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.

hip+helcookbook-406


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

weight lifters

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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.

 


Worldwide Wellness on your Doorstep: East Meets West in London and beyond

East Meets West

Looking for the benefits of an Eastern treatment without setting foot out of the country? You’ve come to the right place says Frankie Rozwadowska

With practices and traditions dating to over 2,000 years ago – Thai techniques are a unique form of body therapy and are a true, authentic art of healing. They combine the four fundamental elements of life (Earth, Water, Fire and Air) to ensure we are balanced and healthy on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. And anyone who’s had a Thai treatment knows that you not only feel amazing, but you look amazing too – for they nourish both the mind and the skin. So why not escape to the orient (without the 12 hour flight or the jet lag) with our top two Thai-inspired spas – where East meets West at its best.

East meets West meets London:

Thai Square Spa – Covent Garden, London. Visited by Sadie Macleod

Tucked away behind busy Covent Garden is this little slice of Thailand. Deceptively small from the entrance, once inside you’ll discover this spa occupies two floors – complete with a small garden and separate shower room at the back. It feels exotic; perhaps because it conjures up memories of all the Asian spas I have been to. I was there to experience the signature facial, which uses organic products sourced from Thailand and then made in France. They smell divine, earthy and natural. After being led downstairs through cavernous walk ways lined by red brick ceilings and slick black walls, I change and am given a pair of bamboo flip-flops. The wonderful Thai stuff are discreet and soft spoken by nature, and my therapist doesn’t speak English – perfect. Total silence for a whole hour almost seemed too good to be true. After cleansing and applying the mask she then preceded to give me the most sensational head massage. The mask was then removed and a serum and moisturiser was applied. Nothing ground breaking happened – it was a traditional facial that didn’t try to do anything clever or over the top. I think that sometimes simplicity is exactly what we want. If it is then Thai Square is perfect – it’s traditional, tame and, overall, authentically Thai. They’ve just opened one in the city too – what better place to go after a hard day’s work.

Thai Square Signature Facial – 1hr 15mins | www.thaisquarespa.com

East Meets West Meets Country:

SenSpa at Carey’s Manor. Visited by Frankie Rozwadowska

Nestled in the beautiful New Forest countryside is SenSpa – an award-winning spa that prides itself on its unique fusion of Eastern and Western treatments. And take pride it should, for this really is where country break meet exotic escape – the perfect combination for a truly unforgettable experience.

Upon arrival at Carey’s Manor, it’s almost impossible to believe that a taste of Thailand is just down the corridor from your room. The hotel itself is cosy and homey, with traditional touches and country charm – complete with a two rosette restaurant serving up the best of British fine dining. But if you’re really here for the true Thai experience, including gastronomy, you will not be disappointed. The Zen Garden is a low-lit, atmospheric restaurant that will tantalise your taste buds with Thai curries, stir-fries, noodles and salads. Everything is sourced locally and there’s organic wine to help wash it down. Perfect.

The spa itself is unexpectedly large, housing an indoor ozone treated pool, 19 treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, a herbal sauna, crystal steam room, tepidarium, laconicum, experience showers and an ice room. You’ll find yourself spending so long enjoying one area that you’re forever in fear of not having time for them all! There’s even a ‘Thai Temple Studio’ where you can practice Pilates, yoga and meditation. If you can drag yourself away from your herbal tea and day-bed, that is.

My personal favourite had to be the hydrotherapy pool – like your own giant bath with various bubble jets that work to relax muscles, improve joint mobility and ease tension. You can be super lazy and lie back at the side to feel the vibrations work through your whole body, or there are more powerful jets around the pool that target specific areas (shoulders, neck, thighs and bum). The experience showers are also something to try – with various settings that change the water temperature from freezing to blissfully hot whilst lights flash and thunder roars around you (the Sea Storm setting was particularly dramatic). This not only helps boost circulation throughout the body, but also increases lymphatic drainage and leaves you feeling awake and invigorated. Although be warned – you’ll be disappointed by your first shower back home when there are no flashing lights or tropical sounds. Boring.

All the therapists here are Thai-Trained (mine was actually Thai, making the experience even more authentic) so they understand the true value of complete relaxation. Using the spa’s own product range, all certified organic and natural, they work their magic with facials, massages, wraps and body polishes galore. Not to mention the rhassoul mud treatment which leaves your skin totally transformed using mud from the Moroccan Alas Mountains. Opting for the SenSpa Fusion Signature Massage, I had the best of East meets West meets massage. Combining Thai, Shiatsu, Ayurveda, Swedish and Aromatherapy, it was a heavenly blend of deep and relaxing techniques, leaving me both refreshed and relaxed. An hour and a half of total rejuvenation in my oriental inspired room and twinkling Thai music, I really did feel as though I had been transported to somewhere far, far away.

From the food to the pool, the array of treatments, country views and ridiculously comfy beds – just one night at Carey’s Manor and SenSpa left me feeling like a new person. Whether you’re looking for a day away or a weekend somewhere a bit more exotic, SenSpa is the place for you. Just be sure to pack your wellies as well as your fisherman pants.

SenSpa at Carey’s Manor | www.senspa.co.uk | 01590 624467

 


Coming Clean: Top Tips to Surviving a Cleanse

words by Philippa Maples

When I agreed to commit to a seven day body cleanse I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into in terms of my self-restraint and coping mechanisms. My first thought was  ‘great I will eat all this healthy food and throughout the seven days I will feel amazing,’ little did I know the challenges I would face while taking part in this, sugar and food cravings, blood sugar levels and mood just to name a few.

When undertaking a cleanse the first step is that you must like and agree with the premise of the cleanse you are taking part of, whether you prefer juice or food cleanses it is totally up to you, just make sure you agree with it otherwise you spend the whole time thinking, ‘what is this really doing for me?’ Leading UK nutritionist and author of ‘It Must Be My Hormones,’ Vicki Edgson explains “You have to get in the right mind frame, this is not for now this is for life, ask your self the question, how fit can I really get if I applied myself to this? Be mindful that you know what is going to come and know that you may not feel one hundred percent.”

Set a Goal
There are certain things I found that helped me get through cleansing my body. The first was to set a goal, a before and after always helps with this. Measure and weigh yourself, write down what you would like to achieve and then work your way towards it. When you reach or even exceed your expectations it drives you to stick with it and be the fittest and healthiest person that you can be.

Get Minty
Zoe Copsey, head of nutrition at Lomax Bespoke Health in Chelsea had a top tip for getting rid of your sugar cravings that arise during a cleanse, “I have a cup of fresh mint or peppermint tea when I feel like something sweet, I also brush my teeth after every meal and the fresh mint taste distracts me from feeling like that after meal treat”.

Light Exercise
My other coping mechanism was light exercise, I decided that I would go for a walk in the park everyday, this cleared my mind and gave me the time to reflect on how I was feeling and to forget about the stresses of work and everything else that seemed magnified when cleansing. Understanding how you feel and why plays a huge role in staying on track to reach your goal.

Don’t Go it Alone
Another I would recommend is to persuade a friend to take part in the cleansing process with you, whether it is a work, personal or gym friend do it together. It helps immensely having that support and to compare notes with each other. My cleanse buddy was a co-worker and as we compared our thoughts and feelings I realised our bodies were reacting completely different to our cleanses, both in a positive way.

A Little You Time
My fifth coping tip is to spend some time with you, ask yourself ‘how do I feel?’ I know this may sound pointless but it really works! On day three (which is the hardest day as your body is holding on to those last toxins) I ran myself a bath, lit some candles and sat back and relaxed, the smallest relaxation methods can have the biggest impact. Clear your mind or if you find that hard read a book and you will forget that you are even cleansing, as far as your mind is concerned you are relaxing in the bath without a worry in the world.

Stay Motivated
Motivation is the key! My final tip is to be motivated, if you want to fit into that pair of jeans that has been hidden in the back of your closet for a reason then use that as your motivation, Zoe’s motivation is her wedding, “I want to look good for my wedding, you only do it once” she said. Motivation can drive you to do anything that you put your mind to.

Think positively and you can achieve that amazing feeling, physically and mentally after completing a cleanse.

image from www.lomaxpt.com where you can also get more cleanse and juice tips!

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Long Haul Health: How to stay healthy on a long flight

words by Kathleen Fleming

Recently I have been travelling a lot on long haul flights. At the end of every one my whole body feels stiff and swollen and more often than not, my throat is dry and my nose is running.  These feelings got me thinking about how to stay healthy on board a cramped, cold plane where breakfast is eggs made from powder, the whitest roll you have ever seen and strawberry (sugar packed) yogurt. And to top it off you probably won’t get any sleep (unless you are lucky enough to fly business class and your seat turns into a bed).

Below are some tips on how to disembark an epic flight feeling healthy.

Hydrate
The air inside an aircraft cabin has significantly lower humidity levels than a normal comfortable indoor environment. This can result in dehydration which can leave you feeling sick and dizzy. To combat dehydration, drink water and lots of it. Hydrate your body with lots of water and/or coconut water the night before your long flight. Try to avoid drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and sweet fruit juices which can make dehydration worse. I know a lot of people love a glass of wine to help them fall asleep but try sticking to one glass followed by water. Buy a big bottle of water and some coconut water at the airport (after security) to take on board with you.

Drinking water will hydrate your skin from inside but it is a good idea to pack a good moisturiser in your hand luggage as well (make sure it is less than 100ml!). Every few hours apply some moisturiser to your face and hands to keep them feeling fresh.

Nourish
After a rubbish sleep in a tiny seat, the last thing you want to eat is a powdered egg omelette. There is no way you will feel good after a long flight if you eat this food. My top tip is to order a vegan meal. With a vegan meal you normally get food such as fresh fruit, salads, ratatouille and little bags of nuts and raisins. Who knew economy class food could be so healthy! Most airlines allow you to request a special meal online either at the time of booking or at least 72 hours in advance of your flight.

In addition to your vegan meal, you may want to pack a few snacks for the journey. I normally make myself a little snack pack of nuts and seeds, a couple of pieces of fruit and some chopped carrot sticks. If you are really organised and have space in your bag, you can avoid eating any plane food and pack your own healthy, light meals. Be aware that you have to eat it all on the flight as you probably won’t be allowed to take it into your destination country.

Move
Moving around in economy class on a 12 hour flight is easier said than done. You don’t want to be one of those annoying people who continuously walk up and down the aisles or congregate around the toilets but you do need to move. However, if you don’t move, you will disembark feeling stiff and swollen. Not moving around also increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis, blood clotting in the deep veins, which is potentially fatal.

The best thing to do is to get up every hour and walk around the plane. At the same time do some stretches. You can also stretch in your seat. Most yoga teachers can give some tips on good postures to practice from your seat or in a confined space like a plane.

If you can afford it, try booking an emergency exit seat. Although these seats are normally a little pricier, you get significantly more leg room and a little space to do some yoga.

Dress Comfortably
Our legs, ankles and feet often swell on long flights due to compression against the seat, inactivity and the fact that our legs are dangling down for a long period of time. The swelling can be painful and uncomfortable. Try wearing compression stockings which can be bought from most pharmacies as these will reduce swelling. I would also suggest packing a pair of tracksuit bottoms or loose trousers to wear on the plane as these will be more comfortable and won’t impede blood flow in your legs.

Sleep
If your flight is at night, sleep is the hardest thing to do and probably the most important if you don’t want to feel terrible when you land. Unless you are very small or blessed with the gift of being able to sleep anywhere and everywhere, you probably won’t be able to sleep for 7 hours straight in that tiny seat. My suggestion is to try to take regular short naps throughout the flight and get up to move around in between. I find that I normally wake up about every hour with a sore neck or the arm rest poking into my back. See this as a gentle nudge to move and then come back to another hour’s sleep. If I am really struggling to sleep it is normally because of something bothering me mentally so I try to do some breathing exercises to calm my mind. This normally helps me get to sleep.

Try to avoid taking a sleeping pill. Even with very little sleep if you hydrate, eat well and dress comfortably you will still feel better on landing than someone who downed two sleeping pills with a whisky.

We wish you a Hip and Healthy flight!

image from www.vogue.it

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If you only do one thing this week… Learn to love lemons

words by Rose Dahlsen

There’s a lot to love about lemons. Combine the citric juice with rose water for an anti-bacterial face wash or mix two tablespoons with one part olive oil for a crafty shoe polish. Shavings of the peel add zest to dressings and desserts, or place the outer rind on a windowsill to deter uninvited insects.

Boost vitamin C
The welcome arrival of spring brings an abundance of yellow daffodils. Add another flash of yellow this week, and start each day with a cup of lemon tea. The ingredients are minimal, but the benefits are boundless. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the zesty fusion of a lemon slice soaked in hot water to awaken the senses. Bursting with vitamin C, the citric fruit boosts the body’s immune system which helps stave off nuisance colds. Acidic in its natural state, the tangy beverage generates an alkaline effect within the body which helps to balance our all-important pH levels. The vitamin C component also offers a host of healthy skin benefits. Working as an effective antioxidant, it helps to decrease unwanted wrinkles and bothersome blemishes, as well as providing relief to sore sunburn. The vital vitamin also maintains collagen levels and repairs damaged tissues. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood, which ultimately contributes to a clearer complexion. By directly applying the concoction to scars, the zesty mixture can also help reduce their appearance.

Cleanse
Combined with its natural detoxifying properties, warm water with lemon juice is a great remedy for treating urinary infections. It works as a diuretic to purify and cleanse our inner-temples, releasing toxins from the system at a faster rate.

Improve Digestion
But the benefits don’t end there. Lemon juice also significantly contributes to a healthy digestive system. The formula encourages the liver to produce bile, a necessary acid required for digestion, which allows the bowels to eliminate waste more efficiently. An effective digestive system also markedly reduces heartburn and bloating. High in pectin fibre, the citric blend makes the body feel fuller, reduces cravings for food and aids weight loss.

Calm Yourself Down
Lemons are packed full with vitamin C’s soothing properties. The vitamin absconds the body, as soon as it’s subjected to stress or anxiety, so the lemon formula works brilliantly as a calming concoction.

Improve IQ
Oh, and they’re also high in potassium – a chemical element that works effectively to control high blood pressure, strengthen capillaries and reduce palpitations, whilst also stimulating our brain and nerve function.

Suggested Recipe: The zesty juice of half a lemon to one cup of warm water.

image from: Bodyandsoul.com.au


What’s the Hype with Hypoxi? This writer lost 6 pounds and 22cms… we’re all ears

One writer, Justine Board, lost 6 pounds and a total of 22cms… we’re all ears

 We’ve all been there, cowering in a changing room with mercilessly unflattering  down-lighters  (step forward, Topshop), trying not to catch a glimpse of your own thighs before whatever you’re trying on is firmly in place. A mis-timed glance has been known to ruin a whole day for me, as what I had thought were a standard issue pair of thighs are transformed into a porridge-y lunar landscape of craters. So with this in mind when I was given the chance to sample a new training method called Hypoxi, which promised to not only help lose inches from hips, bums and thighs but also visibly improve cellulite, I jumped at the chance.

Here comes the science bit…

Hypoxi training is described as a “body shaping method” which combines gentle exercise with its USP – vacuum technology – to directly target fat in areas specifically prone to storing it, namely stomach, waist, hips, buttocks and thighs. The training method was developed in 1998 by Dr Norbert Egger, an Austrian sports scientist, who linked stubborn fat deposits specifically to poorly circulated areas of the body; areas that also traditionally prove the most resistant to diet and exercise.  The only way to burn this fat is by exercising the muscle – this we all know – but by simultaneously increasing blood circulation to problem areas, we can speed up the breakdown of concentrated fat deposits.

The Hypoxi machine is very similar to a regular exercise bike but encased in an egg shaped pod which closes at the waist as you sit on the bike (there is also a reclining version). A gentle vacuum system lowers pressure within the pod and encourages blood flow into the lower half of the body. Treatment consists of twelve 30 minute sessions over a 4 week period and involves gently cycling while the vacuum does its thing.

It couldn’t be more straightforward. Wearing loose fitting clothes so as not to restrict circulation – pyjamas are even recommended as an example of how laid back the process is – you climb headfirst into a neoprene skirt that fits snugly at the waist. The hem of the skirt is a plastic hoop that clips onto the pod as you sit on the bike, sealing in your bottom half. Once clipped in, you cycle at a leisurely pace for half an hour while a heart monitor ensures you’re not over-exerting yourself and a rev counter checks your pace. The sensation is strange at first when you feel the gentle pull of the vacuum, and faintly comical when the vacuum intermittently reverses and blows air back into the pod, (to ensure blood continues to circulate in your top half) causing the neoprene skirt to balloon up like a mini-mushroom cloud. Everyone else in the room is wearing some form of elaborate neoprene though and having air sucked and blown about around them, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed.

This is not a sweat-inducing spinning experience, think more a gentle wheel down a country lane. I genuinely found it a calming, therapeutic process, a chance to relax with a magazine or a chapter of a good book and I looked forward to the appointments. And three 30 minute sessions over a week is not a huge time commitment.

There is a nutritional plan to follow alongside the training that focuses on healthy eating. It’s suggested that you don’t eat for 2 hours after training and no carbs for 4 hours afterwards (but carbs only before training, to fuel the body). If you are training in the evening, the plan includes protein shake recipes instead of an evening meal. Apart from this the plan is straightforward and sensible – lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, steer clear of saturated fats, sugar and processed carbs, don’t mix protein with carbs and drink plenty of water.

And so after 4 weeks, what was the verdict? First, a confession: I followed the diet, but not to the letter of the law and I didn’t worry too much if I was out for dinner, or over the weekend. Notwithstanding, I lost a total of 22cms from my waist, bum and thighs and although Hypoxi doesn’t promise weight loss, I still finished 6 pounds lighter. Being stricter with the diet would have led to an even better result I’m convinced. More importantly, the skin tone on my thighs was definitely, noticeably smoother and firmer. I admit to being somewhat cynical at the outset but by the end was convinced. And I think that my skin tone has continued to improve even now the actual training has ended, and I am learning not to cringe so much at the mirror in Topshop.

My Top 5 Tips for Hypoxi Success

  1. Follow the diet. This will give the most dramatic results and it is not so draconian that it can’t be followed for 4 weeks. And drink lots of water – there is seemingly no situation where this is not good advice.
  2. Build the sessions into your working week. I found that going first thing in the morning before work had the least impact on my life, but find a structure that works for you. It is much less time consuming that the gym and you don’t need to shower afterwards.
  3. Take a book. Everyone has busy lives and this is the perfect opportunity to tackle the Tolstoy you’ve been putting off (or Grazia). Workaholics don’t need to ditch the Blackberry.
  4. Wear loose fitting clothing. A t-shirt and loose fitting sweat pants are ideal. Or pyjamas if it’s an early start!
  5. Try body brushing  alongside the diet and exercise. This will improve blood circulation and help improve skin tone. I recommend the Sae-Sei Mineral Loofah Body Polish Soap (£15, exclusively from Space NK), that combines a moisturising soap with a natural loofah for exfoliation.

Hypoxi treatment costs £496 for 12 sessions at peak time and £446 off-peak (9am – 5pm).

Hip&Healthy readers can take advantage of an exclusive 30% discount by quoting “Hip&Healthy” on booking.

Hypoxizone is at 27 – 28 Clement Lane, EC4N 7AZ

Tel. 020 7283 7070

www.hypoxizone.co.uk


A Hip and Healthy Guide to Sydney

Sydney is my healthy haven. It is the city of dreams where I plan to end up in the near future. The energy is amazing and yet relaxed. Days flow organically with little planning or organisation. Everyday you find yourself surrounded by beautiful open people in idyllic locations. With such a wonderful climate and outdoor lifestyle health is a prominent concern for many sydney siders, here a few hot spots to check out when you are over that way.

Cafes/Restaurants

Suveran
I first came across Suveran a few years ago. As a health nut it is the first location to hit up. This restaurant is sugar-, gluten-, dairy- and grain-free, friendly to vegetarians, vegans and even paleos. Owned and run by an amazing man called Pete, you are sure to not only to get a dose of healthy goodness, but also walk away with a whole bucket full of knowledge. My favourite dish is the lamb salad, be sure to get some of the raw chocolate and a fresh young coconut to sip on! 244 Oxford Street Bondi Junction NSW 2022, Australia +61 2 9369 4040

About Life
This is a slightly more conventional health food store/café making delicious smoothies, salads and wraps. Always bustling with people and huge smiles you are sure to feel mentally and physically clear after your experience here. Their breakfast menu is amazing, my favourite is the omelette or almond hot cakes they make.

(2 Locations)

31-37 Oxford Street  Bondi Junction NSW 2022, Australia
+61 2 9389 7611

605 Darling Street  Rozelle NSW 2039, Australia
+61 2 8755 1333

Earth to Table
An amazing spot for raw and veggie fans. I would take many trips here for the desserts. Their raw cheese cakes are like heaven on earth! If you are in need of a healthy treat head down here for some raw goodness. 87 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction NSW 2022, Australia (02) 9029 1755

Love Fish
The most scrumptious fish restaurant in Sydney! All sustainably caught fish and organic veggies. The couple that run this joint are amazing. The fish comes really simply with a whole host of salads, all fresh tasty and nutritious. If its a nice evening get some take away and go sit at the end of the water in Balmain overlooking the harbour, its such a treat! 580 Darling Street  Sydney NSW 2039, Australia +61 2 9818 7777

MuMu Grill
If you are craving a good piece of meat then head straight here. All the meat is grass fed. They recycle all their waste, grow their own herbs and donate part of the bill to a local charity. I met the head chef who is so passionate about nutrition and health. This place oozes love! Try the slow roast pork it is out of this world!! 70-76 Alexander Street  Crows Nest NSW 2065, Australia +61 2 9460 6877

The Boat House
My favourite cafe in the entire world, the magic of being up at palm beach is one thing but to top it off this cafe is abundant in tasty goodness. My signature dish is green eggs and ham, being a fan of Dr Seuss and having a love affair with eggs and pesto this place is my haven. Go for brunch or lunch, it can get busy on the weekends so aim to get there early and do the lighthouse walk after. Governor Phillip Park  Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia +61 2 9974 3868

Other amazing places worth checking out:

www.threeblueducks.com

www.porchandparlour.com.au

www.organicus.com.au

Markets

Eveleigh Markets
Open Saturday mornings 8am to 4pm, this buzzy market houses the most amazing fresh organic local produce. The market is extremely spacious and open with a whole flurry of different stalls. You can get every kind of veggie there and there is a great stand selling grass-fed lamb. Defiantly check it out one saturday morning even if you just go down for a fresh juice, crepe and take in the atmosphere243 Wilson Street  Darlington NSW 2008, Australia +61 2 9209 4735

Bondi Markets
Another cool place to get off on the veggies as well as the  vibes. Be sure to go grab some eggs around Bondi before getting your weekly veggies or a yummy sausage roll. Located: at Bondi Beach Public School on Campbell Parade across the road from Bondi Beach, Sydney

Bondi Wholefoods
An amazing cafe and store stocking all the top brands and delicious treats you may need! 30A Hastings Parade, North Bondi

OVViO Organics
This is a wonder land for fresh organic tea, natural beauty products and herbal remedies. Be sure to have time for a cup of tea and some wonderful organic deserts made fresh. The owner (Anthia) is an amazing naturopath so if you are in need of any fixing she is your girl. 2 Heeley Street  Paddington NSW 2021, Australia +61 2 9380 7863

Other great places

www.wholefoodshouse.com.au

www.tasteorganic.com.au

www.healthemporium.com.au

Fitness

Origin of Energy
This is where I used to work and where most of my inspiration for health and nutrition came from. Run by the best trainer in Australia… maybe even the world, Aaron changes bodies like no one else. His principles are similar to a cross fit style of training. He takes a very holistic approach, focusing on natural movement and efficient training. The atmosphere there is amazing, with so many beautiful people working out together. It is very inspiring. You can also eat there after, with amazing meals served fresh every day!! There are classes as well as one on ones throughout the day, the daily workout can be moderated to any level so if your in need of getting a beach body this is your place! Shop 12/422 Oxford St Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Sydney Australia

Power Living
The most lively place to do yoga, with an energy that will leaving you ommming for the rest of the day. They have taken on a power vinyasa style of yoga, with some classes being more dynamic and other more soft and restorative. They are scattered over three locations in Sydney so you are sure to be able to pop down for a class or two.

1/420-422 Oxford Street  Bondi Junction NSW 2022, Australia
+61 2 8065 7315

1/135 Military Road  Neutral Bay NSW 2089, Australia
+61 2 9904 4874

15 Sydney Road  Manly NSW 2095, Australia
+61 2 9977 5001

Other Yoga hot spots:

www.dharmashala.com.au

kmyoga.com

www.bodymindlife.com.au/Home

Other great holistic gyms:

momentumforlife.com.au

www.enlivenfitness.com

http://springwellness.com.au

Other healthy activities

Start your day off with a Swim and Sauna at Icebergs – http://icebergs.com.au (the perfect way to start the day)

Take a stroll on the Bondi to Bronte walk – http://short-walks.com.au/new-south-wales/sydney/bondi-to-bronte-walk/ (the most iconic and wonderful walk) 

Rollerblade the streets of Manly – https://www.skaterhq.com.au (rent some skates and cruise the streets) 

By Madeline Shaw