Hip & Healthy’s Best Bikini Round Up!

It’s the final day of our 10 Day Bikini Body Challenge! We’ve loved being a part of your journey to a gorgeous bikibii bod but now… it’s time for some well deserved shopping! Feeling comfortable and confident in swimwear makes a beach escape even more enjoyable, so we’ve compiled our go-to swimwear brands that make us feel confident whether we’re surfing or sunbathing!

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Seafolly

Seafolly
A firm favourite amongst the H&H team, Seafolly is our go-to brand for comfort without being boring. Their signature bright-coloured floral patterns and bold prints will make the perfect addition to any bikini draw and they’re super durable… Salt water, detergent you name it!

Orlebarbrown

Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown
For classic shapes and bold colours, Orlebar Brown is our top choice. It mixes classic shapes with modern twists and it’s so easy to mix and match. The different shapes are designed to flatter all figures and we love the understated elegance.

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Heidi Klein

Heidi Klein
Heidi Klein bikinis are perfect for those romantic island escapes with their beautiful, delicate patterns and styles. Made with only the best luxury fabrics that are designed to shape and support your body, you’ll find that one just simply isn’t enough!

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Zimmermann Vivid Tie Bandeau Bikini Set

Salt Resort Wear
This luxury designer retailer brings the world of fashion into swimwear with brands like Zimmerman, Mathew Williamson and Vix. Featuring unique patterns and shapes, this company is all about making a statement on and off the beach!

Triangl 6

Triangle Swimwear

Triangle Swimwear
Triangle Swimwear is your ultimate, Aussie, surfer-girl brand! Modern, simplistic, practical and comfy, this brand is definitely one for you sporty chicks out there. We love the bright corals and minty greens against the bold black outline, it’s like modern-day art deco!

Head image: Seafolly

 

 

 


Honestly Healthy – White Chocolate Rose Cups!

Games will pause, conversations will halt and mouths will hang open when you bring a tray of these stunning treats into the room. What’s more, they freeze well, so make a big batch and keep a small stash in the freezer. Bring them out for an after-dinner treat anytime – the perfect ‘here’s one I made earlier’ dessert!

makes 24

For the filling:

75g (2¾oz) dates, pitted

40g (1½oz/¼ cup) raw pecans

1½ tbsp raw cacao powder

For the ‘white’ chocolate:

60g (2oz/scant ½ cup) raw cashew nuts

200g (7oz/scant 1 cup) raw cacao butter

1 vanilla pod (vanilla bean), split and scraped

1½ tbsp agave sugar

24 dried rose buds or petals (one per chocolate)

First, make the filling. Soak the dates for 30 minutes in warm water then drain. Blend in a food processor with the pecans (you want small chunks of nut) and cacao powder. Set aside in a bowl while you make the ‘white’ chocolate. To make the ‘white’ chocolate, soak the cashews for 30 minutes in water then drain. Melt the raw cacao butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in a bain marie, along with the seeds from the vanilla pod (vanilla bean) and then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Put the melted cacao, cashews and agave sugar in a high-speed blender and blitz until very smooth – you now have some ‘white’ chocolate. (You will need a high-speed blender otherwise the cashews might be too chunky. If you don’t have one, you could buy the same weight of white cashew butter and blend this with the cacao butter and agave sugar.)

In a silicone ice-cube tray or chocolate mould, pour enough of the chocolate mixture to cover the bottom of 24 moulds; don’t put too much in as you need to be able to fill them. Pop in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. Remove from the freezer and add about ⅛ tsp of the filling into the centre of the mould then pour more white chocolate on top, so that it goes around the filling and over the top. Then, push a rose bud into the top of each one and return to the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Pop them out of the moulds and enjoy watching your guests demolish them.

Recipe from the Honestly Healthy Cook Book, available to buy here 


If you only do one thing this week…Beat the Bloat!

Nobody likes feeling bloated…especially when thoughts of prancing around in a bikini come to mind! It can be quite a tricky subject as everyone reacts differently to foods, so what may work for your friend, might not work for you. Of course there are some classic culprits that, more often than not, make you feel bloated, like fizzy, sugary drinks, refined carbs like white bread or pasta and even salt. This week, Hip & Healthy want to share some of our tips to reduce bloating and to get your tummy feeling lean and lovely this summer!

Slow down at meal times
Are you a culprit of gulping down your food at the speed of lightening? Well it’s time to slow down and learn the art of enjoying food at a leisurely pace. Taking your time when eating allows your digestive system to not feel overwhelmed. It will also affect how full you feel as eating slowly allows your brain to accurately register when you are full.

Eat little and often
This tip kind of connects to the last one…usually when you shovel in your meals it’s because you’re starving! This can indicate that you are going to long without eating during the day. If your feeling bloated, try and eat little and often rather than 3 big meals a day. This keeps your digestive system functioning and moving and it will also keep your metabolism fired up.

Exercise
Exercise is really helpful when it comes to moving those “unwanted gasses” down and out! It’s great for stimulating muscles in the abdominal region and it can also help trapped air bubbles in your digestive system move along their merry way!

Water
Staying hydrated is super important for keeping a bloat-free belly. I know one tends to feel a bit jelly-belly after lots of water but research has shown that when we limited our water intake, it causes our body to hold on to excess water leaving us feeling puffy and bloated.

Peppermint Tea
H&H Editor, Sadie, swears by peppermint tea as a delicious cure for bloating. Peppermint has relaxant and antispasmodic properties, helping to calm and relax the digestive system. We love Teapigs Peppermint Tea!

Pineapple
It does feel a bit out of place to put this seemly acidic fruit in our list, but pineapple is actually a flat tummy friendly food! The pineapple has long been used to treat tummy troubles such as constipation and menstrual disorders as well as containing anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapple ceviche anyone?

Probiotics
Last but certainly not least, is probiotics. A healthy gut plays a huge role in preventing bloating so get some healthy bacteria in you! Usually after a bout of food poisoning or a stomach virus, the healthy bacteria in our stomachs are seriously depleted and our tummies can suffer a lot because of it. Introduce some probiotics in to your daily regime for a flatter, happier tummy. Editorial assistant, Molly, puts her flat tummy down to Symprove!

image: Beach Cafe 


LONDON’S HEALTHY LUNCHES

In an ideal world we would all love to whip up our own homemade, healthy lunch every day. Unfortunately, our time-poor modern lifestyles mean we often find ourselves lunch-less, on the run from a lunch-break workout or yoga session, rushing to a meeting and struggling to find something suitably, quick and healthy in the usual lunch haunts (why is there sugar in everything?). And it gets trickier if you suffer from food intolerances, allergies or follow a plant-based or raw diet. If you finally find something healthy which tastes ok, you tend to stick with it. But the same lunch everyday gets a little boring!

Hip and Healthy has come to your lunchtime rescue! We have found London’s best places to pick up a healthy lunch so you don’t have to spend your precious time checking food labels for sugar, gluten or dairy. All of our favourite lunch destinations have vegan, raw, dairy-free and gluten-free options and plenty of them! Even better, we have a place for each day of the week so you don’t have to stick to that same, safe salad every day.

Monday – LAB ORGANIC
If the weekend has been indulgent and your body needs a serious health boost, Covent Garden’s Lab Organic is perfect for a Monday reboot. One of the only completely vegan options in London, this place is serious about health without compromising on deliciousness. Although specialising in organic juices (The Alkaliser is particularly yummy), Lab Organic also sells a variety of fresh vegan salad pots such as the Super Quinoa Pot packed with super foods and no trace of stale, wet lettuce. And if you want to pick up a mid-afternoon snack while you are there, you can choose from homemade guacamole, raw kale chips, chia puds or their fresh nut “mylks” (the Sweet and Salty Cashew Mylk is amazing!). Everything is made on site, everything is organic and nothing has sugar, dairy or gluten – hooray! The only issue you will have here is restraining yourself from buying everything.

Tuesday – THE DETOX KITCHEN
Continue the healthy tone set by Monday’s super food lunch by picking up a box from the delicious Detox Kitchen. Now with two locations (Soho and Harvey Nichols), this food delivery company has brought their yummy produce to the high street. You can choose from their regular salads (think magical combo of greens, good fats and other super food yummies) or daily salad specials, or even combine a salad with one of their “mains” – we love the aubergine with tomato sauce, pomegranate, soya yogurt and mint. They also serve organic, fresh juices and smoothies as well as hot drinks with dairy-free milks!

Wednesday – CRUSH
Hump day is often when we start to feel a little tired and frazzled and resort to grabbing stodgy, sugar-infused lunches. For some healthy hump day inspiration head to Crush, a healthy-eating chain which has been slowly spreading all over London. Crush has most of their lunches boxed and ready to go as well as every item in the fridge being clearly labelled with its ingredients and whether or not it is suitable for special diets. We love the Super Greens Salad and the Crush “Health Pots”, in particular the Kale and Avocado Tabbouleh Health Pot. Crush also serves soups, vegetable-packed stews and curries (think thick aubergine ratatouille) served with brown rice and snack-attack packs such as carrot sticks with pistachio pesto.  All Crush stores also have the obligatory fresh juice bar selling Green Goddesses and other liquid goodness – perfect for rebooting on hump day!

Thursday – VITAL INGREDIENT
It is basically the weekend (yay!) and lunch today calls for a little creativity. As timings wouldn’t allow you to get creative in your own kitchen, head over to Vital Ingredient and put together your own salad in less than five minutes. To start, choose from a selection of bases (spinach, lettuce, quinoa, brown rice and “guests” such as raw carrot and cabbage) and then choose your five toppings from an array of fresh veges, nuts/seeds and proteins. You can also choose to keep your salad clean by asking for some lemon juice and olive oil instead of one of the creamier dressings (no lettuce drowned in mayo here!). If you aren’t feeling Thursday’s creativity, you can select one of their house salads or opt for a wholesome soup or stew.

Friday –
PLANET ORGANIC
If you are planning a Friday dinner party or need to stock up, at Planet Organic you can buy your lunch while getting those essentials for a healthy weekend! In addition to being a grocery store, Planet Organic has a plethora of takeaway salads and lunchboxes of goodness from well-known healthy kitchens such as Saf and Laura’s Ideas. Also in the fridges are Rawlicious’s raw sandwiches and burgers – the coconut BLT is actually pretty good and surprisingly filling. As well as the fridges full of organic lunch amazingness, you can fill a box with their  homemade “mix and match” dishes which include various salads and hot dishes such as lentil stew, all of which are clearly labelled for special diets. And if you need something extra to see you through Friday afternoon, there are bags of kale chips, mixed nuts, raw chocolate bars and other nutrient-infused nibbles on offer. Plus they also sell some tasty puddings (choccy/avocado mousses, chia pots and raw cheesecakes) if you fancy a Friday treat.

Thank you to all these wonderful places for providing London with healthier lunches and saving us from the same salad every day!

words by Kathleen Fleming

Image Raw Vegetable Salad from The Detox Kitchen


Body Beauty: Hip & Healthy’s Bikini Prep Tips!

I once remember having to explain to my newspaper editor (who had recently returned from a warzone) that the reason I was repeatedly late every morning during the summer months was due to the large number of beauty products I had to apply especially in the weeks leading up to a holiday.
Motherhood and many years later, my morning routine is a damn sight quicker and I’ve honed my pre-beach beauty ritual to a fine art which requires minimal products and time but delivers maximum results. It’s a bit like piano practise, little and often works best for that difficult moment on the first day of your holiday when you have to appear in public in what amounts to your bra and pants. So here is my guide to getting yourself beach ready without too much fuss.

Start now

Skin Smoothing
Start dry skin brushing before your shower. It literally takes about 30 seconds and you’ll notice smoother and firmer looking skin after a few days. I love the Organic Pharmacy Skin Brush, £7.96, which isn’t too scratchy. I keep mine next to the toothbrushes to remind myself to do it every morning.
If you tend not to bother during the winter, start applying a good body moisturiser NOW. Even the daily massage will help improve the texture and overall look of your skin. I love Avene Akerat Body Care Cream, £15, which is a genius product for smoothing the backs of the arms as it is formulated for keratosis prone skin. It also makes arms and legs look lovely and sheeny.
Exfoliating once a week will also do wonders for thighs and arms. To be perfectly honest, even those exfoliating gloves you can find in most chemists work brilliantly but for a real treat, try Ila’s Body Scrub for Energising and Detoxifying, £47. It’s a mineral-rich salty scrub which you massage over the body, (it smells fantastic) and then you soak it off in a warm bath enjoying the beautiful (and uplifting) fragrance.
It’s worth investing in a decent foot balm too as a quick massage before going to bed can keep heels from looking scary by the time August arrives. Origins Reinventing the Heel, £22, is terrific, and the consistency is perfect.

1 week before

Detoxing
Bikini models are told to bath in a couple of handfuls of Epsom salts every evening before being photographed. It won’t do anything if that’s all you’re doing, but if you are exercising regularly and watching what you eat, Epsom salts baths can help eliminate toxins and so contributes to the flat-tummy masterplan.

Waxing
Strip Wax Bars, just do really really great bikini waxes whatever your wax preference from £23. Brilliantly, they have televisions in the treatment rooms which I love as it means I don’t have to start fast-paced nonsense conversations as soon as the therapist starts stretching on the latex gloves and she can just focus on what she’s doing. stripwaxbars.com

Tanning
I could easily write a dissertation on why I think self-tan is so brilliant. I think we all know how much better (and thinner) we feel when we are a little bit ‘tanned’. For the body, my favourite is still St Tropez as it continually delivers excellent results with its now very easy to use formulations. I am evangelical about St Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturiser, £14.30, as it’s fool-proof and you can get dressed straight away after applying and it develops into a realistic, golden glow after a couple of hours.
For paler skins I have seen brilliant results from Vita Liberata pHenomenal. Try the
pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse, £37.50 which provides a superb long lasting colour.

Just before you go

Brows
If all has failed and your beach body prep hasn’t gone to plan, don’t forget how a perfectly arched brow (ideally with a tint) before your holiday will make you look much better in all the photos. A great brow frames the face, enhances the cheekbones and just makes you look prettier. I love Blink Brow Bar, (Prices from £17). And of course there’s always my favourite fall-back for any bikini photograph when there’s been pasta and prosecco at lunch which is to shout loudly at whoever is taking the photo to focus on the waist up and smile like Sophia Loren.

words by Lucia Ferrari

image: Beach Cafe


Sports Style in The City

Whats Hot: Pop colours, sports chic and wild workout wears… Hip & Healthy looks ahead to Summer’s unmissable style picks

photography by Ian Derry, Styling by Kellie Daggett and Hair & Make up by Jo Clayton (details below)

 

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 Snake Beach Leggings, £80, Track & Field @ Hip & Healthy; Prime Tank, £16, Adidas; Watch, £2.99, No Fear @ sportsdirect.com; Headphones, models own

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 Ondas Leggings in multi, £80, Track & Field @ Hip & Healthy; Solidate Blue Anatolia Multi Bra, Lole available soon @ Hip & Healthy; Elastika Training Tank, £28, Nike; Sunglasses, £5.99, H & M

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Studio Power Tights, £33 adidasGraphic Tank, £16.99, Nike @ sportsdirect.comZip Hoodie, £8, LA Gear @ sportsdirect.comEngineered Compression Bra, £35, Striders Edge; Bracelets, £3.99, H & M

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Wild Fitness leggings, £80, Track & Field @ Hip & Healthy; Pro Bra, £21.99, Nike; Hoodie, £19.99, Pulp @ sportsdirect.com; Hat, £16, TopshopFree Flyknit Trainers, £125, Nike

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 Shorts, Lexie, available in June @ Hip & Healthy; Black and lime zip crop top, Tully Lou, available June @ Hip & Healthy; Watch, £2.99, No Fear @ sportsdirect.comSunglasses, £5.99, H & M; Rucksack, £34, Topshop

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 Yellow vest, £50, Track & Field @ Hip & HealthySonic HDX Vizipro Jacket, £34.99, Saucony; Bracelet, £6.99, H & M

Stockists

Adidas  

Hip & Healthy 

H & M 

Nike

Saucony

Shoot By:

Photography Ian Derry

Styling Kellie Daggett

Hair & Make Up Jo Clayton
(hair and makeup by Jo Clayton using Elizabeth Arden makeup and Paul Mitchell hair products)

 


Tom Barber’s pick of the best Healthy (and totally hip) Holidays

First, a confession – I’m all for getting fit and healthy but gyms are a no-no; there needs to be a strong motivation involved, like aimlessly chasing a ball or learning a new skill. Below are four fab European adventures that almost accidentally achieve the desired effect and are a whole heap more interesting than half an hour on a treadmill.

IF YOU’RE A CLIMBER
The Via Ferrata – Italian for ‘iron road’ – is a protected climbing route in the Dolomites and in the Alps. A modern steel cable runs along the route and is periodically (every 3-10m) fixed to the rock to allow even the inexperienced climber tackle it’s trail. Vertigo sufferers should probably swerve this one, but the expert guides can tailor a route to your requirements, and no previous mountaineering experience is required. Icing on the cake is staying in charming rifugios or mountain huts each night where you can enjoy delicious Tyrolean grub.
Via Ferrata, the Dolomites, Italy

RAMBLER’S WILL LOVE
The island of Corsica is the perfect blend of France and Italy, including the food, but we’re not here to enjoy the cuisine, rather to walk all or part of the fabled GR20, the most famous of France’s beautifully maintained Grandes Randonnées or long distance walking trails. Corsica is a seriously mountainous island so choose your stretch of trail wisely, but there’s a reason this is considered by many the finest walking destination in Europe. Then rest those weary feet in a well-earned break at one of the fab coastal hotels.
Walking in Corsica, France

SURF DUDES LOOK NO FURTHER   
Think Algarve and you may imagine golf resorts galore, but there is another angle to this gloriously sunny part of southern Portugal – the perfect surf breaks of the Costa Vincentina. With ideal beach breaks, the surfing is perfect for beginners and pros alike, and this is – in our humble opinion, the absolutely best place to learn in Europe. (sorry for that, Polzeath). All this is a just a bit more than an hour from Faro Airport and there’s a great selection of hotels of all shapes, sizes and prices to choose from as well, and great surf instructors. Oh, and more hours of sunshine than pretty much anywhere in Europe.
Surf in Portugal

WATER BABES DIVE IN HERE
Diving might seem a somewhat sedate activity but apparently it’s a perfectly balanced fitness regime of cardio work out and strength conditioning that burns as many calories as jogging. Who knew? The best diving in close proximity to the UK is off the lovely island of Gozo, Malta’s secret little sister and a great place to stay whether diving or land-lubbing. There might not be Great Barrier Reef volumes of fish but the visibility is outstanding, there are amazing underwater structures to explore and the dive instructors are top notch. To top off the fitness routine we also recommend a sweaty boogie at cave club La Grotta in Xlendi.
Diving in Gozo

To book, visit m Original Travel’s website www.originaltravel.co.uk or ring 020 3582 4990. Tom Barber is one of the Founders of multi-award winning tour operator Original Travel. Prior to starting Original Travel he was a journalist for publications ranging from GQ to the Evening Standard. He is now also the Travel Editor for Esquire Magazine.

Image: Roxy Surf Wear – New Collection available at http://www.roxy-uk.co.uk

 


Fitspiration – Lucy Watson!

When we need a little fitspo to get our butts to the gym, we turn to this gorgeous MIC star, Lucy Watson! We quiz her on workouts, favourite breakfasts and beauty tips! Enjoy!

Do you find it hard to fit exercise into your busy schedule?
Yes, I do have a trainer but it’s difficult to find a routine. I could never go to the gym at the same time every day, and often I’m so exhausted after filming or being in the office (with my jewellery range Creature) that it’s really hard to get the energy to actually work out. I make sure that I eat properly so I don’t ever have a sugar low.

What’s your favourite way to workout at the moment?
I love doing a varied routine. I often work out (weather permitting) outside. I’ve been doing workouts early in the morning in Richmond Park for the last few months, as I think the gym can get quite dull.  I’d rather work out by having fun than just running on a treadmill for an hour!

What’s your go to breakfast on workout days?
I love eggs, so I’ll often have sour dough bread with a scrambled egg and then possibly salmon or spinach for protein. I love fruit, so I may have a banana too.

Do you have a workout buddy or do you prefer to sweat it out alone?
I do have a buddy. I have been working out with Stephanie Pratt (who is also on the show). When we started she was much fitter than me so it made me push myself. If there are two of you suffering it makes it easier!

What motivates you to stay fit and healthy?
There is pressure being on television, but before I started working with Made in Chelsea I was conscious of my fitness and health. I think I am just so much more productive when I am being healthy. I have a clearer mind and I have more stamina to tackle the day. I think keeping fit gets harder as we get older so I think it’s important to maintain a level of fitness from a younger age.

What are the three foods you couldn’t live without?
I love mac and cheese. I also really like sushi and broccoli.

Describe your perfect holiday…
I love a safari. I was fortunate enough to go to South Africa with the show, and it blew my mind. I love being outside, in the sun, but throwing in a bunch of animals was just the dream!

What are your travel essentials you never leave home without?
I always have my Sony phone, and charger. I take a small make up bag with Witch Hazel make up wipes too. I often have an eye mask so I can make sure it’s pitch black if I am trying to sleep on a plane or in a car.

Do you have any beauty tips?
I think that less is more. I also think that if you have found a look, then you should stick with that. I do try and mix it up if I’m going to an event or it’s a specific photoshoot, but generally speaking, I know what works for me, and what I feel I look good in, so I like to stick to that.

What makes you feel confident?
I think it’s the small things. Having a manicure, spending time with friends that make me laugh, walking my dog Digby. I’m not a high maintenance person, and I’m really loyal. I get a lot of joy from just spending time with like minded people.

Do you have a favourite mantra or quote?
If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.

Do you have any weaknesses?
I speak my mind, and it can get me into trouble. I have discovered there is such a thing as being too honest! I think it’s important to speak your mind, but sometimes people don’t want to hear it.

You’ve had a stressful day, how do you relax in the evenings?
I’ll usually have a bath, cook some food and catch up on a series or a film that I’ve been excited to see. I like going to the cinema too.

Pick one item from our online activewear store that you would like to workout in!
The Anita Leggings from Lexie Sport! (See below!).

lexie sport anita

Lucy’s new book “The Dating Game” is available to buy here. 

 


Matcha Green Tea Chia Pudding!

Ingredients

2 cups of hemp or almond milk

2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs matcha powder

6 tsp chia seeds

1 cup of blueberries

1 cup of raspberries

Instructions

  1. Blend the milk, sweetener, vanilla, and matcha together in a blender till smooth.
  2. Pour the liquid over the chia seeds. Stir thoroughly. Stir again every few minutes for the next fifteen minutes. Then allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour (or overnight, in the fridge).
  3. Stir the mixture once more, and serve with fresh berries. Makes 2 servings.

Recipe by Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw


Is it Time to Eat Alkaline?

When presented with a pH scale I am reminded of a Chemistry lesson at school, where I dipped a piece of paper into liquid and watched it turn blue. Little did I know, this experiment demonstrates exactly what happens in our body every time we digest our food.

After being digested, almost all of the food we eat releases an acid or an alkaline base into the bloodstream. Our blood is slightly alkaline and is balanced around 7.35 to 7.45 on the pH scale. When there is higher levels of acidity in the body our kidneys are forced to work overtime to protect it from failing and to try to restore its alkaline balance. In order to do this, minerals within our body such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iodine are used. An acid diet essentially forces us to use up vital alkaline resources, depleting the body of these important minerals. Without these essential minerals our body has to fight much harder to protect itself from illness.

Our hunter gatherer ancestors lived on a plant based diet and minimally processed animal product. As refined grains, non-organic dairy, processed meat and refined sugar have become not only present but mass consumed, the Western diet has become acidic and we have become more prone to illness. In a national health and nutrition examination survey it has been discovered that too much animal protein can aid the development of cancer and sugar is known as the white poison.

An example of the modern Western diet would be the consumption of diet drinks. Diet drinks are marketed as ‘healthy’ with ‘zero calories’ but actually contain a nasty ingredient called phosphoric acid, this is close to battery acid on the pH scale. In defence, the body uses iodine, one of its alkaline mineral sources. Iodine helps support the thyroid, which in turn helps metabolise the body and maintains a healthy weight. In the U.S the average person consumes over forty-six gallons of soft drinks per year, and it has lead to record highs of diabetes, obesity and cancer.

So how can the alkaline diet help? The acid/alkaline level is monitored from 1.0 to 9, with 1.0 being the most acid and 9.0 the most alkaline. In foods, the closest to zero would be artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, also coffee and processed meats, whereas the closest to 14 would be fruits and vegetables such as raw spinach, broccoli, beetroot, dates and lemons. A mainly vegetarian diet with good fats from nuts and avocados, protein from legumes, whole grains such as buckwheat, oats or brown rice, will increase energy levels, improve digestion. This change in diet and attitude to food will help maintain a healthy weight and most importantly a healthy mind.

Organic chef Natasha Corrett is the founder of Honestly Healthy, which promotes the alkaline diet. She has just released her third cookbook full of delicious alkaline recipes and speaks to us about how living the alkaline way can lead to an ultimately healthier and happier lifestyle.

Natasha Corrett, Author of Honestly Healthy

How did you discover the alkaline diet? 
I had a busy work schedule and damaged my back really badly. My mum advised I go and see a specialist called Dr Joshi who told me that my body was very acidic and that this was contributing to other issues that I had as well as my back pain. I started on a two week alkaline plan and never looked back as the results were so amazing!

How do you feel it benefits over other popular diets at the moment like the Paleo diet?
At the core of the alkaline way is ultimately really good nutritious food and a balanced diet. We need to incorporate all of the food groups into our diet, each of which are covered in the alkaline way. Any diet that promotes any one ingredient in excess is not great in my eyes as it tips the balance out, while grains are so important to include as they provide vital energy, fibre and protein.

What are your staple foods? 
I eat a lot of nuts, seeds and sprouts as they are rich in magnesium, omega 3 and essential fatty acids. We should all be eating nuts, seeds and sprouts every day. I love tahini dressing as it can transform any salad and a day never goes by when I don’t eat spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens.

Other than eating the right foods what other things can help us lead an alkaline lifestyle? 
Sleep and exercise are paramount in maintaining a healthy alkaline lifestyle. Lack of either of these activities are very acidic forming. It is really important to get this balance right and look after yourself over and above food as well.

For people who lead a busy lifestyle do you have any advice in maintaining an alkaline lifestyle and diet? 
Prepare ahead! If I know I have a busy start, I’ll prepare my smoothie ingredients in the blender the night before so that all I have to do early in the morning is give them a quick whizz and be out the door. I always pack healthy snacks for the office too, such as a handful of nuts, for when I notice my blood sugar levels dipping.

You talk about a 70:30 balance. What are the foods to completely avoid and are there a few that are ok in moderation?
The Honestly Healthy alkaline way is a lifestyle rather than a diet and we know you need to have a treat and let your hair down every now and again. Where possible always try to avoid refined sugar, it’s honestly easy to find alternatives – try our Almond Berry Cake recipe for example. If you are going to eat meat, try and do this as part of your 30% and always choose organic and grass fed. Any processed foods should be completely avoided. Cow’s dairy, alcohol, caffeine and gluten are others to have in moderation.

What is your favourite recipe from your new cookbook?
I’ve got a really sweet tooth so I love the Melt-In-The-Mouth Doughnuts. One dish I also always come back to is the Chestnut Tart which is lovely with a fresh salad.

Words by Helen Carr


Food For Thought At This Pioneering Hotel Group

When I was at university, it always baffled me as to why we would be fed snacks such as biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks to keep us going through long lectures and revision seminars. Even though I wasn’t quite as passionate about healthy living then, I knew that these foods were making us all crash far quicker than much more wholesome snacks would. Often, we’d all benefit from a burst of energy straight after we’d munched on these high-sugar ‘treats’ only to pay for it later, about 20 minutes later when we’d all be yawning, texting, even sleeping… yes… sleeping!

So it makes total sense that Holiday Inn took a look at what they were handing out during their conferences in order to help people stay engaged for longer periods of time. After lengthy discussions and consulting nutritionists, the Food For Thought menu was born. For which, Holiday Inn has now been recognised for and awarded an accreditation  by Food for the Brain (industry experts in food and cognitive behaviour).

To make sure they were making the right move before they switched up their menus they conducted a study on students attending an all-day seminar. They fed half of the students the new Food For Thought menu and the other half the normal conference food they have been use to dishing out and monitored the students cognitive behaviour. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the study ruled in favour of the Food For Thought menu – which saw students much more engaged and focused and bursting with energy.

The Food For Thought Menu comprises of…

  • Freshly Prepared Dishes – Using quality ingredients prepared in our kitchen by our chefs
  • Nutritionally Balanced – Supporting work performance and aiding energy levels and concentration
  • Responsibly Sourced – Ingredients from British producers or sustainable sources
  • Clear Food Labelling – We’ve made it easy for our guests
  • We Know Our Food – Coeliac, Vegetarian or Dairy free? Our staff know their stuff and are here to help you make the right choices
  • Menu Balance – Plenty of choices throughout the day to suit everyone

 

The invigorating ‘Food for Thought’ menus have now launched across all 57 IHG Holiday Inn Company Managed Hotels in the UK.

For more information visit: http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Business/Food-For-Thought-Holiday-Inn-benefits-from-healthier-conference-menu

Hip & Healthy Promotion