Weekly Wellness

Your weekly installment of all things health and wellbeing..


1. KEEPING YOUR GREENS FRESH

Image: Chocolateandzucchini.com

Image: Chocolateandzucchini.com

Do you proudly trundle home from the farmers market with a bounty of greens only to have them wilt within a few days? Us too. We loved these great tips from Chocolate and Zucchini on how to make the most of your greens and fresh herbs and think you will too!


2. THE QUEST FOR THE PERFECT KALE CHIP

Image: Ohsheglows.com

Image: Ohsheglows.com

Kale chips are the health snack of the moment and so easy to make at home once you’ve got the hang of it! Follow these easy tips from Angela Liddon’s and you'll have the perfect chip every time.


3. THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION - HOW GRIEF CAN MAKE YOU SICK

Image: Ryan McGuire at Pixabay.com

Image: Ryan McGuire at Pixabay.com

Do you ever feel absolutely physically exhausted after you’ve gotten really upset about something? This interesting article from The Atlantic explains why, exploring just how closely mind and body are connected especially during the grieving process.


4. PROBIOTICS PUT TO THE TEST

Image: WikiImages at Pixabay.com

Image: WikiImages at Pixabay.com

So you’ll all know by now that looking after your “friendly bacteria” is vital to a healthy body and mind, so you’ll likely take a regular probiotic. They may have some pretty persuasive advertising but you’d be surprised as to just how many probiotics fail to live up to any of their health claims. If you haven’t already, check out How Stuff Work’s podcast and article on the topic. It really opened our eyes. In this article from The Telegraph they examine a new study which put a few of the main brands head to head and the results are pretty surprising. While we were happy our favoured brand, Symprove, came out on top, the fact that VSL#3, commonly touted as one of the best probiotics out there, fared so badly.


5. WHY POO TRANSPLANTS ARE THE NEXT BIG THING

Image: kropekk_pl at Pixabay.com

Image: kropekk_pl at Pixabay.com

If you’ve missed the media hype about faecal transplants in recent months then this great article from The Atlantic tells you everything you need to know. Once you’ve gotten over the grossness factor it’s actually a pretty amazing potential treatment option and may be the medicine of the future.


Weekly Wellness

Our weekly health and wellbeing link-love instalment, just in time for the weekend! Happy Friday!


1. EXCITING LONDON WELLNESS EVENTS!

Image: Deliciouslyella.com

Image: Deliciouslyella.com

As you've probably noticed London's health and wellbeing scene is exploding at the moment which is so exciting! To get you excited for the launch of our new round-up of all London's most exciting health and wellbeing events (coming soon!) here's a couple of things that caught our eye!

One of our favourite health food bloggers, Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella has teamed up with hot new juice outfit Raw Press to serve a range of her favourite healthy snacks, salads and treats including her now famous Sweet Potato Brownies and Massaged Kale Salad. Get down to Dover Street immediately or read more here.

We are so excited to tell you about "Well Fit" an incredible one day wellness festival in East London curated by the wonderful Frame and the Skinny Bitch Collective, this one day event showcases the finest of London's healthy food, fitness and healthy influencers including Calgary Avansino, Madeline Shaw and Libby Limon among others! Book your ticket before it's too late!

Superfood guru David Wolfe will be holding a rare London event, a day long "Longevity Masterclass" in London in October, more here.

Finally, another of our all-time favourite food bloggers - Green Kitchen Stories will be in London running an exciting event alongside a book signing! More over at their blog here.


2. COMING COOKBOOKS 

Image: Mynewroots.com

Image: Mynewroots.com

We're so excited that two of our favourite health influencers' cookbooks are now available to pre-order. First up is one of our all-time favourite healthy foodie blogs - My New Roots whose photography is asmuch of a draw as the food itself! Pre-order on the website here. In the other corner we have the first full length book from London's very own health superstar Amelia Freer which can be pre-ordered on Amazon here.


3. PALEO VS. ALKALINE?

Image: Getthegloss.com

Image: Getthegloss.com

Do you still find yourself struggling to keep up with all of the healthy lifestyles out there and what the actual differences between them are? Luckily Get The Gloss have broken down the fundamentals of two of the past year's most popular health movements - paleo vs. alkaline. If you like the sound of an alkaline way of life, Kris Carr also published this post this week on the benefits of an alkaline lifestyle.


4. SEPTEMBER IS THE NEW JANUARY

Image: Public Domain Archive at Pixabay.com

Image: Public Domain Archive at Pixabay.com

As we wrote in this week's recipe post we have never really gotten over that "back to school" feeling that September brings. It seems we're not alone in thinking this is the perfect time to instigate those healthy habits you've been meaning to cultivate. Check out why The Atlantic thinks September is a much better time to make resolutions here and the wonderful Calgary Avansino's Autumn health tips to get you started here.


5. HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT QUINOA

Image: Food52.com

Image: Food52.com

Super trendy super grain Quinoa is a must in any discerning wellness warrior's pantry but this little seed can be a little tricky to prepare. Despair no longer - check out this idiots guide to the perfect, fluffy Quinoa every time courtesy of Food 52.


6. LEARN TO LOVE YOUR VEGGIES

Image: Susbany at Pixabay.com

Image: Susbany at Pixabay.com

A new study published this week suggests that it's possible to train our brains to learn to love vegetables and to prefer healthy options over high calorie processed ones. This news won't be a surprise to anyone converted to a healthy plant based diets, but to those just starting out, or the skeptics in your life the message is persevere. Read more at the BBC and The Atlantic.


Weekly Wellness

Just in time for the weekend - here’s your dose of the most interesting things that have come across our screens this week.


1. SWEET POISON

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

We’ve been fascinated by Dr. Robert Lustig’s crusade against the evils of sugar for a while so would definitely recommend this interview in The Guardian to those of you who have a sweet tooth. If you want to go a bit deeper then we’d really recommend watching his 90 minute lecture: The Bitter Truth below.


2. NUTTY FOR MYLK 

Image: PublicDomainImages at Pixabay.com

Image: PublicDomainImages at Pixabay.com

Apparently us Londoners are loving the “mylk” (non-dairy milk) trends, so much so that someone’s even invented a nut mylk machine (Hopps & Wolf). While we’re not sure we're convinced, given that the machine takes 20 minutes and still requires straining while the whole process only takes around 5 minutes with a trusty blender, we’re open to hearing your thoughts - are you a convert? Read more and find out where to get your mylk fix over at The Evening Standard. While we’re on the topic we also found this article over at The Atlantic a thought-provoking read - like Quinoa, Chia and Coconut Water before it, it seems our insatiable almond obsession has a darker side. 


3. THE RED CUPS ARE COMING

Image: Foodbabe.com

Image: Foodbabe.com

Somehow the American tradition of the Starbucks Christmas “red cups” has infiltrated our common consciousness marking the start of the season just like the Coca-cola Christmas ad (there’s a whole different health story to be written here but that’s for another day!). Food Babe has ignited an internet sensation this week with her expose on what’s really in Starbucks’ beloved Pumpkin Spice lattes. While I’m not sure we get Pumpkin Spice lattes in the UK, I’m sure the other flavours are similarly terrible for us and this eye-opening piece is worth a read just to remind us how little we really know about what goes into our processed foods.


4. BECOMING BULLETPROOF

Image: Bulletproofexec.com

Image: Bulletproofexec.com

We’re all about sharing the best free health resources out there and this week we wanted to share one of our more recent discoveries - the Bulletproof Radio podcasts. Presented by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and self-styled ‘bio-hacker’ Dave Asprey, the guy behind the ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ revolution. Although some of the more advanced ‘bio-hacking’ topics (especially those around supplementation) aren’t really our thing, the podcasts feature some really stimulating and engaging health and wellbeing content from some of the biggest health and wellness names (think Arianna Huffington, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Terry Wahls and Dr. Sara Gottfried. Definitely worth a listen!


Weekly Wellness

Your short and sweet round-up of the most interesting bits and bobs from the health world last week.


1. TO MEAT, OR NOT TO MEAT?

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

Check out Dr. Michael Mosely’s new series for Horizon investigating the health, ethical and environmental aspects of eating meat. The first two episodes aired last week, the first of which focused on the health impact of eating red and processed meats and while the second looked at the environmental impact of our meat obsession. Both were extremely enlightening and definitely worth a watch wherever you stand on the vegan / veggie / meat scale.

Here at The Holist, while we eat plant-based the majority of the time, we’d definitely consider ourselves flexitarian and do enjoy meat from time to time. We strive to be conscious consumers, especially when it comes to meat, but these programmes, especially the second one, have made us reconsider what that really means when ethics and environment butt heads. This BBC article has a good summary of the topics covered and both episodes are available on iPlayer here and here. We’d love to know your thoughts, have these programmes made you reconsider your carnivorous tendencies or reconfirmed your commitment to veganism? Let us know!


2. IS HEALTH A MIDDLE-CLASS LUXURY?

Image: Publicdomainpictures at Pixabay.com

Image: Publicdomainpictures at Pixabay.com

Figures released in the UK last week have shown that malnutrition-related hospital admissions are up 19%, see the BBC coverage here. So the debate continues to rage - is a healthy diet only realistic for the middle class? Seems they’re having a similar problem on the other side of the pond, The Atlantic has two interesting pieces on why the US food system is failing the poor and why exercise is a luxury only available to those with economic certainty, see the pieces here and here.


3. WHY YOUR BODYWASH IS WREAKING HAVOC ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Image: Greatist.com

Image: Greatist.com

This great piece from Greatist draws attention to one of the most unassuming parts of your beauty routine and explains why microbeads, used in a host of beauty products from facemasks to shower gels, are causing serious environmental (and knock-on) health effects. Why not switch to a natural exfoliant instead and save your body from all those nasty artificial chemicals. Check out our favourite body scrub recipe here


4. FRUIT PREP HACKS

YouTube: BuzzFeedVideo

Who knew we were all attacking watermelons totally wrong … streamline your fruit prep with these quick tips from Buzzfeed.


5. “FATHER OF MODERN YOGA" DIES

Image: http://www.bksiyengar.com/

Image: http://www.bksiyengar.com/

Last week the yoga world mourned the loss of one of its greatest living advocates, BKS Iyengar, who is widely credited with bringing yoga into mainstream western culture. Find out why he was such an influential figure in these obituaries from The New York Times and The Guardian and why his stye of yoga, Iyengar is so special


Weekly Wellness

All the most exciting tid-bits from the health and wellbeing world this week.


1. WHY YOU NEED TO BE MAKING BONE BROTH

Image: Hemsleyandhemsley.com

Image: Hemsleyandhemsley.com

You may have noticed the term ‘bone broth’ being whispered by wellness insiders more and more but maybe you’ve been wondering why everyone is getting so excited about glorified stock? Our favourite sisters Hemsley + Hemsley have the lowdown, as well as an easy recipe. Still not convinced? Check out this article on why bone broth is taking New York by storm and why Wellness Warrior Sarah Wilson (founder of I Quit Sugar) is a fan here.


2. NUTRITION STRIPPED LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNEL

YouTube: Nutrition Stripped

Hot on the heels of other members of the wellness cognoscenti, we were very excited to see that one of our favourite health food bloggers, the stunning McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped has also launched her YouTube channel this week. Check out her ultimate green smoothie recipe above.


3. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BRUSHES ARE MADE OF?

Image: Honestlyhealthyfood.com

Image: Honestlyhealthyfood.com

Here at The Holist, we like to think of ourselves as conscious consumers and try and ensure we know where our produce comes from as far as possible. So when we saw this thought-provoking blog post from London-based Honestly Healthy it knocked us for six. To be completely honest, the provenance of our make-up brush hair wasn’t something that we had ever spared a thought for and it's really got us thinking. Worth a read whatever your stance on the fur trade.


4. SPIRAL CRAZY

Image: Inspiralized.com

Image: Inspiralized.com

While there are a host of crazy, unnecessary and expensive kitchen gadgets out there which boast all sorts of health benefits, a sprializer is one gadget that’s really worth its weight in gold. Instantly transforming veggies (carrott, courgette, beetroot are our favourites) into beautiful spaghetti like strands. Sub them in place of noodles or spaghetti for a more nutritious, low-carb option. While they’re still hard to find in most department stores, Amazon is your best bet. If you don’t want to splash out just yet you can get a simlar effect with a julienne peeler, although it’s a little more labour intensive. As big spiralizer converts we were very excited to discover Inspiralized this week - a whole website dedicated to spiralizer recipes. How beautiful does their Thai Green Curry with Carrot Noodles and Purple Cauliflower (above) look?


5. BEEFCAKE YOGA

Image: NYTimes.com

Image: NYTimes.com

This insightful and entertaining New York Times Magazine article chronicles a sub-set of yoga’s unlikeliest devotees.


6. DOGA - THIS IS A REAL THING?!

Image: Helena Amor Photography at Dogamahny.co.uk

Image: Helena Amor Photography at Dogamahny.co.uk

Ok so this has been around for a while but we only came across Doga - yoga with your dog - this week. Supposedly, the practice helps both parties relax by focusing on breath and can help relax your canine friend and strengthen your bond. What do you reckon? Find out more about their London classes here.


Weekly Wellness

Just in time for the weekend, ignore the tropical storms and bed down and catch up on the most interesting stories from the health and wellbeing world this week. We'd love to hear your thoughts, does yoga give you everything you need or do you enjoy the challenge of cross-fit? Would you eat less meat if it was better quality? Let us know below or on Twitter @theholist.


1.  HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS REALLY ENOUGH?

Image: Jessleff at Pixabay.com

Image: Jessleff at Pixabay.com

Here at The Holist we are serious yoga devotees and it is far and away our favourite form of exercise. Many yogis claim that a devoted practice can provide all of the aerobic benefits that our body requires without the need for additional cardio or resistance training but some experts disagree. This article from the New York Times surveys the evidence, concluding that while yoga has been proven to lead to measurable strength gains, it is unlikely to be aerobic enough to be our sole form of exercise.

Luckily, new research released this week has shown that running for as little as five minutes a day can lead to significant health benefits. The findings, published in the The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that runners had a 30% lower mortality risk generally, and a 45% lower risk of dying from heart disease than non-runners. Check out the full article here

At the other end of the spectrum ‘extreme’ workouts such as Crossfit and Insanity continue to ignite controversy. This article fromThe Atlantic examines the science in further detail and asks whether it’s ever ok to push yourself to the point of vomiting when working out?


2. THE PROTEIN MYTH

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

Image: Hans at Pixabay.com

Protein is one of the most commonly misunderstood macronutrients and most people today seriously overestimate how much protein our actually bodies require. In this helpful blog post, celebrity nutritionist Kimberley Synder cuts through the myths surrounding how much protein we really need and explains how you can get sufficient protein (even if you’re a serious athlete) from a mostly plant-based diet.


3. SOMETHING FISHY?

Image: Waldiwkl at Pixabay.com

Image: Waldiwkl at Pixabay.com

The omnivores out there will be interested to hear that a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that regular fish eaters have more voluminous brains and larger volumes of grey matter in the parts of the brain responsible for memory and cognition. The good news is that the benefits can be seen even eating fish just once a week, which the study found leads to a 14% larger hippocampus—the brain’s main memory and learning center—when compared to non-fish eaters which has huge implications for susceptibility to Alzheimer’s. While the study didn’t highlight any particular kind of fish, they did stress that the benefits are only available when the fish is baked or grilled but evaporate as soon as the fish is fried. Read more over at The Atlantic.


4. THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA - WHY QUALITY MEAT MATTERS

Image: Theguardian.com

Image: Theguardian.com

If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll have seen our post about The Guardian’s recent investigation into the horrendous state of the the major UK supermarkets’ poultry suppliers. The graphic picture above is just one example of the serious hygiene failings they found throughout UK production facilities. If the photos accompanying the report haven’t turned you instantly vegan, then at the very least they should persuade you that quality meat really is worth the extra money, even if it means eating meat less often. This useful piece explains why you need to strike up a relationship with your local butcher and what you should really be looking for when buying your meat.


5. AN ASPRIN A DAY KEEPS CANCER AWAY?

Image: Stevepb at Pixabay.com

Image: Stevepb at Pixabay.com

New research from Queen Mary's University of London published in the Annals of Oncology has found that taking aspirin every day may reduce the mortality rates from bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer by up to 30-40%. The study re-examined 200 existing studies on aspirin and predicts that if all people aged 50 and over in the UK took a daily dose of the drug, some 122,000 deaths could be prevented over two decades. Yet the regular use of aspirin remains controversial given its potentially serious side effects especially the risk of internal bleeding. Given that the study found the positive benefits will only be seen after 5 years of daily use, opinion remains divided as to whether the risks really do outweigh the benefits. Read more over at the BBC.


Weekly Wellness

This week's round up of the most interesting stories from the health and wellbeing world ... coming to you from healthy hotspot Ubud in Bali. Look out for our Healthy Bali travel guide coming soon!


1. HOW CLEAN IS YOUR HOME?

Image: jarmouk at Pixabay.com

Image: jarmouk at Pixabay.com

As we’ve written before, when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, what you put into your body is only part of the equation. If you’re serious about leading a cleaner lifestyle then you also need to be paying attention to your environment and what you come into contact with. This guide over at Goop gives you the skinny of what you need to know about detoxing your home and your beauty regime.


2. JUMPING ON THE JUICE BANDWAGON?

Image: ivoanzola at Pixabay.com 

Image: ivoanzola at Pixabay.com 

The juice revolution is slowly taking hold of London, with exciting new juiceries opening up almost every week. But if you’re still a little confused about all the juicing lingo then check out this idiot’s guide from Well + Good NYC. Thinking about investing in a home juicer but not sure where to start? Then head over to healthy hero Kris Carr’s site for this great guide to buying a juicer.


3. STUCK IN A RECIPE RUT?

Image: cooking.nytimes.com

Image: cooking.nytimes.com

The New York Times has just launched NYT Cooking, an online portal featuring an incredible archive of over 15,000 recipes. The site also allows you to save, sort and curate your favourite recipes into your own “recipe box”, as well as follow your favourite celebrated NYT food writers. Check out Mark Bittman and Martha Rose Schulman to get started with some healthy recipe inspiration!


4.  IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU EAT …

Image: publicdomainimages at Pixabay.com

Image: publicdomainimages at Pixabay.com

.. it’s how you eat it. We're in such a hurry these days that most of us end up gobbling a substantial portion of our meals on the go, or mindlessly scarfing down supper in front of the TV. In doing so we've lost touch with the important social rituals around eating. In this piece, The Atlantic puts forward a compelling argument for why we need to reclaim our dining tables and re-institute proper family mealtimes.


5. IS ORGANIC REALLY BETTER FOR YOU?

Image: ecoyou at Pixabay.com

Image: ecoyou at Pixabay.com

There’s been a lot of press about the organic food debate over the past few years, with many claiming that organic food is a total rip-off and fails to provide any health benefits over traditionally grown produce. However, a new comprehensive review of previous studies published in The British Journal of Nutrition, has shown that organic produce (fruits, vegetables and grains) actually contain substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides than non-organic crops. Read the full article over at the The New York Times and check out our guide to buying organic here


Weekly Wellness

Our weekly curation of our favourite findings from the health and wellbeing community this week.


1. DO YOU HAVE A WELLBEING SUPPORT NETWORK?

Image: cherylholt at Pixabay.com 

Image: cherylholt at Pixabay.com 

We all know it's easier to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle when we are surrounded with like-minded folk. This blog from Sporteluxe explains why it's so important to surround yourself with a supportive "wellbeing network". Peer-pressure is powerful stuff and when you feel like you're constantly being interrogated about lifestyle choices and battling a barrage of negative and unhelpful comments from uninformed bystanders, it can be pretty exhausting. We're certainly not suggesting you need to turn your back on your friends and family, just that you should also consider broadening your social group and cultivating new relationships with people on the same page. Get down to some of the exciting new wellness events London has on offer or take the initiative and look for clues on social media that acquaintances have similar persuasions and reach out to them.  


2. THE WONDERS OF A WALK

Image: publicdomainarchive at Pixabay.com

Image: publicdomainarchive at Pixabay.com

We all know that sitting hunched over our screens all day is terrible for and that we should take "regular" breaks. But how many of us actually heed that advice? The good news is that apparently you only need 8 minutes. So next time you're in the throes of a mid-afternoon slump, ditch the Facebook stalking and get pounding the pavements to refresh, re-energise and get your creative juices flowing. Read more over at The New York Times and Vogue. You could even shake things up a bit and take your meetings with you as per Harvard Business Review's advice here and here.


3. FABULOUS FLOW

This video from Equinox is an oldie but a goodie. Every now and then it pops up again on our Facebook feed again and re-inspires us. It perfectly encapsulates the balance of serenity and strength that makes yoga so powerful and encompasses everything we love about yoga. It still bewitches us every time! Check it out and we promise that you'll be inspired to get back to your mat in no time. While we're on the topic, we have also recently come across Equinox's healthy living portal, Q, which is a treasure trove of great resources and advice!


4. BEAUTIFUL BURNERS

Image: Pagethirtythree.com

Image: Pagethirtythree.com

We are huge fans of aromatherapy, putting aside the debate on the science behind it, we find that burning an aromatic blend instantly enhances a space and makes it more pleasant and we have a constant stream of essential oils burning in the background here at The Holist HQ. We recently came across stunning Aussie brand Page Thirty Three and have fallen hard for their to-die-for range of stunning oil burners. While they are a lot more expensive than your average oil burner, we like to think of them more like functional pieces of artwork. We think they'd make the perfect gift for that design-obsessed person in your life. UK based readers can purchase their stunning products at our favourite London wellness destination store Content in Marylebone.


5. THE SCHOOL OF LIFE

Image: Theschooloflife.com

Image: Theschooloflife.com

For those of you who haven't come across it before, the London headquartered School of Life describes its mission as "devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture". The School, which counts philosopher Alain de Botton as one of its founders, provides a practical application of ideas from the humanities (including philosophy, literature, psychology and the visual arts) to 21st century struggles such as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand, and where necessary change, the world. In addition to the classes and therapies they offer at their central London location (as well as overseas branches in Paris, Melbourne and Amsterdam) they also publish a range of tools to help anyone on a quest for a more fulfilled life. We love their blog, as well as their sister site The Philosopher's Mail, which are both great sources of stimulating content that will inspire anyone trying to live a more mindful existence to examine their motivations, behaviours and deeply held beliefs.

Weekly Wellness

Our weekly curation of the most exciting things from the world of health and wellbeing this week! As ever, let us know your thoughts below!


1. CONTENT WELLBEING FESTIVAL

Image: Beingcontent.com

Image: Beingcontent.com

For all our lovely London-based readers, our favourite natural beauty treasure trove, Content Beauty has launched their second annual Summer Wellbeing Festival. From now until 19th July they’ll be hosting a wide range of health inspired workshops, classes and events. You can find the full schedule here. We are especially intrigued by their Alternative Friday Night Out – a great healthier alternative to the standard Friday post-work pub session which also gives you a chance to broaden your social circle with new like-minded buddies. As huge fans of lazy weekend brunches, we’ve also got our eye firmly on their  healthy “Beauty Brunch” hosted at one of our favourite spots – Detox Kitchen. Get booking quick!


2. IS MAPLE WATER THE NEW COCONUT WATER?

Image: Happy Tree via Wellandgoodnyc,com

Image: Happy Tree via Wellandgoodnyc,com

Well + Good NYC, experts on all the hottest US health trends seems to think so! A slew of new maple water companies have recently launched in the US. So what are the benefits? Maple water isn’t nearly as sugary as you may think (nor as sugary as its coconut cousin) and similar to coconut water, provides an abundance of natural vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants. As far as we know this new trend hasn’t hit London yet but keep your eyes peeled – it’s only a matter of time! Read more over at Well + Good here


3. WOULD A 4 DAY WORK WEEK IMPROVE YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE?

Image: Geralt at Pixabay.com

Image: Geralt at Pixabay.com

As we’ve said many times before, here at The Holist we are take a holistic view of wellbeing, to be at your best you need to try and balance all aspects of your health – diet, exercise and mental health. For many of us, despite eating healthily and exercising regularly, work-related stress is the missing piece of the puzzle. Increasingly, employers expect their employees to be available 24 hours a day, making it harder for many of us to switch off and relax when we leave the office. Now one of the Government’s leading health advisors has recommended that switching to a four day work week would significantly improve work-related stress and related medical conditions such as high blood pressure and mental illness in the UK. Read the full coverage over at The Guardian here. What do you think? Is this really a viable option? What would you do with an extra day of the weekend?


4. NEW REVAMPED HEADSPACE APP

Image: Headspace.com

Image: Headspace.com

Speaking of stress, we are huge fans of meditation which has been creditied with a host of mental health benefits. Personally, we have been reaping the benefits as a result of developing a daily practice. Our favourite meditation companion is the zen-based Headspace app which, in our opinion, is just the right balance of soothing mindfulness for a cynical Londoner (i.e. no hippy dippy rubbish). This week they’ve launched version two of the app with hundreds of hours of new exciting content. So if you haven’t already, get downloading and check out their new features over at their website


5. WEAR YOUR INTENTION

Image: jesslively.com

Image: jesslively.com

We love, love, love these beautiful braille intention necklaces, a collaboration between Jess Lively and Portland-based Acanthus Jewellery. The “be present” necklace is firmly at the top of our current lust list and we think it would be the perfect reminder to check in with yourself throughout the day! Find out more over at Jess Lively’s blog


6. FOOD BABE

Image: Foodbabe.com

Image: Foodbabe.com

We came across this great website this week, Food Babe run by health crusader Vani Hari.  Vani’s site is focussed on investigating what is really in our food, how is it grown and what chemicals are used in its production and is a gold mine of useful information for anyone trying to adopt a more mindful approach to their lifestyle, diet and environment! Her campaigns and petitions have got some pretty impressive results from some of the biggest names in processed food, including Whole Foods, McDonalds, General Mills, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Kraft to name but a few!





Weekly Wellness

Welcome to our weekly round-up of the interesting things from the wellbeing sphere that caught our eye this week! Enjoy, and as ever, we'd love to hear your feedback below!


1.     REVITALISE 2014 BY MIND BODY GREEN

Image: Mindbodygreen.com

Image: Mindbodygreen.com

Wellness site Mind Body Green recently held its first “Revitalise” health summit – if you follow many health and wellbeing ‘celebs’ on  Instagram you’ll probably already know all about the summit which was held at swanky US health retreat, Miraval in Arizona. The event hosted a range of leading health and wellbeing authorities speaking and providing their insights on a whole spectrum of health and wellbeing topics and trends, from relationships, to nutrition, to exercise.

Luckily for all of us normal folk unable to attend,  the kind folks over at MBG have made some of the content on their website! Featuring speakers such as Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, Joe Cross (From “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead) and Dr. Terry Wahls to name but a few. Forget the Game of Thrones finale, this is a must watch for this week! Find all the videos etc. over at MindBodyGreen here.


2. WHY NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE DOES OUR HEAD IN!

Image: Iquitsugar.com

Image: Iquitsugar.com

As we’ve mentioned before, one of our main drivers behind The Holist is the daily frustration we experience when trying to devote ourselves to a healthy and nutritionally sound lifestyle but constantly being bombarded with contradictory mixed messages from the media. We want The Holist to be a place that does that hard work for you, digests all the contradictory health advice and scientific studies and spits out easy to understand up-to-date recommendations on who and what to trust when it comes to health advice for you. We could therefore totally relate to this article by the I Quit Sugar team on why nutritional science is such a confusing and murky arena!


3. DR. LIBBY'S A TO Z OF WELLBEING 

Image: By Dwight Sipler [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image: By Dwight Sipler [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve made no secret of our love for the amazing New Zealand based Dr. Libby. She’s currently in the middle of doing an A-Z of Winter Wellness, where each day she gives us the inside scoop on a health topic or ingredient! Despite the fact we are currently meant to be in the middle of summer (*ahem*) it’s still jam packed with useful advice! We are currently up to M for Movement, follow the rest of the series here!


4. ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

Image: Sasha Kargaltsev [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image: Sasha Kargaltsev [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We’d be lying if we didn’t view the claims of “power women" Margret Thatcher, Marissa Meyer and Madonna who claim to only need four hours sleep a night with a tinge of jealousy! But the older we get, the more we realise that sleep is so important! While everyone is different, for us personally at least eight hours is optimum and there is a wealth of evidence to show that for 99% of the population, anything less than seven hours can have devastating health effects. Yet our “always-on” society portrays a normal sleep schedule as a luxury only available if you’re lazy and don’t care about your career. As per our previous posts, we are so glad that the macho culture around lack of sleep is slowly changing, with vocal proponents such as Arianna Huffington and even Harvard Business Review. It seems that every week another new study is published affirming what we already knew – that sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing.

Recent research covered by the BBC (see here and here) has also highlighted the importance of your environment in affecting the quality of your sleep, with light being a major offender.

Personally, we require total darkness to sleep so have spent years perfecting the art of a black out! If you can’t create real darkness with curtains or blinds then our personal favourite eye mask is the Tempur eye mask. Yes, it is pricey and it looks a little industrial and perhaps isn’t the sexiest bedtime wear, but it is a real life saver and we don’t travel anywhere without it! Research has also shown that the blue light emitted from our multitude of electronic devices (TV, laptops, phones, tablets) can severely affect the quality of our sleep. Try and get into the habit of developing healthy sleep rituals, like instituting an ‘electronic shutdown’ for half an hour (or ideally an hour) before you go to sleep. You can even use that time to work on developing a healthy new habit like meditation or strengthening your yoga practice. 

But do you know how much you really sleep? Despite our self-awareness of our need for sleep we’ve realized we chronically underestimate how much sleep we are actually getting here at The Holist HQ. We recently tried out a few sleep cycle apps which not only wake you up at the optimum time within your sleep cycle but also track your sleep patterns and sleep cycles showing you a breakdown of your total sleep hours, your light sleep, DEEP + REM sleep and your sleep efficiency! We were surprised to find that despite our best efforts we are barely clocking in the bare minimum of seven hours a night! Given that the app is motion activated the figures are never going to be 100% accurate but they are still a really interesting insight in to your sleep patterns nonetheless. Having tried out a few apps, our favourite so far is Sleep Time but there are tons out there and devices such as Jawbone and Up also offer similar functions.


 5. HOW TO STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

Image: Waitbutwhy.com

Image: Waitbutwhy.com

Here at The Holist we are all about health in the holistic sense and mental and emotional wellbeing is just as vital to that as eating well or exercising regularly. Wait But Why is a hilarious, totally not health related blog but amazing nonetheless. You may have seen some of their viral posts on your Facebook – “Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy?” and “How to be Insufferable On Facebook”. It’s a highlight of our week when a new post pops into our inbox. We love the way they marry spot-on, insightful social commentary with fall off your chair humour. This week’s post “Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think” was one of their best yet in our opinion. We are all guilty of letting self-doubt get the better of us sometimes, some of us worse than others! This two part blog post series is a must read for anyone trying to look inwards to understand their drivers and psyche while also reminding us how important it is to be mindful of your feelings and experiences as well as those of people around you.


6. THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN B12

Image: آرمین at Wikimedia Commons.

Image: آرمین at Wikimedia Commons.


Vitamin B12, you know that stuff that all the celebs get injected into their perky bottoms to help them with their "exhaustion"?  Well, it's actually really important and is required by the body to ensure the brain, blood and nervous system all function properly. We’ve read a lot of contradictory information about this vital little vit, with the majority of sources claiming it’s only truly digestible  by the human body when taken from animal sources obviously raising cause for concern for vegans and those following primarily plant based diets. We’ll be covering this topic in depth in one of our upcoming dossiers but in the meantime, we thought this guest post over at This Rawsome Vegan Life was an interesting insight on the subject and an important reminder to ensure you're getting enough!


 

Weekly Wellness

Our weekly dose of everything that you need to know happening in the health and wellbeing world this week. One of the main reasons we stated The Holist was being fed-up of contradictory and confusing health advice and not knowing who to trust. We have an exciting upcoming project for you all in this respect and are excited to get under the skin of exactly where the science is at on various health issues over the coming months. In the meantime here's a round-up of some of the more controversial and interesting scientific nutrition and health news of late.


1. RED WINE + CHOCOLATE ANTIOXIDANTS "A MYTH"? 

But red wine is good for you right? Blueberries are definitely a super food right? Well according to new research from John Hopkins University this might not actually be the case. Their study which looked specifically at the antioxidant "resveratol" and contained in dark chocolate, berries and red wine, found no correlation between the antioxidant and improved life span or lower rates of heart disease or cancer. However, the study did note that this doesn't mean the touted health benefits of these foods are non-existent, rather that they are not from resveratol as previously believed. The health benefits may be conferred by other plant compounds in the items in question, but further research is required to identify any such compounds. If you want to read more the NHS has a surprisingly good commentary. 


2. GLUTEN SENSITIVITY STIRRING UP CONTROVERSY AGAIN

Image: juttazeisset at Pixabay 

Image: juttazeisset at Pixabay 

If you're a non-cealiac but subscribe to a gluten-free lifestyle, you'll likely have been subjected to a lot of flack from friends and family about how gluten has absolutely no affect on non-cealiacs despite your protestations that you feel a hundred times better once you're avoiding it. When we saw this week's gluten headlines such as "Scientists Prove What You Secretly Think About Your Gluten-Free Friends" (Policy Mic) our hearts sunk as we waited for the inevitable "I told you so" messages to roll in. But gluten-free friends, this is the perfect example of one of the most important messages The Holist has been trying to get across ... don't believe everything you read without digging a little deeper. In short, this study has not conclusively found that gluten has no-effect on all non-cealiacs, it is rather more complicated than that. In some places the same study has also been reported as proving a link between gluten and depression which is a totally different perspective. The great gluten free blog, Gluten Free Girl and The Chef has a pretty good explanation of why we should be sceptical of relying on any one study in isolation here. We are not trying to challenge the legitimacy of this study, but rather would argue that its specific findings (which relate to a small and very specific control group) be seen as another valuable piece in the puzzle of understanding the effects gluten has on our bodies.


3. SHOCKING STATE OF UK HEALTH REVEALED BY SURVEY

Public Health England recently published the latest edition of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which found that between 2008 and 2012 the majority of Brits failed to meet any of the national guidelines on a healthy diet. Sarah Boseley from the Guardian sums up its depressing findings here. With statistics like these and growing recognition of the risk that the obesity epidemic proposes to global health, it's no surprise that Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation are calling on Governments to regulate food to be in the same way as tobaccocheck out the story here).

In other news, you may have seen that Tesco recently made the decision to remove sweets from the checkout of some of its smaller stores (they are already banned at larger stores). Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke acknowledged: "We all know how easy it is to be tempted by sugary snacks at the checkout, and we want to help our customers lead healthier lives". Check out the full story at the BBC here. But over at The Guardian, Owen Jones doesn't think it's enough and puts forward a compelling lament, very close to our hearts as to why public health and media advice needs to be better presented and clarified. 


4. UPDATED 'DIRTY DOZEN' + 'CLEAN FIFTEEN' RELEASED

Image: National Cancer Institute 

Image: National Cancer Institute 

The Environmental Working Group ("EWG") an American NGO specialising in food and agriculture advocacy, have released the 2014 version of their 'Dirty Dozen' and 'Clean Fifteen' rankings of the best and worst fruits and veggies for contamination by pesticide and other nasties. We understand that not everyone can afford to buy organic all the time, but this list helps you prioritise which items you really should try and buy organic, and those you can skip if budget is an issue. Still stuck? Check out our "Guide to Buying Organic". Read the EWG's full report and lists here. If you still aren't sold on the way in which the toxins in our everyday environment can harm our health then check out this article from The Atlantic on the most dangerous nasties hiding in our homes.


5. IS WHOLE FOODS TOO EXPENSIVE?

Image: Instagram - Whole Foods Market

Image: Instagram - Whole Foods Market

We love WF as much as the next healthy foodie but there's no doubt about it, it is pricey! Are we right to hope that prices may be coming down? Harvard Business Review seems to think so, according to this blog article.


6. IS OIL "THE SECRET" TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?

Image; Hans at Pixabay

Image; Hans at Pixabay

We've been preaching the benefits of good fats for a while now so we were interested to see the recent publication of research which found that combo of leafy greens or veggies and olive oil produces valuable nitro fatty acids which lower blood pressure. Read the full story over at the BBC here. That said, as this week's edition of Weekly Wellness has hopefully proven, science in these areas is constantly changing and it's dangerous to buy into anyone study wholesale without looking at the bigger picture. We thought Joanna Blythman's commentary on this study over at The Guardian was pretty spot on in many ways!


 

 

 

Weekly Wellness

A round-up of a few of the interesting things that have caught our eye over the past few weeks while we've been away! Enjoy and let us know your thoughts below! 


1. FED UP -  THE NEW HOT HEALTH DOC ON THE BLOCK

Fed Up is a new health documentary from the Oscar winning producer behind An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie Davies. The film took Sundance by storm this year and has got everyone in the health world talking. The film's main message is that everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is wrong and digs under the skin of the food industry to examine the real reasons behind America's obesity epidemic. The film predicts that 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese in the next 20 years and that one third of all US adults will have diabetes by 2050. The real reason for these worrying trends? The film points the finger firmly at the current public enemy no. 1 - sugar!

Unfortunately the film doesn't yet have a UK release date but given the hype we are crossing our fingers for an announcement soon! Keep your eyes peeled for more info on their website and in the meantime check out the trailer below.


2. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE?

Pushing 30 and still not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Don't panic! Leo Babauta of the wonderful Zen Habits blog, has some useful advice. It might be addressed to a teenager but we think contains wisdom that we can all benefit from. Check it out here

Image: Morguefile.com Anita Pepper

Image: Morguefile.com Anita Pepper


3. GREEN KITCHEN STORIES ON YOUTUBE

As you’ll probably know by now we are huge fans of the amazing recipes from David & Luise at Green Kitchen Stories so we’re overjoyed to hear they’ve just launched a YouTube channel complete with cameos from the gorgeous Elsa! Check out their first vids – Yoghurt & Bluberry Popsicles and Roasted Cauliflower with Dates & Lentils … mmmmm.


4. ARE YOU AN ARROGANT SLEEPER? 

Maybe it's just the jet lag but we've noticed a few interesting articles on a topic close to our hearts here at The Holist - the importance of sleep. This recent BBC article takes a look at the ways in which our omni-connected modern lifestyles are leading us to ignore our body clocks wreaking havoc on our health.  

On the other side of the pond over at The Atlantic they're also laying waste to the myth that lack of sleep is somehow a badge of honour. With the topic becoming more mainstream and finally gaining recognition in management circles, (see Harvard Business Review's post Real Men Go to Sleep) hopefully we are finally waking up to just how important this vital function is for our wellbeing. 

Image: Pixabay Ramicm

Image: Pixabay Ramicm


 

5. A NUTRITION & DIET TV CHANNEL YOU CAN TRUST

We're always on the lookout for new sources of science backed nutrition and health advice so we were super excited to stumble upon this collection of informative videos from The University of California presented by academics including Dr. Robert Lustig (one of the leading authorities on the evils of sugar). They also have a range of interesting videos on broader health topics on their YouTube channel here. Here's a taster of the kind of things to expect from Dr. Lustig and his colleagues!


6. DO YOU KNOW WHAT GLUTEN IS?

Finishing on a light hearted note, king of late night satire, Jimmy Kimmel has seized upon the gluten free bandwagon in this funny segment where he asks random (gluten free) LA residents to explain what gluten is with cringe-worthy results! Funny as the video is, we don't entirely agree with Kimmel's message and acknowledge that gluten is a significant issue for a lot of people including non-coeliacs, but the video reinforces what we are trying to preach here at The Holist! Educate yourself as much as you can about your lifestyle choices and understand why you are doing them. Don't just jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is! We are all individuals and there is no one size fits all so learn what works for you and your body. We are here to help and over the coming months we'll be posting a series of dossiers distilling the science and advice behind various health fads and headlines to help you make the best choices you can! Watch this space!


Weekly Wellness

A ROUND-UP OF OUR FAVOURITE THINGS FROM THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING WORLD THIS WEEK. 

A round-up of our favourite things from the health and wellbeing world this week.


1. DR. JORDAN METZL - THE EXERCISE CURE

We love Dr. Metzl's beautifully simple message of the power of exercise. We’ve all read the headlines and know that we should be exercising regularly, yet the majority of people in the UK are still dangerously sedentary. This talk, given by Dr. Metzl at Google, really highlights just how potent a health tool exercise can be. Watch Dr. Metzl explain how just 30 minutes of movement a day can change your life and is one of the easiest paths to health and happiness.


2. CAN YOU TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOVE EXERCISE?

Image: Mourgefile.com

Image: Mourgefile.com

So you’ve watched Dr. Metzl’s talk and you’ve resolved to commit to moving for 30 minutes each day. But deep down you have this niggling voice telling you it won’t last, that you’re just not one of those people that enjoys exercise. Don’t despair, new research has shown that you can rewire your brain to find exercise pleasurable. Read the full story over at the New York Times and commit to trying to move for 30 minutes for the next 30 days and see how you do.


3. COACHELLA - FESTIVALS THE HEALTHY WAY

Image: Movenourishbelieve.com

Image: Movenourishbelieve.com

The Holist is off to Coachella in just three days! We’ve been reading this guide from the Lorna Jane girls over at Move Nourish Believe on how to stay healthy and happy at LA’s most fabulous festival. Check their tips out here as festival season kicks off with a bang.


4. HIPSTERFOOD'S COCONUT CHAI

Image: Hipsterfood.tumblr.com

Image: Hipsterfood.tumblr.com

A scrummy, creamy healthy chai recipe to kiss goodbye to winter. Check it out over at the amazing vegan Hipsterfood blog here.


5. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON'S ALTERNATE PATH TO SUCCESS

In another talk at Google (we wish we worked there but in the meantime we'll just pretend courtesy of their You Tube account) Arianna Huffington talks about how, in 2007, after years of working all hours to build The Huffington Post she collapsed from exhaustion breaking her cheekbone in the process.  As a result she had an epiphany that working yourself into the ground isn’t the only way to build a successful business and that neglecting your health is actually detrimental to productivity. In this talk she puts forward her persuasive argument for why we need to change the damaging myth that if you aren’t working 24 hours a day then you aren’t trying hard enough. 

Here at The Holist, we love all that the amazing technology of our time has given us, yet we strongly believe that we are headed for a huge crisis. Our on-demand society has led us to believe we must constantly be ‘switched-on’ and always available for work and everything else. But unfortunately our ancient biochemistry hasn’t kept up with our societal development, which means our bodies are constantly operating in a zone of heightened stress which simply isn’t sustainable. We are so happy that someone as successful and influential as Arianna is putting the message out there that there is another way.


6. DITCHING THE JUNK - DELICIOUSLY ELLA'S STORY

Image: Deliciouslyella.com

Image: Deliciouslyella.com

It's no secret that we're a little obsessed with the gorgeous Ella Woodward of the UK superstar health blog Deliciously Ella. If you don't already know Ella's back story then take a look at this interview she did with US site Into The Gloss. Ella is living proof of the power of a healthy diet, check out her inspirational story here.


Weekly Wellness

A round-up of our favourite things from the health and wellbeing world this week. 


1. Dr. Libby’s TedX Talk

Here at The Holist we are huge fans of Dr. Libby’s science backed holistic nutrition and lifestyle advice. Her recent TedX Talk “The pace of modern life versus our cavewoman biochemistry” explains how in today's hectic age, women are feeling the pressure of trying to keep everyone happy but that our ancient biochemistry hasn't kept pace with the changes brought about by our modern lifestyles. A good reminder why we all need to slow down sometimes and a must watch for the health conscious ladies out there.


2.  Inspired by Beyonce's Vegan Challenge?

If Queen Bey has inspired you to explore veganism, check out what her and Jay ate on their 22 day vegan challenge back in December over at E-Online

Image: Beyonce Tumblr

Image: Beyonce Tumblr


3. Lululemon Opens First London Flagship...

London's fashion conscious exercise obsessives will be overjoyed to hear that the Canadian exercise apparel brand favoured by discerning yogis the world over has finally opened its first flagship store in London's Covent Garden. Although they've had boutique showrooms across the Capital for a while now, the new flagship, their first outside the US and Canada, will offer 3,100 sq. ft. of fitness clothing and accessories including cycling, yoga and running gear as well as complementary yoga classes and a run club. Check out the details here.

Image: Lululemon

Image: Lululemon


4.  ... And Took Yoga Pants to a Whole New Level

In other news, late night comedy king Jimmy Kimmel took advantage of the brand's unfortunate incident last year involving see through yoga pants with his spoof take on Lululemon's new product "spray on" yoga pants. Luckily Lululemon saw the funny side and got in on the joke!

Jimmy Kimmel Live


5.  Saturated Fat Doesn't Cause Heart Disease After All?

We've been preaching the (good) fats message for a while now and people are gradually starting to realise that "fat" isn't the evil monster it was once painted to be. A British Heart Foundation study published this week has argued that contrary to existing guidance, there is no evidence that eating saturated fat increases the risk of a heart attack or other cardiac events. Obviously this doesn't mean you should be rushing out and stuffing yourself with deep fried junk, but it does reinforce the message that it's time we all got over our fat phobia and question the "official" nutritional orthodoxy. Read more over at the New York Times.

Image: BBC News

Image: BBC News


6. Why You Should Be Putting Butter in Your Coffee

Now that you can eat Butter (the grass-feed pasture-raised cows kind, of course) again guilt free why not tap in to the health benefits of the Paleo trend for "Bulletproof Coffee"? Find out why so many wellness experts are putting butter in their coffee over at Well + Good NYC.

Image: Pinkpapayaparties.com via Well + Good NYC

Image: Pinkpapayaparties.com via Well + Good NYC


7.  Why A Plant-Based Whole Food Diet is The Best Thing You Can Eat

Obviously we've subscribed to this school of thought for a while but here's another study validating a healthy lifestyle! The study, by researchers at Yale, compared the most popular diets of recent times: low carb, low fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, vegan, and elements of other diets. Their findings? Nutrition dense plant-based diets, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds supported a wide range of positive health outcomes including a lower risk of cancer and heart disease. Read more over at The Atlantic.

Image: FoodMatters.tv

Image: FoodMatters.tv


Have you come across any interesting health and wellbeing stories this week? If so, let us know below, we'd love to hear from you!