Go against the grain

27 August 2013

...and start replacing those gluten-filled, bloating starches with Quinoa (pronounced keenwah).

We eat a lot of grains in the UK, especially wheat, which is found in everything from bread and pasta to biscuits, cakes and even sausages and sauces. The problem is that wheat and other grains contain gluten, which is tough to digest, they are starchy carbohydrates that release their energy quickly, leading insulin spikes which encourage the storage of calories as fat. Quinoa looks, tastes and cooks like a grain, but it is actually a seed. Its seedy status means quinoa is gluten-free and has a high level of protein; use it to replace pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous in your favourite recipes.

Here are my favourite ways with quinoa to inspire you:

Tabouleh Gluten-Free Style

quinoa_tabouleh (250x188)

This Middle Eastern dish is normally made with bulgar wheat, but this is an adaptation of the traditional recipe, which replaces this (often hard to digest) grain with lovely protein-rich quinoa.

Serves 4 (as a side salad with a portion of fish, chicken or dish of your choice)


  • 120g quinoa (dried weight)
  • 250ml water
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes
  • A big bunch of flat leaf parsley (about 12 tbsp) and half as much fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and natural, unrefined salt such as pink Himalayan (which contains 84 different minerals) or sea salt such as Maldon


  1. Gently simmer the quinoa and water for 10-15 minutes until all water is absorbed and the quinoa seeds have ‘popped’ open
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool
  3. Chop the vegetables and herbs, then stir them into the cooled quinoa
  4. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, stir through and season to taste

Quinoa Porridge

Quinoa porridge image 1

Porridge is normally made with oats, but why not go gluten-free for a change. This recipe is super-charged with linseeds, adding further protein, essential fatty acids and fibre, which increase satiety and keeps you going for hours. For quicker cooking time replace the quinoa seeds with quinoa flakes.

Serves 2-4


  • 150g quinoa
  • 200ml water
  • 100ml rice milk, soya milk or nut milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) soaked overnight
  • Chopped apple and strawberries to serve


  1. Place all ingredients except the fruit in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10minutes or until the quinoa has popped.
  2. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for a few minutes before serving with the fresh fruit

Claire is a yoga enthusiast and runs The Nutrition Guide providing tailored one-to-one nutritional consultations, on energy, skin health and much more.

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Recovering from an operation

26 August 2013


I’ve had my appendix out and it has knocked me for six. I went down to 6.5 stone in a week and had to have bed rest for almost 3 weeks.

As someone who likes to be active, self sufficient and is generally a happy soul – the quick descent into darkness was frightening. It's very debilitating when you can’t move and look after yourself.

As with anything you have to have a strategy, here's what helped me to cope:

Meditate for at least 30 minutes every day at the same time. Meditation helps to deal with your demons, makes you more accepting of your predicament.

Restorative yoga: a simple constructive rest position, knees bent, feet on the floor and an eye pillow on my eyes. Breathing into the painful area and allowing the exhale to release the tight muscles.

Draw on your community, you don’t have to have lots of friends or family but do call or text the ones you have. When life doesn’t go well the tendency is to hide and feel sorry for yourself. Being okay about being vulnerable is good for all of us, those who go through it and those you share it with. The shared experiences in life are what makes us human. People love to help and listen if given a chance.

Accept that it will take time, your body is a good healer and will give you the message when it is ready to go. Sleep a lot, eat nourishing foods and come back stronger.

Nahid de Belgeonne is the Founder and Director of Good Vibes

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Gong Meditation Workshop

26 August 2013


Saturday 26th October                3-4:30 pm                BOOK NOW

The epic sound of the gong is extremely relaxing and sends the body into a deep state of meditation. Lying in Savasana, the reverberating tones of the gong bathe the body in rich sound waves. The vibrations affect the body on a cellular level helping to restore balance and harmony. The rhythm of the breath and the rhythmic sounds of the gong are used to take you on a journey to deeper states of consciousness. Gentle yoga postures at the start of the meditation and calming breathing techniques heighten the affect from the mighty sounds of the gong. It is a blissful way to deal with stress and fatigue and is a profoundly relaxing experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and energised.

Claire Barron Gong player Claire is devoted to yoga, and has been practising meditation for more than 20 years. Claire studied the Gong with renowned Gong Master Don Conreaux. Her workshop will leave you feeling calm, balanced and energised.

All workshops are held at the Covent Garden studio


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End of Summer Sale

23 August 2013


Keep your summer glow all year round and hello to a fantastic deal!

The August bank holiday weekend is just a few days away, a sure sign that our great British summer is almost at an end sadface

Keep your happy summer vibes all year long with our brilliant 25% discount on 12 month membership!

Our offer includes unlimited access to the best Power Plates, Spincycle, Yoga and Pilates classes in town for a lump sum of £855.

Sign me up to the Summer sale 12 months membership*

You’ll feel like its summer all year round under the warm glow of our infrared heated and SAD lit yoga studios, and at this price you are guaranteed to look good and feel even better!

*offer ends on the 8th September 2013, you can buy now and switch it on within 3 months from date of purchase

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Yoga for sports people

14 August 2013


In recent years the popularity of yoga has grown tremendously with athletes and sports people, and with good reason! Here we'll explore just some of the reasons that sports people need yoga in their life:

Yoga improves body awareness: Most people walk around as a head with no body. Not literally of course, but ask them to strike a balance or specific pose and as a beginner it can seem like you're introducing them to their body for the first time. But believe it or not, those limbs below your head all belong to you! As a sports person it's likely you'll be fairly body aware, but yoga can improve that even further. Yoga uses physical and mental exercises that have been shown to improve proprioception (a sense of our body in space - basically the ability to be able to move our body or sense where our limbs are in space without looking!). Proprioception plays a huge role in development and progression of training as it helps you to move faster, more efficiently and utilise a more unconscious response to your surroundings.

Yoga improves your breathing: Yoga, and in particular pranayama breathing exercises, have been proven to improve lung capacity and the mechanics of the breath. Any exercise that focuses on the breath is going to maximise breathing, improving diaphragmatic breathing and helping you to get more out of your breath. This is particularly helpful for athletes, especially those in aerobic sports, as efficient breathing helps to deliver better oxygen intake which in turn fuels the body more efficiently.

Yoga can reduce injury and make you faster: Your muscle fibres are like the bristles of a paintbrush, and just like the bristles of a paintbrush if you don't clean them they will stick together. This usually results in breakage the next time you use it, which then results in scar tissue, which leads to weaker, less flexible muscles (or a useless paintbrush!). By taking up yoga we are effectively 'cleaning our paintbrushes', or in our bodies case, cleaning our muscles! This means that the next time you use them for sport they're going to be in tip top condition which means you're less likely to injure yourself and more likely to go faster and stronger!

Yoga helps you focus: One of the hardest challenges of sport is the mental focus required to stick at it or even just to get out and do it! The mental exercises in yoga, along with the centering and breathing techniques can help to create good routines and help you use visualisation techniques to help you stick at, and improve your sports.

So to recap; yoga can help you be faster, stronger, more efficient, less prone to injury, more body aware and more focused. Never mind the reasons sports people need yoga in their life, try and show me the reasons you wouldn't want it in your life!? Glow Yoga timetable here

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Glow Yoga for Runners & Cyclists Workshop

12 August 2013

runners and cyclists


Saturday 21st September                3-5pm                BOOK NOW

Whether you’re a part-time runner or cyclist or a heavy duty competitor, the 2 hour workshops will assist in fine tuning your body to help you become the best athlete you can be.

You will learn how to stretch safely and effectively while building strength, mobility and balance in the body in order to reduce the likelihood of injury, decrease recovery time and improve performance.

You’ll learn about breathing techniques to encourage efficiency in movement and improved stamina resulting in overall enhanced performance.

Ready to improve your performance?

Clare Dobson is an experienced Teacher with a background in Sports Therapy. She teaches in a way that is clear and concise while still being fun and creative and enjoys focusing on growth and positivity.

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Beauty Thursday - Week 2

1 August 2013

week 2

In order to get great skin, eat a balanced & colourful diet, exercise regularly and laugh a lot – what’s more beautiful than a beaming smile to light up the face?

Beauty Thursdays bought to you by BareMinerals 

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