Forest Fit: The Ultimate Luxury Bootcamp

Editor, Sadie Macleod, discovers a world where luxury and fitness go hand in hand

‘Luxury’ and ‘bootcamp’ – two of my favourite words, and they so very rarely go together. But when they do, it’s as if all my Christmases have come at once. Now for two more of my favourite words “Forest Fit”, the new luxury bootcamp brought to you by the very clever folks at the Limewood Hotel and it’s rather fab Herb House Spa. This bootcamp does not feel like a bootcamp at all, but rather, a lovely spa break in the New Forest with lots of good healthy food, gorgeous surroundings, sumptuous accommodation, exceptional fitness classes, fantastic bike rides, indulging treatments and a dedicated team of experts to whip you (not literally though in this case) into shape. In fact, you will be so relaxed that your exhausted arms, aching abs and your tired thighs will almost (I said almost) go unnoticed. Because, although it doesn’t feel like a bootcamp – your body will certainly tell you otherwise.

The hotel takes up to six women per bootcamp (no men allowed). Keeping numbers small ensures that each woman’s needs are met and allows for the bootcamp to be tailored to you personally. No one is forced to do anything they don’t want to do, and if there is something that a client wants that is not on the schedule, then it is quickly sorted for them. The retreat begins with a phone call from Dawn, the lovely Assistant Fitness Manager and cardio queen. She asks questions like “What are you hoping to get out of the bootcamp?”, “Is there anything you can’t eat or don’t like?” and “What is your fitness like at the moment?”. This all helps her and the team put together a bespoke programme that will not only help you whilst you are at the hotel but also ensure that you take away as much as possible from your time there and continue the good work at home.


On arrival, I was met by the Fitness Manager John, who oversees the Forest Fit programme, and taken on a brief tour of the spa – which immediately whetted my appetite for the days to come. Imagine marble clad heated rooms, power rain showers and a sauna that has the view of the forest. Not to mention, state of the art fitness equipment set amongst white washed walls, slate paneling and duck egg blue finishings – my idea of exercise heaven. It wasn’t long before we were given a quick, light, raw (and completely delicious) lunch from the Raw & Cured restaurant and then put through our paces though as Dawn quickly scooped us up and took us on a brisk walk through the New Forest countryside. So far, so chilled.

We were then ushered straight into a Pilates class – something I had never tried before – as I have always been skeptical that it wouldn’t really make me feel as though I was getting a good work out in. How wrong I was. As lovely as the instructor, Juliette was, she was tough and made sure that I was going to feel her class in the morning. Pilates is fantastic for dancers and for people with a particular injury as it focuses on realigning the body and building strength. I was soon told that I needed to build up my core to support my lower back – something that I have always known but never really admitted to myself. That’s what places like this do. They make you get real with yourself.

After Pilates, it was some downtime in the ah-mazing bedroom (slash two story cottage), so I indulged in a (roll-top) bath (that had views of the forest beyond) and luxuriated in all the wonderful Bamford products. Heaven. After spending a suitable amount of time ensconced in the fluffy bathrobe, my tummy soon told me it was supper time – I had, after all, worked up quite an appetite and was looking forward to trying out the renowned Hartnett Holder  & Co Restaurant. Luckily, I did not have the panic of menu confusion as John had already gone through with us the best options for supper and although we weren’t obliged to go with his choices, if we didn’t want to undo all the hard work of the day then it seemed a sensible idea. And so I chose the mackerel and avocado – full of good oils and fats that would only assist me in my Forest Fit journey. And it was delicious. Other detox dinners were not a patch on this culinary marvel – it is very VERY rare to get such fantastic food whilst on bootcamp.


The following days were physically much tougher and I quickly realised that day one was a bit of a warm up for the pain to come: John took me through a water workout which dispelled any thoughts of the stereotypical water aerobics – grandmas in bathing suits rocking it out to 80’s tunes is not really my style. Stuart, the strength and conditioning expert, who also happens to be easy on the eye (having just slated Grandmas’ style I am now beginning to sound like one!) then took over and took us for a long bike ride and forest circuits. I hate circuits at the best of times but it certainly did help that this particular class was conducted in beautiful surroundings and fresh air. Using nature for gym equipment I was made to bench press logs, squat using bridges for support, and even sprint around fallen branches.


All of this hard work was intercepted by delicious raw bites and smoothies from the Raw & Cured restaurant and lots of water. We also cycled to the fabulous sister hotel – more boutique in style but just as well-known for its food, where we had a spot of lunch before journeying back on the bikes. The bootcamp finished with yoga. It was at this point that I realised just how tired I was (falling asleep during Shavasana is not really the done thing). But any pain (I ached for days afterwards), or exhaustion was worth it. For the fitness was great for my body, and the forest was good for my soul.

For more information visit

Welly Boot Camp

Nail It: Forget the lashes and the lipstick, this season it’s all about nails…

Forget the lashes and the lipstick, this season it’s all about nails. But did you know that most nail varnishes are packed with scary sounding ingredients like Formaldehyde (the preservative used to embalm bodies), Dibutyl Phthalate (aka DBP – a chemical used to make plastic flexible) and Toluene (used in petrol as an octane booster). These terrible three have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, various cancers, dizziness, nausea…you get the gist. So instead reach for these six super shades from savvy brands who know how to treat talons. From bright to textured, graphic and sparkly – there’s no going wrong when it comes to shade or style. So be bold and go bright, because this is one trend you’ll want to nail.


In order to make your manicure last whilst giving your nails some TLC, the Pinks Boutique Cuticle Oil (£14.50) is where it’s at. 100% natural and made with 99.5% organic ingredients – you won’t find any chemicals or synthetic additives here. Instead there’s fennel and frankincense oil to heal, vitamin E to nourish, rosa mosqueta to promote cell regeneration and carrot oil to prevent dryness – a combination that will ensure cuticles are soft and healthy whilst the nail bed remains hydrated.

Start To Finish (FFF) by OPI – £13.95

An all in one talon transformer, this Formaldehyde free version of OPI’s Start To Finish is a base coat, top coat and nail strengthener all rolled into one. It will keep nails strong whilst protecting colour and ensuring your mani stands the test of time with a high-gloss finish.


Play Date by Essie – £7.99

Covering all the colours of the rainbow and with the most impressive array of colours out there, Essie injects fun and cheekiness into their collection. Our current favourite? Play Date. Bold, bright and 3 free – it’s the perfect purple polish.

Liberty (PixieDust Summer Edition) by Zoya – £11.50

Take the plunge with this matte blue, textured sparkly shade from Zoya. Its long-lasting natural formula keeps nails healthy without harmful chemicals and will leave you looking blue-tiful.

Material Girl by Eve Snow – £12.00

Meet Eve Snow, the hottest new British nail-care brand that boasts super-stars like Rihanna as fans. Using vitamin E, argan oil and ginkgo bilboa, each varnish loads nails with anti-oxidants and moisture to prevent discolouration, breakages and weakness. Hey if it’s good enough for Ri-Ri, it’s good enough for us.

Cheeky Chops by butter LONDON – £12.00

As bright as the sun itself, butter LONDON’s ‘Cheeky Chops’ is a cheery yellow that’s sure to lift your spirits in a second. 3 free, British and high-performing – these nail lacquers are seen on the catwalks season after season. But this summer, make sure they’re on your nails for fashion-forward fingers.

Aqua by Organic Glam – £9.99

If it’s possible to fall in love with a nail varnish, then it’s official – we have. This bright, turquoise-green shade is summer in a bottle. Intense colour, chip resistant and durable whilst being ‘3 free’. Fabulous.

Urban 14 by Kure Bazaar – £14.95

Kure Bazaar has taken natural nails to a new level with their revolutionary mix of wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn. Fuse this eco-natural formula with fierce, fashionable colours and what do you get? Smooth, strong and healthy nails that are oh-so-sophisticated. Our top pick? The creamy coral-orange, Urban 14.


Natural Nail Polish Remover by Eden – £9.00

Not only do nail varnishes smell like chemicals, they are normally laden with them. So opt for Eden’s Natural Nail Polish Remover – toxin-free and made of biodegradable food-grade and plant-based ingredients. It’s even suitable for vegans and is the only BUAV-approved natural remover you can buy. Scented lightly with lime, its fresh formula nourishes nails and cuticles whilst leaving them with a healthy-looking sheen instead of brittle and dehydrated. Hip & Healthy highly recommends.

words by Frankie Rozwadowska



Rainbow Salad Recipe: Perfect for a hot Summer’s day

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

(serves 2)

2 zucchinis (grated)
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup sweetcorn
1 avocado, cubed

juice 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Prepare vegetables and mix in a large bowl. Combine all ingredients for dressing. Toss the salad with dressing and plate. Serve with a dollop of hummus and your favourite raw cracker or bread.



Save The Last Dance: Get Fit Street Style

Samantha Whitaker gets her groove on at a Neon Fuel street class

I’m the first to admit that I’m in no way ‘street’. But, even though my ballerina’s posture can’t quite get down and loose enough to really pull it off, I love street dance. For years, I’ve been looking for the ‘right’ class – one that’s challenging but not intimidating – and had almost given up hope. Then I tried Neon Fuel.

Founder Thalia Charalambous is one of those people with a finger in every pie. She’s a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, writer, nutritionist and expert organiser of ‘hip trips for healthy hedonists’, where a group of 20 or so go away for dance masterclasses, followed by cocktails and clubbing until the early hours. So far, Thalia’s taken dance-lovers to Ibiza, Berlin, Paris, Morrocco and Copenhagen – and this autumn, she’s hitting New York, where a session of flying trapeze is also on the itinerary.

Thalia’s classes in West London, near Ladbroke Grove, are small and intimate – usually around 10 people – but larger pop-up classes are planned for August in locations all over London to suss out the demand. Chatting in the studio before the class, Thalia was warm and welcoming, and I immediately felt like one of the gang. We warmed up, did some abs work, and then got straight down to the routine. It was challenging – quite fast and physical, with some floor work – but I got it, and I loved it. There were options for the more tricky bits, and we danced the routine to a variety of tracks to try out different speeds. Thalia turned down the lights so we could really get into the zone without feeling self-conscious, and for an hour, I didn’t think about anything other than learning the moves and busting them out. It was hot and sweaty, and unbelievably satisfying.

After the class, we went to a tapas bar for a drink, because this is what Thalia is all about: dancing, keeping fit, eating well and being healthy, but also letting your hair down with a glass of wine. (Her pop-up classes will hopefully have a pop-up kitchen, too, serving Neon Fuel cocktails, complete with glow sticks.) ‘People think being healthy and partying is a contradiction, but you can do both,’ says Thalia. ‘It’s not about excess, but balance – everything in moderation.’

Absolutely all abilities are welcome at Neon Fuel, but because the social aspect is so important, you have to become a member so that Thalia can make sure everyone is on the same page attitude-wise, and no one feels intimidated. Thalia and her dedicated membership are all ‘healthy hedonists’ – mostly professional, like-minded people of all ages who, above all, are fun and love to dance. To join, you can be recommended by an existing member or fill out an online form.

Thalia also has clients for private dance classes, and offers corporate courses and bespoke trips. Recently, she organised a dance fundraiser in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and will be holding another event later this year for the charity Mind, which helps raise awareness of mental health problems.

For more information about Neon Fuel classes, trips and events, visit

Neon Fuel Private Class 2

Two-Wheeled Vacation

Our Features Editor, Harriet Chubb, goes on the ultimate Italian cycling holiday, and it wasn’t quite what she expected

Sore knees. An affliction I am currently nursing due to my 6 day cycling holiday across northern Italy. But notwithstanding this momentary pain and difficulty negotiating stairs, and in spite of seriously underestimating what a challenge this holiday was to be, yes, although romantic visions of straw hats, summer dresses and vintage bikes were quashed, and regardless of the fact that my boyfriend has never heard me complain so much in such a condensed amount of time – I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Flying into Venice, we boarded two different trains that, 5 hours of the day later, finally brought us to land in Bolzano – the capital of the Alps, our starting point. It was this bullet-speed journey that we would be embarking on ourselves the very next day and as the hills and mountains whizzed by at colossal pace it dawned on us that this may be more than just a casual bike ride with the occasional spot of lunch.

Evidently fancying himself the next Wiggins, it was my boyfriend who finally decided on our tour from the Macs Adventure website; ‘Bolzano to Venice’. With an average distance of approx either 40Km or 70Km a day (or 80Km if one day you cant find your hotel…) it was not one of the easiest on the site but equally, it certainly wasn’t one of the hardest. There are a plethora of tours to choose from, all catering for various different levels, capabilities and destinations. We settled on Italy and this particular route as it had diverse scenery and a particular highlight was a boat trip across stunning Lake Garda. Our main attraction for choosing Macs Adventures however is that all of their holidays are self-guided, no garish group colours, no vast, lengthy briefings, and most importantly no people. There were even stretches of mountain roads where we did not see a single soul let alone another cyclist. Bliss. Another wonderful attribute and great appeal about their holiday’s and service is the luggage collection and drops to and from every hotel, leaving you unencumbered for the epic day’s journey ahead.


Staying at the Park Hotel Luna Mondschein on the first night of our holiday was idyllic. A gorgeous hotel situated right in the heart of Bolzano, think large windows, wooden shutters, and enormous beds all doused in a generous helping of Italian, baroque charm. Thankfully it set the scene for other hotels we stayed in throughout the duration of our trip – some were more functional than others but all were clearly picked for their popularity and charm.


Incredibly 8000 cyclists pass through Bolzano and its surrounding areas every single day so venturing off on the first morning we didn’t feel at all out of place, joining the throngs easily as we made our way through the bustling town to the meandering river. It is here that we realised how poorly the UK attempt cycle paths. The cycle path we took led us on a 70km ride to our next destination; Trento. The paths are beautifully maintained and utterly devoid of any traffic – the road in parts is a distant sight as you snake through vineyards and orchards, cementing my theory that the alps are just as beautiful, if not more so, in summer than they are in winter. It took no time at all to get used to the brilliant hybrid bikes that were provided by Eurobike, a partner of Macs Adventures, with useful saddle bags for water and sweets (essential for maintaining your sugar levels) and a front box to handily stow all directions/maps.


A confession – pre-departure I was nervous as to how the navigation would reveal itself between us. Would the stress of finding that left hand turning or the pain of re-living that last 20km be the demise of our relationship? So I decided, most sensibly, to extract myself from the proceedings – thus relieving me from any mistakes I inevitably would have made. I needn’t have worried in the slightest. Eurobike take this stress entirely out of the trip by plastering the whole route with little ‘E’ signs as shown below that are constantly keeping you on the right track. In fact, once you had picked up the right trial in any city, it was plain sailing for the rest of the day enabling you to really enjoy the actual cycling. Genius.


On day 3 we finally arrived, after a tough 300m climb and a wonderfully long descent, into Lake Garda. A truly buzzing, chic, contemporary town with its many docks for sailing and pontoons for swimming – the lake was a welcome sight after an arduous hot ride and had we not a boat to catch you would have found us headfirst. If you can, do try to leave a few hours to do just this and to explore the town, before catching the four hour boat over to Sirmione, a truly tranquil and special experience.


Overall our trip took us over 350km of northern Italy; from Bolzano – Trento  – Sirmione – Verona – Vicenza – Abano Terme and eventually to Venice, where the route ended poetically at the train station where we had once started. Though It wasn’t just these places that we were lucky enough to visit, we passed through numerous towns and villages along the way, stopping for a much needed Coke or quick lunch. When it comes to eating, don’t stop halfway through and take a long lazy lunch, filling up on pasta and pizza. With the distance and the heat it is more advisable to stop little and often for water and sweet breaks and when you do stop for lunch, keep it snappy and something light – otherwise your adrenaline crashes and it’s much, much harder to carry on. I speak from naïve experience:


As previously mentioned, this wasn’t an easy or a tough route – but for essentially a beginner cyclist like me, it was notably hard in sections. The route was mostly flat which was a relief, however there were one or two days described as ‘undulating’ in the guidebook. I wouldn’t so much call this undulating as ‘hilly’. In the 40 degree heat an 800 metre steep climb certainly dashes any hope of looking or being romantic, this was also the same for the 4km 300m climb we found ourselves amidst on the 5th day through the Medici hills – the toughest section of the entire route. And although I did not find myself wearing a pretty summer dress and a straw hat whizzing through the Italian countryside next to my handsome boyfriend, what I did find was a huge sense of pride and that’s why I would recommend this type of holiday to anyone. The great sense of achievement that you feel after finishing each day was immense and fuelled many a fun evening in each town or city. We certainly may not have seen each other looking our best (think padded pants, sweaty old t-shirts and caps) but we did experience the best of each other and that’s worth any struggle up a hill.


Before I leave you with that sentimental nonsense though, I must impart my most important piece of advice entitled:

Clothing & Equipment

  • Do not (as pictured above) attempt to wear a straw hat to keep the sun off your face or to look stylish. Within the first kilometre I ditched said hat and replaced it with a shiny, new, ever-practical cap given to us (and at first disregarded) by the lovely people at Eurobike. Thanks Eurobike.
  • Do not even contemplate survival without some real cycling gear. You are sometimes on the road for 6 hours a day and are required to do exactly the same the next day, your bum will hurt, and that’s even with padded shorts. Luckily a few days before our trip after previously denying any such clothing would reach my body I saw sense and got my hands on a brilliant Rapha racing women’s cycling bib. It kept me pain free and looked good as well – what more could I have asked for? I also added a Rapha jersey which amazingly in the heat kept me cool as well covered to avoid sunburn.
  • Pack plenty of sun cream, you will need a lot more than you think. And don’t use anything but Factor 50.
  • Do pack a small, cloth handbag that can easily be stowed in the bike saddle bags – you will need it to put your valuables in Å you leave your bikes somewhere to explore. The one pictured above is from Rapha – it was their delightful packaging of my gear. Very useful.
  • Do ask Macs Adventure for any clothing or equipment advice, they are experts in all of the trips and destinations come rain or shine and will be able to suggest ways to kit yourselves out efficiently.

What I wore:

cycling kit

Women’s Classic Bib Shorts, £150 and Souplesse Jersey, navy, £125: Both available from


Distance: 6 Days Cycling

Duration: 7 Nights

Availability: 4th April – 12th October

Price: From £610 which includes all accommodation, luggage transfer from hotel-to-hotel each day, breakfast, maps and route plans.

Flights/rail to and from starting point are not included, but Macs Adventure team can advise best value travel options at the time of booking. Bike hire can also be arranged as an option.

Macs Adventure has more than 50 different cycling trips, which can all be tailor made according to level of fitness.

Macs Adventure: 0141 530 1950


Raw Nori Wraps With Avocado-Brazil Nut Cream

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

I have never been a sandwich kind of girl, as a young child I always much preferred wraps (needless to say they were stuffed with melted cheese and lathers of ketchup!). As my palate changed, I tried and tested some of the wrap recipes on the web that cater for gluten & wheat free, but they don’t often cater for easy. Which is why these raw nori wraps are my favourite go to lunch. Not only do  they take under 10 minutes to make, they’re so incredibly good for you and totally satisfying!

What’s so good about Nori?
Nori seaweed is packed with minerals with roughly 1/3 of its dry weight being nutrients! It’s fat-free and a wonderful source of nutritional iodine, which helps stimulate the thyroid to produce hormones required for the metabolism, making it one of the healthiest natural supplements for people wanting to manage their weight. It is also rich in zinc, selenium, copper and iron and has abundant quantities of vitamin B12, making it a great substitute for vegans or those that eat a plant based diet. Nori is so versatile and can be used shredded in salads, made into delicious quinoa sushi or rolled into wraps like this one!

Share you pictures with us, and let us know how you get on by hash-tagging #hipandhealthy on Instagram and Twitter!

Serves 2

2 nori sheets
1/2 red pepper
1/2  cucumber
1 carrot
2 zuchinnis, spiralled or grated
1/4 cup sweetcorn
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes

For the cream: 
1 avocados
1/4 cup Brazil nuts (soaked until soft-ish)
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon

Start by chopping all your vegetables. Chop the cucumber, red pepper and carrots into thin matchsticks and grate or spiral the zuchinni. Rinse and drain the sweet corn, and chop up the cherry tomatoes in to halves or quarters. After soaking the Brazil nuts (this helps them to blend) add in all ingredients for the sauce to your blender, and blend until smooth.

To compile:
Lay out a nori sheet. In a diagonal line spread a good layer of the avocado cream, top with as many vegetable sticks as you wish, add the sweetcorn and tomatoes. Place the zuchinni on top and lastly add another couple of dollops of the cream. Now, take hold of the corners at the end of the other diagonal line and bring together folding over the vegetables. Place one side down, and stick the other on top with a little water or a trace of avocado cream! Do the same with the other wrap and serve.


What To Eat for Healthy Hair and Nails

Diet, stress, environmental factors can all wreak havoc on our hair and nails, which is why it is so important to ensure we are feeding our hair and nails with enough nutrients and vitamins. To guarantee a nourished, strong and healthy mane of hair and set of nails eat our top five foods.

We all know bananas are packed full of potassium and great for our energy levels but did you know they are also brilliant for hair health? Bananas are loaded with mineral silica which is thought to improve hair thickness and zinc which will strengthen hair. This fruit also contains B6 a well know vitamin which supports healthy nails and hair. It is also though that regular application of a freshly made banana mask to the hair by mashing 2-3 will help control dandruff and moisturize!

Noni Juice
Noni juice has recently becoming more widely known for its health benefits, one of them is that it is thought it can assist with stronger and faster growing hair and nails. Noni juice comes from the fruit of a noni plant originating from the Pacific Islands of Tahiti and Polynesia. The juice is a great source of protein and rich source of vitamin C. Miranda Kerr has been drinking this potent juice for years and her hair is rather fabulous!

Sweet Potatoes
I bet you didn’t think sweet potatoes would be a top food to feed your nails and hair did you? These little wonders are packed full of the antioxidant beta carotene which is turned in to vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for sell growth which supports the health of the hair follicle root and bulb. A lack of this vitamin can cause dry and brittle nails also.

These sweet little treats are packed full of iron! A deficiency in iron can cause nail weakness and slow hair growth. Dates are a rich source of protein and the essential vitamin for hair strength B5. Circulation of the blood is key for good nail and hair health and this healthy snack is pack full of it. Throw some dates in to the next smoothie you make to sweeten it up and reap the health rewards!

Eating tomatoes is key to strong and glossy hair! They are packed with the antioxidant lycopene which helps destroy free radicals that could damage your hair. They are also full of vitamin A and have an even more vitamin C than oranges! Eat tomatoes raw if you can as cooking them can destroy the vitamin C. Not only will tomatoes ensure you have strong hair and nails but an added bonus is they are great for skin health too!

words by Stephanie Matysiak


Uber-Hip Workout Wear That You’ll Want Right Now

Stylish Sportswear

Francesca Londoño-Brasington compiles the Hip & Healthy guide to our favourite sportswear brands from around the globe featuring what’s hot right now

female swing shot

Already a firm celebrity favourite featured in all the major glossies, HPE Clothing has just launched their new collection in Harrods and we’re thrilled! We love the salmon pink and charcoal grey combo taking us all the way through from Summer until Autumn. It’s not only gorgeous but highly practical too. Continuing to lead the way with fabric innovation, they’ve launched two new fabrics within the collection including: XT-AIR TM Range –  a super light fabric with 4% silver static to actively lower body temperature ensuring you can keep working hard when the temperature outside is soaring.  It also incorporates HPE Clothing’s signature FRESHFIT with antibacterial silver technology to ensure maximum breathability. Plus their UV-Stretch TM Range – this is an Ultra Violet resistant fabric making it the fabric to wear whilst training outside delivering 40+UVF protection.


New to the UK market in Spring this year, LIJA is already making waves in the sportswear industry with their brilliant fusion of fashion with function. We particularly love their metallic Zip Jacket, it adds style to pre and post workouts. A real must have!


Embodying the all American cool, casual but totally on trend look, we love Solow’s simple style.  These yoga pants are perfectly understated but elegant making them a wardrobe staple.

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Achingly cool, Splits 59 mix vibrant colours with funky yet practical designs. We love this Singlette Atomic Tank for the Summer months.  Perfect for layering over a sports bra for all activities. Powerful and bright; expect to dazzle!

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 19.43.43

A definite must have in the Hip & Healthy wardrobe are Lorna Jane’s Amy tights. One of their hero products, the Amy tights are a flattering full length legging, the seams are just in the right places to shape those bottoms and thighs and ensure an amazing fit.  Practical for all activities from running to yoga, we love these!

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 19.45.32

Embodying sexy and stylish, this US brand has a huge celeb fan base and makes for the perfect work out wardrobe. Check out this uber-cool, reversible versa vest. Perfect for throwing on during those early morning training sessions.


One of the biggest brands in sportswear, we couldn’t possibly not include Nike in our favourite global brands.  Using pioneering technology and a top team of experts, Nike never fail to impress with their innovative design and ever growing range of products.  Now launching their first ever trail shoe for women – the Nike Zoom Wildhorse.  The Wildhorse is ultra light with a rounded anatomical heel (to roll with the ground) including the Nike Zoom unit providing low-profile cushioning; this shoe fits like a track spike but performs like a trail shoe.  Designed to combat any terrain, there are lugs under the toes angled front to back specifically for running uphill whilst these are also tapered from back to front for efficient downhill running.  Wow.  Our love for Nike has grown even more!

Chocoholics – This One is For You: Raw Brownie with a Chocolate Ganache

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Chocoholics – this one is for you! There are lots of brownie recipes out there, but for me, these win every time. I love the combination of the pecans and walnuts together with the sweet, gooey caramel flavour of medjool dates, pure heaven! Every bite of fudgy, rich chocolate goodness is giving your body tons of great energising nutrients, fibre and proteins. Raw cacao is considered a superfood and is praised in the health world for its abundant antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients have been linked to all kinds of wonderful health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and enhancing physical and mental wellbeing. Medjool dates, natures candy, are the sweetest, most delicious, dates and are incredibly energising and loaded with  dietary fibre making them great for digestion. Walnuts and pecans are a wonderful source of nutty protein and omega-3s to help get your skin glowing and hair shining!

This recipe only takes 5 minutes, it’s no fuss, and is a great crowd pleaser; my friends can never believe they’re sugar- and dairy-free. I love to eat them loads of different ways; with my chocolate ganache, with a creamy chocolate-avocado frosting, with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and smashed raspberries or plain and simple how they come! Tell us what how you like to have them… Happy blending! #hipandhealthy

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup medjool dates
1/3 cup cacao

4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao
4 tbsp agave
1 /4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp water

For the brownies, pit the dates and add all ingredients to blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes, until a smooth, gooey consistency (you may have to stop to scrape down the blade). Press the mixture into a deep baking tray, and place to one side while you make the ganache.

For the ganache, melt the coconut oil and add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Coat the brownies with the ganache sauce and place in the fridge to set. Remove and cut into whatever size brownie takes your fancy and serve with smashed raspberries.
For other ways to take this raw brownie and making it even more raw-mazing look below!

Pimp My Brownie: 
– Add 1/2 avocado to the ganache and make it creamy!
– Freeze the ganache until hard and grate chocolate shavings or cut into chocolate chips!
– Go without the sauce and add a large dollop of coconut yoghurt and smashed raspberries

raw brownie

Purifyne – The Weight Loss Cleanse

Purifyne – The Weight Loss Cleanse

Company – Purifyne

Cleanse – Bespoke Weight Loss Cleanse

How many days? – 3 day cleanse

Tester – Harriet Chubb, Features Editor

What were you hoping to gain from the cleanse?

Having never attempted a cleanse before and having over indulged on my mum’s incredible home cooked food while living at home for a few months I specifically choose a cleanse for weight loss results, but I also wanted something that would give my diet a kick-start, shake up my bad habits and current routine and enable me to start afresh after the three days.

What information did they give/take?

I was incredibly impressed with the amount of information taken from me before the cleanse was created. As these are bespoke plans, they need to know every detail of your medical history and your current diet, lifestyle etc. It was slightly daunting writing down all my ailments but of course it is key to getting the correct ingredients and recipes. I also received a ‘pre-cleanse’ email giving me details of how to prepare a few days before, both physically and mentally! This included eating raw foods where possible and doing some dry brushing – essentially exfoliating with a mitt in circular movements towards your heart to increase blood flow.

How easy were the instructions to follow?

All three days worth of juice arrived at my desk before even I did which I was thrilled with and it was incredibly easy to follow the instructions. Four juices a day for three days and I could choose which juices I had, except for the morning juice which remained consistent – carrot, ginger, beetroot and apple. They did recommend that I choose a celery based one for ‘dinner’ but otherwise you were allowed flexibility which I enjoyed. They also kindly sent an email every day with hints and tips as to how to make it through the next 16 hours!

Were any supplements included?

The supplements – at first looked a little intimidating – but they thoroughly explained what every benefit of each one was.  There were essential fatty acids, spirulina, a super foods mix to be diluted with water and something called Colosan powder; a powder that assists with digestion and detoxing the colon.

On a scale of 1/10 how tasty and varied were the juices?

I would give this factor a 6/10, although they were all extremely tasty, I felt there could have been a little more variety, but this could be down to the fact that I was choosing a specific weight loss cleanse, maybe meaning some ingredients were off limits.

How much weight did you lose?

I lost 4 pounds in 3 days which I was very pleased with!

How did you feel after three days?

It wasn’t actually the weight loss in the end that I found the most pleasing aspect, it was the clean, pure, detoxed feeling that I adored. I felt light and un-bloated and the next day I even steered myself naturally towards raw foods, salad, nuts, seeds and the like. I felt strangely drawn to these foods that previously you would find me forcing down, it was a wakeup call for my diet – exactly what I had been looking for.

Would you use this cleanse again?

Yes definitely, I do not know how long these magic effects will last, but the cleanse certainly did its job – the rest, like everything else in life, is now up to me!


Roasted squash, sweet red pepper and zucchini ribbon salad with a sweet tahini dressing

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

Salads use to have a bit of a bad rep: think a pile of green leaves, cherry tomatoes,  some cucumber and, of course, a good dollop of mayonnaise so that you can hide all that bland, dry lettuce. But this is no longer the case. I love my salads packed with colourful, vibrant, fresh vegetables and delicious, thick dressings. This salad perfectly combines all of that: sautéed zucchini ribbons, chunky squash cubes, and naturally sweet red pepper and a tasty tahini dressing. It’s wonderfully filling whilst leaving you feeling light and satisfied. As good as all the veggies are, the sweet tahini dressing really steals the show. Tahini is a little like marmite, you either love it or you don’t, on its own I’m not a fan… but, boy, do I love this dressing!

So (real) salad-virgins, you are in for a treat. Get ready to be amazed!

Serves 4


1 medium sized butternut squash, cubed

5  zucchinis shredded into ribbons

1 red pepper, chopped

4 cups green salad leaves

For the tahini dressing:

1/3 cup light tahini

juice 1 lemon

juice 1 orange

2 tbsp manuka honey (use agave if vegan)

salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the vegetables and preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Place the butternut squash and red pepper on a tray drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20-30 minutes. For the zucchini ribbons, in batches sauté in a frying pan until browning, flip and do the other side. Transfer to a plate while you repeat with the rest. In a salad bowl, start by putting in your garden greens, zuchinni ribbons and topping with roasted peppers and squash, For the dressing mix all ingredients together well and toss when serving.

writer, Samantha Organ, swaps her latte for a green juice, to see what all the fuss is about

juice genie

writer, Samantha Organ, swaps her latte for a green juice, to see what all the fuss is about

From wheatgrass shots to kale smoothies, the concept of ‘juice detoxes’ has taken the world by storm. With the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Millie Mackintosh promoting the detox concept through their enviable bikini bodies, it’s become a quick and popular solution to kick start a healthy lifestyle and rid the body of built up toxins. We decided to see what all the fuss was about.

The stigma surrounding juice detoxes is both positive and negative, and in all honestly, I found the prospect of drinking nothing but juices for three days somewhat daunting. Would I have enough energy to focus at work? Would I suffer the dreaded ‘detox symptoms’ which include headaches, weakness, dry mouth, nausea, cramps, constipation and worst of all, gas? For me, these were enough reasons not to try the juice detox, however, I was adamant that I would give the 3-day programme a go and form my own opinion about this seemingly drastic quest for cleanse.

My detox company of choice? The most reputable juice cleansing company in Hong Kong, The Genie Concept. Founded by two fashion models, Cara Grogan and Melanie White, both women knew first hand that a healthy diet was the key to high energy levels, glowing skin and a fresh mind, all of which are vital to make it big in the modelling world. The Genie Concept is designed for the everyday working girl, keen to eliminate toxins, make those healthy lifestyle changes and kick healthy eating habits.

Working closely with renowned nutritionist, Joyce Marot, The Genie Concept have created their juices to allow you to receive the required amount of nutrients needed to function properly on a daily basis. As Joyce so aptly put it to me, ‘would you like to travel in a Jalopy or a Ferrari?’ – a question which I now ask myself at least three times a day! Joyce was kind enough to explain the theory behind juice detoxes…

“Fresh fruit and vegetable juices have been shown to possess remarkable health-promoting properties loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Within minutes, the cells are then nourished and hydrated without taxing the digestive system.  When it comes to bioavailability, meaning how quickly the body absorbs nutrients, fresh, raw and unpasteurized juices are the efficient and effective way to get as many nutrients as possible, quickly.” Joyce Marot

The Genie Concept offers three levels of detoxes: the beginner, intermediate and expert. The expert level contains more concentrated vegetable juices, whereas the beginner level is a more fruit juice based programme. Clients are able to choose from a 1 – 6 day cleanse, again depending on past juicing experience and the end goal of the detox. For me, a 3-day juice cleanse programme was ideal. Having never tried a juice detox before, the beginner level, 3-day programme came highly recommended by the genie girls.

The Genie Concept process couldn’t have been made easier. The night before my detox commenced, the juices were delivered in a sleek black cool bag accompanied with an ice-pack, straw and two packs of seeds (chia and psyllium husk) for early morning and afternoon consumption. The first 2 day juices were delivered, with the third day’s juices delivered on the evening of the second day. The bag itself was light, easy to carry and could be taken inconspicuously into work – perfect!

3 day detox programme:  

9am – Smooth Operator

A deliciously smoothie containing banana, avocado, spinach, chia and vanilla. Supplying the body with potassium, healthy fats and antioxidants.

11am – Garden Gnome

The second juice contained apple, pear, lime and ginger spirulina, delivering a very sweet yet tangy taste.

1pm – Four Leaf Clover

Containing spinach, apple, parsley, celery and pink Himalayan salt, this was the ‘lunch time’ portion and what I considered to be the first of the ‘vegetable juices’. This juice has been specially designed to fill the body with antioxidants and vitamins, whilst fighting against free radicals and cancer.

3pm – Life Blood

Containing beet, carrot, apple and cucumber, this juice strengthens the blood through the nutrients, magnesium and potassium contained within the beetroot, whilst the cucumber and apple act as sources of antioxidants and a natural diuretic.

5pm – Hawaii H20

Containing coconut water, pineapple, spinach, chlorophyll and mint, this juice was a full of antioxidants and was a superfood powerhouse.

7pm – Sweet Dreams

As a dessert type drink containing filtered water, raw cashew, raw cacao, raw agave, cinnamon, coconut flower sugar and pink Himalayan salt – an enjoyable way to finish the day.


The programme is designed to allow you to have one juice every two hours. So, despite any preconceived notions, the pang of hunger is not as prevalent as you might think. The programme recommends starting each morning with a hot water and lemon, followed by a glass of water mixed with the full of fibre, Psyllium Husk seeds, so before you’ve even started the juices you’ve already began the detoxing process.

The 9am smooth operator was quite simply delicious. With a thicker consistency compared to the other juices, I felt as though I had consumed a good breakfast which mentally and physically allowed me to start the day on a positive note. The taste of banana and vanilla really came through in the smoothie, whilst the avocado and spinach contributed to the colour, but not so much the taste. In the same respect the 11am juice was also delicious and upon reflection I would say my favourite juice. Taking the form of a proper juice consistency, ‘Garden Gnome’ curbed any sweet cravings I had due to the potent combinations of the lime, ginger and apple. Throughout the three days, I felt great every day.  I was energised, positive and not hungry at all.

The 1pm and 3pm juices however, were much more of a personal challenge for me. In an unfortunate twist of fate, the two vegetables I have a rather strong dislike to, beetroot and celery, were the two vegetable tastes dominating the 1pm and 3pm juices. However, the great thing about a juice detox is that you don’t have a choice, so there is no point in even reminding yourself that you don’t like these superfoods. This is where the straw came in handy. It is known that half the taste is in the smell, so by taking small regular sips of these juices through the straw, the experience wasn’t quite the deadly situation I’d conjured in my imagination. Ironically, by day 3, I actually quite liked them! I found that by thinking of all the goodness in each juice and the health benefits I was constantly reaping, it’s easy to drink something you may not be too keen on. And so I did.

Between 3pm and 5pm, every day of the juice detox, I did start to feel headachy with the occasional hunger pang. This is completely normal. The Genie girls recommend having a glass or water or herbal tea between each juice, a tip I found quite rewarding. Not only does this allow you to have a break from the juices, but it relieved my headache instantly, allowing me to continue as normal. The 5pm juice completely transported me to the tropics with the prominent taste of coconut water and pineapple, acting as a quenching anti-oxidant and was a welcoming refreshing afternoon beverage.  Around 6pm each day, I began to realise just how week I actually was. I knew that my normal evening run/gym workout was off the cards as I would be going straight home from work to rest. Again, this is a common side effect when detoxing.

The genie girls recommend going for a gentle walk or even taking a yoga class, so as not to exert yourself when your body is not fully energised. Each day, I went home, relaxed and waited for the enjoyable 7pm juice. Designed as a more dessert type drink with a more creamy consistency, the ingredients of raw cashew and raw cacao were prominent and delicious! Each night I was in bed by 9.30pm in a bid to get the recommended 8 hours sleep and I have honestly, never slept so well.

I won’t lie. I found the 3-day detox hard, simply because I love trying new dishes and cooking, but as I said before, you don’t have a choice. In terms of ‘juice detox symptoms’, mine were limited, it is though important to remember that every person and body type is different. My biggest concern when starting the detox was the warning of ‘constipation and gas’, something which terrified me greatly as you can imagine! Fortunately, I experienced neither. Of course, when you’re consuming that much juice a day, you are naturally going to urinate more than normal, so my advice would be to plan your juice detox during a quiet work time when you’re not going to be in meetings all day.

The results of my 3-day juice experience were not just short-term. As amazing as it was, to have high energy levels, picture perfect skin and a more curbed appetite during and immediately after the cleanse, juice detoxes are not a sustainable way of living. Rather, The Genie Concept is fantastic for kick starting a new healthy lifestyle. It has helped me to look at the foods I am now consuming and understand the importance of nutritional content, anti-oxidants and good carbohydrates. Yes, the detox was hard and was it worth it? Absolutely! Since, I have found myself making green juices of my own and continuously referring back to Joyce’s car analogy. I, as I’m sure most of you would, want to be the Ferrari. Of course, life is all about balance, so I would never deprive myself of an indulgence here or there, but I now understand where the line must be drawn and when to put the chocolate bar down!

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For those of you looking to try cleanse companies nearer to home, take a look at these great cleansing companies in London…

Plenishfounded by Kara Rosen, former magazine writer and jetsetter, Plenish delivers three levels of juices, Harmony, Clarity and Purity, each in a 3-day or 5-day programme.

SoupaJuiceoffers clients three cleansing options including ‘soupajuice cleanse’, ‘soupagreen cleanse’ and ‘soupaman cleanse’. Founders, Danni and Lisa, have also developed a bespoke option to fit dietary and allergy requirements.


Nosh Detoxwith multiple programmes to choose from including the ‘red carpet cleanse’ and ‘green cleanse’ Nosh Detox works to help eliminate cellulite, whilst supporting weight-loss, thyroid healing and fertility struggles.

Raw Fairiesoffer a 5-day nutritional cleanse containing raw food, fresh fruit and vegetable juices designed to improve energy levels and aid weight-loss, whilst promoting clearer skin and mental clarity.