Review: Christopher George
Living well is also about how you utilise the earths resources. And our love of disposable products has rapidly changed into a hatred of waist and the usage of plastic.
This being no more prominent than the waisted usage of plastic water bottles. So we are ecstatic to see a huge and happy surge in the usage of reusable containers that are durable, stylish and versatile. Non more so than the range of water bottles from Ohelo, coming in lots of different colours to match all your different colourful moods!
Their range of insulated stainless-steel products are designed in the UK with modern life in mind. Designed with vacuum insulation, keeping drinks hot for 12 hours and ice-cold for 24. This really is the future (not that we didn't actually do this in the past!)
Unlike the plastic versions, that again are made of plastic which we are trying to avoid. The stainless steel versions do not leave that after taste retained in plastic after being used several times. The bottle has a soft carry strap which moves on stainless steel pivots, so its easy to attach to your bag, belt, or even your dog!
Personally I have several in different styles, so I am never without one at hand. My water intake has gone up, and my usage of water disposable bottles has ended.
Built to last, Ohelo has gone one step further than most, whilst being BPA free, they are also BPS and BPF free. The Ohelo bottle is made from double walled high grade 18/8 stainless steel. Its coating is slip free and is lead-free whilst the powder coat finish gives a chip-resistant, slip-resistant and high-quality finish. Their electropolished interior provides a high resistance to bacteria build up and is also easy to clean and stain free.
YEA !!! Im a happy water drinker. And a handy tip, it holds wine too and keeps it cold.
The Ohelo bottle holds 500ml and is available in a range of colours.
Priced from £29
A New Year start with a better skincare range
Editor Emma Rice
I was so thrilled when these Botanicals samples landed at my desk, as this is a product we had heard great reviews of with their winning ‘Best Brand’ in the Free from Skincare awards.
The organic beauty company holds the belief that “Beauty come not only from the care and nourishment of the skin but also from the emotional and energetic benefits of vital plant essences”. With values such as these I am already a fan before even opening the neat and stylish glass encased products.
The ‘Nourish Cleanse Melt’ a daily use cleanser has a rich buttery texture which melts into the skin removing every last scrap of makeup without any drying effects. It smells divine and is rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, making it the perfect accompaniment to a skincare routine for dry to mature skin. My complexion was left plump and indeed deeply nourished.
Botanicals ‘Nourish Moisturiser' is equally as luxurious and provides the perfect accompaniment to the cleanse melt, giving an overall feeling of locked in moisture which lasted the day. The dense yet easily absorbed cream created a great base on which to apply make up, given the airy yet rich consistency which my skin soaked up in an instant.
The Bontanicals range is natural, organic, palm oil and cruelty free, making it the informed vegan choice for the conscious beauty addict.
Now in its 15th years of producing award-winning artisan natural organic skincare products, Botanicals has always adopted strict ethics throughout their cosmetic range. And at its heart, Botanicals is actively advocating strict ethics from both a human and environmental perspective. Using only elements from earth, Botanicals produce clearly visible improvements in the look and feel of your skin.
Lets applaud Botanicals for their commitment to the environment and animal welfare on this 15th anniversary, it is a real achievement.
For all products and more information visit
Winter is a time when our energy levels tend to drop and we can lack that vava voom of summer.
We may find ourselves naturally more drawn to foods which are generally starchier and more associated with comfort in the colder months. However certain foods may have an adverse effect on our energy levels causing us to feel sluggish and lack lustre which is certainly not the effect we desire especially with party season just around the corner!
Here is a starter list of foods that may contribute to feelings of depletion.
Processed grains: Those found in white bread, white pasta and white rice, processed grains contain lower levels of fiber and tend to be digested and absorbed more quickly than whole grains creating a quick rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a drop in energy. Whole grains in contrast help regulate blood sugar sustaining more consistent energy throughout the day.
Foods containing added sugar: Unsurprisingly sugar makes an appearance here consuming foods high in sugar may increase the likelihood you will crave more creating an energy depleting cycle, plus wreaking havoc on your skin. Breakfast cereals, flavoured yogurts and granola bars can often be the culprits as as it may not be obvious to us that such foods are loaded with added sugar, the bottom line being foods containing high amounts of sugar among other adverse health effects can drain our energy rather than boosting it. Opt for natural alternatives such as antioxidant rich berries, nuts or full fat natural yogurt.
Alcohol: Difficult to avoid during the festive season yes, however it is worth being mindful that alcohol although provides a relaxing effect reduces the quality and duration of our oh so important sleep, attempt to keep your consumption within low to moderate levels.
Fried and convenience food: Ideally best avoided altogether such foods and snacks more often than not are high in fat and low in fibre a combination that our digestive system isn’t comfortable with. Added to this such foods are low in the nutrients are bodies need to perform at it’s best. Nutrient-rich foods on the other hand will help boost and maintain energy levels.
Low calorie foods: Too many low calorie foods in our diet may lead to eating an insufficient number of calories throughout the day, severely reducing energy levels. disturbing hormone balance and metabolism ultimately leaving us feeling drained.
Nourish yourself wisely to feel your best during the coming weeks, next instalment some energy providing wholefood goodness.
By Emma Rice
PLANT BASED PRODUCTS THAT MAKE YOUR SKIN FEEL SPECIAL
BY SARA DARLING
Although we haven’t seen too much sun this British summer, the rays have been out nevertheless, and for some that means dehydrated skin which needs extra, gentle TLC- without harsh chemical ingredients.
SPF should be an everyday ritual, but sometimes your skin needs a little more, and a lifestyle of city living or a summer time beach break, can play havoc with your face- which will definitely need more attention than usual.
Skin needs moisture all year, but now is the perfect time to add some serum to your routine. I tried the Revitalising Face Oil from Nakin, which contains a blend of peach kernel, olive baobab and jojoba oils which smooth, condition and fill the skin with nutrients to provide antioxidants and regenerate fine lines and wrinkles.
I used the face oil in the mornings after cleansing my face. Coming with an easy to apply pipette, I directed it to the lines around my smile lines and forehead which lapped up the product without any greasy residue. After thoroughly rubbing in, my skin felt velvety soft and seriously nourished and provided the perfect base for my SPF.
Coupled with Nakin’s extra moisturising Anti-Ageing Active Dew Face Cream, my skin is ready for anything! A little goes a long way with the thick balm, which is ideal for use day-to-night. However, I preferred to slather it all over before bed for an indulgent night time restoration, enjoying the benefits as a rich, mask-like layer which soaked in as I slept, resulting in hydrated and super soft morning skin.
Nakin offers a range of plant based products that are naturally age defying, cruelty free and beautifully packaged, so if you want to be kind to your skin, and the environment, this should be a one stop shop.
Buy yours here
SUPERFOODS TO SUPERHEALTH BY DR JOHANNA WARD
BY SARA DARLING
There is much to be said about eating yourself fitter. But when you’re not feeling particularly motivated, and need a little nudge, this engaging and informative guide from Dr Ward will awaken your senses, and potentially add twenty years on to your life!
It’s pretty hip to be vegetarian at the moment, but there is science backing up the plant based revolution. Picking up the life manual “Superfoods to Superhealth” by Dr Ward is certainly an eye opener to the harm that the typical western lifestyle of excess sugar, refined carbohydrates, salt, additives, preservatives, chemicals, processed foods and high animal protein, which are evident in most grocery store processed foods, and pollute our bodies in our everyday life.
Providing an indispensable guide to vegetable nutrition that’s geared toward practical use, Dr Ward examines the free radicals that damage our cells that cause ageing and cancer. However, this is not a fact that the public is typically aware of, and we still indulge in food that is critical in the advancement of obesity, diabetes, dementia and heart disease. This handbook offers simple diet-change solutions that can prevent these illnesses from attacking our immune system.
It's common knowledge that we need to eat a diet containing plenty of vegetables, and stores often inform us when products are one of our ‘five a day’, but Dr Ward goes one step further, and uncovers the myths of superfoods. From kale to broccoli to nuts to cherries and chia seeds. Fans of superfoods are aware that they contain a lot of iron/ vitamins/ fibre/ antioxidants - but that doesn’t mean your body gets superpowers if you eat more than you need, especially if you’re already getting enough from other sources. It’s like trying to make your car go faster by putting in more petrol- not at all necessary, and a waste of money!
Seaweed on the other hand, is a rare example of a non-animal product that is rich in vitamin B12, which makes it an important food for vegans who don’t want to take supplements. Thus, for this small group of people who choose to have a nutrient deficiency, but hate pills, seaweed is a kind of superfood. For everybody else, however, it is just tasty and healthy (as part of a balanced diet).
And we all know that too much cholesterol is all bad, but monounsaturated fat, which helps to protect your cardiovascular system is vital in a healthy diet. Take inspiration from oily fish, nuts, uncooked olive oil and sunflower oil, and mix them up!
Dr Ward gives easy to follow motivation for readers to meet their goals and live a healthy life. the book also gives practical insight into what to do with this new knowledge, including easy to follow stress management, meditation, sleep and relaxation exercises, along with some easy to follow recipes for optimum taste and goodness.
Breaking down a life changing goal is never going to be easy, but by dipping into lifestyle management, motivation, and discipline in a way that will not only affect the reader, but the wider world, Dr Ward aims to integrate healthy eating with healthy living. With the book providing a fully integrated view of health which involves the mind, body, and spirit.
It is equally important to care for your mental health, Depression, can be the secondary result of sleep deprivation to zinc deficiency, so rather than reaching for psychiatric pills, a change of diet might be your first port of call. Set out to debunk common health myths, Dr Ward debunks myths on how the health of the mind affects the health of the body.
Offering a thorough dissection of what our bodies actually need, the book, akin to a bible for anyone who cares, provides intelligent and sustainable food choices for the next generation, with a practical guide on how to adhere to the life choices, and cut down on things that pollute our bodies including which are all culprits in the modern food system and share the blame for our declining health.
Buy yours here
Editor: Emma Rice
The malty taste of the maca makes this creamy smoothie absolutely delicious. Maca is known as “the fountain of youth” in its native Peru. Maca root powder is rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and iron, it also contains many bioactive plant compounds. I've added some optional collagen powder here for the promotion of cellular renewal and repair.
Generous handful spinach
½ frozen banana
¾ cup frozen strawberries
½ avocado for extra creaminess
2tsp maca root powder
2tsp hemp seeds
1 scoop collagen powder
1 ½ cups of your favourite nut milk
Place all of the ingredients into your blender of choice, whizz until smooth and enjoy !
CASA SPA IS THE PLACE TO GO FOR A HAMMAM
BY SARA DARLING
Step inside some rather attractive Riad doors, and enter the steamy, exotic, scented boudoir of Casa Spa, and prepare to get hot and naked! I can’t say I’ve done that before in the middle of the day In central London...but all in the name of investigative journalism!
However I have had a Hammam massage before. In Turkey, but the whole experience in Casa Spa was already a lot more sophisticated. I was guided to the changing rooms and told to pop on my bikini and a towel; I was then taken downstairs, to the most authentic Moroccan tiled basement I have seen outside Marrakech; Mosaics, mirrors, trinkets, as well as a pillow strewn chill out room beckoned… but I wasn’t ready to chill out just yet! I hadn’t even started…
The Moroccan Hammam has been around for centuries and is celebrated in Islamic countries for its healing, cleansing and purifying benefits, both on a spiritual and physical level. With a focus on breathing and blood circulation, I was quite looking forward to a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Wearing a bikini and towel, I was led to a private steam room, and and was smothered in a chocolate body mask. Left alone, the steam was turned up, and I enjoyed the sensation for about fifteen minutes, until my therapist came into wash me down with fresh icy water. The equivalent of a freezing shower! Then I received a thorough application of black olive soap infused with Argan oil, which was softening on the skin, and ensured that all the chocolate was removed. This was followed by the exfoliating scrub, using a black mineral clay which is fantastic for the skin. Be prepared for a gentle pummelling, but it's so worth it to rejuvenate the skin and get rid of the dead cells.
I had the option to follow this with a full body massage, but I opted for a facial. After a shower and a fresh towel, I was led to the beauty room, and dozed in and out of slumber whilst enjoying an hour long face pampering session. Consisting of a face mask, exfoliation, deep cleanse, moisturise and a mini massage, along with soothing background music, the gentle strokes of my masseuse took me to another dimension.
It’s hard to describe the sensation post Hammam, as it is an experience that affects you through to your core; But taking time out on the authentic, candle lit chillout beds, with a peppermint tea, was the icing on the cake. In fact I was relaxed I could have easily fallen asleep for a few hours in there!
Thankfully when I did motivate myself to leave, it was one of those balmy evenings in London, so my walk to the tube was more like gliding on air! Highly recommended for a treat.
439 Edgware Road
London, W2 1TH
AND, EMBRACE YOUR INNER MERMAID!
By Sara Darling
Remember the plump soft skin you had as a ten year old. It’s not easy is it? But even as an adult, you can be in control of your skin’s plumpness with one of IMAGINE SKINCARE masques. After sampling the I MASK firming transformation mask about six weeks ago, I can’t promise the skin of your youth, but I did erase my pre-late nights, drink and party skin, after each relaxing twenty minutes! And 48 hours later, the skin (my largest organ fact) was still glowing….AND I got to feel like a shiny blue mermaid whilst wearing it!
Face masks are often neglected until a super fad comes along, and along with it the horror stories (hello charcoal ‘actual’ face peeling mask!) But the trend started with good intentions, and the idea of peeling off your impurities is pretty productive.
However, finding a mask that delivers is a different thing. First you have to be able to cope with the scent, which will be splattered all over your face for 15-20 minutes, then it needs to come off as easily as it goes on, and not need scrubbing, or leave you raw or chalky, and the icing on your face (or cake) is seeing instant results.
The first time I tried the Imask, I was hooked. I now I have a turn my phone off, pamper me session where I can enjoy some ‘me’ time with my tube of magic, which I indulge as a weekly habit.
The IMAGINE range offers a unique insider’s insight into beauty and skincare, with all the products are developed by medical professionals, which are proudly powered by smart botanicals rather than unnecessary chemicals, to formulate a full range for all types of skin. The Imask fuses pepper berry plant and jojoba beads along with hyaluronic acid, which are both gentle on the skin, nourishing, and great collagen producers- they smell really good too!
If your cushion cheeks are sagging and they need a bit of TLC, the I mask will bring back some of your cheekiness after one use!
Shop the brand here
Article: Viv Da Silva
With social media taking a front seat in the way we all communicate, it’s no shock that the average Briton checks their phone every 12 minutes, our phones have become our number one sidekicks!
Personally I had begun to feel social media becoming a slow trap into the false expectations of how I needed to present myself. However I wasn't prepared to let go of my daily dose of my favourite cultural influencers and so I decided to utilise my phone in helping me monitor my progression in stabilising my mental health.
I started practising the meditative tool of visualisation using vision boards is a great way to set intentions, I wanted to deepen this further and incorporate my device (as I refuse to part with my sidekick) to create a visual timeline. Using Instagram to create food, wellness and creative highlights allowed me to visually see how consistent I am in showing up for myself or engaging in activities centred around well being.
I don't post everyday, which is great because I don’t find myself aimlessly posting and it gives me time to really consider my relationship which social media, and it’s influence in what and how I post. So my tip for anyone who wants to build healthy relationships with devices or social media platforms, use it to do what you love! Share your interests, try to incorporate at least one well being focus on your social media. Don’t worry if the feelings of embarrassment creep in, I found that the honest you is the best you, so don't be afraid to share your magic with the world, you’ll be amazed at the like minded individuals who will flock and support your journey with you.
Article: Viv Da Silva
We often hear the phrase “Eat the rainbow” being bandied around, yes it makes our plates look beautiful and oh so instagramable but what are the actual health benefits to eating an array of colourful foods ?
Simply put each colour in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that help protect plants from environmental threats and these colours indicate an abundance of specific nutrients.
Red fruits and vegetables contain the phytochemicals lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients are known for their cancer-fighting effects as well as reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while improving skin quality.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids including beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body known to promote healthy vision and cellular growth. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables also play a role in immune function alongside reducing the risk of heart disease.
Greens are one of healthiest foods we can eat being rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — an essential nutrient for blood and bone health. Green fruits and vegetables support the immune system, assist in detoxification and boosting our energy and vitality.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, anthocyanins and resveratrol known for anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties. Studies show that the bio-active phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation. Blue and purple fruits and Vegetables are anti-inflammatory and help keep us youthful.
White and brown produce may not be as vibrant in colour as other foods, however they still contain phytonutrients including anti-cancer compounds sulforaphane, allicin and quercetin. White and brown fruits and vegetables are thought to protect against certain cancers, aid bone strength and are heart healthy.
By Emma Rice
Staying positive, healthy, focussed and self-aware, both internally and externally.