Quick Energy Balls.

FullSizeRender-5We’re always on a quest to try and lead a healthy but balanced lifestyle. We try our best to interpret this during our retreats. We believe that everything in balance is ok, which is why we always greet our guests with a healthy cake or treat when they arrive on one of our weekends. Its a nice way to let people know that they are in for a healthy but relaxed weekend.

There’s a lot of variations on these energy balls at the moment. They’re a great boost mid morning or afternoon, packed with protein and other good stuff but taste delicious. So if you’re vulnerable to the mid morning/afternoon slump then get making a batch of these to sit at your desk for when hunger strikes.

We’re a little obsessed with the new Jamie Oliver ‘Superfoods’ book at the moment, tons of healthy stuff in there and these energy balls don’t disappoint. We especially love the turmeric kick in there (turmeric being great for us as its anti inflammatory and packed with anti-oxidents). Try them out and make substitutions for anything you like/don’t like or simple just have lying around your cupboards. (See ours)

ENERGY BALLS RECIPE :

  • 70g of pumpkin seeds
  • 20g puffed rice or puffed quinoa
  • 50g whole almonds (we used any nuts we had lying around)
  • 80g Medjool dates (we used dried figs)
  • 1cm piece of fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of quality cocoa powder (we used raw cacao)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon manuka honey
  • 1 orange

METHOD :

Blitz the nuts, seeds, puffed rice or quinoa in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the dates, spices and cocoa and blitz again.

Add the honey, orange and vanilla, scraping the sides until the mixture starts to form a ball in the food processor.

With wet hands roll into little balls and the roll the balls in either blitz seeds or raw cacao.

They’ll keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

ENJOY! x

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Ready. Set. Breathe.

6af47f64987bd17b2c38e82388ee00c6Morning. We’ve been battling colds and coughs here for the last week which has inspired today’s post as it feels like we’re not the only ones! The colder weather as of late has been throwing up all sorts of persistent little bugs which we wanted to find some nice natural ways of dealing with and ditching ‘over the counter’ syrups and sweets. Thus allowing us to BREATHE again!

Hope you find this useful and we’d love to hear any of your natural tips too.

 

Drink This | Cough Buster Thyme Tea

We love this tea. For some it might be a little hard to stomach but works wonders at breaking up a dry, tickly and persistent cough.

  • Steep 2 tbsps of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp of dries thyme) in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. The add….
  • 1tbsp of Honey
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and drink 3 to 4 times a day

Open your chest and upper back | At this time of year we find ourselves more hunched in colder weather and tensing up to stay warm, practising some exercises that extend your spine and open up your chest will help to keep things moving and free. Yoga and Pilates are the perfect way to do it, so head for your local class (or come and see us!) and we’ll sort you out.

 

Sweat it out | If you’re not feeling like a hot yoga class or jumping around to get sweaty then take yourself off to the local sauna or steam room to relax. Most pools and gyms have them but we love to indulge a little at SpaLondon in Bethnal Green and the City. Pay £25 for 3 hours and full use of the spa, sauna, steam room and resting area. http://www.spa-london.org/york-hall/thermal-spa-york-hall/

Home steam | If you can’t make it to the spa then try some home steam inhalation. The hot steam moistens the nasal passages, thus clearing your blocked nose and opens up congested sinuses allowing you to breathe more easily. Pour some boiling water into a bowl and add some tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil drops (which can easily be bought on-line) Cover head with towel over the bowl. Stay there for as long as you can and inhale the vapours.

Get to bed early | The importance of sleep goes way beyond boosting your mood. Getting a good nights sleep will boost your immunity and allow your body to function properly. If you struggle getting to sleep and staying asleep, have a read at our guide ‘How to Tune Out last thing at night’

 

We hope this helps. We’d love any more tips too!

Breathe easy x

 

Excited about herbs…

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We’re getting a little excited.

Now if you erase the recent gale force winds from your mind, there is definitely a little hint of Spring in the air, don’t you think? A little bit of blossom on the trees, a few daffs popping up here and there and if the above pics are anything to go by then we’d say we’re on the home straight..yay! Our surroundings are starting to gently change colour at this time of year and spring into life with brilliant fresh green everywhere. And it got us thinking a little green fingered and especially about the wonderful world of herbs.

Herbs and essential oils have been used for centuries for health benefits, and we thought we’d share some of our favourite uses for them but really we’re just scratching the surface. Enjoy exploring!

ALTHOUGH HERBS AND OILS ARE ALL NATURAL YOU SHOULD USE WITH CAUTION ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR ON OTHER MEDICATION. CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING.

On our retreats essential oils are used in abundance to create the right mood and vibe for classes, relaxation and massage. We burn them in oil burners, sprinkle them on our guests pillows and add to our home made products in our goodie bags. There are so many different ways to use herbs and oils, here’s a few of our favs….

For getting a better nights kip. Lavender is known for its super calming and relaxing properties. Its can help to relieve stress and anxiety. We like to add some drops of the essential oil to our bath and pillow but you could also fill an eye bag with some dried lavender and pop it on for a nice deep sleep.

For cleaning and sanitizing your home. Tea tree oil is not only great for your skin it offers antibacterial, antiseptic and anti fungal properties which makes it great for cleaning! Add a few drops with some water for a home made spray disinfectant.

For easing anxiety and when you’re feeling blue. Recent clinical and laboratory research has determined that chamomile is not only relaxing, but it can significantly decrease anxiety and even fight depression. We like to drink this in a tea and you could even try growing it from seed in your garden or balcony.  http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/growingchamomile.html

For an all round super health boost. Pick young nettle leaves (yes the ones that can be found on your garden!) before they flower, add to a cafetière and pour over boiling water. Allow to infuse and drink. Nettles are known for so many amazing health benefits but to lists a few – rid the body of toxins, ease digestion, ease arthritis and muscles aches, helps ezema, asthma and hay fever! Some more things to do with your nettles.

 

 

 

 

Happy memories for Jan.

WOW! What an amazing weekend we had of last in Arundel, retreating with our lovely 16 guests, in the gorgeous and misty West Sussex countryside. We’re sure the pictures speak for themselves but it was a truly nourishing and relaxing weekend with great food, craft and Pilates.  We super excited to be going back here in May for maybe a little bit of a warmer affair! Booking is now open so do contact us if you’d like to come along and retreat with us…but for now we’ll leave you with some kind and wise words from this year’s guests.

“I think it was half way through Saturday when I realised just how relaxed I felt.  A feeling I haven’t had in a long time.  I was almost giggly with it on Saturday evening thinking that we had a whole day to go. I came away Monday morning, relaxed, energised and calm. I’m still managing to hold on to that calm. Even after a rushed double school run, delayed train and cancelled trains, work crap and screaming kids – it’s magic!  Blimey, I even got up this morning and did the 100s first thing.”

“Soothing, relaxing and a real step away from the ‘day to day’. Tune Out offers a simple, stylish check-out from a busy routine and really does give you the physical and mental space to get back to the best version of yourself – I wouldn’t be without a Tune Out weekend at the start of each year. I am fortunate enough in my work to travel and enjoy massages in some very well-known hotels and spas. That said I consider Lisa to be one of the most in-tune and skilled massage practitioners I have had the pleasure of being treated by. She is inherently sensitive to your needs and it is inevitable that I leave feeling better, lighter, more relaxed, and – always – with a stash of her cards for friends and clients.”

“I felt completely refreshed and in a much better place ‘mentally’. I have been much more patient since the weekend with my children!”

“The retreat successfully made two extremely neurotic people unravel to such a stage that true relaxation (and de-stressing) was achieved. The level of relaxation was such that the level of discomfort normally experienced on a daily basis from irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic intractable pain was actually reduced (which was a shock to both of us who believed that this discomfort was an inevitable side-effect that cannot be soothed/cured).” 

Homemade honey and lemon face mask.

Morning! A gorgeous and CHILLY morning here in London. I so almost made it out for a run this morning but when the weather is nippy like this every bone in my body is saying, get warm, have tea, eat stew. So this morning I LISTENED. The weather can have such a big impact on our mood after all we are part of nature and as humans this is the time of year to hunker down, retreat and store our energy, so if you’re feeling a little affected by the weather and the general time of year then know that this is NORMAL! Hence why we love retreating in January so much.

On today’s post – with just 3 DAYS TO GO until our retreat this weekend we are well and truly getting organised! We’re off to the lovely Brooklands Barn in Arundel, West Sussex. This venue is the perfect antidote to this cold weather its filled with cosy snugs lit by open fires, a heated swimming pool, and a newly installed log cabin sauna which you can indulge in between massages, walking, Pilates, knitting and relaxation.

If you’ve joined us on a weekend retreat before then you’ll know well of our signature goodie bags. Which I have to say we pride ourselves on. We put a lot of effort into  making sure our guest feel loved and have everything they need to truly TUNEOUT. Without giving too much a way, this year amongst lots of other things we’ve made some homemade face masks. There’s tons of different recipes out there but we loved this one for its truly indulgent feel and smell! Good enough to eat quite literally. And you can feel smug in the knowledge that there’s absolutely no nasties in there and if you’re working towards living a life of less stress then that counts for what you put on and in your body, right down to your beauty products and household cleaners.

So here’s the recipe and some of the amazing benefits to your skin (always try a patch test first)

honeyandlemonmask

Honey and Lemon face mask

(Makes 1 portion)

  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey – moisturising, calming, antibacterial, full of anti-oxidants
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar – used for ex-foliating and the removal of dead skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon – can plump the skin and make you look younger
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon – acts a natural skin peel, brightens the skin
  • 1 tablespoon of organic almond oil- helps remove dark circles and extra moisturising

Mix and indulge (hopefully in a steaming hit bath!)

The best time for new beginnings is now

First of all. Happy new Year!  By now you’ll most likely be well and truly settled back into work and daily routines post Christmas, and for us too.  We’ve had a lovely long break, Katherine is about to return from an amazing trip to New Zealand, and I’m ready and raring to go as January is one of our busiest months. We’ve got our weekend retreat at the end of the month to the lovely Arundel which is now fully booked. We’ll be going again in May if you missed out on this one, all the details can be found here. And of course our weekly classes are bursting with enthusiastic folks getting fit and healthy post Christmas.

So back to this year’s first post! We’re a little over resolutions these days, and instead we’re all about taking up new stuff rather than cutting it out. Trying for a more balanced approached to January with more achievable outcomes.

There’s a few little things we like to do at this time of year to enter the New Year on a positive note. So here’s just 3 things you could have a think about whilst moving gently into 2016….

  • I N T E N T .  Its never too late to set some clear and simple intentions for your year (or life!) ahead. Take a little time to think about where you want to be or what you would like to achieve in your year ahead. It might just be 1 thing that you’d like to do or have wanted to do for some time. Learn to dance, plan a family holiday, do some work to the house, walk to work. Whatever it is just choose ONE for the whole year. Much more achievable this way. Write it in a place that you see it everyday – on the fridge, bathroom mirror, post it note on your computer. This little reminder will allow you to take steps towards it through your decisions and behaviours.
  • R E C O N N E C T .  With a glut of new fitness DVD’s and fads at this time of year it can be overwhelming knowing what to do to get fit! But recent research has shown that going for a brisk 30 minute or longer walk can be more effective than going to the gym. PLUS connecting with nature can have huge phycological benefits so its a win win. Use this time to think about your intentions for the year. We’re loving the Time Out Country walks book at this time of year.
  • B U I L D  A  T R I B E . (face to face) We recently blogged about how to use technology in a more balanced way. Too much technology use and little face to face connection with people can leave us with feeling of loneliness and unconnectedness. Once you have set your intentions for the year think about the tribe of friends and family that might help and support you. Also where could you support your friends and family more. Maybe some friendships with come to an end and maybe on your way new friendships will be created, but know that the people your surround yourself with get you and support you fully.

We wish you well for 2016…

L & K x

Not so bad mince pies…

mincepiesFor us, it can sometimes be tricky to find healthy sweet treats that live up to their unhealthy counterparts! But these mince pies from Deliciously Ella don’t disappoint. The pastry is soft, sweet and super easy to roll, cut and shape. For the inside, we substituted the  sultanas with figs which was gave it a lovely decadent flavour, plus any left over dough you can roll out and make some cookies, which are a healthy little cup of tea time snack and we do love a spot of frugality.

So here they are and hope you’re December is shaping up well…

Makes 12 mince pies

For the crust

  • 400g of ground almonds
  • 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 20 medjool dates (400g)

For the mince

  • 2 apples (200g)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • the juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger

Chop the apples into small pieces and place them into a saucepan with all the remaining ingredients and stir it together. Let the mince simmer for about 30 minutes, until the apples are nice and soft

While the mince cooks make the crust. Place all the crust ingredients together in a food processor and blend for a minute or so until everything has mixed together and the dates are totally broken down. Then sprinkle flour over a surface and roll the mix out so that it’s about half a cm thick.

Heat the oven to 180C. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and then mould the mix into the individual tins, once you’ve done this cut the remaining mixture into stars, these will go on top of the pies. Then place the tray of crusts in the oven for 8 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown – at which point take them out and allow them to cool while the mince mix finishes cooking.

Once the mince has cooked start assembling the pies. Simply add two heaped teaspoons of mince into each pie before placing a star over the middle of the mince. Bake the pies again for 8 minutes

Once they’ve baked leave for twenty minutes to cool and finish setting before enjoying!