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…

Fitness On Toast Faya Blog Health Training Workout Active Travel Escape City Break Wales Cardiff Millennium Principality Stadium Football UEFA Final June Rugby-14 (more…)

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…)

10 BEAUTIES OF BERMUDA…

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The Bermuda Rectangle. Is what I thought it was called, but it turns out that doesn’t exist either. Apart from a superstitious fiction of vanishing vessels and the even-more-mysterious Bermuda Shorts, I’d not really encountered the island of Bermuda before. This marvel of nature is a long, thin, subtropical, volcanic island (made up of 181 mini-islands!) that’s shaped like a seahorse, and is a veritable slither of paradise with soft pink sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Marine heritage is a fundamental part of daily life here, and it offers simply some of the best sailing conditions in the world. When the Bermuda Tourism Authority invited me to tour the island and train with the Land Rover BAR team ahead of the elite and ultra-prestigious Americas Cup in May, I commenced my research; Turks & Caicos is 1,340km away, this isn’t in the Caribbean, it’s one of the most isolated islands on the planet, and it’s surrounded by absolutely nothing other than the fresh depths of the Atlantic Ocean. And its waters are blessed with lashings of wind; a sailors mecca! What I discovered when I set foot on the island couldn’t have been more unique; this is one of the most welcoming gems I’ve encountered on my voyages! Click more to see behind the scenes from the sailing equivalent of F1, as well as my top 10 wellbeing activities on this stunning, arresting island! (more…)

WORLD SLEEP DAY WITH WESTIN!

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As part of the festivities for last Friday’s World Sleep Day (it’s March 17th – perhaps mark it in your calendar for 2018 and maybe grab a belated extra hour snooze tonight?!) I had the superb opportunity to hop on board a plane with a friend and voyage to the peaceful climes of Westin La Quinta, Marbella. I’ve written extensively about the importance of sleep – it’s a critical component of the wellbeing formula, rather than some sort of hedonistic luxury. To quote sleep legend, Professor Adrian Williams, we’re taling about survival of the most rested. In line with this, I was thrilled to trial Westin’s brand new Bedtime Routine and to have had the chance to gift two lucky people their very own wellbeing break to the beautiful Westin La Quinta, Marbella! I spent a few nights in one of their deliciously compelling ‘Heavenly’ beds, so-called for good reason, and left feeling better than when I arrived, which is a sort of wellbeing nirvana, to my mind! Click MORE below to see the full behind-the-scenes of the routine and a little glimpse into the trip… (more…)

VEGGIE, KALE & BROCCOLI QUICHE!

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I’ve been making this quiche dish for years and have come to depend on it as a reliable hit with friends and family, right when I need something to deliver! It’s similar to my approach to soups in that you can get creative and throw in pretty much any veggies to the mix, free-style; perfect if you have a few veggies in the fridge which are on their last legs (we Swedes hate wastage!). Also this dish is delicious both hot and cold, so it’s perfect to bring to work for lunch the next day, or as a cheeky picnic now that the British weather is finally looking up! As always on this blog, creating the dish is quick and easy, and relies on fresh ingredients you can find in your local supermarket. Click MORE to see the ‘How To‘!

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WELLNESS CITY BREAK TO BATH!

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Last weekend, I voyaged westward to Bath for a distinctly British wellness escape. For years, I’d sampled the Instagram candy that was geotagged from this beautiful Georgian city, once revered by the Romans as the only hot springs in the UK – but this was my first IRL trip. VisitBath asked me to pop down for a weekend to experience the wellbeing benefits of this UNESCO World Heritage site for myself, so I jumped at the chance! What I found was an intoxicating blend of fresh air, relaxing proportions, historic significance, aesthetically arresting architecture, and a pace of life so wholly different to London (yet just 1hr 20 mins away on the Paddington flyer) that it was hard not to cut loose the stresses of the working week! Click more to see the key highlights of what I unearthed!

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5 POST-RUN STRETCHES!

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Stretching your lower body after a run isn’t just ‘nice-to-do’, it’s essential. You claim an array of benefits including the reduction of tightness in your largest muscle groups, alleviation of potential pains (including DOMS and the dreaded knee pain), the correction of muscular imbalances and even the improvement of actual running technique! Of course stretching after other forms of training (e.g. weight training) is also beneficial, so this post is by no means exclusive to running! The menu for available stretches is a broad buffet indeed, but in this post I wanted to showcase a specific few you might not have seen before, using a tennis ball or indeed a ‘physio ball’ like the one in my pictures. These therapeutic little spheres come in different shapes, sizes, and densities, and much like the foam-roller they enable a sort of self-massage. It’s a simple, cheap and hugely effective way to hone in on your specific needs, anywhere, anytime on the go, or at home. Dressed head-to-toe in SauconyI went out for a 6k run around the basin city of Bath on a recent blog trip (full review coming soon!) and then dispatched this 5-stretch routine upon my return! Click MORE to get the full routine and give it a try yourself – all you need is a tennis ball! (more…)

PRAWN & RASPBERRY SPRING SALAD!

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Salad isn’t boring, it’s just chronically misunderstood; this recipe is a refresher on how to get the most out of your relationship with it! It’s a protein-packed dish which takes mere seconds to throw together and packs a host of flavours as well as some unusual textural surprises. It’s light, lean, nutritious and also works as a great post workout meal. For the piece de resistance, I’ve added some fresh, plump, juicy raspberries! The low GI sweetness of these little red cones compliments the crunchy textures and savoury flavours of the broader dish fabulously, and overall makes it taste fresher and lighter. What’s more, the colour renders the dish less drably green by introducing some visual variation to excite the eye as much as the taste buds! A beautiful, timely reminder that spring is on its way which is a big deal for us Swedes :) I hope you love it too; on the off chance you prefer something more carby, I’ve provided an alternative ‘progression’ of the dish, invoking the timeless formula of the whole grain wrap… Click MORE for the full recipes and how-to… (more…)