Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October make sure you do your bit to support breast cancer care with one of these Hip and Healthy suggestions. 

Wear It
Show your support with a Fashion Targets Breast Cancer specially designed limited edition 24 ct Gold Chakra bracelet by Daisy. Not that healthy, maybe, but totally hip! £88

Spa It
Elemis have released a Think Pink Beauty Kit to show it’s support for Breast Cancer Care (they have just donated £10k to the charity). Containing a pink version of the iconic Pro Collagen Marine Cream, the Pro Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust cream and Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir, the beauty kit plus a bath = the best way to unwind after a busy day. £32.50

Burn It
Get fit and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Where do I sign up, I hear you say! On 30th September from 1-4pm you could join hundreds of men and women on a fun and challenging dance work-out in London’s Hyde Park. But there is a requirement – if you are not wearing pink then you’re not getting in. The three hour dance-athon includes a bit of Zumba and some dance-floor classics that will get your heart pumping. £17

Love It
Uggs may not be the height of fashion anymore (there was a day when you could wear them to an interview and they would give you a gold star) but they’re still lovely and cosy and worth every penny when the winter sets in. These special edition Classic Short Uggs in pink are all you need when, baby, it’s cold outside… £165

Swim It
Beach chic and breast cancer research supportive, Australian swimwear brand, Seafolly, has joined forces with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer just like Daisy (see above). For a limited time they are donating 25% of sale prices to the established charity. We don’t need any more excuses to buy one of their stylish suits. No siree.

Did you know?

  • Its rare, but breast cancer also affects men – around 300 are diagnosed each year.
  • Less than 10% of breast cancer runs in families.
  • Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer with women under the age of 35.

Healthy Do’s and Don’ts for the week ahead…

Do get up an hour earlier to fit in a bit of exercise. As the evenings get darker it becomes so much harder to motivate yourself to be active after work and you may even find you become more tired earlier as the autumn truly sets in. By getting up an hour earlier you can head out on your run or make a quick trip to the gym and feel like you have already achieved before you’ve even had your breakfast, which in turn makes for a more productive day in most cases. According to a new study carried out at the University of Toronto, researchers concluded that early rises were generally healthier and happier compared to night owls.

Do sign up for a race or sporting event. Not only is the day itself fun and give you a great sense of achievement but having a goal in sight is a great motivator to train and keep your fitness levels up. If you are trying to lose weight than this has also shown as one of the most effective ways. If it’s running you are into check out  for a calendar of events. Or for triathlons and other events that take place amongst nature visit

Don’t give into peer pressure. So often we set ourselves goals of not drinking, not smoking, not you fill in the blank and then we blow it all by feeling a sense of pressure from our friends or colleagues who try and lead us into temptation. When this happens try and remember two things; one – more often than not if you are trying to be virtuous and you have someone trying to sabotage its because they don’t want to feel like they’re the bad one – just try and be strong and then move the conversation on and you’ll soon see they they forget all about what your doing. Two – remember that one day it is more than likely that they too will be trying to reach a goal of their own so try not to give in just because they want someone to have a fag with (for example). Always keep the bigger goal in mind.

Do make a visionary board. So many successful people have done it. A visionary board is a board on which you stick words, photographs, magazine tear outs – anything that you want in your life or that you would like to achieve. One entrepreneur who made a visionary board looked at it everyday and told himself that it was not only achievable but that he had it already. He later boxed up the board when he moved house. It was until five years later when he moved house again that he opened the box to find the board and on it he noticed a tear out from a property magazine – it was a picture of the house he had just bought.

Do eat organic. There has recently been a lot of negative press about organic food due to a recent study that was carried out in the US that concluded that organic food does not contain more nutrients than non-organic food. But what the study doesn’t take into account is the build up of toxins we consume over time when we eat foods that are sprayed with pesticides, the increased hormones we ingest when we drink milk from cows or eat meat from chicken that have been pumped with hormones to make them develop earlier and in the cow’s case, produce more milk. And as well as this – the study also says nothing of the soil, which becomes contaminated from all the non-organic farming which leaks into our water. Don’t panic, just eat organic.

Could Eating Right For Your Blood Type Make You Feel Amazing?

by Belinda Mann


There are a lot of ‘diet plans’ out there, some better than others. The Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D’Adamo has been around for some time and actually has some interesting science to back it up. It’s not a diet per se, but a system to guide you on the foods to eat that suit you best. Like most eating plans this system won’t suit everyone all of the time, but 3/4 people who followed the diet reported a significant improvement in their overall health (the main effect for most people being weight loss).

How it works?
The blood type diet works on our individual biochemistry. This system believes that our blood types make us susceptible to different diseases and provides a plan for each group on how to best eat and exercise. Some people even believe that our personality is influenced by our blood type!

As humans evolved so did blood types. When we moved from a hunter gather society to a more settled agricultural lifestyle dietary changes were occurring and blood types evolved to handle this. As well as dietary changes the blood type diet offers different techniques for stress relief according to the predominant lifestyle when each blood type evolved.

Our blood type is also a part of our immune system so the plan looks at foods and food groups for each type that are less likely to elicit an immune response.  Immune responses such as inflammation can actually be the root cause of many health conditions from acne to cardiovascular disease.

Which type are you?

Type O
Diet: This is the oldest blood type and suited the hunter gather lifestyle. Type O people thrive on animal protein (40% of their calorie intake) as they typically have the enzymes and acids to break it down. They also do well of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of healthy fats. This blood type usually doesn’t tolerate dairy and wheat as these are more modern foods. It’s thought gluten grains are the leading cause of weight gain for this blood type.

Stress management: High energy workouts such as resistance training and cardiovascular training.

Type A
Diet: This type is almost the opposite of Group O as they typically lack many of the enzymes to break down animal protein. They are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet of grains and fruit and vegetables. Their diet should be made of up 20% protein which should come from nuts seeds and legumes.

Stress management: Exercises that modulate the stress hormone cortisol are best such as yoga and tai chi.

Type AB (the newest blood type <5% population)
Diet: As this type is a combination of two blood types it is more difficult to classify and explain succinctly as there may be many individual variations on what is tolerated. Type AB can do well with plant and animal protein generally, but they may have idiosyncratic reactions to individual items. Seafood, cultured dairy (yogurt & kefir), and green vegetables are thought to suit this group well, especially if wanting to loose weight. This group should avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially when in stressful situations!

Stress management: Sunshine, fresh air and relaxation important to support immune system

Type B
Diet: This is an uncommon blood group – a representative of a true omnivore.

Stress management: In this blood type the immune system supported by mind body connection, so deep breathing, meditation and visualisation are all helpful.

Some people I see fit their blood type perfectly, while others don’t. But still it can be an interesting guide in working out what foods suit you. To find out more you can contact me through my site Or you can go direct to Dr D’Adamo’s book – Eat Right for Your Type.

Fans of the blood type diet: Miranda Kerr and Lily Aldridge:

What it Feels Like to Escape the Rat Race


Kathleen Flemming tells Hip and Healthy what happened when she made the decision to leave her high-powered (read high stress) job in the city for a life of yoga and healthy eating in Central America…

Two and a half months ago I was a corporate lawyer in London. I was bored, tired and stressed. Every morning before work, I would force myself out of bed to fit in an early morning swim. Exercising has always been my way of relaxing but I was exhausting myself trying to fit it into my busy lifestyle. My diary was always full and I was rushing from one thing to the next. My work was boring and stressful and I felt frustrated doing something I didn’t enjoy at all. I would be exhausted on a regular basis and that took its toll on my health. I suffered from irritable bowel syndrome at times and when I was really stressed and tired my skin would break out in spots. My weight fluctuated a lot because sometimes I wouldn’t have any time to take care of myself. You get the picture.

Three years ago I decided to qualify as a personal trainer. Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine and I loved the course. I felt inspired by the people I met and I loved taking personal training clients on the weekend. I started writing my own blog on health and wellbeing as well as contributing to several magazines. I was so happy to be involved in an industry I loved and I constantly felt inspired by those around me. However, I felt too nervous to leave my safe law job behind. So, I continued practicing as a lawyer, doing too much and failing to escape the feeling that I was a hamster on a corporate wheel.

Everything changed in March of this year when my boyfriend and I decided to respond to a job advert we saw online. He has always been a keen sportsman and he was equally frustrated with his corporate job. The job advertisement was posted by an eco-lodge on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua and they were looking for a couple to help manage the lodge as well as teach yoga and surfing. So one night after work we sent off our application. The owners responded several weeks later after we had convinced ourselves that we hadn’t got the job. We had several more sleepless weeks and two Skype interviews with the owners of the lodge. At the end of April, we found out we had got the job. The next day I resigned from my job and I felt a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

A few months later, I am writing this piece from the bar of the Buena Vista Surf Club in Nicaragua ( I feel like a different person. We sleep well, we eat well and we feel amazingly happy and healthy. Several mornings a week I teach yoga on the deck which looks out to the Pacific Ocean whilst my boyfriend teaches surfing. I have learnt to cook delicious meals from scratch with locally sourced ingredients as there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and so our diet is super healthy.

Apart from the delicious food and active lifestyle, the lodge is a friendly and social place. We have made some lovely friends and had so many laughs with our guests. The more time we spend here, the more I realise how our physical health and emotional wellbeing are linked to each other. Many of our guests come from hectic lives in big cities and after a few days here you can see their bodies and minds relax.They leave happier and healthier.

Our lifestyle at Nicaragua is awesome. It remains unspoilt and undeveloped. Our local town San Juan del Sur has plenty of quirky coffee shops, juice bars and seafood restaurants and for now, there are no fast food chains or big stores. The beaches outside of Christmas and Easter are quiet and the waves are awesome for beginners and experienced surfers. We do yoga most mornings or at sunset or you can choose to hike up volcanos, sandboard down volcanos, swim in crater lakes, ride horses, abseil, canyon, visit coffee plantations, go fishing or relax.

At times I do miss London. I miss my friends and my family but I have never felt as happy and healthy as I do here. I have no regrets about leaving the law behind and I am so glad we took the risk to try something different.

For more information about travel in Nicaragua visit For opportunities to escape the city visit

Hip and Healthy’s Top DIY London Lunches

When you are on the go it’s not always easy to make the healthy choice, however at these four healthy food havens you cannot go too far wrong. By mixing and matching your favourite healthy ingredients it’s like being at home but with way more choice and none of the hassle. We asked each one to recommend their most nutritious lunch going…


The ‘Low GI’ Salad
308 calories. Low in sugar and salt.
What’s in it: Chicken breast, Pure super-bean mix, avocado, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, radish, sweet peppers and Omega seeds on mixed leaves. Served with a fat-free Pomegranate and white balsamic dressing. The chicken and beans are a great source of low-fat protein, which will keep you fuller for longer. Avocado and omega seeds are full of good fats that provide essential oils for healthy skin, hair and nails. As well as this, the broccoli, radish and sweet peppers provide a great and colourful range of many other all-important vitamins. ‘Usain’s Bolt’ smoothie would be an ideal accompaniment to the salad since it is packed full of fruity goodness: pineapple, mango, banana and fresh mint and is only 192 calories.

Omega Salmon Salad
271 calories (for the large size). 18 grams protein.
What’s in it: A lettuce based salad, with a great mix of omega-rich salmon, low GI potatoes and a fat-free dressing, this one seems to tick all the boxes. The dressing is freshly made on the premises, daily, therefore it’s completely natural. Full of protein and slow releasing carbohydrates this one wards off hunger till supper time. It also provides two portions of your five a day. Add a Berry Punch smoothie to this and you have a match made in heaven as this packs in 3.2 of your five a day!

Vital Ingredient
Super Veg Salad
370 calories. 25 grams protein. 18grams of fibre per portion.
What’s in it: Made up of vine tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, broccoli, bean mix (red kidney, borlotti & cannellini), sunflower and pumpkin seeds with balsamic and extra virgin olive oil all on a bed of quinoa (you can opt for leaf based instead), this salad packs a punch in terms of nutrient value. It not only contains four of your five a day, but is high in protein and fibre too. The broccoli is a great source of vitamins A & C as well as folic acid, and tomatoes are pretty excellent at fighting off free-radicals due to their antioxidant content. And the seeds will not only keep your skin looking good due to their omega 3 & 6 but they will also keep your brain nice and alert so you can finish the day productively.

Poncho 8
S-lo Carb Box
273 Calories. 26.6grams protein. 11.3 grams of fibre.
What’s in it: Developed in conjunction with the trainer’s from Pro Gym, Poncho 8’s S-lo Carb box is designed to give the busy worker a nutritional meal that also provides a slow release of energy throughout the day. Packed full of protein rich chicken, rice, salad, beans and vegetables it is also great for filling the body with much needed nutrients. And it doesn’t compromise on taste either – topped with salsa this dish is a healthy take on mexican food.



The New ‘it’ Foods


words by Gwyneth Harrison

Superfoods are the heroes of the food world, conferring a wide range of health benefits with every bite. But with a new ‘superfood’ hitting stores every week, how do you know which are truly worth adding to your weekly shop? To make it easy I’ve rounded up my favourite new superfoods. Chosen for their superior nutritional content that will contribute to your overall health, as well as for the fact that they taste great, they may be unfamiliar to you now but I’m sure they’ll become kitchen staples!

Chia Seed
This innocuous looking seed hailing from South America is a nutrient powerhouse packed full of Omega 3, antioxidants, iron, calcium and is a complete protein. By adding this seed to your salads, soups or smoothies you’re getting a mega-boost of energy, heart-healthy omega 3’s, along with a range of antioxidants to help prevent free radical damage and cancer. Chia seeds absorb liquid to form a gel, meaning they take on the flavour of whatever food they’re added to and add bulk. This can help you to feel fuller for longer, making them a great ally in the weight loss battle. They also contain lots of soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and balances blood sugar. The Mexicans believe that a person can be fueled for one whole day on just one tablespoon of chia (not that we recommend it!), but with all these health benefits it is not that surprising!

Black Garlic
Produced by fermenting garlic cloves, black garlic may look scary but it’s quickly becoming one of the newest food superstars. The fermentation process means that each clove has twice the antioxidants of normal garlic with none of the bad breath. That’s right, black garlic can be eaten raw without scaring away potential suitors! The magical fermentation process also works to break down allicine, which many people find hard to digest, into S-allycysteine. This compound is not only much easier on the digestive system but also works to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of cancer. It also has allicin’s anti-microbial properties meaning it works to protect against infection. On top of this the cloves have a gorgeous balsamic and molasses taste making them a delicious addition to your superfood arsenal.

Kukicha Twig Tea
This slightly sweet and nutty tea hails from Japan and is made from the twigs and stems of the Camelia Sinesis tree. The brew is low in caffeine but rich in a range of vitamins and minerals, including copper, selenium, manganaese, calcium, zince and fluoride, along with vitamins A and C. In fact it has more calcium than cow’s milk and more vitamin C than an orange! These beauties can help to reduce high blood pressure, and the antioxidant catechins contained in the tea have 25 times more antioxidants than Vitamins C and E so will help to fight free radical damage that can cause everything from premature ageing to cancer. Furthermore, the tea is also an excellent digestive aid and with its mild hit of caffeine can help to combat that mid-afternoon slump.

Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit that is commonly turned into a powder that can be added to desserts, smoothies or even your morning yoghurt. It has a gorgeous sweet taste but has a low GI so is a great way of adding a sweet kick without experiencing the blood sugar spike and subsequent crash that occurs when you indulge in some sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable helps to control your appetite as well as prevent diseases such as diabetes. Lucuma is also packed full of fibre, beta-carotene, niacin (B3) and iron. Benefits of beta-carotene include protecting against cancer, whilst niacin aids in managing depression. It would seem that with lucuma you can have your cake and eat it too!

Another South American gem, the jicama is a sweet root vegetable that resembles a turnip and is extremely popular in Mexican cuisine. It can be eaten raw or cooked and makes a great addition to salads. You could also try replacing your French fries with jicama chips, not only will you be saving yourself a host of calories (jicama is a mere 35Kcal per 100g) but you’ll also be getting a good dose of soluble fibre in the from of inulin. Inulin increases calcium absorption and encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which helps to regulate digestion. This type of fibre can also help to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar. Jicama is also high in Vitamin C and the B complex vitamins, making it a great energy giving food.

Visit Gwyneth’s site: or follow her on Twitter: @model_eats

Reviewed: Nourish, leading the way in organic skincare

The trend in natural and organic skincare seems to be on the rise much to our delight here at the Hip and Healthy Headquaters. But because of this sudden stream of new natural skin products on the market, manufacturers are having to become more savvy and innovative in the ways of research and development to make sure that their cream/serum/toner stands out from the crowd. And nowhere is this high level of ingenuity and expertise more evident than in Nourish. Barely 1 year old, Nourish are the new kid on the natural skincare block, but their founder, Pauline Hili, has been in the industry for decades. She brings with her a wealth of expertise and knowledge in creating result-led products that are entirely natural and nearly always at least 90-98% organic (each Nourish product states its organic percentage on the packaging).

About Pauline Hili
Having spent over 22 years at Neal’s Yard as one of their leading product developers, Pauline certainly knows what she is talking about. Her other credentials read like a reference list for a dissertation on natural skincare: Degree in Chemistry, Natural Biology and Cosmetic Science. As well as further study in Essential Oils (which she later wrote a book on). Pauline really is one of the experts in natural and organic skincare. But before I spoke to her and found out all of this I was already hooked on her products…

My Top Three Nourish Products
The Nourish Radiance Purifying Cleanser and Refreshing Toning Mist have become my most loyal travel companions. 97% organic, the cleanser contains something called foxberry that helps the skin glow. It is also great at removing suncream in my experience and smells divine! I applied a few squirts of it straight onto my face and then wiped it off with a warm, damp organic muslim cloth. I then spritzed my face with a few sprays of the Toning Mist. I don’t normally use toners as I can find them a bit of a faff, but I love the cooling feeling of Nourish’s and enjoy putting it on my skin. It’s a great hydrator – making it ideal for holidays or plane rides (mine stays with me in my hand luggage) and I find the cooling effect also works well to close the pores after cleansing. Then I apply my favourite of the products – the Argan Skin Rescue. The press has been in a bit of a frenzy about Argan Oil for some time now, and I have been longing to get my hands on an organic one. My prayers were answered. Nourish’s Argan oil is not only 90% organic, it is a fantastic moisturiser and packed full of antioxidants protecting the skin from premature aging. It is also a great healer and contains a notable amount of vitamin E that help reduces scars which makes it great for acne sufferers.

Good Skin Needn’t Cost the Earth
Interestingly, although Pauline thinks its important to maintain a healthy diet, she remarked that antioxidants applied topically have 100 times the effect on skin than antioxidants consumed. Meaning that skincare is more important than ever. I am totally sold. And speaking of “sold”, the value for money with these products is quite outstanding. Pauline commented that “good skincare shouldn’t have to cost the earth”. Which makes you wonder how much some of the other brands out there are inflating their prices.

I feel that Pauline may have struck gold with her new brand. By maintaining the highest standards in expertise and quality and selling her products in bright, beautiful packages at a price we can all afford, Pauline has created what can only be described as a winning formula.

For more information on Nourish’s range visit

Burn Baby Burn: Rev Your Metabolism

Five ways to rev your metabolism plus we tell you how to incorporate them into your daily routine 

What exactly is our metabolism, I hear you say? Good question. In its simplest form metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that take place in the body that turn calories to energy. We need this process to take place in order to breath, move, work out – do anything. Metabolisms start to slow as we get older, which in turn means that we store fat more easily but there are ways in which we can give it a boost by what we eat and how we live. Here are our top five ways of increasing your metabolism…

6.30am Swap your lie in for cardio and weights

Both of these are great ways to speed up the rate at which your metabolism burns. Let’s start with cardio. The aim of the game here is to really get your heart rate up. Running and cycling are both great options. You’ll not only burn calories whilst you are working out but you’ll continue to burn them for some time afterwards.

We then suggest you do weights, not to bulk up, but to turn any fat you have into muscle. Muscles burns more calories than fat (around six calories per day per pound compared to fat’s two pounds per day). So that chocolate bar (dark chocolate we hope) actually burns up more effectively if you have lots of muscles.

10.30am Swap your English breakfast tea for a green tea

Green tea has something called thermogenic properties, which helps warm up the body. When your body creates heat it needs to burn more calories, which in turn increases your metabolic rate. As well as this, green tea is also full of antioxidants that are great for warding of cancer so it’s a win win! Top Tip: Green tea can taste really bitter but it is all in how you make it. Put the tea bag (or leaves) in the mug and poor in about 1/3 cold water first then fill the rest of the mug up with boiling water. Leave for no longer than 30 seconds before taking out the tea and drinking.

1pm Swap your olive oil for chili oil on your salad

As you probably would imagine of chili due to its fiery taste, it is a great metabolism booster. Much like the green tea – chili raises the body temperature causing increased calorie burn. Add it to salads or dips. Failing that Moctezuma do the most delicious chili chocolate… Eat chocolate and increase your metabolism at the same time? We think they’re onto a winner there.

7pm Swap your mindless TV watching for an early evening dip (in cold water)

Yes – we agree that this is probably the least appealing of all the suggestions but taking the plunge in cold water really is a great way to speed your metabolism up. This is because your body digs into its fat stores and burns whatever is there to create the heat needed to raise your body temperature. If you really can’t face this though – you can take an easier option and just have a cold shower and body brush to boost circulation.


Dare to go “Au Naturale”?


words by writer and make-up artist, Claire Mazik

With major players in the cosmetic industry jumping on the band wagon of late there has been a huge move towards and demand for more natural organic products and ingredients. So here’s a few reasons go natural… Natural brands are more likely to be ethically responsible, often being vegan or at the very least vegetarian society approved, meaning the lack of ingredients such as carmine –(red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect)! A lack of or huge reduction in ingredients such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oil and fragrance, which have all come under fire for the possibility of being carcinogenic, causing hormone imbalances or ageing the skin to name but a few dastardly deeds. Our tip for going more natural?  Check the ingredients, if you can’t pronounce it,  don’t use it!

Here’s a few of our favourites to get you going…

INIKA – Certified Organic, Vegan, Halal and Cruelty free

Primer £29.50 – provides a skin conditioning even base and really grabs on to the foundation for a perfect lasting finish.

Top tip: Allow to soak in before applying foundation.

Liquid Foundation SPF 15 £29.50 – Creamy and lightweight on the skin but can be built up for more coverage. Naturally water resistant. Contains tamanu oil, which aids skin with scarring pigmentation and sunburn.

Top tip: If needs be buy two shades and mix together for absolute perfect skin match.

You can buy it at John Lewis.

Dr Hauschka – Biodynamic, 100% natural ingredients. No product or any ingredients tested on animals.

Pressed Powder £19.95 – Ultra fine powder that glides on for a natural matte finish. Silk powder and rose petal extract reduces shine and soothes the skin

Bronzing Powder £22.95 – Glides on seamlessly and provides a gentle sun kissed glow to any skin tone.

Top tip: Sweep check bones, temples and under chin for beautiful subtle contour

Essential Care – Soil Association certified Organic. RSPCA Business awards cosmetics winner 2006. Locally sourced wherever possible, fair trade, sustainable and renewable resources.

Eye shadow Palette (EARTH) £34.50 – A mixture of refillable matte and shimmery shadows with a strong colour pay off  perfect for a variety of  beautiful subtle or dramatic long lasting  looks.

Concealer £17.50 (launches mid august) –  Creamy and rich, effortlessly covers blemishes and marks with a host of skin soothing goodies including sea buckthorn and calendula.

Top Tip: Warm on the back of your hand first then build up application for the perfect finish.

Organic Glam (The Organic Pharmacy) – free from artificial preservatives and fragrances, uses herbal extracts and antioxidants to enhance the skin.

Blusher £25.96 – Available in 2 skin brightening gentle shades to lift and liven any complexion

Top tip: Use a firmer brush for a stronger application.







The Hip and Healthy Guide to Vigo, Spain


words by Lee Osborne

10 Reasons to visit Vigo
There is no better expression of Spain’s cultural diversity than in this relatively undiscovered corner of the wild northwest. With its warm summers and mild winters, coupled with an infectious Celtic charm, there is no better time to take a deep breath of Vigo’s fresh Atlantic air.


1. Carris Hotel Beiramar
Avenida de Beiramar 57, 36202 Vigo
One of the benefits (there are several) of staying at the Carris is that it provides the ideal excuse to walk or jog your way in to the city each day. Located in what is best described as Vigo’s version of the London Docklands, a 15-minute walk from the centre, the hotel backs on to grand old seafaring buildings, reminders of when Vigo once prospered as a trading outpost with the new world. The Carris is the epitome of spaciousness, all clean lines and minimalist chic, its vast white walls awash with vibrant murals. Rooms are generously proportioned with bathrooms equipped with rainforest showers to invigorate you post run. As daylight fades, the sea air takes hold and ushers you in to a cocoon-like sleep . Request a port facing room and stir refreshed from slumber contentment to see the sun rise over the Ria de Vigo.  Guests can enjoy free use of the gym and wifi.

2. Spectacular seafood
Galicia boasts some of the finest seafood in the world (Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey are known admirers) so it would be rude not to indulge in delights such as grilled octopus, a staple in these lands: a plate of these tentacled delicacies, dusted with paprika is pure heaven. Octopus is a low calorie, lean seafood, and a good source of protein in your diet, boasting very little fat and nutrient rich. It also contains taurine, a great antioxidant that may help protect against some of the more stressful effects of exercise, as well as stabilizing blood sugar levels.

3. Café Castellanos

Colon 4, Vigo
An oasis of calm serving supremely crafted cha in fine bone china, just a stones throw from the chic, rather Parisian Plaza de la Constitución. Castellanos’s vibe is uber-relaxed, a rhapsody of raftan and white muslin that seduces you the moment you set foot inside. It could be right out of the pages of Donna Hay. Revive in all manner of varieties from the extensive menu showcasing the finest leaf teas India and Ceylon have to offer. We antioxidised on their sublime White Tea. The tantalising array of cakes on display can be sampled guilt-free as you’ll soon run it all off.


4. Godello & Mencia
Whilst Albariño is the drink of choice to wash down the local seafood, if you’re in Galicia a while you may wish to alternate. Seek out lesser-known varieties like the mouth wateringly aromatic Godello with notes of white peach and dry lychee and the velvety light and fruity red Mencia. Both are delicious when drunk young, so go for ’10 or ’11 vintages.

H&H recommends:
– Bodegas Joaquín Rebolledo, Mencia 2011, Valdeorras
– Bodegas Joaquín Rebolledo, Godello 2011, Valdeorras

5. Trastienda del Quatro
Calle de Pablo Morillo, 4, Vigo
One of ‘the’ places to be seen in Vigo, Trastienda del Quatro would not look out of place in trendy Stoke Newington. Front of house it offers up relaxed tapas style dining, with more formal dining in the eclectically adorned room at the back. It is rammed full of locals most nights from 9pm onwards and there is a distinct lack of foreign accents. The wine list is cleverly chosen, offering food friendly varietals from all the main regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We paired a delicious Bodegas La Cana, Albariño 2010 with our main course of Monkfish. Beer connoisseurs can accompany their montadito with a chilled glass of frothy headed Estrella de Galicia from the in-house Cervecería.


6. Playa de Samil
Paseo Maritimo de Samil, Vigo
Samil is an idyllic stretch of powder white sand, in an affluent leafy suburb of Vigo known mainly to locals. Jog along the promenade as the sun casts long shadows through the lofty pines before it dips down in a pinky purple haze behind the Islas Cies (see no.10) silhouetted on the horizon. Refuel with an alfresco smoothie in Camaleón and take in the view before the 5k jog back to the hotel.

7. El Castro
Locals will tell you there is no finer view of the city than from atop the hill fortress of El Castro. Climb the 150metres yourself and you’ll see what they mean. Immaculately groomed gardens abound, prime locations for picnickers, loves’ young dreams and huddled groups of dapper card playing pensioners in cloth caps; their wives patiently lying in wait, sheltering from (not the rain this time) but the incessant sun under umbrellas. Load your backpack with fineries from the delicatessen at El Corte Ingles on Gran Via, and head for the hill.

8. M.A.R.C.O, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo
Príncipe 54, 36202 Vigo  
MARCO is bang in the centre of town on Vigo’s shopping mile. So after some retail therapy indulge in some cool performance or installation art followed by a light bite in the MARCO Restaurante & Café. Their recession-busting 11euro lunch menu, three-health-conscious courses including coffee, whizzed up by Chef Alfonso Botas who crafts dishes utilising exclusively Galician ingredients. H&H recommends: Gazpacho with cream of carrot and orange and the Tempura salad with vinaigrette.

9.  Balnea La Toja
Head across the majestic Ponte de Rande suspension bridge and seek out the healing thermal waters of the Bienestar Thalasso Spa just across the River in Moaña. And while you’re there be sure to indulge in Balnea, a cool cosmetics brand born in upmarket O Grove on the nearby Isle of La Toja. There are sensitive skin remedying body oils, creams, perfumes and soaps that leave your skin gently moisturised while smelling divine. Our pick of the bunch is the Hidratante Revital Mixta/Grasa at 29euros. Amazingly the brand hasn’t made it to UK shores just yet but is available online in the meantime. You read it here first. Space NK take note.;

10.  Islas Cíes
Embark on a 40-minute boat trip to General Franco’s former hideaway during the Spanish Civil War. Cíes is like a little bit of the Caribbean that dislodged itself and somehow made it’s way across the Atlantic! There are few finer beaches than the stunning Praia das Rodas, a perfect crescent of white sand flanked by shallow dunes that shelter a tranquil lagoon of crystal-clear sea. Galegos are still dining out on it being voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world by The Guardian a few years back. Please do your bit for the environment and remember to take your litter back to the mainland with you to maintain the future natural splendour of this isle.

H&H recommends: hiring a tour guide Patricia Longa, proud ambassador for her native Galicia, not only provides fabulous company, but will regale you with fascinating tales and legends about the region. She can be booked through the Secchi  S.L. Agency which is based out of neighbouring Santiago de

For further information on Vigo visit:

How to get there:
Vueling fly direct to Vigo from London Heathrow, in peak season only. Check for further details. Ryanair fly to nearby Santiago de Compostela, and Porto, as do Easyjet, just across the border in Portugal, with a twice daily bus service connecting the two cities.;







Small Changes That Make a Big Difference to Your Wellbeing

With over 15 years experience in the fitness industry, over 10,000 personal coaching sessions under his belt and the recent founder of the bespoke fitness studio, Club 51 (, it appears that health advise from Jon Denoris is worth its weight in gold. Here he talks to Hip and Healthy about the small changes that make a big difference

Improve your posture
By doing simple postural exercises you can project yourself with much more energy and even appear taller and more confident. Try this exercise to lengthen the muscles in the back helping you to stand tall! Stand with your back against the wall, heels, butt, upper back and head touching. Now gently push your lower back against the wall and put your hands together in front of you (keep your elbows together & palms facing you). Slowly try to touch the wall above your head returning back each time try to do this 15 to 20 times every day in January. Why it works? It lengthens the lat muscles which often get tight and short.

Don’t ban any foods
(I mean it!) Adopting too strict a regime is one of the most common reasons people are unsuccessful in managing their weight LONG TERM. Use the ‘Pareto Principle’ or 80/20 rule – that way no food can gain control over you. Research indicates the following foods may help to improve brain power; BEANS, BLUEBERRIES, BROCCOLI, OATS, ORANGES, PUMPKIN, SALMON, SOY, SPINACH, TEA, TOMATOES, TURKEY, WALNUTS, BIO-YOGHURT.

Avoid ‘on/off’ thinking
Terms such as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ body can promote negative self-talk and feelings that are too concerned with the aesthetic element of fitness. We all want to look our best, but focusing on all the fantastic health related benefits of exercise is much healthier. A good analogy is that of a dimmer switch rather than an “on/off” one, it allows us to be healthier at various times, but recognises that we all have the occasional time where we lose it. From a trainers perspective we work with the body on its alignment, strength and cardiovascular fitness. As long as your trend is moving towards a healthier lifestyle then that’s a great positive approach!

Don’t turn the word ‘fat’ into an emotion
It’s worth pointing out that fat isn’t an emotion! You can’t ‘feel fat’ (Psychologists call this ‘learned helplessness’). You can however feel ‘angry’ or ‘sad’ because you perceive yourself to be fat. Once you recognise this, you are half-way there, as you can then begin to address the reasons why. Common reasons I hear are things such as ‘not being able to play with my kids in the park’, or ‘I feel intimidated by the gym’.

Stressed? Project an ‘energy bubble’
Imagine that you have a bubble of energy projecting out from your central point and surrounding you like a sort of science fiction force-field. Everything stressful that happens outside this bubble just bounces off and away from you, leaving you calm and still inside the bubble. So the more stressful it is outside, the calmer you are inside.

Increase your fitness with this simple walking programme
This programme is easy to follow and is based on three different types of walk done twice over the course of a week with a rest day on the seventh day…

Day One & four “Steady Pace” One hour walk, whereby at the end you should feel slightly hot, perspiring, and able to talk (but not sing!)

Day Two & five “Slow-Fast” This time go 5 minutes slow, 5 minutes fast, and repeat sequence 3 more times (for 40 minutes total)

Day Three & Six “Beat Me Back” Walk out for 15 minutes, turn round & try to beat your time back

Day Seven – Rest!

Rule of thumb – use a 1-10 scale to see how hard you are working aim to work between a 4/5 and a 7/8.

Health Speak with Keri-Anne Payne

Fourth in the world in the open-water marathon and an olympic medalist, Keri-Anne Payne turns heads both in and out of the water. Here, she talks to Hip and Healthy about her forthcoming wedding, training schedule and what she eats to stay so fit, beautiful and healthy…

I am use to being busy so planning the wedding [to another olympic swimmer, David Carry] will not be all that hard.

When I am in training mode I get up at 6.30am and spend two hours in the pool. After that it’s straight to the gym for some cardiovascular work, or to mix it up a bit I go for a run or do some yoga instead. I then get home and have some breakfast, which is usually two slices of toast with raspberry jam. After lunch I spend another two hours of training in the pool, which consists of swimming 7,000m on an average week.

To relax, I love my TV shows. I am particularly hooked on New Girl and Bones. Home and Away is also a guilty pleasure of mine!

My worst swim ever was in Melbourne where I was stung by jellyfish continuously for two hours. It really hurt but I kept on going.

My diet is very balanced – meat and carbohydrates always feature in my meals. And because I burn so many calories a day through all my training I don’t need to worry about that extra piece of cake.

When it comes to snacking I can’t live without jaffa cakes. They keep us going through the long training sessions.

Alcohol, on the other hand, has been off limits for four years. I believe in the phrase “my body is my temple” and know that what I put in has an impact on what I get out.

When im working out I like to listen to trance music – but not the hardcore kind. I absolutely love Above and Beyond’s music – they have a podcast each week that I always download. I also love Speedo Aqua Beats, but I can never listen to it when training as my coach is always shouting instructions at me!

My top beauty tip for other swimmers and those wanting to get into swimming, is to always shower after each visit to the pool – even if you don’t feel like it. And invest in a good moisturiser.

Keri-Anne  is sponsored by Speedo. Check out their website for Speedo swimming events that are taking place all over the country. Get involved.