Valentines Gift Guide

by Olivia Cartwright,

Valentine's Day is an occasion that always divides the crowds. Every year I find there to be roughly three categories that emerge in the lead up. First: The Lovers, those filled with anticipation and excitement, revelling in the opportunity to flaunt their mutual adoration. Second: The Sceptics, those who may or may not be in a committed relationship but generally have a fairly neutral opinion on the whole juncture. Just another day, corporate greeting card companies money maker etc are all phrases that come to mind.  And finally the Valentine's day Scrooge, those who have the general consensus that Valentine's day should be banned.

Whatever your stance on the holiday, it's still a nice excuse to show someone you love that you care, romantically or otherwise. Who say's valentines should be limited to celebrating your relationship with your other half. We are also grateful for the loving relationship we share with our friends, family, colleagues or pets even should you wish, so let's show it!  

Many of you won't necessarily appreciate the archetypical box of refined sugar temptation that you are typically presented with. So we have put together a little gift guide for the spouses, partners and friends of rather more health conscious individuals.

Radiance Valentine's Gift Box

I hate to blow our own trumpet but this box is the perfect gift for even the most salubrious valentine. With two of each delicious and nutritious juice or nut milk you and your partner can enjoy a few of our bespoke blends together. Mix a juice with an alcoholic spirit of your choice for a more virtuous cocktail and tuck into Miss Nutritionist's mouth watering Dynabites for dessert. This gift will guarantee you a spot in the good books!

Kai Perfume

Fragrance can be quite a personal thing, but I am yet to come across anyone who doesn't love this beautiful perfume. Two members of the Radiance team wear this already and I doubt it will take long to convert the rest. Kai has a devoted celebrity following and who are we to argue?

Time together 

As Valentines Day conveniently falls on a Saturday this year, why not make a day of it? A lovely couples massage or relaxing facial ought to do the trick. Our wonderful friends at Ila have a specially created experience called Couples Connect, available at spas across the UK.

Or if you're both more the active type then why not do a class together or go on a romantic walk. Studies show that couples that exercise together stay together for longer. 


New wonderful year, same wonderful you

by Olivia Cartwright, , link

I personally love a New Year. It carries that certain familiar hope of a new beginning. The excitement that this year everything will be totally different to all others that have come before.

Human nature relishes a fresh start, with each New Year, Valentines, Birthday, Lent, Easter etc becoming a marking stone for things to be better. For us to be better. 

We knowingly divide our year into corporate opportunities to start afresh. It is for this same reason that every diet restarts on a Monday. We love to set a mental benchmark by which we strive to break old habits. As if the clock strikes midnight on a Sunday night, our halo realigns and all will power is restored once again. I'm as guilty of it as the next person. I consistently set new goals within my day to day life  to read more, lower my caffeine intake, or spend more time outdoors on a weekly basis.

However coming into the end of January I find even the best New Years intentions are beginning to waver. It is here that I believe the problem comes to a head. Once again we have set ourselves up to fail with our unrealistic goals, guaranteed to fail from the start. 

 

We do not carry such expectations of excellence within our family, friends, partners or spouses so why do we project them onto ourselves? I struggle to understand where this 'perfect' ideal has transpired from. I don't see that flawlessness is necessarily a positive, actually I'm pretty sure I would develop a thorough dislike for any flawless person. 

I suggest instead we should try not to be so hard on ourselves. Let's release all the guilt if that new diet hasn't quite gone to plan. Let's let go of the disappointment if that new gym membership hasn't quite got as much use as you'd anticipated and make a new kind of resolution. The saying "be yourself, everyone else is taken", comes to mind. Instead let's make this the year to practice some self love, get to know yourself and you never know, you might be surprised at how great you are already. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2015. Anything else is just a bonus! 

Olivia x


New Year Solutions

by Clare Neill, , link

Happy New Year from all of us at Radiance.  We hope 2015 is your healthiest yet!  

Every year many of us make lots of New Year resolutions but the majority are abandoned by February.  The reason so many of our resolutions fall by the way side is because they are either completely unrealistic or not specific.  

So this year I've decided to ditch resolutions and focus on solutions. Below are some of the big resolutions that are often made and the suggested solution to them. I hope this helps in you feeling your best.

Resolution: to eat more healithily

Solution: Start by defining what eating healthily means to you. Is there a particular lifestyle of eating that you believe would be good for you? You might believe you need to be dairy or gluten free, or perhaps you want to switch to a plant based diet. Whatever it is work out exactly what diet (and by this I mean long-term lifestyle, not short term unsustainable fad) you think you need to follow.  Once you've determined this think about if there are particular recipe books or blogs that reflect this lifestyle and start picking some recipes that you really like the sound of.  You're almost building a mood board or road map of food that is inspiring you and driving you forward. 

The big part: don't try to change every meal to eating in this way at once. Set yourself realistic targets of trying one or two new meals a week from the favourites you've picked.  Essentially it is about making gradual change and being kind to yourself. You will almost certainly fail at your goal of eating more healthily if you try to do a complete overhaul rather than making small but lasting change.

Resolution: to exercise more

Solution: Start by defining what more exercise is and exactly how many times a week you want to exercise, plus what type of exercise you want to do. Again, be realistic.  If you normally do a Hatha yoga class once a week don't expect yourself to suddenly start doing kick-boxing and HIIT training five days a week.  People are generally more motivated if they are accountable to someone else or if they have someone else to train with so see if you can find a friend to train with or join a class or club. Alterntatively finding a great PT is an excellent way to give focus to your training and they really know how to get results.  In London we love Dalton Wong and the 22 Training Team, but there are great PTs to be found everywhere.  Just try to find someone who has been personally recommended.  

We love the following studios and classes:

  • GoodVibes - PowerPlates, warm yoga, pilates, spinning - they've got your classes covered. Try Yoga Bliss on a Sunday for the most restorative yoga session to end your week on a high 
  • Frame Shoreditch and Queens Park - literally a class for everyone with an amazing soundtrack
  • barrecore - the original home of barre workouts, we love this place. With new branches opening
  • Sweaty Betty - the Sweaty Betty stores have lots of events on all the time, from running clubs to yoga classes. Check out your local store to see what's on

The other reason a lot of people say they can't exercise (me included!) is a lack of time. There are now so many classes available on line (not to mention fitness DVDs) that this really shouldn't be an excuse as we can exercise any time we want at the click of a button.  We'll do a blog on this later this month to give you home exercise inspiration.

Resolution: to meditate

Solution: Meditation, I think,  is one of the hardest practices to cultivate. I've been trying to do it on and off for years and I still think I'm terrible at it. So, as with everything, try to set yourself a reasonable goal. Perhaps try to commit to setting aside 3 minutes each day to try to meditate.  This doesn't have to be sat cross-legged on a cushion, it could be during your commute home. Meditation is a learned technique and we normally learn from other people, be that in person or online, so apply the same method to this as you would learning other skills. There are now some greats apps for meditation. Headspace is by far the most popluar and the founder, Andy Puddicomb, provides great guidance. 

I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration to start your new year on a positive trajectory.  Right, I better go, I have to find my yoga mat...

 



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