How to Be Healthy: 4 Simple Steps for the Healthy-Living Newbie

There’s no doubt about it, January is the month of health and fitness. Research has shown that the most common New Year’s resolutions focus on diet and exercise, but it also shows that around 80% of these are broken within the first month. So for those that are planning to give their lives a healthy overhaul in 2014, why not make it a little easier come January, and ease yourself in gently with these simple lifestyle changes for a healthier mind and body.

1. Understand and Overhaul

When adopting a new healthy lifestyle, understanding what “healthy” actually means is key. Knowing the truth behind “fat-free” foods, for example, is pivotal for those looking to improve their health inside and out, as processed foods that claim to be ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ are often the least healthy choice on the shelf. The FDA specifies that foods labelled as ‘fat-free’ must have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving, but while this may sound like a good thing for our waistlines, in order to make up for the lack of fat and as a result, the lack of taste, food manufacturers will often compensate by adding extra sugar, flour, salt and artificial additives to improve the flavour and/or texture. These extra ingredients will not only raise the calorie content, but they are often significantly worse for the body and digestion than the fat that was removed. Instead, opt for non-processed foods that you consume in their most natural form. If you cannot pronounce or have never heard of the ingredients on the nutrition label, move on. It is also good to note that it’s often the most staple foods that turn out to be not only the worst for you, but also (thankfully) the easiest to improve. The simplest food swaps include replacing bad carbs with good carbs by trading white bread, white rice and pasta for whole-wheat bread, brown rice and the protein-rich grain quinoa. Remember that extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are considered healthy fats when consumed in moderation, and you can satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade peach sorbet (blend peaches in their own juice, then freeze), a couple of squares of dark chocolate or a Hip & Healthy dessert, such as raw chocolate.

2. Stocks and Shops
Before you head to the supermarket on that first healthy weekly shop, make sure you remove your stock of processed and unnatural goods. For those that have a lot of these types of products lurking in the kitchen, it may be best to do this in stages; perhaps by tackling the freezer one week, the cupboards the following week and finally, the fridge. For those concerned about wastage, check the nutrition labels of each no-no item before you throw it. If you have a lot of ready-made pasta sauces in the cupboard, for example, read the labels to assess which have the least additives (e.g. salt and thickeners) and perhaps keep one or two to be consumed during the first week to avoid excessive waste. Alternatively, remove them all, and begin making your own immediately. Remember there are many places where you can donate unwanted food, so think of it as your good deed for the day. Once you’ve cleared the kitchen, you’re now ready to tackle the supermarket. A good tip to remember is that the natural, healthier products tend to reside on the outer edges of the shop (with the demonic confectionary aisle usually located in the centre), so in order to resist temptation, avoid these aisles altogether and stick to the store’s periphery.

3. Plan and Prepare
In terms of exercise, planning what you hope to accomplish each session can mean the difference between an effective workout, and a half-hearted effort. As Kayleigh Turner Bazen, personal trainer and founder of KTraining, explains, most individuals find it easier and see more effective results if they combine different types of exercise in their regime. “A good mix of exercise programmes is important for adherence to the exercises and the enjoyment of the participant,” explains Kayleigh. “You wouldn’t watch the same movie over and over so why would you do the same exercises? You can tackle the same muscle groups on different days if necessary, but use different exercises to do so. Enjoyment and achievement are the most important things.” Being too busy is the main reason people give for opting for processed and ready-made meals, so planning and preparing your meals ahead of time can be hugely beneficial to maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. One easy way of avoiding this is to make a large batch of homemade vegetable soup on a Sunday afternoon and freeze it in portions to be defrosted each day for lunch. Similarly, choose a quick and easy breakfast such as porridge with banana, strawberries and/or raisins that takes just a few minutes to prepare but still provides a good intake of protein, antioxidants and healthy carbs. This is much more practical than expecting to make a smoked salmon, vegetable and egg white omelette every morning before work. Save these for weekends when you can really enjoy them.

And this planning goes for dinner too. Having a plan of what your final meal of the day will consist of ahead of time will prevent you stopping by the fish and chip shop on your way home. Healthy meals can be just as satisfying as the processed alternatives (if not more so!), it’s just about taking the time to prepare them. One example of a quick and easy yet healthy and tasty meal is steamed vegetables with baked lemon salmon (drizzle lemon juice over each fillet of salmon and sprinkle with pepper and dill, then wrap in foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes). Delicious.

4. Realism and Rewards

And last but most certainly not least is the most important rule of all: be realistic. If your decision to adopt this new lifestyle was triggered by the desire to lose weight, then make sure your goal weight is achievable. A healthy body is the combined result of diet and exercise, so tackle both simultaneously with a diet overhaul and fitness regime that you are likely to stick to: one that allows for rest days (which personal trainer Kayleigh states are essential for body toning, muscle repair and improving muscle definition) and is do-able in terms of work and social events. As explained by personal trainer Kayleigh, “It’s important for someone that is new to exercise to be realistic about what they can achieve; a lot of hard work goes into weight loss. It’s about changing your mind as well as your body.” Because muscle weighs more than fat, Kayleigh advocates tracking your progress using measurements of key body parts rather than weight. Even if you are becoming slimmer and more toned, the numbers on the scales may still increase, but don’t be disheartened; simply judge your body improvements by your comfort in clothes and reduction in waist/thigh size, instead. “Stay optimistic but be realistic,” she advises. “It can take up to 8 weeks of exercise 4-5 times a week before friends or family notice a difference, but the individual will notice changes much quicker.” Be realistic with your goals for individual sessions too. Attempting a 15-mile run in your first week is probably not the best idea, but alternating between “20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise such as jogging or riding a bike, and 30 minutes of low intensity exercise e.g. walking or swimming,” as Kayleigh suggests, is much more likely to lead to success. As for nutrition, it’s good to keep in mind that almost every individual who lives a health-conscious life has an occasional craving that they give into. As long as the treat you allow yourself is relatively small and is limited to just once or twice per week, this does not mean your lifestyle has tipped the scales back into “unhealthy”. And when you do reach your goal, why not reward yourself with a brand new piece of stylish fitness wear so that you are inspired to continue your healthy journey!

words by Zoe Louise Cronk

shop the look

London’s New Vegan Watering Hole: We chat to Vegan Chef, Ali about the new menu at The Montagu

Ali Parvinjah has over 14 years experience of working in the culinary industry and has worked at some of the top restaurants in the world. In 2014, The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill welcomed Ali to create a very unique vegan/vegetarian menu for their restaurant, The Montagu, set to launch in Spring 2014. The last few years have seen a significant rise in semi-veganism with a host of celebs following suit… we’re talking Anne Hathaway and Hollywood royalty couple Beyonce and JayZ to name a few! Ali’s recipes focus on providing optimum health and incorporate delicious new twists on some classic favourites. This is definitely going to be our new healthy hangout in London. See you there!

When did you realise that you wanted to become a chef?
I realized I wanted to become a chef when I was a little boy hanging out in the kitchen with my mother as she nurtured our bellies and spirits.

What made you go in the direction of vegan cooking?
As a vegan myself, I was always looking for a new “bite”; I will always have an insatiable appetite. Through my times cooking vegan food a certain passion developed in surprising and delighting my guests with what I could create.

What benefits does being vegan have on your body?
The benefits of being vegan on the body are: the saturated fats ingested are less likely to clog arteries, the loss of body fat, less prone to getting cancer and heart disease, adequate retention of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, and these are just a few things.

What’s your favourite vegan breakfast?
Fresh squeezed orange juice, a gigantic bowl of mixed berries, a hot cereal made of quinoa and chia seeds, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar!

Why should people choose organic?
Organic foods have less of a carbon foot print, are grown without pesticides and manmade fertilizers, and in my opinion taste better.

What’s your favourite way of including protein into your diet whilst keeping vegan?
Great sources of vegan protein are hemp seeds, raw seeds and nuts, quinoa, legumes, sprouted legumes, and some of the latest research shows a combination of certain fruits and vegetables contain complete chains of amino acids i.e. mango and kale in a raw smoothie or salad.

Are you 100% vegan all the time?
Currently I keep a vegetarian paleo diet which includes an occasional free range organic egg plenty of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts and excludes all milk products, whole grains, legumes, corn, soy, rice.

Beyonce and JayZ temporarily went vegan recently just before Christmas. Why do you think going vegan has become popular?
The popularity of going vegan in today’s society predominantly revolves around our new understandings of western world diseases and where they come from. The benefits of going vegan dramatically reduce the chance of inheriting disease’s such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

What is your favourite dish on your new vegan menu at The Montagu restaurant in the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill?
I write all my menus based on seasonality and local availability. Although I would love to “leak” our upcoming seasonal menu at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, I won’t. I will mention a buzz word which is a vital understanding in the vegan movement: “RAW”

 Preparation of Heirloom Tomato and Cashew Cheese 5 - Portrait

 interview conducted by Molly Jennings

For more information visit:

Introduction to the brand new Hip & Healthy E-Recipe Book: In the Hip & Healthy Kitchen

words by Sadie MacLeod

I have been lucky enough to grow up loving healthy food. This is largely down to my mother who would get to our local Waitrose as early in the day as possible to make sure that she was able to buy the organic produce before it ran out. This sort of behaviour may seem ridiculously unnecessary to most but to my mum buying and eating good organic food was the best possible thing she could do for herself and her children. Back then, Waitrose only had about four or five products that were organic. Needless to say meal times were a tad on the repetitive side at times. What she wasn’t able to source from Waitrose, she’d get from health food stores and my Aunt who grew organic vegetables at her home. Somewhere along the line, although I am sure I protested at first, all this enthusiasm for being healthy sunk in.

Being healthy and craving food that is good for you does not come so easily to many. We joke that my sister, Saskia, Food Editor of Hip & Healthy and who wrote most of the recipes in this cookbook, only lived on smiley potato faces and fish fingers, much to my motherís complete horror, for the early part of her life. But, as Saskia’s horizons broadened and it became obvious that she was going to commit her life to ballet, she too got bitten by the health food bug. Now, nearly everything she eats serves an awesome nutritional purpose, whether it be to promote healing, endure long hours on the stage or to build her strength, she has completely shifted her mindset. She has even gone vegan.

For the past few years now, the more we have all learned about the role nutrition plays in every aspect of our lives the more we want to learn and embrace it all. We have witnessed the extreme positive effects healthy food can have on health and the healing process. A friend of mine’s mother helped cure herself of breast cancer by adjusting her nutrition and juice fasting – my friend subsequently started her own juice cleanse company. Other side effects of a healthy diet include more energy, clearer skin, reduced risk of heart disease, improved digestion, happiness, the list is endless.

Another example where I have witnessed the positive effects of paying attention to ones diet is with myself. For many years as a late teen I suffered eczema, excruciating stomach cramps, spots, bloatedness and tiredness (not a sexy combination). I thought these were completely normal for any growing teenager apart from the tummy aches, which I just accepted as normal to me. However, when I started university everything got a little bit worse and a mild form of insomnia also crept in, just to add to the barrel of complaints. I was finding that I was going home every other weekend as that seemed to be the only way to feel better. My tummy aches would stop, I’d fall to sleep instantly and my energy was completely renewed. But because my symptoms prevailed the rest of the time I eventually went to my family doctor who told me I had been lactose intolerant as a baby and perhaps it had come back as that often happens in adults. At this point I was willing to do anything and so I cut out dairy completely. My mother had already declared herself a dairy-free zone, so she was able to teach me how to replace the dairy in my diet with lots of wonderful non-dairy alternatives.

What happened afterwards was nothing short of a miracle, all my symptoms cleared up, I lost a stone in weight (that I have never put back on), the tummy aches subsided, sleep was now back on the agenda and my skin cleared up. I quickly realised that I had, indeed, like so many others, become lactose intolerant again. And the reason my symptoms cleared up when I was at home was because there was no dairy at home.

Saskia, too, had eczema since she was born and for many years it caused her horrible discomfort – as soon as she embraced a non-dairy diet her eczema completely cleared. For those who are not familiar with this horrid skin condition, eczema is a chronic skin problem that causes dry, cracked and itchy skin. It is often found behind knees, near elbows and in the creases of arms. In my sister’s case, it was all over her neck. She once described it as her snood of eczema.

Dairy is often found as a common culprit when it comes to inflamed skin conditions such as this. I, and many others, also hold it responsible for a host of other ailments; tiredness, spots, an over- production of mucus, lowered immune system, IBS and even ageing. No other animal in the world drinks another animalís milk. So when people tell you dairy is a perfect food, you can say yes – if you’re a calf. In fact about 75% of the worldís population is unable to digest the sugar found only in milk products, lactose. This is called being lactose intolerant and you have a one in four chance that you are. Dairy creates inflammation in the body, clogs arteries and suffocates hearts. You will not find it in our kitchen or in this book. Dairy is officially off the menu.

But dairy is certainly not the only offender. The possible worst assassins are processed foods and sugar, all of which play a big part in making us sicker and sadder as a nation on the whole. First, lets address the processed food debacle. If it is boxed, bagged, canned, jarred and has an endless list of ingredients (many of which you have no idea what they are) you can almost be certain it is processed. You have got to be a little bit mad nowadays to eat a diet high in processed foods. Not only are they full of sugar and salt (to mask the taste of all those e-numbers and crappy ingredients) but they are also increasingly being linked to major life threatening diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many, many more. This is the same for sugar.

Until fairly recently it was thought that fat was responsible for making the population fat. But we are increasingly becoming aware of the evils of sugar. It has become a widely available drug that we get hooked on from birth, and is found in everything, hidden, disguised but ensuring that you come back for more and more, and making you fat, tired, and ill in the process. There are numerous studies available proving the terrible effect that sugar is having on us as all. As I write this, just this week two pieces of research have been published that illustrate sugarís effect on our weight-gaining nation. I am behind anyone that says that sugar should be taxed, monitored and, in some cases, banned altogether. But, as optimistic as I am, that is unlikely to happen any time soon, which is why we have to take our health into our own hands.

Which leads me to explaining a little bit about this cookbook. I wholeheartedly believe that healthy eating neednít be difficult. In fact there really never has been an easier time to embrace a healthy lifestyle. The recent emergence of healthy food sources is plentiful and frequent. Any food store that doesnít have at least a small range of organic foods or dairy- or gluten-free alternatives is now pretty rare. The excuses have run out – healthy eating is easier now than ever.

This cookbook is the culmination of the tried and tested recipes of my sister and I. We have been experimenting with wonderful healthy ingredients for years and through our diets and active lifestyles we have never been happier, healthier or even hipper than we are now. Although, we have a few friends that might argue the hipper element.

Lets get one thing straight, we certainly don’t make ourselves out to be culinary wizards – these dishes will not earn Michelin stars, however they will have you and your dinner companions gawping and amazed at how deliciously healthy they are. And, like many chefs, they are part of our lifeís work created for two purposes; to taste amazing and make you feel amazing. They are quick, easy and often involve an uncomplicated list of ingredients that you have heard of. Where there are ingredients that are a bit more obscure (but none the less easy to get hold of) we explain what they are and why we use them. Saskia and I lead busy lives. Suffice to say we wrote this cookbook whilst I was working full time at a magazine, editing Hip & Healthy, trying to maintain my fitness and still make time for friends and family. Whilst Saskia is on the road to becoming a professional ballerina where she trains for up to 8 hours a day! We know that healthy eating must be easy and effortless otherwise you wouldnít be able to do it. We know this because we wouldn’t be able to either.

Through “In the Hip & Healthy Kitchen” we are asking you to do something for you. You totally deserve it. Maybe you’ve downloaded this book, as you have no idea where to start when it comes to healthy eating. Maybe you are a vegan, wellness-warrior who canít remember what sugar tastes like and your looking for some fresh new ideas. This book caters for both. Our hope is that no matter what your nutritional background, ìIn The Hip & Healthy Kitchenî will inspire you to take charge of your nutritional future. After all – there really is no time like the present.

Download the e-book here:

Cook Book I Pad

Fitspiration of the Month

2014 is under way and H&H have decided that this year we want to bring you a new form of inspiration to keep you motivated in pursuing a healthier and happier you. Every month of 2014, we will be interviewing a person who is an inspiration to the health and fitness world. It’s a chance to get an insight into their lives at what motivated them in their own journey to becoming fitter and healthier. Enjoy!

January FITspiration: Pilates Instructor Chloe Hodgson

Hip and Healthy are delighted to introduce Chloe Hodgson! Chloe has always had a passion for fitness and soon fell in love with Pilates because of a back injury. She discovered the many amazing benefits Pilates can have on the body and mind and decided to take her passion into teaching. She trained with Stott Pilates, which incorporates modern exercise principles, and applies proven and safe practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. This Pilates method works with the natural curve of the spine and helps rebalance the muscles and the joints. Based at the stylish and exclusive healthy London hangout, Lomax, she likes to give her clients a mixture of classical Stott Pilates and Dynamic Pilates to help them achieve beautifully lean bodies. Also, make sure you check out her blog, Chloe’s Pilates where she gives her tips and advice to living a healthy and fulfilling life.

What is your favourite Pilates exercise?
The full teaser because it took me about 6 months to perfect it and now I can do it, I can reap all the benefits!

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?
Live every day as though it’s your last.

What is your go to breakfast?
Oats soaked in almond milk with a dollop of Greek yogurt, blueberries, and loads of flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds!

What are your gym bag essentials? 
Music and water.

What songs will we find on your workout playlist? 
Losing you by Solange. Keep your head up by Ben Howard. Charlie boy by the Lumineers. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. And anything 80’s!!

Do you have a favourite pre-workout snack? 
A banana and a handful of brazil and almond nuts.

What are the top three benefits of Pilates?
Improving posture and flexibility; Increased core strength; Improved stability and balance.

What’s your fail safe dinner party dish?
A Thai curry with brown rice and stir fry vegetables. I always have to make a pudding because I’ve got such a sweet tooth. Stewed apples and blackberries with ginger is a delicious, yet healthy dessert with a big dollop of Greek yogurt or ice cream if you feel like a treat!

Do you have any advice for a Pilates newbie? 
Be patient and stick at it. There is so much to learn and remember when doing Pilates but the more you do it, the better you will become and the more benefits you will gain.

What time of day do you prefer to workout? 
Mornings definitely! After a morning workout I’m ready for the day ahead and full of energy!

When your not teaching Pilates, what are you doing?
Cooking or hanging out with my husband and friends.

Do you have any vices? 
Anything sweet!

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Don’t regret the past or worry about the future. Just live life in the present and take positive actions.

4 Tips to Radiant Skin this Winter

Get your glow back this winter with our expert advice…

Thought winter and tight, dry skin went hand in hand? Think again. Harsh temperatures and an overdose of central heating doesn’t have to take its toll on your skin. By making these small changes, as recommended by X Factor make-up artist Gemma Wheatcroft, you can adapt your usual skincare regime to get plump, radiant skin, whatever the weather.

Supercharge your moisturiser:

Just as your night cream is formulated differently to your day cream, some moisturisers are created especially for cold conditions. Gemma advises, “Crank up your daily hydration hit with a winter moisturiser. It’ll restore parched skin by protecting and hydrating with its richer formula.”

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a light yet tough moisturiser that was used by the team of the Greenland First Ascent expedition – six explorers who completed the first-ever ascent of Greenland’s ice covered peaks in 2005. If it’s good enough for them… Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream, £24

Turbo boost your night cream:

Give your skin extra nourishment by adding an oil to your night cream. It will rehydrate drained skin and act as a much-needed booster for dullness. Try OLEHENRIKSEN Pure Truth Activating Oil. This 100% concentrated rose hips seed oil is unfiltered, unprocessed and cold pressed to maintain the highest potency. It’s rich in Vitamin A (which activates cell renewal to improve texture and tone of skin), Vitamin C (which boosts collagen to firm and brighten skin) and essential fatty acids, for brighter, healthier looking skin. “It’s also great on cuticles and nails,” says Gemma, “Use a generous layer with your handcream and wear mitts or socks overnight for best results.” OLEHENRIKSEN, Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil, £47

Use a light reflecting primer:

A light reflecting primer used under your foundation, like MAC Prep & Prime in Natural Radiance, will prep your skin to perfection. “It’ll hydrate your skin, smooth our dry areas for longer-lasting coverage, and bring a natural dewiness back that can get lost during the winter months,” says Gemma. MAC Prep & Prime in Natural Radiance, £20.50,

Boost your blush:

Ditch your summer bronzer for a stronger-than-normal blusher. “Use a warmer cream blush like Liz Earle’s Healthy Glow Cream Blush in Warm Rose Pink,” recommends Gemma, “Buffed onto the apples of your cheeks it will add warmth to your face and give a healthy, wind-swept, rosy winter glow.” Liz Early Healthy Glow Cream Blush in Warm Rose Pink, £16.50,

Words: Eva Caiden. You can follow Eva on Twitter: @evacaiden

Gemma Wheatcroft is a UK based make-up artist. You can contact Gemma at: [email protected].

January No-Diet Detox – it’s all about adding something healthy, not taking away!

If you only do one thing this week… Try our No-Diet, New Year Detox!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last week! As we give 2013 a traditional, joyful send off, we welcome another year with new opportunities and a chance to have a fresh start.

Most of us are already thinking about New Years resolutions and how we can try to make 2014 a healthier one. Who’s tried giving up chocolate in the past? How did it go? Rubbish? Don’t worry your not alone! In 2012, The Daily Mail reported that out of 3,000 surveyed Britons, three-quarters admitted that after just nine days, they were no longer confident they would stick to their health or fitness resolutions for the rest of the month! It’s not surprising. As soon as you tell yourself you’re going to cut out something, it seems the brains is programmed to want it even more. So, this year H&H want to show you how to kick start the New Year in a slightly different way. We want to encourage you all to add something into your life that will benefit your health, whether it’s trying out a new exercise class or adding more superfoods in to your diet. This is a New Years detox with a twist! So forget restrictions and deprivation diets, it’s all about taking something up, rather than giving something up!

Here are some H&H resolution ideas to help you get started: 

Start your day with something green – What’s better than to start your day with something as nutritious as a green juice or smoothie? You’re giving your body a head start and it will set you up perfectly for the day ahead. A green juice, as well as a healthy and nutritious breaky will also help ward off sugar cravings…leaving you less likely to munch on unhealthy foods later on. Start great, stay great! Why not try our Jolly Green Giant smoothie recipe –

Try a new class or workout – Stuck in an exercise rut? Fancy a change of pace? Give your body a new challenge by trying out a new class in your gym or even trying a completely new form of exercise altogether. Crazy about spinning? Why not add a few yoga classes in between to restore and release your body. Or perhaps you feel like swapping your zumba for ballet bare classes? Whatever you choose, it will open your eyes to a whole new way of keeping fit and you never know, you might really enjoy the change!

Add Organic – Choosing organic food is the ultimate healthy indulgence for any fittie. We’d all love a completely organic life but it can be hard, especially if you’re on a food budget. Instead, we suggest to buy just a few items organically as a step towards doing something good for your health. Ever heard of The Dirty Dozen? It’s a list of foods that are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides and horrible toxins. If you’re going to buy something organic, definitely choose it from the list below:



Sweet Bell Peppers










Discover a new superfood – There are so many superfoods to choose from, and it can get a bit confusing as to which one to buy. We suggest incorporating a new superfood once a month to see how it makes you feel. Maybe you’ll go for the green goddess, Spirulina in January for a detox hit, and maybe Baobab in dull and dreary February to give you an energy boost! We love Organic Burst’s Spirulina – and Aduna’s Baobab –

Try one new recipe every week – We can all easily get used to cooking our old faves time and time again simply because we know they’re going to taste yummy and they’re familiar to us. But our bodies can become used to eating the same foods and it can lead to nutritional gaps. Trying a new recipe every week can be a great way to spend time with your family and it’s always great when you find a dish that you know will become a regular! Variety is the spice of life!

words by Molly Jennings

Finding Balance

words by Kathleen Fleming

“Balance is beautiful.” –  Miyoko Ohno

In all aspects of our lives finding balance is important. Balancing work with other areas of our lives, balancing our diets and balancing a healthy lifestyle with a social life are some of the balancing acts we are faced with. Doing any one thing too much can adversely affect the delicate equilibrium of our bodies and minds, possibly leading to illness, emotional issues and injury. But finding balance in our busy lives is a challenge and it sometimes requires us to move out of our comfort-zone and change long-standing, unsupportive habits.

Our exercise routine is something a lot of us struggle to balance. Some of us run, some of us love yoga and some of us enjoy lifting heavy weights. We all have our workout preferences but it is important to try to strike a balance. Stamina, strength and flexibility are equally important components of maintaining a healthy, physically fit body. Balancing these three is crucial for avoiding injury, maintaining energy levels and for feeling and looking good.

Stamina is a measure of how long or far you can go in your chosen activity. It is the ability of your muscles to endure an activity over a continuous period of time. Cardiovascular stamina is the strength of your most important muscle, the heart, and how efficiently it can pump blood around your body. The stamina of your other muscles is important too. This refers to how long your other muscles can keep working without tiring. Often we can have a strong cardiovascular system but our other muscles struggle to keep up (ever felt like you have the breath to keep going but your legs are jelly?). Increasing your stamina by moving for a longer period of time or covering a greater distance will strengthen your heart and other muscles and possibly add years to your life. On a more practical level, you will have more energy for your day-to-day activities like climbing stairs and doing household chores. To improve stamina take part in cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, swimming or cycling for increased periods of time or try doing increasing sets of body weight exercises such as press-ups.

Strength is the amount of force a muscle can exert in a single contraction. Aside from the obvious benefits of stronger muscles such as being able to carry our heavy holiday suitcases, having greater muscle mass can also lead to a trimmer figure as you burn more calories at rest. In addition, adding some strength training into your exercise program will help strengthen your bones reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Although the obvious way of adding strength exercises to your workout is to mingle with the men in the free weights corner of the gym, there are other ways. You can try classes such as Body Pump, circuit training or power yoga, or ask a trainer to show you some exercises using a TRX. Old school exercises such as the press up and the triceps dip can be done at home or at the gym and don’t require much time or any special equipment.

Flexibility is defined as our joints ability to move through their full range of motion and being flexible allows your muscles to remain mobile. The often forgotten flexibility is as important as stamina and strength. We are all guilty of finishing our workout without a stretch. Developing a stretching routine or adding some yoga into your workout is crucial for avoiding injury and keeping your joints healthy in the long term. As we get older we become less flexible. When we become less flexible we become more prone to injuries such as muscle tears, joint aches and pains.

Try to combine these three elements into your life. You can mix up a single session with cardio, strength and stretching or focus on one element in each session. By bringing these three together you will start to feel and look beautifully balanced.

Image: Yoga goddess, Tara Stiles

Roasted Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

Soups are so under-rated, we honestly always forget how amazing they can taste! Because they are cooked, and puréed they are really easy to digest, which is perfect after a heavy christmas season. We love our soups thick, creamy, piping hot and packed with flavour. We find root vegetables like squash and sweet potato make our favourite soups as they are sweet, dense and packed with goodness. Sweet potatoes are a great source of slow releasing low GI carbohydrates, they are also full of beta-carotene, which promotes beautiful skin by ridding of free radicals that cause skin ageing.

Butternut squash also contains beta carotene, along with a wide range of nutrients that promote cardiovascular health. They also contain large amounts of folate, which is excellent, in particular if your pregnant. Squash is also high in fibre, promoting a healthy digestive system. When roasted, red peppers caramelise and are so incredibly flavoursome and add an amazing flavour to this soup. They contain a wealth of vitamin C and antioxidants, necessary for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Instead of cream, or full fat milk you find in many unhealthy supermarket soups I use coconut milk to add that extra creaminess. It really takes this soup from delicious to extraordinary.

This soup is wonderfully satisfying, and so warming. The ultimate cosy winter meal! Let us know how you get on on our Twitter or Instagram page @hipandhealthyuk and hashtag #hipandhealthy!

Serves 3

1 large butternut squash
2 large/3 medium sweet potatoes
2 red peppers
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (can ommit)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 lime
Season to taste

Method: Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Start by pealing the squash and sweet potatoes, chop in to small cubes. Slice the red peppers and put all on a roasting tray with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of rosemary or thyme. Place in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft. Add the squash, peppers and potato to a high speed blender with the water, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar (if using) – blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat until piping hot, adding more water and coconut milk if you like a slightly thinner soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with a segment of lime to squeeze!

 Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 08.56.48

Shake Up Your Workout with a Power Plate

words by Samantha Whitaker

At the moment, fitness regimes are all about getting more for less  – time, that is. My last post, about Hiitgirl, showed how short sessions of high-intensity interval training is much more effective than spending hours in the gym. And at Movers & Shapers, which has seven boutique studios (five in London), the instructors promise to get you the body shape you want with just two 30-minute Power Plate classes a week, together with sensible nutrition advice and personal health monitoring.

Originally designed in the 1960s, to help Russian astronauts combat the effects of zero gravity, Power Plate vibration machines stimulate your muscles to contract and relax safely but rapidly – around 30 to 35 times a second compared to the usual once or twice. The result is a rapid improvement in muscle strength, blood circulation, flexibility and bone density, and a more effective reduction in visceral fat than other forms of exercise or dieting. In short, it’s efficient and effective – two words that we all love when it comes to fitting exercise into our busy lives. But people often approach a Power Plate with trepidation. After all, it’s a strange and unnerving sensation at first, the settings can be confusing and there is often just a large poster beside the machine showing a small range of static positions. This is where classes are vital, as trained instructors like those at Movers & Shapers have an arsenal of around 500 exercises that can be performed on the Power Plate – and they are inventing new ones all the time.

In the past, I’ve achieved excellent results using a Power Plate, so I was very keen to get back on one. The 30-minute class flew by as we moved quickly from one toning exercise to the next, always using a different muscle set to avoid fatigue but maintain the burn. And because the class size is small, everyone gets a bit of one-on-one attention. By the final minute – a gruelling deep squat holding a medicine ball between my thighs – I was gritting my teeth. But then followed a blissful two minutes of massage on a higher frequency to help flush out the lactic acid. Almost everyone can do a Power Plate class – in fact, Nicky Lopez, the Balham studio manager, used to train three 75-year-olds three times a week, who were just as fit and strong as their 20-year-old classmates.

I visited the Balham Movers & Shapers, in south London, which opened earlier this year and also offers circuits and cardio sessions in a separate studio as well as Power Plate. The following week, I returned for a circuits class (although clients often do classes back-to-back for a longer workout). After a warm up of rope-skipping for the longest two minutes of my life, my legs were like jelly and I was a bit scared. But, like in the Power Plate class, we moved quickly between exercises and muscle groups, using TRX, ViPR and Kettlebells as well as our own body weight. The cardio sessions take place on Keiser Striders, a new breed of cross-trainer that’s smoother and easier on your joints, and the class follows a similar format to a spinning class, with plenty of fast, high-impact intervals for maximum calorie burning. Clients can also connect a MyZone monitor to view their heart rate on a screen throughout the class, encouraging them to work even harder.

At Movers & Shapers, you have the choice of pay-as-you-go (in blocks of 12 or 24 classes), or all-inclusive monthly membership for a minimum or three or 12 months. There are no sign-up costs, and everyone receives a mini health MOT and regular one-to-one progress reviews. To find out more, visit

Getting started on a Power Plate

  • Have a session at Movers & Shapers, or one-to-one with a trained instructor, to learn how to use the Power Plate correctly in order to get the maximum benefits.
  • Maintain a soft bend in the knees and elbows, and never lock your joints, as the vibrations will travel through bones rather than muscle resulting in a headache.
  • Get the settings right: exercises should be performed at 30-35 hertz (the number of vibrations per second), and stretching or massaging at 40-50 hertz. At 30 hertz, your body will be working 30% harder than if there were no vibrations, but above 40 hertz your muscles won’t be able to respond to the faster speed so you won’t get the full benefit.



5 Day Nosh Detox Juice Cleanse Offer

Hip & Healthy Promotion

Nourish Your Body, Feed Your Soul and Get Your Mojo Back in January with a 5 day Nosh Detox Juice Cleanse Offer (RRP £249 – NOW £99)

 Just quote “HHJAN2014” at the checkout to take advantage of the offer!

What you get on the Nosh Detox Original 5 Day Juice Fast Programme

•     20 x 500ml freshly blended Fruity & Vegetable Smoothies (4 per day)

•     5 x 250ml Nosh Ginger & Lemon Tonic (1 per day)

•     Support from our Nosh Health Team

•     Daily Juice Fast Schedule

All completely Gluten & Dairy Free!

BENEFITS of our Famous Nosh Juice Fast, loved by A listers such as Gwynnth and Poppy Delevigne

Five delicious smoothies a day is all you need to  beat the excesses of the festive season and get your mojo back! Our clients have shown over the years that the 5-day juice fast program is “one of the healthiest and safest ways to achieve steady weight loss on the market today. Each smoothie is rich in antioxidants and assists your body to detox naturally. This, in turn, speeds up the process of regeneration and rejuvenation.

• Helps maintain high energy levels since all the smoothies contain fruit pulp and fibre.

• Assists the body in attaining its natural balance by detoxifying and cleansing thoroughly.

• Increases the metabolic rate, thus helping in digesting food quickly and eliminating waste material regularly.

• The extra weight can be kept at bay for a longer time period than is possible through traditional diet methods.

•The juice diet retrains your body and improves your overall dietary patterns.

Retail price is £249, discounted to £99 with unique code.

There will be a delivery charge of £7 on top of the £99.  Delivery is UK mainland (except Scottish Highlands)

Deal must be booked between 1st January and 5th January inclusive, for delivery any time in January or February 2014. For more details and to book, click here!

JAN 14 Leaderboard

WIN a Sports Top by Posting a #HealthySelfie

It’s January – the month of health and fitness – our favourite time of year! And we hope that many of you will be spending time in the gym, running outdoors, going to yoga, taking part in the latest fitness classes and generally just working out – and we want to see your selfies! Your #healthyselfies!

The Competition
From now until January 5th 2014 we are going to be on the look out for the best #healthyselfie! Whether you are in the gym, on a run or doing yoga – to name a few – we want to see your pictures!  And we will be giving away one of our super cool sportswear tops worth over £40 to the #healthyselfie we think is best! Just make sure that you tag @hipandhealthyuk in your post!

Healthy Selfie

Healthy Raw Chocolate Recipes

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Chocolate has always been one of my favourite foods; that divine rich, sweet & creamy flavour that just melts on your tongue and makes you want more, more, more. Going vegan earlier this year was a big change for me. My taste buds have changed enormously as has my appreciation for wholesome natural goodness, but one thing that has never gone is my love for all things chocolatey. Thank goodness I managed to find away to make raw vegan chocolate that tastes just as good – plus it is super easy to make.

Health Benefits of Raw Chocolate
Raw cacao, is a raw un-processed cocoa powder, meaning you can harness all of its incredible superfood properties. It’s one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the world, protecting your body against disease and free radicals entering the body. It also increases your serotonin levels (the happy hormone)! Chocolate really does make us happy.

Now you know why I love raw chocolate, I had to share my two favourite recipes. The first one is my simple, pure chocolate. The other recipe is for a healthy chocolate truffle. This really is my favourite chocolate recipe, the likeness to normal truffles is uncanny whilst the essence of coconut adds an incredible richness.

Get your chocoholic on and let us know how you get on by sharing all your awesome recreations on Instagram and Twitter by hashtagging #hipandhealthy

Simple raw chocolate and raw chocolate-coconut truffles

Pure raw chocolate
1 cup cacao
1 cup melted coconut oil
4 tbsp agave syrup

Chocolate-coconut truffles
1 cup cacao
1 cup melted coconut oil
4 tbsp agave
1/3 cup coconut milk/cream

Method: Start by placing the cacao in a bowl with the agave syrup. Add 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil and add the bowl, stirring until the chocolate is smooth. If you are making pure chocolate you can now pour into your chocolate moulds and place in the fridge to set.

If you are making the truffles, now add 1/3 cup coconut milk/cream and continue to mix. Then mould in shape of choice, or spoon into a set mould and place in refrigerator.

NOTE: if your not sure which ones you want to make:  Then make the recipe for the pure chocolate, and half the mixture. Pouring one straight into the moulds, and adding 3 tbsp of coconut cream/milk to the other before moulding. This will give you half the recipe for each, so you’ve got a pick and mix of raw chocolate.

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 17.32.41