A Nutritionist’s Guide to Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is a favourite amongst many yogis (especially me!), not only does it have all the benefits of ‘traditional’ yoga, but it also heats you from the inside out, with some people believing the idea of hot yoga was to replicate the heat and humidity of India.

Hot yoga is great for many reasons, but it results in the body getting very warm which can result in a lot of sweat. Most articles promise that hot yoga will ‘sweat out toxins’ but from previous blogs, we know that our body is a complex, intelligent system with our organs such as liver and kidneys getting rid of toxins for us. So, although there are many benefits to hot yoga such as muscle flexibility being improved, increased blood flow to arms and legs due to the physical exercise aspect and it goes without saying – a stress reliever, making us feel calmer and in some cases ‘brand new’ after an amazing class, the hot aspect cannot work miracles (sorry!)

In most cases people perceive hot yoga as more demanding on the body and rightly so, you are in a 40 degree room after all! However, it can be a little intimidating to beginners or those that are not sure if they will stand the heat. Every yoga class should be taken at your own pace but this blog is here to give you a couple of top tips on how to prepare the body for your sweaty, energising hot yoga classes.

 

Hydration is key!

When you become dehydrated, water and electrolytes imbalances can occur which may lead to the exercise performance being affected. Therefore, hydration pre, during and post exercise is crucial whether it be ‘normal’ or hot yoga. There are variables between individuals when it comes to sweating rates and sweat electrolyte meaning customised fluid replacement programs can be recommended however, this blog will be general guidance.

The American College School of Medicine (ACSM) provide evidence-based position stands, providing guidance of the appropriate hydration for individuals performing physical activity. For example, pre-exercise the ACSM recommend consuming 5-10ml/kg body weight 2-4 hours prior to minimise dehydration during exercise.

Dehydration increases physiological strain and degrades aerobic exercise performance, which is accentuated in warm weather, baring in mind most hot yoga studios heat the room to over 40 degrees! Ensuring that you are hydrated pre-exercise and sip water throughout the class can help prevent severe dehydration and, in some cases, reduce fatigue. Don’t worry about sports drinks here, water is always the first fluid of choice.

 

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are an important fuel for the brain and central nervous system. Many studies have shown that consuming carbohydrates before exercising can increase carbohydrate burning in the muscles and can delay the feeling of fatigue with some studies even showing an increase in performance.

If you are a breakfast lover the NHS recommend starting your day with a wholesome breakfast, which is perfect if you have time to eat before your morning class. Oats are a great source of fibre and carbohydrates, they are so easy to throw in a smoothie or make porridge/overnight oats with teaming alongside foods such as honey, nuts or fruit (contributing to your 5 a day at the same time).

Replenishing your carbohydrate stores after class is vital, try and team with protein for a delicious post workout meal. For the evening yogis, meals such as lentil and chickpea curry or chicken and broccoli pasta are a great sources of carbohydrates and protein!

 

Protein:

Protein pre and post exercise is important however, the strongest research is for post exercise. Protein does provide a little fuel source for exercising the muscles but its main job is to compensate for increased muscle breakdown post exercise to help repair and grow the muscle. For those who have done hot yoga before, it definitely works those muscles!

High quality proteins are recommended post exercise, ideally, ones that are absorbed fast such as whey protein. Many studies have found that consuming the protein with carbohydrates after exercise enhances recovery and promotes muscle building (also replenishing the carbohydrate stores you have just used in your yoga class!) The amount of protein required depends on the individual and their overall movement, the ACSM recommends 0.75g /kg body weight for a more sedentary person compared to an athlete recommended 1.2 – 2g/kg body weight. Great sources of protein are lean meat, fish, eggs, soya, beans and lentils. The classic beans on toast could be a great post yoga snack if you prefer food to protein supplements after a class.

 

Remember!

A balanced diet will always be key here if you are a regular yogi, as always food should always be first! If you are unsure on anything from this blog please speak to a registered dietitian or nutritionist, especially when it comes to supplements. Hot yoga is a great form of exercise but if you already have a balanced diet, supplements should not be needed. Always stay hydrated and ensure the body is nourished before and after your class!

 

My favourite studio in Greater Manchester is HotYoganic, if you are in the area be sure to give them a try! There is a lovely variety of classes, including beginner classes!

 

 

 

References:

Sports Nutrition Anita Bean, NHS, ASCM, Burke et al 2011.


Sustainable Eating

Sustainable living seems to be a new trend for 2018 and rightly so… we live on a beautiful planet, a planet in which we can help protect, so however we can protect it, is definitely worth considering.

‘Sustainable eating’ does not yet have an official definition however, there are lots of examples of good accreditation schemes, such as those certifying ‘organic’ and ‘Fairtrade’ food that are helping make sustainability more available. Understanding the journey of food from farm to fork and the different environmental impacts it has along the way is worthy knowledge because even a small change can go a long way.

 

Why is sustainable eating important?

The British Dietetic Association state “In the UK, it is estimated that well-planned completely plant-based, or vegan, diets need just one third of the fertile land, fresh water and energy of the typical British ‘meat-and-dairy’ based diet. With meat and dairy being the leading contributor to greenhouse (GHG) emissions, reducing animal-based foods and choosing a wide range of plant foods can be beneficial to the planet and our health.”

However, everybody has a choice in what they eat, and diets are personal to each individual. Not everyone wants to lead a vegan or plant-based diet however, with the most food waste in the UK coming from the household (around 20%) it may be worth considering ways to help reduce this environmental issue.

 

The consequences of the food industry on our planet:

Excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the worlds current food system accounts for a third of human produced greenhouse gas emissions which is a leading cause of climate change. Livestock production is a big contributor to global warming, whether that be from the animals themselves or the resources that go into raising the animals. There is also deforestation, pollution and over fishing which are huge consequences of an unsustainable food industry.

Destroying marine habitats – fish stocks are in a state of decline with them being over exploited by 90% through fishing and climate change. This is a threat for marine life and it is expected that if nothing is done about this soon, seafood may run out by 2050.

Deforestation – through converting forestlands into farms for livestock production deforestation is now an immerging problem, not only does this affect the environment but it also results in a loss of habitat for thousands of species.

 

These are just a small number of consequences an unsustainable food chain can result in but they can be reduced by this generation.

 

Top tips for sustainable eating:

  • Eat a variety of foods – maybe try some plant-based recipes, choose a vegetarian option in a restaurant or opt for organic ingredients. Try to eat a variety of fish species to save over exploitation of household favourites such as cod and salmon. A balanced diet is not only a great way to get a range of nutrients in to your diet, it can also be a great way help the environment.
  • Meat free Mondays – for meat eaters try and make a small change and see if you can eat a plantbased/vegetarian diet for one day a week, small changes can make a big difference. Ensure when eating fish that you always opt for ‘sustainable certified’ products.
  • Reduce food waste – As previously mentioned 20% of the total food waste comes from households. Try to use up fresh ingredients before your frozen or canned items, be creative in the kitchen and use vegetables about to go out of date in one pot recipes such as curries, stews or soups. Ensure you dispose of food correctly by recycling or making your own compost heap.
  • Eat local produce – support your local farmers and farm shops, have chat with them and understand their sourcing methods, are the sustainable? Is the welfare of the animal something they are proud of? Understanding the journey from farm to fork can help with sustainable eating, if you have the space and time why not try and grow your own vegetables!

 

 

Sustainable eating can also be carried into a lifestyle, there are many ways to help the environment such as natural household cleaning products, car sharing and recycling. With the UK government currently in discussions about single use plastic, here are some top tips to reduce your plastic usage:

  • Buying loose fruit and vegetables and avoiding the unnecessary plastic packaging
  • Use a reusable coffee cup such as a ‘keep cup’ when drinking coffee out of home, some coffee shops will even discount your coffee too!
  • Reusable bags for shopping – cotton bags are great for folding into small bags, having them in handy places such as your car or at the front door for when you are in a rush
  • Reusable water bottles – there are some great bottles on the market, some even keep water hot or cold for over 12 hours, some ranges even offer personalisation too so not only are you helping the environment it can also be a great accessory.
  • opt out of using plastic straws or requesting them in a bar or restaurant and try paper straws or reusable ones when at home, this can save hundreds of straws over the course of a year by just one person making this change.

 

 

References:

https://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefood/#good_food,

BDA Plantbased foods


Munchin’ my way around Munich

Hey guys!

I have recently got back from a lovely, very cold weekend in Munich and what a wonderful city it is. As always I will be putting my favourite eating spots on here to save you scrolling through TripAdvisor and google for the best part of two hours (don’t ask!)

 

To start the weekend off we actually flew into Nuremberg where we spent one night and morning. Our first dining experience in the city was at Padelle d’Italia – this was a great hidden gem and very reasonably priced. The food was fab we had the Nino Pizza and Salmon tomato which if you are an oily fish fan you must try – the fresh Norwegian salmon was cut in to thick chunks and the portion was very generous!

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If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we found the nicest brunch spot just outside the city walls called Kaubach – wow! You need to try this place a) for the almond croissant b) for the eggs Benedict c) the staff were so lovely you didn’t want to leave… Oh and did I mention there was chocolate granola?!

 

For all the flat white fans and strong coffee lovers out there pop into Machhörndl Coffee: Espresso Brew Bar – the best flat white we had the whole trip!

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After a quick stop off in Nuremberg we headed to Munich… famous for Oktoberfest and Christmas markets we wasn’t sure what to expect in the quiet season of January but it was so lovely. My foodie/drink highlights are below.

Beer House – We started the trip being very traditional (or touristy!) with a stein beer, schnitzel and huge pretzel. The atmosphere was just what was expected with a live band, packed benches full of people from all around the world and litres and litres of beer everywhere you looked! We shared our food and it was better than we expected, even though we were in a famous beer hall all the food was a very high standard and I would definitely recommend if you are wanting to really get involved in the German traditions.

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Yum Thai – the clue is in the name here! Make sure you book this little gem as it gets really busy. We had coconut chicken soup, yellow curry and dumplings with a bottle of wine and although slightly more expensive than other places it is really worth it – the staff could not have done more for us and the surroundings are great for an intimate meal.

*it may look empty on the right photo but we stayed until close due to a late booking!

Jaded Monkey – a very cool spot in a quiet area of the city, it is only lit by candle light (hence why we have no photos – also because not one single person was on their phones in this bar, so we didn’t want to get ours out. The way it should be!) We had a Munich G&T and a smokey old fashioned, very strong, good quality cocktails with attentive staff and free olives!

Hungriges Herz – from tripadvisor and many food bloggers this is the best place to brunch in Munich however, we couldn’t get in so I just wanted to put a note on this place to make sure you book before you turn up (or you may be stuck in the rain trying to find the next best place!)

Tambosi – the perfect, cosy stop off to warm up and grab a snack before walking around the English Gardens, great panini and croissant spot with a lovely latte art coffee.

 

Burger house – not just one for the carnivores out there, I actually went for a veggie burger and there was plenty of vegan options too with the choice of breads such as multi seeded and a sour dough buns. A lovely quick lunch spot!

 

If you ever visit these beautiful cities, tag me in your photos if you manage to go to any of these spots, I’d love to see!

Enjoy,
SJ x

 

 


My 5 top tips for surviving the Inca trail

Hi guys!

I have recently got back from South America where I completed the Inca trail! (woo!) It was one of, if not the best thing I have ever done and no words or photographs will ever do this experience any justice. Nor will you ever be prepared for what you are about to spend 4 days doing! However, before the trip the organisation freak in me was searching the internet for top tips (as you do) and I was surprised that there wasn’t actually that many so, here it goes!

 

  1. Find an amazing tour company

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First and foremost this really is the important part! There are lots of companies who run the Inca trail tours but I would really do your research, read reviews, speak to people who have already done it and always read the small print. Unlike other parts of the world where you can stumble on tours (which you definitely can do in Cuzco, they’re everywhere!) I would really recommend using the world wide web on this one.

We went with Inca Trail Reservations which were recommended to us by our friends and they were great. Our tour guide Paul made the experience so special, taking us slightly off the beaten track to avoid the other tourists where possible. Paul’s knowledge was phenomenal, the porters were always there to make us feel comfortable at camp and the chef kept our energy up and created some amazing dishes even though we were in the middle of the Andes!

 

2. Walk, hike, walk and hike somemore…

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Nope, there was no warning on how tough this actually is. Although you cannot really train for altitude sickness (believe me I tried, I was even reading sports nutrition books for tips) you can definitely train for all the kilometres you will be walking. Go on walks at home and if  you have hills nearby then I would recommend hiking a few times before you jet off to Peru. Hire or buy walking poles as these were a life saver for me walking down hill on the wet ground and make sure you have walking boots or hard wearing running type trainers.

 

3. Pack for all weathers

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You will probably experience all types of weather, no matter what season you go in! We had wind, sun, heavy rain, light rain… it is very unpredictable! It does get cold, especially when you reach height, as you can see on the photo above at some points you are as high as the clouds so you can imagine the temperature drop.

Layers saved me a lot of hassle – I would wear a vest, long sleeve Lycra top, a fleece, hoodie and have a waterproof to hand. A lot of the time I would have things tied round my waist as it gets very warm hiking up hill but then the temperature could drop in the space of 5 minutes so having clothes on hand was really useful!

Here is a basic list of clothing to take:

  • Thermal top and bottoms to wear under pjs
  • 5-6 pairs of thick socks
  • Warm PJs and a thick jumper to sleep in
  • Walking boots, shoes or running trainers (avoid pumps/converse type trainers)
  • Sandals for around the camping area – it is nice to let your feet breathe
  • 2-3 vest tops
  • 2-3 long sleeve Lycra tops
  • 1 hoodie
  • 2-3 pairs of Lycra leggings/walking pants
  • Sun hat, sunglasses and a woolly hat (to sleep in)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • 2 lightweight fleeces
  • Underwear (obviously!)
  • Small towel

 

4. Keep hydrated and eat as much as you can

 


The chefs on the Inca Trail are amazing and make fresh, authentic food for you every day. It is so important to make sure you eat enough, the chef will cater for big appetites as you will be using up a lot of energy so make sure you drink and eat as much as you feel you need to at meal and snack times. Coca tea is great for altitude sickness so if you are feeling the pressure of altitude definitely give this a try (even it is doesn’t work it is contributing to keeping you hydrated)

On the first day or so there are plenty of families you can buy bottled water from, ensure you take extra money so you can keep refilling. I would also recommend for you to drinking more water than you usually would for the day or two leading up to it, especially if you are flying into Cuzco – this is said to help with altitude sickness (so some Peruvians say!)

Snacks are usually provided at certain stop points on the trek from your tour company however, we took sweets, chocolate and all the usual quick sugar fix goodies… this may not be proven to help keep energy levels up but it did help keep me motivated with steep hills, I mean who doesn’t love an incentive?!

 

5. Enjoy every single moment (even the tough ones!)

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Once you have your itinerary, bought your trekking gear and charged your camera there is nothing left to do but enjoy this amazing experience.

Make new friends, take lots of photographs, keep a little diary, show gratitude to your porters (you only appreciate how amazing they are once you watch them run past you on dead woman’s pass carrying 30+ kilos!) eat lots of amazing Peruvian food in the middle of the Andes, take in the beautiful view of the milky way as you sleep under the stars and take a moment at the Sungate to acknowledge what you have just achieved before walking down in awe to Macchu Picchu!

 

S x

 

Good old disclaimer time *these are personal to me but it will hopefully help a few of you out there. This post is also not a nutrition blog, so I am not endorsing any Peruvian tips with coca tea etc, this post purely a bit of fun*


Berlin – the city for foodies!

Hi guys!
I am fresh off the plane from Berlin and could not wait to share some of my favourite food spots in this beautiful city so here it goes – I will keep it short and sweet I promise!!

 

Roamers Coffee and Booze – wow!! I found out about this place through my friends instagram and once I had visited I could not stop talking about it all day, the actual brunch of dreams!

I went for the classic poached eggs and sourdough (can I even call it a classic yet?!) and added avocado and maple syrup bacon, I would highly recommend! I wont say too much as I feel the photos say it all…

 

 

 

Cafe Gri Gri  – we stumbled on the German cafe Gri Gri and it was lovely, the setting was gorgeous, over looking the river on a front terrace with fairy lights hanging down it was a perfect setting! The service was great and the traditional German food did not disappoint. I went for a Southern German inspired dish of cheese pasta with a local beer.

 

 

Burgermiester – so every single person that knew I was going to Berlin recommended this place. It is under a metro bridgse, does not have many places to sit and slightly resembles Thailand in the fact you are sat in the middle of a main road eating but it was possibly the best burger I have ever eaten! They have a good selection (even tofu for veggies) and I would 100% recommend the chilli cheese fries as a side – perfect stop before heading out for drinks!

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Trattoria Portofino – where to start with this place!! It may not be traditionally German but we had such a good dining experience here… (the free limoncellos may have helped) everything from the food, the drinks and the waiters were incredible. Trattoria Portofino was on a lovely little street set back from the infamous bars and clubs of Berlin but even though it may look quiet at times, they do not do ‘walk ins’ so you need to make a reservation. We had a selection of pizza and pastas with maybe a little too much wine but if you are craving Italian food whilst in Berlin this is the place to go!

 

For drinks:

Monkey Bar for a lovely rooftop view

 

Gin Chilla if you are a gin lover!

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Berlin was such a great trip and although a lot of food trends come from cities like Berlin I was not expecting it to be so good! We did do a lot more than eat so if you have any questions then please send me an email.

 

Sarah x

 

Ps:

Not only is Berlin a city for foodies but the history in this City can not go unnoticed, we visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp whilst we were there and if history is your thing then I would recommend an excursion like this, I don’t know how to describe this tour but it was very informative and puts a lot of things in perspective.

 


The Greek Cuisine – My latest trip to Santorini

I have recently returned from an amazing trip to Santorini. The food, weather, views and yoga were incredible so I thought it would only be fair to share my experience with you.The Beautiful Fira, Santorini

A little insight to the Mediterranean Cuisine:

The Greek diet is said to be one of the ‘healthiest’ cuisines in the world. Known for being high in fruit and vegetables, fish, wholegrain, feta cheese and greek yogurt you can see why it is regarded as healthy and balanced.

The Greek diet is also famous for the use of olive oil which is primarily made up of monounsaturated fatty acids (the ‘healthy’ fats) and contains over half of our recommended daily amount of vitamin E and vitamin K per 100g. However, olive oil is still high in calories so try not to get too carried away; I found the Greeks used it for salads and dipping bread into!

A Snapshot of my Santorini experience:

If you have Santorini on your list of places to visit, I highly recommend it to be the next trip you book. The views are incredible, the people are friendly and there are lots of hidden gems to discover by jumping on a quad.

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The food was amazing, from fresh Salmon looking over Akrotiri to lamb kleftiko in Fira I could not have been more in my element with the cuisine. Although the tradition salad is Greek salad which consists of a few greens, olives and a lot of feta cheese I discovered a brilliantly unusual Caesar Salad served in filo pastry on Kamari beach which I must admit I had more than once!

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Another food discovery I made was Lamb Kleftiko which is a traditional Greek dish of lamb and potatoes slow cooked with garlic, onions, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes. The dish comes wrapped up in parchment paper but when you open it up the smell is beautiful and the lamb melts in your mouth! The recipe was traditionally cooked in an earth oven (a hole in the ground) which was used to capture the heat and smoke to seal the delicious flavour and smells… this was definitely a highlight of my eating experience in Santorini.

You cannot walk past a homemade ice cream shop and not try a little Greek gelati?! This was ferrero rocher ice cream topped with 100% cacao ice cream, a very yummy holiday treat with an amazing view from Fira.

Did you know?

Sangria is not just for the Spanish? The Greeks do a refreshing ‘Greek White Sangria’ I have been led to believe from the residents of Santorini… I am not too sure how to prove this provenance claim but when it looks like this I will happily accept it.

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Santorini Yoga

During my stay I managed to squeeze in a yoga class at the Caveland Hostel with Veronika. This was set on a roof top just before sunset and I loved every minute.

Veronika was great and the setting was amazing whilst we practised a Hatha yoga inspired class. I went to this class with a beginner and Veronika could not have been more helpful, a definite recommendation for anyone wanting to try something new or for those missing their yoga practise at home.

Namaste x

 


My holiday food blog

Hi NutriBloomers,I have just got back from a very relaxing week in the sun! Not only did I get some well needed extra vitamin D from the gorgeous sunshine I also had some incredible food!

With the Great British Summer just around the corner I thought this would be the perfect time for a mini summer food blog so you are feeling refreshed and healthy in the sun.

So where the majority of us start our holidays… the airplane;

vit eHydration is vital for when you fly and when you land in your sunny destination it also helps your skin on well air conditioned flights. I try and drink a carton of coconut water before a flight as well as a litre or two of water during the flight (depending on how long your flight is) I would also recommend investing in a skin hydrating body mist, I love the Vitamin E Mist from the body shop for my face and hands!

Stock up on fruit, nuts or veg sticks for the journey to avoid the temptation of all the salty snacks and airplane food available, get those tasty vitamins and minerals in you! Then sit back, sip some water (maybe add some lemon) and relax until you reach your destination.

Now to the holiday…

Everyone deserves to relax on holiday but I find it a great opportunity to get a little more active than I  usually would commuting and sitting at work. I try and walk as much as possible, take advantage of the swimming pool or the sea for a swim (great for working all those muscles – especially front stroke) and even get a little yoga in there to keep the body stretched and toned!

On my week away I was self catering so I had a lovely selection of food from little Spanish restaurants to big steak houses! I always try and fit lean protein in to my diet wherever I can, starting with scrambled eggs for breakfast – my favourite is to add a little salmon and avocado!

saladLunches on holiday for me are the perfect excuse to have the biggest salad I can make, I try and make the salad as colourful as possible and put a little dressing on the side – balsamic vinegar is my favourite! Don’t forget to hydrate at lunch time too as the sun tends to be at its hottest after midday. If you can get hold of a fresh coconut, cut the top off and add a straw, this has previously been my hydration saviour when I have been in hot climates.

 

fishI don’t know about you but when I am on holiday as soon as I have finished one meal I am looking forward to the next… I try and eat as much fresh fish as I can when I am away and this time I managed to get some lovely steaks in my diet too! Lean protein increases satiety and is great for muscle repair and supporting your immune system – team it with lots of fresh vegetables and you have yourself a healthy tasty summer meal.

pestoIt is not all about eating clean on holiday though – it is also a time to enjoy foods you may not have at home. I found this amazing Spanish restaurant on the sea front where they served homemade pesto pasta (not traditionally Spanish, I know) but it was the tastiest pasta I have ever had! Although some people try and avoid carbohydrates pasta is a great source of fuel for the body and if it is whole wheat contains a considerable amount of fibre!

Hope you all have a fabulous summer, please tweet or instagram @NutriBloom any amazing meals you have on your holidays, I would love to see them x