Winter has well-and-truly hit in London – brrrr! – and now that Halloween is out of the way, the long run into Christmas is underway! I’m going to be posting plenty of ideas to help you stay on the seasonal ‘straight-and-narrow’, but in the meantime, it’s just about cold enough to get me thinking back to the summer.
In these pictures, I’m wearing another great tennis affair from my friends at Monreal London; I love the simplicity of the block white dress with the subtle blue detailing, and the elasticated rouching at the waist – comfortable, flexible and great for tennis. They were shot on the beach at Pamplonne, and Club 55 St. Tropez; to get there I stepped aboard a gorgeous specimen of a Riva ‘Super Aquarama’, and was motoring towards the restaurant at 55 knots! Once there, fresh grilled sea-bass and some fresh greens.
On this chilly London day, I REALLY miss the toasty sun of holiday, but luckily it’s only c.250 sleeps until the next dose of summercomes along 🙂
Another gorgeous fitness outfit crafted by the talented Caroline Greenslade, founder of British activewear brand Vevie, who I mentioned in my previous post, ‘Vevie La Revolution’. The outfit I’m wearing here, with it’s cute pink polka dots and fitted form, evokes a touch of ‘old world’ glamour. It’s very feminine and fun to wear, even for a bit of a ‘tom boy’ like me 🙂 I couldn’t imagine a more fitting place to go for a morning jog sporting this ‘retro-chic’ look than along the famous Cannes beachfront of La Croisette, where all sorts of timeless & classic ‘movie premiere’ glamour has unfolded at the Film Festival!
After my morning jog, I’d earned a well deserved breakfast at the Carlton Cannes. Breakfast is literally a time to ‘break the fast’ after a long nights sleep, so I always aim for a substantial meal to start the day right! On this occasion? Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, mushrooms and skinny latte. And to top it off a delicious fruit salad. Bon ap! 🙂 Faya.
Wearing: Vevie’s Hertford Dotty Polka Flash Jacket, the Hertford Dotty Polka Racer top and the Hertford Dotty Polka Flash leggings. I particularly like the functional details of this jacket – the two front zipped pockets, the polka dot thumb loops and the inner dotted collar for a fabric contrast. The fitted leggings have a comfortable waist and two waistband pockets to store keys/phone/snack! All garments are UV protected – 50+ and are made from a breathable, technical fabric. Plus they’re cute 🙂
Click MORE to see all the pictures from the shoot, then maybe go for a run too?!
If, like me, you’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle and you love to read to indulge the habit, then stay tuned; from now on I’ll be impartially reviewing fitness books which have struck a chord with me for some reason or another. I love discovering new and exciting fitness / health ideas – whether it’s a different system of eating, training or thinking, there’s always something new to consider. However, there’s far too much ‘ego’ in the fitness industry and whilst some might claim otherwise, I do think that you never stop learning, even if you already know alot, as perhaps somebody’s story can inspire and motivate you to try something different & get off your bum! Pick and choose the bits you do agree with, and leave the rest, like a little pick-n-mix bag of fitness ideas (yum, sweets!).
Click MORE below to read about the radical change methodology I’ve got in the picture above, written by one of the world’s foremost body composition experts – a very good read!
I normally like to post my own recipes, but this meal from a recent trip to France was in another league – I had to blog about it! As a pescatarian, I’ve had ALOT of fish in my time, but this was amongst the best I think I’ve ever had! Click MORE below to read about the nutritional benefits of white fish like sole, and see the pics of my gorgeous meal…
Just a quick fitness fashion post; you might remember that I promised in my earlier post Unreal Monreal to showcase some more of Monreal London‘s fabulous tennis-wear… Voila! Here are some pictures from a shoot at the Byblos Hotel in St. Tropez wearing their signature short tennis dress (which, according to WWD magazine, Victoria Beckham was the first to pick up!). This is my favourite dress of their collection! It’s all part of the continuing revolution which I think ends with sport and high fashion crossing over & it’s all for the better when it comes to our workouts!
Click MORE below to see the rest of the photos. Faya x
It’s almost 35 degrees out – uncomfortable & sweaty, but I’m not complaining; it serves as a great reminder of just how important it is to stay hydrated especially in heat like this. I normally drink about 2 litres of water a day (we lose 2.5 litres during the average day, regain 1 litre through food, and the remaining 1.5 litres is supposed to be your drinking water… but I like to build in some extra!). In these pictures shot in Saint Tropez, en-route to Pamplonne, it’s more like 3-4 litres a day – I literally got through 8 of these 50cl bottles in the 24 hours. Water must be the most important ingredient we can give our bodies, which are 60% water anyway – it’s critically involved in pretty much every bodily function we humans are capable of. It improves overall well-being and quality of life in so many ways and will certainly improve your ability to achieve your training goals.
Click MORE below to read my 8 reasons for staying optimally hydrated, and a couple of tips to spice up the bland taste 🙂
Time for some Fitness On Toast ‘ethos’ 🙂 … I’ve always believed that there should be very little difference in how men and women train themselves. Women, like most men, hope to achieve the same aesthetic end-point; a lean physique (drop body fat percentage and in so doing, ‘tone’/sculpt the musculature), as well as wanting to build strength, endurance, flexibility etc.
Why is it then, that so often I see women performing simpler, less effective (and perhaps less ‘intimidating’) exercises than men in the gym? Take the deadlift – a phenomenal compound exercise, yet 80%+ of the time men dominate the freeweight area with not a single woman in sight! Women should squat, dead lift, bench press, sweat and work hard! Go heavy and work to the maximum – THAT gets results much faster, which is of course the key reason we seek progress at the gym in the first place – to see results, and preferably quicker!
The popular misconception that ‘wafer-skinny’ is the ultimate reward for sacrificing hours on end at the gym, is misguided and unhealthy. That’s just so ’80s. These days ‘strong is the new sexy’; people want to FEEL strong and BE healthy, not just LOOK thin at the cost of feeling malnourished. That’s not to say we should all end up looking like Muscle Mary’s either, by the way, but it is far tougher for women to gain physical mass than for men.
Muscles constantly burn fat, which combined with a healthy diet, can help to yield the ‘lean’ look. However, female bodies have a different hormonal set-up. Men naturally have higher testosterone levels (a ‘muscle-building’ growth & repair hormone) and because women have significantly less of this, it’s harder for us to gain muscle mass. Those few women you may see in the gym who look huge have most likely worked incredibly long & hard for that look! So stop worrying about ‘bulking up’. You just wont wake up one morning and split your blouse sleeves because you lifted heavy weights the night before!
There are certain muscle groups (& therefore certain exercises) that women should probably de-emphasise, relative to men. The Trapezius (neck & surround) muscle is a good example – something most women don’t care to develop. Likewise, few mademoiselles want comically-pronounced quadriceps – but what woman doesn’t want a perky, round firm ass – which by the way, is the gift you get from almighty squats and thunderous dead lifts! Or toned arms and defined shoulders? So start benching, or keep lifting heavier – I don’t want to come across all feminist, but ‘Go take over the weights area, Bitches !!!‘
(click MORE below to see all the photos from my workout at the very well equipped gym in the Hotel Byblos, Saint Tropez).
As I mentioned in this post a couple of weeks ago, sport and fashion continue to converge. I discovered the next leg of that trend in this Notting Hill-based sportswear brand called Vevie. The two key things that seem to be changing are 1) the use of luxurious fabrics and 2) the attention to super-cute detailing.
Where previously I had to rely on a megabrand like Nike or Adidas for a pair of utilitarian (i.e. plain & boring) rough nylon tracksuit trousers, I can now spoil myself with breathable, moisture wicking fabrics which look and feel like satin. As in these pictures – which I shot in the harbour at the breathtaking ‘Beaulieu sur mer‘ (just by Cap Ferrat, on the Cote D’Azur) – the form of these clothes is perfectly fitted and feels as light as a feather to wear. The light plays wonderfully off the silky material. Also the subtle rouching on the chest, wrists and legs, combined with the elegant silver zip detailing, means I could actually wear it all day long, both for training and NOT for training! It’s a look that’s smart enough to feel good about everywhere, and is cute enough to fit in almost anywhere.
I think there’s plenty more to come from this brand; they make swimwear and more traditional training wear too, with some very unique and quirky design motifs. I’m looking forward to posting some more of Vevie’s finest soon, but in the meantime, you can see all the pics from this shoot by clicking MORE below…
Here’s a quick, summery recipe that’s super-light, rich in taste, and requires practically no skill in the kitchen! I try to include one salad a day, which can get exceptionally tiresome, so it’s fun to mix up the ingredients a little, and to depart from the safety Niçoise. This yummy summer salad is refreshingly light, yet still filling, packed with nutritious contents, and is easy & quick to make! You’ll spend a maximum 20min to complete the whole thing including the c.15 minutes it takes to bake the salmon. Hope you like it! Click more to get the full nutritional benefits and ‘instructions’. Bon ap! Faya x
Living in Britain, Wimbledon is of course a bit of an annual ‘religious event’ for me. But successive summers have been spent puzzled, watching Roger Federer strut onto centre court in what I call ‘haute sportswear’ – hyper-tailored lines, luxurious fabrics, exquisite detailing – whilst his female counterparts have sported nothing genuinely worthy to challenge for the Style Grand-slam. Filter that down from superstardom to the drab reality of the high streets, and there is no hint of an elegant sport trend to be found on Oxford Street!
But dressing sporty, and dressing chic are no longer mutually exclusive; I realise now that you can dress for exercise *glamorously*, in the same way you might feel dressing for a night out. The revolution has started with tennis, which has been injected with a vital shot of sport-chic by Monreal London, a high-end apparel brand that you might remember I stumbled across at the Queens Club boutique during the Aegon Championships earlier this year (you can see that post here).
I did some further digging and checked out their collection. Above all else, Monreal seems to worship the beauty of the female form, with materials and shapes that flatter and gently exaggerate our ‘good curves’. And they don’t just fake a token gesture towards fashion – they’ve clearly dedicated every feature to the cause. Before realising they’re a relatively young brand (not a bad thing; read ‘nimble, adaptive, on-trend’), you presume luxury from the outset. The look and feel is expensive, tailored, feminine and conservative whilst still being a bit adventurous and expressive. As you can see from these pictures we shot around Monaco, tennis whites are the base, but I really love the sparing and geometric use of colours and textures to break up the monotone whites (more of Monreal’s dresses to follow in future posts…)
In a world where I want to be able to feel a bit elegant when my sweaty body doesn’t look it, I think Monreal sends the message that ‘it IS possible!’ And given that it’s so aspirational and glamorous, I think it might help motivate people to work that little bit harder, so they fit that little bit better into their stylish sportswear, rather than just lazily shopping the next size shorts from Asda for £5. It all helps to buy into the lifestyle choice that this blog is ALL about. Click More below to see all the pics from the shoot…