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!
I was recently whisked on an adventure with Air New Zealand to discover a different side to California, one which is very much off the beaten path, especially compared to my California trip last year. This excursion led me to LA where I voyaged onward to Joshua Tree National Park, Hicksville Trailer Palace, and Anza Borrego Desert State Park as well as Two Bunch Palms. I had the chance to experience one of the few Dark Sky communities in the world, gazing up at the Milky Way and Jupiter (through a telescope) in Borrego Springs. However, the focus of this post is to share the incredible art of singing sound baths. If you’ve never tried it, it involves neither water nor nudity but instead is a mindfulness movement which took up roots in the desert at the beautiful Integratron – a somewhat quirky location 20 miles north of Joshua Tree. It’s a 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all-wooden dome designed to be an acoustic resonance chamber, and an electrostatic generator “for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel”. Sounds trippy? Click MORE to learn more about a totally unique experience…
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!
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…
A quick post today, firstly to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered the competition hosted by Westin Hotels & Resorts to win a trip to Mauritius and well done to those who battled the unseasonably freezing rain with me for our Olympic Park run. But more seriously, this post is to announce the winner of the most awesome competition I’ve ever run! There were hundreds of fabulous fitness devotees who entered, and regardless of whether you came to the run or not, you were in the running (no pun intended) to win the Active Escape to The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Mauritius. Click MORE to see who the winner was, and to check out the shots from our 5k around the scene of one of the greatest ever sporting spectacles! (more…)
A couple of weeks ago, I went on an exceptional Active Weekend Break with Westin Hotels & Resorts, for whom I’m a Wellbeing Movement ambassador. The trip’s destinations were the Italian cities of Milan & Florence and amongst runs, workouts, walks and sightseeing, I savoured some truly epic national cuisine. I’m no stranger to Italy and its awesome interpretation of the mediterranean diet (see my previous visits HERE), but this trip really brought home the love of exceptional food that Italians have. Yes, for me, it’s about eating healthy much of the time, but I understand that brings an associated stress that can taint the joy that comes from ‘the delicious’! This post is a little insight into what I think a great ‘Active Weekend’ break can look like, as well as some thoughts about enjoying your food, as the Italians seem to do best! (more…)
I absolutely adore travelling (as you might have guessed from this blog’s bursting ‘Travels’ section!), especially as we edge ever-closer to the Summer Holiday season! In chasing this semi-nomadic dream of travel, I’ve picked up a few tips-and-tricks around how to stay healthy when travelling, and thought I’d share them with you here alongside some of my travel essentials which will be accompanying me on my journeys during Summer 2015! Click MORE to see it all… (more…)
In a bid to make Fitness On Toast more practical / useful this holiday season, this is the first post in a line of travel-related fitness ideas which I’ll be posting over the coming months. The first part of the holiday can be the most difficult, as you relax and sink into ‘holiday indulgence mode’. Before even reaching your fabulous holiday destination, it’s not unusual to have eaten your body weight in tempting travel chocolates whilst waiting out a delay! Being stuck in an airport waiting – bored, hungry, tired and emotional – is no fun, and the odds seem impossibly stacked against you to stay healthy. It’s often the case of grabbing a quick bagel, bag of crisps and a soda. Junk foods, like air, can be found anywhere, anytime. But unlike air, they should be occasional treats and not meals of laziness. In the pic below (all of them shot in Paris, en route to the South of France on the TGV), I’m tucking into a healthy and exotic fruit salad – a travelling gift from FOT‘s friends at the fabulous Buddha Bar Hotel, teamed with a Starbucks tall Green Tea for a hydrating metabolism boost! If you can’t muster up the enthusiasm to make your own healthy travelling meal here are 8 tips & tricks to stay away from all the refined simple carbohydrates and filthy factory foods when you’re jetting off… Bon voyage 🙂 Faya x
1. STOCK UP: Make sure to have a nutritious, sustaining breakfast/lunch/dinner before you even leave the house.
2. DRINK UP: Stay hydrated. Recirculated air-conditioned airplane air is draining, and when you’re already dehydrated you’ll feel even hungrier as your body recognises that it needs *something*!
3. PLAN AHEAD: Bring your own snacks – you control the content – think nuts, seeds, fruit, water – at least until you get to your detstination and can enjoy a proper meal!
4. CHEW SOMETHING: Chewing Gum is a sweet stimulation, to simulate sugar intake, and trick the brain into thinking its meal time. Not great on a totally empty stomach though, as it raises acid levels.
5. GO GREEN: Salads with some protein are a totally fair option if available, but be sure to check fat/salt content of things like the dressing – often a hidden calorie bomb!
6. SIZE MANAGEMENT: Watch your portions – nibbling little and often is better for the body’s natural metabolic pace.
7. MEET THE CHALLENGE: Being a bit hungry isn’t the end of the world and won’t kill you. Many swear that it raises mental alertness as you head into ‘forraging’ mode!
8. SLEEP IT OFF: Low in blood sugar? Feeling tired? Zzzz… far better than scoffing a packet of crisps and chocolate bar for the sake of it!
Click HERE for more to see the rest of the pics from sunny Paris 🙂