WOMENSFITNESS.CO.UK ISSUE 160 | DECEMBER 2016 | Â£3.80
contents DECEMBER 2016
ON THIS MONTH’S COVER:
Features 78 ‘The road is hard, but you’ll find inner strength you never knew existed’ WF chats to explorer Laura Bingham about her incredible challenge
79 Power up! Work smarter, not harder, to become more productive than ever!
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 5
30 32 39 42
Class on trial: Another Space HIIT An intense workout that really packs a punch Hollywood HIIT Make time for this high-intensity session to get on the road to red-carpet-ready Train with your brain Tapping into the power of your mind is the key to success Pose your way through PMS Move through your time of the month with ease thanks to this yoga workout
47 52 53
The one-arm row Didn’t think such a simple move could tick so many boxes? Try this out and your body will thank you 20 mins to better health Give your overall health a serious boost with this hard-hitting HIIT workout #FIT The kit, gear and accessories we can’t get enough of this month Reviews All the latest releases tried and tested for you by team WF
● Top, £60, Sweaty Betty ● Snow pants, £115, Roxy ● Goggles, £85, Adidas Sport Eyewear
20-PAGE SPECIAL WINTER WORKOUTS 58
Start winter right! Start the cold-spell the way you mean to go on – healthily and actively
The great outdoors Banish ideas of hibernation! Snow-go areas Planning to hit the slopes this
winter? Here are the coolest resorts you might not know about… Get set for the slopes Put in the groundwork for your best season of snow sports yet Ice-cool style Our kit picks
MEET THE EXPERTS Every issue is packed with advice from our expert panel. Introducing this month’s health and fitness gurus…
6 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
BONITA NORRIS is a mountaineer who was Britain’s youngest female to summit Everest. READ HER TIPS ON WORKING OUT IN COLD CONDITIONS ON P58
DAN LAWRENCE is an award-winning personal trainer and coach. PRACTISE GOOD FORM WITH HIS GUIDE TO THE ONE-ARM ROW ON P46
JOSIE SEYDEL is the co-author of Working with Mindfulness. SHE SHARES HOW TO BE MINDFUL IN THE OFFICE WITH SOME SIMPLE BREATHING TECHNIQUES ON P79
ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY AMANDA KHOUV is a holistic is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist. WF’s deputy editor, wearer of SHE OFFERS HER ADVICE warm hats and serious coffee lover. ON POWERING UP YOUR AMANDA PUTS THE ANOTHER IMMUNE SYSTEM TO FIGHT SPACE HIIT WORKOUT WINTER COLDS ON P84 THROUGH ITS PACES ON P30
92 94 95
10 ways to beat colds Keep these weapons in your immunity armoury to pack a flu-fighting punch Mind over matter Here’s how a few minutes of meditation a day can change your weight-loss goals for life
Beauty Winter skincare secrets Skin suffering with the temperature drop? Here’s some expert advice Beauty heroes Update your look-hot routine with these fab new finds Treatments We cherrypick the hair, face and body treats designed to make life that little bit sweeter this month
98 Go vegan, get lean How
ditching the meat and dairy can help you get slim
109 Food focus: Cayenne
104 Clean treating Looking for
111 The good stuff These
PICTURES: SIMON TAYLOR, SHUTTERSTOCK
the ultimate sweet that won’t leave you feeling guilty? Try these recipes!
Photography: Simon Taylor Make-up: Alisha Bailey Model: Nadia, motmodel.com Styling: Joanna Knight, Erica Bush Clothing: K-Deer Crop top, £34.95, yogarebel.com; Reebok Leggings, £44.95, dwsports.com
your trolley without filling out? It is possible
101 Get serious about sugar Master your sweet cravings to kickstart your wellbeing
This month’s cover
108 Healthy bites Want to fill
pepper WF explores this super-hot metabolism-booster
inventive recipes make it easy peasy to get more veg on your plate
SUBSCRIBE TO WF! Don’t miss a single issue of WF ! If you can’t always ﬁnd Women’s Fitness in store, help is at hand! Just complete this form and hand it in at your local store and they’ll arrange for the latest issue to be reserved for you. Some stores may even be able to deliver the magazine to your home. Just ask! (Subject to availability) PLEASE RESERVE/DELIVER MY COPY OF WOMEN’S FITNESS ON A REGULAR BASIS, STARTING WITH ISSUE Title
ANGELIQUE PANAGOS is a nutritional therapist. SHE TALKS TO WF ABOUT THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF SUGAR – AND HOW YOU CAN EASILY CUT IT OUT – ON P101
LOUISE PYNE is WF’s features editor and a registered nutritionist. SHE REVEALS HOW WE CAN ALL BE MORE PRODUCTIVE DURING THE NINE TO FIVE ON P79
NICOLA SHUBROOK is a nutritionist at Urban Wellness (urbanwellness.co.uk). NICOLA SHARES HER INSIDER KNOWLEDGE ON CAYENNE PEPPER ON P109
Postcode Telephone number
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 7
from the editor Joanna Knight
Editor JOANNA KNIGHT firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor AMANDA KHOUV email@example.com Features Editor LOUISE PYNE firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Writer LISA NGUYEN email@example.com Editorial Assistant ERICA BUSH firstname.lastname@example.org Sub-Editors KIRSTY DOOLAN, LISA MORGAN email@example.com Women’s Fitness editorial, Unit 011, Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL ART & PRODUCTION
WINTER SKIN, SORTED
Experts help you glow
Art Director NICOLA KERR firstname.lastname@example.org Production MICHAEL HILLS email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Alisha Bailey, Christine Bailey, Molly Horne, Nicola Shubrook, Simon Taylor ADVERTISING Managing Director JULIAN LLOYD-EVANS Group Advertising Director LIZ JAZAYERI firstname.lastname@example.org T/020 7907 6736 Group Advertising Manager SUOSAN WILLIAMS email@example.com T/020 7907 6720 Agency Account Director CARLY ACTIVILLE firstname.lastname@example.org T/ 0207 907 6688
Your 6-week plan starts here
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I love winter! Not everyone agrees but I find it a truly restorative season. Darker, cosy nights for R&R and wholesome food and crisper, brighter days for exploring new places and activities snowsports that’s you! However, winter doesn’t come without a few drawbacks duller complexions, a series of colds and the inevitable weight gain! But, we’ve got your back... Head to page 92 for glowing skin; page 84 to beat sniffles and page 32 for a 6-week fat-burning A-Lister workout. Told you we had you covered! Finally, turn to page 104 and get your fill of the most delicious ‘clean cakes’ we’ve ever tried. You’re welcome! Have a great month.
Syndication Sales Manager RYAN CHAMBERS firstname.lastname@example.org T/+44 (0)207 907 6132 Licensing Manager CARLOTTA SERANTONI email@example.com T/+44 (0)207 907 6550 Licensing & Syndication Assistant NICOLE ADAMS firstname.lastname@example.org T/+44 (0)207 907 6134 MANAGEMENT Publisher DHARMESH MISTRY Newstrade Director DAVID BARKER Subscriptions Director LUCY DAVIS
Cakes just got healthy!
What we did this month
LEARNED TO SKI!
Lisa visited Val-d’Isère and mastered the snowplough
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SNIFFLES BE GONE
10 ways to nix a cold this season
Have your Something on your mind? say We want to hear from you! WF readers say…
HIT THE TRAILS
Amanda hiked to Havasuapi Falls hidden deep in the Grand Canyon for views you have to see to believe...
Chief Executive Officer JAMES TYE Group CFO/COO BRETT REYNOLDS Company founder FELIX DENNIS
Looking your glamorous best
Marketing Co-ordinator GEORGIA WALTERS firstname.lastname@example.org SYNDICATION
HIT THE SLOPES
WRITE IN TO WIN...
I was really grateful for your STAR T COMMEN superb article ‘Beat Gymtimidation!’ I’ve being doing the same gym routine for two years. I knew it was time to get out of my comfort zone, so with your feature ringing in my ears I stepped up my gym routine. I realise that reaching new heights involves some discomfort and can be scary, but it is a vital part of expanding capacity physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’ll be on the right track again in no time - thank you! Kymberley Yessen, Cambs
...Anexclusive USN Shape-Up bundle, worth over £100! Itincludes 2 x Dietfuel Choc/Straw; Shape-Up vest;USN Pink Shakerand Diet Whey bars ChocFudge. It’s the perfectpartner forpartyseason. ● USN.co.uk/SHAPEUP
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The health and fitness information presented in this magazine is intended as an educational resource and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional before performing any of the exercises described in this magazine or any other exercise programme, particularly if you are pregnant, elderly or have chronic or recurring medical conditions. Do not attempt any of the exercises while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert. Neither the author of the information nor the producer nor distributors of such information make any warranty of any kind in regard to the content of the information presented in this magazine. Women’s Fitness © Copyright Dennis Publishing Ltd. Women’s Fitness is a trademark of Felix Dennis. All rights reserved. Women’s Fitness is a trademark and may not be used or reproduced in the UK or Republic of Ireland without the permission of Dennis Publishing Ltd. Women’s Fitness is published in the UK and Republic of Ireland by Dennis Publishing Ltd and is sold subject to the following terms: namely that it shall not without the written consent of the Publishers first given be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of Trade at more than the recommended selling price shown on the cover and that it shall not be lent, resold or hired out in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of Trade or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 9
ESSENTIALS 13 Hot list // 15 Running news // 16 Cycle scene // 18 Health wrap 20 Love life // 22 Fit food // 25 Green scene // 27 Travel diary
REACH YOUR PEAK
Call yourself a thrillseeker? Then you’ll love the thought of climbing Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. It’s not one for the faint-hearted, but the challenge and sense of achievement will sure balance out the hard work. Organised climbs take place from 9 December. ● maximumadventure.com
WORDS: MOLLY HORNE PICTURES: JAN ZESCHKY, ASH KNOTEK
Grind some gravel
Take it to the limit
Ho, ho, go!
Get ready for the ultimate cyclocross/mountain bike course this winter. Expect to be put to the test along packed bridleways, quiet roads and farm tracks in the Gravel Grinder Adventure Cross over the Surrey hills. ● ukcyclingevents.co.uk
You can rely on GRIM to design a race so extreme it’s been named the UK’s biggest and best off-road challenge. Two new distances have been added to the original eight-mile event – the challenge awaits! ● grimchallenge.co.uk
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than joining a mass of Santas on London’s Clapham Common? The 5K or 10K London Santa Dash raises vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. ● gosh.org
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 11
VIEWS NOT INCLUDED
Autumn can be a slow time of year for motivation. Pick up this inspiring read by Julie Angel, which will get you flying high on the wings of adrenaline sport parkour. ● £16.99, amazon.co.uk
WINTER SKIN SAVIOUR
As the winter approaches, our skin could do with a little extra TLC. Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator will unclog pores to reveal a fresh complexion. ● £20, caudalie.com
BURN BABY BURN
If its teas are anything to go by, Dragonfly Tea’s Explorer’s Tea Chest No1 candle is going to be a real hit. The Celebration Gift Box comes with any two of its teas, too. ● £40, dragonflytea.com
HOT LIST SAFE TO SWEAT
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV
Outdoorsy type? Make sure you stay protected in the winter sun with Bare Republic Sport. The waterresistant sunscreen stick provides a natural SPF50. £11.99, Whole Foods Market
MEET YOUR MATCH
Sporting matching undies gives you superpowers: fact. Freya Fancies come in three bra styles and four colours that pop – giving you confidence in style. ● From £12, freyafancies.co.uk
See it, buy it, love it! Your essential guide to the month ahead
GET YOUR KICKS
No one does new retro quite like New Balance. We love the 530 Ceremonial – style’s a given, but the comfort is unreal, too. ● £85, newbalance.co.uk
Struggling to swerve chocolate? Maza is guilt-free, so you don’t have to. It’s sweetened with palmyra nectar, which is nutrient-dense and low-GI. ● £7.99, mazachocolate.co.uk
SWIPE FOR A TAN
You can never rely on the sun for a tan in the UK, so these handy Cocoa Brown Tanning Wipes are a must. A golden glow with a simple swipe? Yes please. ● £2.65, feelunique.com
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 13
ESSENTIALS Trail blazing With a low heel drop and extra grip, these GelFujiattack 5 trainers from Asics will make the perfect cross-country running companion.
DID YOU KNOW?
Barefoot running may reduce the risk of injury if done properly. Despite being at the centre of controversy for many years, scientists from the Universities of Granada and Jaén have found that barefoot running can considerably decrease the risk of injury, as it produces significant changes to footstrike patterns. Bye-bye trainers...
● £100, asics.com
runningnews Shatter your PB with performance -boosting tips and high-tech kit
Being seen is the name of the game during winter, and now things have just got a whole lot easier – and cooler. Zakti’s new range, Rainbow Reflect, includes these trainers that turn to a vibrant neon colour when a light is flashed on them. Ace!
WORDS: ERICA BUSH SOURCE: SCIENCEDAILY.COM
● £40, zaktiactive.com
All together now
It’s no secret that we all need a little extra running encouragement in the winter months. Cue Racefully, the app that lets you connect and run with your friends – virtually. No matter where you are in the world, you can run in real time with each other and hit that PB together. ● Free, iPhone
Dose up on Christmas cheer and keep that festive weight gain at bay with AdventRunning, a free and simple run challenge that aims to get people running throughout the month of December. Simply run a minimum of 30 minutes a day, each day – and come Christmas Day, feel very, very smug indeed... ● adventrunning.com December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 15
ESSENTIALS Did you know?
Break from the bike
In a survey of over 5,000 female cyclists, 84 per cent said they cycle for fitness reasons
Still feeling inspired by this year’s Tour de France? Try the UK’s very own Tour de North – a self-guided circular route that takes you through the north of England in all of its glory. Pedal through the stunning Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors, staying at gorgeous rural Farm Stay UK sites along the way, where you can enjoy exploring the surrounding countryside and meet some farmyard animals too! ● £400 for two for seven nights B&B and self-catering, farmstay.co.uk
Get extra pedal power with our top cycling tips
Hate all the lumps and bumps that come with a super-tight jersey? The Altura Sportive Team Long Sleeve Jersey is semi-fitted, giving you a little extra room to breathe, while also sporting bodywarming insulation and a reflective trim for those nippier night rides.
If you like the durability and resilience of a Dutchstyle bike but you’re put off by the heftiness and weight, check out the Gazelle Van Stael. The retro steel frame is unbelievably lightweight and stealthy for a bike of its kind – and you can even choose between three or seven gears. ● £549, gazellebikes.co.uk
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Looking for a new place to pick up all your kit and bits? Swiss cycling retailer ASSOS has just celebrated its 40th anniversary by opening its first UK flagship store – and it’s a cyclist’s dream. Expect to find interesting, innovative and impressive gear – after all, the brand was the first to create Lycra cycling shorts, as well as the first ever carbon fibre bike. Get ready to start acting like a kid in a sweet shop! ● assos.com
16 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
● £49.99, altura.eu WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV SOURCE: STRAVA
ESSENTIALS Explorer’s essential
The latest gadget to make it onto WF’s radar is the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle. Weighing just 300g, the clever bottle features a filtration system that’s operated with one simple push and removes sand, chemicals, dirt, viruses and bacteria in 15 seconds. Keen explorers will also appreciate the durability of the filter, as it lasts for 300 uses. Wow!
Try these new brews on your next tea break
Go with it
Christmas in a cup
healthwrap Tasty trends and top buys from the world of wellbeing
DID YOU KNOW? That more than a third of Brits attributed increasing stress levels to being connected to technology 24/7. The research also revealed that 28% of people found it difficult to prioritise while also keeping up with social media. While it may seem ‘important’ to stay connected at the time, try to switch off sometimes – for the sake of your health.
Kick off the festive season a little early with Ahmad Tea’s cinnamon or vanilla and orange blends. ● £1.99 for 20, ahmadtea.com
Classic with a twist One of our all-time favourites PG Tips offers green teas in lemon, raspberry and jasmine flavours. ● £1.39 for 25, tesco.com
Upgrade your hand cream in the winter months to a thicker, more moisturising alternative like Nelsons Calendula Cream. Calendula is known for its healing properties, making it a miracle solution for dry or chapped skin. We’ll be keeping one in our handbag and another by the sink! ● £5.09 for 30g, Boots
18 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK SOURCE: POTTER’S HERBALS
Make tea-time any time with Honest’s on-thego bottled flavoured teas. The herbal flavours include Honey, Orange and Mango, Pomegranate and Blueberry or Lemon. ● £1.59, Whole Foods
● £59.99, thefowndry.com
ESSENTIALS Eastern chic
Who knew a washbag could be so gorgeous? These lush zip-up bags feature Mini Moderns’ Darjeeling print: a striking tessellation of Eastern patterns. We need one in our possession, pronto… ● From £14, minimoderns.com
Smeg just outdid itself with its latest accessory, Bottle to Go. The sleek travel accessory pairs with the iconic BLF01 blender so shakes (or soups) can be taken on the go as soon as they’re made. That’s less time at the sink… and more time to enjoy our creations. It’s a win win! ● £29.99 (bottle only), smeguk.com
lovelife Hot tips and tricks to boost your energy, style and cash flow
But first, coffee
Whether your cup of coffee is a necessity, a luxury or a bit of both, Nespresso’s new Grand Crus blends are full of promises. Our favourite flavour, Envivo Lungo, merges Arabica beans from India with Robusta from Mexico to produce a rich finish that’s intense yet easy to drink. The caramel and gingerbread notes make you forget the level-nine intensity… ● £3.10 for 10 capsules, nespresso.com
Jungle fever Fancy doing something different and exciting? Grab your mates for an adrenaline-fuelled day at Go Ape Forest Adventures. There are 30 locations across the UK where activities include zip-lining through the trees Tarzan-style, or racing throughout the forest on a Segway. Go on, live a little! ● Visit goape.co.uk
20 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
A whopping 78 per cent of Brits are in favour of a detox holiday rather than a booze-fuelled one. A survey of 1,012 UK adults also found that spa hotels were the top choice for wellbeing holidays (66%), followed by yoga retreats (57%) with fitness bootcamps coming third (35%). We’re so proud!
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN SOURCE: PLENISH CLEANSE
Did you know?
ESSENTIALS EAT CLEAN
A WEE PROBLEM
Firstly, do not drink cranberry juice! This tends to be full of sugar, which makes it acidic and in turn worsens the problem. Perhaps try freeze-dried aloe vera capsules, which have proved to be effective in reducing frequency and symptoms.
Discover Freeletics Nutrition, the app that will give you a clean-eating lifestyle tailored entirely to your needs and preferences. Developed by leading nutritionists and training experts, the many delicious recipes and meal plans on offer will help you reach your body and health goals in no time.
Free to download, subscriptions from £9.99 a month, iTunes and Google Play
Blogs we love
Next time you feel the urge to bake, try swapping eggs for some soaked chia seeds instead. This will make for a healthier bake and be higher in protein, which means it will fill you up for longer – making the cake go further!
Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen This blog is an absolute delightful feast of recipes that offers something for everyone – dairy-free, sugar-free, glutenfree and more. Through her own personal journey to battle eczema, Nadia has created healthy yet simple recipes that are easy to whizz up when you don’t have a lot of time.
Nourishing news and nutritional know-how
CHEAT SHEET: VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is needed to support our immune system, muscle function, bones, heart and moods, as well as prevent conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and cancer, to name a few. While it can be found in some foods, such as oily fish, eggs, dairy and some mushrooms, the main source of vitamin D is through exposure to the sun. The body then turns vitamin D into something called calcitriol, a hormone that is crucial for bone function.
22 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Ingredients ● 35g plain rolled oats ● 5tbsp milk (I used unsweetened soya milk) ● 4tbsp yoghurt (I used unsweetened soya yoghurt) ● 1tbsp tahini ● 1tsp chia seeds ● 3 dates, chopped ● 1tsp sweetener of choice (I used date syrup)
Struggling with acid reflux or indigestion? This can often be a sign of low stomach acid, so try a teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar in hot water before every meal to help prep your digestive system before you eat.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then transfer into a container or jar and leave to chill in the fridge overnight. Wake up in the morning, open the fridge and find your breakfast waiting for you.
WORDS: NICOLA SHUBROOK PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
I keep getting cystitis, which stops me from exercising. How can I help prevent it from reoccurring?
Winter warmer Try this delicious recipe from HECK for a low-fat, high protein feast
Low in fat and high in protein, HECK’s tasty range of sausages make for a handy mid-week meal Ingredients ● 1 Pack of HECK Smoky Paprika Sausages ● 1 large white onion, sliced ● 3 crushed garlic cloves ● 100ml white wine ● 700g chopped tomatoes (tinned) ● 600g butter beans (tinned) ● 25g tomato purée ● 50g diced pancetta ● 50ml olive oil ● 1 loaf ciabatta bread ● Handful fresh chopped parsley ● 1 small sprig rosemary and thyme, finely chopped ● Sea salt ● Black pepper ● 8g white sugar
Add half the olive oil to a saucepan and cook the onions and pancetta together for 5 minutes, then add the tomato purée, rosemary, thyme and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add the white wine, let the wine bubble for a minute then place the tomatoes, butterbeans and sugar into the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste place a lid on top and let it simmer for 25 minutes In a frying pan brown off your sausages then add them to a large casserole dish and when the sauce is ready pour it over the sausages and place in the oven at 180°C for 15 – 20 minutes. As it is cooking, tear the bread into small rustic cubes and add the parsley, the remaining olive oil and some seasoning, mix well and after 15-20 minutes place this on top and cook for 10-15 minutes until the bread is nice and golden.
fter a long day there’s nothing better than sitting down to a satisfying meal. High in protein, HECK’s tasty range of pork and chicken sausages, burgers and meatballs make for a handy mid-week meal or weekend show-stopper. With over 20 varieties there’s something for every occasion, from low-fat Zesty Chicken Chipolatas for meat lovers, to Nuts About Cheese Sausages for vegetarians or #meatfreemondays.
perfect for sharing with friends or batch cooking for a healthy, filling lunch. Colourful veggies, check; protein-rich sausages, check; banging flavour, check! Make HECK a regular part of your weekly shop and discover the range today.
Time to tuck in
A super easy, healthy, rich and warming meal for two
We’re loving this cassoulet, it’s
SAUSAGE AND BUTTERBEAN CASSOULET WITH CIABATTA TOPPING
For more delicious recipe ideas visit heckfood.co.uk
BUY NOW! ► From £3, available from
Asda, Booths, Budgens, Co-op, CostCo, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and heckfood.co.uk.
PROMOTION ‘The next generation blender can cope with the toughest of subjects – almonds, we’re looking at you!’
Healthy eating made easy! Fancy whipping up a superfood smoothie in seconds? Try Braun’s latest technology
ere at WF we love to eat healthily and enjoy nothing more than trying out the latest recipes and superfoods! However, we don’t have all the time in the world – we have to get to the gym, too! But we do have an innovative solution from the clever people at Braun that’ll make meal prep a breeze.
Hostess with the most-ess
The new MultiQuick 9 is a serious upgrade in the
hand blender stakes; we’re big fans of its predecessors, so this is big news! The next generation blender can cope with the toughest of subjects – almonds, we’re looking at you – thanks to its ACTIVEBlades technology. The ACTIVEBlades move up and down to easily blend the hardest foods with 40% less effort, while the flexible shaft results in 250% more active cutting surface.
That’s not all... The MultiQuick 9 features a powerful 1000W motor and SMARTSpeed technology so you can go at your own pace: slowly for a coarse finish, faster for smooth. We’ve saved a particularly important detail for last: Its SPLASHControl technology, which prevents splashing – hoorah! Your chocolate and almond breakfast smoothie just got a whole lot easier!
Buy it now ► Braun MultiQuick 9
(MQ9087X), RRP £149; main attachments: food processor, mini chopper, whisk and potato masher; Braun MultiQuick 9 (MQ9037X), RRP £99; main attachments: chopper, whisk and potato masher. braunhousehold.com/ en-gb; debenhams.com; johnlewis.com; lakeland. co.uk; steamer.co.uk
ESSENTIALS ECO BRAND ALERT! Rumi Yoga Wear has upped its game and rebranded to Rumi X. The new collection now includes bold and colourful sports bras and tops as well as bottoms and headbands, while remaining true to its eco philosophy. The leading Hong Kong-based yoga apparel brand uses only sustainable resources including plastic bottles and leftover coffee grounds to make all of its products. We’re huge fans! ● From £32, rumixfeelgood.com
If you’re feeling mentally or physically drained, and your skin is beginning to betray the effects of a non-stop routine, 58 Lifestyle has the solution. The luxury holistic brand uses purely natural and organic ingredients for its 58-product Artisan Wellbeing range, which is packed with green mandarin, geranium and ylang-ylang, and is designed to soothe and nourish both skin and mind. ● From £18, 58lifestyle.com
greenscene Be stylish and sustainable with our planet-friendly tips
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN
If your sleep is often disturbed – either by lack of comfort or temperature control – make the move over to a natural and organic mattress like this one by Naturalmat. Handmade in Devon, these mattresses use only raw, renewable and sustainable materials such as organic lambswool, coir (coconut fibre) and natural latex, which helps to keep it well-ventilated and durable while protecting from dust mites.
I SEA GOODNESS
● From £700, naturalmat.co.uk
Throw in the towel!
We’re so in love with these pretty towels from Hammam Havlu that we’re currently building quite a collection. They’re ethically made by a family-run business in Denizli, Turkey, and the pastel-coloured tones make the towels stylishly versatile. We’re also using them as throws and even beach cover-ups! ● From £25, hammamhavlu.com
If you were a fan of the courgetti craze, you’ll love the latest healthy ‘pasta’ alternative. Seamore’s I Sea Pasta is a handy, ready-to-cook pouch of himanthalia seaweed, sustainably harvested in Ireland. Described as the ‘green tagliatelle’, the ingredient comes up trumps – it’s much lower in carbs and calories and richer in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and iodine. Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly! ● £5.99 for 100g, planetorganic.com December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 25
#Winter Sun Problems We all know the feeling. You spend an hour getting ready, perfecting your most glamorous holiday look, for you to step outside and be sweating within five minutes. Not so glam, right? Now there’s an answer. HotSquash has built unique CoolFresh technology into its garments. Not only will you look your vacay best (we love this jumpsuit), there will be no sweating, over-heating or creasing!
ESSENTIALS Urban chic
Packing a good pair of trainers is always a smart move: whether you’re trawling a city or strolling along a sunny promenade, they offer protection, comfort and – in the case of this Lacoste pair – a serious amount of style. The Straightset 3 163 will upgrade any holiday look in seconds.
travel diary traveldiary ● £115, hotsquash.com
● £85, soletrader.co.uk
BATTERY BOOST Is there anything worse than running out of battery power while you’re on the go? Fret no more with the Besiter Mercury power bank. At just 14cm, it’s super-sleek and its slimline appearance belies its incredible battery life, which can charge an iPhone four times. We don’t know how we lived without it.
● £28.99, kavson.co.uk
Your passport to dream destinations, suitcase essentials and active escapes
WORDS: ERICA BUSH
DID YOU KNOW?
We Brits are creatures of comfort. Online electrical retailer AO.com found that a staggering one in four of us pack ‘a little piece of home’ every time we go abroad. And 43 per cent went so far as to say they couldn’t function without certain items. Sandwichmakers, vacuum cleaners and coffee machines were all on the list of weird and wonderful ‘home comforts’. Talk about packing the kitchen sink…
Luxe in Lech Upgrade your winter ski holiday with new Blumen Haus Lech – the ultimate Alpine retreat. Not only is it situated in a premier ski destination, Lech in Austria, the boutique hotel boasts nine stunning suites, a fine-dining restaurant, an indoor infinity pool, spa and Technogym, while fusing chalet charm with exceptional comfort and state-of-the-art tech. Blumen Haus Lech is also home to an hypoxic chamber in which guests can altitude-train at the equivalent of 5,600 metres, expected to attract pro athletes from all over the world. Prices start at around £2,000 per suite per night, which includes: Indigo ski equipment and servicing; ski lift transfers; breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and an à la carte dinner at Marmotta by Steven Ellis; full use of facilities; and a bottle of champagne on arrival. ● Visit blumenhauslech.com December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 27
30 Class on trial // 32 Hollywood HIIT // 39 Train with your brain // 42 Pose your way through PMS 46 The one-arm row // 47 20 mins to better health // 52 #fit // 53 Reviews
WORDS: BETH WINDSOR PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK
STAY ON TRACK! It’s official! Digital technology is helping to make Britain healthier. According to a survey conducted by Tata Consultancy Services (the official partners of the London Marathon), 82% of fitness fans use some sort of device to track our activity. And within the 2,000 people surveyed, a whopping three quarters of these claim to exercise more when using a fitness tracker. The biggest motivation for people is personal performance, which has led to more of us opting to hike up the stairs rather than using the lift to make sure we’re hitting our daily targets. Just don’t be tempted to up your stats by attaching the tracker to your pet – just like one in 10 people confessed to doing. Cheeky!
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 29
For a high-intensity workout that really packs a punch, try this boxing-inspired take on HIIT WHAT IS IT? It seems like boxing is all the rage right now, and with the de-stressing, conditioning and cardio benefits it boasts, who are we to argue? Alternating rounds of punch, elbow and knee strike combinations on the punchbag with rounds of resistance exercises using TRX, sandbags and bodyweight moves really gives you all the best that a HIIT workout has to offer – and with each round focusing on power, speed and then the two together, this class really aims to tick all the boxes.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? High-intensity workouts are known to be real fat-blasters, and with the rate at which you’re pushed to work in this class, there’s no doubt you’ll be reaching the state in which your body achieves an after-burn effect – it’ll continue to blitz calories way after the class is over. The boxing adds a unique cardio element to your workout, too, so you can expect to put your 30 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
heart and lungs through their paces and add to your fitness arsenal, too. On top of that, the resistance rounds will ensure your upper body, core, bum and legs get given a real challenge.
HOW HARD IS IT? Anything done at high intensity is going to be hard. If you’re not sneaking in a little break when the instructor’s back is turned, then you’re probably not going as hard as you should. There’s very little rest involved in this class – but the good news is that once you’re completely drained of energy and out of breath from beating up the bag, you get to switch it up by moving on to resistance – where every inch of your body will seriously feel the burn.
WHERE IS IT? Another Space, London. Single classes are £20, but there are package deals and introductory rates available, too. Go to anotherspace.london for more information.
DO IT YOURSELF It’s six rounds in total, alternating between combinations on the bag and resistance exercises for five minutes each. For the first round on the bag, work on speed. Drill fast combinations including punches, knee and elbow strikes. Then switch to the floor for moves done at a fast pace – like mountain climbers (with feet in a TRX if you have access to one) and sprints on the spot. Go back to the bag to work on drills performed with as much power as you can manage – don’t worry too much about speed. For the next resistance round, do some more challenging moves like weighted lunges and press-ups. The final round on the bag should combine speed with power: jumping knee strikes worked into fast combinations. Same goes for the final resistance round – think burpees with sandbag slams and plyometrics like jump squats. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down.
If you need to blow off some steam, this is the way to do it while getting a workout in, too. You get pushed really hard, so those who struggle to stick to a high intensity working out on their own will benefit hugely.
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: NICK MANGOS PHOTOGRAPHY
Another Space HIIT CLASS ON TRIAL
‘With each round focusing on power, speed and then the two together, this class really aims to tick all the boxes’
ARE YOU BRITAIN’S FITTEST?
ith Autumn here it’s a great time to refocus your training to end the year fitter, healthier and happier than ever. So why not sign up for FitBrit 2016, the UK’s biggest fitness challenge, in association with Men’s Fitness, Fitness First and Lucozade. It’s the ultimate test of speed, strength and stamina, but the best bit is that it’s simple to do: just perform the nine exercises back-to-back in the quickest time possible then post your time to the leaderboard website. The fastest performers will be invited to the Grand Final in London in December. Don’t forget you can also download the Fitness First CustomFit app, which now features a FitBrit section, and watch short videos on each exercise and track your progress. For more information speak to a member of the team when you’re next in your local FitnessFirst club and see if you can be crowned Britain’s Fittest!
Discover more about FitBrit 2016 at coachmag.co.uk/fitbrit2016
EXERCISE HOW TO DO IT Warm up with some high knees or skipping followed by a few dynamic stretches like leg swings. Then perform all reps of each move at a fast pace. Once one set of each move is complete, rest for the time recommended, then go back to the start and repeat for the number of sets allotted for your level. Beginner: 3 x 8 reps (2 minutesâ€™ rest) Intermediate: 4 x 12 reps (90 secondsâ€™ rest) Advanced: 5 x 16 reps (1 minuteâ€™s rest)
32 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
KIT YOU’LL NEED:
• Medicine ball • Kettlebell • Bench • 2 x dumbbells • Resistance band
Hollywood If A-list celebs can make time to get fit and stay slender, then so can we. Make time for this high-intensity workout to get on the road to red-carpet-ready
e’re all inspired by different goals and people when it comes to fitness. Whether you long for the curves of Kate Upton, or you’re in awe of the athletic prowess of Amir Khan, celebrity trainer Ruben Tabares has you covered. Not only does he train stars like the aforementioned (plus a few more fit A-listers you might have heard of), which means he’s used to the pressure of achieving results quickly, but his variety of clients means that he can help you reach any fitness goal.
This full-body workout below, devised especially for WF readers, will boost your fitness thanks to its low rest periods and bursts of high intensity. Combined with smart eating, it also promises to boost fat-loss. ‘The idea of eating well when trying to burn fat is to minimise toxins coming in so that the body doesn’t have to deal with them on a daily basis,’ explains Ruben, ‘This means that you’ll have more energy for fat loss.’ Try the workout over the following pages 3-4 times a week and expect to see results in six weeks.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 33
EXERCISE TURKISH GET-UP
Areas trained: CORE, GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, SHOULDERS Technique ➤ Lie flat on the floor on your back with your left leg flexed at a 90-degree angle, foot flat on the floor, your left arm extended towards the ceiling and holding a weight in
➤ Engage your core
and keep the weight above your head, with your gaze on the weight throughout. With your right hand on the floor for support, proceed to stand up.
Don’t overexert yourself by using a weight that feels too heavy
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➤ Finish standing
straight with your left arm directly above you and elbow locked. ➤ Reverse the steps to end up lying on the floor with your arm locked out above you. Repeat on the other side
‘Whether you long for the curves of Kate Upton or you’re in awe of the athletic prowess of Amir Khan, celebrity trainer Ruben Tabares has you covered’
GET THE LOOK
CLOTHING: Vie Active bra, £56, sacrednation.co.uk; Adidas leggings, £47.95, adidas.co.uk; Asics FuseX Country Pack, £100, asics.co.uk KIT: Mat, agoy.co.uk; dumbbells, physicalcompany.co. uk; medicine ball and bench, reebokfitness.info; resistance band, dynaband.co.uk
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS
Technique ➤ Start standing with your feet shoulderwidth apart. ➤ Flex at your knees and hips, then lower until your thighs are
parallel to the floor.
➤ Extend two inches
upwards, then back down before coming all the way back up to standing, then repeat.
Keep your knees tracking over your toes – don’t let them collapse in
RESISTANCE BAND WOODCHOP
Areas trained: CORE, SIDES, SHOULDERS Technique ➤ Tie a resistance band around something stable to your side (like a stair banister). Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart and knees slightly bent, holding the end of the band with both hands. ➤ Keeping arms
straight but elbows soft, pull the band away from the band’s anchor as you rotate your body. ➤ Do not let it pull you back quickly, instead return to your original position with control.
Use the twist of your core to pull the band – do not rely on your arms
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 35
EXERCISE SQUAT AND PUSH PRESS
Areas trained: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS, CORE, SHOULDERS, TRICEPS Technique ➤ Holding a medicine ball by your chest, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart. ➤ Flex your knees and hips until you end up in a squat with your thighs parallel to the ground.
➤ Extend your
hips and knees to come back up to standing. ➤ Press the medicine ball up towards the ceiling. ➤ Bring it back to your chest and repeat the whole movement.
Keep your core engaged, chest up and shoulders back as you lower
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, CALVES Technique ➤ Start standing with your feet shoulderwidth apart. ➤ Flex at the knees and hips and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. ➤ From here, jump up as high as you can. ➤ Land softly, straight back into another squat to repeat.
36 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Try to keep your upper body as upright as possible – don’t round your back
INCLINE BENCH PRESS
Areas trained: CHEST, TRICEPS Technique ➤ Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand above your chest with your
arms extended. This is the starting position. ➤ Lower the dumbbells to your sternum by flexing your elbows. Maintain
control throughout the exercise. ➤ Extend your elbows to return your arms to the starting position to repeat.
SAFETY TIP Your lateral muscles should stay tight and elbows slightly drawn in throughout
Area trained: CALVES Technique ➤ Stand with your feet just under shoulderwidth apart. ➤ Keeping your ankles in line with your feet, rise up onto your toes and slowly come back down to the start.
Keep hips and shoulders square throughout
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 37
EXERCISE ROTATIONAL SHOULDER PRESS
Areas trained: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS Technique ➤ Sit upright holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body, in front of your shoulders. ➤ Press the dumbbells up towards the ceiling as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. Continue pressing the dumbbells until your arms are extended above you in a straight arm position. ➤ Begin to lower the dumbbells to the original position by rotating the palms of your hands towards you.
Fatfighting foods MORE WATER 1DRINK
Chug around three litres a day to help your body detoxify.
38 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
ADD A GREEN VEGETABLE JUICE 2 TO YOUR DAY Make sure it’s based on leafy greens, with only one piece of fruit.
3 EAT GOOD FATS
It sounds counterintuitive but avocado and coconut oil help boost fat loss. Plus, they taste great!
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: HENRY CARTER MODEL: HANNAH FRANKSON, WMODEL.CO.UK
Keep a natural arch in your spine and your neck long
TRAIN WITH YOUR BRAIN Looking for the shortcut to success? Tapping into the power of your mind might just be the secret
hether it’s pushing yourself through that crippling final mile of your run, or dealing with pressing deadlines at work, there are always times when we find it particularly difficult to handle those extrastressful situations. That’s probably why, when
we tune in to high-pressure sporting events like the Olympic Games or the Wimbledon final, we find it emotional, inspiring and even feel empathy watching other people achieve greatness right there in front of millions of people. But what if we were to tell you that you could train yourself to
think like those athletes, to get your brain at a level where you too could perform in ways you never expected? The Athletic Brain: How Neuroscience Is Revolutionising Sport And Can Help You Perform Better by Amit Katwala is a new book that looks at the mental side of sports and how it plays just as important a role nowadays as eating well and training hard. ‘There’s a lot more emphasis on sports psychology compared with 10 years ago,’ the author says. ‘Neuroscience is the next step. By that I mean tools and techniques that are rooted in the biology of how the brain works.’
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 39
EXERCISE ‘The brain clearly holds the key to sporting performance. It’s involved in every aspect from talent to skill development, through to high-speed decisionmaking and endurance, and to a much greater extent than was previously realised’
CHANGING YOUR GAME
While lots of athletes have spoken out about mental preparation in the lead-up to big events (think breathing techniques to calm nerves, visualising crucial moments and reciting mantras of self-belief), not many have been vocal about what Amit calls sporting intelligence. ‘There’s getting your head in the game or adopting the right mental attitude, but I wanted to try to find out what was going on underneath all that,’ he says. The world’s best athletes can make incredibly smart decisions in the blink of an eye – and while we’re quite a way from fully understanding how the brain works to assist this in sports, The Athletic Brain certainly reveals some of the tools and tips that can even apply to the everyday athlete – the gym-goer, the casual exerciser, the you and me. ‘The brain clearly holds the key to sporting performance,’ Amit adds. ‘It’s involved in every aspect from talent to skill development, through to highspeed decision-making and endurance, and to a much greater extent than was previously realised.’ And if it can take us this far in sports, then why not in real-life, everyday settings, too? When you think about it, almost every elite athlete has access to the best in nutrition, coaching and everything in-between. So the only thing left that could give them the edge, Amit reckons, is the king of cognitive training tools and technology rooted in neuroscience outlined in the book. ‘If the mental side of sport is significant, then by focusing on the brain with the same level of rigour that they’ve looked at nutritionally and physiologically in the past, the athletes and their coaches and teams should be able to make big steps forward,’ he says. ‘The same applies to your own sporting endeavours – by learning the mental tricks used by the best in the world, and why and how they work, you can improve your performance, too.’
You only have to look at the rise in popularity of fitness tech like GPS devices and activity trackers to see how easy it is for everyday gym-goers to boost their exercise performance. While most of us are simply after motivation to get moving, others look to these gadgets to shave seconds off their PBs. Of course the click of a button isn’t actually capable of changing anything physical within our bodies then and there, but what fitness devices like smart watches have the power to do is provide information that could change the brain’s way of thinking, and what it tells the body it can do in that instant. Telling us we’re closer than we thought, or just providing that reminder that we’re in it. ‘For years it was thought that fatigue came from the muscles – that we reached exhaustion when our bodies ran out of energy, like a car running out of fuel,’ Amit says. ‘We now know that it comes from the brain – our
40 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
USE YOUR BRAIN TO BOOST YOUR BODY
‘For years it was thought that fatigue came from the muscles... we now know that it comes from the brain – our endurance is limited only by how much work the brain thinks it has done’
endurance is limited only by how much work the brain thinks it has done.’ This is also known as its perception of effort, which explains why some days our bodies feel invincible compared with others. Your brain is capable of being tricked, and if you learn the right tools, then you can undoubtedly take your body further.
TRAIN YOUR CONCENTRATION MUSCLE To better understand this trickery of the brain, just take a look at some of the methods you probably already use. Talking to yourself using positive wording like ‘you can do this!’ or tricking your body into going ‘just a bit further’, for example. You might’ve heard people refer to willpower as though it’s a muscle that can be trained – this is a similar concept. ‘Research suggests that if you practise forcing yourself to keep doing something really boring, you’ll get better at forcing yourself to keep running, cycling or swimming,’ reveals Amit. ‘You’ll train your “concentration muscle”.’ You can also use visualisation – a popular method that lots of athletes use that involves imagining how you would like to perform in an ideal situation. ‘This
process works because visualising yourself doing something uses the same neurons and pathways in the brain as actually performing the skill itself,’ Amit says. ‘So if you want to smash that weights session and see the numbers go up on the plates, then really see yourself smashing that last rep before you even get to it. Want to run 5K in the fastest time you’ve ever managed? Visualise it. ‘The brain works a bit like a muscle – when two neurons in the brain fire together, the connection between them gets stronger.’ Amit adds. ‘This is how you learn new skills, and it’s why practice makes perfect.’ The more you practise the tools outlined in The Athletic Brain the more you’ll benefit from them – like any new skill, you learn until it eventually becomes natural. ‘As we get better it becomes more automatic, and we can do it alongside something else – the same way you can listen to the radio or have a conversation while driving.’ While we might not be going for gold on a world-class platform in front of millions, we do still feel nerves – perhaps before a PT session you know is going to take you out of your comfort zone, or in the lead-up to a race where you’re trying to achieve a PB – that can hamper our performance. The best way to deal
with this, according to Amit, is to learn how to control the adrenaline that causes this nervousness. In fact, athletes use these nerves to their advantage to get ‘in the zone’ all the time, so we can too. ‘Recognise the symptoms of adrenaline,’ advises Amit. ‘The increased heart rate, the dry mouth – and take a few deep breaths. This will release a more calming cocktail and help turn the nerves into something constructive.’
FIND OUT MORE! The Athletic Brain: How Neuroscience Is Revolutionising Sport And Can Help You Perform Better by Amit Katwala (Simon & Schuster, £16.99) is available to WF readers for a special price of £14.99 with free UK P&P. To order, please call The EFC Bookshop with your credit/debit card details on 01872 562327 or order online at efcbookshop.com You may also send a cheque or postal order along with your details to ‘Athletic Brain Offer’, PO Box 200 Falmouth TR11 4WJ.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 41
Poseyourway through PMS Move through your time of the month with ease thanks to this PMS-easing yoga workout
hile some of us suffer with pre-menstural syndrome like cramps, mood swings and muscle aches far worse than others, one thing’s for sure: each and every month, that visit from Mother Nature rears its ugly head in some form. Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing when it comes to your time of the month (we much prefer duvet days and box sets, to be honest), but a relaxing, restorative and rejuvenating yoga sequence might be just what you need – especially if it’s designed to ease those pesky PMS symptoms. ‘Practising these yoga poses can increase the blood flow to different areas of the body and start moving stagnant energy around,’ explains London-based yoga teacher and co-founder of East of Eden yoga studio, Naomi Costantino.
‘The nervous system can start to rebalance, with this having a knock-on effect on the endocrine system, helping to regulate hormones.’ And of course we don’t need to tell you twice about the calming, de-stressing benefits of taking some time out on the mat when things seem a bit too much. Next time PMS hits you like a ton of bricks, try this sequence and feel that anxiety float away.
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HOW TO DO IT Move through each pose at your own pace, holding for the time recommended for each move. Take your time coming in and out of poses.
DOWNWARD DOG WHY? This pose is great for irritability and anxiety as it calms the nervous system down. It can also relieve the symptoms of headache and lower-back pain. Technique ➤ Start on the floor on your hands and knees with your hands slightly forward of your shoulders and your knees under your hips. ➤ Spreading your hands, index fingers parallel, tuck your toes under. On an exhale, lift your knees off the floor. ➤ Try at first to keep your knees slightly bent and your
heels raised. This allows your spine to fully lengthen. From here, think about lifting your sitting bones up towards the ceiling. ➤ Then with your next exhale breath, push your thighs back and allow your heels to stretch toward the floor as your knees start to straighten. ➤ Allow your shoulders to draw away from your ears, creating space for your neck. Position your head between your upper arms to avoid it hanging – this allows the full length of your spine to stay aligned. Breathe steady inhales and exhales for 30 seconds to a minute.
Think about pulling up your quadriceps to protect the knee joint and take your emphasis of the pose to the back, away from the shoulders and the wrists
‘Practising these yoga poses can increase the blood flow to different areas of the body and start moving stagnant energy around’
WIDE-LEGGED STANDING FORWARD BEND WHY? This pose eases cramps, headaches and lower back pain by allowing energy to flow through your body. Technique ➤ Start standing in a wide stance. Check your feet are both in line and parallel, and place your hands on your hips. Inhale, lift your chest and exhale. Keeping the length in your spine, fold from your hip joints towards the floor. As you start to approach the floor, allow your hands to support you by taking them onto the floor directly below your shoulders. ➤ Keeping your legs active and the length in your spine, breathe into the back of your body, with special attention on your
lower back, allowing yourself to relax into the pose. If you can, rest the crown of your head on the floor or on a support. ➤ You can stay in the pose from 30 seconds up to one minute – whatever feels good for your body. To come out of the pose, press into your feet, activating your legs, and start to roll up your spine, vertebra by vertebra, and bring your hands back to your hips.
Keeping your head relaxed as you roll up, enjoy the stretch along your spine
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 43
GET THE LOOK
CLOTHING: Roxy bra, £40, roxy-uk.co.uk; Lorna Jane leggings, £89, lornajane.co.uk KIT: Mat, agoy.co.uk
SAFETY TIP Ensure your front knee joint isn’t overshooting the ankle joint
WARRIOR II WHY? This pose is activating and energising. It’s an uplifting and positive way to balance out depression and fatigue. Technique ➤ Step your feet out into a wide stance, arms parallel to the floor and actively reaching out to the sides. Slide your shoulder blades back and down with
PIGEON POSE SAFETY TIP Make sure your hips are square and your bodyweight is centred
WHY? This pose is nourishing and nurturing. It allows you to release and surrender to all those emotions. Technique ➤ Begin on the floor on all fours, sliding your left knee forward to the back
of your left wrist, your left shin under your body and your left foot to the front of your right knee. ➤ With the outer left shin resting on the floor, fully extend the right leg back. ➤ Make sure your back leg is straight and the top of the right thigh is heavy
CAMEL POSE WHY? This pose is an activating and energising backbend. It’s an uplifting and positive way to balance out depression and fatigue. Technique ➤ Kneeling on the floor with your knees hip-width apart, place your hands on your
lower back, pointing down. Find a slight lift in your glutes. ➤ Start the backbend by lifting up through the centre of your chest and breathing into the front of your hips, so you don’t collapse into your lower back. To keep your neck supported as you go back, pull the chin into your chest.
44 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
➤ If possible, take one
hand back at a time and hold your ankles, taking the back bend deeper. If you can’t, support yourself with hands on your lower back. ➤ Take deep inhales and exhales from 30 seconds to a minute before supporting yourself out of the position and taking child’s pose to rest.
Keep lifting and extending your neck so it stays aligned with the spine
your palms facing the floor. Turn your right foot out to the right, and then align your heels. ➤ Allow the top of your right thigh to turn out as the top of your left thigh slightly turns in and drops into your pelvis. Exhale and bend your right knee over your right ankle. ➤ Keeping the sides of your torso equally lengthened,
on the floor.
➤ From here start to
walk your arms forward, bringing your body forward to a point that feels comfortable to both rest and stretch in. If it’s available to you, bring your head down to the floor or a cushion and close your eyes.
stretch your arms away from the centre of your mid-back, keeping your arms parallel to the floor. Your tailbone will lengthen down and your head turns to look over your right hand along your fingers. Breathe steady inhales and exhales for 30 seconds to one minute, and then repeat on the other side.
➤ Staying in the pose
for 30 seconds to a minute, take some deep inhales and exhales. Start to gently come out of the pose and change to the other leg. It can feel nice to go into child’s pose to transition between switching sides.
WHY? This pose eases cramps, headaches and lower-back pain by allowing energy to flow through your body.
sitting bones as you can. Exhale then, pressing into your feet, lift your buttocks off the floor, allowing you to clasp your hands underneath you, lengthening your arms away from your shoulders. ➤ On your next exhale, lift your buttocks right up, coming
Technique ➤ Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor, bringing your heels as close to your
into the full bridge pose, keeping your knees directly over your heels and feet parallel. ➤ Making sure your chin is lifted slightly away from your chest, breathe steadily for 30 seconds to a minute, then slowly roll down the spine to relax.
Place a folded towel under your shoulders if you need the support
RECLINING HAND TO BIG TOE POSE WITH SPINAL TWIST
WHY? This pose helps relieve bloating and cramps.
If you’d like a little more support, you can have your left knee bent with your foot flat on the floor
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: HENRY CARTER MODEL: HANNAH FRANKSON, WMODEL.CO.UK
➤ The next stage of this
Technique ➤ Lying on the floor, bend your right knee, bringing your right thigh in to your torso. Hug your thigh to your belly and take some deep inhales and exhales. This part of the set-up for the pose is great to help with bloating. ➤ From here, start to straighten your right leg up towards the ceiling, holding your big toe with a yogi toe lock – or, if that’s too much of a stretch, you can use a strap or a scarf to hold your foot.
pose, which will help to alleviate PMS, is to take a gentle spinal twist. Bending that right knee back into your belly, take your left hand to the outside of your right knee and start to draw that knee across your body towards the floor on your left side. To increase the twist in your spine, try keeping your right shoulder on the floor and extending that right arm out to the right side. This allows for a nice stretch across the chest. ➤ Allow 30 seconds to a minute in each stage of this pose and then switch to the other leg.
BOUND ANGLE POSE WHY? This pose is nourishing and nurturing, allowing you to fully relax and let go. Technique ➤ Sitting, with bent legs, exhale and lower your torso down to the ground. From here allow the soles of your feet to touch as your legs turn out and knees open towards the floor. Stretch your
arms to the sides, resting on the floor with palms facing up. Close your eyes. ➤ This is a deeply restorative pose, so don’t worry about how far your knees come towards the floor. It’s about letting go, surrendering and watching the breath. ➤ As this is the end of your practice and such a restorative
pose, you can stay and relax here for up to 10 minutes depending on how much time you have and how it feels. When you’re ready to come out, use your hands to press your thighs together, then roll over onto one side and gently push yourself away from the floor, keeping your head relaxed as you rise.
If you would like some support for the knees, you can place yoga blocks underneath them to really allow yourself to relax into the pose
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 45
The onearm row
e absolutely love training our upper body here at WF, but we also know how easy it is to focus primarily on pushing exercises like press-ups and shoulder presses. Pulling exercises are extremely important to work on the oftenneglected back muscles, but strength and conditioning trainer at Train2Win, Dan Lawrence, says that’s not all the one-arm row is good for.
While it primarily targets the muscle groups in the upper, middle and lower back, it’s certainly not just a one-trick pony. ‘Because of the unilateral aspect of the move, and the fact that you’re working one side at a time, there’s a high level of trunk stability involved in this exercise, too,’ he explains. ‘With the load being on one side of the body and gravity acting as a downwards force, you’ll also be getting
great anti-rotational core benefits.’ It also improves your grip – a must in the gym. ‘Grip strength is often a weak link for lifters,’ adds Dan. ‘Do this move and you’ll notice a positive crossover on the pull-up and deadlift.’
THE ONE-ARM ROW
MEET OUR EXPERT
Areas trained: BACK, BICEPS, CORE, SIDES
Technique ➤ To get in your starting position, place one hand on a bench for support with that arm straight, feet shoulder-width apart and back straight. In your other hand, hold a dumbbell at arm’s length below you with your palm facing inwards. ➤ Keeping your core still, row the dumbbell up. ➤ Hold and squeeze in this position. ➤ Return to the start and repeat all reps on one arm before switching sides.
46 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
SAFETY TIP Focus on maintaining a neutral head and spine position throughout
Dan Lawrence is an award-winning personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach to international boxer George Groves, as well as models including Stephen James (@whoiselijah) ( and Rosie Jones ((@1RosieJones). Check out Dan’s Instagram pages @Perform365 and @Train2WinBoxing. @Train2WinBoxing Visit the website train2winboxing. com for workout videos and training information.
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: HENRY CARTER MODEL: HANNAH FRANKSON, WMODEL.CO.UK CLOTHING: NIKE BRA, £45, NIKESTORE.COM; VICTORIA’S SECRET SHORTS, £18.18, VICTORIASSECRET.COM; REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 6.0, £89.95, REEBOK.CO.UK KIT: BENCH, REEBOKFITNESS.INFO; DUMBBELL, PHYSICALCOMPANY.CO.UK
Didn’t think such a simple move could tick so many boxes? Try this out and your upper body, back and core will thank you
EXERCISE KIT YOU’LL NEED:
• Resistance band •Kettlebell • Barbell
mins to better health! Give your overall health a serious boost and reduce your risk of illness with this hard-hitting HIIT workout
ype 2 diabetes – where the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels stable within the body – can affect anyone. It can leave you feeling exhausted, wreak havoc on your weight and even make you more prone to further health issues such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Although, according to Diabetes UK, diabetes is more common in over-40s, it’s becoming increasingly problematic for younger people, too. Since being overweight is one of the most common risk factors for type 2 diabetes, simple
prevention methods include eating a healthy, balanced diet, cutting down on alcohol and getting regular exercise. If you didn’t think you had the time for a workout routine that would have enough of an impact on your risk, you might be interested in new research from the University of Leicester and the NIHR LeicesterLoughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU). Researchers have found that, when it comes to glucose regulation and insulin resistance, interval training – where short, sharp and intense
periods of exercise are interspersed with short periods of rest – is more effective compared with slow and steady or longer, moderate workouts. HIIT has become a really popular way to work out, not only due to its effectiveness in terms of maintaining a healthy weight and boosting fitness, but also because it is far more time-efficient than most workouts. As long as you go hard during the ‘work’ periods, recharge in the rest periods and keep the workout as a whole super intense, it’s easy to squeeze into a busy schedule. In fact, it will take no more than 20 minutes.
HOW TO DO IT Perform 45 seconds of the moves in circuit 1 with 15 seconds’ rest between each move. Then rest for the allotted time for your level and go back to the start to repeat for the number of sets recommended. Do the same for circuit 2.
Beginner: 3 x 45 seconds (1 minute’s rest) Intermediate: 4 x 45 seconds (30 seconds’ rest) Advanced: 4 x 45 seconds (as little rest as possible)
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 47
3-POINT RUSSIAN TWIST
Areas trained: CORE, STOMACH, SIDES Technique ➤ Sit on the floor, holding a medicine ball close to you with your feet hovering above the floor and upper body reclined. ➤ Twist your upper body
to the right, bringing the ball towards the floor, then twist the other way to reverse the motion. ➤ Now fully extend your body without letting your arms or legs touch the
floor, and take the ball overhead towards the floor. ➤ Return to the start and then immediately repeat the entire movement for the next rep.
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, CORE Technique ➤ Stand with a bench or box in front of you. ➤ Jump up onto it and land softly, then stand up straight. ➤ Jump or step back to the start and repeat.
Lift your knees as high as you can when you jump so you don’t clip the box
CLEAN AND PRESS
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, BACK, SHOULDERS, BICEPS, TRICEPS Technique ➤ Holding a barbell in front of your thighs, bend your legs for momentum, then row the barbell up towards your chin. ➤ Rotate your
grip to drop your elbows under the barbell.
48 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
➤ Push the
barbell up towards the ceiling. ➤ Reverse, then repeat.
SAFETY TIP Keep your shoulder blades engaged as you row the barbell up
SAFETY TIP Don’t let your lower back overarch
KIT YOU’LL NEED:
• Box/bench • Medicine ball • 2 x dumbbells • Barbell
GET THE LOOK
CLOTHING: Roxy bra, £40, roxy-uk. co.uk; New Balance leggings, £50, newbalance.co.uk; Asics FuseX £100, asics.co.uk KIT: Mat, agoy.co.uk; box/bench, reebokfitness.info; dumbbells, physicalcompany.co.uk
PRESS-UP RENEGADE ROW
Areas trained: CHEST, TRICEPS, BICEPS, UPPER BACK, CORE Technique ➤ Start off in a straight-arm plank position with each hand holding a dumbbell, then bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor with your elbows moving out behind you rather than to the side.
➤ Push back up to
the start, then row one dumbbell up to your side. ➤ Lower back to the start and repeat on the opposite arm for the next rep.
SAFETY TIP Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body throughout
CIRCUIT 2 BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS
Make sure your front foot is far ahead enough to allow yourself to lower as deeply as possible with comfort
Technique ➤ Stand with one foot behind you on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand, your other foot slightly further forward than your body. ➤ Bend the front leg to lower yourself down as far as comfortable, then push back up to the start and repeat. ➤ Perform the allocated reps on each leg to complete a full set.
Areas trained: CORE, SIDES Technique ➤ Start in a plank position on your forearms but with your feet together. ➤ Without losing the control in your core
or the engagement from your shoulder blades, jump both feet out wide. ➤ Jump them back in and repeat.
Don’t let your hips tilt or drop lower than the rest of your body
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 49
EXERCISE PRESS-UP BURPEE
‘Interval training is more effective than slow and steady or longer, moderate workouts at reducing your risk of diabetes’
Areas trained: CHEST, TRICEPS, CORE, GLUTES, QUADS Technique ➤ Crouch down to place your hands on the floor by your feet. ➤ Jump your feet back to bring your body into a plank position. ➤ Keeping your core strong, bend your arms to
lower your chest towards the floor. ➤ Push back up into a plank. ➤ Jump your feet back to the start. ➤ Jump up as high as you can, then land softly and go straight into another rep.
2 3 6
4 SAFETY TIP
ALTERNATING SHOULDER PRESS
Areas trained: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS Technique ➤ Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your shoulders. ➤ Extend one arm to push the dumbbell up towards the ceiling. ➤ As you lower the dumbbell back to the start, push the other up to the ceiling. ➤ Lower slowly and repeat.
50 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Keep the pace flowing to create more of a challenge
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: HENRY CARTER MODEL: HANNAH FRANKSON, WMODEL.CO.UK
Don’t let your lower back overarch when in the plank and press-up part of the move
EXERCISE In your element
Putting your body through its paces in the gym? Give tired muscles a helping hand with Solgar Magnesium Citrate – it’s essential for muscle contractions, as well as a restful night’s sleep.
Draw of the mat
Reebok’s new yoga collaboration with graffiti artist Tristan Eaton has us hitting the mats every damn day. We’re loving the bright, bold and ballsy patterns. ► From £27.95, reebok.co.uk
► £10.05 for 60, solgar.co.uk
The kit, gear and accessories we can’t get enough of this month Now you see me
Gym luxe has never looked so demure. Varley’s Shutters Black Vest is a must if you’re looking for a statement piece to nail this season’s fit look.
The Protein Works’ Rawtella is the world’s best kept secret – it’s 70% hazelnuts, while the rest is made up of only good stuff like coconut oil and raw chocolate powder. ► £11.99, theprotein works.com
Just like heaven
Through wind and rain
We don’t know which aspect of Live’s signature Heaven collection we like more: the loose but flattering fit or the urban-cool prints. Luckily, this Trophy Mist sweater has both.
Fancy yourself a bit of a winter wanderer? Don’t leave home without the Columbia OutDry Ex Gold Down Jacket, which features breakthrough technology that ensures you stay warm and dry (obvs), but also remains intact through the craziest of adventures.
► £220, blacks.co.uk
52 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV
► £60, asos.co.uk
EXERCISE POOR ✰✰✰✰✰ GOOD ✰✰✰✰✰ VERY GOOD ✰✰✰✰✰ EXCELLENT ✰✰✰✰✰ OUTSTANDING ✰✰✰✰✰
Free on Google Play and iOS, myvirtualmission.com Imagine being able to go on an adventure anywhere in the world. My Virtual Mission lets you plot a virtual route on the map, calculates the distance and it’s down to you to clock up the miles. Cycle, run or even walk to different parts of the world – My Virtual Mission will be there with you every step of the journey. What makes it stand out from other fitness apps is its ability to go beyond step and calorie counting. It is a great motivational tool: it supports long-distance activities anywhere in the world, and sets personal requirements that help
you towards your long-term fitness goals. If you are looking for a fitness app that will help you stay focused on your goals for the long run, then My Virtual Mission is your ultimate fitness accessory. What’s more is that it is completely free. STAR RATING:
✰✰✰✰✰ Molly Horne
reviews All the latest releases tried and tested for you by team WF
READER REVIEW RUNNING FREE OF INJURIES
by Paul Hobrough £18.99, amazon.co.uk An educational guide to running and a quick reference point for injury warning signs, this book seems particularly aimed at regular runners who are looking to improve their personal bests and overcome common injuries. I generally run 5K a few times a week and have taken part in a few charity 10Ks, and I
found the tips about how to avoid injury genuinely useful, with minimal jargon. There are sections for practitioners that use Latin terms and technical language, but if you’re not a physio, you can swerve these, as they’re very clearly marked. While professional athletes are quoted, there are also case studies throughout from real runners of all different ages and abilities, which makes the content relatable. With
sections for stretches, accompanied by images that are easy to follow, and chapters on specific areas of the body, from the ankle to hips, this book is a great reference to turn to if you have a problem – but by reading the ‘prehab programmes’, you can hopefully avoid having to do this in the first place! STAR RATING:
PALEO: 12 WEEKS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
by Rebecca Field £34.99, amazon.co.uk Step back yo-yo dieting – paleo is here. This book claims it will change your life in just 12 weeks with the paleo lifestyle, and really take you back to basics with clean-eating. The dieting plan in this book is not some made-up formula: it has well-thoughtthrough plans with three meals per day plus snacks, so you don’t have to starve yourself to feel good! All of the ingredients are easily sourced and the recipes give you a varied but rich diet. However, these recipes are very easy to prepare, so if you love a cooking challenge, this may not be the one for
MY VIRTUAL MISSION APP
you. While the book is pricey at £34.99, it’s basically two books in one, as it also explains the whole paleo lifestyle and gives you tips on exercise, sleep and stress too. STAR RATING:
Track your progress by uploading workout videos on the gaming app, Fiitizens. Other ‘players’ rate your posts to improve your ranking – or you can just follow others’ fitness journeys. ► Free on iOS, fiitizens.com
Emma Streets, Leeds December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 53
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sports 58 START WINTER RIGHT 60 THE GREAT OUTDOORS 62 SNOW-GO AREAS 66 GET SET FOR THE SLOPES 70 ICE-COOL STYLE
ALL WHITE NOW As the chill rolls in, itâ€™s tempting to curl up with a hot water bottle and cup of cocoa. But getting out there and braving the elements can have a mountain of benefits, from boosting your mood to offsetting those festive indulgences. Hats and gloves at the ready, folks!
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 57
WINTER SPORTS SPECIAL
Start right! Start the cold-spell the way you mean to go on – healthily and actively
‘That winter weight gain isn’t going to suddenly disappear overnight, so think how good you’ll feel on that Ibiza trip in July if you start prepping in the cold months’ 58 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
ust because the mercury’s dropped doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to hang up your boots and hibernate. Working out in the winter actually offers a wealth of health benefits. Far from frozen fingers and dark, miserable workout sessions, exercising through the cooler months can actually prevent winter-related conditions such as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and burn more calories, thereby boosting your mood and keeping any weightgain at bay. Read on to discover why working out in the winter could be your best decision yet...
You don’t end up a sweaty mess
If you’re part of the group of people who prefer to get their workout ticked off before the day properly starts, winter actually gives you the upper hand as you’re much less likely to end up sweaty and red-faced, no matter how hard you work. ‘Winter means you can run to work without turning up a mess!’ explains Zoe Toumazos, personal trainer at 1Rebel. ‘Whether it be all the way or stepping off the train or bus a few stops early, you can run to work without turning up bright red and feeling a total state. You’ll just have a natural blush!’
It’s great for weight-loss
Ever heard the tip that sleeping with your window open at night helps you lose weight? Although slightly exaggerated, your body does indeed burn more calories in the cold, as your body works more vigorously to keep you warm. ‘Your heart, lungs and circulatory system have to work harder in cold
weather to reach and maintain optimum temperature and to cope with the challenge,’ says Zoe. So not only is the winter great for weight-loss, you’ll also be strengthening your body’s systems. ‘But that doesn’t mean you can stand outside in a sports bra and call it a workout!’
It’s the perfect time to find your summer body
If you want to look great in time for summer, winter is the time to start. Beginning in winter allows you plenty of time to follow a consistent, healthy and realistic routine – and the extra time affords you a few slip-ups. ‘Over-indulged over Christmas and new year?’ asks Zoe. ‘That weight gain isn’t going to suddenly disappear overnight, so think how good you’ll feel on that Ibiza trip in July if you start in the cold months.’ Starting early also means you can get into good habits. ‘By continuing to exercise you’ll also be in a routine once that sunshine comes back out in summer and you’ll feel even more confident about your body!’ agrees Farah Fonseca, PT and holder of the Strongest Woman in England title.
You’ll beat the winter blues!
‘Endorphins make you happy,’ says Zoe. ‘Exercise releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body and can raise your mood. Similarly, exercise can reduce stress levels and anxiety, and help combat SAD.’ Indeed in Sweden, where they experience some of the coldest, darkest and longest winters on the planet, over
half of the population undertake regular cardiovascular activity during these periods, a practice that has helped to prevent SAD. ‘The shift from the sunny weather we get in the summer to the darker mornings and evenings in the winter can sometimes put a strain on our moods, explains Farah. ‘Some people commute and work long hours so never end up seeing the sunlight. Exercising either before or after work can increase the endorphins (feel-good hormones) being produced within the brain in order to keep that smile on your face!’
You’ll build a tolerance for the cold If you spend the majority of winter wearing more layers than you can count and constantly complaining about the cold, exercising outside can actually help build up your tolerance. While getting outside may be the last thing you want to do, after a few minutes of exercise you will be warm and, over time, your body will adjust and become accustomed to such temperatures.
It gets you out of the house
‘We tend to sit on the sofa more during winter – and go for walks far less,’ says Zoe. ‘If your friends are all staying in to save money pre- or post-christmas, it’s the perfect excuse to get out of the house!’ Still not feeling it? ‘That being said, grey skies and pouring rain aren’t very inviting so if you’re stuck, work out at home with a DVD or the multitude of YouTube workouts available,’ she continues.
WORDS: ERICA BUSH PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
DID YOU KNOW? If you think over-indulging throughout the festive season will be easy to rectify, think again. ‘What people forget, or probably don’t even realise, is that when we gain weight due to a calorie surplus, we create more fat cells to store fat molecules as energy. Fat cells never disappear; we can burn the stored fat within the cells, but the cells themselves remain,’ explains PT Callum Melly. ‘Therefore, if we gain fat and then lose it, it is always possible to easily put it back on again.’
Don’t be afraid of the cold! What’s the best way to exercise outside in the winter? Having become the youngest woman from the UK to climb Everest at the tender age of 22, Bonita Norris knows a thing or two about working out in cold conditions. Here are her tips: ROAD RUNNING can be a safer bet than trail running in the darker months, so think about switching to tarmac – although you do have to be more careful about injuries as road running can have more impact on the joints. Don’t forget reflective clothing, too! WHEN I RUN MY MOTTO IS ‘Be bold – start cold.’ You don’t need much kit. I only allow myself long leggings and a top with no gloves, hat or extra layers. Start out steady and within 20 minutes you will be warm. BUT DO TAKE EXTRA LAYERS if you’re going more than half an hour away from home. Back-up clothes and money for a taxi are a good idea on icy or wet nights. WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN are more important in colder months. You need a deep warm-up when your muscles are cold, as not much blood is there. PERSONAL SAFETY is an issue in the winter months, and women may feel more vulnerable. I never run after 8.30pm. It’s not just about the dark but also how much traffic is around. GET A TRAINING BUDDY for morale and safety. There are amazing adventures to be had with other people.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 59
WINTER SPORTS SPECIAL
The great outdoors It’s time to get outside and banish ideas of hibernation – the snow is actually a playground for fitness fanatics
o you think winter is prime time for a Netflix addiction? Or maybe the cold weather is turning your local gym into your new best friend? Well don’t forget that the snow, ice and cooler weather provide the perfect backdrop for a number of activities that can’t always be enjoyed at any other time of the year. Not only is exercising al fresco better for you, but there is also a lot of fun to be had – which is why Team WF are making the most of it. So what activities are at the top of our winter to-do list this year?
CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING £
To mix up your running routine, how about hitting the trails with cross-country running? ‘If you fancy a change or you’re a fair-weather skier, then grab your trail running shoes and hit the cross-country skiing paths,’ suggests Mark Healy, CEO of Mark Healy Fitness Management, a specialist health and fitness company. ‘Safely marked out with manicured snow, this undulating course will work your cardiovascular system hard.’ Not only does the glittering scenery make a wonderful change to your usual road running, cross-country running is also available to anyone at any time, with kit getting as (un)fancy as a good pair of trail shoes. The trick to nailing it? Don’t burn yourself out. ‘You need to start slow and continue slow as your lungs and the rest of your body acclimatise to the temperature and altitude,’ advises Mark.
With lightweight cushioning, flexibility and protection, these Vazee Summit Trail running shoes from New Balance will make the perfect cross country running companion. ● £90, newbalance.co.uk
60 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
If you haven’t been skiing or snowboarding yet, the feeling is hard to describe, but the benefits are obvious, both physically and mentally. ‘There’s no better feeling than living and training in the mountains surrounded by totally blue skies and sunshine along with that excitability of being on top of the world, shredding the piste and throwing tricks in the snow park with your team mates,’ says pro GB Snowboarder and Bio-Synergy ambassador Gary Bartlett. And even if you’re not in the mountains, there are plenty of ways to pretend you are. ‘Getting involved is simple: visit your local dry or indoor slope for lessons and all your equipment needs can be available for hire,’ Gary continues.
These Nike Transition goggles are techy enough to keep us safe on the snow and cool enough to complete our chic snowboarder look. ● £249.90, transitions.com/en-gb
A popular pastime in the Alps, snow-shoeing offers the perfect time out from the piste. All you need for this day of adventure is a pair of snow-shoes, which can be easily hired from ski shops. These are then attached to your walking boots, providing spikes and grips to support you on the snow. Pack a picnic and a hot drink and spend an active day in the Alpine air exploring the mountains at your own pace.
Snow-shoe hire can get pricey if you’re planning on doing it regularly, so invest in your own pair with these Inuit 450s from Quechua. ● £49.99, Decathlon
With a host of rinks cropping up in the coolest of locations – particularly around Christmastime – here’s a winter activity you can try without hopping on a plane to the mountains. And while you may associate the pastime with messing about with your mates when you were 12, ice-skating actually boasts a whole score of benefits. ‘Ice-skating predominantly targets your lower body and core, engaging both as you try to manoeuvre gracefully around the rink,’ says Mark. ‘Balance is constantly tested as you change direction or avoid others so you can’t help but use your core as well as your adductors (inside leg) and abductors (outside leg).’ But the physical benefits don’t stop there. Who knew ice-skating was also a great bum workout? ‘You will also be blasting all three of your glutes (maximus, medius and minimus) which can never be a bad thing,’ says Mark.
Great for beginners and the super-fit alike, everyone will love the body and mind benefits of zipping down hills in the great outdoors. Fresh mountain air and the winter sun combined with a lack of phone signal make the mountains a wonderful place to switch off, but it’s also the epitome of working out without realising – burning as many as 400 calories an hour. ‘Skiing uses loads of major muscle groups in unison while challenging and improving your balance, flexibility and coordination,’ explains Harriet Coton from Faction Skis. ‘You are in a constant, dynamic squat position, rising and falling as you turn and using your leg muscles to bend the ski and press it into the snow. This gives your thighs and bum a comprehensive workout, and works your core as you keep your stability on an uneven surface, sometimes at considerable speed.’
WORDS: ERICA BUSH PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
When thermals look this good, you’ll hardly want to wear anything else. We love this Scandi Ski Seamless LS Top from Sweaty Betty. ● £80, Sweaty Betty
Avoid injury if you fall with these cute Avalanche Gloves from Madison. ● £29.99, madison.cc
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING £££
Looking for a real cardio fix? Crosscountry skiing is seriously tough-going, but the panoramic scenery is sure to spur you on. ‘Cross-country skiing is one of the most intensive cardio exercises available, and even more so if you haven’t mastered the correct technique!’ says Mark. ‘It’s great for the lower body, with the hip flexors, adductors and abductors working overtime with your quads and bum. It also blasts all of the upper body with your arms and shoulders becoming an important asset at the smallest of inclines.’
A day out in the mountains calls for warming sustenance. Stash a restorative drink in this Corkcicle Canteen and keep it hot for up to 12 hours. ● £17.99, root7.com
NORDIC WALKING £
Nordic walking is a popular practice in Scandi countries, where they experience some of the coldest, longest winters in the world. Labelled ‘a total body version of walking’, the activity involves walking with specially designed walking poles similar to the ones you’d find skiing. ‘Nordic walking is a great exercise for all ages and abilities that can be performed at any time, in any place and in most conditions,’ explains Mark. ‘When performed correctly, this works the heart and lungs as well as the shoulders, as you raise the arms forward to initiate the drive with the poles. Using your legs to drive yourself forward with a slightly longer stride also helps to elongate any tight muscle fibres.’ With such vast health benefits, you may be fooled into thinking it’s an activity reserved only for the super-fit, but this is not the case. ‘Having the use of two lightweight poles is also good for confidence for those recovering from an injury or just for balance on uneven terrain,’ continues Mark.
POLE IN ONE
Take your hiking to the next level with the Nordic Walker Trainer poles from Exel. ● £84.95, exelpoles.co.uk
ICE CLIMBING £££
Not for the faint-hearted, ice climbing is a great – if gruelling – full-body workout. ‘Body strength, flexibility, control and precision – all these are being put to the test under extreme conditions,’ says Mark. ‘All limbs and associated muscle groups are working hard from the moment you start. However, after the unusual positioning of the legs as you reach for the next step, or arms and shoulders as your try to drive the axe into the solid ice, you may end up questioning your current training and flexibility programme!’
This demanding sport requires a lot of kit, so keep everything safe in this Upslope 20L rucksack from Thule. ● £110, thule.com
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 61
WINTER SPORTS SPECIAL
Snow-go areas! Planning to hit the slopes this winter? Here are the coolest resorts you might not know about...
‘Super-cool Laax enjoys sunny winters and extended seasons due to its glacier and height. But with 19 mountain restaurants, eight snow bars, and a trendy yet unpretentious vibe, it wasn’t just the skiing that caught our eye’ 62 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
BEST FOR FAMILIES AVORIAZ, FRANCE
Avoriaz, nestled in the middle of France’s largest linked area Portes du Soleil, may not be blessed with the same charm as other ski resorts, but it’s certainly one of the most functional for families. Boasting a car-free village (you and your luggage are transported to the resort by snowcat or horse-drawn sleigh), it’s the only truly pedestrianised ski resort in France. Ski-in/ski-out accommodation makes life even easier, and at an altitude of 1,800 metres, it’s the most snow-sure ski area in the vicinity. Safety, reliability and convenience? It’s a paradise for parents.
Childcare with a difference
Central to the resort is the award-winning Le Village des Enfants, run by ex-downhill champion Annie Famose. Here you can expect a chalet full of activities, Disney characters and special children’s slopes to name but a few assets. For the days where boredom and frustration set in, off the slopes is Aquariaz – a subtropical waterpark built within a huge glass dome at the top of the mountain. With indoor and outdoor pools, a lazy river, an aquatic half-pipe and water-slides, all situated among lush vegetation and rocks, you could almost forget you were in the Alps. For youngsters looking to hone their skills, there’s a British-run ski school, Avoriaz Alpine Ski School, offering lessons in English. For adventurous little ones, there’s the Lil’Stash, a mini version of one of the resort’s popular parks, which is specially designed for younger children. To earn extra brownie points with the kids, book a holiday while one of the many high-profile contests are in town and spend an afternoon watching the pros with a hot chocolate (or vin chaud) in hand.
But the fun isn’t just for the kids
Being part of the Portes du Soleil region, which boasts 650K of lift-linked pistes, it’s safe to say the skiing area on offer here is huge. Enjoy a particular wealth of great blues and reds around Avoriaz, ski over the border to Switzerland, or explore the neighbouring areas of Morzine and Les Gets by catching a gondola. Fantastic off-piste conditions make Avoriaz a great place to break from the slopes and the five permanent parks, boardercross and super-pipe are a playground for big kids!
With some 25 restaurants, Avoriaz provides a wealth of variety for the whole family. Visit Le Fangle for your fondue-fix,
enjoy a night of jollity at Le Bistro with tasty menu options and live saxophone jazz, or visit the cosy Chalet d’Avoriaz for friendly staff and good value fare. Furthermore, a number of supermarkets on-site make light work of self-catering if you’re looking to ease the budget. With bowling, dog sledding and outdoor skating also on offer, children and parents alike are sure to be sufficiently entertained.
Book it: For more information, visit avoriaz.com/en. Return flights from Gatwick to Geneva start from £59.
BEST FOR SCENESTERS LAAX, SWITZERLAND
Two hours south-east of Zürich lies Laax, a resort once favoured by loyal locals but one that is slowly working its way up the ranks thanks to a rather different stance on the snow scene. Previously known as Flims Laax Falera – the three towns that make up the ski area - the super-cool resort enjoys sunny winters and extended seasons due to its glacier and height (70 per cent of the slopes are between 2,000 and 3,000 metres above sea level). But with 19 mountain restaurants, eight snow bars and a trendy yet
unpretentious vibe, it wasn’t just the skiing that caught our eye.
Laax and neighbouring Flims share a ski area that is one of Switzerland’s biggest, offering up 235K of ski slopes. While the skiing is extensive the resort’s investment in the freestyle scene is what really sets it apart. With the biggest half-pipe in the world, four unique snow parks with no less than 89 obstacles, and a progressive, indoor freestyle academy complete with trampolines, ramps and sponge pits, Laax is a haven for skiers and snowboarders looking to raise their game. It’s no surprise then that high-profile events such as the European Freeski Open – which we were lucky enough to witness – chose Laax as its host this year for the ninth year running. Freestyle craziness aside though, Laax’s extensive network of green, blue, red and black runs make it perfect for all abilities. And despite its credentials, it is still lesser-known than other resorts. While this is slowly changing, for now it’s relished, as the lack of tourists also equals a refreshing lack of queues and busy lifts.
Too cool for school
And it’s not just its freestyle roots that make Laax the coolest place to be seen this season. We love the way the whole
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 63
WINTER SPORTS SPECIAL
Many consider Laax to be lacking in nightlife considering its hidden-gem status. However, high-profile events and its popularity with pro skiers and boarders have seen Laax’s après scene grow and now its main nightclub, Riders Palace, attracts punters from as far as Zürich. There’s Café NoName, a lively hub 2,222 metres above sea level with panoramic mountain views; Indy Bar, a small but cosy watering hole at the bottom of the slopes where revellers play Alpine drinking games involving hitting nails into a chunk of wood with a hammer (yes, seriously); and Nooba, a pan-Asian restaurant serving one of the best yakisobas we’ve ever had – and they all demonstrate the scope of Laax’s appeal.
out a little this winter, Gstaad, is a resort worth keeping on your radar. A favourite destination among the rich, famous and even royalty, Gstaad oozes grandeur and sophistication. Home to the most expensive school in the world and some of the swankiest 5* hotels, the affluent village is a world away from the noise and overcrowdedness that you’d find at the average ski resort. And that’s no refection on snowfall level or the quality of the slopes either: being the only glacier ski region in the Bernese Oberland means that skiers and boarders can enjoy Gstaad Mountain Rides’ 220K of runs from the end of October through to the beginning of May.
Plenty to see
The slopes offer a good mix of blue, red and black runs with gentle tree-lined routes for beginners in Wispile and curves, bowls and jumps for the thrill seekers at Reidenburg. The snow park also features a unique Funslope that consists of tunnels, bridges and snail-shaped sections to add some playfulness to your Alpine adventure. But if you tire of the altitude, there’s just as much to discover in Gstaad off-piste. A haven for culture-lovers, the region is renowned for its art galleries that showcase both regional and international work. But if you prefer to admire (or buy) expensive, designer goods, head to the village promenade where you’ll be surrounded by high-end labels.
Glitz and glamour
Looking like something out of a fairytale, the Gstaad Palace is no doubt one of the main attractions. The chic country-styled hotel
Book it: For more information on the
GreenGo club. We also love the luxurious Grand Park Hotel. But if you’re after more affordable acommodation, it is available, despite appearances! Idyllic but value-for-money lodgings include ski-in ski-out cabins at the Hamilton and Saanewald Lodge, where you can rest beneath the stars and live true to the Gstaad Motto: ‘Come up, slow down’.
resort, visit laax.com. Fly from Gatwick to Zürich from £67 return. Prices for a two-bedroom apartment at Rocks Resort start from around £1,185.
BEST FOR LUXURY GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND
BEST FOR A BUDGET SÖLL, AUSTRIA
Grand Hotel Park, double room from 430 CHF (approx £340) per night, gradparkhotel.com
If you’re looking for something different or fancy pushing the boat Luxury at Powder White
Powder White’s perfect perch
counts Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Grace Kelly among many of their famous guests. But you don’t have to be a guest yourself to experience the opulence that the grand hotel has to offer. The ‘palace’ is home to four restaurants including Le Grill Rotisserie and the renowned La Fromagerie, where you can enjoy a delicious cheese fondue. And if it doesn’t quite feel like the end of the night just yet, you can party away in the hotel’s stylish 64 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Sometimes going budget is a step into the unknown, but for a reliable bet, head to Söll in the Austrian Tirol and spend a week cruising the reassuring runs of the SkiWelt area, which boasts over 250K of satisfying pistes, one of the best lift systems and over 70 mountain restaurants. A quaint, friendly village bypassed by the main valley road, Söll’s compact core offers traditional chalet-style buildings and a pretty church. Shadowed in fame by its glitzy neighbour Kitzbühel, Söll embodies the typical Austrian ski experience for a much cheaper price.
The vast SkiWelt area is Austria’s largest fully
WORDS: ERICA BUSH, LISA NGUYEN PICTURES: LAAX, M PILSTRAND; AVORIAZ TOURISME, PASCAL GOMBERT; JOSEF MALLAUN AND ST-ANTON; POWDER WHITE; GRAND HOTEL PARK; SHUTTERSTOCK
place is turning eco, extending to solar panels at all new lift stations and enforcing a strict policy of zero waste. Laax’s latest upgrade, Rocks Resort, takes the charm of a traditional mountain resort into the modern day with an unrivalled youthful and laid-back style. Comprising seven stone cubes filled with 102 apartments, with shops, bars and restaurants dotted in-between, the now-central ski-in/ ski-out hub is designed to reflect local materials, with buildings made with slate sourced from boulders that were strewn through the region by a colossal landslide some 10,000 years ago. Even Laax’s ski lifts have the edge: forget ancient drag lifts and slow two-seaters; here you can expect heated seats and pull-down hoods on the majority of chairs. Not forgetting the La Siala 10-seater Gondola – part of a 10-year project labelled a ‘revolution on the mountain’ and designed by Pininfarina (whose long-standing customers include Ferrari and Maserati) – which rotates outwards to give you a better view of the mountains. You can’t say they don’t treat you.
A room with a view at Grand Park Hotel
Val d’Isere is a great place to explore when the sun goes down
linked network and therefore offers plenty of scope to keep everyone happy, although the resort has been said to cater best for intermediates. Indeed if you’re looking for a gritty black slope to tackle, this may not be the place for you. But for a week of varied, cruising slopes – the majority of which are tree-lined for those who prefer their skiing a little more picturesque – here you’ll be in for a treat. Local slopes are north-facing so they keep their snow relatively well and the resort has more recently invested in great artificial help to combat its low height. While the slopes are a little way from the main cluster of hotels (about 1K), hiring a car or making use of the ski bus is a small price to pay for what is otherwise great-value skiing.
Söll may be small, but the après scene isn’t. With cheap beer, live music and a guaranteed good atmosphere, you may well be missing that first lift up the mountain the next morning. However the resort has come a long way from its lager-lout days and while nightlife is still thriving, it’s certainly not as raucous. Après generally begins at the gondola base station in bars Moonlight and Hexenalm before continuing at the resort’s most popular evening haunts, which include the Red Horse Inn and the Söll-famous Whiskey Mühle disco.
Book it: A double with breakfast at the
Apartments Sport Mayr (sportmayr.info) costs
from £23 a night. The Kitzbüheler Alpen AllStarCard, £188 for six days. Fly EasyJet Gatwick to Innsbruck from £208 return.
BEST WITH FRIENDS VAL D’ISERE, FRANCE
If your friends are as keen as you to take to the mountains this winter, there’s no resort more perfect than Val d’Isere. A favourite among the cool crowd, the hotspot is home to 10,000 hectares of ski space that includes two glaciers, two snow parks and 300K of runs. The resort has proved a spectacular setting for some of the world’s greatest competitions and events, including the FIS Speed Skating Skiing World Cup, Frostgun (freestyle) Invitational and even the Yoga Festival. It’s a choice ski destination amongst the elite and fanatics alike but Val d’Isere isn’t just a playground for the pros. The snow park provides numerous areas for beginners with plenty of ski schools for adults, including the trusted New Generation Ski & Snowboard School. Both private and group lessons are available (all delivered in English) and typically taught in the morning so you can take full advantage of the slopes and still spend the rest of the afternoon showing off new skills to friends.
The altitude (and intense activity) tend to leave you feeling ravenous but you won’t be short of authentic restaurants to choose from. La Grande Ourse, a 1936 family establishment serves traditional French cuisine including a deliciously indulgent tartiflette which you can pair with a glass of wine from the owner’s very own vineyard in the Rhone Valley. For something a little more upscale, head higher up the mountain to La Fruitiere, Tignes. Part of the infamous (and original) La Folie Douce bar, La Fruitiere is its glamorous restaurant counterpart that you won’t want to miss. Expect modern gourmet fare, fantastic entertainment and an unbeatable view.
Group trips can be tough to arrange, let alone a ski holiday where skill levels can differ but Val d’Isere is also one of the major resorts that bespoke ski holiday service Powder White operates in. The expert service allows you to tailor your trip by filtering through options like budget, accommodation, activities, lessons, catering, ski fittings and loads more - or you can even opt for a complete package that is most suitable for the group. The handy online tool means that you’ll get the most value for your money in every aspect of the trip, making it one you won’t forget!
Beginners’ Package, from £889 per person. Visit powderwhite.com or call +44 (0)20 8877 8888 EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from Gatwick to Geneva. Fares start from £38 one-way including taxes and charges. Based on Jan 2016 travel. December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 65
WINTER SPORTS ‘Every day is gruelling, especially as skiing and snowboarding aren’t the kind of activities you can practise year-round’
Get set for the slopes Want to stay in good nick out on the slopes? Whether you’re opting for the board or a pair of skis, putting in the groundwork can pay off for your ultimate season of snow sports
now sports are no joke. Staying active and keeping muscles sharp all day, every day is gruelling, especially as skiing and snowboarding aren’t the kind of activities you can practise year-round. Many of us come back with niggling injuries or just don’t have the power and endurance to make the experience as
fun as we know it can be. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Virgin Active personal trainer Emily Cole to make sure you guys are on form before you hit the lifts this season. For at least a few weeks before your trip is due (lucky you!), do this workout two to three times a week and enjoy smooth-running outings on the snow.
HOW TO DO IT Perform 8-10 reps of each move or 30 seconds for isometric holds. Rest for 30-60 seconds depending on your level, then repeat for a total of three sets.
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KIT YOU’LL NEED:
• Box • Kettlebell • 2 x dumbbells BOX JUMP
Areas trained: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS Technique ➤ Stand in front of the box. ➤ Bend your knees and use your arms to give you momentum to jump two-footed onto the box. ➤ Land slightly squatted. ➤ Stand up straight before stepping or
jumping off the box, then prepare to repeat the move. WHY? ‘Box jumps will prepare muscles for the fast, explosive movements used in Alpine skiing and snowboarding,’ says Emily. ‘They will train fast-
Ensure your knees are tracking over your toes upon landing on the box
twitch muscle fibres – the fibres that are primarily used when skiing. The plyometric element of the jump will also prepare the body for sudden stops, therefore helping to prevent injury on the slopes.’
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS,
HAMSTRINGS Technique ➤ Holding a dumbbell in each hand, start with one foot on the box and keep it there throughout your reps. ➤ Lift your toes on the back foot (so you’re not tempted to push off that leg) and push through the front leg to get
you up onto the box. ➤ Keep your back foot in the air and hold your balance, then slowly lower it back to the floor and repeat. ➤ Perform all reps on one leg and then switch sides and repeat. WHY? ‘Single-leg step-ups will
SAFETY TIP Keep a tall, long
posture throughout target the and don’t hunch glutes and your shoulders quads – the main muscle groups used in skiing and snowboarding. If you focus on the controlled downward phase of the movement, the exercise will also prepare legs for that constant bending movement during skiing.’
Areas trained: GLUTES,
HAMSTRINGS, LOWER BACK Technique ➤ Start standing, feet shoulderwidth apart with soft knees, and hold the kettlebell in front of you with both hands in an overhand grip, arms straight. ➤ Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep a flat back as you hinge at your hips, pushing your hips back as far
as you can and keeping knees soft but not bent. Pushing your bum back should generate tension in the hamstrings as the kettlebell approaches the knees. ➤ When you can’t hinge forward any further without losing form, extend your hips and squeeze the glutes to stand
SAFETY TIP up straight back to the start and repeat.
Keep your shoulders back and don’t let your back round as you lower
WHY? ‘Strong glutes and hamstrings are essential for long days on the slopes. Deadlifts will strengthen these muscles to help with endurance and also stabilise the knee joint and prevent ACL injuries – very common in skiing.’ December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 67
WINTER SPORTS SQUAT
Technique ➤ Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart, toes pointing slightly out. ➤ Push your hips back then bend your knees. Sit back into the squat (as though you’re sitting on a chair) with a neutral spine, shoulder blades back
and down, and chest lifted. ➤ Keeping your feet firmly on the ground, lower until your hips are in line with your knees. ➤ To come back up, keep tight through your core, push up through the middle of your foot, drive your knees out and squeeze through your
glutes, then repeat.
Don’t let your knees collapse inwards – keep them tracking over your toes
WHY? ‘Skiing uses mainly eccentric contractions. If you work on the downward phase of the squat, this will prepare muscles for the eccentric load of skiing. Squatting also mimics the up/ down motions in snowboarding.’
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, CORE Technique ➤ From standing, take a large step forward with one leg. ➤ With both feet facing forward, drop your back knee down and lower your hips until your legs are bent to about 90 degrees.
➤ Drive through
your glutes on the front leg to straighten that leg and bring your back leg next to it. ➤ Repeat with your other leg stepping forward. WHY? ‘Walking lunges are a
Keep your torso upright throughout – don’t let it tilt to either side
great lower-body strength and endurance workout. Leg endurance is essential for a day on the slopes and strengthening the glutes and quads will help you to push off hard out of your turns.’
Areas trained: GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, CORE, BACK Technique ➤ Start standing, feet shoulderwidth apart with soft knees. Hold the kettlebell by the handle in front of you with both hands in an overhand grip with straight arms. ➤ Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep a flat back as you hinge at the hips, pushing your bum back and keeping your
knees soft. ➤ Let the
kettlebell drop between your legs, then in one quick movement, dynamically thrust your hips through and squeeze your glutes, allowing the bell to swing in front of you until it reaches eye level. ➤ Let gravity pull the kettlebell back down between your legs and
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continue to repeat the movement, all the while keeping tension through your core and back. WHY? ‘Like a deadlift, the kettlebell swing will increase hamstring and glute strength and endurance – the main muscles worked during skiing and snowboarding. This will again help to prevent ACL injuries.’
Don’t use your upper body to swing the kettlebell up – use the momentum created from the lower body
WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: HENRY CARTER MODEL: HANNAH FRANKSON, WMODEL.CO.UK CLOTHING: LORNA JANE BRA, £49, LORNAJANE.CO.UK; REEBOK LEGGINGS, £34.95, REEBOK.CO.UK; NIKE AIR MAX 1 ULTRA FLYKNIT, £120, NIKESTORE.COM KIT: MAT, AGOY.CO.UK; BOX & MEDICINE BALL, REEBOKFITNESS.INFO; KETTLEBELL, GORILLAFITNESS.EU
Areas trained: GLUTES, QUADS, HAMSTRINGS
Areas trained: SIDES, STOMACH Technique ➤ Holding a medicine ball or kettlebell in front of you, sit on the floor with your knees pointing towards the ceiling and torso slightly reclined. Pull the shoulder blades together and down the back, lift the chest, lean back and suck your belly button in towards the spine. If you can, lift your feet off the ground too. ➤ Holding this
V shape, twist your torso to tap the medicine ball on the floor beside you, then twist to the other side to do the same. Keep repeating this motion.
SAFETY TIP Keep your core strong to prevent your lower back from overarching
WHY? ‘Good core strength is necessary when skiing and snowboarding – it will help to prevent injury, aid balance and stance, and help you cope when skiing over more challenging levels of terrain.’
Areas trained: CORE, LOWER BACK, SIDES, STOMACH Technique ➤ Start in a plank position on your hands with your wrists underneath your shoulders. Keep tension between your shoulder blades, creating a line from your shoulders to your hips to your ankles. ➤ Lower one forearm onto the floor, followed by the other, so you are now in a forearm plank position.
➤ Leading with one
Keep your core tense and body in a straight line throughout
WHY? ‘The military plank will help to increase core strength and endurance, which is necessary for the slopes. If you increase core strength in the gym, you will be able to use the muscles more effectively when skiing and boarding.’
3 supplements to soothe your joints on the slopes
arm, push back up onto your hands and continue.
VITABIOTICS JOINTACE COLLAGEN
Formulated with glucosamine, collagen and chondroitin – all essential to keep joints happy. ►£13.25, vitabiotics.com
If you don’t like popping pills, chug one of these drinks packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which could help prevent inflammation in joints. ►£1.40 per drink, smartfishnutrition.co.uk
NATURE’S PLUS AGELOSS JOINT SUPPORT
Keep cartilage, collagen formation and connective tissue healthy with this vitaminpacked supplement. ►£41.75, revival.co.uk
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 69
● Top, £75, Falke ● Tights, £63.99, Vie Active ● Boots, £89.99, Tamaris ● Beanie, £30, Finisterre ● Goggles, £85, Adidas Sport Eyewear ● Skis, £329, Roxy
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STYLE Hit the slopes looking your glamorous best in these super-snug snow-sport pieces
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 71
Opposite page ● Jacket, £205, Billabong ● Beanie, £13.99, O’Neill ● Goggles, £125, Adidas Sport Eyewear This page ● Fleece, £34.99, O’Neill ● Leggings, £60, Sweaty Betty ● Boots, £100, Sorel ● Scarf, £29.99, O’Neill
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December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 73
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Opposite page ● Top, £60, Sweaty Betty ● Snow pants, £115, Roxy ● Goggles, £85, Adidas Sport Eyewear This page ● Vest, £120, Montane ● Ski pants, £150, Billabong ● Boots, £89.99, Tamaris ● Band, £11.99, O’Neill ● Sunglasses, £30, Quay Australia ● Skis, £329, Roxy
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 75
Cool kit STOCKISTS
● Jacket, £330, Roxy ● Top, £60, Cherie Bumble
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PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON TAYLOR MODEL: CHANTELLLE, ZONE-MODELS.COM STYLING: JOANNA KNIGHT, ERICA BUSH MAKE-UP: ALISHA BAILEY, ALISHABAILEY.NET
Adidas Sport Eyewear adidas.co.uk Billabong eu.billabong.com Cherie Bumble cheriebumble.com Falke falke.com Finisterre finisterre.com Montane montane.co.uk O’Neill oneill.com Quay Australia asos.com Roxy roxy-uk.co.uk Sorel sorelfootwear.co.uk Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com Tamaris tamaris.com Vie Active sacrednation.co.uk
Features 78 Fitness heroine 79 Power up!
Thanks to a multitude of very modern distractions disrupting our nine to five (social media, weâ€™re looking at you), weâ€™re working longer and longer hours to get it all done. Turn to page 79 to find out how to be more productive and reclaim your precious work/life balance.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 77
FEATURES ‘Theroadishard, butyou’llfind innerstrength younever knewexisted’ WF chatted to explorer Laura Bingham about her incredible challenge
St ar adve nt urer
Ta king it on e da y at a tim
dventurer Laura Bingham set out on a 1,500K ride across South America and got by with sheer perseverance, some tinned tuna and the kindness of strangers. What was your inspiration for this challenge? After I sailed across the Atlantic in 2014, having never sailed before, I received an incredible reaction from people who told me that I had inspired them. It then led me to think about what else I could do to inspire people. So I decided to cycle across South America, but take it one step further by doing it without money and to raise funds for an amazing charity called Operation South America.
and mental strength. Finding food and shelter there was impossible. How did you manage to persevere? Every day, I would just focus on getting to the end of that day and that’s how I dealt with it. Looking at the journey in its entirety was very daunting and frightening. How did you get by without any money? Through the kindness of strangers. I worked to thank people whenever I could, but some people wouldn’t let me and told me to save my energy for cycling. I found a lot of food on the side of the road too – like a box of 64 cans of tuna, which was pretty much my protein source for the majority of the trip!
How did you prepare? The most important thing is to prepare your mind. I love the phrase your body can take almost anything, it’s your mind you have to convince. But it’s important to practise beforehand with the weight – as cycling with weight makes a big difference.
You must have met some interesting people. I did, I met some amazing people with the kindest of hearts! I met a few travellers as well – like Darian from Columbia who had been living on his bike for seven years.
What was most challenging? Travelling through the Andes in the rain really challenged me and I had to dig very deep for physical
What was your biggest saviour? The knowledge that I had a house and money to come home to. It made me realise that even though
D I S C O V E R M O R E : Read more about Laura’s adventures on her website laurabingham.org If you want to make a donation, you can do so on the crowdfunder link on her Twitter or Facebook page.
78 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
I could understand what it was like for people to live without money, I could never understand how it felt to be permanently homeless. What awareness are you hoping to raise? I am trying to raise money and awareness for Operation South America, a charity that gives young girls food and shelter.* Has this challenge changed your perspective on life? I’m still processing everything, but I’ve got a better understanding of how those who are less fortunate live. I look at homeless people now and have more compassion for them. Their life must be very hard. I want to continue to inspire people to explore not only the world, but themselves. I found inner strength in me that I never knew I had, sometimes you have to test yourself to see what you’re really made of. It sounds like you’ve had an extraordinary life as an explorer so far, what’s been the highlight? When I was sailing the Atlantic, a pod of dolphins started swimming next to the boat in the middle of the night. They stirred up all the bioluminescence and left trails of glowing matter through the sea. It was beautiful. Cycling through the Amazon was also amazing, I will never forget it!
Fast talk Prized possession? My Rab down jacket – it kept me warm and was a pillow all-in-one! Life-saving snack? Bananas and maca powder. Favourite song to cycle to? Fight Song by Rachel Platten. That song got me through a lot of days.
We see you’re engaged to adventurer Ed Stafford. Are there any plans to do a challenge together? I would like to be a strong and independent explorer, so I have a few challenges I’d like to get under my belt first. Can’t have him steal my limelight, can I? What’s next? Getting married! After that I’ve got another challenge in the pipeline – keep an eye of my social media to find out what that’s going to be… Any advice for someone who would like to take on an extreme challenge? I will be honest, it’s tough, but that feeling of accomplishment at the end makes every tear worth it.
WORDS: BETH WINDSOR PICTURES: BRANDON GIESBRECHT *OPERATIONSOUTHAMERICA.ORG
Power up! Work smarter, not harder, to become the most productive version of yourself – and claim back your work/life balance
ow would you describe your usual working day? Are you drowning under a mountain of tasks and constantly fighting a tornado of emails? Or do you feel focused and calm as you breeze through the day’s chores with ease? Government statistics reveal that stress is responsible for 43 per cent of all
working days lost. With many of us working longer hours and striving to fit our personal lives around our working lives, we’re continuously navigating the blurred lines between home and work. We find it difficult to disconnect even when we’re out of the office, and without properly
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 79
FEATURES organising our working life we find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into a grey cloud of stress. Well take note: it’s time to smarten up! Experts believe that with careful planning and structure we can make the most of our working day – allowing us to clock off at 6pm feeling totally relaxed and raring for the after-hours fun stuff. Here’s our rundown of the top ways to get more done during the day.
‘Colour can have a major effect on your mood and productivity throughout the day. Blue creates the feeling of calmness and helps you focus, while red is great for work that requires accuracy and attention to detail’
YOUR PERSONALISED PRODUCTIVITY PLAN: 10 WAYS TO GET MORE DONE… IN LESS TIME
Declutter your workspace
Being efficient starts with being organised. Tidy up your working space so you don’t waste time searching for misplaced documents or important letters overflowing in your in-tray. Make sure your post doesn’t pile up, file important paperwork and get rid of any clutter. ‘Having a clutter-free environment helps you think more clearly and produce better results. It’s the best way to start the day well and end the day well,’ says lifestyle and wellness expert Sarah Jones.
Productive employees prioritise with military precision. They manage their time better by planning their daily tasks, assessing what needs to be done and how best to do it. ‘Build a daily to-do list. Think about the difference between what is urgent and what is
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important, review all the obligations on your list and do what’s important first,’ advises Sarah.
Good communication skills are paramount to working efficiently. Working as part of a team means that you need to be able to delegate tasks and be able to collaborate with your workmates. ‘Listen and engage with others, and tailor your approach to whomever you are talking to,’ says professional speaker and consumer marketing expert Janet Tarasofsky.
Being productive isn’t just about getting tasks done, it’s about getting them done well. ‘Research tells us that we spend a lot of our time thinking about something other than what we are doing and our mind wanders 30 per cent of the time,’ says Josie Seydel, co-author of Working with Mindfulness (£13.99, Pearson). Mindfulness is an effective technique to help us focus on the here and now, and with practice, just 10 minutes a day can help to rewire our brains to be more present. Check out Josie’s mini-guide to mindfulness, opposite.
Guilty of doing 10 things at once? Darting back and forth between tasks actually makes you less efficient because your brain struggles to cope with switching from one job to another. ‘Make the thing you have chosen to do the number-one priority while you’re doing it. Focus with your full attention,’ says Sarah.
Find new ways to cope with stress
Stress is one of the main causes of employee burnout, with figures from experts at the University of Cambridge revealing that over half a million Brits admit to experiencing work-related
stress to a level that they believe is making them ill. From being bombarded with emails, instant messages and buzzing mobile phones, we’re more distracted than ever, which leaves us less productive and more stressed. ‘Freeing yourself from an overbooked schedule of work gives you room to think and breathe,’ says Sarah. Don’t allow yourself to be chained to your desk. Give yourself a set window in which to trawl through emails, respond to messages and answer phone calls. Be sure to schedule mini breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs or do a quick breathing exercise to get some downtime.
MINI GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS
ING? ARE YOU BREATH thing. that you are brea ing tic no Begin by this all ing do are u yo t You should find tha ss, basis of mindfulne the time! This is the e. im yt an re, he yw e an so you can practis SE FOLLOW ITS COUR body, flowing into your th ea br ur yo tch Wa n the d an , se or mouth starting at the no it as th ea br ur yo of follow the course n to the Pay good attentio leaves the body. . ng thi ea br s of physical sensation BRING IT BACK this is ers, don’t panic – If your mind wand aring, pe ap l distractibility just your habitua ntle ge be st Ju al. d norm it is inevitable an the to your focus back but firm in guiding thing. sensations of brea VE ON ACCEPT AND MO l otions or physica em s, ht ug Any tho be w no n ca e tic no sensations you or engage with them observed; do not pear and ap m the e se st embellish them. Ju your breath. then come back to KEEP IT UP come watch your breath Allow yourself to s keeps thi ing Do . tes nu and go for a few mi and present moment, you focused on the the of are aw are d an tice every time you no g nin he you are strengt present moment n. tio tra en your conc
Clear out your inbox
There’s nothing like virtual baggage to make you feel overwhelmed. Allocate time to properly go through your inbox and sent items, deleting any clutter and junk emails. Flag up important emails and archive everything into clearly labelled folders for ease.
Brighten up your workspace
Science says the colour of your workspace affects your productivity level. A study by the University of Texas found that grey, white and beige offices were more likely to make workers feel sad or depressed, while calming blue and green lead to a better sense of wellbeing. ‘Colour can have a major effect on your mood and productivity throughout the day. Blue creates the feeling of calmness and helps you focus, while red is great for work that requires accuracy and attention to detail,’ says Sarah.
Set regular deadlines
You’ve created your to-do list and have figured out the difference between important and less important tasks, so once you’ve worked out what needs to be done, set yourself deadlines so tasks get done rather than dragging on and on. Be realistic but firm with yourself in order to stay focused and avoid time spent procrastinating.
Think of tomorrow
Before you dart out the door at 6pm, spend the last five minutes of your day planning the next day. Glance over your diary to check upcoming events or meetings and make a note of tomorrow’s key tasks, so they are fresh in your head the following morning. Then switch off for the evening!
Incorporate these simple steps into your daily routine to boost alertness DRINK WATER
The brain doesn’t function effectively when it’s dehydrated, so chug back a large glass of water first thing in the morning to set you up for the day ahead. Keep chugging back water all day, aiming for a two-litre intake to keep energy levels propped up.
HAVE A COLD SHOWER
Get rid of morning grogginess with a cool shower. Turn the temperature down to ice-cold for 30 seconds at the end. Your body responds by increasing your heart rate, which sends a rush of blood through your body that provides a big energy surge to set you up for the day ahead.
PLACE CUCUMBER OVER YOUR EYES When you look bright-eyed, you naturally feel more alert. Take two slices of cucumber and place them over each eye for 30 seconds. The nutrients in the cucumber will soothe tired eyes and help to lighten dark circles.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 81
WORDS: LOUISE PYNE PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
improve Josie’s top tips to and y or attention, mem resilience at work
WINANOVERNIGHT REVIVER BREAKFOR TWO WORTH ATRAGDALE HALL OVER Hello readers! Do you have a favourite healthy food product or drink you’d love to tell everyone about? Now’s your chance! Women’s Fitness and Health & Fitness magazines have joined forces to launch the Healthy Food & Drink Awards 2017 - voted for by you! The awards will recognise the very best food and drink products that help keep British women healthy. From cereal bars and savoury snacks to smoothies and juices, winners of the Awards will be announced in the April 2017 issues of WF and H&F. So don’t delay, vote for your top products today!
Joanna Knight & Mary Comber Women’s Fitness and Health & Fitness
Win an Overnight Reviver break for two at Ragdale Hall Nestled in the Leicestershire countryside, Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa combines state-of-theart facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture to create one of the most luxurious and relaxing health spas in the country. And we’re offering you the chance to win an Overnight Reviver break for two people in a Superior room at this award-winning spa, worth over £500. Your stay will include all meals and a relaxing 50-minute treatment. You’ll also enjoy unlimited use of all of Ragdale’s facilities, such as the multi-million-pound Thermal Spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and the magical underground Candle Pool, gym, tennis courts, and a full programme of exercise classes each day. Just cast your vote to be in with a chance to experience some of the UK’s best spa facilities and Ragdale’s renowned, award-winning customer service. Visit ragdalehall.co.uk or call 01664 434831 to find out more about Ragdale Hall’s spa days and breaks, including a range of specialist fitness breaks.
TO WIN A HEALTHY SPA BREAK IN LEICESTERSHIRE, VISIT:
Terms and conditions • The prize is available for over 16s only. Travel is not included. The prize is valid for six months from the date the winner is notified. Arrival from 2pm. Departure time up to 6pm the following day.
HEALTH 84 10 ways to beat a cold 87 Mind over matter
WORDS: MOLLY HORNE PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK
GET UP, STAND UP
Research shows time and time again that being inactive causes a multitude of health issues, and office workers who sit down all day are especially at risk. So to help set you free from the shackles of your desk, the team at bodybuilding.com has compiled interactive fitness tutorials from some of the world’s top athletes and trainers to help you get healthier. Andrew Ivers, senior marketing manager at bodybuilding.com says, ‘After looking at the effects of obesity and exercise on men and women over a 12-year period, scientists found that people who had moderate levels of daily exercise were 16-30% less likely to die prematurely than those classed as ‘inactive’. So what are you waiting for? Stand up and get active!
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secret ingredients Power up your defences with these hard-hitting superfoods
Found in garlic, allicin fights bacterial invaders. Ensure you crush rather than chop cloves in order to release the allicin benefits.
L-theanine, a key amino acid found in green tea, helps to increase levels of virus-fighting components in the blood.
Along with capsaicin, curcumin â€“ a powerful active ingredient found in turmeric â€“ contains anti-inflammatory properties thought to help boost immunity.
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10 waysto beatacold Keep these weapons in your immunity armoury to pack a flu-fighting punch
eel a cold coming on? Flu season is in full swing, which means it’s time to take some serious steps to safeguard immunity against pesky immunity-wrecking invaders. ‘Research suggests that colder temperatures, along with lack of sunlight during the winter months, has an immune-suppressing effect on the body,’ shares holistic nutritional therapist, Elizabeth Montgomery. You might already pop a vitamin C supplement, nosh on endless bowls of bone broth and wash your hands meticulously in a bid to keep bugs at bay, but you can do much more to stay healthy this season. From what to eat to what to put on your face, we’ve listed our ultimate remedies to ward off seasonal infections.
‘A deep belly laugh helps to increase infection-fighting antibodies and boosts the body’s natural killer cell activity. Laughter can also stimulate digestion, lower blood pressure and increase circulation’
Exposure to natural sunlight (even in winter) is important to absorb immunityboosting vitamin D. But on the downside,
daily exposure to outside environmental pollutants can kill immune system T-cells, increase inflammation, and make the lungs less resistant to bacteria. Invest in an air purifier to keep immunity running smoothly. Air purifiers suck up pollutants and other impurities in your home to help offset any damage caused by poor outside air quality.
The gut is home to a whopping 85 per cent of the immune system – so healthy digestion equals better immunity. A study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that New Zealand athletes had about 40 per cent fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they took a probiotic supplement compared to when they took a placebo. Snacking on probiotic foods like plain yoghurt helps to nourish your gastrointestinal tract by introducing beneficial bacteria to the gut, while also stimulating protective white blood cell activity. ‘I also
recommend probiotic foods such as raw sauerkraut, raw dill pickles, coconut milkbased kefir, miso soup and kombucha fermented health drinks to help ward off infection,’ adds Elizabeth.
TAKE A DESK BREAK
If your job leaves you sedentary most of the day, make an effort to get away from your desk every 90 minutes. Staying active strengthens T-cells in your body, which are designed to attack bacteria, so the more you move around, the less likely you are to catch a cold. ‘Aim to incorporate calming exercise practices like yoga, walking in nature or swimming into your week and you will soon feel the calming and immunity-boosting benefits,’ adds Elizabeth.
RE-THINK YOUR MAKE-UP STASH
Adopting a more natural make-up routine can improve your body’s defences. Your body readily absorbs the chemicals in conventional cosmetics and
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 85
since your immune system isn’t able to break down these toxic substances they can affect your immunity. ‘Standard beauty products have an impact on the health of your liver – making it work harder to detoxify the body as it’s bombarded with synthetic chemicals from these types of products,’ says Elizabeth. Look for buys formulated without harmful ingredients like parabens or sodium lauryl sulfate and check the product labels to make sure all ingredients are safe.
GO TO BED EARLY
Struggling to drift off? According to figures from The Sleep Council, a meagre 10 per cent of us are under the duvet before 10pm, but turning in early could revitalise your immunity by keeping levels of bacteria-fighting white blood cells in check. ‘When the body’s natural circadian rhythm (aka the sleep/wake cycle) is interrupted, the body is not able to repair itself, placing the immune system on red alert – making it more susceptible to catching cold and flu viruses,’ explains Elizabeth.
Now might just be the perfect time to fill up your
social calendar. Research shows that feeling lonely makes you more likely to produce inflammatory compounds in response to stress. ‘The stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline have an inflammatory effect on the body – especially when stress becomes chronic. Research has shown that these hormones change the gene activity of immune cells, making them ready to fight infection - or trauma – leading to inflammation,’ believes Elizabeth. Fill your free time with dinner dates, an evening class or join a running club to meet new people.
LOAD UP ON FAT
Healthy fats like the omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds and oily fish help to calm down harmful inflammation and nourish your body with good-for-you nutrients. ‘Omega-3 fats in the best form, EPA/DHA, act as a counterbalance and are very antiinflammatory. This is why it’s critical to have the correct balance of omega-3 and -6 in the diet on a regular basis,’ believes Elizabeth.
immunityboosting recipes GET COOKING WITH THESE THREE RECIPES FROM ELIZABETH
Green vegetable smoothie Packed with immune-boosting nutrients, this drink is a great way to start the day Ingredients ● Handful of kale ● Handful of parsley ● ½ cucumber ● 5 stalks celery ● ½ green apple ● ½ lemon Method Juice all of the ingredients – easy!
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‘It’s important to replenish vitamin C stores as this is a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body doesn’t store it’
Negative emotions can dampen down numerous physiological functions, but laughter has the opposite effect. ‘A deep belly laugh helps to increase infectionfighting antibodies and boosts the body’s natural killer cell activity. Laughter can also stimulate digestion, lower blood pressure and increase circulation,’ explains Elizabeth.
NOSH ON A CURRY
Chilli is a true infection-fighting superstar thanks to its anti-inflammatory capsaicin compounds, which give the spice its heat. It’s also a source of vitamin C, which has been shown to both shorten the length of time you’re sick for and reduce the severity of symptoms. ‘It’s important to replenish vitamin C stores as this is a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body doesn’t store it,’ says Elizabeth.
Stress is bad news for your immune system as stress hormones like cortisol reduce the activity of white blood cells, so if you want to stave off sickness then it’s time to chill out. ‘Try meditation. The body and breath are interconnected, and when we meditate with gentle rhythmic breathing for just 10 minutes a day, it can have profound effects on stress reduction,’ says Elizabeth.
This classic Greek-style yoghurt is bursting with immuneboosting probiotics and garlic
This vegetable and spice-loaded soup helps to fire up your immune system Snifflefighting snack
Ingredients ● 2 cups goat’s yoghurt ● 2 cloves of fresh raw garlic, crushed ● 1tbsp olive oil ● ½ grated cucumber ● Juice of 1 lemon ● Lemon zest ● Fresh dill ● Salt and pepper
Method Whisk all ingredients until smooth and refrigerate for one hour before serving. Serve with raw veggies or seeded crackers.
MAKE TIME FOR R&R
Ingredients ● 1tsp coconut oil ● 1 large onion, diced ● 6 garlic cloves, minced ● Handful shiitake Antioxidant mushrooms -packed ● 1½tsp sea salt soup ● ¼tsp black pepper ● 1tsp turmeric ● 4 heads baby pak choi ● ½ head kale ● 1tbsp freshly grated ginger Method Heat the coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add in onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add in celery and mushrooms and stir until mushrooms are soft. Sprinkle in the spices, pour in enough water to cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for one hour. Add pak choi and kale during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
WORDS: LOUISE PYNE PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
Mind over matter Here’s how a few minutes of meditation a day can change your weight-loss goals for life
hat if we told you that all it would take to shed the pounds is a few minutes of meditation a day? The universal practice of meditation has now been touted as a weight-loss wonder in Tiffany Cruikshank’s new read, Meditate Your Weight. The book explains how closely the mind and body is linked and sets out a three-week meditation course that allows people to understand and benefit from the correlation themselves. ‘It takes about 21 days to make a new habit, so the idea is that you can slowly sneak your way into a healthy new habit for lasting changes,’ says Tiffany. ‘The most impactful changes you make are the ones you can stick to for the long-term, so it was important to me to create a programme that’s long enough to have an impact and short enough to be attainable’. But is it worth a try? We dig a bit deeper to find out.
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HEALTH 5zoneouttips Begin your meditation journey the right way with Tiffany’s pointers
The more frequently you follow a pattern, the more helpful the benefits will be. Aim for daily practice, even if it’s only for three minutes. A short meditation every day is far superior to a longer meditation once a week. Pick a time that works, and stick to it.
Claim your space
It can be anywhere, but make sure it’s somewhere that’s both realistic and comfortable for you to practise daily. Everyone has different preferences, so be prepared to try a few options before you find what works for you. Whether it’s in the garden, living room, bedroom or even your workspace, it’s important to have a designated spot, as your brain will begin to associate the space with de-stressing time.
Get into position
Sitting on the floor with legs crossed and a cushion or pillow tucked under you is ideal, but if it’s uncomfortable try sitting on a chair. Make sure your feet are on the ground and your spine is upright – slumping will make you feel too sleepy for the task.
Set a timer
If you’re concerned about losing track of time or you think you’ll start to open your eyes to figure out how long it’s been, you can use your phone to set a timer. Set it on ‘airplane’ or ‘do not disturb’ mode, so you’re uninterrupted. You can also download a mindfulness bell app to end your meditation on a soothing note.
You’re allowed to drift off, but once you come back to consciousness (and realise you’ve drifted off), think about your thought processes. This is the skill of observation.
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How it works
‘When highly trained, the brain can help us achieve any goal, no matter what aspect of our lives – but it often limits us’
So how does meditation help you to lose weight? According to Tiffany, someone could be doing all the ‘right’ things in their weight-loss journey, but if their mind and body aren’t connected, it can be a lost cause. And we’re not talking about staying focused while you exercise – the mind plays a much bigger role than that. ‘When highly trained, the brain can help us achieve any goal in whatever aspect of our lives – but it often limits us, too. Sometimes it hampers our ability to follow through, makes us give in to cravings and live up to our own low expectations,’ explains Tiffany. However, meditation can train your brain to make you more aware of these thoughts, strengthening your ability to make better decisions. When your brain isn’t as zoned out, you’re able to make choices that are based on your goals rather than your cravings – like picking healthier food options. But the benefits extend beyond this. Once you tune in to what your body is saying, you also become more aware of your sensory cues, appetite and your body’s need for fuel. Ultimately, this makes you more mindful of what and how much you eat, as well as why you’re eating it. It’s nothing short of mind-control (your own!), and the ability to do so is as powerful as you might think – if not more. A few minutes spent on the meditation mat every day affects more than just your body weight – it shifts your mindset from self-deprivation (with restrictive diets) to self-nurture. People commonly bully themselves into losing weight, believing the stigma that being overweight is wrong, but meditation encourages you to embark on your journey with compassion. ‘The more we become
more aware of what’s going on inside our heads, without judging, the more we can start to notice unhelpful automatic thoughts and emotional reactions, and the faster we can stop the cycle before it starts,’ says Tiffany.
Backed by science
As well as empowering your mind, studies have proven that meditation can alter your body physiologically. For those who stress non-stop, meditation may sound like an obvious solution, not least for its calming benefits. Constant stress puts our body in a fight or flight mode that can cause havoc: it can elevate our blood sugar, which signals to our brain that we’re in need of fast calories (hence the sweet and salty cravings); and it can increase cortisol levels and fat cells, resulting in inflammation and suppression of the immune system. ‘Meditation works by changing our emotional and physiological reactions to those stresses’, says Tiffany. This means we will avoid feeling stressed in the first instance. If we’re able to stay calm and accept the challenge ahead – or at least have the confidence to try – our bodily systems will remain calm and function as normal.
Fight or flight
Another major contributor causing our body to stay in the ‘fight or flight’ mode for longer than necessary is the rapid growth of technology and need to be connected around the clock. Our bodies are meant to spend more time in the ‘rest and digest’ mode. Meditation allows us to reconfigure the nervous system to achieve this
READ MORE! Meditate Your Weight: A 21-Day Retreat to Optimize Your Metabolism and Feel Great by Tiffany Cruikshank, £9.99, amazon.co.uk
Your relaxation must-haves
Enhance your downtime sessions with these helpful buys
Take a seat
Made from organic cotton and filled with organic buckwheat hull, this Zafu meditation pillow is firm enough to support your bodyweight and comfortable enough for long periods. ❒ £24.95, amazon.co.uk
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
Light the way
by building our relaxation muscles. This can be done by taking longer breaths, which will help to decrease the heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. ‘If we are calmer, not only will we notice and be more likely to step away from compulsive eating and gym-lethargy, but our body will be chemically ready to restore, renew, replenish, digest and revitalise,’ says Jessica Stewart, yoga teacher at Centric: 3Tribes. So if you’re lacking in motivation, meditation is the perfect solution to help you redirect your focus and recharge your energy. And it can’t get better than just a few minutes a day for 21 days…
‘If we are calmer, not only will we be more likely to step away from compulsive eating and gym-lethargy, but our body will be chemically ready to restore, renew, replenish, digest and revitalise’
Set the right atmosphere with Holistic Silk’s Deeply Relaxing Scented Candle. The natural aroma includes jasmine, lavender and sweet basil. ❒ £37.50, holisticsilk.com
The everyman’s guide to meditation, 222 Meditation Techniques contains all of the essential exercises and more. ❒ £13.99, amazon. co.uk
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BEAUTY 92 Winter skincare secrets 94 Hot new buys // 95 Treatments
WORDS: ERICA BUSH PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK
GET YOUR MITTS ON THIS! Any girl who has ever faketanned will understand the perils that come with trying to successfully bronze your back. It’s the hardest place to reach, unless you have a trusty friend or housemate who is willing to do it for you. It often results in patches missed, dreaded streaks and some very questionable body positions. Thankfully, just in time for party season, British tanning brand Bronzie has come to the rescue by launching the very first back and body tanning mitt, Got Your Back. With two doubled-sided mitt ends and a lengthy middle section, the mitt will not only tan your whole body fuss-free but will also do it in half the time. How did we live without it? ● £14.99, bronzieuk.com December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 91
skincare secrets Skin suffering with the temperature drop? Here’s some expert advice on what you can do about it – today
f you’re starting to notice the winter chill, chances are your skin is already feeling the effects. The chill leaves our skin dry, dull and dehydrated every year, yet we always fail to prepare for it. So to prevent any more skin hang-ups this season, we asked top experts for their must-know advice on making sure our skin looks its best, even at the height of winter. From routine facials and layering products to getting the shower temperature right, here are 10 of the best winter skincare tips from the professionals…
Feed your skin
What goes inside your body is just as important as what goes onto it – if not more. Make sure you eat plenty of leafy greens and healthy fats to boost your skin health.
Expert advice ‘You can counter the causes of dry, flaky skin internally by following 92 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
an anti-inflammatory diet and ensuring you have adequate intake of healthy fats such as those found in fish, fish oil, and extra virgin olive oil. While topicals can work wonders, it is of critical importance to remember the dietary component, which can both cause and worsen the skin’s condition.’ Dr Nicholas Perricone TRY: Eating more oily fish
Remember to replenish If you notice any uneven, patchy or dry areas, it’s often because dead skin cells are lingering.
Expert advice ‘A regular routine of exfoliation, hydration and protection ensures the skin cell renewal process is continually stimulated, and for an added level of nurturing include a collagen-boosting serum as it’s the best moisture-retaining agent.’ Dr Erich Schulte TRY: Aspect Dr A Retinol Facial Serum, £80, skinmatrix.co.uk
‘Skin cleansing products should be mild, soap-free, and have a pH of 5.5 for maximum support of the natural protective functions of the skin’
Invest in a facial
The climate change can cause your skin to look dry and dull, but a good facial can work wonders. It not only provides an intense cleanse, but leaves your skin feeling fresh, supple and prepped for increased absorption when using other products.
Expert advice ‘When searching for a facial to nourish and hydrate, look out for one that offers gentle exfoliation such as microdermabrasion to help gently remove dead skin cells as it will actually regenerate the skin and increase its ability to protect.’ Cherry Woods TRY: The Pumpkin Peel, efmedispa.com
Your skin cell turnover slows down in autumn due to the lack of UVB and this can result in congested skin.
Expert advice ‘Introduce a gentle AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) exfoliant suitable for your skin’s level of sensitivity. Make sure it has a low pH level and use three times a week for three minutes.’ Cherry Woods TRY: Cellcosmet Exfoliant Dual Action, £93, cellcosmet.co.uk
A common misconception is that you don’t need sun protection in the winter, but the sun’s UV rays are still
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN PICTURES: EF MEDISPA
CHERRY WOODS Luxury facialist and founder of Cherry Woods Clinic
there – no matter what the temperature. Protection against skin damage and dehydration is still very important. Expert advice ‘Use a low SPF broad spectrum suncream on top of your regular moisturiser to seal it in and hold it in place to prevent water loss.’ Cherry Woods TRY: Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Face Cream, £25.50, trilogyproducts.com
Know your skin
You might think your moisturiser works fine for most of the year but your skin’s needs change under different conditions. Winter will call for a richer formula to protect and keep it nourished.
Expert advice ‘Switch up your moisturiser to an emollient type product (which has more oil so stays on your skin for longer and prevents water loss) with hydraulic acid, which allows your skin cells to hold one thousand times their weight in water.’ Cherry Woods TRY: Avène Tolerance Extreme Cream, £14.50, escentual.com
If you suffer from problem skin or struggle to get in your daily fats, supplements are a great solution.
Expert advice ‘Skin omega supplements support the fatty layers in your skin, replacing lost lipids so that it can retain moisture more effectively. This prevents dry, flaky, reddened and irritated skin while also
DR NICHOLAS PERRICONE Dermatologist and nutritionist
DR ERICH SCHULTE Cosmetic surgeon
supporting skin and body immunity.’ Cherry Woods. TRY: Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Omegas+, £28, dermacaredirect.co.uk
The correct cleanse
It’s important to combat the loss of ceramides from the cold months by using gentle cleansers that help retain moisture while providing optimum barrier function.
Expert advice ‘If you are using a foaming cleanser then switch to a water soluble milk cleanser or a cleansing balm. If your skin type is dry or mature then try a cleansing cream or oil to avoid stripping away natural ceramides.’ Cherry Woods TRY: Crystal Clear Wipe Away the Years Cleansing Milk, £27, crystalclear.co.uk
Get the balance right If your skin is suffering with the cold, you need to change how you’re treating it, including what products you use and water temperature.
Expert advice ‘Frequency, duration and water temperature when showering and bathing should be reduced to lower depletion of the skin’s hydro-lipid system. Skin cleansing products should be mild, soap-free and have a pH of 5.5 for maximum support of the natural protective functions of the skin. Also intensify your skincare in terms of protective and soothing agents. A product designed for dry skin is best.’ Dr Michaela Arens-Corell TRY: Sebamed Anti-Dry Night Intensive Cream, £10.29, sebamed.co.uk
DR MICHAELA ARENS-CORELL Of Sebamed MedicalScientific Department
AGNES DONAZY Founder of Pure & Light Organic Skincare
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Beauty innovation Move over wipes, cleansers and milks; the new way to wipe off the day is with Ciaté’s MakeUp Melter, a balm-to-oil formula with nourishing murumuru butter to remove stubborn make-up while gently cleansing. ● £16, ciatelondon.com
Berry nice! Sporting deliciously deep dark reds, pinks and blues, Nailberry has this season’s berry trend down with the to-die-for L’Oxygéné range. ● £14.50, Harvey Nichols
Padding out Infused with the cult-classic Pixi Glow Tonic formula, the new Glow Tonic To-Go Pads offer beauty-lovers instant freshness while toning, brightening, hydrating and gently exfoliating.
beauty heroes ● £16, pixibeauty.co.uk
Get in line
Autumn equals the long-awaited revival of the bold, dark lip. But no statement smile can truly be mastered without a trustworthy liner, so invest in this Mauve Lip Pencil from Diego Dalla Palma to protect your pout from feathering and uneven fade. ● £14.50, diegodallapalma.com
Update your look-hot routine with these fab new finds
If autumn’s got your skin feeling a little lacklustre, inject some TLC into your skincare routine with this Vitamin C Facial Nano Spray from M2 Beauté. Bursting with the power vitamin, this spray will regenerate and protect skin for maximum coldweather resilience. ● £75, Harrods
Get lippy Celebrating the brand’s 25th birthday, Bobbi Brown has released The New Classics: 10 new luxe lip shades inspired by the original lipstick that started it all. ● £25, bobbibrown.co.uk
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Designed specifically for women with fine hair, the new Pantene Pro-V Air-light In-shower Foam Conditioner absorbs deep into the hair, without leaving any unwanted residue that often weighs it down. ● £3.99, Boots
Scrub up well Australian-brand Bean Body’s Organic Coffee Scrub is proving why the ingredient isn’t just best served in a mug. Using 100 per cent natural Fairtrade coffee, the scrub promises to exfoliate, cleanse and nourish. ● £14.95, Holland & Barrett
WORDS: ERICA BUSH PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
Limp lock revival
IT’S WORTH THE TRIP TO SWITZERLAND FOR THE MASSAGE ALONE – NEVER MIND THESE VIEWS
We cherry-pick three of the best hair, face and body treats designed to make life that little bit sweeter
THE FACE WORKOUT
THE BLISS-OUT MASSAGE
WHAT// Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, £81 for 75 minutes WHERE// Macdonald Berystede Hotel Spa, macdonaldhotels.co.uk THE LOWDOWN// If ever there was a multi-tasking treatment, this is it. Not only will the Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap soothe aching muscles, it will also give your skin a thorough once-over and send you into the dreamiest of states. After a quick full-body exfoliation, I found myself cocooned in foil and towels, a powerful seaweed wrap working its magic underneath. If you weren’t warm, cosy and utterly blissed-out already, a pressure-point facial massage and de-stress scalp treatment is sure to do the trick. A cleansing shower and a full-body moisturise round things off. VERDICT// The downside? You’ll have to be dragged out. Erica Bush
WHAT// Yoga Face, £50 for 30 minutes WHERE// FaceGym at Selfridges, facegym.com THE LOWDOWN// ‘It’s not a facial, it’s a workout,’ FaceGym maintains. Whatever you call it, its principle remains: if working out at the gym is beneficial, so too can be working the muscles in our face – all 43 of them. The ancient practice, involving vigorous knuckle pressure and high-energy whipping strokes, has been dubbed the natural face lift for its boost to blood circulation, collagen production and cell renewal. I tried Yoga Face, which uses these techniques, just slower and with a focus on ironing out tension. Relaxing oils with white patchouli and ylang-ylang are used and deep breathing is encouraged for best results. THE VERDICT// My face felt and looked substantially smoother and tighter. Erica Bush
WHAT// Aroma Moments by Altearah Bio treatment, 75 minutes for CHF 225 WHERE// Grand Hotel Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, resortragaz.ch/en THE LOWDOWN// This treatment is far more than a massage. It’s a unique experience that awakens your senses and relaxes your entire body. I was asked to choose oils from making a selection from a series of face-down cards with different colours on them. After picking orange and white, I was told orange represented my creativity and the white my future. The aromas in the room combined with the fragrant massage oils allowed me to totally switch off. The massage was soothing, though extra pressure was applied to tense areas – ideal for my upper back. THE VERDICT// I left feeling peacefuland peaceful and energised. Sabrina Barr
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 95
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98 Go vegan, get lean // 101 Get serious about sugar // 104 Clean treating 108 Tasty titbits // 109 Food focus: cayenne pepper // 111 The good stuff
WORDS: MOLLY HORNE PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK
PASTA, YOUR FRIEND Breaking news: this Italian staple does not make you gain weight. Yes, you read that correctly. A recent study has shown that pasta isn’t the enemy dieters think it is. Italian scientists monitored the food diaries of 23,000 people from two areas in Italy by asking participants to record everything they ate. Results showed there was no positive correlation between the amount of pasta they ate and their BMI, waist and hip measurements. So there you have it. Whether it’s thin, curly, small or star-shaped, you can start eating pasta again. But as always, moderation is the key to a healthy, balanced diet – so stick to the recommended portion size. It’s back on the menu though – bellissimo!
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get lean Want to get in shape? Then go vegan. Nutritionist Christine Bailey explains how ditching the meat and dairy can help you slim down
â€˜Not all vegan diets are healthy. Skip the processed fake foods, ready meals, refined products and junk food and simply focus on real, whole plant foods, which are packed with the nutrients your body needsâ€™ 98 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
oing vegan is so hot right now. A whole host of celebrities including Beyoncé, Stella McCartney and Ellie Goulding have said goodbye to meat to follow a vegan diet. In fact, some 12 per cent of the UK population now follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and over 50,000 people took part in ‘Veganuary’ this year. Millions more are ‘flexitarians’ cutting back substantially on the amount of meat they eat even if they are not quite going the whole hog. Health and environmental reasons are the main factors behind this switch, with many finding it easier to get into shape. So if you want to shift a few pounds by going vegan here are some tips to make it work for you.
Fill up on fibre
One of the reasons why a vegan diet can help you slim down is that it is packed with plenty of fibre from fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses. This helps you feel fuller for longer, balances blood sugar and keeps your energy levels high throughout the day without needing to snack. In fact, research has shown it to be particularly effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Keep it healthy and focus your meals on plenty of vegetables –
whether raw or cooked with protein from beans, pulses, nuts and seeds.
Pack in the protein
One of the biggest concerns of a vegan diet is obtaining sufficient protein. This is particularly important for weight-loss as it helps support muscle mass, balances blood sugar and keeps you feeling full. For effective weight-loss, aim for a daily protein intake of 1.2 –1.6g per kg body weight. This can be harder for vegans because plant proteins are not digested as well as animal proteins and it can be difficult to obtain the right balance of the essential amino acids. One of the easiest ways to ensure you get sufficient protein is to include three servings of legumes (beans, peanuts, soya foods) daily, plus a variety of vegetables and slow-releasing grains. A serving is around one cup of cooked beans or pulses. You don’t have to worry about combining different protein sources in a meal – your body is able to pool the amino acids we need as we eat them, and we use them when needed. If you are active, making use of plant protein powders such as pea, hemp or rice protein can be a convenient way to boost your protein intake.
Focus on real foods
Not all vegan diets are healthy. Skip the processed fake foods, ready meals, refined products and junk food and simply focus on real, whole plant foods, which are packed with the nutrients your body needs. And that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen – you can make use of cooked canned beans and lentils, and bags of frozen vegetables for speed.
Don’t be afraid of fat
Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fats, can be low in vegan diets. To ensure you don’t miss out, include a daily serving of foods high in omega-3 like flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds or walnuts. Another option is to use omega-3-rich oils, which can be drizzled over vegetables and salads or added to dips and spreads. Just don’t cook with them, as they are vulnerable to high temperatures. For cooking use coconut oil or olive oil and include avocado, olives, nuts and seeds regularly for healthy fats.
A vegan diet, just like other diets, can be low in certain nutrients. In particular vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, iron, calcium and DHA
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NUTRITION (a long-chain omega-3 fat). Supplements/fortified foods are the only way to get vitamin B12 and DHA. If you don’t get adequate sun exposure to make vitamin D and are not including sea vegetables, which are rich in iodine, it is likely you will also need supplements of these nutrients, too.
Vegan #inspo Try these recipes from Christine Bailey’s new book Go Lean Vegan: The Revolutionary 30-day Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great
Get in your greens
Enhance iron absorption
Iron deficiency anaemia is common among people eating all different types of diets. Heme iron, found in the flesh of animals, is better absorbed than non-heme, plant-based iron. So you need to include plant foods such as legumes, wholegrains and leafy vegetables, which are good sources of iron. Increase the absorption by eating vitamin C-rich foods at the same meal (such as citrus fruits, red peppers, berries etc).
Opt for slow carbs
With vegan diets there can be a temptation to fill up on starches like pasta, rice and breads, but these will play havoc with blood sugar levels and may contribute to weight gain. Focus on slower releasing carbs – for example choose sweet potatoes over white, try red rice, quinoa, teff or starchy vegetables like carrots, beetroot and parsnips.
WANT MORE? Check out Go Lean Vegan: The Revolutionary 30-day Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great, by Christine Bailey, Yellow Kite Books
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PEA FALAFELS WITH TZATZIKI Peas are a good source of protein for vegans and using frozen peas makes this an easy dish to prepare. These falafels could also be served cold with a few salad leaves for a simple, portable lunch option. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Ingredients (makes 12 falafels) ● 150g frozen peas, cooked and drained ● 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained ● 2tbsp gram (chickpea) flour ● 1tbsp chopped fresh parsley ● 1tbsp chopped fresh mint ● 1 garlic clove, crushed ● 1tsp ground cumin ● 1tbsp tahini paste ● 2tbsp lemon juice ● Sea salt/black pepper ● Olive oil, for brushing For the tzatziki: ● 150g coconut yoghurt ● 2tbsp chopped mint ● 1tbsp lemon juice ● Sea salt /black pepper ● 100g cucumber, grated Method Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined but still has some texture. You may need to scrape down the side of the bowl with a spatula a couple of times. Using slightly wet hands, roll the mixture into 12 small balls. Place the balls on the lined baking tray. Brush or drizzle the falafels with a little olive oil and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes before turning them over and returning to the oven for afurther 10–15 minutes, or until golden. Meanwhile make the tzatziki: place the yoghurt, mint, lemon juice and seasoning in a blender and blitz. Stir in the cucumber and serve with the warm falafels. Per serving: 206 kcal; 12.4g protein; 6.7g fat; 0.9g saturated fat; 24.4g carbohydrates; 4.8g sugars
CHOCOLATE ORANGE POTS This is a delicious, creamy rich recipe. Using the orange naturally sweetens this recipe without the need for syrups. If you want to boost the protein content, swap one of the tablespoons of cocoa powder with chocolate protein powder. Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 2 minutes Ingredients (serves 4) ● 100g sugar-free and dairy-free dark chocolate ● 1tbsp unsweetened almond milk ● 2tbsp cocoa powder (or 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder) ● 1 large orange, peeled and pips removed ● 250g silken tofu, drained ● Grated orange zest, to decorate (optional) Method Place the chocolate and almond milk in a
pan and gently melt over a low heat, stirring to combine. Put the melted chocolate into a food processor or blender with all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into four ramekins and decorate with a little orange zest, if you wish. This can be frozen for up to one month or it will keep in the fridge for three to four days. Per serving: 228 kcal; 12.6g protein; 15.4g fat; 7.2g saturated fat; 11.4g carbohydrates; 4.5g sugars
Ditching the dairy can mean your calcium intake is low. Leafy green vegetables, especially kale, collards and turnip greens but not spinach (calcium is unabsorbable due to oxalate content) are very good sources of calcium. Aim to include two to three cupfuls daily. Other plant-based sources of calcium include tahini, tempeh, soya beans, calcium-set tofu, corn tortillas and fortified non-dairy milks.
Get serious about
Take control of your sweet cravings to boost your body and kickstart wellbeing
ugar. It’s our best friend when we’re down in the dumps and our worst enemy when we’re trying to lose weight. Whatever your relationship with the sweet stuff, there’s no denying that sugar is a big topic in health circles. With over 58 per cent of women now considered overweight according to the latest figures by Public Health England, and the NHS shelling out around £27 billion annually on obesity-related illnesses, the government is seeking to find an answer to the nation’s growing obesity crisis – and it seems that sugar is culprit number one. Earlier this year, following on from growing pressure from campaigners and celebrity chefs alike, the government promised to bring in a sugar December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 101
NUTRITION effect to when we eat the whole fruit. These become empty calories which can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and obesity in the long-term,’ shares Angelique. Current nutritional guidelines state that added sugars should make up no more than five per cent of our diet, which is around 30g for adults. ‘While it’s good to have guidelines in place, in general RDAs vary wildly, and to put this into perspective, a can of cola can contain 36g of sugar alone, so it’s no real surprise that most of us are consuming more than double our limit,’ states Angelique. We need naturally occurring sugars to fuel our bodies and minds, but we need the right kind, otherwise our bodies will be on a roller-coaster of sugar highs, lows and absolute crashes. There’s nothing wrong with intrinsic sugars, tax on the soft drinks industry, which will which are found in whole fruit and vegetables. The problem is that we simply add too much be introduced by 2018. By targeting extrinsic sugar, such as sucrose and high-sugar drinks (especially fizzy drinks) the strategy is designed to slash obesity. ‘The tax will target the highest sugar offenders, with companies hit according to the amount of sugary drinks they produce. There are two bands planned – one for total sugar content above 5g per 100ml, and a higher band for the most sugary offenders, which contain more than 8g per 100ml,’ explains nutritional therapist Angelique Panagos. On the downside however, the initiative doesn’t take into account drinks below 5g of sugar per 100ml, which include certain sports drinks and flavoured mineral waters, while fruit juices and milk-based drinks like frappuccinos and chocolate milk will also be exempt. ‘Many people may now see fruit juice as a healthy option, one which they can drink as often as water. To me, it’s as though we’ve been given a ‘carte blanche’ on drinking fruit juice, but this is dangerous and there needs to be more education around these topics,’ explains Angelique.
Here’s where we’re making a big mistake. While eating fruit comes with lots of health benefits from its high vitamin, mineral and antioxidant profile, fruit juice can often contain as much sugar as a can of cola. ‘Whole fruit is also a good source of fibre, which you don’t find in fruit juices. Because of this, drinking bottled juices is a problem. When the fructose is removed from its natural fibre casing and is consumed in these large amounts, it has a very different
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concentrated fructose, to processed foods, which poses a health threat, raising the risk of chronic disease and weight gain. This happens because insulin directs any excess glucose to be stored in our livers, which can then be converted to fat if we don’t use it for energy.
So why is sugar – whatever form it’s in – so unbelievably addictive? ‘Sugar triggers the reward centre of the brain, which provides comfort and pleasure from food – and this habit leads to addiction,’ reveals Angelique. It makes us feel good for a short amount of time and we crave more of it to get the same ‘high’. It’s no surprise then that cutting sugar out of your diet isn’t easy, however, once you start fighting cravings you’ll start reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. There are a few simple things that can help. ‘Try eating protein with every meal. As well as slowing the release of sugars, proteins help keep us full and prevent a rush of glucose into our bloodstreams, while steering us away from the office biscuit tin,’ believes Angelique. It’s also worth noting that fat isn’t the diet enemy it was once believed to be. In fact, you should be eating plenty of healthy fats, like those found in nuts, oily fish and seeds to nourish your cells and top up energy levels. ‘Finally, sweet and delicious cinnamon is your cravings’ kryptonite – it can regulate blood sugar levels while sweetening your food. Sprinkle on porridge and smoothies for a kick,’ adds Angelique.
Top buys for a sweet fix without the guilt
COCOFINA ORGANIC COCONUT SUGAR With a low GI and a nutty texture, coconut sugar is a fantastic replacement to conventional sugar in baked goods. ❒ £7.99, cocofina.com
ONLY BY NATURE FROZEN YOGHURTS This new frozen yoghurt range is made with South American stevia leaf instead of sugar and tastes amazing! ❒ £3, onlybynature.com
SWEETPEA PANTRY SUPER OAT FLAPJACK MIX Gluten-free and sugar-free, this flapjack mix is made with wholegrain oats, desiccated coconut, dried fruit, quinoa flakes and flaxseed. ❒ £4.99, sweetpeapantry.co.uk
WORDS: LOUISE PYNE PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
‘It’s as though we’ve been given a “carte blanche” on drinking fruit juice, but this is dangerous and there needs to be more education around these topics’
STEPS TO GOING SUGAR-FREE
Must-know facts to quit the habit
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR Firstly get to know the names of sugar – it comes in over 60 guises – so you know what you’re looking for. ‘Common names include: cane sugar, maltose, glucose, sucrose, malt syrup, honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, organic sugar and maltodextrin,’ says Angelique. The higher up they pop up on the ingredients list, the more sugar lurks within. If it sounds like a science experiment, then put it down! Make sure you are eating things that you can pronounce.
STRIVE FOR CONSISTENCY ABOVE PERFECTIONISM Before eating, stop and breathe. Being more mindful of what we eat is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. ‘Sometimes we eat more because we are stressed, so we first need to address the causes of stress. I also say we should aim for consistency above perfectionism. The 80/20 rule (eating well 80 per cent of the time), helps us to avoid feeling guilty about eating the wrong things and then jumping on punishing diets,’ believes Angelique.
AVOID ADDED SUGAR AND SWEETENERS Sidestepping added sugar and sweeteners will prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to fatigue, diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease. Factor in the ageing effects of sugar and you realise there aren’t any pros when it comes to health and beauty. ‘If you think artificial sweeteners help with weight-loss, think again. Sweeteners are devoid of nutrients and are 1001,000 times sweeter than sugar! Consuming these will only prime the sweet sensors to crave more and more. Studies have also shown that they can increase the risk of weight gain and chronic disease,’ says Angelique.
AVOID REFINED CARBOHYDRATES Foods such as white bread, white rice and white flour are stripped of their nutrients, so it’s much better to choose wholegrain versions. ‘Refined carbs have a similar effect on the body to sugar because they break down quickly,’ shares Angelique.
SWAP SUGAR FOR WHOLE FRUIT Craving something sweet? If you love pudding you could try snacking on whole fruits (skin on) or even blending your own fruit yoghurt with Greek yoghurt and real fruit. ‘And if you get the afternoon munchies, then reach for handfuls of nuts and seeds instead. They’re full of plant-based proteins and healthy fats, and will keep any cravings at bay,’ says Angelique.
Angelique’s sugar-free chocolate spread Curb your sweet tooth with this refined-sugar-free treat HAZELNUT NUT-ELLA The chocolate spread with a difference. Gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free, this recipe is simple and devilishly decadent. Enjoy! Ingredients ● 1 cup hazelnuts ● 5tbsp of raw cacao powder ● 4tbsp rice malt syrup or pure maple syrup ● 1tbsp vanilla powder ● 1tbsp melted coconut oil ● 110ml coconut milk ● 65ml water if needed
Method Bake the hazelnuts at 180°C for about 10 minutes, turning if needed. Take them out of the oven, allow them to cool and then rub most of the skins off. Grind the nuts in a food processor until smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until well mixed and you have ‘spread’ consistency. Add the extra water if needed. Store in the fridge in a sealed glass jar.
‘Sweet and delicious cinnamon is your cravings’ kryptonite – it can regulate blood sugar levels while sweetening your food. Sprinkle on porridge and smoothies for a kick’ December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 103
Looking for the ultimate sweet that won’t leave you feeling guilty? Clean baking has arrived
rom weddings to birthdays, special occasions are always a great excuse to allow yourself the ultimate indulgent treat: cake. But with Clean Cakes by pastry chef Henrietta Inman, there’s no need to wait for a special occasion or even to look for an excuse to tuck into the sweet stuff anymore. The new book is packed with cake recipes that are all free from sugar, gluten and dairy, and promote the use of healthy, nourishing ingredients – all while staying full of flavour and totally mouth-watering. If you think it sounds too good to be true, you need to give these recipes a try. We think they're genius. Henrietta came up with the idea through her love for healthy ingredients. She wanted to find ways to get these ingredients into cakes, and we’re glad she did. ‘I no longer wanted to bake with the usual ingredients that are always associated with baking – mainly plain flour and caster sugar,’ she explains. ‘Still, the most important thing to me is that my patisserie has great flavour,
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great texture and is beautiful to look at.’ Although Henrietta reckons that the healthy aspect of her baking is just a bonus, we love the idea that you can enjoy a dessert without hampering any healthy-eating goals. With health, wellness and nutrition becoming so popular, Clean Cakes came at the perfect time. ‘I think that everyone is realising that healthy food – eating wholefoods and cooking from scratch – is actually delicious and not just iceberg lettuce,’ Henrietta adds. Even if you think ‘clean’ baking isn’t quite for you, the cookbook is packed with so many different kinds of recipes that there’s sure to be a few that will change your mind. ‘If you think it’s too much effort because you don’t have time, choose a simple recipe to start,’ she advises. And remember, Henrietta is a chef, not a nutritionist – first and foremost her goal is to create something delicious that can be served up with pride. That’s exactly what she’s done with the recipes over the following pages. Grab a fork and tuck right in!
COURGETTE, BASIL, LIME AND PISTACHIO CAKE WITH AVOCADO LIME CREAM AND RASPBERRY JAM This cake sings with fresh summer flavours. The courgette keeps the sponge layers wonderfully soft as they ooze with refreshingly light lime cream and sharp raspberry jam. I love to finish it with edible flowers from my garden. It makes a show-stopping birthday cake, too. If you don’t have time to make the cake, you could just serve the avocado lime cream in small glasses or cups, topped with shavings of coconut, to make a light end to a meal. Ingredients (serves 12) ● 90g pistachio nuts, preferably activated dried ● 60g coconut flour ● 1½tsp baking powder ● 1½tsp bicarbonate of soda ● 180g courgettes, grated ● 150g natural coconut yoghurt ● 150g coconut sugar ● 3 eggs ● ¼tsp Himalayan pink salt ● Finely grated zest of 3 limes ● 15g basil leaves, finely chopped, plus about 4 extra leaves for scattering over the lime cream ● 60g coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing For the avocado lime cream ● 200g avocado flesh (about 1 large avocado) ● 250g natural coconut yoghurt ● 100g blonde coconut nectar ● Finely grated zest of 1½ limes ● 60ml lime juice ● 80g coconut oil, melted To decorate ● No-added sugar high fruit content raspberry jam ● Small handful chopped pistachio nuts ● Edible flowers, such as honeysuckle or rose
Make the avocado lime cream first as it needs time to firm up in the fridge. Blend the avocado, coconut yoghurt, coconut nectar, lime zest and
juice in a blender until smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend until completely smooth. Place in a bowl and cover the surface of the cream completely with cling film so it does not oxidise and lose its colour. Chill in the fridge for two to three hours to firm up. Preheat the oven to 170°C/ gas mark 3. Grease and line the base of three 23cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tins with coconut oil and greaseproof paper. Line a small baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread the pistachio nuts out on the lined baking tray and toast for five to seven minutes until just getting colour. Leave to cool then roughly chop into small pieces. Sieve together the coconut flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the sponge ingredients except for the oil. Add in the sieved flour mix and chopped nuts, then finally stir in the oil. Divide the mix equally between the three tins (about 300g per tin). Spread the mix with a palette knife or small knife to make a thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tins and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is dark golden brown and bounces back slightly when pressed. Leave to cool, remove from the tins and carefully peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of each sponge. To assemble, spread the bottom layer of the sponge with half the jam and about a quarter of the avocado lime cream. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and scatter half over the lime cream. Top with the middle layer of sponge and repeat the process with the jam, cream and basil. Carefully lay on the final layer of sponge and top with the remaining cream, spreading it over the top of the cake and around the edges. Decorate with chopped pistachio nuts and edible flowers. This cake will keep in the fridge for up to three days but it is best eaten fresh when all the flavours and colours are at their most vibrant.
COCONUT-CACAO-QUINOA BARS If you like dark chocolate and coconut (who doesn’t?), then watch out as these are seriously scrummy! With a hint of Himalayan pink salt and vanilla to enliven them, this is a flavour combination that never fails. Packed with goodness, these are easy to make, so get prepared and bake a batch for the week ahead. Ingredients (makes 12 bars) ● 120g pitted Medjool dates ● 1 vanilla pod, cut lengthways and seeds scraped out ● 1tsp vanilla extract ● 1tsp Himalayan pink salt ● 1¼tsp ground cinnamon ● 50g dark chocolate 85% cocoa solids ● 100g desiccated coconut ● 50g quinoa flakes ● 50g cacao nibs ● 60g coconut oil, melted ● 20g coconut nectar To decorate ● 100g dark chocolate 85% cocoa solids ● 20g desiccated coconut
Grease and line an 18 x 11cm loaf tin, 8cm deep. Put the dates in a food
processor with the vanilla seeds and extract, salt and cinnamon, and blend to a paste. Roughly chop the chocolate, add it to the dates along with the desiccated coconut, quinoa flakes and cacao nibs, and blend. Now add the coconut oil and coconut nectar and blend until combined. In your hand, the mix should stick together. Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth out the top using your hands and freeze for one hour. Remove the set mix from the tin. Cut into 12 bars. Put the desiccated coconut for the topping on to a deep plate or bowl. Melt the chocolate for the topping in a bain-marie. You will need a bowl that is deep enough so that the chocolate covers a bit more than 1cm of the bars' depth. When the chocolate is around 28–30°C, dip in the bars lengthways, one by one, so the bottom half of the bar is coated in chocolate. Shake off the excess chocolate, wipe the bar on the side of the bowl, then dip the bottom of the bar into the coconut while the chocolate is still wet. Leave on a tray to set. When all the bars have been dipped, pour any leftover chocolate onto a piece of baking paper, refrigerate and, when set, snap up and store in the fridge. Store the bars in the fridge where they will keep well for five days, or freeze.
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NUTRITION BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CINNAMON CRUMBLE CAKE I love slicing this cake in front of friends, each piece revealing the white apple slices dyed by the purple blackberry juices, listening to the satisfied ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as people delve into the three layers of crunchy crumble topping, sweet fruit and deliciously gooey cake. It is warming, comforting, autumnal wholefood at its best. Serve warm with an extra dusting of cinnamon and natural yoghurt. If you don’t like apples, try sliced pears instead. This is best eaten fresh but, for those with willpower, it will keep for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge.
Ingredients (serves 8–10) ● 120g walnuts, preferably activated dried ● 1tbsp milled flax seeds ● 3tbsp filtered water ● 100g ground almonds ● 70g chestnut flour ● 1tsp ground cinnamon ● 1tsp baking powder ● 1tsp bicarbonate of soda ● ½tsp Himalayan pink salt ● Zest of ½ lemon ● 60g apple purée ● 80g maple syrup ● 1tsp vanilla extract ● 50ml EVCP rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing ● 2 dessert apples ● 250g blackberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat the oven to 170°C/ gas mark 3. Line the
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bottom of an 18–20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease the sides with a little oil. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for five to eight minutes until beginning to colour. Leave to cool. Finely chop up 80g, then set aside the remaining walnuts. Combine the flaxseeds with the water and leave for 15 minutes to form a gel. In a large bowl, mix the finely chopped walnuts, ground almonds, chestnut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and lemon zest. Make a well and add the flax gel, apple purée, maple syrup, vanilla extract and oil, then mix to combine. Divide in two, place half the mix in the cake tin and
spread it out with a palette knife. It should be about 1cm deep. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Spread them over the cake mix, overlapping them in a circle, followed by the blackberries and finally the rest of the cake mix. The mix will be sticky, so use your fingers to dab small bits of the mix over the blackberries. It doesn’t matter if some are still showing, but try to cover most. Sprinkle over the rest of the walnuts, breaking them up as you go. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. If the top is looking a bit too dark, turn down the oven to 160°C/gas mark 2½ for the last 10 minutes.
‘People often find it hard to find a healthy alternative to pudding, so I hope that my book can help and inspire people to get creative with their good-foryou desserts, tea breads, cookies, cakes and more’
CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT TORTE WITH HONEY PRALINE GANACHE A chocoholic’s delight! Instead of using shopbought chocolate and hazelnut spread, both packed with refined sugar, I make my own praline paste using nut butters and natural sweeteners. Ingredients (serves 10–12) ● 160g hazelnuts, ideally activated dried ● 100g 85% dark chocolate ● 100g coconut oil ● 3 eggs, separated ●½tsp Himalayan pink salt ● 2tsp vanilla extract ● 50g Palmyra nectar powder For the praline paste ● 90g hazelnut butter ● 90g almond butter ● 20g raw honey ● 20g Palmyra nectar powder ●¼tsp Himalayan pink salt For the ganache ● 90g dark chocolate 85% cocoa solids ● 100ml hazelnut milk ● 35g raw honey
Preheat the oven to 170°C/ gas mark 3. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin. To make the praline paste, mix everything together and set aside. To make the torte, toast the hazelnuts in the oven for about 7 minutes. Set aside 60g for the topping. Skin the remaining hazelnuts and blitz
in a food processor until fine. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie then add the coconut oil. When melted, remove from the heat and stir in 100g of your praline paste, the ground nuts, egg yolks, half the salt and the vanilla extract. Whip the egg whites with the remaining salt until firm, add the nectar powder and whip to combine. You should have soft peaks. Very gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes, rotate and bake for another 5 minutes. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin then remove. To make the ganache, melt the chocolate over a bain-marie. Take off the heat and stir in 120g of praline paste. In a small saucepan, warm the hazelnut milk with the honey. Gradually pour it over the chocolate, stirring until a thick and glossy emulsion forms. Cover the surface with baking parchment and leave in a cool place for one hour until thickened. Stir the ganache lightly and spread it over the cooled cake. Chop the remaining hazelnuts in half, scatter them over the ganache and serve. This torte is lovely with whipped vanilla coconut cream and keeps for up to five days in the fridge. It freezes well too, even with the ganache!
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WORDS: AMANDA KHOUV PICTURES: LISA LINDER
E XCLUSIV E RE A DER OFFER! Recipes taken from Clean Cakes: Delicious Patisserie Made With Whole, Natural and Nourishing Ingredients and Free From Gluten, Dairy and Refined Sugar by Henrietta Inman (Jacqui Small, £20). To order a copy for the special price of £15, including free UK p&p, call 01903 828503 and quote offer code QPG444.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 107
NUTRITION Wake up!
SPIRAL INTO CONTROL
Add some flavour to your mornings with Primrose’s Kitchen’s latest offering – Organic Goji, Black Pepper and Lemon Granola. Not only is it gluten-free, organic, paleo and vegan (as if we expected anything less), the refreshing tang of lemon combined with the sweetness of Himalayan Goji Berry makes this a serious breakfast winner.
Want to make healthy eating even easier? Kenwood’s new Electric Spiralizer will create spaghetti or noodles out of your favourite vegetables in an instant, making lighter meals a breeze to whip up. The best bit? The clean-up job is super easy, so you’ll definitely be making good use of this kitchen gadget.
108 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Eating nuts could reduce levels of inflammation, protecting against metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Want to fill your trolley without filling out? It is possible, says Amanda Khouv
If you’re after an explosion of flavours in the heart of east London, look no further than tapas restaurant Eyre Brothers in Shoreditch. Those watching their waistline can enjoy the lighter options on offer, like the torn salt-cod salad, while indulgent dishes like the deep-fried baby cuttlefish are a must if you’re taking a break from clean eating for a night. Vegetarians will also find themselves spoilt for choice – we’d recommend the gypsy baked eggs whether you’re meat-free or not. Even the simpler dishes like the Galician peppers are bursting with freshness. ● 70 Leonard St, EC2A 4QX, eyrebrothers.co.uk
DID YOU KNOW?
Convenience food has a bit of a bad rep, but that shouldn’t apply to Tilda’s new Pulses & Rice pouches. The ready-to-eat blends are suitable for veggies, packed with fibre and protein, and are perfect to add to any meal, hot or cold. We think the Black Bean, Jerk & Coconut version is a bit special. ● £1.39, Ocado
PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK SOURCE: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION
● £49.99, kenwoodworld.com/uk
● £6.95, primroseskitchen.com
NUTRITION 3 WAYS WITH CAYENNE PEPPER
CayennePepper Cayenne pepper adds a kick to more than just your food. Include it in your diet for super-hot body benefits
Spicy cayenne pepper meat rub Serves 4
Mix together 1tsp paprika, ½tsp cayenne pepper, ½tsp cumin, ½tsp dried thyme, ½tsp salt, ¼tsp ground black pepper and ¼tsp onion powder. Coat both sides of the meat or fish and then cook in a non-stick frying pan.
Raw chocolate cayenne balls Makes 15-20
WORDS: NICOLA SHUBROOK PICTURES: SHUTTERSTOCK
Blend 500g dates until they become a paste, adding 1-2tsp of hot water to help mix. Then add 100g raw cacao, 75g desiccated coconut and 1-2tsp cayenne pepper to taste. Blend again until mixed well. Then form the paste into 1tbsp balls, roll in some more desiccated coconut and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
Cayenne roasted almonds Makes around 8 servings
Toast 280g almonds over a medium heat, then transfer to a bowl. In another bowl, mix 1tsp cumin, ¼tsp cayenne pepper, ¼tsp garlic powder and ½tsp salt. In a pan, heat 2tsp coconut oil over a medium heat and then add the spice mix, stirring until warm. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until the nuts are evenly coated with the mix. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
ayenne pepper does contain a host of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, E and potassium, but you would have to eat large quantities of it in order to obtain any real benefit. However, it has plenty of other benefits, with the most well-known being its ability to boost the body’s metabolism. Cayenne contains a compound known as capsaicin. When consumed, it dilates the blood vessels and then raises your body’s temperature, causing a boost in metabolism, which can therefore help with long-term weight loss. Its ability to dilate blood vessels also means that cayenne pepper is good for preventing blood clots and therefore can be a useful aid to prevent heart attacks. As well as boosting your metabolism, cayenne pepper also has the ability to stimulate circulation and reduce acidity in the body. A bit like cinnamon, cayenne pepper helps to widen the body’s capillaries and regulate blood sugar, which will help keep your energy levels and moods stable. It can also help support a healthy digestive system as it causes you to produce saliva, which is important for the digestion of foods, and also helps to prevent bad breath! When consumed, it stimulates our salivary glands, which produce the mucus and the flow of enzyme production, both of which are an essential part of our digestion and breakdown of food. It also stimulates gastric juices in the stomach that aid the body’s ability to metabolise foods and toxins, making it a great detoxifier. However, SUPERFOOD if you’re thinking of STATS following the 1tsp CAYENNE POWDER PROVIDES: celebrity-fad 6 calories Lemonade Water Detox 0.3g fat diet (which includes 0.6g carbohydrates cayenne) then think again – 0g fibre this is both dangerous and 0.2g protein unhealthy as it does not provide the right amount of nutrients you need on a daily basis. Adding cayenne pepper to your food once a day is adequate enough as part of a healthy balanced diet. Being a natural anti-inflammatory, this red spice also has very good pain-relieving properties and studies have found it can help relieve pain after surgery, arthritis and also fibromyalgia symptoms such as joint or muscle pain. It effectively reduces levels of something called substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. There is also some evidence that a capsaicin cream, when applied topically to the skin, can help symptoms of psoriasis. So start adding it to your diet every day for a general all-round health kick!
‘Being a natural anti-inflammatory, this red spice also has very good pain-relieving properties and studies have found it can help relieve pain after surgery, arthritis and also joint or muscle pain’
FOR MORE HEALTHY FOOD IDEAS AND NUTRITION INFO, VISIT WOMENSFITNESS.CO.UK/HEALTHY-EATING
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 109
LBD DIET 5-daystofab! Speedy diet plan ► Fat-burning moves ► Experts’ secrets ►
BEAT BLOATING FOR GOOD XMAS GIFT GUIDE SMASH YOUR CARDIO SESSIONS 110 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
le a s n O v 23 No 2016
The good stuff Need new ways to get your five-a-day? These inventive recipes taken from Vegetable Perfection by Mat Follas make it easy peasy to get more veg on your plate
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 111
MOROCCAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER Cauliflower takes strong flavours well. I’ve used spices to add heat and flavour with the orange, pomegranate and pine nuts to make bursts of flavour. The jeweltoned rose petals and pomegranate combine with the other ingredients to bring flashes of colour and North African aromas, and make this dish an exciting centrepiece for a family dinner. Ingredients (serves 4) ● 1 cauliflower ● 200g butter ● 50g tahini ● ½tsp ground cinnamon ● ½tsp ground cumin ● 1tsp ground turmeric ● 1tsp fennel seeds ● 1tsp runny honey ● ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped ● 100g pine nuts ● Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange ● Seeds from 1 pomegranate ● Petals from two tea roses ● A small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley ● Freshly ground black pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Remove the outer leaves and put the whole cauliflower into a large saucepan of salted water. Set over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for five minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and steam dry in a colander set over the hot pan for 10 minutes. In a small pan, melt the butter, then add the tahini, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, fennel seeds and honey. Stir to combine. Transfer the cauliflower to a casserole dish and spoon the seasoned butter over the top. Add the finely chopped preserved lemon. Roast for 10 minutes. Baste the cauliflower with the juices from the casserole dish, then roast for another 10 minutes. Baste again and add the pine nuts. Turn the oven up to 220°C/gas mark 7 and roast for five minutes more; this will char the cauliflower and roast the pine nuts. Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Transfer the cauli to a large platter and cut into portions. Spoon over the juices, preserved lemon and pine nuts, followed by the orange juice and zest, pomegranate seeds, black pepper, rose petals and torn parsley.
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112 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
PIMM’S SALAD Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is traditionally served with mint, cucumber and a medley of chopped fresh summer fruits. This is my take, using the cocktail garnishes as a base for a quick and fun summery salad, perfect for al fresco lunches. Ingredients (serves 4) ● 150g strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced ● 1 large cucumber, peeled ● A small bunch of fresh mint ● Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon ● 50g fresh rocket ● 50g fresh watercress ● 150ml olive oil ● 20ml white wine vinegar ● 50ml Pimm’s No. 1 cup (or other summer gin cup) ● 1 lemon, sliced into four wedges
Put the strawberries in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using a peeler, make long ribbons of the cucumber and add to the bowl with the strawberries. Discard the centre of the cucumber. Pick two-thirds of the mint leaves and crush them a little before adding to the bowl; save the remaining leaves to dress the salad. Add the lemon zest, rocket and watercress; checking they are cleaned and any large stalks are removed. Toss the leaves together to combine and coat in flavour. Make a vinaigrette by pouring the lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar and Pimm’s into a lidded jar. Shake well to combine. Pour about one-quarter of the vinaigrette down the side of the bowl with the salad ingredients and toss everything to coat. To serve, arrange on four plates and dress with the rest of the mint and a wedge of lemon. Pour the remaining vinaigrette into a jug and bring to the table.
KALE GNOCCHI WITH KALE CRISPS Kale has wonderful strong flavours and this recipe shows it off at its absolute best. Ingredients (serves 4) ● A large bunch of kale ● 1tsp balsamic vinegar ● 1 garlic clove, crushed ● 750g baking potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into small pieces ● 2 egg yolks ● 2–3tbsp plain flour ● 50g frozen peas ● 100g kale pesto (see page 115) ● Sesame oil, to coat, plus extra for frying ● Vegetable oil, for frying ● Sea salt, to season
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. To make the crisps, roughly chop half of the kale into pieces the size of potato crisps, removing the central stem. Toss with several teaspoons of sesame oil, the balsamic vinegar and
garlic to just coat. Spread the kale out on a baking sheet and bake for seven minutes or until just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and leave at room temperature to crisp up. Sprinkle with sea salt. To make the gnocchi, chop the remaining kale and put it in a saucepan with the diced potatoes. Just cover with cold water, season with a generous pinch of salt and set over a medium heat. Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and kale using a sieve and steam-dry over the hot saucepan for 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and kale to a food processor, add the egg yolks and pulse to a smooth paste. Add two tablespoons of flour and pulse to bring the mixture together. Tip the dough out and form a rough ball. Add more flour, sparingly, if needed, until the mixture forms a ball. Roll into a sausage shape,
wrap in baking paper or clingfilm, and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll the dough into a much longer sausage shape, the thickness of your thumb, on a lightly floured surface. Slice at 2.5cm intervals and press lightly with a fork to just flatten. Bring a pan of salted water to a gentle simmer over a medium heat and add the gnocchi. Leave until they start to float, remove and set aside to cool. Separate the gnocchi while cooling or they will stick together. The gnocchi can be kept for several days at this stage; lightly drizzle with oil to prevent drying and keep chilled. When ready to serve, pan-fry the gnocchi in a vegetable oil and a little sesame oil until browned. Add the peas to the pan, season with sea salt and stir through the kale pesto. Spoon onto plates, finish with a generous covering of kale crisps and serve.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 113
NUTRITION SAVOY CABBAGE RATATOUILLE PARCELS PREPARE: 30 MINUTES COOK: 20 MINUTES
This is my take on the classic ratatouille niçoise. It has been designed to look extraordinary but by taking care to cook each element separately and then combine them in the parcels, the flavours of each ingredient are enhanced. Ingredients (serves 4) ● 4 large leaves of savoy cabbage ● 1 aubergine, sliced into 1cm rounds ● 2 red onions, finely diced ● 1 onion, finely diced ● 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced ● 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely diced ● 1 courgette, finely diced ● Olive oil, for frying ● Table salt, to season ● A small bunch of fresh marjoram, to serve For the tomato sauce: ● 2 garlic cloves ● 1tsp capers ● 400g canned chopped tomatoes ● 1tsp white sugar ● Olive oil, for frying ● Table salt, to season
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. To make the tomato sauce, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a small saucepan and add the garlic and capers. Set over a low heat to cook the garlic and capers until they are just starting to turn golden brown. Add the canned tomatoes and sugar, and leave to simmer on low for 10 minutes. Using a handheld electric blender, purée the mixture to a
smooth consistency and season with a pinch or two of table salt. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan and set aside. Put the savoy cabbage leaves in a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for two minutes, then remove and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat a frying pan over a high heat.
114 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
Drizzle a little oil over the aubergine slices, then carefully place them into the very hot pan and cook until they’re just starting to blacken. Repeat on the other side, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Chop and dice the slices into about 5mm pieces. Add a light covering of oil to a frying pan.
Set over a low heat and add the onions and peppers. Cover with a generous pinch of salt and leave to cook gently until the onions are translucent – this may take about three to five minutes. Add the courgette and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring gently. Remove from the heat, add the aubergine
pieces and gently stir to make the ratatouille. Place the savoy cabbage leaves into large ramekins, allowing the edges of the leaves to hang over the sides. Fill with the ratatouille mixture and fold the edges over to seal. Cover the top with tin foil to hold everything together.
Bake the parcels in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Gently heat the saucepan of tomato sauce at the same time. Once cooked, carefully remove the foil and turn the parcels out onto large soup plates. Spoon the tomato sauce around the edge. Decorate with fresh marjoram flowers and leaves and serve.
ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND FOUR CHEESE SALAD PREPARE: 20 MINUTES COOK: 15 MINUTES
You can serve the butternut squash and hazelnuts made in this recipe hot or cold; I prefer to enjoy them hot, straight from the oven for a rich and intense flavour. Ingredients (serves 4) ● 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2cm pieces ● Vegetable oil, to coat ● 150g peeled hazelnuts ● 200g Cheddar cheese, diced into 5mm pieces ● 150g blue cheese, crumbled ● 120g mozzarella cheese, sliced into bite-sized pieces ● 50ml classic vinaigrette ● 100g grated Parmesan cheese ● 12 dandelion leaves (available in health food stores, at farmers’ markets or online), finely chopped ● 70g rocket ● 70g mixed lettuce leaves ● Table salt, to season
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4. Toss the butternut squash in some vegetable oil with the hazelnuts and a generous pinch of table salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened and the hazelnuts are starting to brown. Put the Cheddar, blue cheese and mozzarella into a large mixing bowl, add the vinaigrette, sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and toss to combine. Add the dandelion leaves to the cheese mixture and stir gently. Add the rocket and lettuce leaves and gently toss the salad to combine the cheeses and leaves together. The leaves should have a light coating of the vinaigrette but add more if you prefer. Lay the salad on four plates and sprinkle the baked butternut squash and hazelnuts over the top to serve.
KALE PESTO PREPARE: 10 MINUTES Makes 300g ● 100g cashew nuts ● 100g finely grated ● Parmesan cheese ● 2 garlic cloves ● A large bunch of fresh kale, stalks removed ● Olive oil, to drizzle ● Sea salt, to taste
a small food processor or pestle and mortar. Pulse or grind to a smooth paste. Add the leaves and pulse or grind again until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add oil as required to blend together until a pesto has formed – it should have the consistency to hold together when it is pressed between spoons. Store in the fridge and use within one week of making.
Put the nuts, a pinch of sea salt, the cheese and garlic in
PICTURES: STEVE PAINTER
WA N T M O R E I D E A S ? Vegetable Perfection by Mat Follas (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99) is available to WF readers for the special price of £11.99 including UK p&p. To buy your copy, call Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quote the reference GL5.
December 2016 | womensfitness.co.uk 115
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Knowing your genes help to lose weight After a dinner with a girlfriend, you are having a battle with yourself not to order a piece of cake. Your jeans already feel way too tight. Your friend, though, takes a big piece of cake with cream topping, as she does every time. Despite her sweet tooth she is still skinny as a rake. How is it that she can allow herself cake whenever she wants, but you seem to gain weight even by looking at the sweets? Same eating habits, but different weight number – what is the secret here?
KNOWINGYOUR DNA IS A KEY TO SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS WITHOUT LEAVING HOME
Genetic diﬀerences determine how various foods aﬀect us. For example, what kind of tastes we like, whether or not to avoid snacking, what kind of food makes us gain weight and what´s the right balance between fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Is fat something that you should avoid while dieting? No, does not have to be. Depending on your genotype, it may be that increasing the intake of unsaturated fats has a benecial eﬀect on your body weight. Are you following Mediterranean diet (which is characterized by moderate consumption of protein), because it sounds healthy? Well, it may be that according to your genes, a high-protein diet would be more benecial for you. This is also the case with carbohydrates and saturated fats – they are not equally bad or good to everyone. Some people can eat a diet high in chocolate and carbohydrates, whilst others need to follow specic portions. The only way to know what works for you is to look at your genetic prole. How can you do that?
The genetic research has made a great leap in recent years, making it possible to take a gene test conveniently at home. The Weight gene test from myInnergo, created by British and European scientists, analyzes your cheek cells from the buccal swab.You will get a test kit, take a DNA sample and send it back by post. After that comes the "hardest" part - looking forward to the feedback!
More info and ordering: www.myinnergo.co.uk Use code the FITNESS while ordering – it gives a 10% disc count!
The results will let you know: • What kind of diet ts you the best – which is the most suitable balance between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. • What is more important for you – to eat less or to exercise more. • How much should you eat calories. • Additionally, a sample menu comes with the package The price, £99, is moderate considering the fact that these recommendations are valid for your whole life as the genes do not change.
Play it LOUD! A party isn’t a party without JAM’s latest release, the Symphony Wireless Smart Multi-room Speakers. These wireless speakers all sync together within one house and connect to an easy-to-use app that controls them all, hooking them up to your favourite stations or playlists. Plus, there’s the option of playing different or the same music on each. Wowzers!
Vivo Barefoot has taken personalised footwear to a new level with the Handcut range. The lifestyle shoes boast the new curved Heel Rocker feature, which contours to your natural foot shape and movement. The stylish designs also provide support in all the right places. We are in love! ● From £170, vivobarefoot.com
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INSPIRED Love life, keep fit and feel fab with this month’s motivational tips and must-haves
‘I always set both short- and long-term goals. My short-term goals are realistic, like doing an extra rep or two each week within a given exercise. My long-term goals are more aspirational to keep me motivated, and range from competing in a 10K or nailing unassisted pull-ups. Physical gains are a far better indicator than the scales of improvement and progress.’ ‘Clean Eating Alice’, fitnessfirst.co.uk/cleaneatingalice
From schoolteacher to spin instructor at Groove Cycle, Michael Johnston (@suitstosweats) is slowly but surely conquering the fitness scene, one post at a time. Expect snaps of protein drinks and a very cute pug – all with beautiful colour schemes! 122 womensfitness.co.uk | December 2016
If there’s one piece of kit you need on the slopes, it’s the Arc’teryx Ravenna Jacket. The stylish outer layer is waterproof, windproof and made with breathable Gore-Tex. Bonus features include an insulated collar, a removable storm hood and a sleeve pocket. Call it an investment! ● £600, arcteryx.com
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE Want more inspiration? Turn to page 54 to subscribe!
WORDS: LISA NGUYEN
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