WOW! Bikini Butt Workout: With our in-house Personal Trainer, Molly Jenning’s, three bum exercises

With our in-house Personal Trainer, Molly Jenning’s, three bum exercises

It’s bikini season, so who doesn’t want their bottom to look their best? Whip yours into shape by doing the following exercises three times this week. Strengthening the glutes will not only give you a beautiful behind, but also help protect your back. So if you suffer from back pain, give these simple, but really effective exercises a try. If you feel a burning sensation all over your bum you know your doing it right!



Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels on the ground. Lift one leg off the floor, keeping it bent, and extend your hips in to the air. Remember to squeeze your glutes (bum muscles). Slowly lower back down to the floor.

Repeat 10 times each leg x 3

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Lie on your side with your legs bent at a 45 degree angle. Lift up your top leg and rotate the knee down to touch the other knee with the feet separating. Now open the knee like a clam and touch both toes together.

Repeat 10 times each leg x 3

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Lie on your side with your legs, hips and shoulders all in a straight line and your feet flexed. Lift the top leg up to hip height, from there, pulse your leg upwards with control, keeping your glutes (bum muscles) tight.

Repeat 10 times each leg x 3

Molly is wearing Lucas Hugh (

Gourmet Traveller: Healing Herbs and How to be Hip & Healthy in Malaysia and Singapore

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They say that you can tell a lot about a country through it’s cuisine. My last trip to Malaysia proved this theory true. We flew on one of the impressive A380s with Malaysia Airlines, after all – you should start as you mean to go on – in complete and utter luxury. And the warmth, friendliness and five-star service of Malaysian hospitality (Malaysia Airlines won Skytrax’s World’s Best Cabin Staff title seven times in the last eleven years!) gave us an insight as to wonderful welcome we were to expect.

Our first stop was a place called Tamarind Springs, a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur but emmersed in jungle next to an exotic golf course. The food was as natural, relaxed, generous, colourful and delicious as the culture. In fact, my lasting memory of Malaysia is mainly one that recalls interesting textures, explosive tastes and exotic new fruits. My mind was blown by the new ways of combining flavours and spices, so much so it has influenced my own cooking forever, too.

We then travelled up to the Cameron Highlands – where tea is harvested. The land here was beautiful. Rolling hills of greenery. The climate was much cooler and and there was even a certain dampness in the air. The people we met were so welcoming and eager to tell us about how the tea leaves are picked. I had my first ever cup of Cameron Highland tea which was exquisite. So refreshing but earthy at the same time.

It wasn’t before long though that we were back in the car and travelling over to the East Coast to Kuantan. It was here that we had another gourmet experience to die for. Fresh river fish in a coconut-based broth packed full to the brim with noodles and a colourful array of vegetables, lemongrass and sprinkled with chili.

Influenced by Chinese, Indian and Malay cooking styles, the cuisine gets the best of all three worlds. And everywhere we went in Asia we were met by the same world-class level of delicious dishes.

I even discovered a completely new fruit when we travelled to the rainforest, Taman Negara, the oldest rainforest in the world, that is said to have wonderful effects on the body. Durian. Known as the King of Fruits, Durian is most renowned for it’s particularly pungent smell (so much so it is banned on public transport!). However, if you can get past that than a host of health benefits awaits; it has an extremely high content of vitamin C, aids digestion and regulates blood sugar levels.

This amazing healthy cuisine is also extended as far as Singapore. Another unsung foodie haven of the world. Very similar to that of Malaysian food, Singaporean cuisine uses a variety of fresh vegetables and is known for its noodle dishes. Many of the dishes are pretty vegan friendly but you do need to check that they have not added egg. The tofu dishes are delicious and are nothing like the shiny white cubes often found in the UK floating in various soups. Stir fries, curries and of course noodle dishes all have an array of delicious spices that not only contribute to the flavour of the dish but also to you your health (more on that below).

A trip to either of these wonderful places will have your taste buds stirring. But more than that. It will also leave you inspired to cook more confidently using delicious herbs in ingenious ways so take note of what you are eating out there as we are sure that you will want to continue the experience at home.

Malaysian Spices that Heal  

Star Annise

Fab for abdominal cramps and aiding digestion. For a delicious dish mix with cinnamon and add to tofu and noodles.


Revs the metabolism and starves of colds and flu. This is perfect for when you have just got off a plane (or even better – when you are still on it! Add to a variety of curry dishes and  for a sweet treat, chocolate too!


A fantastic anti-cancer spice, Turmeric works best when mixed with black pepper. Add to coconut based curry dishes for a super antioxidant boosting meal.

Lemon Grass

Not only will this wonderful grass repel mosquitos but it is also full of antioxidants and works well to ease bloating. I love adding it to fish soups for a fresh and slightly zingy taste.

Discover the amazing Asian cuisine for yourself
– as you could be in with a chance of winning two tickets with Malaysian Airlines via the Malaysian Airlines Facebook Page: Just click here for more information and to check it out. And one more thing about Malaysia airlines before I sign off, if you are anything like me and find minimal packing more than challenging you’ll be thrilled to hear that they have recently upped their baggage allowance – economy passengers can enjoy 30kg, Business class goers – 40kg and first classers, 50kg! What’s not to love!


The best of Malaysia and Singapore:

Do: Make sure you take time out in Singapore to visit Sentosa’s Spa Botanica for a mineral mud bath.

Visit: Tamarind Springs Restaurant, just outside Kuala Lumpur – it will take you on a culinary journey of your own.

See: A trip to Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpa is not complete without a photograph of the Petronas Towers.

Try: Sunday Brunch in Singapore’s renowned Fullerton Hotel.

Taste: The freshness of Malaysia’s Cameron Highland tea is like nothing else. You have to try it to love it.

How to get there: Malaysia Airlines flies twice a day to Kuala Lumpur

So, about those two free flights…. click here for more info

words by Sadie MacLeod

images by Lee Osborne

If you only do one thing this week… Find Out What Type of Yoga is for You…

words by Kathleen Fleming

If you are thinking of taking up yoga, the list of different types, many of which have rather obscure names, can be mind boggling and off putting. How do you choose between Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar and Anusara if you have never done yoga? How are they different and how do you know which one suits you? Choosing a class which isn’t suited to you can be an uncomfortable experience and it will inevitably influence your decision to continue with a regular yoga practice. Although most practices incorporate the same physical postures, different styles will place emphasis on different aspects of the practice such as pace, alignment or breath.

Modern yoga has evolved so much that even the most experienced yogi may not have heard of every type of style. Below are the most common styles of yoga class taught in gyms and studios.


Hatha yoga is the general term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches the physical yoga postures. However when a class is marketed as Hatha, it generally means a more gentle class which includes an introduction to basic yoga postures. Normally it is not a high energy class but it is a great way to stretch your body, develop gentle breathing techniques and relax. Hatha yoga is a great introduction to yoga.

Best for: everyone, especially men and people dealing with injuries


Vinyasa yoga is a flowing and fluid style of practice which links yoga to breath. Vinyasa classes are normally carefully choreographed and often incorporate music. Depending on the teacher a Vinyasa class may be very energetic or a little more relaxing and restorative. No class is ever the same although most classes will usually include some sun salutations.

Best for: people who want to combine energetic movement with some relaxation 


A powerful and physically demanding form of yoga, Ashtanga follows a set series of poses where students link each pose to their breath. The series of poses are always performed in the same order. Ashtanga develops both strength and flexibility and a regular practice will leave you with a seriously sculpted body.

Best for: athletes or those wanting a physically demanding workout


Often referred to as “gym yoga”, power yoga has its roots in Ashtanga yoga. Expect to move quickly and energetically through some intense postures and you will definitely be sweating by the end of the class. It is often given a bad rap because many believe it has turned yoga into a purely physical exercise by ignoring the mental and spiritual aspects of the practice. However, many power yoga teachers don’t ignore these aspects and a good power class will leave you feeling energised yet calm.

Best for: experienced practitioners and those wanting a sweaty workout


Iyengar yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. The classes are focused on alignment and students use props, such a blocks, straps and bolsters, in order to find proper alignment. Iyengar is a great practice in assisting injury rehabilitation or if you are dealing with a chronic physical condition.

Best for: everyone, especially older people or those dealing with injuries


Devised by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is a set of 26 postures practiced in a heated room (normally 40 degrees Celsius). The classes are always 90 minutes and you will sweat like you have never sweated before. It is an intense practice but the postures are not difficult which makes it accessible to most people.

Best for: those who want to detox


Restorative yoga does what it says on the tin. It is a deeply relaxing, de-stressing yoga style which is often practiced with props. A normal class will include fewer postures than other classes but the postures are normal gentle and held for a longer period of time. There will also be breathing exercises, a long period of relaxation and emphasis is placed on the connection between mind and body. Restorative yoga is both relaxing and rejuvenating.

Best for: stressed and tired bodies or those struggling with sleep

Aside from the different types of yoga, different teachers have different styles. If you like the sound of a certain style, don’t be put off by a teacher who doesn’t resonate with you.Try another teacher. Keep trying new classes and you will find your style and your teachers.

Image/Clothes from Splits 59 – to buy visit

Raw Veggie Triple Layer Lasagne Recipe

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Raw lasagnes are one of my favourite dishes and although it sounds like it could be complicated, they are so simple its almost silly! The novelty of this dish is like that of the zuchinni noodles, they take in place of the pasta but instead of making you feel heavy and bloated, you feel lighter and brighter whilst being just as satisfied once you’ve gobbled it all down.

Having tried more raw lasagnes than I can possibly count (they are my go-to dish on any raw restaurant menu), I have become somewhat of a lasagne snob; knowing exactly how I like it, and what my favourite flavour combinations are. So, after all this hard and testing research… I give you the ultimate triple layer lasagne! Just how I, and hopefully you, like it.

My version has three different sauce layers, sliced zuchinni lasagne ‘sheets’ and plum tomatoes, heaven! The sun-dried tomato sauce makes the first layer sweet, rich and bursting with flavour, I could eat it by the spoon! The second layer is an avocado pine nut pesto. This concoction happened by chance, like so many of the best culinary combinations! It surpassed all my expectations, so creamy, nutty, the most perfect pesto! The top layer is an amazing cashew-ricotta cheese. Yes, you heard me right! I love nut cheeses, and this one is especially delicious.

If your not drooling by now, just imagine eating all these layers together. Three words: Oh. My. Nommm! Remember to #hipandhealthy if you make it and share it (which we love and you’ll get a retweet for shizzle).

Serves 2

2 large zuchinnis
3 plum tomatoes

Nut Cheese
1/2 cup cashew
juice 1 lemon
1/2 garlic
5 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp water

*Note add the nutritional yeast later, once the cashews are crushed. Also – this may sound like a bizarre ingredient but you can buy it in Wholefoods and other good health food shops. It’s what gives nut cheese it’s cheesy flavour.

Tomato Cream
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1-2 medjool dates

Avocado Pesto
1 avocado
2 cloves garlic
1 cup basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
juice 1/2 lemon

Start by separately blending the three different sauces, put in three separate small dishes and place to the side. Cut the zuchinnis in half, then, with a peeler or a sharp knife, cut or peel the zuchinni into thin strips. Per ‘lasagne’ layer you will need to do different layers of zuchinni sheets, so divide the strips into four neat piles. Then slice the tomatoes very thinly.

As in the picture, start by layering the zuchinni lasagne, then the tomato sauce, top with the tomato slices, a layer of avocado pesto, more zuchinni, and finish with a generous spread of cashew ricotta. Garnish with pinenuts, more tomatoes, basil and black pepper.




words by water baby, Francesca Londoño-Brasington

Vogue-Spain-Bianca swim

There’s no better way to cool off during these hot summer days than plunging headfirst into water; whether it be the sea, lido or your local swimming pool; swimming is the exercise this season. I joined my local swimming club at the age of five and competed throughout my school years and beyond. I still have a huge passion for the sport and believe everyone should add a swimming session to their weekly training schedule; the benefits are endless and I’ve summed them up in my top five:

  • Swimming is low impact, aerobic exercise.  The water creates buoyancy which means it’s gentle on the joints and less likely to cause injury unlike high impact sport such as running.  This means it’s the perfect workout for everyone – from the young to the old and especially helpful for those who struggle with weight bearing exercise.  It’s also ideal during pregnancy and rehabilitation.
  • You have to work much harder to regulate and control your breathing when swimming meaning it’s fantastic for increasing lung capacity.  This in turn helps to aid asthma and respiratory problems.  Along with benefiting your lungs, it’s a cardio exercise working your heart and therefore optimal for cross training.  Add in a swim once a week to your training plan and you’ll see improved results in all other sports.
  • Swimming is an overall body workout which creates long, lean muscles without the need for weights.  Swimming is one of the few forms of exercise which improves strength, stamina and suppleness all in one.  It’s particularly beneficial for strengthening the core, shoulders, back and arms.  Swimmers really do have the best bodies – just think back to the Olympics last year!  So if you want that sought after washboard stomach, get in the pool!
  • You can add variety to your swimming training.  There are four different strokes to work on for a start and once you add in the use of a pull buoy and kickboard you can focus on pull and kick separately.  This means you can mix up distance, speed and stroke for the complete aerobic, anaerobic and interval session all in one.
  • And for those of you who are looking to burn off the calories; swimming burns at least 500 calories an hour (more if you go for it!) making it a superb workout.

Image: Bianca Balti shot for Vogue Spain

Carrot, coriander & sweetcorn fritters with a broad bean hummus

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

The word fritter immediately makes you think of patties deep fried, swimming in grease, with an overwhelmingly oily taste (funny that). Unlike the typical restaurant fritters, these are light, deliciously healthy, nourishing and really satisfying. They’re honestly so easy to make, so delicious to eat and pretty beautiful to look at (if I do say so myself). The combination of the grated carrot, coriander and sweetcorn goes incredibly well with the subtle flavour of the chickpea flour. Chickpea flour is a great, protein-rich unrefined flour, completely gluten- and wheat-free. You can make all manners of things with it, from pancakes to flatbreads.

This dish was inspired by all the seasonal vegetables grown at the moment, so of course with the bucket loads of broad beans being harvested I incorporated them, by making the most amazing broad bean hummus. So divine, and the perfect complimentary dip to the fritters. Enjoy with a green salad and your good to go!

Remember to hashtag #hipandhealthy on Instagram and Twitter so we can see all your beautiful re creations!

4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 cup gram flour (chickpea flour)
A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sweetcorn
4 tbsp extra virgin olive, plus extra for frying
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Form the mixture into five or six fritters. Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat. Cooking two at a time, cook for roughly 3 minutes on each side; they should be turning golden brown and cooked well through.

Broad bean hummus:
200g fresh broad beans
110g tin chickpeas
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt

Cook the beans. Drain and rinse in cold water. Let them cool, then pop them out of their skins. Place all ingredients into your blender/ food processor. Blend for about three minutes until smooth. Add a pinch more salt if you fancy!


Sweaty Betty Does The Space Age. Hip & Healthy brings you an exclusive inside look at Sweaty Betty’s A/W 2013 collection…

 Caroline Dean popped down for an insider fashion shoot at Sweaty Betty’s HQ to see the new collection in the flesh

I have a confession, I am a Sweaty Betty addict. I am not going to tell you how many Sweaty Betty products I own, because quite frankly it’s embarrassing. Where most girls own shoes and handbags, I own athlete vests and trainers. However, when I heard that the A/W 2013 collection had a ‘galaxy theme’, I was not convinced. I do not want my gym gear to have stars and planets emblazoned on them.

Yet my fears where completely unfounded. Sweaty Betty have managed to do it again. The A/W collection is beautiful, fresh and completely fulfils their motto to produce collections where style meets performance. The collection is inspired by female astronauts, galaxy’s and natural wonders of the world. The result is stunning colours and prints. Forget your black leggings.

What really struck me was the high style element, with new bags, coats and a fantastic cool down range, the products look amazing.  I can add to hoodies, coats and bags to my athlete vests, – so I can wear my gym clothing everyday!

The technical team have also been busy making sure the fabrics live up to the test and actually perform, as a personal trainer I always have my eye on whether the products actually live up to task and pleased to say fabrics are stronger and durable.

I have already got my shopping list!

Collection is hitting stores this month (July).Visit


How To Survive Clean Eating This Summer

It’s bikini season, which can only mean one thing say’s Zoe Louise Cronk, it’s time to eat clean to get lean

As summer finally begins and the entire country whoops with barbecue-induced glee, the female population are simultaneously struck by one horrifying realisation: bikini season has arrived. Frenzied Googling of ‘quick fix for a flat stomach’ and ‘get fit fast’ commences across the nation, and our trusty search engine soon turns up millions of websites from the seemingly trustworthy to the downright hilarious. But while the fads promising two stones of weight loss in two weeks might sound tempting, according to the experts, the key to a fit, healthy body and to feeling good both inside and out lies in…*drumroll please*… clean eating.

The much-hailed favourite of nutrition and fitness professionals worldwide, the concept of clean eating is far from new. Its basic premise may often be disguised by the hard-to-stick-to restrictions of a celebrity-endorsed food craze, but the concept is simple: consume foods in their most natural form. Helen Bond, State Registered Dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association explains, “It’s about going back to nature – swapping processed and refined foods for ones that occur naturally and have little, if anything, added to them. This means eating fresh red meat rather than processed meat products like sausages, brown rice instead of white rice, and oats over sugary cereal.”

It genuinely is as easy to follow as it sounds, but because that infuriating word ‘maintenance’ still manages to rear its ugly head, we’ve enlisted three experts to help you (and us) sustain, maintain, get clean and look lean!


Describing clean eating as “great for optimal health”, dietitian Helen has been recommending this nutritional technique for years, advocating that it also helps to “improve skin, hair and nails, reduce tiredness and irritability, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.” Kayleigh Turner Bazen, accredited personal trainer and founder of KTraining, lists benefits including weight loss, weight management and an improved immune system. She explains, “You can exercise all you want, but having the right nutrients in your body will increase performance and improve wellbeing.”


Clean foods (e.g. fresh fruit, vegetables, lean protein and wholegrains) are packed with natural enzymes that aid digestion. Their low glycemic index means that energy is released slowly, helping to avoid extreme sugar highs and lows that often lead to binging. Simple carbohydrates (e.g. white bread and pasta) are particularly bad for this as they take little time to be digested and absorbed. The body experiences a spike in insulin, which passes quickly and is followed by sugar lows and cravings.


Congratulations, you’ve survived two weeks of clean eating! But when the choco-temptation becomes too strong to resist, how much of an impact will an occasional treat have on our waistlines? When asking the experts this all-important question, I braced myself for the “sticking to the regime is essential” answer, so my taste buds and I were over the moon when Steve Tansey, UK Master Trainer at Les Mills and International Presenter in BodyCombat, BodyPump and GRIT, replied, “There’s nothing wrong with a cheat meal. Consumption of foods that do not qualify as healthy will not unbalance all the good work done previously.”

Hooray! But before we make a beeline for the Tesco sweet aisle, Steve cautions, “However, the treat must be small, for example, a small bar of chocolate or small packet of crisps. For quick results, these should be limited to twice a week.”

And it’s not just Steve who’s allowing us a little indulgence here and there, dietitian Helen agrees. “The individual can choose how ‘clean’ they want to go,” she says. “My advice would be to follow the 80/20 rule: eating clean 80% of the time with occasional treats 20% of the time.” Personal trainer Kayleigh even states that enjoying one-off treats can actually lead to positive outcomes, through “increased morale” and/or “feelings of guilt which then boost performance in fitness sessions to come.”


It’s no surprise that our experts encourage exercise alongside clean eating. “A combination of cardiovascular, muscular strength and endurance training,” is personal trainer Kayleigh’s advice, with dietitian Helen proposing “30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week.” And while Master Trainer Steve divulges his belief that “results are 70% diet and 30% exercise” in a blissful suggestion that our ideal body could emerge through nutrition alone, in order to achieve the “higher metabolism, decreased fat percentage and increased lean muscle tissue” that go hand-in-hand with a fit, healthy physique, Steve recommends high intensity interval training (HIIT).


Stick to naturally-formed foods and avoid processed goods. Allow yourself a small treat twice a week to maintain willpower and raise morale, and try to include HIIT in five 30-minute workouts per week. With a lean bikini body at the forefront of our minds, not only does this sound entirely do-able, it also sounds like a healthy, sustainable lifestyle we could readily adopt.

Go on, give it a go. Your holiday snaps will thank you for it.


Breakfast – Porridge with blueberries, strawberries or sprinkling of nuts and a spoonful of low-fat natural yoghurt.

Mid-morning – Piece of fruit and small handful of unsalted almonds.

Lunch – Grilled chicken breast and large salad with drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice, plus one slice of homemade wholewheat bread.

Mid-afternoon – Bowl of homemade vegetable soup.

Dinner – Grilled tuna steak, boiled new potatoes and steamed veg, plus fruit salad with low-fat natural yoghurt.

Image: Bikini from

Sugar Coated: Hip and Healthy talks to James Duigan about the evils of sugar

With a book and an A-list body to his name, James Duigan knows what he’s talking about. Here he discusses how cutting out sugar could be the key to getting thin, healthy hair and glowing skin. We’re all ears…

In Clean and Lean you discuss the ‘evils of sugar’ and suggest cutting it out completely, do you have any tips for our readers on steps they can take to cut out sugar effectively without going cold turkey?
Starting the day with sugar will make you crave sugar for the rest of the day. Start the day with some organic protein, some healthy fats such as avocado, and some healthy carbohydrates, such as spinach or blueberries. Have a scoop of Body Brilliance as soon as you wake. It’s full of fiber, Chromium and cinnamon, which help to regulate your blood sugar levels.

What alternatives to sugar would you suggest?
Plenty of wholesome, organic foods such as leafy green vegetables, healthy fats such as coconut oil and seeds and oily fish such as salmon that is full of healthy fats.

Is honey better for you than sugar?
Yes, In MODERATION. Same as fruit, honey has some health benefits, but the key is that this makes up only a small part of your diet.

What benefits do you feel your clients reap from cutting out sugar?
Fat loss and less bloated; Improved energy levels; Sleep quality Improves dramatically; Skin and hair start glowing.

Do you have any tips to beat the sugar cravings?

• Take a good quality fish oil such as omega brilliance. Its an incredible source of omega 3’s that helps curb sugar cravings.

• Take a scoop of Ultimate Clean after breakfast and dinner. Fiber helps you feel full and not hungry.

• Always carry a healthy snack such as a small bag of mixed nuts.

How do you feel about artificial sweeteners – are they a do or a don’t?
A don’t… Especially the artificial ones, which are made from toxic chemicals.

Are there any hidden sugars that we should look out for?
Anything that ends in “ose”, such as maltose, lactose, dextrose and fructose. Another common name is “syrup”, such as “High Fructose Corn Syrup”, which is found in many sweets, cereal bars and fruit drinks.

I heard that orange juice, once pasteurised, may as well be refined sugar?
Yes, your body will be far better off if you have real fruit, such as some blueberries or raspberries.  Food is always better when it is consumed as close to its natural state as possible.

Are there any other things we should be aware of like this?
Consuming “low fat foods”, which are generally full of sugar and sweeteners.

Apart from weight gain, what other effects does sugar have on our bodies? 

•Ages our bodies

•Ruins our energy levels

•Causes you to crave sugary foods like cheesecake

•Depletes your body of vitamin B

•Sugar wears out your organs by causing your internal organs to try and cope with changes in your body chemistry.

If I replace a sugary item in my diet with one that is more wholesome but has more calories (for example replacing a bag of sweets with an avocado) – won’t this just also lead to weight gain?
Not at all…Wholesome foods such as avocados, nuts, organic meats and vegetables are much more nutrient dense foods that provide your body with essential minerals.

What are your top five healthy low-fat snacks?
Low fat? Why low fat? Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugary foods and excess carbohydrate consumption can make us fat. If you want healthy low fat snacks, go for organic cold cuts, such as slices of roast turkey, a Body Brilliance smoothie, or organic veggies, such as slices of peppers, asparagus or cucumber wedges.

What would your advice be to someone who is embarking on a no-sugar diet but wants to remain social and enjoy drinks out with friends etc?
Go for sparkling water with a slice of lime or lemon. If you HAVE to drink, have a glass of Red Wine or Vodka with mineral water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Does sugar put weight on in a particular area of our body?
Yes; our love handles, tummy, bottom, thighs and hips

And finally, please could you suggest three exercises that help target this part of the body? Or that are compatible with a low sugar diet?
Exercise that use lots of muscles such as burpies, disco lunges and push ups and don’t focus on just one muscle.

If you only do one thing this week… Drink Water to Lose Weight (and gain a host of other benefits)

words by Juliet McCarthy

With summer holidays just around the corner, we are all frantically dieting, cutting out carbs, drinking less and hitting the gym. However, what if I told you that you could do just ONE thing that is free, easily accessible and will not only help you lose weight, but lose cellulite, give you energy and … Oh, did I mention help you lose weight?

We all know that we should be drinking gallons of water every day, but do we really know why?

Flush Toxins:
Water helps flush out the toxins from your body – toxins that are responsible for putting cellulite on your thighs, helping you feel bloated, giving you spots, taking the sparkle away from your eyes.

Water re-hydrates you – you will often feel stiff and not as mobile and it will be largely due to dehydration in your muscles. Also, drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day will re-hydrate your skin, giving it a fresher look and will help make fine lines less noticeable.

Aids Weight Loss:
It is a well-known but often-forgotten fact that a healhty intake of water will speed up weight loss. It will get the whole system going and flush out the junk. Try and start your day with a large glass of slightly warm water. It will kick start your metabolism for the day ahead.

Fuels You:
If you feel sluggish during the afternoon, you could well be dehydrated. Did you know that in Italy and France, where the coffee is really good, you are always served a glass of water alongside your coffee. The Europeans already recognise the dehydrating effects of coffee and want to make sure the energy burst they get from it is sustainable by keeping their water glass topped up!

While you are lying on your sun lounger, it is so tempting to have another cocktail and so you should. You are on holiday after all. But why not match it with a small 500ml bottle of water? Alcohol and sunshine will massively dehydrate you, slow down your metabolism, sap your energy and your skin will look dull and lined.

Your body will tell you when you are hungry but will not tell you when you are dehydrated (it masks our thirst by telling us that we are hungry) so when you feel thirsty, you will have already crossed over into dehydration. In addition to that, when you feel peckish, there is a chance that you are starting to dehydrate and need water instead so try having a large glass of water first to see if that satisfies the craving. It will help with weight loss if you can recognise that you need a drink of water instead of needing to eat. Your urine should be pale – too much colour and it means you are starting to become or are already dehydrated.

Water will give you energy, make your skin clearer, help your digestive system, help with weight loss, help prevent and clear up spots, help fine lines look less noticeable… so what are you waiting for? Make sure you carry a small bottle of still water with you all the time. Have a bottle in your bag, next to your bed, on your desk, put a large jug of water on the table with every meal and make sure you drink at least 2 litres every day to see the results for yourself.

Image source unknown – taken from Pinterest.

Vegan, Wheat-, Gluten- & Sugar-Free American pancakes with Blueberry “Syrup”

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Growing up in America meant that I was introduced to this pancake breakfast option from a very early age. I loved them, but as my health horizons broadened, and the option of ordering buttermilk pancakes drenched in syrup was no longer something that appealed to me, I decided I had to come up with my own version of these breakfast treats that was just as indulgent but highly nutritious, too! These pancakes fit the bill, they’re vegan, gluten- & sugar-free, and you definitely wouldn’t know it! They taste just as sinful, but to your body they are bites of nutritious fuel, and the perfect way to start your day. They’re fluffy, light, yet gooey in the middle – and the dates and banana sweeten it perfectly so no added sweetener is needed. Although,  however sweet your pancakes are, a pancake is not complete without a large drizzle of syrup. This blueberry “syrup”, is completely natural and packed full of antioxidants and makes a fab alternative to sugar filled syrups you’d by in the store. Adding another dimension to this already nutritionally rocking breakfast.

Why coconut flour is a H&H kitchen staple..
Coconut flour is made from fresh, organic coconut meat, that is dried and ground into a flour consistency. Gluten-free and hypoallergenic, it is a brilliant swap from the normal wheat flour. Coconut flour has a whopping 58% of dietary fibre the highest percentage found in any flour. Fibre is brilliant for our digestives system, makes us feel fuller for longer which can help you maintain or reach a healthy weight.

Get cooking, blending, and feeding your body some awesome, delicious, indulgent, healthy pancakes!


1 banana
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups oat milk
2-3 medjool dates
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp water

Start by grinding down the oats in a blender, grinder or food processor until it resembles flour. Set to one side. Add the dates, and oat milk in the blender and blend until the date pieces have been obliterated into tiny fragments. Break up the banana into smaller pieces and add with all other ingredients to the blender. Blend until the mix is thick and smooth.

In a frying pan add a little coconut oil and spoon half a cup onto the pan, with a knife spread so its round, you want to make a small pancake, so don’t be afraid if there is a lot of mixture on top. Cook on each side for roughly 2 minutes, flip with a spatula and repeat on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Meanwhile make the blueberry syrup. Really simple, add all the blueberries to a sauce pan with a tablespoon of water, let boil and pop until a syrup forms. Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn.


Forest Fit: The Ultimate Luxury Bootcamp

Editor, Sadie Macleod, discovers a world where luxury and fitness go hand in hand

‘Luxury’ and ‘bootcamp’ – two of my favourite words, and they so very rarely go together. But when they do, it’s as if all my Christmases have come at once. Now for two more of my favourite words “Forest Fit”, the new luxury bootcamp brought to you by the very clever folks at the Limewood Hotel and it’s rather fab Herb House Spa. This bootcamp does not feel like a bootcamp at all, but rather, a lovely spa break in the New Forest with lots of good healthy food, gorgeous surroundings, sumptuous accommodation, exceptional fitness classes, fantastic bike rides, indulging treatments and a dedicated team of experts to whip you (not literally though in this case) into shape. In fact, you will be so relaxed that your exhausted arms, aching abs and your tired thighs will almost (I said almost) go unnoticed. Because, although it doesn’t feel like a bootcamp – your body will certainly tell you otherwise.

The hotel takes up to six women per bootcamp (no men allowed). Keeping numbers small ensures that each woman’s needs are met and allows for the bootcamp to be tailored to you personally. No one is forced to do anything they don’t want to do, and if there is something that a client wants that is not on the schedule, then it is quickly sorted for them. The retreat begins with a phone call from Dawn, the lovely Assistant Fitness Manager and cardio queen. She asks questions like “What are you hoping to get out of the bootcamp?”, “Is there anything you can’t eat or don’t like?” and “What is your fitness like at the moment?”. This all helps her and the team put together a bespoke programme that will not only help you whilst you are at the hotel but also ensure that you take away as much as possible from your time there and continue the good work at home.


On arrival, I was met by the Fitness Manager John, who oversees the Forest Fit programme, and taken on a brief tour of the spa – which immediately whetted my appetite for the days to come. Imagine marble clad heated rooms, power rain showers and a sauna that has the view of the forest. Not to mention, state of the art fitness equipment set amongst white washed walls, slate paneling and duck egg blue finishings – my idea of exercise heaven. It wasn’t long before we were given a quick, light, raw (and completely delicious) lunch from the Raw & Cured restaurant and then put through our paces though as Dawn quickly scooped us up and took us on a brisk walk through the New Forest countryside. So far, so chilled.

We were then ushered straight into a Pilates class – something I had never tried before – as I have always been skeptical that it wouldn’t really make me feel as though I was getting a good work out in. How wrong I was. As lovely as the instructor, Juliette was, she was tough and made sure that I was going to feel her class in the morning. Pilates is fantastic for dancers and for people with a particular injury as it focuses on realigning the body and building strength. I was soon told that I needed to build up my core to support my lower back – something that I have always known but never really admitted to myself. That’s what places like this do. They make you get real with yourself.

After Pilates, it was some downtime in the ah-mazing bedroom (slash two story cottage), so I indulged in a (roll-top) bath (that had views of the forest beyond) and luxuriated in all the wonderful Bamford products. Heaven. After spending a suitable amount of time ensconced in the fluffy bathrobe, my tummy soon told me it was supper time – I had, after all, worked up quite an appetite and was looking forward to trying out the renowned Hartnett Holder  & Co Restaurant. Luckily, I did not have the panic of menu confusion as John had already gone through with us the best options for supper and although we weren’t obliged to go with his choices, if we didn’t want to undo all the hard work of the day then it seemed a sensible idea. And so I chose the mackerel and avocado – full of good oils and fats that would only assist me in my Forest Fit journey. And it was delicious. Other detox dinners were not a patch on this culinary marvel – it is very VERY rare to get such fantastic food whilst on bootcamp.


The following days were physically much tougher and I quickly realised that day one was a bit of a warm up for the pain to come: John took me through a water workout which dispelled any thoughts of the stereotypical water aerobics – grandmas in bathing suits rocking it out to 80’s tunes is not really my style. Stuart, the strength and conditioning expert, who also happens to be easy on the eye (having just slated Grandmas’ style I am now beginning to sound like one!) then took over and took us for a long bike ride and forest circuits. I hate circuits at the best of times but it certainly did help that this particular class was conducted in beautiful surroundings and fresh air. Using nature for gym equipment I was made to bench press logs, squat using bridges for support, and even sprint around fallen branches.


All of this hard work was intercepted by delicious raw bites and smoothies from the Raw & Cured restaurant and lots of water. We also cycled to the fabulous sister hotel – more boutique in style but just as well-known for its food, where we had a spot of lunch before journeying back on the bikes. The bootcamp finished with yoga. It was at this point that I realised just how tired I was (falling asleep during Shavasana is not really the done thing). But any pain (I ached for days afterwards), or exhaustion was worth it. For the fitness was great for my body, and the forest was good for my soul.

For more information visit

Welly Boot Camp