Sweet Almond Butter!

Sweet Almond-Butter 

Ingredients

2 cups of almonds

a pinch of pink Himalayan salt

1 tbsp Natvia

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place your almonds on a roasting tray and roast for roughly 10 minutes. Make sure they don’t burn!

Remove from oven and allow the almonds to cool. Then place the nuts and a pinch of salt (and the maple syrup if using) in a strong food processor. Blend for around 15 minutes until smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor, before continuing to blend.

Once it’s smooth to perfection, pour it into an air-tight container.

Feeling inspired by our 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Create your own sugar-free recipe using Natvia and enter Natvia’s Easter Bake Off to win prizes including a Magimix food blender! http://www.natvia.co.uk/easter-sugar-free-bake-off-competition/


How I Retrained My Sugar-Loving Brain

Writer, Elle Young, from thesugarfreekitchen.com, talks us through how she retrained her brain to go sugar-free

When it comes up, as it invariably does, in conversation that I don’t eat refined sugar, people’s usual reaction is: “I couldn’t do that, I eat chocolate everyday.” I normally just laugh it off and steer the conversation away from the subject as I haven’t got time, or the person doesn’t want to listen anyway, to explain that they could give up sugar if they take the time, and effort, to retrain their brain.

As a person who likes to think, analyse and evaluate absolutely everything, it was natural for me to analyse my cravings when I was giving up sugar. When in the tumultuous throes of a sugar craving, I took the time to think what it was I wanted, whether something else would satisfy it and why I wanted it.

Nine times out of 10, I was either bored or simply had to have the cake/biscuits/sweets. I was never actually hungry. I asked myself why I had to have it and I didn’t really have an answer. It’s just what I did. In the afternoon, I had a cup of tea and a piece of cake or some chocolate digestive biscuits. When I went out for dinner, I had dessert, because that’s what you do in a restaurant. When I went to visit my Grandma, of course I had some biscuits with my tea. I could go on…

I’m not advocating skipping the Granny visits, or offending her with a sharp retort of “get those discs of death away from me”, I’m simply highlighting the many associations that we have made in our brains which involve sugar. I have a dream image in my mind, I call it my ‘bubble’, which is what I’m heading towards. It involves a long table in a hot country, covered in delicious healthy food, surrounded by friends and family. It’s my ideal life…I’m sure most women have a bubble of some form. For me, the key part of my bubble is sharing nutritious food with good company. Food is a big part of life, culture and society and should be celebrated. It’s natural to associate certain types of food with events, but just because associations have been made between an event and sugary food, it doesn’t mean as a person choosing to live sugar-free you can’t join in. You just need to be aware of these associations and be willing to change them.

There is a lot of research surrounding mental associations. The most prominent study that springs to mind is Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiments with dogs. He rang a bell when he fed them and, sure enough, they associated hearing the bell with being fed. By the end of the experiment, if a bell was rung, the dogs would start to salivate as they knew a meal was imminent. Although we wouldn’t like to think of ourselves as being trained like dogs, there is a lot to be said for mental associations and the ability to make, and break, them. Health psychologist Phillippa Lally, from the University College London (UCL), found that subjects, who were trying to learn new habits, took an average of 66 days for the behaviour to become increasingly automatic. This explains why it took me a good few months to be 100% refined sugar free and shows that you need to give something a really good go if you’re determined to change it. Be it exercising more, eating more healthily or being more positive, see it as an 8-9 week commitment. Write out a week-by-week plan of how you’re going to retrain your brain, get the highlighters out and colour-code everything in sight (satisfaction guaranteed!) but most importantly, stick with it!

Since I started the process of removing refined sugar from my diet, I have  managed to retrain my brain’s associations so I know it’s possible. Whereas I used to associate my afternoon tea with cake, I now associate it with protein in some form; it’s usually peanut butter, let’s not beat around the bush. My Granny visit association is the same, I’ve just tweaked it slightly so it involves just a cup of tea, and I kindly decline the repeated offering of biscuits. It is possible, and after a few months, your brain will be retrained and you’ll have forgotten that you ate a chocolate bar at 4pm every day for 10 years.


Natvia Nutella!

Natvia Nutella 

2 cups blanched hazlenuts

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons raw cacao

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Natvia

 

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius and bake the hazelnuts for around 5 minutes, then take them out of the oven and allow them to cool.

 

Once cool place them in a food processor and blend for about ten minutes, until they totally break down. Then add the maple syrup, cacao, natvia and water and continue to blend until smooth.

Buy your Natvia here


Give Your Legs a Workout: 80’s REBOUNDING CLASS

words by Kathleen Fleming

When I was little, I remember watching my mum clad in her Jane Fonda-esque workout gear bouncing up and down on her mini-trampoline in the living room. I always desperately wanted to join in the bouncing but apparently it was exercise equipment and not a toy. And then when I got older, mini-trampolines were no longer cool and everyone went to the gym instead (even mum disposed of hers).

But just like leggings, leopard print and roller-skating made their come-backs, rebounding is becoming popular again and classes are popping up around London. Plus wellness warriors such as Kris Carr (Crazy Sexy Diet) and Jason Vale (The Juice Master) are recommending rebounding as a great workout with tonnes of health benefits!

One of the main benefits of rebounding is that it is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise. Unlike normal aerobics or running, rebounding has little impact on your joints and so it is accessible to people who suffer from joint issues as well as those recovering from injury. As well as being low-impact, it is a fantastic way to detox because it stimulates your lymphatic system. If we don’t exercise, lymph doesn’t flow properly around our bodies causing waste build up which has the potential to cause illness. But exercise, and in particular, rebounding, is said to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times (seriously detoxifying!).  As well as illness prevention, this increase in lymph flow is said to prevent and reduce cellulite!

So when I saw that Slice Studios, in Parsons Green was adding 80s rebounding to their timetable, I had to have a go. I signed up rather quickly but then started to wonder what I was doing. Ok, my mum used to do it in the 80s but she did it at home and nobody would see if she bounced off into a heap on the floor. I also started getting an irrational fear of bouncing through the trampoline netting as well as constant reminders of my lack of co-ordination the last time I went to a step aerobics class. But when the time came, I put on my 80s tie-dye leggings (maybe if I looked the part, nobody would notice by out-of-time bounce), and prepared myself for a 45 minute class of bouncing!

The class was full and I could tell that I wasn’t the only one feeling a little apprehensive as we stepped onto our mini-trampolines. Cue 80s disco music and our super-high energy instructor Becky, launched into our bouncy warm-up. The class is conducted like an aerobics class except everyone is on their trampolines the entire time. We did star jumps, twists, leg raises, kicks, squats, jogging on the spot and a few other standard aerobics moves. Half way through, it occurred to me that I had been smiling since the start of the class and hadn’t looked at the clock once (sometimes exercise classes are endured rather than enjoyed). Becky had incredible energy and kept everyone motivated plus her 80s music choice was truly awesome.

The 45 minutes flew by and at the end of the class, I felt like I had had an incredible workout. I was sweaty, a little sore (in a good way) and left the studio feeling happy, singing 80s disco music all the way home. And the bonus benefit of this fabulous cellulite-reducing, non-impact exercise is that I woke up the next morning without a single niggle, ache or pain. I think 80s rebounding might just become a regular week-night fixture!

You can bounce your way to a summer body at Slice Studios, Parsons Green or Frame, Shoreditch

Image from Nike Spring Summer 2013 Collection, available here.


“Sweet” Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1.5 cup coconut water

1 banana, cut into chunks

1/2 avocado

1/2 tsp natvia

1  cup baby spinach

1 cups kale, stems removed, roughly chopped

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth!

Feeling inspired by our 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Create your own sugar-free recipe using Natvia and enter Natvia’s Easter Bake Off to win prizes including a Magimix food blender  http://www.natvia.co.uk/easter-sugar-free-bake-off-competition/


If you only do one thing this week… Take part in our 10 Day No Sugar Challenge!

We love a good sugar-free challenge here at Hip and Healthy and we were so delighted to see so many of you join in our last challenge back in November, that we decided to do another one! We’ve teamed up with Natvia, the natural sugar alternative, to inspire you to kick-start your life with out sugar. Of course we know this isn’t a challenge without its obstacles, but don’t panic, we’ve compiled some our top tips that we turn to when the sugar cravings take control!

Cold Turkey – Time to show your body some tough love! Start as you mean to go on and empty your life of anything that contains sugar. Also be sure to check labels for any hidden sugar that you may not be aware of. Look out for any ingredients ending in “ose”…fructose, glucose, sucrose and many more, are all secret words for sugar!

Caffeine No-No – Seems like a funny thing to give up right? Well caffeine can have troublesome effects on our blood sugar levels, and often causes it to drop dramatically after a cup of coffee (or two!). Our body then sends distress signals to our brain that says we need sugar. What a nightmare! We recommend swapping your morning coffee for a herbal tea instead!

Preparation is Key – Sugar cravings are inevitable when you cut it out of your diet, but being prepared is what makes all the difference! It’s so simple –  spend a few hours on Sunday food shopping and prepping meals and snacks for the week ahead. Next time your meeting runs over at work, you’ll know that a quick trip to the vending machine won’t be necessary!

Become a Sleeping Beauty – Getting your beauty sleep does more for you than just your looks! Our bodies need sleep to repair and to regain energy for the next day. Lack of Zs can cause havoc on our energy levels and when we feel tired and lousy, we tend to reach for the sweet stuff to give us a quick pick-me-up. Try to aim for at least 7-8 hours sleep a night for a energised and happy body!

Protein Punch – Protein is your best friend on your sugar free quest! Firstly, protein helps slows down the absorption of sugar entering our blood stream, which is great for preventing those energy highs and lows. I always snack on a handful of nuts before eating fruit to make sure my energy levels are sustained for a longer period of time. Secondly, protein aids in stabilizing our blood sugar levels, which helps reduce sugar cravings. Getting some protein in your breakfast is a really effective way to curb sugar cravings later on in the day. Eggs are so versatile and go really well with rye bread and avocado, but if you’re vegan, try adding some nuts or hemp seeds into your breakfast smoothie for a fibrous, protein boost.

H&H Sugar Substitute – A life without sugar doesn’t mean a life without fun too! You can still enjoy mouth-watering desserts with out the guilt. We love Natvia as a natural alternative to sugar and it’s really easy to bake with. It also tastes much sweeter than sugar so you need a lot less. Keep your eyes peeled this week for some heavenly sugar free desserts! Buy it here..

no-sugar-challenge-680x450

Want to take part? Click here for how to…

Words by Molly Jennings


Sugar-Free Caramelised Banana Porridge

Ingredients

Oatmeal:

1.5 cup oat/almond/brown rice milk

1/2 cup oats

1 tbsp almond butter (optional)

Caramelised Banana Topping:

1 banana

2 tsp Natvia

1 helped tablespoon coconut oil

a handful of pecans

Method:
Start by placing your oat milk, almond butter (if using) and oats in a sauce pan on a medium heat. When the milk is heated well, and before it starts to boil place on a lower heat to slowly simmer and cook through, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, in a small frying pan add the tablespoon of coconut oil and melt on a medium heat. Slice your banana in half and add to the pan with 2 tsp of stevia on top. Also add the pecans to this pan to toast. Toast the bananas lightly for roughly 2 minutes on each side until they brown and caramelise. When both sides are done take of the heat. After around 5-10 minutes of simmering the oats pour into your bowl and top with the caramelised banana and pecans. Delicious!

Buy your Natvia here. 


Hip & Healthy’s 10 Day No Sugar Challenge: The Rules!

Who’s ready to ditch the sugar? Join us tomorrow for the Hip & Healthy 10 Day No Sugar Challenge in association with Natvia, our favourite natural sugar alternative. We’ve compiled some simple challenge rules below to help you get started!

Rules

Cut out any food that has added sugar from your diet – read the label on everything you eat, things that you wouldn’t think contain sugar often do, such as pasta sauces, sweetcorn, tinned beans, yoghurts, breads and even juices.

Eat protein with complex carbohydrates – this will ensure that the glucose created from the food is consistent and avoids ‘flooding’ the cell with more glucose than it can absorb leading to excessive insulin production.

Eat every two and half to three hours – even if it’s only something small and even if you aren’t especially hungry.

Eat breakfast – never skip breakfast, you can have any protein with any complex carbohydrate you want. (Ideal breakfasts include – eggs with rye bread / berry smoothie with protein sources such as cashews or protein powder / porridge oats with chopped nuts and dollop of coconut yoghurt / avocado, smoked salmon and oat cakes / sugar-free muesli with berries and sunflower seeds)

Avoid refined (white) carbohydrate foods – where you can, replace white/refined carbohydrates with complex carbs. For example, wholegrain brown rice for basmati rice; quinoa for cous cous; sweet potato for white potatoes; following this plan should help reduce sugar cravings, but avoiding sugar will itself help balance glucose levels and also reduce the craving for sugar. This will help create consistent energy levels.

Avoid alcohol – most alcohol is incredibly high in sugar. In fact, it affects blood sugar levels so much that you’ll still be craving sweet things for the entire next day. Plus this is a health challenge people so lay off the booze before party season really sets in!

Replace sugary biscuit-type snacks with convenience health foods – such as miso soup (sachets available from supermarket), nuts/seed blends, protein rich smoothies, and /or hummus/crudités. Eat two snacks per day and aim not to leave more than 2-3 hours without having eaten.

The challenge starts on Monday 7th April – If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. Keep us updated on your progress by using the hashtag #NoSugarwithNatvia

Twitter: @hipandhealthyuk @natviauk

Instagram: @hipandhealthyuk @natviaUK

Facebook: Hip and Healthy


Gabrielle Bernstein’s Guide To Life

Sadie Macleod meets international acclaimed author, inspirational speaker and spiritual rockstar, Gabrielle Bernstein, and finds out how we all have the potential to create miracles everyday…

The first thing that struck me about Gabby when I met her was just how beautiful she was. Her skin glowed like a lucky teenager in the throes of love and her face just radiated happiness, which could have had something to do with the dazzling wedding ring on her finger (she got married in October), but something led me to believe that it was even more than that. She radiates positivity, which given that she “totally bottomed out” (her words, not mine) in her early 20s (Gabby is now a very-young looking 34 year old) is a miracle in itself.

Back then Gabby was caught up in a cycle of bad relationships, suffered from eating disorders, addictions to drugs, was full of both self-loathing and self-doubt (a toxic combination) and had an unfulfilling career in PR. And it was when she hit rock bottom that she discovered “A Course in Miracles”, which taught her to view her life in a totally new way. She is now an international happiness guru with the most lovely soul (and hair), and counts Oprah and Marie Forleo as her best buddies.

Her new book, Miracles Now, teaches us all to think differently and make the same radical changes in our own lives. As most of us don’t have time to meditate daily or spend hours in a yoga studio, Gabrielle has handpicked life-changing tools that take no longer than a few minutes.

Without further ado we bring you Gabby Bernstein’s Guide to a Happy, Hip & Healthy Life:

WAKE UP WITH A PRAYER
I love waking up. It’s the best part of the day. I start each morning with a Prayer. I put my palms up and ask “What miracles would you have me perform today?”.

CHOOSE HAPPINESS
The greatest lesson I have ever learned is that happiness is a choice I make. Each time we make a shift and choose happiness we experience a miracle. Whenever you notice your thoughts detour into attack mode, say to yourself: Happiness is a choice I make.

PIMP YOUR BREAKFAST
Every morning I have gluten-free organic oatmeal with cacao powder, coconut oil, hemp seeds, blueberries, hemp milk – I don’t have sugar so this is as sweet as it gets for me.

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY
Worry is a prayer for chaos… It is a bad habit that takes over your thoughts and your life. When you notice yourself start to worry simply stare at the tip of your nose. This simple action will shut your mind off and stop the worry in it’s tracks.

MAKE YOUR OFFICE YOUR ZEN DEN
This is where I connect to the world. Right next to my desk is my yoga mat and my alter too. I also do my guided meditations here – especially at 4pm as that’s when I need it most.

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
Don’t complain about not getting what you want, ask for it. Yes it can be difficult to ask, but it’s important to realise that you won’t get what you want until you are willing to put it out there.

KEEP YOUR BEAUTY REGIME NATURAL
Moisturising is super important. I swear by Dr Haushka’s Day Cream, which I use twice a day.

SLEEP YOUR WAY TO THE TOP
No, not that kinda of sleeping… I mean the drooling on your pillow kind of sleep. I’m not saying we need eight or ten hours a night to feel fully rested. In fact, sometimes less sleep can be more restorative.

Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book “Miracles Now” is available to buy on the 8th April.


INSANITY WORK OUT – Not For the Faint Hearted

INSANITY WORK OUT REVIEW

Reebok Sports Club

Instructor – Tanya Camilleri – Group Exercise Manager | words by Laura Morris

The Insanity workout craze is something our friends across the pond know well and it’s hitting our shores here in the UK with a new class added to the Reebok Sports Club scheduled this spring.

Created and promoted by Shaun T, a very shiny and sculpted hard man who takes you through a series of DVD work outs with impressive ‘before/after’ photos slung in for good motivational measure. Insanity promises to burn upwards of 1000 calories per 45 minutes, and give you a sculpted, toned physic in 60 days. Insanity scoffs at High Intensity Interval Training and instead prefers the term ‘Max Intensity’. Imagine the rest period of HIIT is in fact the work out, and the rest element is trimmed down to a measly 30 seconds – basically just enough time to gulp some air, wipe the sweat from your drenched forehead before it starts all over again with the next break nowhere in sight.

The very impressive Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf, always ahead of the curve with exercise trends, are introducing a weekly classes from April onwards should you be brave enough and dedicated enough to take it on. I was invited along to give it try, as an addicted gym class goer I like to think I could hold my own in most classes on a schedule, but a quick pre class you tube view of Insanity left me feeling a little nervous of just how hard this class was going to be.

Guided by Tanya Camilleri , the Reebok Sports Club Group Exercise Manager, we immediately kicked off with a fairly challenging accelerated warm up of star jumps and side twisting fist pumps. The warm up seemed to last for ages but perhaps because we were doing everything at a really fast pace we probably packed in more than your usual class in just that first 5 minutes.

Insanity targets the entire body through sets of intense work out blocks with the short 30 second breaks in between. The plyometric and endurance section which includes ‘jump training’ I found very tough, high tuck jumps over and over again, getting faster and faster with each set and no break in between. This really gets your blood pumping and heart racing and it doesn’t let up from here on in. Then onto strength and endurance, if you fear a push up like me you will find this challenging again, star shaped push ups, dynamic moving push ups, one leg up push ups, and it goes on and on.

At this point Tanya’s motivation shouts from the front of the class were much needed; she did every single move with us whilst also giving instruction and much needed alternatives to some of the harder moves.  The third set focuses on agility and coordination, think jumping side to side lunges which increase their speed until you are moving faster then you’ve probably moved in a long while!

Finally the end was in sight and we moved onto a core and stability section, any chance to sink to the floor was most welcome at this stage. But of course this is Insanity, no sneaky lying down on the mat whilst you throw in a few sits up here and there to show face. We ended with bicycling elbows to knees, alternate planks and side planks, twisting and turning and adding to that lovely pool of sweat you created during the endless push ups.

So would I do it again? Yes and no. Insanity did throw me a little; it’s like nothing else I’ve done before. On the one hand I hated it during the entire class, vowed to never, ever do it again. But on the other hand looking back, have I sweated that much since? No. Or felt so exhausted post work out that you literally crawl to the showers? No. Turns out, I quite like that feeling, knowing you have really worked at your maximum, pushed your entire body, and lived to tell the tale. I can see how that could get additive. And no doubt with dedication you would see results. So, I suggest man up and give it a go. It might not be for you long term, or you might find the holy grail of the exercise buzz and become a regular tough guy just like Shaun T, or Tanya, who is a whole lot prettier.

Insanity classes at Reebok Sports Club, Canary Wharf, E14, membership £116 per month or £69 for weekend-only, reebokclub.co.uk

 


Fitspiration of April – Amy Williams

We are delighted to announce that Amy Williams is our Fitspiration of the month this April.  Amy amazingly won a Gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics for the Skeleton and a Silver at the World Championships in 2009 – she’s a true inspiration! Since retiring from her beloved sport in 2012 she has been an ambassador for sport, encouraging children to become more active and healthy. Her recent involvement in British Military Fitness has allowed her to keep in incredible shape whilst looking after her health. We asked her about her Olympic career, the ins and outs of what it’s like to be a female sports-star in a predominantly male industry and how she stays healthy beyond exercise.

Had you always had an interest in keeping fit growing up?
Yes we were a very outdoor active family as I grew up, we had no TV, so as kids we were always in the garden and fields behind the house playing, then family holidays were always walking and youth hostels.

What is your first memory of Skeleton?
I entered into the world push championships in Holland in the summer of 2002, a competition just to see who has the fastest sprint/push, I won it so the performance director of skeleton at the time said I should have a go on the real ice track. I had my first run down in October 2002.

What was going through your mind in Vancouver before your final run to an Olympic gold medal?
That I didn’t want to let myself down & not win! There was a lot of pressure as we knew someone had to bring home a medal to keep the funding for the sport. But then I remember telling myself to smile, to take a deep breath and to enjoy the last run.

Can you describe your 2010 Olympic experience in three words?
Help no! Er…. A dream, feeling proud, a relief the hard work paid off!

Can you describe your typical day when you were training for the Olympics?
It all depended when you have your ice track session. So typical day would be

Up at 7am, breakfast 7:30, leave for the track at 8am, walk the track 8:30-9:30am ice training session at 10am, watch all other athletes on corners.

Back to hotel 14:00 for lunch.

Then sled work preparation & maintenance time.

15:30 gym weights session in local gym

18:30 dinner

19:30 video session with coach watching lines & corners.

21:30/22:00 bed!

You have recently found a passion for British Military Fitness. What attracted you to getting involved?
It was something different than the training I was used to. It was nice to meet new people & have a mix of ages & ability. I liked not having to think about what you had to do as an instructor teaches you.

What do you love most about BMF?
You can train out in the open doors not in a gym where I have spent my whole life!

How does your nutrition now compare to when you were competing?
I’m not as strict anymore. I was very hard on myself and never ate/drank anything that was bad for my body. Now I will eat a slice of cake so long as I exercise!

Do you have a favourite mantra or quote?
“Nothing is impossible”

You have to invite a sports personality to dinner, who would you invite and why?
I have a lot of friends who are top athletes , from rugby players to modern pentathlon to bobsleigh athletes, so maybe I’d invite them all around and cook a huge lasagne and mixed salad!

Do you have any weaknesses?
I do have a very sweet tooth now!

Where’s the best place you’ve ever been and why?
The Maldives, Baros. I took my sister there and it was the most peaceful place, with sea and sun!

How do you wind down in the evening?
Sit on my sofa & watch a film.

Amy Williams 2


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Follow these Spring Detox Tips!

Last week we asked you to spring clean your fridge, and this week we are all about spring cleaning you! With the clocks jumping forward, we now all benefit from gloriously later light evenings – perfect for squeezing in a bit of exercise and making juices (who wants juice when it’s dark and stormy outside!). Plus, the weather is getting milder and we have now officially entered a new season (spring officially began on the 20th March). During winter our bodies slow down to conserve energy, which can cause a certain amount of stagnation, making spring the perfect and most natural time to cleanse and get things moving in time for a much more energetic summer. Read on for our tips on how to spring clean your body gearing you up for a much healthier and happier you!

1. HYDRATE
As the weather hots up it is so important to remember to drink. Start the day with a cup of warm, boiled water and lemon to cleanse and hydrate your system – begin the day as you mean to go on. We asked Nutritionist, Alice Mackintosh, exactly how much water we should all be consuming: “This will vary on a number of factors – age, weight, sex, activity levels, climate will all determine how much we need, but it should fall roughly between 1.5-2 liters for women and slightly more for men, however the colour of your pee is the best way to gauge how hydrated you are – it should be transparent and not too yellow – ironically, a similar colour to champagne!”

2. SWEAT
One way to expel the built up toxins in your body is to sweat them out. Have you ever done Hot Yoga after a heavy night out? If you have, then you’ll know that you can often smell the alcohol come out of your pores. Max Henderson, Co-Founder of Hot Pod Yoga, agrees that a bit of sweat is great for the skin and certainly helps clean out pores but believes that “generally it’s the stuff that makes you sweat that’s good for you, not the sweat itself – a raised body temperature (from cardio and aerobic exercise)”. And, like Max suggests, Hot Yoga isn’t the only way… go on a run, spin you way to sweat success or try something new like boxing – you’ll be amazed how much you sweat when you are putting your body through paces its not use to.

3. JUICE YOUR VEG
The health benefits of juicing our plentiful. Not only does it enable your body to take in way more vitamins and minerals from the vegetables than you would be able to if you were eating them whole (a bag of Kale anyone? didn’t think so), but it is also believed to better able absorb all the wonderful nutrients much easier as it gives your digestive system a rest by extracting the fibre, meaning that you use less energy to take it all in. What does this mean for you? Think better skin, more energy, happier cells and a lighter, brighter you! For our favorite places to grab your juice in London, click here.

4. LOOSE THE BOOZE
Sorry folks, but if you want to give your body a break this spring – giving it a break from booze is a must. Not only will it wreak havoc with your energy levels, alcohol is a toxin that your body just doesn’t like – hence the punishing hangover. Instead order lime and tonic water – totally looks like a G&T but with none of the negative side effects. You will feel sooooo good for it in the morning!

5. PERFECT YOUR DIGESTION
Let’s face it – there is nothing fun or pretty about bloating! The way your body digests and processes your food affects everything from energy levels to physical and even emotional health. It can also prevent us from absorbing vitamins and minerals. Ways to help the digestion process? Chew your food – this can really reduce the strain on the gut and the saliva helps break down all those yummy carbs that you are eating. Try not to eat late- digestion slows at the end of the day so keep the big meals to the beginning of the day… breakfast like a king and all that… Take a healthy bacteria supplement – our Editorial Assistant, Molly, swears by this, she takes Symprove and has found it super effective in reducing her tummy troubles, “make sure you choose one of the flavoured ones though as the natural flavour is hard to get down!”.

6. SAY SAYONARA TO SUGAR 
Tempted to blow out on mini eggs (you know who you are), think twice before reaching for those pastel eggs of evil! Refined white sugar seriously messes with our system. Not only will it cause your blood sugar levels to rise and full quickly putting strain on all sorts of organs, it will also give you an energy crash, rot your teeth and get stored as fat if you don’t burn it off. PLUS, it will make you want to put your body through this again. We say go cold turkey, cut this legal cocaine out of your life. Fear not though, sweet tooth friends can find a host of yummy treat recipe ideas here – that won’t feel like your depriving yourself of anything.

7. KIT YOURSELF OUT
We spring clean our wardrobes every year – it’s such a great feeling putting all the winter stash to the back of the closet and getting out all our summery gear. But what about your workout get up? Still jogging in those thinning lycra leggings you got four Christmases ago? Still wearing those trainers you ran two half marathons in? Now is the time to invest in some super chic sportswear, so that you feel inspired to go on a run when the sun rises. Nothing feels better than feeling fit and looking fit too. For some ideas check out our stylish activewear store here.

8. SALUTE THE SUN
Yes, its spring time so you are going to need slapping on the SPF – but before you go suncream crazy we suggest that you get that hot bod of yours out into the early morning sun rays helping to top up those much needed Vitamin D, a hormone primarily created from UV exposure. A deficiency in this crucial vitamin has recently been linked to cancers, immune conditions and bone degradation so take your brekkie outside and soak up some sun… then apply your SPF.

words Sadie MacLeod