Roasted tomato and red pepper soup

by Ella Woodward

This is without a doubt one of my absolute favourite soup recipes. It is just so amazingly rich, warming and delicious. I love the bright red colour too. All of the ingredients are naturally wonderful, however, it is the roasting process that takes them to the next level as it really intensifies the original flavours. Even better, cooking the tomatoes and peppers in this way means that they fully absorb all the delicious aromas and tastes of the basil, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme. You really can taste the wonderfully subtle hints of each herb in every mouthful, which creates such a perfectly unique flavour. Trust me this makes a fantastic starter, all of your guests will love it. It’s really simple too, which means you can focus on the main course and dessert, preparing them as the vegetables roast. Totally perfect.

Serves 6


16 plum tomatoes

4 red peppers

A large handful of fresh basil leaves

A handful of fresh rosemary

5-7 bay leaves

Dried thyme

1/2 of a cup of water

4 dessert spoons of apple cider vinegar (use lime if you don’t have this)

3 dessert spoons of tomato puree

Olive oil



Slice the red peppers into eighths, removing the centre. Then chop the tomatoes into four or five slices. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan or baking tray in olive oil and place the tomatoes, peppers with the basil leaves, fresh rosemary, dried thyme, bay leaves, salt and a drizzle more olive oil on top. Roast at 200C for 30 minutes.

Once they vegetables have finished roasting put them into a liquidizer with the apple cider vinegar, tomato puree, salt & pepper, be careful not to add the bay leaves or rosemary sticks though. As the soup blends, slowly add in the water until you reach your desired consistency. Once you have reached this pour the soup straight into bowls and serve.

Click here to view Ella’s food blog, Deliciously Ella.

A Boot Camp We Know You’ll Love: Cameron House


words by Harriet Chubb

As the self-confessed Boot Camp lover on the Hip and Healthy team, and after trialling many daily, weekly and monthly camps in London, I practically squat jumped at the chance to experience my first residential camp. This was no ordinary residential camp however, the brand new Boot Camp by SOS Fitness at Cameron House teams a luxury 5* resort with the best (currently serving) military and navy Physical Training Instructors to get both body and mind into shape – fast. Combining this military style fitness with the finest Scottish hospitality, including indulgent Spa treatments, they have created the ultimate pleasure & pain package, all set against the awe-inspiring back drop of the impressive Loch Lomond.

After a short flight into Glasgow airport, I was surprised at how quick the transfer was to the hotel, 25 minutes after weaving through various Glasgow suburbs we arrived at the resort, into a tranquil haven of nature, the sudden appearance of the baronial mansion of Cameron House looming over the brooding Loch was more than a pleasant surprise considering the short ride. You can almost hear your shoulders clunking into their natural position; the stresses and strains of London and travelling instantly forgotten. The hotel itself has subtly managed to capture the traditional essence of Scotland whilst remaining contemporary in style; an exposed modern ceiling in the Cameron Grill restaurant for instance contrasts perfectly with the traditional furniture and artwork, creating up-to-the-minute grill-style dining. The sumptuous bedrooms have a similar fusion, with thick, tartan rugs to wrap around you on chilly evenings while watching your plasma screen TV or listening to music on your ipod docking station; it was easy to forget that early next morning heralded the potentially painful aspect of my stay.

7am dawns and a pre-breakfast run around the loch starts the SOS Fitness regime for the day. Thinking that I could bury my headphones into my ears and shut out the early morning world to get through it, I was very much mistaken. It was not a straight-forward jog but a military style hour-long class blending running with exercising and finally bursts of sprinting creating an interval training based lesson. Although I was slightly taken back at first by the intensity of the session, it was an excellent way to wake up both body and mind, the two instructors were so engaging that by the end of the session they knew everybody’s names and even more remarkably, so did I. It was a perfect ice-breaker and far better than a simple trot around the loch.

After a healthy and nutritious breakfast, think protein packed poached eggs, (no bacon butties in sight) the day began in full force. Kicked off by a light-hearted but informative NLP session (Neuro Linguistic Programming) that aimed to inspire confidence in our training, we were then guided through an overall fitness test, measuring body fat percentage, visceral fat (fat around your organs), athletic age and hydration levels to name but a few! Although this is of course intimidating, it’s a necessary part of beginning and measuring a healthy exercise and eating plan. After completing as much of the bleep test as I could and consequently feeling like I was in Year 10, I had an excellent idea of my overall health and my realistic, achievable fitness goals. What I was not quite prepared for was the circuit training that followed. A gruelling, intense and painful hour ensued, with at least 10 different stations to go through, not once, but twice; including weights, core exercises and various military drills. It was difficult and it was supposed to be. However, the instructors were so good at motivating the group that we all got through it in one piece, notwithstanding the odd profanity murmured and occasional tear shed.

Lunch was as Hip and Healthy as it gets, steamed chicken and vegetables or baked organic salmon fuelled us for the afternoon activities. With great collective relief we realised that there were no more circuits or fitness classes arranged for the day. We were instead whisked off across Loch Lomond on an exhilarating rib ride to Inchmurrin island, small but ruggedly beautiful it was the perfect setting for our military style orienteering. From building a camp fire in two minutes flat to trekking through the undergrowth (and sometimes straight through the ice cold loch!) it was all expertly and lovingly organised and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. It is this part of the camp that sets SOS Fitness apart from other companies. I couldn’t quite believe that the people I had met at 7am in the morning had previously been strangers; the experience bought everybody together in a way I haven’t come across before at other day boot camps.

It was the promise of an evening spa treatment however, that was at times the incentive I needed to keeping putting one foot in front of the other during the day and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. After a relaxing massage and thermal experience at the award-winning Carrick Spa I felt entirely rejuvenated from the day’s strenuous activities. Taking a dip in the heated, rooftop infinity pool was a particular highlight, with breathtaking views over the world famous Carrick golf course. Continuing the pleasure theme is easy at Cameron House, with many restaurants to choose from in the resort, however after the rigorous boot camp I would highly recommend The Boathouse, casual dining at its best, featuring the finest local seafood from Scotland’s only salt water loch at the famous Loch Fyne. If you decide to prolong your stay (and we think you will want to) there are many other invigorating activities that the hotel offer, including a real once-in-a-lifetime experience; cruising in the UK’s only sea plane high above the loch, perfect for special occasions, and sometimes the odd romantic proposal!

The Boot Camp at Cameron House by SOS Fitness will run day camps on the 13th October and the 10th November 2012 at £149 per person which includes the full programme with healthy breakfast and lunch. Room rates at Cameron House are £169 per room per night. Look out for the 3 night and 6 night packages that are due to launch in 2013!

If you do one thing this week… Beat the Bloat

No one likes feeling uncomfortable and there is nothing more annoying than a bloated tummy. What you are often feeling is air passing through your intestines. There are many reasons as to why bloating can occur; food intolerances; stress; illness… to name a few, but there are also a few simple things, and foods, that you can introduce to combat bloating, here are our top five.

1. Eat little and often
Leaving too much time between meals causes the body to produce higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which has been proven to slow down the digestive system and therefore cause bloating. By eating little and often you can help to regulate your blood sugar levels, which in turn will stop cortisol in its tracks.

2. Relax and eat bananas
Take a hot bath, read a book, watch your favourite TV show or have reflexology… Whatever it takes to relax you, try it – you may just find that your bloating is caused by external stress such as work or worries. Also, try adding more bananas into your diet – they are high in tryptophan and packed with vitamin B6 which help to manufacture the happy hormone, serotonin (which will combat the cortisol also brought on by stress).

3. Peppermint tea
Drinking a cup of peppermint tea is a great natural way to beat the bloat. As you may know, peppermint tea contains an oil called menthol, which has a very positive effect on bloating as it calms spasms in the smooth muscle tissue. This allows for the muscles around your stomach to calm and then helps you to release any gas that has built up and been causing you all that discomfort.

4. Cut out alcohol
We know you don’t want to hear it but alcohol can exasperate bloating. Beer, cider and fizzy mixers are the worst culprits. Alcohol can also create bloating because it eats away at the stomach lining, which then makes the stomach more vulnerable to digestive juices making it harder to digest food.

5. Eat more fibre
Fibre is what you need to help push all the food you have eaten through your system. A high-fibre diet includes bran based cereal, oats, strawberries and blueberries as well as lots of lovely leafy greens and vegetables. If you are getting enough of all of these then you should remain pretty regular and therefore maintain a healthy digestive system.

The Hip & Healthy guide to Rio de Janeiro

words by Belinda Mann


Rio de Janeiro is one of the sexiest cities in the world, and as the next host to the Olympic games, the perfect backdrop for those with hip and healthy agendas. Whether you’re into running, cycling, swimming, football, volleyball, rock climbing or surfing this city has it all on offer! It’s such a way of life here every Sunday the main street along the beaches is closed to cars to make way for crowds of locals to strut their stuff.  But despite the body bearing beach lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro satisfying my health kick here has taken a little more investigative work than I originally thought. Many menus are meat heavy without a vegetable in sight. Fried foods are common place, pão de queijo (cheese and bread) is a snack bar staple and sugar is added to absolutely everything. But fear not of course this city has some healthy hangouts! However they tend to be frequented more by chic Cariocas (locals) in the know. To help you break away from the tourist crowd and slink your way into a healthy habit, we’ve singled out some of the best options. These won’t break your holiday budget either leaving your body and your wallet ready for bikini shopping – Brazilian style!

Rio is a sprawling metropolis but most visitors are drawn to the famous beaches in the south of the city (Zona Sul) Copacabana, Ipanema & Leblon.

Bio Carioca, Copacabana  
With a mind body spirit mentality when it comes to food they have vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Pineapple and limao juice is a nice choice pre meal to aid digestion just ask for it without sugar. I love the assado de lentilhas (lentil nut roast) and the range of salads is good. Some of the non-vegan items can be a bit heavy on the cheese though. Sit down service with friendly waiters. A block back from Copcobana beach (between Post 4 & 5).

Delirio Tropical, Ipanema 
Delirio Tropical in Ipanema has a great range of salads and vegetarian options. Just watch out for those with heavy dressings. There is a queue system by where you take a tray and move along a glass counter – great if your Portuguese isn’t up to scratch as you can point at what you want and you know exactly what you are getting when you order. I love the little bottles of house mate (the local ice tea). Located a block off the beach between posts 9 & 10.

Post 11, Leblon
At the most upmarket end of Rio, Post 11 in Leblon is THE spot to be seen! Full of young, fashionable, beautiful cariocas. Nothing beats the simple unadulterated pleasure of a coconut on the beach here. After drinking the coconut water ask “você poderia cortar” for them to machete open the coconut so you can scoop out the nourishing flesh. To satisfy a bigger appetite walk a few blocks off the beach to Vegetariano Social Clube. They do a great buffet lunch of fresh salads and hot food for a fixed price.

Universo Organico, Leblon
If you are into raw food then Universo Organico is a must. A stones throw from Vegetariono Social Clube this little gem of a place tucked in the back of a Leblon shopping centre –  it’s worth taking the effort to find. Raw food lasagne is great and they make smoothies using nut milk – something you’ll be very hard pressed to find anywhere else in Rio.

The most important tip I can give you to stay healthy in Rio is to learn the phrase “sem açúcar por favor” as the locals have very sweet teeth indeed, and add sugar to absolutely everything – including naturally sweet fruit juices.

Bom apetite!

Roasted salmon with a soy, lime, chilli and ginger marinade


by Food Blogger, Ella Woodward

The idea of Deliciously Ella, my food blog, developed last year after I was diagnosed with a relatively unknown autoimmune disease, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTs). At that point I faced some pretty interesting challenges. My entire nervous system had shut down, to the point that I was unable to walk between my bedroom and the kitchen without blacking out. As you can imagine this was a little frustrating, so I decided to try a natural approach to healing. To learn to love and nurture my body through food, which has been  amazingly successful. The more I understand the more I want to share, to show how unbelievably creative, exciting and delicious nutritious food could be. Food really has a remarkable affect on our bodies, both physically and mentally. Harnessing this power in a positive way is incredible. It is a tool for absolute health and happiness! I want to inspire people to love healthy eating, to seeing it as a wonderful way of life, not as an imposition. All my recipes are gluten, dairy, sugar & meat free and use the purest, most natural foods to create the most delicious meals. These are my favourite dinner party dishes.

Roasted salmon with a soy, lime, chilli and ginger marinade

This is one of my go-to dinner party recipes. It always looks and tastes incredibly impressive, yet it is surprisingly easy to make, and even better it remains pretty uncomplicated no matter how many people you’re cooking for. The flavours are wonderfully intense, as the salmon fully soaks in the marinade to give it fantastic hints of tangy lime, rich and salty soy, spicy chilli and soothing ginger. Pre-marinating the fish and baking it with so much liquid also ensures that it remains beautifully soft and moist. I love to serve this dish with slow cooked cinnamon infused sweet potato wedges. Their sweet taste and tender texture really compliments the salmon. I’d normally add a green of choice too, often green beans as they add a fantastic little vitamin-infused crunch, but since their flavour isn’t too strong they don’t detract from the unbelievable flavours of the salmon and potatoes.

Serves 6 

6 salmon fillets

1 cup of soy sauce (check it is gluten free)

1 large knob of ginger

3 large jalapeño peppers

6 limes

On the side

6 sweet potatoes



6 handfuls of green beans

First make the sweet potato wedges. Slice them into chunky wedge shapes, then place them on a baking tray with a really generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle salt, cinnamon and paprika over them before putting them in to bake at about 180C. They should take about an hour to become wonderfully soft and tender, the longer they cook the better.

For the salmon to fully soak up all of the delicious marinade it should be prepared about an hour before you want to cook.

Pour the soy sauce and squeezed limes into a small bowl. Peel and grate the ginger, then de-seed the peppers and slice them into tiny cubes. Add these both to the soy bowl and stir well.

Place the salmon into a deep baking tray and pour the marinade all over. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.

Once you’re nearly ready for dinner, place the salmon into a 200C oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.

While the salmon cooks steam the beans.


Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October make sure you do your bit to support breast cancer care with one of these Hip and Healthy suggestions. 

Wear It
Show your support with a Fashion Targets Breast Cancer specially designed limited edition 24 ct Gold Chakra bracelet by Daisy. Not that healthy, maybe, but totally hip! £88

Spa It
Elemis have released a Think Pink Beauty Kit to show it’s support for Breast Cancer Care (they have just donated £10k to the charity). Containing a pink version of the iconic Pro Collagen Marine Cream, the Pro Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust cream and Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir, the beauty kit plus a bath = the best way to unwind after a busy day. £32.50

Burn It
Get fit and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Where do I sign up, I hear you say! On 30th September from 1-4pm you could join hundreds of men and women on a fun and challenging dance work-out in London’s Hyde Park. But there is a requirement – if you are not wearing pink then you’re not getting in. The three hour dance-athon includes a bit of Zumba and some dance-floor classics that will get your heart pumping. £17

Love It
Uggs may not be the height of fashion anymore (there was a day when you could wear them to an interview and they would give you a gold star) but they’re still lovely and cosy and worth every penny when the winter sets in. These special edition Classic Short Uggs in pink are all you need when, baby, it’s cold outside… £165

Swim It
Beach chic and breast cancer research supportive, Australian swimwear brand, Seafolly, has joined forces with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer just like Daisy (see above). For a limited time they are donating 25% of sale prices to the established charity. We don’t need any more excuses to buy one of their stylish suits. No siree.

Did you know?

  • Its rare, but breast cancer also affects men – around 300 are diagnosed each year.
  • Less than 10% of breast cancer runs in families.
  • Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer with women under the age of 35.

Healthy Do’s and Don’ts for the week ahead…

Do get up an hour earlier to fit in a bit of exercise. As the evenings get darker it becomes so much harder to motivate yourself to be active after work and you may even find you become more tired earlier as the autumn truly sets in. By getting up an hour earlier you can head out on your run or make a quick trip to the gym and feel like you have already achieved before you’ve even had your breakfast, which in turn makes for a more productive day in most cases. According to a new study carried out at the University of Toronto, researchers concluded that early rises were generally healthier and happier compared to night owls.

Do sign up for a race or sporting event. Not only is the day itself fun and give you a great sense of achievement but having a goal in sight is a great motivator to train and keep your fitness levels up. If you are trying to lose weight than this has also shown as one of the most effective ways. If it’s running you are into check out  for a calendar of events. Or for triathlons and other events that take place amongst nature visit

Don’t give into peer pressure. So often we set ourselves goals of not drinking, not smoking, not you fill in the blank and then we blow it all by feeling a sense of pressure from our friends or colleagues who try and lead us into temptation. When this happens try and remember two things; one – more often than not if you are trying to be virtuous and you have someone trying to sabotage its because they don’t want to feel like they’re the bad one – just try and be strong and then move the conversation on and you’ll soon see they they forget all about what your doing. Two – remember that one day it is more than likely that they too will be trying to reach a goal of their own so try not to give in just because they want someone to have a fag with (for example). Always keep the bigger goal in mind.

Do make a visionary board. So many successful people have done it. A visionary board is a board on which you stick words, photographs, magazine tear outs – anything that you want in your life or that you would like to achieve. One entrepreneur who made a visionary board looked at it everyday and told himself that it was not only achievable but that he had it already. He later boxed up the board when he moved house. It was until five years later when he moved house again that he opened the box to find the board and on it he noticed a tear out from a property magazine – it was a picture of the house he had just bought.

Do eat organic. There has recently been a lot of negative press about organic food due to a recent study that was carried out in the US that concluded that organic food does not contain more nutrients than non-organic food. But what the study doesn’t take into account is the build up of toxins we consume over time when we eat foods that are sprayed with pesticides, the increased hormones we ingest when we drink milk from cows or eat meat from chicken that have been pumped with hormones to make them develop earlier and in the cow’s case, produce more milk. And as well as this – the study also says nothing of the soil, which becomes contaminated from all the non-organic farming which leaks into our water. Don’t panic, just eat organic.

Could Eating Right For Your Blood Type Make You Feel Amazing?

by Belinda Mann


There are a lot of ‘diet plans’ out there, some better than others. The Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D’Adamo has been around for some time and actually has some interesting science to back it up. It’s not a diet per se, but a system to guide you on the foods to eat that suit you best. Like most eating plans this system won’t suit everyone all of the time, but 3/4 people who followed the diet reported a significant improvement in their overall health (the main effect for most people being weight loss).

How it works?
The blood type diet works on our individual biochemistry. This system believes that our blood types make us susceptible to different diseases and provides a plan for each group on how to best eat and exercise. Some people even believe that our personality is influenced by our blood type!

As humans evolved so did blood types. When we moved from a hunter gather society to a more settled agricultural lifestyle dietary changes were occurring and blood types evolved to handle this. As well as dietary changes the blood type diet offers different techniques for stress relief according to the predominant lifestyle when each blood type evolved.

Our blood type is also a part of our immune system so the plan looks at foods and food groups for each type that are less likely to elicit an immune response.  Immune responses such as inflammation can actually be the root cause of many health conditions from acne to cardiovascular disease.

Which type are you?

Type O
Diet: This is the oldest blood type and suited the hunter gather lifestyle. Type O people thrive on animal protein (40% of their calorie intake) as they typically have the enzymes and acids to break it down. They also do well of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of healthy fats. This blood type usually doesn’t tolerate dairy and wheat as these are more modern foods. It’s thought gluten grains are the leading cause of weight gain for this blood type.

Stress management: High energy workouts such as resistance training and cardiovascular training.

Type A
Diet: This type is almost the opposite of Group O as they typically lack many of the enzymes to break down animal protein. They are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet of grains and fruit and vegetables. Their diet should be made of up 20% protein which should come from nuts seeds and legumes.

Stress management: Exercises that modulate the stress hormone cortisol are best such as yoga and tai chi.

Type AB (the newest blood type <5% population)
Diet: As this type is a combination of two blood types it is more difficult to classify and explain succinctly as there may be many individual variations on what is tolerated. Type AB can do well with plant and animal protein generally, but they may have idiosyncratic reactions to individual items. Seafood, cultured dairy (yogurt & kefir), and green vegetables are thought to suit this group well, especially if wanting to loose weight. This group should avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially when in stressful situations!

Stress management: Sunshine, fresh air and relaxation important to support immune system

Type B
Diet: This is an uncommon blood group – a representative of a true omnivore.

Stress management: In this blood type the immune system supported by mind body connection, so deep breathing, meditation and visualisation are all helpful.

Some people I see fit their blood type perfectly, while others don’t. But still it can be an interesting guide in working out what foods suit you. To find out more you can contact me through my site Or you can go direct to Dr D’Adamo’s book – Eat Right for Your Type.

Fans of the blood type diet: Miranda Kerr and Lily Aldridge:

What it Feels Like to Escape the Rat Race


Kathleen Flemming tells Hip and Healthy what happened when she made the decision to leave her high-powered (read high stress) job in the city for a life of yoga and healthy eating in Central America…

Two and a half months ago I was a corporate lawyer in London. I was bored, tired and stressed. Every morning before work, I would force myself out of bed to fit in an early morning swim. Exercising has always been my way of relaxing but I was exhausting myself trying to fit it into my busy lifestyle. My diary was always full and I was rushing from one thing to the next. My work was boring and stressful and I felt frustrated doing something I didn’t enjoy at all. I would be exhausted on a regular basis and that took its toll on my health. I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome at times and when I was really stressed and tired my skin would break out in spots. My weight fluctuated a lot because sometimes I wouldn’t have any time to take care of myself. You get the picture.

Three years ago I decided to qualify as a personal trainer. Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine and I loved the course. I felt inspired by the people I met and I loved taking personal training clients on the weekend. I started writing my own blog on health and wellbeing as well as contributing to several magazines. I was so happy to be involved in an industry I loved and I constantly felt inspired by those around me. However, I felt too nervous to leave my safe law job behind. So, I continued practicing as a lawyer, doing too much and failing to escape the feeling that I was a hamster on a corporate wheel.

Everything changed in March of this year when my boyfriend and I decided to respond to a job advert we saw online. He has always been a keen sportsman and he was equally frustrated with his corporate job. The job advertisement was posted by an eco-lodge on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua and they were looking for a couple to help manage the lodge as well as teach yoga and surfing. So one night after work we sent off our application. The owners responded several weeks later after we had convinced ourselves that we hadn’t got the job. We had several more sleepless weeks and two Skype interviews with the owners of the lodge. At the end of April, we found out we had got the job. The next day I resigned from my job and I felt a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

A few months later, I am writing this piece from the bar of the Buena Vista Surf Club in Nicaragua ( I feel like a different person. We sleep well, we eat well and we feel amazingly happy and healthy. Several mornings a week I teach yoga on the deck which looks out to the Pacific Ocean whilst my boyfriend teaches surfing. I have learnt to cook delicious meals from scratch with locally sourced ingredients as there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and so our diet is super healthy.

Apart from the delicious food and active lifestyle, the lodge is a friendly and social place. We have made some lovely friends and had so many laughs with our guests. The more time we spend here, the more I realise how our physical health and emotional wellbeing are linked to each other. Many of our guests come from hectic lives in big cities and after a few days here you can see their bodies and minds relax.They leave happier and healthier.

Our lifestyle at Nicaragua is awesome. It remains unspoilt and undeveloped. Our local town San Juan del Sur has plenty of quirky coffee shops, juice bars and seafood restaurants and for now, there are no fast food chains or big stores. The beaches outside of Christmas and Easter are quiet and the waves are awesome for beginners and experienced surfers. We do yoga most mornings or at sunset or you can choose to hike up volcanos, sandboard down volcanos, swim in crater lakes, ride horses, abseil, canyon, visit coffee plantations, go fishing or relax.

At times I do miss London. I miss my friends and my family but I have never felt as happy and healthy as I do here. I have no regrets about leaving the law behind and I am so glad we took the risk to try something different.

For more information about travel in Nicaragua visit For opportunities to escape the city visit

Hip and Healthy’s Top DIY London Lunches

When you are on the go it’s not always easy to make the healthy choice, however at these four healthy food havens you cannot go too far wrong. By mixing and matching your favourite healthy ingredients it’s like being at home but with way more choice and none of the hassle. We asked each one to recommend their most nutritious lunch going…


The ‘Low GI’ Salad
308 calories. Low in sugar and salt.
What’s in it: Chicken breast, Pure super-bean mix, avocado, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, radish, sweet peppers and Omega seeds on mixed leaves. Served with a fat-free Pomegranate and white balsamic dressing. The chicken and beans are a great source of low-fat protein, which will keep you fuller for longer. Avocado and omega seeds are full of good fats that provide essential oils for healthy skin, hair and nails. As well as this, the broccoli, radish and sweet peppers provide a great and colourful range of many other all-important vitamins. ‘Usain’s Bolt’ smoothie would be an ideal accompaniment to the salad since it is packed full of fruity goodness: pineapple, mango, banana and fresh mint and is only 192 calories.

Omega Salmon Salad
271 calories (for the large size). 18 grams protein.
What’s in it: A lettuce based salad, with a great mix of omega-rich salmon, low GI potatoes and a fat-free dressing, this one seems to tick all the boxes. The dressing is freshly made on the premises, daily, therefore it’s completely natural. Full of protein and slow releasing carbohydrates this one wards off hunger till supper time. It also provides two portions of your five a day. Add a Berry Punch smoothie to this and you have a match made in heaven as this packs in 3.2 of your five a day!

Vital Ingredient
Super Veg Salad
370 calories. 25 grams protein. 18grams of fibre per portion.
What’s in it: Made up of vine tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, broccoli, bean mix (red kidney, borlotti & cannellini), sunflower and pumpkin seeds with balsamic and extra virgin olive oil all on a bed of quinoa (you can opt for leaf based instead), this salad packs a punch in terms of nutrient value. It not only contains four of your five a day, but is high in protein and fibre too. The broccoli is a great source of vitamins A & C as well as folic acid, and tomatoes are pretty excellent at fighting off free-radicals due to their antioxidant content. And the seeds will not only keep your skin looking good due to their omega 3 & 6 but they will also keep your brain nice and alert so you can finish the day productively.

Poncho 8
S-lo Carb Box
273 Calories. 26.6grams protein. 11.3 grams of fibre.
What’s in it: Developed in conjunction with the trainer’s from Pro Gym, Poncho 8’s S-lo Carb box is designed to give the busy worker a nutritional meal that also provides a slow release of energy throughout the day. Packed full of protein rich chicken, rice, salad, beans and vegetables it is also great for filling the body with much needed nutrients. And it doesn’t compromise on taste either – topped with salsa this dish is a healthy take on mexican food.



The New ‘it’ Foods


words by Gwyneth Harrison

Superfoods are the heroes of the food world, conferring a wide range of health benefits with every bite. But with a new ‘superfood’ hitting stores every week, how do you know which are truly worth adding to your weekly shop? To make it easy I’ve rounded up my favourite new superfoods. Chosen for their superior nutritional content that will contribute to your overall health, as well as for the fact that they taste great, they may be unfamiliar to you now but I’m sure they’ll become kitchen staples!

Chia Seed
This innocuous looking seed hailing from South America is a nutrient powerhouse packed full of Omega 3, antioxidants, iron, calcium and is a complete protein. By adding this seed to your salads, soups or smoothies you’re getting a mega-boost of energy, heart-healthy omega 3’s, along with a range of antioxidants to help prevent free radical damage and cancer. Chia seeds absorb liquid to form a gel, meaning they take on the flavour of whatever food they’re added to and add bulk. This can help you to feel fuller for longer, making them a great ally in the weight loss battle. They also contain lots of soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and balances blood sugar. The Mexicans believe that a person can be fueled for one whole day on just one tablespoon of chia (not that we recommend it!), but with all these health benefits it is not that surprising!

Black Garlic
Produced by fermenting garlic cloves, black garlic may look scary but it’s quickly becoming one of the newest food superstars. The fermentation process means that each clove has twice the antioxidants of normal garlic with none of the bad breath. That’s right, black garlic can be eaten raw without scaring away potential suitors! The magical fermentation process also works to break down allicine, which many people find hard to digest, into S-allycysteine. This compound is not only much easier on the digestive system but also works to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of cancer. It also has allicin’s anti-microbial properties meaning it works to protect against infection. On top of this the cloves have a gorgeous balsamic and molasses taste making them a delicious addition to your superfood arsenal.

Kukicha Twig Tea
This slightly sweet and nutty tea hails from Japan and is made from the twigs and stems of the Camelia Sinesis tree. The brew is low in caffeine but rich in a range of vitamins and minerals, including copper, selenium, manganaese, calcium, zince and fluoride, along with vitamins A and C. In fact it has more calcium than cow’s milk and more vitamin C than an orange! These beauties can help to reduce high blood pressure, and the antioxidant catechins contained in the tea have 25 times more antioxidants than Vitamins C and E so will help to fight free radical damage that can cause everything from premature ageing to cancer. Furthermore, the tea is also an excellent digestive aid and with its mild hit of caffeine can help to combat that mid-afternoon slump.

Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit that is commonly turned into a powder that can be added to desserts, smoothies or even your morning yoghurt. It has a gorgeous sweet taste but has a low GI so is a great way of adding a sweet kick without experiencing the blood sugar spike and subsequent crash that occurs when you indulge in some sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable helps to control your appetite as well as prevent diseases such as diabetes. Lucuma is also packed full of fibre, beta-carotene, niacin (B3) and iron. Benefits of beta-carotene include protecting against cancer, whilst niacin aids in managing depression. It would seem that with lucuma you can have your cake and eat it too!

Another South American gem, the jicama is a sweet root vegetable that resembles a turnip and is extremely popular in Mexican cuisine. It can be eaten raw or cooked and makes a great addition to salads. You could also try replacing your French fries with jicama chips, not only will you be saving yourself a host of calories (jicama is a mere 35Kcal per 100g) but you’ll also be getting a good dose of soluble fibre in the from of inulin. Inulin increases calcium absorption and encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which helps to regulate digestion. This type of fibre can also help to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar. Jicama is also high in Vitamin C and the B complex vitamins, making it a great energy giving food.

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Reviewed: Nourish, leading the way in organic skincare

The trend in natural and organic skincare seems to be on the rise much to our delight here at the Hip and Healthy Headquaters. But because of this sudden stream of new natural skin products on the market, manufacturers are having to become more savvy and innovative in the ways of research and development to make sure that their cream/serum/toner stands out from the crowd. And nowhere is this high level of ingenuity and expertise more evident than in Nourish. Barely 1 year old, Nourish are the new kid on the natural skincare block, but their founder, Pauline Hili, has been in the industry for decades. She brings with her a wealth of expertise and knowledge in creating result-led products that are entirely natural and nearly always at least 90-98% organic (each Nourish product states its organic percentage on the packaging).

About Pauline Hili
Having spent over 22 years at Neal’s Yard as one of their leading product developers, Pauline certainly knows what she is talking about. Her other credentials read like a reference list for a dissertation on natural skincare: Degree in Chemistry, Natural Biology and Cosmetic Science. As well as further study in Essential Oils (which she later wrote a book on). Pauline really is one of the experts in natural and organic skincare. But before I spoke to her and found out all of this I was already hooked on her products…

My Top Three Nourish Products
The Nourish Radiance Purifying Cleanser and Refreshing Toning Mist have become my most loyal travel companions. 97% organic, the cleanser contains something called foxberry that helps the skin glow. It is also great at removing suncream in my experience and smells divine! I applied a few squirts of it straight onto my face and then wiped it off with a warm, damp organic muslim cloth. I then spritzed my face with a few sprays of the Toning Mist. I don’t normally use toners as I can find them a bit of a faff, but I love the cooling feeling of Nourish’s and enjoy putting it on my skin. It’s a great hydrator – making it ideal for holidays or plane rides (mine stays with me in my hand luggage) and I find the cooling effect also works well to close the pores after cleansing. Then I apply my favourite of the products – the Argan Skin Rescue. The press has been in a bit of a frenzy about Argan Oil for some time now, and I have been longing to get my hands on an organic one. My prayers were answered. Nourish’s Argan oil is not only 90% organic, it is a fantastic moisturiser and packed full of antioxidants protecting the skin from premature aging. It is also a great healer and contains a notable amount of vitamin E that help reduces scars which makes it great for acne sufferers.

Good Skin Needn’t Cost the Earth
Interestingly, although Pauline thinks its important to maintain a healthy diet, she remarked that antioxidants applied topically have 100 times the effect on skin than antioxidants consumed. Meaning that skincare is more important than ever. I am totally sold. And speaking of “sold”, the value for money with these products is quite outstanding. Pauline commented that “good skincare shouldn’t have to cost the earth”. Which makes you wonder how much some of the other brands out there are inflating their prices.

I feel that Pauline may have struck gold with her new brand. By maintaining the highest standards in expertise and quality and selling her products in bright, beautiful packages at a price we can all afford, Pauline has created what can only be described as a winning formula.

For more information on Nourish’s range visit