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!

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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.

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Switch Off this NY: It’s time to get connected by ditching the iPhone addiction!

words by Persia Lawson & Joey Rayner of

January is once more upon us, and no doubt, the majority will be busily scribing a hefty list of new resolutions to get stuck into. Many of these will include giving things up (most likely booze, dairy, sugar and/ or gluten), but how about considering giving up something far more challenging: our iPhones. OK, we know that this probably can’t be an all or nothing type resolution – after all, we do need these little devices to quite a large extent nowadays in order to function at all in our modern lives (we’re sure your bosses would not be too pleased to hear that you didn’t plan on responding to any of your emails throughout January!). However, if we are honest with ourselves, the world has become alarmingly addicted to these mini computers, and it is seriously affecting our connection with the people we love the most.

How many times have you sat opposite close friends in the pub or a nice restaurant, only to spend the majority of the evening checking yourselves in and uploading photos onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? How many times have you sat down to watch a film with friends, family or lovers over the festive period, only to miss most of the plot because you are so busy scrolling through the latest sales on ASOS? How many times have you failed to look a waiter/ receptionist/ taxi driver directly in the eye because you are too busy talking on your phone, or flicking through Pinterest? How many unnecessary dramas have resulted from misunderstood tones in text messages? We could go on, but we think you get the picture.

The point is, these little electronic rectangles have become a poor man’s substitute for real connection, and like any addiction, the problem is getting progressively worse over time. Did you know that there now exists rehab and 12 Step programs specifically targeted towards people who are addicted to phones and the internet? Sound a little drastic?  Try putting your phone in a drawer for one whole day over the weekend, and see how you cope.  It’s a damn sight harder than it sounds.Brene Brown – the brilliant expert on shame and vulnerability notes that: “When we treat people as objects, we dehumanize them. Human beings are hardwired for connection – emotionally, physically and spiritually.” When we sit opposite our friends and family at a table and spend the majority of the time looking down at our phone, we are putting out the message that they are not worthy of our attention or respect.  This is dangerous territory because, not only does it stop us from being present in the moment, it also sends the subliminal message to ourselves that we are not worthy of real intimate connection with those around us.

So, our 2014 tip for your new years resolutions?  Make connection a priority.  Put phones away at the dinner table.  Look people in the eye when they talk to you – especially people who are providing you a service.  Read a book, instead of mindlessly scrolling through the internet for four hours.  No technology at bedtime.  And most importantly, when you have gone to the trouble of arranging a get together with people you cherish, be there with them, instead of aimlessly floating around cyber space.

Because, when push comes to shove, the internet does not love or care about you, your friends and family do. Honour that.


By Persia & Joey, founders of alternative lifestyle blog

Hip & Healthy Stars: Your Top 3 Astro Tips for 2014

Horoscope by Sally Kirkman

Aries (21 March-19 April)

1. Your love life dips high and low with moments of calm amidst the passion as you and your partner repeatedly ‘kiss and make up’. Choose wisely when a new contender who’s good-looking and wealthy catches your eye in the summer.

2. Keep on track with your financial goals whether you’re dealing with debt or trying to save. Financial challenges feel relentless but all your hard work pays off in the autumn. A property move in the spring boosts cash flow.

3. A role as a counsellor, team leader or volunteer is challenging but brings out the best in you. Don’t miss out on a chance to appear on stage when the big finger of fate picks you out of the crowd.

Taurus (20 April-20 May) 

1. Forget the New Year resolutions, bide your time in January and plan a brand new relaunch for May. A big family get-together to celebrate a wedding or anniversary is a highlight in the summer.

2. You’re a softie at heart and even though settling down with someone isn’t a breeze, you know that hanging in for the long-term with the right person brings reward. A dead-end relationship is on the way out in October.

3. Health and fitness dominate the first seven months and a new training regime improves strength and flexibility. Exercise is an excellent stress-buster but learning to let go of resentment and express your anger effectively ensures you’re in peak condition.

Gemini (21 May-20 June)

1. Hold tight to the big dream however unreal it seems. It all depends on your willingness to gamble in the first half of the year. The stakes are high but a ‘beach bum’ lifestyle (or your personal equivalent) is drawing closer whether you win the jackpot or not.

2. A new group of friends who share your passion add the buzz and stimulation to life that you crave. What begins as an online friendship develops into a real-life community that’s built on shared ideals and like minds.

3. Falling in love with a bad boy (or girl) kicks off your year in style as you embrace a wild ride together until the summer. The love you share won’t translate into a cosy relationship but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy yourself.

Cancer (21 June-22 July)

1. Following your dreams means having to walk your own path in life whatever other people think of you. A tough decision is asked of you over Easter when it becomes clear that you can’t do what you choose and keep everyone else happy.

2. You discover your inner entrepreneur in the summer and an online shop or invention has the potential to make you rich. Breaking free of convention or restrictions in your working life is liberating as you seek to do things differently.

3. What presents itself as a problem in a relationship ends up being the glue that binds you. This may be an unexpected pregnancy or a new role as a step-parent. Ditch any relationship that’s turned into a power game and choose the love that’s real.

Leo (23 July-22 August)

1. In the spring a new job or position of responsibility changes everything as you sense that this role in your life was destined to be. Happiness is there for the taking in the summer and a positive attitude opens up your life to new opportunity.

2. Getting things right at home or within the family takes time and commitment. Whether you’re caring for an elderly parent or sorting out issues with a property, do your best but don’t make it your sole responsibility.

3. A long-distance relationship or an on-off love affair keeps you guessing. Your big personality shines bright enough for both of you but you need to feel cared for too. Whoever shows their love on Valentines Day is here to stay.

Virgo (23 August-22 September)

1. A dispute over money intensifies as 2014 begins. It’s important to be aware of what you’re getting into if you’re determined to fight for your rights as the battle rages until late July. Saving a community project turns you into a local hero.

2. Discover your spiritual side in the summer on a retreat. Learn yoga or meditation and you transform your life as you reach an inner calm. The mind-body-spirit connection is a revelation and you decide to develop one aspect of it in to a full-time vocation.

3. Romance is a perfect counterpoint to the reality of everyday life. Open your heart wide and it leads to a marriage or proposal. Being a parent, guardian or teacher is one of your most challenging roles in life but do it well to discover hidden riches.

Libra (23 September-23 October)

1. This is one of your biggest years yet and it demands a full-on attack as soon as the New Year gets underway. A training challenge or an ambitious personal goal takes over your life until the summer. Set your sights on the finishing line and be determined to win.

2. Throw out the rule book when it comes to love and work out your relationship between the two of you. A desire for more freedom or independence leads you in and out of love but get the balance right and love can survive.

3. A big life event linked to your family or your past arouses strong emotions, including sadness or loss. The people you connect with at the deepest level in your life will be by your side for years to come. Best friends for ever.

Scorpio (24 October-21 November)

1. Whatever life situation feels relentless rolls steadily on in 2014 but you get a break from the intensity in the spring. Take time out preferably abroad to gain fresh perspective. A burden or debt has disappeared completely by Christmas.

2. A freelance job or period of self-employment offers you the freedom you crave and a choice of unusual career raises eyebrows. Your pleasure quota rockets in the summer when you win a competition or start leading the life you want for yourself.

3. Love raises more questions than it answers when you see a relationship as an all-or-nothing scenario. Together there are things you lack or miss out on and yet being on your own feels lonely. Events in April and October point your way forward.

Sagittarius (22 November-21 December)

1. Your money luck doubles when you team up with other people who know their stuff in the first half of the year. Think joint ventures, investments and sharing networks or connections. You keep a friendship sweet when you leave money out of the equation.

2. Get ready for a summer of fun as you embrace the festival scene or head off on holiday to a party destination. Your love of life is infectious and before long you’re part of a new group of people who want to follow your lead and learn from you.

3. Face any fears head on and deal with an issue that’s holding you back. Make a firm commitment to yourself to be rid of the problem by Christmas. Once you identify who or what you need to eliminate from your life, things get a whole lot easier.

Capricorn (22 December-19 January)

1. There’s nothing you won’t do for love as you’re ready to prove as soon as 2014 gets underway. This includes moving home or leaving your current job to be with that special person who only comes along once in a blue moon.

2. The ambitious side of your personality kicks in early in the year and you’re ready to make your mark in your chosen career. You’re willing to take risks where money’s concerned from July onwards and a decision to play big attracts success.

3. You’re developing a new awareness that change is an inherent part of life and there are things you can’t control. This belief is ultimately freeing and you start living life with less concern for the future. A house swap is part of your new plan.

Aquarius (20 January-18 February)

1. The road you’re on with work and employment continues throughout the year. That’s not to say you can’t make the best of your situation and a volunteering role or part-time job helps convince you that you’re moving in the right direction.

2. You have a unique voice and a chance to broadcast your views and let the world know what you’re thinking can’t be missed. A radio spot or a regular column in a newspaper, local or otherwise, grabs attention and provokes an immediate response.

3. A new relationship takes you by surprise in the summer as a gorgeous person bounds into your life. Love grows quickly and by late September a lover pops the question. Open your heart and get back in touch with your passionate side.

Pisces (19 February-20 March)

1. Turn your attention to money at the start of the year and draw up a strategy to transform your cash-flow situation. Knowing what money means to you is the first step towards financial freedom and helps you define what you value most in your life.

2. You may need to take a test or exam more than once but if you’re determined you’ll achieve your goal in the end. Gain a major qualification and you’re set up nicely for a change of career in 2015.

3. You appreciate the importance of leaving a legacy either what you do or via the next generation. This increases your desire to start a family. For some it’s your involvement with a children’s charity that’s deeply fulfilling.

Sally Kirkman is an astrologer and blogger who is equally passionate about writing media astrology and offering personal astrology consultations to her clients. You can follow Sally on Twitter @sallykirkman, ‘like’ her on Facebook – SallyKirkmanAstrology or sign up for her long and luxurious monthly stars at Want to learn astrology? Beginners courses start in January 2014.


Boost Your New Years Detox With These Easy Tips!

words by Molly Jennings

Feel like you enjoyed yourself a little too much over Christmas? Well, have no fear, Detox January is nearly here! Last week we spoke about how to approach your New Years resolution in a different way – instead of giving up something, add something good in (more on this next week!). It’s the same with detoxing. Just to be clear, we’re not saying to NOT cut out sugar and processed foods, because let’s be honest, they don’t exactly go hand in hand with detoxing. But instead, try to focus on what you can add to your lifestyle to make your detox journey more effective.

Dry Body Brushing
Dry body brushing is definitely the thing to do in 2014. The skin is commonly known as the third kidney because one of its primary functions is eliminating toxins from the body. Believe it or not the skin is actually the largest organ in the body and is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification process on a daily basis! A quick and easy way to remove toxins through your skin is dry body brushing. This process helps remove dead skin cells allowing room for new cells to grow. Its also amazing for boosting blood circulation and has been proven to help reduce cellulite! Five to ten minuets of body brushing, four to five times a week will help give the appearance of firmer skin and a reduction in fluid retention!
H&H loves Liz Earle’s Natural Bristle Body Brush –

Detox Bath
We are constantly in the presence of toxins, from the air we breathe to the food we eat. It’s almost impossible to escape them completely. As I explained above the skin plays a huge role in detoxifying our bodies, most commonly through sweating, but another way to aid the process is immersing yourself in a detox bath. A detox bath is a relaxing way to rid the body of toxins with the use of bath salts. Epsom salts are most well known for their detoxing properties as the sulphates in the salts help draw out toxins and heavy metals from our cells.
H&H loves Senspa’s Detox Bath Salts –

Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is, you guessed it, hot! This type of yoga is performed in a room heated to 37˚C where you’ll be dripping with sweat in the first few minutes… picture a hot day in the Sahara Desert with no breeze whatsoever! Many people believe that hot yoga is great for cleansing the body as we release toxins through the skin’s pores when we sweat. Why not try this invigorating way of detoxing a go in the New Year?
H&H loves Yoga Haven –

Super Spices
Add a bit of spice in to your life in the New Year, to help kick start your detox. Turmeric is a superb one to get your hands on, it boosts the immune system and because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps relieve inflammatory conditions such as asthma and arthritis. Cumin is another great spice, as well as being especially high in antioxidants, it’s particularly good in aiding the digestive system. And lets face it, we all need a bit of help with digestion after Christmas! And of course we can’t forget cinnamon. This cosy-smelling spice is used to help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing those drastic sugar highs and lows. H&H recommends our delicious Moroccan Tagine –

Yes I know, so many people go on about it but drinking lots of water is such an easy one! Water acts as a natural lubricant that helps soften the stool and encourage the emptying of the bowels. I did try to say that as politely as possible! The kidneys are responsible for removing waste from our bodies and are totally dependent on water in order to so. This just shows how significant water is for our bodies. Another perk you’ll find with drinking lots of water is a clearer complexion. I always notice a difference in my skin when I’m really focusing on my water intake. Try starting your day with a hot water and lemon.


Top Places to Grab A Juice in London

Wild Juicery, Neal’s Yard
Escape the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden’s busy streets by heading to Neal’s Yard tucked away near the Seven Dials. Wild Juicery offers a wide selection of yummy juices to choose from as well as offering an array of cleansing programmes to get stuck into. The perfect post-Christmas indulgence.
16 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP. 

inSpiral Lounge, Camden
Located in Camden, the inSpiral Lounge offers an amazing range of juices and smoothies. We love their Green Queen smoothie, which is full of nutritious goodness from the avocado, spirulina and wheatgrass, as well as many other nutritious ingredients.
250 Camden High Street, NW1 8QS.

Down to Earth, Kensington
If you find yourself in Kensington make sure you visit Down to Earth, a vegetarian and vegan café. Enjoy one of their organic smoothies or juices to help you power on through your day. We recommend you also try out some of their raw food creations for a nutritious bite to eat.
240-242 High Street, Kensington, London, W8 6N.

The Good Life Eatery, Chelsea
After pounding the pavements of the Kings Road. Find refuge at The Good Life Eatery, located on Sloane Avenue. They have a wide variety of cold fresh pressed juices as well as healthy snacks and a delicious menu to choice from.
59 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DH.

Planet Organic, Wandsworth
Planet Organic have a number of stores located around London, with their newest store popping up in Wandsworth. Making it easy for you to get your juice fix wherever you are in London. A bonus is that students get a 10% discount, so flash your id to save some money. 52 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London, SW18 4FT.

The Retreat Café, Fulham
This amazing café, located in Fulham, is the perfect place to meet a friend for a juice and a catch up. It is situated above The Power Yoga Company, which offers hot yoga classes. So you could attend a class and then head upstairs to the café to relax. The cafe also puts on delicious vegetarian meals and sweet treats to help you refuel in a natural, healthy way. Plus they have a Hip & Healthy Smoothie on offer! Be sure to give it a try and get our cleanse guide half price!
11-12 Lettice Street, SW6 4EH.

Really into your smoothies? Why not try our 14 day smoothie challenge? Details here:



BBC’s Good Food’s Healthy Diet Plan

Hip & Healthy PromotionIf you’ve over-indulged during the festive period, or simply want to get 2014 off to a healthy start, then the BBC Healthy Diet Plan is a great place to start. Providing all the recipes, tips and inspiration you’ll need for a healthy January and beyond, you’ll be supplied with meal plans and recipes, all approved by their in-house nutritionist.

To help you stay on track, they will also send you weekly newsletters that will include expert tips on fitness and ways to work out, plus, they’ll also be sending you inspiring Q&As from industry experts including elite sports nutritionist James Collins, Olympic athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah and Good Food nutritionist, Kerry Torrens.

The Plan
Each Friday in January starting from the 6th, the BBC Good Food’s Healthy Diet Plan will send you 21 nutritionally balanced meals including breakfasts, lunches and dinners plus healthy snack suggestions for the week ahead, accompanied by tips and information to help you understand these healthier choices so that all you need to think about is buying the ingredients!

For more information visit:

How to be Hip & Healthy in Vietnam

Healthy travel adventures in Vietnam- words and photographs by Rebecca O’Rourke

Vietnam has previously been a country known for its war torn past, defined by violence and sadness.  The Vietnamese people have been gradually building a new Vietnam, where peace and wellbeing resides and welcomes the world as an exotic travel location. The tourism developments have brought with it an enthusiasm for health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Vietnamese food is regarded as one of the healthiest and ‘pho’, a delicious noodle broth with fresh herbs and optional meat or seafood, is representative of the cuisine. The locals often eat it for breakfast but it is available at any time of the day. The wonderful blend of aromatic, fresh flavours is finished with a squeeze of lime and is always a healthy option as it is low in fat and full of vitamins and minerals. A wonderful place to enjoy healthy food is Hoi An: a former major South-East Asian trading port that is now a UNESCO world heritage site and a unique place to see a meticulously conserved historic town. Hoi An has a great reputation for organic farming and dishes served there often include an extensive variety of veg and herbs from local villages, such as nearby Tra Que. In Hoi An you will find distinct local specialties and one example of a tasty and nutritious dish is ‘Cao Lau’, consisting of thick brown noodles and roasted pork, garnished with mint, basil, lettuce leaves and cilantro. The slow cooking methods for the broth and meat, alongside the fresh herbs and vegetables mean this dish is a very healthy choice. For vegetarians tofu is widely available as a tasty alternative.

There are opportunities to practice yoga across Vietnam at many inspiring locations, from inner city sanctuaries to sunset classes over looking the waves.  In Hanoi I spent some time at Zenith Yoga where they offer a wide variety of yoga classes, Pilates and also meditation classes. The professionally led classes leave you feeling calm, positive and also deliver some peace in lively Hanoi! They have two handy locations, with one accommodating their vegetarian café that serves delicious vegan and raw options.

Zenith Yoga

Studio I

247b Au Co, Ho Tay, Hanoi

Studio II & Café

16 Duong Thanh St, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

When in Ho Chi Minh City a visit to Tao Dan Park is very worthwhile. Enthusiastic locals partake in yoga, t’ai chi and jogging each morning, which you can observe from the tropical tree lined paths. I would recommend taking an early morning run where the locals will welcome you warmly, even running with you. It is inspiring to see such a healthy culture thriving in this city and a positive way to start a day in the city.

The Mekong Delta, in the south of Vietnam, is an incredible network of rivers, brooks and canals alongside lush green farmland and fruit orchards. For a flexible and active way to see the stunning landscape off the beaten track it is best to get on a bike! The winding, single-track trails running between the farmland provide a truly unique experience and are much better than sitting on a tour bus. Also, since there are no hills in the delta, it makes this option suitable for all levels of experience. We decided to tour with Vietnam Backroads for a three day trip and they provided a fantastic guide, high quality bikes and were exceptionally helpful in organizing the best route for us.  

Vietnam Backroads

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Adventure sports
Water sports are becoming more available in Vietnam and Cat Ba Island is a great opportunity to combine activities such as rock climbing and kayaking, with exploring the beautiful Halong Bay. The serine blue waters and hidden sandy coves are an ideal setting for such activities. In the south, it is also worth taking a trip to the beautiful island of Phu Quoc to enjoy the white sand beaches, lined with palm trees and idyllic blue sea. There are a few excellent dive schools here, which can take you scuba diving or snorkelling for the day. A trip off the coast of the island really is something special and as you travel back on the top deck of the boat at the end of the day, with the sun setting over the ocean, you wonder why you would ever want to leave…

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