Top 5 healthy food blogs

by Christina Agnew,

It's into the third week of January and we thought you might like some new inspiration for healthy eating. Here are our top 5 blogs for recipes that are tasty and good for you.

Golubka Tile Flatbreads

My New Roots - written by Holistic Nutritionist Sarah Britton. Check out her wonderful TED Talk.

Pure Mamas - a mostly raw vegan recipe blog that is especially good for mums.

Green Kitchen Stories - a huge array of vegetarian recipes.

Golubka - slightly more complex recipes but delicious, with beautiful photography (above).

Kimberly Snyder - LA's celebrity nutritionist favours raw foods and food combining.


Clare's detox prep tips for ELLE

by Clare Ward, , link

In the lead up to your cleanse, it's really beneficial to do as much preparation (body and mind) as possible. Clare was recently asked to contribute her top tips to ELLE magazine.

GRADUALLY REDUCE CAFFEINE: Caffeine is the number one thing to monitor before you begin your cleanse. It is such an addictive substance that you should cut it out slowly to minimise the likelihood of withdrawal headaches. Try green tea instaed - it does contain caffeine, so will help satisfy your body, but the caffeine content is much lower than it is in coffee. Try Teapigs Mao Feng Green tea or Yogi Green Energy tea.

EAT REAL FOODS: Ideally two weeks before your cleanse, cut down your intake of processed foods and microwaveable meals. Even if they claim to be healthy they are loaded with hidden salt, which leads to dehydration. Also try to reduce the amount of dairy in your diet as it hard on your digestion.

OPT FOR LIGHT EXERCISE: This avoids putting excess strain on your muscles and joints, and reduces the energy demands on your body. Try Glow Yoga at Good Vibes in Covent Garden London as it uses infrared heat which allows your body to safely open and relax, whilst sweating out excess toxins.

UP YOUR GOOD BACTERIA: Start taking probiotics to keep the flora of your gut healthy. The gut contains a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. When we get stressed or run down, especially in winter, the bad bacteria begins to take over which leaves the body out of sync and prone to illness. We like Symprove and Restore by Detox International.

RETHINK YOUR TREATS: Switch to dark chocolate, or even better choose raw chocolate. A good brand is Conscious Chocolate.

HYDRATE: Aim for 1-2 litres of water per day. If you find that a struggle, try coconut water such as Vita Coco. It contains high levels of the electrolyte potassium, is only 45 calories per serving and is packed full of Vitamin C.

Need-to-know new beauty trends

by Christina Agnew, , link

Imelda Burke, owner of cult natural and organic skincare apothecary Content in London's Marylebone, is our go-to girl for the latest developments in natural skincare and the must-try products. Here she shares her beauty predictions for 2013. It's looking like the most exciting year yet for new launches and developments in the organic skincare sector. 

BACK TO BASICS – This may sound simplistic but some of the most exciting launches for early 2013 are from brands that are challenging our understanding of how close to nature our skincare can be, whilst still maintaining the luxury we love in our beauty products. One brand to watch is May Lindstrom, who has combined ingredients such as raw cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and other ‘kitchen’ ingredients with super potent vitamin C and plant oils. Not only do these ingredient combinations combine the best of traditional knowledge from practices such as Ayurvedic Medicine and Western Herbalism but research suggests that they also offer real anti-ageing results. Cinnamon for example may actually increase type 1 collagen production and Nutmeg may reduce wrinkles by plumping lipid layers. Look out for other food ingredients such Chia Seed Oil which is championed for topical use by US brand One Love Organics

NATURE = LUXURY – We have seen over the past few years the rise in popularity of the smaller food producers. Many people now understand that the ultimate quality can often only be found with small producers who guard the integrity of their products by controlling the manufacturing process and often producing in smaller batches. These types of producers can be found throughout the country at farmers markets and artisan food stores. This has become the new and ultimate luxury in the food industry. In 2013 people will start to apply this concept to the skincare and personal care items they choose. What could be more luxurious than knowing you are using products as close to nature as possible. Some of our favourite brands producing in small artisan batches include organic perfume brand Strange Invisible Perfumes, Dr Alkaitis and Soapwalla Kitchen.

REINSTATE THE RITUAL – The quality of your life is directly correlated with the quality of your daily rituals. 2013 will be the year for reinstating rituals into our day and the natural beauty sector will play a part in helping us. Often the 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning or end of the day may be the only moments you have to yourself. Using this time to create a mini-ritual reminds you that taking care of yourself is just as important as family and work demands. Many brands already use aromatherapy or flower essences to embed a wellbeing component in their products. One brand to look for is Tata Harper who has integrated three treatment oils to be used as part of your beauty regime. She has cleverly covered all the areas that affect the way we look – stress, sleep and irritability. Take a minute to add them into you day to keep a smile on your face – the ultimate beauty accessory.

THE POWER OF FLOWERS – We are all used to being quoted clinical trials as verification that the products we purchase will work however the organic beauty sector often can’t provide the same results. Not any more. Look to brands such as Amala who invest in independent clinical trials to verify the results their targeted products provide, with others following suit. 2013 will see consumers embrace the result-driven products as trial outcomes show they deliver results just as good if not better than mainstream brands. 

COLOUR CORRECTION – Organic and natural make-up has gained a bad reputation for dull colours and poor performance over the years. This has all changed and 2013 will be the best year yet. Brands such as Rms Beauty, Vapour Organics and ILIA are all providing performance and colours to rival the big brands, with lots of new product and colour launches set for 2013. If you’ve managed to switch your skincare to organic but not your cosmetics, make this year the year you clean up your make-up kit. 

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