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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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.

 

 

 

 

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

How To Tune Out….from technology.

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Over the weekend we ran the second of our ‘Half day Urban Retreats’ in Walthamstow, London.  It was a lovely afternoon of Pilates, craft and relaxation. And craft we did, making these amazing macrame plant holders, plus there’s always a little tea and cake thrown in there, of course! It was so good to get making and creating with our hands, highlighting the amazing therapeutic benefits of crafting and its an important reminder of why we should all take time to tuneout of our busy schedules and more specifically, technology.

Because technology is EVERYWHERE! Just take a look around on your morning commute. Its rare these days to find anyone that doesn’t own a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Its true that technology is helping us to feel more connected than ever before. It allows us to easily stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues and for us as a new, small business it plays an important part of our marketing strategies! BUT studies are starting to show the link between too much time with technology and negative impacts on our health. We’re talking poorer sleep patterns, muscular pain, depression, social anxiety, and addictive behavior are starting to surface. So in our work obsessed culture we’re encouraging you to take some time to look at how you have integrated technology into your life and is it too much?

Taking time off can allow us to reconnect with ourselves, re charge (excuse the pun!) and lead fuller, happier lives. Give these a go…

  • Notice the impact of too much time spent on technology and your physical body. If your day is spent at a desk then know that this will have an impact on your body. Practice Yoga and Pilates to stretch, re balance and help to correct poor posture by strengthening core muscles.
  • Try to balance your day out if your job requires you spending long hours in front of the screen. It might sound obvious but schedule in breaks from the screen, take a walk on your lunch break, and try to keep some movement in your body through out the day even if that’s a few neck and shoulder rolls.
  • Re connect with people face to face. In our text and email worlds are we loosing the ability and confidence to communicate properly with people face to face. Not only will the other person appreciate you taking your phone off the table, listening properly and turning your phone to silent, but you’ll feel much better for it too!
  • Unless you’re waiting for an important call why not turn your phone to silent. Do calls really need to be answered instantly?
  • Schedule in time in the day for answering emails and calls. Again it boils down to whether people that are connecting with you need an instant answer.
  • Ban the TV for a night. What could you do with an evening of no TV at home…craft, have a bath, cook, have some friends round, visit a neighbour.
  • Put pen to paper. Its good to be aware of our paper consumption, but nothing beats getting a hand written letter or card. Take 5 minutes to send a little note to someone you love or you haven’t spoken to for a while. It will probably make their day.
  • Turn technology off for bed. Technology is SUPER stimulating and could be affecting you getting a good nights kip. Try no technology before bedtime rule and if you need more help getting to sleep check out our guide…
  • Take holidays. Taking time off should be seen as a valuable part of our lives that helps us to re connect and open up creativity, not an opportunity to re fresh and be a better worker. Savour these moments they will be the ones you remember the most.

Thanks to all that came along on Sunday. Looking forward to more of these next year. Join our mailing list to be the first to know. Plus if you love our plant holders but don’t have the to make one then you can now buy them at our SHOP.

Enjoy your technology free time!

L and K x

 

 

Autumn smoothie

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We’re a little obsessed with the Autumn colours at the moment which was the inspiration for this smoothie! Its a powerful one with tons of goodness in it. We’ve used the juicer AND the blender so a little washing up to do, but you could just take out the sweet potatoes and whizz up the rest in a powerful blender.

Juice the following :

  • 2 apples
  • 3 beetroots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • a handful of red grapes
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes

Put the juice into the blender and add the following :

  • a large handful of your favourite berries
  • 1 banana
  • a glass of almond milk
  • a sprinkling of bee pollen

Enjoy! x

Ready. Set. Craft.

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Autumn is in full swing and isn’t she beautiful!! The combination of sunny weather and gorgeous colours of the trees are getting us right in the mood for Autumn. And in preparation for our Urban Day retreat in Walthamstow, we’ve been  been getting our craft on and making some samples of the macrame plant holders, which we will be making on the day…which I have to say are looking amazing dotted around my house now!!  I guess this would be a good point to mention why we add a crafting element to our weekend and day retreats. We feel that adding something fun and crafty, that gets you using your mind and body in a creative way is not only incredibly satisfying and useful  we think, it plays an important role in the tuning out process. Its completely optional on our weekends retreats, but its great fun if you do. You learn a new skill and take something home that can be gifted or kept as a memory in your home of your time with us. You never know, perhaps you’ll find a new passion along the way…

Onto today’s post. Did we hear someone mention Christmas?? Its true, its just around the corner and it got us thinking…GIFTS! Nothing beats a homemade gift. If you’re short on time then there’s loads of options that don’t take so long (scrubs, flavoured booze, fudge) and most of these are really cheap to make too! Much quicker and easier than that mad dash around the shops buying stuff for your loved ones that they don’t even like! So here’s our round up of our favourite homemade gifts for this year. Click for the links for how to make and yes family/friends you can expect these in your stockings this year!

So our top 10 homemade gifts to get cracking on with are…

terrariums1. HOMEMADE TERRARIUM

IMG_61972. PLANT HOLDERS.

finishedscrub3. HOMEMADE SUGAR SCRUB.

tye-dyesocks4. TYE DYE SOCKS.

b1d5da0a46a7f691e66e6eb4b21f122a5. CHOCOLATE SLABS.

bathfizzes6. BATH FIZZES.

4c7da117cca52cf21ee2aac4e3c5d0e07. FLAVOURED BOOZE.

lemon_curd_68499_16x98. LEMON CURD.

woolyhat9. KNITTED WOOLY HATS.

candles10. HOMEMADE CANDLES.

IMG_5033(Squeezing in a last one..) 11. FUDGE, TRUFFLES and OTHER TREATS!