Get Ready to Party like it’s 1999 with Fitness Freak and their new Fitness Rave… yes you heard that right


words by Harriet Chubb

We have discovered a new fitness gem guaranteed to get you back into your fitness classes. is the UK’s first online booking service of its kind to launch; and it has instantly gone to the top of our Hip and Healthy list. Want to go straight from work in the City to a boxing class? Or looking for a drop in yoga class in the West End before meeting friends? Just go online to their easy booking service, search, book and go. It takes the hassle out of long-winded and often fruitless Google searches and ensures that if you wanted to, you need never have to sign a gym contract again. They have also begun to launch their own fun, unique fitness events, starting with a one-off 90’s style rave class!! Reflecting their ethos that fitness can be fun, this cardio and conditioning exercise is set to 90’s dance classics and ravers in attendance will be provided with glowsticks to help get the fitness party started. The high energy, mass fun class lasts 60 minutes and will be hosted in the atmospheric Vaults under Waterloo station. With multiple teachers on stage and a crowd of 100’s, you’ll be sure to get your groove on and burn up to 500 calories. The pop-up rave sold out on the Wednesday 5th June and so has space on one night only on Thursday 6th June, with two sessions and limited tickets so make sure make sure you get your places now:

And don’t worry, if you can’t make the date, Gymbox, Bank branch is launching RAVE classes exclusively for Fitness Freak members for £10 per session, which also includes trampolines to get you jumpin’ jumpin’. Visit the website to book your class now.




Overhaul Your Diet With Food Pairing

The Beauty Detox: How Beauty Food Pairing Works

 extract from The Beauty Detox by Kimberly Snyder


The principle of Beauty Food Pairing is so powerful that it alone can change your entire life. When practiced properly, it will forever improve your beauty and health.


In order to lose weight and look your most beautiful, you must free up energy from digestion. In addition to the foods we eat, we can increase or decrease Beauty Energy by the order in which we eat foods and the choice of foods we eat together.

One of the biggest ailments of the Western world is a chronic lack of energy. A lack of energy can lead to a viciously frustrating cycle of overeating, constant snacking, and reaching for sugary, caffeinated beverages, all in an attempt to feel more energetic and not have to struggle through the day. And, as you now know, a lack of energy makes you hold on to excess weight and look less beautiful. And why are we so tired? Because we’re not combining our foods properly.

Beauty Food Pairing is based on the science of how food digests optimally in the body. Different foods digest with different enzymes, and some call for more acidic or more al- kaline environments. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton is generally considered the foremost expert on food combining. He spent years studying the way digestive enzymes work to help break down foods, the primary basis for Beauty Food Pairing. As Dr. Shelton explains, “Every student of physiology is well aware that the digestive enzymes have certain well-defined limitations and that different digestive juices are secreted for use in digesting different kinds of food substances.”

During her thirty-five years of study in nutrition, Dr. Ann Wigmore, creator of the Living Foods Lifestyle, adamantly believed that “proper food combining is important for good health.” I took classes on food combining as part of the programs I attended at her institute in Rincón, Puerto Rico. The principles of food combining are also taught at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, a prestigious and world-famous natural healing center. Ivan Pavlov (well-known for his research about dogs and conditioned response) outlined the fundamental concepts of proper food combining in his book The Work of the Digestive Glands, first published in 1902. And Dr. Philip Norman, a prominent gastroenterologist and professor in his time, wrote about the principles of food combining and its key benefits, namely, making digestion more effective. The popular 1980s book Fit for Life, by natural hygienists Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, also advocates food combin- ing, as do many of Dr. Norman Walker’s writings.

So how does Beauty Food Pairing work? Let’s get right into it!



One way to think about eating simpler foods is to classify foods as concentrated and non-concentrated. Concentrated foods are foods that do not contain any water. They include all proteins and starches. Non-concentrated foods are water-containing foods. The only truly non-concentrated foods are ripe fruits and non-starch vegetables.

Non-Concentrated Foods
Ripe fruit
Non-starch vegetables

Concentrated Foods
All starches (grains, starchy vegetables, breads, etc.) All proteins (fish, chicken, meat, seeds, nuts, etc.)

To sum up, anything that is not a fruit or a non-starch vegetable is a concentrated food. Anything come to mind? Yes, I thought so! A few random examples are nuts, bagels, yogurt, toast, scrambled eggs, ice cream, flax crackers, peanut butter, lobster, etc.

The stomach secretes different kinds of juices when we eat different kinds of foods. Non- concentrated foods are much simpler for the body to digest than concentrated foods. We can handle most concentrated foods pretty well, but we can eat only one type at a time in order to maximize digestion. It is a huge Beauty Energy drain to ask our bodies to eat two different types of concentrated foods at one time. The two main types of concentrated foods that we will discuss first are starches and proteins, which leads us to the next Beauty Rule.


As you read these words, perhaps some favorite or long-accepted food combinations pop into your head: bagels and cream cheese, turkey sandwiches, eggs with toast, sushi rolls, grilled fish and wild rice, filet mignon and potatoes au gratin, chicken pad thai. Yep, these are all improper food combinations.

To understand why protein and starches don’t pair well together, you have to understand how these concentrated foods digest.

PROTEIN: In the stomach a concentrated protein requires an acidic environment to be bro- ken down, an environment that includes hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin.

Now think back to high school chemistry class. What happens when an acid and an alkaline are put together? They neutralize each other. To use the words of Dr. Norman Walker, eating carbohydrates with protein at the same time results in a “serious chemical situation to contend with.”

Since the food is not breaking down naturally, what do our poor glands do next? Our stomach has to secrete more digestive juices to try to break down the food, but because there are still opposing digestive enzymes at work, they are neutralized again and again. The digestion of the carbohydrates is interfered with by the presence of the acidic digestive juices, and at the same time the proteins are prevented from digesting properly or completely in the presence of the alkaline digestive juices.


Vegetables are wonderful alkaline, non-concentrated foods. They are simple for our body to digest and are considered absolutely neutral. If you love roasted chicken or steamed tilapia fish, eat it along with some steamed vegetables and a raw green salad. If you are in the mood for a starchy dish, maybe some pasta salad or a baked yam, eat it with some vegetables.

Even though starches are concentrated foods, they aren’t as complicated to digest as protein.

While simple meals are always best, two different starches are okay to eat at once.


Proteins as a whole are the hardest food group to break down. Proteins are comprised of complex chains of amino acids, each with a very different character and chemical makeup. Our bodies must break down protein into amino acids in order to digest or assimilate them. Since the body has to concentrate so much energy on breaking down each protein, only one protein at a time should be consumed. Otherwise, the proteins will not fully and efficiently digest, and they will putrefy in the digestive tract.

Animal proteins are much more complex and difficult to break down than plant proteins, which include seeds, nuts and sea algae, and this means this rule is really only applicable to animal proteins. You can mix plant proteins without a problem, so, for example, having seeds and nuts together is fine. But surf and turf, eggs with ham, or an appetizer contain- ing fish followed by a chicken main dish are all bad combinations. Two kinds of fish or two kinds of poultry eaten together at the same meal are okay, but remember to keep meals as simple as possible to preserve Beauty Energy.


Fat mixes well with starches but has somewhat of an inhibiting effect on the digestion of protein. You can pair minimal amounts of fat with protein, but it is best not to eat a large amount of fat with any protein. Even if you are eating an all-raw meal, it is best not to mix a lot of nuts (protein) together with a whole avocado (fat)! This could prevent efficient weight loss. A plentiful supply of green vegetables can be used to counteract the interaction between a moderate amount of protein and raw fat. For instance, if you are having a piece of fish over a nice green salad, it is okay to have a little oil on the salad, but go easy on it and eat up a good portion of the alkaline greens first. But if weight loss is truly the goal, it would be best to skip the oil altogether and let the protein digest perfectly on its own!


The first time I talked publicly about how to eat fruit was on one of my segments for Good Morning America. Millions of people watched the show, and dozens of people wrote to me afterward, fascinated to know more about how to properly eat fruit. It’s very simple: eat fruit on an empty stomach.

Fruit is considered the most divine and pure food on the planet. Fruit increases our vitality and delivers key vitamins, minerals and pure, filtered water into our bodies. However, when we eat fruit is key.

I am so excited for you to try out Beauty Food Pairing and experience the spectacular results for yourself. I have done my best to present to you the research and science that are out there to support Beauty Food Pairing, but remember that the best study out there in regards to this principle is to try it out for yourself! In a short amount of time you will see how well it truly does work. And isn’t that the most important thing? There will always be conflicting and confusing reports of “scientific evidence,” or lack thereof, with regard to nutritional information. But if you try something for yourself, and you see that it truly helps you lose weight and look and feel amazing—the way Beauty Food Pairing does—who cares about all the “noise” out there? Use it to your personal beauty and health advantage.

 ‘The Beauty Detox’ by Kimberly Snyder is available from all good bookshops and the iBookstore from 3rd May


Global Diets: Would you be healthier if you lived somewhere else in the world?

words by Kathleen Flemming

How Healthy Are You Really? We ask expert Nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, to analyse 4 healthy British girl’s diets, living in 4 different countries

Ever wondered if you would be healthier living somewhere else in the world? How do our diets in the UK compare to those of women living abroad? Four British girls, one living in London and 3 abroad, sent Hip and Healthy their food diaries so we can see if where we live affects our diet and lifestyle. Acclaimed nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, gives her opinion on each diet and provides ideas on how they can be improved.

Victoria is a 28 year old corporate lawyer living in London

Due to the nature of her job, Victoria spends long hours at the office and often eats at work or at restaurants. She tries to run home (8km) several times a week as well as walking to and from the station each day.

Breakfast: 1 slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, pear, skinny latte

Lunch: mushroom soup, bread, packet of low fat baked crisps, handful of blackberries

Dinner: prawn salad, steak and salad, chocolate pudding

Snacks: dried mango, banana

Drinks: water, 1 glass of wine, 1 glass of champagne

What do you think of your diet? I try to eat healthily, but sometimes it is difficult due to working long hours and I often have client lunches or dinners. As a result, I am not always able to prepare my own meals and frequently eat at my desk. I try not to drink alcohol during the week, but I will have a glass of wine if I go out with clients. On the weekends, I eat out Friday and Saturday nights and normally I have a few drinks.  Due to the fact that I spend a lot of time in the office, I try to fit in exercise several times a week such as running home from work in the evening.

Amanda says: As a one-day ‘snap-shot’, I feel that Victoria is doing well with her diet. She is getting 100% of her ‘five a day’ of fruit and vegetables and is eating from a wide variety of food groups. It is important that the soya milk Victoria uses is fortified with calcium, needed for strong bones and to try to include another calcium-rich food like a yoghurt, fromage frais, or another latte to keep intakes up to the 700mg a day target. It’s good to see a young woman eating lean red meat, which is rich in iron, a nutrient many women in this age group are eating too little of. This can lead to sub-clinical anaemia triggering stress, tiredness, poor quality hair and generally low moods.

Emily is a 26 year old freelance writer living in Sydney, Australia

Emily has been living in Sydney since November 2012. Before moving to Sydney, she was living in London and working as a PA to a CEO. She now writes freelance for various publications and websites in the UK and Australia. She walks, swims or does yoga several times a week.

Breakfast: ½ avocado, 2 scrambled eggs, 1 slice of sourdough bread

Lunch: a big green salad with halloumi cheese, chicken, carrots and pine nuts, yoghurt and honey

Dinner: pan fried fillet of white fish with quinoa and mixed vegetables (broccoli, kale, sweet peppers)

Snacks: apple

Drinks: 1 flat white coffee, water

How has your diet changed since living in Sydney? As the summer in Sydney is so hot, I don’t have the same cravings for carbohydrate heavy meals like pasta. There is a wider range of produce available in the supermarkets and markets and everything seems much fresher. As a result I buy a more varied mix of fruit and veg. I also choose to eat more meat than in the UK as there is a lot of grass fed meat available. I cook more from scratch as I have more time in the evenings due to not having a long commute to work.

Amanda says: I love Emily’s ‘three-solid meals-a-day’ approach to her diet. So often young women skip meals and then over do things with too many catch-up calories later in the day. Emily has a lovely balance of food groups, including plenty of fruits and vegetables and also reveals that she has plenty of variety in these, which is important to get a really good range of super nutrients, vitamins and minerals. I’m not a pro-meat lobbyist, but again, as with Victoria, it is good to see a young woman not giving up meat in the belief that it is ‘bad’ for you. Lean red meat eaten three times a week or so can be a great boost to the diet, providing not just iron, but important minerals like zinc as well, which we need for a robust immune system.

Helen is a 29 year old contract manager living in Washington DC, USA

Helen has been living in Washington DC for the last year. Prior to this, Helen was working in London as a contract manager for the same company as she works for in Washington. She tries to fit in an early morning gym session most days before work as there is a gym in her apartment block.

Breakfast: 2 slices of toast with peanut butter and an orange juice

Lunch: dim sum

Dinner: fillet of white fish, couscous, broccoli

Snacks: cheese after work

Drinks: black tea with milk, water, green tea and a glass of wine

How has your diet changed since living in Washington? The biggest difference is that I eat less bread, as bread in America is awful. In London I ate bread with every meal and I used to snack on toast in between meals. I also go out for lunch more in Washington as we don’t have a kitchen in our office. In London, I never used to drink alcohol during the week but I normally have a glass of wine in the evening here. However, in London I would drink quite a lot at the weekend, which I don’t do here. In Washington, I also do more exercise because I have a gym in my apartment block and another gym down the road. The gyms here are amazing and so I am really enjoying going.

Amanda says: I like Helen’s peanut butter breakfast start to the day. It is good for a range of minerals including iron and calcium along with ‘good’ oils. These, along with the protein it contains, helps to make it a filling choice on, what I hope, is wholegrain bread. To help boost Helen’s iron intake, it’s worth adding a glass of orange juice to her lunchtime or evening meal as the vitamin C it contains helps to absorb iron more easily. This is important because Helen’s foods look a little on the low side of this vital mineral. It would be a good idea to have some fruit after the dim sum to help reach her daily goal of five a day of fruits and vegetables. I like the fact that Helen has ‘evened’ out her alcohol intake and is not binge drinking at weekends anymore. One small glass of wine a night is fine and is better than have a big on-slaught in one go.

Kathleen is a 28 year old yoga teacher living in Nicaragua

Kathleen has been in Nicaragua for 9 months, living and working at a small hotel on the Pacific coast. Before living in Nicaragua, Kathleen was living in London and working as a lawyer for a financial services company. She teaches yoga several times a week and surfs about three times a week.

Breakfast: big bowl of fruit salad (papaya, banana, watermelon, pineapple, passion fruit), yoghurt with honey, freshly squeezed orange juice

Lunch: big bowl of lentil soup, 1 slice of homemade whole wheat bread with hummus, banana

Dinner: vegetable tagine (chickpeas, onions, carrots, tomatoes and raisins with Moroccan spices), bulgur wheat, green salad and hummus

Snacks: fresh banana and mango smoothie

Drinks: green tea and water

How has your diet changed since living in Nicaragua? There is very little processed food available where we live in Nicaragua so we make everything from scratch. In London I was lazy and I used to buy bottles of tomato sauce and cans of soup instead of making them. Here, I also eat different fruit and vegetables, as generally the only produce available is locally grown (papayas, mangos, avocados). I hardly ever eat sweets or chocolates as they don’t sell decent chocolate here and imported foods are really expensive. My lifestyle is also very different in Nicaragua as I no longer sit in an office all day surrounded by tubs of Marks and Spencer chocolate mini rolls (it was always someone’s birthday!). Now I am on my feet teaching yoga, cooking meals for the guests or doing things around the hotel. I do less intentional exercise like going to the gym but my lifestyle is more active.

Amanda says: Kathleen’s diet sounds as though it has been de-junked and is much healthier now compared to her London version. I do however feel that adding some yoghurt will help at breakfast time, by providing some much needed calcium to the diet. Other good ‘natural’ foods for this crucial bone-building mineral include sesame seeds, steamed tofu, dried figs and green beans. Apologies for banging on about iron, but if Kathleen avoids meat deliberately, it is important for her to be sure to have good vegetable sources each day. These include dark green vegetables, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, tahini paste, dried apricots and dried figs.

Spice Cupboard Cleansing Secrets: time to spice up your life

Spice Cupboard Cleansing Secrets

words by Harriet Chubb

spice image

Herbs and spices have long been used for detoxification purposes and can be traced back to traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Indian medicine, and ancient Egyptian practices. Combining spices with six glasses of water a day, eating fresh fruit and vegetables and limiting your intake of stimulants such as coffee and alcohol, will help you fight that sluggish feeling and put a spring back into your step. Used for a multitude of toxin fighting tricks, some herbs and spices support your internal organs, aiding the body’s natural elimination systems, which will help your body rid itself of fatigue and most importantly – lose weight naturally.

Food Writer and Historian Polly Russell advises, “Herbs and spices have long been believed to help enhance energy levels and aid weight loss. Around the world, people use different herbs and spices for a number of wellbeing reasons including helping to clear the skin, as a digestive aid and to give themselves more energy. Best of all, spices and herbs add complexity and depth to the taste of food and can turn a detox diet from a trial into a treat.”

Super Spices

We’ve picked our top five natural remedies, which when worked into a delicious recipe or drink will help you get back to your ideal beach body figure. Not all these detoxifying products are available all year round so dried herbs and spices are a great alternative. And as an added bonus – the essential oils are intensified in the drying process making them more powerful than their fresh equivalents.

1.       Ginger– Indispensable in any true apothecaries list, Ginger is a stimulant, antioxidant and physical cleanser, helping to clear you from the inside out and revive sluggish digestion.

2.       Fennel seeds– These seeds might be little, but their effect is big. The main ingredient within fennel seeds inhibits spasms in the smooth muscles of the intestine, leaving you with a flat tum.

3.       Fenugreek– This herb which has been hailed a “fix-all elixir”, is a rich source of antioxidants with powerful antiviral properties to keep the party going throughout 2013.

4.       Capsicum pepper– Packed full of essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C, capsicum is rich in antioxidants, helping to kick start your metabolism stimulating weight loss and a healthy heart.

5.       Mint– well known for its cleansing properties, Mint also promotes healthy digestion by activating glands that have hidden important digestive enzymes over.

Healthy Habits

Why not try these yummy recipes with detox friendly herbs and spices, and start cleansing your system today. We recommend you use Bart spices such as Bart Ginger which is Fairtrade certified or Bart Mint – perfect to go with freshly dug new potatoes. Enjoy… 

Chilli Stuffed Peppers

Chilli Stuffed Peppers

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


·         8 Romano peppers

·         1 large onion, chopped

·         1 tbsp oil

·         1 tsp Bart Garlic in Sunflower Oil

·         1 tsp Bart Mild/ Hot Chilli Powder

·         30g blanched almonds, chopped

·         60g walnuts, chopped

·         70g raisins

·         2 celery sticks, chopped

·         4 tomatoes, chopped

·         2 tsp Bart Parsley

·         4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese (can be low fat)

·         seeds of a pomegranate

1.       Grill the peppers, turning frequently until blistered.  Place in a plastic bag until cool.  Peel off the skins and slice down one side.  Remove the seeds.

2.       Cook the onion in the oil until soft.  Add the garlic, chilli, nuts and raisins and fry for 1 minute.  Add the celery and fry for 2 more; Stir in the tomato, seasoning and parsley.  Cook until the mixture is quite dry.

3.       Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place in a heatproof dish.  Scatter over the grated cheese and cook under a hot grill until the peppers are browned.  Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and serve.


Carrot & Fennel Salad

Carrot & Fennel Salad  - Nigella Seeds 3.1.4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


·         2 large carrots, peeled & cut into thin sticks

·         2 large fennel bulbs, quartered & thinly sliced

·         2 tbsp peanuts, roughly chopped

·         1 tbsp olive oil

·         ½ tsp Bart Fennel Seeds

·         1 tsp Bart Black Onion Seeds

·         juice of half lemon

·         2-3 tsp green chili pickle

1.       Peel the carrots, cut into thin sticks and place in a bowl.  Quarter the fennel bulbs and slice thinly.  Add to the carrot.

2.       Toast the nuts in a hot frying pan, stirring frequently until golden.  Tip onto a plate.

3.       In the same pan, heat the oil and fry the onion seeds for about 30 seconds, until they begin to pop.

4.       Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a minute then stir in the lemon juice and pickle.

5.       In a mortar and pestle, crush the fennel seeds and stir in.

6.       Toss together with the vegetables in the bowl and sprinkle with nuts to serve.


Kadhai Prawns With Chili & Ginger

Kadhai Prawns

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


·         1 tbsp oil

·         1 tsp Bart Garlic in Sunflower Oil

·         1 tbsp Bart Ground Coriander

·         ½ tsp Bart Mild/ Hot Chili Powder

·         6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

·         2 tsp Bart Ginger in Sunflower Oil

·         1 green pepper, cut into thin strips

·         20 large raw prawns, peeled & de-veined

·         salt

·         fresh coriander leaves to garnish

1.       Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan.  Add the garlic, ginger, coriander and chilli and cook for 30 seconds.

2.       Add the salt and cook for a further 3 minutes.

3.       Stir-fry for 1 minute then add the prawns and cook 3-4 minutes until almost cooked.

4.       Stir in the tomato mixture and heat through.  Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Take a look at the Bart website for more inspiration, we love the ‘How To’ videos and the incredible Periodic Table of Herbs & Spices, don’t worry, it’s far more interesting than your regular Chemistry table!


Flower Power Beauty: from fighting signs of ageing to diminishing blemishes, these products pack some serious flower power

This week sees the Chelsea Flower Show celebrate its 100th anniversary, so we thought it the perfect time to celebrate all things floral. From fighting signs of ageing and blemishes to repairing and firming, these products pack some serious flower power.

White Lilies

Not only do lilies work magic on pigmentation problems (they inhibit the melanin production in pigment producing cells of the skin), they contain glycolic acid (which helps to rid of you dead skin whilst boosting regeneration) and they smell divine. Providing a light, cleansing and soothing scent, they are also purifying and strengthening – a pretty powerful combination.  Inspired by the lilies and jasmine of summertime, the new fragrance from Cath Collins combines sizzling citrus with white lilies, jasmine and cassis. With an oriental base of cedarwood, patchouli and oakmoss – it’s the ultimate, seductive summer scent.

Cath Collins Lily Fandango Eau De Toilette – £35.50


You too can look as beautiful as these bright blooms, for the hibiscus flower is nature’s answer to Botox. Really. A natural source of AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), they help to exfoliate, control breakouts, speed up cell turnover, increase moisture and improve elasticity. Try the Ushvani Coconut & Hibiscus Oil – it’s deeply hydrating, packed with vitamin C and can be used on hair too, so you can reap the rewards from head to toe.

Ushvani Coconut & Hibiscus Oil – £38


This flower isn’t named after the sun for no reason – it actually helps protect skin from harmful UVA rays as it’s rich in vitamin E – nature’s answer to SPF. It also contains fatty acids which help to calm, repair and soften skin, and antioxidant properties which can prevent signs of ageing. This sulphate-free and gorgeously gentle Tay cleanser provides a creamy wash bursting with botanical extracts to help even skin tone and repair damaged skin. The sunflower seed oil maximises water retention whilst minimising breakouts and blemishes with its anti-bacterial properties, and it removes excess oils so your skin is left squeaky clean, soft and supple.

Tay Sunflower & Grape Revitalizing Cleanser – £30 (Cult Beauty are currently offering 30% off Tay – yay!)


For dry, sensitive or inflamed skin – jasmine’s your gem. It’s a natural antiseptic, antidepressant and aphrodisiac, and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. For the ultimate way to boost its beauty benefits, look no further than the Woods of Windsor White Jasmine Moisturising Hand & Body Lotion. Originating from an 18th century apothecary, it is inspired by the charm and nostalgia of an English country garden. This light lotion contains shea butter and grape seed oil to leave you soft and smooth, whilst gently fragranced with exotic white jasmine and ylang ylang.

Woods Of Windsor White Jasmine Hand & Body Lotion – £8.75


These bright violet-blue beauties are making a mighty comeback on the scent scene thanks to their soft, sweet, smell and their power to invoke nostalgic memories of English springtime.  And now thanks to Neom you can indulge in bluebells everyday with their new limited edition Enchantment home fragrance. Recognising the need to protect our British woodlands and our heritage, £1 from each candle or diffuser sold goes straight to the Woodland Trust who work to plant more trees and protect the precious woodlands where bluebells bloom. In the words of Nicola Elliott, Founder of Neom Organics, it’s a “sparkling, sunny scent to make you feel renewed and uplifted”. A must-have for any home this summer.

Neom Enchantment Reed Diffuser – £37

Take a look at the story behind Enchantment here: Neom Video – Behind the scenes

words by Frankie Rozwadowska

#bootsmakeithappen on Pinterest: See your health and beauty goals through this year!

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#bootsmakeithappen on Pinterest:

See your health and beauty goals through this year!

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Have you always dreamed of achieving a body you can be proud of? Running a marathon? Perhaps giving up smoking or taking better care of your skin has always been on your to do list? Well, it seems that this is the year to do it. A recent survey revealed that 84% of us are feeling positive about achieving our health and beauty goals this year. And the wonderful people at Boots have taken it upon themselves to ensure we see our goals through with their ingenious “Let’s Make it Happen” campaign. They will be on hand to give advice and support to those who are on the path to a better version of themselves. And because they know how difficult carrying out your good intentions can be, especially for busy mummies, they have teamed up with Mumsnet, where Kate Thornton and a panel of experts will also be on hand to help you on your merry way over their dedicated radio station.

We at Hip and Healthy are also supporting the Boots initiative – we took part in a fabulous Twitter party where experts answered party-goers’ many health and beauty related questions. And now we’re pinning about it – see our pinterest board here:

Why not create your own #bootsmakeithappen board as Boots will be choosing the best and posting them on their Facebook page plus it may help you stick to some of those health and beauty goals you have set. Make this the year that you see it happen. Whatever that ‘it’ might be!


Happy Sugar Habits: The five to get right

words by Laura Thomas of

Trying to change your sweet habits can be a long and emotional journey. With temptation usually around every corner and often at every other social engagement, cutting sugar out of your diet can be difficult and overwhelming. Keep it simple and pick a few habits to focus on that will have the biggest impact straight away. Get these 5 habits right, and you’ll be well on your way to kicking sugar for good.

Stop drinking sweet 

Pretty simple this one. Minimise your guzzling of sweet tasting drinks, the obvious ones being fizzy soft drinks and sugar in your tea or coffee. However, also be aware of fruit juices, smoothies and squashes. Although seemingly ‘healthy’, some bottled smoothies you can buy at the supermarket can pack in around 35g of sugar in one hit. Better instead to opt for the fresh berries as they come. Stick with water and milk during the day, and ideally choose a vodka, soda and fresh lime if you do fancy an alcholic tipple.

Avoid invisible sugars

If you’re going to eat sugar, make sure you know about it and choose to. Cut down on ‘invisible sugar’ and you won’t miss it, I promise. Check for sugar in the ingredients lists on all of the packets you buy, and make yourself aware where it’s hidden. Tomato pasta sauces, shop bought soups and condiments can all contain added sugars that increase your total intake. Swap for no sugar versions or the lowest sugar version you can find. Even better, make your own so you know exactly what’s going into your food.

Get off to a good start

For many, sweet breakfasts are familiar and easy. A quick bowl of cereal or some porridge with banana and honey. Starting your day off with sugar and a higher proportion of carbohydrates will lead to potential sugar and carbohydrate cravings later in the day. Try to bring more savoury breakfasts into your diet more regularly, and up your protein as much as possible. Vegetable and egg omelettes, fritattas and casseroles are all great options, along with cheese, smoked fish and meats.

Balance your blood sugar

Keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day will help you reduce the likelihood of cravings, as you should now be satisfied. You’ll avoid those energy dips that make you reach for an instant quick fix. Regular meals and snacks to steady blood sugar will also help you differentiate between real hunger and pure sweet craving. This is important when you are trying to recognise and develop new habits.

Find replacements you like 

There’s no point forcing yourself to replace your favourite afternoon treat with a snack that inspires you enough to chuck it straight in the bin. Chances are you’ll eat it and still want your favourite treat anyway. Look for substitutes that you really enjoy and actually like, eg. your favourite cheese or a creamy full fat Greek yoghurt. Experiment to find the snacks that work best for you and your lifestyle before making sure they’re in arms reach when  temptation appears.

If you only do one thing this week… Follow These 5 Steps To Achieving Your Dreams

If you only do one thing this week… Achieve your goals with these 5 steps


I recently listen to a podcast with Ben Nemptin from The Buried Life. For those of you who have not heard of the buried life (I hadn’t until very recently) it is a super cool reality TV show airing in the US. The series features Duncan Penn, Jonnie Penn, Ben Nemtin, and Dave Lingwood attempting to complete a list of “100 things to do before you die.” These guys managed to hustle there way into the White House to play basketball with Obama and went to a Playboy Party completely uninvited. There is no task too great or too small for them. They are an example of where a dream and a lot of determination can get you.

Here is what I learnt from him:

1. Stop thinking about it and start writing it down

There is something about seeing your goal in writing that makes it more real. It helps you to believe that it is more achievable and is the first step to commitment.

2. Start talking about it 

Not only is this good for business – you never know who might help you – but it is also a great way to apply a bit of pressure to yourself. You are less likely to back out, even if you get a little scared, if your friends and family know about it and are supporting you in your quest.

3. Be Persistent

In other words – don’t give up. And definitely don’t fall at the first hurdle, second, or even third. JK Rowling had 12 ‘nos’ from publishers before she got her ‘yes’ for her first Harry Potter book. And Richard Brandson, discovered Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, which had been previously turned down by many other music publishers, but Brandson just knew it would be a big hit. He then had to persuade a very shy Oldfield to go with his brand new record label. The album became the first album released by Virgin Records. And the rest is history. Don’t give up. You never know where your determination may lead you.

4. Be Ballsy

Find the confidence to step outside of your comfort zone and do brave things. You will never know the answer unless you ask for something. Ask for help. Ask for money. Ask for a hug. Just ask. You may just get the answer you have been looking for.

5. Help others

Paying it forward is not just good for your karma – it is an important part of success. You never know where those people you help my get to. One day they might just end up running the company that you have been dying to work at your whole life.

Sleep Problems Solved: How to Get Your Beauty Sleep

Bad sleeper, Frankie Rozwadowska, flies to Verona in search of the perfect slumber

Sleep well. Two words that, in my experience, do not belong together. At all. Saying I’m a bad sleeper is an understatement. I am awful – bordering on the lines of insomnia. It takes me hours to get to sleep, and if there’s any noise or even a crack of light, I can forget it. This means I am constantly tired and lacking in energy, I can’t concentrate and I have to carry earplugs and an eye-mask with me wherever I go. Sexy. From herbal remedies, sleep sprays and meditative music, to valium and one (or two…) large glasses of red wine – I’ve tried everything. Needless to say, I was tired of being tired. So when I was invited to try the new Sleep Programme at the Lefay Resort & Spa on Lake Garda, Italy, I (quite literally) jumped out of bed at the chance. A programme promising to tackle energy imbalances and promote sleep? It sounded too good to be true…


So a little bit about Lefay itself. After a short flight from London to Verona and a 1hour 20minute drive (along windy, rural roads with a rather handsome Italian driver – great start) you will enter the Alto Garda Natural Park, home of the Lefay Resort & Spa. Nestled amongst the snow-capped peaks of Mount Baldo and set on 27 acres of gentle hills, woodlands and olive trees with breath-taking views across Lake Garda – it’s no wonder why the Leali family chose this spot for Lefay. Aiming to “create places of our dreams”, they have incorporated luxury, space, nature and silence to bring about a concept of overall wellness. Built using bio-compatible materials (eco-sustainability is a huge part of the resort, from renewable energy to bio-architecture) it was inspired by local lemon houses typical of the area and uses natural fabrics and materials throughout. It has also been awarded the prestigious titles of Best Luxury Wellness Spa and Best Luxury Destination Spa for Italy at the 2013 World Luxury Spa Awards. So very hip and healthy.

There are 90 suites in the resort, each offering the most amazing view of Lake Garda. The beds are enormous (perfect for me, I can’t sleep if I can’t move around), there’s a living area and a dressing room, a Jacuzzi bath and there are speakers in the shower so you can dance whilst you douche. Amazing. This feeling of space continues throughout the resort, with its high-ceilings and natural light and brightness flooding in through large windows and glass surfaces There’s a state-of-the-art gym with views out across the infinity pool to the lake, two restaurants offering up seasonal, fresh and delicious Mediterranean fare, and a chic bar area where you can kick back with a cocktail and watch the lake glitter beneath you. In short, it has everything you could possibly want. And that’s without mentioning the spa…

Unlike most resorts that shove the spa out the back or in the basement, Lefay’s 3,000sqm spa is right in the heart of the hotel – forming the core and centre of the resort. There are five types of sauna, numerous treatment areas, an indoor pool (where you can swim through doors to swim under the stars), an Energy and Therapeutic Garden, meditation areas, and an indoor salt water lake (more on that later). Basing its treatments and courses on the ancient principles of Classical Chinese Medicine, Lefay incorporates modern Western techniques to help restore energy and help guests achieve balance of the body and the mind. It’s according to these principles and beliefs that the Sleep Retreat was developed. As with the other programmes carried out at Lefay, their highly regarded Scientific Committee work together to ensure you are getting the highest level of expertise and really see and feel the results

Sleep Lefay

The Sleep Programme is the latest addition to Lefay’s list and works over 5 days to realign your body and mind by stimulating energy lines. According to Classical Chinese Medicine, insomnia and sleep problems are due to an imbalance of energy – from physical ones (such as hormonal changes and digestive disorders) to mental ones (including stress and intellectual hyperactivity). The aim here is to rectify these imbalances and restore your Qi (energy) so you can sleep soundly and let your entire being rest and be rejuvenated.  Upon arrival you will have a consultation with Dr Maurizio Corradin who, with a reassuring arm around your shoulder and warm smile, will ask you about all aspects of your life – from diet and exercise to relationships and work. Within minutes he had me completely sussed and had detected some kidney problems (through pressing points along my back) that were definitely not helping with my insomnia issues. I was then given my own specially brewed herbal tea to help flush out those toxins (using an ancient form of phytotherapy and an array of over 40 medicinal plants with diuretic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties) and I was ready to fight my dream-stopping demons.

Your days will fly by in a whizz of massages, acupuncture, reflexology, hydro-aromatherapy sessions and rebalancing physical activities. You’ll meet with a personal trainer and have a nutritional consultation – ensuring your body is reset from the inside out. You’ll get to try moxibustion (a Chinese therapeutic technique where heat is applied to areas of the skin near acupuncture points to clear energy pathways) and float in an indoor salt lake. Yes, really. I could live in it if I could – a salt-water pool as warm as your bath where you can lie sprawled out in any shape you fancy and you stay afloat. Great fun. The mineral salt content is incredibly draining and detoxifying as well as utterly relaxing. Just lie back, sprawl out and gaze up at the giant moon-lamp above you. It’s like being in your own personal fairy-tale. I’m also now addicted to Qi Gong – a physical practice that teaches you how to balance your body, breathing, mind and ‘shen’ (the spiritual part of you that binds everything together). This means you can really become aware of who you are and you can bring your body back to life by delivering energy to every single cell.

pool view

The person leaving Lefay was definitely not the same person who arrived. I didn’t look like a puffy-eyed maniac for a start. I felt invigorated and alive yet peaceful and content, and from my head to my toe I felt the effects. But, most importantly, I could sleep. I could finally kiss goodbye to the endless sheep I’d been counting and the practices and principles I learnt were so easy to incorporate into my daily life. The only problem is now I need to go back and try the other programmes… Lefay is, in all senses of the word, the dream destination. Sogni d’oro.

The Deets 

British Airways (, 0844 493 0787) flies twice a day from London

Gatwick to Verona, return fares start from £101.31 including taxes.

The five day sleep programme at Lefay Resort & Spa ( costs £1,544 (Euros 1,800).  The price includes all treatments, meals and use of Lefay’s pools and saunas.

Image by Sophie Delaporte, for vogue Italia, May 2005


Health Speak with Health and Travel Writer, Caroline Sylger Jones

Author & Journalist Caroline Sylger Jones is the founder and editor of Queen of Retreats,, a brilliant travel website for independent reviews and advice on spas, retreats, healthy escapes and transformative holidays around the world. We chat to her about breakfast, Bolt Head and her biggest luxuries in life…

What is the first thing you do in the morning? 

Open my curtain and look out at the sky and green fields through the window of my Devon home. If our little daughter isn’t yet awake, my husband and I then drink a cup of hot water and lemon in bed, luxuriating in the peace and our ability to have an uninterrupted conversation!

What do you eat for breakfast?

After a short yoga practice, it’s a fresh juice such as carrot/ginger/apple/wheatgrass, then usually an egg with homemade bread, or granola. If I had my way, though, I’d eat Asian or Indian breakfasts every morning – I get really hungry and love their rice and veggie combos.

What is your work place like?

When I’m at home I write in a little study overlooking our flower-filled garden – well, it’s mostly flowers, though even the weeds in Devon seem to look pretty.

What do you eat for lunch?

When I’m writing, something quick and easy. I love leftover veggie curry from the night before, or there’s another dish I make a lot – bulgar wheat, which takes minutes to cook, mixed with chopped raw courgette, red pepper, tomato, fresh mint and flat leaf parsley, cubes of grilled halloumi cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Do you snack?

Yes, if I’m peckish – I love avocados on their own, or I’ll have an apple and a huge chunk of any type of hard cheese – I especially like Manchego, an utterly delicious sheep’s milk cheese from Spain.

How did you get into wellness travel?

I was working as a travel writer for various publishers, and at the end of a particularly fascinating but gruelling three-month trip I ‘found’ meditation and yoga on a Thai beach. It was the start of a journey that had me moving from London to Devon, taking up yoga, changing the way I ate, then putting my combined passions together and writing my first book, Body & Soul Escapes. After that I started to specialise in writing about spas, retreats and healthy holidays for newspapers and magazines, then wrote a second book, Body & Soul Escapes: Britain & Ireland. I launched in 2012.

What is your favourite spot in the world?

My local coastal walk around Bolt Head in Salcombe – I’ve been walking it since I was five years old, and it always makes me feel grounded and inspired all at once.

Why is travel so important to you?

It gets you out of your head and reconnects you with the rest of the world.

Where are you off to next?

I’m heading to Sicily at the end of this month to experience one of the health programmes at Verdura Spa Resort for Tatler. The following month I go to Silver Island, a new yoga retreat on a privately owned island in Greece, for Condé Nast Traveller. After that I’m taking my family to try out a new ‘rough luxury’ fitness week, the LUX Experience, in the South of France, for various papers. You’ll be able to read and enquire about all of these places on

How do you exercise?

I do a daily yoga practice, I go on an hour-long coastal walk at least twice a week, and I swim twice a week too. I can’t stand gyms and my knees don’t like jogging.

What is your skincare routine like?

I’m a bit rubbish at sticking to one product. I’m using a Bare Minerals facial wash at the moment. Then it’s ILA rose facial oil, followed by whatever decent moisturiser someone has sent me to try – right now it’s rather a lush product from Santa Maria Novella in Italy.

What do you never travel without?

My large cashmere travel wrap from The Travel Wrap Company – I feel the cold very easily.

What is your biggest luxury in life?

A very long, very hot bath with ILA himalayan bath salts, candles and a very good novel.

What three things can’t you live without?

Friends to connect with, good novels to read, and getting out into the fresh air.

What gets you up in the morning?

My husband Tom and daughter Annoushka – both literally and metaphorically!

And what do you go to bed thinking about?

Usually Queen of Retreats – an enquiry from a reader, perhaps, or something I want to put up on the site.

What motto do you live by?

It changes all the time. This is my favourite right now, and it feels appropriate for our over-busy, do-everything-now world: ‘If you don’t know what to do, do nothing’ – Susan Hill.


Barry’s Bootcamp comes to London: Hip and Healthy finds out what all the fuss is about…

words by Harriet Chubb

This conversation happened in the office about a month ago, Me; Have you heard of that new bootcamp in London – Barry’s Bootcamp? American colleague: ‘OMG Barry’s!? That’s the BEST bootcamp in the WORLD!’ At this point to me it still sounded slightly hysterical, let’s be honest, the name does make you want to giggle, and giggle most people did when I said to any British friend that I was trialling it for Hip and Healthy. My American friends however, know it to be, as previously mentioned, none other than THE Best Bootcamp in the world, and I think they could be right.

Embarrassingly I was late for my trial class and so I have to admit that it did all fly past in a whirl of sweat, lights and sounds. I profusely apologised for being late but the staff couldn’t have been more helpful and reassuring. Whilst grovelling however, I nearly missed the sheer quality and style of the gym space, coming in from the hectic Euston dual carriageway to the super sleek, super chilled area made me feel like I had stepped into a swish LA gym. This is where I fear that unless you are American, the name of the company doesn’t quite reflect the ultra luxurious and high-tech surroundings you are greeted with; not to mention a free towel service – one of the finest fitness services in life. The actual class space is made up of a row of up-to-the-minute treadmills across one side of the room and benches and equipment the other – all with 360 degree mirrors. What I loved about the room, however, was the lighting. I hate working out under the intimidating gaze of bare strip lighting but this is dark, dark with the occasional coloured light, reminiscent of a club. And who doesn’t look good under club lighting? I didn’t mind the mirrors at all and in fact they are necessary to make sure that you are doing the exercises using the correct techniques, something we are all guilty of from time to time.

The class was Core & Ab’s specific but I certainly felt it to be an all over body workout  with particular focus on core and ab exercises, I believe this is the same for all of the classes – there are many to choose from, Chest, Back & Abs, Full Body, you can work every area of your physique.  The classes are split up into treadmill and equipment work and it is dependent on the instructor how long you will stay on each but it’s normally 50/50 with a quick changeover – you certainly get a full 60 minutes of hardcore exercise, no faffing or long demonstrations, which I was grateful for. As the class got underway I noticed that the instructor referred to everybody by name, which is always an incredibly good sign of any fitness class. Equally, it can make you, the new person, experience the familiar ‘newbie’ pang of resentment (or welcome anonymity), however I was shocked when 30 seconds later she came over to me and said ‘keep going Harriet, well done!!’ I swear I did not tell her my name at the beginning of the class. Extremely impressive.

I am ashamed to say that I thought I had a reasonably (ok, average at best) fitness level but I found that I could only do about 60% of the class properly. When I say properly, I mean that I couldn’t quite run on the level they were asking me to and I couldn’t quite hold that plank or do another 20 reps of the floor exercises, but it didn’t matter, I still pushed myself to my limit and came out sweating as if I had just completed a hot yoga class. In fact, I was so impressed with the class that I have signed up to a month’s worth of pain, stay tuned and I will let you know how I got on…

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If you only do one thing this week… Fit Marathon Training Into Your Week


By Joe Byrnes

I am a 26 year old broker working long hours in the office and indulging in a lot of post work entertainment. I’ve got a busy work and social life, which severely challenges the confines of healthy living. Alcohol and sleepless nights play a part. However, these vices make it even more important for me to pursue a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. A major part of this is exercise, which is why I set myself goals of running marathons – to ensure that I have something to be training towards and thus making it important for me to find the time. A marathon will simply not run itself.

Running a marathon is a big commitment and you do need to make a few changes in your life in order to allow you the time to train sufficiently enough to complete but more importantly compete. What is the point in training for months and go through hours of marathon pain just to collapse across the line? Having said that, it is no easy task to fit all the training into a busy schedule like mine, but with a few shortcuts and some well-chosen sacrifices there is no reason you can’t do it.

You have no excuse, so grab your trainers and get organised…

Organisation is the key: Life is busy and time is precious, therefore plan your training as efficiently as possible so that it doesn’t impact on your life. Incorporating your training into your commute is one of the best ways of doing this. I arrive at the office on Monday morning with enough clothes and items for the week that allows me to run in and out of work every day. Fringe benefits include saving money on travel, avoiding the stress of tube/train travel and kick-starting your metabolism first thing in the morning!

Front load your week: Train hard Sunday-Wednesday because realistically Thurs-Sat night is party/chill time. If you go hard early in the week you won’t feel guilty later on when your social life or a great movie takes you away from training.

Nutrition: Take supplements to make the stress on your muscles easier. They are fantastic with not just assisting your body during training but also helping with the recovery phase. I use a range of vitamins, protein and green supps to ensure I remain healthy right up until race day and beyond. Treat yourself like a car – you put good fuel in, you get good performance out!

Sleep: No shortcut here – sleep heals everything! The better rested you are, the better you train and the faster you recover. Simple as that.

Mix it up and enjoy it: You don’t feel like running 10 miles one night? Go for a swim, go for a cycle, do some yoga. Be flexible in your training because boredom will kill your enthusiasm. Don’t loathe it, love it or there is no point.

There’s no hard or fast rules to marathon success. For me organisation is the key to being able to train properly without it consuming your life. Sit down, have a think, plan what suits your lifestyle and implement it.