Healthy Coconut Rice and Sweet Veggie Dish

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

I have always had a passion for coconut rice. Coconut rice is made in restaurants with white rice, coconut milk, and sugar, which may be yummy, but your insides won’t be thanking you! This version is made with brown rice, lemon, coconut milk and a little ginger – oh how your body will love you! Filling you with bountiful amounts of fibre, omega-3 and sustaining low GI carbohydrates, the kind that are awesome for your health and keep you fuller and energised for  longer! However delicious this combination would be on its own (very) it is made even more extraordinary by the addition of roasted sweet potato wedges, creamy avocado cubes and crunchy bites of refreshing raw red pepper. Your mouth watering yet? This recipe is so perfect for this season, as like the ever changing weather it can be served hot or cold and looses none of its great flavour.

Let us know how you get on and show us some social media love by tagging your awesome recreations to #hipandhealthy on Instagram & Twitter!


Serves 4

150g brown rice
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp of ginger minced
juice 1 lemon
1 large avocado, cubed
2 sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
salt and pepper to taste

For the rice add all the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Peal and cube the sweet potato, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and and roast for 25 minutes/ until it melts in your mouth! Prepare the red pepper and avocado. When everything’s cooked mix it all in and eat hot or leave to cool!

Hot to Trot: We love this new stylish dance-wear label

Hot to Trot: We love this new stylish dance-wear label

Even if you can’t dance, won’t dance, you will at least want to try to dance after you see this new stunning collection from Pepper & Mayne, if only to wear the beautiful outfits… prepare to be inspired says, Sadie Macleod

Some of the hottest workout wear trends are based around dance: Jane Fonder and those leg warmers; Flashdance leotards; and more recently, the resurgence of the ballet look thanks to Black Swan. Which is why I was more than a little excited to meet Leigh, founder of Pepper & Mayne, a new, sleek rehearsal wear brand. Rehearsal wear – how brilliant! A whole new category of activewear. Who doesn’t want to look like a ballerina in training even if they are not! The clothes lived up to expectations I had placed upon them. Bodies have simple lines which form scoop backs with elegant bow details, leggins are loose but not quite loose enough to warrant the term “tracksuit” as they are far too beautiful for that. Perhaps we’ll call them treggins. Colours are sophisticated blacks, greys and blues. The collection really is perfect to warm up and cool down in for dancers, but it also makes for fantastic yoga/Pilates wear. And what’s more it feels amazing too. A couple of us in the Hip & Healthy have already got our eyes on the Super Soft Graduated Stripe Body, to wear both in and out of the studio (note to reader – it looks great teamed with jeans and converse). Saskia, our Food Editor, and a professional ballerina in training, is an ambassador for the brand; “What I love about Pepper & Mayne is they have intuitively created a dancer’s dream outfit, and it makes the transition from studio to Pilates to lunch out with friends seamless. Plus, I love the quality of the fabrics used – it’s super luxurious making it ideal lounge wear too!”. Whether you are into dance or not, I challenge you not to find a place in your life for Pepper & Mayne, it’s too good a brand not to.

Buy it here…



Meet Me At The Barre…

 Mayfair’s newest addition – Barre Core Mayfair!

reviewed by Molly Jennings

Set in the basement of one the elegant white townhouses on Cavendish Square, lies the newest Barre Core studio. As I enter, the first thought that comes to my mind is “airy”. This studio may be in the basement but the placement of the windows and the use of lighting makes it feel so fresh and spacious. It consists of two large studios, a private training room and stylish changing facilities. The coolest part is the reception area as it has every health freaks’ dream, a large selection of BarreBazaar delights that includes some of the teams favourite health and fitness goodies, like Love Raw Bars and Coyo yogurts! Post-workout snack anyone?

I am here to experience their new Barre Express class created by founder, Niki Rein. A 30 minute intense workout that combines a mixture of cardio, inner thigh and butt exercises to get you looking gorgeously lean and toned. This is totally up my street… I much prefer doing more intense workouts for 30 minutes rather than slog it out in the gym for an hour. Barre Express was devised for busy bees who struggle to fit exercise in to their daily routine and for people wanting to resolve their tummy troubles. Recent research actually shows that shorter, more intensive workouts are the best for reducing the production of cortisol, the main stress hormone that is responsible for depositing fat just below the belly button. These 30 minute blast classes are designed to leave you feeling hot and sweaty without the “burn out” feeling you sometimes get after long workouts.

The Verdict

Taking our class is Morgan Ramirez, Head of Training. This Dallas born beauty started her career as a professional dancer, and then found her passion for Barre at the famous Physique 57 in New York. Her face may be sweet and her body toned and petite, but when it comes to class, she certainly knows how to make you work! Her enthusiastic manner and her strong encouragement makes you want to keep going, even if your legs are shaking like jelly on a roller coaster! Morgan whips us through a quick, heart raising warm-up and then directs us to the barre! She then proceeds to take us through their signature dance inspired, high intensity, low impact series of thigh movements. It all about lots of tiny pulses where you truly learn the meaning of the word “burn”! She then interjects some quick cardio interval training back in the middle of the room before heading back to the barre again for some serious booty action. Again, lots of pulsing movements in balletic positions. The whole experience was so fun and really enjoyable, just how exercise should be. And because you know its only half and hour, you really give it all you’ve got. Sometimes, when you know you’re going to be working out for an hour, you tend to pace yourself in fear of tiring too quickly.  I believe that quality over quantity is definitely the way to go and Barre core is paving the path to exercising, the short and sweet way.

Are You a Victim of the “London Belt”? (For a natural “tummy tuck” read on…)

Philippa  Maples discovers how to get rid of the unwanted tummy tyre…

The ‘London Belt’ refers to that spot of your stomach between your navel and hipbones; you know the spot I am talking about. It is the reason most of us exercise regularly and why we watch what we eat. It is almost as if this non-budging piece of stomach fat has decided to stay put forever.

The ‘London Belt’ can be attributed to long working hours, lack of sleep and constant stressors both in terms of external factors, such as relationship and job stress, bereavement, financial issues and diets heavily loaded with stimulants like coffee, refined sugar and alcohol. Today’s city life requires a fast paced lifestyle to function, we are all guilty of skipping the odd meal because of the ever increasing pile of work or the diary filling with dinner dates, meetings and social events that you just ‘have to be there for’.

Swedish Personal Trainer Robine Fagerberg explains, “Unfortunately in today’s city lifestyle it’s all about ‘quick and easy’, we forget how much hard work it takes to have the body that we desire. We live in such a stressful environment and sometimes we feel that we don’t have time so we get tired and from there it’s a downward spiral”.

UK Nutritionist Zoe Stirling further explains, “This downward spiral causes the body to be in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ mode this is our body’s natural response to stress. This increases the release of certain hormones, namely adrenaline and cortisol”. In the prehistoric times of our ancestors ‘fight or flight’ mode would occur only in short bursts, usually when escaping from predators. “This raises blood sugar levels in the body and today with so many of us sitting behind our desks our bodies don’t really need to use this sugar. Sugar that is not used therefore converts to fat and commonly gets laid around the abdomen area as it is closest to the liver, where is can be quickly converted back to sugar when necessary” says Zoe. This is the basis for our ‘London Belt’ problem.

Integrative Physician Dr. Jade Teta explains, ‘To lose fat you need both the right amount of calories for your body type and a hormonal balance, to lose that last hold on stubborn lower belly fat you need to understand the hormones involved. In women these hormones are: insulin, cortisol (associated with stress), estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and of course the major fat burning hormones, the catecholamines (adrenaline and non-adrenaline) these are released during intense exercise and have a strong fat burning impact on visceral belly fat (deep stomach fat), and a weaker fat burning impact on subcutaneous fat (lower belly fat). This is the fat that you can pinch and is less sensitive to the major fat burning hormones, therefore our ‘London Belt’ is more likely to be subcutaneous fat.

The greatest impact on the hormone insulin is excess calories mainly starch and sugar. Foods that combine fat and sugar have the greatest number of calories and the most negative impact on fat storing hormones. When stress is added on top of this your cortisol is added to insulin, a bad hormone combination for belly fat. When stress becomes chronic or extreme in females, the command and control center of your hormones (the hypothalamus & pituitary) becomes “irritated” and you get the downstream effects on your thyroid, adrenal, and ovarian hormone production. Chronic stress in women leads to increased testosterone and lower estrogen and progesterone.

Robine further explains, “I have had clients that exercise their butt off and they complain they still are holding onto that small ‘belt’ just under their belly button. I always say the same thing to them, ‘If you can teach yourself a few simple steps at a time to change your way of life it can make a huge difference’. Start by being honest with yourself and look at how you live your life, look at what you eat and drink and how regularly you exercise, once you do that and start changing these few things you are immediately on the right track to reaching your ultimate goal. It is all about priorities, after my clients adapt these simple steps to their lifestyle they can see the big difference it makes to their body.”

Dr Jade Teta believes supplements can also help with our stress levels, “there are a few supplements that have been shown to help the hypothalamus/pituitary control center resist stress. These include Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric or as an individual supplement, through studies it has shown to elevate mood and protect against sleep deprivation. Fish Oil or Krill Oil are also great for improving brain function through its high content of Omega-3’s and Rhodiola Rosia, a natural vitamin that is proven to treat fatigue, stress and improves physical and mental performance.

“Balancing blood sugar levels is also the key, by cutting out all refined sugars and carbohydrates, eating low glycaemic index (GI) foods along with healthy sources of lean protein little and often is an effective way of doing this. Try to consume wholemeal and wholegrain versions of foods and plenty of non-root vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress, cabbage, cavalo nero, and broccoli which are high in various vitamins and minerals” says Nutritionist, Zoe Stirling.

When one begins dealing with stress, tiredness and their lifestyle, common ground can be found with you and your body. It’s all about bringing the balance back.

Image: Clothes from Lorna Jane; Determined Tank $34.99, Tia Core Compression 7,8 Tight $89.99, MNB Bracelet, Good Vibes Exercise Mat $59.99, Misha Mesh Tank $59.99, Lorna’s Fave Track Pant $89.99, MNB Bracelet


If you only do one thing this week… Winter-proof your workout wear!

Can you believe it’s November already? Gone are the days of hot and crowded tube journeys and SULA’s…. (Sweaty Upper Lip Alerts!) We are now facing a different set of annoyances like frosty morning ear ache and not-wanting-to-venture-out-of-the-cosy-house syndrome. All of which are not very conducive to keeping active. But there is a cure! A sportswear overhaul! Knowing you have a few winter-warming pieces in your workout wardrobe really helps with lack of motivation to exercise during the winter months. So, here are our tops picks to get you through your winter workouts:

winter wardrobe

Sweaty Betty, Expedition Neck Gaitor, £22
Protecting your neck from the icy air whilst on your morning run with this super-chic neck warmer is a great way to protect yourself from catching a chill and it’s easy to whip off when you start warming up.

HPE, UV-Stretch Jacket, £95
This is the perfect companion to your winter workout wardrobe. Not only does it look super stylish but it’s wicking fabric will draw any sweat (and you will sweat) away from the skin preventing you from feeling colder. Plus it has hidden thumb holes for cole mitts.

Lululemon, Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Paisley, £68
This gorgeous thermal top is so effective for keeping you warm. Layer it under your running jacket for extra cosiness.

Nike, Thermal Woman’s Running Gloves, £25
Keep your extremities warm with these sophisticated running gloves. There’s nothing worse than having blocks of ice for hands!

Gym Luxe, Luxe Drape Jacket, £79.99
This is the perfect warm-up jacket for those first few minutes in yoga class when you’re not quite thawed through to bare any skin!

Lorna Jane, Joy Core Compression Tight, £63
These compression tights are great as they boost circulation and blood flow through your legs. Whether you’re running or taking part in a booty-busting barre class!

What to Eat in November

As modern food consumers we are encouraged by chefs and the media to explore the world from our own kitchens and the ‘seven-ten a day’ rule (recently upped from five) means that we crow-bar into our daily diets a plethora of exotic fruits and vegetables. Somewhere along the way we seem to have forgotten that the healthiest way is nature’s way and that along with economical, sustainability, taste, cost and convenience benefits there are also enormous health benefits to eating seasonally. Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness and so offer higher nutritional content than out of season, unripe fruits and vegetables. We are often so focused on eating as nature intended (i.e. the right foods) that we forget, sadly, to eat when it intended. When you next do your shopping try to avoid blindly throwing gazillions of ‘forced’ and imported fruits and vegetables into your basket; think quality not quantity. Here are a few nutritious foods that are bang on in season as we approach November in the UK:

There is no doubt that many of us struggle with the taste and texture of these reputed aphrodisiacs but my advice would be to persevere! Oysters are low in fat and high in protein and contain more zinc per serving than any other food which, particularly for men, is a key mineral for sexual health and also plays an important role in wound healing and maintaining a healthy immune system. They are also a good source of other minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron, vitamins A, B, C and D and contain amino acids which raise the levels of sex hormones in both men and women.

The pumpkin is often considered a cumbersome and smelly vegetable and we can sometimes question whether the taste and health benefits are worth the effort. Given that its season is so short I would encourage you to make tasty use of all that nutritious pulp. Pumpkins are incredibly rich in vitamin A and vital antioxidants such as carotenes. They are a very low calorie and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are rich in dietary fibre. Pumpkin gratin is delicious -there are lots of easy recipes about.

We can be trapped into the negative stereotype of over-boiled cabbage but this vegetable actually makes a fantastically sweet salad and contains a greater nutritional value when raw or lightly steamed. Try very finely slicing it raw and lightly dressing with linseed oil and salt and pepper. Cabbage is an especially good source of sinigrin, a compound which has shown unique cancer preventing properties, particularly in terms of bladder, colon and prostate cancer.  The under-rated vegetable is also a great source of roughage – a lack of which can result in constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, eczema and premature ageing.

This spicy and pungent root is low in calories and fat yet brings significant flavour and excitement to a plate of food. It is a potent gastric stimulant which means it increases appetite and aids digestion. The volatile phyto-chemical compounds in the root stimulate salivary, gastric and intestinal glands to secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion.  Horseradish also contains good amounts of vitamin C, thereby alleviating viral infections and boosting immune system. It is rich in dietary fibre and anti-oxidants and is also found to have anti-inflammatory and nerve soothing effects – so good for stress relief.

Apples are delicious, versatile and packed full of nutrients.  They contain a fibre called pectin which helps prevent haemorrhoids, diarrhoea and constipation. They can also help to reduce tooth decay (because of all that chomping required to break them down) and protect against gallstones and cancer.  Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you are stressed out.  Diets rich in apples can ward off cataracts and irritable bowel syndrome and the soluble fibre found in them means a lower build-up of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries, a strong flow of blood to your heart and reduced chances of coronary artery disease.

Words by Nutritionist, Hayley Stafford-Smith. Please find out more about here her:

Full of Beans: Coffee’s Health Benefits and a Special Reader Offer

Three Reasons to Love Coffee

1) Having a cup of coffee before your workout can actually help you burn fat. The caffeine raises the metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. Try having one about 45 minutes before you plan on exercising.

2) Surprisingly, coffee is a strong, easily absorbable antioxidant and contains an abundance of nutrients.

3) Coffee has been shown to lower the risk of skin and breast cancer. The flavanoids in caffeine have been found to inhibit the formation of UVB-induced tumours.


Hip & Healthy have teamed up with London start-up Pact Coffee to bring fresh coffee lovers a very special offer…

Pact are on a mission to get the UK drinking better coffee by making incredible, freshly roasted coffee accessible to everyone. Their world-class single origin beans are bought only from the most dedicated coffee farmers before being hand-roasted in Wimbledon. If you like your coffee ground, they will grind it moments before it is sealed and sent to you. Or if you grind your own, they just ship you the whole beans. It’s sent to home or work by first class post in a letter-box friendly pack which means no waiting around for the postman.

Pact are giving Hip and Healthy readers their first 250g bag of fresh hand-roasted coffee for just £1 (including P&P), a saving of £5.95 on the regular price! So visit, use the exclusive code HIPANDHEALTHY at the checkout and you will be sipping beautiful fresh coffee by this time tomorrow. Future bags from Pact are £6.95 but their service is completely flexible. You can buy from them regularly or only when you need more great coffee in your life.

Why Buy Pact Coffee?

Pact is run by five friends who are on a mission to get people drinking better coffee. All their coffee is sold via They buy coffee directly from the best farmers across the world. The bags of green coffee beans are then imported to the UK, ready for small batch roasting. They then roast it in small batches to ensure the very optimum quality. Every bean is different and needs a roasting profile to be carefully tailored to ensure a well-balanced coffee. Once the coffee has been roasted, they ship to customers within 7 days to ensure it is just right. If customers like their beans ground, then they will grind them minutes before they are sent before sealing the coffee in a special valve bag which keeps it fresher for longer. They even make sure they grind it to suit the coffee machine you use at home (fine for espresso, coarse for cafetiere and everything in between). The coffee is delivered to any address in the UK with a postcode and their packs fit through 90% of UK letterboxes, meaning no waiting around for the postman. You can change your order or delivery frequency at any time. If you are not 100% satisfied with their coffee, they will give you a no quibble refund. What is not to love…

Offer terms and conditions: Maximum of 1 x coupon code to be redeemed per household. For new customers only, current or lapsed customers do not qualify. Only available once to any one person. Valid card details and payment of £1 is required. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. UK addresses only (including Channel Islands).



Gluten Free Seeded Quinoa & Chia Bread

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Quinoa is one of my favourite foods, and when cooked properly it is so delicious! It’s also seriously good for you, hence it’s superfood status! Quinoa is a gluten-free grain, containing all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein. A fantastic way to boost your protein intake. Chia seeds are a great source of skin-loving omega-3 as well as fibre and bone building calcium. Chia seeds in this recipe act as the binder, they really make the thickness of the loaf and add to the bountiful amounts of goodness a slice of this bread delivers.

When experimenting with different gluten-free loaves of bread I decided I wanted to make something simple, full of flavour, incredibly nutritious and bursting with plant protein… so the idea for this loaf was born. I have often in the past blended quinoa and chia seeds as ingredients to make flat breads, which have always been a great success, so i decided to use this as the base of my bread.

This Quinoa bread, is not your normal loaf, because it’s gluten-free it doesn’t rise quite as much so don’t be dismayed when you take it out of the oven. However, the fluffiness of the quinoa gives the bread a lovely lightness whilst being wonderfully dense in nutrients!
Although you need to soak the chia seeds and quinoa the night before, it’s easy to make, and has very little ingredients.

2 cups quinoa
3/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup mixed pumpkin, sunflower & linseeds
3 tbsp lemon Juice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp agave syrup
60 ml extra virgin olive oil


Step 1: The night before you plan on baking the bread you need to soak the quinoa & chia seeds. Measure out the quinoa and chia seeds and place in two separate bowls. Cover the chia seeds with 1 cup of water, and the quinoa with enough water to cover well. Place both in the fridge overnight.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 160 degrees-Celsius. In a blender, add all ingredients other than the mixed seeds. Blend until the mixture is smooth, but you can still see lots of whole quinoa. (It is very important not to over blend as you will get a very sticky bread!). Then add the mixed seeds. Pour the mixture into a bread tin lined with parchment paper. Bake for 70 minutes.

This bread is best either toasted, or sliced and baked in the oven. The ways of eating this bread are endless, my favourite topping combinations include:

* Almond butter, frozen banana slices and chopped medjool dates
* Almond butter with crushed raspberries and bee pollen
* Crushed raspberries, coconut yoghurt and chia seeds
* Hummus, avocado, pomegranate seeds and lemon juice
* Avocado, minced red onion, chopped tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and lemon juice

Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

Encourage your kids to adopt healthy eating habits with these helpful tips, says Sarita Coren

Do: Find out what matters to each child the most. One of my children wants to grow taller, so sometimes I use that as incentive to eat better.  The goal is to create positive associations with all food groups, not just an elite few that have little to no value.

Don’tUse food or candy as incentives for good behavior or as special food for holidays. Kids will draw the erroneous conclusion that sweets are a treat. That’s a trick! We already know that sweets lead to obesity, poor health, low attention spans, skin breakouts, and bad teeth. Where is the reward in that?

Don’t: Preach. Kids watch what you’re doing. They will do as you do, not as you say. If you’re lecturing a lot, it won’t work. If you’re not even following your own advice, fuggetaboutit.

Do: Teach. Educate your children about the food that they are consuming, while they’re still young and impressionable. Discuss why their dietary intake makes an impact on their bodies supporting strong bones, muscles, growth, and health. Show them videos about what each food does in the body and about the harmful effect of sodas, too much sugar, or not eating vegetables. Good ones are: “Supersize Me,” or “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,”. A Google search will lead you to more options. Even if kids don’t seem to be listening now, they are assimilating the information. Trust me. Plus, it’s crucial to model good eating behaviours yourself.

Do: Make eating fun. Vegetables and a variety of food choices can be delicious! Offer positive reinforcement when they make nutritious choices. Kids will feel good about themselves when eating healthfully. Make sure every meal includes at least one or two different color groups like orange sweet potatoes, green broccoli, and yellow squash. Point out the different textures too, like soft, crunchy, mushy, tough, tender, etc. Invite them to laugh and talk about  what they like or describe what they don’t like about certain foods. Explore ways they can make the food tastier with seasoning. A little experimenting and mixing is in order. Use dips. Decorate plates with funny faces. Make meals look appealing. Whatever works!

Don’t: Withhold food as a way to control eating habits. Kids will find ways to sneak around behind your back to access the snacks.

Do: Encourage a balanced diet that incorporates all five or six flavors, depending on either the Chinese medicine view or the Ayurvedic view. The flavors are: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Use this as a guideline to vary different tastes. A balanced eater often doesn’t crave unhealthy foods. For instance, if a child constantly yearns for sweets, feeding them something from the opposite of the list (that’s pungent) could balance out the craving. For a helpful list, check out this website.

Don’t: Feel bad if your kids are not quite there yet. It takes time to unlearn habits and retrain the palette. There is no “perfect” scenario unless you’re eating foods straight from the garden. Kids will pick up on discouragement. Allow things to evolve. My kids could not stand the taste of freshly juiced apples, yet they couldn’t get enough of their sugar-full cocoa cereal. Out of the blue, my eldest son, 14, suddenly decided to eat only healthy foods and forgo all sugar cereals. Go figure! It certainly made me feel like all my efforts were worthwhile.

Do: Remember this tip from Dr. Gina Kim, D.C. She told her children: “If you’re going to eat junk, at least drink lots of water.” I love that advice for the times we parents want to give up! Make sure kids are drinking enough alkalizing water to neutralize the effects of impure foods.

Have you tried anything that works for you in your home? Tweet us at @hipandhealthyuk!



Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Training with a Difference

Whether you’re male, female, a gym junkie or yoga bunny, we bring you our guide to London’s top training sessions with a difference

Best for Women: Skinny Bitch Collective
New on the fitness circuit is the Skinny Bitch Collective, the brainchild of Russ Bateman. This women’s only training club continues to go from strength to strength (excuse the pun!). What started as a cool, underground fitness trend tailored to sculpting the physiques of numerous London-based supermodels (hence the name), is fast becoming the go-to training regimen for women from all walks of lives whatever their body shape who want to train short and hard, seeing long-term results. Bateman’s innovative and inventive approach to working out is inspiring, motivating and utterly addicted. His SB Collective really does adhere to the philosophy ‘no pain, no gain.’ Think squats, burpees, lunges and deadlifts galore. Bateman takes no prisoners and will not tolerate negative, defeatist attitudes. His approach will not only hone and tone your bod, enabling you to realise your genetic potential but will also train and strengthen your mind too.

The SB Collective takes place every Saturday at 5pm at 55 Baker Street and costs £30. Costing slightly more than your average class, the SB collective is so much more than your ‘average class’ and well worth the extra dosh. Due to the huge popular demand, there is a 2 week waiting list so register your interest now, giving you ample time to build up the mental and physical willpower and stamina to train hard. Be warned though, the SB Collective is not the faint-hearted.
Skinny Bitch Collective

Best for Men: Live Fit
Athletic is the new big so for all you men out there who want top personal training in London with a non-nonsense approach, get down to Live Fit founded by leading personal trainer James Hardy. Love Life, Live fit is a mantra that James lives by, a lifestyle choice he is passionate about and he strongly believes in sharing the love.  Aware that the recognised ideal male body is changing, James takes a holistic approach to his training sessions, acknowledging that weight training alone will not create the body you need.

His multiple success stories have led to some of London’s top modelling agencies using James’ systems to get their boys photo-ready.  His program produces gym athletes; sculpted, versatile bodies that can bench press, clear walls and go round defenders. His balanced training sessions cover crossfit, pure strength, yoga, boxing, martial arts, tacfit and functional HIIT.  Expect high intensity, varied training that fine tunes your mechanics and constantly challenges your body so it doesn’t get complacent and you stay mentally on it and committed. His compelling, results-driven, can-do attitude has also lead to James accepting the challenge set by Men’s Health to sculpt and tone the body of Andy from Made in Chelsea, making him front cover worthy in just 6 weeks…watch this space!
Personal Training London, Live Fit

Best for Zen
If you want some calm and serenity in your life, away from the constant buzz of our everyday modern world then Grace Belgravia, a new and exclusive private members club for Ladies in Belgravia is the perfect place to find some zen. This magnificent club is in no way another sterile London gym. It is a luxurious, boutique health and wellness centre dedicated to the physical and mental wellbeing of its members. With an integrated and advanced approach to fitness, beauty and diagnostic, functional and preventative medicine all under one roof, Grace believes in beauty from the inside out. Everything about Grace oozes calm and serenity.  This stunning haven is flooded with natural light and the spa boasts a number of highly scientific treatments and rejuvenating therapies from colonics to massages, to the latest algae body wrap or anti-ageing facial . Grace have even enlisted the expertise of Matt Roberts, fitness guru to the stars, to ensure you get reach your fitness goals.

Grace has recognised that being burn-out from our hectic modern lifestyles is becoming increasingly more common.  That’s why they have recently introduced a junior membership to exclusively cater for 21-30 year olds which encompasses everything from a health mot with Matt Roberts’ team of experts to a skin assessment with Grace’s in-house facialist, as well as a number of express beauty treatments and a Net-a-Porter VIP member status.  The membership even includes 5 day guest passes meaning you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some much needed R and R with your friends. Available for £220 a month plus a one-off £500 joining fee, this membership is perfect for the modern young professional.

Grace Belgravia even hosts a number of events from talks to live music concerts as well as different seminars and courses.  The next event is 13th November featuring Terry O’Neill choosing his Desert Island Discs, hosted by Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, a DJ and journalist.  So whether you are looking to up the ante on your health goals or find a relaxing place to switch off and catch up on some long overdue me-time or meet like-minded women, Grace Belgravia will fulfil all your wellbeing dreams and more.
Grace Belgravia

Best for Power
Get down to the Library, a new private members training club in the exclusive Notting Hill area for unlimited personal training, tailored nutrition and outstanding results.  This stunning training club is based on so much more than laborious hours spent pounding the treadmill and clocking up multiples reps.  Instead this edgy new workout space is based on an educated, intelligent approach to exercise.  The Library’s results-focused system consisting of short 15 minute bursts of high intensity exercise shows an average fat loss of 7.5lbs and 3lbs muscle gain in 12 days!!

The Library is founded by Zana Morris who has a wealth of knowledge in the areas of personal training, nutrition and yoga.  Morris has created a space where you can workout and relax. What’s so great about the library is that Zana realises that due to our busy lives, many of us struggle to find time to work out, especially for long periods at a time. Her extensive experience has proven that short intensive training is in fact a lot more beneficial than excessive long periods of exercise.  So much so that it accelerates fat burn, raises metabolism and improves muscle tissue.  Zana’s infectious approach will turn you from fitness phobe to fitness funster in no time – 12 days in fact! The Library

Best for Fun
If you are not one for waiting lists or memberships and prefer variety when it comes to your workouts, train the Frame way. Created by Pip Black and Joan Murphy, two women who bonded over their passion for fitness, Frame is based around the ethos that working out should fun! Here here! As soon as you enter the studio you feel as though you are part of the cool club which is probably why Frame have amassed a loyal and ever-increasing fan base.  Whilst Frame does offer membership options, they also offer a drop-in class option, catering for those who are more sporadic when it comes to their exercise regimen.

These classes are so far from your run of the mill aerobics class. They are motivating, energising and addictive! Yes addictive! Frame offers an assortment of classes from Yoga and Pilates through to Box Fit as well as more off the wall choices like Bend it Like Barbie and the Frame Signatures – carefully crafted fitness sessions which adhere to Frame’s fun factor mantra. There are also the Frame Quickies, a number of high intensity sessions designed to give you a fitness fix in just 30 minutes – a great escape during your lunch break, enabling you to return to your desk refreshed and revived, with ample time to eat your power salad! Situated in the trendy London areas, Shoreditch and Queen’s Park, get down to Frame to reignite (or maybe just ignite) your passion for your exercise.

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Image: All clothes by Splits59. Cecelia wears Danika Viper, £65 and Raquel Pants, £75. Molly wears Drive Support Tank, £65 and Ginger Racer Capris £75. Available to buy here.

Fertility-Boosting Health Habits

Statistics tell us that one in four couples have some trouble conceiving their little bundle of joy, so why not take matters into your own hands ahead of time and give your fertility the boost it needs, naturally, says Zoe Louise Cronk

The following health habits will slot easily into your life, and can help you on your way to welcoming your new bambino into the world. It is an unfortunate fact of life that some couples will need a little help from modern medicine along the way, but before you beeline straight to the hormone injection aisle, beckon into your life the wonders of nature, in the forms of diet, supplements and holistic therapies.

Fertility Foods

As well as ensuring that your body has all the nutritional support it needs to handle carrying pregnancy to full term, having a healthy diet is also imperative for conceiving. “A healthy diet helps to balance your fertility hormones,” reveals Vicki Edgeson, Head of Nutrition at Mermaid Maternity Retreat. “I suggest that any mother planning a pregnancy should look at preparing her body at least 6 months before,” she says, highlighting the importance of “amino acids from protein and essential fatty acids from nuts and seeds, plus their oils for brain stem development.”

Vicki encourages increasing your intake of avocados and pomegranates to help regulate production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Consuming plenty of whole-grains is also important thanks to their high mineral content. As Vicki explains, “This is not the time for a grain-free diet. The female body needs the energy found in the abundant minerals and vitamins of buckwheat, oats, rye, barley, millet and rices.”

And it’s not just the fairer sex that should consider a few dietary adjustments; Vicki advises men to eat foods rich in zinc (such as shellfish) and Arginine, one of the eight essential amino acids from protein. For this, she suggests good quality red meat (e.g. filet steak or lamb) and nuts or seeds as they contain essential nutrients for healthy sperm. Furthermore, Vicki adds, “Avoiding alcohol is key. There is now plenty of research that illustrates how destructive alcohol is in the regulation of hormones at this critical time.” And caffeine is a no-no too, as Vicki notes that our morning pick-me-up “tends to interfere with the vital nutrients from other healthy foods, thereby reducing energy production at a cellular level.” She continues, “I recommend sugars are cut down to a minimum as these are simply hollow calories and do not help with the energy required to develop a baby.” Hence, limiting your intake of processed foods is important.

As well as adjusting your diet, Vicki also reveals, “Mental attitude is equally important. Stress interferes with fertility in a major way so learning to relax, meditating to calm the mind, and having a positive attitude to your pending pregnancy are all key.”

Nutritional Supplements

“There is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on boosting fertility,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, PhD. “The most important nutrients for fertility are zinc, folic acid, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids for you and your partner, plus two amino acids, Arginine and Carnitine specifically for boosting male fertility.”

As the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health, Dr Marilyn’s advice could mean the difference between conceiving, and not. She says, “According to researchers, a good quality, specially-formulated fertility multivitamin and mineral supplement may double your chances of getting pregnant.” While zinc, folic acid, Omega 3’s and vitamins E, D and C have long since been recognised for their health benefits, the little-known selenium is equally as important, particularly for its antioxidant properties and for “preventing chromosome breakage, which could make it difficult to get pregnant or increase the risk of miscarriage.” As Dr Marilyn explains, “Good levels of selenium are very important if you are over the age of 35 to help improve the quality of your eggs.”

But patience is vital too, as Dr Marilyn reveals that these supplements take time to take effect. “Three months is the how long it takes to change the quality of your eggs,” she says, “because it takes approximately that long for the follicles on your ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation.”

“For men, it also takes at least three months for a new batch of sperm cells to mature, ready to be ejaculated. In addition, it can take from six weeks to three months to eliminate certain toxins from your system properly, and to raise the level of crucial fertility-boosting nutrients in your bloodstream.”


So you’ve adjusted your diet and begun taking the appropriate supplements, but what about holistic therapies? Author, acupuncturist and fertility and pregnancy expert Emma Cannon advocates the use of acupuncture for helping couples conceive. In Emma’s opinion, acupuncture helps to “improve pelvic blood flow, calm the mind, release endorphins and regulate the menstrual cycle.” It can also aid in hormone production as it’s known to “stimulate the hypothalamus, which controls hormones.”

Revealing her method for boosting fertility, Emma explains, “I have created my own approach which is a blend of several different strands of medicine, 20 years of clinical practice and a strong foundation in western medicine. I draw on the core principles of Chinese Medicine and how it diagnoses; I find this blend perfect for the modern world and for patients who want to know the medical side is being taken care of as well as some complementary support.”

As for how much therapy is necessary, she says, “I normally recommend 3 months of treatment, but sometimes the benefits are experienced much earlier.” Here’s hoping!

Five Hip & Healthy Halloween Treats

words by Kathleen Fleming

According to recent government statistics, approximately 30% of children aged between 2 and 15 in England are overweight or obese. For adults, the number is even worse – over 60%. Frightening. We all need to play a part in halting the obesity epidemic so when those trick or treaters come knocking on the eve of the 31st October, I am going to be prepared with some healthy but yummy treats. In keeping with the Halloween colour scheme of orange and black, here are my top five treats which won’t result in sugar comas.

1. Naked Chocolate Orange Bar

Gluten free, sugar free and vegan, these bars taste a lot like chocolate. The bars contain natural ingredients only (dates, raisins, cashews, cocoa and natural flavours). With the orange and dark brown wrappers, they fit perfectly into the Halloween colour scheme. A box of 18 bars costs £13.99 and can be ordered online from or you can pick them up at most supermarkets and health shops.

2. Rude Health Pumpkin Bar

This one has to be in your Halloween repertoire by virtue of  its name. As well as being called “The Pumpkin” this bar is packed with goodness – nuts, seeds, ginger, cinnamon and pumpkin! This tasty treat can be bought from Planet Organic and health food stores for 99p each.

3.  Orange and Mandarin Tingz 

It is hard to find sugar free sweets that aren’t loaded with artificial sweeteners and colours. Tingz sweets are made with naturally derived ingredients and sweetened with xylitol which, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, is actually good for dental health. Unlike a lot of sweets, Tingz are suitable for vegans and they are gluten free. These sweeties get extra points as a Halloween treat because of their monster logo. Tingz are available online at and 9 bags cost £8.50. Individual bags are also available at Whole Foods and Planet Organic.

4. Lovechoc Goji and Orange Raw Chocolate 

Lovechoc make a superfood-packed raw chocolate bar which is wrapped in environmentally friendly packaging. The dark colour of the chocolate and the hint of orange means it fits nicely into our Halloween hamper. These chocolates are also sweetened with coconut blossom nectar from the Javanese coconut palm tree blossom. Unlike many other sweeteners, coconut blossom nectar has a low glycemic index meaning it does not cause scary changes in blood sugar levels. Lovechoc can be bought at a lot of health shops for about £2.50 per bar.

5. Raw Carrot Cake Balls 

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the liver and Vitamin A is crucial for healthy vision – perfect for navigating the streets on All Hallows’ Eve. These raw carrot cake balls are quick, easy and healthy and can be put in little bags to hand out as treats.


1 cup roughly grated carrots

1 cup walnuts (broken into small pieces)

6 chopped dates

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried shredded coconut

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon liquid coconut oil

(Optional 85% dark chocolate)


Whizz together everything in your food processor. Once the mixture resembles a carrot cake mix (not too chunky, not too smooth), roll it into balls. The recipe should yield about 20 medium size balls which can be rolled in coconut or cinnamon or served plain.

For a more decadent treat, you can melt some dark chocolate and dip the balls in the melted chocolate. Put the balls in the fridge so the chocolate can set before serving.

Happy Halloween!