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

 

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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

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!

The TuneOut Guide to Christmas…

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Well folks, December, with all its merriment is well and truly here!

Does that thought fill you with joy or dread? For us all, December can be pretty extreme to say the least. Work parties, Christmas shopping, lots of drink, lots of indulgent food, then throw in the pressure of spending time with family, money worries, and lack of sleep and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ recipe for feeling pretty rubbish by the end of it all. Hence where the extreme January detoxing comes from!

But with the risk of us sounding very boring, what if you wrote yourself a few simple rules to live by in December, because sometimes when we’re in thick of it, we just need a little reminding. The essence of Christmas can get lost in amongst the need to buy the best present, host the coolest party, give our children great big piles of gifts, and really Christmas is a time of thanks, giving, and most importantly spending quality, precious time with our loved ones.

So strip away some the ‘stuff’ that isn’t needed and maybe try doing some of these to help keep you sane and allow you to float into your New Year (minus the crazy detoxing!)

G I V E  T H A N K S . Take a moment to look back on the last year. What’s changed. What did you achieve, however small it was. Who helped you out in times of need. Remember that others in the world are in much worse situations and be grateful for where you are and the people you have around you. Christmas is the perfect time to show thanks.

R E – C O N N E C T . Christmas is a great excuse for getting in touch with those you haven’t connected with for a while. Family members, friends and neighbours. Now is your chance to say hello, in a card, an email, or we’re loving the Paperless Post Christmas cards at the moment. When you do get to spend time with family, try to ignore those annoyances and embrace the special moments, even if copious amounts of alcohol are needed!

K E E P  M O V I N G . Have you felt a change in your body as the seasons change. Maybe a tight shoulder, a stiff back or some old injuries rearing their ugly heads. That can be down to the darker evenings and colder days, our bodies can tense up and go into ‘hibernation’ mode so its important to try to keep moving. Whether that be going to a class, for a big country walk or dancing the night away at your Christmas party there’s no excuse not to!

D R I N K . Not the way you’re thinking! Yes Christmas parties are in full swing, and its hard not to get swept along in the fun and games, so all we’re saying is load up on the water, which will help the hangover the next day. Try some lemon or apple cider vinegar in your water which will help rid the body of those pesky toxins. Plus we’re loving these super cool S’well bottles which make a great gift and help the environment along the way!

T U N E  O U T . Could you give up just 10 minutes of your day. The Headspace app is OUR FAVOURITE and free for 10 days. A subscription would make a great gift for those stressed loved ones. Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase happiness, creativity, help cope with anxiety, depression and improve digestion. The list is endless. Why wouldn’t we want to be doing this everyday!

B E  K I N D . Now is a great time of year to put some kindness into practice. Gestures of kindness can be so small too and make such a difference to someone’s life. Visit an elderly neighbour, donate to a charity or just do something nice for someone.

This year we’ll be donating 10% from all the money made from items sold through our  S H O P to the homeless charity CRISIS. Check out their website, there are loads of ways to get involved.

L E T  Y O U R  H A I R  D O W N . This is a very important part of your well-being, and you know we’re all about the balance here at Tune Out. Have fun, drink another cocktail, eat another mince pie, and go dancing BUT be sure to have lots of laughs along the way.

M A Y   Y O U R   D A Y S   B E   M E R R Y   A N D   B R I G H T . . .

Laura and Katherine xx

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