Hone and Tone Your Body

…with these top ten tips from Personal Trainer, Max Willcocks

Getting up on a Saturday at 7am may seem like a chore for most but I relished the opportunity to do just that if it meant a free PT session with fitness expert, Max Willcocks. He certainly knows how to put a girl through her paces – but I always come away feeling toned, fitter and more ready for the day than ever. I decided that his fountain for fitness knowledge and the handy nutrition and lifestyle tips he gives out during sessions are too good not to share, so here are Max’s top ten moves and morsels of information that will get you into tip top shape this summer…

1. Sign up for a race to keep you focused: “Not everyone can be routine about keeping up their fitness or their running, signing up to a race is a great reminder that they have a goal to achieve. It can certainly help you get out the door on days when you might have otherwise not done anything.”

2. Run properly to avoid injury (and looking like a douche): Max has been teaching me to run more on the balls of my feet. To try and get me to do this he puts his hand out and asks me to run leaning on it. By putting my weight forward like this it not only helps me run faster but also puts less pressure on my knees.

3. Eat protein after sessions: To help replenish energy stores and build muscle (it will also make you less sore in the morning) reach for a protein snack. I love Bounce Balls: www.bouncefoods.com

4. Sign up to a summer bootcamp: Some people find that they won’t workout unless someone is telling them to and motivating them along the way. If you can’t afford a personal trainer – join a group. There will be one not far away from your workplace or home. Max runs fab group sessions near Parsons Green.

5. Add elements of Crossfit into your fitness programme: Crossfit involves a series of different strength and conditioning exercises that improve fitness rather than just focusing on losing or gaining weight. Workouts are typically short and intense which is great for the metabolism.

6. Stretch: Boring but important! Just do it. You’ll body will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Get a dog: Max is the proud owner of a brand new husky pup! Dog’s are great for getting us outside and walking around.

8. Cut out alcohol: Alcohol not only contains tons of hidden sugars and calories but it also makes it very difficult for us to get up in the morning let alone get to the gym. Cut it out and feel instantly better.

9. Sign up for your first race and enjoy it: “Relax, take it at a comfortable pace and enjoy yourself. In the last few days leading up to a race all that can be done is plenty of stretching and hydrating, all the hard work has been done by now. When you’re standing at the start line take a deep breath and don’t set off too quickly, it can be easy to get carried away. Preparation is key, have an idea of how fast you want to run based on how well training has gone, base your race day running pace on this. Always run your own race.”

10. Turn your commute into your daily exercise: Either work out the distance from your office to your home and invest in a good backpack and run or get all the cycling gear and bike ride to and from work. This will shave time off your commute (especially during the Olympics) and you will have done your daily exercise before you even get through the door.

Want to train with Max? Call 07899798352

WIN!… Calling all Londoners: Win a Home Treatment with Wellbeing Escapes and H&H


Win a totally indulgent one-hour ‘Wellbeing at Home’ treatment courtesy of specialist wellness travel company, Wellbeing Escapes, plus a copy of their signature spa and wellness book for three runners up.

The Heavenly Treatment
Wellbeing Escapes, the UK’s leading health, spa and wellbeing travel company, offer a range of authentic and holistic products and services in beautiful, inspiring locations that never compromise on quality. Bringing a little slice of spa paradise to one lucky winner, Wellbeing Escapes will arrange a one-hour treatment by a fully qualified therapist at their home. If you can’t be there in body, then at least allow yourself to transport your mind.

The Wellbeing Bible
Designed to be an ‘at a glance’ guide to holistic wellness practices, the Wellbeing Escapes book is packed with information and tips gathered by the Wellbeing Escapes team over many years; it includes  insights into the latest spa and wellbeing trends; advice from some of the world’s top holistic health practitioners; and inside information on the world’s finest wellness destinations.

How to Enter:
All you have to do is send an email to  [email protected] with your full name and Wellbeing Competition in the Subject box.

Terms and conditions apply. Prize is one 60 minute treatment from a choice offered by Wellbeing Escapes within the M25 area, bookings subject to therapist working hours and availability. Once a treatment is booked, no amendments are permitted. Prize is valid until 31.12.12. By entering this competition you accept that Hip and Healthy and Wellbeing Escapes may contact you about things we think you’ll enjoy using your email address. Should  you wish not to be contacted please say so in your email. Winners will be picked at random and notified by email. Closing date for this competition is Friday 27 July 2012. www.wellbeingescapes.co.uk 

STOP. PAUSE. BREATHE. Products to de-stress


words by TUI MCLEAN

I think we all wish we could sometimes freeze time and have a little break from our ever-so hectic lifestyles, just to regenerate and refresh ourselves. Unfortunately for most, the likelihood of freezing time, or even just finding a spare half hour of ‘me’ time is pretty unlikely. That’s why we need a little helping hand when it comes to de-stressing, and Hip and Healthy is here to show you the best de-stress products on the market at the moment.

The De-stress Body Wash from Aromatherapy Associates is perfect for anyone on the run who is craving something to help them unwind. To fully reap the benefits, just lather skin with this deliciously scented body wash during your morning shower routine and feel the active aromatherapy ingredients working together to leave you feeling calm and refreshed. You’ll be ready to start the day with a clear mind. £21.50 (www.aromatherapyassociates.com)

ila Bath Salts are perfect for aiding meditation and claim to soothe the nervous system and bring inner peace. Whether you meditate or not, you’ll certainly want to buy these bath salts which will relax your muscles, rid you of tensions, and most important give you a great excuse to spend ages soaking in the bath! £48.00 (www.ila-spa.com)

As most of us know, the best way to truly combat stress is to get lots of sleep. The only problem is that sometimes when we are really stressed, falling asleep can become even more difficult. Primavera are here to help us with this beauty catch 22 and have brought out Lavender Sleep Therapy Balm, which is designed to aid you in having a restful night so that you can wake up and start a new day feeling recharged. £13.00 (www.pravera.co.uk)

Dr. Hauschka is here to the rescue once again with its Lavender Body Oil. Lavender is a key ingredient in relaxation, and to fully feel relaxed all you need to do is gently rub this silky oil into your skin before bed. The scent of the lavender will help you unwind and keep you relaxed throughout the night. The best part is that this suits absolutely all skin types, so everyone can benefit from it. £17.95 (www.drhauschka.co.uk)

For a facial stress reliever Ark De-Stress Skin Response Serum has the answer. Stress, for most, is not a good look, which is why the clever people at ARK (Age Aware Skincare) have created a product to combat just that. This anti-irritation (read anti-redness) serum contains boerhavia diffusa root, an Ayurvedic herb and a specially formulated enzyme complex that gives tired or stressed skin a much needed boost. It comes highly recommended from the Hip and Healthy headquarters. £39 (www.arkskincare.com)

If you do one thing this week… Take Top Nutritionist Patrick Holford’s advice

We talk to one of the world’s leading nutritionists about skin health, top immune boosting foods, and the ongoing organic debate. 

How long have you been in the health industry for?

My interest in nutrition started in the late 70’s when I was studying psychology and got interested in how the brain works, and what goes wrong in mental illness. That got me thinking about the effect of nutrition on brain function. I researched the effects of vitamins and minerals on IQ and helped run the first study in the world showing that high potency multivitamins increase children’s IQ.

Explain what Optimum Nutrition is?

Optimum nutrition defines the optimal intake of nutrients for the best possible health and function. For example, if you take in 2 grams of vitamin C a day it reduces severity and duration of colds, halves diabetes and cancer risk and lowers high blood pressure by 10 points – that’s as much as any drug. Therefore, since 2 grams a day clearly makes you healthier this would by the optimal amount. The old definition of ‘need’, upon which the RDAs are based, is simply the amount that prevents scurvy. That’s really a minimum, not an ideal intake.

Do you always try and eat organic? If so what benefits do you feel organic food gives you?

I do choose organic as much as possible. It’s somewhatless important if you’re eating an orange or a banana because you discard the skin, which is where the pesticide residues remain. However, many people don’t realise that plants, as well as being rich in antioxidants, make potent anti-cancer agents called salvestrols, but only if they are not sprayed with fungicides. These salvestrosl are part of the plant’s immune defence system. So, non-organic food has much less protection against cancer. Also, many existent pesticides and herbicides promote cancer risk.

How important is nutrition for good skin health? What is your top skin food?

It is totally vital. For every 1 point your blood sugar goes up your skin ages by the equivalent of 5 months. The most powerful nutrients for youthful skin are vitamins A and C. It is worth eating lots of orange coloured foods, such as carrots and butternut squash, as well supplementing extra vitamin A, which is rich in fish. I also use a vitamin based skin cream, called Environ, daily.

What food could you not live without?

It’s a close call between oats and fish. Wheat is best to reduce or avoid but oats are really good for you. I often have oatflakes, cold or hot as in porridge, for breakfast. I also eat oat cakes, oat biscuits and sometimes Nairn’s oat bakes.

What do you eat when you are on a plane?

As little as possible. I order a vegetarian Asian meal, which usually means a bean based curry with rice. I’ll travel with a couple of apples and some nuts, such as almonds, and nibble on these and drink lots of water.

Do you eat to live or live to eat?

I definitely eat to live. The sole purpose of my work is to help people be 100% healthy. It takes 3 weeks a change a habit, 6 weeks to make a habit and 36 weeks to hard-wire a habit. After a while you simply like what’s good for you, so I eat what I want, and what I want are foods that make me feel good.

What are the top immune boosting foods?

Anything with vitamin C. Strawberries have more than oranges or kiwi. Zinc, found in seeds, is a big immune booster. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and reduces cold symptoms. Black elderberry, and blue and black berries, are strongly anti-viral.

Do you take supplements?

Yes, I take a strip of supplements in the morning and lunchtime. It’s called the 100% Health Pack. The morning strip has a high strength multivitamin, vitamin C complex, and essential omegas – both 3 and 6. There’s also an antioxidant formula. The lunchtime strip is the same, except, instead of the antioxidant there’s a supplement of phospholipids, which are essential brain food. They cost £1.70 a day, a bit more than half a Starbucks. That gives me everything I need for optimal health.

What do you eat for breakfast?

I have three favourite breakfasts. The first is oats, hot or cold, with oat milk, berries and chia seeds, which are high in omega 3. The second is scrambled eggs, with smoked salmon, on either rye bread or oatcakes. The third is Get Up and Go, a powder you mix up with milk and berries. It’s low GL, packed with nutrients and makes you feel very good. Occasionally I have a kipper, and sometimes I make oat pancakes by grinding oat flakes to make oat flour, with an egg, milk and cinnamon, served with berries and a blob of yoghurt.

What is your top healthy dinner party dish?

I make a mean kedgeree with brown rice, chopped up egg and smoked mackerel with red onions, garlic, cumin, turmeric, hot smoked paprika, black pepper, chopped coriander, peas and broccoli florets, with a blob of tahini added at the end, then served with a tomato salad. It’s very high in antioxidants, natural pain killers, omega 3s and low GL. My new “Ten Secrets” cookbook shows you how to make recipes that include all the benefits of optimum nutrition, available from www.patrickholford.com.

On Patrick’s website you can also fill in a BioAge Check and find out your biological age versus your chronological age. Patrick’s is 43 versus 54. It also helps you find out what you need to do to add years to your life and life to your years. Well worth doing then…

Bokwa – the new fitness trend?

 Samantha Whitaker investigates the latest exercise class to hit the UK

Bokwa has arrived. A sweat-inducing, high-energy combo of ‘BO’ (from light BOxing) and ‘KWA’ (from the traditional South African dance KWAito), this intense cardiovascular workout helps to build muscle strength and endurance, and maintain flexibility.

I was expecting something like Zumba – only more tribal, with drums – but no. ‘People are saying it’s the new Zumba, but it’s not,’ says instructor Lauren Thompson, ‘there’s nothing like it at the moment.’ So in a light, spacious studio at the Nuffield Fitness & Wellbeing Centre in Covent Garden, I gave Bokwa a go.

First we learnt the ‘basic’ – a simple combination of forward and backward steps with a couple of jumps, signalled by a two-fingered drumroll. Then, over the next 45 minutes, we added several other combinations of steps that create, in a roundabout way, the outline of a letter, cued by the instructor with a hand signal based on American sign language. ‘I created the Bokwa sign language to make it simple for people to follow routines,’ says South African street dancer Paul Mavi, who devised Bokwa and launched it in the US. ‘People learn the moves quickly and easily understand the hand signals, which gives them time to put the most into their workout.’

However, as we were all newbies, Lauren relied heavily on the microphone to explain what we were doing. We didn’t really stop: the music rolled from one commercial track to the next and, once we were comfortable with the steps, Lauren began to move around us so we were forced to listen out for the letter and remember what to do. The idea is a good one: if you go regularly you’ll build up a vocabulary of movement based on the hand signals and there are four levels, so once you’ve learnt one alphabet you can progress to a more complicated one.

Although some might find Bokwa a bit repetitive, the morning after my thighs were grateful for the burn. Music-wise, there was a distinct lack of drums. I was a bit disappointed and asked Lauren about it at the end. She agreed. The music and steps are set by Mavi, and at the moment there’s little room to play. In time, she hopes, they’ll relax a bit and allow instructors to incorporate their own choreography and music. So watch this space.

Keen to keep their classes up to date and inspire members, Nuffield Health is the first to offer Bokwa in the UK (it has already been very successful in the US) – but I imagine it will only be a matter of time before it starts to appear on other gym’s timetables. There are also independent instructors running classes from non-gym-based studios.

If you fancy trying something new – which is always a good idea when it comes to keeping fit – go to www.bokwafitness.com to find out more, and www.nuffieldhealth.com to find a class at a Fitness & Wellbeing Centre near you.

Beauty for Breakfast


Words by Belinda Mann

Just as those in the medical profession are waking up to the importance of diet, so should those interested in beauty. When I worked in the financial industry in London I saw a lot of girls spending up big on crème de la mer only to be eating jam on toast and scoffing haribos at 3pm. If you are investing in beauty creams and treatments but not your diet then you are short changing yourself and unfortunately some “healthy” options aren’t what they seem.

More and more studies are now showing the importance of diet in being youthful. For a long time now dermatologists have been warning that sugar causes wrinkles. Furthermore a recent study explained a balanced diet changes expression of a gene touted as the “youth gene”. The lead scientist of the study explains “Both low-carb and high-carb diets are wrong. But a low-carb diet is closer to the right diet. A healthy diet shouldn’t be made up of more than one-third carbohydrates (up to 40 per cent of calories) in each meal, otherwise we stimulate our genes to initiate the activity that creates inflammation in the body.”

The inflammation they refer to is known as ‘metabolic inflammation’. The result is your skin becomes slightly redder, your body stores more water, you feel warmer, and you’re not on top mentally.

What are you feeding your genes?
We have all heard the adage, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but unfortunately for many it’s often the worst meal. Even many so called healthy breakfast options are surprisingly high in sugar, which can result in the effects of ‘metabolic inflammation’ as described above. Earlier this year Which? ran a report on the sugar content of the leading breakfast cereals in the UK. Anything over 12.5% sugar is considered high. Surprisingly Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes has 22% sugar and Special K 17%. Both popular choices for women, marketed to those wanting to be healthy or lose weight.

KISS – Keep it simple
In my opinion a diet full of unprocessed whole foods is always going to be the best choice. Remember low fat products tend to have higher carbohydrate content, so if you are confused by nutritional labels and don’t want to worry about added sugar, salt and additives stick to wholefoods.

Keep life sweet – without the wrinkles
Just by changing breakfast alone most people could improve their health and their anti-aging capacity enormously. Home cooked breakfast classics such as oat porridge and scrambled eggs are always good choices. A breakfast smoothie with hemp protein powder and nut milk is great if you are in a hurry. And if you are a real cereal fan considering making your own so you know there is no added sugar. A fun alternative is chia seed porridge. Keep it sweet with a mix of raw cacao and bee pollen.




Three reasons to visit Lyon


Words By Harriet Chubb



To Eat and Run
‘If Paris is the heart of France then Lyon is the stomach’… a saying that becomes immediately evident from walking around the old town of this charming city, every corner has a café and every street a myriad of chic restaurants and bohemian bars serving dishes traditional to Lyon, such as coq au vin, foie gras and sweet breads. Get lost in the streets of Old Lyon, which is the second largest Renaissance area in Europe after Venice, and spend your day dipping in and out of these gems, sampling dishes along with the (relatively cheap, but delicious) local wine. However, it is important to book a table for dinner in advance as nearly all of the good restaurants can be booked up well before lunchtime. For a true French bohemian experience, book a table at the beautiful and quirkily decorated Le Nef Des Fous, located on Rue Du Boeuf. The restaurant is so lavishly decorated that you can’t help but feel like royalty atop your plush, purple throne but the perfectly mismatched vintage crockery quickly shatters this illusion yet completes the bohemian, relaxed atmosphere. If you are lucky enough to have a table downstairs then you will also be shown past the roll top bath on the stairs, complete with goldfish. Although a very popular restaurant with the locals, it is not too expensive – you can choose the set menu of three courses, have a bottle of good wine and it will only come to about 40 Euros a head. And one of the best things about the food in Lyon is the number of pretty running routes along the river or through woods that you can do to burn off all those extra calories. So make sure that you pack your trainers.



To Stay
There is no point in spoiling yourself with the gastronomic delights of Lyon without choosing an equally delightful place to stay. Located in the Old Town among the swathes of bars and restaurants is Cour Des Loges, a well hidden gem and 5* hotel. Take four of the finest Renaissance houses in Old Lyon, mix them with contemporary art works, a trendy bar and uber luxury and you have one of the most sought after boutique hotels in Lyon. The 61 rooms and apartments have all been lovingly preserved to maintain that renaissance feel, it is more than possible to get lost in the corridors and spaces of the hotel, but this is a space that you want to explore and take time to marvel at the architecture of the buildings. Under the arches of a gallery overlooking the courtyard, the focal point of the hotel, is the celebrated restaurant Les Loges. This is traditional French cuisine with a difference, imagination. Anthony Barret, uses seasonal produce throughout the year to create his signature dishes for the hotel. Before making your way to the marble floored courtyard restaurant, make sure you relax in the retro-style bar, Le Bar Fumoir, for an innovative cocktail, or our personal favourite on a chilly spring afternoon, an organic, dark hot chocolate – rich, but oh so satisfying if you need a pick me up after a long days sightseeing.


To Spa
Whether you are visiting Lyon for its gastronomy or for its renaissance architecture, make sure you rejuvenate with a spa treatment or two to top off the experience. The Pure Altitude Spa at the Cour Des Loges was our tried and tested favourite, not least because of the sauna, Turkish baths, swimming pool and relaxation room, but because the philosophy behind the products used in their treatments is second to none. All of the products have plants or natural extracts found at the very heart of the Alps, encompassing all of the natural elements, earth, wind, water and fire to create treatments that rejuvenate and re-charge. Try the Bol d’Air Pur facial which detoxifies and leaves the skin feeling pure and fresh by combining manual techniques with the use of hot stones and jade rollers. Or, relax completely with a bespoke massage, the therapists are all highly trained and able to pinpoint areas in your body that need help to relax; perfect just before you check out of the hotel to leave you feeling invigorated and relaxed for the journey home.


Best of British Beauty Products


With the Jubilee this weekend we can’t help but turn our thoughts to all the fab British beauty brands out there. We’ve rounded up some of our absolute faves that often top best beauty buys list in all the top glossies…

1. Lip Gloss: Neal’s Yard’s range of Organic Lip Glosses include Fig, Peach, Goji Berry and many other flavoursome shades will nourish your lips naturally. Packed with the antioxidant white tea, castor seed oil and beeswax this gloss soothes and protects lips and looks juicy too! (£9.50 per gloss) http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/Goji-Berry-Lip-Gloss

2. Exfoliating Balm: Winner of four prestigious beauty awards including one of Tatler’s, this Micro Exfoliating Balm from OSKIA is a favourite among us at the Hip and Healthy HQ. It not only improves the tone of your skin but also restores the radiance by using its many health promoting ingredients. Make sure this balm is always within arms reach. (£46.00) http://www.oskiaskincare.com/products/MICRO-EXFOLIATING-BALM/

3. Cleanser: A favourite among beauty journalists all over the country it will come as no surprise that Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Cleanser is at the top of our list when it comes to cleansers. It combines naturally active ingredients (including eucalyptus and cocoa butter) that aid a multitude of skin types to make way for smoother, clearer skin. We defy anyone who tries this not to like it. (£14.25) http://uk.lizearle.com/cleanse-and-polish-hot-cloth-cleanser.html

4. Eye toner: The Toning Eye Balm from Cowshed is accompanied by a gorgeous jasmine aroma and works wonders at reducing the appearance of fine lines, nourishing the skin and noticibly soothing the area around the eye. A very worthy purchase, don’t you think? (£25) http://www.cowshedonline.com/face_skin_care/jasmine_toning_eye_balm-c111840p111535.html

5. Body cream: Super Rich Body Butter from Organic Surge’s Luxury Collection is utterly divine. A rehydrating formulae of lavender and gerenium essential oils makes it the perfect pick me up for a fatigued body after a long day. (£22.50) http://www.organicsurge.com/product/luxury-collection-super-rich-body-butter

6. Hand cream: Working, commuting, cooking… you name it, your hands are with you every step of the way and normally bare the brunt of your daily activities, so when it comes to hand cream make sure you spoil them with Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment. Not too big to fit into your tote, so no excuses to let your hands suffer at any hour of the day. (£19.50) http://www.elizabetharden.com/Eight-Hour


Hydrating Body Care


Words By Penny Lane


As the warmth of summer nears, so does the reluctant reality of baring winter-ravaged, often extremely dry and lacklustre skin. Give your body a much needed moisture boost, with our pick of the very best hydrating body creams, milks and lotions, to regain radiant, beach-ready skin, in a flash.

Pro-Collagen Body Cream by Elemis
A blend of smoothing, exotic oils, including castanha oil, babassu oil and bilberry oil, combine to deeply nourish and give anti-oxidant protection due to the vitamin A, B and E content that defend against cell damage to prevent premature ageing. Added marine extracts work to strengthen the epidermis and increase elasticity. We love its ability to break down fatty deposits, too.
£49, www.timetospa.co.uk

Lait Corporel by Biotherm
For a lighter, non-greasy texture, choose Biotherm’s moisturiser for all of the hydrating benefits, without the weight or residue of a richer cream. Ideal for those leading a super busy lifestyle, Lait Corporel is the perfect remedy to eliminate dry patches. Essential oils of orange and grapefruit deliver an uplifting and invigorating burst of freshness, great to quickly apply after your morning shower.
£19.50, www.boots.com

Pistachio Sundae Dry Skin Fix Body Butter by NIP + FAB
Ultra rich and creamy, with a high dose of shea butter for maximum moisture, this body butter works wonders to boost hydration, by enhancing water levels and intensively replenishing. Mineral oil effectively soothes seriously parched limbs, to reveal silky soft skin, which lasts all day and smells good enough to eat.
£9.95, www.asos.com

Skin Caviar Luxe Body Cream by La Prairie
Drench your body in pure decadence with this divinely rich, conditioning and revitalising treatment, infused with luxurious, caviar extract. Providing supreme nourishment, the formula also utilises an effective firming and energising action, to leave skin enviably luminous, with a more youthful appearance.
£274, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Body Excellence Intense Hydrating Firming Milk by Chanel
A fresh and floral formula, containing royal jasmine wax elixir, to eradicate the unpleasant feeling of tightness, through intensive 24-hour hydration. Skin is left positively glowing, comforted and firmer, due to the added Indonesian botanical, purple bengle, renowned for its body toning power. A go-to corrective product, for thirsty skin.
£53, www.harrods.com

If you do one thing this week… try Blue Cow Yoga


Tucked away beneath a large, important building in the city, you would be forgiven for walking straight past Blue Cow Yoga everyday of your life and never knowing it was there. Its entrance is discreetly lit with two blue lights reflecting onto the steps that lead you to its door. Once inside you won’t be disappointed. Fresh, light, airy, spacious – the studio is the stuff yogi dreams are made of. Have a cup of herbal tea catching up with a friend whilst you wait for your class to begin. If you don’t enjoy being pushed and shoved in changing room by people desperately trying to undress, then you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised by the large, minimalist cloakrooms.

Don’t get me wrong though, for Blue Cow Yoga is anything but soulless. Yes, it’s clean and uncluttered but it’s also stylish and elegant. One of my favourite rooms was the room you go through to get to one of the yoga studios. Not seeming to have any real purpose but for chilling, it has around eight chic poofs dotted around it and featured fantastic black and white photographs on the wall.

The class I was in was particularly small (there were just three of us), which I loved as it really gives you the time and the attention from the instructor to work on the simple things that have been troubling you, such as correcting your downward dog.

Blue Cow yoga is a fresh approach to a yoga studio with good teachers and free herbal tea and best of all it doesn’t smell of sweat.

Blue Cow Yoga – Fast Facts

Who set it up?
Owner’s Mark Evans and Fran Gillibrand originally became friends through their mutual love of yoga, visiting a Goan retreat in India. Mark was an ex-Army infantryman and Fran was an ex-City worker, so she was particularly aware of the stresses of city life.

How long has blue cow been open?
Just over three months.

Where does blue cow yoga take its name from?
Nilgai (literal transition ‘blue cow’) are silver antelope that roam central and northern India enjoying the benefits of an ancient mis-classification and subsequently dubious holy status. Once deified however it is hard to undo, even if scientists can now prove they never were bovine. So confusion reigns, alongside some humour, and this reminded the owners of how the modern world looks at yoga.

What was the inspiration?
To inspire people to try yoga and see how it could work for them and explaining the benefits of Yoga and making it possible to fit it into everybody’s already busy lives without demanding change or sacrifices. That meant making it accessible; anything and everything from running classes at convenient times (on time), to having great facilities like the showers (where all the products and towels are provided). And remembering that the studio is in the City and not ancient India, so talking in a language that everyone understands. Essentially, it is about giving more people the opportunity to try yoga.


Locked Down: Hip and Healthy talks to Tri-Athlete James Lock

As England (and the rest of the world) embrace all things sport-related in the run up to the Olympics we talk to James Lock, elite tri-athlete not to mention founder of Zone 3 – one of the fastest growing Triathlon gear brands in the UK, about his training, diet and greatest sporting achievements.

Where did your enthusiasm for sport start?
I always played all sports at school but didn’t get competitive until around age 13, when I joined the local swimming club. I was then wrapped up in a world of training, racing and striving to always get faster and become number one!
Who inspires you?
No athlete in particular but I know first-hand how much effort and dedication it takes to qualify for the Olympics so anyone who achieves this goal has their own inspirational story in my eyes.
Greatest sporting achievement?
Possibly being world biathlete and world aquathlon champion within the same month as well as winning achieving a 1st class engineering degree from Loughborough the same year. Also, being able to continue racing some of the best athletes is the world whilst only training part time whilst I run my own business.
How much do you train per week?
Around 25 hours on overseas training camps, up to 15 hours per week during normal weeks.
What is your diet like?
I try to stay healthy and concentrate on well balanced meals but with the amount of calories I burn in my sport it generally means eat as much as possible!
What is your most memorable race?
Most probably coming top 10 in my first elite race in front or a large crowd in Athlone, Ireland or the races I take part in for my pro-French team, which always have a great atmosphere.
Does training get in the way of your social life?
No, I have been balancing work, training and social life since I was a 13 year old school boy so always have a good balance.
What do you do on your days off?
Mostly catch up with work or try to put my feet up and watch a film.
Hardest race?
Every race in France is Sprint distance and very competitive so it means the races are fast and furious. You don’t get a second to ease up so it’s an hour of pain every time!
What motto do you live by?
Don’t waste a minute…to achieve in sport or business you need to give it your everything so be as productive as possible and focus on the most important areas.

Eating Healthily Has Never Been Easier with Sophie Michell and Sensodyne

When it comes to eating healthily many of us feel that we just don’t have the time to whip up an amazing low-fat, low-salt, vegetable and protein rich meal. We aren’t all blessed with the culinary skills of Sophie Michell (the celebrity chef who combines her love of cooking with her nutritional knowledge – more on her later). But my recipe below is one of the easiest things in the world and takes less than 20 minutes to cook. I can also check emails, chat on the phone or watch a bit of TV whilst doing it which makes it more manageable and easy to fit into an evening after a hard day’s work. And what’s more, it only requires two pans, making the washing up minimal!

If staring down the barrel of a recipe that has a list of 100 ingredients brings you no joy at all, then you will pleased to hear that my Tomato and Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup is made up of just the below. It is incredibly nutritious and is gluten- and dairy-free making it a great dinner party dish option.

Tomato and Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 2
You will need:
2 small chicken breasts (preferably organic)
1 bag of chopped stir-fry veg (check that there is no added sugar or salt – I suggest Waitrose)
1 pack of asparagus tips
1/2 bag of curly kale
Frozen peas (optional)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of 1/2 fat coconut milk
1/2 pack of Buckwheat noodles (they’re gluten-free)

Stir-fry the chicken in a little olive or avocado oil.
Once the chicken has turned brown and looks cooked through add the vegetables and kale and stir fry for around 10 minutes.
Add the tin of tomatoes and coconut milk and reduce the heat so that it is nearly boiling. If you want the peas add them now. Leave it like this for around 8-10 minutes.
Use this waiting time to boil your buckwheat noodles. They will need between 5-8 minutes.
Then drain the noodles and add them to the chicken soup add and serve with a sprinkle of coriander on top.

For something that is much more impressive but is still healthy and wholesome see celebrity chef, Sophie Michell’s, recipe for Bang Bang Chicken Salad:


Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

4 medium chicken breasts (about 150g each)
1 head of Chinese cabbage
2 carrots
50g bean sprouts
1 red onion
½ cucumber
1 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 small handful of micro purple basil
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Peanut sauce:
2 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
100ml water
1 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
pinch of chilli powder

About Sophie Michell: Ex-chef to Claudia Schiffer and the chef on Cook Yourself Thin, Sophie certainly knows a thing or two about how to eat yourself gorgeous. And with such iconic restaurants as The Lanesborough and The Embassy under her belt, her culinary skills know no bounds. Sophie has teamed up with Sensodyne to spread the word about how healthy eating, and cooking, can be easy, fun and delicious.