The Path to Doing What You Want and Fulfilling Your Dreams: We speak to Nutritionist and successful business woman, Belinda Mann about achieving her dreams

The Path to Doing What You Want

We speak to Nutritionist and successful business woman, Belinda Mann, about achieving her dreams

girl on beach

A few years back one of my dreams was to formally study nutrition after being seriously wowed by the healing powers of healthy eating. Despite my interest, I made up plenty of excuses as to why I couldn’t study. I had already studied for a science degree and wasn’t sure I wanted to be a student again, then there was the fact I was working full time and had a partner and flat to look after. The time and money involved in retraining myself and worrying that I was too old to be changing career (at 28).

It’s funny the excuses you come up with! I smile looking back. I was almost ready to keep working for 35 more years doing a job I didn’t like! We spend more time at work than anything else in life so I had the realisation that the effort would be worth it in the end. Suddenly three years of study seemed like a very worthwhile commitment to make when I could be rewarded with a career in a field that excited me and filled me with passion. Every journey starts with a single step and so I enrolled!

After the three years of hard work I graduated from the Institute from Optimum Nutrition at the end of last year. Now the real dreams were about to begin! Full of enthusiasm I left my job in the city with lots of big ideas. Looking back at at my list of aspirations from this time last year it’s funny just how many of my goals I managed to make a reality! From working with a raw food community in Ecuador, assisting a detox retreat in Brazil, having articles published in my favourite health magazine from Ibiza (Passion), reviewing a luxury raw food wellness spa in Bali, being interviewed for a nutrition article in ELLE magazine and launching my own detox advice website (www.which-detox.com). Not to mention writing for Hip and Healthy!

We all have big ideas in us waiting to come to fruition, and now is the time to put pen to paper about how to set about making the deepest desires inside you become reality. Whether it be with work, travel, or personal development, and it doesn’t have to be a full blown change either. If you don’t want to embark on a university degree, look at short courses, or maybe set up a blog to write about your passion. When it comes to health and fitness small realistic adjustments in your lifestyle are always the way to bring about real long term change.

Setting goals for the things you truly want in life is a brilliant start. Then the next step is working out how to achieve them. With any goal (no matter how exciting!) there are bound to be times you feel tired, like everything is too hard and you want to give up.

When the going gets tough here are my top tips to keep you on your path to fulfilling your goals:

1. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do something, instead think about the reasons why you can! 

In Action: For example saying in the past I didn’t have the time to study. But the desire to work in a job I loved for the next 35 years was a very good reason for me to find the time and make an effort.

2. Make a big goal into many smaller goals. Plan out realistic times to have each mini goal achieved to help keep momentum. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Achieving small goals keeps you motivated to keep going. 

In Action: If you want to eat more fruit and veg start by increasing 1-2 servings every day it’s more manageable than trying to increase by a lot.

3. Keep ‘to do’ lists manageable and just write down things you know you can achieve that day. Never ending to do lists can make you feel overwhelmed before you even start. Stay in the ‘here and now’ anything you don’t absolutely have to finish today put on another list.

In Action: Don’t worry about planning next month’s detox think about buying healthy food to feed you today.

4. Motivation is key. Tell everyone about your goal, then they can help to keep you motivated. Just like a personal trainer keeps you at the gym, the best results often come when we have someone encouraging us and giving a gentle push.

In Action: That’s why I started a health coaching service. It’s for people who don’t necessarily need nutritional advice to deal with a medical condition, but want some help to identify weak points in their diet and work out practical solutions to get around them.

5. During tough times imagine yourself at the end point of your goal and how you will feel. This feeling will help pull you in the direction of making your dream a reality.

In Action: If you are trying to beat a sugar addiction and are feeling tired, persevere and imagine how much energy you’ll have in 2 weeks time when your sugar cravings have disappeared. (A few drops of Rescue Remedy is always super helpful to pull you through as well!)

Find out more about Belinda at www.belindamann-nutrition.com

image source: http://brooklynhawaii.tumblr.com/post/33827633283


Doing The Legwork: 5 ways to get perfect pins

 words by Gabrielle Hyde

Tis the season to hide our legs under thick wooly tights. But when the sun starts shining, the first thing we want to do is unveil our sun deprived gams. Take a look at the following ways to earn pins to be proud of…

Move

The average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day (www.nhs.uk). An easy and effective way to tone and work the legs is simply, to take even more steps! Instead of spending your lunch hour browsing the Internet, why not go and browse the shops? Simple changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator will make all the difference. Walking is an underrated form of exercise and we do it every day, just step it up a gear and walk further and faster.

Squat

For a more specific form of exercise to strengthen and define the leg muscles, nothing can beat a squat. Daniel Williams, founder of the blog www.getoutandaboutfitness.com recommends a particular type of squat called a sumo squat. A great one for women, the sumo squat targets the inner thigh and glutes. He explained how to do it: ‘Stand with a really wide stance with your feet pointing outwards. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees, lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Raise back up and repeat 10-15 times. Daniel also recommends two other essential exercises for toned, slender legs – a narrow stance squat and walking lunges.

Drink

Water. It has been said time and time again but your body will reward you for drinking 1-2 litres of water a day. In terms of your legs, plenty of water will help the skin to glow and most importantly, keep cellulite at bay. Unfortunately, our legs are most likely to store the dreaded orange peel and we will do anything we can to see the back of it. Of course, it isn’t that easy. If it was we would all be chugging water by the bucket load. Diet and exercise also play a part. Tip: To make water more interesting and detoxifying, try it warm with fresh lemon juice.

Brush

It may seem like a tedious job but body brushing your skin for a few minutes every single day will really pay off. Working hard in the gym and looking after your skin go hand in hand when it comes to getting a great body, after all dull and bumpy skin isn’t worth showing off. Body brush your whole self but particularly the upper legs where cellulite can build up. This helps to break down the fatty cells and also works as a buffing mechanism to reveal healthier, silkier skin. It certainly isn’t a quick fix, but over time you will see the condition and tone of your skin improving. Remember, always brush in long, upward strokes.

Enhance

If your Saturday night party dress requires perfect pins and you haven’t been so dedicated in the gym, then there are a few quick fixes to make your legs look amazing. Top of the quick fix list is the multitasking Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion (£39). Loved by the likes of Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow, the product works to give the skin a gorgeous glow and natural plant extracts help to improve the condition and tone of the skin. Another great way to improve the appearance of legs is fake tan. Xen-Tan Perfect Blend (£34.99) is a two-in-one self-tan and instant bronzer. The colour of the tan adapts to your individual skin tone and the bronzer is designed to enhance the contours of the skin and give the legs a radiant finish. And if that doesn’t sound good enough, the product is enriched with a firming complex. Now get slathering!

Image: Swimsuit from a selection at Sweaty Betty


Food Glorious (and healthy) Food: Our Top 5 Food Blogs

words by Kathleen Fleming

1. Cookie + Kate www.cookieandkate.com

This blog is full of amazing whole food, vegetarian recipes with photos so delicious you will want to take a bite out of your computer screen. All of the recipes are easy to follow and most of them do not require obscure ingredients. Kate divides her recipes up into sections which makes it easy to search for what you want to make.

Favourite recipe: curried lentil soup with dried cherries and cilantro. 

2. Love and Lemons www.loveandlemons.com

The couple who write this blog have a passion for using whole foods creatively. The recipes are split into savoury and sweet but it is the sweet ones that will win you over. The vegan pistachio ice cream made with coconut milk looks better than gelato and comes without a sugar coma.

Favourite recipe: carrot, oat, chocolate and cranberry cookies and that pistachio ice cream! 

3. Healthy Green Kitchen www.healthygreenkitchen.com

The author, Winnie, is a naturopathic doctor and uses her knowledge to whip up some unbelievably delicious but super healthy food. According to Winnie, most of her recipes can be made in about half an hour which means ‘I am too busy’ is not an excuse for failing to try some of them out. There are so many recipes that you are bound to find inspiration. Also unlike many healthy eating blogs I read, there are great recipes for poultry and meat.

Another great thing about this blog are the ‘one simple change’ articles. In these posts Winnie gives advice as to how a specific small change can make a difference to your health. Previous posts include ‘one small change: be wise about fish’ and ‘one small change: more raw foods’.

Favourite recipe: raw chocolate mousse…..who knew chocolate mousse could be so easy, delicious and healthy!

4. Sprouted Kitchen www.sproutedkitchen.com

Another clean eating couple – she does the cooking and he takes the beautiful photographs. The pictures are mouth watering. The great thing about the Sprouted Kitchen blog is that the food they use in the recipes is seasonal produce. This is an education for a lot of us who are clueless about food seasons due to the abundance of everything in our supermarkets. Buying seasonally is healthier and more environmentally friendly as our food is less likely to be genetically modified and hasn’t had to cross the globe to our plate.

Favourite recipe: quinoa falafel a with tahini.

5. Oh She Glows http://ohsheglows.com/

Oh She Glows is a vegan blog with food ideas guaranteed to make you glow with health. There are some incredible vegan recipes which will leave even the most avid carnivore satisfied. The biscuits, chocolates and desserts look better than their non-vegan alternatives and they are surprisingly easy to make. In addition, Angela’s story is inspiring as she has turned a long struggle with food into inspiring others to be healthy.

Favourite recipe: edamame hummus. 

image by Sprouted Kitchen


Calling All Yummy Mummies – Get your pre-baby body back

words by Lydia Lerner

Before giving birth to my daughter last July I had no idea that completing the most basic task would now elude me. Naively, I thought having a baby would allow me the freedom to do all the things a full time job had prevented me from doing, I could feed my baby whilst taking part in a ceramic class, jog through the park as she gurgles contently, all while making my own preserves.

Yep, turns out I was wrong. Not only do I have no free time for these activities, but after the huge physical change my body went through and the shock of caring for a new born baby, even popping out to the shops is a military operation. So the thought of juggling a workout into my daily routine seemed out of the question.

The medical professionals don’t recommend doing anything too strenuous for the first six weeks after giving birth, but once my doctor had given me the all clear I was keen to look for a way to get out the house and start improving my fitness levels.

After searching the internet and speaking with other mothers I came across Buggyfit classes in my local area. The Buggyfit instructor, Christine Griffin, has been running this particular course in Waltham Abbey Park for the last 9 months. This mother of two said, “the reason I started Buggyfit classes was because I understand myself how difficult it was to get my fitness back after having my own children. It’s very important for women to be in great shape and health when raising a family. Any women attending classes should expect to regain a good level of fitness, strength and body tone”.

The class is an excellent way to ease you back into exercise. Your first post-natal work out can be quite nerve racking and it’s reassuring to exercise in a class tailored to your needs. Christine takes into account how new a mum you are and adapts the programme if you’re breast feeding. Every class provides the opportunity for a full body work out while enjoying the fresh air and will always include those easy to neglect but oh-so-important pelvic floor exercises. Most importantly though Christine and all the mothers take responsibility for ensuring the babies are all safe throughout the class. My initial misconception was that Buggyfit would involve tearing round the park with my buggy. Although lunges and stretches do involve using the pram, no running is allowed with your baby and when I was jogging I felt pleased my child was under the watchful eye of the other mothers.

Even though Christine pushes the class hard, changing the workout programme every 6 weeks; the environment is very relaxed. It’s a great way to get some fresh air with your baby and meet some likeminded mums.

I didn’t realise until recently that having a baby is a lot like starting school. You’re forever learning new lessons and my mother keeps asking me if I have made any new friends yet. At least at Buggyfit class any nerves about meeting new people are soon eclipsed by the concentration required to complete star jumps and squats and the joy that your body still allows this to happen.

Buggyfit is a great concept. Entering the world of motherhood is a daunting road to travel and I have enjoyed the friendly yet challenging environment of the classes. Physically and mentally my stamina has improved with every lesson. Forcing myself outdoors in all kinds of weather really has had made a positive impact and my daughter seems to enjoy it too. I still have a long way to go before returning to my pre-pregnancy body, but Buggyfit is definitely an enjoyable way to help me achieve it.

Buggyfit wonderfully operate all over the UK: www.buggyfit.co.uk

For more information click here.

 


Pretty in the City: We pick our top beauty products to suit a range of different cities and their climates

Samantha Organ has searched the globe to find the right beauty product to suit a range of different climates, this is the travellers guide to beauty

We all have a favourite beauty brand we tend to stick to, but when abroad in a different climate, that particular brand may do nothing to encourage a healthy complexion and even skin tone. Your skin’s needs change from season to season, so whilst your skin may be dry in cold conditions, it can become severely dehydrated in hotter temperatures. Here we take a look at a range of the must have beauty products according to the climates of the top five cities in the world – helping your skin to stay healthy and hydrated whatever the weather.

London

The dark mornings and evenings can certainly take their toll on our appearance as we long for the summer sunshine. But for those of you struggling to find the perfect eye product that not only hydrates but adds that secret sparkle, try the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. Upon application, dark circles and puffiness are immediately diminished due to the hydrating properties of panax ginseng and magnolia extract. They work together to gently energise skin cells, allowing the eyes to pop with a vibrant radiance. With its soothing and creamy texture, apply once in the morning and allow for complete absorption before applying makeup. Tip: remember that the skin around the eye area is extremely delicate, so I recommend only applying half a pea size amount to each eye contour. It’s truly the perfect beauty wakeup call. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream – £21.00

New York

Currently in the depths of winter, New York is not being so kind to the skin. Colder conditions see our complexions become uncomfortably dry with a red hue as our skin is constantly trying to adjust to the changing temperatures of the indoor heat and outdoor cold. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find your skin is red, sore and puffy … not exactly supermodel material! The solution? Avoid harsh exfoliating products and try a restoring peeling mask twice a week, which helps to restore the skin to its normal pH balance. Try The Comfort Zone’s Skin Resonance Peeling Mask. Containing Aquaderm™ and sunflower lipids, not only does it strengthen the skin’s capillary network to reduce redness and puffiness, but the skin is left in a much more comfortable condition.  Comfort Zone Skin Resonance Peeling Mask – £23.95

Hong Kong 

My key beauty secret in any hot country? Lip balm with a wonderful scent and high SPF! The skin on our lips is much thinner than that on the face, so it’s most important to keep them thoroughly hydrated and protected against the beating sun. This not only creates the perfect pout, but helps to avoid painful chapping and lip cracks. Kiehl’s Lip Balm SPF 15 is a must have for any globe trotter, but particularly for those planning on visiting Hong Kong where summer temperature soars to an average 35°C. This combined with the city’s high levels of humidity and external aggressions (caused by the increasing levels of pollution) means lips quickly dry out. Kiehl’s lip balm contains the soothing and hydrating property of cotton seed oil which allows lips to stay hydrated for longer, meaning no need to constantly reapply. For a more sensuous feel in the cooler evenings, try Kiehl’s Scented Lip Balm #1. With only a small amount of SPF protection, it’s perfect for an evening beauty indulgence. Available in a selection of tropical scents, including mango and vanilla, this beauty balm leaves lips alluringly luscious. Lip Balm SPF 15 – £12.50 | Scented Lip Balm #1 – £9.50

Cape Town 

In the city known to have four seasons in one day, it’s important for skin to be hydrated, protected and moisturised all day, every day. The ultimate thirst quenching triple protection beauty product? Guerlain’s Super Aqua Day Triple Shield SPF30. With its water like consistency, this serum is three times more concentrated than that of an ordinary moisturing cream, allowing for optimum hydration and skin comfort. Whilst protecting the skin against Africa’s Mediterranean and unpredictable climate, this super soothing serum locks in moisture throughout the day, whilst the SPF 30 protects against the sun (as well as against wind and rain). Using only a small five pence piece amount, a little goes a long way. A must-have beauty investment. Guerlain Super Aqua Day Triple Shield SPF 30 – £48.00

Sydney

Having one of the harshest climates known to man, Australian summer temperatures rise to an average of 40°C, creating an unpleasant, hot, and humid atmosphere. As a result, skin often becomes dehydrated rather than dry, meaning it’s depleted of moisture rather than oil. Fortunately for Australia, Gaylia Kristensen, a native and local, took her 20 years of cosmetic experience and founded the Gaylia Kristensen beauty brand – specially formulated to keep the skin healthy and hydrated in such searing conditions.  My top product from this luxurious range? Gaylia Kristensen’s Velvet Facial Polish. This luxurious, creamy texture, contains tiny jojoba beads to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, whilst jojoba oil and natural Australian botanicals (including Quangdong and Wild Rosella) hydrate the skin with long-lasting moisture. Whilst this perfecting exfoliator leaves skin feeling cleaner than ever, ensure to only use it twice a week so the skin’s natural oils are not stripped. I recommend then using the Gaylia Kristensen Heaven Hydrating Facial Mist to tone and refresh the complexion. It’s also perfect for a quick hydration spray throughout the day and has a beautiful rosy scent. Gaylia Kristensen Velvet Facial Polish – £53.00. Also available at the Mandarin Oriental, London.


Health Speak with Yogi, Author and Artist, Liz Lark: We talk snacks, teaching Ralph Fiennes and fave postures

 interview conducted by Kate Prince

Liz Lark is a yoga teacher, specialising in Vinyasa Flow inspired by Astanga, and has been teaching since 1995. Through her work she aims to reach people of all levels, in the spirit of Vini Yoga, by adapting sequences to suit individual needs. Liz works with the Monteverdi Choir and the conductor Sir Jon Eliot Gardiner, the Indian Dance Company and English National Ballet School, she teaches  ‘yogadance’, freestyle movements seamlessly linking postures together as well as working with trainee teachers. She also runs retreats and workshops in the UK and abroad.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I look out the window at the garden, observe how I am feeling and stretch out like my cat (Timmy Quezlet);  then I make some Earl Grey tea and go out into the garden to let the hens out and notice the still stillness of the trees.

What do you eat for breakfast?
I ear porridge, sprinkled with cinnamon to help stabilise the blood pressure; I have Greek or live yoghurt and an apple.

What is your work place like?
I have a studio with wooden floors, where I lay out my yoga mat. Above are wooden beams and below is under-floor heating. In one corner there is a pink velvet sofa and a weathered table from an antique shop for writing my books, emails, planning retreats and, as I am a keen artist, for drawing.

What do you eat for lunch?
I call it ‘Blunch’ because of the time I eat it but it includes fresh laid eggs from my hens (I live in the country and it is such a treat to have my own eggs), soda or rye toast with hummus and avocado, spinach, or quinoa and vegetable stew.

Do you snack, if so what on?
I love roasted almonds, oatcakes and goat cheese, or homemade lavender biscuits, natural yoghurt and fruits  and a purple smoothie because purple skinned fruits boost collagen production in skin. I also like ‘teecino’, made from roasted vegetable roots which I use as my coffee but sometimes I do have a decaf coffee as a treat.

What is the healthiest thing you do every day?
Yoga practice! I do an hour; combining deep relaxation over yoga blocks to open the heart and extend the thoracic spine, and active, energising deep postures which flow together, including handstand, backbends, forward bends, side angles, twists and balances.

What do you have for supper?
Supper includes vegetarian protein variations of quinoa, wild rice, bulgar wheat, lentils; tasty warming stews or risotto, in winter months with garden herbs.  I eat fresh fish once a week with steamed greens, in summer months, ‘otto lenghi’ style salads with eggs. I avoid cow products as I do not find it easy to digest, so I tend to opt for goat or sheep cheese or Oat milk.

What do you snack on?
Almond/ vanilla yoghurts/ fruits, toasted nuts, and Dark chocolate……which I love.

Why did you become a yoga teacher?
Yoga teaching has given me a fulfilling, meaningful career, with humanity and warm contact with people. It teaches me compassion, patience and professionalism. For me, teaching is another form of yoga; I have found that touch breaks down barriers; it is a form of self exploration and body-mind psychotherapy. It is poetic. I share what I am exploring myself. My art work and yoga increasingly merge together and I hoping to write more, using art and imagery with bodywork yoga.

What is the most interesting thing about teaching others yoga?
Finding a unique connection with each person, and seeing their own connection with the process to become absorbed and in a timeless experience, where ego and ‘self’ dissolve. It is a body art and creative exploration which is wonderful to witness.

What is your favourite pose and why?
Headstand. I love handstands and inversions to give strength of upper body and the playful courage it brings. Inversions boost fresh circulation and ultimately refresh the whole body and mind.

What is your least favourite pose and why?
Lotus. I am cautious with lotus because of the potential knee strain.  I had a skiing injury 10 years ago which humbled me to not practice lotus pose. I do cross legged (Sukhasana) and kneeling (Adho Mukha Virasana) on blocks, instead.

Which three celebrities (dead or alive) would you invite to take your yoga class?
I have had the good fortune to teach Alan Rickman, Peter Gabriel, Ralph Fiennes and actress Mariel Hemingway….. And I am grateful for having been in their presence but I would love to teach Javier Bardem, Kate Bush and  Fiona Shaw.

What is your biggest luxury in life?
Access to Amazing bodywork such as  Oil massage and water therapy  and, of course,  access to swimming in beautiful ocean or pools while I am teaching workshops and retreats in places such as Bali and Ibiza where the nature is wonderful and where I gain balance and help others find their bliss. (Details at www.lizlark.com)

Which three things can’t you live without?
Affection, purpose, fun (and creativity)

What gets you up in the morning?
Curiosity and a further search for connection.

What do you go to bed thinking about?
I go to bed thinking about ‘not thinking’, aiming to process the day and let it dissolve, and get into ‘being ‘ mode with the teachings of the great yogis in mind…. To be happy with what I have. I often think of a quote: ‘Sow a thought and reap an action, Sow an action and reap a habit, Sow a habit and reap a character, Sow a character and reap a destiny’.

What is your motto for life?
‘Suspend judgement and live with a freedom from extremes…..’ I think that is summed up in the following line:  ‘I gained it so, by climbing slow, by catching at the twigs which grow, between the bliss and me’, by Emily Dickinson.

Liz is running an Easter retreat in Seville from March 30th  www.destinationyoga.co.uk

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If you only do one thing this week… Do This Home Work Out by Celebrity Trainer, Simone Cavalletti

If you only do one thing this week… Do This Home Work Out by Celebrity Trainer, Simone Cavalletti

The bodies on Miami’s beaches just got a little bit hotter as W South Beach Hotel has teamed up with celebrity trainer Simone Cavalletti. Simone Cavalletti brings over 20 years of experience of training various celebrity clients from Miami, New York, Los Angeles and internationally. His approach combines unique aerobic, yoga and strength training with his knowledge of nutritional and alternative therapeutic practices. Here, he reveals his unique home work-out to Hip and Healthy readers… time to get that heart pumping.

Sweaty Beach Boot Camp And Beach Yoga At W South Beach Hotel & Residences

The Workout  

Dips
For this you can use a chair, end of a bed, side of a sofa or even a window sill. Stand facing away and place both hands on the edge of the object with your fingers pointing towards you. Gradually bend your arms to 90 degrees, lowering your body, elbows pointing backwards. Straighten your arms to come back up. Repeat 8-12 times.

Triceps extension
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your arms above your head holding a dumbbell in both hands. Lower the dumbbell behind your head in a controlled manner, keeping your elbows close to your head and pointing up to the ceiling. Extend your arms back up towards the ceiling until they are straight. Repeat 6-8 times.

Kneeling press up
Start on your knees with hands flat on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees, keeping your bottom down and back flat, then slowly push back up to extend your arms. Repeat 6-8 times. Complete 3 rounds of this workout, with a 30-second rest in between each round.

Lie on your back, legs bent, feet flat on the floor and arms across your chest. Tuck in your chin, draw in your stomach and lift your head and shoulders off the floor towards the ceiling. Lower in a controlled manner and repeat 10-12 times.

Elbow plank on knees
Kneel down and place your forearms on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders. Lift your hips, draw in your stomach and keep your back flat. Hold for 30 seconds.

Oblique sit ups
Lie on your back, legs bent, feet flat on the floor and arms behind your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and reach your right elbow up and across towards your left knee. Lower and repeat on the other side until you’ve completed 5-6 reps on each side.

Complete 3 rounds of this workout, with a 30- second rest in between each round.  

Your Bottom 

Squats
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, gradually sit into the squat until your knees are just over your ankle, like you’re sitting in a chair. Keep your weight on your heels and center of the foot (not the ball of the foot) and keep your chest up to maintain a straight back. Push to stand back up and repeat 8-12 times.

Floor leg kicks
Kneel down on all fours. Keeping your left leg on the floor for support, kick your right leg back and up until the sole of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower and complete 6-8 reps. Repeat on the other leg.

Bottom clenches
You can do this one anywhere – stood on the bus, sat at your desk, you name it! Simply squeeze your buttocks together, hold for the count of 2 and release. Repeat at least 12 times, but the more the better.

Complete 3 rounds of this workout, with a 30-second rest in between each round. 

Thighs 

Side leg kicks
Lay on your side with your bottom tucked in and stomach held. Extend your lower arm above your head on the floor and lay your upper arm along your body. Raise your top leg slightly and from there, slowly raise and lower the leg 10-12 times, and lower back down. Roll over and repeat with the other leg.

Wall seat
Lean your back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping flat against the wall, slowly lower until your knees are bent at 90 degrees, as if sitting in an invisible chair. Hold for 30 seconds and slide back up.

Floor leg swings
Lay on your back, arms by your side and legs extended flat. Raise legs to a 45 degree angle, keeping them straight and together. Open legs into a V, but not too wide – keep both hips on the floor and your core engaged. Bring the legs back together and repeat 20 times.

Complete 3 rounds of this workout, with a 30-second rest in between each round. 

Love handles 

Elbow side plank
Lay on your side, legs on top of each other. Place your bent supporting elbow under your shoulder and your other arm flat along your side. Lift up your hips and raise your top up vertically. Keep your head in line with your body and draw your stomach in towards your spine.

Bur-pees
Start standing up, crouch down and put your hands on the floor. Kick both feet out behind you until the legs are straight. Jump them back into a crouch, stand up straight again and jump upwards with your arms above your head. Complete 10 reps.

Alternate side bends
Begin in a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart and arms relaxed by your sides. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lower to your left very slowly, bending at the waist and keeping your body supported. Come back to standing and repeat to the right. Complete 10 on each side.

Complete 3 rounds of this workout, with a 30-second rest in between each round. 

Sweaty Beach Boot Camp And Beach Yoga At W South Beach Hotel & Residences

For more information on a Work It Out stay at W South Beach please visit www.wsouthbeach.com/work-it-out. The package is valid for booking until 31 October 2013.


Almond Milk Recipe and Almond Pulp Crackers Recipe

Almond milk is low in carbohydrates, high in calcium and contains more healthy nutrients than other non-dairy alternatives. It’s no wonder that health food shops and most big-chain supermarkets now have almond milk brimming from their shelves. It’s great to see that you can pick up this healthy alternative just as easily as dairy milk but however great this convenience is; shelf products inevitably have stabilizers to increase their shelf life. Read the back of most almond milk cartons and you may find it filled with unwanted E-numbers. Making your own almond milk is quick, easy and reassuring to know exactly what has gone into your milk.

Here is a quick guide to making your own almond milk.

I used a 100g pack of almonds here, but you can make any quantity you like as the ratio is always 1 part almonds to 4 parts water.

Recipe:

1. Soak 100g almonds overnight in some cold water.

2. Once soaked, give the almonds a good wash under the tap and then add 400ml of fresh water.

3. Blend the almonds with the water for about 1 minute in a juice blender or hand blender.

4. Strain this through a nut milk bag, muslin cloth or fine-holed sieve.

And that’s it. Extremely healthy, pure almond milk in a few easy steps. This milk will last for 3-4 days in the fridge so it’s best to make a small amount at a time.

almond pulp_pic 2

It seems like such a waste to throw away the leftover almond pulp so save it to make these healthy Almond Pulp crackers.

Recipe (makes around 80 small crackers):

Dry ingredients

150g almond pulp

150g plain flour

60 wholemeal flour

30g wheatgerm

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

pinch chilli powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

Wet ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Approx. 50ml water

1. Pre-heat your oven to 150C and add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour the coconut oil into the bowl and stir with a fork. Once the mixture starts clumping together, use your hands to knead it and slowly add enough water to form a dough. If the dough seems a little sticky, add a little more flour.

2. Bake the crackers in batches so on a floured surface, roll a tennis ball sized dough out until wafer thin. Cut the dough into shapes and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Bake these for 20 minutes in total, checking and rotating the tray halfway through. Roll out another batch while one is cooking until they’re all baked. The crackers should be slightly brown on top and has a crisp snap.

almond pulp crackers_pic 3

These crackers are great with cheese, guacamole and salsa. I still had some almond pulp left over after making these crackers, so I added them to a Beetroot Dip.

Recipe:

3 cooked beetroots

1 tablespoon almond pulp

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon pomegranate vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

salt and pepper

Blend or mash the beetroot until they’re a chunky pulp. Drain a little bit of the excess liquid out and add the almond pulp, oil, vinegar and seasoning well and mix well.

Enjoy with almond pulp crackers.

almond crackers and beet dip_pic 4

These are just 2 examples of what you can do with leftover almond pulp but the possibilities are endless – you can use it for cookies, brownies or even dehydrate it and use it as a substitute for breadcrumbs. With all these uses, why would you need to buy Almond milk again?

Recipe by Hannah Chung at www.cookeatdream.com

 


Perfect Presents for Yummy Mummies: Mothers’ Day Beauty Ideas

Not sure what to get your wonderful Mummy for Mothers’ Day? Look no further… these little beauties will have her feeling a million dollars in  no time says Frankie Rozwadowska

In light of this Sunday being Mother’s Day, we decided to focus on all the mums-to-be and the new mums out there. Being pregnant is a time when products are of particular importance – they help you relax, ease aches and pains, and nurture your skin and body at a time you need it most. It’s also when natural ingredients should be at the top of your beauty shopping list (not just your food one) as our bodies absorb whatever lotions and potions we rub into them. So whether you’re expecting or your little person has already arrived (or neither and just want to treat yourself!) these pregnant-perfect products will leave you looking and feeling like a yummy mummy faster than you can say pass-me-the-nappy-sack.

The Belly Beautifier: Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly – (£13.99)

This completely natural and fragrance-free formula is the ultimate way to moisturise and nourish your body and bump. With shea butter to soften and keep skin sumptuously supple, it also helps improve elasticity – something that’s of particular importance as your skin stretches. Add to this cocoa and jojoba butter, and you have a nurturing cream that will keep your belly and body bee-utiful.

The Stretch Mark Saviour – Pai Skincare Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Organic Stretch Mark System – (£45.00)

Put a stop to stretch mark stress and scarring with this organic dual-action super system. There’s a buttery cream to use in the morning (which drives water deep into dry and tight scar tissue to minimise damage) and a rich and replenishing oil to use a night (which intensively conditions and softens skin). Together they prevent and improve the visible effects of stretching whilst providing skin with a whole load of goodness (vitamins, antioxidants, omegas and essential fatty acids). The result? Skin cell structure is protected and regenerated, helping it to stretch and bounce back into shape without signs of damage. Remember how amazing Natalie Portman looked during her pregnancy? This was her secret weapon, so make it yours.

The Face Freshener – Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz – (£15.00)

Hot flushes and increased body temperatures are no match for this soothing and conditioning facial spritz. There are 11 natural ingredients working towards total rejuvenation, including uplifting lime oil to tone and act as a natural antiseptic, gotu cola leaf extract to regenerate and decongest, horsetail leaf extract to increase collagen production, mantle extract to improve skin elasticity and provide anti-inflammatory properties, and aloe vera to soothe and condition Simply spray throughout the day for instant refreshment. It’s blooming brilliant.

The Leg Lover – Mama Mio Lucky Legs Serum – (£16.00) 

Feet and legs need a lot of loving during and after pregnancy, as they are left feeling swollen, heavy and exhausted. This instantly cooling serum leaves legs feather-light whilst reducing discomfort and helping circulation. There’s spearmint to cool, refresh and reduce dilated capillaries, chamomile to heal and reduce puffiness, and menthol to ease muscular discomfort. Not forgetting the special blend of safe, essential plant oils to provide natural antiseptic, help varicose veins, and tone and reduce fatigue whilst soothing, refreshing and healing. The result? Pregnant perfect pins.  Oh Mama Mio – how can we resist you!

The Best for Breasts – Love Boo Bosom Buddy – (£18.99)

Boobs too have a lot to go through during pregnancy, but this ‘bra in a bottle’ will help create a perkier pair with its natural ingredients. Centella and ginkgo biloba help to firm and improve elasticity, and argan oil softens, smoothes and tightens the chest area – reducing the appearance of stretch marks whilst lifting, firming and healing.  It makes for one beautiful bosom buddy.

The Relaxer – Neal’s Yard Remedies Mothers Bath Oil – (£14.75)

Give your bodies a break with a bath – the perfect way to relax, unwind, and take any excess strain or stress away from your limbs. This gorgeously fragrant oil is infused with relaxing essential oils (all pregnancy safe) including bergamot, lavender, ylang ylang and apricot kernel. Not only does it boost skin’s suppleness, it soothes and conditions whilst encouraging a sense of well-being and tranquillity – the ultimate way to nurture any mummy and mind.

Image from Vogue Spain


Skiing in Chamonix, Hip and Healthy Style: Find out why skiing is seriously good for you

words by Sandra Smiley

The French ski destination Chamonix attracts a pretty diverse clientele. Owing to its accessibility, though, it has become a particular favourite of the weekend warrior set (flights land daily at Geneva airport, just a two-hour drive away). A youthful crowd, all chanting the mantra ‘work hard, play hard,’ makes for a lively après-ski culture. But the sporting is also great— a fact easily forgotten a couple of glühwein in. Here are some tips on enjoying Chamonix while keeping fit, healthy and hangover-free.

Winter sports are amazing exercise, raising your heart rate and working multiple muscle groups. A good night’s sleep is of utmost importance then, so choose accommodation wisely. Chalets are cozy, and congenial with the right mix of guests. Some are a bit far from centre-ville, however; so if you wish to minimise time between bar and bed, consider a centrally-located hotel instead.

On the mountain, meal choices are limited and not always the leanest. “Typical ski-resort food tends to be fairly stodgy, high in carbs and fat,” says nutritionist Ruth Tongue. “But when you’re skiing, your main energy source will be carbohydrates and you need to top up your stores.” Good options are vegetable- or tomato-based pasta with a protein, soup with bread, or a jacket potato with salad, she says. Just be warned that food can get pricey on the piste: you’re a captive buyer 2000 metres up, which might mean spending a small fortune on a slice of tartiflette.

One is spoilt for choice when it comes to runs: all told, Chamonix offers over 100 km of trails plus interminable off-piste opportunities. To avoid injury, select slopes appropriately. Set against the backdrop of breathtaking Mont Blanc, Le Brevent boasts a number of pleasant hills suitable for beginners. The red and black runs on the Grands Montets, by contrast, are not for the faint of heart or hungover.

Chamonix’s slopes make it a must-visit for the health-conscious traveller. It’s also one of the few places where, on a Friday night, you’ll find half the population out clubbing in deerstalkers and puffer vests. To get the most out of Chamonix, eat well, keep the drinking in check and don’t push it too hard on the piste. The season lasts until May, so there’s still time to kit up and fly out. Chamonix might have a reputation as a sub-zero Ibiza, but you can have your fun and even ski a bit, too.

Q. How many calories do you burn per hour skiing?
A. Lots – a 70 kg person can burn anywhere from 350 to 600 calories an hour.

Q. What’s the healthiest pre-ski meal?
A. Filling foods that will release energy slowly throughout the day are best. Nutritionist Ruth Tongue recommends eggs on wholegrain or rye toast, porridge or Bircher muesli. Also, a glass of OJ or fresh fruit salad will top up vitamin C levels and keep the immune system in shape.

Q. How about the best things to eat après-ski?
A. “The top three food groups to always combine après-ski are carbohydrate, protein and anti-oxidant rich vegetables,” says Ruth. Red wine is a good source of anti-oxidants, but too much can sap your body of nutrients, making you more prone to illness.

Q. What muscle groups does skiing work?
A. The crouching position skiing involves targets the buttocks, thighs and hamstrings, while keeping steady puts the core stability muscles to use. Using poles also works the arms and shoulders.

Q. What are good pre-ski exercises?
A. Core strengtheners such as planks and balance board work, and leg workouts like squats and lunges will whip you into shape.

 


Liz Earle’s Detox Tips for Spring Ready Skin

When I was first told that fasting on a fruit only diet would give me more energy, or that giving up some of my favourite foods and cups of coffee would leave my skin glowing, I was skeptical. But the principals of detoxification are based on traditional “cures” practiced by European naturopaths for centuries. Giving up certain foods, or existing on fruit alone for twenty-four hours, is not hard, especially when the benefits are so great. I now give my system a regular detox boost, even if it is only over the weekend. A short detox programme is a great way to feel more energised and refreshed. It is the perfect way to revitalise the body, renew energy levels and restore glowing skin and when you have finished you will feel far fitter and healthier and motivated not to return to bad habits.

Better Breakfasts 

Starting with a healthy breakfast is not only the best way to boost energy levels for the day ahead, but is an easy, positive and delicious daily start to a new you. Refined sugars, found in most breakfast cereals, are the first thing I give up if I’m embarking on a health spring-clean and cutting them out gives me far more sustained energy throughout the day. On cold winter mornings, I switch to a bowl of porridge made with water and sweetened with honey, complete with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Or if I’m craving for something fresh, I opt for chopped fruit and berries with a dollop of natural yoghurt. You also can’t beat a protein-packed organic boiled egg that also contains useful vitamins A, B-complex and E, as well as minerals such as zinc, served up with toasted wholemeal soldiers and a glass of orange juice (vitamin C will help increase your uptake of iron from the egg yolk).

Midday Meals

Not only is eating soup (of any kind) a good way to get various vitamins and vegetable fibre in a simple, healthy way, it’s also been proven to help shed a few pounds. This is because when food and water are finely mixed to make soup, they enter the stomach together and stay held in a homogenised state as they pass through our intestines. The increased volume of water and semi-solid food then stays in our system for longer than if we were eating food and drinking liquid separately, so we feel fuller for longer. According to researchers at Nottingham University, this means we are much less likely to over-eat. This is especially true of whizzed-up blended soups which reduce hunger-pangs the most due to this homogenisation effect. Never more useful than at this time of year, I’m swapping lunchtime sandwiches for a simple home-made soup and even pop mine into a thermos if I’m out and about, so I don’t miss out on the health and beauty benefits.

Winding Down

If a little overindulgence has left you feeling a little ‘liverish’, you might like to try a ‘liver wrap’  – a simple but highly effective way to stimulate the detoxification process in the liver. You will need: A hot water bottle, a flannel and a small fluffy towel. Wearing just a dressing gown, gather everything together and lie down somewhere comfortable. Start by applying the cold damp flannel to the right-hand side of your body just beneath the ribcage to cover the liver area. The coldness felt by the skin briefly lowers the temperature of the tissues beneath and your body’s reflexes respond by increasing circulation in that area. Next, place a really warm hot water bottle on top of the damp flannel to retain moisture and stimulate the autonomic nervous system. This in turn boosts blood flow to the liver and supports its detoxification activity. Cover the hot water bottle with a soft towel and rest on a sofa or go to bed. This is a useful therapeutic treatment to carry out at bedtime and you can even fall asleep with the hot water bottle in place. Otherwise, simply put your feet up and rest for 30 minutes (the longer the better).  Three things to love about the liver wrap – it’s inexpensive, simple and it works.

You can follow @LizEarleMe on Twitter for more tips on wellbeing

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Image from fashiongonerogue.com