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Lululemon’s Sunday Morning Yoga with Julie Montagu

Whilst Sunday’s are typically a day of rest to most people, I’m not so good at the whole ‘relaxing’ thing. I tend to always be a busy bee, with a packed schedule and huge list of tasks I’ve set myself to do in an impossibly short space of time. Yup, I’m one of those ‘always on’ kind of people. In an attempt to counteract this, I make sure that my Sundays always include some time spent on self care. For me, this tends to be a grounding yoga practice, and more often than not I go to Lululemon’s Sunday Morning Yoga events. Yoga is an important part of my self care ritual, and these events are a great way to make sure I wind down after a busy week.

I’ve been going to the classes for a couple of years now. They’re a great thing to go to with friends who might be new to yoga, or your fellow yogi bears too. Working out with friends is more fun, and a great excuse to go for brunch somewhere after (I highly recommend Raw Press). One of the best things about these events is that there is a different teacher each week, so are able to try new styles of yoga practice. The classes are free, and you get a foodie treat sample from a wellness brand after the class. This week we enjoyed Goji Berry & Chia Seed bars from Prana Protein.

This Sunday one of my absolute favourite teachers from TriYoga took the class, Julie Montagu. I used to go to Julie’s Sunday night class every week, and really miss them! She is an amazing teacher, really fun, friendly and full of energy. Trying the Vinyasa Flow classes outdoors for a change was such a great experience – the sun was shining and the vibes were high!

This Summer, the Sloane Square yoga sessions are being held at the green on Duke of York Square. The most amazing venue! Surrounded by the trees, the Saatchi Gallery, and right next to the cute little cafe High Mood Food. 150 people doing yoga together in the sunshine is such an amazing experience! Julie’s class was as amazing as ever, and it was great to have a little catch up after.

Lululemon's Sunday Morning Yoga with Julie Montagu

I wore my favourite Hey Holla jumper (100% organic cotton and Fair Wear certified), Adidas leggings and Stella Mcartney x Adidas trainers. Shop the look below…

If you’ve not tried yoga before, I highly recommend it. It’s so good for your mind and body, so it’s a double whammy. It’s a mood booster, gets your blood flowing, helps with digestion, and stretches your muscles too. So many benefits, it’s a must on anyones schedule.

I’d definitely recommend checking out your local Lululemon store for classes, the best way to sign up is to visit their Facebook page and check out the events section. Honestly, it’s the best way to meet some of the best instructors in the world, and a great way to spend your self care Sunday!

Let me know if you try Lululemon’s Sunday Morning Yoga class, I promise you’re love it! 🙂

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PRESS Soup Cleanse Review

So I’ve wanted to do a cleanse for a long time now, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do one…I’ve been missing out BIG TIME! I decided to take my first dive into the world of juicing by trying the one-day PRESS Soup Cleanse which has just launched. Having a specially designed programme delivered was a whole new experience, and it was awesome! As a fully fledged cleanse convert I thought I’d better share a bit more about what a cleanse is, how it can benefit you, and what I thought of the soup cleanse programme.

So what’s the idea behind a cleanse?

A cleanse is a diet designed to give you body (and especially digestive system) a rest, in this case with nutritionally rich juices and soups. When consuming pure plant based juices and soups, your body is flooded with key minerals, nutrients and enzymes. Importantly, by having a cleanse that is a mix of cold-pressed juices and nourishing soups you don’t feel too restricted.

Ultimately, in the words of the PRESS team – “It’s about breaking habits, giving your body a rest and finding the healthiest version of you”.

Which cleanse did I do?

I decided to go for the ‘Energise’ programme as it has been designed for those with a more active lifestyle.

This was the menu for the day;

Charcoal Lemonade

Greenhouse 1 (Green Juice)

Skinny Veg Broth

Thai Coconut Soup

Orchard 2 (Fiery Apple & Ginger Juice)

Butternut & Beetroot Soup

Vanilla Leche (Almond Mylk)

It might not look a lot, but trust me it’s filling enough to get you through the day no problem!

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review

What are the benefits?

Breaking your food routine means you can reset your habits and start a fresh. The boost of vitamins, minerals and enzymes is really beneficial to your body, and will help to improve your complexion and skin quality too. It’s also a great way to kick start a healthier lifestyle, where you are more mindful of what you put into your body and how your body responds to different foods. A way to spark a new way of thinking and a healthier happier daily regime.

The team at PRESS say… “You will be left feeling energised, refreshed and ready to take on life’s challenges with a little more spring in your step”.

Amen to that!

What do I like about this soup cleanse programme?

Firstly the ethos of PRESS is awesome – Let us dream, let us never stop trying, let us laugh, let us make someone else’s day, let us live in the moment…. Let us live the juice life

What I like most about the PRESS Soup Cleanse is the combination of juices and soups – the mix of the two is such a simple and effective idea. I like to think of this as more of a foodie-friendly cleanse, as the variety means that you can look forward to each of the delicious flavours throughout the day. The soups are warming and savoury, and the juices are sweet and fresh. Both are super nourishing and balanced, created by the in-house nutrition team in LA!

The juices are cold-pressed which means they retain the highest amount of nutrients. Each recipe is specially formulated with rejuvenation in mind – with ingredients chosen to reduce inflammation, boost immune system function, aid digestion etc. Most importantly, all the juices and soups are super tasty!

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review Greenhouse 1

So.. how did my cleanse day go?

It was great to hit the reset button and give my digestive system a bit of a rest.  I loved feeling lighter and knowing that I’d had such a nourishing diet. It was also really great to have a break from cooking for a change. I can honestly say that each and every one of the juices and soups are delicious. There is a Queen of the Cleanse though, I must give a huge shout out to the Thai Coconut Soup – it is mind-blowingly tasty. Seriously, it’s the best soup I’ve ever had (and I eat a lot of soup!). I know this sounds ridiculously high praise, but it’s completely true – this soup is the bomb! I was really surprised at how awesome all of flavours were, the PM drink Vanilla Leche is another winner. What better way to finish off the day than to have a sweet nutty mylk to sip while I read the latest issue of Women’s Health.

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review Almond Leche

The day after..

I slept really well and woke up feeling light and energised. I did my usual 7am pilates class, managing a great workout with the usual strength and energy from start to finish. I was really surprised that I didn’t feel hungry as my tummy is usually rumbling in the mornings. It goes to show that the Press soup cleanse is a great way to re-set your appetite too. I found I ate a lot less than usual and felt in control, rather than being ravenous come lunch time or dinner time – a welcome change! I noticed feeling more thirsty, which is hopefully a good sign.

I really enjoyed doing the cleanse and genuinely think it is a really well designed programme. Delicious, easy and effective. Certainly something I think is well worth doing every month or so, or to give you a boost if you’re a bit off track.

*Update* it’s been nearly a week since I did the cleanse and my stomach is still really flat, I’ve not been bloated, I’m eating less (I’ve not felt like over-eating, which makes a change!) and feeling super light and energised! Amazing 🙂

If you fancy trying this awesome one-day Soup Cleanse I urge you to go for it. The team at PRESS have been kind enough to offer you a special 15% off with the code VEGANEDIT …so you might as well go for it. For more information and to order visit www.press-london.com

I’d love to hear how you get on, so let me know in the comments below!

Ruth x

PRESS Soup Cleanse discount code

PS. I love sharing great health, fitness and wellbeing products that I genuinely think are awesome. I wrote it independently, and won’t be making any money from the code when you use it 🙂

8 Healthy Self-Love Habits to Start Today

The whole self-love thing is being talked about a lot right now, and with good reason. It’s become conventional wisdom that we’re all supposed to love ourselves, no matter what our relationship status. The common phrase being ‘the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself’. However, most people still aren’t sure what self-love even means, how to go about it, where to start or what to call it. With that in mind and with Valentines day messages all around us, now is a good time to remind ourselves of the basics and how we can show ourselves some more love.

Self-love means different things to different people. It’s such a personal thing and everyone has different ways of showing self-love. The good thing is that the more attention you give your self-love practice, the more it will grow.

Self-love can be all of these things and more…

Being proud of what you’ve achieved. Embracing the things that make you different. Allowing yourself to dream big. Owning your inner and outer beauty. Making time to do what you love. Allowing yourself to make mistakes and not criticising yourself for them. Appreciating and accepting yourself, all of yourself!

Unfortunately, many of us will not love and appreciate ourselves fully until we have achieved a particular goal, be it losing weight, getting the job or the pay-rise, or the boyfriend/girlfriend and so on. But, if you start to work on your self-love now, you’re more likely to achieve these goals and be the most vibrant and powerful version of yourself.

Since there is no better time than now to get started, let’s dive right in. Do yourself a favour, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and have a go at incorporating some of these self-love practices into your everyday routine.

FOOD

Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive. If you are properly fuelled you will have more energy to do the things in life that you love. Feeding your body nutrient-rich foods will have you oozing love out of every pore.

MOVE

Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. Get those feel good endorphins swimming around your body on a daily basis. Spending time stretching and strengthening your body will help you to connect to yourself and appreciate all the wonderful things it does for you.

PAMPER

Have a digital detox and spend some time winding down and getting centered. Have a bath, light some candles, put on a face mask, moisturise, make a cuppa, get cosy and read a book. Hygge at it’s best. When you take time out for yourself like this, it’s a chance to unwind and relax. Your mind and body deserve a good rest.

GOOD VIBES

There is a mean critic inside of us that can cause trouble when we believe it. Rule number 1, don’t believe everything you think. Definitely stop the comparisons. There is no one on this planet like you, so you cannot fairly compare yourself to someone else. The only person to compare yourself to is you. Be your own champion by celebrating your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved. Even if it is getting up on time, drinking lots of water, or smiling at your neighbour.

GOOD TRIBE

Everyone needs a support team around them – cheerleaders if you will. Positive energy is contagious, so surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. There’s nothing like spending time with friends and family who empower you to be yourself. Conversely, end all toxic relationships. Seriously. Anyone who you feel drags you down and drains your energy is not worth your time.

CHALLENGE

Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s an incredible the feeling when you realise you’ve achieved something that you didn’t think you could do, or you’ve faced a fear. Go and do the things that get you excited but also scare you at the same time. With every challenge comes the opportunity for growth.

JOURNAL

Writing a list of what you are grateful for is a great daily habit. It’s inevitable that you are going to have your down days, you are human! But it’s especially important on these days to find at least one thing you are grateful for as it helps to shift your perspective to focus on the positives.

If you find your head swimming with thoughts, empty it onto paper. No matter how crazy, mean, sad, or terrifying they are. Write it in your journal, or burn it. Either way, let it go.

PASSION

Set aside time to do what you love. Doing what you enjoy and are good at is a self-esteem booster. It will not only boost your endorphins, but will bring out the best version of you. If you love to cook, then cook. If you love yoga, get your butt to a class pronto! Most importantly, keep up the routine of doing the things that bring you joy.

Be patient and persistent. It’s something that needs to be practiced daily but can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times. Love is a choice, so make the choice to put some time and energy into loving every little bit of yourself, starting now!

Ahhh, I feel better already 🙂

Ruth x

Good Mood Foods to Beat the January Blues

Food has a HUGE ability to influence your mood – for better and for worse.  When the cold and dull January weather is getting you down and the New Year resolutions are a distant memory, it’s easy to self-medicate by binging on comforting carbs and sugary snacks. This short term fix won’t shake those January blues, in-fact you will most likely crash and end up feeling worse. Instead, integrate more of Mother Nature’s good mood foods into your meals to get your mojo back!

Keep this list of all-natural, science-backed mood boosters on hand for when you need to add some brightness to a gloomy day and want to eat your troubles away…

MOTHER NATURES GOOD MOOD FOODS

CHOCOLATE

I know, it’s almost too good to be true, but there is a reason why chocolate always seems to make things better! Raw chocolate, or Cacao Beans, are among the richest natural source of antioxidants that, improve blood flow to our brain resulting in increased concentration and focus. Cacao also contains Magnesium, an essential nutrient required for the biochemical reactions in the brain that boost your energy levels – no wonder it’s known as a superfood.  Just one small square of dark chocolate (70% cacao) will cause the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels.

Try this smoothie for a serotonin boost: Blend together 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1 banana, 100ml almond milk, ½ tsp maca powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, pinch of ground cinnamon and 1 tbsp soy yogurt.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are by far the richest source of selenium, an essential nutrient for humans.  Low levels of selenium have been linked to anxiety and tiredness, so increasing the levels of this mineral in your body may help to improve your mood, especially if you are deficient. Just 4 nuts per day will provide you with your recommended amount of this mineral.

BANANAS

Bananas contain vitamins A, B6 and C, fibre, potassium, phosphorous, iron and carbohydrate. The carbohydrates in Banana aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and the vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into serotonin. This helps to boost your mood and also aids sleep.

LENTILS

Lentils are another complex carbohydrate that help increase the production of serotonin in the brain. They also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, keeping your mood even. And finally, lentils can help boost your iron levels, which will give you a nice shot of energy.

DARK GREENS

Spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus and other dark green leafy vegetables are high in essential B vitamin, folate.  This nutrient helps create feel-good brain chemicals. Harvard researchers found that boosting the folate levels of depressed patients helped improve their mood. Have more green juices, stir spinach into your curries/soups/stews and order a side of greens when you’re eating out.

FEEL GOOD TIPS

Make sure you eat regularly and have a healthy snack on hand, as if your blood-sugar dips you may notice you feel irritable, tired and depressed. To keep your sugar level steady choose foods that release energy slowly such as protein foods, oats and wholegrains, nuts and seeds.

For years, studies have looked into the effect of vitamins and minerals on physical and mental wellbeing. A deficiency in certain nutrients can lead to feelings of depression, fatigue and a general lack of enthusiasm.  However, making key nutrients a regular part of your diet can work to reduce mood swings and boost your mood. If in doubt – eat the rainbow!

Good Mood Foods - Eat The Rainbow

Keeping your mind and body nourished with good food is just the start. Feeling happy and relaxed is about keeping those little things in check.  Stretch, breathe deep, get some fresh air, walk in nature, laugh with friends, meditate, and read a chapter of that book you’ve wanted to start for ages…

Sending you some good mood food vibes,

Ruth x

Foods to Boost Your Immune System

Winter is well and truly here and blimey it’s cold!  At this time of year when everyone seems to sniffle and the weather gets us down, it’s a good idea to get a health head start.  Aside from eating a wholefood plant-based diet, there are a few more natural ways to boost your immune system even further. As they say, prevention is far better than cure!

The cold weather and pre-Christmas frenzy often means our health suffers, stay energised all winter by eating more of these powerful foods that support immune system function…

Immune System Saviours

  1. It might seem the most obvious, but Vitamin C is crucial to a thriving immune system! It’s the premier vitamin for immune function. Vitamin C helps protect cells against damage – your best friend when you’re coming down with the sniffles.  Try drinking warm lemon water in the mornings, eating more citrus fruits or adding some vitamin-C rich Baobab powder to your smoothies or porridge.
  2. Turmeric has been having a superfood moment recently, popping up on health-food menus all over. Far from being a faddy ingredient, turmeric has been used for years and years.  It contains curcumin which countless research studies prove is anti-inflammatory. It’s so powerful, it’s often used in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as improving the immune response.
  3. Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. Numerous studies have shown that eating garlic regularly reduces the likelihood of catching a cold.  Add fresh raw garlic to your sauces and dressings, or make some delicious fresh garlicky hummus.
  4. Mushrooms have been a diet booster for many centuries, particularly for supporting a healthy immune system. Studies have shown mushrooms to increase the volume and activity of white blood cells, making them more effective. When you have an infection try adding shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms to your cooking or try a comforting mushroom latte.
  5. Ginger is famous for its knack at reducing indigestion, nausea and calming the digestive tract. As well as being an effective antioxidant, ginger is anti-inflammatory and acts as a decongestant for clearing sinuses, nose and throat.
  6. A GIANT green juice made with leafy greens will give you a boost of antioxidants such as Vitamin E that is important in maintaining immune system function. Juices are a quick and easy way to get a hefty dose of nutrients all in one go! Incorporating more vegetable juices into your diet as liquid nutrition is a great way to ensure your diet is optimal.
  7. Vitamin D is one of the main energy sources for our white blood cells, which defend against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Our bodies can make vitamin D from sunlight, so it’s important to get outdoors.

More than just food…

Whilst there are some great ways to support your immune system through nutrition, make sure you are also looking after yourself in other areas too.  Aside from diet, pay attention to your body.  If you’re feeling run down or tired, schedule in some self-care and get an extra bit of rest. There is a really strong link between stress and immunity, so staying calm and positive is as important as ever during winter.

Here’s to a healthy winter season 🙂

Ruth x

(This post originally appeared as a guest post for Raw Press Co – You can find it here)

Toxic Timeout: What is Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

What is BPA?

Bisphenol-A (or BPA) is a synthetic chemical that is used in a range of plastic food and drink packaging, CDs, mobile phone cases, glasses, dental sealants, medical devices and even till receipts! Concern is growing as conditions such as obesity, heart disease, infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and recurrent miscarriage have all been linked to BPA by various scientific studies.

Production of BPA has increased by 500% in the last 30 years, and over 3 billion kgs of BPA are produced every year. It’s no wonder then, that BPA is now found all over the planet. However, this is really bad news! Due to its chemical structure, the bonds that hold BPA in place are not stable. This means it can easily leach into food and drink, rub off on hands and absorb through the skin. Worse still, is that exposure to UV light (the sun), high temperatures (think lunchboxes in the microwave – eek!) and acidic conditions (e.g. in a tin of tomatoes) increases the amount leached.  BPA is so prolific that it’s now found in urine, sweat, breast milk, brain tissue, fat tissue, and even placental tissue!

Why should you avoid it?

Manufacturers making and retailers selling BPA products claim it’s safe to use due to ‘low levels’, however evidence suggests that BPA is harmful at any level.  Lab experiments show BPA is able to transform normal cells into cells of a more cancerous or malignant nature. With particularly concerning results from studies on exposure to BPA in the womb and during early life showing an increased susceptibility to tumours.  As BPA is a synthetic oestrogen (acting as a hormone in the body would), it is able to influence how our genes and cells behave.  Because mammary tissues are primed to respond to oestrogen to develop and grow, they bind more easily with BPA – a significant amount of scientific evidence shows a strong link between BPA and breast cancer.

Obesity, heart disease, infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and recurrent miscarriage are all conditions that have been linked to BPA.  Because of these concerns and growing evidence, BPA was banned in baby bottles and products back in March 2011.  However, it continues to be used in a huge range of other food and drinks packaging.  Many charities such as Breast Cancer UK are rallying the EU Food Safety Authority’s to prohibit use of BPA in all food and drink packaging.

How can you avoid it?

It’s easy to dismiss these concerns and bury your head in the sand, until one of your close friends or family are affected by disease or illness.  Then everything becomes more real and you start to take note.  I’d like to invite you to treat yourself with love and care, and pay attention to the products and plastics you use on a day to day basis.  There are many more brands labelling their lunchboxes etc as ‘BPA free’ which is hugely helpful, so it’s fairly simple to take steps to reduce your exposure.  Plastic containers containing BPA are labelled with the recycling number 7, so be sure to avoid this. If you do need to buy plastics, go for plastics labelled 1, 2, 4 or 5.

To help protect yourself and your family, try to use alternatives such as steel, glass and ceramic.  There are more and more companies making cute products such as water bottles and lunchboxes.  I’ve taken to washing out old jars as storage containers which is great as you can chuck them in the dishwasher too!

One of the main culprits for BPA packaging is water bottles. These are great alternatives:

Brita Water Filter Bottle –  www.brita.co.uk

24Bottles – Stainless Steel with BPA-free plastic caps buy here

24Bottles Tropical Print Stainless Steel Bottles

S’Well Steel Water Bottle – Proceeds of sales go to Unicef buy here

S'well Bottle from Handworks Paperie

I hope you feel inspired to take steps to reduce your exposure to everyday toxins such as BPA 🙂

To your health,

Ruth x