My Friend Passport – Interview With Siobhan Forrest

“Your Airline’s Either Got It, Or It Hasn’t”. Siobhan, endearingly known amongst friends as Sy-oh-ba-han is just one of the reasons Britain’s flag carrier is “Still Red Hot After 29 Years”! As an authority on the matter and another fit friend I love, Siobhan shares with you some of her tips for travelling and gives you a locals perspective on how best to enjoy the noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London – on your next 24 hour stopover.

Introducing…

My confidante, fellow dreamer, partner in fun, creativity and travel – Siobhan.

Friend Stamp – Siobhan Forrest

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Hit me with your elevator speech…

About me….I’m a piscean, bit of a gym bunny who’s recently found a passion for running. I’ve been a long haul flight attendant for the last 10 years which relieves my often itchy feet and has provided me with an international award in cocktail sipping in swanky locations! I’m ready now to have my heels more firmly on the ground and I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds.

Your take on how we met….

Ibiza, deflated pink lilo, a meeting of minds, humour and souls, toe tapping while surrounded by mutual friends…..

Siobhan and I catching up for my birthday dinner in New York City - July 2011

Siobhan and I catching up for my birthday dinner in New York City – July 2011

Where is your favourite destination to relax and unwind?

Well if it’s a work trip I can be found in Johannesburg, it’s starting to heat up and so the vitamin D combined with no jet lag works so much better for my body. The gym and spa there is amazing too! If it’s my own time, being able to take advantage of the snow and slopes of Europe (right on my doorstep), is always a great workout too! I usually follow an exhilarating afternoon of snowboarding with a heavenly hot chocolate (dark of course).

Let loose in London for 24 hours only, what would be on your list of must do and see?

London in 24hrs!!! Ok…Food Lab on Essex road Islington is a perfect breakfast/lunch local hotspot for organic, fresh, homemade delicious food. Spitalfields market for some east London culture, hidden treasures or the hippest finds on students stalls from the London College of Fashion. A ride in a London black taxi. Cocktails in ECC Chinatown but make sure you google how to find it first as it’s unmarked! A jog along the Thames passing the Tower of London, Big Ben, Tate Modern. Afternoon tea at The Wolseley.

When travelling what staple items are in your carry on luggage?

Well I definitely never travel without Elizabeth Ardens 8hr cream. The most nourishing and rehydrating cream that can be used on lips and eyes. I’d always have my ipad, a book, probably a couple of mags to flick through. A large Evian water bottle, the sports cap work best for me and also some Green & Blacks 85% chocolate for those travelling sugar lows and movie munchies!

As a frequent flyer, how do you manage your beauty sleep and GTY (gym, tan, yoga) whilst being part of the international glamourset?

I think the secret to keeping up with the GTY is about timing and using the resources available while travelling to your advantage. I’m a fan of Bikram yoga and so I always look up the studios and timetable of where I’m going and also any deals from local beauty salons that are in the area, it’s good to fuel the local businesses rather than the large hotel groups.

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Where are your favourite places to shop in London for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?

My London favourite organic store would be Wholefoods. The store is huge and packed with everything you could imagine. More local though to me, and a shop I use daily is Mother Earth, they make the best raw pizza and raw chocolate fudge I’ve ever had, yummy!

Your award goes to…….. as London’s number one, healthy dining hotspot?

Food Lab on Essex Rd, Islington is my favourite local place to swing by for fresh juice or to have lunch/dinner. The menu changes daily, it’s all organic, prepared and cooked on site, tasty, I just wish they were all over London.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to London, to keep our bodies as trim, taut and tauriffic as yours?

Don your Nikes and headphones, set some tunes up and run! Start off at St Paul’s follow the Thames taking in all the sights, history and culture of London, crossing over Tower bridge and many more. The great thing is you can make your run as long or short as you want and even slowing to a jog or walk there’s still loads to see.

What’s your favourite on the go, healthy snack choice?

My first snack of choice is Naked cocoa orange bar. It dairy, gluten, wheat free, 100% raw and vegan, one of your five a day and MADE IN BRITAIN.

Fave on the go snack!

Fave on the go snack!

Can’t live without natural beauty enhancer to keep you looking fresh, hydrated and ready to hit the worlds best dance floors, post flight and where do you shop for it?

Water mainly, apart from that, then the beauty enhancers I can’t go without would have to be a shimmer for my lips, a dark kohl for the eyes and Rimmel scary black mascara. All available at a local pharmacy or department store. However, always a squirt of Chanel No.5 or else I’d feel nude and that’s just rude ;-)

Love, Light and Gratitude to you for sharing your knowledge Siobhan!

Last Summer Saving – Nutrition School

It has just been brought to my attention that The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) are offering the best savings on tuition fees that I have seen all year….and the last discount before prices go up this fall.

If you can find someone to share your IIN journey with, there are some amazing deals available for you and a friend for the next 02 Days : 23 hours only. To find out more information on this exclusive bonus click here.

Whether you want to become a Health Coach or just improve the quality of your own health and lifestyle, I encourage you to catch the wave now, you won’t regret it! It’s the best decision I have made and the inspiration towards many more to follow!

If you can’t find anyone to team up with right now and feel you are ready to fly solo, you can also take advantage of USD$1000 saving from the usual cost of enrollment, up until Wednesday August 21.

This is one of your last chances to join the IIN family before tuition goes up this fall, so if there’s a part of you that thinks this school might be right for you, I encourage you to take the leap. I’m so glad I did! Give them a call on +1 (877) 733-1520 right away because appointments fill up fast. Don’t forget to tell them that I sent you, to take advantage of the discount.

Healthfully Yours,

Linda Vantaggiato



My Friend Passport – Interview With Tennille Holt

Todays post focuses on what is officially known as the Republic of Singapore, a Southeast Asian island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres north of the equator.

The stunning Tennille Holt

The stunning Tennille Holt

Tennille, an Executive Director/co-founder at Holt Health, frequent gym bunny and ex-cabin crew, gives an informative and fresh, expats perspective on how to enjoy your transit time in this cosmopolitan city. It looks like chilli crab, Chimes and Zouk are definitely what we would refer to as fish and chip wrap (yesterday’s news).

Introducing…..

Tennille enjoying the fresh air and outdoors...

Tennille enjoying the fresh air and outdoors…

Friend Stamp – Tennille Holt

Which awesome city is lucky enough to host the gorgeous Tennille Holt and what took you there?
Sentosa Cove, Singapore! I moved here for LOVE two years ago!

Your take on how we met?
I met Wifey on a Melbourne/Auckland trip back in my Emirates days. I still remember us hitting Les Mills gym in Auckland together. Naturally we got on like a house on fire..and set off on many crazy vacations together! From Carnivale in Brazil to the Winter Music Fest in Miami!

Your favourite holiday destination to calm the mind, body and soul?
The Maldives. My Husband, Sun, sand, crystal clear waters and the fruits of the world = BLISS!
I urge all of you to visit The W Maldives, I’m pretty sure this place is the definition of heaven!
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Let loose in Singapore for 24 hrs only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
Brunch at Tanjong Beach Club Sentosa, followed by a morning stroll through Gardens by The Bay, Lunch at P.S Cafe in Dempsey Hill, Shopping on Orchard Road (preferably Ion), High Tea at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Dinner and Cocktails at Ku De Ta on the roof top of Marina Bay Sands where you can look down on the light show at 8pm…then dance the night away at Pangea in the crystal pavilion under the water at Marina Bay Sands!

What staple items are in your carry on luggage?
Morrocon Oil, Greens Plus, Glytone Skincare and Louboutins!

How do you manage to stay fresh, alert and good to go upon reaching your destination?
I swear by Greens Plus Superfood Powder! I have this daily, whether it’s in my smoothies, juices or I often make greens plus shots in the morning.
Greens Plus is a synergy of 29 nutrient-rich Superfoods, Sea Vegetables and High-Energy Herbal Extracts. One serving of Greens Plus delivers more essential vitamins, organic minerals, amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants than 5 full servings of fruits and vegetables! Now go and buy it!
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Where are your favourite places to shop in Singapore for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?
I buy all of my organic fruit and veg from the Market Place at Tanglin Mall. Singapore is not the easiest place to shop for healthy foods – however, it is improving!

In Harbourfront, opposite my Bikram Yoga studio is the cutest little health food store, if they don’t have what you are looking for they will find it!

Good quality supplements are hard to find in Singapore, so we stock up when we are in The States.

Your choice as Singapore’s healthiest and tastiest place to eat?
The Garden Restaurant at The Sentosa Resort, Sentosa Cove.
You will find the restaurant inside the Spa at The Sentosa Resort. It’s an idyllic setting, among the lush greenery , waterfall and pool – you are 100% removed from the hustle and bustle of Singapore!

The Spa at The Sentosa Resort - The View From The Garden Restaurant

The Spa at The Sentosa Resort – The View From The Garden Restaurant

The Garden infuses gourmet dining with the right balance of nutritious and health-giving benefits, much to the delight of those seeking a healthy meal!
My meal of choice is the salad bucket which you construct yourself – and it is actually served in a bucket! Delish!

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to Singapore?
For you Yogi’s – there is a Bikram Yoga studio at Harbourfront with 6 or 7 classes daily… and you may even have a visit from Bikram himself!

You can visit the amazing Fitness First gym at The Mapletree Centre – they have an outdoor cardio area fit with TRX stations – which will be sure to make you sweat in Singapore’s 32 plus degree daily heat!

What’s your favourite, on the go, healthy snack choice?
On the go – you will always catch me with one of my fresh smoothies or coconut water.

Are there any natural beauty lotions and potions that you particularly recommend for the glamourset to stay looking gorge throughout our journey? Where in Singapore can we get our mitts on some?
As AADFA (our business) is all about looking good, I swear by great skincare and weekly visits to the Dermatologist for Facial Laser Treatment, chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
For me it’s all about taking preventative actions against premature skin ageing, so I swear by Glytone! Glytone is the only skincare line available that provides a customized step approach formulated with the highest free acid values available.

For a little poke and prod with Botox or Filler on your Singapore layover – I highly recommend, Dr Myles Holt at SmileFocus (Camden Medical Centre)!

Do you have a recipe you would like to share for busy peeps on the go, that could quite easily be packed to consume onboard?
If you don’t own a juicer and a blender – BUY THEM IMMEDIATELY! They will be one of the best purchases you will make in your lifetime!

Green Smoothie Love

Green Smoothie Love

Here is my smoothie recipe to keep you full …and is jam packed with so much green goodness your body will love you!

1/2 lime (I leave the rind on)
2 x apples
1/4 pineapple
1/4 medium cucumber
JUICE THESE ABOVE INGREDIENTS

NOW PUT THE BELOW INGREDIENTS IN THE BLENDER
1/2 ripe avocado
Handful of fresh wheatgrass
Small handful of fresh spinach
1 or 2 teaspoons of Greens Plus
Handful of ice cubes
Open up two caps of digestive enzymes
Add the juice that you have made above, now blend everything together!

I’ve purchased the 8oz ball mason jars, so you can add your smoothie to the jar, put the lid on and you can easily pack it to take onboard.

Thank you Tennille!

P.S. I was back at Les Mills in Auckland last week and was reminiscing about our first time there. Our holidays together and the subsequent peeps I’ve met as a result of our adventures to the epicentre of fun, have definitely had a big impact on influencing the person I have metamorphosed into today and I thank you very much for keeping me company in the cocoon.

Appetites Gone Wild – 7 Tips For Conscious Eating At Iftar

As Iftar celebrations are underway on Day eighteen of Ramadan, I have been inspired to share with you my take on how not to overdo it at when breaking your fast at Iftar.

July 10, 2013 marked the anniversary of my tenth year here in Dubai which means the idea of fasting and Ramadan is something I have become quite accustomed to, as a permanent guest of the UAE. With a temperature high of 40°C today, I particularly applaud those being able to go the whole day without any hydration. The idea of being in sweltering heat without being able to cool down, or for those indoors, being subjected to the moisture vampire we call air conditioning is not appealing to me in the slightest. It is definitely not something I’d like to voluntarily sign up for at this time of year, especially without having the indulgence of even the smallest drop of water to quench my thirst and I commend those who do.

During the ninth month of the Islamic calendar Muslims all over the world spend thirty days willingly abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, physical relations and even chewing gum during daylight hours. The fast begins just before sunrise with a light meal (Suhoor) and ends at sunset when the call to prayer (Adhan) is announced. The most popular methods of concluding the fast in Middle Eastern culture is by eating three dates in emulation of the Prophet Muhammad, who broke his fast in this manner. Other popular ways are by drinking some water, milk or laban. The time when the fast ends is known as “Iftar” which is celebrated most evenings by large, communal meals.

Muslims fast to discipline their mind and body. The void of food, drink and other pleasures provide a suitable opportunity to concentrate on prayer and worship. Not having the luxuries of daily life present makes it easier to reflect on life and be appreciative of what we do have.

Muslim Mosque in Jumeirah, Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Muslim Mosque in Jumeirah, Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Fasting is not select to Muslims though. Many Eastern and Western religious faiths, including their diverse denominations practice fasting, prescribed with varying regulations and exclusions which may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance.

In Western culture, fasting has become quite popular amongst fashionistas and celebrities alike. The Master Cleanse , also known as The Lemondade Diet and more recently intermittent fasting and Jason Vale’s juice feast (yes we are calling it a feast) are further versions of fasting that has been glorified by stars such as Beyoncé, Pink, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Jared Leto and Michelle Rodriguez, just to name a few. Vendors and detox retreats offering 3-10 day juices fast are quickly becoming a staple in most cosmopolitan cities. Like everyone else, the body needs a holiday. Detox retreats throughout India, Thailand and Indonesia are reaping the rewards of those selecting vacations focused on self-healing, raising energy levels and the prevention of premature aging and disease.

One of the things that all these periods of famine have in common is that are usually followed by a feast. On the first night of Ramadan it was reported by Arabian Business that scores of Qataris were admitted to hospital for overeating, with an average of fifteen patients expected to be seen each night for fasting-related illnesses. Although I am a firm believer in the many benefits to the mind, body and soul by hitting the Ctrl+Alt+Del button, I also advocate the importance of breaking your fast sensibly. Contrary to what you’d think, many Muslims actually consume more during Ramadan than other months, as they eat high-energy dishes at night to keep them going throughout the next day. Dubai has an abundance of Iftar buffets in fancy Hotels around the city which usually result in over eating and poor food combining, commonly followed by the buffet bloat, slow digestion, a carb coma and weight gain. The health repercussions surrounding this have become such a concern that the Dubai Government are promoting a 30-day weight-loss challenge to coincide with their holy month of Ramadan, promising to pay participants a gram of gold for every kilogram of weight lost. For more information about this click here.

Below I’d like to share with you my tips for the health conscious eater when breaking your fast.

  • Your first and foremost priority when breaking a fast is to hydrate, hydrate and did I mention hydrate?! A great way to do this is to prepare yourself an Iftar Juice. Having witnessed rapid development in the healthcare sector in Dubai over the past few years, I was extremely impressed when I recently stumbled across a great example of this at Cafe Baroque in JBR. Their Iftar juice contains a health boosting combination of pineapple, fennel, cucumber, pear, celery, lemon, mint and coriander, easily replicated at home. It claims to replenish lost fluids and reduce any headaches, cramps or bad breath associated with fasting. It will quickly rehydrate you, eliminate toxins, cleanse your whole system and neutralise bacteria. The combination of these ingredients kick starts and calms your digestive system, especially if you suffer from bloating, indigestion or nausea. Additionally, it prepares your digestive system in advance for what you will eat during the evening. If you decide not to eat anything else, this juice contains enough goodness and vitality to be used as a meal replacement. It can also suppress your appetite which is particularly beneficial if you are focused on being healthy or wanting to resist temptation at an Iftar spread.
The Iftar Juice at Cafe Baroque

The Iftar Juice at Cafe Baroque

  • Start your meal with fruit as opposed to saving it for dessert. Fruit is wonderful. It provides us with so many beneficial vitamins and enzymes. It is incredibly alkalising and will promote healthy skin, increased energy and heightened detoxification. But all of this can only be achieved if you eat your fruit on an empty stomach. Wait at least 30 minutes before popping anything else down your hatch. If you eat fruit close to a meal, especially right after a larger meal and combine with other foods, it’s held in the stomach too long along with other foods and will rot and ferment in the gut. If you experience indigestion, heartburn, burping and and other digestive discomforts and you blame on the meal – it could be the combination of the food, the fermentation with fruit that causes your upset stomach. If left uncontrolled it could lead to other health problems that stem from the digestive tract.
    NB. Melons should be eaten only on their own. Check out what MindBodyGreen has to say about the major rule for eating fruit.
  • Fill up on soup, salad and mezze first. Eating a raw salad before your meals does more than help you meet your daily veggie quota. Starting with a salad may be an effective tool in helping you decrease your total calorie consumption during lunch or dinner, which can help you manage your weight. Be mindful of your portions and avoid high-calorie salads full of too many extras like processed meats, cottage cheese, mayo, and high-fat cheese or dressings.
  • Don’t forget to chew your food. When you take a bite, the digestion process starts immediately. The motion of chewing triggers your body to produce stomach acids and pancreatic juices in anticipation of food entering the stomach. Powerful enzymes in your saliva begin breaking down fats and starches, and depending on how thoroughly you chew your food, much is actually digested in your mouth. Basically, the more work you do in your mouth, the less work your entire digestive tract has to do breakdown your food. A basic rule of thumb is to chew every bite of food at least 15-20 times before swallowing.
  • Slow down. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. Leisurely eating allows ample time to trigger the signal from your brain that you are full. And feeling full translates into eating less. It’s true that eating slowly and taking smaller bites can be very difficult to do, especially when you are busy and famished. It is important to therefore remind yourself that eating slowly and mindfully not only helps you control bingeing, it enhances the pleasure of the dining experience.
  • If you still don’t feel full after giving yourself an intermission and find you are still bee-lining it to the biriyani or um ali, ask yourself these questions.
  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Is this what I want to eat?
  3. Is this what I want to eat right now?
  4. Is there something else I can eat instead?
  • Don’t go to sleep on a full stomach. According to Help Guide, eating a big meal, especially a fatty, heavy one, makes your digestive organs have to work harder. At night before bed, try to keep any of the body’s system’s from working too hard. Everything should be winding down form the day’s activity. This is the same reason it’s not recommended to exercise before bed. Though a large meal may make you drowsy for a short time, lying down after eating can cause heartburn and digestive issues that may wake you up or keep you awake because you are uncomfortable. To get a better night’s sleep, have your final meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime, according to MSNBC.

Whether you are following and observing the rituals of Ramadan or not, it is perfect time for you to do something proactive for your body. These same tips can also be applied when facing the Hotel breakfast buffets that we often succumb to down-route or Dubai’s infamous Friday brunches. The word breakfast came about as it means breaking the fast after one has not eaten (fasted) from the night before. Essentially it is the same thing, however it usually follows a nights sleep as opposed to a full day awake in boiling conditions. Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day to rev up your metabolism, satisfy your food cravings and keep your spirits up throughout the day, it is no excuse for your appetite to run wild and use your stomach as a trash can.

If you feel your eating habits have been influenced by one too many buffets of late and you are ready to get back into your skinny jeans without starving yourself, popping pills, or following another fad diet, please get in touch with me here to schedule a free 50 minute health consultation. As we work together, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the food and holistic lifestyle choices that work best for you and implement lasting changes that will improve your energy, balance and health.

Ramadan Kareem,
Linda

My Friend Passport – Interview With Rezz Huseyin

Health Coach and fellow blogger Rezz Huseyin offers her tips on travel, health and London Town ~ all rolled into one. Rezz is a constant source of information, inspiration, motivation and entertainment for all things health related. It is an honour to have her take part in this interview.

Introducing…..

The Lovely Rezz Huseyin

The Lovely Rezz Huseyin

Friend Stamp – Rezzan Huseyin

Where in the world is Rezz Huseyin, who are you and what do you do?
London Town, baby! If I remember to create who I am in the morning, then I am happy, healthy, connected, productive and open to all of the amazingness the Universe had to offer. If I forget to create, then its all left up to chance. The default position is a content, mildly introverted kind of chic, who is usually attending to some project or another. I do publishing and health, and I work for myself.

Your favourite holiday destination to calm the mind body and soul?
The Body Holiday, St Lucia.

Let loose in London for 24 hrs only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
I love the Kings Road for shopping and lunching (at the market). I love walks in Battersea park and Hyde Park. I love grabbing groceries at Whole Foods in Piccadilly and High Street Kensington. Soho has amazing energy and buzz and is fab for cafe hopping. Camden is fun but you gotta be in the mood for that craziness! Its cool to head to the Church at St Pauls for Alternatives on a Monday evening. St Christopher’s Place is a cute little pocket of London. So is Neal’s Yard. I have always derived great pleasure from a mosey around Covent Garden!

What staple items are in your carry on luggage?
Laptop! Ipad and phone. I am into communication! Other than that, water, raw snack bars, hand cream and vitamin D spray which doubles as breath freshener. Oh and anti bac wipes.

How do you manage to stay lively and combat jet lag upon reaching your destination?
I look after myself very well these days. My experience is that jet leg isn’t such a big problem when you are in good health and well hydrated. I think that on long flights, eating as little as possible is good, and lots of water, that goes without saying. I am usually pretty hyper when I land from a long flight! It can be a mission for me to wind down for bed. Its something that I continue to work at.

Where are your favourite places to shop in London for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?
Online. I order from MaxVitality, detox your world, funky raw and amazon. Otherwise, its gotta be Whole Foods.

Your choice as London’s healthiest and tastiest place to dine?
That’s tricky. Wild Food Cafe in Covent Garden is pretty great. But at the moment, I am really feeling Japanese. All that raw fish and seaweed feels so nourishing. There is a place near Finchley Road I have been wanting to try. Otherwise, its a place near me, Tsunami.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to London?
Not unique, but we have boot camp here (military style fitness in park) which people love. We just got cycling in water. Yoga just gets more and more popular.

What’s your favourite, on the go, healthy snack choice?
Watery fruit – berries or melon. Coconut water and brazil nuts.

What do you do to stay grounded after spending time “up in the air”?
Only recently become attuned to the remarkable benefits of grounding. When your destination is a beach, its easy to get grounded straight away (just walk around barefoot all the time!) Otherwise, you need to make the effort to connect with the earth. I tend to favor warm sunny places anyway so its pretty easy!

Are there any natural beauty lotions and potions that you particularly recommend for the glamourset to stay looking gorge throughout our journey? Where in London can we get our mitts on some?
Coconut oil is amazing and has multi-uses. I use on my hair as overnight moisturizer and as a sunscreen. I love Eve Lom hot polish and cleanser, it makes my skin looks great. I also love REN moisturizer for the same reasons. I am really loving burts bees lip tint at the moment.

Thanks again Rezz!

To hear more of what Rezz has to say, click here to find her blog or get in touch via her Facebook page, Vitality In.

Summer Wellness Tune Up Guide

Courtesy of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I am excited to share an abundance of Holistic Wellness tips, just in time for summer!

It’s chock full of delicious recipes and creative ways to stay healthy with seasonal foods and activities all summer long.

Enjoy!