CRUISE CONTROL – ACTIVE!

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Last year, almost 23 million people on this planet boarded a cruise liner for their holiday, and every year, another 1.6 million more people will catch on. It’s twice as popular in the US as it is in Europe, so much so that a whopping 5% of their population casts off every single year! Aside from the Poseidon Adventure, I’d never seen the inside of a vessel this large, so when I was invited aboard by Cunard, my interest had been piqued to see what this experience is all about. Specifically, I wanted to know whether one could live a healthy holiday on the ocean. I was lucky enough to spend an entire activity-filled day on board one of the world’s most famous ocean liners (together with the lovely Emily from FashionFoieGras), The Queen Elizabeth, Cunard, to experience some unique fitness activities – a mini active escape if you wish! Click MORE to see what we got up to…
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SLEEP YOURSELF STRONGER!

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This Monday is known as Blue Monday, a statistically miserable day by virtue of things like rain, dark, cold, work, abandoned resolutions, fatigue etc. I recently attended a fascinating TEDx talk by Professor Adrian Williams, a 30-year-practised leading authority on Sleep, based at London’s Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospital; I was reminded of sleep’s unsung value to our lives. Consequently, to combat Blue Monday, I’ve decided to revisit the theme of ‘the importance of sleep’ and have added a few bonus bits & pieces! I think most of us recognize we can benefit from it, but we don’t approach it in a structured way. The appropriate length and quality of sleep allows your body to function at peak efficiency both mentally and physically, and it’s just as valuable as regular exercise and wholesome nutrition. A good night’s sleep can improve overall health and make every aspect of the subsequent day more productive, so I’ve detailed what I think are the key reasons why we should all invest more time in our rest! In this post, I’ve also collaborated with Philips to test their Wake-up Light, as getting up is the part of sleep I find the most difficult!  Click MORE to see it all… (more…)

I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE!

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Last night, the CEO of electronics giant Huawei delivered the keynote address over at the Consumer Electronics Show in the Venetian, Las Vegas. He talked live to tens of thousands of people about a future where we move beyond the smartphone, toward the Intelligent Phone. To coincide with this, Huawei asked me to think about how I’d want my intelligent phone to look in 10 years time, from a health & fitness perspective. I jumped at the chance as I hold strong views on it. You might already feel that today’s smartphones are god-like remote controllers, ruling over our entire lives, and maybe my future aspirations for it will sound as crazy as the concept of Facebook would have seemed in the ‘90s. Regardless, my view is that it’ll be a blend of digital doctor, nano-nutritionist, mechanical butler, cyber security guard and Artificial Intelligence unit all in your pocket. It will help us live longer lives, and enjoy higher-quality, safer lives. It’ll take care of the trivial so that we can focus on what’s most relevant to enriching our lives. It will be a complete game changer for humanity. A bold and dramatic claim; click more to see why…
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SO YOU WANT TO BE A PT ?

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Happy new year, dear reader, and I hope that 2017 holds fabulous things for you! Around this time of year, people think about making changes, both small and large. One of the most frequent emails to hit the FitnessOnToast inbox is from curious subscribers asking about working as a personal trainer; very often, the sender is thinking about changing their career, considering qualifying as a PT (Personal Trainer) or has been working in the job for a while and is looking for advice about shifting direction. REALITY CHECK! Whether you just want to know what your PT goes through, or if the romantic lure of the PT-life is tempting you, read on, as it’s seriously tough! I’ve been a PT for over a decade and whilst my career has taken unexpected turns, I have often tried to share my advice, for what it’s worth. I think that for many people considering this shift, it’s a case of ‘the grass is always greener…’ This post will talk about some of my experience-based perceptions about the career of a Personal Trainer, warts and all!

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ACTIVE ESCAPE: POST RANCH INN

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Soaring 1200 feet above a gentle stretch of the sweeping North Pacific ocean lies the ultimate meeting of man and mountain. A steel skeleton is fused with the granite cliffs, clad with wood for organs and glass for skin; the Post Ranch Inn is this eponymous structure, and coincidentally the scene of an epic wellness escape on a recent trip to America. Many believe that it claims the most tranquil, unspoiled and awe-inspiring landscapes in the country, and whilst I’ve got quite a bit of the country still to explore, I can’t disagree yet. The Sunsets trump Santorini; the vista rivals the Amalfi coast, and the service is as attentive and well judged as any world class American institution can be. The whole place has an ecologically sustainable skew, and I had the most magical visit. This post is a little insight into a precious Californian treasure which, quite rightly, has earned the accolade of ‘best hotel in America’ from more sources than I can recall… (more…)

THE RAW POWER OF 3 !!!

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What is my book ’FIT IN 3’ all about, and why did I call it that anyway? It’s a fundamental realization I had over 10 years of working in the fitness industry, every day. This post will give you a little teaser of the power of 3; despite what the fitness industry would have you believe, there’s no magic formula, there need be no expensive products to buy into, no supplements, no starvation diets, and no demonisation. It is the ultimate in simplicity, inclusiveness, balance, mix and fun. It’s not a ‘system’, but it is knowledge, an entire approach, and the only book you’ll need to lead a realistic, sustainable healthy life. You can pre-order your copy right HERE and I’ve added some sneak-peak pages inside the book too, to give you a flavor of some of the delicious, Scandi-inspired healthy recipes!

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WIN YOUR OWN WESTIN WELLNESS WEEKEND !!!

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As part of my Wellbeing Ambassadorial duties for Westin Hotels & Resorts, I recently had the awesome opportunity to attend the opening of The Westin Hotel Hamburg, Germany. It’s a brand-new, architectural art-piece at the heart of the city’s cultural center, built literally on top of the Elbphilharmonie (the city’s world-class Concert Halls, opening Jan 11th 2017), it offers epic views over the city and has a 1.3 square kilometer wellness spa! The best news of all? COMPETITION TIME! Westin has teamed up with me to offer 1 lucky reader (+ partner) their very own Wellness Weekend Escape here! Click MORE to see how to enter…

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WATCH THIS!

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18 months has raced by since the very first Apple Watch appeared on hipster wrists the world over, and now Series 2 has hit the company’s long, wooden sales tables. I really loved that first version, and posted a super in-depth review of it HERE on a trip to the Maldives – which as an aside, remains the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been on this planet! Since that review was one of the most read articles I’ve ever published on this blog, today’s post is a timely addendum, bringing up-to-date my views on the latest iteration of this much-hyped techy timepiece. At the outset, I must declare that I have received no compensation from Apple for either this or the previous review; these are my authentic and impartial personal views, so please take them as such. The essence is that they’ve crammed a whole lot more essential kit into this version, and as a result, I’ve noticed the conversation shifting away from ‘ooh you have one of those?‘ to ‘ah, how are you using & customising yours?’ I think we’re on the cusp of getting to serious grips with the data on offer, so read MORE to get the full set of observations on my Apple Watch Series 2.0. (Pictures shot on Santa Monica beach)

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FESTIVE SCANDI SKYR DESSERT

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Winter descended long ago, and memories of cooling summer desserts shimmer in the distant heat haze. Poetic interlude aside, my way of dealing with that is to meet it head-on and embrace the frost! So ahead of  Christmas, here’s my seasonally-on-point, festive Scandinavian-inspired Skyr dessert recipe! It uses generous dollops of a thick, luxuriant Icelandic all-natural dairy product called Skyr, a delish fat-free version of which Lidl have just launched! They asked me to come up with a healthy dessert recipe to put it through its paces, and this one just created itself; it’s so quick and easy to make, but offers up a whole lot of satisfying flavor, whilst making use of just 4 key ingredients! The Scandi and festive touches are lent to this dish by way of the cinnamon, pecans, and cranberries which also add a delicious textural crunch-and-chew! Click MORE to get the full delicious recipe…

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BEHIND THE SCENES – HOW TO WRITE YOUR BOOK !!!

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Cards on the table; I wasn’t born an author, and despite these bloggish scribblings, the thought of writing a book hadn’t even occurred on a post-hypnotic, unconscious, or inebriated level! The journey to writing my book Fit In 3: The Scandi Plan [it’s out on dec 29th, it would mean the world if you pre-order a copy!] was a grueling marathon of soaring highs and gloomy lows, and certainly one of the most intense challenges of my life. I can confidently say that I’ve thrown everything at it, and left nothing on the table – the book is 100% of me! But if, like me, you’ve never seen this mysterious process from behind-the-scenes before, you might also have casually assumed that these tomes magically appear, fully-formed, on shop shelves one day, conjured by the book-fairy, never paying thought to the dozens of people’s time, attention, grind, detail, and professionalism that goes into it. But much like writing a blog [which to the reader, can look like one macaroon-punctuated holiday after the next, but requires relentless toil], a book is a gigantic effort employing dozens of world-class talents, all working to fold their very best work into this little, printed package on a shelf! This blog post lifts the lid on the whole hidden process, shows you exactly what I went through, and might give you some thoughts on how to go about your own book! If you’re curious, read on! If you doubt it, read on! If you hate it, perhaps read on anyway! And if you think it’s easy, think again ! Faya x  (more…)