Fat Phobia – Could it be doing our hearts more harm than good?

To keep our hearts healthy and to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, our intake of fat, and in particular saturated fat, should be kept to a minimum. Correct? Well, that’s certainly what we’ve been educated to believe. The mantra that “fat is bad” has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for decades. We have become a nation of fat-phobes, and the “low fat” and “fat-free” food market has soared. However despite this, we have a global epidemic of obesity, heart disease and other so-called “lifestyle diseases”.  So could it be that this key message is in fact based on bad science?

The vilification of fat began 40 years ago on the basis of an epidemiological study by Ancel Keyes which showed a relationship between the percentage of energy gained by fat intake, and incidence of coronary heart disease.  This has formed the basis of dietary guidelines on fat intake ever since, with fat being viewed as Public Health Enemy Number One. Analogies of arteries like kitchen pipes clogged with butter and bacon fat have been used by medical professionals to demonize fat on a level equivalent to cigarettes.

However, in a report published at the beginning of this month in the medical journal BMJ Open Heart Dr. James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist, suggests that it is our switch from saturated fat to a diet high in carbohydrates (especially processed carbs and sugar) that has, paradoxically, increased our risk of heart disease. He, along with many other health experts, claims that the Keyes landmark study was flawed, and that there is no conclusive proof that a low-fat diet has any positive effects on cardiovascular health. On this basis he is calling for the dietary guidelines on replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates to be urgently reassessed.

A recent analysis by the Telegraph found that many “low fat” foods are loaded with sugar, despite purporting to be healthy. Findings included some “low fat” meals to contain up to 6 times the sugar of their full fat equivalents, and a “low fat” drinking yoghurt to contain almost as much sugar as a Mars Bar. And herein lies the problem. Millions of consumers, led to believe that fat content is what they need to be scrutinizing when they scour food labels, have been instead opting for these sugar-filled, processed, but supposedly healthy “low-fat” equivalents.

Unlike fat and protein, refined sugar adds zero nutritional value to foods, and our body does not require any carbohydrate in the form of added sugar as a source of energy. In excess amounts the fructose component of sugar is toxic to the liver, and gets converted by the body to fat. Sugar is now being added to more and more of our foods- yoghurts, sushi, ready meals, salad dressings, bread and soup are just some of the unsuspecting victims.  And to make it even more challenging for the consumer to know exactly what they’re eating, sugar comes in a number of guises- fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, dextrose and cane sugar being just a handful from an extensive list.

London-based cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who is heading the up the “Action on Sugar” campaign (a campaign group formed to put pressure on the Government to reduce the amount of sugar added to food and soft drinks), claims there is now overwhelming evidence to support the fact that it is sugar, not fat, that is the driving force in the development of heart disease.  He draws on a recent study from the US, which has demonstrated a strong association between calories obtained from sugar-laden foods, and death rates from cardiovascular disease. In fact, a fear of fat could actually be detrimental to heart health. Intake of dietary fat is essential for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and there is strong evidence of a link between vitamin D deficiency and significantly increased risk of cardiovascular mortality.  Fat is also essential for raising HDL “good” cholesterol , high levels of which are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

However, there is one type of fat that all scientists and health professionals agree should be avoided and these are the “trans” fats, or hydrogenated fats, found in many processed foods, bakery products and margarines. These industrially modified fats have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases, and should be avoided at all costs.

So what should we eating for a healthy heart? The PREDIMED  trial, a large study of 7,447 subjects carried out between 2003 and 2011, found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin oil or nuts (both rich in fat) reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke) by 30%, compared to the control group on a low-fat diet.  Strong evidence, it seems, that fat really may be a friend, not foe…

Author Bio:
Naomi Mead’s passion about the role of nutrition in health and the therapeutic power of good food has inspired her to become a Nutritional Therapist at Nutrition Expert and her own site Food First. She is trained and accredited at the renowned Institute of Optimum Nutrition.


If you only do one thing this week…Get Happy!

We are officially in the middle of March! How crazy is that? Time seems to be going by so fast at the moment so this week we want to stop and take stock of what we have to be happy about. These days it’s so easy to get whisked up in the 21st Century pace of life and we can sometimes forget to enjoy ourselves and notice the beauty of life. It’s International Happiness Day this Thursday so H&H have got some fantastic tips to put a massive smile on your face!

Nature
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that can make us smile. This week, (wherever you may be in the world), make time with family and friends to get outdoors. Take some deep breaths and inhale the fresh air, after all it’s what keeps us alive! Stop and notice the little things; like flower buds ready to bloom or baby lambs leaping and bounding, or make a picnic and enjoy sitting on the grass! It sounds so silly but I don’t think we take enough time to enjoy the wonderful world we live in. Let’s open our eyes at look beyond the walls that surround us.

Gratitude
There’s nothing better than feeling grateful. It’s a sign that you are able to notice and acknowledge the positives in your own life. Before I go to bed, I think of at least three things I am thankful for. When work is stressful and nothing seems to be going right… just take a moment to think of all the good in your life. Whether it’s your family, your boyfriend, your job, where you live, or simply the fact that you are healthy. Gratitude is sure to bring you back down to the things that matter most.

“You” Time
It’s so important to spend time with friends and family, and quite often, a good movie with a girlfriend is the best cure for any lousy day! Having said this, spending time with yourself is also important for creating happiness. At least once a week, I like to set by an hour or so to focus on “me”.  Some weeks, that hour is spent indulging in a manicure, other weeks it’s simply spent soaking in an Epsom salt bubble bath whilst flicking through an array of dreamy interior magazines. Find something that you enjoy, and do it!

Exercise
Ahh the good-old exercise tip. Well folks, it’s true… exercise can make you happy. The word “endorphins” is a common word in the world of fitness, but what are they and how do they make us happy? Endorphins are our bodies’ natural drug and are released when we put our body under stress or pain (exercise is a form of stress on the body). They interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to help reduce our awareness of pain and stress. As well as “blocking” pain, endorphins also bring on feelings of euphoria! Your instant happy-fix is waiting!

Be More Selfless
I once walked passed two homeless guys looking rather cold and miserable, sitting outside a supermarket. I suddenly thought to myself “I’m going to buy them both something to eat”… so to their absolute shock, I stopped and asked if they fancied anything from the shop! They looked at each other in disbelief. I ended up buying two chicken and sweetcorn sandwiches (not the healthiest, but I wasn’t about to give them my long “healthy eating” talk!). The happiness they got from something as simple as a sandwich, gave me happiness too. Hip & Healthy want to challenge you to make at least one persons’ day a little bit brighter this week. Not only will they reap the benefits, but also so will you.

words by Molly Jennings


From our Recipe Book: MINI RAW CARROT CAKES

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

A small sweet snack on its own or delicious with a cup of Rooibos tea – these little carrotty lovelies always go down a treat! And they’re full of vitamin A! Bonus.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
2/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pecans
1 cup dates (soaked in water
for at least 2 hours)
2 cups carrots, grated
3/4 cup sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/3 cup – 1/2 cup sliced pineapple

For the Icing:
1 cup cashews (preferably soaked) 1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutmeg

THE CAKE METHOD:

Start by placing the almonds, pecans and dates in a blender, and blend until they start to crumb. Pour out and place to one side. Grate the carrots. Now slowly add all ingredients to the blender and blend the mixture until it forms a dough like ball in the blender. (You may have to do this in two parts – we often find things wedge under the blade!). Using your hands (yes – we like to get things messy) divide the mixture into 6 mini cakes and mould them into little cupcake shapes. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving as this helps them to set and dry out a little.

The icing:
Meanwhile make the icing by blending all ingredients until smooth. Leave in the fridge until ready to spread on top and eat!

DF, SF, WF, GF, V, R, VG

Buy The Recipe Book “In the Hip & Healthy Kitchen” Here…

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Six Physio – Don’t Treat, Cure

The reputable Six Physio has been providing the very best in experienced physiotherapy in London for a quarter of a century. It’s no wonder they’ve been voted ‘Best Company’ and one of the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies’ to work for four years in a row now, impressive stuff! Comprised of 10 clinics around the city, this close-knit business offers expert diagnosis and treatment for everyone ranging from elite level athletes to casual gym-goers. Six Physio have a wide range of practitioners and therapists on board to help with an assortment of ailments, from Women’s and Men’s health physiotherapy, clinical Pilates, Sports Massage, running coaching, cycling assessments and Work Station Ergonomics – whatever your condition, you’ll be sure to find someone on board to assist you. A gold star from Hip & Healthy!

To book a consultation or appointment click here


How to Build Strong Bones

words by Kathleen Flemming

Our skeleton is made up of 206 bones, all of which have their own unique functions. All of these bones work together to provide our structural support system, keeping our body upright and allowing us to move with ease. Without strong and healthy bones, we wouldn’t be able to stand up straight or walk properly, things we so often take for granted when we are young.

Many people don’t realise that our bones are continuously broken down and then rebuilt in tiny amounts. When we are young, our bones are always rebuilding themselves but at around the age of 30, everything changes – our bones reach their peak density and then begin to break down faster than they build up. If bones aren’t strengthened before this critical age, there is a higher risk of developing osteoporosis (porous bone disease).

Osteoporosis, often thought of as a disease affecting grannies, is becoming increasingly common among younger people, especially women. Today, there are more and more cases of women in their 20s and 30s suffering bone fractures and complications from early onset of osteoporosis. Although it is thought that there is a genetic element to some cases of osteoporosis, the alarming younger onset is thought to be related to lifestyle. The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the highest bone density possible before you reach the big 3-0 and then trying to minimise bone loss after that.

But maintaining strong, healthy bones goes beyond prevention of osteoporosis.  Strong bones are also important for good posture which enables us to hold ourselves upright. This in turn has all sorts of positive benefits including being able to breathe better as well as look better (standing up straight can make us look taller and slimmer!). In addition, healthy bones support movement and if you enjoy your morning run or love doing yoga, a strong frame will keep you moving easily for many more years to come. And lastly bones (more specifically bone marrow) produce red blood cells which play all sorts of critical roles in the healthy functioning of our beautiful bodies.

Here are H&H’s top tips on building strong bones and maintaining your healthy skeleton …….

Eat Green Foods
We know it sounds a little bit like a stuck record but leafy greens such as kale, watercress and bok choy, are jam packed full of nutrients, especially calcium and magnesium. Calcium is the main nutrient required for bone-building while magnesium is essential for healthy functioning of the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones essential for bone health.

Other essential nutrients for healthy bones include vitamin K and potassium, both of which are found in those gorgeous green foods! Vitamin D (see below) and protein are also important so ensure you add some quinoa, nuts (such as almonds or cashew nuts) or seeds on top of those leafy green salads (try our Ultimate Kale Salad for some awesome bone food).  

Get Out in the Sunshine
Vitamin D is another crucial nutrient for strong bones. It is as important as calcium because without it, calcium cannot be properly absorbed by the body. The best way to ensure that your body has enough vitamin D, is by getting out in the sunshine (in case you need another excuse for a holiday in the sun). Obviously frying yourself in the midday sun isn’t good for you, but getting some exposure to direct sunlight on a regular basis is important for sufficient production of vitamin D. You can also get small amounts of vitamin D from food sources such as wild oily fish (salmon and mackerel ) as well as eggs.

Unfortunately, due to our Nothern European climate (cold, cloud and rain) many people in the UK have a vitamin D deficiency. There are plenty of supplements available to top up your vitamin D but look for one that provides vitamin D3 which is more effective (read H & H’s guide to getting enough vitamin D). If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, you can ask your doctor for a test and they can give you appropriate advice.

Do Strength and Resistance Exercises
Due to our modern lifestyles a lot of us spend the majority of our days sitting down. Our sedentary lifestyles mean that we under-utilise our bones and just like muscles, our bones start to weaken if we don’t use them enough – it’s another case of ‘use it or lose it.’ However, don’t despair if your job requires you to sit down a lot. Resistance exercises can provide an antidote to hours of sitting and can make all the difference in keeping your skeleton strong. If the thought of lifting heavy dumbbells in the gym makes your bones shake with fear, don’t worry – resistance exercises can also take the form of yoga, pilates and other body weight exercises which you can do in the comfort of home. Doing exercises on Power Plates is also thought to help with improving bone density (read H & H’s review of Power Plating).

Ditch the Bone Thieves
Some of the worst offending bone thieves are fizzy drinks, alcohol and refined table salt. These bone thieves cause calcium to be excreted from our bodies more quickly than normal. The result of this is that our body then has to search for more calcium to keep blood levels healthy and so it looks to our bones where calcium is stored. Calcium is then excreted from the bones to balance the calcium levels in the blood. The end result is that without sufficient calcium, our bone density will suffer which can potentially lead to health issues such as osteoporosis (another good reason to give up the diet cola habit).

And what about DAIRY?
We’ve all seen those adverts promoting bone and teeth health via the medium of drinking milk. Although dairy products such as milk and yogurt do contain plenty of calcium, fortunately for vegans and dairy-free friends they are not the only way to get your calcium fix. In fact, our earliest ancestors didn’t drink cow’s milk at all but got their necessary calcium from calcium-rich greens. More and more nutrition experts now believe that a lot of dairy is actually not good for us and we can get enough calcium from plant-based sources such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds and even oats. Plus as explained earlier, calcium is only one of the many nutrients required for healthy bones and the other important nutrients are can all be found in dairy-free foods.


My Yoga Pledge: Part Three!

I took up yoga six months ago as part of a pledge to ‘Change for the Better’; Special K’s campaign to inspire the public to make a positive alteration in their lives. It needn’t be a huge pledge (not “I will end world poverty”), but rather one that will make a person’s personal life that little bit brighter.

Yoga has definitely changed my life for the better. For one, I am the most flexible I’ve been in a long time and I’ve noticed an improvement in my posture; no more neck strains or back pains during my mostly-sedentary job. I mentioned in my last post that I have noticed more definition in my shoulders and legs; now, amazingly, it has spread to my abs, triceps and lower back.

I feel fantastic both outside and in.

My lung capacity has improved which is great because I am an avid runner, as has my overall fitness and strength. I’m more mindful and have increased focus on both my working life and personal life. As such, practicing yoga has inspired me to take up meditation as a way of zoning out from external distractions and allowed me hone in on priorities. It goes to show that one small pledge can act as such a catalyst to various other aspects of life.

I’m incredibly pleased that I made my pledge six months ago, and am even more excited at the prospect of beginning to practice pre-natal yoga; that’s right, I’m pregnant!

Farewell handstand hopes (still no progress there yet), hello yogi baby mama!

Image: Cecelia wears HPE Crop Leggings

 


Fit and Thrifty in the City

Here at Hip & Healthy, we’re big believers that keeping fit in the city shouldn’t- and needn’t be- a financial strain. Whilst fancy urban gyms may offer the very latest in sporting technology with a nice price to suit, there’s a lot to be gained from trying out free fitness classes in your local area or from following online tutorials at home, at a time that slots easily into your daily routine.

Expensive membership fees and minimum contract periods often put us off the idea of signing up for something new which is probably why many of us, at one stage or another, have fallen into the trap of routinely sticking to the same old running routes. Unsurprisingly, our fitness reaches a plateau and, quite simply, we get bored. Guilty as charged. Yet, with a little research, you’ll soon discover that there’s a fantastic selection of free classes thanks to a whole host of new and exciting fitness trends emerging in the city – you just need to find them!

So, if you’re looking to turn your hand to something new or want to find some fitness friends to work out with, the following list is a smart girl’s guide to being a thrifty city fitty (yes, that’s quite a mouthful). My first piece of advice is this; keep your eyes and ears open, ask around and, most importantly, save those pounds for a well-earned super juice.

1. Sweaty Betty. With shops all over London, Sweaty Betty runs a variety of in-store (and outdoor) fitness classes ranging from ballet boot camps to running clubs. Head over to the community section on sweatybetty.com to find the one nearest to you. Be warned; places book up fast. That said; don’t be discouraged, if you inquire now you’re sure to find something for the near future.

2. Park Run. Wherever you are in the UK, if you love running and want to take it to the next level, find your local run at www.parkrun.org.uk. Most Saturdays throughout the year, eager runners across the country meet at 9AM (eek, it’s early, but it’s definitely worth it) and run a set 5K course. A unique barcode logs your time so you can easily track your progress. A great community of runners and a great way to start the weekend! No booking, just sign up to receive your barcode.

3. Lululemon. Want to work on your vinyasa flow? Lululemon athletica holds free yoga sessions every Sunday at various showrooms across London. Each session is taken by a different yoga teacher offering a different style of practise ranging from the traditional to the more experimental (urban fitness yoga anyone?). It’s great if you’re easily bored and like a challenge. No booking required, just turn up in plenty of time in order to reserve your space.

4. Yoga Glo. If there isn’t a Lulumelon near you, yogaglo.com offers a free 15 day trial and plenty of online material at your fingertips. You can filter by style, level and duration so there really is something to suit every yoga bunny in town. Try ten minutes of yoga in the morning and you might just be surprised at how it mentally and physically prepares you for the day ahead. No booking required, just sign up online.

5. Okay, I admit, it’s a little sneaky but all of the following gyms offer free day passes or taster sessions to allow you to experience their facilities: Fitness First, Harpers Fitness, Curves, LA Fitness, Nuffield Health, Total Fitness and British Military Fitness. The idea is that you’ll try it, love it and want to sign up for more but be shrewd, politely say you’re exploring your options when they ask. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

On the 20th March Lululemon has organised  CHEEKY YOGA – a whole day of free yoga in loads of participating studios across London! Get involved!! For more information visit: http://info.lululemon.co.uk/cheeky-yoga/

Your new mantra; fitness should be fun and free. So go forth fellow city fitties and do us proud!

words by Alexandra Salisbury
image by Sweaty Betty


If you only do one thing this week… Break the Diet Cycle!

What does the word “diet” mean to you? Does it send off deprivation alarm bells? Or does it signify one last pizza and a milkshake before the carb-cut-down begins? Whatever it is, all diets have one thing in common…they end! I think the longest diet I’ve ever done lasted 2 weeks. I cut out practically every carb on the planet and by the last few days, my energy levels were non-existent and I was one moody cow to be around! I came to realise that dieting changed the way I thought about food. Suddenly it became the enemy and meal times brought on feelings of anxiety and stress. Not fun! I may have ended up a few pounds lighter but as soon as I came off the diet, those pounds came straight back! I now understand that a healthy, gorgeous body won’t come from restrictions and feelings of deprivation, you’ll be forever yo-yo dieting and your body will not be a happy one. We’ve compiled our top tips on how to stop dieting and start looking at food in a positive and healthy way!

Stop counting calories and start looking at ingredients
Calorie counting can be bad news as it can divert your mind off the most important thing, the ingredients. Of course, calories are to be considered. If you aren’t using up as much energy as you’re putting in then it will cause problems, but your body is a very good judge at how much energy you need and if you are feeding it healthy and wholesome foods as well as exercising, it will let you know when enough is enough.

Put the emphasis on “health” rather than “weight”
This tip really helps me when I think about why I choose to eat a nutritious and balanced diet. It’s easy to get caught up with the desire to loose weight, but try and switch the mentality of “I’m eating these blueberries because they will help me lose weight” to “I’m eating these blueberries because they have so many antioxidants and they are going to benefit my health”. You will start to see food in a more positive way that doesn’t always revert back to whether it will make you “thinner” or “fatter”.

Find a Hip & Healthy substitute
This is a tip that you can add in to your lifestyle immediately. Earlier on, I talked about the hassle and stress of restricting foods. The reason why you feel deprived when you do this is usually because you have nothing to replace it with. Where’s the pasta gone? Where’s the bread gone? You notice a gap in your diet and that makes you unhappy. Well we have a solution, (a very easy one!) Find a healthier substitute! For example, swap refined white bread for rye or spelt bread. Or if you’re feeling like a weekend baking sesh, give our Gluten Free Quinoa and Chia bread a go! http://www.hipandhealthy.co.uk/gluten-free-seeded-quinoa-chia-bread/

Have a blowout meal once a week
This is a tip I learnt from my time working as a personal trainer at Bodyism. We would encourage our clients to allow a “cheat meal” into their diets once a week, and we suggested this for a few reasons. Firstly it’s good for your mind as it takes away the feeling of deprivation. It’s something to look forward to and it can really help keep you on track during the week. Secondly it can help you lose weight! (it’s true!) Bodyism founder, James Duigan says “when you’re following a good, healthy diet all the time, your metabolism stays steady. However, when you eat more than usual, your metabolism goes into shock and starts working overtime to burn off the extra food”. We like the sound of that!

words by Molly Jennings


Healthy ‘Reese’s’ Chocolate-Nut Butter Cups Recipe

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

When I was growing up Reese’s Pieces was one of my favourite chocolate treats; a rich chocolate shell filled with a smooth peanut butter filling, it was to die for. When I made the transition into a much more healthier way of eating these were one of the first of my former indulgences that I decided to make a healthy recipe version of so that I could continue to devour their chocolately goodness guilt-free!

Instead of sugar loaded chocolate, I make mine with three simple ingredients: raw cacao powder, Chi coconut oil and agave/pure maple syrup. I then fill it with almond or peanut butter depending on what I fancy, (when you buy peanut butter, make sure its free of any additives). Not only are these chocolates ‘not bad for you’ they are actually so incredibly good for you! 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) so you can eat as many chocolates as you want knowing its going to make you happier and healthier!

These chocolate-nut butter cups are honestly so delicious, and amazingly health-enhancing too. There really is nothing not to love!

Recipe: 

120ml melted ‘Chi’ coconut oil

3 tbsp agave/maple syrup

60g raw cacao powder

1 tsp of nut-butter of choice, per ‘Reese’ cup.

Method:

Add the melted coconut oil, agave and cacao powder to a bowl and mix until completely smooth. Line a cupcake tray with mini cupcake moulds/ cases. Divide the mixture in half. With one half start by pouring 1 tbsp of the chocolate mix into the bottom of the cupcake moulds. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes to set. Remove from fridge, and put one tsp of nut-butter spread in the middle of the chocolate, top with another tablespoon of chocolate/enough to cover. Put back in the fridge and leave to set for another 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy with a glass of hot almond milk!

Chocolate cups


Fitspiration of the Month – Russell Bateman

H&H are excited to introduce to you, our Fitspiration of March….Meet Russell Bateman, the brains and genius behind Skinny Bitch Collective, the IT training regime for woman! From Victoria’s Secret models to yummy mummies, he’s trained them all and we think he’s awesome. H&H finds out what it takes to be a SBC girl

When did your love of health and fitness begin?
Ive Always been an active guy. I had a major football addiction as a youngster and would play dawn to dusk. Fitness and health was always around me and my parents would feed me amazing food and push me to play sport at every opportunity.

What is Skinny Bitch Collective?
SBC is quite simply the most talked about training and wellness project for women right now. Preaching sex, sleep and squatting and fusing newwave strength and metabolic conditioning with signature SBC Primal movements. The crop of british supermodels are training alongside the next generation of female icons.These are women training the RIGHT way and supplementing their training regimes with the RIGHT nutrition

Did you always have a passion to start your own company?
As I became more experienced and developed my methodology and skill set I realised I had a message I could send to women. I knew I had the skills to change perceptions and reeducate women on how to eat move and live. SBC’s growth is very organic but I’m careful as to which level I take it to. I realise I have a big responsibility now people are looking toward me for advice and inspiration.

What can we expect from a typical SBC session?
One of, if not the most intense sessions of your life. You’ll hear some great music and some reeducation from me.

You specialise in training woman, what do you focus on when training you clients?
It depends on the goals. Priorities dictate the choices i can make in sessions. my foremost imperative is that the client takes away something from every session. It must always illicit positivity, empowerment and self improvement. The right Exercise selection and nutrition are key in to get the best results.

How important is diet when you want to achieve a toned and strong physique?
The two are completely interlinked and compliment each other entirely. If one element is out of sync with the other you can’t expect to reach your maximum body potential. If your training hard in the gym, put the same effort into eating the right foods and cutting out bad habits. Choreograph your training and nutrition so they would win a ballroom dancing competition

Do you have a favourite breakfast?
Salmon, eggs, avocado and/or a cold pressed green juice!

What’s you favourite SBC exercise?
Sex…. And then sleep. Squatting is close behind.

What should woman eat after a workout and why?
High protein and fibrous carbs to replenish glycogen and help lean muscle gains. It’s critical for mood and stress levels, too. I’d have that kind of food choice an hour to 90 minutes after. Protein and berries STRAIGHT after is a fave of ours. I send girls to Roots and Bulbs where they can order a special SBC shake. It’s awesome!

Do you have any advice for a SBC newbie?
Embrace your body. It’s amazing. Give it all you’ve got and push your boundaries in every session. Your going to move like you were designed to move. realise I will look deeper than what’s on your surface. I’ll ask you about your relationships, wether you like your job, what mindset you’re in, and then I’ll try to make you commit to eliminating any of the things that aren’t improving the quality of your life.

You have to invite 3 people do dinner, who would you invite?
3 is not enough! My girlfriend would be there to cook, she’s amazing (check out her blog Model Mangetout) And I think Russell brand would be fascinating to chat to. I’d have Paul Chek there, too.  He’s an inspirational Health warrior.

What would you cook for them?
We’d all have a sashimi starter followed by grass fed beef with quinoacado (quinoa and avocado mashed) and a coconut ice cream dessert from coyo.

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?
Education is our medication.

Do you have any weaknesses?
I love cats and Louis Theroux a bit too much.

Book your SBC class here!

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The Best Beauty Apps

Get ‘appy with Hip & Healthy’s edit of the best beauty apps

words by Mea Perkins

From the moment we wake up, to setting our alarm before we sleep, it’s fair to say that the smart phone really is a busy girl’s best friend. Whilst at Hip & Healthy we know the value of a little time away from our high-tech partner in crime, when we do use our phone, there’s an app for just about everything. In the world of beauty, today’s apps offer it all, from virtual makeovers to expert advice and product reviews. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite beauty apps to help you look and feel the best version of you.

GoodGuide INSIDE APP (1)

GoodGuide (Free) – Making choices that are socially responsible is important, but with ingredients lists that require a PHD to decipher, it can be hard to tell what you’re actually buying. This genius app instantly reveals whether products are healthy, green and safe, so you know exactly what you are putting onto your skin. Although currently covering products available in the US, the list of one’s sold in the UK is extensive. Scan the barcode of a product before you buy it to learn how it ranks in each category, and personalise your account to measure the criteria you deem important, e.g. ‘not tested on animals’ or ‘fragrance-free’.

UV INSIDE APP (1)

Ultraviolet ~ UV Index (Free) – Continued exposure to the sun can cause damage to the skin, so it’s important to protect it from harmful UV rays. Beautifully simple, this free app shows you the current UV index for your location, or anywhere else in the world. Advising on the right level of protection for your area, you can be safe in the knowledge that your skin isn’t being neglected.

OPI INSIDE APP (1)

OPI (Free) – A timesaver tool if you spend the first 10 minutes at the salon deciding what colour nail varnish to pick, or need inspiration when buying a new shade – this cute app lets you ‘try on’ the huge range of OPI colours available. With adjustable skin tone and nail length for accuracy, virtually see how the hottest looks appear on your own nails.

Sleep Cycle INSIDE APP

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (£0.69) – If you’re looking to boost your beauty sleep, this intelligent alarm clock promises you no more sleepless nights. Analysing your sleep pattern and monitoring movement, it then determines the best time to wake you up within a specific time period. With motion sensors and integrated heart rate monitor (only available on iOS 6.0 or later) it makes waking up easy, leaving you refreshed and revitalised.

Beauty Geek INSIDE APP

Beauty Geek (Free) – For on-the-go purchasing, Beauty Geek scans the web for the beauty products you want, comparing hundreds in seconds. From sites such as Beauty Bay and Feel Unique, the app lets you discover deals and uncover new launches.

Waterlogged INSIDE APP

Waterlogged (Free) – If like us, you’ll sometimes get to the end of the day and find that cup of tea your colleague made you this morning and the Diet Coke you had for lunch is all you’ve drank, this is the app for you. Keeping hydrated is not only important for alertness and controlling appetite; it keeps dry skin and wrinkles at bay too. Drinking the recommended amount (between 1.6 – 2 litres a day) can be difficult to keep track of which is why we love Waterlogged. Track your consumption and set reminders to improve your daily intake, and see if you notice the difference in your skin.

 YSL Color Mirror INSIDE APP

YSL Color Mirror (Free) – Test out new looks without having to reach for the cleanser. Simply upload a photo of your face and play around with styles, colours and make-up, and learn professional tips from the Creative Director of Make-up at Yves Saint Laurent, Lloyd Simmonds.

Face Fitness INSIDE APP

Facial Fitness for Women (Lite version free; Full programme £2.49) – There are 57 muscles in your face, and according to the experts, these need to be exercised just like the other muscles in your body. As the facial muscles become stronger, fine lines and wrinkles appear reduced as the skin attached to the muscles is taught and firm. Massage exercises also increase circulation and release toxins to help improve skin tone, reducing any puffiness and dark circles. Use the Facial Fitness app to focus on a particular problem area of the face, and create a personalised programme of 30 second exercises.

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L’Oreal Paris Colour Genius app (Free) – Finding the correct shade to match (or clash) with your outfit, this app combines practicality with fun. Upload a photo of your dress when heading on a night out, and you’ll be shown the perfect colour accompaniment for on trend lips, eyes and nails.

Mirror INSIDE APP (1)

Mirror (Free) – Gone are the days of rummaging through your bag, desperately trying to find a mirror at that crucial moment the ‘one day’ you left your make-up bag at home. Whether it’s to check there’s nothing lodged in your teeth, or see if eye makeup is still intact, this handy app lets you check your reflection and zoom in for a closer inspection. Unlike the front camera on your phone, the app displays a much brighter image and has exposure controls and a freeze setting for accuracy.


Top Three Eco Wellness Retreats You Should Know About

 Looking for a healthy holiday that will also be kind to the Planet? Check out these top three eco retreats

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Be Enviro-Chic in France
La Clairière in France makes every effort to ensure that their escape is ecologically sound. From the organic wool mattress you sleep on at night, right down to the eco friendly cleaning products and biodegradable composting. 100% of their electricity supply is from renewable energy sources and their food is prepared using fresh organic ingredients, locally sourced where possible. This is one retreat you can be sure that respects the environment as much as their guests!
Wow Factor:  The lush green Alsace forest setting will set your spirits soaring, plus the immune boosting food is to live for.

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Eco-Room with a View in Italy
Possibly the world’s most glamorous eco spa and winner of  the the Good Green Design Award in 2013, the Lefay Resort in Italy is a place that takes its eco credentials as seriously as it does its style. Everything from the food to the spa products is organic and natural, even the roofs are covered with lush green vegetation to help them blend into the hillside!
Wow Factor:  High-tech eco-elegance with stunning panoramic views of Lake Garda.

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Find Your Om in India
SwaSwara in India holds environmental care very close to its OM-shaped heart. Fresh water is a scarce resource at the property so they harvest the rainwater in order to make them self-sufficient – a practice they’ve also extended out to the local school. Any waste water is recycled and used for their organic vegetable gardens and flower beds. This holistic retreat strongly believes in giving back to the land that they feel they have gained so much from.
Wow Factor: a truly restorative oasis of serenity, tranquillity and calm – Ayurvedic treatments so good you’ll be in a constant state of bliss!

To book visit www.wellbeingescapes.com