City Skincare: Create Your Urban Armour!

Late-night shopping, pop-up restaurants and free reading material handed out on every street corner; city life is splendid, which is why 80% of us reside in urban areas. But city living is not without its drawbacks – namely house prices, a lack of personal space and a city-worn complexion (dubbed ‘urban grey’by dermatologists). According to the World Health Organisation, nine UK cities (including London, Birmingham and Nottingham) have unsafe levels of pollution – and you can expect the smog to show up on your skin. Pollution saps your complexion of vitamin C, which is essential for healthy collagen production, and it also contains sulphur compounds which convert into sulphuric acid on skin and dry it out. But before you start to contemplate your escape route to the country, here’s our expert edit of skincare products guaranteed to override your postcode.

 Orico Streetwise City Face Scrub (1) copy

Orico Streetwise City Face Scrub, £16 

According to Mintel’s UK Consumer Trends 2015 report, 22% of women in the UK look to cleansers to protect their skin from the environment or pollution. This one has been formulated with congested skin in mind. It’s packed full of minuscule flecks of coconut shell powder, to gently buff away stubborn films of urban dust and de-clog pores. It also contains coconut oil to detoxify the epidermis and boost the turnover of sluggish, oxygen-starved skin cells.


Pai Sea Aster & Wild Oat Instant Calm Redness Serum, £42
Around 50% of women say they have sensitive skin, but a genetic predisposition to redness and inflammation is rare. Pollution, stress and smoking trigger flushing and irritation by weakening the epidermal lipid barrier and allowing irritants, microbes and allergens to penetrate the skin and cause a reaction. Pai Sea Aster & Wild Oat Instant Calm Redness Serum slips below the surface of skin in seconds and strengthens surface blood vessels to help alleviate redness. It also contains natural anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories to repair reactionary skin.


Comfort Zone Skin Defender Urban Protection Emulsion SPF 30, £28
UV radiation, exhaust fumes and industrial emissions are serious skin saboteurs because they increase the number of free radicals in the air and slow down skin’s collagen production line. Apply Comfort Zone Skin Defender Urban Protection Emulsion SPF 30 under your day cream to bolster your skin’s defences. It contains clever chemical filters, as well as physical ones, to deflect UVA and UVB rays. It’s also topped up with Lycopene; an antioxidant powerhouse which neutralises free radicals for up to 12 hours.

 Skynn Iceland

Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist, £25
As superfluous as face sprays may seem, this one is actually quite prescriptive. As well as helping your skin retain moisture, Skyn Iceland Artic Face Mist instantly peps up city-worn, ashy complexions with a shot of free radical-fighting vitamin C. It also contains soothing white willow bark, which has antibacterial properties – and the antioxidant thiotaine. Keep it in your bag, or on your desk, for on-the-go, glow-giving sprays.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 17.33.59

Kiss The Moon After Dark Face Oil in Glow, £48
If your skin is suffering from a moisture deficient, before bed is a window of opportunity to bring it back from the brink. While we sleep, our bodies release a growth hormone which speeds up cell turnover and it’s at this point, when skin cells are in a state of flux, that nutrients are best absorbed and active ingredients can penetrate deeper down to the dermis. Kiss The Moon After Dark Face Oil, £48 contains rose hip seed oil, rich in essential fatty acids, to saturate and plump up parched skin. And its fragrant blend of citruses and florals ease anxiety and boost your mood – so you’ll be nodding off in record time.

words by Charlotte Jolly

Get lean and limber with BalletFit!

If there’s one thing almost everyone would like a bit more of, it’s flexibility. We might be disciplined at putting in hours at the gym, pounding the streets or pumping iron – but when we’re pushed for time, it’s the post-workout stretch that’s often cut short.

However, flexbility is an aspect of health that we really shouldn’t ignore. From helping to treat back pain to improving circulation, regular stretching offers a wide range of benefits, which is why it’s the focus of English National Ballet’s unique exercise class BalletFit. Held at Markova House, the home of English National Ballet, this ballet-inspired Pilates workout is challenging yet completely accessible to adults of all genders, shapes and sizes. Absolutely no dance experience is necessary.

‘The essence of ballet that I bring to these classes is the sense of aesthetic quality; exercise is often perceived as very unglamorous and it’s good to feel nice while you’re working out,’ explains the teacher Rhiann, who is an experienced professional and teaches clinical Pilates as well as BalletFit.

For ballet fans, it’s almost enough of an enticement that you do the class in the very same studio that English National Ballet’s dancers train and rehearse in during the day. The high ceilings provide a wonderful sense of space and it’s quiet and peaceful, helped by the mellow playlist.

We started at the barre with some gentle warm-up exercises and stretches. I’ve done a lot of ballet, but not for a long time and although it felt wonderful to plié deep and sweep my arms in port de bras, I was shocked at how tight my hamstrings have become. We moved from the barre to mats, working on core muscles with some tough abdominal exercises (in turn-out and with pointed toes, of course) and some deeper stretches, before ending with a couple of minutes’ relaxation.

Pacing around the room, Rhiann demonstrates every exercise clearly and is hands-on in correcting alignment. Of course, you can’t expect to improve your flexibility in one class, but according to a number of class participants, you’ll definitely see a progression over the 12-week term. Becoming stronger and more supple can also help to prevent injury and make it easier to perform other types of exercise or sports, while the dancer’s posture is something that many people long for. ‘When you’ve been a dancer, people can tell for the rest of your life that you’ve danced, even if it’s just at an amateur level,’ says Rhiann. ‘That’s something people really aspire to, so to bring it into the exercise world is a great thing.’

For more about BalletFit morning classes and taster classes, or to book, visit here.

Article originally published at

Words by Samantha Whitikar

Please credit: Laurent Liotardo

If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Don’t Cut The Carbs Before Christmas!

“Carbs” has become a dirty word in recent times, especially in the weight loss world, due, in no small part, to the popularity of low-carb diets such as the Atkins, Dukan, and South Beach programs. This week, Hip & Healthy want to shed light on the different types of carbs and why we actually should be embracing them this Christmas rather than cutting them out.


Restricting your carb intake too drastically can lead to: decreased thyroid output, increased cortisol output, decreased testosterone, impaired mood and cognitive function, muscle cataboliam, suppressed immune function. In other words, you’ll feel lousy, spaced-out, sluggish, cranky and even sick. Who wants to feel like that around the holiday season?


Low-carb diets can significantly disrupt hormone production too. Women with too low carb intakes – especially active women – can face a stopped menstrual cycle, lowered fertility, hypoglycemia and blood sugar swings, more body fat (especially around the middle) loss of bone density, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, chronic inflammation, and worse, chronic pain, chronic fatigue and disrupted sleep and a host of other chronic problems!


Carbs are also crucial for building muscle. Low carb diets increase muscle breakdown, because severely low carb intake lower insulin levels. When you don’t get enough carbs to meet your needs, your catabolic (breaking down) hormonal environment is created, which means more protein breakdown and less protein synthesis.


Below are some of our favourite carbohydrates for the winter season that are filled with nutrients that will keep your body strong, healthy and happy!



The perfect, warming, winter breaky has to be oatmeal! This grain contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fibre that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood stream. This slower digestion prevents dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that would otherwise encourage our bodies to produce and store fat. Oats are a rich source of magnesium, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels, aiding the heart muscle, and regulating blood pressure. A body of evidence suggests that eating magnesium-rich foods reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Experimental and clinical data also suggests a link between magnesium deficiency and depression.


LUNCH – Brown Rice

Rich in selenium, brown rice helps reduce the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Also high in manganese, it helps synthesise fats and benefits nervous and reproductive systems. Not only does this fibrous grain contain naturally occurring oils, it also aids regular bowel function and makes digestion that much easier (We could all do with a little helping had after all those mince pies!). So for a fuller tummy and a that satisfied feeling, stock up on some brown rice!


DINNER – Winter Squash

Perfectly in season and super flavoursome, the squash is one of the richest sources of plant based anti-inflammatory nutrients. Containing omega 3s and beta-carotene, the winter squash can help boost your immune system to help protect against colds and flu. The carbohydrates found in the winter squash come from the polysaccharides found in the cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti diabetic and insulin-regulating properties. Try our fantastically cosy Butternut Squash Soup here!

words by Olivia Murphy

Fitspiration – Get The Gloss Founder, Susannah Taylor!

At what age did you know that you had a real passion for the beauty and fashion industry?
As far back as I remember I was very specific about what I wore. When I was about 11 I remember wanting to really stand out and not wear what everyone else was wearing. I would paint pictures on my clothes – on the back of my shirts, on my jeans, on t-shirts…I remember covering a boring pair of slip-on shoes in turquoise and silver sequins.

I was hugely inspired by the supermodel era in the 90’s and the glamour of it all .I was a young teenager at the time and it left a real mark on me. I kept all the Vogues from the time and had the pictures on my walls. As for beauty – that kicked in as a young teenager too…I would follow the advice of people like Mary Greenwell who did their makeup – I never thought one day I would actually be her friend and work with her! I also had very difficult hair as a teenager and spent my life trying to smooth it out! The invention of John Frieda Frizz-Ease when I was about 16 changed my life overnight.

Throughout your career, you have had the opportunity to interview a fair few high profile individuals. Who was the most inspirational? Why?

One of the loveliest was Liv Tyler…she was amazing as there is something very serene and peaceful about her. I don’t know if many famous people inspire me though. I think people who inspire me most are those who help others in some way or people you can learn from, like Arianna Huffington. I haven’t met her, but I would love to.

Being Editor-in-Chief of GTG, how do you find time to workout?

It’s hard, but I do that thing of scheduling it into my diary like a meeting. I put it in at the beginning of the week and don’t move it unless World War III is about to break out or logistically I can’t make it because my children are ill or something. I have a personal trainer (still can’t quite believe that myself), he is called Steve Mellor of and he has inspired me to go from very basic level fitness to training for a triathlon. He has also helped me recover from a serious knee injury. I work from home 2 days a week and on those days I find an hour to go to the gym/ go for a run/ a swim. At weekends….I try to workout at least once….it may be early Saturday morning or late Sunday night but I try and do something. If I go 2/3 days without exercising now I start to freak out! It definitely keeps me sane, and helps me feel on top of everything.

Outside of work, what do you do to relax?
I have tried a lot of relaxation techniques over the years from meditation to yoga, but nothing works as well for me for clearing the mind and resting the body as exercise. I do a lot of HIIT training and resistance work, but I have learnt to work out hard. The harder I work out the better I feel!

I think spending time with girl friends is soul food like no other, but I also love nothing more than time in front of the fire with a blanket and cuddles with the kids.

A lovely candle always creates a great atmosphere too. My favourites are from organic brand Neom.

We know you are a ‘fearless self tanner’, but when it comes to the real rays of the sun, what are your skin protection rituals?
I always wear factor 30 in the sun. I have very fair skin and never drop below it. It’s not even just for vanity sake…I just burn really really easily. My favourite sun screens are from Clarins and Sisley and Nivea.

I also slather my two children in factor 50 – they are little readheads. My favourite sunscreen for them Clarins Suncare Milk for Children UVA/UBV 50+. It stays on all day and if they are in the pool the water literally runs off it so I know it is v waterproof

If you had two minutes to get ready, what makeup items would be your priority?
Clinique’s High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara for long, separated lashes. Bobbi brown’s foundation stick for under eyes, spots, blemishes or smoothing the skin. A fast blusher such as Becca’s Beach Tint in Watermelon…it’s my favourite for making you look like you’ve been out for a country walk.

Tell us about your gym look – are we more likely to find you in running trainers and leggings, or in yoga pants with a yoga mat?
I do a lot of HIIT training so you are more likely to find me in leggings and running trainers. I could literally open a shop with the amount of leggings I have….my favourites are Lucas Hugh. They are tough and the fabric is incredible – light but durable and they suck you in in all the right places, plus they are amazing colours and patterns. I also have loads of Sweaty Betty vests which are a great shape. Trainer wise I have a few. For favourites are Asics (I have a great great and fuchsia pair) but I also have some cool Nike ones. I have a great pair of Nike i-D’s which I designed that have ‘Super Sus’ written on the tongues!

Do you have a favourite mantra or quote?
‘If it was easy everybody would do it’ or ‘It’s the hard that makes it great’

What is the must-have colour for our nails this season?
I love a navy blue or navy blue/ grey

What are your top three favourite foods?
Argh – too many to choose from. Chicken, Avocado and fruit of every kind. I Love a cappuccino too! I’m definitely not perfect.

When travelling, what essentials would we find in your hand luggage?
I would take my Bobbi Brown foundation stick and a blusher (above), water and nuts – I am never without them these days, especially on a plane as the food can be disgusting. I also pack a few Naked Bars!

What is your favourite item of clothing from our online activewear store?
I love the Lucas Hugh Vitascope leggings! really like the Hip & Healthy ‘healthy is the new Black’ tank top too – I love a slogan!


Be sure to check out Get The Gloss!

Butternut Squash And Tahini Soup Recipe From Naturally Sassy!

Sassy from healthy recipe blog Naturally Sassy shares her favourite warming butternut squash and tahini soup for these cold months to come! For more healthy recipes you can visit her blog and follow her for daily recipe inspiration on her instagram @naturallysassy__   here.

Sassy, over to you!

“I always forget how much I love a bowl of soup until I make an incredibly creamy one like this. My butternut squash & Tahini Soup is, in my opinion, the most delicious soup (possibly) ever! A pretty bold statement I know, but for me this soup is pure heaven. Unlike some soups that are pretty watery and not filling at all, this soup is so rich and filling and packed with amazing flavour. Butternut squash not only makes this soup so wonderfully thick and creamy but also packs it with nutrients. Squash contains a wealth of powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which help to protect us against free radicals, and are also thought to reduce risk of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. It’s also a rich source of vitamin A, with one serving of this soup equating to nearly 100% of your recommended daily intake! Vitamin A is great for your skin, it works to exfoliate making it smoother and clearer. Tahini is a must in this recipe, as it adds a deep sesame flavour that runs through the soup, it also helps to make this soup really delicious and hearty. tahini is a sesame seed paste known for its calcium content, which is essential for healthy bones. It also contains 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts. This soup is full of flavours and textures that are filling, energising and most importantly, really comforting”


1 Butternut Squash

3 tbsp Light-tahini

2 Tbsp Tamari

Juice 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 cups water

S & P to taste


1) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Start by pealing the butternut squash, and cutting it into bite sized cubes. Place on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive and roast for around 30-35 minutes.

2) When the squash is cooked add all your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

3) Transfer into a sauce pan and heat through until piping hot.

Saskia Gregson-Williams
Healthy Recipe & Wellness Blogger

The Gluten Free Debate!

Recently Macdonalds (yes, the Macdonalds of cheeseburger and fries fame) announced that it is launching a gluten free menu. Apparently, their gluten free menu is designed to appeal to the more health conscious customer. But is gluten-free really synonymous with health? Does eating a fast food meal without gluten make it a healthy food choice?


What is Gluten
Celebrities proclaim that dramatic weight loss is thanks to gluten-free living and a lot of people have joined the gluten-free gang, assuming that it will lead to better health and a smaller waistline. But does everyone who goes gluten-free really know what it means? Believe it or not gluten is actually a protein composite consisting of prolamin and glutelin. Gluten is mainly found in wheat products (such as bread and pasta) as well as other grains, including barley and rye. The reason gluten is added to flours is because it gives dough a little more elasticity. You can pretty much guarantee that your standard bagel, bread, muffin or pizza base contains gluten – both the white and brown stuff!

Although it is predominantly added to wheat flours, it is also found in other grain products including oats (apart from certified gluten-free brands) and breakfast cereals. As well as the obvious many processed foods such as vege-burgers and imitation meats, sauces, seasonings and beer often contain gluten.


How Does It Affect Your Body?
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease of the small intestine which is caused by a reaction to gluten and results in an inflammatory response as well as poor nutrient absorption. The only way to deal with coeliac disease is to eat a gluten-free diet. But not all gluten-freers are coeliac – 1 in every 100 people in the UK is actually coeliac. Other people do suffer similar, less severe symptoms which include mild stomach cramps, weight gain and severe bloating after eating bread (food baby alert!). These signs often indicate an intolerance to gluten which is becoming more and more prevalent. Yes, some people can regularly gobble toast by the loaf and large bowls of bolognese but there is more and more evidence (both medical/nutritional research and anecdotal) which suggests that gluten adversely affects digestion and consequently general health!


Gluten- Free Food
Most supermarkets have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, with free-from aisles stocked with gluten-free cookies, bread, pasta and cereals. You may think this would result in the gluten-free world shrieking for joy but the reality is that behind the gluten-free façade, these are still cookies, bread and pasta. We all know fat-free generally means sugar-loaded and sugar-free often means an aspartame red-alert! And yes, you have guessed it – gluten-free often means full of other artificial ingredients plus sugar to make it taste like the real deal. Gluten-free does not mean “healthy” and I think we can safely assume that fast food cheeseburgers in gluten-free buns with gluten-free fries followed by gluten-free apple pie isn’t going to be good for our body!

So if you are going gluten-free stick to real food. Don’t be reeled-in by the “healthy” headline, read the small print (what else is in there?) and use some common sense. There isn’t a fruit, vege, fish, egg or nut which contains gluten so avoid that free-from aisle and stick to real food (naturally gluten-free!). And if you really, really want to eat pasta or cake, make your own gluten-free versions using natural ingredients such as vegetables, nuts, seeds and eggs – why not try our Zucchini Alfredo Pasta?

words by Kathleen Fleming

Is Sitting The New Smoking?

Sitting on the train or in the car, sitting at our desks, sitting down for lunch and then sitting on the sofa when we get home is an all too familiar cycle. We have known for years that smoking, junk food and binge drinking are bad for us and all have been shown to cause serious health issues. But there is a new addition to this list – sitting. According to recent research, sitting is the new smoking. In fact, several studies have shown that sitting down for extended periods of time on a regular basis may be a big contributing factor to certain cancers and other serious illnesses. In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, it was found that people who spend more hours of the day sitting have up to a 66% higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than those who lead more active lifestyles.

In addition to being a contributor to serious illness, sitting for long periods of time is terrible for our posture and muscle tone (think limp bottoms and soft abs) and can lead to weight gain. From a mental perspective, movement pumps blood and oxygen through our brain and leads to the release of mood-enhancing chemicals. But when we stop and sit for hours, everything slows down and this can lead to a “foggy brain” and may affect our emotional wellbeing. Research has also found that sitting is associated with other behavioural patterns which adversely affect health such as eating and drinking too much of the bad stuff (desk-side nibbles anyone?) which in turn may contribute to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Unfortunatelya lot of us can’t avoid sitting down at work, especially if we have an office job. And although after-work exercise binges help, research shows that it takes more to really tackle the sitting-sickness epidemic. In fact, medical experts say that it isn’t so much about how much exercise you are doing, but more about how many hours you spend sitting. Here at Hip & Healthy, we have come up with some great ideas to tackle the modern sedentary lifestyle, all of which are easy to incorporate into your daily life.


Standing Desks
Ok, so it might draw some unwanted attention in the office but standing desks are awesome. You don’t need to completely exhaust yourself by standing all day but you can alternate between your stool/chair and standing up. Standing up with good posture will improve your mood, muscle tone and burn more calories – winner!

If standing desks are a no-go in your office, try swapping your chair for a swiss ball. Although you are sitting when you sit on a swiss ball, your core muscles are engaged which will help with good posture. Plus you can always throw in the odd ab crunch when nobody’s looking.


Walking Breaks
Smokers take breaks so we think healthies can too! Taking breaks to walk or move your body every hour during a sedentary day is important. We recommend jumping off the bus or train a couple of stops earlier to walk to work (or even better walk/run to work), taking regular breaks from your desk and taking a walk around the block after lunch and dinner. Or if you can spare the time, join us in living your lunch break and head for a lunch time workout or yoga session (click here for some suggestions).


Say Goodbye to The Sofa
It is all too easy to flop on the sofa when you get home from a long day of sitting down. Instead of sofa-flopping which often means poor posture, eating more than you should and watching trashy TV, go for a walk in the park, bust out a few sun salutations or spend some time in the kitchen cooking up one of our delicious, healthy recipes (while standing of course!). When it comes to eating dinner, eat at the table or if you are table-less, go Japanese and sit on the floor rather than slumping on that sofa. And then post-healthy supper, make the most of the remaining warm, light evenings and go for a short walk.

By following these simple tips, we think it won’t be long before you reap the benefits of sitting less. And who knows, you may even have your whole office using stand up desks!

Words by Kathleen Fleming

image: pinterest 

Superfoods: To Eat Or To Apply – Part 2

Last week, I sat down with the founder of organic beauty brand Pai Skincare, Sarah Brown, to find out the benefits of applying superfood-infused products. Now, it’s time to look at why including these much talked-about foods in your diet is the way forward for ultimate health and a glowing complexion.

Superfoods To Eat

In the foodie corner, we have Alice Mackintosh. Renowned on the London wellness scene as a nutritionist at the prestigious Food Doctor clinic on Harley Street, Alice is the ultimate authority on all things food.

So when it came to superfoods, first and foremost, I was keen to find out what she considers the term to mean. “Something edible that somehow surpasses regular food status, owing to its exceptionally high nutrient content,” she replies. “To me, it should contain a plethora of goodness from different sources; vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.”

Turning our attention to whether applying them or consuming them is most effective for reaping maximum benefits, Alice points out that this will vary depending what benefit you are hoping to gain, saying for example, “Your liver is highly unlikely to benefit from a superfood applied topically, but it may enhance the skin due to the direct contact.”

She continues, “In general though, research shows the most benefits are gained when these things are consumed. Consider, for example, that the skin isn’t able to absorb 100% of what is applied, so whilst you may get the benefits of some of the nutrients, you are unlikely to get them all. Given that the beauty of superfoods is that they supply almost all the systems of the body, it seems a shame to miss out.”

Now for the science bit…

“New cells are produced deep in the dermis, while the cells on the surface of the skin are often coming towards the end of their life,” Alice explains. “So when it comes to anti-aging and glowing skin, you need to support cell synthesis before they move to the surface by supplying them with nutrients. Collagen is also located in the dermis of the skin and its production will rely on a good supply of nutrients in the blood supply.”

“Imbalanced hormones, poor digestion, low immunity and ineffective liver function can all impact on how the skin looks,” she continues, “The key is to support everything together in order to prevent the skin being negatively affected. Superfoods are a wonderful way to do this because their goodness infuses the whole body with the nutrients it needs to function.”

That being said, Alice does not dismiss the health and skin benefits of good, effective skincare. “Superfoods such as Aloe Vera and turmeric have been applied topically to the skin for many, many years and have been shown to do a lot of good.”

So does Alice opt for superfood-infused skincare as well as enjoying them on her plate? “I use products free of chemical nasties such as parabens, and also make an effort to choose those with herbs such as lavender and Aloe Vera that have been shown to help support the skin.”

Before I go, I can’t help but ask for Alice’s top superfoods for ultimate health. Alongside Aloe Vera, she lists blue green algae (“one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet”), goji berries, hemp seeds and acai seeds; also adding, “In general, raw is best as heating things up and processing too much can destroy nutrients. Also, some seeds such as chia and flaxseed tend to deliver more nutrients when they are ground up as we don’t digest them sufficiently otherwise.”

Having looked at both sides of the argument, I think the answer is clear; a balance of both. Look for superfood-infused skincare products such as Pai Skincare; rich in pomegranate and avocado oils to keep skin healthy and glowing. And include as many superfoods in your diet as possible, particularly if they’re raw.

words by Zoe Louise Cronk

If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Wake Up Hip, Healthy And Happy!

Have you ever woken up feeling really groggy, grumpy or even more tired than before you went to bed? Then you could be suffering from a lack of good quality sleep or even stress. In the 21st century way of life, we’re exposed to a lot of things that can have adverse effects on our sleep and our bodies ability to recharge and refuel during the night. We’re talking stimulants like caffeine and electronics – yes instagram can be a great motivational tool, but maybe your hourly scrolling be doing more harm than good. Also think about the stresses in your daily life – maybe you feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken and over exerting yourself at work. If that’s the case then you need to stop, take a deep breath and rethink a better strategy, because it’s not making your mornings hip, healthy or happy!

With Hip & Healthy, you can be sure that help is never far away. Below are some handy tips to feeling awesome in the morning!



Would you look at that! We’ve found yet another excuse to show you how beneficial exercise can be! If you’re always hitting the snooze button in the morning, then moving your body and increasing your heart rate will, without doubt, make a big difference as you’ll be physically more tired and therefore more likely to fall into a deeper sleep while your body repairs itself. For the more vigorous type of exercise, we recommend getting a morning slot at the gym as strenuous exercise in the evening can disrupt your sleeping patterns as it increases your adrenalin and raises your body’s temperature. But don’t worry if you haven’t had time to fit in a morning workout – a brisk walk, a light jog or some gentle pre-bed yoga will do just the trick!


Electronic Curfew

An important tip that could drastically improve your sleep, is setting an electronic curfew. Stimulating your brain right up until you switch the light off will not only make falling asleep a challenge, but it will also affect the quality of your sleep each night and hence, affect how you feel the next day. An hour or two before bed, we suggest to turn the TV off and put any iPads, laptops and phones away so you can allow your body and brain to recognise that bed time is fast approaching.


Create A Wind Down Routine

Once all your electronics get switched off, you’ll probably be thinking, “Now what?” Well it’s the perfect time to start your evening wind down routine to help relax your body and get it prepared for sleep. Run a bath with some essential oils and give yourself a little pamper. Or why not whip out your yoga mat any release any unwanted tension or stress by doing a few stretches? Whatever relaxing method you choose, we‘re certain you’ll feel fresh, awake and ready to go the next morning!


Find Your Perfect Temperature

Not an obvious thing to consider but it can make or break your sleeping patterns and your willingness to merrily hop out of bed the next morning. Finding your perfect temperature is a very personal thing so get experimenting! If you tend to wake up feeling hot and flustered in the night then try setting your bedroom’s temperature lower so you feel slightly cooler. Or if you’re the kind to wake up with ice cold feet and a case of the shivers then you might need to grab an extra blanket and turn up the heating a little.


Natural Wakeup Call

Are alarm clocks successful at waking us up? Yes. Are they a pleasant thing to wake up to? No! H&H believe that waking up as naturally as possible will make a huge difference to your mornings for the better. So if you’re prone to feeling groggy and grumpy in the mornings then why not swap noise for light? Christopher Peck, personal trainer at The Workshop Gym in the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, says “I love the Lumie BodyClock! It naturally wakes me up due to the gentle light exposure, and I never feel groggy in the morning. It’s especially good during winter and it makes my 5:30am starts way easier!” Designed to gradually get lighter, it replicates what it would be like to wake up under the sun. Who wouldn’t love that? Shop the Lumie BodyClock range here!

words by Molly Jennings

A Hip & Healthy Guide To Rome!

Rome could easily be thought of as a city of excess – the exuberant frescos, ostentatious fashions and yolky pasta dishes all add to the the mood of moreishness. But chances are the fashionistas frequenting the design giants on Via Condotti aren’t prone to overindulging. And Rome is fast-becoming a health haven, making it a cinch to keep that skin cherubic – and halo firmly intact.

As a coeliac, I had thought Italy was off-limits as a holiday destination, but it is in fact one of the best places to go gluten-free, or senza glutine. Children are routinely tested for coeliac disease, and the government has done an amazing job promoting awareness in restaurants.


Suite Sistina
A stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps, this hotel is at once understated and sexy. Its inconspicuous entrance belies its interior – impeccably designed rooms boasting Lush toiletries, Bang & Olufsen stereos and an organic breakfast in bed to start your day off on the right foot. Doubles from €170. Suite Sistina, Via Sistina 53. Tel: +39 (0) 62 036 8380

Beehive Hotel
This hotel-come-hostel may be cheap, but is still surprisingly chic. Rooms are clean and bright, with simple, modern decor – choose to swarm within the hive for a budget break, or opt for the pretty private rooms. The highlight is the cafe, which offers delicious, healthy veggie daily breakfasts and dinner on selected nights. Dorms from €25; en-suite rooms from €60. Beehive Hotel, Via Marghera 8, Tel: +39 (0) 64 470 4553



This bright cafe is a breath of fresh air after a morning exploring darkened, dusty churches. A stunning array of smoothies and salads jostle for attention on the menu – and the organic carrot cake with limoncello is a surprisingly saintly dessert with a herbal tea. Via Borgognona 43/44. Tel: +39 (0) 69 603 6390

Although ice-cream can often leave me, well, cold here at home, real Italian gelato is too good to miss. The woman behind Fatamorgana, Maria Agnese Spagnuolo, is coeliac, and combines traditional methods with innovative ways to provide tasty gluten-free, lactose-free or even sugar-free options – cones and all. Plus the ice-cream has earned the ‘clean’ label – no articifial preservatives, thickeners or food colourings. Gelato without the guilt – and the natural flavours taste second to none. Try the pistachio. And the eggnog. And the basil. And the fig… Via Lago di Lesina 9. Tel: +39 (0) 68 639 1589

Voglia di Pizza
Let’s be honest with ourselves here – you won’t let a weekend in Rome pass without at least one slice of pizza passing your lips. Nestled deep in the heart of Centro Storico, Voglia di Pizza is the perfect place for a pitstop – with delicious gluten-free pizzas that easily could be mistaken for the ‘real thing’. Via dei Giubbonari 33. Tel: +39 (0) 66 87 5293

Mama Eat
In pretty Trastevere, there are lots of little trattorias to choose from. Mama Eat is a bit special, with giant platters of tomato salads, gluten-free pasta dishes and pizzas, plus no lesss than five gluten-free beers on the menu. The selection of gluten-free cakes on offer (the Torta Caprese is particularly good) may not strictly fall into the ‘healthy’ category, but the service and quality of food will ensure you will want to do nothing but linger over dessert. Via San Cosimato 7. Tel: +39 (0) 65 80 62222


This chain stocks the sexiest cookware brands, designer gadgets and even… cooking fashion? If you enjoy stocking your kitchen with crockery as much as you do food, this is a fun place to buy some unusual souvenirs. Via Gioachino Belli 21

Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio
There is nothing quite like the bustle of an Italian market, and the New Market is particularly bustling. Locals and tourists rub shoulders as friendly vendors shout about their wares. All the ingredients for a great picnic can be found here, plus a few special vegetables you won’t find quite so easily at home. Flowering courgettes, gigantic beef tomatoes and glossy aubergines are just some of the choice picks, as well as delicate buffalo mozzarella which needs nothing more than a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar to be the perfect portable food. Foodie paradise. Via Galvani; open 6am-3pm, Mon to Sat

Widely regarded as the best deli in Rome, Volpetti is not cheap, but it is the ultimate destination for some great presents – or foodie souvenirs. Wines, vegetarian pies, home-made pasta, meats, pestos, olive oils – you name it, you’ll find it here. Via Marmorata 47. Tel: +39 (0) 65 74 2352



Horse Riding
What better way to see the Appian Way, Rome’s queen of roads, than on horseback? A trek on the cobbled thoroughfare through ancient ruins, green fields and right to the catacombs is an unforgettable day out – and a surprisingly good workout. From €90,

For the best sunrise views over St Peter’s Basilica, time to lace up your trainers and head to Villa Borghese park. The manicured grounds and tranquil lakes make for a great running spot, and Pincio boasts some of the best views over the city – the terracotta-ed buildings are stunning in the morning sunlight. If you feel you haven’t worked up enough of a sweat, you can always then spend a few hours roaming around the park’s amazing museums – including the Museo Borghese for Caravaggio, Bernini, Botticelli and Raphael and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna for Cezanne, Picasso and Modigliani.

This pared-back, eco-conscious yoga centre is the ideal place to escape the bustle of Rome. Don’t fear the language barrier – they are extremely accommodating here, and offer classes in everything from Ashtanga to Yin. The Iyengar-inspired yoga wall is a particular draw to help even the most experienced yogis try something new. Via Servio Tullio. Tel: +39 (0) 64 202 0900


Acanto Day Spa
When in Rome, do as the ancient Romans did and have a spa day. Acanto Day Spa is right by the Pantheon and its decor reflects its more elderly neighbour with classical arches and exposed brickwork, although there are some very modern treatments on offer. Luxuriate in a hammam or ease the aches of traipsing seven hills with a massage. Piazza Rondanini 30. Tel: +39 (0) 66 813 6602


Bici & Baci
The most stylish way to see Rome must surely be from the back of a Vespa. Or, if you don’t fancy braving the Roman traffic on bike, a classic Fiat 500 car is another suitably hip option. Channel your best Audrey Hepburn, don your shades and whizz around the historic centre and Coliseum for some breathtaking views. From €35

words by Siobhan Norton

image: Pinterest

Fitspiration – Stefanie Reid!

You’re a professional long jumper and sprinter for team GB who has competed all over the world! Tell us, where did it all begin?
It really began at 12, when I started playing rugby. I had always enjoyed playing sports, but my passion for rugby was different. There was nothing quite like running down a pitch, covered in mud, dodging girls who literally wanted to rip you apart! It was my dream to play professionally. Just before my 16th birthday, everything changed. I was involved in a boating accident – I was caught in the propellers, and had lacerations to my lower back and right leg. Unfortunately, my foot had to be amputated. I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t imagine a life without sport. I promised myself in my hospital bed I would find a way. It was a long road to becoming a sprinter and long jumper, but I feel so lucky to have fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a professional athlete!


What attracted you to pursue long jumping and sprinting?
While I was at uni, I happened to walk by an athletics practice, and all I could think about for the following week was “How fast can I still run?” Running is the last thing people expect you to do after you become a leg amputee. That was probably what most attracted me to it, the irony of being a professional sprinter with only one foot. I really enjoy the individual aspect of the sport. You are alone out there; there is no hiding. It is both scary and exhilarating. And so satisfying when the endless hours of hard work are rewarded with the result you were looking for!


How’s the preparation for Rio 2016 going? Have you added to or changed anything to the way you are training since London 2012?
Preparations for Rio are going really well. I have had the best season of my life, breaking the world record twice and becoming the European Champion! I started working with a new coach in 2013, which inevitably comes with a host of changes: different coaching philosophy, different training group, and different workouts. I think it is important to make small changes every year, big ones if necessary, to your approach to training. I want to build and improve upon the previous year, not just repeat it!


You must train for hours and hours a day… how do you keep your energy levels up to make sure you’re getting the most out of your training?
For me, the most important thing is getting into a consistent routine. That way, my body knows what’s coming on a subconscious level, and it’s ready to perform when I need it to. I make sure that I’m sleeping at the same times, napping if necessary, and eating high quality meals at regular intervals. This gets much tougher to do once the competition season starts, as you don’t always have control over competition or travel schedules.


What’s been the highlight so far in your career?
Hands down, standing on the podium in London 2012 to accept my silver medal in front of my friends and family!


What are the three foods you couldn’t live without?
Chocolate, coffee, and peanut butter!


Are there any other forms of exercise you like to do to complement your strict regime?
I love yoga and swimming. They help restore my body and mind naturally, and the injury risk is quite minimal… I’ll save snowboarding for when I retire!


What are your gym bag essentials that you never leave home without?
1) Water Bottle – proper hydration is necessary to get through 4- hour sessions

2) Protein Shake – I want to smash today’s workout, and also tomorrow’s, which is why recovery nutrition is so important. I use my Nutri Bullet to blend up protein powder, peanut butter, fruit and veggies, and I down it straight after my session

3) Training journal – nothing is more motivating than results, but you have to take time to track them.


How do you like to wind down in the evening after a long day on the track?
For me, it is about a good book, and a cup of tea on my loveseat overlooking my garden.


Do you have a positive mantra or quote that keeps you motivated?
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit” ~Aristotle


Where’s your dream holiday destination?
At the moment, it is Mt. Kilimanjaro. I would love to spend my next holiday climbing it!


H&H love cute, stylish and functional activewear – If you could workout in anything from our store, what would you pick?

I love the Splits59 Drive Support Tank, the Lija Fitted Run Jacket in pink and the Eva Gymtote!


Superfoods: To Eat, Or To Apply? – Part 1

I don’t know about you, but as a woman who is somewhat clued into the world of healthy living, with a love of exercising and experimenting with new recipes, the word ‘superfood’ is thrown at me constantly. I’m told to cook them, eat them raw, crush them into facemasks, eat them before workouts, juice them for glowing skin, buy face creams that contain them…the list goes on. When presented with so many different options, all claiming to be the best way to reap the benefits of these ultra-powerful foods, it can be difficult to know which to follow, and which to disregard.

To help you find your way through the minefield of superfood news and emerge the other side a healthier version of yourself, I sat down with experts from both sides of the equation – one from the world of beauty, and another from the world of nutrition (coming next week in part 2) – to find out their thoughts on how best to get that much needed superfood-boost.

Superfood Skincare

Meet Sarah Brown; the founder of premium sensitive beauty line Pai Skincare. The brand prides itself on being completely organic and chemical-free (…as well as creating all their own products right here in London of course); using only the most carefully-selected ingredients with proven skin-soothing properties. And what do all these carefully-selected ingredients have in common? They’re superfoods.

But before we got into what superfoods Pai prefer, I wanted to clear up what the term meant to her. According to Sarah, the term ‘superfood’ is “overused by the media”, but ultimately, she considers it to mean “anything densely packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Think vibrantly-coloured rainbow foods like kale and blueberries that you know are doing you the world of good every time you eat them!”

Good to know! So what superfoods do Pai Skincare use? Avocado oil, for one.

“Avocado oil has such an amazing affinity with the skin, and can transform its tone and texture – especially if it’s on the dry side,” Sarah explains, regarding its use in skincare. “If you look at its fat profile, you would think that it would feel really heavy on the skin, but in reality, it absorbs beautifully and doesn’t leave greasy residues in the same way that something like coconut oil does.”

She continues, “As well as containing vitamins A, D and E, avocado also contains a high concentration of essential fatty acids (the building blocks of healthy skin) which repair and condition its surface.”

Another superfood used by Pai Skincare to help enhance women’s complexions is pomegranates. Sarah explains, “Pomegranates are rich in a rare form of Omega 5, and are one of the only organic sources of Punicic acid – an incredibly powerful antioxidant.”

As for which product to pick, the founder of this prominent beauty brand reveals, “In the Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Stretch Mark System, it helps protect the strong cell structure and repair damage – it worked a treat during my pregnancy!”

So what are Sarah’s thoughts on superfoods when it comes to applying versus consuming? “When you apply superfood extracts to the skin their benefits are absorbed directly, and the nutrients are more concentrated,” she says. “If you think about foods that go through your body, various other processes and organs absorb their goodness so the full effects won’t show on your skin in the same way.”

Despite this, Sarah still advocates living a healthy lifestyle, as well as taking care of your skin. As well as including fruit and veg in every meal, Sarah tries to adopt a slightly alkaline diet to avoid inflammation of her skin allergy, utricaria, and looks to superfood powders such as spirulina or chlorella when she’s feeling run down.

As “a firm believer in looking after your skin from the inside out”, Sarah deems beauty products as just one part of the puzzle in the quest for absolute health. Instead, she promotes her belief in the skincare 5-a-day, which she reveals as, “The right beauty products, a good clean diet, enough sleep, reduced stress and emotional wellbeing. They all come together to influence your skin health and clarity.”

words by Zoe Louise Cronk