Night Run Anyone? It’s time to trade a night out for a night run…

Night Run Anyone?

It’s time to trade a night out for a night run…


We love hearing about different ways to have fun with your exercise, which is why we got very excited about Boutique Sport’s Energizer Night Run on Saturday 13 April in Battersea Park. Runners can take part in either a 5 or 10km challenge and then reward themselves with a red carpet finish and after party! You’ll also be able to celebrate in true hip and healthy style with a Vita Coco, 100% coconut water and nibbles.

For further information about Energizer Night Run please visit:


Health Speak with Tom Kay, Founder of super-cool surf company, Finisterre

 interview conducted by Kate Prince

Tom Kay is the founder and managing director of cold water surf company Finisterre. The brand is committed to designing innovative products for cold water surfers around the world with products ranging from Merino underwear, base layers to insulation jackets, all with a strong environmental ethic and loved by non-surfers too. The brand started in Tom’s bedroom in St.Agnes and is now based in a workshop on the cliffs above St. Agnes and consists of a team of 14 (and 3 dogs).

What is the first thing you do in the morning? 

I get up and have a large glass of water … and try not being in so much of a rush that I cannot have a good stretch!

What do eat for breakfast? 

I usually have Gluten free muesli and soya although I love scrambled eggs, bacon and coffee at the weekend.

What is your work place like? 

It’s in a beautiful place; on the site of an old tin mine on the cliffs in St. Agnes, Cornwall. It’s an open plan office with boards and wetsuits, ready and waiting, by the door because we surf when we can. There are of the guy’s dogs running around too as well. I love it.

What do you eat for lunch? 

Salad/fish if possible, we eat outside at the back of the workshop in the summer. Best effort was making some mackerel pate from mackerel that I caught and smoked!

Do you snack? If so, what on? 

Yes, I have quite high energy levels so have to eat every few hours. Fruit and nuts but usually I need a hit of chocolate later in the day! Often a Freddo frog– does the trick…

What do you have for supper? and why 

I tend to mix it up really – I like cooking so all kinds of things but my favourite things are Thai curry or fresh fish of some sort (Sea Bass caught by me, ideally!)

What is the healthiest thing you do every day? 

I’m really lucky in that I can (and try to) surf or swim most days. Summer sea swims are awesome around here and a great way to switch off.

Why did you create Finisterre? 

I wanted to create a cold water surf company that represented my passions and was committed to making innovative technical product for cold water surfers. Our products now range from Merino base layers and underwear to insulation jackets, hard-wearing shirts and knitwear. We’ve also resurrected a rare breed of British fine fibre sheep – the Bowmont – that is used in some of our products.

What is the most interesting thing about creating sports and outdoor clothing? 

Coming up with really innovative product for our customers and being passionate about what Finisterre stands for – it’s committed to designing innovative product for cold water surfers with a strong environmental and ethical agenda.

What is your favourite piece of Finisterre clothing and which sport do you use it for? 

I wear my Finisterre Merino long johns, most days; they are great to get into after cold surf or keep you warm on a cold day.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive) would you invite to dinner? 

Mohammed Ali, Charles Darwin, Sienna Miller

Which three things can’t you live without? 

My 1972 old Land rover, going into the sea when I can and my lovely dogs (Daisy and Beetle – golden retriever and flat coated retriever)

What gets you up in the morning?

Early surf or sea swim is always a good way to start the day.

And what do you go to bed thinking about? 

Usually funny things that have happened that day

What is your motto for life? 

This is it…

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A Scent-Sational Journey: Escape the misery of England with our favourite exotic fragrances

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” Inspired by the words of Rudyard Kipling, Frankie Rozwadowska, discovers the scents that will transport you to the exotic

If you, like me, are looking out of the window, dreaming of far off lands and exotic places whilst counting down the days ‘til your summer holiday, then this is for you. Okay, so it may not a plane ticket to Bali or a cruise around the Caribbean, but just a sniff of these scents and you’ll be transported to somewhere far, far away…

Smell is our most powerful sense (it’s a whopping 10,000 times more sensitive than the others), and this is because our olfactory process is immediate. Taste and touch, for example, have to travel through the body via neurons in order to reach the brain, whereas smell extends directly to it via our olfactory bulbs. This also means that smell is incredibly powerful in conjuring up memories, as our olfactory bulbs have very direct connections to both our amygdala and hippocampus lobe structures that control emotion and memory. Therefore, the next best thing to actually being on holiday is to smell things that remind you of them, allowing you to create images in your mind of distant beaches or snow-capped mountains. So on that note, here are our top 10 travel inspired fragrances that will take you on one scent-sational journey

Canada‘Rogart’ by Molton Brown – £60.00

This woody fresh fragrance effortlessly captures the essence of Nova Scotia’s Cobequid Mountains. Notes of juniper berries, sweet maple and icy angelica sit on a base of fir balsam and gaiac wood, leaving you dreaming of roaring fires in rustic log-cabins, surrounded by snow-topped peaks.

Dominican Republic ‘Santo Domingo’ by Oscar de la Renta – £105.00

Having lived in this cool, colonial, Caribbean capital, Santo Domingo holds a very special place in my heart – as it does for Oscar de la Renta. He himself said, “Smell is the longest recall of all senses”. So in homage to his birthplace, he perfectly captured the city’s smells – the rich warmth of tobacco and spices, the fresh citrusy top notes, and the touch of patchouli that brings the island’s tropical flowers straight to you.

Brazil – ‘Batucada’ by L’Artisan Parfumeur – £55-£78

Think Brazil and think beating drums, samba tunes and bronzed beauties? Now you can be joining them with a spritz of Batucada. “This perfume is packed with joy and spontaneity, like Brazilians dancing and singing to the rhythm of the music…” says co-creator Elisabeth Maier. It’s refreshing – with a burst of lime, fresh mint and cachaca (aka a Caipirinha – yum). There are notes of ylang ylang and coconut, creating that heady, holiday scent of sun cream on glistening skin. And there’s the added sprinkle of sea salt – beautifully bottling Brazil’s beaches.

Morocco – ‘L’Air Du Desert Marocain’ by Tauer Perfumes€78.70

Using the highest quality natural oils, Swiss chemist turned perfumer, Andy Tauer, draws his inspiration from distant lands and exotic substances. Musing on memories of a night in Marrakesh, this is his favourite of all his creations – and it’s not hard to see why. With a warm heart of rock rose and a hint of Moroccan jasmine, there’s also a splash of bitter orange and a touch of cumin and coriander, all resting on a lightly spicy base of dry cedar, vetiver and ambergris. It will send you straight to the Sahara in just a sniff.

England‘Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne’ by Jo Malone – £38-£76

If you’re abroad and want a taste of home, this is the next best thing to actually eating a cucumber sandwich washed down with a good old cuppa. A burst of bergamot, distinct to Earl Grey, blends perfectly with the cool succulence of crunchy cucumber and the sweeter base notes of beeswax, vanilla and musk. It’s Blighty in a bottle.

Italy‘Fico di Amalfi’ by Acqua di Parma – £52-£74

In a bottle as blue as the Mediterranean itself, this eau de toilette centres around the fig – a fruit found growing in abundance on the Amalfi Coast. It’s therefore no surprise that at the heart of the fragrance lies fig nectar, surrounded by notes of pink pepper, jasmine petals, and crisp citrus fruits. Coming through you’ll smell fig wood, cedar wood, and benzoin – perfectly capturing the fig tree from root to fruit.

The Middle East – ‘Sahara Noir’ by Tom Ford – £100 (on counters in May)

Is there anything this man can’t do? Nope, didn’t think so. Mr Ford has done it again, captured our noses with his latest scent – an ode to the precious desert resin, Frankincense. As he himself says, “Middle Eastern culture has an extraordinary appreciation for the luxurious, emotional and memorable qualities of fragrance; perfume is worn there in a way that feels very familiar to me. Sahara Noir is my interpretation of this heritage.” With notes of cinnamon, rose absolute, cool papyrus and vanilla bean – it’s as though you’re really walking through the souks of the Arabian Peninsula and not around Marks & Spencer’s.

Mauritius‘Songes’ by Annick Goutal – £60-£79

Everything about this perfume is romantic, from the beautiful bottle to the story behind it. Camille Goutal wanted to capture the spellbinding scent of frangipani that hung in the air during an exotic garden walk on the island of Mauritius. So taken by the sweet smell, she made it her aim to immortalize the precious memory – creating an exotic bouquet of frangipani, jasmine and gardenia. Add to this the rare essential oils of ylang-ylang and French vanilla, and what do you have? A sumptuous, spell-binding scent.

Thailand – ‘A Shot of Thai Lime Over Mango’ by Jo Loves – £45-95

Jo Malone is, quite frankly, the Queen of Fragrance – and her Jo Loves fragrances deserve their own thrown. Each one of them. She herself says, “Everyday I’m struck by different smells which evoke emotions or memories that inspire me to be creative.” Inspired by her travels and by the art of cocktail making (the crushing, shaking, and stirring of ingredients to create something truly unique) – this scent was created. “Thailand is a very special place for me and a constant source of inspiration. I love the sharp, zesty qualities of Thai Lime and when shot over Mango it creates a very clean, cologne-like scent. Combining a culinary fusion of fresh Mango, Kaffir Lime and Black Pepper with herbaceous Thyme, Mint and Vetiver, this fragrance can be worn night or day.” Make ours a double.

Japan ‘IKI’ by Florascent Parfumeurs – £39.50

Made from pure, natural, organic essential oils and aromatic waters, IKI is inspired by the beauty and mystery of Japan’s geishas. Like these beautiful traditional performers, the fragrance’s creators treat each scent like a work of art. After carefully distilling and extracting the precious natural materials, they are then matured for several months – allowing scent compositions to properly develop their distinctive character. IKI’s is woody and aromatic – making it perfect for men or for women who like to wear more masculine scents.

Image by the amazing Daeja Fallas – check out his website for more fantastic shots:

Cyclebeat: The new two-wheeled fitness craze promising to get you fit and fabulous

words by Nick Reid

Like many people, I have taken up cycling following the great success in recent years of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and the other Team GB cyclists. Their performances have inspired a generation to take to the roads on two wheels, to don the lycra and to hit the hills. But during this particularly cold, wet and snowy winter/spring that we are having

here in the UK, going outside on our bikes requires serious dedication and, to be frank, is often too risky. So where to then, when like me, you have some gruelling sportives in your diary that are now fast approaching? There is a new answer to this question: Cyclebeat. Cyclebeat is a new fitness studio focused on providing the best spin class experience for everyone from the serious cyclist to those without a bike. I recently visited Cyclebeat to experience a class for myself. Now, like most cyclists, spinning is my go-to answer when the roads are slippery and the wind is biting. I went into the class expecting the normal drill – 45 mins of spin with the odd change in resistance and position. Cyclebeat, however, is anything but your standard spin class.

Located in the City of London at 8 Lombard Court, London EC3V 9BJ, the Cyclebeat studio is a positive reincarnation of an old pub. What was once a dreary pub is now a super cool, club-like spin studio with high quality speaker systems, light machines and state of the art spinning bikes. The changing rooms are well maintained and the fresh paint job and design features give the whole studio a clean cut stylish ambiance.

After pirchasing a coco water and energy drink from reception, I went into the studio for the start of my class, which was to be taken by Delvin Clarke, one of the leading spin/fitness instructors in the country. Co-Founders, Justin Crewe and Greg Allon, gave a brief introduction to the background and concept of cyclebeat and, most importantly, explained the “Beatboard”. The Beatboard was my favourite thing about cyclebeat and the thing that really sets it apart from any other spin set-up – basically it is a scoreboard displaying certain information about your ride to the whole class. As the class starts the data from our bikes (35 in the room being used) is projected up in front of us on the Beatboard (which is actually two giant flat screens). The race is on! Speed, power and energy data is displayed in a scoreboard format to introduce a sense of competition to the class. When the warm-up is finished, Delvin pumps up the tunes and the lights start flashing to the beat. Delvin is no ordinary spin instructor and within a matter of minutes, he has the class bouncing, turning, leaning and sprinting to the beat, in sync. The effect is awesome, the whole studio is moving, working hard to the music and, most importantly having fun. The serious cyclists are having their own race putting in the extra effort to stay at the top of the board while the rest of the class is having a good all body workout on a spin bike. The class runs for 45 minutes but it feels like 20. Most importantly, I want more at the end of the class and of course that means I want to work out again soon – which is great for maintaining a fitness routine. Following the session, we are informed that all the data from our bikes will be emailed to us after the class automatically, a very cool feature and helpful to those keeping a training log.

The Cyclebeat team have been very clever to achieve what they have. The flexible membership structure and use of technology and online interaction services make this a great option for those looking for a new aspect to their training or for those who are looking to put in some miles in the saddle (just be prepared to spend as much time out of the saddle, bouncing to the beats). Overall, a great positive addition to the fitness world – the trouble will be making sure you can get a seat given how popular the classes have been. Of course, Cyclebeat have thought of that too with their online booking system!

For more information please visit Introductory offers start at just £30 for 30 days.



If you only do one thing this week… Get Back into Healthy Habits

It is the Bank Holiday Monday of Easter weekend. You are probably on the downward slope of a sugar rush. You have probably overdone it on the chocolate yesterday. And you probably never want to see another Easter egg again. You are not alone. But today is another day so it’s time to kickstart the healthy eating again. Here we give you a few tips on how to do just that:

Start the day with a smoothie

Starting the day with a smoothie is a great way to fill your body with wonderfully nutritious things and get it off to the best possible start. It will also fill you up – providing you make it substantial enough. You can do this by adding seeds and nuts like flax seeds or cashew nuts. We have a range of recipes on the site (just check out the food section). But for our all time favourite smoothie recipe that really packs a punch, try our Superfood Smoothie Recipe. You can watch the video here or check out the written recipe here.

Say sayonara to sugar

We think of sugar as a legal drug. It makes us sad, sick and overweight. And the cruelest thing about sugar is that it is addictive, so once you pop you just can’t stop. It’s best to cut out sugar altogether as that way your body starts to get use to living without it and no longer craves it. You will also find that other things such as berries and bananas will start to taste really sweet. Cutting out sugar certainly does not mean that you can’t have sweet treats. We have a range of delicious recipes for yummy things in the food part section of our website.

Fill your plate with vegetables

This is a given. If you want to get back on the health wagon – vegetables are the tool to take you there. We are huge fans of dark leafy greens. Try and get them in at every meal by adding things like kale, watercress and spinach to salads, stews, even smoothies. Make sure that most of your meal is made up with wonderful vegetables.

Do your exercise in the morning

By kickstarting your day with a little exercise, not only will you start the day as you mean to go on, but you will also increase the rate at which your metabolism burns for the rest of the day, meaning that the food you eat will be burnt up more efficiently. Also, once you have done your exercise in the morning, you have done it. You don’t have to spend all day dreading it, or working out which excuse you can use to get out of it. Just do it. Feel empowered. And spend the rest of the day feeling as great as you will look.

Eat raw

We are just coming off the back of a really cold spell weather wise, and when the weather is cold we just don’t want to eat cold food. But I have it on good authority (thanks BBC) that Spring is on its way. So it is time to start eating food that hasn’t had most of the nutrients cooked out of it. Although a totally raw food diet has its benefits, we aren’t suggesting that you go completely raw, just try to have at least one raw food meal a day. That way you’ll be getting the most out of all the vegetables you are consuming.

Make your workout fun

Instead of hitting the gym or pounding the pavement all week, try doing something a little bit different at least one day to raise your heart rate this week. Here are a few of our favourite ideas:

Rollerskating: Why not sign up for the Roller Disco (
Skipping: Its a great way to burn calories – you can burn up to 135 in just ten minutes.
Hiking: Take in the countryside, connect with nature, get fit. Its a win win all round.
Dancing: Who doesn’t love to dance. Next time you are in da club – let rip.
Jumping: Find yourself on a trampoline, bounce away. Its great for legs and your core.





Superfood Smoothie Recipe Video

Click below to watch the recipe in action!

Superfood Smoothie


1 Banana – one of the best sources of potassium and packed full of energy (important for both energy and for good quality sleep).

1 cup Blueberries – packed full of antioxidants, which help to fight free-radicals and thus combat ageing.

1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds – the seeds of pomegranates act a lot like aspirin by preventing blood from clotting.

2 cups Oat Milk – much better for you than dairy and will keep you full! If you are gluten-free opt for almond milk instead.

2 tsp Chia Seeds – full of soluble fibre and known for their  way of slow releasing energy, athletes love these.

3 tbsp / 2 servings Baobab – it is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world and is abundant with vitamin C (we get ours from

2 tbsp Flax Seeds – one of the latest wonder foods, studies have revealed that flax seeds could help with fighting heart disease, breast cancer and diabetes.



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Wedding Workout – Get Fit and Gorgeous in 4 Weeks: achieve the best body ever (for your wedding and beyond!)

Personal Trainer and Fitness Expert, Max Wilcocks, gives us his 4 week program to achieving the best body ever (for your wedding and beyond!)

Everyone wants to look fantastic for their wedding day and every bride knows that be to looking your very best for that special day it takes a bit of effort. Here we’ve put together a one week program (to be done four weeks consecutively) that will help you achieve the best possible version of yourself. Some of the session will require determination and more than a little sweat and others will be gentle runs/cycles to promote steady fat loss. Note to reader: click on the exercises that you are not sure how to do and Max Wilcocks will talk you through it.

We’re going to introduce the week with a gentle workout designed to work your larger muscle groups and improve your range of motion. The focus for this session is taking your time and doing each exercise correctly and steadily improving the range that you are able to work at. We’re targeting the glutes, hamstrings and quads.

20x walking lunges
30x squats
20x split lunge (each side)

Repeat this sequence 5 times. Focus on improving range of motion.

Take the time to either walk, run or cycle for up to an hour. This can be a 1/2 run in the morning and then another 1/2 hr later in the day. The idea is that your legs may well be suffering from yesterday and we want to promote blood flow to stimulate recovery so we’re ready for tomorrow. Don’t push too hard on your run/cycle unless you’re feeling comfortable.

Today we’re going to put the focus back onto our resistance training and incorporate a little cardio at the same time. We’re going to superset some body weight exercises with some moves that are going to get your heart jumping. Does everyone know what a burpee is… You will in a bit!

20x squats straight into 15 burpees
20x standing lunges into 40 mountain climbers
20x reverse lunges into 15 burpees
20x squats into 40 mountain climbers
20x push ups into 15 burpees

Repeat this 4 times with 5 mins rest in-between each set.

Today we can taken the tempo back down and put the focus on our stomachs. Here is a great ab routine, don’t be afraid to use this as many times during the week as you want. If you find you still have the energy at the end of a session the get down and work those stomach muscles.

30x bend knee sit ups
30x abs crunches
30x elbow to opposite knee sit ups
40x leg cycles
30x alternate leg raises
20x double leg raises
1 min front plank

Repeat whole thing twice.

I would suggest either having a rest day or again going for a gentle run. Keep it similar to Tuesday’s exercise. It’s always going to be better if you get out and do something, it doesn’t have to be hyper active, take a walk or brave a run.

This is going to be our first session where we use actual weights, so far it’s just been based on our own body weight. Everyone should be familiar with a kettle bell and every gym worth it’s membership will have them lying around.

Have a go at this. These exercises are based on time NOT reps.

1 min- kettle bell swings
45 sec rest
1 min- split lunge with kettle bell in one hand. Left leg
45 secs rest
1 min- split lunge with kettle bell in one hand. Right leg
45 secs rest
1 min- step up, alternating legs
45 secs rest
1 min- squat into one arm snatch. Left side
45 secs rest
1 min- squat into one arm snatch. Right side
2 mins rest then repeat
Get at least two circuits out

It’s been a great introductory week into training and hopefully yesterday’s program has got you hungry for more. Today we’ll go back to focusing on our core and will keep it simple and relatively short.

1 min front plank
45 sec side plank each side
Repeat this 4 times

15x Swiss ball roll outs (elbows on Swiss ball, knees on floor)
15x Swiss ball roll out ab crunches ( hands on floor, feet on Swiss ball)
Work from one to the other of these and see how many times you can do each in 8 minutes.

If you feel up for it then incorporate a few ab exercises from Thursdays session.

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Hip and Healthy Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Beetroot Brownies

Can’t Beet them Beetroot Brownies


125g Coconut Flour

75g Raw Cacao Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

175g Beetroot, boiled

200g Agave

175g Pure (alternative to butter)

3 Eggs


Preheat the oven to 180 celcius/ 350 F/ gas Mark 4.

Mix the coconut flour, cacao powder and baking powder in a large bowl. Blend the beetroot, agave, pure and eggs in a blender until smooth. Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl and gently stir. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until set on top with a gooey middle. Serve with raspberries and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Serving Suggestion

We like ours in a bowl with oat milk! Just pop the brownie into a shallow bowl and fill with oat milk. Leave for a few minutes so that the brownie goes all gooey and then tuck in. See below!

beetroot brownie in oat milk
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Cocoa Crazy: Chocolate can make you beautiful… yes really!

It’s pretty obvious what you’ll be doing this Sunday. Stuffing your face with chocolate. Especially if you’re one of those crazy people who chose to give it up for Lent. Seriously, I salute you. Chocolate isn’t all bad (so long as you steer away from the heavily processed, sugar-laden kind) and it’s been proven that a small amount of organic, dark chocolate is actually very good for you. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can help lower blood pressure and improve cognitive brain function – all whilst releasing those feel good endorphins. The higher the cocoa content – the better it is for you, so always go for the darkest possible.

But cocoa doesn’t just make for a delicious and healthy treat, it also works wonders for the skin. It breaks down free-radicals (so products have more anti-ageing and anti-oxidant properties) and contains soothing vitamin E to calm irritated or sensitive skin. It’s also a mighty moisturiser as it penetrates the top skin layer, effectively moistening and repairing skin beneath to leave you soft, supple and glowing. Being such an excellent emollient makes it brilliant for those suffering with dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, and it smells divine. With our top 5 products, it’s no wonder we’re going loco for cocoa.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps -£16.00-£75.70

There’s a reason this butter-yellow moisturiser is one of Kiehl’s all time best sellers – it simply is the crème de la crème. Containing beta-carotene, aloe vera, and Vitamins A and E – this super-enriched formula nourishes and moisturises magnificently. Top tip – use it after bathing whilst skin is slightly damp to seal in surface moisture and you’ll be silky soft in seconds.

Organic Surge Million Dollar Anywhere Balm – £22.50

When dryness or irritation strikes, this beautifying balm is all you need. Certified organic and crammed with essential oils, shea butter and cocoa butter, it can be used anywhere – from your hands to your feet and from your nails to your nose. This host of intense natural hydrators will work wonders on dry, flaky or irritated skin (perfect in these Arctic conditions) and will leave you feeling and looking like a million dollars. A handbag essential.

BLEND Collective Unwinding Handcream – £12.50

A hero for hands, this cream caresses skin with hydrating cocoa butter, aloe juice and sea buckthorn. It’s a nourisher for nails and a healer for hands, and it softens and smoothes with an unwinding, fragrant blend of sandalwood, frankincense, cedarwood and neroli essential oils.

Skin Blossom Replenishing Face Moisturiser – £7.25

Free from harsh ingredients, this award-winning moisturiser is lightweight and suitable for all skin types. Working alongside cocoa you’ll find jojoba oil to prevent dehydration and help skin rejuvenate, anti-oxidant rich acai, and shea butter and vitamin E to condition and protect. It deeply hydrates without the need for a thick, gloopy cream, and is lightly scented with essential oils or rose and ylang ylang.

Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Conditioning Lip Balm With Turmeric – £15.00

For a smooth smile with no flakes or chapping, this highly emollient lip balm is packed with organic goodness to rapidly restore softness to parched lips. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties to soothe, cocoa butter, jojoba, beeswax and murumuru hydrate and soften, and mango seed butter and rice bran oil provide anti-oxidant protection. Sesame seed oil helps to heal, and essential oils of sweet ginger, lime and magnasweet to leave your lips smelling luscious.

words by Frankie Rozwadowska


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Easter Tarte au Citron Recipe

Sugar-Free Easter Tarte au Citron (makes 10 tarts)

by Madeleine Shaw

This is my favorite dessert. I have eaten it for my birthday almost every year of my whole life. So fresh, light and creamy.

Since quitting sugar I have got very experimental with dessert, making treats that taste amazing without the sugar! Stevia has been my new best friend. Stevia is a great natural sweetener that is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar (so please be very sparing with it). Stevia has been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians of South America. Not only is it a sugar free sweetener but is also acts as a anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agent.

I have used desiccated coconut in the base which gives it more sweetness and a slightly tropical feel to the dish. This is the perfect Easter afternoon treat to serve after lunch. It goes really well with some fresh raspberries and cream.


  • 6 TBSP of coconut oil or butter
  • 300 g of almond meal
  • 150 g of desiccated coconut
  • A pinch of stevia
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 egg whites


  • 2 egg yolks and 4 eggs
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 TBSP of coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP of almond meal
  • A large pinch of stevia


  1. Set the oven to 180 C
  2. Base: Melt the coconut oil in a pan on a low heat, take it off the heat and add in the almond meal, desiccated coconut, stevia and salt and mix this together.
  3. Crack two eggs and add in the egg whites (leave the yolks for the filling.) Stir well until the mixture forms a slightly gooey texture, press the mixture in small tart molds, ½ a cm thick, to make crust shapes.
  4. Place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Filling: Whisk the eggs with the other two egg yolks in a bowl using an electrical mixer until frothy. Zest and juice the lemons. Add the zest, juice and the other ingredients. Beat for another minute or so.
  6. When the base is done poor in the filling into each one. Then bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges get crispy.
  7. Allow the tarts to cool for ten minutes before you dig in.

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Run Wild: We discover what barefoot running is really all about

Barefoot running, otherwise known as natural running, is the latest craze to take the fitness world by storm. At Hip and Healthy, we decided to delve a little deeper into this topic and sent Bex Fairbrother to find out what all the fuss is about

Barefoot running is not a new phenomenon. In fact it is one that is steeped in history. People have been running barefoot or in very thin shoes for millions of years and as a result evolution has made it so our feet are well-engineered for running long distances with little or no support – or at least this is what the advocates of barefoot running believe. They would suggest that Darwin’s evolution theory has made it so our feet are well adapted to uneven terrain. Furthermore, barefoot runners believe that we have evolved to running long distances without requiring the hi-tech, heavily cushioned, modern footwear that have been the go-to shoe since the fitness industry (as we know it) started to mature into a global, profitable industry.

Benefits of Going Bare

Barefoot running has certainly been met with mixed reviews. At first, most people’s stance seems to be one of skepticism. We have become accustomed to thinking that we need cushioning when we run, in order to protect us from injuries and our joints from rapid deterioration. However, this type of minimalist running is certainly gathering pace. The main perks of barefoot running is that you feel lighter and really do have a spring in your step. This in turn encourages you to run faster.

Another benefit of barefoot running is that it helps the runner to strike the ground with the front of their foot rather than with a heel strike which is often the method employed when wearing traditional running shoes. The latter can be detrimental to your joints and muscles as it places more impact on the body.

It is also thought to strengthen your feet and is believed to be a much more natural way to run. With a standard pair of running shoes one tends to pound the ground much harder, which can lead to long-term problems with knees, ankles, feet and other joints.

What Shoe to Choose?

As a recent guinea pig for barefoot running, I would recommend Vibram if you are looking to invest. Vibram are one of the best barefoot running brands around and have remained at the forefront of the industry due to their innovative and performance-enhancing designs. Their pioneering shoe is the Vibram FiveFingers which was created in 2006. Featuring a thin, flexible and deconstructed sole, this enables the foot to curl, flex and move with ease as nature intended.

When I embarked on my barefoot running journey, I was in the midst of training for a 20 mile, off road run. The shoes I was roadtesting were the Vibram FiveFingers – beautifully designed and extremely comfortable (once you get them on but that’s another story altogether).

The Vibram FiveFingers are essentially a mould of our feet. Made from thin, lightweight, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric, this ensures the user’s feet are comfortable, supported with enough freedom to move their feet. The thin, razor-siped soles have been designed so that they are slip resistant so they can withstand different surfaces, whilst also providing protection from hot surfaces and rugged terrain.

When I first opened the box of my new Vibram FiveFingers I was extremely excited as I am an avid runner and am always interested in anything which claims to be able to improve my passion. Barefoot running shoes have a ‘glove-like’ design, which is constructed so that each of your toes slip comfortably into ‘five fingers,’ hence the name. These innovative, individual toe pockets were designed to help strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs, which in turn is meant to enhance balance, increase agility and encourage range of motion.

I thought the glove-like design was a great concept as well as being quirky and fun, thus in keeping with the overall purpose of the shoe, although getting your toes into the individual pockets was quite challenging as this is not something our toes are accustomed to. However the more you use your shoes, the more your toes get used to it so slipping them on becomes just that – it ends up being pretty painless and takes no time at all.

My first barefoot run was a training run for my 20 miler and I ended up clocking up 9 miles. I started out feeling light, free and exceptionally fast. However, the next day my calf muscles were in agony. My advice to anyone who is going to make the transition from standard trainers to barefoot running shoes is to take it slowly – as the saying goes slow and steady wins the race and I think when barefoot running is concerned, this is definitely true. Don’t go hell for leather like me. Start by wearing them around the house first to get used to the feel. They will seem alien at first, but you should start to get use to them.

James, owner of website, which sells an extensive range of barefoot running shoes believes “that if you’re going to buy some minimalist shoes you should at least try running barefoot first. Then if you like it but would like a little more protection for running across gravel etc. then get some minimalist shoes.” I would completely agree. They are definitely worth giving a go and I think if you are willing and patient enough to build up slowly, they can actually be an extremely fun way to exercise.

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If you only do one thing this week… Focus on Fibre

Fibre is our friend. It can help alleviate bloating, keep us regular (ehum) and assist with keeping our blood sugar levels consistent. We should be getting at least 18g of fibre a day (it is understood that the average adult in the UK only consumes 12-14g). Jane Clark in her book “Nourish” (Collins & Brown) discusses the importance of fibre and explains that not only does it keep our digestive system in order but it also promotes a healthy heart. What a lot of people don’t know is that fibre only comes from plants. There are two types of fibre; insoluble and soluble and a normal healthy diet should contain both.

Soluble Fibre
This type of fibre can be digested by your body and helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This is also the type of fibre that can help with constipation and our blood sugar levels. Soluble fibre is mainly found in fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains such as oats. Golden linseeds are also a fantastic way to up your soluble fibre intake. We like ours on cereal and in smoothies.

Insoluble Fibre
Insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the small intestine. Therefore, it acts as a brush sweeping its way through the gut helping bits of other food that has found itself stuck there to be dislodged and passed through the body (how glamourous!). Sources of insoluble fibre include wholemeal foods, cereals, nuts and seeds and oats.

Another benefit of adding more fibre to your diet include… Feeling fuller for longer. 

Top Tips: 

Keep the peel on fruits like apples to up your intake as they are full of the stuff.

Drink plenty of water to avoid bloating.

Increase your fibre intake slowly to avoid unwanted gassiness!

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