ACTIVE ESCAPE TO ICELAND!

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A fortnight ago I escaped to a remote Eco Retreat called Deplar Farm, in an ancient, primordial landscape where people live a very different, and highly compelling life. Chief amongst any list of ‘the most beautiful places to visit on Earth’ will be found Iceland – I now understand why, and I hope this post shares some of that magic. It’s long been a romantic dream of mine to visit this isolated, mystical land with its rumbling geothermal engine, and tundra-punctuated basalt landscape; perhaps more interesting to you, my dear reader, is the recent proclamation in The Lancet that Iceland is ‘the healthiest country in the world’ alongside my homeland Sweden! But don’t be fooled, as it’s also one of the most inhospitable places to live on the planet – temperatures where I visited can plummet to an average of −30°C in January, and howling winds can lash at a brutal 160mph, with several meters of snow dumping daily. This means schools close, infrastructure suffers and cars avoid some roads for risk of flipping and/or just being buried! The land is barren and rugged but that’s bred a nation of robust and resourceful people. I was astonished by the natural beauty and the local food, but more than anything by just how much there is to do here!  Click MORE to discover my expedition to Deplar Farm, the ultimate modern luxury retreat that I uncovered in the land of trolls and elves – a truly magical Icelandic saga! 

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TOFU SALAD WITH CASHEW DRESSING !

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This little colorful Tofu Salad with Cashew Dressing is something I designed to make the most of the fridge leftovers – salad innovation is a totally freestyle discipline in that you can literally chuck in whatever you fancy; I’ve chosen a mixture of colorful everyday affordable vegetables with a mixture of crunchy textures, supplemented with the silky softness of the tofu parcels and augmented by the deep and rich flavours of turmeric and cumin as well as the thick breadth of the cashew dressing. The dish is undisputedly vegetarian, but the cashew and tofu add a decent source of plant protein, and since it’s properly summery in London right now, this is a real ‘sit outside in the evening sun‘ dinner dish which is both filling yet light enough to enable an unconstrained night’s sleep! Click MORE for the ingredients and ‘how to’… (more…)

WELLNESS RETREAT TO ST LUCIA

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Snuggled between the two talismanic Piton mountains of St Lucia on a UNESCO World Heritage site, surveying the gentle breaths of the Caribbean Sea, rests the world-renowned Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. I visited, and experienced some of the most authentically delivered and luxuriously-crafted Caribbean hospitality, punctuated by some seriously demanding and gritty fitness activities. This destination was host to a unique and unforgettable Active Escape involving ocean swims, boot camp classes, morning yoga, a bamboo massage, and a brutal hike up (& down) the larger Piton mountain. Click more to see and evaluate it for yourself!

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TURMERIC & SAFFRON WILD SEA BASS!

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Turmeric is all the rage these days, having successfully captured the zeitgeist of hipster nutrition. It appears in all sorts of places from lattes to protein shakes. I propose something altogether different today; in order to help you channel your inner trend-follower whilst enjoying a superbly tasty and healthy dish, here’s a quick and easy fish recipe using turmeric and saffron to give it some unexpected flavours, AND alluring colours. The turmeric and saffron enrobe the fish in a wonderfully rich yellow hue whilst the sweet flavours work beautifully with the savoury fish. Colourful plant foods are superb for our health because of their phytochemical properties (plant pigments) and turmeric is an extremely concentrated example of exactly that. It offers a disproportionate suite of health benefits due to the presence of curcumin, the yellow pigment. Mainly that curcumin’s benefits range from potent anti-inflammatory properties to areas of heart health and cognitive function. This dish is quick and easy to make and really doesn’t require much by way of kitchen skills. Click MORE to get the ‘how to’…

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INTERVIEW WITH TOP BRITISH HEPTATHLETE!

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One of the greatest privileges to come from writing this blog is the epic 1-on-1 exposure to world-class professionals operating in the health & wellness arena. From Elle Macpherson to Steffi Graf, I’ve recorded my Interviews on a special section of FitnessOnToast.com, and today I’m thrilled to reveal another fascinating insight into the life of a top-level British athlete, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, of heptathlon fame! Katarina hosted a class with my friends at BRITA which amongst other things, touched on the importance of optimal hydration – a topic I’ve written about several times on this blog; with a gruelling 7 components to master for her athletic discipline, I wanted to understand how she approaches this incredibly broad ask, and how she tailors her lifestyle to the task! She took attendees through a seriously demanding Switch7 workout for an hour, building on Hydration, Speed, Power, Strength, Agility, Stamina and Recovery. Click MORE to read our full interview…

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GYMBOX ‘GIVE IT A SPIN’ CLASS WITH METHOD!

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I wanted to share a recent visit to Gymbox Farringdon, where I was invited to hit up the method laundry Challenge for their “Give it a Spin” class! It’s a purpose-built Spin Cycle class, crafted by method (a planet-friendly household brand which massively appeals to my inner eco-warrior) using a series of fragrances which motivate you to work out even harder! Now, there are countless mega-gyms, niche studios and pop-up classes proliferating all around London, and I’m always thrilled to try new ones and share them here. This class, at this gym, did not disappoint! If you haven’t been to this Gymbox, it’s well worth a visit; it’s unlike any other gym in that it feels as if you’ve entered an underground rave. With a DJ in a cage blasting forth tech house upon the cavernous gym floor, exercise revelers are propelled by the energy, and therefore they really go for it. That in turn, is hugely motivating. There’s no need to wait for any of the squat racks or benches because there are so many of them all over the place. There’s a huge section of monkey bars, pull-up bars – it’s literally an adult’s playground! Click MORE to see all about the class, to enter my competition to win AN ENTIRE YEAR’S free laundry detergent plus a Monreal gym bag, and to discover the delicious scents!

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CITY ESCAPE TO CARDIFF!

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You may have spied that I recently ventured west to Bath for a Great British city ‘wellness break’, and through my escapades around that wonderful place, I wondered what lay further beyond, more westward still in the British Isles… this weekend, as a guest of the charming team at Visit Wales, I discovered precisely that. On a bank holiday city break to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, I hiked the beautiful Taff Trail and toured the Millennium ‘Principality’ Stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League final in June ! Here’s what I discovered…

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ACTIVE ESCAPE: MONASTERO SANTA ROSA

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When pondering life in a monastery, images of stoic monks engaged in the pursuit of tireless abstinence come to mind; perhaps you conjure their unfulfilled passions, heavy sacrifices, and somber dutifulness underscoring a lifetime of pious devotion. Well, you shall have to park those preconceptions to one side the moment you hear the Monastero Santa Rosa‘s bell welcome you to the Hotel – a charming and sonorous tradition ringing out from a simpler era. Whilst an ancient spirituality pervades Monastero‘s stone corridors, this is perhaps the most well-invested, immaculately finished gem on Italy’s glistening Amalfi Coast, and was the scene of my latest wellness pilgrimage. Blending the owner’s meticulous eye for detail, a masterpiece organic vegetable garden nourished by lashings of Italian sunshine, a ‘gourmet heavyweight’ chef, a heavenly infinity pool, a sumptuous spa complex, and exquisitely appointed rooms, the hotel nails the very essence of Amalfi magic. I visited in order to road-test their newly launched ‘Health & Hike’ package, and am thrilled to recount the special experiences I encountered over my 3 days. Read MORE to see all the glorious details…

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A KILLER WORKOUT WITH TEAM ‘BAR’

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During my blog trip to Bermuda last month, I trained with the elite sailors from Team Land Rover BAR, the Great British hope for the 35th America’s Cup and run by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, legend Sir Ben Ainslie. Whilst they’re a brand new team for this event, they mean business with a 150-strong contingent and a well-funded £80m budget; second place isn’t an option, they’re out to #BringTheCupHome. This was a pretty unique and exceptional opportunity for a bit of an amateur sailing geek like me. I’ve previously featured professional sailing teams on my adventures with Helly Hansen, and indeed myself trained with Team Concise, as well as participating in Cowes Week 2016 (placing third!). The America’s Cup is something altogether different; akin to a Formula 1 on water, it’s the hardest cup in all sport to win, with only 4 nations having won since it began in 1851 – and NOT Britain, yet. This year for the first ever time, it’s being held in the Great Sound, a sheltered yet windy expanse off the Bermuda coastline. This is the most glamorous and intensely competed meet in the sailing calendar, and I was allowed super-rare insight into the team’s training regime. Warning: it’s beyond gruelling! Read on… (more…)

MINI COCONUT EASTER MOUNTAINS!

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Whilst you probably had us Swedes pegged for masters of meatballs, herring, and surstromming, we’re actually a nation of distinguished bakers and have considerable deft with a dessert too! Want proof? These delicious little Coconut Mountains are a totally classic dessert straight out of the Swedish motherland! They’re particularly appropriate this time of year, as I’ve always thought they looked more than passingly like little Easter bunnies – perfect for next week’s festivities. I’ve changed up the recipe by replacing the dairy product with coconut oil instead, as I’ve received a surprising number of emails requesting dairy-free desserts. However, the taste profile is the same and coconut hosts some awesome health benefits too, which I wrote about in some detail in my recent post, GOING COCO-NUTS! In the meantime, fire up the oven and click MORE for the full recipe below! (more…)