When first I visited Israel – a decidedly middle eastern country – I didn’t expect to find myself strolling amidst a Gay Pride parade with over 100,000 people revelling on the beaches of Tel Aviv. On my recent and second visit to Israel, I had the great honour of being invited by The Ministry of Tourism, who ushered me and two journalists on an equally unexpected – and remarkably broad – historical and cultural tour of this breath-taking country, called ‘Sea to Sea’. Israel is a delicious melting pot of religion, culture, people and food; where Mediterranean meets Middle-Eastern, and where modern meets traditional. On this expedition, I discovered some truly ancient sites, voyaged through one of the oldest cities on the planet, enjoyed exquisite Israeli restaurants, feasted my way through vegetable/fruit and fish souks, and languished in the intimate boutique hospitality of this country. The list of highlights is impractically long so I’ve listed my absolute key takeaways if you’re thinking of a trip – and at the bottom of the post, other things to do whilst you’re there, should you have time. This is an active trip to remember!
Road biking through undulating vineyard topography, and during the more stationary moments, unwinding at the glorious Château St. Pierre de Serjac; as far as active press trips go, this was set up to be highly compelling! In the event, it was *so* compelling that I scribed a piece for Women’s Health on the affair (which should go live very shortly, so do keep your eyes open). The experience was extremely well balanced; road biking is unexpectedly demanding from an aerobic perspective, and the Château St. Pierre de Serjac is just a heavenly sanctuary in which to relax; that exquisite channel in the middle where those parameters meet is what governs a highly successful active break! As an aside, if you do read this and think ‘hmm, I could quite imagine myself giving that a shot’, I would strongly urge you to wear padded bib shorts, as road biking saddle soreness is orders-of-magnitude more intense than gym-induced muscular soreness! 😫. Find my full review of Road Biking and Château St. Pierre de Serjac below.
I want to share an extremely rare behind-the-scenes experience I recently had with Cirque Du Soleil in Finland. They’re the world’s largest & most profitable circus troupe, and I’ve been fortunate to have seen several of their shows – and have been uniformly delighted by their exceptional choreography, their enchanting imagination, and their unbridled connection to the human soul. In Helsinki, I viewed Toruk: The First Flight, at Cirque Du Soleil ahead of the London premier, which debuted last night, on the 23rdJune. For a few magical days, I was immersed in the world of Avatar, as this Cirque iteration breathes new and unusual life into James Cameron’s remarkable epic. I watched the show and spent a full day backstage meeting and interviewing the artists about their gruelling lives as world-class performers (click MORE for the full interviews), worked alongside the costume designers and makeup artists, tried out the equipment with the performers, and experienced what life as an Avatar at Cirque Du Soleil might be like for a day. I left with new levels of respect and humility for the raw talent of these super-humans. Read on to see for yourself why this is one show you (and the family) NEED to catch!
The freshness of ingredients is *critical* in the pursuit of optimal nutrition. I’ve written extensively about purchasing fresh produce in the past, but a consideration which has been often overlooked and which is starting to be highlighted in new studies, is the importance of the packaging itself. This post touches upon that subject, and is in partnership with Noluma, leaders in light protective packaging technology and certification – together, we hope to raise awareness as to why this is an important consideration for consumers. To me, the reassuring knowledge that I’m *actually* getting the promised freshness, taste and nutritional content (vitamins & minerals) from my food is important. I’m a cynic, and often question whether the label tells the honest story. Noluma’s commitment is to provide light protective packaging technology that will help consumers get the nutritional content they are expecting, and that works for me. Click MORE to see the full take… (more…)
The training cycle is tough on the body, and with successive workouts-and-showers, nothing takes a much of a gruelling battering as the hair. As such, and in direct response to several curious, hair-conscious reader enquiries over the years of scribing fitnessontoast.com, this post is fully dedicated to hair health. I may be a highly qualified professional when it comes to training and the likes of sports massage, but I’m only an enthusiastic amateur on matters pertaining to the hair. As such, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you, and picked the brain of multi-award-winning superstar hair artist Siobhan ‘Shivvy’ Jones for all the choicest pro-tips. Shivvy is a L’Oréal Professionnel teacher & Guest Artist, hair stylist on X Factor, Next Top Model, and artist to the likes of Little Mix, as well as being the Owner and Creative Director of Rose & Wild Hair, her delightful new studio in Fulham where we shot these pics! Those are some of her professional credentials, but beyond that, she enjoys heavyweight repute for setting the tone on colour technique and trends in the fashion industry. If like me you wash your hair too frequently post-training, Shivvy’s insights will help you to find and get the perfect tone, products to use and much more! Read on… (more…)
One of my evergreen ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ is to gain breadth through a spot of reading; the brain is similar to the body’s muscles in the sense that lack of regular exercise sees it shrink! So following a frenzied two months of book-worming, I wanted to share a varied suite of 8 ‘health books’ that have had somewhat of a positive impact on me, whether they be books on mindfulness, educational fitness or nutrition/recipe books. I’d love to hear what ‘health’ books you’ve enjoyed reading as I’m always on the lookout for a good new read, so please pop a comment below with your top picks! Hopefully you might feel inspired to think through the pages of one or two of the books listed here… (more…)
🚨 Fashion post alert! 🚨 I recently fell in love with this look I was sent from the new DKNY Sport collection. I was en route to an event at the Edition Hotel – a “sacred cacao ceremony” with meditative gong vibrations (more on vibrations and sound baths HERE) with some utterly glorious, crisp January London weather. My photographer and I managed to snap some impromptu pics in Fitzrovia. The oversized jacket is rendered in the most gorgeous inky velvet material which catches and plays with the light in a wonderfully intriguing way. Paired with subtly matching velvet leggings and my Adidas Superstars it’s the sort of sporty look I’d happily wear in or outside of the gym. Due to the oversized nature of the proportions, it’s also super comfy and all-enveloping, but the pluming nature adds more of a relaxed-yet-luxe sporty aesthetic. Whilst it was sunny it was uber cold, so I layered up, wearing a DKNY hoodie and the perfect polo underneath to keep my neck warm! I love an oversized jacket and this one I think is a classic – I’ll have it for years – paired with a pair of jeans, tight leather pants with sneakers, heels or boots. I’m trying to say that its versatile. I also love playing with proportions; wearing something super duper oversized on top always makes the legs look proportionately smaller which I love as a silhouette. Click MORE to see the rest of our shots and some shots from the choco-meditation ceremony! (more…)
Happy New Year, my good reader! If you’re anything like me, you’re most likely not new to the whole fitness thing; you’ve possibly been training for years, and you might even be in groundhog mode with your regime – which would be totally normal, we all visit that place! Hitting a plateau can be super confusing because you probably don’t know what’s causing it. The sorts of questions swirling around your mind are likely; am I not training enough, am I training too much, am I training the wrong way, in the wrong place, with the wrong people, wearing the wrong clothes, listening to the wrong music (etc.)? Well fear not, dear 2019-ready reader, for this post contains my top 7 simple tips to help you to break through that training plateau! Click MORE for your download to start the year the way you mean to go on – in blitz mode! (more…)
FitnessOnToast.com has always been a warm, friendly, inclusive place to share helpful, optimistic, focussed material. Well, NOT TODAY motherfos. This Gym Etiquette 101 post is motivated exclusively by burning rage and shall act as a form of cathartic therapy for me! I go to the gym on a regular basis, between 3 and 5 days per week. I consider the gym to be a shared space in which many people pay a fee to be allowed its use. However, my observation over 15+ years of gymming is that many people believe ‘once I’m a member, it’s my space’. They’re often disrespectful to the equipment, staff and other members, are messy and all too often, just really, really loud – just to name a few pet peeves. For me, I think of it as a privilege to use the gym. Yes, one pays a fee – sometimes a substantial one at that – but it’s not your property, or your private space. The better I look after the equipment, and the more respectful I am to other members, the more enjoyable and easier their time will be using the gym. In return, I’d expect the same consideration from others. So, without further ado here’s my TOP 10 of things that drive me up the wall every single time I go to the gym! Maybe you can relate to a few of them – alternatively, feel free to add your own irritations in the comments section below. I’d love to know if I’m the only one who feels this way. (more…)
Almost everyone loves Sweet Potato; it naturally sits one level higher than potato on the deliciousness continuum, precisely because of the inclusion of the word ‘sweet’. These tuberous wonders profess lower-GI properties, rendering them ‘complex carbs’, whos sugars break down over a longer period of time. These properties, in turn, are less likely to leave you a hyperactive sugar-high child for an hour, followed by transformation into crushed zombie at your sugar trough for the ensuing 4 hours. With that in mind, I thought I’d throw out the recipe for something quite delectable; these gluten free sweet potato chocolate brownies are provocatively moist, soft and gooey thanks to the inclusion of this masterful, hero ingredient, which keeps them molten and exquisite. You’ll find this recipe along with a bunch of other desserts, breakfasts, lunches dinners and snacks in my book Fit in 3, which contains a mammoth 60 recipes in total, all Scandi-inspired. Check out this recipe below… (more…)