Six things that should be on your wellness radar for 2015

Liv_Yoga_WellnessWeek

Well, how many yoga mats can YOU carry?

Although I have been struggling recently to find the time to keep up my health and fitness resolutions for 2015, I am generally quite into my nutrition and exercise.

Blame the years of writing about diet and fitness for work, my enthusiasm for leaping and bounding (yes, really) or simply the fact that I love workout wear (the sports luxe aesthetic was invented for me), but I genuinely enjoy eating healthily and exercising – when I like the workout. It also has to be noted that I’m writing this having had a to-die-for juicy Honest Burger for lunch and with a glass of white wine in my hand, so don’t think I’m one of those holier-than-thou fitness nuts.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my post about our lovely spa break in the New Forest, my job at Glam UK saw me trying out a whole load of wellness-related activities and products, so I thought I’d share my favourites with you.

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Our Mode Wellness Week goodie bags, jam-packed with wellness…

Hosting a week-long event called Mode Wellness Week, the Glam editorial team put together a whole timetable of nutrition talks, workouts and even a group hypnotherapy session to help our partner bloggers and business associates kick-start their 2015 fitness regime. Thanks to our amazing PR contacts, we were able to get access to some incredible experts and innovative exercise programmes, as well as awesome goodie bags for those who came along, so if any of them are reading this, ‘THANK YOU’ again.

One of the sessions was a talk on body conditioning and changing your eating habits by Phil Learney, a renowned industry leader known for his intelligent and realistic approach to changing unhealthy habits. We have put together his top tips in a separate article here.

The other classes and products that I tried (sadly I couldn’t do them all) and loved are listed below for your perusal. Let me know what you think of them or if you have any further questions get in touch on Twitter via @Livvie_2011 or @Tribethemag.

Hypnotherapy with Chloe Brotheridge

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Chloe Brotheridge teaching us a breathing exercise you can do anywhere: in for five, out for ten.

I have had three sessions with Chloe from Easy Way To Change over the last couple of years, so I was keen to get her involved in Wellness Week, knowing how amazingly hypnotherapy has worked for me. And while some people might still be sceptical about the concept, I feel like it is becoming more and more accepted amongst the more mainstream practices such as meditation or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Chloe has got a very calming, trust-worthy presence and I felt immediately at ease when I had my first session for stress and anxiety back in 2013. While I was a little nervous about being hypnotised, it simply felt like I was lying with my eyes closed – yet totally aware of my surroundings – listening to a relaxation tape. The messages she was embedding into my subconscious were completely tailored to what I had told her I would like to work on during our initial consultation, and although I felt more and more at ease as the session progressed, almost slipping into a trance like state, I remained totally focused on what she was saying the whole way through.

The results were astonishing. Maybe it is because I’m naturally quite an open, unguarded person, but I noticed the effects pretty much straight away. When I returned the following week, they had taken hold so well we both agreed to work on something else – my assertiveness – rather than reinforcing the anti-anxiety messages. Again, I noticed huge changes for the better within days, leaving myself to wonder, ‘Why did I live with all this rubbish for so long?’.

The effects lasted for a long time considering I had to deal with some major life changes over the following six months; including a break-up, leaving the UK to travel Australia and New Zealand, returning to London, moving house, starting a new job… So pretty much everything, right? I only returned for a top-up when illness and bereavement within my family left me feeling incredibly stressed again.

I know not everyone might have the same amazing results as I did, but if you’re thinking about trying hypnotherapy I couldn’t think of anyone better to entrust with your subconscious than Chloe.

Bounce Energy Balls

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Afternoon slump busters you should carry in your handbag.

Yes, I know the name sounds slightly suggestive, but these are genuine lifesavers when you’re planning on hitting the gym after work. While I’m prone to the odd chocolate bar or two in the afternoon, when I’m trying to be good their Cacao Mint Protein Bomb is the perfect snack when the clock strikes four or five. Made from cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, quality proteins and rice bran, this nutrient-dense snack tastes good, keeps me full until I get home and gives me energy for my workout. Do try!

Trampolining at Slice Studios

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The most fun you will ever have in a gym!

At the beginning of this post (if you’re still with me) I mentioned that I like ‘leaping and bounding’, which sounds as ridiculous as it is… but if I listen to the right music or find myself in a wide, open space of natural beauty, I love a good frolic! #Loser

So how thrilled was I when I discovered the utterly awesome 80s Rebounding class at Slice Studios in Fulham, London. Imagine being in a really pretty gym space, whacking on some retro tunes and hopping along on a mini trampoline, all the while getting a really decent all-over workout? I usually love challenging classes like Bootcamp or HIIT, but rebounding left me smiling from ear to ear, and while I was knackered by the end, it didn’t feel like exercising at all.

The Cook Book by Katherine Whale

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Healthy eating has never tasted better…

At the end of 2013, I was sent on a journalistic assignment to try out the famous No. 1 Bootcamp in Ibiza. Oh, what hardship, yes, yes, I know! Despite enjoying a challenging workout, the promise of a ‘dairy, sugar and gluten-free’ diet plan scared me way more than a set of burpees ever could.

In hindsight, I was so very wrong! Our camp chef Katherine Whale, a “foodie and certified holistic lifestyle coach with the Chek Institute Europe & USA and Premier Nutritional Advisor for Physical Activity and Weight Management” whizzed up the most delicious (albeit small) dishes you could ever imagine, ranging from homemade muesli to Teriyake salmon and beef burgers (minus the bun, of course), and I swear to whatever entity you believe in I never once felt like I was missing out on anything.

The afore-mentioned burpees and early dinner times were a different beast altogether, but hey, I lost six pounds in a week, so I guess it works… Now a food blogger at SkinnyliciousKitchen.com and author of The Cook Book, which is based on the meals served up at No. 1 Bootcamp, Katherine very kindly let us share some of her recipes during Wellness Week and they went down a treat. So if you want to try them for yourself, you can download a copy here.

‘Clean & Lean’ by Bodyism

Shona Vertue: Bodyism yoga expert and grace personified

Shona Vertue: Bodyism yoga expert and grace personified

I have been a longtime fan of James Duigan and his ‘Clean & Lean’ fitness and nutrition ideology. Training the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Lara Stone and the age-defying wonder that is Elle Macpherson, I read the original diet book a few years back in a bid to get a step closer to that healthy and toned Amazonian body (ahem). So I was super excited when the Bodyism team got on board with Wellness Week and offered us an exclusive preview of one of their brand new fitness classes.

Taught by their awesome coaches, yoga and stretch specialists Shona Vertue and Tegan Haining, the workout combined mediation, yoga, pilates, HIIT and general toning exercises using a stretch band for a holistic programme that nurtures the mind as well as the body. The exercises were impactful yet gentle and showed us that you don’t have to go full pelt at the gym to achieve results. There was one bum and thigh exercise in particular that was super simple but left me hobbling for the next couple of days!

Shona and Tegan’s obvious passion for the Bodyism way of life, which encourages to be mindful, fuel your body with the best ingredients possible, prevent injuries by listening to your body, getting fit and de-stressing, was very inspiring. Oh, and they had awesome banter to boot to see us through the tougher exercises.

We were also given samples of the BodyBrilliance protein and fibre chocolate shake (yes, chocolate shake) which is packed with super greens, minerals, energising herbs, fruit and vegetables that encourage fat burning, fight sugar cravings, flush out toxins and help your body heal and repair.

If you want to get your own piece of Bodyism, from exercise wear to cookbooks and supplements, check out their website at www.bodyism.com.

Dove Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oil

I usually stay away from oils because I hate my skin feeling greasy, plus most get stuck to your hands and end up all over your clothes. However, because I use a lot of Dove products I thought I’d give this one a try as my skin has been seriously dry this winter. And what do you know, it’s rather awesome!

I chose the Shea Butter and Warm Vanilla scent – there is also a Pistachio and Magnolia variety – which smells delicious, but not overpowering. The texture was significantly less runny than I expected and the oil sinks in quickly without leaving a sticky residue. I’d still recommend you wipe your hands off after applying the product, but it’s far less greasy than others.

Even better, it leaves the skin with a beautiful golden sheen, almost like a primer or body shimmer. Love it!

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