Baked Apples with Ginger and Orange

Hip & Healthy Promotion

We know that Christmas is not the easiest time to make diet conscious decisions. With the winter weather outside who doesn’t like to wrap up warm and enjoy a few indulgences. Fortunately there are ways to enjoy delicious comfort foods whilst also taking proactive steps to help lower your cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart.

Tanya Footman, the resident nutritionist at Flora pro.activ has compiled some easy to follow ‘top tips’ to help you with you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Opt for healthy snacks: Why not make up your own mix of seeds, nuts and dried fruit for healthy snacking at your fingertips. Or to get in the festive spirit, try roasting nuts for that delicious Christmas aroma

Choose the right meats: Opt for fish and poultry over fatty meat products. Or try replacing fatty meats with beans, lentils, fish, and poultry without skin or lean meat. Turkey is a great lean meat packed with flavour.

Get active: Even everyday activities can be turned into moderate exercise. All that extra housework during the festive period is a great way to keep fit. Small changes such as taking the stairs instead of the escalator and even hand washing your car all make a difference.

Plant Sterols: Plant sterols are found at low levels in everyday foods like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, grain products, fruit and vegetables. But to get a significant cholesterol lowering effect include foods with added plant sterols like Flora pro.activ* in your diet.

Salt: eat no more than six grams of salt a day – Experiment with herbs and spices instead and avoid salty snacks like crisps.

Baked apples with ginger and orange


  • 2 cooking apples
  • 30g (1oz) stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 55g (2oz) ready to eat dates, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps runny honey
  • 4 tbsps water
  • 25g (1oz) Flora pro.activ

For the orange and cinnamon spread:

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan oven, gas mark 6.

2. Score carefully with a sharp knife around the middle of the apples, and using an apple corer remove the core and pips. Place on a baking tray.

3. Combine the dates and stem ginger together and fill the centre of the apples with the mixture. Add the water to the dish. Bake for 30–35 minutes until soft and cooked through.

4. Meanwhile blend Flora pro.activ spread, orange zest, ground ginger and honey. When the apples are ready, serve with the flavoured Flora pro.activ spread and allow to melt over the apples.

Serves: 2 people

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 195 minutes

For more tips and recipes please visit

Bee Pollen: Why is Bee Pollen Good For You?

The Buzz on Bee Pollen

words by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Bee Pollen is made by honeybees and is considered to be one of natures most nourishing and complete foods as it contains almost all the nutrients required by our bodies. It’s richer in proteins than any other animal source, contains more amino acids than the likes of eggs, beef or cheese and is rich in vitamin B and folic acid.

5 reasons why bee pollen should be sitting in your cupboard:

1) Immune Booster– It is rich in antioxidants and has antibiotic-type properties that can aid the body fight viruses, making it essential for this time of year.

2) Energizer – Bee pollen is brimming with a range of different vitamins and minerals. The proteins, carbohydrates and B vitamins replenish and energize your body fighting off fatigue and enhancing stamina and mental performance.

3) Skin conditions–  Bee Pollen is not only edible, it is also used in creams as an anti-inflammatory. Its high content of amino acids aid the re-growth of skin cells.

4) Aiding Digestion– Bee pollen also contains digestive enzymes that help your body to absorb all the essential nutrients you need from your food. This is especially beneficial for those that suffer from bloating after meals.

5) Fertility– Bee Pollen stimulates and helps to restore ovarian function and can assist you when trying to get pregnant.

When is it most beneficial to eat Bee Pollen?

Bee Pollen is best eaten with a meal, and is most effective when eaten alongside fruit at breakfast.


Now you know what all the buzz is about its time to get your digestive juices flowing with this Blue-Bee smoothie:

This smoothie is  full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Omega 3, protein and potassium. All ingredients culminate to add wonderful nutrition and taste factor to this recipe, but the flavour of Bee Pollen surpasses the rest making it  the main attraction.  Its not only incredibly good for you (as you may have gathered) but adds a manuka honey- esque flavour and a delicious natural sweetness.


Serves 1 large

1 cup blueberries

2 tsp bee pollen

1/2 cup pomegranate

1 banana

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

1 cup oat milk

Blend up and enjoy, this smoothie truly is the bees knees of smoothies!

TIME TO HYDRATE: Four reasons we should all be drinking more water…

Hip and Healthy Promotion

Just like a car engine needs fuel so does your body’s organs need water. If you feel sluggish in the afternoon you could be hydrated. When our body does not have enough water in it, it starts to causes your body to conserve energy by decreasing blood circulation. This starves your muscles of oxygenated blood and causes you to become tired. Next time you feel the 4pm slump, maybe it’s time for another glass of water.

How many times have you heard a supermodel claim that her youthful, glowing complexion is down to her skin? Well, they might just be right, hydration is key for great looking skin. A recent study in The Journal of Dermatology revealed that healthy hydrated skin aged just 22% over an eight year period, compared with a staggering 55% over the same period for dehydrated skin. Drinking water really does keep all our organs in check and working efficiently, and our skin is the biggest organ we have.

The best way to detox is to drink more water as it literally flushes toxins naturally out of your body, which is why it is so important to keep your fluid intake up when you have contracted a virus like a cold – to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

Aids Weight-Loss
We often mistake thirst for hunger and reach for the biscuit tin when we should be helping ourselves to a glass of water. Our body sometimes masks our thirst by telling us that we are hungry, when you feel thirsty you have in fact already crossed over into dehydration. So, next time you feel hungry try drinking some water first to see if that satisfies your craving.

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water, but with the new drink alarm apps you can get you’ll always be drinking enough water!



New Scents for a New Season: The Perfect Perfume Present

A new season means one thing – time for a new scent. And with an array of new olfactory offerings to choose from, there’s something for everyone… says Frankie Rozwadowska

The Floral: Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede – £78, 100ml
This feminine, floral scent brings a bloom of peonies to your perfume with a bursting bouquet of petal power. Combining sensual, soft blush suede with floral notes of jasmine, rose and gillyflower and a cheeky bite of juicy red apple, it’s flirtatious, luxurious and seductive.

The Musk: AERIN Amber Musk – £85, 50ml
In the words of Aerin Lauder, “Amber Musk is a warm, inviting scent you want to wrap yourself in – like a soft cozy blanket on a cold snowy night”, and we couldn’t agree more. Creamy, comforting musk is enveloped in amber and sensual florals to create a rich, velvety scent, contrasted by a succulent burst of coconut water and delicate rose absolute. This is one sublime scent you will want to slip into this season.

The Oriental: La Perla Just Precious – £45, 50ml
Inside this beautiful bottle you will find one precious perfume. Inspired by the multiple facets of a gemstone, this is no ordinary Oriental. This is a woody, floral oriental, where top notes of mandarin, bergamot and orange blossom blend with a floral heart of jasmine and ylang-ylang to reveal a dry-down of sweet vanilla, warm amber and sensual sandalwood.

The Citrus: Shay & Blue Sicilian Lime – £55, 100ml
Hand-made and full of fragrant, natural ingredients – this is a citrus lovers dream. Sharp, sparkling and as refreshingly crisp as a citrus cocktail, it will transport you right to the salty sea air of the Mediterranean coast. A rush of lime, rosemary and masculine moss cut with a hit of salt margarita – with just one sniff you’ll be sipping one too!

The Oud: Tom Ford Oud Fleur – £140, 50ml
The latest offering from Mr. Ford celebrates all things Arabia with this ode to oud. Using the most highly regarded, precious Middle Eastern materials, rich oud and smoky birch tar create a sultry scent reminiscent of burning incense, combined with a heady blend of rich rose, patchouli and warming sandalwood.  A bazaar in a bottle.

If you do one thing this week… Beat Christmas Weight Gain!

words by Molly Jennings

Christmas is now in sight! I love London this time of year. Christmas lights are beaming, winter wreaths are decorating front doors, street musicians are playing jolly tunes and the air is filled with the smell of pine from the guy selling Christmas trees on the corner. It’s a time for Christmas spirit, connecting with family and friends and plenty of laughter over mulled wine and delicious food. Yeah… lets talk about food. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a little indulgence! And let’s be honest, mum’s probably been slaving away in the kitchen preparing lots of yummy nibbles so the least we could do is try a few! But where do we draw the line? How do we still enjoy Christmas with all the deliciousness it brings without ending up looking like Santa in the New Year? Here are H&H’s tips to surviving the Santa belly!

Keep Moving
No matter what, stay active. Now I’m not saying you should pack in an hour of hard-core intervals every day, but just keep your body moving. Winter is such a beautiful time of year so get outside in the fresh air and plan a family walk… or run if you’re that kind of gal! (Yes, I just said gal!) Or if you can’t bear the thought of venturing outdoors incorporate some exercises into your daily life. While you’re waiting for those mince pies to come out the oven, grab a chair and do some tricep dips, swipe a cushion from the sofa and hold some planks or do some mountain climbers. Or if you want, stick on some Christmas tunes and get boogying! You’ll be having so much fun that you’ll forget your even burning calories! Anyways, my point here, is that nobody’s exactly going to lose weight over Christmas. These are just some simple and super easy ways to keep your body and muscles activated and to help minimize damage.

You Booze, You Lose
Watch your alcohol intake. This is one of the most common reasons for Christmas weight gain. It can be a bit of a tricky one as drinking has become closely associated with socialising. If you’re going to drink alcohol don’t do it on an empty stomach as it can lead more quickly to intoxication. It’s important to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream as much as you can as this helps the liver to do its job of processing it. Try having some good fats like nuts or avocado before heading out to a party as studies have shown that the higher the fat content of the food you consume before drinking, the longer the absorption process takes. When our Editor, Sadie, has a couple of drinks over Christmas she makes sure she drinks one glass of water for every glass of alcohol. This is such a great way of staying hydrated, as alcohol, along with caffeine, is a natural diuretic.

Pick Your Indulgence
Like I said earlier, indulging is kind of inevitable at Christmas. But a great tip I learnt is to pick your indulgence. If you decide that you would like a pudding at dinner, then make sure your day is filled with lots of nutrients. Kara Rosen, founder of Plenish Cleanse, recommends starting the day with a green juice. By feeding your body with all the vitamins and nutrients it craves in the morning, you’re giving it the best possible start and actually, it will help keep you on tract throughout the day. And for goodness sake, enjoy the pudding! Where’s the fun in eating a lovely piece of chocolate cake or Christmas pudding if you’re just going to sit there and feel guilty about it. Let go of the guilt and relax. Life’s about living after all and it’s not like you eat it all year round!

Nibble Control
A bit of an obvious one but controlling the munchies is key to warding off that Santa belly! And it’s always the nibbles that rack up the most. Nibbles, in my opinion are kind of silly. You’re just about to sit down to a big meal so why would you want to be full of sugar coated nuts and smoked salmon blinis! It’s most certainly guaranteed that you will feel like you’ll have to be rolled back home! Ditch the nibbles so you can fully appreciate and enjoy your main meal. And it’s never just one blini is it?

Minty Fresh
Our final tip is something simple. Always have mints on hand. This tip is great for nibble control and limiting alcohol consumption. Pop a mint just before you get to a party and it will really help with the urge to devour the nibbles going round or knocking back a glass of wine. Even when you’ve finished the mint, you’ll still have that lingering mintyness like after you brush your teeth. Nobody feels like eating anything after they’ve cleaned their teeth! Another way to use mints is to eat one whilst doing all that Christmas cooking. Pamela Anderson does this to stop herself from picking at food while she’s cooking! We think this an awesome tip… Thanks Pam! We like to suck on these sugar-free, aspartame-free mints from Peppersmith!



City Fitty: We take a look at some of the hottest sports styles this season…

Above: Athlete Workout Vest, £29, sweatyBetty; Grey top, £7.99, Golddigga at; The Veronica Black Shorts, £30, Lexi at; Terry Wristband, £3, American Apparel

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Pacesetter Run Tank, £55, Sweaty Betty; Leggings by Lexie, soon to be stocked at Bum Bag, £35, Sweaty Betty; Minimus 10V2 Trainers, £79.99, New Balance

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Futura Racer Tank, £18, Nike , JD Sports; Sports Bra, £6, Lonsdale,; Stardust Run Tights, £65, sweatybetty; Adizero Split Shorts, £33, adidas

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The Gloria Hoodie by Lexie Sport available at, £65

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Sabrina Razor, £60, Splits 59 at; Bra, £30, Shock Absorber

Photographs Ian Derry

Styling Kellie Daggett

Hair & Make Up Nadine Wilkie

How Radio DJ and mum of four, Jo Whiley, stays Hip & Healthy…

Interview by  Frankie Rozwadowska

How do you keep Hip & Healthy?
I guess I drink less than I used to, I exercise whenever I can fit it in and I try to take vitamins whenever I remember! 

You recently completed the Great North Run – congratulations! Any tips for those about to embark on a big fitness event?
Without a doubt do the prep. I’ve always been one of those who do their homework at the last minute and there was a risk that would happen with the Great North Run, but I was in mortal dread of it hurting too much if I hadn’t trained and embarrassing myself – so I just knuckled down and hit the road!

You’re a mum to four and are looking amazing! How do you keep in such great shape?
I genuinely feel much happier when I do exercise which is my main incentive. There are often times when I don’t exercise because I’m too busy or too tired but that’s when I get grouchy so I try and squeeze in a swim or a jog. And believe me – make up and baggy clothes conceal a multitude of sins!

What does a typical day in the life of Jo Whiley involve?
School run in the morning – taking Coco to school. I don’t see the kids in the evenings because I’m on air with my show on Radio 2 so it’s worth getting up early to spend time with them. After that I never know what the day holds. More often than not there are interviews or sessions to record for my radio show so I head to London to do whatever’s necessary – sometimes I manage to squeeze in some retail therapy [more often than not] – then I’m on air at 8pm.

What’s in your makeup bag right now?
Lancome definicil mascara, Sisley lip balm, Nars eyeshadows and foundation.

Who is your ultimate beauty icon?
Kristen Scott Thomas is elegance personified and Helena Christiansen does natural beauty in such a cool way.

What is your skin saviour?
Sisley moisturiser and black rose cream – Can’t live without either. Also Ren Moroccan rose otto sugar body polish and rose body oil for ultra moisture.

What’s the best beauty tip or secret you swear by?
Teeth and eyebrows! Tinting my eyebrows generally stops me from looking like an alien and a great smile is absolutely priceless. If you flash a big beaming smile, you look fabulous and it makes everyone you meet feel good too. Hence the need to look after your teeth. What works for me is new Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection.

What’s your signature dinner party dish?
Heated up pizzas.

How do you relax and spend your free time?
Vegging in front of the TV and eating out with the kids and my husband.

What are your guilty pleasures?
Smelly cheese, Jack Daniels, Dr Who and Diptyque candles

Last but not least, the old classic – if you could take three things to a desert island, what would they be?
Fountain pen, a beautiful leather bound diary, a Wind up turntable with some vinyl. Umm…that’s cheating isn’t?

Jo Whiley is the face of Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection, RRP £3.99. To find out more about loving your gums, visit


Hip & Elfy: Our Favourite Health and Fitness Christmas Gifts

Neom Organics Christmas Wish Candle – £42
There’s nothing more comforting than a house filled with Christmasy aromas! This year, we’re loving Neom Organics Christmas Wish candle! If you can imagine mulled wine, chocolate truffles, warming spices and soothing fruit notes all packed into one candle, this is it! Neom prides itself by using 100% vegetable wax and aromatherapy oils rather than paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances. Also, Neom are offering FREE UK delivery on orders over £40 as a festive bonus!

Cowshed for Sweaty Betty Gift Set £18
We couldn’t wish for a better collaboration! Each Cowshed for Sweaty Betty Gift Set includes a sumptuous body lotion and a bath and shower gel, with an invigorating scent of Lemongrass, Ginger and Rosemary, that will leave you feeling fresh and renewed!

White Company Cashmere Hot Water Bottle £60
Snuggle up to this gorgeous cashmere hot water bottle this winter. Embellished with three tiny silver buttons and styled like a cable knit jumper, who says hot water bottles couldn’t be a bedroom fashion statement?–silver-grey/

Stella McCartney Yoga Mat £55
Stretch in style with this chic yoga mat from Stella McCartney, featuring a dotted Stella McCartney logo along one side. The savvy carry handles means no matter where you are in the world, you can also find time for some OMs.

Teapigs Super Christmas Cheeky £20
This one’s for all you tea lovers out there. Teapigs are celebrating Christmas this year with 6 festive teas! Your Super Christmas Cheeky bundle will include Chai tea, Chocolate Flake tea, Rooibos Crème Caramel, Chilli Chai, Liquorice and Mint and Spiced Winter Red! Mugs at the ready!

Senspa Detox Collection £5.95 – £6.95
Christmas can (and will!) be a time for indulging so why not detox yourself beautiful? H&H loves Senspa’s Detox range that includes a body scrub, deep clean hand wash, bath salts and body wash. They all contain nine essential oils that work together with detoxifying seaweed, Dead Sea salts and marine extracts to deep cleanse your body and re-awaken your senses. All the products are 97% natural and contain no artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals, so you’ll be guaranteed to have a truly H&H Christmas!

Jo Malone Christmas Stocking £180
We know, we know…£180 is a bit of a hefty price tag but we couldn’t help ourselves! Introducing the charming Jo Malone Christmas Stocking! Peak inside, and you’ll find a Pomegranate Noir 30ml Cologne and travel candle, plus a Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Lotion. This quirky stocking will make a fabulously luxurious gift as well as a stylish decoration for the home too!

Liz Earle Men’s Everyday Skincare £40
Award winning skincare brand, Liz Earle, have got a little something for the H&H man out there. The Men’s Everyday Skincare gift combines a face and body wash, sensitive shave cream, after-shaving moisturiser plus a complementary Cleanse and Polish hot Cloth Cleanser thrown in too! And just so you know, if you bought all these items individually, it would cost you around £20 more! A man loves a bargain, and this certainly is one!

Ren Mini Gift Set £15
We’ve found the perfect stocking filler! This super cute REN Gift Set features best-selling scents Neroli and Rose to create a sublime four piece travel set. What you get – Rose Otto Body Wash and Body Cream, and Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash and Body Cream. Time to pamper!

Ciate MinI Mani Advent Calendar £42
Trying to ditch the chocolate advent calendar this year? We’ve got the perfect replacement…The Ciate Mini Mani Advent Calendar! Lying behind each door is colourful surprise that every beauty guru will love! Sparkles? Glitters? Festive reds? Just try and resist opening them all at once!

Pepper and Mayne Over-sized Limited Python Bag £75
This is the perfect tote for any fittie who’s always on the go! The cotton python detailing makes this gym bag a stylish accessory to any outfit, whether it’s your gym capris or jeans! Practical and super lightweight, it’s ideal for toting around post workout gym gear or even your yoga mat!

Nike Rose Gold Fuel Band £139
Track your progress in style with this amazing Nike Fuel Band in Rose Gold! We thought fuel bands couldn’t get any cooler! This makes for a super trendy Christmas gift that will satisfy any sporty luxe-lover!

The Radiance Cleanse Beauty Box £90
Send this beauty box to someone who deserves to glow from the inside out! These luxury gift boxes contain six 500ml juices – Alka Green, Ginger lemonade, Root Boost, Super Green, Vital Green, and Deep Roots. A great way to kick off the New Year H&H style!



Health Speak: We Chat to Surfer, Sophie Hellyer about Beauty, Food and Fitness

Interview conducted by Kate Prince

Sophie Hellyer is 26 and lives on the North Devon coast and is a professional surfer. In her first year of competition Sophie won the British and English titles and this year won the Student Surf Tour 2013. She was on the Roxy Team for 10 years but now rides for Cushe. Sophie has a degree in Events Management and lives in North Devon where she grew up surfing with her dad and sister.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning and why?
I always brush my teeth because I hate not feeling fresh; my father was a dentist … so the importance of keeping my nashers clean was made very clear!

What do eat for breakfast and why?
Normally, I’ll have a healthy cereal like fruit and fibre with almond milk but I also love a fruit smoothie or fruit juice and green tea.

What is your work place like?
I am so lucky, I coach surfing for a living so my office is the beach! I spend most my time on the North Devon coastline at a couple of different beaches depending on conditions.

What do you eat for lunch?
I normally try to make a wrap if I’m at home with salad and veggies and I love lentil and hummus and coriander wraps. It’s harder on the road but I still try and have something nutritious and healthy. I don’t really eat much dairy so it’s very difficult in service stations and most cafes.

Do you snack?
I snack all the time! I try to eat a banana every day just to make sure I’m getting something healthy, because when I’m travelling it is hard to control what you eat and you can end up grabbing a bag of crisps.

What do you have for supper?
I like cooking but nothing too complex! I love making Thai green curry or stir-frys with lots of yummy green veg. I feel so much fresher if I have a healthy dinner.

What is the healthiest thing you do every day?
Laugh… I’ve always had really good stomach muscles and I’ve never done sit ups. I swear laughter is the key!

What is the hardest thing about your training programme?
The amount of travelling I do makes it really hard to stick to a training regime, and also the conditions make it impossible sometimes. I love to surf and skate; but at the moment the weather conditions just aren’t permitting it. When I can’t surf I try to swim or play football.

What do you find hardest in competition?
Surf competitions are really hard because the conditions impact it so dramatically; sometimes you’re just unlucky and nature doesn’t swing a wave your way.

What do you like most about competition?
I love seeing all the other girls that compete at competitions; we are pretty spread out across the country so it is nice to meet up and surf with each other.

Do you have something in your diet you consider a ‘super food’ and do you eat that before competing?
I eat a banana before competing and green tea to keep me warm and hydrated.

Where is your favourite place to compete?
I only compete in the UK so my favourite place to compete is Croyde Bay in North Devon. The waves are always fun and I know the break well.

Is there anything you do every day without fail and why?
Check the surf! I can’t plan my day until I’ve checked the conditions, tide, swell, wind etc.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive) would you love to train?
I love people who can make me laugh, so Will Ferrel, Mila Kunis and Steve Coogan!

What is your biggest luxury in life?
I love good products. I use a really good sun cream, moisturiser and conditioner because the sun and salt water batter my hair and skin!

What are the three things can’t you live without?
Lip balm, sunshine and green tea!

What do you go to bed thinking about?
Probably ‘what will the surf will be like tomorrow?’ I’ll always check it before bed to know if I need to get up early.

What is your motto in life?
Hakuna Matata!

If you only do one thing this week… Avoid the Winter Blues

words by Kathleen Fleming

The clocks have changed, we have had our extra hour in bed and now we are faced with 6 months of the dark and cold. But the winter doesn’t have to be a reason to lapse into comfort eating and a state of depression. There are a few things we can do to boost our immune system, keep our emotional wellbeing on track and make ourselves feel great all the way through to the next clock change.

Get Your Vitamin D
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression occurring in the winter due the lack of sunshine. It is a very real problem in the UK and when the darkness sets in, so does that winter depression. It has been shown that increasing intake of vitamin D can make a difference to the mental health of those affective by winter blues. Vitamin D is also crucial for bone health and our immune systems. It is a well-known fact that we get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Unless you are lucky enough to afford multiple sunshine holidays, it is possible that you may not get enough vitamin D during the winter months. In order to ensure you get enough vitamin D try heading outside at least once a day, such as a thirty minute walk at lunch time. If the winter weather is not playing ball and walking outside is not an option, you can increase your intake of vitamin D by eating foods such as fatty fish (salmon or tuna), eggs and mushrooms. You can also take vitamin D supplements which are available at most health shops and pharmacies.

Add Lemon
Lemons provide a great vitamin C boost. Vitamin C is vital for maintaining general health and sufficient intake of vitamin C may be useful in staving off those nasty winter colds and the flu. An age old remedy for a sore throat is to gargle with lemon water or drink hot water with lemon and honey. Not only are lemons full of vitamin C they also have anti-bacterial, digestive system and liver cleansing properties. A great way to start a cold morning is with a cup of hot water with lemon. Alternatively add a slice of lemon to your herbal tea or a glass of cold, filtered water.

Soak Yourself
Light a few candles, run a warm bath, add some oils or salts and relax. As well as warming up a cold body, a hot bath has numerous health benefits. A hot bath has a similar effect to a massage and aids deep muscle relaxation which is perfect post-exercise or if you are feeling stressed. Also if your bath is hot enough to induce a little sweating you will be getting rid of toxins, stimulating circulation of blood and drainage of lymph – a full detox. A long, hot bath has psychological benefits too. It allows us to unwind, relax and forget about the pouring rain outside. If you add oils or salts such as coconut oil, your dry winter skin will be moisturised as well as detoxed.

Do Yoga
It is very easy to retreat the cosiness of the sofa when it gets dark and chilly. However, in order to avoid that winter coat of excess weight we need to keep our bodies moving. Yoga tones, strengthens and improves flexibility but what differentiates yoga from other forms of exercise is the effect that it has on our mind. Research has shown that practicing yoga three times a week can help fight off depression, such as seasonal affective disorder. The reason for this is that the practice of yoga boosts levels of the amino acid GABA in the brain which is vital for a calm and relaxed mind. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other anxiety disorders. Even if it is miserable outside, yoga is an activity that you can do without having to leave the warmth of your house. Get yourself a yoga mat and a good yoga dvd, light some candles, put on some relaxing music and do your own practice. Or if you aren’t confident enough to practice on your own, most yoga teachers do private sessions or lead small groups at their clients’ homes.

Eat Soup
Soup is a wonderful winter meal. A hot bowl of healthy soup can warm, comfort and nourish us. Soups are so easy to make and can be incredibly nutritious. You can also make big batches and freeze soup so you have a quick, healthy dinner for when you get home from work on a blustery, dark evening. The best winter soups make use of seasonal ingredients such as sweet potatoes, squashes, leeks and parsnips. Unfortunately a lot of ready-made soups are loaded with sugar, salt, cream and preservatives. However, soups are so quick to make and by making your own you can keep them healthy. My favourite winter soup recipe is below:

* 3 big sweet potatoes
* 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
* 2 big sticks of celery (cut into small pieces)
* 1 big white onion (finely chopped)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon medium curry powder
* 2 teaspoons of garam masala powder
* 4 cups of vegetable stock
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* sea salt and black pepper
* fresh coriander

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cut the sweet potatoes into thick rounds and place on a baking tray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them and sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper. Place the garlic cloves onto the baking tray with the sweet potatoes. Place the tray in the oven and bake the sweet potatoes and garlic for around 45 minutes or until they are soft.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, add the remaining olive oil and onion to a pan. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the spices and the celery. Cook for a couple minutes more. Take the pan off the heat.

Boil 4-5 cups of water with vegetable stock in a pot.  Take the sweet potato out of the oven, remove the soft sweet potato from the skin and add to it to the onion/celery mix. Remove the roast garlic from its skin and add to the mix. Stir the sweet potato and garlic into the mix so that they are well covered in spices.

Add all of the vegetables to the stock and bring the pot to boil. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and blend in batches until it is smooth. Add more water if it is too thick.

shop the look

Vegan Mini Raw Chocolate Orange Tarts

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Chocolate and orange, in my opinion, are one of the most delicious flavour combinations around. The slight bitter richness from the cacao paired with the sweet citrus orange, is a match made in heaven. It is also a taste we associate with Christmas, making these raw treats the perfect way to stay healthy whilst indulging in the holiday season.

My adoration for chocolate-orange treats stems from growing up with one hand in the jaffa cake tin and the other in Terry’s chocolate-orange box – Yes, this was deliciously indulgent, but very naive and not so hip and healthy. These raw chocolate-orange tarts, are 100% guilt free, light, yet wonderfully nourishing. Packed full of skin-loving omegas as well as being packed with nutty proteins. The medjool dates contain a wealth of fibre and natural fruit sugars making them instantly energising, whilst the protein ensures you maintain blood sugars, which will help you to sustain those energy levels for longer.

The tarts are so moorish, I had to make them into dainty mini tartlets – the absolute perfect one size portion. Let me know how you like yours, and show us some social media love by hashtagging your recreations to #hipandhealthy on Instagram & twitter.


Tart Base Ingredients:
3/4 cup almonds
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (can omit)

Method: Start by grounding the almonds in a strong food processor/blender. Add the medjool dates and coconut oil and blend until a dough ball has formed in the blender. (you may have to scrape down the sides)  When you’ve taken your base out the blender mould into your tart bases. The size is up to you, I normally make mini cupcake sized portions. Place on a parchment lined baking tray and place in the freezer whilst you make the cream.

Chocolate-Orange Cream Ingredients:
1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
1/4-1/3 water
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp raw agave nectar
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

Method: Drain the cashews and add all the ingredients to your blender. Blend until smooth. Spoon a dollop each into your raw tart base and place back into the freezer. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and let sit for 5-10 minutes before eating.

orange tarts

Inside Your Headspace: We chat to, Founder, Andy Puddicombe

We talk to the Founder of the meditation app Headspace, Andy Puddicombe about the power of the mind, setting up a business and meditation

Headspace has become such a successful app and a great way for everyone to introduce a bit of meditation into their lives, what motivated you to start it?

I wanted to demystify meditation, to make it accessible, relevant and beneficial for as many people as possible. Along with the help of my partner Rich Pierson, we were able to create Headspace, which has enabled us to share the useful tools that meditation equips you with and really make an impact on peoples lives.

What do you feel are the main benefits of meditation?

Meditation is simple to incorporate into your everyday existence but substantial enough to change your experience of life. The benefits are physical, emotional and mental. If you want more peace of mind, better sleep, to be more productive at work, to feel happier or to have better relationships with others meditation can help. Scientific interest in mindfulness has exploded recently, with the number of academic publications published on the topic increasing by nearly 300%. This research has shown that the brain can change in response to experiences and training such as meditation, further illustrating the benefits.

When did you start meditating? And why did you start?

My mother introduced me to meditation when I was 11 years old and its quite funny in retrospect. When I was in university I was going out with a girl who read a lot of books about Buddhism. To be really honest, I wasn’t listening too intently. But some of it must have gone in because one day I just turned around and said, ‘You know what? That stuff you’ve been talking about? That’s a brilliant idea. I’m going to go away and be a monk’. I wanted to better understand how to stop the endless chatter inside my mind.

Do you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to?

Yes, and I think that people are capable than far more than they realise and are just yet to tap into their capacity. A research study into meditation proposes that the change in brain function that occurs due to meditation represents the development of an ‘approach state’; this is characterized by a moving towards, rather than away from challenging external situations or internal experience. This can therefore help people combat the challenges that lie in front of them head on.

Like you, a lot of our readers have started their own business or are hoping to, what were the initial challenges when you embarked on setting up Headspace? How did you overcome them?

We had to overcome 2000 years of bad PR to change the perception that meditation was all about chanting and sitting in a lotus position. We introduced animations that were user-friendly to help teach people how meditation can be relevant and beneficial in day-to-day life.

What do you love about running Headspace?

I love that we now have just under 1,000,000 active users. It’s great to know that it is having an impact on so many people. We get wonderful emails and letters from our users too – they are the reason we all get up in the morning and go to work.

When did you know you were onto a winning idea?

We initially started informing people about meditation through events, but we soon realized this was not the most effective way to reach people. There was such a wide audience and we wanted to be able to share the concept with everyone. That’s how the idea of developing the app came around. As it grew we started to realise the true impact and reach Headspace could have.

Does meditation help you in the running of your business?

Yes. By practicing mindfulness I am able to tackle the everyday stress that comes from any job. In not letting things overwhelm me I am able to better manage the demands of work and therefore help reduce my level of stress.

How has meditation helped you in other areas of your life?

Meditation is inseparable from every aspect of my life. Meditation is a way to familiarise oneself with the qualities of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the intention to be present in the here and now, to be fully engaged with whatever is happening, free from distraction or judgement, and with a soft and open mind. This translates into all areas of my life, be it focus at work or my personal relationships. They are all impacted.

When do you think is the best time to meditate during the day?

The best way to meditate it to make it part of your routine, if you find it easiest to meditate in the morning before breakfast, try to stick to that. It is whatever feels right for you. It is better to do several shorter sessions rather than attempting one long marathon session. What is great about the app is that you can take your meditation anywhere so if you have a particularly busy schedule you can squeeze it in as a mid morning break at work or even on the bus on the way home.

Do you workout?

Yes, I particularly love surfing and do it as often as I can.

What is your day on a plate like?

Being in LA I drink a lot of fresh pressed juices and have as much fresh food and veg in my diet as possible

Where is the best place you have ever meditated?

There are lots of places but I was recently on my honeymoon in Hawaii and meditated at sunrise. That was pretty special

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I meditate and surf. It can be tempting to wake up and jump straight onto your email, especiallygiven that we have an office in the UK 8 hours ahead. However, I think it’s important to resist and get the day off to a good start.

What is your favourite food?

Currently any kind of juice (and chocolate, I have a serious weakness for expensive chocolate!)

Who / what inspires you?

My wife Lucinda, she is a fitness instructor.

Download the Headspace App here: