Month: January 2014

The Body Retreat: smart and supportive de-stress and weight-loss

The Body Retreat’s Stress Re-Set retreat is a four-night retreat that aims to balance body, mind and emotions through an immaculately thought-out programme of diet, exercise, mindfulness and behaviour modification.  Plus oodles of fun and tons of big warm-hearted bonding. It’s such a smart concept.  You’re kept pleasantly busy all through the day (so you don’t have the chance to start worrying about anything) and, come night, you’re so blissfully tired, you can’t help but fall into a good sleep pattern.  Days start early: there’s a gentle knock on your bedroom door at 7am, accompanied by a cheery ‘Good Morning’ (no need for stressy alarm clocks) and you toddle out in your bath-robe to pick up a glass of hot lemon.  Our bedrooms are grouped around a central sitting area so it has the feel of a grown-up boarding school (of the nicest kind) as we all emerge, tousle-headed, mutter greetings and then retreat back to our rooms  to sip our juice and do some skin brushing.  Then it’s downstairs for a quick burst of …

Ten ways to love the cold

Yes, it’s freezing out there but, while it’s tempting to turn up the heat and huddle by the fire, maybe we’re missing a trick. There’s been a sudden plunge in temperature in the world of health and beauty as therapists, doctors and surgeons are increasingly discovering the therapeutic power of cold. Actually it’s nothing new. People have believed in the health-giving properties  of cold temperatures since classical times. Plato, Hippocrates and Avicena all recommended cold water treatments as a vital part of medicine.  In Russia and northern Europe, the therapeutic use of snow, cold and ice are legendary. There is even a specific word in Russian – which translates as tempering – which means to toughen and strengthen the body through the use of cold and ice. ‘Cold makes skin and blood vessels contract,’ explains Alla Svirinskaya, a medically trained healer and a firm advocate of cold and ice therapy.  ‘Cold is energizing, reducing fatigue, both mental and physical.  It also gives an emotional boost because our blood receives increased levels of endorphins.  Cold can …

The Cheat’s Detox

Yes, it’s January.  Yes, everyone is off doing crazy fasting and detoxing regimes.  But do you need to?  Should you even?  I’m really not convinced that January is a good time for a stringent detox (unless you have the luxury of heading off to somewhere warm and lovely).  It’s just too cold.  Bodies need a bit of warmth and comfort in January.  However, if you really did overdo it over Christmas and the New Year, you might consider a period of ‘easing off’, shall we say? In The Detox Kit (Hay House) I offer what I call the Cheat’s Detox.  It’s for those times when you’re not up to a complete cleanse.  Here’s the lowdown… So you can’t face a total detox or your lifestyle makes it just impossible? Don’t panic or get depressed. There are plenty of things you can do in everyday life to minimize your toxic exposure and even to let go of many of the toxins you have already accumulated. Try incorporating as many of these guidelines into your life as …