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MAY 2017



DROP 7LBS in just 2 weeks

MAY 17 £3.99

FACE YOUR RUNNING FEARS Slow? Out of breath? Why it doesn’t matter! FEARNE COTTON:

‘‘My stress-busting





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from the EDITOR




With a holiday looming around the corner, I’ll be doing William’s 14-day emergency shred to kick start my break on p21

Purple food is full of nutrients and can make you look younger – turn to p88 to find out what you should be including on your plate!



Welcome to YOUR FITNESS!

Choosing to embark on a new fitness regime isn’t always an easy decision, we know that. Everyone has insecurities about their body shape, concerns about whether they’re ‘too old’ to work out and worries about whether they’re doing it right, but the key is to remember that we’re all in the same boat. Yes, turning up to a new gym for the first time can be terrifying, but in reality no one is staring at what you’re wearing or paying attention to how fast you’re going on the treadmill. The important thing is that you’re actually doing it. If you’re in need of some more confidence, we’re here to help. Think you’re too slow to start running? Our experts on page 51 are here to tell you otherwise. Fancy taking up cycling as a hobby? We’ve got all you need to know as a beginner on page 39. Plus, we’ve got some great exercises on page 31 that you can do in the comfort of your own home too – no scary gym or equipment needed! This issue we’re also launching our Your Fitness Awards 2017 and we’d love to hear from you. Turn to page 26 to take part, and you could win a stay at a luxury spa too!

Claire Munnings Editor





In need of some new gym kit? I loved our budget-friendly buys on p18 this issue

Strengthen your core and work your abs with a little help from Kayla Itsines on p42





YOUR FITNESS WHEREVER, WHENEVER @yourfitnessmag /yourfitnessmag

Join us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest fitness news, advice and finds

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Receive the latest issue before it hits the shelves! See page 36 for our subscription offer

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10 Fit news: A round-up of the latest fitness stories 12 A bump in the road: We debunk the myths 15 16

of pregnancy workouts and reveal how to keep you and your bump fit The healthy hotlist: A bitesize look at what’s trending in the world of wellness 7 ways to burn more calories: How to carry on burning calories after your workout

26 The Your Fitness Awards 2017:

Nominate your favourite fitness heroes now to be in with a chance of winning £500 worth of prizes!


31 5 moves to do at home: Tone up and slim down with this workout, no-equipment needed!

32 Baby got back: Blitz pain and eliminate fat 39 45

with this strengthening workout for a beautiful back A beginner’s guide to cycling: Getting bike fit is not about reinventing the wheel Ask the experts: Our panel of specialists answer your health questions


55 Running like a girl: Columnist Jenni Falconer fills us in on her fitness diary


ON THE COVER 21 Your 14-day fat blast: Kick start

your weight loss goals by losing seven lbs in two weeks

51 Ready to run?: If you’re new to the

sport, running might make you nervous – but you shouldn’t let that stop you!

99 The pursuit of happiness:

TV presenter Fearne Cotton has a secret

84 Sweet nothings: Ready to take the ultimate dietary plunge? Davina McCall’s got you covered

88 Power to the purple: Purple fruit and veg could make you look younger

42 Kick it with Kayla: The fitness star

talks Instagram, planks and tuna sandwiches

76 Protect your pelvic floor: How to ensure your daily routine doesn’t weaken your muscles

18 Hey, big spender: Hit the gym in style with these budget-friendly buys

MODEL: Fiona M, BMA Models PHOTOGRAPHY: CLIQQ ( CLOTHING: Top: USA Pro (, Leggings: Zakti ( HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Alice Theobald at Joy Goodman ( using Windle & Moodie , Vincent Longo and Ark skincare NEXT ISSUE ON SALE: 4th May 2017 04 YourFitness

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this MONTH

SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR FITNESS! Become a subscriber this month and get a free box of Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn, worth £19! For details, turn to page 36.



58 Style news: Amp up your wardrobe with 59 65 66 69


spring’s new collections and latest trends A walk in the park: Fiesty and feminine make Beyoncé’s new Ivy Park collection her fiercest yet The power of scent: Our beauty columnist Lisa Snowdon reveals how different scents can help you regain your get-up-and-go Forever young: Turn back the clock with the help of these bathroom beauties American girl: Model of the moment Gigi Hadid shares her simple beauty regime


72 Health essentials: News and expert 75



advice to improve your wellbeing Body beautiful: Our healthy living guru Amanda Byram brings us her bite-sized tips Make time for self-care: Julie Montagu reveals how our health depends on it


90 The vegetarians’ A-Z: Load up on your key nutrients with our guide


94 Head space: The best and latest ways to a healthy, happy mind

97 Mind matters: Columnist Camilla Dallerup shares her motivation-boosting tips

88 67


107 Helen works it out: Helen Skelton stakes

out the newest classes and challenges 108 Do the movement math: There’s a world of opportunities to keep fit outside the gym walls and it all comes down to numbers 111 Fitness focus: Ideas to support your health this month


9 Mailbox: Have your say 46 Competition: A two-night stay for two at a luxury spa


103 Fitness freebies: Win fabulous health and fitness goodies

114 Final say: Instagram sensation Tessa Seward chats to Your Fitness

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starting BLOCK

Meet the

EXPERTS Introducing Your Fitness’ fantastic panel of experts whose knowledge and advice helped us create this issue


Amanda Byram is a TV presenter, and Your Fitness columnist. She shares her bite-sized health tips on page 75.


TV presenter Fearne Cotton reveals her tips to being happy and her restorative yoga routine on page 99.


The Australian sensation behind the Bikini Body Guide, Kayla Itsines, shares her 14-minute ab workout and her top recipes on page 42.



Sportswear designer Charli Cohen explains how active clothing could benefit your workouts on page 58.

The stunning Beyoncé has launched her new Ivy Park sportswear range and showcases it on page 59.



TV presenter Helen Skelton takes on the latest fitness challenge on page 107.

Jenni Falconer is a TV presenter, radio host and Your Fitness’ woman pounding the pavements. Read her latest instalment on page 55.



Fitness and wellness blogger and Instagram sensation Tessa Seward, AKA London Paleo Girl, tells us her healthy tips on page 114.

Radio and TV presenter Lisa Snowdon is our beauty columnist. She reveals the scents that can help you relax your mind on page 65. EDITORIAL Editor: Claire Munnings Deputy editor: Jessica Harris Health and fitness writer: Jody-Ann Miller Content writer: Lauren Godfrey

Editorial assistant: Vicky Warrell ADVERTISING Group advertising manager: Belinda Buckle 01206 506237 Deputy advertising manager: Natasza Telfer 01206 506259

DESIGN Art editor: Richard Allen Designers: Hannah Kemp, Lee Whiteford and Adam Barford Advertisement production: Angela Scrivener SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BACK ISSUES 0844 499 1785 IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY CliQQ Photography,

ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS LTD Publishing director: Helen Tudor Group editor: Naomi Abeykoon Marketing manager: Andrea Turner Marketing executive: Callum Burgess Accounts: Debbie Starrs, 01206 505995 NEWSTRADE SALES Marketforce 0203 148 3300

Aceville Publications, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY Tel: 01206 505900

The views expressed in this magazine are not those of the publisher. If in doubt, always consult a GP or fitness professional before beginning a new exercise regime or trying any of the products or advice mentioned in Your Fitness, particularly if you have a medical condition for which it may not be advisable.

We hope you enjoyed Your Fitness. We know lots of readers will want to hang onto this magazine for future reference, but if not, why not give it to a friend, or donate it to your local doctors’ surgery? Or, remember that magazines can be put out with your weekly recycling for collection!

© ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS LIMITED. Company no. 04109672. Printed in England

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Tell us your thoughts at, by tweeting us @yourfitnessmag, or by writing to Your Fitness, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY

Star letter…

Keeping up with Khloé

Good morning

It was great to see Khloé Kardashian on your cover last month (April 17) and to find out her fitness routine. She has completely transformed herself and her physique – granted, she has a team around her, but it’s still her doing all of the work and we are all capable of doing the same! I tend to be unmotivated when I’m less active, but Khloé’s workout has got me moving – in fact, it’s the longest I’ve stuck to a regime in one period of time and it’s making me feel good. Thank you Khloé, you’ve inspired me! Carys McCauley, London

I’m a busy primary school teacher so time really is of the essence. Sometimes my fitness regime suffers because I think that I won’t be able to fit it into my schedule. Once I finish work, all I want to do is flop down on the sofa and let the evening roll on! However, your article 12 Ways to Lose Weight Before 9AM (April 17) made me think again and I realised how much I can really do in the mornings before I leave my front door. Thank you for all of your good advice about starting with stretches, eating a high protein breakfast, skipping outside and taking the stairs – these are all do-able and are a great way to lose weight! Leona Hexman, Wales

Star letter prize Get in touch with us at Your Fitness and you could win some great sporting goodies. The writer of the star letter in next month’s mag will win a brand new pair of Kameleon goggles from swimming brand Aqua Sphere, which deliver great panoramic vision and are worth £10.99. You’ll also win a super absorbent microsoft towel, a deck bag, nose clip and a non-pull Aqua glide cap – so you’ll be sorted for summer! Discover the complete collection at

Pound the pavements

Thank you Your Fitness for your great 9 Mistakes Runners Make article (April 17). I’ve been an avid runner for years now as it’s a workout that I can easily fit into my life, but I haven’t seen an improvement for a while – and after reading your feature, I can see why! I’ve been sticking to familiar routes and wearing the same trainers for a long while so it’s definitely time I mixed things up a bit. Usually, running is my only exercise so I’m trying to start incorporating strength training into my regime as well by investing in some dumbbells and I’ve started to examine my diet to make sure I’m eating the right things! Jenny Cooper, Hertford

How to contact us Your Fitness, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY

Question of the month... We asked: Do you prefer to work out alone or with someone else? I much prefer to work out and exercise alone. It’s my time to relax and unwind. Gerry, via email Usually I train with my friend because it’s also a chance to have a gossip! Danielle, via Facebook I love working out in a group class as we all motivate each other. Mary, via email

Have your say…

Next month’s question is: Where do you workout? To take part in the Q&A, send your answers to Your Fitness, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY, email us at or contact us via, or tweet @yourfitnessmag


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We all want to know the secret to staying young and according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, cycling at full pelt for just four minutes is it. While this may sound too good to be true, it’s been proven that short bursts of intense exercise reverses the damage to cells, as well as improving fitness, cutting body fat and reducing your risk of diabetes. The scientists recommend completing four minutes of all out pedaling, followed by three easier minutes 12 times a week, along with another 90 minutes’ walking on a treadmill.


Dr Hazel Wallace, AKA @thefoodmedic, is on a mission to spread her message that eating healthy and staying fit can be enjoyable, uncomplicated and easy to incorporate into an everyday busy lifestyle – here at YF HQ we love her tasty recipe ideas!

Yes: 18% I have in the past :16%

No: 50%

I want to in future: 16%

WE ASKED YOU: Do you workout with a personal trainer? If you don’t, why not invest in one and see if it makes a difference to your exercise?

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QA &

KATE RICHARDSONWALSH We spoke to British Olympic hockey player Kate Richardson-Walsh about protein and performance


Hockey is a great cardio workout that not only improves stamina and builds strength, but can also burn around 450 calories a session. It helps develop hand-eye co-ordination, leading to improved balance and agility and is a fun, sociable sport that everyone can play.


It’s taken me a while to discover exactly what I need to eat – everybody is different and it’s important to listen to your body and do what’s right for you. For me, it’s vital to eat protein post-workout to help my body recover. I always have three main meals a day.


I play domestic club hockey in the Netherlands for HC Bloemendaal. On top of the team’s training sessions I do yoga most mornings and some strength work. Kate is a supporter of the TeamUp initiative, a campaign from England and Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey and England Netball to build a fan base for women’s team sports and ensure all seven to 13-yearold girls have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of team sport.

IN DECLINE Up your fitness game with this decline press up move – it’s more challenging than the standard push up and it’ll work your chest muscles as well as your arms. This in turn will help you to perform other exercises correctly, as well as improving your posture and toning your shoulders.


Begin in the press up position, with both of your arms in line with your shoulders. Move your feet up onto a box or bench to elevate them above your heart. Lower your body so that your chest is almost touching the floor, then push your upper body back up to the starting position. Pause at the top briefly, then lower yourself back down again. Complete six to eight reps.




calories can be burnt by re-decorating a room for four hours, according to Plentific ( – that’s the equivalent of more than five Mars Bars! Does your home need a lick of paint?


For the first time since its launch, global fitness brand BodyPower is expanding its expo to include BodyPower Active. Taking place between May 12-14 at the NEC in Birmingham, it will bring together the latest in health and fitness. And, whether you’re a fanatic or just need a little inspiration to meet your goals, it will have plenty to motivate you. Experience a unique line-up of both boutique and mainstream brands, celebrities, athletes and live demonstrations from across the spectrum of active lifestyle, celebrating everything from healthy food choices to exercise, sport, and beauty. There will also be a host of interactive areas, including a yoga zone and cooking area, so you can learn new skills. Tickets start at £25 and are available to buy from

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A b um p

IN THE ROAD With a celeb baby boom upon us, we debunk the myths of pregnancy workouts and reveal how to keep you and your bump fit


eyonce, Amal Clooney, Rosie Huntington Whiteley...2017 is quickly becoming the year of A-list bundles of joy. Glowing with health and still rocking the red carpets in their second and third trimester, our favourite celebs may have the best glam squads on hand, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all look and feel our best. While pregnancy fitness often divides opinions and provokes strong reactions (we all know the Nell McAndrew story), finding the right balance can give you a more enjoyable nine months. “If you feel fine and are up for it, moderate exercise can help you feel energised and recharged during your pregnancy,” says James Duigan, celebrity personal trainer and founder of Bodyism ( “If you’re not feeling it, don’t feel pressured – as long as you are being active and walking at some point throughout your day then that is absolutely fine. There are several benefits of exercise during pregnancy. It can ease or prevent back pain, boost your mood and

energy levels, help you sleep better, prevent excess weight gain, reduce the risk of pre and post natal depression, make giving birth easier and reduce constipation. “More important than any specific exercise, the main thing I ask you to remember is to be truly kind to yourself and listen to your body. If you feel breathless or unwell at any point, stop and don’t push yourself.” While the subject of vanity continues to be at the core (no pun intended) of criticism, for many the motivation is a combination of staying healthy and striving to look our best throughout pregnancy and beyond. “A lot of my clients suffered with body image doubts during pregnancy,” James tells us. “It doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it’s totally natural. Try and do everything you can to embrace your new curves, stay healthy and treat yourself if you can. Maybe get a blow-dry, a massage or a pedicure. Please remember that you are amazing, what you’re doing is amazing – you are my hero!”

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Although seeing your body change so dramatically over the next few months can be daunting, this isn’t the time to start radically amending your workout. “It’s best to continue in a similar manner to the way you moved before you got pregnant,” James says. “For example, if you ran regularly and went to the gym every week, continue with this but check in with how you are feeling and slow down if you need to. If you rarely exercised before getting pregnant then don’t take it up now in the hope of keeping your weight down. Stop any high-impact sports such as horse riding, cycling (stationary cycling is fine), ice skating or hiking. Whatever you choose to do, remember to keep comfortable, hydrated and stop at any time that you feel breathless.”



Follow James’ pregnancy workout for a strong, healthy body, inside and out. “Whenever you do these exercises try to engage your pelvic floor, connect to your breath and be mindful with each movement,” he says. SUPERMAN Start position: Start on your hands and knees with your toes firmly pointed into the floor. Ensure your spine and neck are in a straight line by keeping your gaze to the floor, just in front of your fingertips. Extend your left arm out in front of you, while extending your right leg backwards. Return to the start position and repeat 10–15 times on each side. SIDE-LYING SINGLE-LEG KNEE-RAISE WITH MINI BAND Start position: Place a mini resistance band around both legs just above your knees. Lie on your right side, bend your right elbow and rest your head on your right hand. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and stack them on top of one another. Raise your top knee, taking it as far as you can without straining the lower back. With control, slowly lower back to the start position. Repeat 10–15 times on each side.


If you were a die hard HIIT-er prepregnancy, opting for a slower pace may feel frustrating but it doesn’t mean you can’t still challenge your body in different ways. You may not drip with sweat and be left fighting for your breath, but yoga could be your new go-to workout. “Above all other exercise, I recommend yoga for pregnancy,” James advises. “It gives you the opportunity to connect deeply with your body and is such a great way of finding time to stop and check in with how you are feeling. Not only will yoga help your body stay physically healthy but it also will help improve your mental wellbeing tool. When you practise yoga in pregnancy, you practise yoga with your baby at the very centre of your body and it’s a reminder that from now on, your baby will be at the centre of your life.”


MINI-BAND WALKING Start position: Take a mini band and place it just above your ankles. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and your hands resting on your hips, and engage the core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Take one large step out sideways to the right, then bring your left foot in half a step, keeping tension in the band all the time. Repeat this movement for 10 steps on each side. Y Start position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and stick your bottom out, so your upper body leans forwards 45 degrees. Engage your core and raise both hands to create a ‘Y’ shape above your head with your arms by your ears, then return to the starting point. Repeat 10–15 times.

PREGNANCY Myths Debunked Personal trainer Matt Roberts ( puts the record straight on these common fitness fears


Maintaining your fitness routine through pregnancy is actually beneficial for the health of the baby. Studies have shown a strong link between a mother’s exercise levels during pregnancy and their baby’s ability to resist cardiovascular problems later in life. It is also well documented that babies are better at handing the stress of labour when their mother has exercised.


Appropriately selected core exercises are actually essential during pregnancy. The additional weight at the front of the body can affect the mother’s posture and alignment, placing areas such as the lower back in a more vulnerable position. Maintaining a strong and well-conditioned core throughout pregnancy will help to manage these changes and reduce the risk of injury.


It’s generally agreed that appropriately managed exercise during pregnancy will actually reduce the risk of miscarriage.


Exercise Band, £12 Mama Mio Pregnancy Saviours Kit, £48 Reebok Toning Gym Ball, £24.99

This will often depend on the running experience of the mother and the stage of pregnancy they are in. For most experienced runners continuing to run into the second trimester, albeit at lower intensities and volumes, is often fine. However, as bodyweight changes in the later stages of pregnancy it is advisable for runners to focus on other forms of training.

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The Healthy

CUP OF JOE Ditch the daily habit with these healthy alternatives

HOTLIST A bitesize look at what’s trending in the world of wellness


IT’S ALL SO QUIET In a world of noise, social media and smart technology, quiet reflection has become a lost art along with writing letters and actually talking to your nearest and dearest. But, as we become more stressed, there’s a growing need to escape. Although spas have always waved the flag for relaxation, silent retreats have been popping up offering a tranquil atmosphere to reconnect with yourself. Duke University found that two hours of silence daily incited significant cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory. Here are our top three destinations to zip it and relax.

Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat Based in Mexico, this 10-day experience focuses on accessing our essential nature through meditation and yoga techniques. The program aims to create a solitary retreat in order to provide the opportunity to reach deep states of consciousness. £169.18 accommodation and meals not included, Return To Silence It’s hard not to enjoy the silence of Buckinghamshire’s countryside but it’s made all

the better by combining it with daily meditation and a delicious vegetarian menu at this retreat. Days go by in a blur of hiking, yoga and mindful movement to discover the wonder of being quiet. From £140 Silent Spa Don’t expect a rowdy hen do at the Silent Spa as everyone from the guests to the staff are required to be 100 percent silent. With facilities including comfortable beds, a sole pool, spa suites and a steam bath to keep you busy we don’t think that will be a problem! From £75.24


Mixed with water this has the same texture and look of coffee as well as a similar taste without the caffeine. Packed full of antioxidants, it can break down fat and boost digestion. Raw Halo Organic Inulin Powder, £18.80

DANDELION Packed full of vitamins A,C,D and zinc, dandelion root extract can also flush out toxins, help digestion and aid bloating. Just add the powder to boiling water and enjoy! Symingtons Dandelion Coffee, £6.29






Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist, £24, Strengthen your skin’s defenses against oxidative stress and combat signs of fatigue caused by smoke and UV light with this refreshing, fine mist.

Take A Deep Breath Gel Cream Moisturiser, £29.50, Breathe new life into stressed skin and restore dull, dry complexions with this oil-free, oxygenating moisturiser.

Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream, £25, Enriched with purifying moringa and nourishing shea, Clarins’ cleanser removes impurities, detoxes the epidermis and restores its biological balance.

Although it has a quarter of the caffeine, matcha creates a calm alertness without the spikes and crashes of coffee. Full of antioxidants like catechins, flavonoids, and polyphenols, its health benefits know no bounds. Supreme Matcha Green Tea, £2.24

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ways to

BURN MORE calories

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), otherwise known as afterburn, refers to the increased rate of oxygen intake that occurs after a heavy bout of exercise. In a nutshell, it’s the process that allows you to carry on burning calories after your workout is said and done. Like most things, however, there is a certain knack to it, so we’ve enlisted the help of Claire Finlay, personal trainer and founder of Transition Zone in Fulham (, to provide us with a comprehensive how-to



Increasing muscles mass is one of the most effective ways to amp up your off-duty fat burning. The more muscles you have, the harder your metabolism has to work in order to supply the extra muscle tissue with oxygen. And, because sustaining muscles requires a lot more calories than storing fat, this means that you’ll be burning fat much more efficiently.



Don’t overlook the impact of post-exercise nutrition on calorie burn. In addition to fuelling up prior to your workout, you should try to eat a nutritious meal or snack within two hours of completing your session. Focus on carbohydrates, high quality proteins and quality fats. Spices and herbs such as ginger, garlic and chilli can also keep you in fat-burning mode for longer.

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expert TIPS



REPAIR & REST Many people underestimate the power of rest and recovery. But this is the period in which your body transforms your fitness efforts into physical changes. Yoga, sports massage, foam rolling and rest days all aid circulation which boosts the repair process, ensuring that the benefits of your workouts show.

Adding two to three HIIT workouts to your weekly schedule will have you burning calories for up to 48 hours after the workout is done. Just ensure you’re working at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate to obtain the greatest afterburn effect.




Another great way to boost EPOC is tempo training. Like HIIT, you’ll need to ensure that you sustain an intensity of 70 to 80 percent of your max heart rate. But unlike interval training, you’ll need to keep this going for at least 30 minutes. The longer you maintain this level of cardio intensity, the more metabolically taxing it becomes, and the more energy you’ll burn post-workout!


Ensure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep the night before your workout to allow your body to perform at its best during high intensity exercise. You should also aim to sleep for seven to eight hours after your workout to aid the repair and restore process.



Hydrate the day before, the day of and the day after your high intensity workout to allow your body to work at maximum output and capitalise on all the benefits of EPOC. Remember dehydration slows your body down which means you won’t be able to work at your peak.

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HEY,BIG SPENDER Whether it’s an investment or a steal, these budget-friendly buys will have you hitting the gym in style

UNDER £100 Casall Yoga Vest, £50 The Upside Power Cropped Floral-Print Stretch Leggings, £80


The Super Elixir Refill, £62 OMOROVICZA Ultramoor Mud Mask, £65 Street Precision Low Speckle Cross Trainers, £70 Alta Fitness Tracker, £99.99

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Extra High Impact Non-Padded Sports Bra, £25 HeatGear Printed Capris, £35 Burst Equinox Womens Shoes, £39.71

UNDER £25 Beyond Yoga, Sports Bra, £18 Sports Tights, £17.99 Miler Running Tank Top, £20

Memory foam isn’t just for your mattress, Skechers’ trainers cushion your soles for ultimate comfort



Moroccan Rose Otto Firming Creme Riche, £36 Just Do It Yoga Mat, £35 Stella McCartney for Adidas Media Armband, £30 Sugar It Up Sports Duffle Bag, £37 Weight Training Gloves, £25

INK’D 2 Headphones, £17.99 No Show Pants, £16 Pointe Studio Harper Grip Sock, £10 Sport Bottle, £8


Marc Cain

A good quality, non-slip yoga mat is always worth spending a little more money on

Sport Drawstring Bag, £14.99 Fountain The Energy Molecule, £24

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Two-Week PLAN


Images: Free People

Your 14-day

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hether it’s to tone those triceps or fit into that pair of jeans, we all have an overall goal of where we want to be longterm. But, when a holiday looms or an invitation drops through the door, suddenly the desire to amp up that three month plan reaches feverpitch. Although rapid weight loss is difficult to sustain and not a healthy solution overall, there are a few sensible options we can adopt to get the process moving a little quicker. “Changes in our body composition are most effectively achieved by making small lifestyle alterations over time to work towards healthy and realistic goals,” says William McLaren, personal trainer at 1Rebel ( “That being said, we’ve all found ourselves in the position where a holiday, event or such like is fast approaching and we are looking down at our bloated bellies wishing we had thought twice about eating that chocolate biscuit or slice of Victoria sponge that seemed like such a good idea at the time!” But all hope is not lost and William has a plan to help you slim down in double time. “Believe it or not, our bloated tums are mostly due to sodium and water retention that occurs when we consume excessive amounts of salty, sugary foods. Whether it’s to kick start your weight loss journey or a temporary last minute figure fix, this 14-day guide will help you to feel seven pounds lighter, leaner and ready for summer.

LOW INTENSITY STEADY STATE (LISS) An hour of cardio a week is great for aiding your weight loss. You can choose between the treadmill, bike and cross trainer (or switch between all of them to keep it interesting). You’re heart rate should go above 110 bpm (beats per minute) – imagine a fast walk or a gentle cycle.


Yep, you don’t get off it that easy! What you eat goes hand-in-hand with how you train to get the most effective results. “Over the next two weeks you’re going to need to drastically reduce all carbohydrates,” William warns. “Other than the obvious breads and pastas, this also includes all fruits and starches. Protein must be kept high and fats (including nuts, oils, avocados, oily fish) must also be increased to compensate for the reduction of sugars. After a few days, your body will enter the state of ketosis (this is when your body uses fats instead of carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel). Alongside ketosis, your body will also begin to expel all the fluid that it has been holding onto - because of this, it is vital to also increase your water intake in order to avoid dehydration. For low-carb, ketogenic recipes I love the Diet Doctor ( for some inspiration.”


The program will consist of three heavy weight training sessions and four lower intensity sessions per week. You will do the A1 and A2 exercises as a super set (one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them). The same goes for B, C and D exercises. You must go as heavy as you can (you should be failing on the last rep). If not, increase the weight.

Your week should look like this Monday - Weights  Tuesday  - Weights  Wednesday  - LISS Thursday  - LISS Friday  - Weights  Saturday  - LISS Sunday  - LISS Repeat this process for week two.

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Two-Week PLAN





A1: Deadlift




A2: Pull down




B1: Db lunge




B2: Incline db press




C1: Barbell curl




C2: Leg lowers




D1: Sprints




DEADLIFT A compound exercise that works more than one muscle group and is the most taxing on the body.

1 2

Holding the barbell (or two dumbbells), keep your arms straight and knees slightly bent Slowly bend at your hip joint and lower the weights as far as possible without rounding your back. Looking forward, not at the ground, will help you

A great posterior chain exercise to build a strong back and help support correct posture. If you can do pull ups I would recommend them instead.

Unilateral exercises will help to correct imbalances in the body. My favourite exercise is the dumbbell lunge to target those glutes!

1 2 3

3 4



Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides Step forward with your right leg around two feet or so and lower down keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance Using mainly the heel of your foot, push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale

avoid rounding your back Keep the barbell close to your legs, almost touching them Squeeze your glutes to pull yourself up at a quicker pace than it took to bend down

1 2

Hold a lat pulldown bar out in front of your shoulders with your arms extended Step back enough so the weight doesn’t rest on the stack to ensure constant tension on the muscles

3 4 5

Bend your knees slightly and position your feet shoulder-width apart Look straight ahead throughout and keep your shoulders down Pull the bar down to your waist keeping your elbows extended but not locked out

INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS A push exercise to strengthen shoulders, chest and arms


Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand, and the palms of your hands facing each other Using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width Once you have the dumbbells raised to


3 BARBELL CURL Stand with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in

4 5


This targets your biceps

1 2 3

shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you Breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight

I love to put an ab exercise in at the end to help strengthen the core

1 2 3

Raise both legs toward the ceiling Breathe in and tighten your abs Keeping your back on the floor, exhale and slowly

lower your legs until they’re about four inches above the floor Breathe out as you raise your legs to the starting position.


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A1: Barbell squat




A2: Shoulder press




B1: Step up




B2: Prone row




C1: Tricep extensions




C2: Russian twists




D1: Rowing sprint




BARBELL SQUAT Box squats or goblet squats could be a better regression if you find this movement difficult


Begin with the barbell supported on top of your shoulders. Your chest should be up and your head facing forward. Adopt a hip-width stance with your feet turned out as needed


Bend your knees and descend down while keeping your chest up and your back straight Keep the weight on the front of your heel and rise up, squeezing your glutes


SHOULDER PRESS Lifting weight overhead has many benefits and will strengthen your shoulders, triceps and core

1 2

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench that has back support Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time using your thighs to help propel them up into position.

Make sure to rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward Exhale and push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top. Slowly lower the weights back down

A great accessory exercise to target the back of the arms Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell held in both hands Lift the dumbbell over your head until both arms are fully extended

This exercise is great for developing strong glutes and quads

1 2

Place your right foot onto a bench or chair Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your left so you are standing on the bench Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot, then the left so both feet are on the floor


PRONE ROW A prone row is a pulling movement and will help strengthen the upper back

1 2

Face a bench and lie your chest down on it with your legs extended behind you Reach down and pick up your dumbbells that you placed underneath the bench


Keeping your elbows in, lower the dumbbells behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps Raise the dumbbell back to the starting position


*Before starting this is programme you should check with your GP that you have no health issues and that your current BMI is not underweight,� William advises.


Bend the elbows to draw your upper arms up alongside your midsection. Stop when your upper arms are behind your back Return to a straight position with the shoulders downward





1 2


The rotational movement targets the obliques

1 2

Lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Lift your upper body up in a 45 degree angle. Holding a weight of your choice, twist your torso to the right side

hold for a second and then move back to the starting position Move to the opposite side and repeat 15 reps on each side for three sets



At the end of the two weeks, you should have seen a dramatic change in your body. Low carb diets can take some getting used to, but many people actually find that they have increased energy, healthier sleep patterns and choose to stay on a ketogenic diet. Personally, I believe carbohydrates are an essential part of any diet, however getting them from the right sources is key. Cutting out refined sugars and replacing them with wholesome, slow release carbs such as oats, sweet potatoes, rice is perfect.

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NOMINATE AND WIN AT We are delighted to announce the Your Fitness Awards 2017, celebrating the very best of fitness, health and nutrition brands in the industry. From sports apparel and top protein powders to fitness trackers, headphones, energy boosters and everything in between, we’ll be trying all the very latest in fitness and health with the help of our expert judges, including Lisa Snowdon and Faya Nilsson (AKA Fitness On Toast). We want you to be a part of these awards too – simply nominate your favourite products, brands and people that you feel are deserving of an accolade and you’ll be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a stay at QHotels. Voting takes place later this year and we’ll announce the winners in the magazine.


two relaxing stays at QHotels worth £250 each


1 2 3

Head to to nominate your favourite sports apparel brand, diet food brand, fitness app, fitness celebrity and fitness blogger by 1st June. Every reader who sends us their nominations online will be automatically entered into the prize draw to win one of two luxury stays at QHotels (see below). It’s your chance to win! Later in the year you can then VOTE for your favourites from those with the most nominations and be in with a chance of winning yet more prizes! Just log on to to cast your votes.


Nominate now in the following categories:








this luxury stay for you and a friend worth £250 Need a break? Who doesn’t! We’re giving two lucky Your Fitness readers the chance to win a bespoke QHotels spa break at their choice of one of 25 unique luxury hotels across the UK for them and a guest. Whether you choose to relax with a sumptuous countryside retreat or explore a thriving city centre, you’ll find a dedicated team on hand to perfect the final details of your trip. With gorgeous spa facilities and health clubs at each hotel, you will have everything you need to leave you feeling invigorated and relaxed. Make your trip memorable by visiting the best local attractions, from beautiful rural scenes to the best shopping streets, all before an indulgent evening meal worth £28 per guest in your hotel’s restaurant. Head up to your comfortable room and after a peaceful night’s sleep, tuck into a delicious breakfast to finish your restorative getaway! Everyone who nominates will automatically be entered into the prize draw. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Prize must be taken within six months of win. There is no cash alternative and prize is non-transferable. Hotel choice excludes The Spa at The Midland, Manchester. Stays are subject to availability, Evening meal worth up to £28 per guest plus breakfast only. Readers who cast their votes will be automatically entered into the prize draw. For full T&Cs for all our prizes and voting visit

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your fitness REPORT

TOP form


If you have a busy schedule, it’s tough to find the time to fit exercise in. We asked personal trainer Chris Shepherd for a short HIIT workout that’s simple to do, while being highly effective for fat loss, increasing metabolism and improving strength and conditioning. Perform each move for 30 seconds and follow each round with 30 seconds of active rest (such as jogging on the spot). Aim to complete the three rounds three times and pause for 60 to 90 seconds between each complete circuit. Be sure to perform each exercise with maximum intensity and make the most of the active rest by concentrating on breathing deeply through your nose into your diaphragm.


• Mountain climbers • Jog and punch, using light dumbbells if possible • Lunge jumps


• Press ups • Up and down planks (repeatedly switch from a plank position resting on your hands to your lower arms) • Squat thrusts (similar to a burpee, minus the final jump)


• Sprint on the spot (hold a weight above your head if you can) • Shoulder taps (begin in a plank position, then bring your right hand up to touch your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side) • Burpees

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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 30

toning TIPS


Take a large step forwards with your right foot then bend your hips and knees to come into a lunge position, making sure your front knee doesn’t come over your toes. Jump into the air and quickly straighten both legs, driving your left knee up level with your hip. Land softly with your right leg forwards, left leg back and repeat. Perform five to eight reps on your right leg before changing sides.






Begin in a push up position (either with your legs fully extended or on your knees), with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the floor, without allowing your back to arch. Straighten your arms to return to the start, lifting your left hand off the floor and bringing it to touch your right shoulder. Return your hand to the floor and repeat, lifting the right arm with the next rep. Complete 12-15 reps in total before moving on to the next exercise.

Tone up and slim down with this at-home workout – no equipment needed!


hese five moves are perfect for when you can’t make it to the gym or still want to exercise when away from home for work or even on holiday. They require no equipment and you only need a small space to get a whole body workout. The focus alternates between the upper and lower body so try to move from one to the next with a minimal amount of rest.


Shift your weight over to your right leg as you lift your left foot off the floor, taking it behind and over to the right. Bend your right hip and knee to come into a quarter squat position. Quickly straighten your right leg, jumping up and bringing your left leg forwards whilst in the air. Land softly on your left leg, and repeat to complete one rep. Perform eight to 10 reps in total before moving on.


Begin in a boxer’s stance with your left foot forwards, right foot back, making fists with your hands either side of your chin. Quickly straighten your left arm, jabbing your hand out in front of you. Bend the arm to return to the start and repeat. Quickly straighten your right arm, punching straight in front of you. Come onto the ball of your back foot and pivot slightly as you do so to generate more power. This counts as one rep. Perform 10 reps in total before moving on to the last exercise.


Begin standing with feet hip width apart. Bend your hips and knees to come into a squat position, coming as low as you can without rounding or arching your back. Hold the bottom position for a count of two before straightening your legs to return to the start. Perform 12-15 reps.

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Top Top form FORM

BABY got BACK Blitz pain and eliminate fat with this strengthening workout for a beautiful back

You might not be able to see it in the mirror but your back works hard all day long – extending, bending, lifting and rotating. With so few of us taking the time to strengthen these well-used muscles, it’s no wonder that so many of us suffer from pain! If you want to sculpt a sexy back, while ensuring that you don’t suffer from aches later in life, take care of your posterior chain muscles with this workout. Aim to perform the workout at least once a week as part of your existing full-body exercise plan. Simple.

32 YourFitness

GUIDELINES l Warm up by doing five minutes of cardio. A gentle row on the rowing machine is a great option. l Perform each move below in the order outlined. Finish with the two back-soothing stretches. l Do this workout at least once a week as part of a complete fitness plan. You should also aim to strengthen your chest, shoulder and lower body muscles weekly.

strength WORKOUT





2-3 SETS OF 12-15 REPS

1 2 3

Hold a barbell in each hand with your arms beyond shoulder-width apart and your hands facing towards your body Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from your hips with a straight back Draw the barbell back towards your upper abs by bending your elbows out to the sides. Return and repeat

2-3 SETS OF 12-15 REPS

1 2 3

Grab a barbell with your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart Hold the bar at the top of your thighs with your arms extended Draw the bar up your body, leading with your elbows until it's at chest height. Lower and repeat

YourFitness 33

Top Top form FORM



2-3 SETS OF 12-15 REPS


Hold a barbell in each of your hands with your arms

shoulder-width apart and your hands facing away from your body Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from your hips with a straight back Draw the barbell back towards your lower abs, keeping your elbows close to your torso. Return and repeat

2 3



2-3 SETS OF 12-15 REPS


Grab a barbell and hold it in front of your thighs, with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent

2 3

Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor Return to standing, squeezing your glutes as you rise and thrust your hips forward

PT TIP Keep your eyes forward and your chin down to maintain posture




2-3 SETS OF 15-20 REPS


Stand tall and raise your arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Hold a

34 YourFitness




1 2

resistance band with your hands shoulder-width apart Keeping your arms straight, pull the band out and back until you feel a squeeze between your shoulder blades Slowly return to the start and repeat the move for the correct amount of sets


Stand with your feet hipwidth apart Place one hand on top of the other with your palms

facing your body Raise your arms to shoulder level and reach your hands away from your body with your arms extended You should feel a stretch in your upper back. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release


strength WORKOUT


7 1 2


Lie on the floor, facing up Draw your legs towards your tummy and hold

both of your knees in your hands. You should feel a slight stretch in your lower back Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release





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Personal trainer: Sarah Ivory (, Photography: Cliqq (, Hair and make-up: Jo Adams (, Model: Emma Atkins, W Model Management, Clothing: Top and leggings: ElleSport (, Trainers: Adidas by Stella McCartney (, with thanks to Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa (

YourFitness 35




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Hotter is not always better The temperature you style your hair should vary on your hair type, remember hair is like a fabric so gradually adjust your appliances so that you can create the shape you want in a single pass


Invest in your hairdryer It’s the tool you use to create the shape in your hair and the quality of your dryer can mean it actually conditions whilst drying!


Don’t rush The more time you invest in blowdrying the longer your style will last

Nutrition for your hair Make sure your diet is vitamin rich as lack of nutrients is main reason 1-3 women have hair loss or thinning hair concerns

Holiday hair musts shampoo chlorine water from your hair as soon as possible to prevent additional environmental & chemical damage , comb your conditioner through whilst sitting poolside and use as a bit of extra sun protection


Colour fade prevention Use colour safe products, don’t take the colour through to the ends everytime, use a regular treatment masque


Quick gym fixes Fabric snag free hair bands and dry shampoo are the must  haves in your gym bag - treat you hair like your body and take care of it 


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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 38

saddle UP


You don’t have to be Victoria Pendleton or Lizzie Armitstead to get into cycling. Alice Whitehead shows you how getting bike fit is not about reinventing the wheel…

YourFitness 39




ith the freedom to peddle where you want (in half the time of a car) and with enough calorie busting exercise to dump that gym membership – cycling can, quite literally, be a breath of fresh air. According to research, cycling for just 20 minutes at an average speed can torch up to 150 calories, while biking regularly can help you sleep more deeply, reduce the risk of chronic disease and illness such as type 2 diabetes, help you live longer and even, according to a University of Illinois study, increase your brain power! So why is it that only a quarter of all cyclists in England are female? If the Lycra, lingo and the saddle soreness are putting you off, try our beginner’s guide to getting the wheels in motion…

Choose your bike

Cycling magazines and marketers would like you to believe you need the latest carbon-fibre constructed, disc-braked stunner (with a stunning price tag to match) in order to cycle. As you’d expect, the truth is far cheaper. As long as the wheels go round, the gears work and the brakes stop you crashing into stuff, any good bike will do. At its most basic, you’re looking for a dropped crossbar so you can step over more easily, a shorter frame so you can reach the handlebars without slouching, and a light weight frame so you can lift it up stairs and onto bike racks. Wheel and deal at your local bike shop: most places have a try before you buy policy, and never be strong-armed into a buying a pink bike with basket and bell just because you’re a woman. CYCLE SHORTCUT: There are lots of places to buy affordable bikes online and you can pick up cut-price peddles via or eBay, or why not encourage your employer to sign up to to get bikes tax free for you and your work colleagues?

Get in gear

A common beginners’ mistake is not using gears correctly. Cycling in too high a gear (the higher a gear, the harder it is to ‘push’ the pedals round) causes faster muscle fatigue and can strain knee joints. Keeping to a higher ‘cadence’ (the speed you revolve the pedals), will give you a better CV workout, allow you to cycle for longer and make it easier to get to the top of those hills. CYCLE SHORTCUT: has a handy ‘How to Cycle Up Hills’ guide to gears.

Get your kit on While some of the more committed MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) may insist otherwise, cladding yourself in stretchy fibres is not a requirement of cycling. With few things more un-motivating than the thought of having to squeeze into skin-tight clothing before exercise, you’re best going for comfort and convenience. If you’re cycling outdoors, high vis is a must, and skorts are an excellent hybrid between a skirt and a short with less of the unflattering tightness. One exception to the rule is padded shorts, however – and these are a must-have investment for your ‘lady bits’! CYCLE SHORTCUT: Buy padded shorts specifically designed for women at stolengoat. com, or

Start small You’re not out to break Bradley Wiggins’ records, so pick a pace that raises your heart rate and gets you into that fat burning zone, but doesn’t mean you’re gasping for breath. You wouldn’t attempt a marathon the first time you pulled on trainers so build up to bigger rides gradually. Swap one of the short trips you might take in the car with a bike ride, and then up the distance by a few miles each time. For a good workout you should be aiming for a 15-20 mile round trip (approximately one hour to 90 minutes of cycling). CYCLE SHORTCUT: If you’re worried about cycling on the road, try a confidence building training session with or also offers free info packs about cycle-friendly routes in your local area, and has a list of cycle friendly cafes.

40 YourFitness YourFitness

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saddle UP

Stay indoors A spin class can be a great way to get cycle-fit if the weather is rubbish, and there’s nothing more motivating that cycling with others. Most nationwide gym chains offer free 30-45-minute classes, and some even allow you to book a bike in advance so you can sneak in at the back! Based on interval training – slower paced pedalling broken up by high intensity inclines – it can really get your heart racing, but the benefit is you can make it as hard or as easy as you like. Get in early to get advice on adjusting your bike for your height and arm length. CYCLE SHORTCUT: Now there’s a spin to suit everyone, from those that incorporate stability exercises and hand weights (, to those with Pilates (, or even in the water (!


Don’t want to go it alone? Buddy up on your bike with these group cycle events and ideas…  Don’t be afraid to investigate your local cycling club – they’re not all speedy road-warriors! Most clubs accommodate several different groups based on average speeds and club rides are great for motivation, to navigate your local area and provide safety in numbers. It’s not unusual for clubs to offer routes to coffee shops and pubs for post-ride conversation and cake/recovery drinks! Got to for more.  Try a fitness tracker app such as Strava or Endomondo to plan routes, and give you a motivating nose into how other people are cycling if you have a competitive edge!  Join women’s only cycle rides through During July, the Women’s Festival of Cycling will be organising big and small cycle events. Go to for more details.  Challenge yourself with a cycle sportive. The majority are not competitive races and offer a choice of distances. Organised rides are a great experience, with stewarded routes so you don’t get lost, feed stations, and the unique experience of taking to the road with hundreds, if not thousands of other cyclists. Search by region at  Or, give back as you bike and raise money for charity at

YourFitness 41




with Kayla

We spoke with the fitness star to talk Instagram, planks and, err, tuna sandwiches‌ INTERVIEW AND WORDS: Lauren Godfrey


ayla Itsines, the Australian sensation behind the Bikini Body Guide, is no stranger to working up a sweat and encouraging others to do so too. You only need to glance at her motivational Instragram feed, which boasts more than 6.4 million followers, to see that the personal trainer from Adelaide knows a thing or two about fitness. With a successful workout guide and accompanying app under her belt plus a debut book which showcases more than 200 delicious recipes, Kayla is now a recognisable face in the blogosphere and heroine for body confidence and female fitness, but the 25-year-old never planned a life in the spotlight‌

42 YourFitness



ab workout

“I honestly would only use Instagram to upload my client's transformations because I didn't have

Famed for her 28-minute HIIT and LISS workout routines, Kayla

revealed the unusual time-limit was spawned from her personal training days where clients joked: 'You only need to do 30 minutes with Kayla'. “I became known for quite high intensity workouts. I love circuit training so I created four seven-minute circuits and then the 28-minute routines stuck.” To accompany her HIIT workouts, rest days are complemented with LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) training. Great for recovery, incorporating LISS training with your routine is also good for the mind. “If you've done a high intensity workout, the following day you're super sore so it's nice to go for a walk. It's relaxing and a good time for you to think to yourself as well as get time to breathe. Plus, it's less strenuous for your joints," she explains.

But if you want Kayla's enviable abs, you need to put the work in. “You

need to train your whole body to work your abdominal muscles,” she says. “In terms of your core, the best exercise is planks.

For beginners, start on your knees and build up your strength before moving on to your toes. If you're a beginner it's great if you can hold a plank for 10 seconds, and then you should aim to hold your plank for between 30 seconds and one minute, then from one minute to five minutes… it gets a little bit boring after that.”

It's not just about losing weight though, Kayla is a huge advocate for

working towards a better you, for only you. “I'm a little bit different as a trainer because if someone came up to me and asked me to share three top tips to become leaner I would tell them to step back and not even focus on that,” she explains. “I think that puts women on the spot and can lead to unattainable and unachievable goals. I would instead concentrate on questions such as: 'Are you healthy?', 'Are you fit?', and 'Do you feel good?' as I believe feeling good is more important than becoming leaner.” We couldn't agree more!

This workout consists of two rounds, each lasting seven minutes. Set your timer for seven minutes and aim to complete circuits of the moves as many times as you can before the timer runs out. Once completed, take a 30 second break. Reset your timer to seven minutes and complete the circuit again for your full 14-minute workout.





Fitness is just one string to Kayla's bow. Nutrition is also integral to

her training programme and after joking that she can't live without her Grandma's cooking, some of which has been incorporated into her first book, Kayla's favourite foods may surprise you. “I love carbs, especially rice, bread and pasta. Mango and fish are among my favourite foods, too. These give me a boost. If I'm making lunch or looking for something before a workout, I quite often have a tuna sandwich or toastie for energy, and because it makes me feel good,” she admits. A girl after our own hearts, Kayla also explains how she doesn't follow a pre and post workout meal plan. “That mindset originated from body building and how you need to eat to fuel and recover from a heavy weight training session. Instead I focus on food as a whole to fuel your entire day.” All of this, and more, is in Kayla's debut book 28 Day Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Guide (£18.99, Bluebird). Turn over to discover what Kayla recommends we eat in a day.

2 2







For the full workout descriptions head to

anywhere else to store them,” Kayla admits. “Then people started following and it just tumbled into the present which is absolutely amazing, but I never expected – nor wanted – to be famous. I love where I am but it was never a dream of mine.” Instead, Kayla just wanted to help people, share her love of fitness and spread the message of being fit and having body confidence. It's this love of helping others which led to the Bikini Body Guide (BBG), a workout and nutrition programme which has taken the world by storm. “BBG struck a chord with so many people because it's built up of 28-minute workouts making it perfect for women who are time strapped,” Kayla explains. “It's ideal for busy mums and those who want to work out at home, plus there's an amazing community which comes with it.”

Want to tone your middle the Itsines way? Here's how…

YourFitness 43




Green Smoothie Bowl DINNER

Peri Peri Chicken with Rice Salad MORNING SNACK

Apple with Nut Butter


Crispbreads with Hummus & Tomato


Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki


You’ll need: 1 small handful baby spinach leaves 1 frozen medium banana, chopped 65g strawberries 200g low-fat plain yoghurt 125ml semi-skimmed milk ¼ tsp matcha (green tea) powder (optional) FOR THE TOPPING 30g natural muesli 1½ tsp goji berries 2 tsp chia seeds


Place the spinach, banana, strawberries, yoghurt, milk and matcha (if using) in a high-powered blender and blitz until smooth. To serve, pour the smoothie mixture into a serving bowl and top with the muesli, goji berries and chia seeds.


You’ll need: 100g chicken breast fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 wholemeal wrap 100g tzatziki ½ medium tomato, sliced ¼ medium cucumber, sliced ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced 1 small handful lettuce leaves

FOR THE MARINADE ½ garlic clove, crushed 1 tsp lemon juice ½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped ½ tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped

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To make the marinade, whisk the garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and oregano together in a medium bowl. Place the chicken in the bowl containing the marinade and stir to combine. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat and spray lightly with oil spray. Add the chicken and cook for eight to 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside. To save time, the chicken can be marinated and cooked the night before and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To serve, spread half of the tzatziki over the wrap and place the chicken, tomato, cucumber, onion and lettuce down the middle. Fold over the end and roll up to enclose the filling. Drizzle over the remaining tzatziki.




You’ll need: 200g chicken breast fillet Lime wedges, to serve

FOR THE MARINADE 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated Juice of 1 lemon 2 tsp honey ½ tsp dried chilli flakes ½ tsp sweet paprika 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE RICE SALAD 120g brown rice ½ medium green pepper, finely diced ½ small red onion, finely diced 1 medium cucumber, finely diced 60g frozen corn kernels, thawed 1 small handful baby spinach leaves, shredded FOR THE DRESSING 200g low-fat plain yoghurt Lime juice, to taste 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


To make the marinade, whisk the garlic, ginger, lemon juice, honey, chilli, paprika, parsley, salt, pepper and four teaspoons of water together in a medium bowl. Place the chicken in the bowl and rub with the marinade. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for one hour. To make the rice salad, place the rice and 300ml of water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce the heat to medium–low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for five minutes. Set aside to cool. Place the rice, pepper, onion, cucumber, corn and spinach in a bowl and toss gently to combine. To make the dressing, whisk the yoghurt, lime juice and coriander together in a small bowl. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with oil spray. Add the chicken and cook for four to six minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly. To serve, place the rice salad on two serving plates and top with the peri-peri chicken. Drizzle over the yoghurt dressing and serve with lime wedges on the side.



insider TIPS

Ask the

EXPERTS We put your fitness, health and nutrition questions to our panel of experts...


“Should I start my gym sessions with cardio or weights first?”


“Can the food I eat affect my genes and help me live longer?”

Gemma Peterson, Cambridge


Amy Costello, co-founder and head trainer at F45 Tottenham Court Road Studio (, says: “This is somewhat dependent on your fitness goals and the main focus of each of your gym sessions, but generally if you’re looking for weight loss and lean muscle gain (or toning up as it’s known), I would recommend that you head to the weights room first. Starting a session with a focus on strength and resistance will burn out your anaerobic energy systems, meaning that once you hit the cardio section of your workout, your body will resort to burning fat to keep your aerobic system going. This will churn up those calories both during your session and for an extended period after you’ve completed your workout. It’s important with weight training that you always practise good form, so get lifting those weights while you’re feeling fresh and energetic for the most effective and injury-free workout.”

Annie Bagshaw, Worcester


Naturopathic herbalist Vera Martins at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (, says: “Definitely! Our genes are flexible entities that can be switched on and off through a mechanism called epigenetics. Certain dietary compounds are known to control these ‘switches’, affecting many health conditions such as cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, reproductive and neurological disorders and even cancer. Foods rich in the polyphenols curcumin (found in turmeric), epigallocatechin gallate (present in green tea), resveratrol (in grapes and berries) and isothiocyanates (in broccoli and kale) are key to keeping our genes happy. These antioxidant compounds share the ability to reduce cancer growth and promote longevity. Try to avoid eating sugary, processed foods which negatively affect genes linked to cardiovascular health and memory. Also, a diet rich in ‘bad’ fats (mainly trans fats) can switch off the gene for leptin, a hormone that regulates our appetite, meaning we may eat more than we need. Good food choices equal happy genes.”

Got a question you’d like to put to our experts? Drop us a line at YourFitness 45

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Kick start your summer fitness goals with a luxury fitness retreat for two

ere at Your Fitness, the promise of luxe surroundings, delicious food and a spa softens the blow when a boot camp is involved. This is why we’re offering one lucky winner the chance to experience the beautiful surroundings of Champneys Leicestershire location for an amazing two-night fitness getaway later this year. Champneys boot camps have been specially designed to make you feel fitter, energised and more inspired to make positive lifestyle changes by offering the perfect motivational kick-start, worlds away from the stereotypical military style classes. Their holistic approach aims to build healthy relationships with food and exercise; relationships that will last long after you leave. The picturesque Champneys Springs resort is the perfect setting to focus your mind and relax your body after a hard workout session. Surrounded by water walkways and 31 acres of beautiful open parkland, the tranquil location is a modern take on country style spa. Designed with

your relaxation in mind, the UK’s first purpose-built health spa continues to champion the best of health and wellbeing. You’ll take part in four to six exercise sessions per day and with a heavy emphasis on team interaction, activities offer the perfect balance of strength, endurance and stability training - inside and outside of the resort. This programme also includes blood pressure checks, nutrition plans, diet and exercise discussions, a 25-minute Champneys massage, a Thalassotherapy pool session and carefully crafted healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. So if you fancy taking a break and focusing on you, enter this competition now for your chance to win! For more details, head to

T&Cs: This competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. One entry per person (duplicates will be void). The prizes cannot be exchanged for goods, or towards the purchase of goods at any retail outlet and are subject to availability. Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash, or replaced if lost or damaged. Automated entries are disqualified. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by these t&cs will be disqualified. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No responsibility held for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post, proof of posting is not proof of delivery. All entries become the property of Aceville Publications Ltd & sister companies. Winners will be notified within approximately 90 days of the competition start date, a list of winners will be available in writing on request from Marketing Department, 21/23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. CLOSING DATE 18/05/17 Entrants should enter by completing the entry form on Entries received after the closing date of the promotion will not be considered. The Promoter will use entrants’ personal details in accordance with the Aceville Privacy Policy. This two night boot camp retreat for two people is valid at Springs and will run from Friday 17th November 2017 for two nights. Standard room accommodation only. Travel to the spa is not included. There are a minimum number of people required for this break to run, if there are insufficient numbers the winner will be notified of cancellation around two weeks before and the following prize will be offered as an alternative (only if the two night boot camp retreat is cancelled): a Champneys two night mid-week stay with an hour of Champneys time valid at Champneys Springs. Not valid Friday or Saturday nights. Subject to availability. Includes all meals, two buffet breakfasts, lunches and two three-course evening meals. An hour of Champneys time includes two treatments - a Head in the Clouds Massage and Champneys Body Wrap per person, which cannot be altered. Prize must be booked and taken within six months from the date of issue. For more terms and conditions see online.

46 YourFitness

Prize Draw MAY.indd 2

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WORTH ÂŁ1,000!


Log on to our website,, and answer the question below correctly to be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize!

Q) What is the location of the Champneys boot camp? A) Oxfordshire

B) Leicestershire C) Gloucestershire

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promotional FEATURE


SYNERGY To mark the 20th anniversary of Bio-Synergy’s launch, we look back at some of their best bits


ith over two decades serving the nations fittest with top quality supplements, it’s fair to say that Bio-Synergy has come a long way over the last 20 years. From professional athletes to fitness enthusiasts, the team have kept some of the world's fittest gym bunnies in their best shape ever with the before and after images to prove it. Here’s a run-down of the brand’s highlights in numbers.

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your fitness REPORT




Whether you’re running a 10k, half marathon or the full 26.2 miles, there’s no doubt that race training can be tough. Luckily, Lindsey Passaic, wellness coach at VitalityHealth ( is on hand with her top tips to help you get race ready. Get a plan in place so you can start to make small changes to your daily routine, slowly building up to the big run. Try going for a lunchtime jog, running to work or taking a Sunday morning run around the park. Don’t skimp on stretching, as this not only reduces the risk of injury, but decreases muscle soreness and increases flexibility at the same time. Before you start, try doing a dynamic stretching routine (high knees or twisting lunges for example), which increases your core temperature and prepares your muscles for exercise. Using a foam roller will help your body recover, improve circulation and reduce soreness after a workout. Set realistic goals and celebrate your successes – you don’t have to do everything in one go. It’s better to reach your end goal slowly rather than increasing the chance of getting injured.


e for





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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 50

face your FEARS


RUN? Will I be fast enough? Could I do a race? If you’re new to the sport, running might make you feel nervous – but you shouldn’t let that stop you! WORDS: Sarah Ivory

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Running has a reputation for being one of our favourite sports. According to official Sport England figures, 2.49 million people take part in athletics (which includes running) each week. Yet, it is also an activity that many of us shy away from. Despite being one of the most natural forms of exercise, running is hard – and that gives many of us such a bad case of the jitters that we put off getting started. And if that doesn’t stop some, there’s always the fear of being seen jogging, which prevents a lot of people from heading out the door. We worry that we’ll look too slow, fat, old or silly to other folk. But here’s the thing – running doesn’t discriminate. Whether you run with jiggly thighs, arms flapping (à la Phoebe from friends) or head rolling, the benefits are the same for everyone – improved cardiovascular fitness, boosted bone density, weight loss and, best of all, increased happiness thanks to the release of ‘happy’ endorphin hormones. Still nervous about giving running a go? Read on and let our panel of experts quash your fears...


#1 “I’m worried I’ll be the slowest runner on the streets” If you think you’re too slow to join a running group, you’re not the only one – many runners (both new and returning to the sport) worry that they’ll be left behind on a run. But here’s a secret – the feeling you get after finishing a tough run is the same whether you ran it at a six-minute mile pace or an 11-minute mile speed. And in fact, research from Denmark even shows that jogging at a slow-to-moderate pace could be better for health and longevity than running at a strenuous speed. “A mile is a mile, whether you’re aiming for under four minutes or under 10 minutes,” agrees a spokesperson for The Running Bug ( “It’s still faster than your friends on the couch and nobody cares how fast you run.” Got it?


#3 “I run with a really embarrassing technique” Do you run on your toes? Kick out a leg every third step? Flap your arms about? There’s a lot of chat about the ‘correct’ way to run but, the reality is, it takes all styles. “People with unusual techniques are often the fastest,” says a spokesperson for The Running Bug. “Take Paula Radcliffe, Britain’s greatest distance runner. She has one of the most unusual techniques. Find your own natural technique and own it – it will be far better than trying to copy anyone else’s.” It may also reassure you to know that proper run training – doing drills, speed work and run-specific strength sessions – can also help to improve your running form. So, you may find that your style improves over time. Hurrah.

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face your FEARS


Put your anxieties to one side and begin a running routine today with these simple tips from Technogym master trainer, Alex Hatzidakis, guaranteed to make you fall in love with the simple sport! SIGN UP FOR A CHALLENGE Set yourself a goal that is achievable, whether that’s to complete a parkrun or run to the end of the road. Consider smaller challenges before signing up for a marathon! CLOCK QUALITY SESSIONS Quality trumps quantity when it comes to running. As a guide, aim to do one moderate-paced run a week, one hill or sprint session, and one longer run. You don’t need to run every day. RUN WITH OTHERS Running with friends or a local jogging group is a great way to boost motivation. You’ll learn how to set a consistent pace and, ultimately, improve your running skills. Meeting up once or twice a week will help you to stay on track. STRENGTHEN YOUR BODY Don’t just log lots of miles – spend some time improving your running efficiency, too. If you can’t afford a coach, the Technogym MyRun app provides instant feedback on your step frequency, stride length and displacement.


#2 “I’ll never run further than a mile, so why bother?” Need to stop and walk for a bit after running a mile? Go ahead! Running continuously doesn’t have to be your goal. In fact, it might surprise you to discover that many top runners, especially ultra-distance athletes, still walk sections of training runs and races. The run-walk-run method is a really effective training tool and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it. And when it comes to weight loss, scientific data shows that there is very little difference in the number of calories used when walking a mile compared to those used when running one. The key is to gradually increase the time you spend running and reduce the time spent walking. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever ditch the run-walk-run method completely, as it’s also a technique that’s employed when doing fast interval training. There’s no shame!

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Running isn’t all about leg power; you need to be mentally strong as well. A good strategy is to repeat positive words and affirmations, or listen to uplifting beats while you run. These things will help get you into the zone for running.



“I’m pretty sure that I’m not built for running”

It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve got a curvy, Kardashianesque figure or are as short as Kylie Minogue, if you can walk, you can run. Just ask Sarah Morwood, a former size 18 nonrunner who won the Race to the Stones ultra marathon in 2015: “It’s tough when you first go out but it’s still nice because it’s such a positive thing to do. And it’s so much nicer than dieting!” That said, your body may not be built to run fast. There is data from Loughborough University showing that some people are genetically primed to run further and faster than others. But if this concerns you, refer to Fear #1. “It’s all about being in the right headspace,” adds Sarah. “I’m not fast but I’m very good at running steadily for a long time.” Turns out, there’s a race distance for everyone.

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Want to add a dash of flavour to water when out and about? Forget lemon slices and handfuls of mint leaves and instead opt for Stur and in particular, its new Naturally Skinny Stur – a great way to quench thirst and help you to manage your weight at the same time. Combining natural ingredients, soluble fibre and saffron extract to improve satiety, the blend is also calorie and sugar-free! What flavour will you choose? Opt for a tangy citrus blend or try the deep cherry. Each bottle is the perfect size for your handbag and boasts 20 servings. £3.49, available exclusively at



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Quench your thirst with these natural drinks that will also boost your health


Take control of your nutrition and taste buds with these gluten- and dairy-free smoothie mixes. Pure Recharge takes natural ingredients combined with superfoods such as guarana and ginseng to provide a healthy breakfast or post workout pick-me-up. The simple, easy to use pouches can be blended with fresh fruit and almond milk to complement a healthy, balanced and active lifestyle. £2.70,


Looking for a sports bottle to help you drink your rda while out and about? Pick up an Ion8 today, and thank us later. The 100 percent leak proof bottles feature a unique lid system which includes an easy-open locking latch and hypoallergenic seals to ensure annoying spillages are a thing of the past. Goodbye soggy gym bags! The bottles come in a range of sizes, styles and colours, plus they’re dishwasher safe, can take a hot and cold drink and are BPA-free. What more could you possibly need? A newly launched British brand – ion8 is growing very quickly and the leak proof feature has proved a real winner with gym users... and it’s easy to see why.

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RUNNING like a girl Each month the TV presenter, radio host and our woman pounding the pavements fills us in on her fitness diary


he sun is shining, you’re feeling fit and fancy going outdoors for a jog. The question is, for how long? If you feel like it would be too easy to do your favourite 5k loop and you’d like to challenge yourself to do something more than the standard 10k but are unsure of how you can amp up your distance, read on. This is your guide to taking on the longer run. Like many marathon runners, I remember my first long session – I was broken afterwards! As part of my training I had a goal of 20 miles in place. Before then, I’d never ever run that far in my life (why would I have?!), but knew it had to be done to prepare me for the big event. The goal was simply to jog the route without requiring medical attention at the end and somehow I managed it. This is when I realised that long distance is possible – you just have to build up gradually and commit to it.

Pace yourself Whatever distance you're going, the key is pacing yourself. Go at a slow and steady speed which you know you can maintain. The biggest mistake marathoners make during the first few miles on race day is sprinting to get a head start – this will pretty much always backfire. I remember one year being on the starting line with Gordon Ramsay who flew off when the gun fired. Cut to a few miles down the road and I casually overtook him – by which stage he was really struggling.

Keep it interesting One of the other reasons so many people stop sooner than they initially intended is utter boredom. Avoid this by picking a route that will be interesting. Just doing continuous laps of the park will probably drive you insane and there is a strong chance that you will give up after passing the same blue Fiesta parked by the postbox for the eighth time!

Another way to resist the urge to stop is to run with a friend. Need to catch up on all the latest gossip? A run is a perfect opportunity – and the chat should take your mind off the exercise. If no friends are available then your final weapon is your earphones. I listen to playlists filled with upbeat songs, or I tune into the Heart app and listen to the radio. Sometimes I even phone my brother for a good old chinwag!

Be ready The next issue is how to prepare your body for a long run in terms of fuel and water. When I am marathon training, I take gels or jelly beans out with me, especially for distances greater than 15 miles. If it's a shorter run, I make sure that I have fuelled up beforehand with something like a banana, some toast or a bagel. Consume some simple carbs which will keep energy levels up. I also plan my run so that I pass water stops. In races, you’re often lucky to get given water en route, but sadly in the real world this doesn’t happen – so you have to either carry it or know where you can find some. I have been known to pop in to pubs and ask for a glass of water, take a few sips and then move on!

Remember your goal When hitting the long distance, you need to remember why you're doing it. If it is for fun, don’t set yourself such a big target that you put yourself off ever going out again. You should

TWEET JENNI @jennifalconer Jenni Falconer.indd 1

aim to go on a challenging enough run that you will feel a sense of pride in your achievement once it’s over. If you usually run 5k, aim for 10. If 10k is your normal distance, aim for 20k! The final option is to select a destination you have to get to and make that your goal. Run home from work, get the train to a village a few stops away and jog back from there, or tell a friend you’re coming to visit and then pound the pavements there. You may need to ask them for a lift home afterwards though! My advice is to give longer runs a chance – in these warmer months, they can make you feel great, boost your mood and energy and provide a great way to get in shape and burn calories! Good luck – let me know how you get on!

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your fitness REPORT

FIT kit


The sun is shining and the days are getting longer – yep, summer is definitely on its way! If you need a workout wardrobe update for the new season (who doesn’t?), get yourself kitted out with O’Neill Active’s first ever eco-friendly activewear and swimwear line. Made from recycled plastic found on the beach, this collection will take you from land to water in style. From running and yoga to swimming and surfing, this range helps to remove thousands of plastic bottles from shorelines worldwide. It’s also packed with technical features including UV protection and quick-drying fabric. We love the Active Mesh Insert Sport Bra (£34.99) and Active Print 7/8 Surf Legging (£45.99), pictured here. Head to to see the full collection.

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QA &

Charli Cohen, sportswear designer ( She’s the designer that made high fashion and technical sportswear fuse together and now Charli Cohen is taking functional style to a new level

Monochrome Magic

Speed Marble Crop Top, £29.95 Three Quarter Tights, £39.95 Ultra Boost Shoes, £129.95

Not everything is black and white but it is over at Adidas for its new season collection. Seemingly timeless, monochrome is a trend that endures every time and for SS17, fashion houses like Dior, Lanvin and Alexander McQueen have re-worked the look through complex geometrics and simple contrasts. Channel the look in your athleisurewear with Adidas’ stylish collection of monochromatic bras, tights and shoes.

Why have you decided to take your collections in a different direction? If anything I’m reverting to the original plan for CC. Now that people have got so used to wearing activewear as daywear, they expect more from their clothes generally. We still have a strong core of performance-wear, but this now represents a third of our ‘technical fashion’ offer. Who do you imagine your customers to be? What our customers have in common is an attitude and state of mind – they lead busy, active lifestyles and are experience-seekers. We give them the clothing to do that. What do you think are the must-haves that sportswear should include? Fabric is everything. At the very least it should be breathable, moisture wicking and for skin-tight pieces, it should have great recovery so you don’t end up with saggy knees and waistbands after a few washes. And from a psychological standpoint, think of your sportswear as your superhero suit – invest in pieces that make you feel strong and confident.

Launch alert! It may be long overdue but sportswear giant Nike has finally got the memo and created a plus size collection. Encompassing everything from t-shirts, running tights, high-tech hoodies and training shorts, sizes range from an impressive Xl up to 3XL and 38E in sports bras for what Nike call ‘curved athletes’.

From blush pinks and marble prints to combi sets and must-have staples – amp up your fit kit wardrobe with spring’s new collections and latest trends

(TRACK) SUIT UP They were seen as the uniform for the un-cool but thanks to the fashionistas, tracksuit sets are making a comeback. Here’s how to wear them

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Opt for classic colours like navy or black which are more understated cool than in-your-face edgy. Branded tracksuits give your outfit a retro feel while a plain version is more subtle and mature. As the perfect day-tonight ensemble, team your tracksuit with trainers to run errands and heels for after-dark.

T7 Crew Sweater, £43, T7 Strap Sweatpants, £47

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AWalk WALK IN inTHE thePARK Park


Fiesty and feminine, Beyonce’s new Ivy Park collection her fiercest yet

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60 YourFitness


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Lisa Snowdon The power OF SCENT

Our beauty columnist reveals how different scents can help you regain your get-up-and-go and relax your mind


ne of my main pleasures in life is to be surrounded in a sensory explosion of delectable aromas – from the perfume I wear and the candles I burn, to the oils I slather over my body on a daily basis, I love it. The power of scent is huge and so necessary in my world – it can wake me up, calm me down, lift my mood and help me to switch off. It can boost my motivation and encourage me to hit the gym and switch my focus to work once I'm done exercising too. Smell also evokes powerful nostalgia and I often find that memories come flooding back whenever I catch a whiff of freshly cut grass or jasmine in the summer. So pure yet powerful and distinctive, it takes me back to happy times in my grandma's garden, where there was also the delicate aroma of roses growing alongside wild lavender. Little did I know back then, as I was greedily trying to inhale all the delicious notes of nature, that it would be these same smells that I would still be attracted to to this day. On a recent weekend in Paris I stopped by Le Grand Musee Du Parfum and it got me pondering my relationship with scent and where it all began. Ancient Egypt marked the dawning of fragrance, with the use of aromatic plants in embalming and mummifications. But moving from the dead to the living, the beneficial therapeutic and aphrodisiac virtues quickly became apparent and from Egypt it spread through the Mediterranean. In 17th century Toulouse, aromatic vinegars were created for protection from epidemics and plagues to cover up the smell of death. Perfume was also heavily applied to cover up the smell of bad body odour when water was considered too dangerous and diseased to bath in. Myths and fables talk of the magical power of herbal and floral concoctions that cured disease-eradicating illness and reversed the ageing process. Now I don’t believe for one second that the latter is

true, as I can assure you if such a potion existed I would have sourced it by now and would be eagerly spreading the word! What I can tell you, though, is that aromatherapy and essential oils are extremely powerful in healing, calming or exciting the nervous system in a natural way and can be very beneficial to our health. Lavender is known to soothe and calm the mind, citrus scents stimulate, while musk and sandalwood can be arousing. My go-to products include Aromatherapy Associates' Revive Morning Bath and Shower Oil which contains grapefruit, rosemary and juniper and provides the perfect start to the day. Aesop’s Ginger in-flight Therapy is also an ideal pick-me up and very uplifting whenever you feel that energy slump. Rose Noir is my light and floral perfume from Byredo bought for me for my 40th birthday and I adore it. And, finally, one of my favourite smells that can't be bought, blended or concocted is the smell of my fiancé's skin – that wonderful natural evocative mix of pheromones and masculinity, a secret chemistry and mystical alchemy that can never be explained, or imitated.

Lisa's calming scents Bamfords Shavasana Essential Oil Relaxation, £25, Ideal for use in times of stress and anxiety, this is made with chamomile, lavender and geranium and has a little roller for your pulse points.

Neom Tranquility Candles, £45, In the evening I burn these candles from Neom – they ease stresses and strains away and it's this smell I associate with winding down at the end of a long day.

This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir Spray, £25, I am a big fan of This Works' sleep products and this two-in-one overnight treatment promotes better sleep and boosts hair vitality through botanical oils such as lavender.

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Pro-Definition Facial Oil, £65 Anything that’s described as skin strength in a bottle has our undivided attention. With ingredients including raspberry plant stem cell extract, Himalayan gentian extract and barbary fig oil, this product supports the structure of a mature complexion as it changes over time to create contour definition and lift around key areas.




£28.99 Don’t let your hands show your age, nourish them with the avocado oil and berry extracts in Antipodes Joyful Hand and Body Cream. Enriched with South Pacific hibiscus flower extracts, its rich and velvety texture sinks into the skin without any oily residue so you can carry on lifting without slipping.


Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask, from £10 As the thinnest skin on the face, our eye area is prone to pollution, UV rays and the stresses of modern life. Show them a little TLC with Estee Lauder’s newest addition. With a blend of nine anti-irritants including lady’s thistle and white birch, each eye mask soothes tired, puffy peepers, giving them eight hours of dual-powered moisture.

Dust off your straighteners ladies because poker tresses are back this season. Seen on the catwalks of Versace and H&M, this style looks best when hair is healthy, sleek and glossy. To get the look at home, apply a heat defense product to the lengths and ends before blow drying with a paddle brush. Section your hair off into bunches and straighten each piece from root to tip. Finish off the look with a shine spray or serum for a glass-like sheen.




M&S Collection

Turn back the clock with the help of these bathroom beauties


Intensive Hyaluronic Mask, £49.50 Treat sweaty post-workout skin to a hit of hydration as this mask contains high concentrated levels of three patented forms of hyaluronic acid designed to plump out fine lines and wrinkles. By re-hydrating the surface layers and filling in tissues from the inside, it instantly nourishes the skin at the surface and more deeply beneath the epidermis.

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Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%, £58 Forget your morning OJ, Clinique’s new booster unleashes 10 percent of fresh vitamin C on your complexion to tone, renew and brighten your visage with every pump. Like a daily supplement, simply mix two drops with your favourite moisturiser to see results in as little as seven days.

Three of the best


LIGHT THERAPY ACNE MASK, £59.99 NEUTROGENA.COM It may look like something from X Men, but the red and blue wavelengths in this LED-filled mask can disrupt the acne cycle and aid inflammation in just 10 minutes.



No, it’s not a kitchen utensil, this massager mimics the tapping, pinching and knuckling of the renowned Skinesis massage to drain toxins and reduce puffiness.


Designed to help relieve tired eyes by using soothing T-Sonic technology, the IRIS reduces the appearance of puffy eyes, dark circles and fine lines. Hello bagfree peepers!


Gentle Foaming Cleanser, £29, Refreshing Shower Mask, £32, Brightening Eye Cream, £39

Anti-ageing skincare generally isn’t something most women concern themselves with. That’s until the first frown line appears and there it stays, even when you raise your eyebrows. Dr Perricone knows this and has created a range designed for millennials who are starting to think about the first signs of ageing. Formulated with Dr Perricone’s patented NRF2 Support Complex, the Pre: Empt range is packed full of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to give you plump and youthful skin.

M&S Collection





How do I fight sudden age spots? Samantha Sergant ( says: Sensible sunshine is the way to go. And by that I mean enjoying the sunshine in the early morning and late afternoon hours, so that you can receive the health promoting properties of the sunlight, whilst avoid being burnt in the middle of the day. If you have overdone it over the years, apply fresh organic lemon juice to the area on your skin and go out in the sensible sunshine times for 20 minutes so that the sunlight can further stimulate the lemon juice’s lightening and brightening properties. La Roche-Posay Redermic UV SPF30, £29.50

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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 68

beauty EXPERT

Get Gigi’s Look... 1. L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara So Couture Black, £9.99

I’m low maintenance when it comes to my routine, especially on my days off.

2. Tommy Girl The Girl Eau De Toilette, £35

It makes me feel the same way it smells – lively and fun

3. Laura Geller Beach Matte Baked Hydrating Bronzer, £26

I stick to bronzer, mascara and a spritz of fragrance, and then I’m out the door

4. Tom Ford Beauty Lipstick in Nude Vanille, £38

I can’t live without nude lipstick – it’s a great basic that goes with every outfit and look.

5. Lip Pencil in Stripdown, £13



The model of the moment shares her simple beauty regime and why she’s happy to be fronting the new Tommy Hilfiger fragrance She’s bagged herself one of the biggest contracts around and a One Direction boyfriend to boot but one thing Gigi Hadid still has time for is her beauty routine. As the face of Tommy Hilfiger’s new fragrance, The Girl she Gigi talks to us about off-duty hair and boxing to stay fit. I love that The Girl fragrance has a clean and fresh feel. I like a scent that doesn’t overwhelm and keeps everything light and airy. It’s really flirty to wear at night but also versatile enough to wear during the day. To me, women are beautiful when they are confident, warm and welcoming. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of the women I admired growing up and the ones that truly touch me and continue to inspire me are the ones that embrace these qualities. I like to box year round; it’s how I keep my body in shape and a great way for me to not think about anything for an hour. It allows me to work things out without even realising it. My health mantra is to eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane. I think that it’s really important to be someone that people like to work with. If they don’t like working with you, they’re not going to – there’s always someone who’s


going to be prettier and nicer. I think what means the most is when they say, “I talked to the hair stylist from the shoot and they said how kind you were.” That’s what makes me feel good about the day. I was born in a generation in which social media is part of our everyday lives. It is something that has already made sense to me, and feels very natural. I always knew social media was going to be important and it’s really helped to push my career. My number one beauty tip is less is more. There are events or times to have a glamorous or statement look, but mostly I like to keep it natural. My hair is usually in a ponytail or a bun - if I’m having a bad hair day, I just put it up and no one knows. I try to sleep as much as possible after a long night to look my best, but if I don’t get enough sleep, coffee helps! On set, being around people that I love working with helps to give me a lot of energy.




I think of Tommy Hilfiger as an iconic American brand. It’s a lifestyle that exudes happiness and fun. The feeling you get when you look at the campaign is the same feeling we had when we were shooting it, playful and spirited, so that’s really exciting.

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promotional FEATURE

pie 1Apple popcorn

For a sweet fix minus the sugar, add diced peeled apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon to fresh, airpopped popcorn. Making your own is really simple – just be sure not to add oil or butter – and because this whole grain is low in fat and calories and high in insoluble fibre, it makes a perfect healthy snack choice.


4 Fruity sandwiches

No, we don’t mean putting fruit between slices of bread, we mean using fruit as the bread! Cut apples into rings or pears into slices and stuff with thick and creamy Icelandic Skyr or nut butter. You could even add nuts, raisins, seeds or granola for extra crunch.

Homebaked crisps

Are these salty bites your snack weakness? If you have more of a savoury-tooth than a sweet-tooth, swap crisps and crackers for homemade vegetable crisps. You can use whatever vegetables you like, from thinly-sliced carrots to iron-rich kale leaves – just drizzle them with a little oil, season with sea salt and/ or spices such as chilli or paprika and bake in a hot oven until crisp.

3 Grab ‘n’ go trail mix

Keep a pot of homemade trail mix on your desk, in your handbag, in the car or wherever hunger tends to strike and you’ll fill up on nutrients rather than empty calories. Simply combine your favourite nuts, dried fruits, seeds and anything else you fancy (such as cocoa nibs) in a 50:30:10:10 ratio and store in an airtight container.




you need to try today

Avoiding junk food can be hard when you’re hungry, but we’re here to help

Trying to eat healthily can sometimes feel daunting – how do you ensure that you’re getting the right amount of calories and nutrients for your goals, without risking those hunger pains come 11 o’clock? Well, don’t worry. Maintaining a healthy diet needn’t be complicated and it doesn’t mean you have to go without. Little and often is the key – by eating snacks and small meals throughout the day, you’ll give your body a steady supply of energy, meaning that you’re less likely to reach for that biscuit tin. Here are some ideas for nutritious nibbles that’ll keep you full and satisfied. So whether you’re in the office or heading home from the gym, there will be no more tummy rumbles!

5 Skyr

Icelandic Skyr is a delicious, nourishing dairy product that can be enjoyed from breakfast through to bedtime. Made with the purest skimmed Icelandic milk, it contains up to 19g of protein per portion, so it’s guaranteed to keep you full! It’s also the perfect convenience food, as it’s sold in individual pots with their very own spoon inside the lid. Enjoy plain or flavoured Icelandic Skyr by itself or add some chopped fruit and nuts for added goodness. To find out more about Skyr, visit The product is sold in Waitrose stores all over the UK.

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your fitness REPORT

HEALTH files


How many different types of fruit and vegetables have you eaten today? If the answer is five, you may think that you’re doing well but it seems that you could do even better. A new study by Imperial College London found that 10 portions (which equates to 800g) could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year. While this may sound a little overwhelming, there are lots of ways to squeeze extra servings into your day. Start your mornings with a smoothie (you can add leafy greens as well as fruit) to tick off at least three portions and a colourful salad for lunch, which could contain around five portions. And when that afternoon slump hits, grab an apple or a banana instead of a chocolate bar. To finish off the day, serve dinner with three types of veg (remember, you could mash swede instead of potato to top a cottage pie, or spiralise courgettes to use in place of spaghetti) and that’s it!

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Coconuts were one of the most popular foods of 2016 – praised for their electrolyte-packed water and versatile oil (great for your hair, body and cooking!), but their milk is also worth shouting about. Perfect as a cow’s milk replacement for those with a lactose intolerance, it makes a great base for smoothies or as a dairy alternative in baking. The benefits are countless, as the fruit is full of nutrients and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 as well as minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Try it for yourself in your morning juice!






You’ve probably heard a lot about the health benefits of probiotics, but you may not be as familiar with the lesser-known gut-friendly prebiotics. These are dietary fibres that naturally occur in foods such as leeks, chicory, onions, artichokes and raw garlic and serve as food for good bacteria. A new study by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that these can improve your sleep, buffer the psychological impact of stress and increase your wellbeing. Sounds good to us!

Omega 3

We know how good this essential fatty acid is for our hearts, but it seems that it has other benefits as well. According to new research by Harvard Medical School, eating foods rich in omega 3 could reduce the harm caused by air pollution by up to half.

THE BAROMETER Peeling vegetables

The skins are where the majority of the nutrients are found, so you lose these benefits when you remove them. Instead, keep them on and rinse carefully – you’ll cut down on prep time too!

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QA &


Smoothies are a great way to start the day and this summery offering from Nairn’s Oatcakes ( is breakfast in a glass. Full of slow release carbohydrates and protein, this is a fantastic option when you are short of time and will help keep you feeling energised and focused throughout the morning, or after a workout. Suitable for vegetarians, it’s gluten and wheat-free – you can even use a milk alternative to make it dairy-free. Ingredients (serves 4) 60g Nairn’s gluten-free porridge oats 1tbsp desiccated coconut 30g macadamia nuts, chopped 15g cashew nuts, chopped 15g pumpkin seeds 1tbsp ground flaxseed ½ tsp ground cinnamon 400g fresh or frozen strawberries Juice of 2 limes 500ml milk or milk alternative

ASK THE EXPERT “I recently read in the news that multivitamins are a waste of money. Is this true, or can they benefit my health?” Isabelle Nunn, technical and commercial nutritionist at Kinetic ( says: “Good health starts with an essential daily intake of vitamins and minerals. These are in turn involved with the maintenance of various bodily functions. Multivitamins often act as an insurance policy when we eat well, have an active lifestyle and are free from illness but feel the need to top up. Your body should obtain the necessary nutrients through your diet first and foremost but there’s no doubt that other factors in life can act as nutrient ‘robbers’. These include pollution, stress, medication, a hectic lifestyle, smoking and illness, where the absorption of nutrients is inefficient or even impossible. Specific diets can also cause deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Multivitamins can be beneficial to your health, provided they are of good quality, with easily absorbed forms of the nutrients and free of unnecessary additives. Vitamins work better in synergy with other vitamins or minerals than they do independently. This means that using a multivitamin can give us a good balance of nutrients in one hit. Some vitamins also act as antioxidants and therefore protect our cells against damaging molecules, which are called ‘free radicals’. Occasionally, multivitamins may not be suitable for your specific needs and this is where professional advice should be sought.”

Method: 1. Heat a non-stick frying pan and toast the oats for 2-3 minutes until golden. Add the nuts and seeds and toast for a further minute. 2. Pour into a bowl and add the flaxseed and cinnamon. 3. Place the strawberries in a blender with the lime juice and milk. Blend until smooth. Add 6tbsp of the oat mixture and blend again. Pour into glasses and top with a spoonful of the oat mixture. Storage: Store the oat topping in an airtight container for one to two weeks. Smoothies are best drunk once prepared but will keep it in the fridge for four to five hours.


of evening meals are now meat-free in the UK as the amount of so-called flexitarians has risen. In fact, more than half of us go vegetarian part-time by ditching meat for two days a week. If you don’t already, why not try it for yourself this week and see if you feel the benefit?




Making your own veggie burgers. These can be created using chickpeas, peanut butter and oats and have a similar texture to meat ones, but with less calories and lots of taste.

Lamb or chicken skewers

Veggie skewers. Chunks of halloumi, courgette, sweet potato, mushroom and anything else you fancy make a great alternative to this dish (in fact, we think you might make the switch permanent).

Chilli con carne

Chilli non carne. Substitute the mince for kidney beans and any other veg you feel like for a warming, hearty dish without the meat.


Want to try meat-free Monday? Try these easy vegetarian swaps in your usual meals and see if you notice the difference – we bet you won’t be able to!

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promotional FEATURE


It takes care of your body

Simply put, this is a silicone cup which is worn internally like a tampon and retains up to 28ml of liquid. As it collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it, unlike other sanitary products (tampons soak up 35 percent of vaginal moisture), it doesn’t cause dryness or irritation and it maintains the natural pH levels of your body.


It’s a great choice for a busy lifestyle

Thanks to its design, the cup is an ideal menstrual aid for all kinds of activities, including water sports and swimming, as well as travelling without fear of leaks. You can even sleep using it, as it can be worn for up to 12 hours without discomfort. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also convenient – you never have to make a last minute run to the shops or keep a stash in your bathroom. It doesn’t take up as much room in your handbag or suitcase and you no longer have to smuggle sanitary products up your sleeve or find a suitable place to dispose of used items!


You’ll avoid chemicals and additives

Unlike sanitary towels and tampons, menstrual cups contain no dyes, perfumes, pesticides, plastic, bleaches, toxins or other nasties, meaning that it’s a perfect option for people with sensitive skin, thrush, eczema or allergies. By using a cup instead of other feminine hygiene products, you’ll also minimise your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, an infection caused by bacteria that can be lifethreatening if left untreated.

5 MENSTRUAL reasons to swap to a


this spring


Think that tampons and sanitary towels are the be all and end all of feminine hygiene? Think again. With a whole load of benefits and advantages over other products, the menstrual cup is a force to be reckoned with.

The Feminesse Menstrual Cup is a reusable, pH-friendly and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and sanitary towels. It boasts a unique, foldable design meaning the cup can be stored virtually flat and placed inside the included silicone travel case. Compact in your gym or work bag, you can carry your cup confidently and discreetly. The case also opens up to be used when cleaning the cup. Available in Tesco and online at

can 4You save money There’s no doubt about it – constantly buying sanitary products every month really adds up. In fact, it’s estimated that us ladies spend just under £156 a year on sanitary products. In comparison, menstrual cups cost £17.99 and are reusable, meaning that you only have to buy one! All you need to do is remove, wash out and then reinsert. Feminesse recommends replacing your cup every two years.


…and the environment

It’s estimated that a woman will throw away 13,000 tampons and pads in a lifetime. Every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of globally – in fact, Ocean Conservancy volunteers collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on our world’s beaches on a single day, according to International Coastal Cleanup, 2013. In comparison, you only need one cup and they’re designed to be durable and last for years, minimising waste.

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celeb COLUMNIST “Quinoa may look and taste like it’s got a high carbohydrate content, but it’s actually high in protein – the amino acid in quinoa is lysine, a nutrient not found in many other grains”

BODY beautiful

Every month our healthy living guru brings us her bite-sized tips


e’ve all heard the term superfoods but what exactly does it refer to? Well, these types of foods don’t have a specific meaning per se, but they are thought to be extremely nutritionally dense and especially beneficial for our health and wellbeing. At a very basic level they are said to be rich in particular nutrients. This could be antioxidants, thought to ward off cancer; healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; or phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colours and smells which have numerous health benefits. So, which are the most super of supers? Here are some of my favourites...

Raw cacao Cacao is the raw form of chocolate. It’s laden with antioxidants and minerals, and known to elevate the pumping action of the heart muscle and help alkalise the body. Plus it also contains natural mood-enhancing compounds, including serotonin and tryptophan, which have been shown to ease depression and create feelings of happiness.

Goji berries These potent red berries have been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years so they must be doing something right! They are thought to contain more iron than spinach and more beta-carotene than carrots, plus vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin A, iron and selenium. They allow your skin to absorb more oxygen, help to improve circulation, protect against heart disease and cancer, and move bacteria and viruses out of the body, therefore strengthening your immune system. The list is endless!

Fermented foods There are trillions of good bacteria (probiotics) co-habiting in your gut. These help to fight infection, reduce cholesterol, produce vitamin B and detox the intestines to boot! How can you

increase these good bacteria? The most effective way is by eating foods packed with probiotics which are in fermented foods, such as kefir, saurkraut and live yoghurt.

Quinoa Ahhh, quinoa. What a star grain! Quinoa contains oodles of vitamins such as B6, potassium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, plus minerals such as magnesium, copper, folate and zinc, and also phytonutrients which fight inflammation and disease.

Chia seeds These little seeds are a powerhouse of goodness. Just two tablespoons of chia

seeds provide approximately 100 milligrams of bone-building calcium, seven grams of dietary fibre and three grams of protein. With the highest content of omega 3 fatty acids of any plant food, they help to fight inflammation, thereby reducing the chances of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression. Small seed, big deal!

Spirulina This green giant is a water algae packed with nutrients. It gets its superpowers through photosynthesis (remember that in science class?) and has all the protein, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and chlorophyll your body could need. It is fab for building muscle, losing weight and fighting disease. Near-perfect nutrition!

TWEET AMANDA @amandabyram and @bodybybyram or VISIT HER WEBSITE YourFitness 75

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Protect your

PELVIC FLOOR Bad news – your daily routine could be weakening your pelvic floor muscles and causing problems ‘down there’. Here’s how to ensure you can give your floor more... WORDS: Sarah Ivory


s it normal to leak urine mid-run?’ is not exactly a question you can bring up at your next running club social. And yet research in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology reported that half of the 1,500 female participants in a recent study had at least one sign of pelvic floor dysfunction, a health problem that can cause stress-induced urinary incontinence because the pelvic floor muscles are weak. Ironically, most of us pay great attention to the rest of our bodies – running or doing weight training to look great on the outside – but, because the pelvic floor muscles (the sling of muscles that run from the pubic bone to the base of the spine, holding the uterus and bladder in place) are such an intimate part of our bodies, we tend to ignore them until a problem arises. Well, ignore no more! It can be too embarrassing to talk to friends about pelvic floor problems, such as reduced sensitivity during sex or urinary incontinence, so we’ve rounded up a panel of experts to answer your burning questions.

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pelvic floor Q&A


I can’t motivate myself to do pelvic floor exercises at home. Are there any gym classes I can try?

Any exercise that improves core strength and control will help, says Lynne Robinson, author of Pilates for Life and founder of Body Control Pilates ( “Pilates is a great choice because core stability is central to all of the exercises. When you use your core muscles correctly, you get a gentle contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. This is because the lower back, transverse abdominal and pelvic floor muscles work together to increase the intra abdominal pressure that stabilises your spine.” Doing yoga and certain gym moves can also be great ways to strengthen the pelvic floor. “However, there are some exercises you should steer clear of in Pilates and other gym classes,” advises Robinson. “If your pelvic floor is weak, avoid doing ‘curl up’ exercises like stomach crunches or roll-ups, as these can put too much pressure on the pelvic floor. Never hold your breath during exercises, and take care that you don’t brace your abdominals too much as this can cause over-activity of the pelvic floor muscles.”

How do I know if I’m Q exercising my pelvic floor muscles correctly?

Doing your kegels but not sure whether you’re squeezing the right bits? Robinson notes that it can be really difficult to know if you’re doing pelvic floor exercises properly. “Too often women just recruit the front part of the pelvic floor and it’s essential to get it all working,” she says. “It’s equally important to fully release your pelvic floor, as inappropriate holding patterns can cause weakness. If you know your pelvic floor is weak, you will need to practise your exercises daily.” To get it right, try to slowly pull up the pelvic floor muscles while tightening them, which should feel like stopping the flow of urine mid-stream.

I love exercising but Q experience the odd leak when training.

How can I manage this?

Not all exercises are created equal. While Pilates may be great for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, high impact workouts, such as trampolining and running, can put extra stress on the muscle group. And heavy lifting might be a bad idea,

too. “Generally, exercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles,” says GP Dr Hilary Jones, brand ambassador for Tena Lady (, “But straining and increasing abdominal pressure, which you’re likely to do when lifting heavy weights, could stretch the pelvic floor muscles.” Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you must hang up your weight-training gloves any time soon, as paying attention to your breathing pattern and breathing freely as you lift can help you to avoid straining mid-move. And if running is your thing, Dr Hilary Jones recommends emptying your bladder before heading out on a jog and then consciously pulling your lower abdominal muscles in during your run to take pressure off the pelvic floor.


I’ve heard that sitting down can weaken my pelvic floor muscles. True?

Bad news for office workers – prolonged periods of sitting don’t do your pelvic floor muscles any good! “When sitting down, your pelvic floor muscles are completely relaxed and the weight of your abdominal organs on top of these muscles tends to gradually stretch them,” warns Dr Hilary Jones. However, there are things that you can do: “When sat at your desk, practise squeezing the pelvic floor to keep those muscles toned.” To make it even easier to remember to do these exercises, the My PFF (Pelvic Floor Fitness) app by TENA boasts subtle exercise reminders and a bespoke programme that will discreetly guide you through your pelvic floor workout.

Aside from Q straightforward exercise, how else can I

strengthen my muscles?

It’s not just exercise that can help deal with weak muscles down there. Pelvic floor and fitness expert Jane Wake says: “Another great option for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is to try one of the many devices out there, such as Innovo (£249, restorethefloor. com). These gadgets work in various ways: some strengthen your pelvic floor with contractions, while others measure the efficiency of your own exercises.” Yes, that’s right – fitness trackers shouldn’t be the only gadgets you invest in to strengthen your body!

3 SUBTLE GYM MOVES The symptoms of a weak pelvic floor are embarrassing enough – you don’t need the entire gym crowd to know you’re working those muscles! These three exercises are super-discreet and boast oodles of benefits. Do them in a circuit format.

#1 GLUTE BRIDGES Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor under the knees. Raise your hips up towards the ceiling, squeezing the glute and pelvic floor muscles. Pause for a few seconds. Release the pelvic floor muscles as you lower your hips back to the ground. Repeat eight to 10 times.

#2 HEEL SLIDES Lie back with one leg bent and one leg extended. Lift and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles to begin. Slowly slide the heel of the bent leg along the ground until the leg is extended. Return the leg back to the start. Release the pelvic floor muscles before repeating. Do eight to 10 reps on each leg.

#3 CAT-COW Kneel on all fours with knees under hips and wrists under shoulders. Exhale and round the spine, scooping the abdominals upwards and tucking your pelvis under. Feel the pelvic floor squeeze and lift. Inhale and tilt your butt towards the ceiling, lifting the head and releasing the pelvic floor muscles. Repeat eight to 10 times.

“When sitting down, your pelvic floor muscles are completely relaxed and the weight of your abdominal organs on top of these muscles tends to gradually stretch them”

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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 78



IF YOU’RE EMBARKING ON A NEW FITNESS REGIME AND NEED A HELPING HAND WITH EVERYTHING FROM HEALTHY RECIPES TO GREAT WORKOUT PLANS, WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED. WORKOUT ROUTINES Whether you’re preparing for a holiday or getting ready to slip on your LBD, you’ll find the best workout to tone up every part of your body, created by expert PTs. HEALTHY EATING Overhauling your diet can be overwhelming. Get clear and simple healthy eating ideas that deliver brilliant results, plus easy recipes for you to whip up at home. BEAUTY TIPS If you want shine-free skin, healthy nails or anti-ageing exercises, we have all the pampering tips you could possibly need to keep your body at its best.


Check out @yourfitnessmag for workout tips, recipes and advice.

Tone up with expert tips from top trainers

Find tasty, healthy meal and snack ideas

Get motivated with our great #fitspiration

You can now download digital copies of the magazine from iTunes, the Kindle Newsstand, Google Play App Store and on Barnes & Noble. So not only can you pick up the latest issue, you can catch up with our back catalogue for instant inspiration wherever you are! Never miss an update! Like our Twitter page @yourfitnessmag and our Facebook page at to get all of the latest from Your Fitness in your newsfeed.

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t is no secret that self-care is an essential component of a happier life, but many of us still struggle to find the time to put self-care into practise. Self-care exists in many forms and should be thought of as a general concept that embodies several different activities and concepts. Exercise, meditation, nutrition and ample sleep are key, but many smaller acts of caring for ourselves are also essential to create a greater sense of happiness. Research has shown that taking the time to care for yourself will help you to create a better work-life balance, increase your general wellbeing, boost your workouts and also encourage you to be more engaged at work and at home.      The following tips are designed to help you embrace self-care every day!

Wake up early

First of all, always aim to wake up 30 minutes earlier than your schedule actually demands. If this means that you are awake 30 minutes before the rest of your household then this is an additional bonus. This time spent alone will help you to wake up in a positive way before the chaos of the day begins. It will also mean that you are able to get organised peacefully and embrace the quiet of the morning. During this half hour you can dedicate a few minutes to self-care. A short session of morning meditation is a good choice and will help to clear your mind for the day ahead.


Yoga teacher and nutritionist Julie Montagu reveals how our health depends on it


Secondly, dedicate some time each day to unplugging from your gadgets and technology in general. Disconnecting from the constant stream of information that we are becoming increasingly dependent on will help to restore balance in your mind. It will also re-focus your attention to the things that are truly important. You will be surprised at how much of your day is consumed by technology and how much you have to gain from reducing the amount of attention you give it. Try to ignore your phone when you hit the gym or go for a run too – you’ll notice that you engage better with your workout if you’re not constantly checking for texts.

Take time to yourself It can be tempting to take your lunch break with your friends or in front of your computer, but eating by yourself in the park is the perfect way to unwind. This will also give you an opportunity to take a walk, which is a simple way to get a short burst of exercise. When you return to work for the afternoon, you will be refreshed, re-energised and ready to tackle the afternoon with the same gusto you had in the morning.

Don’t feel guilty

You should never feel guilty for making time for yourself. Without self-care, you can quickly burn out and when this happens you are no good as a parent, a partner, a friend or an employee. We are often conditioned to believe that caring for ourselves is selfish, when in fact it is one of the most positive things we can do to benefit those around us.

Change your attitude

When you feel as though you are obliged to do something, try to rephrase the description of the situation in a more positive way. For example, if you feel obliged to go to the gym with a friend who’s desperate to lose weight, tell yourself that you are privileged to spend time with your good friend and that working out is good for your health too, instead of thinking that you have to help them do something. This shift in attitude can enable you to turn almost any activity into an act of self-care as you are benefiting emotionally from it in some way.

Pencil it in

Scheduling time with yourself is just as important as scheduling time to socialise with your friends and family. For this reason you should treat your ‘me time’ as you would any other scheduled date. Write it in your diary and be sure to commit to it.

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self CARE

“Scheduling time with yourself is just as important as scheduling time to socialise with your friends and family”

Take on new goals

When you are considering how to spend your leisure time, try to invest in things that give you real life experiences as opposed to utilising things that are just material goods. This could take many forms, but positive choices are joining a sports team, learning to play a musical instrument or signing up to a fitness event. In doing so, your leisure time will feed your self-care goals and you will feel more fulfilled on the whole.

Sleep well

An adequate sleep pattern is an incredibly important part of self-care that many people neglect. It may sound strange to give yourself a bedtime but this is a great idea if you are to regulate your sleep pattern. When you are well rested you are much more likely to care for yourself the following day. And when you care for yourself throughout the day, you are much more likely to sleep well the following night! Get into this pattern and your health and happiness will soar! I find it incredibly useful to silently express gratitude first thing in the morning and as the last thing through my mind at night.

Treat yourself like others

Finally, I find it really helps to promote self-care if you think of caring for yourself as you would think of caring for another person. Many of us find it easy to neglect our own needs but would not be so comfortable treating a friend or family member in the same way. It is important that you make this connection when it comes to the way you care for yourself so that you can truly understand how important self-care is. Being aware of what your emotional needs are, and making an effort to maintain yourself in this manner, is a responsible way to live your life. Only when you have an authentic love for yourself that is nurtured through regular self-care can you genuinely be the happiest version of yourself. Remember, the process of self-care is one that never ends and it must be an omnipresent aspect of your life. It is not something that you should only pay attention to when you are stressed, depressed or otherwise unhappy.

Julie Montagu, aka The Flexi Foodie, is one of London’s top yoga and nutrition teachers. For more information visit

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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 09:48 Page 82

your fitness REPORT

FOOD fit


Once thought of as a passing fad, quinoa has proven itself as a diet staple and it’s here to stay thanks to its many health benefits. A complete protein (meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids which help to break down food and repair the body), it’s a good source of calcium, manganese, magnesium and is packed with B vitamins, dietary fibre and vitamin E. One of the least allergenic grains, quinoa is a great wheat-free choice for those following a gluten-free diet and for vegetarians and vegans who struggle to get enough protein. When cooked, the seeds become creamy and fluffy and can be eaten as a cereal at breakfast (you could try it as a base for porridge), at lunch in a salad, or as a side at dinner. Gain the benefits of this grain when you’re on-the-go with one of Perkier’s range of quinoa bars, with flavours including cashew, chia and pumpkin seed and goji and cranberry. £0.99, available at supermarkets, Whole Foods Market and Holland & Barrett.

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Food FIT

Ready to take the ultimate dietary plunge? Davina McCall’s got you covered She may have considered herself to be a self-confessed sugar addict in the past, but Davina has since become a beacon of hope for all of those who want to ditch the sweet stuff without suffering through endless cravings, energy dips and mood swings. After effortlessly eliminating sugar (and in just five-weeks we might add), she's back to show the world just how easy it can be with her new cookbook Sugar-free in a Hurry. To give you a taster, and help you on your way to a sugar-free diet, we've got a brilliant, easy-to-follow five-day plan from the star herself.

y a d s 5 ’ a Davin


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Davina’s 5-day plan






Asparagus and dippy eggs – steam six asparagus stems and serve with a soft boiled egg topped with a squeeze of lemon, a dot of butter and some chives.

Broccoli, spelt and orange salad – see recipe below

Squash spaghetti with pancetta sauce – serve cooked spiralised squash with onion, pancetta, garlic and sage.


Baked eggs florentine – cook an egg in a ramekin in the oven for 15-20 minutes with some wilted spinach, crème fraiche, a pinch of nutmeg and sprinkling of Parmesan.

Spicy prawn salad – Mix king prawns with a salad of lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, pepper and cucumber, mint and coriander and dress with a combination of lime juice, fish sauce, mirin, honey, sesame oil and chilli.

Crispy lemon thyme chicken with roasted veggies – see recipe overleaf

Minty pea soup – see recipe overleaf


Cheesy pea fritters with roasted cherry tomatoes – make the fritters by adding eggs, milk flour, baking powder, cottage cheese, some Parmesan cheese, a pinch of cayenne pepper, some sliced onions and frozen peas and cook them like thick pancakes. Serve with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Glazed salmon with rainbow vegetables – cook a salmon fillet with a marinade of mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce and miso paste, and then serve with a mixture of rainbowcoloured, stir-fried vegetables such as red and yellow peppers, carrots, courgette and pak choi.


Asparagus and dippy eggs – steam six asparagus stems and serve with a soft boiled egg topped with a squeeze of lemon, a dot of butter and some chives.

Super green soup – make a soup using chicken stock and supergreens such as broccoli, baby spinach and kale. Add an extra bit of zing with some coconut milk, lime juice, chilli and coriander.

Cod pesto parcels – see recipe overleaf


Red pepper toasties – griddle a piece of bread after brushing the sides with garlic, then top with ricotta, some capers, grilled pepper slices, a few thyme leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Courgette and shrimp salad – make a salad using courgette ribbons, fresh mint leaves, capers, wild rocket leaves and dress with lemon juice and olive oil.

Lamb kebab with Greek salad – see recipe overleaf

A bit of citrus in a salad perks it up beautifully and gives it a lovely tangy flavour. I use a pack of ready-cooked spelt for speed, but you can, of course, cook your own if you prefer!



300g ready-cooked spelt 300g tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli 1 tbsp olive oil 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 2 tbsp sesame seeds, to garnish Dressing 1 tbsp tahini 2 tbsp sesame oil 2 oranges 1 tsp rice vinegar Salt and black pepper

1 2

Heat up the spelt according to the packet instructions and tip it into a serving bowl. Put the broccoli in a steamer or a colander over a pan of boiling water and steam for two minutes, then set it aside. Heat the olive oil gently for two to three minutes. Add the chilli and garlic and fry for another minute. To make the dressing, whisk together the tahini, sesame oil, juice of half an orange and the rice vinegar in a small jug and season with salt and black pepper. Peel and segment the remaining oranges, discarding the pith. Mix the sautéed broccoli with the cooked spelt and add the orange segments. Pour over the dressing, scatter with sesame seeds and pour.



d n a t l e p S Broccoli, e Salad Orang YourFitness 85

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Food FIT

p u o s a e p y t Min

The colour of this dish is ridiculously amazing. It’s great hot but also perfect served chilled on a summer’s day.

1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium leek trimmed and roughly chopped 1 onion, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 500g frozen peas 1 baby gem lettuce, root trimmed and leaves roughly chopped Large handful of fresh mint leaves 800ml hot chicken or vegetable stock 1–2 tbsp lemon juice 4 tbsp crème fraiche, to serve (optional) Salt and black pepper


Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek and onion and cook them over a gentle heat for five minutes or until the onion is soft but not

Davina's masterclass

To make the mint oil, blitz a large handful of fresh mint leaves with two to three tablespoons of olive oil in a small blender until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Add more oil if necessary to make a pourable consistency.



coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add 400g of the peas, the lettuce, most of the mint leaves (reserve some for garnishing later) and 700ml of the stock. Bring the soup to the boil and then simmer for two to three minutes. Blend the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until you have a thick purée. Add more stock to get the consistency you like, then add the remaining peas and warm through for a further two to three minutes. Add lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Serve the soup hot or cold, with a drizzle of crème fraiche and/or a swirl of mint oil and a scattering of chopped mint. Delicious served with some crusty soda or sourdough bread.




n o m e l y p s i r C me chicken thy

with roasted veggies

I do love a one-pot dish! This one is quick to prepare and although it does take a while to cook, you can go off and play with the kids or do your fitness routine while supper is looking after itself in the oven. Make sure you cut the vegetables into cubes roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. If you want to reduce the calories in this dish, remove the chicken skin before serving.



1 medium sweet potato, cut into cubes (about 250g peeled weight) ½ celeriac, cut into cubes (about 200g peeled weight) 1 large carrot, cut into chunks 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled 2 tbsp olive oil 300g pack of cooked beetroot, cut into wedges 8 chicken thighs, skin on Finely grated zest of one lemon and a squeeze of juice 2 sprigs of lemon or normal thyme, leaves picked 1 tbsp cider vinegar 30g rocket leaves Salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the sweet potato, celeriac, carrot and garlic in a large shallow roasting tin. Drizzle them with a tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast for 15 minutes. Add the beetroot to the roasting tin and nestle the chicken thighs in among the vegetables. Drizzle with the rest of the oil and scatter over the lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and the thyme and season well. Place the other (unsqueezed) lemon half in the tin, cut-side up. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the oven up to 220°C. Sprinkle the vinegar over the vegetables and roast for another five to 10 minutes. The vegetables should be beautifully tender and the chicken cooked through with lovely crispy skin. Scatter with rocket leaves before serving.



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s b a b e K Lamb


with Greek Salad

Even just half an hour marinating does something magical to meat, making it extra tender and delicious, and these lamb kebabs with a lovely Greek salad are a huge favourite of mine. 500g lamb neck fillet 1 red onion 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper, deseeded 1 courgette 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ras el hanout 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano Finely grated zest of 1 lemon Squeeze of lemon juice Salt and black pepper For the salad 200g vine tomatoes 100g cherry tomatoes 1 cucumber 100g feta cheese ½ red onion, thinly sliced 100g pitted Kalamata olives 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano




Cut the lamb into cubes and the onion and peppers into bite-size pieces. Cut the courgette into thick slices. Put them and all the other kebab ingredients into a large bowl and season well, then cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes – or overnight in the fridge if time allows. Thread pieces of meat and vegetables alternately on to four large or 8 small metal skewers. Preheat the grill to high. Place the skewers on a large roasting tray and grill them for 15-20 minutes or until they're lightly charred and the meat is cooked. Turn the skewers frequently. While the skewers are cooking, prepare the salad. Quarter the vine tomatoes and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber and feta into cubes. Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, season and toss together. Serve the hot skewers with a Greek salad.




o t s e P d n Cod a




My perfect food when I’m in a hurry. These are so quick to make and everyone loves them! Fresh pesto from the deli counter is fine or why not make your own?

2 tbsp olive oil 400g mix of green beans, mangetout, tenderstem broccoli or sugar snap peas 4 x 150-175g cod fillets, skinned 4 tbsp fresh pesto 250g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 lemon, cut into wedges Salt and black pepper

This five-day plan has been adapted from Sugar-free in a Hurry by Davina McCall (£16.99, Orion). For a full recipe breakdown of the dishes mentioned in this plan and more great ideas, pick up a copy today!


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut out four 40cm squares of baking paper and the same of foil. Lay the paper squares on top of the foil squares and brush them lightly with a little olive oil. Blanch the green beans in a saucepan of boiling, salted


water for two minutes. Drain them and rinse in cold water to stop them cooking, then mix them with the other green vegetables. Divide the vegetables between the four squares, add a cod fillet to each and season well. Add a tablespoon of pesto on top of each fillet, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Scatter the cherry tomatoes around the vegetables and add two wedges of lemon to each parcel. Scrunch up the paper and foil, making sure you leave a little space around the fish. Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake them for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve the parcels at the table so everyone can enjoy opening their own.



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Food FIT

e l p r Pu POWER TO T H E

Don't be a shrinking violet – purple fruit and veg are packed with nutrients and could make you look younger

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purple FOOD

You don't need to look to the catwalk for this season's hottest hue, the latest shade trending in the wellness world is on your plate. While your mum may have told you to eat your greens, there's another colour in the spectrum that you might


Purple fruit and vegetables boast heaps of benefits, as they are packed with potent nutrients such as anthocyanins (bear with us). The bright tone of these foods is an indication of nutrient density and high levels of antioxidants, which help us to fight disease, inflammation and signs of ageing. “Anthocyanins are the most prominent among the flavonoids,” explains nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker ( “These are the universal plant colourants that are responsible for the red, purple and blue hues evident in many fruits, vegetables and cereal grains. Proven to have health-promoting qualities, their consumption is thought to play a role in preventing illnesses such as cancer and diabetes as well as cardiovascular and neurological diseases.” And that's not all, as other benefits include improved cognitive function, a healthy liver and a reduction in high cholesterol. “A change in our diets to increase our intake of these foods is certainly a positive one and I look forward to seeing the inventive ways in which they continue to be used,” Dr Schenker says.

be missing out on but you should be including in your dishes. From fighting fine lines and beating illnesses to helping aid weight loss and creating Insta-worthy meals, purple fruit and vegetables really do have it all. Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson ( agrees. “Anthocyanins work closely with vitamin C in our body to increase the amount of the vitamin in our cells, enhancing collagen. As a result they strengthen and maintain our skin, including all connective tissues and blood vessels. Nutritionally, it's recommended to consume a rainbow of colour daily through a variety of vegetables and fruit. Don't focus solely on purple foods as this is an unbalanced diet generally, but by all means do include some of this colour whenever you can – ideally every day – to help provide a source of these valuable nutrients," Shona explains.


You'll be pleased to know that you don't have to change much about your daily menu to be able to gain the benefits from purple produce. Here are some of our favourite purple-coloured foods which can be easily incorporated into your diet:






They may be small, but these berries are mighty. Known as an immune booster, acai berries can also aid digestion thanks to their powerful detoxification capacities and they can also promote skin health. These purple powerhouses have antiageing properties and can help you to lose and maintain weight – pop them in your morning smoothie!

Originating from Kenya, this brew is grown at altitude near the equator which results in very high levels of anthocyanin (it contains more than blueberries) to protect the leaves from UV damage. These leaves boast another secret not found in any other food – the polyphenol GHG, which can decrease fat while increasing lean body mass.







“You might think purple potatoes look slightly odd compared to the normal ones that you're used to,” explains Victoria Robertson, certified nutritional chef and head of culinary at food delivery service HelloFresh (hellofresh., “but their high concentration of anthocyanin acts as an anti-inflammatory and has great anti-viral properties." Victoria suggests switching your usual shepherd’s or cottage pie topping to this potato and enjoy the taste, colour and array of health benefits.

Fun carrot fact – before they became well-known for their orange tinge, this root vegetable was originally purple! This variety has twice the amount of alpha and beta carotene than the more common type, which is converted into vitamin A, essential to healthy vision and skin. They are also full of dietary fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. Sadly purple carrots are an uncommon sight in most UK supermarkets, but you can find them online at They can be used in place of orange carrots.

“This vegetable's skin contains the antioxidant nasunin, helping to maintain brain cell function,” says Victoria. “Not only are they a great source of fibre, they are also full of vitamins B1 and B6. These vital nutrients help maintain your nervous system, convert carbohydrates into glucose, break down fats and protein and preserve immunity.” Here at YF HQ we love using this vegetable in place of pasta sheets in lasagne dishes. All you need to do is slice it into thin pieces for a tasty meal with less carbs.

“Red cabbage contains an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants,” explains Victoria. “Just a few examples of these are calcium for strong bones and teeth, magnesium and iron for energy and potassium which promotes healthy blood sugar levels, along with an abundance of additional health perks!" "Add this to any dish, whether it be a side or the main ingredient in a stir-fry and your body will thank you,” says Victoria. We also like using it in a salad.

Not sure how to fit these into your diet? Try an acai berry bowl – simply blend this berry and top with your choice of fruit. That's breakfast sorted!


Brew this cuppa for one to three minutes. While it's best as a loose leaf tea, you can also buy purple teabags – £3 for 20, available at

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Load up on your key nutrients with our guide Meat-free living doesn’t mean your diet should lack key nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Instead, you just need to adjust meals and include a variety of different foods to hit your RDAs. Simple, right? If you’re still feeling a little lost, check out our handy A-Z to keep you in tip top health.

“Getting enough protein on a plant-based diet can be a challenge,” says Karen Ansel, author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging (£14.99, Sterling). Thankfully there are plenty of natural alternatives, such as beans. “Just one cup of cooked beans supplies roughly 15 grams of protein,” Karen adds.

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“Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Small but mighty, chia seeds contain an abundance of protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids,” says Julie Montagu. Sprinkle over your breakfast smoothie, top your porridge and even add to your home-baking.


Eating just four dates provides women with up to 30 percent of the RDA of fibre as well as satisfying your sweet tooth without consuming any refined sugar.





“Avocados are rich in potassium, which is a nutrient that vegetarians can sometimes be deficient in,” explains nutritionist Julie Montagu ( “Potassium is super important for the health of your muscles and your blood pressure, so make sure to include this delicious fruit in your diet.”

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your fitness REPORT

MIND fit


You’ve heard of Danish hygge (a feeling of cosiness) and Swedish lagom (being balanced, frugal and fair), but now it’s time for a new cultural concept, this time from Finland. Taken from the Finnish word for gut, sisu is several qualities rolled into one, including bravery, determination, hardiness and perseverance. Dating back hundreds of years, it describes what happens after you’ve reached the end of your physical and mental capabilities – the toughness, resilience and grit that keeps you going, despite the challenge. Want to develop it for yourself? According to Sisu researcher Emilia Lahti (, there are several ways to incorporate it into your life. Try long distance running (as this gives you an opportunity to be in a situation when you have to push beyond your limits), reflecting on when you have experienced the feeling of sisu before and thinking of people throughout history who have demonstrated this quality. As Emilia says, you don’t know how strong you are until you try!

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Mind FIT


While websites such as Instagram and Facebook are referred to as ‘social’ media, it’s seems that this is a bit of a misnomer. A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has shown that these sites, which are designed to make you feel more connected actually have the opposite effect. In fact, if you browse for more than two hours a day, you have double the chance of experiencing social isolation and loneliness. There are several reasons behind these results, including the fact that spending more time online means that you’re less likely to meet up with friends in real life. Perhaps it’s time to put down the digitals and catch up with your mates in person.




Spritz the Neom Real Luxury Home Mist on sofas and bed linens to release its stress-busting scents of lavender, jasmine and Brazilian Rosewood – it’ll boost your energy and help you relax. £18,

Transform your home and mood with Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Aromatherapy Calming Room Spray, which features soothing rose and uplifting patchouli. £17,


The Temple Spa Quietude Calming Mist For Me & My Space combines various essential oils, including cedar wood, vetivert, orange and chamomile to help promote a restful night’s sleep. £25,

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QA &

HIT THE HAY Many of us know how hard it can be to get enough sleep (the recommended amount for adults is eight hours), but new research by Benson for Beds ( has revealed that on average over 70 percent of us Brits miss out on an entire night’s sleep every week. Just imagine how mortifying would it be to fall asleep in a meeting! And yet, 12 percent of workers have admitted to doing just that (try explaining that to your boss) – while eight percent have called in sick due to snooze deprivation. If you are struggling and spend your nights tossing and turning, try reducing your exposure to blue light (from TVs, smartphones and laptops – yep, even your trusty Kindle) in the hours before bedtime as this seems like sunlight to your brain, tricking it into keeping you awake.

ASK THE EXPERT “I get stressed and my heartbeat raises at the smallest of things. How can I feel less tense?” Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says: GET SOME REST “Stress, sleep and anxiety are all related. If we don’t get enough sleep we can find it harder to adapt to challenging situations and when we can’t cope as efficiently with stress it can be harder to snooze. Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ and is needed to relax our muscles and nerves, which helps us to fall into a peaceful sleep. Try to include plenty of foods that are rich in the nutrient in your diet such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green veg.” HEAD TO THE GYM “A workout places stress on your body which activates your sympathetic nervous system by increasing levels of certain hormones. These chemicals raise your heart rate and blood pressure, stimulate energy breakdown and inhibit immune function. To protect our body, our brain releases endorphins to fight that stress, giving us that good feeling.” WATCH WHAT YOU EAT “Consuming the wrong types of food can fuel stress. When your body is stressed it can crave sweet foods. However, although these foods may give you a temporary lift, in the longer term they will act against you by putting more strain on the adrenal glands as they try to keep your blood sugar balanced. Stick to snacks such as nuts, as these contain protein and good fats that will reduce your cravings.”



They may wake us up before our alarm, but it turns out that their cheerful tweeting actually has a calming effect. A study by Exeter University showed that people in neighbourhoods with more birds have better mental health, regardless of whether they live in a leafy suburb or a busy city. It seems that the more you see of our feathered friends, no matter what specific type, the more relaxed and connected to nature you feel. So instead of spending your break at your desk or putting your feet up after work, get outside and see how many birds you can spot – you’ll feel all the better for it.

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the body and science shows that flotation can actually help lessen stress, anxiety, pain and even depression and sleep disorders. I highly recommend it!

Try it now: De-stress the body

Camilla Dallerup How to have a stress-free body


Each month our favourite motivation guru guides us back to the straight and narrow

remember when exercise was part of my profession and I would constantly push my body to the limit. Back then I thought that if I was feeling tired or my immune system was low it was simply because I was training too hard. At the time I didn’t realise that stress and anxiety in general was also having an impact on my health. One thing I have definitely learned from teaching mindfulness meditation is that the tension and unease we hold in our minds comes out in different ways as disease in the body, and if we don’t consciously take time to nurture ourselves, we get forced to take some time out when we come down with a cold, flu or an injury. With this in mind, I recently booked a session at a flotation pod. Taking the time out to nourish your body and mind is important – especially after a busy or stressful period. The studio I went to in LA is very appropriately called Pause Float Studio and these sorts of flotation pods are also popping up throughout the UK. The time I spent there was absolutely heavenly. You begin by climbing into some shallow water, which is filled with Epsom salts and around body temperature, and then you pull the lid down and lean back. It feels a bit like floating inside an egg or a cocoon and I was able to choose if I wanted to listen to a meditation and have some calming blue lights on. Everything about this experience encourages you to go within yourself and it’s so nurturing! I literally felt like I had completely unplugged from the world and could notice all my tension dissolve in the water. Many sports athletes find it beneficial to

We often talk about how good meditation is for the mind but it has an equally beneficial effect on the body too. One of my favourite mindfulness meditations I teach is a body scan. What is so wonderfully fascinating about our bodies is the way we sometimes store stress, uncomfortable situations or worries in our body, making the neck tense, the muscles tired and sometimes even causing an uncomfortable or upset stomach. Not only are we going over and over situations in our minds but we are also bringing stress into ourselves. Doing a gentle body scan can release this and reset the body. It allows us to tune into different areas, let go of any tension and instead invite in a feeling of relaxation.

1 2 3 4

Sit or lie somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Tune into your breath by simply noticing how it comes in through the nostrils and travels all the way down into the belly and out. Keep your focus on the breath and when your thoughts pull you away just keep focusing on your inhalation and exhalation. Now bring your attention to your body as you scan through it slowly right from the bottom of your feet, up through the legs, stomach, chest, shoulders, throat and right up through the face to the top of your head. Pause at every area to check in and notice if there is anything there that you should let go of. If there is, imagine blowing it away as you exhale. Continue until you have scanned the entire body. 


Calm Cure by Sandy Newbigging Based on more than 15 years of research, this is the ultimate book to help you de-stress. From the first line I read I felt this sense of complete relaxation, as if I knew I was in safe hands. Sandy writes: “It is your relationship with life that ultimately determines your peace, health, wealth, happiness and life success” and this sums up what the book is about perfectly. It teaches us to stop resisting what is and make peace with life and explains how resistance to issues can cause problems in the body. In Sandy’s own words: “When you resist what you don’t want, you keep getting it. When you calm inner conflicts, new things can enter your life”. The book also talks in detail about the importance of self-awareness, which is a topic I feel strongly about. For me, this is absolutely key in making major changes in our lives and to understand ourselves better. 

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If you’re vegan, or trying to cut down on dairy products, it can be hard to find a nutritious snack that suits your needs. Not anymore though! Our lovely friends at Bounce have just launched Bounce V Life – a new range of vegan protein energy balls. We love the Beetroot Cashew Vegan Ball, which satisfies any sweet cravings you get as well as giving you a hearty hit of 9g of veggie protein. £1.79, available from Whole Foods and other independent stores,

Regular green tea has well and truly met its matcha. Over the past 12 months we’ve fallen head-over-heels with this super-power drink. Teapigs Matcha Sachets (£11.90) are great for those on-the-go. Simply pour the individual serving into water and shake for an instant pick-me-up. One serving of matcha offers the same nutritional value as 10 cups of regular green tea which is why the brand call it a super-power green tea – it offers buckets of sprightliness!

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Mind FIT


his is about love, respect and gratitude. My relationship with my own body has changed massively over the years and has morphed from one of anguish, destruction and abuse to one of love, comfort and thanks – a much happier place to be. I LOVE my body. I’m not talking about an aesthetic love where I spend hours adoring my calves in a mirror, I’m talking about viewing my body as a miraculous machine that can self-heal, create and move. A happy body to me is one that feels comfortable. One that is fuelled in a balanced way, rested when possible and one that is enjoyed rather than criticised.


It may seem obvious to mention that our bodies and minds work together and have a vital and strong alliance, but I think stopping to take note of this makes us feel slightly more in control. With the gargantuan power our minds have the ability to apply, combined with the strength of the human body, we can do so much, or very little. And it goes both ways, by looking after our bodies, our minds can feel the equilibrium so essential to feeling happy and calm. Our bodies have to work in tandem with our minds and I think we might have slightly lost this connection over the years. In my twenties my goal used to be to achieve: run at a faster speed, work more, feel excited and to push my own boundaries. My old ways and thoughts seem a vast canyon away from today’s priorities. In that huge space lie a lot of mistakes and mental and physical upheaval but, on the upside, all that took place in that time has led me to my new set of life rules and tools. I now aim, both mentally and physically, for a lack of adrenalin, a peace and a balance that I would have previously found ‘boring’. Personally, what works for me is having calm in my mind and my body so it can grow and function and heal as needed. It means that I now sleep deeper and can deal with lack of sleep (due to my gorgeous children!) a lot better. I have much more energy as I pay attention to what goes into my body, and feel much happier in my own skin.

Mentally I am boosted and deal with stress a lot better if I’m in a calm place. I also don’t feel led by my mind as much anymore, as my thoughts and stress levels aren’t steering the ship so often. Some days, I can calm my physical side with good thoughts and a positive mindset but equally I can quieten my mind with slow and considered physical movements. Body and mind can work alongside each other and also help each other out.


I constantly think back to my teens and twenties, when I had little regard for my body and all that it was miraculously doing. I would work on many filming projects at the same time, rushing from location to location, at times flying in and out of time zones with no days off to rest. I would eat on the run and not care if the food was good fuel (I’m talking a bag of sweets and a strong coffee for breakfast), and would work and move until I was physically exhausted. During this time I partied until late without much sleep and I put little energy into thinking about what fuel my body needed. Mentally, I chased emotional highs and was always seeking adventure regardless of the outcome. I made these decisions and my body suffered as a result. I was constantly exhausted, had a greyish tinge to my skin and felt slightly

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mind over MATTER

FEARNE’S FAVE YOGA MOVES on edge a lot of the time. Although I think that naturally I would have grown tired of this fastpaced way of living, this chapter ended more suddenly, in an implosion of depression and physical stress that eventually led me down this wonderful new path of seeking happiness. I don’t regret the lack of sleep, or feeling overwhelmed when I worked too much, I just wish I had listened to my instincts a bit more during this decade, as this could have saved me a lot of stress.


Being active makes me feel alive. It can shift mental struggles while simultaneously charging my body with strength and energy. Sometimes, when I’m cooking for the kids, I’ll put some fun music on and we’ll all dance about, just to get our bodies on the move. I also love nothing more than just going for a walk come rain or shine. I’m having a huge love affair with walking and find it an amazing remedy for many hurdles in life. Walking in the rain, sunshine, gales; in the city, in the park, on my own or with loved is bliss. Rex is at an age where he will walk a short distance before getting tired out so I’ll let him switch from walking alongside me to the ride-on board on the back of Honey’s buggy. Walking is the easiest and cheapest form of exercise that gets your heart rate up and lungs expanding. Remember that the aim is to feel good and get your mind full of positivity which is a much stronger incentive than expecting to look like Gisele by the end of the year. As soon as we give ourselves visual goals of what we want out of exercise, we start to feel let down if things don’t go our way. Moving our bodies will always benefit our minds. You can make it a part of your day no matter how busy you are. It can be done literally anywhere and at any time.

wonderful and exciting physical adventures but these days what works for me exercise-wise is the odd run and yoga. I know lots of people can feel a bit apprehensive about yoga, but it’s honestly the one activity that navigates me to that blissful territory where my mind and body work in tandem and can be both calm and grow stronger simultaneously. Sometimes in a busy week that one hour of yoga can be the only time I feel truly sane and balanced in this crazy world we live in. It allows my muscles to strengthen without stress and creates a flexibility that raises my energy levels and opens my heart. My first yoga class felt strange. I was nervous, and felt like it was the first day of school when I headed to my first lesson. Each position was new and unnatural to my postnatal form and I sweated just moving into a downward dog pose. After about six months I started to understand how my body should feel in each posture, and I found I could go that little bit further with each move. My mind started to open to the undercurrent of spirituality which cements the yogic foundations and I had that lightbulb moment: yoga classes are challenging but not stressful. If I’ve had a good day, my head will clear quickly to a new-found clarity, and if I’ve had a bad day the fog will start to lift gradually and I feel I can breathe properly again.



I have tried most physical workouts over the years. I’ve climbed a big mountain, I’ve extensively cycled, run the odd half marathon and danced until my toes bled at dance school. I have taken so much from all of these

I’ve enlisted the help of my dear friend and yoga queen Zephyr Wildman to come up with a restorative sequence that you can do before bed, in your lunch break, or while the baby is napping. It will only take a short amount of time, but will enhance the other twenty-three and a half-odd hours of your day.


Start off with your legs crossed. Breathe in as you stretch your arms out in front of you, so that your forehead travels towards the floor.


Slowly return to your upright posture. Place your right hand on the floor then reach your left hand up above your head and over to the right side.


Bring your arms back down. Place your left hand on your right knee and gently twist at the hips so that your right arm travels behind you.


Extend your arms in front of you, with your left arm slightly below your right. Then bend both your elbows and wrap your right forearm over your left.


Get up from the floor onto all fours. Extend your right leg behind you so your toes are flexed and pushing into the floor. Place your right palm flat on the ground and take your left arm straight up, turning your torso slightly.

6 Extract taken from Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect by Fearne Cotton, £6.99

Come back to all fours then stretch up with straight arms and legs so that your bum is in the air and your palms are flat on the floor.

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YOUR FITNESS MAY 2017 ad master_ROP 27/03/2017 11:57 Page 102

HOW TO ENTER: Visit our website giveaways for your chance to win* * Terms and conditions apply

fitness FREEBIES



We’ve got together with Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa to offer one lucky winner an Overnight Reviver break for two! Nestled in the rolling Leicestershire countryside, Ragdale Hall was named best spa in the UK and combines state-of-the-art facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture. It features a series of heat and water experiences and indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a gym, tennis courts and a daily programme of exercise classes. This amazing prize includes use of the Thermal Spa and all facilities, all meals (a three-course dinner and lunch and breakfast delivered to your room), a 50-minute blissful face and back therapy, complimentary robe hire throughout your stay and your own pair of Ragdale Hall flip flops. Visit for more information.

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We’ve teamed up with leading online health food superstore Healthy Supplies to give away five hampers packed with the latest superfoods, worth over £50 each! Each bundle will include a kilo of chia seeds, a kilo of organic British quinoa grain, a kilo of raw cacao powder, a kilo of gluten-free teff grain, 500g goji berries, 100g organic pea protein powder, 250g organic spirulina powder, 100g bee pollen and 50g organic ceremonial grade matcha green tea. This amazing prize will provide you with everything you need to stay healthy and achieve your goals this season! For more information about Healthy Supplies, visit

Spring is here so now is the perfect time to improve your wellbeing! We’ve got an amazing prize to give away in collaboration with Evolve Gym, home of the high-powered Evolution of Man Fitness programme, and Simple Health Kitchen, the St Paul’s eatery that makes healthy food delicious, varied and filling. Evolve is offering five energy-filled boxing classes, along with a pair of Evolve boxing gloves and hand wraps. Plus, you’ll get a shake after each session to prepare you for the next one. To keep you going through your week of boxing fitness, Simple Health Kitchen is offering £20 a day to spend on a wholesome breakfast, lunch or dinner for five days. T&Cs: Classes must be booked in and meals claimed within three months of competition close. £20 a day at Simple Health Kitchen can be claimed on the days you have booked the classes at Evolve. Prize valid for one person only. Only valid at Simple Health Kitchen St Paul’s site.

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TRY it


If you haven’t tried rock climbing before, chalk up, because doing an hour of this sport can burn up to 700 calories! If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also improve your upper body strength, build muscle and develop better flexibility (to perform difficult manoeuvres). It could also aid you in other exercises, such as yoga and reduce your stress levels. Climbing has been proven to boost your brain power because it involves problemsolving skills as you figure out how to move from rock to rock too. If you want to have a go, head to to find your nearest indoor climbing wall!

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works it out


Your Fitness’ intrepid columnist stakes out the newest classes and takes on the latest challenges

onsidering how badly it smells and how sick it can make you feel, it’s amazing how addictive hot yoga is. It’s not for everyone but the fact I’ve been missing and longing for it during my pregnancy (some studies say it’s dangerous to work out in intense heat when pregnant, so I’ve not been going), means it clearly is for me. I’m certainly no ‘yogi’. In fact, I’m far from it – I talk too much, I think too much, and there’s just too much about me that’s a bit hyperactive for yoga. The one normal class I went to ended in the instructor suggesting I try a one-to-one session so that I didn’t distract other participants, so you can see what I mean! Hot yoga, however, is different. It’s acknowledged by many as being more physically challenging than its normal sibling – hence why I signed up. I started at Hot Buddha in Warrington under the guidance of a fab instructor called Rebecca. At £8 a class it was a fraction of the price I used to pay when I lived in the capital. That said, many London studios run brilliant introductory offers. Put simply, hot yoga is yoga performed in temperature usually above 20°c. The class I regularly attend is normally around 37°c. Imagine a tropical holiday in a jungle with no breeze and you’ll get the idea. I learned the hard way that the less you wear the better. The first time I saw my middle aged male neighbour do a downward dog in only small

boxer shorts I nearly bawked, now I applaud that man for being so sensible. If I had the confidence to wear nothing but knickers and a bra I would. As it is I opt for shorts and a vest. As soon as you start sun salutations the sweat will pour from every crevice. At first it’s embarrassing but I soon started to see it as a bit of a reward for my hard work. There is very little scientific evidence to suggest this outpouring of fluid means your body is detoxing and flushing out toxins but mentally I feel like lots of bad things are leaving my body. And isn’t that the point of yoga anyway? Enjoying a mental detox as much as the physical one? For me, the heat also raises my heart rate and I can get more of a cardiovascular workout from a session and as my muscles are warm I can stretch deeper into poses that in a cold village hall are totally unthinkable. It’s worth knowing that for some people this can present a problem – warm bodies often bend further than they should and pushing yourself past your ‘end point’ can lead to injury. Also don’t forget about dehydration – if you don’t drink enough you will be thirsty so take on plenty of fluids before and after the exercise. Generally I feel awful in class but amazing for two to three days afterwards. Just make sure you take a full change of clothes – everything will be sweat-soaked, from your knickers to your head band. I for one find that pretty satisfying, even if it does mean driving home with the windows open.

TWEET HELEN @HelenSkelton

This month Helen’s been...

Preparing for…



THE FA CUP FINAL AND SCOTTISH CUP FINAL Even if you’re not a footy fan, the FA Cup is part of our culture. It’s historic, it’s hard to predict and it’s a day to be celebrated. In the pub or with a BBQ, for me the FA Cup final is as much part of my growing up as the Grand National.

THE FRENCH OPEN ROLLAND GARROS I’ve always wanted to visit what is arguably one of the most physically demanding on-court and glamorous off-court competitions in the world. It’s the second of four annual grand slam tournaments and the biggest clay court competition.

A DOONA CAR SEAT I wish I had one of these for my first born! Essentially, it’s a car seat on wheels, and that means I don’t need to wrestle a push chair in and out of the boot if I need to nip into the supermarket. It’s practical for travelling, taxis and anywhere in between and will be great for the new baby. YourFitness 107

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Try IT

DO THE (MOVEMENT) MATH There’s a world of opportunities to keep fit outside the gym walls and it all comes down to crunching numbers


ompared to our ancestors it’s fair to say we’ve got it pretty easy. We don’t have to hunt for our food, become a dab hand at starting fires or avoid stalking predators (unless you count that guy in your Kettlebell class) – everything we need is at the press of a button. But, putting the convenience factor aside, how does this fare when it comes to our health? Not well according to experts. As the average person sets up camp in front of a computer for nine hours a day, scientists have discovered that sitting for this length of time causes the enzymes that break down fat to drop by 90 percent immediately while our insulin effectiveness also reduces, leading to a risk in diabetes. Perhaps our club-wielding ascendents had the right idea after all! Short of quitting our office jobs for a life al fresco (park ranger anyone?), wellbeing insiders are encouraging us to explore more creative ways to include functional fitness in routine tasks to boost our range of movement. This means reconnecting with your body’s natural movement abilities and making the most of everyday activities. Doing this will mean that everything from getting out of bed to moving furniture, to playing with your children will feel different. “The most profound one is the feeling of increased flexibility, mobility and suppleness that gradually starts to seep into the day-today experience of being in your body,” says Louise Westra, resident naturopath at Gleneagles hotel and spa ( YF looks at how we can start moving more without being a slave to the gym.

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natural MOVES

MOVING ON So, what does moving more actually mean? We all get up in the morning, and get on with our day, moving a lot as we do so, but it’s challenging our bodies with the right movements which will make the biggest difference to our wellbeing. Louise believes that coaxing our muscles into doing the unexpected will create the greatest results. “Our body doesn’t know if we are doing formal, organised exercise or climbing a tree in the local park. Quite simply, we’re designed to be moving and with more sedentary jobs than ever, we’re not doing it enough.” Although experts have warned us of the dangers of sitting for long periods of time, it turns out that fitting in your twice-weekly gym sesh won’t cut it anymore. But being more aware and increasing your everyday movements can lead to a host of health benefits. “You may feel physically uncomfortable practising these types of movements at first, but doing them more often can help,” Louise says. “Issues will often resolve over time. In turn this can certainly have a positive effect on quality of sleep, digestion and overall general wellbeing. Increased grace and belief in the natural power of your body also seems to occur for those using this type of exercise as part of a functional approach. You start to realise that you can achieve things with your body that previously weren’t possible or that never happened when simply using weights in a gym. This gives a wonderful sense of empowerment and self-belief.”

DOING THE MATH Moving in everyday scenarios has been engrained in us since birth as an evolution of nature. But the process of functional movements is something that’s often overlooked. “You can’t be distracted when you’re focused on moving your body in these specific ways,” Louise tells us. “It may seem easy but at the outset can be quite a challenge! Functional movement begins with your eyes – they look for the place that the body is moving into. This is followed by our brain deciding whether the distance is achievable and the nervous system starts to synchronise the muscles that will be involved. Our arms and legs move in sequence and our feet send messages back to the brain based on where they find themselves at the end of the movement. Throughout this we are constantly anaylsing our next steps and adjusting our body accordingly. All these things are happening in a fluid (maybe not so fluid at the beginning!) cascade.” Think you’re moving enough? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but probably not according to The British Medical Journal as a recent study has found that a weekly total of 3000-4000 MET minutes (more of this on the next page) is needed to significantly reduce the risk of breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke – five times more than the current World Health Organisation recommended 30 minutes, five times a week. A useful measurement is the MET, or ‘metabolic equivalent’ test. This estimates the amount of oxygen an activity uses and thus the intensity of that activity. Recording the MET value of our movements gives an insight into our level of movement throughout the day.

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Try IT Rob Westra, master trainer at Gleneagles hotel and spa ( shares his top moves to identify imbalances in the body. “All four exercises have varied applications depending on fitness level and are used to assess your flexibility, strength and motor control,” he says. “Combine them for five minutes to create a beautiful flowing sequence that you and the kids will love.”


To do so each activity is ‘worth’ a certain MET value and you simply count up the values (apart from sitting which is the baseline at a MET of one).

Fidgeting 1.8 (sitting or standing) Ironing/folding laundry 2 Sitting while playing with 2.2 infants/children Supermarket shopping 2.5 with a trolley Deep squat 2.5 (feet on the floor with bum just off the floor) Driving 2.5 Sex 2.8 Cooking/washing up 3.3 Walking whilst 3 carrying a small child Brisk walking 3 Washing windows/ 3-3.5 vacuuming Playing with kids/dog 4 Light gardening 4 Washing the car 4.5 Mowing the lawn 5.5 Resistance training 6 Digging 7-8.5 Running (moderate pace) 7 Climbing stairs (fast) 8.8

To work out our MET minutes we multiple an activity’s MET by the number of minutes we do it. For example a half hour walk reaches a total of 150 MET minutes because 30 x 3 = 90. To hit the necessary level of daily activity we need 429 minutes per day, to get to the 3000-4000 weekly target.

LEAP OF FAITH If there is one thing human beings excel at more than any other species is adapting to change. Letting go of the norm and embracing a new routine may seem daunting but with these few lifestyle adjustments, you can be honing your body in no time. MAKE IT INCONVENIENT Organise a new plan for your journey to the school playground or the office to incorporate some physical activity. Stand for part of a train or bus journey and engage your butt and core muscles until you reach your destination. You can even alternate standing on one leg or another. GET UP Standing or walking meetings may be few and far between but the benefits are endless. Make sure you get up for a drink of water every hour. And visit colleagues for face-to-face discussions instead of emailing. SIT ACTIVELY We all have to sit at some point but doing so actively will engage those core muscles. At home sit on the floor and move into various positions such as a deep squat while watching TV or reading. At work use a Swiss ball instead of a chair to challenge your deep core muscles and improve posture. PLAY MORE Activities like climbing a tree or climbing frame in the park, chasing a ball with the dog or throwing a ball with your children will use muscles that have become lazy or obsolete. HAVE A MOVEMENT SNACK Consciously set an alarm to remind yourself to move every 20 minutes (ideally). Even if you don’t move from the location of your desk, stand up, stretch your quads, rotate your ankles, bend your knees, stretch your arms up into the W position and rotate your wrists and shoulders.

Start on all fours facing the ground. Push hard into the floor with arms lifting your backside towards the ceiling, slowly move your right hand and left leg forward simultaneously if possible then repeat other side. When comfortable try it in reverse and change it up with bent arms and legs heading towards what’s called a lizard walk. Show off!


This move requires us to travel sideways so start in a deep squat. Place your hands on the ground in front and towards the direction you wish to move. Lean forward onto your hands while lifting your body into air in a sideways direction. Remember to move both ways. Once comfortable, lift your body higher and include 180° rotations.

FROGGER This one certainly shows off your strength and flexibility. Get into the same position as monkey but move forwards and backwards instead. You can change it up with a kickthrough, jump into a crow position and other hand balancing positions.

CRAB Similar to bear but this time we are looking at the ceiling. Start by sitting on the ground with your hands behind you, lift your bum off the ground and start moving forwards. Remember to move your right hand and left leg together. When you’re ready, try it backwards.

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BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER Or just learn to relax yourself

• THE ART OF FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop A unique one day certificated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk

Ven. Lama Ngedon Drime (shri sadhu dharmavira) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.

• Booking now for workshops In London. To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 8 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week) 112 YourFitness

VEN. LAMA NGEDON DRIME (shri sadhu dharmavira)

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Final SAY

Fit and Famous...

Tessa Seward

The fitness and wellness blogger at London Paleo Girl talks to us about Pilates, pizza and playlists On her daily menu I think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – I can’t function without it and am a big believer in eating breakfast like a king. I always get up earlier to allow enough time to make something a bit different because I love to cook and make new dishes and breakfast creations are endless. One of my favourites is courgette fritters with poached eggs, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and sometimes smoked salmon or avocado if I’m extra hungry! I prepare a salad of marinated salmon or chicken filled with butternut squash, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach leaves and broccoli, followed by a pink lady apple or blueberries for lunch. Dinner ranges from a homemade fish dish and veg, to a Thai curry or a stir fry. Everything revolves around a plant-based diet, with quality, lean protein (usually fish or white meat), lots of fresh flavours (including garlic, ginger and lime) and using vegetables such as butternut squash noodles and cauli rice to replace gluten and grains. I usually finish my meal with a Lucy Bee Cacao Powder hot chocolate with coconut milk. On rest day treats I’m gluten intolerant and very rarely eat grains, so when I do, I go to one of my favourite places for a chicken burger and sweet potato fries or a pizza. As I was brought up with having a pudding after every meal I have such a sweet tooth, but luckily the joint care supplements I take daily (LQ Joint Care) have a fruity flavour. These satisfy my cravings and provide great health Breakfast time benefits too. I also love protein pancakes and The most important waffles complete with every chocolate brownie, nut meal of the day butter and chocolate topping possible! On her favourite workout move In the gym I use the VIPR (the Swiss Army knife of exercise gadgets) for so many different and full body moves. I like using the vertical knee raiser/ dip machine for my arms and abs to do knee and leg raises and oblique bends and the hip abduction machine for standing inner thigh toning moves. On her motivation I believe that you have to be your own motivation – when you feel good inside it tends to shine out. How I feel now keeps me wanting to live this lifestyle. Lots of my inspiration comes from my friends, boyfriend and family, as well as all the lovely girls who follow me on Instagram. I’m very lucky to have Becki (@alt_healthy_becki) as my business partner – she’s intelligent, hard working and so supportive. In terms of fitness, my inspiration is Stef (@stef_fit_) because her body is quite literally incredible, she’s worked so hard to get it and maintains it in such a strong way by eating and living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

“I believe you have to be your own motivation – that amazing feeling of feeling good inside that tends to shine out”

Peas in a Pod With business partner Becki

On her dream workout partner The obvious answer is Ryan Gosling but I have to say my dad. He had a major heart operation two years ago at over 60 years old but still works out, whether it’s cycle rides, long walks or coming to the gym with me. I wish we lived closer so we could work out together and I could help motivate him daily and train him to become stronger.

Work it out Exercise alfresco

#Selfie Post-workout pose

On her greatest fitness achievement Definitely when I completed the Nuts Challenge last year. My friend Tiffany asked me to do it with her for a charity she supports and I thought it would be easy but I was wrong! It features a mud run and two and a half hours of obstacles, so it was a challenge but a great one for sure. Head to to find out how Tessa fits exercise into her busy schedule and her most embarrassing workout moment!

The finish line Completing the Nuts Challenge Serve yourself A tasty and nutritious dinner

Tessa is an ambassador for LQ Joint Care Supplements. Pick them up at Boots and online at, priced at £24.99 Image credit: Clothing

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Guilt-free desserts




It’s difficult to steer clear of the refined sugar, and it’s surprising how many dishes the sweet stuff makes its way into. However, we all know the importance of cutting it down in our lives, and also how that’s easier said than done! To help you along the way to a healthier diet, we’ve brought together some easyto-follow recipes for you to try – all free from refined sugar, and full of flavour. From tasty breakfasts to kickstart your day and delicious main meals to fill you up to moreish desserts you can indulge in, you’ll find plenty of mouth-watering meals in your free mini-mag. Sugar-addicts, this one’s for you. Enjoy!

WHAT’S INSIDE 03 PINK BERRY PANCAKES A colourful breakfast with a healthy dose of antioxidants

04 OVERNIGHT RASPBERRY CHIA OATS Prep a nourishing brekkie ahead of time


A tasty dish of eggs, broccoli and peppers

06 ASPARAGUS AND SWEET POTATO HASH Stock up on carbs for your workout


Welcome this nutrient-rich brunch to your table

08 GRILLED AVOCADO AND QUINOA SALAD Say hello to healthy fats

The Your Fitness team


A super-grain combo to have on its own or with a hearty soup

10 ASPARAGUS SOUP An easy-to-make dish full of goodness

11 MIDDLE EASTERN CHICKEN AND COUSCOUS SALAD Give yourself an all-natural energy boost


The Friday night favourite is still on the menu!


Tuck into oily fish for heart-health


Try out tofu in this mix of rice and vegetables


A delicious recipe with a creamy tomato hummus


Naturally-sweetened indulgence

18 RHUBARB AND STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE Fill your bowl with this seasonal pud

19 DESICCATED COCONUT COOKIE BALLS Little cashew nut butter treats

14 WALNUT CRUSTED SALMON An omega-3 super-dish

Editor Claire Munnings, Group editor Naomi Abeykoon, Content editors Sophie Brough-Orton; Kerry Heron, Group advertising manager Belinda Buckle, Assistant advertising manager Natasza Telfer 01206 506259, Art editor Richard Allen, Designed by David Haddington, Design/Reprographics/Typesetting Ace Pre-Press, Accounts Debbie Starrs 01206 505995, Publishing Director Helen Tudor, Publisher Matthew Tudor Aceville Publications Ltd. 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY

2 YourFitness

Serves 4 200g self-raising flour 50g oat flour 500ml almond milk 4 tbsp raspberry powder 2 tbsp coconut oil 150g cashew nuts, soaked in water for 2 hours 3 tbsp light natural sweetener Pinch of vanilla powder Water


Get your dose of antioxidants with this twist on a traditional wake up call

1 In a bowl, mix together the flours, almond milk and raspberry powder. Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and brush with coconut oil. Put 2 to 3 spoons of batter for each pancake into the pan, and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. Recipe: Healthy Supplies,

2 Drain and rinse the cashews thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with a little water, sweetener, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend, slowly adding more water, until you reach desired creamy consistency. Layer pancakes with cashew sauce and sprinkle with raspberry powder. YourFitness 3

OVERNIGHT RASPBERRY OATS Fuel your day with a bowl of energy-boosting goodness

Serves 1 For the jam 500g raspberries 4-5 tbsp agave or maple syrup, to taste 3 tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp lemon juice For the oats 2 tsp agave or maple syrup 120ml almond milk ½ vanilla pod, scraped 1 tbsp almond butter A small handful of raspberries, plus extra to serve 6 tbsp rolled oats 1 To make the chia jam, combine the fruit with syrup to taste, and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, chia seeds and lemon juice, stir well and continue to cook for 10 minutes until thickened. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 2 For the overnight oats, mix together the syrup and almond milk then combine the vanilla seeds and almond butter. Roughly mash in the raspberries and tip over the oats, stir well, cover and leave to soak overnight, for at least 2 hours. 3 In the morning layer the oats and some of the jam into a jar or swirl in a bowl and top with extra raspberries. 4 YourFitness

Recipe: BerryWorld,

Tenderstem SHAKSHUKA

Eggs, tenderstem broccoli and yellow peppers make for a well-rounded, nutrient-packed lunch Serves 2 2 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 yellow peppers, thinly sliced ½ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp spicy harissa 300g yellow and red cherry tomatoes, quartered 2 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste with ½ teaspoon of salt 150g tenderstem 2 free-range eggs For the yoghurt sauce: 100g fat-free Greek yoghurt 1 tsp honey 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice To serve: Small bunch of fresh herbs, chopped Sprinkle of za’atar (optional) 1 Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan, add the chopped shallots and fry gently over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the pepper, cumin, thyme, coriander and harissa to the pan and stir well. Recipe: Tenderstem,

2 Stir in the cherry tomatoes and garlic paste and cook for a further 15 minutes over a low heat. Stir occasionally, adding a little water if it is too dry, just enough to stop the mixture burning. Make two wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each. Cook gently over a low heat for 5 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, place the tenderstem in a steamer over a pan of simmering water and steam for

2-3 minutes until al dente. Add the tenderstem to the shakshuka pan, arranging them around the eggs and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes until the eggs are set. 4 Make the sauce by combining the Greek yoghurt, honey and lemon juice in a bowl. Sprinkle chopped herbs and za’atar over the shakshuka and serve immediately with a bowl of yoghurt sauce on the side. YourFitness 5

Asparagus & SWEET POTATO HASH Fill up on greens and carbs the health-smart way

If you like it hot, just add jalapeño peppers! Recipe: British Asparagus, 6 YourFitness

Serves 2 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks 1 bunch British asparagus, spears halved 3 tbsp olive oil 1 shallot, finely sliced 2 handfuls of sweetcorn 1 tsp garlic granules 1 tbsp sliced jalapeño peppers (optional) 1 avocado, sliced 1 lime 2 eggs 1 Boil a kettle and fill a saucepan with the hot water. Add the potato chunks and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the asparagus for 2 minutes until softened, then drain and leave to steam. 2 Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Tip the potatoes and asparagus into the hot pan with the shallots, sweetcorn, garlic granules and jalapeños. Toss to coat in the oil and season. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veg is browned. 3 While the veg is cooking, heat another non-stick pan with the remaining oil and fry the eggs. Tip the vegetables into two bowls, top with slices of avocado, squeeze some lime over and top each with a fried egg.

Serves 2 2 courgettes ¼ watermelon ½ cucumber 1 tbsp black sesame 190g quinoa, cooked 1 lemon, juice and rind ¼ tsp Himalayan salt 2 tsp olive oil 8 grilled king prawns (optional)

WATERMELON SALAD A light lunch full of heart-healthy and bone-strengthening nutrients

For the dressing 2 chillies 3 limes, juiced 1 lime, zested 2 tbsp honey 120ml oil 120ml water Salt to taste 1 Using a spiraliser, make the courgette into ribbons and cut the cucumber into small chunks. Mix the courgetti with the quinoa, cucumber, lemon juice and rind, Himalayan salt and olive oil. 2 Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into squares. Mix the watermelon into the courgetti and sprinkle with the black sesame – topping with the prawns if desired. 3 To make the dressing, de-seed and remove the stalks from the chillies. Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until fully combined. Drizzle over your salad to serve. Recipe: Pollen + Grace,

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Grilled avocado & QUINOA SALAD Enjoy healthy fats with this nutritious warm salad

Serves 4 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for grilling 185g mixed quinoa, red and white, rinsed and drained 500ml water 300g Tenderstem broccoli, trimmed 8 YourFitness

2 large avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced 150g baby spinach leaves, washed ½ lemon, juiced 2 tbsp coconut aminos Sea salt Ground black pepper

1 Heat the olive oil in a heavybased saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Fill the pan with water, bring to the boil, and cover with a lid. Cook over a low heat until the quinoa has absorbed the water and is tender. 2 Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, still covered, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in a bowl of cold water. 3 Preheat the grill to hot. Drain the broccoli and pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush the broccoli and avocado slices with olive oil before seasoning with salt and pepper. Brush a grilling tray with olive oil. Arrange the broccoli and avocado on the tray, spaced apart. Grill for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred. Remove from the grill. 4 Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Toss in a large mixing bowl with the spinach leaves, lemon juice, coconut aminos, and some salt and pepper. Divide between serving bowls, topping with the grilled broccoli and avocado before serving.

Recipe: Candida Diet Foods,

Serves 6 300g quinoa grain 75g Linwoods milled chia seeds 100ml water 50g avocado oil or melted coconut oil ½ tsp bicarb soda ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp ground pepper 2 tbsp lemon juice 100g pumpkin seeds 1 tsp dried garlic powder 2 tbsp of poppy seeds 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped Extra pumpkin and poppy seeds to decorate (optional)

QUINOA & CHIA LOAF An energy-boosting side or afternoon snack

Try with smashed d avocado, almon butter or dipped into a soup!

1 Place the quinoa in a bowl and cover it in just boiled water, leave to soak overnight. This will slightly cook the quinoa, making it easier to blend and make it more digestible. 2 The next day, preheat the oven to 170C/350F/Gas 4. Drain the quinoa well in a sieve, letting it drip for 15 minutes, dry and blend for 30 seconds in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients. Blend for a few more minutes until it is fully combined. 3 Line a loaf tin with baking paper, pour in the mixture and scatter over a few extra seeds to decorate. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool completely in the tin then remove and slice into 1cm slices and toast. Recipe: Madeline Shaw, courtesy of Linwoods,

YourFitness 9


These earthy veggies will leave you satisfied without the added calories

Suitable for freezing

Serves 4 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter 1 large onion, finely chopped 400g green asparagus, woody ends removed, spears chopped 3-4 thyme sprigs 650ml water 120g unsweetened plain yoghurt Dill sprigs, to garnish Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

10 YourFitness

1 Heat the olive oil with the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan set over a medium heat. Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat for 5-6 minutes until softened. 2 Add the asparagus spears, thyme sprigs and water. Stir well, cover and cook over a slightly reduced heat until the asparagus is tender, stirring from time to time. 3 Remove 4-5 pieces of asparagus from the saucepan and set aside for a garnish.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a food processor or blender. PurĂŠe until smooth, adding a little more water, if needed, to thin it out to the desired consistency. 4 Pour the soup back into the saucepan and return to a gentle simmer over a medium-low heat. Stir through the yoghurt, making sure no visible streaks are visible. Ladle into bowls and serve with a garnish of dill as well as the reserved asparagus pieces.

Recipe: Candida Diet Foods,

Middle Eastern sumac chicken

& COUSCOUS SALAD Rich in proteins, chicken makes for a great pre-workout food

Serves 4 500g chicken breasts, sliced 2 tsp sumac seasoning 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 50g pitted green olives, sliced 2 tbsp chopped coriander 200g wholewheat couscous 1 preserved lemon, chopped 1 lemon, juiced 100g handfuls herb salad 1 Toss the chicken in 1 teaspoon of sumac. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken for 6-7 minutes until golden and cooked through. Add the olives and coriander. 2 Meanwhile, place the couscous and preserved lemons in a bowl and pour over 300ml boiling water, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and leave to cool slightly. 3 Whisk together the lemon juice, remaining sumac and oil and toss into the salad. Mix in the chicken and couscous.

Recipe: Make More of Salad,

YourFitness 11

TURKEY & QUINOA BURGER Choose lower-in-fat turkey to make your Friday night favourite Serves 5 500g lean turkey mince 500g cooked quinoa Handful each of dill, parsley and mint 1 lemon, juice and zest 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp Himalayan salt ½ tsp rapeseed oil for frying 1 Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together with your hands until combined. 2 Heat a frying pan and add your oil. Place as many patties in the pan as you can fit. Cook on one side for 6 minutes and cook on the second side for 4-5 minutes. Serve in a bread bun with your desired toppings.

Recipe: Pollen + Grace, 12 YourFitness

This recipe also makes great meatballs!


Serves 4 600g wild salmon fillet, skinless and pin-boned, cut into chunks 2 spring onions, finely chopped 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp paprika 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1 large egg 2 tbsp lemon juice 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing Sea salt Freshly ground pepper

Enjoy oily fish for healthy joints

To serve 180g mixed leaf salad 2 lemons, 1 halved, the other sliced 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish 1 For the fish cake, add the salmon chunks to a food processor and pulse a few times until very roughly minced, taking care not to overmix. Scrape the fish into a bowl and add the spring onions, mustard, paprika, cayenne, beaten egg, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands until evenly combined. Shape into patties between lightly greased palms. 2 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium heat until hot. Place four patties in the oil and leave to fry for 3-4 minutes until golden-brown underneath. Flip

and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until golden brown on the other side. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper, and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Wipe the pan clean and repeat for the remaining patties, using the remaining oil.

Recipe: Candida Diet Foods,

3 To serve, divide the salad leaves between plates. Position the fish cakes next to them and serve with a garnish of lemon, a sprinkling of chopped parsley, and some extra parsley sprigs as a garnish. YourFitness 13

Candied WALNUT CRUSTED SALMON Rich in good fats, this is the perfect pre-workout dish

Serves 4 4 salmon fillets, skin on 80g walnuts, roughly chopped 3 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp coconut oil, odourless or sunflower oil 1-2 tsp paprika ¼-½ tsp chilli flakes (optional) Sea salt Black pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/ Gas 7. Wash and pat dry the salmon fillets and set aside. Then roughly chop the walnuts and set aside. 2 In a bowl mix together the maple syrup, mustard and apple cider vinegar then add in the walnuts and combine together. 3 Heat a non-stick frying pan with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and when it’s hot, add the salmon fillets to the pan skin side up. Keep moving the salmon so it doesn’t stick to the pan and then turn over after 1 minute and cook skin side down for a further minute. 4 Transfer the salmon to a tray pre-lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat and season 14 YourFitness

For extra flavour, you can leave the salmon to marinate with the topping on for a couple of hours each fillet with sea salt, paprika, chilli flakes and black pepper, and rub it in. 5 Spoon the walnut and maple syrup mixture on top of the

salmon, any extra walnuts can be placed around the salmon and used for garnish. Place in the oven for 12 minutes. Once cooked, serve immediately.

Recipe: Lisa Roukin, Photography: Inbal Bar-Oz


Build muscle with this protein-packed tofu meal

Serves 4 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 250g paella rice 8 saffron strands 280g Naked Tofoo 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced Recipe: The Tofoo Co. at

1 orange pepper, deseeded and diced 800ml low-salt vegetable stock 100g peas 2 vine tomatoes, quartered To serve 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped Lemon wedges 1 Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onion

and garlic for 5 minutes to soften. 2 Add the rice and saffron and stir well. Drain the Tofoo and pat dry, dice into bite-sized pieces. Add to the pan with the peppers and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. 3 Add the peas and tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges. YourFitness 15


with tomato hummus Help keep your cholesterol levels low with tasty tofu

Serves 4 225g smoked Tofoo 4 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp Za’atar spice 400g tin chick peas, drained 2 tbsp tahini 1 lemon, zest and juice 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tbsp sundried tomato purée To serve 50g pomegranate seeds Handful of fresh mint leaves 1 Slice the Tofoo into eight and lay onto a non-stick baking tray. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and dust each slice with the za’atar spice. Grill under a medium heat for 5 minutes. 16 YourFitness

2 To make the hummus, blitz the chick peas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, garlic and tomato purée in a food processor until smooth, then stir in the remaining olive oil.

3 Divide the hummus between four serving plates, top each with two slices of Tofoo and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Recipe: The Tofoo Co. at

Serves 4-8


200g Medjool dates, pitted and chopped 100ml boiling water 1 very ripe banana, mashed 50g wholemeal rye flour 25g ground almonds 75g unsweetened cocoa powder 130g unsalted butter 2 tsp fennel seeds 2 large free-range eggs 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 100g almonds, roughly chopped 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/Gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin. 2 Place the chopped dates in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave to soak. Gently melt the butter in a small pan with the fennel seeds. 3 Once the dates have soaked for 15 minutes, spoon them into a blender or food processor, add the banana and blitz until shredded. Pour in the melted butter and fennel seeds, add the two eggs and vanilla bean paste and blitz. Add the flour, cocoa powder and the ground almonds. Blitz again until you have a thick glossy paste. This can also be done in a large mixing bowl. 4 Stir in â…” of the chopped almonds, being careful not to

Indulge in decadent brownies without the refined sugar

break them up too much. Spoon the mixture into the brownie tin. Sprinkle the remaining almonds on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes

Recipe: Dom Franks of Belleau Kitchen, courtesy of Leisure,

until the top is firm to the touch. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares. YourFitness 17


Seasonal fruits full of vitamin C to keep bones healthy Serves 3-6 For the filling: 1 large punnet of strawberries 6 stalks of fresh rhubarb 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 lemon, zested For the topping: 230g gluten-free oats 150g flaked almonds 70g sunflower seeds 130g maple syrup 70g cup coconut oil Pinch of Himalayan salt 1 Add the rhubarb and strawberries to a large pan with the lemon zest, maple syrup and a splash of water. Leave to cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes. 2 Place all the ingredients for the topping to a bowl and mix together using your hands. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into a large dish, or individual ramekins, until about â…“ full. Top with the oat mixture. 3 Bake for 15-20 minutes at 175C/350F/Gas 4 until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

18 YourFitness

Recipe: Pollen + Grace,

t u on c o c d e at c c i s De COOKIE BALLS Grain-free and vegan, these beauties make the perfect after dinner treat

Serves 20 340g cashew butter 80g desiccated coconut 5 tbsp agave nectar 60g raisins ½ tsp cinnamon Sea salt 30g desiccated coconut 1 Put the cashew butter, agave nectar and cinnamon into a mixing bowl and mix together. Add the desiccated coconut and keep mixing, adding in the raisins. 2 Make little balls, each weighing 28g, from the dough and place on a baking tray in the freezer until ready to roll in the desiccated coconut. 3 Take the balls out of the freezer and roll in the desiccated coconut then place in the fridge until serving. AGAVE SYRUP IS PERFECT FOR NATURALLY SWEETENING YOUR DESSERTS Clarks Organic Agave Syrup, £2.50, widely available

Recipe: Lisa Roukin, Photography by Inbal Bar-Oz

Why not try adding raisins or dried apricots for a fruity twist? YourFitness 19

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Your fitness may 2017