re able to penetrate the skin cells in order to protect and nourish the skin from within.  Elaine gives you an oil suited to your skin to takeaway with you and I am now a huge fan and use it everyday.  I’ve found the oil has really balanced out my combination skin and I no longer have dry patches or clogged pores.

Be warned that this isn’t always a relaxing treatment, some areas in the face are worked deeply and therefore it can be a little painful.  However for me, it was exactly what I needed.  I came away feeling soothed and my jaw certainly felt easier and I had a great night’s sleep.  I’d definitely recommend this for anyone who suffers from tension headaches and/or clenches their jaw.

http://www.recentre-health.co.uk/facial-treatments/page.html

http://www.rosalena.co.uk/

image: Hush-uk

 


If You Only Do One Thing This Week: Boost Your Motivation

‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last’ a very wise man once uttered ‘well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it every day.’ It always seems simple, but motivation really is key to achieving your goals yet it’s a tricky beast to conquer. Even the strongest willed find their enthusiasm wavering from time to time and it is in these moments that we lose sight of why we began in the first place.

Occasionally, it is prudent to listen to your body when the laziness kicks in. If you have been overdoing it on the sweat sessions it could be urging you to take a much-needed recoup. More often than not, though, the human body can benefit from a jolt when uninspired minds take over. We have a few tricks at our disposal to incite a boost of motivation back into our healthy living for when the mind says ‘no’, to keep that slacking to a minimum. Here are our favourite ways to stay on track for when that pesky motivator muscle has stopped functioning:

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
For those of you who like to make your efforts tangible in the form of data, this one’s for you. The Garmin Vivofit fitness band is the latest must-have wearable to keep your motivation fired up through its constant stream of information on your activities, calories and sleep straight to your wrist 24/7. The Vivofit’s goal-setting features mean you can see exactly where you’re nailing your routine, and exactly where you aren’t, thus encouraging you to get the very best from all areas of your wellbeing. At the end of the day you are forced to take stock and re-evaluate, so your achievements and goals are always right where they should be at the forefront of your mind. Garmin Vivofit will automatically adjust your daily goals as you reach your milestones to ensure you are continually progressing. Reaching the end of the day and seeing you missed your daily step goal by just a couple of hundred, or having to log that digestive you dunked into your afternoon coffee is enough to make you truly mindful of your habits and motivated to be your very best.

Instant prompts right there on your wrist combined with visuals including graphs, data via the Garmin Connect app, mean your progress is easily interpreted and you are even able to sync data with that from your other Garmin devices for a full picture of your activity. The app also hosts a network of other health-conscious folk with whom to share your stumbles and successes along your journey and connect with in fitness challenges for some healthy competition. The Garmin Vivofit fitness band is, in essence, a tiny, omnipresent personal trainer and life coach to keep you accountable even at the most un-inspired of times.

KEEP A RECORD
The Daily Greatness Journal (£34.95), or, your master-plan for creating your perfect life, is an holistic yearly diary, goal and appointment planner which offers a dynamic way of staying accountable and self-reflective as a direct route to self-mastery! The beautiful, full-colour book provides structure and guidance to help you make a habit of setting clear intentions and following through with them with encouragement from intermittent motivational quotes and exercises in self-reflection, always with your end goal in mind. The Daily Greatness Journal allows you to identify areas of imbalance in your life that may be blocking your progress and encourages you to remove them in order to make way for positivity and creativity. Broken down into weekly and quarterly check-ins with sections for planning out both short and long term goals, the journal gives you the tools you need to put yourself back in control of your own life plan. The journal’s layout is clear, linear and interactive and, once completed, will become a permanent document of your journey to being the very best version of yourself. (Also available in training and yoga editions for those who want a more fitness-focused plan but with the same attention to mindfulness and creating healthy mental habits to ensure your physical change remains sustainable.)

HAVE A HEALTHY REWARD IN MIND
It’s official. Lululemon has finally answered our prayers and delivered a capsule swimwear range (from £42) to get every hip & healthy lady excited about stripping down for summer. Despite ultimate health and emotional wellness being our overriding goal when it comes to our dedication to the healthy life, we are all human, and the aesthetics are obviously a huge bonus to sticking with the programme. Rather than reward yourself with unhealthy food treats when you reach milestones, why not pick out a piece from Lululemon’s swimwear range to motivate you to keep working on that summer body! Visualisation is an invaluable method of motivation and is often used by athletes to increase performance and concentration. In short, when we visualise an act, our brain creates an impulse telling our neurons to respond to and perform the movement – so what we imagine, we have the power to manifest. Create an image in your head of yourself totally rocking the beach and feeling fabulous in your gorgeous new Lululemon Surf to Sand bikini and refer back to it whenever you are tempted to skip a workout. It is guaranteed to have you heading straight to the gym to get your squat on! Promise yourself a carefully selected piece for each goal you smash and a spray tan to accessorise it. You will never find yourself contemplating switching that run for the sofa and a Netflix boxset ever again!

KEEP IT VARIED
Newly launched in London, ClassPass (£89 p/m), which is a runaway success in the US, aims to ‘make variety your routine’ by making the city’s abundance of group fitness classes more accessible and is a surefire way to give your motivation a swift kick in those activated glutes! The concept magically transforms London into a veritable wonderland of  sweaty opportunity for group fitness lovers and opens up the vast variety of exercise pursuits on offer, so you can find your one true love, or dabble in some flighty fitness flirting! For a fixed monthly price, you can now gain unlimited access (three classes per studio, per month) to more than 180 of London’s best studios including Hip & Healthy favourites Paola’s Body Barre, Psycle, 1Rebel and Frame. Suddenly those classes you have always fancied trying but just haven’t been able to justify paying one-off fees for are open to you. If that doesn’t give your lacking motivation a boost then we don’t know what will!

Words: Rachel Bednarski

Image: Lululemon


London’s Best Healthy Supper Clubs

Healthy supper clubs are taking the UK by storm. With new cookbooks, restaurants and blogs popping up to cater for vegan, gluten and sugar free palettes, chefs and bloggers nationwide are giving health conscious foodies the chance to try their delights. We’ve rounded up the top ten to look out for, though be prepared tickets sell out fast…

Deliciously Ella

Ella doesn’t just do bestselling cookbooks and delicious recipes, our favourite blogger offers sellout supper clubs too. Expect a three course, refined sugar-free, gluten free and vegan menu at these monthly events, designed to bring healthy foodies together.

 

What To Expect: Exclusive recipes from Ella’s book including Thai Chickpea Curry, Buckwheat Blini’s and her all-important Sweet Potato Brownies.

Visit DeliciouslyElla.com

Honestly Healthy

Fans of Natasha Corrett’s bestselling book flock to her alkaline-friendly supper clubs, which are full of exclusive recipes and treats that are all entirely guilt-free, and currently on tour around the UK. Fitness fans should also take note, Honestly Healthy have teamed up with yogi’s and top trainers to offer exclusive brunches, featuring an hour long class followed by a restorative post-workout feast.

What To Expect: For brunch a choice between the Honestly Healthy English Breakfast and Chia Porridge. For dinner a three course feast with delicious choices including Burmese Curry, Cauliflower Risotto and Hazelnut Fudge Brownies.

Visit HonestlyHealthyFood.com

Eat To Be Healthy At Daylesford

Celebrating seasonal produce from the Daylesford Farm, these new healthy supper clubs offers three nourishing courses with whole-organic ingredients at their heart. For their first offering on 21st April, Daylesford have teamed up with almond-milk maestros The Pressery for healthy cocktails and petit-fours.

What To Expect: Nourishing seasonal food fresh from the farm including orange and chilli soused salmon and poached Daylesford chicken. Yum!

Visit Daylesford.com

Madeleine Shaw

An early adapter to the supper club trend, nutrition expert Madeleine Shaw has been offering themed, healthy two-course dinners for a while. Offering gluten, dairy and sugar free alternatives to less-healthy favourites from Indian to Chinese, these sellout events offer a guaranteed great evening.

What To Expect: Exclusive recipes from Maddy’s new book Get The Glow, a welcome coconut cocktail and a dessert you will be dying for seconds of.

Visit MadeleineShaw.com

Well & Happy Wellness Lunch Pop-Ups

The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, meet like-minded health lovers over a 5 course plant-based feast teamed with inspirational speakers, goodies and a whole lot of positive vibes. Based in the lovely Richmond, Surrey pass away an afternoon before visiting the park to walk off your feast.

What To Expect: Menus are kept secret, but we hear there was raw caramel shortbread at the March pop-up.

Visit WellandHappy.co.uk

The Camberwell Kitchen

Listed in Vogue, The Evening Standard and The Guardian as one of the best supper clubs in London, The Camberwell Kitchen serves up organic, seasonal and delicious food in hosts Ant and Rosie’s Camberwell flat. Currently on hold as Rosie finishes off her dietician training, keep an eye out for tickets to the next one, the last few sold out within 30 seconds.

What To Expect: Melt-in-your-mouth meals that are entirely gluten free. Catering to vegans, vegetarians and more expect a three course meal with a difference, we sampled slow-cooked lamb with kale followed by chocolate olive oil cake.

Visit TheCamberwellKitchen.com

Secret Yoga Club

Organising pop-up events in different locations around London, the Secret Yoga Club offers yoga, live-music and delicious food in beautiful, unusual locations. With the last pop-up taking place in Hackney’s grand Sutton House, these are a truly magical experience.

What To Expect: A different chef pops up at each Secret Yoga Club so you’ll find something new each time. Food is always vegetarian, seasonal and guaranteed to be delicious.

Visit SecretYogaClub.co.uk

Model Mangetout Supper Clubs

Qnola founder, nutritionist and Hip & Healthy fitspiration Danielle Copperman, aka Model Mangetout, is now bringing her mouthwatering recipes to health fans through the means of supper clubs. Using natural, wholesome ingredients including pseudo grains, healthy fats and no refined sugar, these events are full of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and most importantly taste.

What To Expect: Three gluten, dairy and refined sugar free courses including sharing boards to start filled with savoury seed crackers and olive and lentil hummus. For mains expect Michelin star style dishes with a healthy twist from Chicken with Kohlrabi Gratin to Salmon served with sauteed Turnip Tops.

Visit ModelMangetout.com

Rooted London

Currently the name on foodies lips for their delicious healthy lunch delivery service, Rooted London also offer monthly supper clubs. Offering three delicious vegetarian and vegan courses, a cocktail and a treat to take home, these events are set in a warm space with great people and conversation.

What To Expect: Nutrient rich, seasonal food that you will eat mindfully.

Visit RootedLondon.com

Punch Foods Supper Club

Founder of delicious on-the-go snack Superseeds, Alexandra of Punch Foods is now showcasing her culinary skills through the form of supper clubs. Expect a three course, vegan feast filled with goodness, plus plenty of raw cheesecake and delicious seeds.

What To Expect: Twists on favourites including grain-free sushi and curry. For her next pop-up Alexandra has teamed up with Raw Press for a Thai themed evening which includes a screening of Leo classic The Beach.

Visit Rawpress.co

words by Harriet Tisdale

Image: Natasha Corrett from Honestly Healthy and her cleansing food credit: Lisa Linder


Globe Artichokes, Coriander Mackerel and Spring Leaves on Toast

Beautiful, fresh, succulent artichokes are in season now, and popping up at greengrocers and supermarkets, in all their nobbly stalky glory. British mackerel is also an ideal springtime fish – and you should see the local catch popping up at your fishmonger from April onwards. This dish is Ayurvedically wonderful too, as it uses freshwater fish and blood-purifying artichokes, to create a nourishing and balancing meal that’s also filled with spring’s ‘prana’ or life energy in the form of vibrant, crisp spring leaves – rocket, coriander, basil, mint, watercress and pea-shoots – choose your favourites!

Ingredients

2 Globe artichokes

2 Mackerel fillets, deboned, skin on (buy the whole fish from the fishmonger, and get him to fillet into two pieces, and debone for you)

2 spring onions

Spring Leaves – we favour mint, coriander and rocket in this recipe

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Finely chopped coriander and mint for the mackerel

Method

1. Start by washing the artichokes under cold water. You then need to cut off the top and bottom – at the bottom, chop off the stem, and at the top chop through the ends of all the leaves and the spiky, furry bits. An inch on each side should do the trick.

2. Marinate the mackerel fillets in a mixture of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and finely chopped coriander and mint. Add a small dash of organic cider vinegar, to help penetrate the flavours, and leave for a few minutes. You do not want overly marinated or stewed fish – this is about spring’s freshness after all.

3. Place in a pan or steamer, and cover up to halfway with water. Add a pinch of sea salt, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, and some black peppercorns. Steam or boil, for 45 minutes to an hour (for larger chokes) with the lid on tightly. When they’re done, the outer leaves will yield and come away easily when pulled.

4. Place the two mackerel fillets skin side down, in a hot pan, and cook for 4 minutes on one side. Turn and cook for 4 minutes on the other, until flesh comes away easily from the fillet, and is light brown all the way through (no longer pink).

3. Peel away a good amount of the outer leaves (which will be soft and fleshy at the end, and great dipped into things like garlic aioli or coriander-spiked hummus). Toast your bread at this point. Then once you reach the soft inner leaves, closest to the heart, spoon off the fuzzy furry tops (which feel soft and pate-like) and discard. You can then cut the heart up into equal segments (this is the part that comes in the jars that you buy at the supermarket).

4. Toast two pieces of bread (we favour spelt sourdough for ease of digestion), and then layer the artichoke, mackerel pieces and leaves over the bread. Drizzle generously with olive oil, lime juice, and ground black peppercorns, and then find a sunny spot, and enjoy.

The Body Balance Diet Plan, by Eminé Ali Rushton, is released on April 16th. www.balanceplan.co.uk