Honeymoon from Heaven

Como’s Parrot Cay is a wellbeing-lover and sybarite’s dream come true

Romance, yoga, vegan food and luxury, luxury and more luxury – Parrot Cay is a Hip and Healthy’s ideal holiday, says Editor, Sadie MacLeod

I have probably been dreaming about my honeymoon since I was about 14-years old. It was always that – and not actually the wedding – that I had fantasised about. A holiday where no expense is spared, where everybody bends over backwards for you because you are on honeymoon, where upgrades are actually a possibility! It wasn’t until I started my job at a travel magazine (well, not just any travel magazine, the travel magazine – Condé Nast Traveller) that I saw my ideal honeymoon hideaway. It ticked all the boxes – it was remote, yet luxurious, wellness orientated, guaranteed to be sunny and had a spa menu to die for. It was Parrot Cay in the Caribbean’s Turks and Caicos. And it was everything I had ever dreamed of.

I had never booked with a tour operator before – I am not sure why. I think I always assumed that I could find a better deal. I assumed they were going to rip me off. But I very quickly realised how wrong I was after handing my honeymoon over to the clever people at Turquoise Holidays. Having one less thing to worry about when you plan a wedding is not to go underestimated. And they got me deal that makes lastminute.com look positively expensive.

Getting to Parrot Cay is no mean feat. We flew from New York where we had spent a few days soaking up the city. But if you choose to fly from the UK you’ll have to go via the Bahamas with BA and the journey takes 12 hours in total. But it’s worth it. As soon as you step off the plane you’re whisked off to Parrot Cay’s own little jetty where you are immediately submersed into the luxury and comfort that the Como Hotel & Resort brand is renowned for. No sooner had we got there than we were led to a speed boat – for the last leg of the journey.

I defy anyone who arrives at Parrot Cay not to have to pick up their jaw from off the ground. It is truly the most beautiful island I have ever come across. Long swathes of white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, walk-ways through lush tropical greenery, crystal clear and decadently warm sea and verdant greenery. And the best bit… there is absolutely no one else there. You have this entire paradise island to yourself.

parrot cay bedroom

Our room, if you can call it that, which on reflection, you really cant. So let me start that again. Our palatial villa was ah-mazing. We had two bathrooms, a spacious bedroom, two outdoor showers, small kitchenette, private beach, plunge pool and, of course,all the mod cons including massive flat screen TV that was barely turned on apart from in the evenings to cosy up and watch a film together (the hotel has its own extensive DVD library).

Besides from its utter gorgeousness as a unique holiday haven, Parrot Cay is also a playground for health and fitness fanatics like my husband and I. We spent our days doing the complimentary yoga classes, booked in to see the resident Ayurvedic Expert, Dr Pradeep – who became a great inspiration to us both (more on that later), going to the gym, running along the trails, swimming in the sea, as well as the pool, and eating the most delicious vegan fare I have ever tasted.

It will forever remain one of the most special places we have ever been and we cannot wait to book our anniversary return trip…

parrot cay spa

Parrot Cay Perks



Resident Ayurvedic expert, Dr Pradeep is an amazing man. We went to a couple of his classes on Pranayama – breathing – and were hooked by his philosophies and his knowledge. Having always been interested in Ayurveda I was keen to take this opportunity to learn more. Developed in India over 5,000 years ago, it is believed that Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. The aim of Ayurevda is to integrate and balance body, mind and soul. It divides us into three constitutional types depending on a persons physical traits and characteristics, known as dohas: vatta, pitta and kapha. Prior to joining COMO, Dr Pradeep was a Senior Naturopath with the world-renowned Jindal Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences in Bangalore, India, as well as the Yoga and Cultural Ambassador to the Ministry of External Affairs for the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both Nick and I booked a one-on-one class with Dr Pradeep who taught us which Dosha we were (I am the epitome of vatta) and his lessons have changed our lifestyles for the better as he educated us on meditation, our breathing and food. If you want to know more about Ayurveda read our article here.


Turks & Caicos offers some of the best snorkeling in the world. Its shallow waters and reef offer a whole host of flora and fauna beneath the ocean’s surface making it great for kids as there is no need to scuba dive to se the best stuff. Parrot Cay has some wonderful excursions available – we recommend the Sand Dollar Island tour!

The Spa

The spa really is the heart of the resort. We indulged in every treatment going – it was our honeymoon after all – but even on days when we didn’t have a treatment we still found ourselves here doing yoga, meditation or just even popping in for some of the Como ginger tea – on which I became a bit hooked!

Green Juice

Daily green juice on tap – need we say more.

The People

It is worth mentioning the absolutely astounding service at the hotel. Many of the staff are Balinese and they have to be the most wonderfully attentive, kind and gentle people in the world. Not a moment went by when I needed something that was not offered even before I had thought of it. The poolside ice lollies were a massive hit!

For more info go to http://www.comohotels.com/parrotcay  and if you want to book your trip to Parrot Cay visit http://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk




Running the trails

Running the trails

Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding

Green Juice

Green Juice






Healthy Supper Idea: Kale Salad with Figgy Dressing Recipe

6 cups/ large handfuls Kale
1 red pepper, chopped
Seeds 1/2 pomegranate
1 avocado, cubed
Handful of your favourite nuts, raw or lightly toasted (we love pine nuts)

1/4 cup dried figs
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

If the figs are to hard to blend, soak them or boil them for 60 seconds until they become soft and juicy. Add them to the blender with all other ingredients for the dressing. Blend until smooth. Now for the super simple salad part. Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and with your hands slowly massage it into the kale for 2-3 minutes.This allows the kale to wilt. Add in all other salad ingredients. Toss it all together and dig in!


Totally Blissful: The Tripple Oxygen Facial by Bliss Reviewed

Editor, Sadie, tries a new facial just three days before her wedding day

I am always a little nervous when trying out a new facial. What if my skin flares up? What if I have a reaction to the products? What if I end up looking like Samantha from Sex and The City after her skin peel? So, you can times this paranoia by ten when you try a new facial three days before your wedding day. But this wasn’t just any facial – this was the facial. Bliss Spa’s famous Tripple Oxygen Facial.

Now, it is unlike me to be so bold but it had been recommended to me by a friend who promised I would come out looking ten years younger and wedding-ready. After reading a bit more about it I also discovered that it could lighten pigmentation (of which I have lots – damn that blasted Hawaiian Tropic tanning lotion). I was sold.

I tried to hide my anxiety from my therapist. No such luck. I had hardly stepped in the door before telling her that my wedding was in three days time so I am more than a little apprehensive. I am quickly put at ease as the therapist tells me that the treatment is completely tailored to my skin’s needs so that it can reap the best results possible. I am also told that despite a few breakouts, probably caused by stress, my skin is actually quite dry (note to self – drink more water and actually do it this time!). I also have a few blocked pores on my tea-zone, which is very common for people my age (28 if you must know) and who work and live in London. And, as for the pigmentation, this actually looks hormonal and not due to sun damage (I inwardly breath a sigh of relief that my sunbathing habits are not to blame) but that I should get to the root of the problem as to why this has appeared.

She then got to work on my face. A heavenly facial massage was followed by gentle extractions and a cooling oxygen mask that feels as though it is doing a world of good. Once the mask is removed, my face is then pumped full of vitamins with an enzyme mask and vitamin spray and my skin absorbed them faster than you could say ‘skin saviour’. At the end of the treatment I felt like a different person – I was relaxed, calmer and, quite literally, glowing. Not the most intrepid thing I have ever done (honest) – but I was glad that the courage of trying something new paid off.

Visit www.blissworld.co.uk for more information.

The Man Behind Body Beautiful: We take a closer look at Biggest Loser’s, Richard Callender’s workout schedule and find out why he is so successful!

We take a closer look at Biggest Loser’s, Richard Callender’s workout schedule and find out why he is so successful with creating beautiful bodies and how he finds the time to keep his own body in such good shape…

interview by Caroline Dean

ALWAYS keen for a fitness challenge, Hip and Healthy’s Features Editor, Harriet, recently embarked on an eight-week get-in-shape programme called Project You (you can read more about that here). The body beautiful project is the brainchild of Personal Trainer and TV fitness guru, Richard Callender. It is a total body transformation programme that encourages good eating and fitness habits to get you looking better than ever. It certainly worked for our Harriet who lost an impressive 4.6% of her body fat in just two months. To find out more, Hip and Healthy sat down with super-fit Richard over an omelette – he can’t get enough protein – to give us the low down on all things fitness and an insight to his life as a high profile trainer.

H&H: Richard, you have basically lived and breathed fitness since you could walk, how did your career in fitness start and why? 

Richard: Well, it really was in my blood, my family are all athletic, and coupled with the solid education that my parents gave me I knew that fitness and health were hugely important. From an early age I was taking part in athletics, including sprinting, hurdles and long jump.

I found that I had a passion for fitness and went on to study sports science. I progressed through fitness management roles in health clubs, during this time I learnt a lot, however I found that I am not a good at following others and I always look at how things can be done differently. So I moved on and was a self-employed Personal Trainer and alongside that I developed other brands and classes such as my dance brand, Urban Funk.

H&H: Then a leap into media, which saw you training celebrities and on ITV’s reality TV show, The Biggest Loser.  How did this come about?

Richard: I was working as a Personal Trainer when I was asked to model for a woman’s magazine. It was Katie Price’s management who then saw the magazine article and asked me to come and audition for a fitness DVD she was producing.

It was from there that the ITV’s The Biggest Loser producers saw me and asked me audition for a role as Personal Trainer on the show and it all progressed from there.

H&H: Sounds like a lot of opportunities almost found you?  Or are you being quite modest?

Richard: I do not take myself too seriously and I do things differently. I think this is perhaps the reason why people respond to me and I do find that doors open for me.  Obviously I do work very hard, but I am doing what I love so it never seems like a chore.

H&H: How was it in the Biggest Loser camp? 

Richard: Working on the programme was so much fun and I met so many great people. Your clients are in a controlled environment where they can solely focus on themselves and their programmes. In many ways it was Personal Trainer’s dream.

H&H: Our Harriet had fantastic results with your studio, Exclusive Training in Richmond (including 4.6% drop in Body Fat) What is Project You?

Richard: Project You is a total body transformation programme, spanning 8 weeks. It is not extreme, it is about good habits and changing your body. The Project is available at my Studio in Richmond where you can work with one my excellent team of trainers.

H&H: You have many projects and businesses on the go at the moment, including Armageddon, and also exciting projects with Reebok can you tell us a bit about them 

Richard: I love creating new brands and products and then I hope that they will develop a life of their own so I always find I have things in the pipeline.

Armageddon is a fast paced, variable intensity workout. I have been developing for years and I used as a training regime on The Biggest Loser. Armageddon is a group class, using bodyweight only and a blend of intensity levels that encourage fast results. It certainly is a busy time for me as classes are being launched throughout the country and is having a great response.

I am now Global UK Ambassador for Reebok, which is fantastic. Reebok are in a really exciting place at the moment and about to launch concept stores in the UK so it is great to be a part of that.

H&H: Yet you still always find time to train clients? 

Richard: Being a Personal Trainer is what I love and I will always find the time to train and work with clients. I could not imagine not training.

H&H: So you are looking pretty fit right now – what does a workout look like for you? 

Richard: Things are pretty busy right now, so I might only get an opportunity to train twice a week. My workouts are intense and tough. I generally incorporate some strength training alongside core work and then a high intense cardio session.

H&H: What music do you like to train to? 

Richard: I actually like training to slow jams, R&B and old swing, I find this helps me to focus. Also a couple particular favourites are Maddonna – Out of My Head and Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance.

H&H: What are the key components to a successful training schedule? 

Richard: Have an emotional target. A goal that is solely based on numbers such as weight, does not have the same impact as something emotional. Be it a wedding or special event that you want to look your best. Feelings are much more powerful than numbers.

Balance. This is the key if you commence on a get slim quick diet, do not expect what starts fast ends fast, you need to live a balanced life.

Be prepared to fail. There are going to be days when you have bad workouts and days when you don’t feel like working out. This doesn’t mean that your training is over.

Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free ‘White Chocolate’ Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe


Tea time has never been prettier or more decadently healthy (perhaps an oxymoron to most) with this faux white chocolate sponge cake that is dairy and sugar free!

The Cake (makes two cake layers)


250g Vegan Margarine

250g Wholegrain Spelt Flour

1/4 Cup Agave (optional)

4 medium sized Eggs (Are you Vegan? Substituted for 4 flax eggs, which is four tablespoons of flax with 8 tablespoons of water)

(*If serving more people, or you are feeling particularly greedy, and you wish to make three cake layers as shown in the deliciously seductive photo add another 125g Spelt Flour, 125g Vegan Margarine and another two Eggs to the cake mixture.)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 18cm round cake tins with baking parchment. In a large bowl combine the margarine and sift in the spelt four, mix well. In a smaller bowl, whip up the eggs and then slowly mix the eggy goodness in with the dry ingredients. Sweet-tooth folk, mix in your agave now. Fold well. Divide into cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (but keep an eye on it as all ovens are slightly different and burnt is not such a nice flavour). Let cool in the tin for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to further cool.

The ‘White Chocolate’ Filling

2 cups strawberries

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight, or for at least 2 hours)

1/2 cup dates (soaked overnight, or for at least 2 hours)

1/2-3/4 cup water

2 tbsp coconut cream

Sprinkling of chia seeds


Blend the cashews, dates, water and coconut cream until smooth.

Slice the strawberries finely.

Bring it all together:

Tower the cakes together by spreading the cream on the base and then topping with plenty of strawberries, and then  layering the second cake placing the rest of the strawberries on top and sprinkling with chia seeds to decorate.

Top Tip: if making this recipe in a rush, without extra time to soak the cashews and dates, simply boil a kettle and pour over them. Let sit for 60 seconds and drain.


Healing Hands: Reiki Is The Ultimate Stress Buster

Post-wedding, and after leaving her full time job to pursue her own business, Sadie MacLeod, reflects on how a reiki treatment helped her through one of the biggest change periods in her life

I booked myself to see Katie Light at a time I felt my body and mind needed it most. It was one week before my wedding, I had just left my job as a full time journalist to pursue my own ambitions and I had just finished working on a huge event that expended a lot of time and energy. I felt depleted. My right eye twitched with exhaustion (not a sexy look). Stress had begun to feel like it was part of who I was. And all this change was making me nervous.

Katie’s treatment seemed just the solution. She works on both body and mind and has a brilliant track record having worked most of her life with Aromatherapy Associates before going freelance and incorporating reiki into her treatments. It was the reiki that fascinated me most. How could a treatment be relaxing if the therapist doesn’t touch you? After one bad experience when I caught a therapist checking out her hair in my bedroom mirror when she was suppose to be balancing my chi (or whatever needed to be balanced) I was willing to give reiki a second chance.

After spending just ten seconds with Katie I could see how passionate she was about what she was doing and above all, helping people. She began by  massaging my back and instantly commenting on how tense I was. After almost sending me into a trance – I had to fight hard to not fall into a deep sleep I was so relaxed – she began performing reiki. At first I did not feel that much but then slowly I could feel heat where Katie’s hands hovered above me and even more surprising was the deep relaxation I began to feel. More like being in a meditative state then asleep this time but I could literally feel my body unwinding, balancing and re-adjusting.

Once the treatment was over I felt, for the first time in a long time, completely relaxed. My face showed it. My blood had clearly started moving properly again and had given my skin back its glow. The stress I had felt had morphed into something else, something more at the surface. I felt a bit teary. But not in a sad way, more relived. More able to accept the changes in my life and in myself.

Fascinated by reiki now and convinced of its healing properties I asked Katie to give us a bit of a reiki debrief:

Why did you decide to learn Reiki? 

Over the years of practising massage I felt (practically and intuitively) that it just wasn’t enough to treat the physical, so I started to look into options of other alternative therapies to help my clients feel more balanced. Reiki came into my life and presented itself through people I met, just as I was searching for more, professionally and personally. Seven years later I have developed my Reiki practice as a Master and now feel I can go deeper and treat the whole body, mind and emotions on every level.

Do you need to have a gift to begin with or can anyone learn it?

Anyone can learn Reiki, you just need to be open to giving and receiving, allowing Reiki to flow. With my Reiki practice I give my full attention to being present, creating a space for both of us, along with the right intention for each individual, creating a mutual understanding and acceptance allowing Reiki to flow, delivering a unique experience.

What do you find is the most fascinating thing about Reiki?

I love seeing the changes in the client’s face and body before and after they receive Reiki. You can physically see the difference, noticing the shifts in the body where the blockages are. Everyone is different and can experience different sensations/releases during Reiki, sometimes in one session or a block of treatments, depending on the underlying issue. Watching the changes take place is a gift to observe, You don’t just feel more balance and at peace you look younger and fresher!

Who do you feel would really benefit from Reiki?

I strongly believe everyone can benefit from Reiki as it’s profound how it can help balance your body and mind through unblocking the Chakra’s.

Recently I have seen the biggest changes with clients who are mentally stressed, suffering with anxiety, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, stuck on the treadmill of life or suffering from illnesses that are effecting the energy levels.

After a Reiki session what should a person do?

Relax. Try not to have any hectic, busy plans following Reiki as sometimes your chakra’s are still re-balancing after your session has taken place. Find a quiet space to chill out, lie down or just sit for a while to relax a little and ground yourself, while re-hydrating with some water or herbal tea. You will probably find you sleep like a baby that night, so don’t make any party plans, enjoy the feeling.

Visit www.thelighttechnique.com for more information.

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Summer Berry Booster Smoothie Recipe

(Serves 2)


1 Cup Blueberries

1/2 Cup Raspberries

2 Tbsp Goji Berries

2 Tbsp Ground flaxseeds

1 Small Frozen Banana

2-3 tsp baobab powder

2 Cups Oat Milk (Can substitute with Almond or Rice Milk)


Soak the Goji berriesfor 5-10 minutes in luke warm water until they become plump and juicy. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend well until smooth and not pulpy (no one likes a chunky smoothie). Pour into your chosen glasses and feel free to top with a scatter of chia seeds, bee pollen or a handful of homemade granola or favourite muesli.

Share your smoothie with us by hash-tagging #hipandhealthy on Instagram and Twitter.

For more recipes, health, beauty and well-being inspiration subscribe here:

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Relax at Rancho Del Ingles

Life on the Ranch

Spending a week at Rancho Del Ingles, Emily Eaves found she was able to relax and unwind more than ever before

You know that life isn’t too bad, when you’re out in the pool doing some lengths and you can feel the warm sun on your back.

I’ve been staying at Rancho Del Ingles for almost a week now and each day I’ve managed to fit in a swim, turning my head one way and seeing the bright blue sky and the lemon trees, whilst the other way there are the mountains and the long winding drive way up to the beautiful Casa Grande, which sits at the heart of this Andalucian estate.

Situated close to Malaga, Rancho is an oasis of wellbeing, just a two hour flight from London and offering exercise friendly weather all year round. Although I’m here on a Bed and Breakfast Basis, Rancho Del Ingles regularly host exclusive yoga retreats. The on site studio is flooded with natural light offering the ideal location for some early morning movement; previous retreats have included Ashtanga, Hatha and Vinyasa sessions often combined with Self reflection and Writing. There is also an outdoor terrace, perfect for an early evening practice or meditation, when the sky turns pink behind the dramatic outline of the mountains.

Set in the foothills between the mountains and the sea, my lungs have been filled with a fresh air that makes me sleep deeply and eat endlessly. There are avocados in abundance here, and there’s nothing quite like picking an orange off the tree on your way to breakfast. During yoga retreats, guests enjoy beautiful fresh salads and creative vegetarian dishes – often using other produce from the ranch including figs, walnuts and pomegranates.


Time at Rancho seems to pass by effortlessly and I happily spend hours reading, writing or simply gazing out at the vast expanses of sky from the many terraces, both sunny and shady. Owners David and Miyuki have brilliantly combined the traditional Spanish elements of the original farmhouse, with a charming hotch potch of world heritage salvage. Featuring a Bacchanalian fountain, a vintage tractor and a retro kiosk, the grounds of this Finca are as individual and eclectic as the individually designed bedrooms and bathrooms.

Whereas it’s easy to find yourself slipping dreamily into Spanish life – waking late, eating well, and taking a siesta mid afternoon – there is a wealth of places and activities I’ve managed to explore whilst using Rancho Del Ingles as a base. As well as the wind surfing destination of Tarifa further along the coast, there are excellent mountain biking, golf courses and hiking trails within easy driving distance. Rise early or walk at sunset to the stunning viewpoint above Torrealqueria; passing vineyards, mountain goats and colourful flowers as you snake up a winding dusty track. Often overlooked is the actual city of Malaga – one of the oldest in the world and filled with culture, history and food so good that you can take a Tapas Tour around the streets or spend hours in the lunchtime food market.

If visiting during the (slightly) cooler months, bring running shoes and take a jog into the nearby Alhaurin De La Torre with its authentic Spanish buildings and central square. The outdoor gyms are mainly used by elderly locals but provided the perfect setting when I was looking for work out space to undertake some gentle stretching before finding a strong coffee and walking leisurely back to Rancho.

You’ll struggle to find quite such a haven so easily accessible from the daily grind of real life. Returning home, I found myself buzzing from the combination of feeling utterly indulged yet healthier than I had in months.




Father’s Day Favourites: Perfect presents that he will actually use!

Daddy Cool

Father’s Day Favourites: Pressies that he will actually use!

By Frankie Rozwadowska

Stuck on what to get your dad this Father’s Day? Step away from the crime thrillers and novelty socks, because we’ve done the hard bit for you. From fragrance to shower gel, shave cream and skin scrubs – these are the perfect padre presents for any modern gentleman


Molton Brown Body-warming Sportbalm, £18

The new three-piece grooming range from Molton Brown has been specifically designed for those who like to work up a sweat and groom those guns. This Body-warming Sportbalm is a gym-bag must-have for any fitness-freak-fathers. Made from a blend of vanillyl butyl (which packs the heat), cassia bark (to refresh and deodorise) and conditioning macadamia nut oil, apply this pre-workout to warm up those muscles or after exercising to soothe the skin.


L’Occitane ‘L’Occitan’ Shower Gel, £13

Forget the fancy bottles and sweet-smelling soaps – this is a bathing beauty for boys. As well as purifying the body and cleansing hair, it smells sublime with its peppery, nutmeg scent of burnt wood blended blissfully with lavender. Warm and masculine, it packs some serious shower power.


Liz Earle For Men Sensitive Shave Cream, £11.50

For fathers with more sensitive skin, look no further than this Sensitive Shave Cream. Bursting with naturally active ingredients including clary sage and lavender to calm, geranium essential oil to tone and balance, eucalyptus to cool, and pro-vitamin B5 to moisturise and stimulate cellular renewal – it’s one smooth operator, containing naturally gentle foaming agents to offer a clean, close and smooth shave every time.


Bulldog Original Face Scrub, £5.79

The UK’s first and largest natural male skincare brand, Bulldog boasts grooming goodies that are free from man-made chemicals. This face scrub contains 8 essential oils, shea butter, pumice and coconut shell to gently exfoliate and leave dad looking rad.


Origins Save The Males Moisturiser, £28

Nature meets science with this oil-free, lightweight lotion that fights the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst preventing future dryness. With Carrot Protein, Chinese Wolfberry and Mangosteen Extract, it’s loaded with anti-oxidants to protect against environmental factors and contains Avocado extract to help control excess oil. It sure makes for one manly moisturizer.


Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense, £100

The latest launch from Jo Malone and a sure-fire way to make dad one happy chap, meet Saffron Cologne Intense.  A deep and opulent scent comprising of golden saffron, spicy pink pepper, creamy pale woods and intense incense – this is the ultimate gift. Just be warned, you may end up keeping it for yourself…

If you only do one thing this week… Eat More Almonds

If you only do one thing this week… Eat More Almonds

 almond board 260

Why should we eat more almonds? 

  • They are a natural source of protein (great for muscles) and fibre (ideal for digestion). So your body will be beach ready in no time.
  • Your skin will glow due to their high vitamin E content. A handful of almonds (30g) provides you with approximately 65% of your daily requirement of vitamin E.
  • They have just gone down in calories according to experts. A recent study has found that almonds have approximately 20% fewer calories than originally thought. A handful of almonds (30g) actually has 138 calories rather than the 173 calories listed on labels.

When should we eat them?

You can add almonds to anything – smoothies, salads, fish dishes. But expert Nutritionist, Amanda Hamilton, recommends “eating a handful of almonds every day as a nutritious snack” to help control hunger.  To show you just how great almonds can be for you California Almonds is currently running the Snack Happy Challenge, encouraging women to snack on a handful of almonds every day for 21 days to see what difference it makes to their life.  Amanda also says “Studies show that when you are stressed it makes it harder to choose the right foods and people will often reach for high-sugar and unhealthy snacks. Having a healthy snack to nibble on, such as almonds when you feel pressured, can help stop you heading for the vending machine.”

So get involved.

For the chance to get a free snack pack of almonds visit www.AlmondBoard.co.uk/SnackHappy Tweet about the challenge using the #snachkhappy and let us know how you feel by including us in your tweet #hipandhealthy.

City Escape: Om Tribe Yoga Studio is just 5 mins from Canary Wharf, but you’ll feel a million miles away. One writer investigates

Om Tribe Yoga Studio is just five mins from Canary Wharf, but will give you the yogic headspace to make you feel a million miles away. One writer investigates.

words by Bex Fairbrother

Hidden beneath the sprawling mass of towering skyscrapers that is Canary Wharf, is the unassuming power yoga studio, OM Tribe Yoga. This quirky, bohemian exercise space is an exciting and positive addition to an area which is often seen as quite soulless and generic in its choice of buildings and shops. Not only is its presence in the area very much welcomed, the studio and staff are also approachable, charming and helpful, whilst the studio is a large, airy, inviting space with a high, beamed ceiling.

The name of the studio, OM Tribe Yoga is particularly apt as the classes are a unique fusion of calm (OM, the most sacred mantra) with dynamic, ‘tribal’ movements and asanas. There are classes to suit all levels of experience including Vinyasa Flow, Jivamukti and Power Vinyasa. Their signature class is Hot Power Yoga which was the class I tried. If you are looking for an invigorating and dynamic workout, I would highly recommend this class. It essentially takes place in a warm, heated chamber. However, as it is only heated to 28 degrees, it is much less intense than the stifling heat of Bikram Yoga and allows you to achieve a deep flexibility throughout your body.

Power yoga is vigorous and dynamic, forcing your body to challenge itself, pushing it to new limits. Great if you love trying new workouts and like mixing things up whilst also testing your body and your mind’s endurance. It is essentially a moving meditation. As there is a quick pace and rhythm to the class, there is no time for your mind to wander as you are constantly made to focus on the here and now.

There was a strong emphasis on the sun salutation sequence at the beginning of the class and then various, dynamic poses were added in which you challenged your body, pushing it to new limits. These simple movements practised in infrared, radiant heat has a detoxifying effect on the body whilst also enabling you to move deeper into the stretches with both comfort, ease and safety. The class was accompanied by upbeat, energetic music which was well synced to the postures whilst the teacher was easy to follow and passionate, giving modifications on various poses where necessary, whilst also helping certain students get deeper into their asanas.

At OM Tribe Yoga, it is not only the classes that strip everything back to basics, the studio building itself is essentially a disused wooden workshop which has been renovated to make a light, airy yoga space. It creates a strong contrast to the surrounding, polished structures that characterise this mini, financial metropolis.


The studio is tucked away in a peaceful spot, just a short walk from Canary Wharf station. It is fully equipped with all the necessary yoga equipment including mats, blocks, straps etc, whilst the facilities, despite not being overly spacious are super clean and include toilets, showers and a changing area. At reception they offer free filtered water and herbal tea and there is also bottled water and other drinks to buy as well as towels to rent.

They also have a number of reasonably priced membership offers, including 3 weeks of unlimited yoga for £30 for new students, allowing you to come as many times as you like during that time period. If you’re not hooked after the first few classes, you definitely will be after 3 weeks.

As yoga is known for its stress-reducing qualities, this small, bespoke studio will ensure that even in the heart of the city you come away feeling relaxed, revived and more supple, oozing maximum health and vitality.

For more information visit: www.omtribeyoga.com/visit-the-studio



Power Smoothie Recipe: Swap your porridge for something just as powerful this morning

Summer has arrived, so swap your porridge for something just as powerful. This insanely delicious smoothie for breakfast may feel like a treat, but, it is in fact, ridiculously healthy! What are you waiting for – blenders at the ready.


(Serves 2)


1 Banana

1/3 cup Cashew nuts

4 Medjool dates

2 tbsp Chia seeds

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Cups Oat Milk


Blend… thats all.

So what good are all these yummy ingredients?

Banana – Packed full of potassium, bananas decreases the risk of high blood pressure, increases strength and reduces stress.

Cashew nuts  – Lower in saturated fats then their other nutty friends, these babies contain 5g of Protein per ounce and are an excellent source of magnesium.

Medjool Dates –  This important fruit is used in Arab countries after breaking fast for Ramadan, as just a handful of dates immediately restores the bodies energy levels.

Chia Seeds – Not only are these little power houses packed with Omega-3’s; One serving of these super-seeds contains as much calcium as 1/2 glass of milk, two times the fiber of a cup of oatmeal and two times the magnesium of a cup of spinach. Time to get to know Chia?- We think so!

Cinnamon – Regulates blood sugar levels, boosting the metabolism, stabilizing energy levels and mood.

Oat Milk – A great health-conscious dairy-free alternative to milk, high in natural iron and fiber, low in fats and sugars.

If serving for breakfast top with a sprinkle of your favorite granola, muesli or seed mix for an extra crunchy element.

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