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How to improve your mood and beat the winter blues

How to Improve your mood and beat the winter blues

The dark winter months can be depressing. Sunlight is genuinely linked with our moods, and working a nine to five job means you might find that you go days at a time not seeing sunlight. This can hit us pretty hard.

So, here are five things to consider to help you keep your spirits up through the winter.

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1. Boost your Vitamin D

“Most people don’t know vitamin D is in fact a hormone, which has a profound effect on how we feel and our mood.” Geeta Sidhu-Robb Nosh Detox Founder

Vitamin D has been associated with mood changes. Low levels of vitamin D leading to low moods and depression. Many individuals living in northern climates become vitamin D deficient in the dark winter months. Consider taking a supplement to boost your vitamin levels.

2. Don’t Give In To Sugar Cravings

Sugars from things like sweets quickly release serotonin which gives a momentary feeling of happiness. However, this is fleeting and the ensuing sugar crash makes everything worse. Avoid sugary snacks, Instead, nurture yourself with healthy foods packed with antioxidants found in dark leafy greens and colourful fruits and vegetables.

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3. Stay Active

It can be hard to find the get up and go drive in the cold winter months. But exercise is really good, not just for your physical health but your mental well being. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins which genuinely make you happier. So, you will find yourself with a much more positive outlook on the world with regular exercise in your weekly routine. Exercising on a regular basis can also help ease stress and promote relaxation, which can be particularly helpful for those who struggle to fall asleep.

WINTER BANNER

4. Increase Serotonin

When sunlight enters our eyes, it activates the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, our feel-good hormones. If your mood is low, try taking a 5-HPT supplement – a chemical made from the amino acid tryptophan, which the body then coverts into serotonin. Some studies go as far as suggesting 5-HTP may also work as antidepressants, and has little to no side effects. You can’t get 5-HTP from food, so supplementation is necessary.

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Selection of food that is good for the health and skin, rustic wood background

5. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fats found in cold water fish, raw nuts and seeds, and superfoods such as flax and hemp (you’ll also find that a lot of these foods are high in vitamin D). Omega-3’s are the building blocks for the nerves and brain and are crucial for the proper growth, development and function of brain tissue. Taking an omega-3 supplement has been proven to significantly improve mood and lower the likelihood of depression.

6. Set Your Internal Clock

It’s crucial to create a sleep routine that has you seeing sunlight as much as possible. On top of this, getting too much sleep or too little can ruin your mood for the day as you will feel tired and fatigued. Try to go to sleep before 11pm, avoid caffeine for at least six hours before bed and avoid bright lights and screens late in the evening.

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Is Your Sugar & Fat Intake Out Of Balance?

fat and sugar intake

IS YOUR SUGAR & FAT INTAKE OUT OF BALANCE?

Can you See the Signs?

There are a lot of confusing ideas out there. Don’t eat sugar. Eat some fats, but not others. Don’t eat fat if you’re trying to lose weight. Don’t eat sugar, but fruit is good… Amidst all this conflicting advice, it can be hard to determine what exactly is right when it comes to eating fats and sugars. It’s not surprising that a lot of us are getting the balance wrong.

So, we thought we would do some research and see if we can’t pick from the clutter of advice some of the rights and wrongs and maybe even clear up some of the confusion.

First of all, fats and sugars are a necessary part of our diets. Cutting either out entirely is a bad idea. However, like most things moderation is key.

Some of the Common mistakes people make

Low-fat products

If you normally make a beeline for the low-fat section in the supermarket you may want to just pause. Often when manufacturers remove the fat they also end up removing lots of the nutritional value. And to supplement the lost flavours they often add in sugars or sweeteners.

So check the nutritional values and ingredients. Especially when it comes to the sugar content in things like natural yoghurt, you may be surprised.

Low sugar products

When manufacturers remove the sugar, they replace it with artificial sweeteners. It has been suggested that the use of artificial sweeteners may have a stimulating effect on appetite and therefore may play a role in weight gain and obesity. But research is inconsistent on this front. We suggest erring on the side of caution. Instead of buying low sugar products try cutting down on the amount of sweet foods you eat.

A lover of fruit

Fruits are a great source of vitamins and natural sugars. However, things like dried fruit, smoothies, and fruit juices are highly concentrated in sugar. The NHS advise you limit the amount of fruit juice or smoothies you drink to only 150ml a day as ‘crushing fruit and vegetables into juice and smoothies releases the sugars…which can cause damage to teeth.’

You’re Nuts

On the flip side you may be a nutty enthusiast and find yourself grazing on nuts and seeds throughout the day. Nuts are high in unsaturated fats which are considered one of the good fats. However, they aren’t particularly filling meaning you can end up consuming far more fat than your body needs.

Both nuts and fruits are healthy food choices. But we recommend mixing it up a little. Eat fresh fruits with a tasty selection of nuts to compliment the nutritional values of the fruit. But be aware and try and keep a good balance of both.

Your breakfast choices

Eating a nutritional breakfast with plenty of energy is important to getting a good start to the day.

Unfortunately there are a lot of cereals out there that aren’t all they crack up to be. Be wary of sugar content in cereals. Whilst they may be low in fats, they are often high in sugar content.

You love your red meat

Steaks are delicious. Red meat is rich in iron, zinc and B vitamins, but it’s also rich in saturated fats, which should be eaten in moderation. Choose organic and for red meat opt for grass-fed, which has a better nutrient profile and is higher in omega-3 fats.

Try eating more white meat and fish. Fish is high in omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins A and D and other key nutrients. There is a reason you always see gym junkies eating chicken and rice or fish

Conclusion

Moderation is key. As long as you are aware that some of the habits and foods you are eating are throwing your sugar and fat balance out of whack you can balance it out again by adjusting your diet.

We recommend you do some research of your own along these lines before making any major changes.

Our key points though are be careful of low fat foods that sneak more sugar into your diet. Similarly, be wary of low sugar foods that substitute artificial sweeteners.

 

Sources

https://www.healthy-magazine.co.uk/too-much-sugar-or-too-much-fat-7-signs-your-diet-is-off-balance/

https://www.healthy-magazine.co.uk/superfoods-that-wont-break-the-bank/

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Whatcounts.aspx

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/the-truth-about-artificial-sweeteners.aspx

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What Is Intermittent fasting?

INTERMITTENT FASTING

What is Intermittent Fasting?

There has been a lot of interest in the health world around intermittent fasting.

This is the practice of not eating for a certain number of hours a day, or not eating for two or three days out of the week.

The obvious result of this is limiting your calorie intake over the fasting period. If you look across a whole week intermittent fasting generally causes people to consume less calories than they otherwise would. The inherent result of this is going to be weight loss, which means without dramatically changing what you eat you can lose weight. This has made the idea of intermittent fasting very popular.

In the office both Niamh and Bobby have tried it. Niamh doesn’t eat anything before 2pm and claims her energy levels have never been higher.

Bobby tried fasting for 24hours and said he felt a little bit lightheaded and dizzy on the day but after doing it, he felt lighter, refreshed and less bloated.

This is not a particularly new concept. In fact there were several studies in the 30s and 40s that came to the conclusion that restricting calorie intake of certain animals led to those animals leading a comparatively longer life span.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

To understand how fasting works we need to understand how the body behaves when you eat food and when you don’t.

When you eat food your body spends typicaly 3 to 5 hours digesting and absorbing food. During this period it is typically hard for your body to burn fat because of the increased insulin levels.

After about around 8- 12 hours your body is no longer absorbing or digesting food which means your insulin levels are low and this makes it easier for you to  burn fat.

Because we don’t stop absorbing energy and food into our system 12 hours after eating, it is rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state.

By intermittent fasting you choose to force your body into this state which allows you to burn more fat than you otherwise would, without dramatically changing what you eat and how much you exercise.

The Effects of Intermittent fasting

1. Losing Belly Fat

The main argument for intermittent fasting is there is evidence that skipping the first meal of the day and not eating late at night, not only helps you lose weight, but helps you retain muscle mass and increases your energy levels.

2. Increased Energy

This is the main thing Niamh has noticed from her own intermittent fasting. She has more energy in the mornings, and to quote her, ‘no longer falls asleep at work.’

3.  Increased metabolism

Other purported physical benefits of fasting include:

1. Improved mental clarity and concentration.

2. Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels which may help with type 2 diabetes.

3. Increased growth hormone.

4. Lowered blood cholesterol.

5. You might even live longer

The Not so Good

As with any form of dramatic change for your body, there can be side-effects, especially if you don’t plan and structure your fasting properly.

1. Running low on nutrients

By altering your eating habits like this, you may find your body begins to get less of the good stuff that it needs because you aren’t eating properly.

2. Junk food becomes more tempting

Especially when you start, your food cravings may lead you to over indulge in junk food.

3. Not being able to exercise

Exercising without eating properly can lead to alarming fatigue, light-headedness and nausea.

Exercise requires you to massively increase your energy output. Burning body fat is an inefficient way to create energy; the potential energy in fatty tissue is stored as long molecules that are harder to break down than sugars.

However, Niamh, after daily intermittent fasting for nearly a month argues that she now has more energy than ever before!

3. Constipation

Less going in means less going out. You don’t need medications unless you experience discomfort.

4. Headaches

These tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts. Make sure you are drinking lots of water to help with this.

Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps.

Eight tips for successful Intermittent Fasting:

1. Drink lots of water.

2. Stay busy and exercise.

3. Drink coffee or tea.

4. Hunger comes in waves, if you can ride them out you’ll find they quickly dissipate.

5. Don’t tell anybody who is not supportive that you are fasting. It can be mentally challenging to fast.

6. Give yourself one month. It won’t feel great to begin with. But stick with it and let the results speak to you.

7. Follow a low-carb diet between fasting periods. This reduces hunger and makes fasting much easier. It may also increase the effect on weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal, etc.

8. Don’t binge after fasting!

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of fasting you are going to do choose something that will fit into your lifestyle.

Second, you then need to decide on the length of time you are going to fast.

Thirdly, plan! The key to a successful fast lies in the planning. What are you going to eat, and when? When are you going to exercise and for how long? Which days are going to be feast days? When are you likely going to be in social situations that require you to eat or drink? For example, is your friend having a bottomless brunch party for their birthday? You need to incorporate that into your plan so that you can still go about enjoying life as normal but still stick to your fasting schedule.

When you’re ready, start fasting. If for any reason this makes you feel unwell or if you have any concerns, stop and seek help.

Continue all your usual activities outside of eating. Stay busy and live normally. Imagine you’re “eating” a full meal of your own fat.

Finally, when you break your fast, do it slowly and gently.

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Travel Ready with HBB

Travel with HBB

TRAVEL READY WITH HBB

Travel with peace of mind

It’s Summer, the time of country walks and longer days. A time for travel on foreign continents in search of sun, exploring hidden trails in far off lands and tasting foods you’ve never tried before.

But don’t get so distracted by taking in all the sights! One must always be safe and protected against pickpockets and thieves.

Our HBBs are designed with peace of mind in mind. Not only are they comfortable, good for your back, practical, and stunningly stylish, our bags offer a great secure alternative to a traditional backpack or handbag.

On a backpack, your zip is on the front of the bag making it easy to access to people behind you. Our bags position the zip pressed against your body.

A perfect design for security conscious people.

Accessible

With the zip always pressed against your body, it’s almost impossible for anyone to access the main compartment of the bag whilst you are wearing it without your knowing.

Not only are our bags more secure though, this design makes them more accessible to the wearer.

You are able to swing the bag round without ever taking it off and access the contents that way.

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Double Zips

The final touch is the double zip design which makes the bags easier for the wearer to access as they can position the zips wherever they want. Bottom, top, middle or anywhere in between.

HOW ARE WE HEALTHY?

Still DON’T BELIEVE US?

Here’s what one HBBer had to say:

“I have bags of various sizes and colours and my partner also has an Earth bag he uses on holidays as his ‘man bag’. I love them all as I feel, especially abroad, they are very secure with thick straps and the ability to have them in front as well as on your back. They are superbly comfortable and with all the pockets can hold many bits securely. I recommend them to all my friends and family.”

– Ellie Wilson, HBB customer.

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11 Excellent Alternative Exercise Ideas

11 EXCELLENT EXERCISE ALTERNATIVES

EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR YOU

You know this, but it can be hard to motivate yourself. Even with the knowledge that it’ll make you happier and it improves you brain function. It’s been a long day in the office and all you want to do is relax, enjoy a nice dinner and watch the newest show on Netflix. Going to the gym is boring, there isn’t much way round that and it can be hard to feel like you’re achieving anything so you gradually phase out that part of your life.

We understand, so we’ve come up with these 11 Alternative exercise options to help you find your exercise passion.

#1 POLE DANCING

More commonly associated with strippers in American blockbusters this is one of the best exercise classes out there. It requires a huge amount of fitness, strength and core muscles to do those moves.

#2 PADDLE BOARD YOGA

Yoga is about balance, what better way to advance your balancing skills than by decreasing the stability of the surface you are on? This is a seasonal class that you can even find out on the river Thames. Buoyancy aids and wetsuits are available. It would certainly give you plenty of motivation to improve your form.

#3 TRAPEZE SCHOOL

Unless you’re scared of heights this sounds like great fun. Soar through the air, flip and twist. It requires good upper body strength and will quickly develop your stamina.

#4 HULA HOOPING

Take your childhood passion and turn it into some seriously impressive skills. Hulafit runs sessions across the city. Soundtracked with bangers from Britney and Beyoncé, they’re suitable for beginners, but will soon have newbies doing hoop tricks like pros – while toning up abs, legs and arms.

#5 BARRE CLASS

This one is a favourite of Nancy’s. It is all about control and strength. These classes involve techniques from dance, yoga and fitness. The specific sequences will encourage muscles to stretch and strengthen, leaving you calm and relaxed. Be prepared to entangle yourself in strangely long and twisty positions.

#6 BOXING (OR ANY MARTIAL ART REALLY)

Not only could this come in useful one day (although hopefully not) martial arts require feats of strength, balance, skill and fitness. There are classes for all skill levels and ages, you can take up contact or non-contact.

#7 JOIN THE CIRCUS

Become a clown… okay, we joke. But you can find yourself one of the many ‘Cirque du Soleil’ style workouts which involve dangling for long periods of time as you try to regain some interpretation of up.

#8 TRAMPOLINING

This may seem like fun and games, and that’s the point, but this is a really serious question of your leg strength and overall stamina.

#9 TAKE THE DOG FOR MORE WALKS, LONGER WALKS – DON’T HAVE A DOG? GET A DOG AND TAKE IT FOR A WALK.

This isn’t so much about the dog as giving yourself a purpose and cute furry companion to go out for a long walk or run. Try and wear your dog out. It will likely never happen, you’ll just get it more excited. Let it run behind you as you cycle or jog along with you. Plan out a long walk at least once a week.

#10 TAKE UP A SPORT

What’s your favourite sport?

Sports are great ways to exercise and it doesn’t have to be some high intensity game like rugby to count. Try tennis or golf perhaps. Great excuses to enjoy some of the outside world and stretch your legs a bit.

#11 HOT YOGA

Get ready to get sweaty. They crank up the heat and put you through a series of vigorous yoga poses. You’ll need a shower after this one there’s no doubt about it. After a few classes though it’ll begin getting easier and you won’t be nearly as stiff. (I don’t think we need an image of sweaty yoga people…)

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FITNESS CLASS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
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7 Hilarious Fashion Instagrams to Follow

7 Hilarious Fashion Instagrams to Follow

7 Hilarious Fashion Instagrams to Follow

Hilarious FASHION ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM

We’re all about combining practicality with good looking fashion.

However, sometimes when fashion struts its stuff, the runways are dominated by the bizarre and unwieldy rather than the beautiful or practical. And we aren’t the only people to have noticed this, not by a long shot.

After discovering these we thought it only right that we share some of the most hilarious fashion accounts on Instagram.

We save the best till last…

1. DIET PRADA

This instagram calls out designers for knocking each other off, as well as sharing ‘who wore it better?’ images.

If you’re going to copy someone, maybe copy something less… well memorably strange. Diet Prada points out the somewhat striking resemblance between these two seasonal releases, 23 years apart.

FOLLOW @DIETPRADA

2. FREDDIE MADE

Designed to make you smile, this account by conceptual artist Freddie Smithson takes iconic shots and highlights the ridiculousness of them with some… let’s say curious, Photoshop.

We all know the Queen has some pretty great fashion sense, but this one may be new to us.

FOLLOW @FREDDIEMADE

3. TOMMY LENK

The actor and comedian Tommy Lenk recreates, in DIY style, and tries on different outfits worn by models and celebrities.
We will let you be the judge of just how successful he is in pulling them off.

Believe it or not you can make this stylish outfit yourself with nothing but some bin bags and red cups.

FOLLOW @TOMMYLENK

No need for words here.

DON’T FORGET YOUR HBB!

We’ve got a fantastic range of HBB’s that make the perfect evening companion.
Check out our Smarter range below.

  • Black Fleur Large Baglett

    £32.00 £25.00
    Add to Bag
  • Chenille Blue S

    £85.00 £45.00
    Add to Bag
  • Chenille Red S

    £85.00 £45.00
    Add to Bag
  • Circular Motion Large Baglett

    £32.00 £21.00
    Add to Bag
  • Circular Motion S

    £69.00 £37.00
    Add to Bag
  • Denim Traveller M

    £75.00 £42.00
    Add to Bag

4. ANGELICA HICKs

Her ‘who wore it best?’ segment is original and it certainly tickles us, but it is her humorous illustrations that we love most of all.

It kinda works both ways…

FOLLOW @ANGELICAHICKS

5. COPY LAB

Chris Rellas takes his satirical fashion viewpoint with photoshop as his witty weapon. the results are surprising and pretty interesting.

Have you ever thought about what Renaissance paintings would look like with flashes of Chanel and Gucci? Chris has.

Sometimes all an old outfit needs to update it, is a new accessory.

FOLLOW @COPYLAB

6. SIDUATIONS

This account cleverly creates funny fashion memes, a lot of them you have likely seen doing the rounds on your social media feeds.

For the first time it would seem they put some practical clothes on the runway. This would keep our beekeepers safe.

FOLLOW @SIDUATIONS

7. TASTE OF STREEP

The final one on the list is definitely our favourite.

We love Meryl Streep, and we love food. So, what could be better than an Instagram account that photoshops her seamlessly onto your favourite food?

An Egg-cellent picture here…

It’s not Prada, but it certainly is a tasty look.

FOLLOW @TASTEOFSTREEP

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE FASHION ACCOUNT YOU FOLLOW? SHARE IT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.

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11 Best Dog Walker Parks in London

11 Best Dog Walker Parks in London

Dog Walkers in London

Having a dog in the city often seems like it would be unfair. Dogs need exercise. They need to run around manically, throw themselves about, roll in puddles and otherwise behave mischievously.

However, London has a plethora of gorgeous and sizeable parks that are perfect for a doggy day trip.

And of course if you really want, there is a huge amount of space just outside of London, the Chiltern Hills for example, which certainly deserve a thorough explore.

For all you London based dog owners (or any Londoners who like a good walk), we have compiled a short list of some of our favourite parks in London, and they really aren’t that hard to get to.

Grab your HBB, pack your essentials and get going.

#1 Hyde Park – Central London

London’s most famous – and perhaps busiest – park, but dogs are welcomed here with open paws. Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks and forms a huge rectangular green lung in the middle of central London. It is home to numerous famous landmarks which draw in millions of tourists each year, including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Nearest station? Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch (Central Line) and Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#2 Victoria Park – East

Vicky Park, as it’s known to eastenders, is a social hotspot for outgoing canines and their owners alike. It’s split into two parts: The western half is landscaped with a fantastic organic lakeside café, boating lake and picnic areas in the summer, while the eastern half is more suitable for dogs and has larger expanses to run on.

Be advised to carry a doggie bag though as there’s an open-ended children’s adventure playground (dogs are not allowed) and plenty of green area given over to sport. The Kenton is an excellent local dog-friendly Norwegian pub to pause in.

Nearest station? Hackney Wick or Cambridge Heath, (Overground)

More info on Victoria Park

#3 Richmond Park – West

As the biggest enclosed space in London, there’s no shortage of spots for your dog to explore here in this National Nature Reserve.

This is London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest, so dog owners will need to be aware of the precious wildlife here. There are some restrictions in certain areas, and owners are advised to avoid the park during the deer rutting (September to October) and birthing (May to July) seasons to help prevent any potential problems.

Nearest station? Richmond (National Rail and District Line)

Is there a car park? Yes, there are several.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#4 Regents Park – Central

Designed by John Nash, Regent’s Park covers 395 acres and is perhaps the most picturesque of central London’s parks with glorious flower beds and the famous Queen Mary’s rose garden with over 1000 varieties. There are plenty of places to let your pooch run free (especially on Primrose Hill) but dogs should be kept on leads in the formal gardens and sports areas.

Nearest station: Regent’s Park (Bakerloo line), Great Portland Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle & Metropolitan lines), Baker Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Bakerloo lines), St John’s Wood (Jubilee line)

Plan your dog walk at Regents Park here

#5 Peckam Rye Park – South

This Victorian Park has recently been restored to its former Victorian glory with lottery money. At 113 acres, it is south east London’s biggest green zone and it has loads to offer: woodlands, a lake, formal garden and the Café on the Rye.

The arboretum is a canine-free zone but the lovely Japanese garden isn’t, and there are plenty of other trails to take: Southwark council even provides a handy trail map.

Nearest station? Denmark Hill Station (Overground)

Plan your dog walk in Peckham Rye Park here.

#6 Hampstead Heath – North

As far as views of London go, they don’t get much better than when perched atop Parliament Hill, the summit of hilly Hampstead Heath. Sometimes known as ‘kite hill’ due to its popularity among kite flyers. Spanning a huge 320 hectares (790 acres), this wildlife-rich parkland is among the biggest in London and features woodlands, vast heaths and swimming ponds, including one dedicated to dogs that enjoy a dip in the water. As you’d expect from an ancient heathland, there’s plenty of history, too – there are at least 55 historical features, monuments and archaeological sites to explore.

Nearest station? Golders Green, Hampstead or Kentish Town (Northern Line) and Hampstead Heath or Gospel Oak (London Overground).

Is there a car park? Yes, several.

Find out more and plan your visit here

#7 Battersea Park – Central

This Thames-side gem spans 200 acres with lakes, woodland areas, designated nature spots and open space. The park, which opened in 1858 on reclaimed Thames marshland, has a colourful history – including that of The Brown Dog affair. A statue of the same name was placed in the park in memory of dogs used in research experiments at the turn of the last century and was the subject of huge political controversy. The terrier figurine sits on a plinth in the park’s woodland, beside the Old English Garden.

Nearest station? Battersea Park (National Rail)

Is there car park? Yes

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#8 Lee Valley Park – East

This enormous 10,000 acre, 46 mile long linear park along the leafy banks of the River Lee runs from the East India Dock Basin on the River Thames in east London and up through Essex and Hertfordshire to Ware.

The park’s towpath through London takes in Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve, one of the few remaining pieces of the capital’s once widespread river valley grasslands. There’s also Coppermill Fields, Leyton Marsh and Tottenham Marshes, as well as plenty of reservoirs, as the park makes its way out of London. Once the park hits Waltham Cross, it opens up to the vast expanse of open spaces and lakes of the River Lee Country Park, which even has a free 500 metre dog agility course located just north of Cheshunt Railway station.

Nearest Station? There are many, it depends on where in the park you want to go.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#9 Wimbledon Common – South West

Who wouldn’t want to romp around on Wimbledon Common, the largest expanse of heathland in London? Encompassing Putney Lower Common and Putney Heath, the conversation area covers 1,140 acres and supports a variety of wildlife, areas of mature woodland, ponds and bogland. You’ll cross paths with horse riders here as well as school children on nature trails and foragers in the autumn. If you start out from Putney, there’s a lovely walk to Wimbledon windmill with dog-friendly tea rooms to reward the foot-sore.

Nearest station? Wimbledon Park or Southfield Station (District Line)

Plan your dog walk on Wimbledon Common here

#10 Thames Path – South West

A well-trodden path by well-heeled dog owners who live locally but little known about outside the postcode. The walk offers the most pleasant, leafy views of the river, and is lined with fabulous trees which have grown huge due to the abundance of water. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk all the way from Hammersmith to Twickenham, – there are plenty of riverside pubs to stop at, several of which allow dogs on the lead.

Nearest Station? It depends where you want to start.

More info on dog walking on the Thames Path from Barnes

#11 Highgate Wood – North

A short walk from Hampstead Heath will bring you to this 70 acre ancient woodland. It’s a haven for wildlife and accessible scenic walks and, come spring, you’ll find a beautiful carpet of bluebells there. Evidence of its history dates back to prehistoric times. There are good facilities here, including a cafe, on the edges of the woodland’s central field.

Nearest train station: Highgate (Northern Line).

Is there a car park? Yes.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

What’s your favourite walk in or around London? And your favourite HBB to take with you?

We’d love to know in the comments section below.

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Enekes in Cheltenham

Enekes in Cheltenham

Enekes is one of the leading retailers for luggage and leather goods in the UK and so we are very excited that they recently started stocking Healthy Back Bags.

They have a vast range of products and brands which we slip seamlessly alongside, including the likes of Samsonite and Ted Baker.

Their team is incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about what they do ensuring their product range is only of the highest standards.

Their store is based in the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, where their full range can be viewed.

But they also have a comprehensive online store that’s well worth a peruse for all your luggage needs.

New Retailer

It’s always exciting to welcome a retailer into the HBB fold.

Our bags sell extremely well in a range of different stores, and its unsurprising that they do well in luggage stores. The unique shape and burst of colour that our product supplies helps them stand out whilst at the same time offering a great opportunity for retailers to do some interesting merchandising displays to draw in footfall and increase sales across their store.

We look forward to a long relationship with Enekes.

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What to Wear with your HBB

What to Wear
with your HBB

Choose the Perfect Outfit to Match your HBB

To get the most out of your outfit, your accessories are vitally important. It’s all very well wearing a gorgeous new dress, or form fitted tailored suit, but accessories can make or break an outfit. . A tired looking bag, scuffed pair of shoes or overly colourful belt will distract and not in a good way.

Traditionally you would simply match your bag with your shoes but that isn’t necessarily the right way to go. It is, in fact, a little old hat.

WHEN IT COMES TO MATCHING YOUR BAG WITH YOUR OUTFIT, EVERYTHING HAS TO DO WITH BALANCE.

Too much matching normally isn’t flattering, you end up looking like a sort of walking crayon. What you want to do is create a balance of colour, neutrals and prints so that your outfit never ends up looking boring.

For example, If your outfit is busy with a complicated print or lots and lots of colour, then your accessories should be more toned down. You should consider matching the colour pallette of your accessories to help tie outfit together. They should be calmer in colour so as not to confuse the eye. Think a nice navy leather HBB for example, matched with a pair of black shoes perhaps.

However, since workwear normally means a lot of neutral colours anyway, with blacks and dark blues dominating the office blocks, you can quite easily get away with some mismatched accessories which will stand out and help give your outfit personality.

CHECK OUT THESE HBB LOOKS BELOW

Simple and Sophisticated or Bold Colour?

By combining simple neutrals or light and dark you can create smart and savvy combinations, perfect for the office.

Don’t be afraid to combine colourful prints with an equally colourful mono-colour bag.

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On the left the Expedition Burgundy pops from an outfit of neutrals. On the right of the image the outfit and bag (Textured Nylon Lagoon) are all taken from the same pallette with the neutral gloves adding a bit of flair.

Alternatively you could do something like the second image with the same bag. The accessories are from a matching pallette and then set of against the bright yellow of the shirt which makes for a playful, quirky outfit.

The Textured Nylon Cranberry sets off the outfit of pastels as an eye-drawing snap of colour.

With a busy print like our Zebra Print HBB, block colours and neutrals work best. This is then matched with shoes to create a smart and interesting outfit.

The pale blue of the detail of this Mosaic Blue HBB reversible matches neatly with the outfit, whilst the deeper almost oceanic blue adds a depth.

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Perfect your Morning Routine for a Perfectly Productive Day

Perfect your Morning Routine for a Perfectly Productive Day

SETTING YOURSELF A SOLID MORNING ROUTINE WILL HELP YOU HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DAY.

For example, a standard morning without routine normally involves me hitting the snooze button four or five times, rolling out bed at the last minute, showering, dressing and running out the door because I’m inevitably late again.

First of all this is stressful, secondly, I’m normally still half asleep by the time I get to where I’m going and it’s not until the second coffee at around 10 – 11, that I really start to get into the swing of things.

There will always be nights when sleep eludes us and we wake up late and bleary eyed, wishing for a stopwatch that could control time so we could go back to bed. But just imagine how much more productive your day could be if you added a bit of structure to it.

I know there is certainly room for improvement in my own morning routine.

So, we thought we would put together a blog post to help you create the perfect morning routine so you can get the most out of your day.

EXAMPLE MORNING ROUTINE

  • Wake up 6.30
  • Exercise for 10 minutes, yoga, press-ups, a light jog etc.
  • Shower & get dressed.
  • Sit down with a coffee and eat a light breakfast.
  • Define your tasks and goals for the day.
routine (1)

IDEAS FOR YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

We have outlined a few things you might want to consider in your morning routine which should help set you up to have a great day.

WATER

Our bodies need to stay hydrated and you’ve just gone 8 hours (hopefully) without drinking anything at all. So it makes sense to start your day off with some water.

BREAKFAST

Your breakfast should contain healthy proteins and slow energy releasing carbohydrates. This will help you get nutrients into your system and gain some energy. You want to avoid things with lots of sugar in though as that can lead to you having a sugar crash around the middle of the day.
There are obviously alternative approaches though, like intermittent fasting which suggests you skip breakfast completely.

EXERCISE

Exercise helps get the blood flowing, meaning your muscles become more oxygenated and gain more energy. It also makes your brain release endorphins so will hopefully put a big smile on your face. Just a few minutes in the morning should really help you wake up and become alert and ready to tackle the challenges the days going to throw your way.

READING

I normally get a chance to read on my way to work on the tube. I find a good book stimulates my mind and makes me more receptive to fresh ideas and thoughts that come my way. Another thing to consider is flicking through the news and catching up on current events or events related to your industry. Anything that gets your brain processing new information will help.

WRITING

This should help you organise your thoughts. We aren’t talking about drafting up lengthy blog articles, more of a mind splurge so that you can organise your thoughts and begin to identify and prioritise tasks properly.
For me, the first thing I always do in the morning is draft up a list of thoughts and tasks for the day. Even if they are largely the same as yesterday it helps me give my day a structure.

On top of this, occasionally writing down my strange dreams when I wake up can be quite an amusing process.

MEDITATE

Focus in silence. Meditation in the morning is a great way to start your day stress free and prepare to tackle challenges. There are a number of guides you can use to start a simple meditation practice each morning.

SET YOURSELF GOALS

Nothing sets you up for a productive day than setting yourself something to achieve. Whether it’s something small like remembering to post a letter, getting a haircut or something bigger like closing a trade deal. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you get it done and doing it will then fill you with a sense of accomplishment.

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR MORNING?

Share with fellow HBBers in the comments section below how you get ready for a busy day.