Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free ‘White Chocolate’ Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe


Tea time has never been prettier or more decadently healthy (perhaps an oxymoron to most) with this faux white chocolate sponge cake that is dairy and sugar free!

The Cake (makes two cake layers)


250g Vegan Margarine

250g Wholegrain Spelt Flour

1/4 Cup Agave (optional)

4 medium sized Eggs (Are you Vegan? Substituted for 4 flax eggs, which is four tablespoons of flax with 8 tablespoons of water)

(*If serving more people, or you are feeling particularly greedy, and you wish to make three cake layers as shown in the deliciously seductive photo add another 125g Spelt Flour, 125g Vegan Margarine and another two Eggs to the cake mixture.)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 18cm round cake tins with baking parchment. In a large bowl combine the margarine and sift in the spelt four, mix well. In a smaller bowl, whip up the eggs and then slowly mix the eggy goodness in with the dry ingredients. Sweet-tooth folk, mix in your agave now. Fold well. Divide into cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (but keep an eye on it as all ovens are slightly different and burnt is not such a nice flavour). Let cool in the tin for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to further cool.

The ‘White Chocolate’ Filling

2 cups strawberries

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight, or for at least 2 hours)

1/2 cup dates (soaked overnight, or for at least 2 hours)

1/2-3/4 cup water

2 tbsp coconut cream

Sprinkling of chia seeds


Blend the cashews, dates, water and coconut cream until smooth.

Slice the strawberries finely.

Bring it all together:

Tower the cakes together by spreading the cream on the base and then topping with plenty of strawberries, and then  layering the second cake placing the rest of the strawberries on top and sprinkling with chia seeds to decorate.

Top Tip: if making this recipe in a rush, without extra time to soak the cashews and dates, simply boil a kettle and pour over them. Let sit for 60 seconds and drain.


Healing Hands: Reiki Is The Ultimate Stress Buster

Post-wedding, and after leaving her full time job to pursue her own business, Sadie MacLeod, reflects on how a reiki treatment helped her through one of the biggest change periods in her life

I booked myself to see Katie Light at a time I felt my body and mind needed it most. It was one week before my wedding, I had just left my job as a full time journalist to pursue my own ambitions and I had just finished working on a huge event that expended a lot of time and energy. I felt depleted. My right eye twitched with exhaustion (not a sexy look). Stress had begun to feel like it was part of who I was. And all this change was making me nervous.

Katie’s treatment seemed just the solution. She works on both body and mind and has a brilliant track record having worked most of her life with Aromatherapy Associates before going freelance and incorporating reiki into her treatments. It was the reiki that fascinated me most. How could a treatment be relaxing if the therapist doesn’t touch you? After one bad experience when I caught a therapist checking out her hair in my bedroom mirror when she was suppose to be balancing my chi (or whatever needed to be balanced) I was willing to give reiki a second chance.

After spending just ten seconds with Katie I could see how passionate she was about what she was doing and above all, helping people. She began by  massaging my back and instantly commenting on how tense I was. After almost sending me into a trance – I had to fight hard to not fall into a deep sleep I was so relaxed – she began performing reiki. At first I did not feel that much but then slowly I could feel heat where Katie’s hands hovered above me and even more surprising was the deep relaxation I began to feel. More like being in a meditative state then asleep this time but I could literally feel my body unwinding, balancing and re-adjusting.

Once the treatment was over I felt, for the first time in a long time, completely relaxed. My face showed it. My blood had clearly started moving properly again and had given my skin back its glow. The stress I had felt had morphed into something else, something more at the surface. I felt a bit teary. But not in a sad way, more relived. More able to accept the changes in my life and in myself.

Fascinated by reiki now and convinced of its healing properties I asked Katie to give us a bit of a reiki debrief:

Why did you decide to learn Reiki? 

Over the years of practising massage I felt (practically and intuitively) that it just wasn’t enough to treat the physical, so I started to look into options of other alternative therapies to help my clients feel more balanced. Reiki came into my life and presented itself through people I met, just as I was searching for more, professionally and personally. Seven years later I have developed my Reiki practice as a Master and now feel I can go deeper and treat the whole body, mind and emotions on every level.

Do you need to have a gift to begin with or can anyone learn it?

Anyone can learn Reiki, you just need to be open to giving and receiving, allowing Reiki to flow. With my Reiki practice I give my full attention to being present, creating a space for both of us, along with the right intention for each individual, creating a mutual understanding and acceptance allowing Reiki to flow, delivering a unique experience.

What do you find is the most fascinating thing about Reiki?

I love seeing the changes in the client’s face and body before and after they receive Reiki. You can physically see the difference, noticing the shifts in the body where the blockages are. Everyone is different and can experience different sensations/releases during Reiki, sometimes in one session or a block of treatments, depending on the underlying issue. Watching the changes take place is a gift to observe, You don’t just feel more balance and at peace you look younger and fresher!

Who do you feel would really benefit from Reiki?

I strongly believe everyone can benefit from Reiki as it’s profound how it can help balance your body and mind through unblocking the Chakra’s.

Recently I have seen the biggest changes with clients who are mentally stressed, suffering with anxiety, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, stuck on the treadmill of life or suffering from illnesses that are effecting the energy levels.

After a Reiki session what should a person do?

Relax. Try not to have any hectic, busy plans following Reiki as sometimes your chakra’s are still re-balancing after your session has taken place. Find a quiet space to chill out, lie down or just sit for a while to relax a little and ground yourself, while re-hydrating with some water or herbal tea. You will probably find you sleep like a baby that night, so don’t make any party plans, enjoy the feeling.

Visit www.thelighttechnique.com for more information.

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Summer Berry Booster Smoothie Recipe

(Serves 2)


1 Cup Blueberries

1/2 Cup Raspberries

2 Tbsp Goji Berries

2 Tbsp Ground flaxseeds

1 Small Frozen Banana

2-3 tsp baobab powder

2 Cups Oat Milk (Can substitute with Almond or Rice Milk)


Soak the Goji berriesfor 5-10 minutes in luke warm water until they become plump and juicy. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend well until smooth and not pulpy (no one likes a chunky smoothie). Pour into your chosen glasses and feel free to top with a scatter of chia seeds, bee pollen or a handful of homemade granola or favourite muesli.

Share your smoothie with us by hash-tagging #hipandhealthy on Instagram and Twitter.

For more recipes, health, beauty and well-being inspiration subscribe here:

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Relax at Rancho Del Ingles

Life on the Ranch

Spending a week at Rancho Del Ingles, Emily Eaves found she was able to relax and unwind more than ever before

You know that life isn’t too bad, when you’re out in the pool doing some lengths and you can feel the warm sun on your back.

I’ve been staying at Rancho Del Ingles for almost a week now and each day I’ve managed to fit in a swim, turning my head one way and seeing the bright blue sky and the lemon trees, whilst the other way there are the mountains and the long winding drive way up to the beautiful Casa Grande, which sits at the heart of this Andalucian estate.

Situated close to Malaga, Rancho is an oasis of wellbeing, just a two hour flight from London and offering exercise friendly weather all year round. Although I’m here on a Bed and Breakfast Basis, Rancho Del Ingles regularly host exclusive yoga retreats. The on site studio is flooded with natural light offering the ideal location for some early morning movement; previous retreats have included Ashtanga, Hatha and Vinyasa sessions often combined with Self reflection and Writing. There is also an outdoor terrace, perfect for an early evening practice or meditation, when the sky turns pink behind the dramatic outline of the mountains.

Set in the foothills between the mountains and the sea, my lungs have been filled with a fresh air that makes me sleep deeply and eat endlessly. There are avocados in abundance here, and there’s nothing quite like picking an orange off the tree on your way to breakfast. During yoga retreats, guests enjoy beautiful fresh salads and creative vegetarian dishes – often using other produce from the ranch including figs, walnuts and pomegranates.


Time at Rancho seems to pass by effortlessly and I happily spend hours reading, writing or simply gazing out at the vast expanses of sky from the many terraces, both sunny and shady. Owners David and Miyuki have brilliantly combined the traditional Spanish elements of the original farmhouse, with a charming hotch potch of world heritage salvage. Featuring a Bacchanalian fountain, a vintage tractor and a retro kiosk, the grounds of this Finca are as individual and eclectic as the individually designed bedrooms and bathrooms.

Whereas it’s easy to find yourself slipping dreamily into Spanish life – waking late, eating well, and taking a siesta mid afternoon – there is a wealth of places and activities I’ve managed to explore whilst using Rancho Del Ingles as a base. As well as the wind surfing destination of Tarifa further along the coast, there are excellent mountain biking, golf courses and hiking trails within easy driving distance. Rise early or walk at sunset to the stunning viewpoint above Torrealqueria; passing vineyards, mountain goats and colourful flowers as you snake up a winding dusty track. Often overlooked is the actual city of Malaga – one of the oldest in the world and filled with culture, history and food so good that you can take a Tapas Tour around the streets or spend hours in the lunchtime food market.

If visiting during the (slightly) cooler months, bring running shoes and take a jog into the nearby Alhaurin De La Torre with its authentic Spanish buildings and central square. The outdoor gyms are mainly used by elderly locals but provided the perfect setting when I was looking for work out space to undertake some gentle stretching before finding a strong coffee and walking leisurely back to Rancho.

You’ll struggle to find quite such a haven so easily accessible from the daily grind of real life. Returning home, I found myself buzzing from the combination of feeling utterly indulged yet healthier than I had in months.




Father’s Day Favourites: Perfect presents that he will actually use!

Daddy Cool

Father’s Day Favourites: Pressies that he will actually use!

By Frankie Rozwadowska

Stuck on what to get your dad this Father’s Day? Step away from the crime thrillers and novelty socks, because we’ve done the hard bit for you. From fragrance to shower gel, shave cream and skin scrubs – these are the perfect padre presents for any modern gentleman


Molton Brown Body-warming Sportbalm, £18

The new three-piece grooming range from Molton Brown has been specifically designed for those who like to work up a sweat and groom those guns. This Body-warming Sportbalm is a gym-bag must-have for any fitness-freak-fathers. Made from a blend of vanillyl butyl (which packs the heat), cassia bark (to refresh and deodorise) and conditioning macadamia nut oil, apply this pre-workout to warm up those muscles or after exercising to soothe the skin.


L’Occitane ‘L’Occitan’ Shower Gel, £13

Forget the fancy bottles and sweet-smelling soaps – this is a bathing beauty for boys. As well as purifying the body and cleansing hair, it smells sublime with its peppery, nutmeg scent of burnt wood blended blissfully with lavender. Warm and masculine, it packs some serious shower power.


Liz Earle For Men Sensitive Shave Cream, £11.50

For fathers with more sensitive skin, look no further than this Sensitive Shave Cream. Bursting with naturally active ingredients including clary sage and lavender to calm, geranium essential oil to tone and balance, eucalyptus to cool, and pro-vitamin B5 to moisturise and stimulate cellular renewal – it’s one smooth operator, containing naturally gentle foaming agents to offer a clean, close and smooth shave every time.


Bulldog Original Face Scrub, £5.79

The UK’s first and largest natural male skincare brand, Bulldog boasts grooming goodies that are free from man-made chemicals. This face scrub contains 8 essential oils, shea butter, pumice and coconut shell to gently exfoliate and leave dad looking rad.


Origins Save The Males Moisturiser, £28

Nature meets science with this oil-free, lightweight lotion that fights the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst preventing future dryness. With Carrot Protein, Chinese Wolfberry and Mangosteen Extract, it’s loaded with anti-oxidants to protect against environmental factors and contains Avocado extract to help control excess oil. It sure makes for one manly moisturizer.


Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense, £100

The latest launch from Jo Malone and a sure-fire way to make dad one happy chap, meet Saffron Cologne Intense.  A deep and opulent scent comprising of golden saffron, spicy pink pepper, creamy pale woods and intense incense – this is the ultimate gift. Just be warned, you may end up keeping it for yourself…

If you only do one thing this week… Eat More Almonds

If you only do one thing this week… Eat More Almonds

 almond board 260

Why should we eat more almonds? 

  • They are a natural source of protein (great for muscles) and fibre (ideal for digestion). So your body will be beach ready in no time.
  • Your skin will glow due to their high vitamin E content. A handful of almonds (30g) provides you with approximately 65% of your daily requirement of vitamin E.
  • They have just gone down in calories according to experts. A recent study has found that almonds have approximately 20% fewer calories than originally thought. A handful of almonds (30g) actually has 138 calories rather than the 173 calories listed on labels.

When should we eat them?

You can add almonds to anything – smoothies, salads, fish dishes. But expert Nutritionist, Amanda Hamilton, recommends “eating a handful of almonds every day as a nutritious snack” to help control hunger.  To show you just how great almonds can be for you California Almonds is currently running the Snack Happy Challenge, encouraging women to snack on a handful of almonds every day for 21 days to see what difference it makes to their life.  Amanda also says “Studies show that when you are stressed it makes it harder to choose the right foods and people will often reach for high-sugar and unhealthy snacks. Having a healthy snack to nibble on, such as almonds when you feel pressured, can help stop you heading for the vending machine.”

So get involved.

For the chance to get a free snack pack of almonds visit www.AlmondBoard.co.uk/SnackHappy Tweet about the challenge using the #snachkhappy and let us know how you feel by including us in your tweet #hipandhealthy.

City Escape: Om Tribe Yoga Studio is just 5 mins from Canary Wharf, but you’ll feel a million miles away. One writer investigates

Om Tribe Yoga Studio is just five mins from Canary Wharf, but will give you the yogic headspace to make you feel a million miles away. One writer investigates.

words by Bex Fairbrother

Hidden beneath the sprawling mass of towering skyscrapers that is Canary Wharf, is the unassuming power yoga studio, OM Tribe Yoga. This quirky, bohemian exercise space is an exciting and positive addition to an area which is often seen as quite soulless and generic in its choice of buildings and shops. Not only is its presence in the area very much welcomed, the studio and staff are also approachable, charming and helpful, whilst the studio is a large, airy, inviting space with a high, beamed ceiling.

The name of the studio, OM Tribe Yoga is particularly apt as the classes are a unique fusion of calm (OM, the most sacred mantra) with dynamic, ‘tribal’ movements and asanas. There are classes to suit all levels of experience including Vinyasa Flow, Jivamukti and Power Vinyasa. Their signature class is Hot Power Yoga which was the class I tried. If you are looking for an invigorating and dynamic workout, I would highly recommend this class. It essentially takes place in a warm, heated chamber. However, as it is only heated to 28 degrees, it is much less intense than the stifling heat of Bikram Yoga and allows you to achieve a deep flexibility throughout your body.

Power yoga is vigorous and dynamic, forcing your body to challenge itself, pushing it to new limits. Great if you love trying new workouts and like mixing things up whilst also testing your body and your mind’s endurance. It is essentially a moving meditation. As there is a quick pace and rhythm to the class, there is no time for your mind to wander as you are constantly made to focus on the here and now.

There was a strong emphasis on the sun salutation sequence at the beginning of the class and then various, dynamic poses were added in which you challenged your body, pushing it to new limits. These simple movements practised in infrared, radiant heat has a detoxifying effect on the body whilst also enabling you to move deeper into the stretches with both comfort, ease and safety. The class was accompanied by upbeat, energetic music which was well synced to the postures whilst the teacher was easy to follow and passionate, giving modifications on various poses where necessary, whilst also helping certain students get deeper into their asanas.

At OM Tribe Yoga, it is not only the classes that strip everything back to basics, the studio building itself is essentially a disused wooden workshop which has been renovated to make a light, airy yoga space. It creates a strong contrast to the surrounding, polished structures that characterise this mini, financial metropolis.


The studio is tucked away in a peaceful spot, just a short walk from Canary Wharf station. It is fully equipped with all the necessary yoga equipment including mats, blocks, straps etc, whilst the facilities, despite not being overly spacious are super clean and include toilets, showers and a changing area. At reception they offer free filtered water and herbal tea and there is also bottled water and other drinks to buy as well as towels to rent.

They also have a number of reasonably priced membership offers, including 3 weeks of unlimited yoga for £30 for new students, allowing you to come as many times as you like during that time period. If you’re not hooked after the first few classes, you definitely will be after 3 weeks.

As yoga is known for its stress-reducing qualities, this small, bespoke studio will ensure that even in the heart of the city you come away feeling relaxed, revived and more supple, oozing maximum health and vitality.

For more information visit: www.omtribeyoga.com/visit-the-studio



Power Smoothie Recipe: Swap your porridge for something just as powerful this morning

Summer has arrived, so swap your porridge for something just as powerful. This insanely delicious smoothie for breakfast may feel like a treat, but, it is in fact, ridiculously healthy! What are you waiting for – blenders at the ready.


(Serves 2)


1 Banana

1/3 cup Cashew nuts

4 Medjool dates

2 tbsp Chia seeds

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Cups Oat Milk


Blend… thats all.

So what good are all these yummy ingredients?

Banana – Packed full of potassium, bananas decreases the risk of high blood pressure, increases strength and reduces stress.

Cashew nuts  – Lower in saturated fats then their other nutty friends, these babies contain 5g of Protein per ounce and are an excellent source of magnesium.

Medjool Dates –  This important fruit is used in Arab countries after breaking fast for Ramadan, as just a handful of dates immediately restores the bodies energy levels.

Chia Seeds – Not only are these little power houses packed with Omega-3’s; One serving of these super-seeds contains as much calcium as 1/2 glass of milk, two times the fiber of a cup of oatmeal and two times the magnesium of a cup of spinach. Time to get to know Chia?- We think so!

Cinnamon – Regulates blood sugar levels, boosting the metabolism, stabilizing energy levels and mood.

Oat Milk – A great health-conscious dairy-free alternative to milk, high in natural iron and fiber, low in fats and sugars.

If serving for breakfast top with a sprinkle of your favorite granola, muesli or seed mix for an extra crunchy element.

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Healthy Hot Spots in London: London’s top health hubs for health and fitness lovers

We have picked our fitness-studios-cum-healthy-restos that make us want to buy and do everything!


Triyoga, Chelsea (and Primrose Hill)

Best for: Yoga bunnies and spiritual souls

USP: Their incredible range of yoga classes is unrivaled – plus their awesome café may be small but it packs a pretty awesome punch in the nutrition department.

Tell us more: Situated at the top of the King’s Road, Triyoga has become a Hip and Healthy favourite. It is clean, chic and light – everything you could ever want in a yoga studio. Plus the instructors are second to none. You can pay as you go or buy a block of classes. The changing rooms aren’t huge but they are lovely and cleaned regularly and the whole place smells of incense – heaven. The small, but none the less, brilliant café caters for all those dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free yogis out there (of which there are a lot). You can also pop in for a quick treatment. The acupuncture with Yuki comes highly recommended. www.triyoga.co.uk


02 Equinox Whipped -  Stephen Churchill Downes 917-607-4270-1

Equinox, High Street Kensington

Best for: Serious fitness folk

USP: It’s huge and varied but not too big

Tell us more: Having been around for more than 20 years in the US, and a huge following (both celeb and civilian!) Equinox finally felt that it was time to bring their fitness enthusiasm to the UK. And, boy, are we glad that they did! With a multitude of classes to choose from this really is the studio for everyone. Yoga, martial arts, cardio clubs – you name it, they do it and they do it well. Employing only the best fitness experts and wellness practitioners. Post work-out, spend some time getting to know the spa, where you can indulge in anything from a caviar facial to a chocolate massage (yes, you heard that right) or enjoy a fresh juice or extremely healthy lunch in their café. And if that wasn’t enough – one could also do some serious credit card damage at the shop, which recently (and exclusively) has just stocked Lucas Hugh’s new range of fitness getup. http://www.equinox.com


BarreCore, Chelsea

Best for: movers and shakers

USP: All their very talented instructors are also qualified dancers

Tell us more: Brought to the UK by Niki Rein, personal trainer and founder of Barrecore, who, after seeing its success in the US, knew that it would do well in the UK too. And she was right. Since launching the first barre studio in London’s Chelsea, barre focussed workouts have sky-rocketed in popularity. Barrecore is at the forefront of this movement, and it’s new class BarreDance encourages women to dance their ways to a better body. You may feel a little silly at first as the instructor takes you through a routine to learn, but soon enough you realise that everyone else there is just as malco-ordinated as you are and nobody seems to care. It’s all about raising your heart rate and having fun. Although the studio doesn’t technically have a café as such it has a small area where you can buy that all important, fitness essential coconut water plus other drinks. It also offers a small range of health foods for the peckish punters leaving, of which you will be!

 Bulgari Hotel London www.jamesbedford.com

Bodyism at the Bulgari, Knightsbridge

Best For: the sytlish sybarite

USP: James Duigan’s Bodyism concept (that worked on Rosie Huntington-Whitely – need I say more)

Tell us more: The Bulgari took a bold step into the health and fitness world when they sign up James Duigan and his team of body experts. But it doesn’t stop there. The spa is one of the largest in London and is simply to die for with rooms simple but atmospheric. The pool is reminiscent of incredibly chic Roman baths that would have been fit for Ceaser – lavish but not ostentatious. But my favourite room of all is the cosy Yoga suite that fits 8 dedicated yogis and has a deliciously warm fire set behind glass. To make full use of the facilities book yourself onto one of their retreats (the next one is an Urban Yeotox Retreat led by Mercedes Ngoh from 20 to 22 September) where all the food served in the sophisticated iL restaurant is Ayurvedic inspired.


Slice, Parsons Green

Best For: Yummy Mummies

USP: Their drop-in scheme that works a bit like an oyster card so there is no obligation to sign on the dotted line. Plus their facilities for kids are brilliant. So mummies can work out happy in the knowledge that their little ones are delightfully occupied

Tell us more: Made up of three recently renovated studios, a personal training zone, healthy cafe and an amazing creche this little piece of wellbeing heaven in Parson’s Green is the perfect place for yummy mummies to fit in their workouts. Classes include, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, 80s Aerobics, adult ballet and Barre Workout so there is more than enough to choose from. They have also just recently introduced a volley ball style based workout devised by the Team GB Strength and Conditioning coach. Then once you have sweated out your stresses in the studio, retreat to the café to meet with friends and have a gossip over a healthy herbal tea or smoothie. You can also attend fun, healthy workshops there, upcoming events include a raw food workshop, Rocket Yoga and healthy deserts demonstrations. www.slicestudios.co.uk



Lomax, Chelsea

Best for: Made in Chelsea fans and luxe-lovers

USP: Their high-end approach to fitness, healthy food and beauty treatments – everything feels uber-luxe and lovely. Plus their health, beauty and fitness experts are ah-mazing

Tell us more: From the street Lomax looks like a gorgeous, light, healthy café, but venture further and you’ll soon discover the workout space upstairs (which you rent by the hour with or without a PT) plus divine treatment rooms, which use REN skincare, so the emphasis is on the natural. This is the ideal place to meet friends for a quick post-workout smoothie and then while away the afternoon having a treatment and using their showers. Trust me – you are going to want to use the showers! http://www.lomaxpt.com




Healthy Pudding Alert: Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Mango Mousse

Mango Mousse

Serves 2


1 Mango

1/2 Cup of Cashews

1/4 Cup of Coconut Milk (not the canned one) or another dairy-free milk

2 Tablespoons of Goji Berries

Desiccated Coconut to Sprinkle


Soak the cashew nuts until they are soft. You can do this in boiling water if you don’t have time to let them soak for a while. Then blend all the ingredients together. Then top with goji berries and the desiccated coconut.


The Best Healthy Holidays

Healthy holidays are the way forward. What better way to get your R&R than with some expertly-instructed yoga thrown in or deliciously healthy food to accompany it. We speak to Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, and an expert in healthy holidays. As well as a love of all things travel, Paul’s other love is exercise, cycling and yoga. He is the perfect man to tell us exactly what we should be booking for our summer holiday right now!

Where would you recommend for the ultimate chill out?
If you’re looking for somewhere spectacular to de-stress, completely unwind and reconnect with nature, I recommend Zighy Bay in Oman, set in its own secluded bay. The contrast of the spectacular mountains and sparkling beaches makes it the perfect location to recharge your batteries and there are a number of activities, holistic classes and spa treatments to choose from. Enjoy a real sense of relaxation for total renewal.

Where would you suggest for a hard-core work-out week?
Our 38° North Fusion Fitness holiday at Aguas de Ibiza is the perfect place to shape up whilst enjoying some renowned Ibiza sunsets. From kickboxing to rooftop yoga classes, hiking to mountain biking, there is a full schedule of group exercise and personalised training for maximum results. If you are someone who is looking for a hard core workout week, then this fitness holiday is for you as it can be tailor-made to suit your preferences. You can also unwind with spa treatments, meditation and enjoy healthy meals.

Where is the best place to lose weight?
Longevity Wellness Resort nestled in the green mountains of Monchique has a structured weight management programme that is designed to guide you towards achieving and maintaining your ideal weight. They are also a pioneer in preventative anti-ageing medicine with an extensive timetable of wellness workshops and group activities from yoga and boxing, to nature hiking. The Longevity team will give you the tools and help to aid weight loss, helping you to manage your weight with a healthy diet.

Where should yoga bunnies go?
If you’re a fan of yoga, sunshine, delicious healthy food, fresh fruit smoothies and incredible juices then try Absolute Sanctuary, in Koh Samui, Thailand. This stunning Moroccan-inspired boutique resort offers five yoga classes a day including pranayama, meditation, Yoga flow, hatha, Ashtanga, yin, detox and hot yoga. The jungle studio, where all the classes take place has huge windows, so natural light can flood through, allowing you to enjoy a beautiful view. As well as the unlimited yoga offered in their yoga holiday programme, you also get the luxury of a daily aroma or Thai stretch massage at the spa.


Where has a fantastic spa?
My favourite spa holiday is The BodyHoliday in St Lucia, the all-inclusive wellness resort at the northern end of this beautiful island has an impressive amount of holistic, fitness and sports activities with one daily spa treatment included. Having been voted Best Destination Spa in the world by Conde Nast Traveller readers, they offer a vast menu of spa treatments from Ayurvedic to reiki and extensive body and facial treatments with a specialised skin clinic. You will end your holiday feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and recharged.

Where have you been that has exceeded all your expectations?
Ananda in the Himalayas, 3,000 feet above sea-level and surrounded by vibrant green flora and valleys, brisk mountain air, and stunning scenery promotes a holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit through its philosophy of combining Ayurveda and yoga. Bordered by the River Ganges, this chic destination spa nurtures a serene atmosphere and is a beautiful property with friendly staff, great rooms and fabulous food. Spa treatments, yoga, and meditation sessions stimulate spiritual well-being with adventure activities to invigorate physical health.

Is there anywhere new you would suggest people go?
The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort is a new destination spa in Malaysia offering a daily schedule of activities including tennis, golf, yoga, mountain biking, horse riding, hiking and jungle trekking to archery, exercise and dance classes, meditation and organic farming.

Paradis Plage in Morocco offers a good mix of yoga, surfing, spa and hiking. It’s not luxurious but offers good value and a relaxed atmosphere with spacious accommodation. The yoga studio on the beach is a perfect space to enjoy classes every day and the spa has two hammams.

Buccament Bay, located on the stunning Caribbean island of St Vincent surrounded by lush green mountains, and a beautiful white sand beach offers sporty holidays with a tennis, football and cricket academy to hone your skills or enjoy healthy lifestyle retreats to enhance your well-being.

How/why did you start up Health and Fitness Travel?
I’ve always loved to travel and had an interest in the health and fitness industry. I was never one for fly and flop holidays and always wanted an active and healthy break whilst away. When I used to search on the internet for these types of breaks I’d always find hippy-style yoga retreats and fitness holidays run from someone’s villa which didn’t appeal to me. I’d also find lots of spa holiday websites which would list many general spa resorts. I created Health and Fitness Travel for someone like myself who wants a bit of luxury and the right type of healthy holiday with a bespoke tailor-made experience. I always wanted to create a travel company which would appeal to both women and men, as men don’t want just a spa holiday.


Where is your favourite place in the world?
Kamalaya in Thailand is fantastic for a detox and fitness holiday. Guest teachers and practitioners fly in from all over the world to this spectacular wellness sanctuary in Koh Samui. The spa therapists are world class and the food is so healthy but delicious. On arrival it’s like entering a different world, somewhere truly magical and calming where you end your holiday feeling totally restored in mind and body.

What do you never travel without?
Probiotics, my music and good reading material, along with lose fitting clothes for exercise, yoga and hiking. I always carry copies of my passport and holiday insurance, and leave the originals in my hotel safe as trying to get a passport replacement is not fun.

What’s your top tip for long haul flights?
Keep hydrated as the air inside a plane cabin is very dry, so make sure to drink plenty of water. The one bottle of water supplied by the flight attendants won’t be enough for a long haul flight, so to avoid the hassle of constantly having to ask for water, bring along your own filtered water bottle and refill it with tap water on the plane. Although it might be tempting to indulge in a glass of wine or cocktail to relax your nerves, try to avoid alcoholic or carbonated drinks, as they will only add to dehydration.

If money was no object what would you do for the rest of your life?
I would look to have a more spiritual lifestyle and train to be a yoga teacher. I’d build my own home overlooking the sea in a warm destination and practice yoga daily. I’d grow all my own healthy food, spend more time with my family, friends and give back to other people.

Paul Joseph is co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, experts in tailor-made healthy holidays worldwide. For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0845 5441936.

If you only do one thing this week… Discover the benefits of Green Juice

We are constantly hearing about how amazing green juices are. How they make our skin glow and fill us with goodness. But why, exactly, are they so brilliant. Find out below…

You may remember learning about chlorophyll in biology. It is what makes plant green. It’s also responsible for allowing plants to absorb light from the sun and convert it into energy. What does this mean for us? We then consume that wonderful energy, which is a powerful blood builder and enhances the cells’ ability to carry oxygen. Which in turn, improves circulation, builds a healthy and strong immune system and counteracts nasty free-radicals. Chlorophyll also helps neutralise the pollution that we breathe in every day. If you are a smoker (or have been in the past) or live in a busy, polluted city (we’re looking at you Hong Kong) it’s a fantastic supplement for your diet. We heart chlorophyll.

It Cleanses Us
Because of the increase in oxygen and the better circulation the body is much more able to cleanse itself. The increased oxygen levels help us to release the stored toxins in the body. So, organs like our liver and kidneys are much happier and cleaner and so can do a much better job themselves – hence the better skin and nicer hair.

Promotes Alkalinity
With so much sugar, processed foods, e-numbers and other unwanted substances going into our food these days, our bodies live in a permanent state of acidity. Not cool. By adding a green juice into your daily regime (and cutting back on the things above) you’ll be making some giant leaps towards bringing the pH balance back. Ideally, we want our blood to have a pH of around 7.365. Better get that litmus paper out.

Super Sexy Combo of Vitamins and Minerals
Depending on what actually goes into your green smoothie – it will be packed full of fabulous vitamins and minerals. Take ours for example: Kale (what we like to call our starry  ingredient – as it’s just so damn good for you) is packed full of vitamins B2,3,6 and 12. Plus it has a wonderful dose of vitamin C, E and K and is full of folic acid. The lemon too has lots of vitamin C and are a great source of flavanoids, which help vitamin C to be absorbed. Cucumber is well-known for its skin healing properties due to its ability to help the body cleanse itself and watercress has long enjoyed superfood status due to it’s award-winning combination of vitamins and minerals. And that is just four of the nine wonderful ingredients!

You Absorb It All Much More
Through juicing you are able to assimilate 95% of the nutrients compare to the mere 15-20% you absorb when just eating your greens. More for your money’s-worth! This is because juice is much more easily absorbed as the process of juicing breaks down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables so that they are pre-digested already. This means that the power-packed nutrients are getting directly into your system.

Our Green Juice Recipe

green juice