If you only do one thing this week… Slow Down

words by Gemma Bolton of Buff-Beauty.com

According to Gandhi ‘there is more to life than increasing its speed’ and we couldn’t agree more. Too often days becomes a whirl of racing to and through work, gym, social life and dinner before snatching a few hours of broken sleep. The result? A serious chance of burnout.

Slow your breath
If there’s something a baby has over an adult it’s knowing how to breathe properly; just watch how their tummies rise and fall with each breath. Breathing shallowly from the chest alone is more akin to hyperventilation, keeping your brain in (an unhealthy) fight-or-flight mode. Practise makes perfect: breathe deeply, focusing on pushing the abdomen out on your inhalation and pulling it back in as you slowly exhale. It feels weird to start but, trust us, it’ll feel great when you get it.

Slow your lists
It’s no wonder we’re all hyperventilating when you look at the length of our to-do lists. But does everything really need to be done before your 12pm? It’s amazing how just shuffling your schedule around can free up a spot of brain space. First, take a moment to scale your list in terms of importance: if there’s anything under a seven, push it back to a calmer time. Next, look at your top to-do and break it down into achievable chunks.

Slow your food
Ever scoffed a sandwich without realising? If your eye’s on the inbox or you’re racing to the train there’s a good chance you’ll end up more bloated, more hungry and less appreciative of your food. Digestion starts in the mouth and requires a relaxed tum. Sit down and – just as your mother told you – remember to chew. If you’re stressed out, take a few deep belly breaths before you continue. Lunch will taste so much better!

Slow to a walk
Good news for the jogging-phobic, our scientist friends in the US say walking is just as good for our hearts as running. What’s more, walking gives you the time to actually see and enjoy your surroundings. Grab a friend – canine or human – and get out there. A golden star if it’s somewhere green where you’ll feel the awesome calming powers of nature. A platinum star if you find time to stop for a long and leisurely picnic.

Slow to stillness
Perhaps one of the hardest at first, but the most addictive of all: schedule some time to be still. That’s absolutely still. No Twitter, no TV. Just you, your breath and your thoughts. It feels truly amazing and, as acupuncturist Andy Green (http://shiatsuandacupuncture.wordpress.com/) assures, ‘when the time for action arrives, we are focused and efficient because our efforts are in harmony with the world around us.’ Start with just five minutes a day and see how you go.

Image by Marcus Ohlsson represented by LUNDLUND for Elle magazine, Sweden


Health Speak with Yoga for Grownups founder, Maria Kirsten

 interview conducted by Kate Prince

Maria Kirsten is the creator of Yoga for Grownups, a system of simple, smart and fun movements, which are broken down into steps and which make yoga accessible to all, whatever age. With this system, she helps people to enjoy being in their body while making yoga pertinent to everyday life. Maria’s work is centred on yoga as a form of intelligent movement and looks at how to make powerful poses and practices of yoga safe, simple and accessible to all. She is based in Lennox Head near beautiful Byron Bay in Australia where she runs classes which get people listening to their bodies and finding pleasure and joy in the connection. She has also released a DVD which is available at www.yogaforgrownups.com and is planning to run a workshop in the UK in the future.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? 

I drink hot lemon and water. I love the feeling of the warmth moving through me and hydrating and cleansing my system first thing.  I am convinced it keeps my system ticking over nicely.  After that, I roll around on the floor to stretch out.

What do eat you for breakfast?

Either bircher muesli which I make the night before, with grated apple, loads of seeds, and sometimes a drizzle of maple syrup.  I am not a big fan of dried fruit, so I cut fresh fruit and berries onto it in the morning for a beautiful contrast of flavours. I love yogurt or avocado and scrambled egg on gluten free toast.  All our produce is local and free range and spray free.

What is your work place like?

It is amazing, with the ocean one side and a tea tree lake the other, wooden floors, and the ageing charm of an old Australian surf club.  It has a very calming feel and is perfect for yoga.

What do you eat for lunch? 

Not much, fruit, nuts, or I make a late lunch my main meal of the day…  I like to eat two main meals a day rather than three, so I will have breakfast, small light lunch and dinner, often when my kids get home from school. We all seem to be starving at about 4 pm and happier if we eat then.

Do you snack? If so, what on?

Almonds, apples, and crunchy veggies, which I chop up and carry in my bag however, sometimes dark chocolate as a lovely treat.

What do you have for supper? 

I have salad and something with protein. I eat animal protein because I get really low in iron if I don’t, but the family loves tofu and tempeh as well.  I like my food light and fresh in summer, but wholesome in winter.  I love a winter risotto. My mother-in -law taught me a beautiful simple, lemon risotto, with a few greens through it and flaked almonds.

What is the healthiest thing you do every day?

I do yoga every day, whether that is doing yoga poses or sitting in meditation.  I swim in the sea almost day, either in Lennox Head or across Byron Bay.  I love the feeling of gliding through the water and the rhythm of the breath.  It makes me feel like a dolphin.

Why did you create Yoga for Grownups?

To provide a true beginner experience for middle-aged householders to help them to discover yoga and become empowered to be their own therapists.  I realised, after years of teaching, that instructing people into poses was not what was needed; I needed to teach people to explore poses. I try to get people to switch of their intellect and really feel what is going on for them. It is wonderful to watch them start to trust themselves again.

How does Yoga for Grown Ups differ to other yoga programmes?

We always start with breathing and rolling around on the floor to get people connected to their bodies before things get hard.  I love to encourage people to laugh and have fun, close their eyes, forgo the pressure to perform, and to find a work completely without pain.  That doesn’t mean things don’t get intense, but people need to learn that pain in the joints is a sign of faulty biomechanics and potential injury.

What do you like best about yoga?

How simple a tool it is to help me look after my body and mind; it makes me happy.

What is your favourite yoga pose/movement?

I do a wide legged easy twist and an arm opening twist every day, but when I have had a juicy long practice I love revolved triangle pose and shoulder stand.

What is your least favourite pose/movement?

Kurmasana, otherwise known as Tortoise which involves dropping your chest to the floor and putting your arms under your leg, it totally messes up my upper back. I no longer even try.  I am also opposed to silly dangerous poses that put people at unnecessary risk.

Is there anything you do every day without fail?

A good quad stretch.

Which celebrities would you like to have in one of your yoga classes?

It would have to be American yoga gurus Jason Crandell, and Judith Lasater, Colin Farrell or Meryl Streep.

What is your biggest luxury in life?

I treasure time with my family and a wonderful monthly massage.

What are the three things can’t you live without?

My family, my yoga practice, and my mental capacity.

And what do you go to bed thinking about?

Nothing, I am lucky enough to be a good sleeper. If I am thinking, I either get up and do whatever I need to, or do a practice in the dark and then climb back into bed.

What is your motto in life?

“Do a little a lot instead of a lot a little.”   I find that often people either do nothing they do too much.  I am a big fan of doing a little something every day.  I walk as much as I can, rhythmically and joyfully, and I try to do a short yoga practice every day; I think of my yoga practice as a small act of love for myself.

 


Home-made Beauty: Beauty Fixes from your Fridge

Violet Hudson investigates the power of her fridge when it comes to all things bright and beautiful

About a year ago, Victoria Beckham – she of the talon-nails and ballpoint pen-heels – admitted that sometimes she slathers some mushed up avocado on her face. What, cried the tabloids, is wrong with her? This is a woman with many millions of pounds at her disposal, who could bathe her epidermis in the umbilical cords of unborn cashmere goats if she so chose; and yet she goes for the humble avocado?

What they failed to pick up on was that Victoria, pouty, expensive, glossy Victoria, has a point. Yes, yes: picking something from the fridge and then squishing it into a magic elixir is usually the preserve of children making potions from rose petals. But, hey, lots of high-tech beauty products use plant extracts, so what’s the harm in going back to the original?

I decided to start with something small, something easy. A porridge bath. Basically, a handful of oats shoved into a clean tea-towel, which I then tied around the tap so that the water would run through it. Aveeno, whose brilliant body moisturisers I swear by, use oats: what’s the difference? The bath is super easy to run and was a pleasing milky colour when I get into it. Afterwards, my skin felt soft and plump. It has worked a treat: although the tub did need quite a thorough scrub afterwards. Ease: 7/10. Effectiveness: 9/10.

Next up: the lemon juice nail whitener. Lemon juice is a natural bleach, so after my hands had gone Lady Macbeth red after making a beetroot risotto, I needed a way to make them lily-white again. No amount of scrubbing with fairy liquid was getting rid of those stains. Half a lemon squeezed onto my fingers and a bit of gentle rubbing later, my hands were back to normal. Although I had forgotten about a paper cut. Ouch. Ease: 10/10. Effectiveness: 8/10.

Now time for a slightly yucky one. My hair, though fine, is also a bit brittle and can get very split-end-y after a cold winter. So I decided to try the age-old trick of making a hair mask out of olive oil and egg yolk (yes, basically mayonnaise): the combination of protein and moisture is supposed to do wonders. It feel slimy and gloopy as I smoothed it over my damp hair. Usually with a hair mask I’d put on a shower cap to let the steam make the mask sink in; but that obviously wasn’t an option here, unless I wanted an omelette on my head. Afterwards, and after about 18 rinses, my hair did feel silky smooth. But it got greasy again very quickly, and the hassle of making this combined with the ick-factor means I won’t be trying it again in a hurry. Ease: 3/10. Effectiveness: 5/10.

I’ve always had blotchy, sensitive skin so an entirely natural face-mask made of honey and yoghurt seemed like just the trick. They’re both known for being soothing and anti-inflammatory, while honey is mildly antiseptic. I slathered it on, left it for ten minutes and then washed off. Easy as pie – although I did get some yoghurt in my hair. My skin looked fresh and didn’t feel at all tight, although there was still blotchiness and the odd pimple. I think this one felt better than its actual results – but it was a lovely, fragrant treat. Ease: 9/10. Effectiveness: 5/10.

Back to olive oil. I have exzcema and have always used it on my skin: as a balm for particularly dry bits, as a post-bath moisturiser or simply as a hand salve when I’m in the kitchen and can’t be bothered to go upstairs. One thing I can’t really use, due to my sensitive skin, is exfoliators: they tend to bring me out in an angry red rash. So a body scrub made of olive oil mushed together with some sea salt offers the perfect solution. It took two seconds to put together, and worked a treat, sloughing away dead skin and leaving me baby-soft, if a little shiny. Ease: 10/10. Effectiveness: 10/10.

And finally: the Posh Spice avocado face mask. I bought some ‘ripe’ avocados from the supermarket. Of course they were hard as rocks. So I bought some more, from a different supermarket. Them too. Finally I found some suitably squidgy ones in the corner shop, but by that point I was losing enthusiasm for the whole project. Posh allegedly sleeps with her mask on, but there was no way in hell I was turning my pillow case into a guacamole pot, so I applied the mushed-up avocado onto my face midday and waited for 15 minutes. It felt horrible – slimy, lumpy, cold. Vicious green when I had applied it, by the time I looked in the mirror after letting it work its magic, it was a dull oxidised brown and looked properly revolting. After rinsing off – and rinsing the sink many, many times – I must admit my skin looked and felt lovely: plump, clear, even-toned and bright. But it was so revolting that I’d rather just eat an avocado any day. That’s the thing about these fridge-tricks: they’re great for when you’re broke or if you’re trying to only use natural products. But I can’t help but think they’d all be better eaten. Ease: 2/10. Effectiveness: 8/10.


Braving Bikram: What are the real benefits of Bikram yoga, our writer finds out

Francesca Londoño-Brasington tries Bikram yoga with the very person who brought it to London in the first place, a good place to start we think.

In recent months I have become a firm Pilates convert after having previously tried and failed at becoming a ‘yogi’.  In fact, I had recently reached the conclusion to give up yoga and forgo all aspirations to become the Zen yogi I secretly always wanted to be. But in truth, there’s remained a teeny, tiny part of me that still really, really wants to be good at yoga. I want the lithe body and the flexible limbs!  Although Pilates has been fantastic for my core and helped me enormously, I’m still terribly inflexible. So upon being invited to trial a Bikram class, I thought, perhaps it was time to give yoga one last shot.

The class I was kindly invited to trial was at one of Michele Pernetta owned Bikram studios in Primrose Hill. Michele is responsible for bringing Bikram to London and kicked off the trend in 1994, long before I’d ever heard of it.

For those of you who don’t know, Bikram is a 26 posture series performed in a heated room (approximately 105 degrees) designed to move oxygenated blood to every single joint, muscle, organ and fibre of the body. The thinking behind the heated room is to ensure the muscles relax, are thoroughly warmed up and can therefore stretch further and safely thus making it easier to perform the postures. The benefits of Bikram are staggering and include an increase in muscle strength, flexibility, fitness and stamina. Google it, and thousands of pages appear promoting its benefits including countless tales of people being restored back to health through practice after serious illness.

Bikram first appeared on my radar about four years ago, it was all the rage and with such a huge celebrity following, my friends and I all rushed to try it. Although I did find Bikram the best form of yoga I’d tried because I loved the heat, I still found the classes frustrating – you’re packed head to toe into a vast, soulless studio which isn’t relaxing. After trialling a number of classes in various different locations around London, I lost interest.

I therefore approached the trial at the Primrose Hill studio with my usual reticence – it was a freezing Sunday morning, I was feeling grouchy, tired and slightly worse for wear after drinking a little too much wine that weekend. However I was intrigued, I’d read a lot about Michele Pernetta and decided that if I was ever going to be converted to Bikram, it would be at one of her studios. And luckily for me, I wasn’t disappointed. The Primrose Hill studio has a lovely, village feel which is warm and welcoming without any pretence. I was greeted upon arrival by friendly staff who were more than happy to answer any questions. The studio itself was a breath of fresh air; far superior to any studio I have been in before. Not only was it clean but it didn’t feel like a ‘studio’, it was beautifully decorated with gorgeous chandeliers hanging from the ceiling – much more the environment I had envisaged for getting in the yoga zone.

The class was taken by a fantastic teacher, Michael, who had a friendly, relaxed approach and didn’t make me feel completely useless for not being able to perform all the postures correctly.  He even asked someone to demonstrate one of the postures which was incredibly helpful for my own visualisation especially being at the back of the class and not being able to see in the mirror.

Normally when I practice yoga, I become annoyed and frustrated by my own inflexibility. I hate being so bad at something and I am truly terrible at yoga. I’m not quite sure how to pinpoint what made this class different, I think it was a combination of great teaching alongside beautiful surroundings. Plus my mind set had shifted, I didn’t expect to be good but to take it slowly and move at my own pace.  I therefore managed to let go of my frustration and relax into the postures.

I can honestly say I came out of that class feeling 100% better, my bad mood had lifted, my muscles felt stretched and relaxed…and dare I say it, I felt almost ‘Zen’ like!

After enjoying the class so much, I was desperate to hear directly from Michele herself.  I wanted to find out a bit more regarding her background and if she ever got bored practicing the same moves (something I thought I’d struggle with in the long term!). Michele kindly agreed to answer my three burning questions to share with Hip and Healthy readers…

Let’s hear it from Michele Pernetta herself…

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What led you to setting up your own practices in London?

I was living in Los Angeles, working as a fashion designer. I was an avid martial artist and was training for my Tae Kwon Do Black belt. l had two badly damaged knees, one of which needed surgery.

I heard that there was a yoga teacher called Bikram who was known as “the knee guru” so I went to see him in an attempt to avoid surgery, believing that there must be a way the body could heal.  I had been in constant pain for two years and had been told that there was no chance of the torn cartilage ever repairing itself.  Bikram said, “Don’t worry honey!  I’ll fix your knees in 15 lessons!” He was as good as his word, my knees are better than they were before the injuries and that was 19 years ago.

After 4 years of almost daily practise with Bikram himself, Bikram suggested I should teach his yoga. I was not interested at all, as my fashion career was everything to me. After returning to the UK from LA I looked around for a similar yoga class to the Bikram classes I had been doing with Bikram in LA. I tried everything. Nothing came close (this is 1994!) so myself, my husband and a couple of friends who had been to LA and done Bikram Yoga there started doing it in my sitting room a couple of times a week with the fire on! Soon they brought a friend or two and we didn’t have the space for them, so between us we rented a room nearby and did it there. After a few weeks people began bringing their friends and I kept having to turn around and correct them. Soon the room was completely full and so I took the room another night a week and soon a third night. Once all three nights were packed and another teacher (6 years later) had trained we opened the first Bikram studio in 1999, Bikram North. So, the way I started teaching was really a response to demand.

How many times a week do you practice and how do you keep motivated?

I try to practise the beginners class 3 times a week and the advanced class once a week, plus a gym visit to get out of my usual yoga environment, but some weeks are better and many are worse, depending on travel and workload.

Many people ask how it is possible to practise the same poses year after year for 19 years. It is normal after about 3 years to go through a period of apparent boredom, and go off and try Ashtanga or some other yoga system (I did, and ended up doing a teacher training in Ashtanga which I enjoyed immensely) but I never stopped my Bikram Yoga practise. However this boredom is simply something changing and the transition takes a little time and it would be in this period that one needs to be with an experienced teacher who can guide you through it. Many give up yoga at this time. One changes from being physically motivated to dropping that seeking. This is a big transition, not just in yoga but in our lives. The desire to improve the postures, get better, be healthier, lock the knee, get a deeper backbend, all the egoic goals we come in with, is deep patterning. It will eventually change over to the more internal practise which is about meditation, breath and riding the breath throughout the class. If one can get past this transition, ones yoga practise begins to flourish. It is never, ever boring. I am no longer motivated to achieve things in class, other than to do my best that day and mindlessness for 90 minutes. In fact I find myself pulling my poses back, to get the best alignment possible, often going less deep in some poses, as I no longer care how it looks, but how it feels. That is how it stays fresh and exciting for me.

What benefits do you find from Bikram in particular as opposed to other types of yoga?

Bikram Yoga is Hatha Yoga sequenced into 26 postures and 2 Pranayama breathing exercises performed in a heated room. The benefits of this yoga is that it works every muscle and joint, organ, fibre and system in the body, cleansing and oxygenating the entire body for 100% health and increased vitality through a strenuous yet relaxing stretch. The heat allows one to stretch safely and aids in the healing of injuries. It also promotes sweating which is very healthy.

Many of the benefits come through systematic compression and release better known as the tourniquet effect, literally squeezing out old blood and bringing new oxygenated blood to every part of the body.

We start with Pranayama which oxygenates the blood followed by strengthening poses intended to warm us up, raise the heart rate and increase respiration. Bringing up body temperature results in increased blood and nutrient flow and allows the joints and muscles to function optimally without inducing injury during this intense 90 minute cardiovascular workout. The heat allows us to work deeply as the muscles and ligaments are worked at their ideal temperature and are stretched, simultaneously allowing us to re-align our skeletal and muscular systems whilst detoxifying through sweating which many find cathartic both physically and emotionally. The heat thins the synovial fluid, which can now carry nutrients deeper into the joints as we open them.

Two sets of each pose in front of a mirror allow for you to go deeper into the second set and improve strength and alignment on the first set and flexibility and energy on the second set, whilst the pauses following each pose allow you to absorb the benefits of the high speed blood released back into the area from the tourniquet effect, which carries away toxins and brings nutrients into the area. Having the class always be the same provides mental relaxation, as you can flow through not wondering what pose is coming next and it reduces injury as your body gets used to this basic sequence of poses.

Michele has four studios based in London, please visit the following websites for further details:

www.bikramyoga.co.uk

http://www.bikramyogaprimrosehill.com/your-studio/

There is currently an introductory offer of 20 classes for £20 at Primrose Hill or 30 classes for £35 at North, West and City studios.

 

 


Best of British Beauty: Patriotic and Proud, Hip and Healthy reveals its favourite home beauty brands

Let us start with a quote from one of our fave beauty brands – “We’re proud to be British and even prouder to be a London-made brand. So much of the world’s beauty products are made by just a few big cosmetic powerhouses in France and the USA. Cosmetic manufacture is not something Britain has previously been known for but we are famous for innovation so when the two come together you get something altogether different and forward thinking.” Sarah Brown, creator of Pai Skincare

Great Britain is, well, pretty jolly great. Who else can do drama like Made in Chelsea (or Towie for that matter), invent Marmite, or make a cuppa quite like us? Exactly. But it’s British beauty brands that are really something to be proud of. So, in celebration of St George’s Day, we are celebrating all things beautifully Blighty.

Jo Loves
If you haven’t heard of Jo Malone, then seriously – what rock have you been hiding under? Having sold her self-titled luxury brand nearly 15 years ago, in 2011 she was back with a new fragrance line – Jo Loves. Inspired by her love of cooking and playing with food, flavours and colours that she had never used before, Jo Loves is a celebration of smells that evoke emotions or memories from her life – be it the scent of her husband’s cologne, a horse’s saddle or the rain in New York.

Top Pick: Pomelo – £95.00

Clean, crisp and fabulously fresh – Pomelo is fast becoming our new scent obsession. The first fragrance Jo created in over 5 years, it’s a citrusy cologne that’s as refreshing as having a glass of iced fizzy water with a big old slice of lime. With base notes of suede and patchouli, middle notes of clove and vetiver and top notes of pink pomelo and rose – it also has a masculine side, perfect if you don’t want a super sweet scent.

This Works

Founded in 2003 by International Journalist and Beauty Expert, Kathleen Phillips, This Works is a range of high performance products made from the finest, highly concentrated and naturally active ingredients. All for being straightforward, honest and real – there are no false promises here. These products deliver and, you guessed it – they work.

Top Pick: Perfect Legs Gradual Tan – £38.00

A lover for your legs (and indeed your entire body) this streak-free serum develops over a few days to leave you looking sun-kissed and golden. Free from nasty chemicals, colours and fragrance, it contains Vitamin C and E to even out skin tone – combating imperfections for pure pin perfection. A true summer essential.

Borealis Natural Skincare

Only a year old, Borealis Natural Skincare is a baby in the beauty world – but it has seriously caught our attention. From cleansers to toners, body lotions and cellulite busters, they have it all. 100% natural, organic, fair-trade and handmade in the UK – how could it get any better? We predict big things.

Top Pick: Rose & Geranium Rejuvenating Face Oil – £22.50

Developed to aid the healing process for damaged or over exposed skin, this oil not only smells amazing (it contains rose, geranium and lavender) but it helps reduce signs of aging and helps to balance and harmonize. Vitamin E, kiwi seed, rosehip and evening primrose oil firm and smooth skin contours for a rejuvenating revelation.

Aromatherapy Associates

Founders, Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechy, have been leading experts in aromatherapy for over 30 years, and since joining forces in 1985 their creations can be found in leading spas and hotels throughout the world. Their aim? To share the true power of essential oils and show how they have incredible effects at a therapeutic level. These products use active botanicals and expertly blended essential oils not only to keep skin healthy, but to transform our moods and aid our emotional state.

Top Pick: Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil – £39.00

Created by Geraldine during her treatment for cancer, Inner Strength was born out of a need for strength, courage and positivity. Clary sage uplifts, frankincense helps to focus and calm the mind, cardamom and rosemary fortify physical strength, rose and vetivert calm and heal, whilst geranium helps to balance emotions and stimulate circulation. 10% of all proceeds go straight to the ATK Foundation (of which Geraldine is a patient), which is working on developing a new cancer vaccination. A truly powerful product for a powerful cause.

Pai Skincare

After years of battling skin allergies, ex-PR guru Sarah Brown decided to take matters into her own hands and in 2007 she created a range of organic, chemical and irritant free skincare. Ideal for those with sensitive or problem skin, Pai focuses on natural, active ingredients with proven therapeutic properties, that has not only won us over – but has the likes of Natalie Portman as one of its supporters.

Top Pick: Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator – £20.00

Exfoliators can leave skin irritated and aggravated, but this super gentle formula de-flakes and polishes skin without damaging cells. A gel that transforms into a silky milk, it’s rich in omegas 3 & 6 and vitamins A, D & E to lock in moisture, while jojoba seeds lift dead cells and surface impurities. Use after the Camellia & Rose Cleanser and you will be refreshed and radiant in a jiffy.

by Frankie Rozwadowska


If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Do a Daily Detox

words by Caitlin Sammons

6 Simple Ways to Detox Everyday: Daily cleansing habits that can boost your metabolism and promote healthy weight loss

Detoxing involves cleansing the body with certain foods and supplements, whilst also reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. The toxins from our food, beauty products, antibiotics, and medicines can overwhelm our bodies. Taking simple actions and building healthy daily habits can go a long way in helping to cleanse your body from all the toxins it must fight off everyday.

The best way to initially cleanse your body is to avoid the toxic substances you have control over, such as coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, hydrogenated fats, sugars, and chemicals from hygiene products. Reducing the stress in your life will also help your body cleanse itself from toxins.

Here are six other simple ways that can help you detox everyday:

Hot Water & Lemon for Breakfast: Lemon helps your body fight off disease, stimulate digestion, and cleanse your liver. In the 1940’s, naturopath Stanley Burroughs first discovered the detoxification benefits of lemons while searching for a cure for ulcers. Burroughs believed that disease originates from toxic build-up in the colon. He introduced a lemon detox as a way to eliminate toxins in the body and prevent diseases. Going on a full-lemon cleanse can be a bit daunting, but by replacing your morning cup of coffee with the healthier alternative of hot water and lemon, you can reap the detoxification benefits of lemons everyday.

Get a Massage: Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years, and its benefits include better circulation, reduced fatigue, and an improved immune system. Massages physically move the toxins out of your body by pushing them through and out of muscles. Schedule a weekly rubdown to reduce your stress level and assist in ridding your body of toxins. Be sure to drink extra water post-rub to help flush out your system.

Eat More Fibre: Fibre binds to toxins in your gut, helping your body eliminate them. The British Nutrition Foundation estimates that the average adult intakes 14g of fibre per day, but the recommended daily dose is 18g. By increasing your fiber intake, your helping your body rid itself of toxic build-up and flush out waste. However, you should be cautious not to raise your daily fibre intake drastically, as a sudden increase will put distress on your digestive system. Add more fibre to your daily diet by eating 5g extra per day over a period of three to five days, until you reach 18g.

Load Up on Vitamin C: Vitamin C is arguably one of the most important elements of a healthy diet and is crucial to successful detoxification. It acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins. Help your liver function properly and make sure you get a sufficient amount of vitamin C from foods like fresh peppers, broccoli, oranges, kiwis, and strawberries.

Drink Water: Your body is composed of between 60%-70% water. Every day, your body loses fluid and it needs to replenished in order to maintain optimum health Water should be considered a nutrient that your body needs to survive, and it also can literally help flush your system. Staying hydrated helps your body rid itself of waste and toxins. Try to drink between eight to twelve glasses of water per day. There’s no better way to detox than water.

Sweat it Out: Saunas are traditional heat therapy for the Finnish, and studies have shown that they have benefits in treating chronic bronchitis and asthma. A daily visit to the sauna can help you eliminate wastes through perspiration. Hot air helps your blood vessels open up and improves the flow of toxins and wastes through your body.

Caitlin Sammons is passionate about natural health and regularly writes for www.timetocleanse.com, a respected detox and weight loss website. On the website you’ll find a free “time to cleanse” quiz, practical articles, advice from wellness experts and reviews of the Isagenix Cleanse.  


What’s Hot in The Snacking World

What’s Hot in The Snacking World

Healthy Snacks

Snacking gets mixed reviews. However, a recent study has revealed that those who do snack are healthier than those who don’t. In fact, those with the healthiest diets consume on average 36% more snacks. We at Hip and Healthy like to munch our way through the day on healthy bites that keep our energy levels consistent, our blood sugar stable and that taste delicious. Here are a few of our faves:

Rude Health Pumpkin Bar

Inspiral “Cheesie” Kale Chips

Spirulina Bounce Ball 

Urban Fruit Golden Apricots

Nosh Raw Fruity Shots

Pop them all in the Very Healthy Snacks Lunch Box which we think is pretty fab!


Healthy Breakfast Recipe: Eggs and Avocado on Toast

We like to call this our Sunshine Toast as it’s full of vitamin D (the eggs) and wonderful omegas (the seeds) as well as having all those good healthy fats that you need to start your day right and nourish your skin (avocado). It only takes a second to do and has become our staple weekend breakfast here at the Hip and Healthy headquarters.

 

Serves 2 

Ingredients

2 slices rye/spelt/ wholegrain bread

2 eggs

1 avocado

1/2 red onion (diced finely)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved and quartered)

1/4 a cucumber (cut into very small squares)

1 cup spinach– optional–(chopped into small leaves)

4 tbsp Hip and healthy Omega Mix (mixture of sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseeds)

Method

In a bowl, peal the skin of the avocado, and use a masher to mash the avocado un-till smooth. Mix in the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, seeds and spinach if adding. Bring a saucepan full of water to the boil, when boiling crack theeggs into the water and poach for roughly 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile Put two pieces of your favourite bread into the toaster, when crisped spread your avocado mixture equally on both. Top with the egg, and enjoy.

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Girls should lift weights, too!

words by Fitness Expert and PT, Max Wilcocks

As a personal trainer I hear a lot of excuses as to why people don’t want to do certain exercises; “I would run, but I find it boring and don’t enjoy it” or “everyone in the office was eating them so I couldn’t help myself”. However, there is one thing that I hear a lot from my female clients that I can sympathise with: “I find the weights area of the gym scary, so tend not to go there”. This I completely understand, and thankfully, some gyms do too and so create female friendly areas. It’s not just that the weights area of the gym is full of tight-vest wearing, protein-shake drinking, bicep-curling gym types, it’s also a lack of knowledge of what it is that you’re meant to do when you venture into this often testosterone-fueled zone. And that’s not all, female clients also worry that they will end up looking like the hulk just by looking at the weights – not so! So this post serves a duel purpose. Firstly to try to encourage you girls to engage more with weight training and also to broaden women’s knowledge on what to do when you get there.

Here are some basic movements that you can really get to grips with and work into your gym routine at least once if not twice a week.

The Deadlift: This is the quintessential compound movement, which focuses on a strong core, lower back strength and some serious glute (bum) action. Done correctly your knees will always be behind your toes and the bar will travel up your shins, all the power will come through your heels and the bar stops just below your waist with your hips extended forward. Things to remember are to not let your lower back round off,  push the power through your heels and don’t drop your shoulders into the movement.

The Squat: When most people talk about a squat they are referring to having a barbell rested over your shoulders behind your head. Again this requires a strong core, power through the heels, glutes of steel and a lot of control in your lower back to really allow your hips to drop low to the ground. It’s certainly also worth practicing a front squat, which transfers your centre of gravity and allows you to maintain a more upright position with your chest and back and it’s easier to keep your weight through your heels.

The Clean: This movement is a lot more technical than the previous two but fundamentally it is a combination of several different movements including the deadlift and the front squat. If you work through the clean sequentially it looks something like this- deadlift into shoulder shrug, into upright row, into a ‘catch’, into a front squat. Don’t let this put you off, the range of muscle groups involved means you’re maximising your time spend lifting and will engage your cardiovascular system when performed continuously at high intensity. Everyone should take the time to learn this movement, if that means speaking to a personal trainer or just YouTubing a good instruction video (and I know that we are creating one soon) and spending time with a very light barbell practicing.

Thruster: This is a fantastic movement that’s very dynamic and easy to master. Is it simply a front squat to a push press, rather than just engaging your larger glutes, quads and back muscles this movement begins to work your shoulders and once the weight is above your head you’ll have to really focus on your core to steady it.

So, lets put these exercises into a simple routine for you:
Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10 reps
Back squat: 2 sets of 10 reps
Front squat: 2 sets of 10 reps
Cleans: 5 sets of 6 reps
Thrusters: 3 sets of 10 reps

The best thing you can do is seek some guidance on how these are performed, even if that’s means popping into your local gym and just asking one of the trainers. If you want that perfect body, you have to be willing to train larger muscles groups and in a dynamic fashion.

If you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to visit and ask me on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/MaxWillcocksTrainer

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How to make a GOOD cup of Green Tea – Video

Click on the video below

play tea

Pour a couple of inches of cold water into the mug first. Then add the teabag. Then pour the boiling water on top and leave the teabag to sit for no longer than 30 seconds. Once your time is up, take out the teabag and start to drink.


If you only do one thing this week… Turbo-Boost Your Workout With These Foods

Whether you want to pimp your breakfast or soup up your soup, here are three ways to make your meal and your workout go that extra mile

Add Omega 3

In the form of Eggs

Not just a fabulous form of protein, eggs are a great source of omega 3s which will help to protect your joints, so they’re great for runners. And because of the other nutrients in eggs you absorb 100 per cent of the protein a opposed to only half of other protein fuelled foods such as porridge. They will also fill up that post-workout appetite. We love ours teamed with spinach (not just Popeye’s favourite food) and rye bread which is low GI, making it a great post-gym carb.

Add Protein

In the form of Quinoa

Yes, so we just said how great eggs are for that post-cardio burn, but another protein that is less raved about amongst gym goers is quinoa. Often regarded as hippy food, these little grains pack a punch when it comes to your protein content. The reason it’s so brilliant is that it is a complete protein and easily digested by the body. Why not try something different and have it for breakfast with steamed almond milk and fruit.

Add A Metabolic Booster

In the form of Cayenne Pepper

This ancient spice is known for both its healing and metabolism boosting properties. It contains capsaicin which increases circulation of blood around the body. And it’s also full of vitamin A which is great for the skin. Nothing to do with your metabolism but good to know anyway. Add it to your soup, stir dry or even salad dressing. But be careful as its hot!

 


4 Reasons to Love Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals and wonderful enzymes, but it’s benefits know no bounds, says Sadie Macleod. Here is how the wonder liquid can help you…

Detox

On a detox? Make Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) your friend. For centuries, mankind has been using ACV to purify the blood and detoxify the liver. The liquid is made by fermenting the juice of crushed apples with yeast and sugar to make a powerful smelling (!) alcohol. The unique acids in this are said to be able to bind to toxins in order to help eliminate them more quickly. By getting these toxins out of your body faster and more efficiently it gives them much less time to cause any damage. So far, so good.

It Will Love Your Skin Back

Acne, hyper pigmentation, eczema: you name it, ACV heals it. I discovered this wonderful stuff whilst looking for a cure for my recently acquired melasma and I am telling you that this stuff is amazing (but more on my personal journey another time). Both ingesting it and applying it topically will help whatever situation you are dealing with, and some like to pour a few tablespoonfuls into a hot bath (if you do this mix with Epsom Salts for a double whammy of wonderfullness). Apple cider vinegar will help your skin restore its natural ph balance, it may even help to reduce scars so use as a toner in the evening before bed (be warned: you may smell like a freshly dressed salad.) Oh and avoid the eye area! And by the way, Scarlett Johansen swears by it for her complexion.

To Encourage Weight Loss

A recent study found that those who dipped their bread into ACV ate way less bread as they felt much fuller on the same amount as those who did not dip their bread in the vinegar. Also, ACV is known to be very good at balancing blood sugar levels preventing you from reaching for the nearest packet of biscuits every time you experience a sugar crash. Even Megan Fox has jumped on the ACV bandwagon, as she reportedly used it to cleanse out her system and lose a bit of weight (but not too much we hope as Megan Fox is smoking hot the way she is!).

Eases Joint Pain (Hello Runners)

Many miracle cases have been reported of people completely curing their arthritis by taking ACV and some even started seeing improvements in how they felt even after just one week. Sir Ranulph Fiennes also apparently swears by the stuff after seeing his mother feel better on it. It’s richness in potassium helps prevent calcium build up in joints and as we have already discovered, it is great at eliminating toxins, which can get trapped in joints and cause stiffness or pain. Try adding to your bath.