Get Ready to Feel Fresh This Summer

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Introducing the ultimate summer product you need in your handbag!

If you’re anything like us, you’ll have hundreds of lotions and potions for your body and face. Okay, we admit it, we are self-confessed beauty product junkies! Which is why we like to find a product for every part of our body… including our intimate areas! Did you know that some soaps and shower gels could strip your intimate skin of it’s natural defenses, causing dryness and irritation? Introducing femfresh. The product that has been specifically designed to care for the unique pH of your intimate skin, because it is different to the rest of your body.. obvi! Well you wouldn’t use lip balm on your hands would you!? How about Shampoo on your face? Didn’t think so. Which is why we are so excited to discover femfresh – expert care for down there.

And we LOVE the new Intimate pocket wipes!
Not only do they come in a pretty package but they are the perfect antidote to this lovely warm weather we are experiencing! Because – let’s face it – we don’t just sweat under our armpits! These wipes are pH-balanced, the perfect handbag size, hypoallergenic, flushable, and suitable for everyday use. That’s the heat wave sorted then! You can buy them at Boots, Superdrug, and lots of different supermarkets and chemists. Plus they only cost £1.59!

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!! We would love to know your thoughts on femfresh products! Have you every used them? Do you think you will buy some this summer? Let us know on our Facebook page – see below for the link!

www.femfresh.co.uk

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MAYR AND MUCH MORE… One writer travels to Austria for the detox of a lifetime

I’ve always been utterly intrigued to visit the Mayr clinic in Austria and attempt a week of what is renowned as one of the most hardcore detoxes on the market. When my eldest sister innocently mentioned she was thinking of going, I pounced on the opportunity, with the added bonus of having someone to cry on when the going got tough.

Luckily, this decision coincided with the F.X. Mayr re-opening following recent renovations. I have been unable to shift a cold for nearly six months and also hoped to combat a monotonous lack of energy. And I am not going to deny that the thought of shifting a few pounds for summer would also be nice.

DAY 1:

My sister had been following The Organic Pharmacy’s diet in the fortnight leading up to our trip, as recommended from the Mayr. I had not. She boarded the plane with a Pret salad and a bottle of water, I had my last indulgence of Skips and white wine. This resulted in somewhat valid declarations from her that my initial test results might not be so positive.

We flew from Stansted to Ljubljana in Slovenia, just over the border and about an hour’s drive from the stunning Lake Worthersee, which is the setting for the clinic. Outside the airport we met another couple on their way for a fortnight’s visit, return guests which is a common story for those who have been there.

Upon arrival we were given a tour and then shown to our beautifully re-decorated rooms, complete with the enormous and very comfortable dressing gowns that would form the main part of our wardrobe for the next week. Dinner is served from 6-7, and we were given a delicious carrot soup with the three sticks of spelt bread that is present at every meal. These sticks were probably the size of my ring finger, and I’m a girl with small hands. Before our food we were given an introduction to the dining room, including a lesson in chewing properly and the rule of silence. Eating meals in silence and concentrating on your food is one of the big tests of Dr. Domenig, the new medical director, and I did try but this was certainly the hardest part of mealtimes for a chatterbox like me.

One of the main parts of the renovations has been to the spa and swimming pool – 2 steam rooms and 3 saunas, which was a heavenly way to spend an hour or so in the evenings, and this became a nightly visit for my sister and I. But I went to bed hungry. So hungry that I ate the remains of a packet of Extra mints I located in my handbag. I have recently ‘come up’ with the word ‘hanger’ as an explanation for when people, mainly boys, get grizzly because they’re hungry. At about midnight I decided to create the word ‘insunger’ to explain my inability to sleep through hunger. At some point, I finally succumbed but far later in the night than usual.

DAY 2:

Today it really began. Breakfast was the 3 pieces of spelt, and a small goat’s milk yoghurt. I am very bad and normally don’t eat breakfast, a bad habit that runs in our family, but the sight of food couldn’t have been more welcome. My morning was filled with analysis, starting with a trip to see one of the sports therapists to assess my fitness and training. Luckily this is one area of my health I haven’t let slip too badly, and I passed with flying colours with only a couple of weak muscles identified. However, I was advised not to undertake my usual run for at least the first 3 days, as the cure advocates only gentle exercise and really letting the body de-stress – something high intensity exercise impedes. The depletion of my normal food intake meant I was feeling fairly weak already, so I took this on board.

Next was my appointment with my assigned doctor, Dr. Karim, whom I liked immediately. We went through my reasons for being there in detail, assessed my lifestyle and whether I had any pressing or relevant emotional baggage, as well as measuring my weight, blood pressure, and my digestive system through the physical appearance, size and feeling of my waist and stomach. Apparently the latter was all working like clockwork, which is one of the main problems addressed by the cure, and she warned me that she didn’t think I would change much in terms of lost inches or weight.

Apart from being incredibly thorough, knowledgeable and kind, similar to the experience I had with all the staff, the doctors really listen to your concerns. I consume most of my intake in the evenings, so was keen to break this cycle. Although I didn’t need to lose much weight, we decided that I would stick to having only broth in the evenings (with no spelt) for the first 3 days. I was given mineral pills to support any lack of nutrients given the low-calorie diet, as well as my assigned basepowder to be taken morning and night. I’d recently had a gum infection so also, slightly reluctantly, I agreed to undertake ‘oil pulling’ (where you literally swish cold pressed oil around your mouth before spitting it out) every morning. The appointment finished up with a blood test to assess my acid-alkaline ratio.

One other notable part of the day was being introduced to ‘kneipping’. This was to be done daily in the morning, and involves plunging your feet into hot water for 5 minutes, following by switching to cold for 10 seconds, and then repeating the process a second time. I don’t think I’d quite mentally prepared myself for this, as I yelped audibly the first switchover. This made the lovely Sabine (who must be mentioned as she is utterly charming, and runs the kneipping centre in the most organised fashion) chuckle, and she suggested I try the version of kneipping in a small body bath the next day. I was on my guard but willing to give it a go…

Bed

DAY 3:

This morning I managed to get myself up in good time to take all my necessary pills and powders and embark on the 7am hike. I say ‘hike’ with a certain amount of limitation, as due to the variation of the clientele it is paced to suit everybody. As a young and fairly active guest they certainly seemed to be more of a gentle walk to me…But given the emphasis on light exercise it felt good to get moving in the fresh air. They are directed by Julia, who is in charge of all the hiking year-round and clearly has a passion for the local outdoors. These sunrise hikes occur 3 times a week, and I made sure to do them all to savour the view of the mist floating on the lake as the sun rose and the absolutely breathtaking scenery of the woodlands.

This morning also came the first morning of taking either Epsom or mild salts, which is both a notorious and intrinsic part of the Mayr. It is easy to discern this given the number of bathrooms located throughout the hotel. I think the less said about this the better. Instead onto an equally uncomfortable experience – the kneipping in the waist bath. This was thoroughly odd. Following the stereotype of Austrian lack of embarrassment towards nudity, I was told to disrobe by Sabine and plonk myself in essentially a small adult paddling pool in which I sat almost doubled up, but with the water on covering up to just above my naval and halfway up my thighs. I quickly decided that I didn’t really like this and would be sticking to doing my feet for the rest of the week.

DAY 4:

The other guests had warned that day 3 is often the hardest for most people, but somehow I felt that I was really starting to enjoy the experience. Whilst yes, it was a difficult moment at around 2pm when I realised I wouldn’t eat anything solid for about 18 hours…I was finding I wasn’t actually unbearably hungry. As a result of taking time to eat my meals, I found I was full after the small amounts given. Another key aspect of mealtimes is that you are not allowed to drink any liquids – this follows the belief that it not only impedes the digestion of your food as chew less due to the moisture enabling easier swallowing, but also that it expands your stomach so that it is harder to feel full. It makes perfect sense, and whilst it still felt odd after only a few days (I kept forgetting to make sure I drank plenty about half an hour before mealtimes!), it was fulfilling it’s purpose.

On my timetable this morning was a hayflower detox wrap, of which 5 are included in the basic package. This is where you retire to your room and a hot compress in a bag is delivered and is pressed onto your liver area. You then wrap yourself up in your dressing gown and lie quietly for about 20 minutes. Liver wraps are a notable part of the detox process, and you are encouraged to also do them using a lukewarm hot water bottle in the evening before you go to bed as a way of furthering toxins out of the liver. Not for the first time, I was very glad that I had my laptop with me and a solid supply of boxsets to keep me entertained (this key to your stay!).

DAY 5:

Today I checked in with Dr. Karim on my progress – following her predictions I had only lost a pound despite 3 days of near starvation. This surprised me, and I will admit I felt a little deflated not to have lost more given such the depletion in my usual calorie intake. However, as I reported to her, I felt better. My energy levels were starting to pick up, and I had easily managed a short visit to the gym first thing in the morning with my sister for a run on the treadmill. She was pleased I was positive and being aware of my body’s response to the routine, and we decided that I would stick to the broth-only dinner option to help with getting my food intake more regular. What was most exciting was that she wanted me to start having a portion of protein at lunchtime! So today I chose and was given a quite sizeable portion of smoked char. I had really been starting to crave meat or fish and I could have wept with joy – it tasted heavenly.

mayr clinic spa

DAY 6:

Following her review with her doctor yesterday, I discovered my sister had been granted a portion of protein at breakfast. This was the gift of a boiled egg – pure jealously. However, it did make me ponder how much I anticipated going back to eating certain foods, and how much more succinct simple ingredients had become within my thoughts in terms of taste, size and nourishment. I used this to keep the green-eyed monster bay…

The main event of today, however, was my kinesiology test. So far little had been uncovered by the doctor’s to explain my enduring cold and tired, and having had a similar test a few years ago I was intrigued by how the results would compare. There was no repeat of an indication towards an intolerance to all sugars including glucose (to my surprise but also delight), however I have apparently developed a serious intolerance to lactose beyond the adult human normal. Given dairy is known to create mucus this was a relieving and simple explanation behind my cold. I appreciate that a lot of people are reluctant to believe in the powers of kinesiology, but they might be interested that I then asked for Dr. Karim (at some point during the next batch of foods tested, as you aren’t supposed to be aware in advance) to text me for mushrooms and truffles. These are foods I know I am allergic too given my inevitable reaction of being sick. And they came up as strongly negative too.

We went through all the various dairy options, and it was a relief to discover I could still have butter, hard cheese and dark chocolate – though of course in moderation. I had witnessed my old flatmate having a similar diagnosis and going through a year’s abstinence, before slowly re-introducing dairy into her diet. Not only did I recently join her in a large ice-cream indulgence, but during that year I saw first-hand the difference it made to her health and energy. I was given a very informative and helpful information sheet on lactose intolerance, and left feeling excited as I realised tomorrow’s breakfast would bring a boiled egg instead of yoghurt!

DAY 7:

Today the weather brought glorious sunshine, and despite being the first week of May it was warm enough to make use of the hotel’s delightful pontoon next to the lake. It was sheer bliss spending a few free afternoon hours sunbathing soaking up the rays, and I would certainly recommend coming to stay in the warmer months when this option is more readily available.

Whilst reflecting during my tanning time, I realised that I was fully immersed in the routine of the Mayr and the utterly restful environment they create during your stay. I try to take a ‘me’ holiday for a few days at least once a year, and despite the fact you’re not alone it held the same benefits for me and was providing a total break from my usual ‘headless chicken’ routine. I must admit I felt a small pang at the thought of going home tomorrow.

DAY 8:

My last treatment of my stay was a massage by Carmen – who I must confess is my top recommendation and should be requested (you receive 3 massages as part of the basic package). During the week I also had an osteopathy session with Wolfgang, who is renowned amongst the regulars and really does get booked out well in advance – a little tip. I also discovered today the results of my acid-alkaline ratio from my blood tests on the first day, which if too acidic would have pointed to a too-high level of alcohol; sadly for my sister’s predictions I was in the very healthy alkaline range, which was a lovely note to end on!

You are recommended on leaving to try and follow a similar diet and schedule for a further week, and my sister and I were kindly given a very generous portion of the spelt rolls to take home on top of our supplements. Whilst I did indulge in a much anticipated alcoholic tipple upon my return home that night, I am firmly back in the 3-meals-a-day camp. I managed to keep strictly to diet for a good 4 days, and whilst I only lost a kilo during my stay in Austria I somehow managed to shed another 2 during this extended period, which was an added bonus.

I have been raving to all and sundry about my visit, and whilst I appreciate that it is an expensive option, I firmly believe that you can’t put a price on health and this is a fantastic place to follow that principles. I have learnt invaluable lessons in terms of my diet and correcting how I nourish my body, and also met some wonderful people with regard to both the staff and fellow guests during my stay. All I can say to end is go if you possibly can, I feel I shall certainly be joining the numerous ranks of repeat visitors.

A seven-day stay is €1,359 per person. Visit http://original-mayr.com/en/ 

Words by Alicia Meinertzhagen


NEW ADDITION TO THE STORE: LUR’V

To celebrate the launch of our new and improved website, the Hip & Healthy team is thrilled to announce that the coveted Australian sportswear brand, L’URV has landed in-store.

Fusing functional fabrics with beautiful designs, L’URV brings a fresh edge to Hip & Healthy this summer with sportswear that looks and feels sensational. The collection aims to reflect notions of vitality, creativity and positivity and has been inspired by nature with directional pieces in beautiful hues and organic patterns. Brilliant performance fabrics made from organic cotton, bamboo and natural fibres give the collection some serious ethical credentials, which is something we admire here at H&H HQ.

Sporty details like mesh racer-backs on the bras and panelling on leggings add fashionable touches that motivate the wearer to move. The collection’s name, Aquarius, inspires us to make positive changes in our lives (a common want of those born in the star sign) and with workout clothes as lovely as these we are certainly keen to show them off as we continually aspire for good health.

Each piece has been designed to update and lift any sportswear wardrobe but L’Urv emphasise that their garments can be worn outside of the gym and on the street. With so many women parading their fitness achievements in great gear whilst out, we aren’t surprised that sportswear companies are cottoning on to this idea and designing for the everyday wardrobe in mind.

L’URV’s clothes are perfect for yoga, dance and general fitness, so head over to the Hip & Healthy store to purchase and wear with pride.

Lurv Sunshine seduction floral top back and sea spray shorts front close up

SHOP THE COLLECTION

 

 

 


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Blast Cellulite The Hip & Healthy Way!

The dreaded “C” word. We’ve all heard of it… we’re all scared of it… and we all want to know how to get rid of it! Cellulite is unfortunately, quite common amongst us ladies and surprisingly, 80% of women over the age of 20 will develop a form of cellulite at some point in their lives. Great! This frustrating condition is caused by normal fat cells becoming enlarged. They are usually kept in place by our connective tissues, but when they become too big and the connective tissues can’t expand anymore, the fat cells have no where to go except up! They push against the dermis and epidermis and this is when we start to see those little bumps of terror starting to appear!

There is still no magical cure for cellulite (hurry up scientists!), but there are definitely ways to significantly reduce the appearance of it. Below are some tips and tricks that we like to incorporate into our lifestyle to help minimise the “orange peel” look!

Dry Body Brushing
A well-known beauty secret amongst celebrities and beauty gurus alike is body brushing. Crowned the queen of cellulite busters, this particular art of brushing helps firm, tighten and smooth cellulite-prone skin as well as softening hard fat deposits that sit under the skin. Toxins like additives, colourings and pesticides have also been linked to the development of cellulite, and because our bodies don’t know how to process toxins they never leave our body. Body brushing activates our lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating toxins from our body and prevents a build up of toxins. Try to incorporate body brushing into your daily routine before you get in the shower. Use long stokes in an upward motion towards the heart for best results. We love the Liz Earle Body Brush!

Body Scrubs
This luxurious practice has definitely got anti-cellulite benefits and it’s a bonus that it leaves us feeling pampered too! A good scrub will stimulate blood flow, which will help give the appearance of super soft, glowing legs. It can also help break up and distribute the concentration of fatty tissue deposits under the skin, making the tone of your skin smoother and less bumpy. Our all time favourite scrub has to be the Cowshed Spearmint Exfoliating Sea Salt Scrub!

Massage
Like body scrubs, indulging in the odd massage will really help stimulate blood flow and the lymphatic system, thus improving the tone and tautness of our skin. It will also help break down fatty deposits especially around the upper thighs and bottom, the worst offenders of all!

Hydration
It’s so important to stay hydrated for many reasons, but keeping on top of your fluids will significantly improve signs of cellulite. Drinking more water will allow the body to release excess water that your body might have been storing, leaving your skin smooth with more definition. When we’re a little dehydrated our skin can have that “puffy” effect and this will only enhance cellulite even more!

Resistance Training
Exercise is definitely on our list of cellulite busters as this will help reduce the build up of fatty deposits under our skin. We recommend including some resistance training in to your workout programme, as increasing your muscle mass will give your body more definition in your muscles leaving you feeling and looking leaner and more toned. Our go-to cellulite busting exercises have to be squats and burpees!

Antioxidants
Like we mentioned, toxins can play a huge role in the development of cellulite, so the first thing we would recommend doing is to remove any processed, sugary foods from your diet. Additives and colourings are just bad news for our bodies full stop! We then suggest incorporating some foods that are high in antioxidants to help combat the toxin build up that might be going on inside your body. Besides, who doesn’t love a good antioxidant boost? Our favourite ways to consume antioxidants are definitely thin skinned berries like blueberries and strawberries in a smoothie. Try our Berry SuperCharged Smoothie! 

words by Molly Jennings

image: Zimmerman


Raw, Vegan Blackberry Cheesecake Bars!

Ingredients

11/2 cups of walnuts

1 cup of pitted dates

1/4 tsp of sea salt, divided in half

1 cup of blackberries

1 cup of cashews soaked in water for at least two hours and drained

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

1/3 cup of maple syrup

Instructions

  1. 1. To make the bottom layer, place the walnuts, dates, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a food processor and pulse to break the ingredients down, till they’re crumbled. Run the motor and process till the mixture is ground up and sticking together when you squeeze a little in your hand.
  2. 2. Press the bottom layer into a small casserole or baking pan that has been lightly greased with olive or coconut oil (I used 11″ by 7.5″). Set aside while you make the top layer, or chill overnight.
  3. 3. To make the top layer, blend the cashews, blackberries, oil, remaining 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, and syrup in a high speed blender or food processor till they’re as smooth as possible. Pour the top layer over the bottom layer in the pan. Use a spatula or inverted knife to smooth the top layer over very evenly.
  4. 4. Transfer the dish to your fridge and chill for at least three hours. Cut into bar shapes and serve.
  5. Yields 15-20 bars, depending on how big you’d like them.

Recipe by Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw


Fitness Fashion

A few years ago, being seen out in your gym clothes was a bit of a fashion faux-pas. But gone are the days of fitness and fashion being mutually exclusive. Fitness is now seriously fashionable. Colourful Free-Runs have replaced ballet pumps, yoga pants have replaced skinny jeans and fashionable fitties are setting big trends across the globe. It seems everywhere you turn there are people taking their “gym style” out onto the street. According to Anjhe Mules, founder of Lucas Hugh (as worn by Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow), collections are now “designed to support a serious work-out, yet they are versatile and stylish enough to wear throughout the day and maybe even into the night.” And if you had any doubt about the new status of fitness in the fashion world, French Vogue recently published an editorial featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss in some super hot fitness gear.

The Hot Trends
The fitness fashion frontier has moved beyond the huge, global sports brands and the standard, not-so-flattering lycra black leggings and vests which cling in all the wrong places. And although many of these famous names have teamed up with designers and celebrities, it is the new kids on the block including Tully Lou, Lucas Hugh and HPE, who are setting the trends and taking the fitness fashion world by storm.

Bold and Bright
Back in the 1980s multi-coloured leotards and leggings were all the rage, but colourful active wear quickly disappeared from our radar and was replaced by a “rainbow” of black, grey and white. But colour is well and truly back and luminous block colours are definitely the new black. In fact, when it comes to fitness clothes, the brighter the better. Tully Lou, owner of Tully Lou active wear, told H & H that the bold, bright colours not only look great but they can also have an impact on our mood and change the way we feel – look good and feel good!

Nike and Asics have been leading the way with their brightly coloured trainers which are not only worn in the gym but donned as casual wear by everyone from yummy mummies to super models. This year at most of the major international fashion weeks, there was a noticeable presence of colourful running shoes and high-top trainers which seem to have taken over as the flat shoe du-jour. As well as trainers, over the last few years the popularity of colourful sports clothing has sky-rocketed thanks in part to global clothing chains such as Lulu Lemon and American Apparel.

But fear not bright colour-phobes, this year isn’t just about luminous pink and yellow (let’s face it, lumo colours just don’t suit everyone). As well as block colour, animal prints, tie-dye and other cool prints such as Lexie Sport’s Blonde Collection print, are currently trending in the fitness fashion world. One of H&H’s newest brands, Track & Field, has brought us some awesome, multi-coloured animal print leggings, tops and bras. At the moment we are loving Track and Field’s Snake Beach Leggings.

Panels
Thankfully for those who still love their black workout clothes, we will be seeing a lot more panels of print and colour down the sides of dark leggings and vests or around waistbands. This means you can gently wean yourself off the all-black by incorporating subtle colour and print while at the same time staying on trend. In the H & H store we stock both Track and Field and Lexie Sport dark coloured leggings with panels of their cool prints.

Layers
Another trend this year is layering. We love the look of a gorgeous, bright sports bra or tank top peeping through from under a different coloured vest. However layering isn’t just restricted to our top half. Layering with shorts and skirts over leggings is becoming a hot look for 2014 and the latest collection from Lucas Hugh includes mesh shorts to wear as a layer over your leggings.

Layering also allows you to transition smoothly from fitness to other daily activities without a full wardrobe change – simply throw a jacket, light jumper or baggy t-shirt over your gym vest and you are ready to lunge your way to lunch. The Pepper & Mayne Silver Logo Sweat is perfect for post-gym layering or for day-to-day wear.

The Cool New Brands
Many of the new, fashion forward labels are owned by health and fitness professionals. Tully Lou and Five Feathers, both stocked by Hip and Healthy, are owned by yoga teachers who use their experience of yoga and knowledge of movement to design their clothing. Tully Lou, told H & H that a lot of her inspiration comes from teaching yoga and from watching her students. The fact that both Tully and Sarah Thompson, owner of Five Feathers, continue to teach alongside their clothing lines means that they are connected to what their students are wearing and what they want to wear. The result of this is that these brands are making clothing which is flattering but more importantly functional allowing you to move freely and comfortably.

Thanks to their fitness-focused minds, several of these brands also have sports-specific ranges (yoga, running, tennis and more) as well as more general sportswear for all athletic (or even not-so athletic) endeavours. Lija, another of our favourites, started out by “pushing boundaries in golf apparel” – a welcome change for ladies looking for an attractive alternative to white polo-shirts and unflattering chino-like trousers. Lija now pushes boundaries in clothing for several other popular activities from tennis to yoga.

The ethics of these new fitness brands are different too – think fashion with some seriously good karma. Several of the brands stocked by H & H have a strong desire to give back and minimise their impact on the environment. One example of this is HPE, which believes that with success comes a “responsibility to positively influence” and the company has pledged to make a donation to climate change projects around the world for every garment sold. Another example is Five Feathers which gives a proportion of the profit from each item sold to the “Let Them Fly” foundation which supports education projects in extremely poor areas of Bangladesh.

With so many fantastic new brands paving the way for fashionable active wear, we have never been so spoilt for choice. All of these clothes are not only flattering, attractive and on trend, but thanks to the careful thought and design behind the scenes they are also functional, durable (hooray for leggings that don’t go see-through after one wash!) and made with a heart.

The Stylish New Stores
Good active-wear stores are not common place on the British high street. In fact finding a decent sports store selling clothes you actually want to wear can be a bit of a mission. The US and Canada, closely followed by Australia, have been quick to catch onto fitness fashion and getting your hands on gorgeous gym clothes isn’t difficult – in fact you are pretty spoilt for choice. However, over here on the other side of the pond, we have been a little slower to catch on.

Fortunately that gap in the UK market is filling meaning we no longer have to put up with old t-shirts and unflattering leggings for the gym. Here at Hip and Healthy we launched our popular online store in 2013 and we are rapidly expanding to bring you a wider range of our favourite fitness-fashion labels. We also regularly host pop-up events which combine an evening of browsing our store’s on-trend fitness gear with Hip and Healthy nibbles and green juices (sign up to our newsletter to receive an invitation to our next event).

As well as our online store and pop-ups, high-end fashion websites such as Net-a-Porter and Avenue 32 have jumped on the fitness band-wagon recently launching active wear stores (further evidence to support the seriously fashionable status of fitness wear).  Other than online boutiques, trend-setting gyms and health clubs such as Equinox in Kensington are starting to stock a range of boutique brands meaning you can exercise and shop in the same place.

With such gorgeous fitness clothing now available, we hope you will be inspired to join the health-revolution and get moving. There has never been a better time to put on your running shoes (colourful ones obviously), get fit and look hot doing it!

words by Kathleen Fleming

 


How does she do it? We talk to Super Model, Elle Macpherson, about looking and feeling young as her 50th (yes 50th!) birthday looms!

Nearly at 50, but not looking a day over 30 (really), Elle Macpherson talks to Hip & Healthy Editor, Sadie Macleod about how her brand new green powder that keeps her feeling young and looking and feeling amazing…

On The Super Elixir:
What I love about this alkalizing powder is that it is bio-available, meaning it goes directly into the cells and it nourishes them completely so the 45 ingredients that it includes are directly absorbed by the body and that support 11 systems of the body. Australians tend to really think out of the box and they are very wellness conscious and so having a three women Australian team [in my business, Welle] has been a great source of satisfaction and has enabled us to create a beautiful product that really works. Since I have taken the super elixir my hair has gotten so shiny, and I have honestly seen people get results like this within two weeks!

On eating alkaline:
I try to eat alkaline where possible, but if I can’t the powder helps to balance my body when I drink to much coffee for example or feel too much stress. But if you combine it with exercise the effects are more powerful and more obvious.

On growing up in health-conscious Sydney:
Wellness has always been important to me and that’s why I called the company Welle. I am much more into wellbeing maintenance than doing big body overhauls all the time – I think that is a very Australian way of seeing things.

On being successful in what you do:
Having vitality and being inspired and that feeling of “I can do” is incredibly important in life whether you are a man or a woman, whether you’re a teenager or you’re fifty and that’s something that we don’t talk about often. We talk about being fit or thin and about being beautiful but the real energy force comes from being motivated.

On taking supplements:
I have always taken supplements and the thing that I love about the Super Elixir is that it has simplified of all my self-diagnosis of all the vitamins and minerals that I needed from all the different doctors around the world. Finally it’s all in one product and really does the job for me and it’s very efficient and very simple.

We ask the product’s co-creator, Dr Simone Laubscher (a specialist in disease prevention and anti-aging nutrition and personal nutritional doctor to Elle), who formulated the product – what exactly is in it and why is it so brilliant?

Dr Simone highlights some of the key ingredients of The Super Elixir for us…

It uses an organic super-greens base

Shitake and Miyake Mushrooms: which have been used in Chinese medicine to support the immune system since the Ming dynasty. Cancer and disease hate them.

Pro- and Pre-biotics: to ensure that every part of the digestive process was fully supported

Horsetail: Great for hair, skin and nails

Flaxseeds: For their oils and their fibre

L-Glutomine powder: to heal the gut

Tumeric Powder: super anti-inflamatory

Available to buy here: http://www.welleco.com/the-super-elixir-caddy.html 

 


NEW FACE GYM at SELFRIDGES: Take your face to the gym, and discover the secret to aging gracefully…

There’s a new gym in town. But don’t expect to come out of it with burning thighs and rock hard abs – instead emerge looking younger, brighter and tighter… in your face.

Introducing Face Gym, a new concept that’s just landed at Selfridges in London, and promises you younger, fresher looking skin with its unique 4 step facial workout. As simple as it sounds, Face Gym is grounded in the principal that we don’t think twice about toning our muscles at the gym so why think differently about the face?

The concept was created by spa junkie and serial facialist, Inge Theron, who over the past four years has been globetrotting, unearthing beauty secrets from every corner of the world, as undercover columnist for the Financial Times How To Spend It. Her experiences both bad (Meso therapy on her thighs which left her with what looked like two D cup fake boob implants on her legs!) and good (Inge swears that an authentic Temascal and healing weekend with Dr Bobby Klein truly transformed her life…), led her to create a unique, new beauty treatment that combines ancient acupuncture and good old-fashioned face massage for the ultimate non-invasive, finger face-lift.

Speaking to Hip & Healthy, Inge explained, “Facial muscles are crucial to the way we look and with regular stimulation can lift, tone and tighten the skin, boost blood circulation and collagen production giving a fresh youthful appearance to the skin.

“There are over 650 muscles in the human body with roughly 50 concentrated in the face, it takes approximately 43 to frown, 17 to smile, but without proper stimulation, face muscles are prone to sagging. Face Gym goes beyond the skin – our face trainers work deep into the muscles around key problem areas such as jowls, eyes and foreheads.”

After unwinding at 57 spas, sweating it out through 32 different types of fitness classes, testing 25 anti-aging treatments and undergoing 15 detoxes, Inge is somewhat of a connoisseur in skincare – she knows what works and what doesn’t! From Joelle Ciocco’s famed Epidermologue method in Paris, to training with world renowned yoga gurus in India and fitness trainers in LA, Inge realised that what was really effective, was going back to basics and strengthening the muscles in the face, by massage techniques. By no means a new train of thought (face massage has been practiced in ancient cultures for centuries, and more recently adopted to include more complex ‘facial gymnastics’ and deep strength work, such as the Buccal technique) what you’ll find at Inge’s Face Gym, is a blend of old and new techniques, programmed in a formula that mirrors the process of going to the gym. The result is a truly unique, modern interpretation of an ancient practice.

What can you expect from a session?

Face Gym is for everyone and anyone looking to tone, tighten or even just rejuvenate their lacklustre skin. Starting at just £35, it is an affordable beauty alternative for a younger demographic, as well as an effective anti-ageing alternative to botox and fillers, for both men and women.

The signature £35/30 minute treatment consists of 4 key stages – warm up, cardio, strength and cool down. For the warm up, Face Gym trainers deep cleanse with vigorous knuckling movements followed by skin brushing to remove dead skin cells, boost the lymphatic system and kick start the detox. The next stage is cardio; a combination of high energy, quick, whipping strokes to stimulate blood circulation, collagen production and cell renewal, bringing a rosy glow to the face. Moving on to the strength stage, Face Gym trainers use sculpting and micro-contouring to target the network of connective tissue and muscles to lift, tone and tighten the face. The deep muscle work is spliced with high-intensity rhythmic percussion fingers that excite the muscles and boost energy flow, while derma “weights” are used to iron out fine lines and wrinkles. For the Cool Down a cooling jade roller with healing properties is glided across the skin to even skin tone and support lymphatic drainage, followed by a splash of hydrating toner to awaken the face.

Results can be seen immediately and skin feels instantly lifted, tightened and toned with a fresh, dewy natural glow that can’t help but give you a boost of confidence. However as with gym workouts – you get what you put in, and results are maintained with regular sessions.

To book an appointment call Selfridges on 0800 123 400 or email facegym@spajunkie.com

words by Mea Perkins


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Avoid These Diet Mistakes!

In case you don’t already know, here at Hip & Healthy, we are strong believers in using the “No Diet” approach to achieving a healthy and happy body. We’re all about nourishing the body with clean, whole foods that haven’t been injected with all sorts of nastiness or haven’t been processed to such a state that it’s unrecognisable! Ew! Seriously though, diets aren’t exactly appealing are they? You feel deprived, completely obsessed with food and you become the grumpiest human being on the planet! Where’s the fun in that? This week we’ve put together the top diet pitfalls that you should definitely be avoiding and why they could be damaging your hard efforts to achieving the bikini body you deserve!

Crash Diets
There’s a reason why they’re called “crash” diets! When we restrict or cut out certain food groups from our diets, our energy (and willpower) levels take a huge beating, and we quite literally crash! This is so detrimental to our bodies and it can cause us to go into the whole yoyo dieting frame of mind. By the end of the week (if you can manage to even get that far!) you’ll most likely revert back to old eating habits that can lead to you weighing more than before you started.

“Low-Fat” Products
Ah, the low-fat debate. Surely foods labelled as “low-fat” are healthy for us? Wrong. Next time you go to pick up a “low-fat” product, think sugar laden, chemical storm! So many low-fat foods are loaded with sugar and toxins that our bodies were never designed to process…and if we can’t process them, where do they go? Nowhere, they just sit in our bodies creating a toxin build up. This can cause havoc on our hormones, energy levels and ability to fight disease. We load up on good fats like avocados and nuts

Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a big no-no. Many people skip breakfast (aka the most delicious meal of the day!) because they are lead to believe that reducing their calorie intake will help them lose weight. In truth, skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for your body. Think about it, you’ve just gone an average of 10 hours without eating so in order to “break the fast” you need to eat in the mornings. Failing to do so, will cause your body to go into starvation mode, turning your body onto a fat storing mode rather than fat burning. Another reason not to skip breakfast is because come 11 o’clock, the hunger pangs will hit and those office muffins will look super appealing!

“Diet” Drinks
Similar to the low-fat scenario, “diet” drinks will do more harm than good. Mostly loaded with unpronounceable chemicals, its best to stick to homemade smoothies, juices and water!

Not enough snacking
Going for hours in between meals without fuelling your body, can be more detrimental to your health than you might think. A bit like the starvation mode, if you body senses your not feeding yourself enough to sustain yourself, your body will cleverly try to combat that by slowing down your metabolism and the rate at which your body burns fat, leaving you feeling very tired and lethargic. Try snacking on high protein snacks like hummus with raw veggie sticks, nut butter toppped oatcakes or, if your feeling creative, our Superfood Chocolate Energy Balls!

words by Molly Jennings


Beautiful Yoga Retreat in Spain

Where: Shanti-Som, Marbella, Spain

Who: Anuska Vidal, travel lover, muay thai aficionado and wellbeing specialist at Wellbeing Escapes

I have to start this off by saying I’m not the world’s biggest yoga fan – give me energy pumping Muay Thai kickboxing any day of the week. So it was with some trepidation that I approached my weekend away at Shanti-Som in Spain, a retreat renowned for its yoga. The Spain part, and its promise of sun however was very appealing indeed.

When I arrived I thought ‘wow – this is like Bali, but in Spain!’. There were Balinese statues scattered around the pools and the gardens, dark wood beams and shelves, palm trees and this amazing feeling of peace. It was a perfect mix of East meets Western wellbeing. All of this plus we were sat right in the lush green Sierra de Las Nieves Nature reserve, with trees, mountains and blue skies as far as the eye could see. I could tell this was a little haven of peace and tranquillity and that I’d feel really at home here.

After a delicious welcome drink – a refreshing mixture of pineapple – mint lemon and sparkling water that (really hit the spot after being on an airplane) I was sat down and talked through my programme, which was to include some yoga and massages. Looking out of the glass windows over the greenery it was a real treat to not be surrounded by buildings and cars. I could finally relax away from the stresses and bustle of London. As the sun went down on my first night, they lit the fire place in the lounge. Set up with a big curved plush sofa it became a very cosy spot, and as it was the only area with wifi, guests gravitated towards it to catch up on the events of the day. It was a real highlight for me not having wifi in my bedroom as I’m usually so plugged in, it made me switch off at night, when I really needed to.

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The next day bought the dreaded yoga class. It was Vinyassa flow and I must admit I thought it was a bit hard and I could certainly feel my thighs burning! But I’m not really the best judge. The yoga bunnies that I got chatting to told me they thought the yoga was really good – and they do it all the time.  I was surprised at how the fairly simple exercise could really work the muscles and build new strength and stamina.

Thankfully I had my Thai massage to look forward to afterwards to sort out my stuff muscles. I can’t believe how impressed I was. I’ve had a fair few Thai massages in my time as they’re my favourite treatment, and this one was definitely a contender for the best. As is often the case with the small ladies who perform these, I’m always blown away by their super-human strength. She even tried out a few techniques I hadn’t experienced before!

Another highlight for me was talking to their resident nutritionist and reiki master, Marisol. She was such a wonderful lady who had a great warmth about her. We could have talked for hours! You can tell that she really believes in what she does and honestly wants to help people. She gave me some great advice about all the healthy lifestyle changes we talked about – and she still emails me!

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Speaking of nutrition, I have to mention the food, which continued with the East meets West theme. I ate delicious Asian fusion dishes like spring rolls and crispy chicken all beautifully seasoned. Other guests were eating dishes like grilled fish and vegetables. Everything is healthy and mostly organic. There was plenty of choice and I loved the fact that they are starting to grow a lot of their ingredients are grown on the chef’s farm – you can’t get fresher than that! Their smoothies and juices were also great for recharging and replenishing between activities. It’s worth bringing your hiking boots as you’re surrounded by all that stunning national park for roaming in when you want to leave the Shanti-Som bubble!

This is a great place to come if you’re interested in yoga, a light detox, want to lose weight and experience nature, peace and calm. Everyone is warm and friendly so it was easy to have a laugh too, and I could sit at the sharing tables when I wanted to chat with other people over meals. There were both single travellers and friends staying whilst I was there. It’s so easy to get to – it only took me about 3 hours and from May to October the weather is amazing.

WOW factor: You’re in the middle of nature but you’re not far from Marbella for exploring (read shopping). It’s a great place to go if you want to get away from it all, relax, rejuvenate, restore. 

Website: https://www.wellbeingescapes.com/shanti-som-spain-html

Special H&H Offer: Prices start at £335 per person, which includes all treatments and breakfast each morning, based on two people sharing a room. Single occupancy rates available. Hip & Healthy readers can benefit from a complimentary Lemon & Ginger Body Scrub using the code “HIPHEALTHYSCRUB”. Email [email protected], or call 0207 644 6111 to book.


The Yoga Championships come to London – but should Yoga be competitive? We ask to yogis…

Competitive Yoga – Is it a ‘do’ or a ‘don’t’?

In light of the yoga Championships recently coming to London for the first time (and talk that it may become an Olympic sport soon too), we ask two professional yogis what their opinions are on competitive yoga…

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Julie Monatgu: FOR IT
The idea of competitive yoga may be something of an oxymoron to many people but it is actually a great way to push your fitness boundaries. When anything becomes competitive it encourages people to set goals to work towards and this is especially true of yoga. People do yoga for such a variety of reasons, from the desire to relax to increasing stamina, strength and overall health. However, the possibility always exists that people might become too comfortable in their routine and lack the enthusiasm to develop their skills and fitness. Entering into competitive yoga forces people to break out of the comfort zone and strive towards better health.

Several years ago, I competed in a Bikram Yoga Championship and I found it to be an incredibly positive experience, both for me and my family. In terms of my fitness, it motivated me to push myself to progress and, on a more personal level, I was able to show my kids that there was a fun side to mommy! Their encouragement and support was a real boost throughout the competition and it was great to know they were proud of me afterwards!

As with most things, there are naturally some people who are opposed to yoga as a competitive sport. The argument being that it is a discipline that should focus on acceptance and compassion towards others. It is important to remember that when we talk about yoga as a sport, we are referring to the act of holding physical poses. The meditative and spiritual aspects don’t at any point come into the judging or scoring process. There is also some suggestion that it could create a sense of intimidation and deter those who want to give yoga a go. However, a great many competitive sports are already used by people as a way to relax, such as running and swimming, so why should yoga be any different?

Introducing yoga as an Olympic sport would be a fantastic way to inspire others to try it. Given the absolutely amazing health benefits of this discipline, this would only mean good things for the general health and well-being of those who decided to incorporate it into their lifestyles. Training for competitive yoga is similar to preparing to run a marathon or climb a mountain and the satisfaction afterwards is equally worthwhile!

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Kathleen Fleming: AGAINST IT

“The study of asana is not about mastering a posture. It is about using posture to understand and transform yourself.” Gary Kraftsow

I spent most of my childhood and teenage years playing competitive team sports so I am certainly not against a little bit of healthy competition. I think the life lessons that we can learn from team sports and from winning and losing are important. However, when it comes to yoga I have a very different opinion.

There is nothing wrong with showing mastery of physical yoga postures. It is awesome to see someone moving from crow to headstand or popping up gracefully into a handstand. A flexible and lithe human body is truly amazing. However, in my opinion yoga is not a sport, game or mere physical activity where the aim is to win. Tara Stiles, whose unpretentious and hugely popular Strala Yoga has become a global phenomenon, has been quoted as saying that “Yoga isn’t about the physical shape of the pose. There is already a sport for that—gymnastics—and it takes more skills than competitive yoga posing.” And she has a point. There is already a stage for the bendy and stretchy to show off their incredible physical skills.

Unfortunately in today’s highly-charged, competitive world where the very physical forms of yoga, such as Bikram, have been incredibly popular for their effects on the outer body, many practitioners do not realise that yoga is much more than the physical poses (known as “asanas” in Sanskrit). In fact, yoga is a sacred 5000 year old practice which offers us much more than a workout – it is a system of education for our mind, body and soul. Separating the physical postures from the other limbs of yoga, such as breathing (pranayama) and mediation (dhyana), means that in reality you are doing some seriously great stretches or showy acrobatics rather than practicing yoga.

In addition, non-violence, known as “ahimsa” in Sanskrit, is an important yogic guideline. It refers not only to non-violence towards others but also to non-violence against our self. Yoga is not about pushing or forcing our beautiful bodies in order to achieve the perfect pose. Instead yoga is about honouring our bodies, being kind to our bodies and knowing when to stop rather than pushing to achieve. Generally, a competition where the goal is to win requires most people to push themselves a little harder than they would otherwise. In my opinion, this goes against the belief that yoga is non-violent – no pushing, no forcing.

Many, including Mr Bikram, argue that there is nothing wrong with competitive yoga and that in India, yoga’s spiritual home, such competitions have been happening for decades. However, in India there is a clear focus in a lot of the contests on promoting yoga to young people and often such events are used as a way to encourage children and teenagers to participate in the practice of yoga. Furthermore, unlike the contests arranged here and in the US, many of the Indian contests are not only about performing poses but also incorporate yoga philosophy and theory. It seems to be more about yoga rather than perfecting physical postures.

It is probably true that yoga pose competitions generate publicity for yoga and encourage more people to take up a regular practice. However, when the emphasis is on the body alone, it may also put plenty of people off. When the focus is on a lot of incredibly bendy yogis performing challenging poses, it may perpetuate the idea that yoga is something only for the very flexible rather than being accessible to all. It is possible that a lot of people will end up associating yoga with the physical which sadly will be incredibly limiting on the practice of yoga.

Lastly, for me and many others yoga has always provided a way of removing oneself from the crazy, image-obsessed and competitive world in which we live. Your yoga mat is one place where you don’t feel judged by others, where you don’t judge yourself and where you can just be. Although there is no doubt that challenging poses are awe-inspiring, yoga goes so much deeper than winning a gold medal for that perfect pose.

The IYSF WORLD YOGA SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP is coming to London May 31st – June 1st. More information here: http://i.yogasportsfederation.org

Image by Richard Avedon for Vogue