Hip & Healthy Guide To Copenhagen

Despite its relatively small size, this Scandinavian city is full of nourishing health cafés, vegetarian fine dining restaurants, inspiring studios and rejuvenating spas and hotels to recharge at. Spend a weekend in Copenhagen and indulge in all its wellness spots – we have the full list of the gems to pursue for treating mind, body, and soul. Enjoy everything from Kundalini yoga, reformer classes, infrared saunas and Ayurvedic treatments, to fresh juices, health stores, and ceremonial cacao sessions.


If you want to treat yourself during your visit, the iconic Hotel d’Angleterre in the heart of the city, just by Nyhavn is a beloved favourite. This 5-star hotel was established in 1755 and embodies a perfect balance between historic luxury and contemporary design. Recharge in their incredibly comfortable beds, relish incredible food at their Michelin-starred Restaurant Marchal, and make sure to pamper yourself in their spa Amazing Space where you’ll find a fitness centre and indoor swimming pool, as well as a wide range of outstanding spa services.

Another gorgeous hotel with a prime location (right by Tivoli Gardens) is Nobis Hotel Copenhagen. Modern, stylish, and located in a building from 1903, this is another lovely hideaway in the middle of the city where Scandinavian minimalism meets historic atmosphere. The rooms are carefully designed and decorated in earthy tones and you’ll find delectable dishes at their restaurant NOI. Last, but not least, Audo is an interior design lover’s dream and you’ll find an incredible shop showcasing a stunning range of furniture, an amazing restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as the loveliest hotel rooms in this hybrid space.
Indulge in their exquisite matcha and avocado tartine, then ascend to one of the serene rooms upstairs. Here, you’ll discover a haven adorned with luxurious amenities such as Frama’s signature body and hair care products in the bathroom, and the embrace of sumptuously soft, organic bed linen from Aiayu.

For total relaxation and disconnection for body and mind, booking Aire Ancient Baths is a must. This incredible spa is located in the former Carlsberg factory where the original features from the iconic and ancient building have been restored and fused with the magical atmosphere and concept of Aire. Come and experience the different baths or book a treatment (we recommend their Holistic Ritual, which combines an exfoliation with body massage and hair treatment). House of Salt is another tranquil relaxation oasis where you find salt therapy (which may help ease allergy symptoms, asthma, colds, skin problems, etc.), infrared saunas, as well as “H2 treatment”, where hydrogen-rich water helps detox the cells. Escaping the city buzz is also possible at the beautiful sanctuary called Arndal, which is a stylish fitness centre and spa. Enjoy a cup of homemade ginger tea as you enter the oasis, go for a workout in the well-equipped gym, and unwind with a soothing massage, a sweaty sauna session, or a refreshing facial afterwards. If you really want to go all in on your spa experience, make sure to book a little getaway at Kurhotel Skodsborg, which is an excellent spa hotel just north of Copenhagen City. Enjoy 16 different bathing experiences, saunas, sea dips and spa services ranging from classic massages and facials to manicures and detox treatments.


Even though we are waiting for one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Scandinavia, Gemyse at Hotel Nimb, to re-open, the city offers many other plant-based gems that are worth checking out when you want a healthy and delicious bite. Located in an old warehouse in Østerbro with a delectable vegetarian cuisine, Veve is the spot for your dinner out. Make sure to reserve a table in advance, or you will have to join the waitlist for the around 30 seats in the Michelin-starred restaurant. A recommendation is definitely to try their 6-course menu, and a big plus is that it’s possible to pair it with alcohol-free beverages as well. A similar plant-based favourite in the middle of Copenhagen’s old Latin quarter is Vækst. Centered around a greenhouse with lush plants in every corner, we love the atmosphere as much as the delicious menu (we love the salt-baked celery).

Great options for breakfast or lunch are the favourites Atelier September and Apollo Bar. A must-try at Atelier September is their yoghurt with granola, zucchini jam, and matcha and we also love the grapefruit with mint. The fresh goat cheese toast with wild blueberry compote, roasted pumpkin with tahini, as well as the sourdough bread at Apollo Bar are some highlights to order as well. For a healthy breakfast or lunch on the go, head to 42Raw and Palæo for the best açai bowls, smoothies, juices, salads, and plant-based burgers. Order the lemon or strawberry juice together with a wrap from Palæo and make sure to get the matcha bowl or the pancakes at 42Raw – you won’t be disappointed! Another great spot specialising in bowls (especially porridges) is Grød, where you find everything from sweet smoothie bowls to filling oatmeal porridges and savoury risottos. Sonny is a favourite café where you find great matcha lattes and an excellent avocado on rye bread that shouldn’t be missed.


The city’s most beautiful Pilates studio is undoubtedly Studio 41, which is an exclusive private studio where you find both reformer and mat classes in addition to postnatal- and private sessions. A wide range of Pilates classes can also be found at Pilates Cph and LineLine – Pilates. If you want a mix of Pilates and yoga, try Ohmyoga, which is an exclusive yoga and reformer studio in the heart of the city. Two other favourites for all yogis are Power Yoga Copenhagen and The Yoga Flat in Christianshavn, where you can choose between meditations, slow yin flows, ashtanga, breathwork, sweaty power vinyasa and more. We also love Kalio Yoga where all classes are in English and 200-hour teacher trainings, as well as workshops, courses, and events are offered too. For Bali- and LA-vibes, head to YUM Yoga & Café and combine grounding flows with organic and healthy bites, and to escape the cold completely, book a hot vinyasa or warm yin at Dottir Hot Yoga and enjoy the infrared heated studio. If you’re in Hellerup, Yoga Factory on Strandvejen, where you also find chiropractors, nutritionists, and healers, is a must-visit. BeYogi is a lovely studio focusing a lot on women and kids, offering both pre- and postnatal classes, kids classes, baby yoga, and more. For an exciting experience including blue light and a musical journey, head to Rive Gauche for rhythm-based yoga.

For a sweaty HIIT session, you can find a Barry’s in town, and we also love Nordic Strong in Nordhavn where you find a wide range of classes daily. For Ayurvedic treatments and other healing methods like reiki, as well as kundalini, candlelight sound baths and yin classes with ceremonial cacao, check out the amazing studio NAYA CPH in Frederiksberg. Last, but definitely not least, One Thirty Labs is a mandatory stop for every wellness-lover. This modern health- and longevity studio offers a selection of carefully curated treatments, like cryo therapy, infrared saunas, LED light therapy, compression therapy, meditation pods, hydrogen inhalation therapy, and more. Moreover, you also find dance classes, breathwork, yoga, and different membership options that include both classes and treatments.


Helsemin and Helsam are two great health stores where you find everything from organic snacks, food, and drinks, to skincare, books and cleaning supplies. If you’re looking for a great farmer’s market experience, Torvehallerne is where to go. The best tea can be found at the iconic A.C. Perch, which has been around since 1835 and is hence the oldest tea shop in the city. A must is to try their famous “White Temple” which both locals and tourists line up for. The fruity and sweet, yet very healthy, blend of both white and green tea is so delicious and works for any occasion. Make sure to stop by Soul Books and browse through all the spirituality books and crystals stacked on the shelves. In addition to beautiful furniture and other home goods, you find the famous natural body- and hair care products at Frama Studio Store. It’s pretty much impossible to leave empty-handed, and two favourites are the body oil and the Herbarium Shampoo.

words by Matilde Wergeland

Why I Move… With Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence

Introducing ‘Why I Move,’ a fresh series dedicated to chatting with individuals within the health and wellness space. We’ll delve into their motivations for exercise, explore the origins of their passion for fitness, discuss how they integrate exercise into their lifestyles, and, above all, discover the driving force behind their movement!

Debuting our new series, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence, a medical doctor who also happens to be a personal trainer. Dr Frankie is not only a familiar face on television as a medic but also hosts the popular podcast Vision of Health. Between her commitments as an NHS doctor, maintaining her social media presence, and gracing the screens as a media personality, Dr Frankie kicks off our series by discussing her connection with movement, how she navigates exercise amidst her busy career, and her preferred ways to stay active.

Why do you move?

Like many people, I originally got into exercising to get my body into better shape. But quickly the motivation for that wears off and I continued exercising because of the mental benefits. I found at medical school, that if I felt stressed or overwhelmed, taking myself out on a run and getting some fresh air, or going to the gym helped me switch off from my busy to-do list for an hour or so, and became a form of mindfulness! This has continued into my working life, and I find taking an hour to myself each day gives me some ‘me time’ before a busy day giving my energy to others and to my patients.

What are some of your earliest recollections of physical activity as a child?

I have always been active and used to do every club at school. My earliest memories are playing tennis with my brother using a makeshift tennis net in the back garden! I still regularly play tennis now! 

What type of movement do you regularly incorporate into your routine?

I like functional training so I do a variety. It’s important to remember any form of exercise and movement will benefit your health. I regularly go out running and usually am always training for an event such as a half marathon. I do F45 a few times a week which I love as it is the perfect hybrid of resistance and cardiovascular training. I also play tennis at least once a week. I think we really neglect sports! I love making my workouts social so you’ll also catch me doing Reformer pilates classes with friends. 

How do you prioritise your fitness around your demanding career as an NHS doctor?

I get up early and fit my training in before work. I find leaving it to the evening is difficult as if I’m in clinic, I can finish at erratic times. I prefer having a few hours in the morning to wake up and invest some time into myself before the day starts.

What motivates you to exercise? 

I do it for that post-workout fuzzy feeling! It really energises me and sets me up for the day. I tend to do a longer run on a weekend and I will usually do this with a friend, knowing there is a proper coffee and a crispy almond croissant waiting for me at the end! 

If you’re feeling a bit low or your energy isn’t there, do you push through a workout or do you consider prioritising rest instead?

It depends, sometimes when it’s dark, cold and miserable outside, it can be difficult to get up to work out. In these moments, you can’t rely on motivation, but instead on habit and routine. I’m pretty good at being honest with myself and knowing if it’s a motivation issue, or if I genuinely need to recover. Recovery is just as important as our training and sometimes it is important to prioritise rest and get a few extra hours sleep! On these days, I will still move my body by making sure I get out on a walk at lunchtime or after work, as my job can be quite sedentary. 

What is your favourite exercise class? 

My favourite for the last 5 years is F45 Stratford – the energy in the studio is unmatched and because of this, I never feel like I’ve had a bad workout and I’ve never gotten bored. I also enjoy Reformer pilates and my favourites are Psycle, Oxford Circus and Strong, Islington. I also really rate the running app Runna, which I use to program my running.

What are the workout essentials that help you stay on track?

I think it’s more about having a membership and community. I see the same faces in my F45 classes each morning, and they have now become friends. Knowing they will be there motivates me! I also love tracking my runs on my Garmin Venu 3 and I’ve recently become really interested in tracking my sleep and recovery stats on the device. 

What is your go-to meal post-workout?

As women it’s really important we fuel our workouts properly, to ensure we don’t inappropriately spike our stress hormones. My favourite post-workout treat is an almond croissant, but I save that for the weekend. Mid week I will make overnight oats or porridge, with chunky rolled organic oats for carbohydrate repletion, some thick creamy green yoghurt for extra protein, almond butter to slow digestion and blueberries and a seed mix sprinkle to feed my gut microbiome! 

When you’re stuck in a fitness rut, what’s your top piece of advice for getting back on track?

Make it easy! If you’re completely out of the routine, completely overhauling your life to get back into training regularly can be difficult. Instead, try and rebuild the routine up by making it easy. For example, if I go to an F45 class, I have to factor in travel there and back, and packing my bag to get ready for work. Whereas running is easier as I can start and finish at my doorstep, so the process takes less planning. Starting with the easier option here is a good way to get back into it and re-form a consistent routine. Committing to working out with a friend can also help as it keeps you accountable. 

As a doctor and a PT, what way do you see exercise impacting people’s mental health?

Exercise is hugely beneficial for our mental health and well-being, and I recommend staying active to all my patients. Exercise causes the release of neurotransmitters in our brain like dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin, which improves food and reduces feelings of anxiety. Long-term, regular exercise has been shown to be both protective against mental health conditions and also is a really effective treatment for established conditions. I think there are so many benefits to exercise that we can’t necessarily see – whether that be improved mental well-being, improved physiological parameters such as glucose levels or cholesterol, reduced risk of many diseases, and so from a health perspective, a ‘bad workout’ quite literally doesn’t exist!

What’s New In The World Of Wellness This March

As we enter the month of March, the world of wellness rolls out a variety of newness across the board. From glowing bodycare to a high-spec strength studio, anti-ageing facials and sustainable sexual wellbeing, we’re sharing the latest launches in health, wellness and fitness this month.

Mayfair’s Strength & Conditioning Studio

Set in a basement studio just off New Bond Street, Dabbs Fitness is the boutique strength and conditioning gym in Mayfair. Tailored to personal training and small group training, founder James Dabbs opened the space to enable everyone who books a one-to-one or group session to train like an athlete, with elite performance guidance as standard. Inside the intimate fitness hub is all the kit necessary for strength and conditioning in a sleek matte black finish. Personal training is initiated with a bespoke assessment to determine any ailments and establish a realistic plan that suits your lifestyle and goals. Group sessions are limited to 8 people to keep a close eye on form and technique. Dabbs Fitness is geared towards strength, power and conditioning, which you’ll find integrated into PT sessions and group classes.

The Gold Standard Anti-Ageing Treatment

Skin Loft, the gem of beauty clinic in Kensington Olympia, is now offering the gold standard in anti-ageing facials! The JetPeel Facial is a non-invasive treatment that penetrates as deeply as needles. Using jet pressure energy to blast high-velocity jet streams of liquid micro-droplets, this high-tech kit is worth its weight in gold. Founder of SkinLoft, Daiva’s passion for effective non-invasive treatments is infectious, a consultation with her and you’ll be reconsidering botox. And that’s not because she deems tweakments ‘bad’, it’s just that Daiva can get a similar result without the need for needles! The facial gets underway with a manual lymphatic massage and skin prep. After a skin analysis, the JetPeel machine takes over commencing with a bespoke peel, followed by a tailored serum complex of peptides and hyaluronic acid, finished with an infusion of skin boosters. The JetPeel facial leaves the complexion instantly rejuvenated and visible glowing for days after just one treatment, but it’s worth noting that to exceed the best results regular treatments are recommended to combat the appearance of fine lines, sagging and dullness.

The Glowing Rainforest-Grown Bodycare Collection

Rainforest-grown beauty brand, Rahua is predominantly known for its pure ingredient haircare. Branching into bodycare, Rahua has launched the Body Glow Collection in the signature Enchanted Island™ scent. Including a body glow wash, serum and cream, the collection uses antioxidant-rich plant-derived formulas, supercharged with a plant-based collagen booster complex comprised of naturally sourced hyaluronic acid, achiote extract and Gotu Kola. Bursting with a divine tropical scent, these hardworking body care heroes promote skin radiance, protect the skin pre-and-post sun exposure and improve the overall condition of skin texture.

The Plant-Friendly Sexual Wellness Brand 

Making sex better and safer with a premium line of stylistically pleasing products, Luud Health is the sexual wellness brand striving to shake up the sector. Luud Health has set out to grant people permission to feel empowered, and sexually satisfied with intimate products. The ultra-thin condoms are designed to maximise sensation and are made with PETA-approved plant-based materials that are odourless. Likewise, the Luud Lube is also odourless, the non-sticky water-based lubricant is created for longer-lasting play with added CBD to promote relaxation. Luud also prides itself on promoting safety around sex, presenting a convenient at-home STI testing kit that tests for 6 infections with a follow-up to discuss your test results with a member of the nursing team.

The Ballet-Led Digital Platform Priotising Physical & Mental Health

Grace & Form is the trailblazing digital studio blending ballet, fitness and mental well-being practices, spearheaded by principal ballerina at New York City Ballet, Indiana Woodward and international award-winning trainer, best-selling author and former ballet dancer Saskia Gregson-Williams. Recognising the prevalent challenges dancers encounter, particularly the neglect of mental well-being over physical training, the founding duo set up to emphasise the mind-body connection with classes that cater for everybody from seasoned dancers to novices. Rewriting the narrative around body image in association with ballet dancing, the digital studio is a safe space to reignite or spark your love for dance, fostering healthy habits with mindful nuggets of wisdom to enhance your mental health.

The Cali-Born Pilates Studio Rolling Out Across The UK

Born on the cusp of the wellness boom back in 2007 in sunny California, Club Pilates puts a modernised twist on the classical Reformer-based Contrology Method, summoning 11 different pieces of equipment, including the EXO Chair, Bosu Ball, Triggerpoint, TRX and Barre. Bringing the Reformer fusion to London, Club Pilates has opened two locations in Bankside and Fulham, with future plans to roll out up to more studios across the UK. Club Pilates offers nine different formats integrating a mix of cardio, strength and interval style training at four levels, making there an obtainable option for everyone, as, let’s face it, Reformer Pilates is humbling and takes some time to grasp. Each session works the full body to improve your posture, strengthen your core and correct muscle imbalances, creating a strong foundation for movement in day-to-day life.

The At-Home Laser-Led Facial

You may have come across beauty and wellness gurus popping the coveted LYMA supplements on social media, encased in a luxurious rose gold capsule, or maybe the sleek at-home laser has caught your eye, either way LYMA has taken centre stage in the world of wellness as of late. Delivering a highly effective repertoire of skin solutions, the LYMA Lift Facial protocol is defined as the ultimate at-home facial that fills a void between surgical lifting techniques and low-fi face yoga, contouring the face without any thermal damage or invasion, there’s no wonder A-listers and celebs are jumping on the bandwagon. Using the hailed LYMA Laser for maximum anti-ageing results, the Lift Face protocol incorporates breakthrough cold laser technology with epigenetic skincare and 100% pure active stabilised oxygen. LYMA’s 360 approach to anti-ageing through their synergy of supplement, skincare, at-home device and facial technique yields elite results that will make you second guess botox to reverse the signs of ageing.

The Advanced Workout To Get You Competition-Ready

Level up your fitness with a new challenging class at ROWBOTS City. COMPETE calls upon various equipment and modalities including rowers, ski ergs, bikes, running and strength exercises to form one all-encompassing 50-minute conditioning class. Whether you’re prepping for a fitness competition or you just enjoy pushing yourself out of your comfort, COMPETE is the class for you, especially if you’re signed up for HYROX this year! The workout changes weekly, incorporating AMRAPs to find your competitive edge. It goes without saying that this class is advanced so if you’re looking for a less dynamic but equally invigorating workout, try ROWBOTS CAPACITY class as a starting point.

This Wellbeing Studio Introduces A Ride Studio

Walthamstow-based wellbeing studio, East of Eden, currently offering a mix of yoga, pilates, barre, sound and meditation classes, has newly opened RIDE, a dedicated spin studio. If there’s one fitness class you want extra capacity, it’s spin and with 25 bikes the energy in the studio is lively! Immersive lighting and exuberant playlists get you in the right headspace for a sweaty, endorphin-inducing class, bound to leave you bouncing out post-class. If the commotion of dynamic spin sessions seems overwhelming, opt for the ‘Relaxed Rides’ with softer lighting and a more mild approach.

Folic Acid or Folate: Which Reigns Supreme for Prenatal Health? Expert’s Weigh In

Navigating the world of prenatal supplements can feel like navigating through a labyrinth, especially during conception and early pregnancy—a time already fraught with nerves and uncertainty. Amidst this whirlwind, the debate on folic acid or folate emerges, casting doubt on which form of this essential B vitamin is optimal for expecting mothers and their healthcare providers. As discussions intensify, factors like the MTHFR gene mutation and absorption concerns only add layers of complexity to the decision-making process. In this article, we’ve consulted with nutritional and fertility experts to lend their expertise and insights, delving into the differences between folic acid and folate, exploring their distinctiveness, their impact on pregnancy, and the evidence underpinning their effectiveness.

Understanding Folic Acid and Folate:

According to fertility expert Zita West, “There can be confusion around the difference between folic acid and folate as they are often used interchangeably.” She highlights the distinction between folate, the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 found in various foods, and folic acid, its synthetic counterpart. Folic acid and folate are often used interchangeably, but they are not identical. Folate refers to the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 found in foods such as leafy greens, legumes, and citrus fruits. On the other hand, folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin used in dietary supplements and fortified foods. While both forms serve the same biological function, their metabolic pathways differ, influencing how they are absorbed and utilised by the body. 

The MTHFR Gene Mutation:

A significant aspect of the folic acid vs. folate debate revolves around the MTHFR gene mutation. The MTHFR gene encodes an enzyme crucial for folate metabolism. Certain mutations in this gene, particularly the C677T and A1298C variants, are associated with reduced enzyme activity, potentially affecting the body’s ability to convert folic acid into its active form, methylfolate. This has led to speculation that individuals with MTHFR mutations may benefit more from supplementation with methylfolate rather than folic acid. 

West says “It is estimated that 40-60% of the population have a mutation in their gene which lowers the amount of MTHFR, meaning they have a reduced capacity to transform folic acid into the active form. These individuals may struggle to raise their folate levels to the recommended levels using a standard folic acid supplement. As it is not possible for everyone to test for this mutation, we chose to use a superior, active form of folate in our supplements, Quatrefolic. Quatrefolic is the active form of folate, readily available for transport and use in the human body and tissues. Quatrefolic doesn’t require conversation by the enzyme MTHFR and therefore, can effectively raise folate levels in all individuals.”

Absorption Concerns:

Another point of contention is the absorption of folic acid versus folate. Some argue that synthetic folic acid is less efficiently absorbed compared to naturally occurring folate, particularly in individuals with certain genetic variations or conditions affecting absorption. 

Megan Hallett specialises in women’s hormone health and nutrition, from endocrine and reproductive conditions such as PCOS, PMDD, endometriosis, hypothalamic amenorrhea, perimenopause and menopause and fertility/pregnancy. She explains “When working with preconception clients, my first step is to carefully assess their supplement routines. I prioritise swapping out folic acid, whether it’s standalone or included in a prenatal supplement, with methylated folates like methylfolate or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This practice isn’t exclusive to preconception; I implement it with all my clients, recognising that the benefits of folate extend beyond pregnancy alone. Adequate folate levels are crucial for energy, hormone metabolism, cardiovascular health, and DNA synthesis. When I make this adjustment to someone’s supplement regimen, I emphasise that while folic acid and methylated folate are essentially the same, the latter is significantly preferred due to its high bioavailability and pre-existing biological activity.”

However, the extent of this difference and its clinical significance remain areas of ongoing research and debate.

Evidence and Recommendations:

Despite the ongoing discourse regarding the superiority of folate vs folic acid, it is essential to acknowledge the substantial body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects and promoting overall maternal and fetal health. For over three decades, public health initiatives have successfully implemented folic acid supplementation programs, leading to significant reductions in NTDs worldwide. The efficacy of folic acid in this regard is well-established and supported by numerous clinical trials and observational studies.

When it comes to prenatal nutrition, the debate between folic acid and folate persists, fueled by concerns over genetic factors like the MTHFR gene mutation and absorption differences. While these considerations warrant attention and further research, it is crucial not to discount the extensive evidence supporting the efficacy of folic acid. Ultimately, individualised healthcare approaches may be necessary to address the needs of pregnant women, taking into account genetic factors, dietary patterns, and clinical recommendations.

DISCLAIMER: Features published by Hip & Healthy are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

Is Endometriosis The Hidden Cause Of Your Persistent Tummy Troubles?

Women’s health and nutrition coach, Meghan Hallet, breaks down the so often undiagnosed condition that is Endometriosis along with the symptoms, route for diagnosis and treatment options.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, which is just fantastic. The awareness around this debilitating condition continues to grow and grow, however, it is essential to keep on spreading awareness, as the more we understand the condition, the closer we get to decreasing the time in which one receives a diagnosis, treatment and continued compassion. 

So, what is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like cells appear outside of the uterine cavity, be it on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, peritoneum, bowel or bladder. Every month, similarly to the pattern of your monthly cycle, endometriosis becomes inflamed. Over time lesions can form and stick to certain areas resulting in reproductive issues, bowel or bladder problems. Symptoms include fatigue, painful sex, painful bowel movements or urinary issues, heavy bleeding and pelvic pain. Endometriosis affects a whopping 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the United Kingdom. 

Endometriosis shouldn’t be treated lightly and is so much more than a painful period. What’s more, many experience symptoms all cycle round, with links to gastrointestinal issue such as SIBO, histamine intolerance and chronic fatigue. The most frustrating part is that many still view it as simply a painful period, with 43% of patients making around 5 trips to A&E before receiving a diagnosis, taking an average of around 7.5 years from initial symptoms to diagnosis. 

Nutrition and Supplements
The conventional treatment is surgery to remove the endometriosis. It is essential that leading up to that point and from then on, those with the endo put a huge amount of emphasis on nutrition, smart supplementation and lifestyle practices, as it can be a highly effective way of supporting the condition. What’s more, once you’ve had surgery, patients will still need to actively work to ensure that they are focusing on supporting an anti-inflammatory environment and a well-functioning immune system. Whilst in an ideal world, surgery would be a cure-all, for some, it just isn’t the case and the endometriosis can still be present even afterwards.

Here are the basics of endometriosis management, however, it is so important to remember that everybody is different. The way we support endometriosis is hyper-individualised, so I highly recommend working with a professional who can create a plan and approach that is personal to you. If you are concerned about your symptoms, speak with your GP. 

Oestrogen Metabolism 
Supporting oestrogen detoxification and excretion is something everybody should be doing to support hormone health, but especially those with endometriosis. We want to be effectively bio-transforming toxins and hormones and sending them out the body in the healthiest way possible. 

This happens in three phases; phase one (biotransformation of the toxin/ hormone in the liver), phase two (conjugation of the toxin/ hormone in the liver) and phase three (excretion through urine or stools). Ensuring that this pathway is working optimally is key to preventing any potent, unfavourable oestrogen metabolites from recirculating back into the bloodstream and causing further problems. It is these oestrogen metabolites that can be a big driver of endometriosis and important to remember that even if overall oestrogen is low, still need to ensure it leaves the body in a healthy way. Here’s how to support oestrogen detoxification in the liver. 

  • B Complex (with methylated folate) as we require B vitamins for phase one liver detoxification as well as supporting cellular energy production. NutriAdvanced and Throne are great options. 
  • Amino Acids. Think quality protein or a collagen supplement. However, some find cutting down on red meat effective. 
  • Cruciferous veg and dark leafy greens. Most people can aim for 2 portions of cooked cruciferous veg daily. If you don’t react well to them, speak with a professional. 
  • Sulphur-rich foods, choline, glycine
  • NAC
  • Vitamin C and vitamin E, supporting antioxidant status. 
  • Tea: Dandelion, green tea, artichoke and burdock. 
  • Berries, lemon, avocado, asparagus and beetroot.
  • Keep on top of hydration throughout the day.
  • Limit alcohol + processed foods.
  • Consider functional testing such as DUTCH testing to give more of an insight into the way your body is processing hormones and toxins.

Supporting the gut is another piece of the oestrogen metabolism puzzle, as ultimately we want those hormone metabolites to leave the body. Lowering beta-glucuronidase activity (an enzyme that can send harmful metabolites back into the bloodstream) and supporting excretion of hormone metabolites and toxins is important to focus on every day. 

It isn’t uncommon to be experiencing gut issues with endometriosis, whether it’s a physical issue of endo tissue present on the bowels or dysbiosis. A stool test/ GI map can help you understand exactly what is going on in your gut and if it’s driving inflammation. You can then directly tackle the issue head-on rather than guessing. It can be expensive, however, so if it is not an option, work with a professional who understands your symptoms.

  • Slowly work on increasing fibre intake. If we add too much in one go, it could exacerbate painful bowel movements. Take it meal by meal. 
  • Consider a probiotic but work with a professional depending on symptoms. 
  • Support gut integrity with collagen, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin A. We want that gut lining to be lovely and strong. 
  • Support healthy stomach acid so that you can break down the key compounds in cruciferous vegetables, prevent bacterial overgrowth and optimise digestion. For this, we need optimal levels of vitamin B6 + zinc.

Immune Support 
Supporting the immune system is another essential pillar of managing endometriosis. Endometrial-like (remember, it is not the same) cells migrate outside of the uterus. Something is going on with the immune system if it hasn’t eliminated those cells, plus the body is usually in a high state of inflammation. We want to focus on those inflammatory pathways, supporting overall immune function and incorporating anti-inflammatory staples.

  • Vitamin C, zinc, copper and selenium are all key nutrients for immune function. You may want to consider an Immune support supplement that incorporates all these nutrients or increase intake via food. 
  • It’s a really good idea to get your Vitamin D levels checked, easily done via the GP or companies such as Medichecks. Supplement accordingly. 
  • Omega 3 supplementation (EPA dominant, around 1-1.4g) or opting for three portions of oily fish a week. Omega 3 prioritises that anti-inflammatory pathway and supports the body’s pain response.
  • Limit omega 6 (seed oils, processed foods, fried foods)
  • Incorporate anti-inflammatory staples daily, such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, colourful fruits and veggies. 
  • Prioritise rest, relaxation and self-care.
  • Limit refined sugars and refined carbohydrates.

Natural Pain Management 
Although it is key to implement the long-term changes that support the root cause of the problem, there are a number of tools and practices that can support and relieve pain in the moment.

  • A heating pad, tens machine or BeYou Monthly Patches
  • Omega 3, as already discussed. 
  • Turmeric, ginger, quercetin + bromelain (especially if histamine is an issue).
  • Chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm tea.
  • CBD oil + CBD balm.
  • Magnesium supplement and/or magnesium balm.
  • Breathwork sessions and mindfulness. 
  • Physical therapy and acupuncture.
  • Epsom salt baths.
  • Psychological support, such as speaking with a therapist well-versed in the field. One survey of endometriosis suffers revealed 90% would like access to psychological support as part of treatment. You’re not alone if this sounds like something you require. 

This content provided is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, and is for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your doctor and/ or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.

words by Meghan Hallet
Instagram: @meganhallett

READ MORE: Your Period Questions Answered By The Experts…

Planning A City Break? Here’s How To Pack Smarter (& Lighter)

Packing light is a skill many people struggle to master, but this is particularly true for beauty junkies and wellness warriors… how can one forgo their 10-step skincare routine or miss out on their morning supplement regime?! It seems a little excessive to check-in luggage for a city break, so we’ve rounded up the must-have products that will help you streamline your packing, with multitasking make-up, skincare minis and more. Also included, you’ll find the items that make travelling seamless, from transparent beauty bags to expandable suitcases, we’ve got all the tips and tricks!


Shoes are the bulkiest item to pack, so opting for a trainer that is suitable to wear to the airport, for wandering around the city and for the odd bit of exercise is a nifty way to streamline packing. The New Balance 530 Trainer provide support and give you that sport-luxe vibe that works well with outfits outside of lycra! Functional and stylish, these retro sneakers will stop the need to fill sacred packing space with unnecessary footwear.


Trinny London’s multi-purpose make-up stacks are portable and fuss-free making them ideal for travelling. Customisable, you’re able to select the shades that best suit you to create your tower of multitasking cream-based products from lips to eyes, cheeks to face! They’ve also streamlined makeup tools with the slender T-Brush Set, the three brushes are all you need!


Ideal for a few days away, the Wildsmith The Weekender Travel Set has body and haircare essentials plus two skincare heroes in the dinkiest bottles that meet the cabin bag requirements. The pouch contains 50ml bottles of hand and body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, plus a 15ml Active Repair Nourishing Cleansing Balm and Active Repair Copper Peptide Cream, all in Wildsmith’s nature-led formulas which smell divine.


Apple’s Airpods Max are the ultimate travel companion if you want to zone out on a flight. The over-ear headphones have a noise-cancelling setting to completely block outside noise, pop on a podcast and relax without outside disturbances. If you’re a nervous flyer, these are a real game-changer, play some soothing music and tune into a calm state of mind.


Keep track of your valuables when travelling by attaching an Apple AirTags on. These are a godsend when you’ve misplaced an item, no more moments of flustered panic as you turn the room upside down scouring every surface for your phone or wallet. The AirTag can be located in the ‘Find My’ app, leading you to your treasured belongings. We would highly recommend throwing one inside your suitcase in case your luggage gets left behind at the airport!


Equipping you with four high-performance products, in miniature form, the FaceGym Signature Skin Mini Kit has you covered as far as skincare goes for a city break. Novelty and practical, the kit contains a 20ml electro-lite gel cleanser, 15ml hydro-bound daily serum, 15ml youth reformer serum and 15ml supreme restructure firming moisturiser to maintain a holiday glow.


A must every day, but even more so on holiday is suncream and Skin + Me’s Daily Defence Oil-Free SPF 50 has quickly become our go-to. Meeting the airline requirements at 55ml, this SPF is designed by expert dermatologists focused on providing high protection without causing the skin any stress. If you’ve suffered breakouts after using SPFs in the past, we urge you to give this a go.


Designed to get you through swiftly through security, Mono’s Carry-On Pro has a padded front compartment to stash away your valuables so you’re hands-free through the airport. In a selection of chic muted colourways, this refined carry-on will comfortably fit everything you need for a few days away.


Space NK’s transparent Travel Bag in medium is the perfect size for short jaunts abroad. No need to fondle your beauty bits into those (non-eco-friendly) plastic bags! Available in different colours and sizes, these are the best travel beauty bags out there.


Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kit includes a set of seven AC plugs designed to work with Apple devices with pins that fit different power points around the world. It’s pretty self-explanatory why you’ll need to pack these in your carry-on!


Rather than putting your supplements into a sandwich bag, get yourself a nifty little pill box to organise your pills ahead of your trip. Compact and lightweight, these take up minimal space and make sure your capsules stay in tack.


Rock’s Sunwave Carry-on 8-Wheel Suitcase glides through the airport effortlessly. The sleek finish is durable and robust, keeping any fragile items secure inside. Expandable to meet different airline requirements, this lightweight cabin-sized case is a travel essential you’ll get out time and time again.

Join Our Team: New Promotions Coordinator Role at H&H

(Part-Time) Promotions Coordinator Role Starting in July 2024

Join us as our new Promotions Coordinator. This is a fantastic opportunity to join the H&H team and be central to delivering commercial campaigns, partnerships and content.

The Hip & Healthy team is a small group of people drawn together by our passion for wellness, content and a great almond milk latte. Constantly at the forefront of the wellness industry, we are always coming up with new and effective ways to partner with amazing clients to deliver successful and inspiring campaigns.

We all work from home and our hours are fully flexible to help H&H employees strike the right work/life balance that suits them.

This is a new, part-time role, at an entry-level salary. 24 hours per week.

The candidate needs to be:

  • Highly organised
  • Keen learner
  • Team Player
  • Confident writer

The role includes (but is not limited to):

  • Liaising with clients
  • Managing all campaign activity
  • Copy-writing to a client’s brief
  • Ensuring all deadlines are met
  • Reporting on activity
  • Working with the Editorial and Design Team to produce Solus Newsletters and Social Posts for Clients

If you’re interested, please email [email protected] with your CV and cover letter.

H&H Reviews: Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity

As the days get darker and chillier, the prospect of some winter sun becomes increasingly appealing. Whilst lighter, brighter days might feel a long way off, they can be found closer than you might think: the sunny shores of Gran Canaria can be reached in much less time and at much lower cost than far-flung exotic beach destinations, and promise just as healthy a dose of warmth and sunshine as those long-distance alternatives.

And whilst a Vitamin D top-up might be enough for some, those looking to reset and recharge to the fullest are in for a treat: with its state-of-the-art golf and spa facilities, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the perfect winter wellness destination.

The destination

Set atop a hill with panoramic views across the desert-like landscape and towards the ocean, Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is the ultimate secluded spa escape. Unlike most hotels on the island that are clustered close to the beach, Salobre has the advantage of being able to spread across a vast resort complex, with the extra space and seclusion lending a pervading sense of calm and stillness.

The spacious grounds also boast the best golf facilities in Gran Canaria, and 7 pools – including a rooftop infinity pool where sunsets are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and a secret plunge pool that if you ask nicely, a member of staff might just show you how to find… just make sure to keep it a secret.

For those who want to dip their toes in more than just an infinity pool, a regular shuttle service takes you to the beach for sea swimming, shopping and ice cream – though you’d be hard-pressed to want to leave with so much to explore in the resort itself.

The spa

Salobre’s Be Aloe Spa complex is vast enough to be a hotel in its own right, with a private pool area reserved exclusively for spa guests where day beds boast breathtaking views of Mount Teide. If you can’t drag yourself away from the scene, massages can be booked poolside while you admire the surroundings.

The spa also offers regular yoga, meditation and pilates classes in the stunning cristalarium, with panoramic views of the mountain scenery. There are frequent guided hikes, or for those wishing to explore the surrounding area on their own, staff are happy to recommend walking and jogging routes of varying distance and difficulty.

The accommodation

In keeping with the spacious nature of the resort, rooms are vast and offer separate living rooms and bedrooms, bathrooms with separate bath and shower areas, and large terraces or balconies with spectacular views of the golf course and mountains on the horizon.

Sunsets and sunrises are stunning – the former best enjoyed from the balcony before descending for dinner, and the latter as a natural wake-up call before heading to a morning yoga class.

The food

Although breakfast and dinner are served buffet-style, SENS Kitchen Patio Garden restaurant is far from your average hotel buffet: alongside wholesome salads, homemade dips and an array of fresh vegetables, guests can enjoy an extensive selection of fresh fish cooked to order. Desserts are a particular highlight, with an abundance of fresh fruit and mini vegan puddings alongside more indulgent options such as chocolate bread pudding and exotic fruit cheesecakes.

Make sure to reserve a special occasion meal at Sidecar restaurant, where local delicacies are fused with Asian influences – think dishes such as 24 hour suckling pig served with sweet potato rendang puree and pickled carrot, and curries of local fish.

Other noteworthy spas on the island
Gran Canaria is also home to Europe’s largest Thalasso centre at Gloria Palace San Agustin. It would be easy to spend all day exploring all 7,000 square metres of the light-filled spa complex designed by Canarian architect Luis López – but make sure to save enough time for a treatment administered by the island’s top therapists. For a more energising experience, go for a hike across the sprawling archaeological site of an ancient Aboriginal cemetery situated on the doorstep of Inagua Spa & Wellness, then recover at the spa’s secluded indoor-outdoor thermal circuit. Alternatively, the hot stone massage at the spa at Seaside Palm Beach is a fitting treatment for an island whose landscape was forged by volcanoes – you’ll emerge calm, soothed and reinvigorated, with no sign of an eruption in sight.

words by Rosie Sargeant

What’s New In The World Of Wellness Travel Right Now

As we enter the spring, jetting off somewhere serene is consuming our thoughts! From the vibrant streets of Paris to the serene shores of Lake Geneva, from the rugged beauty of the Dolomites to the historic charm of Athens, we’re sharing our hotlist of new openings in wellness-focused hospitality. Whether in search of an urban retreat, a revitalizing spa escape, or a wellness immersion, this collection of destinations promises to inspire and uplift. So, consider this a virtual tour of the new wellness havens to add to your travel bucket list.

The New Parisian Boutique Hotel

As far as city breaks go, Paris is unbeatable. The swift journey on the Eurostar in just over 2 hours, which places you right in the centre, adds to the allure of a few nights away in the City of Love. A newcomer to the lexicon of chic shops and restaurants that line the streets of the Marais district is Le Grand Mazarin. Oozing with artistic flair, the 61-key hotelier run by Maisons Pariente embodies a whimsical French Boudoir, masterminded by acclaimed Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki. The interiors wouldn’t be out of place on the set of the next Wes Anderson film, with kitch injections of apricot and teal hues and a recurring theme of lobsters. Paying homage to the Jewish Quarter neighbourhood, restaurant Boubalé offers a sharing-style Israeli menu. Nestled in the arched vaults of the basement, you’ll find a spa that exceeds expectations featuring a Technogym kitted-out gym that’s almost too pretty to sweat in and a swimming pool backdropped against a mural painted by artist Jacques Merle. Physiotherapist, Anne Cali operates out of the treatment cabins soothing souls with her made-to-measure massages. Drenched in tasteful maximalism through endorphin-inducing interiors, Le Grand Mazarin is a must-see if you’re heading to Paris!

The New Wellness Barn In Oxfordshire

Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire unveiled a new wellness barn, elevating its spa offering with state-of-the-art wellbeing experiences, following Soho House’s signature style. Away from the buzz of Farmhouse, the wellness barn is a short stroll away sanctioned into a peaceful spot. Secluded into the woodland, the open-air ice baths, sitting at a cool 3°C to 6°C, invite guests to take a plunge into the cold. The ozone sauna pod facilitates steam, infrared, and ozone therapies to reset the body by improving circulation and removing toxins and free radicals. Dedicated to slower-paced classes and low-impact modalities, the wellness studio houses yoga, meditation, mat and reformer Pilates.

Spring Equinox In The English Countryside

On the 20th of March, Beaverbrook is inviting guests to come together to honour the perfect balance of light and dark during the Spring Equinox, celebrate longer days and embrace the warmer months ahead. As Spring is a typically considered a season of growth, manifestation, and harmony, the Spring Equinox spa day will incorporate a cleansing auric smoke ritual to elevate the body’s vibrations. Then guests will be taken on a journey through chakra-activating meditation, breathwork, and dynamic movement yoga. After the mindful movement session, guests will take time to set personal intentions for the upcoming months, releasing them during a symbolic fire ceremony. The day will conclude with a sacred tea ceremony. Guests will also have access to The Coach House Spa’s facilities including six treatment rooms, outdoor pool, 20m indoor pool, thermal spa, and The Coach House Deli for fresh, seasonal dishes. From £195 per person.

The Platform To Staycations Is Now Free

Kip Hideaways is an encyclopedia of small places with souls, pairing travellers with their dream staycation destinations. Previously reserved for paying members, Kip Hideaways is relaunching its website completely free of charge. If you’re seeking a wilderness retreat in the middle of nowhere, you’re searching for a quirky woodland treehouse, or you’d like a cabin with the luxury of a sauna, Kip Hideaways cherry-picks charming, quaint locations doing most of the legwork for you. The curated travel guides help you navigate your ideal staycation with insider tips and off-the-beaten-track recommendations.

The New Residental Suites At Greece’s Luxe Resort

Sani Resort’s newest gem, the Sani Asterias Beachfront Residential Suites is set to open late June 2024. Located on the Kassandra peninsula in Halkidiki, Greece, Sani Resort is a 5-star family-friendly luxury destination that houses five hotels, 35 exquisite bars and restaurants perched on the coastline of the glistening Aegean sea. Introducing a new style of accommodation, Sani Asterias Beachfront Residential Suites are primed for intimate holidays with loved ones. The idyllic residences and suites feature private infinity pools, outdoor dining areas and direct access to the beach with picture-postcard views. Following suit in Sani’s sleek modern architectural style, Sani Asterias takes the spot of the resort’s most exclusive hotel with only 57 suites.

The Dolomites New Hotel & Spa

New to COMO Hotels & Resorts portfolio, COMO Alpina Dolomites is located in South Tyrol’s Alpe di Siusi fortified by the breathtaking mountains of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. COMO Alpina Dolomites is a story of two tales, visit in the winter to ski the mountains, with the luxury of ski in-ski out, and book to come in the summer months to hike or bike the region in bloom. The hotel’s alpine design integrates with the rugged terrain and serenity of the mountains to evoke a cosy yet sophisticated interior feel with a contemporary exterior. Experience wellbeing through the COMO Shambala concept at altitude, with a myriad of state-of-the-art spa facilities, world-class treatments, therapies and revitalising wellness programmes.  

The Wellness-Led City Break In Athens

F ZEEN Athens is set to open later in 2024, making it the second in the wellness-focused adult-only boutique hotel portfolio alongside their retreat in Kefalonia. Located in the heart of the historic centre on Perikleous Street, F ZEEN ATHENS instils a sense of tranquillity into the bustling city with its innate wellness ethos. Adopting a neoclassical feel that pays homage to the restored 1930s building, the retreat-inspired rooms and suites are presented in calming grey and earthy green. Yoga, fitness and meditation classes are held daily in the gym as part of the F ZEEN wellbeing concept, as well as guided walks to local monuments. The hotel’s rooftop pool steals the spotlight with its unparalleled views of the Acropolis, providing the perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing under the scorching sun. Inspired by Ancient Greek Wisdom, the Idor Spa harnesses holistically driven treatments, offering utter relaxation in the cocoon treatment rooms.

The Water-Inspired Spa Reopening

Perched on the edge of Lake Geneva, the Evian Resort’s Hotel Royal unveils a new vision for the EVIAN®SPA, dedicated to wellness through water. True to expectations, the region of Evian-les-Bains, home to the globally reputable water brand, is abundant in Mother Earth’s natural resources, cradled within the majestic Alps. Refreshed for 2024, the flagship EVIANSPA draws inspiration from the life cycle of Evian® mineral water, transforming the spa experience into an immersive and multi-sensory voyage. Luxurious mineral treatments, spanning massages, body scrubs, facials, and lymphatic drainage, aim to foster cell hydration and detoxification. The refurbished EVIANSPA showcases a cutting-edge outdoor hydrotherapy circuit, an Aga Khan relaxation room, a Hammam spa and water fitness.

words by Isabelle Shury

Beauty & Wellness Level Up: Lou Shares Her Feel-Good Self-Care Essentials

January is always an exciting start to the year, brimming with new year resolutions and a focus on kickstarting your health habits. However, February can feel like a tricky month. It’s cold and wet, but it’s also the perfect time to remind yourself to dedicate a little bit of time to yourself, to put yourself first. It’s easy to become accustomed to putting others ahead of ourselves, but giving yourself some time to decompress and dedicate time to yourself is the best way to feel rejuvenated.

How you practice self-care is up to you, but for me, it’s about taking a little bit of time for myself every day to simply relax and treat myself with kindness. Here are a few self-care essentials that help me celebrate those everyday moments just for me.

Stories Parfums: If a love language could be scent, it would definitely be mine. To me, there is nothing more special than being given or treating myself to a candle or perfume. I never underestimate the power of fragrance. Scent has always been a powerful way to enhance my mood and transport me back to a moment in life. For example, my husband bought me a special perfume for our wedding day, and every time I wear it, I’m reminded of that day. The scent of a perfume, candle, or body care product can instantly set me up for the day or relax me in the evening. It’s the perfect way to celebrate those everyday moments. Stories Parfums is a gorgeous brand founded as a testament to the power of fragrance, with the hope of giving people the space to stop and connect with their past, present, or even dream for their future. Their perfumes are my favourite way to start the day, and their candles are the perfect way to unwind in the evening. I love how the candles come in a trio of base, mid, and top notes so you can tailor the scent combination to your mood.

Neom Magnesium Bath Milk: One of my favourite ways to relax and take some time for myself is with a nice long bath, some gorgeous bath products, a scented candle, and a really good series (I am currently re-watching Gilmore Girls, which I do this time of year, every year). Neom’s Real Luxury Bath Milk is my favourite way to soak away any stress of the day. The added magnesium is perfect for relaxing any aches and pains, and the jojoba oil, argan oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera help to hydrate my skin. Plus, it smells absolutely amazing; this is my moment of calm.

CurrentBody Skin RF Device: I am officially obsessed with CurrentBody for their amazing skincare tools. Their LED masks are one of the most sought-after (and for very good reason). My complexion feels and looks great with my daily dose of LED, but now they have a Radio Frequency device that is incredible for boosting collagen, reducing wrinkles, and tightening the skin. I feel like I have had a mini facelift at home, and it has helped boost my confidence. Having just turned 40, I have definitely noticed my skin needs a little extra TLC to look its very best, so this device is perfect for enhancing my skin’s radiance and texture in the comfort of my home, which means I can do it more often.

My favourite Masks… 

My skin is feeling like it needs a little extra tlc at the moment and these are some of my favourites to keep my skin looking and feeling its very best.

Omorovicza Ulta Mud Mask

The perfect mask to detoxify the skin, boost moisture levels and even out skin tone.

Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask 

This mask is instant youth in a bottle and helps your skin look hydrated and more plump.

MZ Skin Vitamin-Infused Meso Sheet Mask  

I am obsessed with sheet masks and this one is perfect for when your skin is looking a little tired giving you a much brighter complexion.


5 Vital Signs Of Menstrual Health According To A Hormone Expert

Our menstrual cycle serves as a vital sign, offering profound insights into our overall health and well-being as women, irrespective of our current reproductive goals. Understanding the nuanced signs of a healthy cycle not only empowers us to better attune to our bodies but also enables us to promptly identify any irregularities that may necessitate further attention. With the expertise of Le’Nise Brothers, a respected nutritionist specialising in women’s health, hormones, and the menstrual cycle, and the author of the illuminating book “You Can Have a Better Period,” navigating the complexities of our monthly flow becomes far more manageable and a heck of a lot less complicated! 

Whether one’s aim is to optimise fertility through cycle tracking or simply to enhance overall well-being, the insights offered by Le’Nise regarding what genuinely constitutes a healthy menstrual cycle are invaluable. Given the prevalent confusion surrounding the definition of a healthy menstrual cycle, distinguishing between normal variations and potential red flags can be challenging. Below, we delve into five key indicators highlighted by Le’Nise that shed invaluable light on our menstrual health.

1. Menstrual Cycle Length:

A healthy menstrual cycle typically spans between 21 to 31 days. While the textbook definition often cites 28 days, it’s essential to recognise that variability is common among individuals. Fluctuations of up to 3-4 days each month are considered normal, influenced by factors such as stress, travel, or illness. However, wider variations may indicate underlying issues and merit consultation with a healthcare provider. The ideal cycle length 21-31 days is important because it allows sufficient time for the uterine lining to thicken, hormonal fluctuations to support ovulation, and the potential sustenance of an embryo post-ovulation.

2. Energy Levels:

Energy fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle are normal, mirroring hormonal shifts. During menstruation, lower energy levels are typical due to the body’s shedding of the uterine lining and decreased estrogen levels. “It’s an intense process for our bodies” says Le’nise so it’s understandable our energy levels feel a bit depleted during this time. As menstruation ends, estrogen levels rise, coinciding with an uptick in energy that peaks around ovulation. Post-ovulation, estrogen declines gradually until the next cycle begins. It’s totally normal to have ups and downs throughout the month but consistent feelings of depletion warrant further investigation.

3. Mood Variability:

Just as energy levels fluctuate, so do moods, owing to hormonal changes. Low estrogen levels around the time of our period may contribute to introspection and reflectiveness while increasing estrogen levels post-period and moving towards ovulation boost neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, influencing mood and cognitive function more positively. As estrogen wanes towards the end of the cycle, mood changes may occur, characterised by heightened honesty and assertiveness. Le’Nise says “It’s essential to recognize estrogen as the hormone that often facilitates accommodation and feminisation. When estrogen levels dip, it can lead to a greater willingness to express ourselves openly, sometimes resulting in unjust labels such as “bitchy” or “too blunt.” Understanding these hormonal nuances helps contextualise mood shifts throughout the cycle and might help you prepare for these fluctuations. Or at least allow you to be kinder and less judgmental to yourself. It’s important to note that extreme mood swings are not considered “normal” so if you find yourself struggling in that respect it could be a sign of hormonal imbalance. 

4. Basal Body Temperature Changes:

Monitoring basal body temperature (BBT) is essential for understanding the menstrual cycle, offering insights into hormonal fluctuations and reproductive health. Before ovulation, BBT typically ranges between 36.1 to 36.7 degrees Celsius, rising post-ovulation to anywhere between 36.4 to 37 degrees Celsius due to progesterone release. This temperature shift, detectable through tracking, indicates ovulation, aiding in natural family planning or fertility tracking efforts. Subsequently, a drop in temperature heralds the onset of menstruation, signalling the decline of progesterone and the transition to a new cycle. BBT tracking empowers individuals to pinpoint ovulation accurately and make informed decisions regarding fertility, family planning, or overall reproductive well-being.

5. Cervical Fluid Changes:

Observing changes in cervical fluid provides valuable insights into hormonal activity throughout the menstrual cycle. Following menstruation, cervical fluid typically undergoes a transitional phase, manifesting initially as a stickier consistency before gradually evolving into a creamier texture. This gradual transformation serves as an early indication of the body’s preparation for potential conception. As ovulation approaches, the appearance of fertile cervical mucus becomes increasingly noticeable, characterized by its stretchy and slippery texture reminiscent of egg whites. This distinctive cervical fluid consistency serves as a reliable indicator of rising estrogen levels, which play a crucial role in creating an optimal environment for conception during the follicular phase of the cycle. Post-ovulation, as progesterone levels increase, cervical fluid diminishes, transitioning to a drier state as the body prepares for potential pregnancy. Understanding these nuanced changes in cervical fluid can empower individuals to accurately track their fertility status and optimize their chances of conception.

It’s essential to recognise that individual variations exist in menstrual cycles, and deviations from the norm may occur. However, understanding these five signs provides a framework for assessing menstrual health.

READ MORE: Tried & Tested: H&H Team Share Their Favourite Holistic Health Supplements

Team Share Their Favourite Holistic Health Supplements

High Altitude Havens: The Best Alpine Spas for Wellness Enthusiasts

It might seem a bit extravagant to jump on a plane just to get a bit of pamper action but in actual fact, some of the world’s most incredible spas take a little travelling to get to, and boy are they worth the effort getting there. While there are many different kinds of spa experiences to try, we think some real gems lie in some of Europe’s most exquisite Alpine regions. There’s something about the vistas, the mountain air, and the peacefulness that is hard to replicate on lower altitudes. From thermal pools and sauna concepts to heavenly healing body treatments, these are the best Alpine spas (that are open all year round) to add to your bucket list.

Forestis – Dolomites, Italy

Nestled in the stunning Dolomites, Forestis offers a haven of wellness and spa experiences that provide Alpine wellness on a whole new level. Embracing a holistic ethos, the spa harmonises body and soul, inviting guests into a realm of rejuvenation. The calming ambience, natural scents and tranquil music set the stage for an indulgent spa experience like no other. Forestis boasts a suite of wellness amenities including saunas, steam rooms, and heated pools, all designed for ultimate relaxation. Guests can enjoy bespoke treatments utilising locally sourced ingredients, tailored to replenish and revitalise mind, body and soul. Whether unwinding amidst panoramic vistas or indulging in personalised consultations, Forestis promises an immersive journey to well-being with nature as its inspiration.

Le Coucou Tata Harper Spa – Meribel, France

Meribel is a lovely little village in the heart of the French Alps and Le Coucou is the place to visit if you want to take advantage of the beautiful spring ski season (hello blue skies and skiing in t-shirts!) whilst also indulging in some me-time at their spa. It’s the place for ultimate relaxation with a heated indoor pool and stunning mountain views. Their treatment list is definitely worth checking out too. Currently, Tata Harper has taken up residency, offering truly sublime treatments using her cult-following toxin-free products that so many celebs and beauty experts rave about. There’s a wonderful sauna and hammam and a beautiful couples treatment room if you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your special someone.

The Arula Chalets – Lech, Austria

Nestled above the picturesque village of Lech in Austria, The Arula Chalets stand as the epitome of exclusivity in alpine accommodation. Offering unparalleled luxury and convenience, these chalets boast ski-in/ski-out access and impeccable service. The highlight of this retreat is its exceptional wellness facilities, including an indoor swimming pool with a cosy fireplace and a soothing waterfall feature, along with Finnish and bio saunas, a steam bath, an infrared cabin, and an outdoor hot tub. But the pampering doesn’t stop there. The in-chalet spa therapist crafts bespoke treatments tailored to each guest’s needs, ranging from deep tissue massages to signature facials by Augustinus Bader. After indulging in these rejuvenating treatments, guests can unwind in relaxation rooms adorned with water beds and Himalayan salt walls. For those seeking a holistic approach to well-being, yoga therapist Anna Kanonier offers daily sessions that encompass energizing morning flows, restorative evening yin practices, and the meditative power of mantras. Drawing from Ayurvedic principles, these sessions aim to nurture both the body and the mind, promoting inner peace and serenity amidst the breathtaking alpine surroundings.

San Luis Retreat Hotel & Lodges – South Tyrol, Italy

This hotel is something else… Its stunning location is totally tucked away from the hustle and bustle and its ability to offer seclusion and privacy is why discerning guests visit time and time again. Their 42 private chalets (with the most sumptuous interiors) enable guests to properly unwind, with some overlooking the lakes and others providing magical mountain views. Let’s call San Luis the Italian version of Soho Farmhouse. Guests can relax and bathe at the barn-sized country spa, which features a great indoor swimming pool with a cosy open fire, a heated outdoor pool and hydro massage in the middle of a lake, saunas, relaxation rooms and steam baths.

Gstaad Palace – Gstaad, Switzerland

Gstaad Palace is a place to stare in awe of its grandeur and stature. It feels like something out of a movie and it’s one of the last family-owned hotels in Switzerland. It’s stunning come winter or summer although we’d always argue the Swiss Alps come to life in the summer. The Palace Spa is the real highlight of this hotel and its 1800sqm space offers everything you could wish for. From Ayurvedic treatments, deliciously nourishing scrubs and body wraps and even shiatsu, your mind and body are in for a real treat. Other facilities include a gorgeous relaxation area with a Swiss-style fireplace to keep toasty in between treatments, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi, plus a gym and a Pilates studio overlooking stunning views if you want to balance out the relaxation with a little physical movement. 

Hotel Bagni Vecchi – Italy

We sound like a broken record but once again, it’s the views at Hotel Bagni Vecchi that entice people to this glorious region of Italy. Surrounded by the beauty of the Stelvio National Park, the spa has 9 natural thermal pools, as well as hydromassage pools and a wow-factor Roman bath carved inside an ancient grotto. Of course, there’s the stunning outdoor infinity pool that offers magnificent views and is heated in the winter so you can spend hours enjoying the peaceful scenery. Its understated luxury and huge focus on wellbeing make this a great spot for some much-needed R&R.

Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf – Austria

Austria is well-known for its wellness and spa offerings and one of our top picks is Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf, situated in the Styrian Thermal region. Known as a haven of peace and wellbeing, this place is famous for its thermal spring water and its healing qualities. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to thermal pools each providing endless views of wildflowers and meadows that surround the spa. Using local products from the Styrian region, their treatments celebrate the natural world and you’ll be transported to a more peaceful, harmonious state of mind which you’ll carry with you even after you’ve returned home. If you’re after a traditional Austrian thermal spa experience, this is the place to book.

READ MORE: H&H Guide To Planning A Last-Minute Ski Weekend