Health Trends for 2019

Health and fitness has of course continued to be a trend throughout 2018! We love it it’s part of our job so it’s great that we get to promote this to others!

There has of course been a huge increase in people wanting to live healthy lifestyles and 2019 is set to be no different; in fact we have been chatting to Qlu Health and they are predicting that wellness trends will continue to rise in 2019 and we completely agree with them!

First of all before we get into the 2019 health trends we thought we would tell you a little bit more about Qlu Health. They are new DNA fitness and health testing company based in London. They have such a great missions statement which you can read below:

Qlu Health is on a mission to improve the health of people around the world through the power of genetics.

We have been reading some of the stats on the Qlu Health website and they really are quite eye opening! Did you know that 30% of the global population are overweight or obese, 42% of all cancer cases are preventable and 5% of people

on genetically appropriate diets lose 5.3% more weight than those who are not!

Qlu Health 2019 Health Predictions

See below just a few of the trends that Qlu Health have predicted! To read all of their predictions you can read their full blog post here.

Meal prep

This isn’t just a pretty Instagram trend! Prepping healthy and sustainable meals in advance will ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet day in, day out, and will save time thanks to your productivity and money in the long run thanks to less waste. Keep in even more on trend by incorporating new and unusual ingredients – see below for some examples of these.

Sleep Optimisation

In 2019, the quality of your sleep rather than quantity should be priority. Research into sleep habits has shown the importance of the hormones cortisol and melatonin, how they work in rhythm and balance to optimise your sleep. People will learn more about how balancing these hormones plays a big role in sleep and understanding your own personal Circadian Rhythm,meaning sleep quality and thus overall health will increase. Here are the top ways to improve your sleep:

Reduce screen time before bed.

Block blue light from your bedroom.

Use a sleep tracker to learn how your individual body works.

Reset your internal body clock by going to bed earlier – 9.30pm is recommended – and keeping a routine, even on weekends.

Going dry

There has been a huge decrease in alcohol consumption in the UK over the past 10 or so years. In fact, Generation Z has been said to have the lowest rates of alcohol consumption, and around 10.6million people in the UK said that they do not drink alcohol at all in 2016.

As people realise the short and long term impact alcohol has on their bodies, particularly on their fitness levels, mental health and diet, going “dry” will be taken up by even more of the population.

Intuitive health

Eating intuitively to get back to basics is set to spike in 2019. Intuitive eating explores understanding what your individual body needs –this might be through trial and error, feeling out what your body reacts best to, or through nutrition DNA or food sensitivity testing.

This post is a collaborative partnership with information provided in a press release

Our love for hiking/walking

You probably already know this by now but we just LOVE walking/hiking! There is something about being outside in the fresh air using your legs to get from A to B, taking in the views, chatting and just enjoying the world we live in! Sometimes we like to go on adventurous hikes, rucksack, supplies for the day, compass, map you name it, other times we like to go for a gentle walk around where we live, we also love walking around London and using our legs to get from A to B rather than using the tube.

In the winter we love wrapping up warm with a coat, scarf, gloves and going for a nice long walk, sometimes a stop in a pub is also involved. In the summer we like to take advantage of the beautiful weather and heading out for a long walk, just don’t forget that bottle of water.

The one thing we cannot recommend enough is a good pair of hiking boots and of course a comfy pair of socks. It is important to invest in a super comfy pair of walking boots, we use this website to find the perfect pair of boots, there are lots to choose from, and they may not be the sexiest but let us tell you, walking boots are so comfy and make that long hike a lot easier! Now you have your boots it’s important to get some good socks to wear with them, we really like the Bridgedale brand and love the variety of colours and how soft they are – check them out here.

If you are an adventurous person and like camping and hiking, then you can purchase a camping mat to ensure you get a good nights sleep! When I was in campervan in Canada I could’ve really done with a good sleeping mat as the ‘bed’ in the campervan was not super comfy, so we cannot recommend investing in a good camping mat enough.

HunkeMoller HKMX Product Review

We love finding new fitness brands and loved recieving these fab tops from hunkemoller. The tops we are wearing are the HKMX Blogger Xenia Mesh Tank Top! We both have them in a size XS and they fit perfectly!

The tops retail at £20 which we think is a fair price especially as the quality is really good. The fabric is incredibly soft and very comfortable (we have trialled and tested in several workouts).

The newest HKMX sports collection is perfect and so chic! It’s fashionable but also functional. You will find outfits for all kinds of activities including high impact sports such as running or boxing. They also have outfits perfect for yoga and other low impact sports.

More and more brands these days are offering more than just the product and are also ensuring the packaging is just as nice. To be honest we can see why because nice packaging that looks inviting is so nice to receive and also people are more likely to photograph and post to social media, which is free advertising for the company!

Hunkemoller didn’t disappoint with their cute packaging it was pretty and pink and we absolutely loved it!

The entire collection is so beautiful and we definitely have our eyes on some of the other products. We love the baby pink cropped sweater, the baby pink high neck branded sweater is also BEAUTIFUL! In fact we would wear the entire collection!

If you love the colour pink then this collection is most definitely for you (don’t worry there are plenty of other colours if you aren’t). We LOVE pink at the moment it’s one of our favourite colours so as you can imagine we are completely crushing over this collection.

You can purchase this collection on the Hunke Moller website.

Skimmed Milk Activewear Review

Skimmed Milk was founded in 2017 and ultimately there aim is to provide premium fitness and athletics wear that can be worn across a range of exercise classes including yoga, Pilates, spinning (which we have tried and tested ourselves and they pass with flying colours) and whatever else crops up on your schedule!

Skimmed Milk had the idea of putting together a collection of Sports Bras and Leggings in fresh interchangeable colours (one of our favourite thing about the brand), which would always go with whatever you grabbed on the way out the door ensuring that your style is always on point- we can confirm that they have met this vision!

We completely fell in love with Skimmed Milk active wear the moment we set eyes on it. Who wouldn’t though it is truly stunning and so pretty! We love the pastel colours and we have been living in our set throughout the summer and this will definitely continue into winter anything to brighten up our wardrobe during the colder months!

We are writing this review at just about the right time though as they have just released new colours for autumn, they are so bright and colourful and just so beaut!

They have: French Blue, Tango Red, Teal, Violet and citrus! We love the Tango red and Citrus- they are beautiful!

The sets come in sizes five sizes (XS, S, M, L & XL). We went for the XS which is a size 6-8, but you can check out the size guide on the website. We always find that sports clothes tend to come up a little bigger so we always opt for the smallest size otherwise we find the leggings can be baggy.

The leggings cost £45 and the sports bra costs £35 but the pastel set is now in the sale so you can get the bra for £17.50 and the leggings for just £24.50 BARGAIN!

The sets in the sale come in four colours:

Bubblegum- baby blue

Blueberry-lilac

Strawberry- pastel pink

Mint- Mint green

They material is incredibly soft and feels really nice on the skin. We are quite fussy when it comes to active wear as we love comfort over anything. This ticks all of the boxes, and are high waisted as well which is a massive plus for us.

The sets arrived in the cutest packaging- a cardboard milk carton which was of course pink! We think the packaging is an important part of the customer’s journey and something we always remember. It shows the company has pride in the products they sell and have really thought about each step of the customer’s journey and to us probably one of the most important aspects.

Rachel has the Strawberry (pink) set it is such a pretty pink and Annie has the Blueberry (lilac) set which is absolutely adorable. We usually love to be matching but with these sets it really didn’t matter in as they complement each other so well.

We mainly wear our sets when we attend spinning classes, go for long walks, attend the occasional yoga class or if we are just going for a Saturday morning brunch, because who doesn’t brunch in there active wear?

Skimmed Milk also sell S’well Water bottles which are absolutely stunning and come in the most beautiful patterns we ever did see. Annie loves the Blue Granite bottle and Rach has her eye on the Blanc Crocodile one.

Head on over to the website now and get your set, trust us you won’t regret the decision!

SOLE Insole Review

We were lucky to be sent the Active Footbeds from SOLE Insoles to trial and test (we were sent them a couple of months back) and ever since we have been testing them out. We wanted to make sure we really believed in the product before posting a review about them.

Last month I visited the country of La Palma, and I knew I would want to go running. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough room in my suitcase to fit both my walking trainers and my running trainers so I decided to pack my walking trainers as they are super comfy and try out my new SOLE insoles.

I absolutely loved them, they made my runs super comfortable and gave me the extra support I needed with my walking trainers. I was worried that it was going to feel weird running with insoles in my trainers but it was the complete opposite it felt amazing.

So what are SOLE insoles we hear you asking? Good question! SOLE have created custom food beds and footwear that are innovative and adaptable products providing you with cushioning and support. They adapt to your body giving you the support you need (amazing huh).

People live with pain every single day and it can restrict every day activities (not always ideal)! Imagine if you didn’t have to live with that pain every single day that would be amazing right? Well that is exactly what SOLE set out to achieve.

SOLE insoles support your feet no matter what you activity levels are you will benefit from the personalised support and cushioning. Not only did I use the my SOLE insoles for running I also used them when we were hiking up the mountains in La Palma as they gave my feet the extra supported they needed. I am incredibly lucky and do not get any pain when I run or walk but that doesn’t mean my feet don’t need all the love and comfort they can get.

SOLE’s award-winning footbeds are the most effective over-the-counter orthotic insoles on the market and we cannot rave about them enough. Since returning from holiday we have been using our SOLE insoles all the time. I have a few other holidays booked in the next few weeks and you guessed it my insoles will be coming with me!

SOLE products are renowned for being long lasting and their customers are very satisfied with the products. SOLE footbeds have a 9- day guarantee, if you don’t love your insoles for any reason all you have to do is contact the customer service team for a full refund.

Lifestyle Choices Which Can Impact Your Fitness

Everyone cares about their body, and if they don’t then they should! How our body is functioning on inside is far more important that what it looks like on the outside! Of course you can work hard at the gym to help improve your overall health, but there might actually be some parts of your lifestyle that are impacting your bodily health and fitness.

SLEEP
Sleep is one of the most important parts for not only your physical health but your mental health as well. Not having enough sleep night after night isn’t a healthy way to live and there is only so much coffee that is gonna help! Digestion, growth, and even weight loss are just a handful of the areas which a lack of sleep can damage. Try putting your phone down before you go to bed to help you get little bit more sleep.

STRESS
No one wants to be stressed and there are some things in life that can cause a little bit of stress, maybe it’s your job or your finances. You might not think it at the time but the cause of stress is something you can have control of! Recognise what is making life hard and make changes where possible!

HYDRATION
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated! Try and drink water throughout the day and only having fizzy drinks and fruit juices in between.

DIET
Your diet is also another important factor to ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle. There are so many tried and tested diets out there which yes some have proven to be successful, but we believe in eating a well balanced diet instead of going on a diet. If you are regularly going to the gym make sure you fuel yourself with the correct type of foods to ensure you have a fabulous workout!

There are a lot of substances which are becoming a normal part of human life, nowadays. Coffee, nicotine, and loads of other chemicals are used to make life feel just a little bit better, and this often isn’t too big of a problem (we love coffee). If you know anyone that has unfortunately moved onto harder substances they remember you can always speak to professions like people at https://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/

It can be very easy to set yourself back when you’re trying to improve your fitness. This part of life can be hard- remember not to deprive yourself of things you like because this will only result in bad habits resurfacing, enjoy things in moderation.

Tips for Getting Fit When You’re Not in the Mood

Everyone knows that exercise is healthy, and that staying physically active and in-shape is a lot better than the alternative of sitting around on the sofa all day and snacking on junk food (although this is great fun as well)!

People debate about the right kind of diet, and the best form of exercise to take, but in reality any form is exercise is good exercise and you should do what you enjoy and not just because it is a new ‘trend’.

Your exercise of choice may involve daily trips to the gym to weight train, or long walks in the countryside maybe even somewhere abroad in the mountains like walking in Andorra.

So, what should you do when you’re just not in the mood for exercising at all? Firstly think about whether or not you have worked out a lot and maybe you just need a rest day! Or maybe the weather is lush outside and you want to spend your time outside having a couple of drinks after work! All of this is okay and you don’t have to be 100% on it the entire time. If this is something that is happening more frequently though then take a read of our tips below to help you get back on track!

Increase your energy levels
If you hate the idea of exercise and you just can’t motivate yourself to train because you are too tired. This may be due to your energy levels make sure you are getting enough sleep and furling your body with the right type of food! This should help you feel more energised and want to exercise, oh and doing the below will allow you to get the most out of a workout.

While everyone has an off day here or there (we are only human), your basic relationship with exercise should be positive. You should want to move your body! .

Begin small and work your way up as you feel ready for it
Sometimes, we feel completely unmotivated to train, because we go too hard and reach out limits and then basically cannot walk for a couple of days LOL we have all been there. Go at your own pace and even adapt certain exercises for your ability.

Exercise will soon become part of your routine and a habit, start with exercises you are comfortable with and then begin to introduce new moves and exercises into your workout.

Focus on workouts that leave you feeling satisfied by the end, not ruined
It’s become fashionable these days to train until our souls want to escape our bodies! We love feeling satisfied with our workout by the end of it but it is also important not too push yourself to the absolute limit where you end up feeling worse than when you started.

When you push yourself too hard in training, you cause your body more stress than is good for it, and you condition yourself to see exercise as a nightmare.

Staying Healthy And Fit During Your Summer Travels

More and more of us are getting ready for our summer holidays wooohooo! From short-haul to Europe (Annie is off to Spain and Rhodes), to longer haul (Rachel is off to Canada)! Regardless of where you are going you have probably already thought about packing It’s definitely something you either love or hate!

Does anyone else find that whenever they stop and finally rest they get ill? We always do and it totally sucks! Although in summer there are fewer bugs around to catch, you can still get ill in summer, especially in a new country where you’re trying new foods or have a body clock that is all over the place. So here are some of the best ways that you can stay well on your travels this summer.

Hydrate

This is going to be one of the most important points for your summer travels. Temperatures are hotting up, and you’ll be losing a lot of water through sweat when you’re away.

If you decide to go on a boat trip or spend time by the sea you are likely to not feel as hot, as the breeze will cool you. But you will still be losing water. So you need to be drinking at least two liters of water a day, if not more. It can be tricky in some countries to do so, as you can’t drink the tap water. So stock up at local supermarkets with some bottled water. A cost-efficient way of doing it is taking your own reusable water bottle, and then fill it up each day from a large bottle of water bought from a store. Plus, places like hotel gyms have bottled water that you can decant and fill up your own bottle with.

Avoid Jet Lag

If you have jet lag, then it means that you can be sleeping at unusual hours, not getting enough sleep, or just generally feeling unwell. While this is more common when flying long-haul, it can happen any time. One of the best pieces of advice to avoid jet lag is to try to get on the new country’s time, as soon as you get on the plane. If you’re going to be landing somewhere and it will be daytime, then you need to sleep as much as you can on the plane, so that you can stay awake when you get there.

Exercise

Some holidays are going to be pretty active ones (think hiking trips or city breaks). So you’re less likely to need to exercise formally on those kinds of trip. But going off to the beach for two weeks means that you may decide to keep active by going for a run or visiting the hotel gym. We sometimes like to research gyms in the local area as well. It’s not that you have to exercise when on holiday and don’t think you do we just like to it helps us keep sane and also means we can enjoy one of two more cocktails than normal.

Watch What You Eat

This actually doesn’t have anything to do with calorie intake or anything like that, but more about how the foods are prepared and if they will be good for you. Even something like a salad, that has been washed in tap water, can make you sick. So you need to check things like that. It can also be a good idea to avoid certain things on street food carts, especially if you can’t check how it has been prepared. You want to reduce the chance of you getting sick from something you’ve eaten, and avoid getting anything like Delhi-Belly.

Sunscreen

It can be easy to forget about sunscreen and go wild by the pool in the hopes of getting a tan. And while the long-term effects of sun damage aren’t going to have an impact immediately, there are some side-effects that will. You can get sore, cracked, or broken skin, as well as something like sunstroke. That can leave you feeling nauseous, lethargic, high temperature, and in a lot of pain. So it really is simple; wear sunscreen, and keep applying it often.

Relax

Taking some time out when you’re on holiday can be just what you need to unwind and relax. And while you’re taking a break from some of the stressors of every day and your normal routine, holidays can still feel a little full on. So look for ways to help you to be more mindful. This could be meditation, writing in a journal, doing some exercise like yoga, or taking yourself off for a spa treatment. Time out gives you time to de-stress and to relax.

Have you got any tried and tested tips that help you to stay healthy on your travels this summer? It would be great to hear what you think.

Morning of the Marathon preparation & Timings

I absolutely loved my marathon experience that I decided it might be helpful to share our morning marathon routine. This routine worked well for us, but remember everyone is different so do what works for you on the morning of a marathon.

The Manchester Marathon started at 9:00AM, so we decided to work backwards when prepping our morning and timings. We were staying in Stockport which was about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the Old Trafford Cricket Club. Training runs work very differently to the schedule below, I usually roll out of bed, put on my running clothes, boil the kettle, pour myself a cup of coffee, drink said cup of coffee whilst scrolling Instagram, brush my teeth and GO.

5:45AM- Wakeup call for some this might be incredibly early but I am an early riser and my alarm usually goes off at 5:30AM on a week day so this time didn’t really affect me too much. If you aren’t an early riser or you don’t do well in the mornings then I would suggest doing this routine a couple of times before your marathon.

6:00AM- Breakfast & coffee, I wanted to makes sure I gave my body enough time to digest my breakfast before the race started, during my training I usually run fasted but I knew this wasn’t going to be possible for a 26.2 mile run. I needed to fuel but at the same time I didn’t want to risk getting a stitch as it was something my body wasn’t used to. I made sure I trailed and tested this before race day so I knew my body would adjust. For breakfast I opted for a big bowl of jumbo oats with blueberries and peanut butter which is my favourite breakfast so I was very happy.

I usually have a large cup of coffee prior to running on a usual training run and I never usually have to stop for the toilet.  I knew the excitement and nerves would get to me which we all know usually results in needing the toilet more frequently so I opted for strong but small coffees- espresso style. To be honest with you I am not sure how affective this was as I still needed the toilet twice before the race.

6:30AM- Shower time, I always like to have a shower on the morning of a race day as it makes me feel refreshed and ready to start the day. For my training runs I usually roll out of bed, throw on my running clothes and brush my teeth but that isn’t the case for race day. Then it was time to pin my running number to my vest eeek!

7:15AM: Taxi arrived, we decided to book the taxi for 7:15AM as we thought this would give us plenty of time to get to the start line especially, we knew there wouldn’t be any traffic that early on a Sunday morning. When we got into the taxi the driver asked us what time the race was starting and when our reply was 9:00AM he said ‘I’ll see what I can do about getting you there for then but there are lots of road closures’. As you can imagine my heart rate went through the ROOF, this is not the kind of stress I need on race day.

7:30AM- Taxi dropped us off, the taxi managed to drop us off about half a mile away from the race start line which we were happy about, we could do with some fresh air anyway to help with our nerves and excitement. This is definitely a lesson learnt through next time we will definitely check with the taxi company about road closures next time.

8:00AM- we arrived at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and went straight to the bag drop, the Manchester Marathon organisers suggested dropping your bags off prior to 8:00AM but they were not as strict as most places. At most races we have been to the bag drop off and bag collection points are at two separate locations, however at the Manchester Marathon the bag drop area did not move so there were not really any time restrictions.

8:15-8:30AM- We made our way to the pens which was about a 15 minute walk away from the bag drop by this point we had already walked about 7000 steps and we hadn’t even started the run. We made our way straight to the loos for one last comfort break before the marathon started.

9:10AM- we crossed the start line and the race was underway!

 

Christmas Day Breakfast 

We actually cannot believe that Christmas has come around so quickly, how are we already thinking about what we are going to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning, its mad. We did however think it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you a little recipe that will help start your Christmas morning, nothing fancy just keeping v simple, v quick and most importantly vv tasty.

Christmas breakfast has always been quite a big deal in our households, we always start our Christmas with a super yummy breakfast and a glass or two of champagne. Christmas Day always revolves around food and every meal has got that extra bit of magic added to it usually in the form of champagne in our houses. We have therefore decided to jazz up our breakfast up this year to make it that little bit more special and went for waffles topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon YASSS! If you wanted to you could even shape the waffles into snowflakes or Christmas trees!

recipe below makes 5 waffle so double or tripple the recipe if you have more mouths to feed.

Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
½ tsp Caster Sugar
½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Mustard Powder
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp ground pepper
210ml Milk
65g Unsalted butter
2 Medium eggs

Method
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Mix until all ingredients are combined
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, butter and eggs.
Make a well in the dry mix, and pour the wet mix into it gradually, whisking until fully combined
Leave the batter on the side for 5 minutes
Switch the Waffle Maker on and lightly oil, close the lid and allow the waffle machine to heat up
Once the waffle maker is hot enough pour the mixture into the centre of each waffle
Close the lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes, without opening the lid
Open the lid of the machine carefully and remove the waffle
Repeat with the remaining batter and keep the rest of them warm in the oven on a wire rack to ensure they do not become soggy