blogs Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Announcing the Hidden Treasures competition - enter now! /blog/announcing-the-hidden-treasures-competition-enter-now/ /blog/announcing-the-hidden-treasures-competition-enter-now/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/announcing-the-hidden-treasures-competition-enter-now/ To celebrate the launch of the new Autumn 2014 collection, Sweaty Betty are giving you the chance to win £250 to spend on a new season outfit.

How to enter...
Sweaty Betty challenges you to make your own Hidden Treasures pinterest board to show us what has inspired your Autumn 2014 style - from catwalk looks and city skylines to flowers and celebrity styles. Your board must include at least 3 pieces from the Sweaty Betty new season collection but anything else you put on it is up to you. Stuck for inspiration? Take a look at our pinterest board.

Once you’ve made your board, submit the link to your board in the comments section of this blog so we can find it. The competition will close on 14th August and the winner will be notified by a comment on one of their pins so make sure you keep an eye out! Happy pinning!
The Competition begins on Thursday 31st July 2014 and will close at midnight on Thursday 14th August 2014. Boards should be created on Pinterest and entries should be made via the comments section of this blog. All boards must include at least 3 pieces from the new season collection and must be public not private. Once the competition has closed, the Sweaty Betty team will select the winner at random, who will be notified via a comment on their board by 5pm 15th August. The winner will receive £250 to spend on the new season collection via a gift voucher online or in store. Please note: Pinterest is not part of this competition.
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Behind the scenes of Autumn Winter 2014 /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/ /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/ After months of anticipation, Sweaty Betty's edgiest collection yet has finally arrived in-store and online. Entitled 'Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle', the new Autumn Winter 2014 collection was first thought up during a trip to Milan. Here, Sweaty Betty's Founder and Creative Director Tamara shares her inspirations and some behind-the-scenes insights on the new lines, plus reveals her favourite piece from the collection. 

The idea of a collection called ‘Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle’ was initially inspired by an image seen while on a visit to our Eurojersey fabric supplier in Milan. With lace and flowers alongside an image of buildings; it juxtaposed something beautiful against a rugged, derelict and unexpected background.
The Autumn Winter 2014 collection focuses on the strength of women in sport – femininity with an edge. It’s about challenges - from the art of parkour, to practicing dance to the highest level, to ski touring. It is about breaking boundaries in an intense physical way, but at the same time, celebrating women. It is less about competing against one another; more focused on the communal feeling of working out together and finding new and exciting ways of keeping fit.
Inspiration was taken from the beautiful images of the Ballerina Project and the discipline of Parkour - free running through the streets and movements more reminiscent of ballet or gymnastics.
We looked at the outfits of women who do free running - really functional, urban kit such as baggy trackpants and hoodies. The designers added femininity and a touch of sexiness and came up with pieces such as the Kick Back Luxe Track Pants and the Parkour Sweat Hoody.
The urban nature of the collection is clear in prints such as the city lights, and more subtle in the concrete-grey marls. We were inspired by the vibrantly-coloured graffiti that covers cities worldwide, from London to New York, using it to create prints and give floral patterns an edgier vibe.  Bodycon silhouettes and bold statement prints were big for us this season, and combined with the highly technical and premium fabrics, make this Sweaty Betty’s most standout collection to date.

One of my favourite pieces from the new lines is the camo floral Zero Gravity Tight. This season we used a more intensely Lycra-ed Sensitive fabric that gives a really fabulous shape – super sculpting and a bit more supportive than previous seasons.  The camo floral is a subtle print, black on grey, which I love as it means it can be worn out of the gym too, and the mesh panels at the knee and reflective bonding are so sexy. It’s an awesome running piece that will definitely be finding a place in my fashion wardrobe as well.
As for the styling, I like to mix unexpected pieces together: knitwear with technical, ski with yoga, fake fur with underwear, to create unusual silhouettes and get people to look at our product in a different way.  Everyone is used to sportswear being worn in the typical way, so I like to challenge the status quo.  Layering is also very important to me; sheer layers over fluro pops is a signature look of mine.  The right hat, cool shoes, the way you wear a loose top tucked in, or pants worn high on the waist – all of it is important to me to get it just right.
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Talking health with Hemsley and Hemsley (part 2) /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part-2/ /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part-2/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part-2/ They've been featured in Vogue, have been the focus of countless articles at home and abroad, and have been cooking up a healthy storm on Saturday Kitchen; it's safe to say that Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley have well and truly taken the world by storm. And that's before the mention of their new must-have cookbook, The Art of Eating Well.

Renowned for their organic and nutrient-rich recipes that promote overall wellbeing, Sweaty Betty sat down with the healthiest of trendsetting duos to find out all on their favourite snacks, workout routines and number one tip for healthy living.

Click here for part one, or read on to enjoy part two...
Talk us through your weekly workout schedule…
Melissa: I love yoga so I try to go to our friend Florence Lefebvre’s early morning yoga classes in London. If I am short on time, I will do one of my favourite yoga classes on YouTube. I also try do take a couple of dance classes per week, and as I like to be in the great outdoors, circuits in the park on a nice day are brilliant too. Whatever my schedule, I make sure I get outside and sweat for at least 20 minutes everyday as it never fails to make me feel better.
Jasmine: It varies - at the moment I love running as it’s such a quick way to workout and gets you up and outside, which is much more enticing when the sun is out. I usually run 5 times a week, always first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I do a couple of squats and jumps first to realign my spine and energise myself, and then run to the park; stopping as soon as it gets uncomfortable and walking peacefully while my heart rate goes back to normal. Then I speed off again. This fast-slow routine is great for working the core and stomach muscles, and it really helped me to regain my cardio fitness after a long winter of book-writing and relaxing yoga. I do a yoga video in the evenings, and attend a 2-hour Hatha yoga class on Saturday mornings. 

How does your new book The Art Of Eating Well differ from your website and blog?
The website and blog show what we’re eating and what we’re up to; interesting finds, articles on what we’re passionate about, etc. The book provides a-one stop manual; easy to use and packed with recipes for every occasion. The Art of Eating Well has over 150 recipes from breakfasts, snacks and food on the go, to dressings and dips, baking and quick suppers. There are lots of tips and tricks on how to incorporate eating well into every part of your life. People say they love the cupboard stocking information and the best products to buy; from the right kind of salt to the right oils to cook with. We also include menu plans, dinner party guides, recipes for when you are feeling under the weather, and what to take when you’re travelling or getting on a plane.

What is the one healthy ingredient that you cannot live without?
The heart of all our cooking is bone broth. We call it our secret weapon. Bone broth is the (often forgotten) superfood that forms the basis of nearly all our soups and stews, and we use it wherever we can; cooking up quinoa and vegetables, adding it to sauces and even scrambled eggs! Packed with minerals and collagen, bone broth is amazing for the skin (including cellulite!) and the healthy fats help to assimilate important fat-soluble vitamins including Vitamin D - vital for keeping your mind positive during the long winter months.
Traditionally used to provide the easily digestible nourishment for good gut health, bone broth helps to counter the damage caused by stress, illness, antibiotics and processed food, making it an accessible and affordable remedy that's deliciously warming and comforting too!
Do you any top tips for healthy living?
Chewing more! It’s not just about what you eat; it’s what you digest that counts. Oh, and plenty of sleep!
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Tamara's Scrapbook: A week in Montauk /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/ /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/ Having visited Montauk a couple of years ago, I was so excited to be heading back to host a press event with some editors from NYC. With an itinerary full of outdoor activities, I was looking forward to doing some of my favourite beachside activities such as paddleboarding, yoga, cycling and running. My family joined me in the US so it was lovely to spend time with them before joining the editors.

Where we stayed:
Before the editors arrived, my family and I stayed in a beach house on Surfside Ave that had boardwalk access directly onto the beach and a surf point break 300 metres to the left. The owner of the house is a former US champion triathlete who runs a flip flop company and has lived in Montauk all his life. When we met, he told us about the authentic, locally-run places that we had to visit, and complained about the pretentiousness of the new trendy places that all the New Yorkers flock to at the weekends.

Another great place that we looked at staying was the Montauk beach house. Close to the beach, it looks so nice with cool sculptures outside the hotel and big clumps of swishy grass and taupey-grey cladded rooms.


The New York editors and I stayed in the Ruschmeyers Hotel. The rooms had a breezy, Caribbean vibe, with hanging hammock chairs and rattan bed heads, and the food from the hotel’s "Smile" restaurant was amazing: lobster rolls, kale and parmesan salad, fresh beetroot, grilled corn, roasted peaches with cardamom-scented whipped cream, etc. plus on-tap water flavoured with mint and cucumber.
What we did:
Thanks to the curse of jetlag, I woke early each morning (even before the kids were up) and went running; either along the beach or in the beautiful Shadmoor State Park at the end of the road. During one run early in the quiet morning, I almost ran full tilt into a deer!
My time with the family in Montauk was mostly spent in the sea, with the kids hiring surfboards and me opting for a SUP session with a great instructor from Corey’s Waves. The surf was amazing (although maybe a little too big for us!) but it was great wandering past surfer girls and seeing what they were wearing – Cynthia Rowley hot-pant wetsuits mostly!

I always love checking out the local shops that sell products that aren’t available elsewhere. There was a beautiful store in Montauk named "Share With" - an awesome, locally-designed collection of pastel and fluro-trimmed voile playsuits, gypsy tops, vintage leather strapped beach bags and chunky rope jewellery. I bought a peppermint-green voile top with silver reflective bands round the voluminous sleeves and neckline.

I was also keen to shop in Surf Bazaar at the Surf Lodge. It’s one of my favourite shops in the world - I bought a grey and fluro pink backless maxi dress and a cream and orange tunic from there a couple of years ago and they make me think of Montauk whenever I wear them. This time, I had to peel my daughter away from the Kiini lines and I treated myself to a white voile pair of harems made in India, with cut-out holes and fluro coral embroidery. I LOVE them!
Cynthia Rowley also has a cute beach store in Montauk; full of rash vests, printed neoprene leggings and dresses, and the awesome wetsuits we kept seeing on the surfer girls.
On my second day in Montauk, the fog started to roll in, making it clear why the locals call it "fogtauk". The sea is still cold at this time of year, so the heat of the sun creates stormy weather patterns, and the next two days had serious thunderstorms.

Despite the weather, my family and I played volleyball and donned our wetsuits to swim in the rolling surf. My daughter and I also went along to the pop-up Love Yoga studio for an evening yoga class. With its turquoise floor, purple mats, white voile curtains and Himalayan blankets – the studio was quite the sanctuary. The editors and I also did yoga - laying our mats out on the grass and enjoying calming our minds in the great outdoors.

Where we ate:
The Crow’s Nest had to be our favourite restaurant - fabulous food and an unbeatable setting. The lawn outside the restaurant rolls down to a calm inland beach, and strings of fairy lights lead down to the water where there are low-slung wooden loungers surrounding fire pits which begin to glow as the sun sets.

In the evenings, we often went down to the surf lodge for cocktails and people-watching (and shopping!) – it had a great funky 70's Hawaiian vibe.
One of my family’s favourite restaurants was Duryea's Lobster Deck. Eating delicious lobster rolls and lobster while overlooking the harbour, it was the perfect setting for watching the sunset. For breakfast and brunch, Anthony's Pancake House and Bird On The Roof were definitely the best.

The editors and I were invited to a tour of the Montauk Juice Factory. A lovely store that has just opened this summer, their cold-pressed juices are delicious. I think our favourite was Glow – a citrus-y drink that tasted like liquid sunshine, containing orange, pineapple, coconut water, aloe vera, lemon, ginger and turmeric extract.

Continuing on the healthy journey, the editors and I were treated to a nutrition session by Arielle Haspel, who talks to the group about what to eat pre and post-exercise and how to eat well everyday. Her advice on what "healthy" snack bars are good was particularly interesting, and we talk hemp seeds (really nutty and delicious), almond butter sachets (a genius idea to carry around in your bag), natural electrolytes (salt, lemon, 1 tbsp chia seeds and raw honey with water or coconut water) and lots more. She also makes us mini coconut ice cream sundaes to finish, topped off with hemp seeds, spelt pretzels, cacao nibs, blueberries and a cherry on top. Divine!

Image credit: Arielle Haspel on Instagram

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Meet the founder of AquaCycling, NYC... /blog/meet-the-founder-of-aquacycling-nyc/ /blog/meet-the-founder-of-aquacycling-nyc/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/meet-the-founder-of-aquacycling-nyc/ AquaCycling is the latest fitness trend to take the New York workout scene by storm. Attended by athletes and celebrities alike, the premise of the workout is a spin class that takes place in a pool, with the water adding extra resistance to enhance the body-sculpting benefits.

Brought to the US by French entrepreneur and fitness-lover Esther Gauthier, it was a chance encounter with the class during a trip to Paris that first introduced her to this innovative workout, and inspired her to bring it to Manhattan. Sweaty Betty sat down with Esther to find out all on her background, the class itself, her favourite post-workout foods and her weekly fitness regime.

You first tried AquaCycling in Paris, what was your first impression of the class?
I loved it! I thought combining the benefits of water and cycling was such a brilliant idea. It was love at first spin.
What made you decide to bring AquaCycling to NYC? 
When I took my first class in Paris, I was living in New York and I had never heard of the concept. Being an entrepreneur at heart, I am always looking for a good idea to develop. After the class, my head was spinning and it became clear that I needed to bring this concept to New York. That night, I started working on my business plan. I was determined.
What were your clients' first reactions to the class?
The opening of AQUA Studio in TriBeCa was an experience my team and I will never forget. There is nothing like seeing people discover something new. During the build of AQUA Studio, we kept our concept secret. Only selected guests were invited to the soft opening, and we had a small launch with an exclusive for NY Magazine and VOGUE. We wanted to take our time but the word spread much quicker than we expected and within a week, the buzz had begun. Eye Witness News, Good Morning America, New York Times, The Today Show; all the big names were knocking at our door for interviews and trial classes. It was such an intense time. We were receiving so many phone calls and our customers were totally stunned by the concept. They all wanted to try it!
What makes AquaCycling such a fantastic workout? 
The beauty of AquaCycling is that it is an intense cardio workout with high-efficiency for weight loss and calorie burn, but that is also very safe and gentle for your body. At AQUA, we often say, "Your body will thank you for it". 
The water massages your legs while creating a very powerful resistance, and the lymphatic system is drained during the class which helps to eliminate toxins and cellulite. The water keeps body temperature cooler which allows you to push yourself harder; burning more calories and building endurance. The lack of impact in the water makes it the safest choice for your joints. AquaCycling is also a full-body workout; the class we have designed works the arms and abs as much as the legs. Finally, as the water is so therapeutic, you leave the studio with a clear mind and a deep sensation of happiness. 
Have you always been active? Talk us through your weekly workout routine…
I have always been active; playing sports has always been part of my weekly routine, even at an early age. Tennis, water-skiing, dancing, swimming, French-boxing… I have done a lot. I started practicing yoga when I was 17, and love to run and go hiking.
Nowadays, my weekly routine includes AquaCycling 2 or 3 times a week. I recently started SLT (a combination of cardio, Pilates and strength training) too which I think compliments AquaCycling perfectly. I regularly run along the East River Park, and do yoga every Thursday on the rooftop of the James Hotel with Serene Social.

Image credit: @esthergauthier 

Before opening AQUA studio, you were a fashion photographer. How did you find the transition from fashion photography to the fitness industry?
The transition found me, I would say. I think it is very interesting how life sometimes brings you the best for yourself. I loved working in the fashion world but I was also ready for a new challenge and while I didn't realise it at the time, wellness, health, nutrition and conscious living were becoming more and more important to me. When I started AQUA, I met so many incredible and inspiring people. I think it is more about wellness for me than it is about fitness. It is more about leading a balanced life; this is what we want to bring at AQUA.
How important do you see the role of nutrition in leading a balanced life?
Nutrition is definitely a big part of my life and also a big part of AQUA's future. AQUA Studio's ambition is to become a wellness platform where customers can not only get a good workout, but also learn about how to balance their lives; change their diet, sleep better, allocate time for themselves, etc.

My mom introduced me to healthy eating and quality food. She always favoured the best produce from the Farmer's Market, but is only recently that I have started to learn more about diet, plants and power foods; mostly thanks to the help of my amazing AQUA master instructor, Emma Galland. Emma is a wonderful health coach and nutritionist and meeting her has been a blessing. I love eating healthy food and I love how delicious it tastes. However, I am French so I still enjoy a good glass of wine paired with some delicious raw cheeses!   

How do you fuel your body pre and post-workout? 
I often make smoothies at home. I learned from Emma that smoothies were high in fibre compared to juices, plus they are so easy to make at home. I often make smoothies with 2 spoonfuls of Zen Berry (a power food created by Emma) which provides all the nutrients you need for the day. I am also obsessed with homemade chia seed pudding topped with mango or raspberries. 
The vibe at Aqua Studio is more like a spa than a traditional fitness studio – do you think this is important to promoting overall wellbeing? 
It was really important for me to create an 'AQUA Experience' that is different from the typical fitness studio. I wanted it to be an escape from the stress of the city. Our customers arrive at the studio stressed out from their day at work, but they always leave with a big smile on their face. The key elements for us at AQUA are a cosy, chic and homey environment + dimmed light + a comfortable sofa + peaceful music at the front desk + small and caring team. 

Think AQUA sounds perfect? So do the Sweaty Betty team! You can read all about their training session at the studio here, PLUS join the Sweaty Betty team for an amazing event at AQUA Studio on July 28th - full details below.
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Commonwealth Games 2014: Athletes To Watch /commonwealth-games-athletes-to-watch-2014/ /commonwealth-games-athletes-to-watch-2014/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /commonwealth-games-athletes-to-watch-2014/ For the 4,500 competing athletes, tomorrow is a big day. As the first day of the Commonwealth Games, tomorrow marks the start of the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in Scotland, with 71 countries taking part in the 17 sports; all hoping to walk away with the gold medal.

With the much talked-about opening ceremony scheduled for 8pm tomorrow evening in the Celtic Park stadium, Sweaty Betty decided to enter into the athletic spirit by naming the top 5 female athletes that we’ll be watching throughout the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

TRACK CYCLING - Joanna Rowsell, England

Keen to defend her title as world champion, Joanna Rowsell is the favourite for England in the women's individual pursuit. Having won gold in the women's team pursuit at the 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014 World Championships, her most prominent solo victory was winning gold in the Team Pursuit at the London 2012 Olympics, and coming first in both Team and Individual Pursuit at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships earlier this year.

DIVING - Pamela Ware, Canada

Having made a name for herself in 2013, 21-year-old Pamela Ware from Quebec, Canada has quickly established herself as one of the world's best springboard divers. At the 2014 FINA World Series, she won two bronze medals on the 3m board, and two silver and a bronze in the synchronised 3m event with Jennifer Abel. Pamela is currently ranked fourth in the world by FINA (3m), and third in the world in synchronised 3m category with Abel, making her one of the favourites to win gold for Canada at this year's Commonwealth Games.

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS - Lynne Hutchison, England

Nineteen-year-old gymnast Lynne Hutchison from Bath in England is looking to be awarded the gold medal in this year's event, after winning bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. In 2012, she was part of the first rhythmic gymnastics squad to represent Team GB at an Olympic event, and won gold in 2014 Open Individual Apparatus competition earlier this year.

TRIATHLON - Emma Jackson, Australia

Emma Jackson will be one of three female Australian triathletes fighting for gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Winning the bronze medal at the ITU World Triathlon Series in London this June will likely have made Jackson even more determined for this event. With her last victories of note being the gold medal at the Oceania Triathlon Championships in 2012 and being named the U23 World Champion in 2010, Jackson also represented her country at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and took part in a total of 16 ITU competitions between 2007 and 2010; achieving eleven top-10 positions.

Image credit: ITU Media

WEIGHTLIFTING - Zoe Smith, England

London-born Zoe Smith won the bronze medal for weightlifting at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi (58kg division), and achieved a British record at the London 2012 Olympic Games for her 'clean and jerk lift' of 121kg. At just 5ft 2in, 22-year-old Smith has broken more than 350 lifting records and was once nicknamed Britain's Strongest Schoolgirl. Having won the award for 2014 British Senior Champion earlier this year, Smith is England's only competitor in the 58kg category.

PARA-SPORT - Jade Jones, England

At just 18-years-old, wheelchair athlete Jade Jones is an inspiration. Having represented Team GB in three events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jones went onto compete in the IPC World Championships the following year, reaching the finals of not just one, but four distances; 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m. Currently studying for her A-Levels alongside her athletic training, Jones is ranked in the world's top 5 for T54 events in distances of 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m. Jones will be aiming for a podium at the Commonwealth Games 2014.

Image credit: Gazette Live
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Sweaty Betty wins Britain's Healthiest Employees 2014! /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/ /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/ Last year, Sweaty Betty was named Britain's Most Active Company. In 2014, the team has upped the fitness ante even further, so it was with great excitement that we collected the prize for Britain's Healthiest Employees (an award presented in association with PruHealth, Mercer and The Sunday Telegraph). 

Practising what we preach is at the core of all we do at Sweaty Betty. Walking the walk (or running to be more specific) is key for the team; finding inspiration and motivation in each other, from new 10K PBs and conquering a headstand in yoga, to crossing the finish line of your first triathlon

Image courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph
To support the team's personal training, the Sweaty Betty Support Office is a hub of exercising activity. Yoga, Cardio Pilates and run clubs are held weekly, with extra workouts from our library of online classes to Insanity DVDs and squat challenges frequently taking place in the on-site studio. Running social media campaigns such as #HealthieSelfie and spotlighting team workouts with weekly blogs on where we're training that week; even the summer parties have an air of friendly competition with sports day races such as the egg-and-spoon and relays. 

Outside of the office, everyone has their own interest in health and fitness. With a team full of yoga teachers, marathon-runners, competitive cyclists, Barry’s Bootcamp addicts, personal trainers, rock climbers and rowers, it was with great pride that Sweaty Betty scooped the prize for Britain’s Healthiest Employees 2014; proving to the world that #TeamSB well and truly practice what they preach...and do it in style.

As for in-store, each boutique plays host to at least two weekly workouts, such as Boxing Yoga, Body Blast and HIIT, available free of charge exclusively to SB customers and supported by a variety of online workouts.

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Talking health with Hemsley and Hemsley (part 1) /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/ /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/ They've been featured in Vogue, have been the focus of countless articles at home and abroad, and have been cooking up a healthy storm on Saturday Kitchen; it's safe to say that Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley have well and truly taken the world by storm. And that's before the mention of their new must-have cookbook, The Art of Eating Well.

Renowned for their organic and nutrient-rich recipes that promote overall wellbeing, Sweaty Betty sat down with the healthiest of trendsetting duos to find out all on their favourite snacks, workout routines and number one tip for healthy living.

What inspired you to launch the Hemsley & Hemsley brand?
We started as private cooks for people and our mission was simple - to help people feel better (more energised, happier and healthier) through delicious and nourishing food, made with real ingredients.
Have you always had a healthy lifestyle?
Jasmine: We grew up with a Filipino mother and a father in the army, living in army barracks in the UK and Germany. We were used to eating frugally and adventurously, and although our mum was efficient, everything was made with love and care. She cooked intuitively, based on what was in the fridge and cupboards. She didn’t actively teach us but we picked it all up along the way.
Melissa:  I’m the youngest so I lucked out as mum and Jasmine used to do all the cooking, and all I had to do was lay the table. I was only when I moved out that I realised if I wanted to eat the same good food, I’d have to start putting into practise what I had absorbed over the years.
Jasmine: We’ve always been very active and involved in sports since we were young.  Even now, we both love tennis, yoga and long walks. I haven’t been for ages but snowboarding is always a great holiday and if I see the sea, I HAVE to swim in it!  
Melissa: My best friend and I love to dance, so we’re fans of any type of dance classes – from Latin and rock’n’roll to ballet or hip-hop. Classes are great fun because once you’re in the door you have to commit. You switch off from your own life and just listen to the teacher.
Jasmine: We both got into meditation about five years ago too. We began to experience just how important sleep and active relaxation are for health. Keeping the mind on an even keel is as important as the food you put into your body and the exercise you do.

What was the motivation behind releasing your own cookbook, The Art Of Eating Well?
We wanted to talk about why eating well is almost a lost art. Many people have lost the art or never been taught. Wellness begins from within, so we need to get creative in the kitchen rather than relying on convenience and packaged health foods. Food has become so complicated in recent years. With so many different ideas of what’s healthy and what’s not, it’s become easy to lose your way on what eating well really means. We help navigate through all the confusion and take it back to basics by focusing on real, whole foods, enabling you to tune into your body and find what works for you. Simply put; The Art of Eating Well is mindful eating and enjoying the foods that make you feel good from the inside out. Our book guides you with delicious recipes to eat well and feel better. It’s not complicated and once you start, you’ll want to eat and feel like this for life.
Eating well should be part of your lifestyle. We don’t believe in short fixes, fads or depriving ourselves. We do not do low-fat - in fact we champion saturated fat, such as coconut oil, butter and egg yolks, as a vital nutrient - and we are all about eating quality meat and two veg! Every bite should be delicious AND have maximum nutrition per mouthful, so our recipes avoid gluten, grains and refined sugars. We have a completely holistic approach to eating so it’s about how we eat as well as what we eat.
What are your favourite snacks for pre/post-workout?
Anything with coconut, like our Coconut Tahini Bliss Balls. Or some leftover smoothie from breakfast or a mug of hot bone broth with an egg yolk whisked in for easy-to-digest nourishment.

Click here to read part 2 of the Hemsley + Hemsley interview, and stay tuned for an exclusive recipe - coming soon!
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Glöanna: A Sweaty Success! /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/ /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/ They came, they ran, they did yoga in the park - and that's before the prosecco and sushi brunch...

If you weren't in Battersea Park last Saturday, you may not have heard that the world's first 5K yoga run, Glöanna, had landed in London. 500 women descended on the start line for their shot of prosecco, before heading off to run the scenic 5K route. The course was littered with quirky motivational signs saying everything from 'Breathe, Laugh, Repeat' to 'You're Alive - Woo!', with a live DJ soundtrack to keep the spirits high. Post-run, the Glöanna (and Sweaty Betty) ladies hit the mat for an al fresco yoga class, stretching out their muscles and relaxing into savasana. 

Finally, it was time for sushi and celebrations! From browsing the healthy food stalls (the best of which were Wheyhey protein ice cream, VitaCoco and Bounce balls!) to hula hooping while sipping prosecco, the event was fun-filled and a big success. And the goodie bags full of Sweaty Betty treats went down a storm too.
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Where We're Training This Week AquaCycling NYC /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/ /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/ Always keen to try a workout that takes the traditional to the next level, this week saw the Sweaty Betty USA team take their training to the city's first and only cycling studio offering workouts in a pool. Hugely popular in Europe and now in NYC, the team got kitted up in their swimwear ready to test this new must-try fitness class.

Walking into the three-storey boutique studio in New York City's TriBeCa, the light and airy decor (high ceilings, exposed brick walls and wooden tiled floors) and tranquil vibe make the team feel instantly relaxed. Designed as a mix between a chic loft-style penthouse, high-profile fitness space and wellness-promoting spa, this is undoubtedly one of the coolest and most beautiful studios around.

Changed into their swimwear and ready to go, the Sweaty Betty team climbed onto their spin bikes submerged in a pool of water, feeling a little dubious about this upgrade to their regular spin class. The workout itself is held in a pool beneath a high glass ceiling that allows natural light to pour in, while evening classes are candlelit for added atmosphere. Simple white tiling around the edges means the music echoes artfully around the studio as the team spin to the beat.

While spinning focuses predominantly on the legs and core, this fusion workout gets the entire body moving. The usual ride styles are used here too (e.g. sprints and transitioning from sitting to standing), with the addition of a move that involves floating behind the bike, treading water with your arms while your feet are still strapped to the pedals.


Set to a pumping soundtrack (each instructor has their own style and music that varies from Beethoven to chart-toppers), the class was particularly intensive on the arms - with exercises being performed both in and out of the water. This included two types of tricep dips; one off the bike using your seat, and another that involved pulsing your arms above your head while keeping the legs moving on the pedals.

A favourite move of #TeamSB was when they were instructed to slide off behind the seat into the water and hold on to the handlebars, forcing them to pedal in a more horizontal seating position. Compared to their regular spin classes, the team found AquaCycling much more technical in terms of mastering the correct positions to ensure you feel the effects of the workout in your core and legs. Due to the added resistance of the water, Aqua Studio say that this innovative workout can burn up to 800 calories per class, and tone parts of the body much more effectively that normal spinning. An impact-free workout that doesn't put any stress on the joints, their trainers inform the team that AquaCycling not only promotes better circulation and sleep, but also enhances flexibility and recovery.
So how did the team feel afterwards? "Super invigorated, and even though I've worked out hard, my muscles still feel nicely stretched out and relaxed. I'd recommend this class to everyone wanting to experience something unique and to add another level to their weekly workout."

Shop Sweaty Betty swimwear here, or for sale swimwear, click here.

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