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WALK YOUR WAY TO FEELING GREAT ✔ 8 kit essentials ✔ Your 2 week






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“My go-to vitamin is Per fectil. I really feel my skin and hair are radiant and shining.”

From Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets, Holland & Barrett, health stores, pharmacies With biotin which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin, plus selenium and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair and nails. *UK’s No1 beauty supplement brand for skin, hair and nails. Nielsen GB ScanTrack Total Coverage Unit Sales 52 w/e 9 September 2017.

Time to stretch your legs! Is there a better month than May? It’s certainly one of my favourites, full of possibility and excitement brimming up just under the surface. It’s the perfect time to head outside – so we’ve got all the inspiration you need to get ready for a wonderful, active summer in our brilliant 27-page walking section. New studies show that walking with increased intensity is amazing for your health, so we’ve got ways to improve your walking style (p54) and go from slow to speedy with our two-week walking plan (p44), plus you can discover wonderful kit essentials and walking holidays (p59 & 66). As if that’s not enough we’re also developing our inner grit (p14), learning new ways to power up our pelvic floor (p24) and asking the experts for the latest on the calorie counting debate that’s made the headlines (p20), plus much, much more. Now all you have to do is enjoy!

Sally Saunders x

Why I love May... I have two words for you: bank holidays! The summer kicks off for me this month with lovely long weekends to enjoy – and maybe the chance get outside in some sunshine!

This month I’m... STRAPPING on my supportive Strive Montana walking sandals and enjoying getting outside without any socks on!

SWAPPING... my hard black winter eyeliner for a softer Bobbi Brown gel in Espresso.

Acting editor, Top Santé

FIND US ONLINE: /TopSantemagazine TopSanteUK TopSanteUK THE TOP SANTÉ MANIFESTO At Top Santé we believe every woman has the ability to maximise her health and beauty at any age and regardless of her health history. With a balanced diet, effective exercise and a positive mindset, you can stay younger for longer, inside and out. We’ll bring you the

UNCREASING my forehead while I sleep with a Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask – my eyebrow furrow gets better every day!

latest information regarding wellbeing, fitness, food and beauty, empowering you to make informed choices now and for your future health. What’s gone before can’t be undone or redone, so leave it in the past and focus on what you can change today. We’re here to help you on that path to better health, one small step at a time.





Kelsey Media, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent TN16 3AG

OUR CONTRIBUTORS Meet the people who helped produce this issue… Laura Spicer

EDITORIAL Acting Editor Sally Saunders Editor Katy Sunnassee Art Director Jennifer Ratcliff Managing Editor Yvonne Martin Features Editor Katherine Watt Deputy Features Editor Larissa Chapman Beauty Editor Natalie Millman Editorial Assistant Vicky Hackney-Williams

Laura is an NHS midwife working at the Women’s Health Clinic, who is known as the ‘kegel queen’ because of her knowledge of the pelvic floor, and gives her expert advice in our feature. This month she is going to the Brighton Festival: ‘It’s a fantastic atmosphere and my kids love it. I’m so excited I’ve scheduled my holidays around it!’

ADVERTISEMENT SALES Tiger Bee Media Commercial Director Nikki Peterson 0203 5100849 Commercial Manager Clare Osbourne 07876 594762, 07484 386522 PRODUCTION AT Graphics Copy Production Manager Melanie Cooper 01733 362701 MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Publisher Kevin McCormick Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker Print Production Manager Nicola Pollard Print Production Controller Georgina Harris Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell SUBSCRIPTIONS ● 13 issues of Top Sante are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £48.10 ● Europe annual subscription price: £62 ● USA & Canada annual subscription price: £62 ● Rest of the World annual subscription price: £68 CONTACT US UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543 747 Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543 747 Toll free USA subscription orderline: 1-888-777-0275 Customer service email address: Customer service and subscription postal address: Top Sante Customer Service Team Kelsey Publishing Ltd, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent, TN16 3AG, UK Find current subscription offers at Buy back issues at Already a subscriber? Manage your subscription online at DISTRIBUTION Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT Tel: 020 7429 4000 PRINTING William Gibbons & Sons Ltd

Kelsey Media 2018 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit, or call 01959 543524.If you have any questions, please ask as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: or 01959 543524. Top Santé is available for licensing worldwide. For more information, contact




Joanna Nylund Joanna is a translator, journalist, copywriter and photographer, who lives in Helsinki. She wrote a book about Sisu, the Finnish word for inner courage and perseverance, which we discuss in our feature. ‘I’m really looking forward to going for runs on the gorgeous islands of Helsinki in the warm spring sunshine,’ she says.


Dr Yoshifumi Miyazaki p54

Roger Love Roger is a personal trainer based in Hackney, East London, who concentrates on people wanting to look and feel great for day-to-day life. He gives advice on how to upgrade your walk in our special section. ‘This month I will be training for the 100km London 2 Brighton walking ultra-challenge,’ he says.

Dr Yoshifumi Miyazaki is the author of Shinrin-yoku, which we discuss in our countryside walking feature. He says: ‘I’m looking forward to the change of season and experiencing forest therapy in different weather.’








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HEALTH 14 Stronger from the inside Discover the Finnish feeling of sisu. 20 Should we count calories? What's key – quality or quantity? 24 Power up your pelvic floor Five ways to protect your muscles. 30 The big brain game Keep your mind in top condition. 33 Herbal heroes We look at the power of sage. 34 Pumping iron How much does your body need? 37 Your healthy home The latest feel-good homewares. 41 Ask the experts Your health questions answered. 44 From slow to speedy Our two-week walking plan to increase your speed and fitness. 48 Perfect your posture Prevent injury with our exercises. 50 Get some vitamin N Enjoy the power of nature. 52 Bare essentials Why we all need to go barefoot. 54 Upgrade your walk Easy ways to up your intensity. 59 8 kit essentials The perfect gear to set you off. 66 Your adventure starts here Wonderful walking holidays.

Throw off your shoes and socks for some barefoot walking. See page 52

ON THE COVER Top Santé is now the UK’s fastest growing health magazine for women!* 20 How many calories should you eat? 43 Walk your way to feeling great 72 Exercises to keep you slim through the menopause. 77 Stronger, fitter, healthier. 92 What to say to get the haircut you want. 108 Get ready to go al fresco with gorgeous meat-free burgers.

EVERY MONTH 09 Your healthy start News and new releases for a healthy, happy May. 98 Free for you Win a luxury two-night spa break for two, plus other great goodies! 118 Loving the healthy life Reader feedback and tips, plus team talk. 122 My life in health Carole Smillie on exercise, guilty pleasures and happiness.






SUBSCRIBE TO TOP SANTÉ Try 3 issues for just £5! That's a saving of a p28 fantastic 54%

FITNESS 70 Fitness news New workouts and kit to try. 72 Master the menopause Exercise tips to help you feel fit and well every day. 77 Stronger and fitter than ever 55-year old Angela overhauled her health and fitness regime. 81 Ask the experts Your fitness questions answered.

BEAUTY 84 Beauty news Products for Hollywood glamour, plus the latest facial SPFs. 86 Spring blooms We take a look at the plants and flowers that benefit your skin. 90 Beauty toolkit Update your dressing table with these glamour-giving gadgets. 92 How to speak hairdresser What you need to say to get the perfect haircut every time. 96 My super 6 Jane Cunningham reveals her top tips and must-have products. 97 Ask the experts Your beauty questions answered. Knowing what to say to your hairdresser will result in more good hair days. See page 92

Rustle up midweek meals to keep you strong. See page 102

FOOD 100 Food news Eats, treats and gadgets for a healthy, wholesome May. 102 Strength for supper Get stronger with our speedy, muscle-building dishes. 108 Burgers with bite Delicious meat-free burgers to enjoy al fresco. 115 Ask the experts Your nutrition questions answered.

Mouth-watering ideas for meat-free burgers. See page 108




MAY Find out about the benefits of ancient dietary habits, eating your greens and holding hands.



It’s natural to gain a little weight around your waist after the menopause, but new research shows that if you follow a Palaeolithic-style diet, you increase your chances of staying slim long term. A recent study by Umea University in Sweden charted women who ate a diet consisting mainly of veg, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, shellfish, seeds, nuts, oils and fruit, and who excluded cereals, milk, refined sugars and added salt. It seems that despite having unlimited food intake, they experienced weight loss that was stable after two years. Their heart strength and resistance to type 2 diabetes also increased.




YOUR MAY READING INSPIRATION New titles to boost inner strength Best for

Empowering Mantras

a bit of for Awesome Women a boost (£7.99, Cico). This handbag-sized collection of stylishly-presented mantras and quotes is designed to give you an inspirational boost while out and about.

Best for

The Little Book of

some humour Emotional

Intelligence: How to flourish in a crazy world (£9.99, John Murray Learning). With witty dialogue, inspiring quotes and practical tips, this book helps you to channel into ‘intelligent living’ so you can transform your thinking towards living a ‘full-colour, high-definition, surround-sound way of life’.

Best for

MINDFULNESS FOR MATES Popular meditation app buddhify has introduced a new feature where users can send some free-of-charge tracks to friends or family who don’t have the app. The ‘Give’ feature allows you to send more than 35 specially-tailored tracks according to your recipient’s health or emotional needs. The app is available for a single upfront fee of £4.99.

Emotional Success:

social strength The motivational

power of gratitude, compassion and pride (£16.99, Bluebird). Psychologist David DeSteno talks about the power of ‘pro-social’ emotions in this book, and how strengthening them can lead you to develop better physical and mental health.


It’s one of the lesser-known nutrients, but the importance of vitamin K for heart health is coming into focus. One in three people had low vitamin K levels in a general populationbased study from Groningen University in Denmark, and this rose to around 50 per cent among people who had heart-related conditions, showing a significant link. A connection was also spotted between low levels of vitamin K and increased diabetes and blood pressure problems. Keep your levels topped up by eating plenty of seasonal greens and dairy. A couple of portions a day of each will be enough.

‘However diff icult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.’ Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018.



The handy way to pain relief If you or your partner are experiencing pain, then respite could be as simple as reaching for their hand, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s thanks to ‘interpersonal synchronisation’ of romantic partners’ brainwaves and heart rates when they hold hands. This ‘empathetic touch’ helps to activate pain-killing mechanisms in the brain, so reducing discomfort.


The annual charity campaign Fashion Targets Breast Cancer has returned for 2018 and will run for six weeks to raise funds for life-saving research ( Collections from M&S, Debenhams, River Island and SimplyBe are available in-store and online now, with 30 per cent of the price going to the charity. We like the slogan T-shirts, which come in white, grey, black or Bretton stripe (£15, marks and spencer. com).




Scientists have been looking at the way we form opinions of people’s personalities going purely by their voice. Researchers from Aix-Marseille University tweaked a recording of the word ‘bonjour’ to adjust the pitch or intonation slightly in different places, then analysed people’s responses. They discovered that when ‘bonjour’ went down at the end, with the emphasis on the second syllable, the speaker was considered to be determined. However, when the intonation rises quickly at the end, the speaker was able to inspire trust.


an old English word for twilight, which is particularly beautiful if you enjoy an evening stroll at this time of year.


... new over 55-year-olds are expected to join Facebook in the UK. It seems they’re drawn to the forum-like element of the platform. Bang those bongos There are exciting new discoveries for stroke survivors and their loved-ones. Percussion exercises – such as gripping sticks and shakers, and hitting drums or cymbals – can speed up stroke recovery, say Anglia Ruskin University researchers. The combo of co-ordination and focus provides a good neurological workout.



Discovering the apps that make living a naturally healthy life a breeze! APP NAME: Brushlink Stronger, healthier teeth mean better resistance to disease. But, almost half of adults actually miss a quarter of their teeth when brushing. The Brushlink app (£23.99, has a tracking device that transforms any toothbrush into a smart brush by monitoring and providing brushing guidance (£23.99,





STRONGER from the inside

In this season of fresh beginnings, discover how cultivating the Finnish feeling ‘sisu’ will help you face life with a renewed spirit.



FEW WEEKS AGO, IT looked as though spring had truly sprung, providing that extra incentive to shrug off winter-mode and start up new hobbies or fitness adventures. And then came the so-called ‘Beast from the East’, bringing the UK to a standstill thanks to blizzards and black ice. But if you were one of those who carried on regardless – shoveling your way through the drifts and embracing the chance to build a snowman – then you’re an example of someone with resilience. This trait is one we all need to call on at certain points in life, and for Finns – for whom snow is par for the course – it’s deeply rooted in the psyche. They even have a word for it – sisu (pronounced see-soo), which is the latest Nordic notion taking the world by storm, and means a ‘gut-felt’ quality of inner courage and perseverance. ‘Sisu stands for a cluster of traits that includes stoic determination, hardiness, courage, bravery, willpower, tenacity and resilience,’ explains Joanna Nylund, author of Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage (£10, Octopus Books). ‘Sisu is an action-oriented mindset: it comes into play as you take on a challenge that might initially seem to be beyond your capacity.’ Perhaps more commonly referred to as good old-fashioned grit, or to coin an old

Tap into sisu by spending a little time outside in nature every day to restore, recharge and boost your self reliance.

phrase, ‘the Blitz spirit’, this inner strength is something we can all exhibit in times of trouble. But, perhaps we could also do with more of it in our day-to-day lives. That’s because this particular tenacity that allows you to pursue goals despite setbacks tends to be displayed by people who are more successful, according to research by Angela Duckworth, a psychologist and author of Grit (£9.99, Vermillion). And even if you don’t quite rock resilience just yet, you can certainly grow it by fostering the right mindset. Here’s how…


Resilient people tend not to wait for things to fi x themselves or stand by feeling helpless, but instead they’re ‘active copers’. This sense that you can make things happen, rather than being a powerless bystander, is called ‘agency’. ‘Agency is present if you deliberately make a choice about your life’s future,’ explains psychologist Rick Hanson, author of new book Resilient (£12.99, Rider Books). ‘With agency you are being active rather than passive, taking the initiative rather than being swept along by events.’


‘Look for experiences in which there is a real sense of making something happen or pushing


for all magazine readers*


SSH50 *Ts & Cs apply


Being aware of all that’s good in your life boosts resilience... so write it down!


Increase your awareness of what’s good in your life and you’ll bounce back faster when life delivers a setback. Actively counting your blessings has been found to not only to boost resilience, but also bolster self-esteem, optimism and even give you better quality sleep. Giving thanks acts as a buffer

against negative emotion. In one study, participants who wrote down three things they were grateful for each day had marked improvements in mental health, according to research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies. When they stopped recording, they stopped flourishing, but the happiness boost returned as soon as they resumed tracking their thanks.

Be Great, Be Grateful (£12.99, Patternity) is a gorgeous way to log your thanks, featuring gratitude logs, creative exercises, playful prompts and a selection of uplifting quotes. Notice the emotions that arise in you from logging good things, then think about what else, however small, you are grateful for in your life. TS




241 52



322 Should we


New government advice tells us to eat 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner. We ask, do we focus on quality or quanitity?




EEPING YOUR weight in check is not easy, and if the headlines of the last few weeks are to be believed, it’s because none of us realise how much we are eating! ‘Calorie creep’ is the phenomenon by which we all eat significantly more calories than we own up to – to other people, or ourselves. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the average person in this country consumes 50 per cent more calories than they realise, women typically taking in 800 extra, men 1,000. To counteract this, Public Health England (PHE), a government agency from the Department of Health, last month released new guidelines for calorie consumption, stating that we should eat 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner. But there was an immediate backlash from other nutrition experts, so we asked them to explain the calorie counting clash.

✔ PORTION CONTROL IS KEY Dr Alison Tedstone, hief nutritionist at PHE chief


‘Extra calories cause unhealthy weight gain’ Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE) says: ‘Adults are consuming on average 200 to 300 more calories than they need each day. Over time, these extra calories build up and can cause unhealthy weight gain. ‘Excess calories are contributing to our country’s growing obesity problem, causing a range of health issues including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers – treating obesity is costing the NHS around £6 billion per year. ‘Adults consume around a quarter

‘The 400600-600 tip can help people make healthier choices.’

of their calories from eating out, with many unsure how many calories they need each day. The campaign aims to help people become more aware of the calories they consume on the go, whether picking up breakfast on the way to work, having lunch at their desks, or when buying everyday meals. ‘Major retailers – including Greggs, McDonalds, Starbucks and Subway – are promoting a range of options to help their millions of customers fi nd 400 and 600 calorie meals. ‘It’s clear that excess calories are driving weight gain for many. Busy lives and too much food mean we’re often eating more than we realise – especially when we’re grabbing food out and about. This can have a significant impact on our waistlines and our health. ‘The 400-600-600 tip can help people make healthier choices when eating and drinking on the go. It’s encouraging to see major high street companies promoting lower calorie options, and we hope that more will follow suit.’ TOPSANTÉ 21

Rob Hobson, head of nutrition and author

‘Portion size will help control energy intake’

CONCENTRATE ON QUALITY NOT QUANTITY Jeanette Hyde, nutritional therapist

Rob Hobson, Healthspan head of nutrition and author of Cheats & Eats, says: ‘It comes as no surprise that Brits’ portion sizes are out of whack. The portion size of the food you eat will undoubtedly make a difference to your overall calorie intake. Saying that, the type of foods you eat can impact on satiety and overall health, which is why it’s often said that not all calories are created equally. ‘The portion sizes of manufactured foods have increased, which has skewed peoples’ perceptions. There was a time when a “sweet treat” came as a 30g pack of sweets but now most people buy these in “sharing packs”. Such packs come with a “treatwise” recommended portion size of 25g, but how many people understand what that looks like? How many check the back of the pack and once opened, and how many seal the pack up for another day?

‘Feeding your microbiome holds the key’


’Understanding portion size and what that actually looks like is difficult, and even many trained professionals have to refer to guidance on the topic. Sizes need to be represented as practical units that people can understand. Food portions given in calorie equivalents are useful – as long as people understand the number of calories they need. ‘One alternative concept offered by The Royal Society of Public Health is to show the amount of exercise required to burn off the calories from a portion of food, which could help people to associate portion size with activity, but given the size restrictions of food packets this is probably not a viable option. ‘Using a smaller plate helps people understand how much to eat. Teamed with the basic concepts of mindful eating (slowly, chewing the food properly) while preparing healthy meals containing a handful of protein and wholegrain carbs, lots of veggies, and a little healthy fat, then it’s even more effective. ‘How you get people to change their eating behaviours and food choices is the real issue and something that poses the greatest challenge to public health.’ 22 TOPSANTÉ

‘When you eat any meal, think about what the bacteria in your gut would enjoy.’

Jeannette Hyde is a leading registered nutritional therapist who runs a private practice in central London, working with clients on gut-related issues to improve wellbeing. She says: ‘If we are worrying about people eating bigger portion sizes and more calories than they admit to, I think we are focusing on out-of-date science that clearly isn’t working for the long term. ‘If you look at the new gut science, what you eat is more important than how many calories are in it. People who follow my Gut Makeover plan often eat a lot of calories, and sometimes more food than they normally would, yet they still lose weight. This is because they are bombarding their body with the right stuff. Each of us has billions of various bacteria living inside our digestive systems and these need to be balanced. ‘When this “microbiome” is healthy you feel less hungry, and put less weight on. So when you eat any meal, it’s about thinking what the bacteria in your gut would enjoy. Extra virgin olive oil, and a wide array of vegetables and fruits with their fibre and colours, enable lots of types of bacteria to thrive. You can also add friendly bacteria into the gut via probiotic fermented foods — my go-tos are fermented milk kefi r (full fat!) or live sauerkraut (the type you fi nd in fridges). ‘Apparently it takes on average 17 years for new research to hit frontline doctors’ surgeries. Perhaps this is why the science of the microbiome isn’t on the public agenda yet, and it may take many more years before Public Health England are focusing on what we and our microbiomes eat, rather than on our calorie count.’



Sarah Flower, author and nutritionist

‘The “eat less, move more” ideal for weight loss is flawed.’ Sarah Flower, author and nutritionist, says: ‘Public Health England have come up with the suggestion we should all reduce our calories and has asked manufacturers to reduce calories by 20 per cent in the next five to six years. Is this really going to combat obesity? I think not. ‘The “eat less, move more” ideal for weight loss is fundamentally flawed. We eat less fat than ever before, yet obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s are all increasing rapidly. Actually, we do more recreational exercise than we have ever done. We eat less fat than ever, yet we are getting fatter and sicker. Children are getting type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Is it really the down to the quantity of food or the quality? ‘The philosophy of reducing calories in order to allow the body to burn any unwanted fat sounds feasible

‘I say stop chasing calories and start looking at the quality of the food you eat.’

but the reality is very different. Reducing calories works short term, but our bodies learn to adjust to the lower calorie intake. A high carbohydrate/low calorie diet stimulates a hormone called ghrelin which encourages us to eat more. Our leptin response – which signals to the brain when we are full – is turned off by a high carb, high fructose diet, so a low-calorie diet increases food cravings.


‘In our quest for calorie counting, we have seen a rise in foods all claiming to be low calorie and low fat, therefore healthy — yet that is far from the truth. The new guidelines from PHE are a manufacturer’s dream. They have been given the green light to reduce their portion sizes by 20 per cent, while no doubt keeping prices the same, and they can then claim their product is more healthy. ‘I say stop chasing calories and start looking at the quality of the food you eat. A diet of real food is the fi rst and foremost change everyone should make. By avoiding processed, man-made foods, we will cut out unnecessary sugars and unhealthy fats, replacing them with nutrientrich foods in their more natural state. Basically, it is not the food that’s at fault but what we have done to it.’ TS

‘A diet of real food is the first and foremost change everyone should make’


Power up your



XERCISING HAS MANY benefits for your body and soul, but it’s not all about toning your arms and tum – sometimes it’s the little muscles you can’t see that will bring you the biggest gains. Yes, we’re talking kegels, elevator lifts, or whatever else you want to call those oh-so-crucial pelvic floor exercises. But, if you fi nd yourself forgetting them more often than not, it might be time to think again. Recent research shows that as well as the obvious result of keeping your bladder and bowels strong, tighter muscles down there improve sexual sensation and orgasm potential – so there’s something to look forward to! The importance of strengthening this muscle group, which runs from your tailbone to pubic bone, usually comes to the fore after 24 TOPSANTÉ

Better sexual sensation and more orgasms are among the many benefits.

you’ve had children. Then as you head towards menopause, hormones such as oestrogen, which help keep your muscles strong, can wane. But, kegel queen from The Women’s Health Clinic, Laura Spicer, says around 90 per cent of the women she talks to in the clinic aren’t doing the exercises correctly. ‘The trick is to squeeze your internal muscles without sucking your tummy in or clenching your buttocks,’ says Laura. ‘Many people believe this is the muscle group you use when you attempt to stop urinating, and although these are part of the “hammock” of pelvic floor muscles, it is by no means the complete group. So it’s a bit like only working your legs and ignoring your upper body!’ Once you’ve perfected this, there are other tweaks that you could make to protect those pelvic muscles, but fi rst things fi rst…



It’s not just about the occasional clenching – if you really want to look after your pelvic floor muscles we’ve got five simple ways to do it.




To ensure you’re working your pelvic floor properly, start by completely relaxing the muscles in your thighs, bottom and stomach. Then in turn, squeeze in the muscles at the front, as if you’re trying to stop weeing mid-flow. Then clench further up (as if you were squeezing the length of a tampon), and back around your bottom. Try to identify and even visualise this hammock of muscles when you contract them all together – holding for 2-4 seconds – before completely relaxing for a couple of seconds then repeating, remembering to breathe normally. Nothing above your belly button should tighten, but some tensing of the lower abdominals is normal.


Your pelvic floor muscles form the base of your wider core muscle group, including your abdominals, back muscles and diaphragm. That means when you do exercises that focus on these areas – such as squats, crunches and bridges – you can sneak in some extra kegels. You’re probably already familiar with this if you attend yoga classes, where it’s common to imagine clenching upwards like a zip before doing poses. Here’s how to work it into a hip bridge: l Lay on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place a football-sized ball or rolled up towel between your legs if that helps you



The stronger your muscles, the longer you’ll stay healthy – and your posture is part of this. Not only will better posture decrease the load on your pelvis, keeping it stronger, but you’ll be better able to do pelvic floor exercises when you sit, stand and walk correctly too. When standing, keep your spine long and the crown of your head towards the ceiling, but with a natural, inward curve in your lower back. Tuck your chin under slightly so it’s not jutting forward, and keep shoulders relaxed back and down. When seated, keep the same long spine with a natural curve, your feet hip-width apart and your weight balanced evenly across your body. Then commence the clenching!


clench your hips and thighs. l Inhale slowly for a count of four or five throughout the exercise. On an inhale, consciously engage the pelvic floor hammock then lift your hips. l Ensure your shoulders and upper back stay on the floor, with your arms straight down at your sides, palms on the floor. Keep squeezing your kegel and glute muscles and don’t overarch your back. l Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly lower your hips as you breathe out and release. l Work up to doing it 10 times.




Although your pelvic floor is incredibly strong, prolonged stress (such as from bad posture, or multiple pregnancies), and weight gain can weaken it. ‘If you have a higher BMI, I would suggest losing weight as you’re adding pressure to an area that’s already experienced gradual

ageing and stress,’ says Laura. ‘Don’t forget that it is possible to self-refer to a women’s physiotherapist via your GP. This will not only give you practical advice on how to lose weight, but also how to future-proof your pelvic floor depending on your individual needs.’



Take the pressure off your muscles with an alkaline diet. A build-up of waste or toxins here can cause irritation and weakness. As well as staying well-hydrated and eating plenty of fibre-rich wholegrains and leafy greens to avoid constipation, have foods that are low in acid, as this reduces the risk of bladder infections. These include fruits such as bananas and melons, and veg including carrots, beetroot and broccoli. Avoid acidic or irritating food and drinks such as tomatoes, citrus fruit, caffeine and refined sugar too.


BEST BUYS The latest innovations mean there’s plenty of choice when it comes to treatments l Innovo Therapy (£249, This gadget allows you to wrap a set of toners around your thighs to electronically stimulate the pelvic floor, doing the work for you in a 30-minute session. l Kegel8 (from £89.99, The best-known trainer on the market, it includes an insertable bit, plus electrodes which gently stimulate the area for you on up to 20 different cycles. l Gynomunal (£5.99, This moisturising gel contains vitamin E, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance that provides a protective film for damaged tissues. l Perfect Pelvic Floor Exerciser (from £69, This comes with a rear insertable so you can train all regions of the pelvic floor. It shows you the correct procedure using electrical impulses. l Elvie (£169, This award-winning insertable connects to a phone app so you can choose different five-minute workouts to squeeze to! l Nu-V (£499, available at nine clinics across the UK, see This is a 15-minute procedure that can help kick-start the recovery of damaged cells or lax skin around the muscle group. TS


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Ingredients: Hop extract (Humulus lupulus), tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E), purified water, propylene glycol, denatured ethanol, soya lecithin (E322), carbomer, sodium hydroxide, sodium methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate (E219), cholesterol, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium edetate, hyaluronic acid, sodium propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate (E217).

0477 0477

1.MoraliG,PolattiF,MetelitsaEN,MascarucciP,MagnaniP,MarrèGB.Open,non-controlledclinicalstudiestoassesstheefficacyandsafetyofamedicaldeviceinformofgeltopicallyandintravaginallyusedinpostmenopausalwomenwithgenitalatrophy.Arzneimittelforschung. 0477 2006;56(3):230-8.Manufacturer: Polichem SA, Via Senago 42D, 6912 Lugano Pazzallo, Switzerland. Authorized Representative: Bioselecta srl, Via G. Marcora 11, 20121 Milan, Italy. Distributor: Cederberg GmbH, 4102 Binningen, Switzerland. UK-G-A-044-E-2018-03

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We all know how to get physically strong, but what are the best ways to keep your brain in top condition? Dr Lisa Mosconi says it might be a lot more fun than you think…



N TOP OF EATING healthily and keeping physically active, there’s a consensus among scientists that exercising your brain intellectually slows down ageing and cuts the risk of cognitive impairment later in life. New research boosts the ‘use it or lose it’ theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp, by showing that people who retire at an early age have an increased risk of developing dementia. Of course there are retirement stories both ways. Some people have a great time, others seem to go downhill physically or mentally

after their last day at work. Research shows that, on average, work seems to keep people active, socially connected, and mentally challenged, so much so that among nearly half a million people, those who delayed retirement by just a few years showed less risk of getting dementia. For each additional year of work, the risk went down by three per cent. This is not to say that you should work forever. Rather, the key is to stay intellectually engaged throughout your life. For example, a study of more than 400 older people, most of whom were retirees, showed that those who regularly engaged in intellectual activity had a 54 per cent reduced risk of cognitive decline.





So what qualifies as an ‘intellectual activity’? It can be anything from doing crossword puzzles and brainteasers to reading books and newspapers. Other options might be writing, playing music, joining a book club, or going to a show you enjoy. In fact, brain imaging studies show that lifelong participation in such activities slows down, and may even prevent, the accumulation of Alzheimer’s plaques, therefore protecting the brain against ageing and dementia. This brings us to a hot topic in the anti-ageing field. In recent years, there has been an explosion of computer-based cognitive training

Brain training software may work – but a trip to the theatre with friends is probably better.

software, popularly known as ‘brain games’. This online programming claims to make you more intelligent and improve your memory, while bumping up your IQ a few points at the same time. I’m often asked what I think about these brain-fitness products. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about them. On the one hand, some clinical trials show that cognitive training can improve performance in older people. For example, a study of almost 3,000 people showed that taking part in a brain-training programme led to improved memory, reasoning, and processing speed after just a few weeks. On the other hand, there are TOPSANTÉ 31

several trials with negative results or that report minimal improvements. When we look at the data as a whole, it turns out that this sort of cognitive training is only modestly effective at improving cognitive performance in older adults. In the end, as with any drug or treatment with therapeutic claims, these products need rigorous testing in clinical trials before any conclusion about their efficacy is clear. In the meantime, here’s my advice: if an hour spent on software drills, sitting alone in front of your computer or tablet, is done at the expense of walking, reading a book, or going to a show with your friends, then it’s probably not worth it. If, however, you choose to play these brain games instead of sitting in bed or on the couch mindlessly watching TV, by all means, play brain games instead.


You might be surprised to learn that, among all the intellectual activities at our disposal, the human brain seems to actually have a favourite. It loves board games the most. Several studies have identified playing board games as the intellectual activity most consistently linked with a reduced risk of dementia. This makes sense, since playing board games is a highly stimulating activity. Far from merely being a source of entertainment, these games typically promote complex reasoning and planning, as well as memory skills. Plus, you’re interacting with other people and are motivated to beat them. Some board games can be really challenging, such as chess. Card games are also included in this group, proving to be as effective as board games when it comes to brain benefits. As anyone who’s ever tried playing bridge would know, some card games can be real brain teasers.


As you might notice, all these games promote social interaction and often reinforce multigenerational bonding too. For many families, playing Scrabble on a rainy day makes for 32 TOPSANTÉ

A study showed that those who played board games had a 15 per cent lower risk of dementia in later life compared to non-players.

a special memory. In Italy it is quite common to fi nd groups of retirees playing Briscola (a Mediterranean card game) while sipping espresso with grandchildren on their laps. So in order to keep your brain busy, my personal suggestion is to try board ames. It is an excellent way to spend games. me with family and friends while time ngaging intellectually at the same engaging me. In Italy, I grew up playing time. ombola (or, as you probably call it, tombola ingo), with my grandparents and bingo), f iends alike, which always made for friends a fun, cosy Sunday afternoon or a memorable Christmas Eve. Now that I’m older, I play tombola with my nieces and their grandparents, and I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to join in. And remember, whichever game you choose, play hard! TS

Brain Food – How to Eat Smart and Sharpen Your Mind by Dr Lisa Mosconi, Published by Penguin Life, Trade Paperback, £14.99






Sage has expectorant properties, which help loosen up mucous. So if you have a cough, gargle with a sage infusion made from crushed leaves steeped in hot water or simply chew on some.


The Latin name for sage is salvus, which means ‘healthy’ and with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it’s easy to understand why. Its essential oils help heal cuts when applied with a little Vaseline or coconut oil. Or for daily hydrating hand care you could try a targeted cream such as Yope Salvia and Green Caviar Hand Cream (£8



From easing a cough, to boosting your brain, this month we sing the praises of sage.

There’s a reason ‘sage’ is another word for ‘wise’. In a study, people who took 50-150mg sage oil tablets did better at word recall tests than those who didn’t take them.* So if you’ve got a presentation coming up, inhale sage essential oil or try Vitabiotics Ultra Sage (£5.95,




Lavender isn’t the only herb that helps you de-stress. Sage boosts a neurotransmitter in your brain called acetylcholine, which calms your central nervous system and increases the amount of deeper, REM sleep you get. Try a cup of Heath & Heather Organic Sage & Lemon Myrtle (£2.49,





If you experience hot flushes or night sweats, sage can help by rebalancing the hormones that affect your body temperature. Try A.Vogel Menoforce Sage Tablets (£12.99,



IRON Feeling energised all day is easier when your iron levels are topped up – find out how much you need to eat to feel great.






ITH SO MANY fresh food sources of iron about to come into season, such as spring lamb and leafy greens, it’s really easy to keep your iron levels topped up for an extra spring in your step! So why do we need it? ‘Iron is a vital component of red blood cells,’ explains Nicole Rothband, an NHS dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association ( ‘These are essential for transporting oxygen around the body; without iron, production of these cells is inadequate and, therefore, healthy transportation of oxygen is hindered.’ If you frequently feel tired and lacking in energy, it’s possible that you may not be getting enough iron in your diet. Nicole continues: ‘Iron is essential in the movement, energy production and oxygenation of the body. It’s also essential for normal functioning of the immune system.’ We need slightly more iron during our reproductive years as we lose a small amount every month through menstruation. The recommended daily intake between ages 19 and 50 is 14.8mg, going down to 8.7mg after the menopause.


Curly kale, boiled


There are loads of sources of iron, but here are some of the richest dietary ones to choose from*… *per 100g

Roast lamb, lean meat only


Dried apricots

3.4mg Almonds



‘When iron in the diet is reduced, or we are ar using up more (for example, through heavy o periods) our bodies start to borrow from our level stores in order to keep our blood iron levels Rux constant,’ explains dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Health Food Supplements Information Service ( ‘Once the stores are depleted, we may start to feel the symptoms of deficiency.’ If you’re worried you may be iron deficient, visit your doctor for a blood test. ‘They normally measure both blood and store forms of iron,’ says Dr Ruxton. ‘If both levels are too low, this indicates iron deficiency. But if your blood level is normal and your store level is low, you might be at risk of future deficiency, so it’s time to take action.’

INCREASING YOUR IRON INTAKE For most of us, it should be possible to achieve the amount of iron we need through eating a well-balanced diet. If you are vegetarian or vegan, remember that iron from plant-based sources is not as easily absorbed as iron from animal-based sources.

Grilled lean steak


Tinned tuna in brine


Edamame beans



2.1mg Eggs, boiled


Chicken liver, fried,

11.3mg TOPSANTÉ 35


BUILD UP YOUR INTAKE Nicole Rothband suggests tasty ways to increase your iron every day!








Iron-fortified breakfast cereal (e.g. Weetabix or Fruit ‘n Fibre) with added chopped fresh fruit, or dried fruit, such as raisins, figs, apricots and mixed seeds or chopped nuts.


Nicoise salad (tuna, eggs, and green beans are all sources of iron, plus potato and tomato are good sources of vitamin C). Sprinkle with seeds to boost iron content.

Stir-fried beef with edamame beans, sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, Chinese leaf/cabbage and sesame seeds, served with egg noodles. For a vegetarian option, use tofu instead.






Porridge with added chopped dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

Houmous and rocket sandwich on iron-fortified white bread or wheatgerm bread. (Ensure it contains tahini or add some yourself to boost the iron.)

Seared fresh tuna steak with avocado and tomato salsa and rocket and watercress salad.

FIVE WAYS TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR DIET ● Blueiron (£14.99, 330ml, Contains immune-boosting vitamin C-rich wild blueberries to enhance iron absorption. A glucose-free version is also available. ● Spatone Liquid Iron (plain £11.99, apple £12.49, Naturally 36 TOPSANTÉ

iron-rich water from Snowdonia National Park. Add a sachet to a glass of water or juice for easy use.

vitamin C, B6, B12, folic acid and copper, which contribute to the normal functioning of your immune system.

● Vitabiotics Feroglobin Fizz (£5.85, 20 tablets This effervescent formula makes a great alternative to capsules. It also contains

● Floradix Liquid Iron Formula (£10.99, 250ml, This formula contains herbal extracts, as well as various fruit juice concentrates for a

pleasant flavour. It also contains vitamins B2, B6, B12 and C. ● Together Health WholeVit™ Gentle Iron complex (£7.99, 30 capsules Includes food-based iron, as well as vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. TS



For your bathroom


To cut the amount of chemicals you bring into your home, use these House of Bath No-Scratch Copper Cloths (£9.95 for six, to remove limescale, rust and stains. They’re non-abrasive as well as anti-bacterial and washable.

Your healthy

HOME For your kitchen

Support your wellbeing and create your healthiest environment with the latest feel-good homewares. For your bedroom



Bring a blast of freshness to your room with one of the five new Aroma Sprays from French brand Saint Côme (£11.99, Each contains 100 per cent pure essential oils and none of the nasties associated with some aerosol fresheners. Choose Lavender-Rosemary if you’re looking to unwind, Orange-Palmarosa to rejuvenate, Lemon-Cedar to freshen, Mint-Eucalyptus to purify, and Thyme-Cinnamon to stimulate the senses.

For your garden



May bank holidays are made for al-fresco eating and this new Tropical Palm range (from £2.95, is ideal. The plates, boxes, beaker and tray are made from bamboo, which is eco-friendly and contains none of the harmful PVC or BPA that some plastics do.


The high life expectancy of the Japanese is mostly down to their diet, so why not pop these Japanese Cultivate & Eat Growing Bags (£16, on your kitchen shelf and produce your own micro herbs from seed. The set includes Shiso, aka Japanese basil, Wasabina Mustard Greens, and Hawk Claw Chilli Pepper – all great in salads and noodle dishes.

For your whole house


The scent of lemons gives your house a lovely, fresh zing but this clever citrus is also great at giving mirrors a shine. Mix 2tbsp fresh lemon juice in 2 litres of warm water and use a lint-free cloth to clean your mirrors free of dust and grease. The mix also works as a great window cleaner so let the light flood in this spring! TOPSANTÉ 37


A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION A healthy tummy can help you enjoy a happy body and mind – now the Top Santé team and readers are trying Symprove to give their good bacteria a boost.


Last month we launched our Symprove campaign, in which a group of our editorial team and readers are taking part in Symprove’s 12-week programme to rebalance their gut bacteria. Last issue we introduced our testers and shared a little about our health. Now discover how we got on... 38 TOPSANTÉ


I had a lot of stomach gurgles for the first few hours after drinking Symprove for the first couple of days, which I quite enjoyed after watching the video on Symprove’s website – I could actually envisage the magic potion filling every part of my bowel and lovingly coating it! I had a dodgy tummy for the first two days, but it soon settled down. Two weeks in and I can safely say there is a dramatic improvement! I’m a keen runner and I’ve had to accept that running often leads to accidents for me, which can be quite upsetting. But I went for a 4k run three nights ago and felt absolutely nothing, not even a bowel spasm or twinge of ’need to go’ at all, so that was great. I have also noticed that my stomach is not bloated like it used to be especially first thing in the morning, this was also noticed by my other half, and the waistband on my jeans!


I have been using Symprove for a week and I can’t actually believe the difference already. After the second day I noticed that I wasn’t as bloated and my tummy didn’t feel as irritable. I was a bit sceptical about it, but it is

definitely working. My pains have significantly reduced and my bowels are more regular. I am looking forward to seeing further improvements over the next few weeks.


I must admit, the smell wasn’t very appealing but I’ve got used to the taste now! I feel absolutely great and I know the Symprove is having some positive effects. I’m having much less bloating and my stomach is looking flatter, my overall digestion seems to have improved as I’m not getting as constipated! I also feel I’ve got a bit more energy. I’m feeling really keen to continue and see how it goes over the next few weeks.


I still suffer from constipation and bad wind but I think things are improving slowly. I had some bad stomach pains for the first few days but that has now calmed down. I think the liquid tastes nice, which is a surprise as some of the other probiotics are horrible!


I’ve been keeping a symptom diary, including tracking my happiness level, as I know my mood is linked to gut




UT HEALTH IS A hot topic right now, thanks to the way it links to other aspects of health, from immunity and skin to obesity and the brain. It’s also a major focus because as much as 20 per cent of the population suffers from symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea or constipation. This might be caused by illness or stress, sensitivity to certain foods or it could be down to a change in the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut (your microbiome). If they become unbalanced your system no longer functions as well as it could, and you may start to suffer troubling symptoms.



SALLY My first day on Symprove did not go well – constant gurglings, a bit of cramp and a rather upset tummy was not what I’d been hoping for! Fortunately, after the first couple of days, things started to settle down. It made me realise how important it is to stick with these things. I kept going, and soon got over the adverse effects. That was two weeks ago and I’m continuing to feel better each day. I’ve already started recommending it to people!

health in many ways. During the first week my IBS symptoms have been worse – frequent stomach aches, loose stools and unpleasant excess wind. However, I expected that this would be the case, and anticipated that a truly effective probiotic would cause a certain amount of upheaval before things got better. Over the course of last week I’ve been feeling more positive and cheerful every day, and I’m not put off at all by the tummy aches and upset stomach, as I’m sure it’s a sign that the Symprove is sorting things out in there. If I hadn’t experienced any die-off symptoms I would have felt less sure that Symprove was doing its job!


I find Symprove easy to take first thing in the morning. I feel less bloated, which is a great benefit, and I’m hoping to see even more improvements this week!


I feel less bloated, even after big holiday meals. I’m not the biggest fan of the taste, but I find after taking it in the morning, I’m then inspired to continue making healthier choices all day! My skin is looking clearer than usual too, so it’s definitely making a positive difference. I do get abdominal pain in the morning, but overall, I think it has reduced.

YVONNE I’ve been taking Symprove for a couple of weeks and it may have slightly upset my system. However, I’m looking forward to seeing if improvements come in the weeks ahead. LARISSA Since starting my journey three weeks ago I definitely feel in a better rhythm. My gut feels as though it can handle things better and cope well when thrown off course. It also gives me a boost of a morning, and I don’t know if this is related, but I’m craving less sugary food – it’s like it’s given me a little reset.

WHAT IS SYMPROVE? Symprove is a unique, liquid formulation containing four strains of live and active bacteria. It is clinically proven by independent medical trials to arrive in the gut and thrive so that its live bacteria can get to where they are most needed.


beautifully clear skin, naturally HRI Clear Complexion tablets help keep skin spot-free The natural active herbs in HRI Clear Complexion tablets treat your skin from within to help keep it clear from spots and pimples, or skin problems such as mild acne and eczema. This herbal medicinal product, based on traditional use, is available from Holland & Barrett, Asda, Tesco and leading Boots stores. Certification mark

Always read the label


ASK THE EXPERT Your natural health questions answered...


My periods have become really irregular recently. Is this the menopause starting already? Kathryn, 43



This could be the menopause starting as your hormones can start to decline in your 40s and this stage is called the perimenopause. What you eat at this stage can make the difference between having a difficult or easy time of it. Pay particular attention to adding phytoestrogens to your diet as these foods will help cushion the effects of the hormone rollercoaster as you go through the perimenopause. These include soya, plus chickpeas, lentils, flaxseeds and kidney beans. We know that women who eat a diet rich in phytoestrogens have significantly fewer hot flushes, up to half the amount experienced by women who eat very few phytoestrogens. I also always recommend that women take a good-quality multivitamin and mineral to prepare for and during the menopause. Also, take a good omega-3 fish oil supplement, as deficiencies of this can cause similar symptoms to those that may occur leading up to the menopause.



I’ve been hearing about the dangers of being ‘apple-shaped’ recently. I think this is me. What can I do about it? Alison, 48


Unfortunately storing fat around your middle – so being apple rather than pear-shaped – increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and cancer. Fat in this area is metabolically active, so very different from the inactive fat on your hips or thighs. But there’s a lot you can do to help. Make sure that you’re eating well and keep your blood sugar under control as stress hormones are released when your blood sugar drops and this gives your body the message to store weight around your middle. A number of chemical reactions are involved in turning glucose into energy instead of fat and certain nutrients help this to happen. If you don’t have enough of these, your body will find it harder to lose weight around the middle. To help burn fat, try Natural Health Practice Nutri Support and Amino Support, which contain the nutrients you need (£31.78,

NATURAL HEALTH EXPERT Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is a nutritionist specialising in women’s health (



You can still catch these DREAM CHALLENGES in 2018 - but be fast, time is ticking!

Mount Kilimanjaro Trek

7 - 18 Sept 2018

Hike the Himalayas

26 Oct - 4 Nov 2018

Britain V Cancer - Trek Cambodia

9 - 17 Nov 2018

You Kili-CAN-jaro and scale this impressive summit, taking in everything from glades to rainforests on our life-changing trek. We summit the quieter Lemosho Route, which affords plenty of time to acclimatise to the high altitude. Our experienced mountain guides will lead you safely through the Lemosho Glades and up through pristine rainforest full of exotic flora and fauna. Ascending further we trek across the Shira Plateau.

Intrigued? We’ll summit up: get set to experience pure Himalayan magic as you reach the heights of Nepal’s Poon Hill for sunrise. The challenge is on to raise funds for the charity of your choice. Our adventure takes place in the stunning Annapurna region with plenty of pure Himalayan magic! The highlight of the challenge is to summit Poon Hill (3,210 m), which will give us panoramic views of the highest peaks in the surrounding area.

Be the best of British and take on cancer one footstep at a time in Cambodia. Trek out jungle landscapes and iconic temples on the way. This amazing trekking challenge ends in a spectacular finish at the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Along the way, there will be the opportunity to visit a local school and we will spend one very special night with a Cambodian family for a home stay.

Registration Fee: £399 Fundraising Target: £4,600 OR Tour Cost: £2,295

Registration Fee: £299 Fundraising Target: £3,000 OR Tour Cost: £1,495

Registration Fee: £299 Fundraising Target: £3,000 OR Tour Cost: £1,500

Choose your DREAM CHALLENGE we are ready to help you For further information or to register please get in touch:-

01590 646410 | email:


Walk your way to

GOOD HEALTH We’ll show you how, with expert tips, top kit, and some heavenly places to take a stroll.



HAT BETTER way could there be to enjoy your exercise than to get outside and walk? Whether it’s a gentle 20-minute stroll in your lunch break or a day spent hiking through the mountains, walking is one of our favourite ways to improve physical, emotional and mental health. We know our readers love it too – in our recent survey a whopping 83 per cent of you said you love to walk as exercise. With such a keen following, we decided to focus on walking this month and share new ways to help you enjoy it and get even more out of it. So we’re starting off here with our tailor-made plan to increase your walking speed in two weeks, then learn how to upgrade your walk; we’ve compiled our selection of the latest kit to help you enjoy your hobby, and put together a tempting round-up of some of our favourite walking holidays. So read on and enjoy our brilliant 27-page guide. Your feet will be itching to get out there!




speedy Our plan from walking expert Caroline Sandry uses the latest interval training techniques to help you up your intensity in two weeks!



ALKING IS ONE OF the most basic forms of exercise known to us. But it’s about much more than just getting from A to B. ‘We were born and built to walk, that’s what our bodies were designed for,’ says fitness expert and personal trainer Caroline Sandry ( ‘Walking is a powerful tool we can use to get ourselves fit – plus it doesn’t cost anything, you can do it any time, and it’s much more accessible – and less daunting – than heading out to the gym, or starting a new, complicated fitness regime.’ But it still has all the benefits! Just last month, a new study revealed that walking for at least 40 minutes, several times a week, leads to almost 25 per cent less risk of heart failure in post-menopausal women. ‘We know that physical activity lowers the risk of heart failure, but there may be a misconception that simply walking isn't enough,’ said Dr Somwail Rasla, a cardiology



‘Our analysis shows walking is almost equal to all different types of exercise that have been studied before in terms of lowering heart failure risk. Essentially, we can reach a comparable energetic expenditure through walking that we gain from other types of physical activity.’ The key words in this study are walking ‘medium to fast’. So while we are all keen to ‘get our steps in’, and reach that magical 10,000 a day, not all steps are equal. ‘There’s a difference between just improving your number of steps and increasing your fitness,’ says Caroline. ‘Your intensity and speed are important because when you walk faster you use different muscles. If you go faster you stand up straight, you activate more of your muscles and use them properly. You breathe better and you feel invigorated.’


‘When you’re walking at a good pace you should feel like you can’t sustain it forever, but you feel good, like you’re really working hard,’ says Caroline. ‘That’s when you’ll really see the benefit in terms of weight loss and improvements in your muscles and cardiovascular health.’ Caroline has developed this walking plan to help you increase the length of time you can keep up that intensity, by introducing ‘intervals’ to your walking regime. Interval workouts involve periods of increased effort interspersed with periods of reduced effort. You can complete tougher bits of a workout (the intervals) which when stitched together produce greater results than trying to sustain that higher intensity for one longer effort. It’s intensity that drives calorie burn and energy expenditure, burns more fat and boosts fitness. And these benefits can last beyond the conclusion of your workout. This is due to something known as Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). The more intense a workout is the longer it will take for the previously elevated metabolic processes in your body to return to a steady-state – so you go on burning calories. And if you incorporate intervals and higher intensity sessions regularly into your workouts it’s possible to near permanently increase your metabolic rate – by as much as 20 per cent. TOPSANTÉ 45


specialist at Saint Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts in the US, who conducted the study while at Brown University.

TWOWEEK PLAN Caroline’s plan should take you from casual strolling to happily doing five miles at a speedy pace in just two weeks – bringing you all the benefits of improved health!


Your warm-up speed – not exactly a stroll, but a gentle pace you can build from.

5 out of 10 effort. You could easily chat while doing it.


Walking fairly fast, swinging your arms. A pace you can maintain, but with some effort.

7 out of 10 effort. You could talk to someone but only in more clipped sentences.


Pushing yourself to a pace which makes you breathe harder; a pace that you cannot maintain for very long. Swing your arms and ensure you keep that good posture.

9 out of 10. You’d find it near impossible to sustain a conversation while walking at this pace.







195 260 293 The average walking pace is around 3mph. Figures based on a 65Kg individual. Fitter and/or lighter people will burn fewer calories and heavier and/or less fit people will burn more.








This is your starting point. Here, we’re introducing your body to interval-based walking training.

● Steady 5 min warm-up ● Brisk 2 min ● Very fast 1 min ● Repeat x 4 ● Steady 3 min cool-down


It’s a slightly slower pace today so you’re ready to go for it tomorrow.

● Steady 4 min warm-up ● Alternate brisk 1 min and steady 1 min intervals for 20 min ● Steady 3 min cool-down

Time to ramp up the intensity!

● Steady 4 min warm-up ● Brisk 10 min ● Very fast 1 min/brisk 3 min intervals x 5 ● Steady 6 min cool-down

Today we give your body time to adjust to the changes but there’s still some exercise included to boost recovery should you wish.

● Day off/yoga/swim/stroll 30min


We’re going to increase the interval time now to challenge the heart and legs.

● Steady 4 min warm-up ● Brisk 4 min ● Very fast 2 min/steady 2 min intervals x 5 ● Brisk 10 min ● Steady 5 min cool-down


We increase the time and effort to start really making those positive changes.

● Steady 6 min warm-up ● Very fast 2 min/steady 2 min intervals for 20 min ● Brisk 12 min ● Steady 12 min cool-down


Today we have another interval session.

● Steady 5 min warm-up ● Very fast 1 min/brisk 2 min intervals for 20 min ● Steady 10 min cool-down

8 9

Do something that makes you relax today!

● Day off/stroll/yoga/swim 30 min

We now come back hard after your easy day.

● Steady 2 min warm-up ● Brisk 3 min ● Very fast 2 min/steady 1 min intervals for 20 min ● Brisk 10 min ● Steady 5 min cool-down


This longer, steadier walk should be well within your fitness levels. Aim to cover around 4 miles.

● Steady 3 min warm-up ● Brisk 50 min ● Steady 3 min cool-down


Today we have a slight increase in interval time and intensity to keep your fitness on the up.

● Steady 2 min warm-up ● Brisk 8 min ● Very fast 2.5 min/brisk 1.5 min intervals for 20 min ● Steady 10 min cool-down


We now increase the challenge again with both shorter recovery time and longer intervals.

● Steady 2 min warm-up ● Brisk 3 min ● Very fast 3 min/brisk 1 min intervals for 25 min ● Steady 10 min cool-down

Now we will slightly increase the duration.

● Steady 2 min warm-up ● Brisk 5 min ● Very fast 3 min/brisk 1 min intervals for 30 min ● Brisk 10 min ● Steady 3 min cool-down

Keep up a good pace, pushing forward and see how far you can cover in the hour – your goal is 5 miles.

● Steady 2 min warm-up ● Brisk 60 min ● Steady 3 min cool-down

3 4

13 14


Perfect your

POSTURE With the right walking posture you can focus your energy and avoid injuries. Personal trainer Simon Cass shows you how…


KEEP CHECKING YOUR POSTURE In an ideal world, once you had set yourself in the right posture, you would stay like that… forever! But this isn’t likely, so whenever you have a natural break, check how you’re doing. Pausing before you cross the road? Take a deep breath and stretch your spine. Stopping to take a drink? Make sure your shoulders are relaxed when you pick your bag back up and set off again. Frequent checks like these, whether it’s a long walk or you’re just popping round to the shops, will help you stay problem free.



Keep your head up and look to the horizon. If you spend your time looking at your feet as you walk this puts more stress on your neck muscles and can lead to postural problems. In contrast, looking into the distance is good for your eyesight, and counteracts long periods of looking at phones or screens. You can also do some neck exercises to help keep the correct alignment. Starting in an upright posture with hands on your hips, tuck your chin to your chest, hold then tilt it back as far as it will go. Then look over each shoulder, aiming to get the chin as far round as you can without discomfort. Finally, move your head from side to side, trying to get the ear close to the shoulder. Do five in each direction.


When walking, draw your stomach in toward your spine, and when you breathe, imagine you are breathing deeply into your tum. Your stomach is part of your core, so pulling your muscles in in this way will help you really engage it, which will aid your balance. When you breathe deeply your muscles will become stronger, as will your diaphragm. Deep breathing also means more oxygen and more energy flowing into your muscles. In between

walks, planks and push ups (as described in the shoulder section, opposite) will strengthen your stomach. You could also try some bridge raises and abdominal bracing. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, your hands palms down by your sides. Slowly raise your hips to form a wedge shape, and lower under control. Complete 8-15, then raise your right knee towards your chest and push against it with your right hand. Hold for five seconds and repeat on the other side.



It’s a good idea to warm up your spine before you set off on your walk. Firstly, jog or march on the spot for about a minute. Then, stand up straight with your hands on your hips, keeping them facing forward and rotate from the waist in both directions five times. Next, imagine you are between two planes of glass, and lean over to one side, then the other. Do this five times. Finally, bend forward from the waist, and then lean back five times. Don’t force anything – you will find your range of movement gradually increases if you stick with it.

Before you begin your walk, set your shoulders in the right position. Simply stand up straight, lift your shoulders towards your ears, pull them back, then relax. Your shoulders are part of your ‘core’. Holding them correctly will help keep your chest open, so you can breathe more easily and move more efficiently. It

will save your energy, enabling you to enjoy more of your walk without feeling tired. Between walks you can strengthen your shoulders with simple bodyweight exercises. Try supporting your body in a plank position for about 15-30 seconds, three times. Then aim to complete three sets of 8-15 push ups, supporting yourself on your knees if necessary.


Your hips keep your pelvis in the correct position, which will prevent lower-back aches and pains. To keep them strong and flexible, do some squats and lunges to cool down after and between walks. Try to do 8-15 repetitions. To do a squat, stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart, toes forward. Cross your arms over your chest. Then hinge your hips back, and bend your knees. Keep your back in a neutral position. Try to lower yourself as deep as you can. Then push the hips forward again to stand. To lunge, start in the same position as for a squat. Step forward in line with your hips and bend the lead knee. Lower yourself as far as you can, keeping the knee and foot in alignment. Push off the front foot to a standing position and repeat on the other side. After a walk, hold a squat and a lunge for about 15 seconds to stretch your hips.


If the muscles that move the knee are strong, it will help keep the joint healthy and allow you to absorb the impact of walking. Squats and lunges are great for your knees. As you do these exercises, your knee bends and this means the muscles either side of the knee are working. You can also vary your lunges by stepping to the side and to the rear. If you’re worried about your balance, hold onto a support before doing your squats and lunges. TS




Get some VITAMIN N


VERY TIME YOU HEAD out for a walk, you’re treating your body and brain to a spot of ecotherapy. But this isn’t some pricey new spa experience, rather the term used to refer to the healing benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. ‘Human beings have existed for around seven million years,’ explains Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki, author of Shinrin-yoku: The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health and Relaxation (£12.99, Aster). ‘If we accept that urbanisation coincided with the industrial revolution, that particular history is only 200 to 300 years old, meaning humans have spent 99.99 per cent of their history living in nature. Your brain, body, and even genes are 50 TOPSANTÉ

adapted to nature, but we now live in an artificial environment.’ This has led to a state of overstimulation and pressure that causes your body underlying stress without you even realising it. ‘In recent years, stress-related diseases have become a social problem on a global scale,’ says Professor Miyazaki.


So, the professor devised ‘Forest Bathing’, inspired by the abundance of woodland in his home country of Japan. His studies showed just how beneficial the stress-lowering effects of being among the trees were for people’s health. ‘After just one day of therapy, the blood pressure-lowering effects experienced by subjects continued for five days. We also noted

that improvements in immune function continued for a week afterwards,’ he says. But it’s not just forests – studies to show the benefits of walking in fields, hills or by water have been cited by numerous health organisations, including the NHS, British Heart Foundation and Mind. And the more impressive you find the views of that natural space you’re in, the better it is for you, according to researchers from the University of California. They found that feelings of awe when drinking in beautiful sights directly reduce the levels of inflammatory proteins in your body (cytokines). This change leads to increased feelings of general wellbeing and a stronger immune system to boot.



Whether it’s a gentle wander or a vigorous hike, being out in nature not only benefits your body but can do wonders inside your mind – here’s why.


Did you know?


When you walk through nature and purely focus on what you can see, hear and feel there, it relieves your brain from the daily multitasking that it’s used to. This is how ecotherapy calms and renews your focus in the same way that a session of meditation would. Man-made landscapes on the other hand will stimulate your brain, but not replenish exhausted mental resources, according to research by the University of Exeter. Without the interference of emotional or physical stress responses – no matter how subtle – you’ll not only have clearer thoughts and better physical health but you’ll also feel happier, and sleep more soundly. ‘When you come into contact with any kind of nature, your body automatically

unwinds without you even noticing,’ says Professor Miyazaki. ‘This simple act helps to regulate your nervous system, promoting a healthier balance between activation and relaxation.’


In the Japanese studies, forest walkers focused on taking in all the colours of the cherry blossom or leaf foliage, sitting solo while mindfully sipping tea, or feeling the warmth and texture of the trees themselves. But wherever you walk, simply tune in to what personally helps you feel good at the time. This could mean walking with no particular destination in mind, a lazy cloud-gazing stroll as you focus on your breathing, or simply enjoying time away from your phone so you can tune in to your thoughts.

● Even a short time spent in nature can give your mind a boost, so head outside daily – even if it’s just for five minutes. ● People who live by the coast live longer, thanks in part to them walking more outdoors. ● Group walks in nature are linked to improved mental health and recovery from emotional setbacks. ● Walking near moving water increases levels of your feel-good hormone serotonin, as water produces negative ions, which react with the oxygen you breathe. ● If you’re in an urban area, apps such as Walkit and Hikideas can guide you to the ‘greenest’ route. ● Phytoncides are essential oils emitted by wood and plants, which boost your immunity.



UMANS HAVE BEEN walking the earth for millions of years and, until relatively recently in the great scheme of things, we did so mostly barefoot or in very simple, modest footwear. Indeed, research from Harvard University has shown that when we walk without shoes we actually move differently – in harmony with and sympathetically to our environment – which can often mean far less chance of injury and, surprisingly, better protection for our feet and whole body. Think of your feet like the foundations of a house – get that right and the whole structure will stand strong!

BARE necessities

Free your feet and find out how you can reap a plethora of health benefits simply by going shoeless this summer…











‘Psychologically, it feels incredible to experience the earth beneath your feet,’ says fitness expert Anna Toombs ( ‘Ask anyone what they do when they arrive on a sandy beach and they can’t wait to remove their shoes and feel the sand between their toes. The feel of different textures and temperatures adds to any experience. Just as a walk in the countryside can be better than trudging around a concrete city on a grey day, it’s much more fun to feel mud, grass and gravel under your feet than the monotonous inside of a shoe!’

HEALING FROM YOUR SOLE Barefoot walking gives you a direct connection with the earth and this element of grounding can have a healing effect on your body. There’s an increasing amount of research being carried out in this area, and martial artists and yogis have recognised the importance of that connection for thousands of years. ‘By simply removing your shoes and touching base with the earth you can start to reconnect and rewire pathways in your brain that have been dormant since you started wearing shoes as a baby,’ says Tony.


‘I’m barefoot as much as possible,’ says Anna. ‘I’m nearly always barefoot in my house or around the garden. I recognise that it’s certainly not the social norm to be barefoot in all situations, but it’s good to do it as much as possible,’ explains Anna. ‘Your feet are incredibly


sensitive and they are equipped with a complex array of nerves to relay signals back to your brain, but in shoes we dull this feedback. If you begin to spend time in bare feet, you’ll notice how your balance and your proprioception improve.’

HOW YOUR FEET WORK Your feet contain a staggering 200,000 exteroceptors – or highly-tuned sensors – located in the soles to help you tune in to the world around you. ‘Your feet have the ability to mould, grip, grab and switch from compliance and softness to tension and stiffness in a millisecond,’ explains Tony. ‘Terrain information from the exteroceptors in your feet is used to

adjust your joints, core and other muscles and tendons as well as alter your posture to protect against injury. All the while your brain makes subtle micro-adjustments to the shapes you make over varying terrain, not only to minimise the risk of injury, but also to maximise the efficiency of your movement.’ TS TOPSANTÉ 53


‘A normal human foot is wider at the toes and narrower at the heel,’ explains natural life-stylist, Tony Riddle ( ‘But many modern shoe designs are completely the opposite. That means your feet are squashed into shoes that change their shape, or they’ve got thick soles that shut off receptors, so can result in a less natural walk and cause problems to occur further up your body, such as tight hamstrings, lazy glutes and a weak core.’ But don’t worry, there’s no need to kick off your heels in the middle of a restaurant or ditch your slip-ons in the supermarket. What you can do is embrace the barefoot ethos as much as possible in and around your home and garden – and now is the perfect time to do it as the weather improves. Spending more time barefoot and even switching to so called ‘barefoot shoes’ such as the Vibram Fivefi ngers V-Soul (£73.80, for some of your daily activities can help you free your feet and trade those niggles for a lean, defi ned physique and a stronger, healthier posture, just as nature intended!

RUN A CONDITION CHECK If you are really pushing yourself, part of your brain should focus on how you are feeling. ‘When I’m walking I’m constantly thinking, “are my feet landing properly? Are my abs tight, and leading me forward? Are my shoulders back and down?” This way I am getting the most out of every step,’ says fitness expert and personal trainer Roger Love (lovelondonfitness.


Oxygen is energy when it comes to walking. ‘I like to really fill my lungs with air. I think of it as double breathing – I breathe twice as hard as usual,’ says Roger. ‘If I usually breathe in for three steps, or three seconds, then I’ll breathe out for three. And when I’m breathing out I make sure I empty my lungs and expel stale toxins from my muscles and lungs,’ he adds. ‘It’s great if you’re starting to flag, as it gives you an extra burst of energy.’


Walk! Whether you’re short on time or simply want to make the most of your stroll, we’ve got some great ways to take things up a gear. 54 TOPSANTÉ


‘Your body is an amazing, interconnected system. A problem with footwear can cause aches and pains in your feet, knees, hips, back or even your shoulders,’ says personal trainer Simon Cass. ‘Good walking shoes will provide you with the support you need.’ If you go to a reliable outdoor shop, they should be able to analyse how you walk and help make sure you are wearing the right kind of shoe. Does your foot roll inwards or outwards as you go? A certain amount of roll is normal, but if it’s too much, specialist shoes might help. If you think your foot might have a particularly

high or low arch which could affect footwear choice, here is a test you can do at home. ● Wet the sole of your foot. ● Stand on a dark surface, so you can see your footprint. ● Examine which of the images below matches your footprint most closely. If your arches are high or low, it might be worth talking to footwear experts.


You might think body language is all about making a good first impression, but it’s much more than that. ‘To be effective, walking needs to be done with purpose and vigour,’ says Roger. ‘I always say it’s like walking down a corridor at work to make a complaint! You should walk with your chest up, with focus and dignity, purpose and pride – that’s how purposeful you should look. Walk like you are really going places, and feel confident about what you are doing. ‘A lot of my female clients say they find they USE are then able to bring this confidence over YOUR ARMS into their day-to-day lives – into the Some advice says to keep office and the home, so that’s your elbows bent at 90 degrees another benefit.’ but not everyone recommends that. ‘I think that feels unnatural, like you are power walking, 45 degrees is better – this feels more comfortable, yet still allows you to get the benefit of that extra movement,’ says Roger. Give yourself extra momentum by swinging you arms from your pocket to halfway up towards your ear.




RELAX YOUR HANDS You might not always focus on your hands, but every little helps. Some people clench them and this can spread tension up your arm, into your shoulders and affect your posture. ‘Imagine you are holding a baby chick – something which needs to be held carefully,’ says Roger. ‘We call this “soft and engaged”. Your fi ngers are curled, they are active and working, or dynamic, but they are not tense.’


An amazing 27 per cent of the population now has a fitness tracker, according to recent figures, and they can be a wonderful motivational tool, both in terms of moving more and increasing your intensity. Whatever you focus on, it appears the mere act of measuring your activity can encourage you to do more, as a recent study found that people who used trackers to count their steps as part of a walking programme had a more active lifestyle several years later than those left to their own devices.

STRETCH INTO A YOGA POSTURE TO IMPROVE YOUR WALKING ‘Walking is an incredibly positive, inclusive exercise, but there are a few things you can do when you’re not walking to get even more out of it,’ says walking expert Caroline Sandry. STANDING FORWARD BEND ● Stand tall with feet close together ● Inhale and stretch arms overhead ● Exhale and fold forward ● Bend your knees to accommodate hamstring length, and place your hands on the floor beside your feet ● Hold, and take deep slow breaths, breathing into the whole of your back ● Stretch your arms forward and curl 56 TOPSANTÉ

back up to stand upright. Repeat, leg trying to gently straighten your legs time . in the bend position. Do it 3-4 times. RUNNER’S LUNGE ● Stand with feet hip-width apart ● Take a big step back keeping feet fee hip-width apart and parallel ● Bend your front knee and gently sink into the stretch, pressing your back heel towards the floor (keep hips square to the front) ● Stretch your arms overhead and keep gently sinking forward ● Look up and breathe deeply ● Do this 3-4 times on each side TS



TELL US HOW WALKING FITS INTO YOUR IT’S TO ACTIVE QUICKER COMPLETE ONLINE! LIFE We’d love to hear your views on walking for fun and fitness. Please answer all questions about walking as part of your healthy, active lifestyle – not walking simply to get from A to B. 1 How long have you been walking as part of your healthy, active lifestyle? (choose one) I don’t ................................ Just starting ...................... Less than a year................. More than a year ............... 2 How often do you walk each week as part of your healthy, active lifestyle? Every day ........................... 4-6 days per week ............. 2-3 days per week ............. Once a week ..................... I don’t ................................

3 Why do you walk as part of your healthy lifestyle? (choose all that apply)

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To get time for me ............ To lose weight ................... To stay slim........................ Because I like to be active To spend time with friends It makes me feel better ..... To recover from illness/ health condition ................ It makes me feel physically stronger ............................. It makes me feel mentally stronger ............................. Other (please specify)

4 Who do you walk with? (choose all that apply) On my own ........................ With friend (s) .................... With my partner ................ With my dog ..................... With my walking group ..... Other (please specify) .......

5 How long do you normally walk for (as a fitness activity)? (choose one) Less than 30 minutes ........

30-60 minutes ................... Over an hour ..................... 6 Where do you walk as part of your fitness routine? (choose all that apply) In a park............................. On the streets ................... On a trail ........................... On a planned route........... On an unplanned route .... Other (please specify) .......

7 How far do you usually walk for fitness? Less than half a mile .......... Half a mile to two miles .... Two to five miles ............... More than five miles.......... 8 Have you participated in any walking events? (choose all that apply) Charity Organised walking event (non-charity)

WIN! Enter our reader walking survey and you could win this gorgeous ‘Charlize’ showerproof jacket from Weird Fish




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9 What do you wear? (choose all that apply) Walking gear ..................... Sports gear ....................... Running gear ..................... Leisure wear ..................... Hiking kit ........................... Other (please specify) .......

10 What footwear do you use? (choose all that apply) Running shoes .................. Trail shoes ........................ Everyday sports shoes ...... Hiking shoes / boots ........ Other (please specify) .......

The mental health benefits of walking .......................... Clothing tests and reviews Product tests and reviews How to join a walking club How to set up a club ......... Walking event features ..... Walking event listings ....... 15 Have you found this Top Santé walking section useful? Yes ..................................... No...................................... 16 Would you like to see a walking section more regularly in Top Santé? Yes ..................................... No...................................... 17 Do you access walking content online and if so where? Please specify

11 Do you use any of the following? (choose all that apply) Fitness app ....................... Fitness watch..................... Pedometer ........................ Walking poles.................... Other (please specify) .......

12 Where do you buy your walking clothing and gear? Sports retailer ................... Outdoor retailer ................ Supermarket...................... Fashion retailer.................. Online ................................ 13 What nutrition products do you use?

14 What walking content interests you most? (choose all that apply) Training plans for walking How to be a better walker How to lose weight / slim down by walking ............... The physical health benefits of walking .......................... 58 TOPSANTÉ

18 Do you log your walks on an app or elsewhere online? Please specify

19 Would you go on a walking break? (choose all) No...................................... Yes, in the UK .................... Yes, in Europe ................... Yes, outside Europe .......... 20 What other fitness activities do you enjoy? (choose all that apply) None ................................. Yoga .................................. Pilates ................................ Home workouts ................. Group fitness..................... Jogging ............................. Other (please specify) .......

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22 What age are you? Under 29 ........................... 30-34 ................................ 35-39 ................................. 40-44 ................................ 45-49 ................................ 50-54 ................................ 55-59 ................................ 60-64 ................................ 65-69 ................................ 70+ ................................... 23 What gender are you? Female............................... Male................................... 24 What is your employment status: Working full-time .............. Working part-time............. Retired ............................... Unemployed...................... Full-time parent................. Student .............................. 25 What is your household income? Less than £10,000 ............. £10,000 - £19,999 .............. £20,000 - £29,999 ............. £30,000 - £39,999 ............. £40,000 - £49,999.............. £50,000 - £59,999 ............. £60,000+ ...........................

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Thank you for completing our walking survey. Your details will be entered into our prize draw. Entries close 29 May, 2018. Winners will be drawn 2 June, 2018 and contacted within three days. Please post your completed survey free of charge to Top Santé Reader Survey, FREEPOST RTKZ-HYRL-CCZX Kelsey Publishing Ltd, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent, TN16 3AG (no stamp needed)


Look chic and stay comfortable on your walking adventures with our guide to essential footwear, clothes, gadgets and accessories.



HEN YOU think of clothes for walking, is there a sea of brown and beige clobber in your mind’s eye? Thankfully, if you’re getting into this healthful hobby, you’ll be pleased to know there’s lots of attractive kit out there which, as well as looking good, keeps you cosy and dry too. If anything, there’s too much choice – especially when it comes to which shoes, jacket and trousers to invest in, and the boxes they ought to tick to maximise the enjoyment of your walking experience. So, we’ve taken the hassle out of rummaging in the shops or scrolling through the internet, and come up with our must-haves for all your strolling shenanigans throughout the spring and summer.










Another top over your base clothing will keep the warmth in, while still allowing air to circulate between the layers so you don’t get too hot. A thin sweater or zip-up hoodie will do the job nicely, or if you need more movability in your arms opt for a gilet. TS TIP Warmth without weight is what you’re going for. Look for tops made of fleece or merino wool, or softshell jackets, as they’ll serve as a good outer layer on days when you don’t need your coat. TRY Haglöfs Essens Mimic Vest (£140, This is a good option if you’re camping or walking into the evenings, as it is quilted for warmth, is wind-resistant and has two open handwarmer pockets so it will help to keep you from feeling chilly.


May is a typically changeable season, so an outer coat that is warm and waterproof without being bulky is crucial to the enjoyment of your walk. That way, you can stuff it in your bag if you don’t need it, or zip it up tight – hood and all – if the wind or rain starts up. TS TIP Remember to look out for waterproof, or at the very least water-repellent jackets. Ones that say that they are simply ‘water-resistant’ mean that if you’re walking in any kind of rain it’ll soon soak through and make the other layers soggy and weighed down. TRY Berghaus Tephra Down jacket (£160, is ideal if you feel the cold more – it’s stuffed with super warm duck ‘Hydrodown’, which works for up to 16 hours even after it gets wet. It also has two zipped handwarmer pockets. An even lighter option is the K-Way Le Vrai Claude Jacket (£75,, which can pack away nicely in your pocket when you don’t need it.

There’s nothing like some positive health feedback as a bonus to an enjoyable walk. The water-resistant Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro (£209, fits on your wrist and, alongside the app, tells you your average heart rate, steps and calories burned. Or, try the Fitbit Alta HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker (£99.99, uk), which keep an eye on all the usual stats and the battery will last for up to five days.

The Garmin eTrex 10 (£99.99, buy.garmin. com) is a handy way to keep your walk on course. It can hold up to 2,000 geocaches (GPS coordinates), readable on its monochrome display even in bright sunlight and lasts up to 25 hours on AA batteries.

When you’re walking solo, it can be nice to take headphones for motivational music or thought-provoking podcasts. JAM Ultra (£79.99, are bluetooth headphones so you won’t get the wires caught up. The case doubles up as a portable charger.


Depending on how far you’re going – and the weather of course – you’ll need something to take your kit in. If it’s a short walk, you may find you can fit what you need in your jacket pockets, or a good old bumbag (such as the Accessories Waist Pack, £20,, but if you’re going more than a mile or two then a larger bag for carrying water, sun lotion, map and other essentials is wise. TS TIP Ahead of your walk, lay out all the things you could possibly need, then on the day, check the weather and reassess. The lighter your bag, the better, and if there are side pockets make sure they’re evenly weighted to support your spine.


TRY The Tempest (£75, o is a super comfortable backpack with a built-in hydration pouch so you can sip your water while you’re on the go, as well as easy-access pockets for your snacks, tissues and phone. It also has a special backplate to maintain airflow to your back and stop you overheating.


You’ll need to drink at least half a litre of water for every five miles you walk, and more on a hot day, so choose a reliable water flask. It’s also worth packing a Thermos so you can enjoy sipping a hot drink as you sit and admire the view. TS TIP If it’s a really warm day, add a squeeze of lemon, a little honey and a pinch of sea salt to your water. This will help rebalance the essential minerals and electrolytes in your body if you get dehydrated. TRY Ion8 Leakproof Water Bottle (from £9.99, has an easy-grip shape and is made from BPA-free plastic, meaning fewer chemicals in your water.

If you like to go completely cable-free as you stride off, try the Sol Republic Amps Air buds (£149.99, solrepublic., which fit comfortably in your ears and connect to your phone via Bluetooth. You’ve got a choice of different ear tips to ensure they fit snugly, and they’re sweat- and rain-resistant. They also have a carrying case with a battery to recharge the buds more than 15 times, as well as your phone.

An action camera is a great way to record all your adventures so you can watch them again. Try the Kaiser X100 Action Camera (£139,, a super-compact but quality piece of kit you could mount on your head or backpack. It’s water-, dust- and shock-proof, and has a wrist remote so you can control it without unmounting it.

● Consider a peaked cap to keep the sun out of your eyes. Pack Run Cap (£29.25, can be folded down into the size of a fist without losing its shape, to fit snugly in your bag or pocket. It al o has sweat also a d odour tech and to keep you ffeeling ling fresh. ● In case of rain – or a spot of wild swimming – pack a travel towel. The Snugpak Microfibre Antibacterial Towel (£10.95, can be packed down to a fraction of its size and comes with a dual ‘wet and dry’ storage bag.

● Walking poles provide provid extra support for your joints. The Alpine Carbon Cork Poles (£130, eu.blackdiamond. com) have a soft cork grip and can be adjusted to suit your height. ● You’re not likely to need this one – but you’ll be popular with your walking buddies if you bring it! With a few squeezes, the Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker (£24.99, produces steaming hot coffee from either pods or grounds thanks to its internal pump.







The right footwear is your friend – this can’t be stressed enough – particularly if you’re walking longer distances or over mixed terrain. If you’re walking shorter, flatter trails, then flexible running-style shoes are ok, but for anything else, boots are a sound investment. Not only will they keep your feet dry, and ankles supported, but the cushioned soles will help to protect your joints if you’re carrying a heavy bag and yomping up hills.

TS TIP The correct fit will ensure you don’t get blisters or a rolled ankle. Your foot should be firmly in place, not sliding back and forth, and your arch should be supported. Break them in with shorter walks, wearing thick socks, before you do a big walk. TRY Hanwag Belorado II GTX (£140,, which are made of lightweight fabric, with a stable grip, making them great for mixed terrain. They have a waterproof and breathable lining, a supportive sole, and are even available in bunion-fit models.

If you like to change up your footwear but want support, try an insole. Sole (£40, yoursole. com/uk) are padded and will wick away moisture.

6 7


The right boots can sometimes be let down by the wrong socks. Special walking socks are made of soft fabric that wicks water and sweat away, ensuring your feet don’t get rubbed and sore. They’re often so soft and contoured that you might find yourself wearing them around the house!

TS TIP Stay away from cotton socks as they absorb moisture. Look out for hiking socks marked as midweight or lightweight, as these are ideal for spring and summer. There’s nothing worse than having hot, uncomfortable feet! TRY Karrimor Trekking Socks (£8, They have anatomically-shaped cushioning to protect you from impacts plus an elasticated arch support and mesh inserts to aid moisture evaporation.


Layers are the way to go. A thin, breathable t-shirt or vest under your fleece or jacket is a must. TS TIP Underneath that, a comfy sports bra is a good idea. You can even get knickers designed for walking – Boody Bikini Briefs (£8.95, won’t chafe, and are moisture-wicking. TRY The W Helly Hansen Lifa Active Light LS t-shirt (£35, is made from breathable fibres so you stay dry. 62 TOPSANTÉ



Suitable trousers also come high up the list for essential kit. Jeans or cords are heavy and absorb water, shorts may leave you seeking out dockleaves, and leggings, while comfortable, don’t have the protective quality that many walking trousers do. Thankfully, gone are the days of baggy combats and instead you can find shapely and stylish options. TS TIP If you know you’re going for a walk where water, mud or brambles won’t be a problem, then leggings are fine – as long as they’re moisture-wicking. Jammer II Knit Knicker (£65, are durable yet flexible hiking leggings – with 50+ UPF protection and insect repellent woven into the fabric. TRY Fjällräven Abisko Shade Zip Off Trousers W (£155, are a good all-terrain option, that are lightweight and very durable. They have zipped pockets with mesh lining, and can be zipped off at the knee to become a pair of shorts.

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Free your

MIND A walking holiday can be good for your body, mind and soul. Inntravel’s Steve Jack explains how...


LL TRULY GREAT thoughts are conceived by walking,’ concluded Friedrich Nietzsche, and who am I to argue with the great 19th-century German philosopher? After all, walking is not only a terrific, free form of exercise, but an undeniably great way to oil those cogs in the brain – a natural aid to contemplation that requires little more than a stout pair of boots or shoes and a modicum of healthy determination. So, if you’re dithering over a dilemma, confused by a conundrum or spooked by a sticky situation, why not treat yourself to a self-guided walking holiday and see where your mind takes you? ‘Why self-guided?’, you may ask. Well, although some more remote and challenging walking destinations might arguably be better tackled as part of a small group, at Inntravel we fi rmly believe that the self-guided approach, whereby you set out with detailed and carefully compiled route notes and a map, is the very best way to slow down and appreciate the world


‘Travelling on foot can be meditative, fostering a slow frame of mind. When we walk, we are aware of the details around us – we make connections.’ Carl Honoré (Slow Movement pioneer & author of In Praise Of Slow)

Take in spectacular views at Lake Oeschinensee in Switzerland.

around you. With no groups to hold – or hurry! – you up, and no luggage to weigh you down (your bags are transferred from one charming hotel to the next), you really are free to go at your own pace. The joys of walking are nothing new, of course. ‘Walking is man’s best medicine,’ proclaimed Greek philosopher Hippocrates, way back in the 4th century BC. And as well as providing various, well-documented physical benefits – regular walking can help reduce the risk of high blood


Stroll by the water at the Cape of St Jean in the South of France.

pressure, heart disease and stroke – it can also have a profound effect on your mental and spiritual wellbeing. How can this be? Well, a good walk allows us to fall into step with our body’s natural rhythms. We begin to tune in to our surroundings – and also to ourselves. Everyday worries seem to disappear, as we relax into a relatively uninhibited state of mind where our thoughts can roam free. I would also argue that the uplifting effects of walking are in direct proportion to the time spent in nature,

and the beauty around us; so if you can spin this out over several days at a time, in somewhere particularly attractive, then so much the better. Time appears to slow down as you start to pay attention to the little things, and your day-to-day routine becomes both comforting and absorbing: get out of bed; throw open the curtains to check the latest weather conditions; then enjoy a tasty breakfast before heading out on well-made paths where your mind is as free to wander as your feet.

Bask in the warmth of a Sicilian afternoon.

Steve Jack is Communications Manager for Inntravel – the Slow Holiday people – who offer over 100 self-guided walking routes throughout the unspoiled corners of Europe and beyond. To find out more, call 01653 617000 or visit



ADVENTURES START HERE Planning a sojourn with extra strolling this year? Check out these exciting breaks available in the UK, Europe and beyond.

HARDY WAY WALK, Dorset Walk along Britain’s first literature-themed long-distance path – the backdrop to many of Thomas Hardy’s tales of rural England. Retrace Tess of the d’Ubervilles’ footsteps to Win Green, visit Shaftesbury – or Shaston as Hardy called it in Jude the Obscure – and see the gardens Hardy called ‘the prettiest sight I ever saw in my life’.

BURLEY PARK CHARITY WALK, The New Forest, Southern England If you want to add extra incentive to your walk, join this sponsored 10- or 20-mile challenge, which is a scenic stroll to support people who’ve survived or been diagnosed with cancer. Stay at the four-star Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, which has a spa, restaurant and microbrewery to enjoy. l The walk takes place on 10 June, £20 entry, see Twin rooms at Balmer cost £189 B&B, see balmerlawnhotel. com for information. BEST FOR: Woodland walks.


l Various dates until 31 October, from £645pp including six nights’ B&B accommodation, plus one dinner and two picnics. See


Literature lovers




TALGARTH WALKING FESTIVAL, Brecon Beacons The ancient market town of Talgarth, which forms the ‘Gateway to the Black Mountains’, is an ideal base from which to explore the Brecon Beacons National Park. This year the town is hosting its walking festival for the sixth time, to enable new visitors to discover the high peaks and lush green valleys of the Beacons. There are a variety of walks over the weekend, starting at just over an hour, up to one day, with different levels of difficulty. Why not stay at Charity, a remote mountain retreat in the Olchon Valley, which has a wood-fired hot tub, cinema barn and a sauna. l The festival is from 4-7 May, with individual walks priced £3-£10. See the programme at talgarth A stay at Charity costs from £1,995 for up to 10 people, see BEST FOR: Beginners to walking.

THE LOW TIDE EVENT, Bryher and Tresco, Isles of Scilly Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly, is a car-free island, making it a wonderful place to explore on foot. The landscape is stunning all year round, and its red squirrels are a highlight for visitors. Then, on three separate nights over the summer, the low tides reveal a sandbank, which becomes home to pop-up festivities including a barbecue, bar, live music and games. It connects Tresco to the nearby island of Bryher, where you can stay at luxurious Hell Bay Hotel, which is tucked away in a secluded cove with unspoilt Atlantic Ocean views. l The Low Tide Events are free (just bring money for the food and drink stalls) on 15 July, 13 August and 10 September. Hell Bay Hotel is available from £140pp, inclusive of a three-course dinner, bed and breakfast. See


Racing the tide TOPSANTÉ 67



The Quelle hiking package at this award-winning nature spa includes shuttle transfers to your walking points, a detailed map, three weekly guided trips, three 2-3 hour walks, a Nordic Walking tour, picnics and gear hire. The hotel hosts cycle hire, fitness classes and a gym as well as plenty of pampering and relaxation opportunities in the spa. l Various packages and offers available such as €1,078pp when you book for an eight-night stay between 18 May and 17 June. This includes excursions, fitness classes, full spa access, breakfast, light lunches, afternoon snacks, 5-7 course à la carte gourmet dinner, wine tasting and evening entertainment. See


Dramatic Dolomite views


The tiny nation of Slovenia is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and the Adriatic Sea, providing a unique contrast of landscapes and climates. Nowhere is this more evident than at the beautiful Lake Bled and Triglav National Park, the site of many of the walks in this seven-night trip. l Departs 26 May, from £1,159pp on a half-board basis. Price includes return flights from Stansted, options of different guided walks and all transport to and from the walks. Other breaks are available, visit for more information. BEST FOR: Varied scenery.


EXPLORE THE FOOTHILLS OF THE HIMALAYAS Beneath the towering, snow-capped Himalayas, not far from the borders of Nepal and Tibet, lies a hidden India of small traditional villages, deep wooded valleys and high, wide ridges. This unique holiday takes you to the heart of the region, allowing you to explore the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the remote Kumaon Hills while staying in authentic village houses and using local guides. You’ll gain insights into the traditions and culture by joining local families for meals.

C CLIFFS SO OF MOHER, County Clare, Ireland The Connect to Nature weekend is a perfect contrast of adventurous hiking, soothing Vinyasa yoga and mindfulness meditations. Your walk will take you to the charming town of Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre, and the wild and windy rock formation known as Hag’s Head. The retreat itself has beautiful views over the Atlantic Ocean, which you can admire from the wood-burning hot tubs. Nourishing food and restorative massages are also available. l 18-20 May, prices from €370. Other packages are available, see BEST FOR: Stunning clifftop scenes.

l Various dates up until 15 May, then between 15 September and 30 November. Prices from £1,955pp, including transfers and return flights from London to Delhi, based on two people sharing. It includes 10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, seven lunches, eight picnics and the services of a local guide. See


An Indian adventure




FITNESS Make a splash in new kit, plus work out, learn all about wellbeing and have fun en masse this month.



bright leggings

BUDGET If you’re not comfortable with going for full-on colour with your leggings when you’re in a class, these navy ones with bright green panels from Pretty Little Thing are just the ticket (£18, prettylittlething. com). They contain 18 per cent elastine for a good stretch, and they are available in seven sizes.


MID-PRICE Oh how we love these Mer-Mazing Mermaid Print Yoga Pants from Blossom Yoga Wear (£39.99, blossomyogawear. com). Made from high-performance quality technical fabric, they’ll bring a touch of fluidity to your yoga or Pilates workout – or just pop them on for a trip to the pool! Available in five sizes.

BLOW THE BUDGET Activewear brand Every Second Counts makes versatile workout gear. It has three gorgeous ombre leggings for SS18, including this seamless Pursuit Capri in aqua and coral (£70, every secondcounts. They’re breathable, sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial and fade-resistant.

All together now Festivals have got a lot more holistic in recent years, and Sweatlife, the wellbeing event run by yoga brand Lululemon, is part of the trend. This year it will take place over two days, on 23-24 June in East London, so expect plenty of mass workouts, fitness classes, workshops and talks on everything from yoga to boxing. Tickets cost from £30 (


Stretch your way to fitness and be colourful while doing it.


Personal trainers can be a scary lot but Holly Davidson’s new book, Active (£14.99, Kyle Books) is accessible and real. It’s all about making changes that suit you to fit exercise into your life and includes the likes of a ‘Get Lively in your Living Room’ workout that incorporates the sofa and stretches you can do at a bench in the park, plus suggestions on starting running and getting the most out of the gym. There are also recipes, workout schedules and motivating tips to inspire you. It’s on sale on 10 May.


Nike’s SS18 collection has hit the shelves and we think the Rush Heather Highneck One Piece stands out. The high coverage at the front and ‘stay put’ soft cups allow you to feel comfortable your swimsuit isn’t going to come down when you’re acing your laps, plus the fabric is stretchy yet tailored to fit you. It also has a chlorine-resistant finish, meaning it will last you all through the summer without fading (£35,


of gym goers see their workout as a chance for ‘me time’.* TOPSANTÉ 71

You can feel stronger and fitter every day, if you learn to...

menopause MASTER THE Exercise is a must for...


What you need: Swimming One of the most common issues associated with menopause is the ‘thickening’ around your waist. ‘As the oestrogen from your ovaries declines your body needs to find a new source,’ says Marilyn. ‘One solution is this special fat around your middle. It is metabolically active and actually produces oestrogen, so your body wants to produce more and more of it, as without oestrogen, your bone health declines and you risk osteoporosis. It’s ok to let your body put on a little bit of fat – a

small amount is actually protective – but if it gets too much then it can be harmful. ‘Swimming is a great way to help keep this fat gain in check. It uses a huge number of muscles, it is a good calorie burner, it lowers your overall heart rate and improves your cardio health and circulation. ‘It also boosts your metabolism and improves your insulin sensitivity. Swimming also cuts your diabetes risk by using blood glucose for energy, so it’s a real boost.’




OUR BODY FACES challenges during the menopause, and it might be tempting to skip the gym if you’re feeling tired or you’re struggling with hot flushes. ‘But don’t give up, exercise is more important now than ever!’ says hormones expert Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Solutions to Menopause (£12.99, Pan Macmillan). ‘Before, you might have exercised because you wanted to lose weight or look better, but it’s much more fundamental than that as you head into the menopause and beyond,’ she says. ‘Exercise impacts on heart disease, bone health, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. There are more reasons to exercise than ever. If you lacked motivation in the past – it’s time to fi nd it now!’




Exercise is a must for…

BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY What you need: Yoga The rewards of yoga are too many to list here, but as well as its ability to improve your heart health, muscle strength and energy, while reducing weight, waist and stress levels, it can also boost balance and co-ordination. ‘Yoga is so helpful, and it’s brilliant that many women are inspired to take it up,’ says Marilyn. ‘In studies they are now looking at exercises like yoga, that we don’t think about as weight bearing and so beneficial for our bone health as resistance exercises, but they have realised that if women can maintain, or improve, their balance and co-ordination, it means good things for their bone health. Put simply, if we are less likely to fall then we are less likely to fracture something.’ Closely linked to this is flexibility. Before the menopause, your oestrogen keeps your ligaments supple and helps you stay flexible. As this level declines it’s common for them to become less elastic, which can lead to more injuries and aches and pains – unless you try yoga!

‘One of the most commonly experienced symptoms of the menopause is an increase in aches and pains, which is caused by the drop in oestrogen levels,’ says A Vogel Menoforce ambassador Alison Cullen. TRY THIS: ● Eat foods containing magnesium, which is good

for releasing muscle tension, and omega-3 oils, which are anti-inflammatory. ● Keep a herbal remedy such as Devil’s Claw on hand for countering the twinges. ● Gentle stretching exercises are kind to your muscles and joints. Swimming and yoga are good ways to get some exercise, but with a reduced risk of injury.

Stretch your way to a relaxed and pain-free body with yoga


Exercise is a must for…

MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS What you need: Dance Symptoms of the menopause can be troubling, but the good news is you can ease or even halt them with a dance session! ‘Enjoying yourself, having fun and getting some exercise at the same time is a great way to combat menopausal symptoms,’ says Marilyn. As we go through the menopause our adrenal glands are supposed to be producing a form of oestrogen – called oestrone – which partly compensates for the falling levels from the ovaries. ‘But if we are stressed, they

are too busy producing the stress hormone cortisol,’ says Marilyn. ‘If we stay happy and relaxed, they will be better at producing oestrone, and our bodies will be able to cope with menopause symptoms better.’ So letting your hair down to dance is a fantastic way to give your body a welcome break. Some supplements are also formulated to tackle these symptoms when you’re off the dancefloor: A Vogel Menoforce (£12.99, can help relieve sweating and hot flushes.

Exercise is a must for…

BONE HEALTH What you need: Resistance training

TOP SANTÉ PROMOTION ‘Hormonal rebalancing during the menopause is an energy-demanding business, especially if you suffer from symptoms that interrupt sleep and drain your energy,’ says A Vogel Menoforce ambassador Alison Cullen. TRY THIS: 74 TOPSANTÉ

● Stay well hydrated with water when you exercise, especially if you start to get flushes. ● A Vogel Menoforce contains Sage Extract, which has been used traditionally to help against excessive sweating, hot flushes and night sweats.

One of the many functions of oestrogen is to keep your bones strong, so when levels decline during the menopause, your bone density can fall as well – but strength-building exercises can help with this. ‘Our bodies are really clever – if you’re not using your bones in a dynamic way, it starts to think to itself, “why do I need to keep the bones strong if they’re not being used much?” But if you make demands on your skeleton, your body keeps them stronger,’ says Marilyn. Resistance training is a great way to make this demand. By working against the weight of another object – be it weight lifting, moving through water or using your own bodyweight – you strengthen your muscles and build bone. This form of training also helps to keep muscle mass intact.




Mountain climbers: climbers G Get into a plank. Moving fast, draw u up one knee to your chest and back, then the other, and repeat ffor 30 seconds. ‘This works your legs, bum, core and person l shoulders,’ says personal trainer, Kathryn Freeland.


Pilates swimming: ‘Lie on your stomach with legs wider than hip distance and arms forward, wider than your shoulders,’ says Jaime Cooke, of SPN:Fit studio. ‘Stretch arms forward and legs back, so they naturally come off the floor and your head moves off the mat, with your face looking down. Next, extend alternate arms and legs (e.g. left arm, right leg), pumping them up and down in small pulses.’



Pilates curl up: ‘A controlled curl builds abdominal strength,’ says Jaime. ‘Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands behind your head, elbows out. Inhale, then as you exhale, tuck your cchin n in and lift your head, shoulders and spine off the floor, o rtabra at a time. Take a deep breath at the top, then one vertabra rse. Do this three times a week, aiming for 30 curls. slowly reverse.


Skater: ‘Stand on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you. Your left arm should be forward and your right arm to the side. Step onto the other leg and swing your arms into the opposite position, as if you are ice skating. ‘Intensify it by jumping from leg to leg, squatting deep on the standing leg and moving your arms powerfully. This is great for improving your co-ordination balance and strength,’ says Kathryn.


Log lift: ‘Use a log or weight for this back, arm and shoulder strengthening exercise,’ says Kathryn. ‘Hold the weight in front of your chest. Push it out at shoulder height and return to the centre. Twist your torso to the left and push the weight out and in, then repeat to the right. Gradually increase the number of repetitions of this exercise as your strength starts to improve.’ TS


Supporting you through the

Menopause “Highly recommend this for anybody suffering from

hot flushes or night sweats” review by Debbie on 21st January 2016

® Menoforce Sage tablets A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of excessive sweating associated with menopausal hot flushes, including night sweats exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.

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Available from


Stronger and fitter than ever Angela Middleton, 55, reveals how she overhauled her health and fitness regime.



’VE ALWAYS BEEN one of those people who could eat and drink what they wanted and still remain slim. Having two children and running my own recruitment and training business, MiddletonMurray, also meant that I needed to be pretty energetic. The fact that I loved exercise helped. But as I reached my late 40s I started to notice that I was getting a bit thick around the middle. My size 8-10 clothes were tight, and just didn’t look as good as they used to. Everything else in my life was going well, my children, Stephen, now 26, and Annabel, now 25, were working hard at school, and the business


was going from strength to strength. On the whole I was eating healthily (but I did have a weakness for despit wine and pasta!). Yet despite being a generally healthy th person, and even running the London Marathon in 2015, I couldn't shift the weight wa around my middle and I was feeling low in energy.


I decided to make a change, so at fro myy the end of 2015 I moved from home in Chislehurst, Kent, to a flat havi the h in central London. Not having mo time, daily commute gave me more c d and my location was more conducive to walking everywhere. My son, Stephen, was living with me at the time and while I was going to a gym and doing lots of cardio workouts, he joined a weightlifting gym. Within a few weeks I started to see his physique transform. He became really muscular and defi ned. When he suggested I went along to his gym I wasn’t keen. He didn’t give up though, so at the end of October 2016 I agreed to go along and spoke to one of the trainers, Harry. He told me about the benefits of weightlifting and how it had a huge effect on hormones. I agreed to give it a go and started training there four times a week, lifting dumbbells, doing squats with a bar and deadlifting. I didn’t think for a minute that my 5ft 2in frame would be able to do it, so I felt a huge sense of achievement when I could. Harry also advised me to walk 10,000 steps a day and change my diet too. I had to eat 1,500 calories a day, made up of three eggs and 100g broccoli for breakfast instead of my usual flat white, then snack on yogurt, berries and nuts, and instead of my usual sandwich, eat protein and veg for lunch, and again in the evening.

d crease adily in e te h s s t la h Ange f weig ount o m a e th ft. le to li was ab

Bizarrely, I was eating more than I used to and the did feel f l protein fi lled me up, so I didn’t d pasta, hungry. Cutting out alcohol and and drinking three litres of water a day wasn’t easy though, and with Christmas coming I was fi nding it hard. I knew I wasn’t really following it properly, so it was no surprise that I wasn’t seeing results. But Harry was insistent that I could do it if I put my mind to it. So, once Christmas was out of the way and January 2017 arrived, I threw myself into it properly.

COMMITTING TO CHANGE I allowed myself a treat on a Saturday – a glass of wine and some pasta. But for the rest of the time I stuck to the exercise and diet religiously. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect my social life. I was used to going out and networking while eating food and drinking wine. All of a sudden I was having to say no and some people didn’t like the different me. Mentally I’d committed to it this time though, and I stuck to the food plan, walked 10,000 steps a day and did the

I thought I would feel out of place at a gym surrounded by men lifting huge weights, but I soon settled in. 78 TOPSANTÉ

Befor e and regim e, 10 after. Ang ,0 ela’s n weig ew ht tra 00 steps a ining d ay an eating trans d reg forme ular d her shape .

hlf f weightlifting four times I d lost a week. By the end of January, I’d 4.4lbs from my starting weight of 9.1 stone. My clothes were starting to feel more comfortable again, and I felt so much better around the waist and hips. My energy levels were better than they had been in years, too. Soon it became a way of life and I enjoyed donning my trainers and walking around London. I felt a huge sense of achievement as the weights I could lift were getting heavier and heavier and my body was not only stronger, but more toned than ever. So many people were asking me how I’d done it.


In the summer of 2017 I decided to try and share the benefits I had felt with the rest of my colleagues. I set them a challenge – to walk 30 million steps. The 136 members of staff had 30 days to complete the challenge and could go for a walk whenever they wanted. If completed, the company would donate £6,000 to Cancer Research. Once the target was hit, the money was donated to charity and the three members of staff who’d achieved the highest number of steps received a prize. It had such a huge effect on everyone that the team became



happier and more invigorated and it inspired people so much that we didn’t stop there. As well as my fitness journey, I’d also been attending events where I’d listened to life coach Tony Robbins and entrepreneur Peter Diamandis. I’d learned all about the importance of meditation, sleep and the benefits of health supplements. So in September 2017 I introduced meditation spaces into the offices. I told everyone about the Headspace app and set the next challenge, which was based around the concept of lifelong learning. I asked them to listen to a range of podcasts while they were doing their daily steps. They could choose from TED Talks, Tony Robbins, Timothy Ferriss, or Desert Island Discs. This sparked a huge amount of sharing of ideas and energy. It was fantastic seeing everyone so positive and strong. In October, a year after I started my journey, I was down to the same weight I had been when I was 25! I got a mixed reaction from people. Some thought I was too thin, but the majority were supportive, and many asked me for advice about how they could achieve the same. So, I’ve set up an Instagram account (@angela middleton), and I’m in the process of putting together a series of webinars to help share the knowledge I’ve gained. My journey transformed my body, making me not only lighter, but physically stronger than ever. Now I’m proud to say that I can squat while lifting one-and-a-half times my own body weight – something I would never have imagined to be possible! I’m proof that you can be strong, muscly and feminine too. My bones and muscles are stronger, and my hormones work properly. Because of all of this I now sleep better and emotionally I’m more content and level-headed than ever. My physical journey has become a mental one too and it’s created a calmer, more philosophical me. It’s armed me with more clarity at work, and invigorated my enthusiasm for my business. Now the sky really is the limit! TS TOPSANTÉ 79

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ASK THE EXPERT Your fitness questions answered…


I love to run, but struggle with hayfever at this time of year. Does running on a treadmill have the same benefits as running outside? Iris, 41


Running on the treadmill is still beneficial and will help you train towards your goals. Make sure you vary your sessions as you would do when outside, so rotate through easy runs, hill work and speed sessions. This will challenge your muscles differently and get results. It’s best to add a 1-3 per cent incline so it’s not totally flat, which will reduce direct impact and assist with good stride and posture. The limitation of the treadmill compared to the great outdoors is that wind, rain and heat will not influence your pace, plus the

treadmill is a smooth surface, so it will not challenge your stability and balance. As the belt moves, it tends not to activate your gluteal muscles as much, so to balance this aim to do a couple of leg-strengthening, core and balance exercises twice a week, such as moving squats, lunges and step-ups. If you can manage to run outside once a week it will help you keep some of the benefits. Going in the middle of the day, wearing sunglasses and washing all your clothes and hair immediately afterwards should help reduce your symptoms.


I often get cramps in my muscles after exercising, what can I do? Natasha, 54


A FITNESS EXPERT Kim Ingleby is an award-winning trainer and confidence coach (kimingleby.

There are several causes of cramp. It could be as simple as the type of shoes you are wearing, so make sure they are supportive and correct for your feet. Stretching your leg muscles will help too. Aim to do a little routine every morning or evening, stretching out hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors and gluteals. If you can buy a foam roller or book a sports massage this will help with any

specific muscle tightness. Increasing the amount of time too you exercise gradually is key too. Finally, make sure you have good hydration, nutrition and sleep patterns as all these can affect your stress response and so cause cramps.





Katie Hipwell, Nutritionist


t happens all too often. Our good intentions to lose weight are often cut short through poor diet plans and a continual feeling that we are missing out on the tasty things in life. However, simple nutritional changes can have a positive effect on you and your health. Why not invest in your well-being and boost your return to healthy eating!

of all of Almased®’s goodness. These nutrients also contain biologically active components for overall good health, rich in soya isoflavones and more than 80 bioactive peptides!

4 steps to success - without hunger. Th he Almased® programme can help you achieve your desired weight. It is simple and quick to use, with no need to spend time counting calories. In Phase 1 Is there a convenient, trusted weight ss your body’s system will be reset, thus preparing you for solution out there? Phase 2, where healthy and steady weight loss will continue. Healthy, sustainable long-term weight Scientists from the University of Freiberg found that loss is supported throughout Phase 3 while the when compared to a low-fat diet, those following WEIGHT LOSS final phase, Phase 4, provides healthy, supportive one particular weight loss programme achieved In keeping with the wholesome nutrition for as long as you desire. healthy weight loss and most importantly, longand CLEAN NATURE of the brand, term weight maintenance1. In addition, further Almased® contains no artificial scientific studies showed reductions in body Healthy nutrition for busy lifestyles. Today, 2 flavours, fillers, preservatives weight, body fat and unhealthy abdominal fat . ny’’s best selling weight loss Almased d® is German or stimulants, genetically product and recommended by all pharmacists. modified ingredients However, aside from being a weight loss product, With 3 natural ingredients: soya, yogurt and or gluten. Almased® has been found to be the ideal support enzyme-rrich honey. Almased d® is Germany’s No.1* for those involved in physical activity and is consumed meal replacement for effective weight loss which offers by many elite athletes. Almased® contains the perfect more protein than any other meal replacement in the UK combination of protein and carbohydrates, providing enough today. It contains high-quality soya and skimmed milk yogurt nutrients to fuel the body and aid recovery. Use it after a long walk, the powder, providing the body and importantly the muscles with all gym or any physical activity. essential amino acids from plant proteins. Beyond adding a naturally sweet taste, the enzymes in the raw honey ensure easy digestion and absorption



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to contribute to the reduction in



to maintain normal


1. Deibert, P et al (2004). Intl. Journal of Obesity; 28(10):1349-52. 2. König, D et al (2008). Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism; 52(1):74-78. * IMS Health (2016). † Reader‘s Digest Trusted Brands 2017, Germany.

FIND OUT MOR RE Visit, em maiil or call 020 7969 1886. You can download your FREE figure plan at and find more top tips and health hy recipes to guide you through h the Almased® programme. Almassed® is available from Boots, Lloyd ds Pharmacy and Amazon.

... sim pl y be ca us e it wo rk s

BEAUTY Get some Hollywood glamour this month and prepare your skin for brighter days with the latest facial SPFs.


Spring weather calls for a less made-up look – forget smoky eyes and dark lips and instead focus on illuminating your skin. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (£30, is a clever multi-tasking product that can be worn all over your face to prime for foundation, dotted along cheekbones to accentuate or used to retouch imperfections. It contains porcelain flower extract – a brightening ingredient – that contains natural antioxidants to help illuminate.


Time to greet your new daily ritual Celebrity facialist Abigail James has created the new Rituals of Namasté range, and we’re loving the Ageless collection. It’s designed for women aged 45 years plus – a real blessing! The focus is on lifting, firming and smoothing. Skin-friendly natural ingredients include gotu kola and holy lotus, to diminish signs of ageing and provide the indulgent treat you’d expect from Rituals. The range includes a serum, face oil, day cream, night cream, eye concentrate and ampoule boosters (from £27.50,



For a pop of colour on your nails, grab one of the three new shades from Nailberry’s LA Heat Collection – Maliblue (royal blue), Hollywood Rose (pink) and Sunset on Venice (purple). Nailberry’s polishes are vegan and 12-free, plus the formula is breathable so as not to dry out your nails (£14.50 each,

OF THE BEST...facial SPFs


If you don’t already, this is the month to incorporate SPF into your skincare routine…

Your skin isn’t just exposed to UV rays, it has pollution to fend off too. Protect yourself from both by popping on Ultrasun Daily Face Fluid SPF50+ Brightening & Anti-Pollution (£28, It contains vitamin C to prevent age spots and works as a primer.

If your skin is sensitive, try the new Eau Thermale Avène Mineral Fluid SPF50+ (£17.50, The mineral formula contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to form a protective shield against UV rays, while thermal spring water calms and soothes skin. The new Jurlique UV Defence Lotion SPF50 (£27, contains skin-friendly botanicals including calendula, marshmallow and echinacea extracts, plus a gorgeous citrus and lavender fragrance to make applying this light lotion a joy.




As your garden bursts into colour this month, we take a closer look at the plants and flowers that benefit your skin.


AY IS AN EXCITING month for gardeners and beauty lovers alike. Just as the great outdoors fi lls up with colourful flowers, your skin also ‘blooms’ at this time of year. But while flowers delight the senses with their pretty petals and heady scent, they can offer so much more. Once you begin


to realise the power these plants can bring, you’ll start viewing your garden as a beauty cabinet. But you don’t need to pick your own – if you ever tried to make perfume from rose petals as a child you may remember the resulting brown water quite unfavourably! – as beauty brands are harnessing flowers for their botanical powers. These are the spring saviours that will bring joy to your garden and your skin.



MARIGOLD Marigolds may not be as strikingly beautiful as lilies or as sweetly scented as freesias, but the bright orange flowers have myriad uses. Across the world they’ve long been harvested for their medicinal abilities and added to skincare for their healing properties. They come from the calendula family, and you’ll see M these begin to bloom in your garden in May. calendul ‘There is a lot of skin science for calendula, bea mostly as an anti-inflammatory, ’ says beauty botanist Jennifer Hirsch (beautybotanist. com). ‘Irritation and inflammation are th enemies of looking young so anything that soothes and calms is good for your skin,’ explains Jennifer. The flowers contain flavonoids (an antioxidant) and triterpene alcohols, which are anti-inflammatory, as well as essential oils and carotenoids, which soothe and protect the skin from environmental stressors.


ROSE Roses oses are the nation’s favourite flower, and hey’re one of our most loved skincare they’re ngredients too. Different parts of the ingredients lant can be used to achieve a variety of plant esults. Rose oil is extracted from the results. etals and is packed with antioxidants and petals tamins and has antibacterial, regenerating, vitamins anti-inflammatory and moisturising roperties. Rose water, a by-product of properties. ose oil production, can bring fragrance to rose a product but also freshness, which is why ’s commonly found in spritzes. it’s Then there’s rosehip – the seed pods of oses – and this is where beauty experts roses get excited. ‘Flower seeds are some of the more interesting ingredients,’ says Jennifer. ‘Seed oils are so effective because the seeds are where the mama plant packs all its energy.’ Rosehip seed oil has high levels of omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 fatty acids, which support your skin’s natural function and regeneration.


When your skin’s irritated, dry or suffering from a rash, smooth on the deliciously gentle AA Skincare Calendula Moisturising Cream (£7.98, As well as calendula to soothe and act as an antibacterial, it contains chamomile, lavender and aloe vera to calm, and comfrey extract to repair damaged tissue. Calendula is often paired with chamomile – you’ll find this dream team in Balmology Soothing Comfort Balm (£24, balmology. This 99 per cent organic balm is designed to comfort sore or dry patches. The calendula boosts cell regeneration, chamomile calms red skin, shea butter and jojoba oil moisturise and avocado oil relieves itching, so it’s perfect when spring allergies strike. When your skin is sensitive, it can be tricky to find an effective cleanser. Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (£19, is soft enough, thanks to the calendula oil and omegas 3 and 7, which calm the skin, but it also contains fennel seed extract to neutralise pollution particles.


Jennifer is a big fan of Amly Botanicals, which produces facial waters from silver-rich spring water that flows through a wild flower meadow in East Sussex. Radiance Boost (£42, contains an infusion of organic flowers and hedgerow fruit plus essential oils of rose otto, chamomile, jasmine and neroli. Jurlique launched its rose range after its Rosewater Balancing Mist became a bestseller. The Rose Moisture Plus With Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cream (£28.50, is a must for parched skin, with the rosehip fruit oil providing long-lasting nourishment. And if you really like roses, you’ll love Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask (£17,, which contains rose petals, rose essence and rosehip oil to drench your skin in moisture.


IRIS Best known for its striking purple-blue flowers, the iris can actually come in all rainbow colours. ‘Iris has traditionally been used as a fragrance ingredient,’ says Jennifer. ‘But it is very expensive as the process can’t be modernised.’ It’s actually the roots of the German Iris and Sweet Iris – known as orris root – that are used to make perfume. They are harvested, cleaned, dried and aged for three to five years, before being crushed and steam distilled. This long process makes iris one of the world’s most expensive perfumes. But the flower has other uses. ‘Iris tuber can be really potent,’ says Jennifer, and cosmetic scientists have been keen to harness this power in skincare. Iris is able to store water in its roots, even during droughts, and it’s thought that the orris root can have a positive effect on the moisture content of skin too. While there isn’t a lot of research on this, skincare brands have developed products containing iris based

on its potential. Iris flowers, leaves and roots are also known to have a high concentration of isoflavones – antioxidants that soothe skin and encourage its renewal.


The star ingredient in Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence (£38, is iris Florentina root extract. This silky liquid is designed to nourish your skin and improve fine lines. Weleda’s three iris products – Iris Hydrating Day Cream (£17.50,, plus a night cream and a lotion – are formulated to balance skin during temperature extremes – perfect for unpredictable spring days. They contain organically grown iris Germanica root extract. Decléor Aromessence Lavandula Iris Night Balm (£42, contains the strange-sounding iris concrete, also known as iris butter, which is a form of essential oil obtained from the dried root. This is blended with chamomile, lavender and bergamot to rejuvenate your skin while you’re sleeping.

F LO W E R POWER P E R FU M E S Smell like spring with these gorgeously floral, natural fragrances. ● Root & Flower, Flower Perfume (£26, uses pure plant and flower extracts to produce a 100 per cent natural perfume. It’s a blend of rose, mimosa and ylang ylang. ● Balm Balm Rose Geranium (£22, is a single note perfume – nothing more, nothing less. One for real geranium lovers! ● Lush Flower’s Barrow (£29, is a fresh and floral blend of geranium and chamomile oils, as well as blackcurrant and rose absolute.




GERANIUM Just as your nan’s skin glowed thanks to simple products such as Pond’s Cold Cream, her garden probably looked a picture filled with humble geraniums. These evergreen shrubs are native to South Africa and have brought joy to British gardeners for centuries, probably as they’re a great all-rounder that can thrive in a variety of environments. Similarly, geranium plays a varied role in our skincare. Firstly, the oil has a distinctive fragrance – its main components are citronellol and geraniol, which give it a sweet, almost rose-like fragrance with a hint of citrus. It’s commonly used in body and bath products plus in aromatherapy, where it’s valued for its uplifting properties, and to bring

balance to your emotions and hormones. As Jennifer explains, ‘We can’t underestimate the importance of flower fragrance for its mood-altering properties and it makes a product really pleasant to use.’ It can also bring balance to your skin. Studies have found geranium oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It balances sebum production and is an astringent, so it’s ideal for oily or congested skin.

● Prosody London Rose Rondeaux EDP (£135, is one of six perfumes from this new organic fragrance brand. This romantic number has top notes of iris, bergamot and raspberry, which give way to a rosy heart and a patchouli, blackcurrant and sandalwood base.

● Handmade in small batches from 100 per cent natural ingredients, Walden Two Eternities Natural Perfume (£60, waldenperfumes. com) starts off with a citrusy burst of sweet orange, mandarin and bergamot but then has heart notes of rose and jasmine, before leaving a lingering base note of Iris. TS


Rose geranium is probably the most widely used variant in skincare and is found in Aroma Works Balance Cleansing Face Wash (£17.50, Here it combines with jojoba oil, bergamot, lavender,

mandarin, green myrtle, neroli and patchouli to help reduce congestion, balance oil, soothe inflamed skin and help scarring. Oily and blemish-prone skin still needs hydrating and Pai Geranium and Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream (£34, is perfect for delivering moisture without causing breakouts. While geranium oil calms and rebalances, thistle oil mattifies and evens tone. The super light formula glides on and is absorbed into your skin instantly. If your skin’s oily, you might be surprised to know certain oils can really help reduce its oil production. Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil (£34, is specially designed for combination skin – it contains geranium essential oil to purify, lotus essential oil to decongest and rosemary essential oil to repair.



Slipping on the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask (£59.99, may make you look like a storm trooper, but the light therapy targets acne-causing bacteria, freshening your skin to boot. Your eyes are protected and the red and blue light is relaxing so all you need to do is sit back until it says you’re done!




You know how your skin looks so much more dewy and your cheekbones that much more defined after a spa facial? Now you can get those results at home with Sarah Chapman The Facialift (£28, The wishbone-shaped, rotating device massages your face, making it look lifted and brighter, while reducing puffiness and redness.




My Kitco My Ultra Multi Brush (£16.50, is made of the softest natural hairs, making it perfect for swiping blush, bronze and base onto your face. It enables you to use less product than you would by going in with your fingers, and you can buff the colour so much further for a flawless look. Wash it once a week to keep the fibres germ-free.

PRETTY UP YOUR POUT If you ever find your lippie goes on a bit wonky the Ainsel Yoga Brush (£23, will help you master it. The very bendy brush allows you to curve it as close to your lips as you like, using it first to outline, then to fill in your lips with colour.


Forget the freebies that come with your make-up palette and instead treat your eyelids to the Zoeva Cosmetics Luxe Crease Rose Gold Brush (£8.50, The natural bristles will allow you to work cream or powder shadows with ease – use a windscreen wiper action for best results.


To exfoliate and cleanse effectively try the new Real Techniques Prep Segment Miracle Cleansing Sponge (£5, It’s latex free, and shaped to reach every angle of your face. Swirl over your face to ditch every last scrap of dirt, and rinse thoroughly between uses.


THE TOOLS TO TRANSFORM Update your dressing table – and enhance your look – with these glamour gadgets.



hairdresser Good hair days start at the salon, so you and your stylist need to understand each other perfectly. Here’s how to talk the same language…





T’S WHAT WE ALL DREAM of – leaving the salon, head held high, checking yourself window out as you pass shop windows, amazing feeling and looking amazing! You might be lucky in that you have a stylist who knows you and your hair inside out and can make you feel incredible each and every time you visit. But for many of us, the experience of visiting a salon can be a little more unpredictable. And when you think that the average woman will have 104 haircuts in her lifetime*, it’s no wonder that things sometimes go awry. Any hairdressing ‘fail’ can feel devastating – after all we do wear our hair every day – but equally a hairdressing ‘win’ can have a truly positive impact. According to research, 69 per cent of us feel more attractive after having our hair coloured**, and for many of us self-esteem issues are tangled up in our hair – after all, our locks are a fundame fundamentall part of feeling, and looking, like ourselves. So when it works, it really works. To guarantee this kind of success, there are steps you can take so that when your hairdresser asks, ‘What can I do for you today?’ you’ll know exactly how to ask for – and get – what you want.



All good hair appointments should start with a little ‘you time’ where you tell your stylist how your hair needs to fit into your routine. Does your schedule allow time for styling with products and tools? Or do you need a 60-second fi x you can do half asleep while making breakfast? What are your go-to workouts? Hitting the pool a few time a week? This will really affect your colour choices. Or do you need a cut that can easily be swept out of the way as you take on a run or yoga? Share as much information as you can – stylists love this as it helps them do their job. Similarly, stylists really do appreciate seeing pictures of what you’re after. ‘They’re a great reference

f a stylist l to understand d d for what it is you like and want,’ explains Andrew Barton, celebrity hairdresser and creative director for Urban Retreat, Harrods. ‘Snaps on phones are OK, but there’s nothing as clear as a paper cut-out of something you like. ‘Collate a few pics – they will be similar but all have some difference. For instance, Jennifer Aniston’s trademark cut comes in all shapes and sizes and has evolved over the years so a stylist can create something based on a cut or colour that works for you. Pre-appointment, decide what it is you like about the look. Is it the colour or the amount of highlight, is it the fringe or the actual length? Dissect the look and make a few notes about what it is you like as this all helps the consultation process.’ You don’t have to use celebrities for reference either – take in photos of family, friends or even yourself. ‘In consultation I always ask my clients what they like about their hair, and the things they don’t – from there it becomes easier to make a plan,’ adds Andrew. ‘However, don’t be tempted to go too far into the past. You might

Hair goal:

Long, sleek and straight Cutting terms to use: One length, no layers. Hair goal:

Long-medium, textured with potential to wear wavy Cutting terms to use: Graduated, long layers. Hair goal:

Medium to short with volume to boost the look Cutting terms to use: Shorter, uniform layers. Hair goal:

Slick bob Cutting terms to use: Blunt, one length, blended. Hair goal:

Longer on top than bottom, Cutting terms to use: Graduated, finer below. TOPSANTÉ 93

look back at a picture from when you were younger COLOUR THE when you were feeling NATURAL WAY your best, and were ‘If you want to lift your caught unaware colour there are no natural laughing – that is alternatives, as you have to use a mood, not peroxide to achieve this,’ says a hairstyle, which Adam Reed. ‘However, natural you may not be colours can add shine, depth able to recreate. You and tone. These work for need to consider that certain types, typically things may have deeper hues and changed along with reds.’ your face shape. There is a new version waiting for you instead – an update.’ And while we’re on the past, be honest about the history of your hair. Stylists need to know what treatments, colours and chemical processes such as perming you’ve had done. This is because the average hair on your head has been around for seven to 10 years, so there are layers of styles-gone-by with the potential to affect your new ‘do’. Don’t forget to mention your personal hair quirks too. No-one knows that cow’s lick or baby-fi ne side-burns like you do and by bringing them to your hairdresser’s attention they can be accommodated. You’ve never been so spoilt



That snip of the scissors can be satisfying… and scary. While colouring can be corrected (to an extent) fairly swiftly, once your locks have been chopped, you’re looking at a regrowth period of months or even years, as the average person’s hair grows half an inch a month. And talking of inches, everyone’s idea of what exactly this measurement is can be very different once they’re in the salon. With a few miscommunicated measurements a trim can easily turn into a bob, so Andrew suggests forgetting about inches. ‘The best way to describe how much length to be cut off is to show your stylist with your hands,’ he explains. ‘Touch your collar bone, jawline or shoulders or draw the length with your fi ngers, this way it could not be clearer. I like to cut a few hairs from the area we’re discussing so my client can see where we’re heading.’ 94 TOPSANTÉ

for choice when it comes to colouring your locks. So for this it’s all about pictures, hair history and being descriptive. ‘Thanks to marketing and fierce competition for clients there are constantly new names for different colours – even some hairdressers won’t have heard of them,’ says Adam Reed, award-winning hairdresser and co-founder of Percy & Reed. ‘What you describe may not be what they understand from the technical name so it’s important to translate what you mean through imagery. A picture speaks a thousand words. ‘Lowlights, ombre, balayage, toner, root shadow, gloss, floating lights are all techniques that are open to

interpretation. The best thing to do is say exactly what you want in real-life terms. For example, “I want to go lighter around my face as if I’ve been on holiday,” is so much more helpful than saying “I want a vanilla, caramel, rich, deep but natural blonde”. ‘Also, discuss with your stylist how you like to wear your hair – do you wear it up; where is your parting; do you go for braiding – this will help you get a colour that works.’ Your stylist will then show you swatches of coloured hair so you can come to an understanding. ‘Never be afraid to speak up if you feel the colour choice isn’t right,’ adds Adam. ‘The stylist will be able to tell you how they can tweak it to achieve your desired look.’




You’ve smashed your salon session and your stylist has given you some hair homework. Here’s what you need to do when you hear them say… ●●‘Use a colour-friendly shower combo’: Team up Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Wash Shampoo and Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Care Conditioner (£18 each, as they are packed with hue protectors. ●●’Prep before heat styling’: Work in Paul Mitchell Neuro Style Blowout Primer (£8.95,, which offers heat protection and smoothes.

●●’Treat tresses to a deep condition’: Use Andrew Barton SOS Repair Treatment Mask (£4.99, once a week – the Moroccan argan oil heals the hair shaft from the inside out. ●●’Thicken hair as you style it’: Mist on Windle & Moodie Fortifying Spray (£18,, which gives body while adding shine with honey extract.

●●’Avoid split ends and dullness’: Use Living Proof Health Hair Night Cap Overnight Perfector (£30,, which reverses styling and lifestyle damage while you sleep. ●●’Use a hair-friendly multipurpose tool’: Invest in a ghd Original Professional Styler (£109.99, as the ceramic, floating plates will never frazzle your locks.




Jane Cunningham, 53, aka The British Beauty Blogger, reveals her top tips and must-have products for an extra beautiful life.

1 2

My top beauty product changes all the time, but right now I’m obsessed with Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation (£75, While I’m not generally a big spender – and this is pricey – it’s probably the best base I’ve ever used.


My number one wellbeing tip is an obvious but important one – sleep. I go through stages of being out for the count all night long, then being very wakeful and stressed. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it so when the good sleeps come I’m very grateful for them because I’m twice the person as a result. 96 TOPSANTÉ


When it comes to exercising and daily routines, I walk my dog every morning at about 8am. You get to see se the world waking u up – the deliveries starting, kids walki walking to school, people cycling to work. I love that time of day – it sets me up up, helping me gather perspective for wh what lies ahead.


I am over the massive lash look. Instead I now appreciate good separation and definition, and the new Benefit Badgal Bang Mascara (£21.50, uk) has a great wand and formula that achieves just that.


I love a mask, it’s the simplest way to relax and give your complexion a boost, however, I can’t bear the cold clamminess of some sheet masks. I like the Charlotte Tilbury Revolutionary Instant Magic Dry Sheet Mask (£18, charlotte, which uses oil micro infusion technology, that works with the warmth of your skin. I don’t like to leave my hair out either so I use 72 Hair Intense Replenishing Mask (£24.99, at least once a week.

All about Jane and… After years writing for national newspapers, Jane set up her blog 10 years ago. ‘It’s really not about me, but more a utilisation of what I’ve learned over years of testing. I’ll be 100 per cent truthful about the products I’m trialing – good, bad or indifferent.’ Find Jane on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at @BritBeautyBlog, and on Facebook.


Striving to look younger than you are is not a mission that makes any woman happy – an attitude switch is the most helpful thing you can do for yourself. Ageing isn’t something that needs curing or eradicating – it just needs better PR! The beauty industry is slowly waking up to the notion that looking younger isn’t the main goal of older women. We want to look and feel radiant and that’s not age-related. Remember to laugh too, it brings a sparkle to the eyes like nothing else can. I do like to laugh a lot!



ASK THE EXPERT Your beauty questions answered…

BEAUTY EXPERT Karen Sinclair-Drake is an expert in natural skincare (cosmetic


I’ve just had a spring clean and discovered some make-up from about three years ago – is it still ok to use? Joanne, 52



Check the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol, which looks like a small jar with the number of months you can keep it once open, written on the side. Generally, liquid or cream-based make-up formulas last one year and powdered ones up to two years. In a study carried out by the London Metropolitan University they found products that were a few months out of date tested

positive for the bacteria enterococcus faecalis (normally found in your gut or bowel). Other studies found meningitis bacteria in products that were 4-9 months out of date. To make doubly sure your make-up is hygienic, store it in a cool dry place (never in the bathroom) and wash your brushes and sponges in something like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (£1.59, once a week.


What’s the best way to naturally whiten my teeth? Penny, 41


My first recommendation is to do oil pulling on a daily basis. This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that not only whitens teeth, but is also said to help flush toxins from the body. The way to do it is to place one spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for five minutes, then spit it out in a bin, rinse well and then brush your teeth. But my new favourite teeth-whitening method is using an activated charcoal/ clay-based toothpaste such as Earthpaste Peppermint with Charcoal (£7.49, It delivers all the benefits you would expect from a toothpaste, but without any foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate, or chemicals such as titanium dioxide, which is used to make the paste bright white. Georganics Coconut Oil with Charcoal (£6.90, uses active charcoal from coconut shells and has a warm, spicy, sweet, liquorice-like aroma.

For a whitening effect, make sure you brush your teeth immediately after eating. TOPSANTÉ 97

Just for YOU! Treat yourself with our giveaways worth more than £1,750


a luxury two-night spa break for two WORTH


Norton House Hotel and Spa is an AA four-red-star country house hotel set within 55 acres of beautiful private grounds on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Built in 1840, the main manor house has retained striking original features such as carved wood panelling, stone fireplaces and tall, elegant windows. In the original walled garden, the hotel’s health club and spa features eight treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite, where you can have signature Elemis treatments. There are relaxation rooms, an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy spa and pool as 98 TOPSANTÉ

well as a Rasul mud chamber for you both to enjoy. The prize includes a two-night stay for two in a feature room, with a three-course seasonal meal in the restaurant, hearty breakfast, full access to the spa, Amber Lounge and relaxation room, and plenty of outdoor terrace space to relax and unwind. You may each choose a 55-minute Elemis treatment, from signature Biotec facials or the popular Pro-Radiance Superfood facial, or a Deeper than Deep Hot Stone Massage. Visit nortonhouse for more info.

Relax by the pool or take a dip as part of a weekend of indulgence at Norton House Hotel and Spa.



6-MONTH NATURAL WELLNESS BOX SUBSCRIPTION WORTH MORE THAN £210 This new bi-monthly subscription box brings natural beauty, wellness and health together. Inside are luxury natural skincare and beauty products, supplements, aromatherapy oils and candles, herbal teas and healthy snacks. All are cruelty free and vegan, and each box contains over £70 worth of products. For information visit

2 X EVERGREEN LIFE DNA TESTING KITS WORTH £125 EACH Evergreen Life DNA tests – using a simple swab from inside your cheek – help you understand how your genes influence your diet, fitness, metabolism, and skin. You can find out your likelihood of vitamin deficiencies, how well you digest carbs, whether you’re suited to cardio or strength training, how your skin ages and more.


£240 2 x VIP tickets for Craft Drink Festival 2018 The Craft Drink Festival is a new event celebrating the best craft beer, cider, gin, whisky and wine from the UK’s most innovative brewers and distillers. Held in Birmingham on 28-29 July, it features a pop-up town of breweries, distilleries and street food vendors where you can explore new flavours. There will be also be workshops, tasting sessions and panels with industry guests in the Brew Kettle educational area. Visit for more information.


6 X MICROPLANE SPICE MILLS AND ZESTER SETS WORTH £42 EACH We have six Spice Mills and Classic Zesters from Microplane to give away. The Spice Mill precisely grates and grinds hard spices and stores them in an airtight container, and the Zester grates citrus rinds effortlessly, without biting into the bitter pith, thanks to the photo-etching technology used on the blades, which keeps the cutting edges razor sharp. Microplane products are available from and independent cookshops. For information, visit


1) Visit and click on ‘Win’. 2) Tick the names of the giveaways you wish to enter and fill in your details. 3) The closing date is 14 May, 2018.


FOOD & DRINK Eats, treats, recipes and gadgets for a wholesome May.

AWESOME ASPARAGUS Asparagus season starts at the end of April, and these pancakes make the most of its goodness. Those green spears promote healthy bacteria in the large intestine and are packed with vitamin K, essential for healthy blood clotting, and vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. This recipe makes one big pancake, which can be served as a starter for two or three, or a substantial main dish for one. KOREAN PANCAKE WITH SLICED ROOTS AND SWEET & SOUR TAMARI 1 Start by making the dressing. Pour 60ml tamari soy sauce, the juice of half a lime, 1tbsp sesame oil, 1tsp maple syrup and half a grated garlic clove into a small jar, pop the lid on, give it a shake and set aside. 2 In a bowl, mix 70g gluten-free flour, 160ml water and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and set aside. Heat some oil in a pan and add 100g asparagus spears and half a leek, both sliced lengthways, and one carrot, chopped into thin sticks. Fry for 5 mins until brown. 3 Spread the veg out evenly in the pan and pour over the batter until you have a big pancake. Cook for 5 mins on each side until crispy and golden brown. Serve immediately, cut into slices, topped with 2 chopped spring onions, some sesame seeds and fresh coriander and the tamari dressing alongside.


Extract from Happy Food: Fast, Fresh, Simple Vegan by Bettina Campolucci-Bordi (£20, Hardie Grant) Photography © Nassima Rothacker.



instant noodles

Speedy on-the-go lunches with quality ingredients... and so quick! Itsu Rice Noodles (£1.75, Itsu’s new rice noodle pots feature handcrafted broths cooked from scratch with miso, herbs and spices, near Tokyo, for an authentic noodle experience. They are gluten free, and have fewer than 230 calories. Coconut Chicken Laksa (£2.99 Mr Lee’s Pure Foods offer one of the healthiest gourmet cup noodles on the market, using high-quality freeze-dried ingredients. They are low in sugar and saturated fat and gluten free. Kabuto Noodles Chicken Pho (£2, Inspired by the fragrant chicken pho noodle soups of Vietnam, these are low in fat and free from additives, flavour enhancers, preservatives, and palm oil.


To win a Microplane Spice Mill and Zester, enter our competition on p98.


MICROPLANE SPICE MILL (£24.95, HARTSOFSTUR.COM) Freshly ground spices are an important addition to many recipes, but grating or grinding can be messy and wasteful. The tiny teeth on the Microplane Spice Mill behave like extremely sharp knives to cut with precision, rather than tearing or shredding. The blade ensures food does not stick or block, but slides along the cutting surface for a powder-like result at home. Managing editor Yvonne tried it. She says: ‘It’s simple to use and swiftly turned a stick of cinammon into fine powder with ease.’ ● Precision grating surface gives professional results. ● Satin-touch body provides a comfortable and secure surface to grip. ● Airtight compartment keeps the spices fresh for longer.

FOOD TREAT Scrummmptious Cakes (, £1.75 for 6) Scrummmptious have cut the calories in their cakes to fewer than 100 a portion, by using spelt flour and unrefined organic coconut palm sugar – which contains potassium and calcium – along with free-range eggs, fruit and oats. Available in Cranberry & Orange and Lemon & Chia Seed flavours, they have 55 per cent less sugar, and 30 per cent less sat fat than a typical cake.



STRENGTH FOR SUPPER Shape up and get stronger with our speedy muscle-building weekday dishes


Christine Bailey is an award-winning nutritionist, chef and author. Visit christinebailey.




VEGAN SPINACH AND PUMPKIN CURRY WITH CASHEW NUTS The warm spices, creamy coconut and crunchy cashews make this a filling vegan supper dish. You can use a bag of prepared pumpkin or sweet potato to save time. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 22 mins Per serving: 225kcal, 15.4g fat – 4.4g saturates – 12.3g carbs, 6.8g sugars, 7.4g protein, 3.8g fibre, 0.2g salt ■■Olive oil 1tbsp ■■Garlic clove 1, chopped ■■Onion 1, finely chopped ■■Fresh root ginger 2cm, peeled and grated ■■Medium curry paste 1tbsp ■■Can chopped tomatoes 400g ■■Light coconut milk 200g ■■Pumpkin 350g, peeled and cut into chunks ■■Baby spinach leaves 250g ■■Sea salt and black pepper to taste ■■Cashew nuts 60g, toasted

HEALTH BENEFITS: Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are good sources of iron and vitamin C, which aid iron absorption in the body and promote energy and strength.

1 Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the garlic, onion and ginger together for 5 mins until softened and golden. Stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes, coconut milk and pumpkin. 2 Simmer for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is tender and the sauce has thickened. 3 Stir in the spinach and cook gently together for a couple of mins until the spinach is just cooked. Season to taste. Scatter over the cashew nuts to serve.


ASPARAGUS AND SMOKED SALMON RISOTTO Using a mixture of rice and quinoa is a great way to add more texture, fibre and protein to the dish. This is a deliciously easy recipe that is ready in about half an hour. Serves 4 Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 25 mins Per serving: 482kcal, 13.6g fat – 4.2g saturates – 59.8g carbs, 4.4g sugars, 27.7g protein, 4.9g fibre, 2.9g salt ■■Olive oil 1tbsp ■■Onion 1, finely chopped ■■Risotto rice 200g ■■Quinoa 100g ■■Hot chicken stock 1litre ■■Fine asparagus, roughly chopped 100g ■■Frozen peas 60g ■■Light cream cheese 100g ■■Smoked salmon 200g, roughly chopped ■■Lemon 1, juice and zest ■■Sea salt and black pepper to taste 1 Heat the oil in a large shallow sauté pan over medium heat and fry the onion until soft – about 5 mins. Add the rice, quinoa and stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened. This will take around 20 mins in HEALTH total. After 15 mins, BENEFITS: add the asparagus Salmon is a great and peas. choice for muscle building 2 Once the rice is and overall health. It’s tender stir in the packed with plenty of cream cheese, omega-3 fatty acids, which smoked salmon, play an important role in and lemon juice muscular health and may and zest, and even increase muscle warm through for gain during exercise a couple of mins. programmes. Season to taste then serve. 104 TOPSANTÉ



HEALTH BENEFITS: Beetroots are rich in nitrates that have been shown to boost physical performance, increase stamina, and improve oxygen use which can lead to better exercise performance and help you work out for longer.

SPICED ROASTED BEETROOT AND APPLE SOUP This is a really easy recipe to make. Simply place the ingredients in a roasting tin and roast for 20 mins before blitzing in a blender. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 25 mins Per serving: 143kcal, 5.2g fat – 0.8g saturates – 14.5g carbs, 13.2g sugars, 7.2g protein, 4.6g fibre, 0.5g salt ■■Raw beetroot 500g, peeled and diced ■■Eating apple 2, cored and diced ■■Onion 1, peeled and cut into small chunks ■■Garlic clove 2, peeled and finely chopped ■■Olive oil 2tbsp ■■Ground coriander 1tsp ■■Ground cumin 1tsp

■■Chicken stock 800ml ■■Lemon juice 2tbsp ■■Sea salt and black pepper to taste ■■Chopped coriander to taste ■■Greek yogurt for drizzling, optional 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. 2 Place the beetroot, apple, onion and garlic in a roasting tin. Pour over the oil and spices. Toss well to coat. Roast in the oven for 20 mins until soft and tender 3 Put half of the cooked vegetables in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. 4 Pour into a pan and add the remaining roasted vegetables. Simmer for 5 mins. 5 Spoon into bowls and scatter with chopped coriander. Serve with a little thick Greek yogurt if wished.


BEEF WITH BARLEY, CABBAGE, CHILLI AND PARSLEY Barley is rich in fibre which helps make you feel fuller for longer and keeps your energy levels high. This recipe uses quick-cook grains to save time. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 23 mins Per serving: 448kcal, 8.1g fat – 2.6g saturates – 64.4g carbs, 4.1g sugars, 26.8g protein, 4.9g fibre, 1.3g salt ■■Olive oil 1tbsp ■■Leek 1, finely sliced

■■Garlic cloves 2, finely chopped ■■Quick-cook barley 300g ■■Chicken stock 800ml ■■Savoy cabbage 300g, shredded ■■Black pepper a few turns ■■Dijon mustard 1tsp ■■Beef fillet steaks 2, 125g each ■■Olive oil for drizzling ■■Red chilli 1, thinly sliced ■■Flat leaf parsley 2tbsp, chopped 1 Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and cook the leek for a couple of mins, add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 2 Add the barley and pour over the

chicken stock. Season with black pepper and stir in the mustard. Simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. 3 Add the cabbage to the barley and cook for 10 mins until the cabbage is wilted and tender. 4 Meanwhile, heat a frying or griddle pan. Rub a little oil over the steaks and pan fry them for 4-5 mins on each side. Remove from the pan. Allow to rest for 5 mins then slice. 5 Add the sliced beef to the stew. Spoon into bowls and scatter with chilli and parsley to serve.

HEALTH BENEFITS: Beef fillet is packed with high-quality protein, B vitamins, minerals and creatine which can help increase lean muscle mass and strength.



A healthy frittata can easily be made from leftovers in your fridge.

HEALTH BENEFITS: Eggs contain high-quality protein, including large amounts of the amino acid leucine – particularly important for muscle strength. They are also rich in B vitamins which help support energy production, so you can work out harder.



A frittata is delicious hot or cold and they are a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in the fridge. Serve this with a mixed salad for a healthy and fuss-free supper. Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 20 mins Per serving: 266kcal, 17.6g fat – 5.4g saturates – 4.4g carbs, 4.1g sugars, 21.1g protein, 2.8g fibre, 1.1g salt

■■Olive oil 2tbsp ■■Savoy cabbage 200g, shredded ■■Onion 1, diced ■■Free range eggs 8 ■■Milk 100ml ■■Parmesan cheese 30g, grated ■■Garlic clove 1, crushed ■■Sea salt and black pepper to taste ■■Rocket leaves 100g ■■Parma ham 8 slices 1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the cabbage and onion and

cook for 7-8 mins until the cabbage begins to soften. 2 Whisk the eggs with the milk. Add the cheese and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. 3 Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and mix well. Cook without stirring over a low heat until the eggs are just set, about 10 mins. 4 Preheat the grill to high. Place the pan under the grill for a couple of mins to brown the top lightly. 5 Slide the frittata out of the pan, and top with the rocket and ham.


BURGERS WITH BITE As alfresco eating season gets under way, why not enjoy an array of delicious flavours in a bun? No meat required!




TWIRLED AUBERGINE BURGER WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO KETCHUP AND CARAMELISED ONIONS For 6 burgers: ■■Aubergines 800g (approx. 2 aubergines) ■■Olive oil for frying ■■Tomato purée 200g ■■Mozzarella balls 2x125g, coarsely grated ■■Parmesan 100g, grated Caramelised onions ■■Onions 2 ■■Butter 2tbsp ■■Red wine vinegar 1tbsp To serve ■■Burger buns 6 ■■Butter for the buns ■■Pickled gherkins ■■Tomato ketchup (see recipe below) 1 Start with the caramelised onions, as they take the longest to prepare. Peel and chop the onions and put them in a cold saucepan. Add the butter and put the saucepan on a medium heat. The onions will soon start to release liquid, and the flavours will be

TOMATO KETCHUP Makes 500ml ■■Plum tomatoes 1kg ■■Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ■■Ground cinnamon pinch ■■Ground allspice pinch ■■Ground cloves pinch ■■Coriander seeds 1tsp ■■Fresh ginger 2tsp, grated ■■Onion powder 2tsp ■■Paprika powder 2tsp ■■Apple cider vinegar 2tbsp ■■Sherry vinegar 1tbsp ■■Honey 1tbsp ■■Water 200ml 1 Preheat the oven to 140°C/ gas mark 1. Halve the tomatoes and lay them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment,

concentrated as a result of cooking in their own juices. Stir with a wooden spoon about every 5 mins for 30-40 mins, and check that they’re not burning. If you notice they’re starting to get dry you can add the vinegar earlier. 2 Pour the vinegar into the saucepan of onions, raise the heat and considerably reduce without a lid. Put to one side. 3 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 4 Cut the aubergines lengthways into thin slices, ideally by using a mandoline. Pour plenty of oil into a frying pan and heat until it starts to smoke. Fry the slices of aubergine on both sides so they take on a nice colour, then transfer them to paper towels so they release the excess fat. 5 Lay 3-4 slices of aubergine in a row so they form a long strip. Repeat with the remaining slices of aubergine so you get 6 long strips. Spread a thin layer of tomato purée

on them and sprinkle grated mozzarella and Parmesan on top. Roll each length up to form a round – as if making a cinnamon roll – of about the same diameter as the bun. Transfer the aubergine rolls to ramekins or heat-resistant teacups. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 mins. 6 These aubergine patties work best if they are given time to settle, so, once baked allow them to cool in the fridge for an hour or so, then reheat them in an oven at 175°C/ gas mark 3 for 10 mins until warmed through. Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a frying pan or grill. 7 Slide a small knife around the edges of the ramekins or teacups to loosen, turn them over and slide the aubergine patties out onto a large plate. 8 Carefully place a patty on each bun and top with pickled gherkins, caramelised onion and a good dollop of ketchup.

with cut surfaces uppermost. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for two hours. 2 Add tomatoes and the other ingredients to a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 30 mins. 3 Remove from the heat and blend the contents until smooth, then pass the misture through a fine-mesh sieve (using a spoon to press out as much as you can). 4 Wash the saucepan and pour the sauce back into it. Bring to the boil again and cook for about 30 mins to reduce to the right consistency. It will get creamier as it cools. 5 Pour the ketchup into clean, sterilised glass bottles. Store in the fridge.


BLACK BEAN BURGER WITH BABA GANOUSH, GRILLED SPRING ONIONS AND ROASTED PINE NUTS For 6 burgers: ■■Cooked black beans 400g ■■Rapeseed or peanut oil for frying ■■Finely chopped onion 65g ■■Mild chilli powder 1tsp ■■Smoked paprika powder 1tsp ■■Barbecue sauce 3tsp ■■Dry-roasted walnuts 50g (see opposite) ■■Fresh coriander 2tbsp, finely chopped ■■Boiled black rice 100g ■■Panko breadcrumbs 25g ■■Sea salt To serve: ■■Burger buns 6 ■■Butter for the buns ■■Charcoal-roasted baba ganoush (see right) ■■Steamed spring onions (see opposite) ■■Toasted pine nuts ■■Fresh parsley ■■Lemon 1, zested 1 Rinse the beans in cold water and drain. 2 Fry the onions until they have developed some colour and are on the verge of burning. 3 Reduce the heat, add the chilli and paprika and stir. Mix in the BBQ sauce and remove from the heat. 4 Roast the walnuts (as described opposite). Chop them and put them in a bowl with the beans, coriander, rice, breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt. Mix with a potato masher (the beans should only be lightly mashed). Add the onion mixture and stir to combine. 5 Take a handful of mixture at a time and shape into six round patties. Put them on a plate and cover with cling film. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably longer, so they hold together better when you fry them. 6 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 7 Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan. Fry both sides of the patties over a medium heat for a few mins. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake them in the oven for 5-10 mins. 8 Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry or grill them. Place a patty on the bottom of each bun. Add a generous dollop of baba ganoush, follow with some grilled spring onions and top with toasted pine nuts, parsley sprigs and lemon zest. 110 TOPSANTÉ

CHARCOAL-ROASTED BABA GANOUSH want to barbecue, you can Makes about 1 litre grill the aubergine for 15-20 ■■Medium aubergines 3 mins, turning halfway). ■■Garlic cloves 3 3 Let the cloves of garlic and ■■Lemon 1, zested and aubergines cool enough to freshly squeezed handle them, then cut the ■■Olive oil 100ml plus a little aubergines in half lengthways extra to serve and scoop out the flesh with ■■Sea salt and freshly a spoon (try to get as much of ground black pepper to the flesh out as possible). taste Split the garlic cloves and ■■Mild chilli powder 1tsp scoop them out too. 4 Put the garlic and the 1 Light the barbecue. aubergine flesh into a large 2 Prick a few holes in the bowl. Pour in the lemon juice aubergines with a toothpick, and a little of the oil, then then put them straight onto the glowing charcoal. You can beat with a whisk. Pour in the rest of the oil a little at a time, also do this when the stirring vigorously. If you want charcoal is actively flaming. a firmer consistency you can Make sure you use charcoal use less oil. Add salt and that has not been chemically pepper to taste. treated. Cook the aubergines 5 Put the aubergine mix into until the skins are completely a bowl. Dust it with the chilli charred and they are soft powder, sprinkle over the inside. This takes about 15 lemon zest and drizzle a little mins. Put on the garlic cloves olive oil on top. You can put it (with skins) for the final 5–10 straight on the burger or mins and roast until they are serve as an accompaniment. also soft inside (If you don’t

If your outdoor eating involves a barbecue, try using it to make this dip – it’ll be worth the effort!



GRILLED AND STEAMED SPRING ONIONS spring onions on the grid Enough for 6 burgers while the charcoal is still ■■Olive oil 100ml actively flaming. Cook the ■■Sea salt and freshly onions all over so the ground black pepper surface gets a little burnt. ■■Spring onions 6 3 Using tongs, transfer 1 Pour the oil into a sealable the onions to the plastic plastic bag big enough to bag. Seal it and shake so accommodate the spring the oil covers the onions. onions. Sprinkle with salt and Leave them in the bag for pepper. Put the bag where it about 20 mins so they is close at hand. steam in their own heat. 2 Light the barbecue. Lay the

DRY-ROASTED WALNUTS ■ Walnuts 1kg with shells or 500g without shells ■ Mild chilli powder 2tsp ■ Sea salt 1 Crack open the walnuts and remove the shells. 2 Heat a dry frying pan, ideally a cast-iron one. Toast the nuts over a medium heat until they start to take on a little colour, for about 2 mins. Shake the pan now and then so the nuts do not get too burnt, but don’t worry if they burn slightly as this creates flavour. 3 Take the pan off the heat and season with chilli and salt.


BEETROOT BURGER WITH PEA HOUMOUS AND PEA SHOOTS For 6 burgers ■■Beetroot 500g ■■Olive oil 2-3tsp ■■Coarse sea salt ■■Garlic cloves 6-7 ■■Fresh oregano ■■Roasted pepper seasoning 1tsp (see recipe opposite) ■■Boiled red rice 120g ■■Panko breadcrumbs 25g ■■Almond butter or other nut butter 2tbsp (see instructions below) ■■Cooked red lentils 150g ■■Cooked red quinoa 100g ■■Sea salt to taste ■■Rapeseed or peanut oil for frying Pea houmous ■■Cooked peas 300g ■■Cooked chickpeas 100g ■■Olive oil 100ml ■■Tahini 1tbsp ■■Garlic clove 1, peeled ■■Lemon ½, freshly squeezed ■■Mint 3tbsp, finely chopped ■■Sea salt To serve: ■■Burger buns 6 ■■Butter for the buns ■■Pea shoots ■■Lemon 1, zested

NUT BUTTER If you have a food processor with a knife blade it is so easy to make your own nut butter. Mix the nuts at maximum speed until you have a fine, smooth butter. This will take 10-20 mins, depending on your food processor, the type of nut and the quantity. Initially, a nut flour will form, but the nuts will gradually start to release oil, creating a buttery consistency. It is a good idea to have a spatula to hand so you can scrape the nut mass down off the edges. If it is still dry after 15-20 mins you can pour in a little extra oil, such as peanut, coconut or rapeseed (do not use cold-pressed oil though, as the flavour of the oil must be as plain as possible).


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. 2 Scrub and trim the beetroots. Dry them completely and brush them with oil. Put a layer of coarse sea salt at the bottom of an ovenproof dish and place the beetroots on this bed of salt, leaving small spaces between them. Sprinkle more sea salt all over the beetroots so it almost covers them, and poke the cloves of garlic and the oregano in between them. 3 Bake the beetroots in the oven until they are soft. This will take about 40 mins. When they look a little shrivelled and grey on the outside they will usually be perfect inside. Take them out and allow them to cool. 4 Make the roasted pepper seasoning (see instructions for this opposite). 5 Cut the beetroots into small matchsticks, or grate them with a mandoline or grater. 6 Put 1tsp of roasted pepper seasoning, rice, panko breadcrumbs and almond butter into a food processor and mix to create a fairly smooth consistency. 7 Transfer to a bowl and add the beetroot matchsticks, lentils and quinoa. Add a little salt to taste as necessary. 8 Take a handful of mixture at a time and shape into six round patties, either by hand or using a food ring. Put the patties on a plate and cover them with cling film. Put in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably longer, so they hold their shape better when frying them. 9 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 10 Mix all the ingredients for the pea houmous in a food processor or using a hand blender until the mixture has a smooth consistency. If you want your houmous to be a little more chunky, you can chuck in the peas at the end and pulse-blend the mixture a few times at that stage. 11 Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry the patties over a medium heat for a few mins on both sides until they develop a nice surface. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish and bake for 5-10 mins. 12 Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a pan or grill them. 13 Place a patty on the bottom of each bun. Spoon over a little pea houmous and top with pea shoots and lemon zest.



ROASTED PEPPER SEASONING ■■Coriander seeds 2tbsp ■■Sichuan pepper 2tbsp ■■Whole black peppercorns 2tbsp 1 Heat a dry cast-iron pan over a medium heat. Toast the

coriander seeds, Sichuan pepper and black peppercorns until the seeds start to go golden brown and there is a clear spice aroma. 2 Pound the spices in a mortar or mix them to a fine powder with a hand blender. Store in a jar.

Green Burgers by Martin Nordin (£15, Hardie Grant) Photography © Martin Nordin






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ASK THE EXPERT Your nutrition questions answered…


I eat healthily all day but then can’t resist unhealthy snacks at night. Help! Paula, 44



There are many reasons why we may eat more snacks at night. Hunger can sometimes be the cause, but boredom and unconscious eating have a big part to play. If you find you’re hungry in the evenings, eating high-fat healthy foods earlier on is a great way to curb those pangs. And if you eat through boredom, try to think of ways to distract yourself or keep busy so you don’t think of reaching for the crisps or sweets. However, one of the biggest reasons for this kind of snacking is unconscious eating – when we don’t have much awareness of the fact we are doing it, hardly register what the food tastes like, or even notice when we are full. It often

happens when you’re distracted by something else. That’s why families who eat in front of the TV tend to be more prone to weight gain. This is due to them ignoring their ‘feeling full’ responses as they are too busy concentrating on the programme they’re watching. And if your evening snack of choice involves refined carbs and sugars, you can end up in a vicious circle as these are highly addictive, making you crave them even more. Once you recognise why you snack in the evening you will be able to put things in place to help. If you do intend to eat a snack however, plan it in advance so you make healthier choices. And avoid snacking while watching your favourite box set!




Recent studies have shown that processed food can increase cancer rates. Does this include artisan bread such as sourdough? Claire, 63


Opting for organic, artisan breads, ideally using traditional grains, ill limit li it your risk i k off intolerances will a d your exposure to o heavy and processing, but it is not b d we have just bread tto watch. ch. We a are generally

consuming more processed food than ever before and this increases our risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory conditions, skin ailments, mental health problems and fertility issues to name but a few! Choosing minimally processed foods will have a very positive effect on your health.

NUTRITION EXPERT Sarah Flower is a nutritionist and author (sarahflower.



Discover more great health, fitness, nutrition and beauty advice in the June issue, including…



The experts share their favourite ways to halt hayfever


prime time eating plan to lose some inches and enjoy better health!




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HEALTHY LIFE Discover how readers are making the most of our top tips and articles, as well as sharing some of their best beauty tips and finds. INSPIRED TO CHANGE

My friend gave me last month’s edition of Top Santé while I was recovering from breast surgery and I can’t believe I’ve never picked up a copy before! As a full-time teacher/mum/wife, I struggle with stress, never have time for me and hardly ever read magazines, but Top Santé has gripped me! I enjoyed the articles and advice, and can’t wait to try some of the recipes. Having a health scare makes you really evaluate your

life and what is important. Every holiday I promise myself (and my husband) that I’ll try to change, but two days later I’m as bad as ever. Enough is enough. I’m going to subscribe and every time your magazine drops through the mailbox I’ll be reminded of this promise! Catherine Morrison, Facebook


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I was fascinated to read your article about the vagus nerve, (March 2018) and how it can be stimulated by sound which in turn helps to induce feelings of calm. A month ago, I might have been skeptical about the healing power of harmonics, but recently I saw The Story of the Weeping Camel, a documentary about a family of nomadic shepherds. One 118 TOPSANTÉ

of their camels was rejecting her newborn, so a musician played calming sounds on a Mongolian violin to the camel, after which she no longer rejected her calf. This was clearly evidence of the power of sound, and supports your article. Until I get a Tibetan Singing Bowl I’ll have to hum – let’s hope my husband finds my humming as relaxing as I do! Jane Pryor, Bucks



vibrations It’s often said that music is medicine for the soul. Well, it turns out that sound could be a powerful tonic for the body too!




T’S ONE OF THE MOST exciting topics of medical research right now. While you might not be familiar with the role of your vagus, this major nerve running from your head to your heart and elsewhere plays a crucial part in how your body functions healthily. And the fitter, and more toned it is, the better you feel. ‘The vagus nerve creates a stimulus in your body,’ says Dr Kenneth Pelletier, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine. ‘In turn, the body responds with various hormones. Some of these are stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can be destructive to your body, while others are more regenerative and constructive.’ He adds: ‘The vagus nerve has been the target of a great deal of medical research and

intervention.’ Electrical stimulation of the nerve is now used to help treat conditions including anxiety, migraine and chronic heart failure. Improving the tone of your vagus nerve has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve conditions including depression and fatigue. So, can you improve your vagal tone? ‘Yes, within limits,’ says Michael VanElzakker,

the best vagal tone they’re capable of.’ One of the simplest – and most fun – ways to stimulate your vagus nerve is through sound. Certain types can shift your brain and vagus from a stressed high-frequency activity state to a more relaxed lower-frequency state – and this goes far beyond the soul-soothing effects of listening to your favourite songs. ‘There is a biological, scientific basis for the impact of music on the vagus,’ says Dr Pelletier. ‘In fact, starting this year, the National Institute of Health in the USA is engaged in a major research project which will look at the impact of music on stroke survivors and Parkinson’s patients, as well as its effect on the onset of Alzheimer’s. There’s evidence it can improve all these conditions.’ Keen to take your vagal tone to healthier new octaves? Tune in and make some noise…

‘Vagus’ comes from the Latin word for ‘wandering’ – a nod to how the nerve extends through the body. a research fellow with the Psychiatric Neuroscience Division at Massachusetts General Hospital. ‘It’s a bit like exercising for fitness. If I go jogging every day, I will still probably never be able to win a marathon, but I can improve my fitness. Under normal circumstances – i.e. being free from disease – people can work to have





My top fitness tip is to go for a walk every day. It is good not just for exercise, but to clear my mind too. Usually I walk in the park or go out in the country; I love the quietness and the lovely flowers and scenery, which I would miss if I were driving. Jackie Paul, Facebook



ERHAPS YOU DID IT yourself, a friend or family member tried it, or you simply read about it. A couple of years ago there was no ignoring the popularity of 5:2 – the diet where you significantly cut calories for a couple of days a week to reap the benefits of fasting. And while that diet might not be all over the news any more, there’s still plenty of research going on to say that waiting longer between meals – this time for hours rather than a day – is a reliable way to keep you looking and feeling young. And reducing your eating window – the number of hours in a day during which you consume food – could not only help you slim more quickly, but also increase your brain function, heart health, and resistance to disease. The idea is to give your body a rest from digesting food so it can perform other, longevity-increasing tasks.


FAT LOSS Discover how to stay lean and live longer by introducing some easy-to-follow ‘weight-loss windows’ to your eating routine.




What usually draws people to some variation on a fasting diet is the prospect of getting leaner. You could lose up to eight per cent of your body weight in an average of six months, and shave seven per cent off your waist measurement, according to a study from the University of Illinois. But, these slimming gains aren’t just down to giving yourself less time in which to eat and therefore reducing your calories – it’s a whole lot cleverer than that. ‘Increasing the amount of time between meals can induce ketosis, a metabolic process that encourages you to burn fat stored in your body as its primary energy source, rather than glucose from carbohydrates,’ says Kim Pearson, ambassador for the fasting plan ProLon ( This helps to reduce excess body fat, including the stubborn bit around your belly. While you’re eating this way, it also helps your metabolism. ‘When you restrict how much you eat

Keeping your eating to a shorter window can benefit weight and health

for a period of time and then follow that with a period of normal eating – i.e. intermittent fasting – you can stimulate your metabolism by as much as 14 per cent,’ says genetic nutritionist Kate Llewellyn-Waters. What’s more, while you’re having a break from processing food, it releases

from body fat and glycogen (sugar), this obviously aids weight loss, and also improves your blood glucose and cholesterol levels,’ says Kate. ‘Studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, whilst increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. It also decreases your blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, which reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.’ The long-term anti-ageing benefits of fasting happen because when your body doesn’t have food to fuel itself, it has to look at what resources it already has at hand to keep you going. ‘It starts to recycle old, faulty and diseased cells, in a process called autophagy,’ says Kim. ‘This makes way for new, healthier cells to grow in their place once you start eating again.’ It’s this process that the experts believe leads to an increase in longevity and a decrease in your risk of developing diseases such as cancer.

In one study, people who left longer gaps between food had hearts as healthy as those 15 years younger.* several hormones that help you to gain energy from your stored body fat. One of these is human growth hormone (HGH) which helps burn body fat and crucially build muscle at the same time. And the more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally use on a day-to-day basis.


And there’s even more to be gained from eating windows than just a slimmer silhouette. ‘On fasting days your body uses stored energy





I just read the April issue of Top Santé and was delighted to find it covered all the topics I was really interested in this month! I am now keen to try the intermittent fasting diet and will also incorporate some foods from the excellent gut health articles. Combined with exercising in my lunch hour, I should soon be shaping up for my holiday in May! I also LOVED the beauty article with bargain buys and luxury options. I hope this will continue every month for women like me, who are on a budget. Well done on a very motivating issue! Eunice Weller, Lancashire


I recommend a ketogenic diet, with an ‘adrenal protecting’ workout programme – a mixture of yoga, weights, HIIT and walking – not the chronic cardio and vegetarian diet that’s worn my body out over the years, just making me hungry. I realise now that you can’t outrun a bad diet! The most important thing for me though, is sleep. I’m working on no caffeine after lunchtime and not drinking too late so I’m not woken up for the loo. Darkness and no screens before bed help me sleep better. Jane Kershaw, by email

QUICK TIPS FROM TWITTER The best time to apply creams is after a shower as skin has been de-oiled. Rosie @ nicelittlestar

Exfoliate after a gym session to get rid of all the dead skin cells. Claire @miser able_me1 Soak your nails in olive oil for five minutes, then admire your pretty hands! Laura @ ferrerorocker


Recently I’ve started using lactic acid, an exfoliating AHA, as part of my skin care routine. After using a hot cloth cleanser I apply a few drops of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%. It stings a little at first, but after a week or so I noticed my skin was definitely smoother, less patchy, and some stubborn bumps on my chin disappeared. My skin looks brighter without make up than it did before and I haven’t had any blemishes, I just have to remember to wear a moisturiser with an SPF after I use it! Vicky Hackney-Williams, Editorial Assistant

I recently returned from a lovely long holiday in South America. While we were there I was conscious of avoiding jet lag, so I woke up at my usual natural UK time each day, which worked out at around 4-5am there, meaning I could watch the sunrise each morning and enjoy lazy swims. And it also meant I could justify a nap in the afternoon before heading out to enjoy a Tango! Katherine Watt, Features Editor

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I know I should probably exercise more, but the thought of joining a gym is abhorrent to me! I’m a great believer that a brisk walk each day does as much good as a gym class. Living in Glasgow, I’m surrounded by green space and I walk my two Labradors, Jess and Ruby, every day. I pull on my wellies, plug in The Archers podcast and off we go.

makes the best chips. Even better, you only use one teaspoon of olive oil to make them. I like curries and stir-fries and my favourite ingredient is ginger; I’ll take as much as of it as I can get and it’s really good for you! Chocolate spread is my guilty pleasure. I don’t have it all the time but it’s so delicious on toast. I draw the line at spooning it out of the jar though! There’s also something very comforting about desserts with custard, and bread and butter pudding; I think it’s a childhood thing.

‘Everything in moderation’ is my attitude. Although I love bread and dairy products and I have sugar in my tea, I think I live a reasonably healthy lifestyle overall: I’ve never smoked, I don’t eat sweets and we cook meals from scratch. I’ve never weighed myself and I have no idea about calories. I use my jeans as a benchmark; if they become tight, that’s when I start to think maybe I need to rein it in a bit. I don’t drink much alcohol. It’s a standing joke in our house that I’m a lightweight. If I have a second glass of wine, well that’s a big night don out for me! It’s not that I don’t like the alcohol; it’s how it I makes me feel the next day. It just isn’t worth it. I love a good steak and homemade chips. We have a fantastic air fryer, which 122 TOPSANTÉ


Carol Smillie

The Scottish TV presenter talks about her exercise regime, her guilty pleasures and how happiness comes from within. within

Walking the dogs, eating lots of ginger and enjoying a good steak dinner help Carol feel good.

Pelvic floor exercises are so important for women. Having weakness in this area is a common problem (see our feature p24), but it’s very much a taboo subject. My underwear range, Pretty Clever Pants, look like normal knickers but they have a secret waterproof layer and they’re for those women who’ve maybe had a couple of children, taken an exercise class or gone for a run and realised their pelvic floor doesn’t hold out the way it used to. It’s my mission to have the pants accepted in the same way that shape wear or sports bras are. I’ve always said that happiness is an inside job. If you’re unhappy on the inside, you might start changing things on the outside, but that doesn’t work. You have to learn to love your faults – and stop imagining an overpriced face cream is going to make you look like a celebrity – because you’re great as you are. ● Pretty Clever Pants, designed by Carol Smillie, are available at TS



I also enjoy yoga but not as part of a class. We have a house in the Algarve in Portugal and my husband and I do yoga there together when we’re on holiday. We put croissants in the oven for breakfast and then we’ll do 20 minutes of yoga on the terrace. It’s blissful: there’s a light breeze, it’s sunny and warm, and it’s just us.

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