WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

How to Stay Sustainable While Traveling ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Around the World, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Traveldanielle coppermanComment
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Right now, and more increasingly, travelling, and particularly flying, is raising a lot of eyebrows amongst the sustainably concerned. It’s been predicted that by 2050, tourism will be responsible for around 30%-40% of the world's carbon emissions, split between, transportation, accommodation other tourism activities.

Whilst travelling and flying is currently in the press, it is also important to remember that the choices we make once we’ve arrived at our chosen destinations are almost just as important and have just as much of an affect on the environment, too. In some cases, they might even have a more immediate and noticeable affect on the environment and local area than the carbon emissions of transportation.

While I travel a lot for work and am required to fly quite often, I emphasise the importance of doing my bit once I arrive at a destination, making sure I pack reusable essentials with me, buy and eat locally and support local businesses as much as possible. I also try to avoid cars and public transport as much as possible, trying to walk or cycle at any opportunity. In this post, I detail how I prepare and pack for a trip, how I travel and get around, where I stay (when this is within my control), and what I do during my stay to ensure I am acting consciously and as sustainably as possible.

What to pack

Your usual essentials should come with you to avoid any overconsumption of things like single-use plastics and other packaging. It’s sometimes a pain carrying a reusable water bottle, especially when space in your suitcase is limited, but it is so worth it. I suggest packing:

A water bottle;
bamboo or other reusable cutlery;
a small tupperware;
a tote bag;
a reusable make up wipe / muslin cloth;
moon cup and other hygiene essentials;

And also refillable cosmetics containers - especially useful for 100ml liquids, to ensure you can take from larger bottles just the amount you need, rather than buying specific ‘travel size’ products which means lots of extra packaging consumption (which is most often, plastic).

Getting there and getting around

Depending where you’re going, your only or best options may be to fly, drive or travel by train, coach or other public transport. Which is more the more sustainable and eco-friendly option is debatable and depends on several factors. If you’re travelling in a group, it makes more sense to drive, especially if the car is full. If you’re travelling on your own, though, it may be greener to fly or take the train or other public transport. Taking the train or bus is often the most sustainable option over flying or driving, but it sort of depends on the size of your group, and your route.

If you are flying, try to take direct flights rather than having stopovers and having to change, requiring more than one plane - as apparently take-offs and landings cause most of a plane’s carbon emissions. Also, search for the shortest plane journey possible.

It is also useful to think about how you fly. Flying in business class or first class means you have more space per passenger, and therefore a larger carbon footprint than if you were to fly economy. 

Once you arrive at your destination, try to avoid internal flights or too much travelling around to multiple places. As much as you can, move around by foot or by bike, as these are the greenest transport options out there. Use public transport, minibuses or car shares, too, instead of taxis (unless you are in a group size that justifies this) if you are keen to travel further.

This leads me on to the idea of ‘slow travelling’. Being a slow traveller means traveling to just one destination and spending more time there instead of moving around multiple places. Obviously if you want to explore further afield, that is totally understandable, but if you don’t need to or don’t have any real reason or desire to, then stay put and settle into one place for a little longer.

Where to stay

Your accommodation is also important to consider, and there are some options that are more environmentally, economically and socially beneficial.

An airbnb, B&B or guesthouse would be my preference always, mainly because I love meeting the owners and really feel like a bit of a local. They’re also more sustainable as they are not purpose-built resorts or tourism complexes, but instead reuses buildings that already exists. This option also helps give back to the local community and local businesses, rather than investing in huge corporations.

If staying in hotels, be sure to do some research ahead of booking and look for hotels that are transparant about their sustainability efforts and that have environmental / eco recognition or certifications. Nowadays, there are plenty of eco-hotels and organisations to choose from. Try to avoid huge hotels or commercial resorts that often damage or affect the local environment, and operate on such a large scale that their emissions and waste are likely to be uncomfortably high.

Whatever you do, try to avoid all-inclusive resorts, which are often owned by large corporations, which may not even be based in the country you are visiting - not to mention the waste generated from those all-you-can-eat buffets! Staying within a resort also means you are less likely to get out and explore, and therefore you won't be supporting other local businesses in the area that would benefit from tourism.

If you want to go really wild, opt for camping or glamping out in nature, which usually ends up being much less damaging to the local environment.

During your stay 

During your stay, try to keep conscious in everything you do - what you eat, buy and do can also have an impact on the environment and local area. Try to eat locally, visiting local restaurants (ideally that you can walk or cycle to) and preferably businesses that use local and seasonal suppliers and ingredients. Shop locally for things like your groceries, essentials and souvenirs. Visit food markets and flea markets, as well as local artisan stalls and boutiques. 

Do your bit to give back, too. Support local businesses, give to those in need (be it donating money or things that particular communities might desperately need). Remember, sustainability is not just about being environmentally-conscious, it’s also about doing your bit economically and socially too. You could also find initiatives and projects where you can volunteer with local communities. For example, during my recent trip to India I volunteered on a rice paddy plantation.

As you travel, always be mindful of your waste and try to refrain from buying things in single-use packaging if you can. Try to only buy what you really need, and what you will genuinely use or consume. If you need more inspiration or assistance, do a little more research and communicate with sustainable/eco-friendly tour operators to help you plan your trip.

Qnola ~ Now Available at a Sainsbury's Store Near You

Breakfast, Qnola, Vegan, Wake Up Welldanielle coppermanComment
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We have been bursting to share the news that our full range of Qnola Quinoa Based Granolas is now available in selected Sainsbury’s stores, nationawide.

To say we’re excited would be an understatement. If you are too, find out which stores, below.

Colchester Ave

East Grinstead

Locksbottom

Warlingham

Streatham Common

West Grn

Larkfield

North Cheam

Canterbury

Purley Way

Dulwich

West Park Farm

Lyons Farm

Hampden Park

Sevenoaks

Wandsworth

Tonbridge

Chiswick

Cromwell Rd

Harlow

Harringay

Warren Heath

Newbury Park

Queens Rd

Haverhill

Winchmore Hill

Low Hall

Coreys Mill

Enfield

Whitechapel

Islington

Leamington

Bramingham Park

Thornhill

Swansea

Rugby

Tewkesbury Rd

Hereford

Melksham

Clapham Common

Winnersh

Brentwood

Hempstead Valley

London Colney

Fairfield Park

Dunstable

Finchley Rd

St Albans

Witney

Taplow

Cwmbran

Bridgend

Burpham

Ferndown

Chippenham

Badger Farm

Bridgwater

Bridgemead

Godalming

Talbot Heath

Emersons Grn

Pinhoe Rd

Christchurch

Hankridge Farm

Monks Cross

Macclesfield

Chester

Altrincham

Beaconsfield

Upton

Ripley

Stratton

Preston

Kempston

Sunderland

Cannock

Castle Court

East Filton

Paignton

Coldhams Lane

Worle

Hull

York

Archer Rd

Chesterfield

Lancaster

Stockport

Salford

Newton Abbot

Denton

Grimsby

Bamber Bridge

Telford

Hoddesdon

Maidstone

Sury Basin

Ashton Moss

Osmaston Park

Didcot

Scunthorpe

Team Valley

Matlock

Oakley

Isle Of Wight

Hythe

Nantwich

Bishop Auckland

Gloucester Quays

Colne

Southmpton Portswood

Heaton Newcastle

Mansfield

Melton Mowbray

Penzance

Bognor Regis

Kings Lynn Hardwick

Leigh

Weymouth

Hinckley

Sheffield Wadsley Bg

Redhill

Kendal

High Wycombe

Walton On Thames

Nine Elms

Bretton

Bolton

Burnley

Strand Rd

Newry

Craigavon

Carrickfergus

Bangor

Drumchapel

Garthdee

Dundee

Straiton

East Kilbride

Kinross

Livingston

Letchworth

Burton On Trent

Glen Rd

Calcot

Barnwood

Kidlington

Banbury

Truro

Bagshot Rd

Staines

Broadcut

Romford

Mere Grn

Ellesmere Port

Stafford

Halifax

Warrington

Wrexham

Wednesfield

Spalding

Crystal Peaks

Arnold

Newcastle U Lyme

Milton Keynes

Carlisle

W'ton St Marks

Fulham Wharf

Ballymena

Sprucefield

West Belfast

Hamilton

Tunbridge Wells

Sedlescombe Rd

West Hove

Springfield

Pound Lane

Richmond

Beckton

Redditch

Kidderminster

Kempshott

Torquay

Barnstaple

Watchmoor Park

Cobham

Harrogate

Shrewsbury

Lincoln

Shorehead

Castle Boulevard

Whitley Bay

Moortown

Alphington Rd

Rice Lane

Hazel Grove

Darlington

Castlepoint

Stanway

Slough Uxbridge Rd

Longbridge

Rustington

Blackpool

Cameron Toll

Blackhall

Edinburgh Longstone

Pepper Hill

Crayford

Bybrook

Haywards Heath

Hadleigh Rd

East Mayne

Washington

Merton

Heyford Hill

Hayes

Apsley Mills

Weedon Rd

Hedge End

St Clares

Water Lane

Kiln Lane

Brookwood

Newbury

Marsh Mills

Sydenham

Longwater

Marshall Lake

Fosse Park

Canley

Durham

Newport

Wakefield Marsh Way

Ely

Heaton Park

Wakefield Ingsrd

Sunderland North

Leicester North

Thanet Wt Wood Cross

Darnley

Braehead

Irvine

6 Online Workout Programs That Actually Feel Like a Workout (Plus, My Favourite Free Online Workouts)

Lifestyle, Movement, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Online workouts have a bit of a bad rep, with many people finding them either hard to follow or hard to commit to without the motivation of a real trainer or a group class environment, or both.

I’ve been dipping in and out of online workouts for years as, sometimes, when I’m traveling a lot or living in temporary accommodation, it is sometimes the easiest and most accessible option for me. However, I always found it inevitably hard to motivate myself, and at times got easily distracted. Not to mention, there was sometimes a lack of genuinely good programs or videos available, and the ones I often most enjoyed involved subscription fees that I didn’t want to commit to long-term.

For the past few months, I’ve been splitting my time between living with my parents back in Bath for some peace and quiet, and with friends in London since I’m traveling and working abroad a lot. In Bath, there are only a few gyms local to me, but they are all a good 10-20 minutes drive away and, for me, that just requires too much time and effort out of my day. For this reason, online workout classes and free youtube videos have been my saviours. I have been researching and rediscovering some of the best online programs and, to my satisfaction, there is so much out there these days. The following list is a combination of the online programs, virtual training programs and free videos that I have been trying out and that have been totally life-changing for me. I’ve found it really easy to incorporate these things into my busy schedule, and have seen some of the best physical results of my life.

I’m due to be traveling for most of the summer, and spending some time abroad and on-the-go for work and other projects, so these programs and video classes will be my go-to, on-demand workouts until I am back and settled in London with access to my usual gyms and classes. I’m super excited to share these with you, just in time for summer, if you cant get to a gym or are bored of your classes or current regime, and want to save some money.

P.volve

P.volve is a smart, science-backed fitness program that helps you achieve your best body without strenuous strength training or intense cardio.

Their approach to fitness is to elongate your shape and builds strength without bulk, to help you carve out the most perfect body that’s right for you. While other programs rely on reps, the P.volve method is based on mastering precise movements that activate hard-to-reach muscles. Because when every movement is meaningful, you can create visible results in less time, using less energy.

The workouts are unlike anything you’ve done before, because the movements are not like anything you’ve tried before. They’re based on the kinds of movements you use in your everyday life (as in, not bicep curls) then carefully developed over time, incorporating neuromuscular science and functional science expertise. In other words, P.volve works with your body, not against it.

P.volve offer a 7-day free trial online and then the program is just $29.99 per month (and available worldwide). They also recently launched in the UK and host regular pop-up classes, so keep up-to-date with their next events online or on social media.

* Use code “COPPERMAN30” to get 30 days free streaming, too.

Fiit App

I have been using the Fiit App for a few months now, and love their on-demand, trainer-let workouts. The app contains all kinds of workouts, from pilates and yoga to hiit and cardio circuits, each one lead by one or several trainers specialised in each particular style and method. The videos are all consistent, too, filmed in the Fiit studios in the same format so that you are able to get used to using the app and following along effortlessly.

Some workouts are longer than others but most are around 20-30 minutes, meaning you can squeeze them into your day pretty easily.

Fiit also have a wearable activity tracking device, too, which you strap around your waist and connect to the app on your phone via bluetooth to track you effort, number of reps and progress from one class to the next.

In June, they also launched Fiit Club - a workout event on the app where you can train with others, and compete against your friends. Fiit Clube is a new kind of HIIT class where you compete on a live leaderboard, based on the premise that working out with others makes you work out harder. You have to upgrade to the premium membership (which includes a free Fiit device!) in order to enjoy this aspect of the app.

Otherwise, the app contains a few free classes, so take a look and perhaps try a few out before deciding whether to sign up to the monthly subscription.

* Get £20 off your membership here.

Megan Roup’s The Sculpt Society

I adore Megan Roup’s method, a mix between dance, cardio, barre, ballet and pilates. Megan's signature class brings an athletic approach to follow along dance cardio and light weight sculpting. This full body, non-stop workout will challenge you with everything you need in 50min to create a lean, sculpted, strong body. Sadly, Megan is US based, and evening her online program is currently only available to stream in the US. However, I have found a few free digital workouts on her website as well as on Popsugar, Youtube and Amazon.

Movement for Modern Life

Movement for Modern Life is a great website for all things yoga and, as they dub it, “yoga made easy”. Their online platform offers a vast selection of varied approaches to yoga, from gentle beginner classes to more intermediate / experimental classes - all guided by actual teachers. I find the videos super easy to follow, and at times just want I need to get motivated to start moving. You can also take part in challenges online, which help to further your practice and keep things interesting. Learn more about their unlimited-access membership, here.

Kayla Itsines

I used to follow Kayla Itsines workout regime a few years ago, before she had an app. I’d have print-outs of her PDF’s and would take them to the gym or the park to workout. I loved the ease of doing just a 20-30 minute workout but that genuinely felt challenging and demanding. Since then, I’ve used the app and other digital videos, and can’t recommend it enough. I saw results instantly and found it easy to do anywhere, with little to no equipment. At the moment, I prefer slightly gentler workouts, less weights and less intense Hiit sequences, however, from time to time, I dip in and out of Kayla’s programs still, especially before a big shoot (or holiday).

Model Fit Streaming

When I lived in New York for a few months, I visited the Model Fit studio a few times as had heard great things about their workouts. It was super challenging but in a controlled way, and wasn’t too intense or stressful, but more focussed and refined. I recently learned that they now have a streaming program, which offers easy-to-follow digital classes you can do anytime, anywhere, and for a length of time that works for you. “We pioneered and customised an approach to mindful and dynamic movement that builds graceful strength and confident presence. Our studios work with members to move with purpose and on purpose by marrying mindful nutrition with mindful exercise”.

The workout involves relatively light weights, and is considered low impact, focusing more on stabilising muscles and engaging them until they shake, working deeply into muscles that usually get overlooked, for the best definition you’ve ever experienced.

Enjoy a free 14 trial and learn more, here.

My Favourite Youtube Trainers and Free Youtube Videos

Madfit
Joe Wicks
30 Minute Barre Class
Pop Sugar
Pvolve
Megan Roup
Barre (ab focus)
Pilates
Tara Stiles
Cardio & Hiit


Links

Five Wellness Techniques to Keep You Zen Whilst Travelling ~ For Evening Standard

Anytime, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Movement, Natural Living, Rituals, Travel, Wellbeing, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

Regular travel can start to take a toll on both your physical and mental health.

To help reduce the side effects of long journeys and constant travelling, I’ve shared my favourite rituals that can be done anytime and anywhere to decrease stress, improve sleep, increase energy and keep you balanced while on the move.

While you can’t be expected to do yoga in the airport or start chanting on a plane, you can always find a corner to close your eyes and turn inward for a moment, requiring nothing but the power of your mind and breath.

It really is as easy as that.

Sensory meditation - to ground and arrive

A simple meditative technique to reduce stress, align concentration and balance emotions is to use your senses to redirect your attention.

This is a versatile practice, and will be different almost every time you practise it, because it is likely that scents, sights and noises will change from one day to the next. Use this technique when you find it particularly hard to focus, or feel overwhelmed with challenging thoughts, either first thing in the morning or just before starting work, to shift and reset your focus.

Sensory awareness meditation may be more powerful in an unfamiliar setting, so if you can, try to change your place of practice from time to time. It is best to practise with your eyes closed, as your senses may be influenced by things you see or you may find it hard to focus on senses other than sight if there are many visual distractions.

Method

1. Find a comfortable seated position and rest your hands on your knees, in your lap or by your side.

2. With eyes closed, bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath. Notice how each inhalation and exhalation feels and notice where in the body you can feel the breath most. Breathe naturally with your attention on your breath until you come to a steady and comfortable breath.

3. Begin to bring your awareness to each of your five senses. Focus on one sense at a time, noticing how it feels and how it is stimulated in the present moment. Start with whichever sense naturally grabs your attention.

Hearing will likely catch your attention first. Notice the sounds within or around you, without judgement or hostility. They may be the sounds of your own breathing or internal movements. They may be sounds made by others close by or far way, by people you know or don’t know. They may be familiar or unfamiliar sounds. They may be clear or indistinguishable. Sit for a few minutes, acknowledging and accepting the sounds around you, and if any thoughts arise, simply use the sounds around you to refocus the breath.

If you find your attention drifting persistently, turn your focus to another sensation. Notice any smells around you, near or far, faint or pungent. Maybe you’ve lit a candle or applied some fragrance to yourself or the space around you. Maybe you smell food or plants, fresh washing or smoke. If a smell brings negative thoughts, turn your attention to more positive smells around you.

Perhaps the taste in your mouth becomes noticeable, next. Maybe there is a sight aftertaste from your last meal, or from smoking or brushing your teeth. If you don’t smoke and/or haven’t yet eaten, notice the inside of your mouth and how your tongue feels. Is it heavy or light? Is it soft or rough? How does it feel to move it slowly around the mouth? This may bring your attention to touch. How do things feel? How do your hands feel where they are resting, and what are they resting on? If rested on your body, do they feel warm or can you feel the warmth of your body beneath them? If on the floor or furniture, how does it feel? Is it cold? Is it soft or rigid? Are you comfortable? Notice the connection between your sitting bones and where you are sat. Do you feel rooted and supported by the earth beneath? Is the rest of your body comfortable in this pose? How do your clothes feel against your skin? If you want, you can even feel around you, resting your hands on any objects they fall upon and considering what they might be.

Maybe this will bring your attention to your sight. Blink your eyes open gently, take in your surroundings, noticing objects, shapes, colours, materials and light. Gradually trace the room, resting on things that catch your attention, and then pause, noticing how you feel after the exercise. Close your eyes again and close the practice with a few deep breaths.

Body scan - to calm and relax

Body scanning is an easy mindfulness exercise to relax the body, calm the mind and shift attention away from overpowering thoughts. It involves relaxing each part of the body by focusing on it for a few moments. Practising this meditation in the evening is ideal as it is best performed lying down, encouraging the body and mind to transition from “doing” to “being”.

Method

1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with your legs slightly apart and your arms by your sides. If you are not in bed, place a blanket over your body if you tend to get cold easily.

2. Focus on the breath and notice any thoughts or feelings that arise. When they do, try to turn your attention back to your breath and how it feels moving through the body.

3. Start by focusing your attention on the toes on your right foot. Be aware of how they feel and gradually move your attention up the right side of your body right up to your head, before continuing down the other side.

4. Settle here and notice how your body feels, both part by part and as a whole, and notice how your mind now feels.

Breath of Fire breathing exercise - to energise

This exercise is used for internal purification. It tones and cleanses the respiratory system by encouraging the release of toxins, and is intended to make you feel lighter in your body and mind. It involves short, sharp exhalations and passive inhalations, or vice versa. This is quite an advanced practice so familiarise yourself with other techniques before this one.

Method

1. Inhale deeply and then forcefully exhale to drive all the air out of the lungs and stomach.

2. Take another full inhale, and then begin to exhale forcefully through the nose. Try to start with 6–10 short, sharp exhalations, without taking an inhale (slight inhalation will occur passively). With each short exhale, draw the belly inwards, engaging and tucking the abdomen in and up towards your ribs.

3. After you’ve completed a full cycle, inhale and exhale fully for a few breaths, before repeating a few more rounds. I like to do around 3–5 rounds.

4. To close the practice, settle in your seated position and return to a natural, effortless breath.

Self massage for neck and shoulders - to improve circulation and reduce tension

This simple massage sequence is so simple yet so powerful. I do this anytime I travel, to reduce tension in my neck and shoulders, especially after long flights.

Method

1. Stand tall and relax your shoulders down your back, elongating the neck.

2. Support your forehead by resting it in the palm of your left hand and then let the head tip slightly forwards. Using the edge of your right hand (along your little finger to where your hand joins the wrist), use a gentle chopping motion to lightly tap up the base of the skull. Stay in this vicinity, working around the base of the skull and top of the neck. If tapping is too much, use sawing motions to release tension at the base of the skull and in the neck. Do this for about 1–2 minutes.

3. Return to standing and slightly tip your head back. Take your hands to your head with thumbs just under the ears, palms on the side of your cheeks and fingers along the sides of your face, fingertips on the temples (as if you were going to lean on a table with your head supported in your hands).

4. Then, use the pads of your thumbs to work around the base of the skull, pressing and massaging the area with however much pressure feels right (you will just know). Move your hands passively, however feels comfortable, and work inwardly with the thumbs from behind the ears towards the spine. Work for about 2 minutes, and feel free to use the thumbs at other points in the skull that feel tight, such as above the ears or the temples.

Journaling - to unwind and focus

Journaling is something I love to do anytime, but whilst travelling, especially travelling alone, I love to make time for it to jot down thoughts that come up. Usually, when I'm abroad or travelling alone, I am in a really calm state and love exploring new places which helps to switch off my mind. I find some of my more inspiring thoughts and ideas come to me in this state, and so spending a little time journaling is really useful. It can also be used if you are feeling stuck, lost or a little lonely, to let go of thoughts and any negativity and try to understand it more.

Another option is to practice stream of consciousness in your journal, as another meditation option, which involves simply writing as soon as you wake up, with no agenda or really topic in mind. this helps to clear the mind and enhances energy and concentration for the rest of the day.

Simple Sensory Meditation ~ From Well Being Book

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Mindfulness & Meditation, Well Being Book, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

A simple meditative technique to reduce stress, align concentration and balance emotions is to use your senses to redirect your attention. This is a versatile practice, and will be different almost every time you practise it, because it is likely that scents, sights and noises will change from one day to the next. Use this technique on mornings when you find it particularly hard to focus, or feel overwhelmed with challenging thoughts, either first thing in the morning or just before starting work, to shift and reset your focus.

* Sensory awareness meditation may be more powerful in an unfamiliar setting, so if you can,
try to change your place of practice from time to time. (It is best to practise with your eyes closed, as your senses may be influenced by things you see or you may find it hard to focus on senses other than sight if there are many visual distractions).


Find a comfortable seated position and rest your hands on your knees, in your lap or by your side.

With eyes closed, bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath. Notice how each inhalation and exhalation feels and notice where in the body you can feel the breath most. Breathe naturally with your attention on your breath until you come to a steady and comfortable breath.

Begin to bring your awareness to each of your five senses. Focus on one sense at a time, noticing how it feels and how it is stimulated in the present moment. Start with whichever sense naturally grabs your attention.

Hearing will likely catch your attention first. Notice the sounds within or around you, without judgement or hostility. They may be the sounds of your own breathing or internal movements. They may be sounds made by others close by or far way, by people you know or don’t know. They may be familiar or unfamiliar sounds. They may be clear or indistinguishable. Sit for a few minutes, acknowledging and accepting the sounds around you, and if any thoughts arise, simply use the sounds around you to refocus the breath.

If you find your attention drifting persistently, turn your focus to another sensation. Notice any smells around you, near or far, faint or pungent. Maybe you’ve lit a candle or applied some fragrance to yourself or the space around you. Maybe you smell food or plants, fresh washing or smoke. If a smell brings negative thoughts, turn your attention to more positive smells around you.

Perhaps the taste in your mouth becomes noticeable. Maybe there is a sight aftertaste from your last meal, or from smoking or brushing your teeth. If you don’t smoke and/or haven’t yet eaten, notice the inside of your mouth and how your tongue feels. Is it heavy or light? Is it soft or rough? How does it feel to move it slowly around the mouth?

This may bring your attention to touch. How do things feel? How do your hands feel where they are resting, and what are they resting on? If rested on your body, do they feel warm or can you feel the warmth of your body beneath them? If on the floor or furniture, how does it feel? Is it cold? Is it soft or rigid? Are you comfortable? Notice the connection between your sitting bones and where you are sat. Do you feel rooted and supported by the earth beneath? Is the rest of your body comfortable in this pose? How do your clothes feel against your skin? If you want, you can even feel around you, resting your hands on any objects they fall upon and considering what they might be.

Maybe this will bring your attention to your sight. Blink your eyes open gently, take in your surroundings, noticing objects, shapes, colours, materials and light. Gradually trace the room, resting on things that catch your attention, and then pause, noticing how you feel after the exercise.

Close your eyes again and close the practice with a few deep breaths.

Just The Essentials

Essentials, Lifestyle, Monthly Essentials, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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This was an impulse blog post and I have to be quick bc I’m about to go for dinner, but I’ve recently met and / or come across some amazing sustainable basic’s brands and wanted to compile them all in a little directory in one place, mainly for you but also kind of for me. Look no further for your summer essentials, beachy basics and general everyday necessities (from socks, panties and hosiery to tees and tanks) that are both good for you and good for the planet.

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Sezane

I adore Sezane for well-made wardrobe staples, but also for adding some unique pieces to my existing wardrobe. They have really unique prints and cuts, and everything is of such high quality. I’m currently loving this tee, these trousers, this dress, these shorts which I’ve been wearing all summer, this tee and this strap top. I’ve also been using this coin purse for foreign currency whilst abroad, to keep any extra change separate from my home currency.

Organic Basics

I’ve recently been stripping back my lingerie and hosiery selection, and whenever I buy new pieces, I love to buy from Organic Basics or other ethical, sustainable brands using more wholesome materials and practices. I love Organic Basics’s eco-certified products which are made using materials including cotton, Tencel, Silvertech (recycled nylon and elastin) and recycled materials, and are made only in certified factories that also care about their impact on the planet. My favourite pieces are these, these, these, this, this, this, this, these, this, these, this and this. Also check out guys, here.

* Use this code to receive a 10% discount on all orders: DCOPPOBC1

Swedish Stockings

I’ve always loved little ankle socks to dress up or down and add character to a plain outfit. Swedish Stockings are doing amazing things and are real change makers in the fashion industry, focussing on hosiery and other essentials and creating them with recycled materials. “Both nylon and elastane are oil products and release a lot of harmful gases during production. Being one of the biggest fashion consumables (and being often worn only once and disposed off as soon as they snag or ladder), the hosiery production process needs to be better and smarter. With our Innovations product line, we show that you need no virgin resources whatsoever. We use recycled elastane from pre-consumer waste; meaning waste from virgin elastane production”.

I love these, these, these, these and these. These are also Q fun.

Theo + George

I recently discovered Theo + George

“We believe in the ease of buying less and choosing well. We started Theo + George to help people get more from life with less, by providing timeless solutions that can be either dressed up or dressed down and that makes Everyday Effortless. We believe in transparency and sustainable manufacturing practices. Our team has travelled the world to find the best manufacturing partners. We’ve chosen our partners with exceptional care. Each one maintains the highest ethical and sustainable production standards”.

I am currently living in this, this and this, and waiting for Autumn to need this.

Ozma

I adore this independent, female owned brand for their effortless, Cali-style essentials. They focus on sustainably sourced, natural textiles that celebrate the beauty of irregularities in colour and fibre. An integral part of our process and appeal, they believe that variation is beauty. Inspired by vintage originals they love, their effortless silhouettes take form through these high quality natural textiles, to shape a refined collection made for anywhere. OZMA is ethically produced in California.

I’m wearing this 100% silk noil tank with wide leg white jeans (like these) and high wasted denim shorts as an easy, effortless, go-to daytime outfit, both in the city and on holiday. Also eyeing up this.

Sollilas Sandals

Living in these right now, made in a family-run factory in Menorca that employs traditional craftsman and creatives to make each pair. Not much about the materials are sustainable but I like buying from small brands like this, who also do plenty of good work behind the scenes.

People Tree

A pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion, People Tree create products made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Collections feature materials such as organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell and responsible wool, and are made using traditional artisan skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting, hand embroidery and hand block printing. “We are committed to changing the way clothes are made, from farm to factory. This starts with the materials we choose, from the soil the cotton is grown in to the processes of washing the garments, we adhere to certifications such as GOTS to protect the farmers, their environment and their communities. Our collections bring a sense of luxury to sustainable fashion through the innovation of new fabrics such as; organic cotton brushed velvet, TENCEL™Lyocell silky party wear and structured organic cotton denim”.

Find our more here, and take a look at my new favourite top, jeans, dress, leotard and earrings and more earrings.

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By Far Shoes

I adore By Far, and having worked in concept pop-up stores with them, I loved getting to know the brand from early on. Their premium products are made with love and an appreciation for the finest materials, outstanding quality and comfort. Everything is made in Bulgaria in small batches.

I adore these, these, these, this and this. And pretty much all the rest of it.

Danielle Foster Bags

Beautiful crossbody bags and handbags, designed and made in London, supporting local businesses and suppliers. I have just added this to my trusty bag collection.

Veja

I love Veja and everything they stand for, but haven’t gotten around to purchasing a pair yet since I’m currently living in sandals. They make environmentally friendly sneakers, using raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture and without chemicals or polluting processes. When Autumn arrives, I’m going to invest in these or these.

If you like these brands and products, check out Paloma Wool, Reformation, Faithfull the Brand, Nanushka and American Vintage (those should keep you busy for now, if not find more on my instagram).


* My edit of sustainable swimwear brands and products is coming separately, very, very soon. Also, an entire post on eco-underwear. Watch this space, and please leave comments below if you have any requests for other future edits or posts.

Well Being With Friends ~ Amy Ward of Bug Clothing

Business Stories, Inspiration, Interview, Lifestyle, Essentials, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeing, Well Being with Friendsdanielle coppermanComment
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Amy Ward is the mastermind behind sustainable clothing brand, Bug Clothing. She seeks the objective to create garments by hand that reflect the ideology that we should all buy less and admire quality and consideration over quantity. She uses only natural fibres as the foundation of each garment, and each piece will be uniquely different as they are made by hand on a very small scale. The materials used are designer factory deadstock which would otherwise go to waste, meaning they aren't contributing to the reproduction of new materials.

Here, I catch up with Amy on some of her favourite and recently discovered lifestyle tips for living well and behaving ethically and responsibly in a consumerist society.

Favourite or recently discovered Book:

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, and How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti.

Favourite wellness tip or tips:

I feel like I spend every moment of my day rushing from something, to something, to finish something. So I have decided to make sure I take time to feel and rub each part of my body when I bath. Squeezing and massaging your calves just feels great. We spend so much time stood, walking and using our bodies and I've only just started paying attention to my body and feeling grateful for everything it allows me to do. 

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:

I'm really bad and listen to the same thing, I just adore The Moth. I love listening to it when i'm on a bus or walking. I really love to listen to stories of people from all different walks of life with a whole different set of experiences and perspectives, it really opens your eyes. I also listen when i'm doing long days/nights in the studio and have spent many'a'hours crying and laughing out loud. I also have really enjoyed 'Violet Sessions' - listening to inspiring people speak about their experiences and businesses is really interesting.

Favourite or recently discovered App:

MyFlo! My lovely friend introduced me to it. It's amazing for Women to keep track of their cycles and to get tips on which foods to eat and what exercises to do to relieve annoying symptoms of our periods. I was going through a phase where I was feeling really rubbish when I was due and said to my friend that I just always wanted to cancel my plans and hide inside, and she just said 'why the hell aren't you just doing that?'. Knowing your schedule and knowing when you might not be feeling great, and not overwhelming yourself with plans and events and taking time to just lay in the bath or just making yourself a lovely dinner that will make you feel good, is very very important.

Favourite or recently discovered Song:

Music, aside from food and cats, is one of my favourite things and is soooo important. My favourite song today is Angel by Fra Lippo Lippi

Sustainable / handmade fashion - tell us more about your contribution and passion for this mission, and give us a few simple tips for effortless changes in this area that anyone can make today:

I read an article a long time ago about how the rate of depression and anxiety is much higher in ours and the previous generation, and how this could be heavily linked to the fact that people spend a lot of their lives at desks on computers, as opposed to doing something physical with an actual physical outcome. The satisfaction I feel when I finish a garment, or a pattern, is just great, and seeing your accomplishments in a physical form is really rewarding. In our Grandparents generation there were far more makers, people mended things, made their own things, they were much more pro-active and nowadays so much of our lives is computer based and I think that can lead to you feeling far less satisfied with your days outcome. 
In the past makers, whether it be seamstresses/builders/carpenters/shoe makers etc weren't especially wealthy or valued, but in recent years people with skills and the ability to make are becoming much more valued. The skill and intelligence it takes to put something together is a wonderful thing and should be rewarded with equal pay. 

I think some people assume it's easy to make something. It's easy to take a garment from a store that you like, take this to a factory and to get it copied and produced, which is what a lot of brands do. And you could say you are getting things made locally, but do they know the conditions in which the people are working, what their rate of pay is, the hours they are working? I make everything within my studio, and currently am able to do this because my demand isn't ridiculously high and because me and my employees have the ability to physically make everything. I think people should delve a little deeper with what they are supporting and buying into. It's very easy with things like Instagram to be enticed by an aesthetic or the look of a lifestyle. But far past 'not currently recyclable', what does it mean to be ethical, anyone can say it, and a lot of people do without really assessing what that means.

Favourite or recently discovered Film / series / documentary:

Greys Anatomy. I don't know why. It just feels good and I love it. There's something nostalgic about it, the soundtrack reminds me of being a teenager and it has the same warming feeling that I get from watching Frasier.

Something you've done recently that felt really, really good:

Me + my partner got a dog! He's called Seabass, and he's very good for my soul. We leave our phones at home and take him for an early morning walk before work. It really helps to set your day up and an excuse to spend time outside whatever the weather is. Also seeing such a lovely innocent little creature running around and having fun is just the best.

Wellness tip to try today:

Look up at the sky! It's lovely and wonderful + we forget to look up at it.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:

Penny Sage. Kate, the designer, designs everything and gets everything made by one lady who lives locally to her in New Zealand.

Favourite pieces from that brand:

They make a good range of styles and the pieces i've gotten are really well made staples that go with a lot of things. Like a pair of really durable jeans and an a-line denim skirt which I adore. Also, the trousers. Mostly they're the same cut which is super flattering and lovely. They have a button-up fly and are high waisted and just hold everything in place perfectly.

Favourite or recently visited country / city:

I recently went to Pollina in Sicily which was very beautiful, and the local wines were incredible 

A story from your favourite or recent travels:

I really love a lot of places, but my fondest memory that comes to mind was cycling around Southern Turkey collecting fallen Pomegranates. It was the end of their season (October) and they were just rotting on the ground. We rented a scooter and visited the fruit and vegetable market and bought so many wonderful things to eat, and also a bunch of walnuts which I also added to the dye mix. We also visited the local fabric shop and got some lovely Turkish cotton to use, I did some tests and different consistencies which was fun. The initial colour is a lovely pink, as you would imagine, but after rinsing the actual outcome was a really beautiful bright cardamom-y yellow. It was a really therapeutic thing to do. Especially as when you're in London it's quite difficult to find time to do fun, experimental things, there are always a lot of other responsibilities.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product or tool:

Natural soap + shampoo bars by Funkysoap. They are based in Leyton so very close to me, and don't use plastic containers just lovely natural bars wrapped in paper. I felt really bad looking at my plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and how we don't refill them we just throw them, so decided to use bars instead. And I love them. 

Favourite piece of advice, quote or mantra:

Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object - Hermann Hesse.

Something you live by - a mantra or general morals:

Everything will be better in the morning. Because sleeping on things always seems to be great for perspective.

Favourite remedy for illness:

Rest! Lots of sleep, baths with salts + oils. I have also recently taken to making some of my own natural remedies instead of using regular medical ointments. I sometimes suffer with impetigo when I am run down, and instead of using my usual cream, I instead made a paste of Tumeric mixed with coconut oil, and a lot of hot compresses, it seemed to aleviate the rash very quickly. My next task is that I am going to make a potion with sage to help with ulcers.

Best remedy for sounder sleep:

Hmmm, it's a tricky one because I could quite literally fall asleep in the middle of a motorway. I think fresh air and walking is a really great way to make sure you sleep well.

Favourite form of exercise:

I really love to stretch. Yoga is my favourite and only form of exercise. And when i'm home at waiting for the kettle to boil I like to stretch my body.

Favourite or recently discovered place / person for ultimate chill time:

I went to a Womens' Hamam in Kreuzberg, Berlin in December. The weather was rubbish out and the spa was so lovely and the people so friendly. There was a steam room and the tiled room with the metal pans for pouring warm water over yourself, which when you sit and do it for 20 minutes is super relaxing. After I sat upstairs in a towel reading my book and drinking Turkish tea and it was magical.

Favourite healthy food / drink:

Drinking vinegars! My partner just made a reaaaally great Rhubarb Vinegar that we drink with sparkling water and feel like we're being fabulous.

How do you achieve that work / life balance?

Oh boyyyy. Something I am very much still learning. I think it's just important to not overwhelm yourself (I do this often) and to remind yourself how important it is to do nice things, to appreciate the little things, and to eat a bunch of yummy things everyday. 

How do you remain mindful and conscious whilst successfully growing a business with purpose / promoting a more meaningful lifestyle and consciousness:

I think it depends on how your business came about. I struggle to separate myself from my business because ultimately I am my whole brand. I have to somehow be a business Woman when really I am a maker, so I never started a business with the intention of making money. I just wanted to make nice things and if I could create jobs for lovely and talented people and make clothes that supported other local businesses with buying fabrics and trimmings, then just great. I want to make sure the people I work with are happy, that they're enjoying what we're doing and also at the end of the day it's just clothes. I've never been driven by money and so this makes it really simple for me to produce new styles + clothing. I go by what I think looks great and hope that other people like it too. I think it's good to be transparent and I am working on a series of transparency posts, I want people to know what goes into a product. It's easy to idolise the things you see on Instagram and people are good at creating a mood, this is all well and good but I think it's very important to be real and to be humble. I have previously worked with large high street brands who have the ability to sell dresses for something ridiculous like £8. How is it possible? It's possible because everything is wrong. How is it that something that is better travelled than me and a lot of us, that is made up of material, that's been designed, that's been pattern cut, sewn, packaged and put into a commercial building, being sold for so little? This sets the precedent for how people value what they buy. Why would they buy an item of clothing for £180 if they think the worth of a garment is less than £8? Having a value is very important, things take time to grow, things need to be nurtured and cherished and in our consumerist culture we are all taught that things are very throw-away. I feel very passionately about it. And I myself have been blind in the past, we are raised the way we are and I completely understand that we are not all privileged enough to have the option to consider what goes into everything that we eat and wear, but luckily I do feel like people are becoming more aware. Hopefully big supermarkets will stop using 'not currently recyclable' plastics (idiots), and people will care more about who made their clothes, and the environments in which they are made. And hopefully people will have far fewer belongings, but they'll have really special things. Sorry about my rampage.

Favourite thing to instantly reduce stress:

Go for a walk and listen to a podcast, most likely The Moth, to get a little perspective and be reminded of the kindness of others. Also, I love to read poetry in the bath, things by Rupi Kaur, Key Ballah and Nayyirah Waheed.

First thing you do every morning:

Ask my boyfriend to make me tea

Last thing you do every evening:

I'm not religious but I have a little ritual of asking (in my mind) god/someone/the sky/whoever, to keep all the good people safe and happy and healthy.

Weekend rituals:

I like to have Sundays off, and I like to have a bath in the morning, read some of my book, drink lots of coffee, lay still for as long as I can.

Wake Up Well Workshop with Earl of East London at Bonds ~ August 4th & August 11th

Events, Wellbeing, Wake Up Well, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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I’m super excited to be hosting one of my first events of the year, a Wake Up Well Workshop with one of my favourite stores, Bonds x Earl of East London.

Join us in their Kings Cross store this August for a Wake Up Well Workshop with a difference. We will spend the morning talking all things wellbeing rituals and discussing how to create sustainable and empowering morning routines, whilst enjoying energising hot drinks and a delicious Qnola brunch spread. We'll then make our own Wake Up Well candles guided by the Earl of East London team, using calming but energising components to create a powerful candle to take away and incorporate into your daily rituals. The event will end with a guided meditation intended to reduce stress, encourage focus and concentration and energise the mind. The meditation will be something you can practice independently at home, so you will leave equipped with tools to apply to your own daily rituals and to design a productive morning routine that you can practice anytime you want.

Wellness at Six Senses Kaplankaya ~ For Evening Standard

Commisions, Around the World, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Review, Rituals, Summer, Sustainability, Travel, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Just visiting Six Senses Kaplankaya offers an abundance of wellbeing, regardless of whether you then participate in any of their additional programs, packages or treatments. By that, I mean that the fresh air, the ocean, the warm weather and sunshine, the food made almost entirely from produce grown in the resorts own gardens and the untouched nature for miles is enough to calm to the mind, nourish the body, nurture skin, hair and nails and get squeaky-clean vitamin and mineral rich oxygen flowing throughout the body. However, if you want or need more, you will find exactly the thing (or things) at Six Senses Wellness Center; all with the guidance and support of in-house and visiting practitioners from around the world.

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The wellness center at Six Senses Kaplankaya (which, by the way, is one of the biggest in Europe) is built around a variety of theories and practices, from clinical and scientific methods, to more Eastern and spiritual approaches. At the foundation of what they do is the understanding that each one of us is different, and that each individual should be observed holistically and treated in an entirely personalized way. For this reason, the resort offers things like wellness screenings and bodpods which take a detailed snapshot of your current health and composition and which they suggest you do on day one of your visit, so that you can spend the following days enjoying the most relevant areas of the resorts programs and treatments.

Following that, you can either choose to embark on whichever one of their pre-designed packages or programs fits your needs, or to design your own completely unique schedule. The programs (such as mental detox, sleep and eat with six senses) offer a selection of different results; some being more psychological, and others being perhaps solely food-oriented. Depending on what you need, and also how you want to spend your time at Six Senses (since you may prefer to holiday rather than to detox, or to combine both in a more relaxed and flexible way), you can choose what is right for you with the support of some of the world’s most renowned practitioners to guide you.

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For those looking to detox

For those looking for an intensive program and a wholly detoxifying experience, the option is there to work on all areas of your health. You can enjoy tailored menus (which offer options designed with specific results in mind, such as better sleep, better digestion, general healthiness or detoxing and weight loss) and daily exercise classes or one-to-one sessions. For deeper work, the spa treatments and entire spa area (complete with hydrotheraphy, salt rooms, hammam and much more) are there to enjoy at your leisure. Practitioners are also on hand, offering things like deep tissue massage and body scrubs for physical detoxing, as well as more spiritual treatments which help to unblock negative or stagnant energy and to encourage positivity and a sense of clarity and happiness.

For those looking for some gentle cleansing

For those who want to enjoy the indulgences of the hotel whilst also doing a bit of work on themselves, you can take and leave whatever you wish, to ensure you create an enjoyable and relaxed experience that doesn’t feel to restrictive. You might not choose to follow a set diet and you might not wish to workout at all, but you can book in as and when you like for things like one-off classes (perhaps the gentler options like yoga and Pilates) and massages and other treatments. You can also opt for activities that feel more like a good time than exercise, such as swimming (in one of their pools or the crystal-clear ocean), water sports (like their catamaran-bicycles), local walks and hikes, cycling and classes like zumba. You’ll also find healthy options in all of the hotels restaurants, so if you want a salad or a green juice whilst also enjoying some wine and dessert, you can have it all!

For those looking for enlightenment

For the more spiritual or curious, and for those looking for a deep journey into the self, to take things one step further than a short-term diet or fitness program, and to equip you with rituals and skills to take away and apply to life back home, the resort offers all kinds of treatments and therapies to encourage relaxation, clarity, positivity and more. From energy healing such as sound baths, reiki, watzu (basically water shiatsu which I cannot recommend enough) and shiatsu, to meditation, chakra aligning and ayurvedic massage. They also run workshops and as part of certain programs supply gratitude notebooks, to encourage journaling and writing down whatever comes up during treatments or just generally during your stay. If you want to go even further, some practitioners even offer training for certain treatments, such as reiki, in case you want to learn the tools to practice on yourself (or others) in future.

As you can see, there is without a doubt something for everybody at Six Senses Kaplankaya, whether you want to do some deep detoxifying and self-development or prefer some serious relaxation with a side of green juice or yoga every now and then. Find out more about their programs and packages here.

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Natural Remedies & Tips For Handling Your Flight Anxiety ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Anytime, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Travel, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Since I was too young to rationalise fear of flying, I have become a loyal member of the anxious flyer club. Sometimes it’s worse than others. Sometimes, the day before a flight, anxiety will kick in, manifesting in the form of physical tension and/or mental distractedness. Others, I’ll be fine, or I’ll convince myself I’m fine but the minutes the wheels start spinning I’ll lose my breath and start worrying incessantly and assuming the worst.

As a regular flyer, I have, however, found ways to manage these inevitable side effects, since travelling is a big part of my job and I don’t want to miss out on things just because the journey frightens me. I have developed a set of simple rituals, which reduce stress and anxiety, reduce physical tension, silence my worried mind and just generally put me at ease. I know a lot of people struggle with flight anxiety and general fear of flying, and for that reason, I wanted to share them. Below, find some of my favourite natural remedies and simple rituals to help calm the mind, reduce stress and ease physical tightness and tension, to support you all the way to your destination, and back.

1. Avoid coffee, or all caffeine if you can

Caffeine can often enhance nervousness and anxiety, depending on your personal physiology and the way you metabolise it. Some people are fine with caffeine and metabolise it slowly meaning it is manageable, however others metabolise it quickly and that’s when you end up with intense and often buzzy energy spikes. For me, caffeine messes with my adrenals and that extra spike in whatever it is really throws me off whack and makes me feel more on edge. It makes me feel tense and tight and unable to relax, so if you know you get anxious or nervous flying, avoid caffeine as much as possible, pre-flight.

2. Aromatherapy is out of this world effective

One thing I discovered long ago was aromatherapy and the power of scent to heal the mind. For the past few years, I have been travelling with aromatherapy balms and essential oils, and as soon as I get into my seat, I douse myself in it. I rub the balms or oils on my wrists, neck, temples and even under my nose or on my upper lip if I need extra intensity. I use scents that are relaxing, uplifting, grounding or mood boosting, and they honestly help so much. Not only is the scent incredibly healing on a deep physiological level, applying these oils or balms enhances the ritual of breathing deeply, encouraging you to take a moment for some deep inhalations and exhalations. I couldn’t recommend this more, for a quick, relatively cheap and easy-to -do-anywhere remedy.

3. CBD

You’ll be familiar with CBD by now, I’m sure, and I personally use it in several areas of my life to encourage relaxation and to reduce stress, anxiety and physical pain or tension. For flying, it comes in handy as a way to reduce stress and anxiety, calming the mind and helping you to generally chill the F out. I take a few drops internally about half an hour before my flight, and if I’m feeling really uncontrollable, I’ll top up when I settle into my seat too. It helps to just take the edge off my nerves and gently slow the mind, making me quite unfazed and unaffected by my formerly overpowering thoughts.

4. Sleeping aids

Sleep is sensible option if you want to get through a flight, and is my best piece of advice if you would rather just sleep through the whole thing. To do this, for those unable to silence their mind or those who find it difficult to sleep in such uncomfortable and unfamiliar conditions, I present to you, liquid melatonin and magnesium supplements and / or spray. Melatonin works best for me (it knocked me out for almost the entire flight from LA to London) but magnesium is a slightly milder option known to encourage sleep and relaxation, and to relax and repair muscles. Obviously there are also stronger, over-the-counter or prescription options too, but these are my favourite supplements for naturally topping up hormones and chemicals we already hold within us. Oh, and a few other tips for sounder sleep: earplugs, eye masks, socks, a blanket and a cushion or neck support if needed.

5. Eating

Something I discovered works well for me only recently is fasting during a flight. Sure, that’s pretty easy on most flights around Europe, which are a maximum of a few hours long, and sure, that sounds impossible for long haul flights but, hear me out. Fasting, and ultimately giving the digestion a break, allows your energy to be used elsewhere, and also means running less risk of inflammation or bloating. For me, I get a tense stomach and hold anxiety and stress in my stomach area, so having a break from digestion food helps to keep my stomach from being under too much pressure to work hard. When I fast on planes, I notice I feel much less tense and whilst stress still has its side effects on me, my stomach feels generally lighter and more at ease that when I eat whilst be incredibly stressed. If you get anxious and, like me, hold these emotions physically in your stomach, your energy is used on your body’s stress responses, anyway, and so doesn’t have spare energy to use on digesting food. If you can, eat before and after a flight but not during. If you must eat, opt for really hydrating, whole foods like fruits or raw vegetables, which are not so hard to digest, and which don’t dehydrate you (like nuts or salty foods).

6. Breathe deeply and often

This one is another favourite of mine, especially when about to take off. For me, the take off is the worst part for me, and I’ve learned that regulating my breath by practicing deep breathing and / or pranayama techniques really helps me. Not only does it take my mind off my worries to focus on the sequence of my breath, it also just fills my body with energetic oxygen, which is needed all around the body. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold our breaths or adopt a rapid, short breath, so when you notice this next time you’re anxious on a flight, either take about 6-10 long, deep breaths (with your eyes closed also helps), or look into some more advance pranayama techniques to try.

7. Listen

This one might seem obvious, but it’s effective. I have to listen to music during take off, to drown out the noise of the aircraft. Sometimes, any beeps or other unfamiliar noises (like the wheels going up or someone dropping something on the floor) trigger an extra pang of anxiety and concern, so listening to music really helps me. It doesn’t really matter what kind of music you listen too, but I’d recommend something relatively fun and upbeat, or calming (but loud enough). Nothing too heavy, loud or aggressive though as this will just make things worse. It might be useful to make an ‘In Flight’ playlist. Another option is to listen to audio books or podcasts, to take your mind of things.

8. Keep hydrated

Planes are incredibly dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after flying. Try to avoid alcohol or caffeine as these are dehydrating, and could also contribute to your levels of stress or anxiety. Water is the one.

9. Prepare

This is an important one. Be prepared for your journey and allow enough time to get to the airport, to avoid added stress getting to the flight already feel anxious about. Being bored and waiting around is better than being late and frantically faffing through the airport, a hot and stressed-out mess. On another note, if you want to be really prepared, use the day before to spend time downloading and organising the apps you might need during the flight, as well as playlists and / or videos.

10. Keep busy

Keeping busy and having plenty to do during a flight is another good way to keep your mind distracted from the anxiety of flying thousands of feet above ground with absolutely no control over the matter. Download something to watch (if you flight doesn’t have entertainment screens), listen to music or podcasts, read, write, draw, look through photos (I always find this incredibly calming), play a game, meditate and so on. Whatever you do, just don’t sit there worrying.

11. Gratitude and positive thinking

This also helps me to calm my mind and feel better, and serves almost as a meditation of its own. I use a diary or the notes on my phone to write down a list of things I am grateful for, too, which makes me feel positive and acts to distract my mind from my worries.

12. Walk around

During the flight - whenever possible - try to get up now and then to stretch or stand. This can help boost circulation and prevent stiffness and inflammation, but can also help take your mind of things, too. Standing with both feet rooted on the floor can help you feel more grounded, and even doing stretches at the back of the plane can help boost energy flow and enhance positivity. I like to stretch or do some gentle Qi-Gong-style exercises, and also incorporate breathing with this. It just helps to keep energy moving and to avoid stagnant energy or blocks, and also keeps you busy.

13. Watch the air hostesses

This might sound weird and a little creepy, but whenever I’m nervous, either during take-off or turbulence, I look around to see how the air hostesses are acting. They take multiple flights a day (just imagine if bad flyers like you and I had to do that and be grateful that we don’t), and I always think that if they don’t seem worried or concerned, then everything is under control. Of course some things that you worry about might be out of their control, but it just helps in the moment to know that as long as the airhostesses are going about their duties calm and collected, there is nothing immediately to worry about.

14. Self-massage

Self-massage can be a great tool for relaxation. Try to develop a massage technique to use on your hands, feet, head, face, temples and neck. There is no real right or wrong way, just gently massage wherever and however feels good. It might help to close your eyes, too. If you want to go one step further, do some research on specific pressure points, and specific meridians or points associated with stress or anxiety.

15. Try these apps

Soar is an app that helps to calm anxious flyers and reduce nervousness, panic and claustrophobia. It offers written articles about flying, videos and even things like gravity monitoring and turbulence predictions. The Breathing App is also useful if you want to master your in-flight breathing rituals, and some of my favourite meditation apps include Insight Timer, Headspace, Breathe, Buddhify, Calm and Inscape. You can also find apps with white noise, too, to encourage sleep.

16. Meditate

I’ve mentioned this within some of the other points, but meditation is such a simple method for calming a worried mind and instilling relaxation and clarity and helping you to feel present. Meditate as you take off, during the flight and then just before you land or during the landing. Just 5 or 10 minutes each time can help reduce stress and silence your thoughts. See point 15 for recommended apps.

17. Visualisation

Usually I advise people to focus on the journey (of life), not the destination or endpoint, but when travelling, the opposite makes more sense. Focus on the destination, not the journey. Visualisation is a powerful tool (a type of meditation depending on how it is practiced) for enhancing mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Try to develop a visualisation practice, perhaps visualising things like pleasant memories in the past, hopes and dreams for the future, or perhaps most easily, the destination you are heading to. If you are going on holiday, visualise where you are going and what you will do. You could visualise the hotel or accommodation, a beach, the ocean, the pool, the food, people you might be meeting once you get there, or random people you might come across. It could be anything and it doesn’t have to be accurate; let your mind run naturally wild and go with it.

18. Ensure your energy is topped up

This topic has sort of been touched on in point 9, but as well as preparing and making sure you are not going to stressfully be finishing packing before your flight or face last minute issues or delays, be sure to have prepared for your flight on a deeper level. The night before, as much as possible, ensure you get a good night sleep. If you need to be up early for the flight, sleep well the night before the night before, or nap during the day before your flight. This will ensure, no matter the time difference at your destination or the jet lag, that you have your energy reserves topped up as much as possible.

Remember, when it really comes down to it, you have very little control over the situation once you’re on that plane. There is not much you can do, and worrying certainly isn’t going to help anything, it will just make the whole ordeal much, much worse. Try to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey as much as you can. I hope one or several of these tips will help you through your next trip!

Well Being with Friends ~ Josefina A. Theo of Casa Raki

Interview, Natural Living, Rituals, Well Being with Friends, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

In my latest Well Being With Friends conversation, I chat to Josefina A. Theo - founder beautiful sustainable swimwear brand Casa Raki. I picked up some new insights in the world of sustainable fashion and manufacturing, along with other stories and suggestions for daily life and balanced wellbeing. From recent reads and favourite wellness apps, to travel memoirs and mantras to live by, I hope you discover a selection of new things to try and to apply to your own lifestyle, to assist and support your journey of self-development and prosperity.

Favourite or recently discovered Book:

Tokyo Blues by Haruki Murakami (English version)

Top wellness tip(s):

Do yoga every day!

Favourite or recently discovered Podcast:

I'm pretty old-school and still haven't gotten my head around to podcasts, yet.

Favourite or recently discovered App:

Vivino for wine ratings and reviews.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness guru, personality or website:

I’m a recent Goop convert, and love their amazing wellness tips.

Favourite or recently discovered Song:

Contra la Pared by J Balvin / Sean Paul.

Favourite or recently adopted daily ritual or habit:

Swapping coffee for decaf coffee.

Sustainable / eco beauty - your favourite beauty rituals and ingredients or products for good skin?

Gazelli Skincare.It's amazing.

Favourite or recently discovered Film / series / documentary:

Quicksand on Netflix

Something you've done recently where you felt super present, content and grateful:

A picnic I had last weekend with my best friends at the top of Col de Vence, the most beautiful natural setting, with the best company and the best food and wine. I felt very grateful for life in that moment.

If we were to try just one thing for our wellbeing, what would be your one tip:

Yoga changed my life, I would honestly recommend practicing it regularly, It's not only great for the mind, but it's a game changer for the body as well.

Favourite or recently discovered sustainable fashion brand:

I would say my own as I'm the biggest fan of our mission, but If I had to pick another one it would be Patagonia. They've been championing sustainability for almost over 50 years and are way ahead of the curve. They should be an inspiration to all sustainable brands starting out today.

Favourite pieces from that brand:

Weirdly I would say their wetsuits, they are amazing quality and they last a lifetime. I grew up surfing in them Punta Del Este.

What are your core values when it comes to sustainability and sustainable business and fashion? What are the key practices within Casa Raki and why do you do what you do? How do you evolve the business ethically whilst keeping up with trends and larger more commercial brands?

As a business we try to be as sustainable as we possibly can. We always pick a sustainable option for our production if there is one available. It is challenging for a young business to do, as recycled materials, organic cottons, etc are usually more expensive than the ordinary options but the options are readily available and of equal if not better quality. I don’t just want aspects of the company to be sustainable, that is no longer enough. I want the whole company to be sustainable; from our fabrics, supply chains to the way we treat our workers while passing on a fair price and wonderful product to the end consumer. I decided against trends because I believe it encourages an unsustainable consumer behaviour, so we are going against the grain with reasonless, timeless styles that are not trend-driven.

Favourite or recently visited country or city:

My favourite country of all time is Brazil. I would highly recommend everyone to go and explore the north of the country, especially. There are some amazing natural hidden gems and I am constantly finding inspiration for the new collections there.

A story from your favourite or recent travels:

Swimming with sharks on our honeymoon! So scary but exhilarating!

Favourite or recently discovered wellness product or tool:

Jade Roller, a bit late to the party, but wow what a great gadget!?

Favourite piece of advice, quote or mantra:

Take it easy and don't be too hard on yourself! My mother keeps repeating this to me weekly.

Your favourite remedies for illness:

My sisters tip: raw garlic! It's incredibly healing.

Tips for better sleep:

Eye masks! I’m a recent convert.

Favourite or recently discovered place or person for ultimate chill:

The Rectory Hotel in England; a lovely place for a city escape.

Favourite or recently discovered healer:

Acupuncture is awesome, I recently discovered it and it has helped a lot with anxiety and stress for me.

Favourite or recently discovered wellness cafe, restaurant or store:

Milk Beach in Queens Park.

Favourite healthy food or drink:

My old time favourite, Acai.

Advice for that work / life balance:

Switch off as soon as you come home, leave your phone and computer in your bag.

Business advice for business owners, self employed or anyone keen to start their own business:

Never give up! There's a lot of obstacles on the way, but don't let them bring you down. And always have a solid business plan in place first. Unfortunately, good design is not always enough to keep a business stable.

Favourite thing for instantly reducing stress:

Take three. deep. breaths.

Spiritual practise:

Meditation.

First thing you do every morning:

Meditation.

Last thing you do every evening:

Read a book.

Weekend rituals:

Walking our dog in the park.

Complete this sentence. What works most for me is:

Doing a lot of Yoga weekly and enjoying being present. Spending as much time as I can with all my close friends and family who make me happy every day just by being there.

Wake Up Here: Danai Resort & Villas ~ For Suitcase Magazine

Wake Up Here, Wellbeing, Travel, Summer, Lifestyle, Commisions, Around the Worlddanielle coppermanComment
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A haven of relaxation on the island of Halkidiki, Danai Beach Resort and Villas marries modern comforts with all the charm of an authentic Greek retreat. 

Surrounded by lush pine trees and sandy beaches, and perched atop the rich, earthy cliffs that line the Aegean coast, Danai Beach Resort and Villas is one-of-a-kind, to say the least. While nature itself is enough to bring a sense of calm and tranquility here, Danai’s beautiful design and architecture, private beach cabanas, award-winning gourmet restaurants, top-of-the-range spa treatments and staff that will feel like life-long friends by the time you leave, invite guests to experience a whole level of relaxation.

Located in the remote Greek peninsula of Sithonia on the island of Halkidiki, Danai began life as a modest family home. Today it’s full of character, combining refined modern interiors and accessories with an authentic Greek aesthetic. Thick white pillars and marble floors, which feature heavily across the resort, are brought to life with bright bougainvillea, rattan accessories and antique furnishings.

As a family-run business, Danai is on a mission to make you feel at home. Staff operate across different areas of the resort, so you’ll often come across the same friendly faces again and again. This sense of community is what makes Danai so special, and once you’re welcomed into it so warmly, you’ll find it harder than ever to leave.

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Rooms

At Danai, the mantra is to never, ever “copy and paste” anything, which is why you won’t find two rooms or villas the same. Each abode is a canvas of whites and creams, bathed in natural light that pours through floor-to-ceiling windows. Yet as modern-chic as that might sound, bohemian accents and local, artisan-made ornaments enhance the character and charm of each space.

Some rooms boast private pools, while others flaunt impressive balconies overlooking the resort, its gardens and the sea. Opt for Guest Rooms and Suites if you’re visiting alone, as a couple or for a short time only (also perfect if you’re on a budget). Deluxe Suites (often with two bedrooms and ocean vistas) are ideal for those who want something a little more spacious, while Pool Suites are ideal for honeymooners who want a private dip. Alternatively, splash out on a Villa if you’re travelling with a larger group, for a longer period of time or if you’re expecting guests.

What’s for breakfast?

Pretty much everything you’ll find in Danai to eat is either sourced locally (from neighbouring farms) or produced on site – you can really taste the difference.

For breakfast, head to the terrace of the open-air Andromeda Restaurant, which, situated on the edge of the bluffs, is prime territory for gazing across the still morning waters. The breakfast spread doesn’t look unlike an art installation, featuring a selection of bread and baked goods, cheeses, cold meats and fish, a hot food station, traditional pastries and a build-your-own-bowl area, complete with fresh and dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals and granolas. Plus, the selection of freshly made Greek yoghurt and local honey – varieties include pine, blossom, thyme and more – are the best you will ever try. If nothing takes your fancy, order à la carte and enjoy eggs with a Danai twist.

How about lunch and dinner?

With three restaurants to choose from, you wouldn’t get bored if you dined within Danai at every meal time. Enjoy fresh fish, seafood and daily barbecue specials at The Sea Horse Grill – it’s the most authentically Greek of the restaurant options and situated in a secluded terrace by the beach. You can also order any time of day to wherever you’ve set up camp on the beach.

For a more modern take on Mediterrenean cuisine, try Andromeda Restaurant, situated among the impressive pine trees – it offers an al fresco dining option on warmer evenings.

For special occasions or as a treat, experience the award-winning The Squirrel restaurant, considered one of the principle culinary hot-spots of Greece. Its tasting menu spans French and Mediterranean fare, served in multiple courses and paired with wines from Danai’s on-site wine cellar.

Suite service is also available, and if you’re staying in one of the larger rooms or villas and have a large party or outside guests to entertain, the staff will gladly arrange a bespoke dinner party.

Further afield, local road-side or sea-side tavernas offer quintessential Greek cuisine in a slightly more informal environment. Get stuck in to trays of taramasalata and fava, and enjoy fresh and simple dishes, including grilled fish, seafood paella, mussels soup and some of the most decadent desserts of your life.

Is there a bar?

On a lower tier of the resort, just beneath the restaurants and edging closer to the beach, you’ll find The Philosophy Seaside Bar. Lounge in bamboo armchairs and cushioned benches as the sun sets, and later gather around the communal table at the bar.

If that’s not your vibe, Danai also boasts one of the best wine cellars in Greece. Enjoy a tour or a wine tasting session, or casually converse with the wine cellar’s passionate sommeliers to choose a bottle that suits you, then enjoy from the comfort of your room, balcony, patio or, better yet, the beach.

Amenities

Danai is the ideal place for anyone who wants to wake up late and follow a long, lazy breakfast with an even longer, lazier day on the beach. Although, there is more than enough to keep you entertained if you’d like something a bit more lively, or if you’re travelling with friends, family or young children.

Aside from the private pools, you’ll find a communal outdoor pool at the centre of the resort, as well as an indoor pool inside the spa area. You will also find a selection of spa treatments (including massages, facials and a nail spa), relaxation facilities, a state-of-the-art gym complete with a timetable of yoga, pilates and fitness classes (during the busier months), a private tennis court and table tennis. The concierge can also organise bike rental and external sports such as golf, horse riding, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.

As for watersports and beach activities, book out a private beach cabana or, for a more active day at the beach, enjoy access to paddleboards, catamarans, waterskis, canoes, banana boats, donuts, seabobs, windsurfing, and more. Go a step further and arrange a day out on Danai’s super yacht, known as The Bird. Available to rent for between four and eight hours with staff and catering (and the best Aperol spritz you’ll ever drink), The Bird is the most luxurious way to explore the coast. Discover hidden coves and stop by private beaches along the Sithonia coast and Mount Athos peninsula. (Shared yachts and speedboat tours are also available, departing from the private beach and heading Neos Marmaras or Mount Athos).

Danai also has its own quaint “high street” of boutiques, which you’ll pass by to get from your room to the restaurants and to the beach. Find clothing, accessories, holiday essentials, toys, gifts and more, from local, national and international labels.

If you fancy trying your hand at something new, too, perhaps dancing, painting or cooking, it’s useful to know that the team will gladly arrange a private instructor. Day trips and excursions are also available on request.

Things you should know

Nikiti is the nearest town to the resort. While Danai have drivers and The Bird, if you want to explore independently, hire a car. Enjoy walks in the hotel surrounds or, further afield, find a selection of towns and villages to explore within Sithonia, Kassandra and Athos.

Whether you’re on the beach or by the pool, if you’re prone to suncream-smeared sunnies or overheating, the beach staff are at your beck and call, popping by regularly to offer sunglass polishing and to hand out semi-frozen flannels infused with refreshing essential oils.

If you’re visiting for a special occasion, the staff are eager to get involved. They will enthusiastically curate a celebration or prepare a surprise to ensure your experience is unforgettable.

Within a short walk you’ll find

The beauty of Danai is its seclusion and the way it has pretty much anything you could need all in one place. Within a short walk, you can enjoy 320m of private beach and explore the resort’s farmland and herb gardens. Explore local nature trails, most of which are unofficial – so you almost have to pave your own path.

* Danai Beach Resort & Villas (www.danairesort.com/+30 2375 020400) offers junior suites from £375 on a B&B basis, based on 2 people sharing.
** Danai Beach Resort & Villas (www.danairesort.com/+30 2375 020400) will offer The Bird from 3,250€ for 4 hours and from 4,450€ for 8 hours.
*** Danai also has its own wedding planner.

How and Where to Shop Sustainably In and Around London ~ For Ecoage

Anytime, Natural Living, Sustainability, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment
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Technically, I began shopping sustainably as soon as I had my own money to do so.  When I had my first job, I used to spend my earnings in charity shops and at flea markets and car boot sales. But, somewhere along the way, as I was growing up and earning more, the fashion industry began changing rapidly and fast-fashion was at its peak. I remember getting over-excited by how much you could buy in certain high street stores for the price of one or two items at the usual, more niche stores, unaware that the low prices come at a high cost for the garment workers producing them. And I remember when online shopping became a thing; I could browse for hours and choose from thousands of brands and styles of clothing, and still only make a dent in my monthly savings. I thought it was great!

But then, as with most things, what goes up must come down, or should I say what grows rapidly gets quickly out of control and is unsustainable in the long run. The excitement soon wore off, as I ended up with often low-quality garments that didn’t last, and also just too much stuff in general. It began to get overwhelming. I also began to discover so much more about the fashion industry as my interest in wellbeing and sustainability developed, and realised I wanted to be involved in improving our relationship with fashion. To do that, I had to start by making small changes myself, and returned to my initial consumer habits of shopping second hand and boycotting fast-fashion high street names. The saying goes that our parents and grandparents always know best, and returning to a less extreme way of shopping - buying ‘just enough’ and only what we ‘need’, and adopting that ‘make do and mend’ mindset - could be just what it takes to reduce our impact on the world and to rectify some of the damage our harmful and unnecessary habits had been having on it.

Below are some tips for shopping more sustainably, from food and fashion to furniture and beauty products, and some of the places best for doing so in and around London. 

Do:

1.    Buy second hand. Instead of buying brand new things all the time, wherever possible, try to find what you need from a second hand source, such as a charity shops, car boot sales, estate sales, markets, online marketplaces or vintage stores.

2.    Swap things. Try swapping items of clothing with friends or renting clothes if you have events or occasions coming up that require a special piece of clothing that you probably won’t wear more than a handful of times. This reduces waste, saves you money and also keeps things exciting, as you can rent something different in future and keep your wardrobe up to date. This also applies for things like furniture, appliances, books and even beauty products. If something doesn’t work for you or if you no longer need it, give it to a friend or swap it for something else. I’ve done plenty of beauty swaps of things that don’t work for me but work for others, and it reduces waste and helps others.

3.    Shop at handmade craft, second hand and food markets. Shopping at markets can mean finding locally-produced, unpackaged products, and recycling and reusing items other people no longer need. Now that the weather is nicer, markets also make a really fun day out.

4.    Shop from local artisans. For things like food, fashion, furniture and all sorts of other items, find local communities selling direct to consumers, meaning you will be supporting local businesses and individuals rather than larger corporations. You will also find the items you purchase are better quality, made with deep purpose and love and made to last.

5.    Buy your groceries without packaging. As much as possible, buy loose foods without plastic or other packaging. That might mean going to separate shops rather than conveniently finding everything you need under one roof (like a supermarket), but it is better for your food, your health and the planet. Visit grocery stores with loose fruits (and use their paper bags or take your own cloth produce bags), and find stores offering refill stations and dispensers of things like nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. It might be a little less convenient for you, but far more convenient for the planet.

6.    Look for materials that have a lower environmental impact. Buy clothes and other necessities made from materials that have been produced using low impact ingredients and processes (e.g. materials that use minimal water, chemicals and energy, and that are not polluting in their production, care and end of life). Materials like virgin polyester and nylon are made from petroleum oil making them similar to plastic, and fabrics may be dyed, bleached or treated in order to enhance their design or extend their functionality. Things like cotton and denim also require so much water to be produced, and at the rate at which we consume, it is not sustainable. Therefore make sure you choose products made with natural materials, which are biodegradable and are less of a strain on our natural resources, such as linen, bamboo (although note that the process to turn bamboo into a fabric can be impactful, so it is important to understand how the fabric was made), Tencel, coconut fibres, banana leaf, hemp, organic silk, sugar cane, the list goes on. There is so much we can do with plant fibers these days, so do some research and see for yourself. Another option is buying up-cycled items or those made from recycled materials, such as ECONYL®, which takes plastic found in the oceans and turns it into fabric.

7.    If you absolutely need to buy new, only buy something you really love and will use for years to come and opt for brands that are transparent about their environmental and social efforts

8. Buy less. In general, just try to buy less. Ask yourself if you really need something before buying it. Studies show that owning less is actually more liberating and freeing and makes us feel less cluttered and stressed than owning lots of things but not using them enough or not having enough space for them. We really need very little for day-to-day survival, so reconsider before you buy something new.

9. Buy better quality. While at the time, spending more on something you know you can get a cheaper version of elsewhere can sometimes be difficult, buying better quality means it will last longer and you will be less likely to have to replace it in the near future.

10. Buy local produce. Buying locally grown or locally made produce cuts down the distance an item has had to travel, meaning less carbon emissions, transportation, packaging and labour has been involved in getting it into your hands. Buying local, seasonal food that is made in the local climate and with local Earth and resources often means it is better for and more familiar to your body, and so easier to digest and more nourishing than something that has grown in a completely different climate and that has travelled miles and been confined in lots of packaging while in transit to your plate. 

11.  Buy more natural beauty products. This will help not only your skin but also the environment. Buy less products made with artificial chemicals and ingredients and find products that don’t include plastics like micro beads, or synthetic preservatives like parabens. These are bad for your skin and often mask skin issues and can sometimes even make them worse, but they also end up in the water supply and can contribute to chemicals in our water or worse, absorbed into the earth. They are also often packaged in materials and designs that can’t be recycled.

12.  Whenever possible, opt for longest delivery time when online shopping. Online shopping has its pros and cons, and some people think it is better than brick and mortar shopping. On the plus side, it groups deliveries together in one transit, which is better than a number of people driving or traveling to a shop. It also requires less physical buildings and while head offices, depots and fulfillment centers count as physical buildings, its generally more resource efficient than running multiple stores with more staff, more lighting, music, air conditioning, heating, electronic displays, tills, and so on. However, on the other hand, it does mean more vehicles are out on deliveries, and often means more packaging.  Back to the point, if you do shop on line, opting for next day delivery is worse for the environment as it forces companies to send out trucks that are not at full capacity, so whenever possible, always select the longest delivery time to ensure your shipment is added to a larger load, rather than on a specially organised service.

Do Less:

1. Shopping in supermarkets. Everything is generally packaged often unnecessarily in several layers of plastic, paper, films, cardboard, and more, just for the sake of keeping it clean and in shape. Also, ready meals, processed foods, junk food and convenience items have all taken a lot of time, resources, human and technological processes, transportation and so on, meaning they are not very environmentally-friendly. Not to mention, all the processing they go through and all of the additives and preservatives added to them - they are not the healthiest option for you either.

2.    Using plastic bags or even paper bags from shops. Get into the habit of taking your own bags (such as a fabric tote bag, turtle bags, rope bags or a good old backpack).

3.     Buying things new. Particularly things like clothes. Instead try to take inspiration from new trends and then take a little more time to rummage in second hand stores, vintage stores or markets for what it is you want or need. You can often find many things second hand, like appliances, gadgets, furniture etc. All it takes is a little browsing and some organization.

4.    Impulse buying. Just because you want something, it rarely means you need it. If I’m not 100% convinced that I love something or need it, I leave it (occasionally taking a photo as a reminder) and go back for it if I really want it once I’ve given it some thought. Try it next time you feel drawn to buying something new. Stand with the product and ask yourself if you really need it. Ask yourself about the way it was made, who and what was involved, and ask yourself if all of that is worth it just for a moment of your own satisfaction.

5.    Packaging. When shopping for anything, request as little packaging as possible. If you’re in a physical store, refuse a carrier bag and definitely refuse gift wrapping unless you really need it (although it’s better if you recycle old stuff or simply use newspaper or kraft paper). If you get a lot of deliveries or gifts for work, request that they are sent in as minimal packaging as possible.

6.    Shopping for beauty products. Beauty products are highly responsible for waste in the form of packaging and pollution in the form of dangerous and artificial chemicals ending up in our water supply. If you do prefer to use commercial products, opt for more natural, environmentally responsible and ethical brands that use sustainably produced resources and all-natural ingredients. Try to look for those made with 100% natural ingredients and packaged into refillable, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Better yet, instead of buying new products, try making your own natural remedies from natural raw ingredients, such as coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, essential oils and extracts.

DIRECTORY

Where to buy food

London Food Markets:

1.    The Real Food Market, Kings Cross 
2.    Stoke Newington Farmers Market
3.    Netil Market
4.    Broadway Market
5.    Borough Market
6.    West Hampstead farmers market
7.    Islington farmers market
8.    Maltby Street Market
9.    Brixton Village
10.  Brick Lane Market
11.  Exmouth Market
12.  Alexandra Place farmers market
13.  Blackheath farmers market
14.  Brockley farmers market
15.  Marylebone farmers market
16.  Peckham farmers market
17.  Berwick street market

Food Stores:

1.   Wholefoods
2.   Mother Earth
3.   Planet Organic
4.   Ocado
5.   Local farms… particularly those that offer "pick your own"
6.   Food for all
7.   Earth Natural Foods
8.   Pipoca
9.   As nature intended
10. Source bulk foods
11. Borough wines (offers refills)
12. Bulk market
13. Hetu
14. Harmless store
15. Harvest
16. Earth Natural foods
17. Daylesford
18. Neals Yard Remedies
19. Abel and cole
20. Riverford
21. Oddbox
22. Natoora
23. The Cure
24. De beauvior deli
25. Organico

* Search for local delis, grocery stores, health food shops and markets near you, as there are plenty across London.

Where to buy beauty products

1.    Content beauty
2.    Lush 
3.    Gracefruit 
4.    Cult Beauty
5.    Space NK 
6.   Wholefoods
7.  Planet Organic
8.  Ocado
9.  Neals Yard Remedies
10. Glow Bar
11. Cap Beauty
12. Goop Store

Where to buy fashion, furniture, antiques and accessories

Markets:

1.    St Augustine's School Car Boot Sale, Maida Vale (Saturdays from 7am)
2.    Picks Cottage Car Boot Sale, Waltham Abbey (Sundays from 6.30am)
3.    Chiswick Car Boot (first Sunday of each month from 7am)
4.    Battersea Boot Sale, Battersea (Sunday from 1.30pm)
5.    Princess May School Car Boot, Dalston (Saturdays & Sundays from 7am)
6.    Hounslow Heath Car Boot, Hounslow (Thursdays & Sundays from 6am)
7.    Capital Car Boot, Pimlico (Sundays from 10am)
8.    Tottenham Car Boot Sale, Tottenham (Thursdays from 6am)
9.    Calvers Fairs Car Boot Sale, Uxbridge (Selected Sundays from 7am)
10.  Wimbledon Car Boot Sale, Wimbledon (Wednesdays from 10.30am & Sundays from 6.30am)

Stores:

1. Reve en vert
2. Bug
3. The Basics Store
4. Beyond Retro
5. Brick Lane
6. Rokit
7. Oxfam (My favourites are in and around Westbourne Grove, South Kensington, High Street Kensington, Notting Hill, Islington, Stoke Newington, Peckham, and if you fancy a day trip, Bath, Frome and surrounding areas).
8. Mercy In Action
9. British Heart Foundation
10. Scope
11. Cancer Research
12. Mary's Living & Giving
13. British Red Cross
14. Fara Charity Shop
15. Traid

Spring Summer Wishlist & Style Inspo

Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Monthly Essentials, Style, Summer, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment

Whilst I don’t advocate buying new or more things, I like to take inspiration from current trends which then helps inform my shopping experiences in second hand shops, vintage stores and markets. Below you’ll find an edit of things I’m currently loving, either physically by making a few key investments, or from afar and for inspiration only.

I am so passionate about shopping responsibly and really want to encourage people to do the same. If you won’t use or wear an item more than 30 times, don’t buy it. We need to veer away from the disposability of the fast-fashion industry. Buy things that will last, and don’t fall into the traps of ‘seasons’ or ‘trends’ when buying for yourself. Take inspiration from these things, but don’t feel you have to buy all the new trends, because that basically means compulsive shopping and theres better ways to spend your time (and money). Instead, buy inter-seasonal pieces, things that you can edit and alter throughout the year by styling them differently. Invest in sustainable key pieces like your basics, your underwear and the essentials you wear most days, and then put a limit on how many new pieces you buy if there is something you really love and want.

I’ve included a selection of high street brands below but, mostly, you’ll find ethical, sustainable, second-hand and vintage brands. I hope these inspire your summer wardrobe with beachwear, holiday essentials, summer wedding guest options and more.

🌞

Well Being Around the World: Austria ~ For Ecoage

Around the World, City guides, Lifestyle, Travel, Wellbeing, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

My first encounter with Austria was at the age of 17 whilst I was interrailing around Europe with my best friend. That visit, fuelled by copious amounts of Viennese baked goods, was somewhat different to how I’m about to depict the country here, which is in a much more wholesome and, I hope, inspirational light.

Earlier this year, I visited two small towns in Western Austria, and as part of a new series of articles exploring Well Being Around The World, I wanted to share some of the local and traditional rituals I discovered during my stay, that I feel we can all learn from and apply to our own daily routines.

Rituals

1. Nature & The Great Outdoors

Since I was visiting a ski resort, it quickly became apparent to me just how much the great outdoors and nature are celebrated and valued in Austria. I guess it could be different in the larger towns that aren’t necessarily towered over by mountains, but there is certainly something about the fresh air and surrounding landscapes which not only bring a sense of safety, security and calm, but also awe and wonderment which is instantly grounding and gratifying.

I visited both Innsbruck and Mayrhofen, and both were relatively small towns encapsulated by mountains. For me, waking up each morning was just mesmerising, and I found it hard to imagine anyone getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed by insignificant worries and problems when the view was such a spectacle. It triggers a sense of wonder, and stands as a reminder that we are part of something much, much bigger than our own little lives.

Being in nature is known to have profound affects on health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Things like fresh air and sunlight support skin and complexions, as well as providing vital vitamins and nutrients (hola vitamin D!). Things like plants, greenery and natural formations are known to benefit things like eyesight, focus and concentration and are also known to provide and stimulate certain vitamins, minerals and hormones (that’s why being around green spaces with plenty of plants often makes you feel happy and relaxed!). Not to mention, trees and plants help to cleanse and purify the air, and thus increase the air quality and make breathing more enriched and nourishing. Natural formations, such as rocks, mountains and earth are also known to be grounding and relaxing and to support mental health. Just think of them as different and larger forms of crystals!

As for the great outdoors, Austria is full of adventure and activity. Locals and tourists unite for daily hikes, rambling, cycling and skiing and swimming, when the weather permits. I noticed a lot of people walking, and the people we met often said they rarely drove, except for long distances. I certainly didn’t notice any traffic jams or rush hour on the same scale as London. The cities seemed incredibly bike-friendly, too, something that seemed preferential to locals for ease, to stay active and to reduce pollution (that fresh, fresh air!).

Skiing and swimming are of course more season-dependent, and more extreme ways to keep fit and stay active. However, having it on your doorstep wouldn’t seem so extreme after a while, I don’t think, and some people we encountered said they often make the journey up to the slopes during the winter even if it’s just for an hour or two of solo skiing; in other words, a full-body workout, without the confines of a gym and with the benefits of being in nature.

Swimming is a different ball game altogether. Since I visited in Winter, wild swimming was not particularly on my radar, but locals are known to enjoy icy, outdoor swimming even during the winter, which is known to increase metabolism and boost circulation, amongst other health benefits. The practice is incredibly invigorating and revitalising, and in Austria, with the water coming straight off the mountains, think of all those vitamins and minerals (like a cross between hydrotherapy and cryotherapy)! There are many natural pools, often surrounded by Alpine backdrops and lush greenery, making the whole experience incredibly grounding and nourishing. Some pools become filled by the melting snow from the mountains - the water crystal clear but incredibly cold. In larger pools and lakes, water can get to around 16-20 degrees during the summertime, and serve as a way to cool down as temperatures rise. Want to go a step further, nude swimming is also quite a thing!

2. Saunas & Spa Therapy

Like many Alpine countries, as well as Scandinavian and Nordic, Austria’s spa game is strong. You won’t struggle to find a sauna or spa, something we tend to view as an indulgent luxury rather than a daily necessity. Saunas offer incredible benefits for skin, circulation, lymphatic drainage, immunity and much more, and I for one find a sauna a week to be deeply cleansing as well as relaxing. It helps to purge impurities from the skin and detox from within, through sweat and respiration. The only thing is, they’re not so widely available or accessible in the UK or larger cities, and if they are, they usually come in fancier forms and with a larger price tag.

3. Mid-afternoon Coffee (& Cake)

The Austrian cafe culture introduces another ritual into the day, incorporating an important pause amidst work and other duties. What I loved particularly about going for coffee was that, in Austria, it must always come with a glass of water on the side. I love this as I am all for staying hydrated, and coffee can be incredibly dehydrating. Take note!

Austria is of course not the only culture to advocate regular coffee breaks or a more thorough coffee ritual than we are used to in the UK (we’re looking at you, France and Italy), but it is nice to see so many people actually enjoying a break, and not just working through it or drinking take-out on the go. Their coffee break often comes with a side of cake or strudel too, which is not so ‘wellness’ physically, but, hey, it’s mentally good to treat yourself and do something you enjoy. And it helps to notice that in most cafes, these traditional baked goods are often freshly made and handmade, unlike the processed fare you find in mainstream supermarkets. So that kind of makes it ok?

4. Day of rest

Something I always love about visiting particularly European destinations is how they have held onto the tradition of closing shop at least one or two days a week. In Austria, there’s no (or very few) shops open on Sundays, meaning locals simply adapt their consumer habits accordingly. I like this not only as it means workers will get more rest, but it encourages people to consume less, or at least take a day off from shopping, allowing more time to do something more wholesome.

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Food and Recipes

The food in Austria is not overtly nutritious, or at least that’s not the talking point when it comes to food. You’ll find most delicacies include generous helpings of potatoes, cheese, dumplings and pasta, alongside other traditions like schnitzel and goulash. It’s all quite heavy, but after all that exercise, it kind of makes sense!

When eating out, though, you will always get a homemade feel from what’s on offer, and whilst there’s often lots of flavour, it all seems to be kept quite simple. There’s often a steady ratio of meat or fish to vegetables, and everything seems quite authentically done, unlike fast food or take away fare.

It is apparent that growing your own and using local produce is commonplace, and even in the supermarkets, you will often find locally produced fare, and not much overly processed stuff at all. There is a lot of fresh meat and bread, even in small convenience stores, and what’s more, I enjoyed that their fresh fruit and vegetable aisle was mostly unpackaged.

Recipes

Below are 2 recipes inspired by those I tried during my visit, made with all-natural ingredients, vegan and gluten-free.

Celeriac Salad - Serves 2-4

Celeriac salad is a common side accompaniment for main meals in both Austria and Germany, and I love the earthy but fresh and hydrating flavour it offers to other dishes.

Components

500g celeriac
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons boiling water
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons soy or coconut yoghurt - optional

Method

First, peel and grate the celeriac finely, or shred it in a food processor to make it into thin, long threads.

In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, boiling water, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper together until combined. Next, add the celeriac and stir to coat, then spoon in a tablespoon of yoghurt, if using. Stir to combine again and add more yoghurt if desired.

Season again, to taste and serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

Porcini Mushroom and Potato soup - serves 4

Potato soup is a staple on almost any menu in Austria. Usually made with bacon and heavy, I’ve adapted to make this vegan and slightly more nutritious, by using mushrooms as a meat replacement, and dairy-free cream alternatives.

Components

500g medium potatoes
20g Porcini mushrooms
1 white onion
1 medium carrot
1 parsley root (can replace with parsnip or celeriac)
½ celery stick, plus leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g vegetable broth (or water)
Small bunch of lovage leaves
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons coconut milk (or soy or coconut yoghurt, or Oatly creme fraiche)
Handful of fresh parsley

Method

Start by soaking the porcini mushrooms for about 10-15 mins in warm water.

Next, roughly chop the vegetables (potatoes, celery, carrot, onion and parsley root (or parsnip or celeriac) and place them in a large saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil.

Next, add the lovage leaves, caraway seeds, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add stock or water along with herbs and spices. The liquid should cover the vegetables, so you may need to add a little more accordingly, depending on the size of your vegetables.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and transfer to a blender or use a hand blender to puree the soup, until smooth.

Add the coconut milk (or plant-based yoghurt or cream alternative of choice) and blend again.

Finally, chop the porcini mushrooms roughly into small pieces, add to the blended soup, season for a final time and garnish with fresh parsley.

* If you like chunky soup, sauté the carrot in a separate pan and add to the soup, once blended.1.


Resources

Where to stay

I stayed in an airbnb in Innsbruck and a local hotel/guesthouse in Mayrhofen - most of which are complete with an onsite spa, gym and restaurant.

Featured Wellness Destinations & Other Places to Stay

Hotel Aurelio Lech

Geinberg 5

Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol

Getting there

Flights into Austrian towns are easy and often, but if you want to look at more sustainable ways of getting there, there are plenty of train and bus routes, and driving is often doable with a few stops along the way. It really depends on the number of people traveling though, as to which option is more eco-friendly, so do some research, and perhaps try to choose a destination where you won’t need a car or public transport once you’re there.

Well Being in the local area

Innsbruck:

- Olive, vegetarian restaurant
- Ludwig, Vegetarian restaurant
- Rauch Juice Bar
- Coffeekult, cafe
- The Breakfast Club, day cafe with gluten-free / vegan / vegetarian options
- Haepinest, cafe
- Akropolis, restaurant
- Das Schindler, restaurant
- Lichtblick, restaurant
- Oniriq, restaurant
- Die Muhl, restaurant
- Nordkette Cable Car
- Spa’s (research local to your destination)
- Skiing (research local to your destination)
- Walking / Hiking (research local to your destination)

Mayrhofen:

- Goldkind, cafe with gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian options
- Schneekarhutte, restaurant with gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian options
- Hikes, walks, skiing, activities
- Spa’s (research local to your destination)
- Skiing (research local to your destination)
- Walking / Hiking (research local to your destination)

* Whilst I am not saying Austria is necessarily the wellness capital of the world, and whilst I am not disregarding their love of cakes, cream, potatoes, cheese and strudel, I do feel we could learn a thing of two from the Austrian culture to assist and inspire us in our own quests for wellbeing. For me, wellbeing is not a “one size fits all” scenario and I have always felt that we can learn so much from different cultures, both wellness-focused and otherwise. The aim of these features is to provide a broader approach to wellbeing, one that travels a little beyond green juices and boutique fitness classes and into long-standing traditions that have been used for centuries. Many of the practices I tend to discover are often nothing very new at all, but are instead incredibly simple, as well as being much more authentic and sustainable than the latest trends we tend to get over-excited by.

Well Being Support Series

Lifestyle, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments

Just coming on here to tell you all about the new ‘Support’ section of my website; a series of worksheets, digital workshops and other formats of support-based, interactive content. The intention is to provide powerful practices to encourage you to develop on your own personal journey of wellbeing, and by providing worksheets, workshops and other exercises, I hope it will help you a little more deeply and on a more personal level than my regular content.

To kick it off, I’ve shared my first worksheet covering the topic of Daily Rituals. It outlines just 10 simple rituals that I have tried and tested over time and which I think can really contribute to enhancing your life, both physically and mentally. I like to think that this worksheet will provide simple, digestible and achievable reminders and prompts for you to adopt one or several wholesome practices that can support you at different times of the day. For me, these rituals have helped increase my energy levels (both mentally and physically), improve digestion, enhance positivity, reduce stress, boost productivity and focus, and eradicate unhealthy thought processes, such as limiting beliefs, judgement, doubt, fear and comparison.

You will also find some information on private consultations as well as a question space, where you can leave me a question about absolutely anything and I will do my best to get back to you with some overview advice. I have decided to set up a space here for confidential questions, following on from the huge response I had to offering monthly consultations via Instagram’s direct messages.

To find out more, click the ‘Support’ tab at the top right of the site.

Earth Day 2019: Earth-Friendly Tips From 13 Inspiring Insiders

Essentials, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Vegandanielle copperman1 Comment

You know by now that I’m super conscious of the damage we are doing to our planet, and constantly striving to reduce my impact on the environment (unless it’s a positive one!). I love discovering new products and ways to swerve more commercial products or ways of doing things which - it’s becoming clearer and clearer - use up devastating amounts of energy and/or resources. Wherever possible, I opt for sustainably and ethically produced goods, ideally made with limited or no packaging, and made from either recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials that won't stick around on our planet or disrupt our atmosphere for decades after we’ve disposed of them.

As with many things, there is so much to learn, and there are endless new products and methods to discover. That’s why, this Earth Day, I asked some of my friends of whom are on their own sustainability journeys, to share some of their favourite or recently-adopted eco-friendly life hacks. I am constantly finding new inspiration and discovering new things to try in order to do my bit, and I hope that by sharing several stories from people at different stages on their own sustainability journeys will inspire you to try at least one or maybe even all of them.

Happy Earth Day 🌎#ProtectOurSpecies

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Millie Mackintosh, model, entrepreneur & author

How do you make an effort to reduce your impact on the planet on a daily / weekly / monthly basis?

1. I use eco-friendly cleaning products (I’m currently loving Method)
2. I recycle
3. I use food storage boxes rather than cling-film in the fridge
4. I always carry a metal or glass water bottle to avoid buying bottled water in plastic or single-use glass
5. I’ve stopped using plastic cotton buds and straws
6. I have a keep cup for take-out coffee
7. I like to buy clothes from brands that used recycled fabric
8. I only eat meat once a week and am eating a lot more plant-based in general

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Cora Hilts, Founder of Reve en Vert

What’s one of the most important pieces of advice you would give to someone trying to make more conscious and sustainably lifestyle choices?

My two tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle are to educate yourself and to look outside of your own personal desires a bit more. Educate yourself with reliable news stories, get interested in science, watch things like Conspiracy and David Attenborough’s Our Planet. You will likely find yourself wanting to change rather than thinking of it as something taxing you have to do. And think of personal desire secondary to our collective needs - it’s just one Evian for my yoga class, it’s just one steak I am craving, it’s just one jump in the car. We are all contributing to this massive problem of pollution and emissions, so either think ahead or go without from time to time - it won’t hurt you, and it certainly won’t hurt the planet.

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Eva Ramirez, wellness & travel writer

What’s one recent change you’ve made in your routine to reduce waste?

I’ve become a lot more conscious of food waste recently, and I’m far more conscious about not letting things like a bruised plum or bunch of wilted parsley - which I would have otherwise thrown out - go unused. It’s made me a bit more creative in the kitchen, and my food processor and slow cooker have certainly got more action (I’ve been making pestos, soups and vegetable curries where wilted ingredients get completely disguised) and I feel a lot better about the food I’m eating too. I’m also using my freezer a lot more to avoid things going off and to waste - something my grandma is particularly proud of!

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Caroline Deisler, plant-based fitness blogger

1. Eating a plant-based diet has so many environmental benefits and it motivates me even more to promote that lifestyle. I feel more connected to our wonderful planet than ever before and love the feeling of eating a colorful diet that doesn’t involve any cruelty.

2. Other switches I made to reduce my environmental footprint is to get around by bike instead of Uber! I feel so much better as well, getting some fresh air instead of being stuck in traffic. :-) I‘m also really trying to cut down my plastic consumption 🙌🏼 I now have reusable shopping bags, reusable fruit & veggie bags for the fridge and got a water filter installed under the zink to stop buying plastic bottles.

+ I will also launch my swim line @caroswim_ this summer and put a big focus on sustainability. All materials are eco friendly, either partly or fully made from recycled materials and the packaging involves no plastic as well which I‘m really happy about. :-)

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Melissa Hemsley, chef and author

What’s your favourite go-to recipe to use up ingredients on their last legs, to avoid things going to waste?

An easy and delicious way to clean out the fridge, not waste food and make something great for a breakfast / packed lunch / snack is to do a "Friday Frittata" . Anything goes, you don't even need to chop anything, sometimes it's grated onion, carrot and cheese, sometimes I just tear up the ends of soft herbs like basil or dill and the last of the limp rocket. It's always different, always delicious and it's about 5 minutes of effort.

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Madeleine Shaw, author & blogger

Can you share your top 3 favourite eco-friendly tips?

1. Picking up the odd fruit & veg - As well as local markets, lots of big supermarket chains are now putting on display loose and often mis-shaped fruit and veg! These poor little guys normally become waste, so I like to pick these up and make a veggie hot pot with them, where it doesn’t matter how they look.

2. Turn on Aeroplane mode - I feel like my phone is always dying on me, and before it does, I need to urgently put in on charge. But, I've consciously tried to start putting it on aeroplane mode to save the battery and save electricity. A small change, but it means I get some time off of my phone and also helps lower my carbon footprint.

3. Who am I ordering from? - I have started to be more conscious about the companies I order stuff from, whether it's food, clothing or toys for Shay. I like to look at their values and also how they wrap and package the products that get sent to me. There are so many choices online for buying stuff, and it only takes 5 more minutes to find a more sustainable company for the things you need.

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Olivia Crighton, founder of Glasshouse Salon

Can you share some simple tips for anyone wanting to clean up their beauty and hygiene regimes? And any other habits you’ve adopted and would like to share?

  1. When it comes to my beauty cupboard, I’m a big fan of using Yoni’s plastic free and 100% organic cotton tampons. The material is designed to biodegrade after use and is free from the potentially harmful chemicals included in traditional feminine care products.

  2. I have also recently started using the OrganiCup. I learnt that the average woman uses up to 11,000 single use tampons in her life, so this is a great way to significantly reduce bathroom waste.

  3. I’ve also swapped my toothbrush for a bamboo Truthbrush and have been using beauty products that are packaged in glass, paper or aluminium as much as possible.

  4. I’ve followed a plant-based diet for many years now, but recently I have been making the extra effort to cook more at home and avoid processed and packaged foods to minimise packaging and lower my carbon footprint. I think it’s important generally to consider the environmental output of the foods you eat, choosing to opt for locally grown and organic produce where possible.

  5. It’s difficult to avoid buying all the sweet children’s outfits I come across for my daughter, but I really feel the fashion industry’s carbon footprint and nasty bi-products that contaminate our oceans cannot be ignored any longer. I try to minimise the number of new outfits I buy and opt for second hand options whenever I can. When I do buy a new piece however, I’ve found that buying higher quality items from more sustainable materials last longer, helping me to buy less overall.

  6. For any new mums, I’d also recommend looking into alternatives for basic baby items such as reusable, washable and biodegradable nappies, and biodegradable baby wipes. Traditional nappies can take up to 400 years to decompose and can contain harsh chemicals that could be bad for baby and for the environment too.

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Genevieve Gralton, founder of Underbares

Tell us what it’s like running an ethical, sustainable brand, and any personal daily habits you’d like to share on reducing waste and avoiding single-use items:

In my personal life, I intentionally avoid purchasing single-use plastics by always carrying a bag with me for groceries, a S'well bottle, and, if picking up food on the go, avoiding any extra packaging or plastic silverware! For my business, Underbares, all of our packaging is either created from recycled materials, biodegradable, or full recyclable. There's a lot of waste in the world--I don't want to add to it

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Zanna Van Dyke, fitness blogger

What’s one major change you’ve made recently in a conscious effort to love and care for the Earth, and how can we all do our bit to keep our immediate and local natural surroundings thriving?

The main change I have made is raising my awareness of our impact on the natural environment in day to day life. If I see trash in nature, I pick it up. It is as simple as that. Removing plastic, glass or cardboard from the natural environment helps reduce the risk of it impacting wildlife and causing further damage.

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Sjaniël Turrell, natural make up artist

I think the most effective change I’ve made over the last while was making the decision to start using only reusable wash cloths instead of wipes for changing nappies at home and only using wipes (biodegradable of course) on the run. I’m busy and exhausted most of the time so I would love to be one of those mums who only uses rewashable nappies, but as a freelancer without a nanny or cleaner I have to be realistic about what I could manage from day to day. Using washable cloths instead of wipes at home has changed my wipes usage from 3-4 packs per month to about 1 pack every 3 - 4 months - it’s one small change but I was amazed at how much of a difference it made!

Secondly, I have started using balm and oil cleansers to remove makeup with an organic cotton muslin that I can wash out after each use - I do this before washing my face with my favourite gentle cleanser from Twelve Beauty. This has saved me on using copious amounts of disposable cotton pads which I couldn’t live without before.

These aren’t massively life altering changes but I believe if we all make these small doable changes our collective choices have massive implications on positive impact for the earth. It’s about numbers of people making changes, not numbers of things for one person to change.

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Phoebe Torrance

What are some of your favourite eco-friendly swaps you have made over the years?

Firstly, stopping eating red meat - after a while I didn’t even miss it, I actually started to feel healthier and got my iron from sources like veggies, nuts and seeds. Secondly, bringing my reusable coffee cup everywhere I go - it even gets you money off in shops. Thirdly, using reusable makeup remover cloths which you can wash after use and re-use. And finally, always bringing my own tote everywhere, where, again you save money not having to pay for a plastic one! It’s about making little steps yourself that make a huge difference, and if we all did several small things, there would be a real change!

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Pauline Hansen, Founder of Pama London

You make gorgeous activewear from natural materials. What’s something you’re particularly proud of or excited about this year?

I’m super excited to be working with Econyl which is going to be one of our newest fabrics used in our leggings and bras. It’s made out of plastic waste from the oceans, meaning it not only recycles plastic waste, but also contributes to cleansing the oceans too! Our new Moon & Stars collection is all about cleaning up the oceans and preserving it. The products are also all recyclable, creating a circular economy for the journey of our clothes. I believe people should buy more clothes made with fabrics like Econyl, and that would be my top tip to anyone wanting to make positive changes to their habits. Buy less clothing and other things made from synthetic materials, and more

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Pip Roberts, Yoga Teacher

What ‘s your favourite life-changing adaptation been in your daily routine?

Ditching pre-made / shop-bought mylks. Environmental reasons go beyond the impact of cattle farming and back to the single use plastics we use for milk, so I am making an effort not to use tetra-packed mylks.

I blitz up vegan milk (my favourites are oat (so cheap!) and black sesame), in the vitamix each morning, storing any left over in the fridge in glass bottles for later.

Get going with this eco-friendly starter pack

Must See Sustainability Documentaries & Environmental Documentaries

The Best Eco-Friendly, Ethical & Independent Activewear Brands and Their Best Pieces

Essentials, Lifestyle, Movement, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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Since embarking on my journey of living a more eco-friendly life, I have come across so, so many incredible brands doing amazing and conscientious things. I could go on and on about them all, and I will, but in this instance, let’s talk about activewear.

This was a natural progression for me since initially developing my awareness of health and wellness through fitness. In fact, fitness is where it all started for me, since, as a model, this was something I became growingly aware of and interested in in order to stay fit and in shape. Then, as my interests expanded and spread across different industries, including food, mindfulness, beauty and environmental issues, I began to seriously question the fashion industry and its ethics. And since my daytime wardrobe is predominantly activewear-based these days, I felt super inspired to apply all that I’ve learnt about the fashion industry and sustainable style to my activewear sourcing.

So, or you’re hitting the gym hard in the quest to earn your Thanksgiving and Christmas binges, I think these activewear brands have something for you. Or, if you welcome this time of year as one to hibernate completely, excusing yourself from any extra activity that isn’t absolutely necessary, the pieces these brands create have extra stretch and are super soft and flexible, so are ideal, exercise or not.

Girlfriend collective

Girlfriend activewear is easily one of my favourites, for their simple yet functional designs, and such a vast array of unique block colours. I love their Lite range, made with Econyl - which contains recycled plastics retrieved from the ocean. Their opinion: “Old fishing nets look better on you than they do at the bottom of the ocean”.

Pama

Combining eco friendly fabrics and sustainable practices with fashion to create chic, high-performance activewear, Pama were one of the first environmentally mindful activewear brands I ever came across. I adore that their products are made from natural materials like bamboo and charcoal, and they are so beautiful and wearable. I practically live in their chakra shorts during the summer.

Vyayama

Vyayama is another of my first and favourite discoveries in natural activewear. They use only natural fibers which are OEKOTEX® certified, sourced sustainably and made ethically. Their designs are super unique, and whilst some of their prints are lively, they are incredibly wearable and chic unlike a lot of bright and over the top patterns rife in activewear these days! It’s all so comfortable and I live in this even when I’m not working out!

Peak and Flow

Peak and Flow’s mantra goes something like this: “For us, sustainability isn't just about the selection of better materials and where we create the product, it's also about creating clothing that is built to last, cross-functional and reduces how much you need in your wardrobe. We work tirelessly to make every stage of the product lifecycle better for the planet”. I like supporting companies whose values align with my own, and I also like these, which are made from recycled ocean plastics, recycled industry waste and recycled plastic bottles.

Sports Philosophy

Sports Philosophy’s products are made with carefully sourced materials that are breathable, sweat-wicking, UV-protective and piling-resistant. Everything is ethically done, and they even have their own charity which fights child labour within the fashion industry. Find out more here.

Silou

This independent brand from London offers super chic, body-enhancing designs, all of which are ‘mindfully manufactured’. This new bralette is a fave.

Phat Buddha

Based in NY, Phat Buddha make flattering collections for all body shapes, so you don’t have to be a super slender yogi in order to pull off their designs. Their crops are super cute, and these V-neck leggings are insanely flattering for any body shape. They use organic materials, most of which are completely and safely biodegradable.

Adrenna

Adrenna was born from the desire to pursue a more intelligent and environmentally conscious way of producing and enjoying activewear, without having to sacrifice style, function or quality. Adrenna are passionate about tackling mass-production, so they only produce what and when is needed. Their activewear also minimises impact on the environment, since they produce in small batches, source locally and work as much as possible to zero-waste production. What’s more, Adrenna offer made-to-order services, and, using the finest technical eco-fabrics from Italy, allows you to customise certain features of your activewear.
This sports bra, which comes in several colours, is such a flattering and functional shape.

Allbirds

Allbirds are one of my favourite shoe brands, and they are doing incredible things. Their shoes are made with technical and functional materials, and are 100% natural. You won’t find any cheap or synthetic materials, and these shoes, although slightly pricier than most, are build to last, and also to leave as little an impact on the planet once you’ve done with them. Made from wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, trees and sugarcane made into Sweetfoam soles. I live in these and these.

Milochie

A super sustainable company on many levels, Milochie products are made with 92% Tencel®, Miloflex® - whic is an incredibly sustainable material, made from wood-pulp which comes from sustainably harvested Beech trees that are turned into fabric using a super-efficient closed loop system, that re-uses 99% of its waste. The fibres of their products are also naturally anti-bacterial, sweat-wicking, and biodegradable. I love their patterned shorts.

Vaara

Vaara is by far one of the most beautiful activewear brands, and every pieces is insanely aesthetically pleasing. The designs are simple and chic, not too bright and totally wearable, even when you’re not heading to a workout. They’re the kind of leggings you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught wearing on a late night supermarket run for emergency snacks. Material-wise, they select the finest materials, caring for the detail and working with only the best manufacturers in the world to thoughtfully tailor each piece. I’d say functionality is more suited to yoga and pilates than high intensity workouts, and love this set and these shorts are perfect for the summer.

Varley

Varley’s designs performance driven, timeless, wearable pieces that you will come back to again and again. They differentiate themselves through innovation, product performance and quality, and whilst sustainability is not something they shout about, they use high-quality materials and produce in much smaller batches compared to activewear giants. I love their super elegant Walsh Bra and pretty much any of their leggings; all of which come in a vast array of colours and patterns.

Alternative Apparel

Eco-friendly, organic, recycled, Fair Labor Certified and Green Business Certified, Alternative Apparel have a variety of clothing, not specifically activewear, but you’ll find some loungewear and loose-fitting tees and leggings. Their garments are crafted with sustainable materials & processes, including organic & recycled materials, low-impact dyes & water-conserving washes, and all of their packaging is biodegradable.

Outdoor Voices

I love the ethos at Outdoor Voices of making working out fun. “We believe in going out and Doing Things. Moving our bodies and having fun. Let's let go of our expectations, rules, should’s and should nots. Let's have fun, be free, make discoveries, make friends, and make progress. Let's start #DoingThings together”. They use just four core materials and source textiles sustainably, including their sustainably-sourced merino wool and recycled polyester made from water bottles. They have a relatively small collection, producing in smaller batches than your usual high street stores.

Groceries Apparel

Made from 100% organic recycled materials, Groceries Apparel offer all kinds of items, from daywear to intimates. I love their bras and tees to throw over my core activewear pieces.

Sharehope

Sharehope are doing so, so many great things, and too many for me to list here. Find out about them here and check out their do-good leggings.

Evveervital

A beautiful range of athleisure apparel made with innovative materials that are ethically sourced and responsibly manufactured, without sacrificing style, quality and performance. Take a look at this, this, this and this.

Reformation

I adore everything Reformation, especially this statement: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2”. Everything they create is super ethical and sustainably done, their own-brand made in small batches and their site also supporting other small brands doing things they approve of. Check out their activewear picks here.

Free People

Just about everything.

Riley Studio

I love Riley Studio’s loungey collection, and wear the hoodies everytime I go running, or to get me from a to be; or more specifically from home to class. Through extensive research and development we aim to source fabrics that have been created from waste materials or from natural fabrics that are biodegradable. Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy and we are working towards becoming part of a circular economy by choosing fabrics such as ECONYL®, which is infinitely recyclable. In an attempt to also alleviate the plastic waste crisis across the globe, we use fabrics such as rPET, which is made from PET packaging and industrial waste.

Threads 4 Thought

Threads for Though use sustainable materials and create products that leave an innately smaller impact on our environment, support in-need communities, and assist in changing the narrative of ethical standards within the fashion industry. Their ‘Reactive’ collection uses recycled plastics, and their other collections are all just as virtuous.

Boody

Boody use OEKO-TEX certified bamboo to make their beautiful basics, and buying from them you can rest assured that you’re supporting fair wage production and positive work ethics. Their products are all vegan and they even use eco-friendly packaging. I love their underwear, their leggings and this cami body. Find out more here.

Pact

“We believe in crafting clothing differently: Sustainable materials, kindness towards humans and the softest clothing you’ll want on every layer”. Pact’s products are organic and fair trade and are made without toxic chemicals, and steer well clear of sweatshop/child labor. Sounds like the kind of brand we need more of, right? Browse here.

Shift to Nature

“At Shift to Nature we set about sourcing high quality products that are made carefully from certified organic textiles, responsibly to those who make it, and with consideration to our customers. We source beautiful clothes and bed linen from both Australia, Europe and India”. Shop not just activewear, but a variety of wardrobe basics and essentials like underwear, here.

Carrot Banana Peach

Carrot Banana Peach is an organic plant based clothing brand, created almost twenty years ago and inspired during a trip to the rainforests of Malaysia. The collections they carry include bamboo yoga clothing, banana fitness clothes, soybean retreat wear and Aloe Vera clothing and accessories. So clever!

Live The Process

I love anything Live The Process do, especially this: “Live The Process is ethically made in America by women who are dedicated to creating your high quality product. Our high standards of care for this creative process come from our dream to make the world a better place. From the cutting of our luxurious fabrics to the packaging that your items are shipped in, we make sure every step of our process is helping achieve our goal of reducing environmental impact and embracing American labor.” Every piece they make is so effortlessly beautiful yet functional; just take a look at this, this, these and these and then try not to buy everything else on the site.

Assist Your Workouts

I use these in every single workout I do at home.

These are complete game changers and take your home workout to new levels.

Cardio that’s actually fun.

Intensify your workout with one of these or these.

Not just for pilates, these and these are amazing for all kinds of ab, thigh and glute reps.

To go with you everywhere and to avoid excessive plastic bottle consumption.

One of my favourite post-workout snacks: in this flavour, this flavour, this flavour and this flavour.

Experiment with pre-workout supplements or drinks, for endurance and stamina.

Try adding these and / or these to your daily routines, which are known to assist in fat burning and muscle repair.

How To Stop Procrastinating

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

How to Stop Procrastination Forever

This blog post on how to stop procrastinating comes at the end of an unproductive day for me. I mean, in reality, I think my unproductive days are equal to many peoples idea of a productive day, but in comparison to my own productive days, unproductive days suck, and leave me feeling super flat and frustrated.

I’ve done all I urgently needed to do today, but I think that’s half of the struggle. Being your own boss and running your own projects can often mean you have to create more work for yourself. So, when you have slightly quieter periods, its crucial that you motivate yourself to go out and find future work or at least plan for it. I had the good intentions to focus on so many things today, and whilst I had the time to make space for them, I found myself procrastinating with unimportant emails, faffing with new software for my website (which took time and resolved nothing), posting a little on Instagram and generally just hanging out on my laptop but with not much to show for it.

It’s days like these - or should I say Monday’s like these, mostly - that really drain me and zap my energy. I always know the minute I wake up that it’s going to be one of those slow-burning days, lacking inspiration or enthusiasm, and where lots happens and I do lots of little bits, but I don’t actually feel like I’ve gotten anything profound or productive done at all.

Today, a lot of positive things happened and lot of important things on my to-do list actually did get done. But, I think, because none of them were incredibly engaging, I didn’t feel as excited as I should have done. I received some exciting emails, I arrived on my new modelling agency’s website, I sent some emails I’d been avoiding for some time, I planned some new projects for Qnola, amongst other things, yet none of these things made me feel like I’d done enough by the end of the day.

One thing in my way was severe whiplash from my recent ski trip to Austria, making my neck excruciatingly tight, my head painfully heavy and my mind dizzy and distracted by a dull and constant headache and a lack of appetite and, subsequently, energy. I also had a little jet lag and was probably overtired, but we never make excuses for ourselves when we’re busy being hard on ourselves, do we? If it was anyone else, I would have told them to take a break or take the day off, but because it was myself, I forced myself to power through and well, yep, it didn’t get me much further than having a day off would have done; may as well be honest with you.

It has however, inspired this late night blog post which I hope in turn inspires you next time you hit a productivity block.

Causes of procrastination and why we experience productivity blocks

A number of things can affect our concentration, motivation and productivity, from one day to the next.

  1. Your job and / or the task at hand. If you hate your job or if whatever you need to do makes you miserable, your motivation is going to be low. Passion is the secret to guaranteed productivity, motivation and drive. Don’t freak out if you hate your job, just don’t blame yourself for lack of drive if that is the case. It’s the jobs fault, not yours. You’ll see when you eventually find what truly lights you up (disclaimer: It’s a forever-project).

  2. Your energy levels. Have you slept well? Have you slept long enough? Are you generally well rested? Have you eaten? Have you eaten too many sugar or caffeinated foods? Have you exercised? All of these things will affect your physical and mental output.

  3. Distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes, from things like matters in your own private life, new stories and office conflicts, to constant texts or emails, external noise from colleagues or things like the radio, or internally muttering coming from your own thoughts.

  4. Time constraints. Sometimes, deadlines can be more overwhelming than good, and can restrict you from doing your best. Other times, they can be too lenient or long, allowing more room for procrastination. Try to find a schedule structure that works for you.

  5. Misc. There are plenty of other things that can induce productivity blocks. I touched on internal muttering of the mind, but more specifically, things like comparison, self-doubt, self-worth, confidence and fear can powerfully affect and dictate how productive your are, or you allow yourself to be, I should say. All of these things have a way of mentally holding you back, by making you feel either incapable, unworthy, undeserving, or all of the above. These kinds of things often arise to challenge you, and in moderation, they’re good traits to carry, but when they become too much and stop you from doing things, they become detrimental to your life and mental health, and prohibit you from living life authentically. Tiredness, lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, external or societal expectations are amongst some of the reasons these thoughts and feelings surface now and again. Meditation and mind-mapping can help silence these self-limiting beliefs and help you regain control.

How to approach procrastination and productivity blocks

What to do when you feel a wave of low-productivity approaching (or when you wake up feeling a lack of inspiration or motivation) and how to avoid it.

  1. Understand that it’s just one of those things / one of those days; notice it, allow it, and whatever you do, don’t judge it or try to change it. It will just. make. things. worse.

  2. Once you’ve noticed you’re having one of those days, start a fresh to-do list. Sometimes, on days like these, you have to break things down really basically. It may seem condescending but making things a simple as possible will really help you to concentrate. Make things easy, digestible, plain and simple. It’s important to be gentler, more patient and more understanding with yourself, as the more pressure you put on yourself, the more overwhelmed and anxious you’ll become. Go slow and try to do one thing at a time. And if this means cutting down your to-do list for the day, so be it.

  3. Drink plenty of water. Down 1-2 glasses of water as soon as you feel this dip in productivity. Follow that with a herbal tea, and even better, bring in a fruit and vegetable based juice or smoothie, for extra and instant nutrients.

  4. Prioritise natural, whole foods. You need your nutrients, and your brain needs as much fuel as it can get. I’d suggest raw or cooked vegetables, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like avocado, nuts and seeds), and if you don’t have much of an appetite, incorporate adaptogen powders, tonic herbs or other superfood powders, or take multivitamins and other supplements to support cognitive function.

  5. Take time to breathe deeply. On days when either you just don’t feel productive, or when you feel overwhelmed and unfocussed, stopping to concentrate on your breath can be powerful. Close your eyes and take 3, 6 or 12 long deep breaths, taking full inhalations and forceful exhalations. This should help to reset a few things mentally, and will instil inner calm and peace, if only for a moment.

  6. Try to have just one to-do list. I am guilty of having to-do lists on my laptop, in my digital calendar, in several places on my phone, and then still go about making a handwritten to-do list. It’s never a good idea but I also can’t seem to stop myself. Learn from my experiences, and try to just organise your to-do lists for the present day in one place. Try to keep it neat, and prioritise things in order of urgency.

  7. Don’t

  8. Go

  9. On

  10. Instagram. Honestly, I have now sincerely warned you. There is nothing for you there, and certainly nothing that will help you on a day like today. Perhaps the odd inspirational quote, but you’ll likely pass hundreds of other overwhelming / soul-destroying / envy-inducing snippets whilst your there, that with either make you feel down, jealous, frustrated, unworthy, incapable, negative, depressed and, oh, unproductive once more. Just, don’t do it.

  11. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve done ‘enough’. Sometimes, in a days work, you merely plant seeds. You send emails and might not hear back straight away'; you plan projects but have no completed work or outcome to show for it (yet). Try to think of some days as planting seeds, and cultivating. It is all part of the process and things can’t always happen instantly. Imagine the seeds becoming whatever you desire or whatever they are destined to become, and then wait patiently for them to evolve. But know that results don’t always come instantly. Trust the process and do what you can, with what you’ve got. Remember there is no rush, and whatever will be will be.

  12. Get some fresh air. Take a walk in nature or just somewhere local you can go that’s outside. Even just a change of scenery. A trip to a coffee shop or another public place during your lunch break. Any of these things can contribute to lifting your mood and encouraging a new wave of motivation or inspiration.

  13. Indulge in time for yourself, particularly at the end of a day that you feel has been a bit of a flop. Take a bath, read a book, watch something on television, hang out with friends. Do something thoroughly relaxing, and enjoy thinking about how much better the following day will be. Get some rest and know that you will wake feeling more refreshed than ever. And if you don’t, know that that’s ok. Sometimes these things come in waves. I’ve had weeks and even months of low productivity, low moods, low motivation and lack of inspiration and enthusiasm, and it isn’t easy. But trust that it is all part of the process, and that when the time is right, things will become easier and a little more effortless. It depends on a lot of things, but it will come.

How to stop procrastination now

As with anything, I believe there can be important groundwork to be done and foundations to be laid before productivity blocks arise, in order to actually avoid them, more or less completely. Take into account the topics from above, but in general, to avoid the approach of productivity blocks in the first place, try the following 10 steps to stop procrastinating.

  1. Eat well

  2. Stay hydrated

  3. Move. Exercise daily, even if it’s just walking or stretching

  4. Breathe

  5. Talk to others. Also, ask for help if and when you need it. Asking for help regularly or delegating tasks to others around where you can you will help take relieve some of the pressure you’re under, and should help you to feel generally less over-worked and overwhelmed

  6. Read positive quotes or inspirational memes. Or, write some of your own. Write a positive affirmation or thought as a way to pivot any negative thoughts you might be having. For example, if you think something like ‘I hate my job, I will never get a job in fashion like I want to’, write down an opposite thought like ‘I look forward to finding my dream job, and I already love working in fashion’. Thinking more positively and acting as if you are already in the situation you want to be in has profoundly powerful effects on the outcome of your situations

  7. Practice non-attachment. Simply work as much as you can, and get stuff done, but don’t put pressure on the outcome or the reason behind doing something. For example, don’t write an article just so it will be published. Write the article because you want to, and in practicing non-attachment, the outcome and result of you doing so will come willingly, and when it is destined too. And in the meantime, you won’t be putting pressure on yourself or the situation for it to be anything other than what it is

  8. Get outside in nature, often

  9. Give yourself permission to have regular breaks. Even if its just 10 minutes per day. Schedule a time to just be. To welcome silence or stillness. This should keep your productivity nicely topped up

  10. Get enough sleep

Vegan Chocolate Easter Nests ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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Chocolate covered cornflake cakes are a vital component for pretty much any Easter celebration, but for those searching for something a little more nutritious amongst the conventional confectionary, I've created these cornflake cakes with a difference and, as always, are gluten free, vegan and made with 100% natural, unrefined ingredients. Whilst many might prefer to avoid the sugar rushes and general hyperactivity of the Easter holidays - for either themselves or young ones around them - these have a much subtler sweetness, are high in fibre and can be customised with any of your favourite superfoods, adaptogens or other nourishing ingredients, like dried fruits or cacao nibs. High in cacao, they are also super energising, so whilst everyone else is in their food coma or sugar crash, you can enjoy a natural little high of your own.

+ Add mini eggs to replicate traditional Easter nests, or instead, to keep things as natural and nourishing as possible, replace with nuts, seeds, fresh berries, dried fruits or whatever else you fancy.

Vegan Chocolate Easter Nest Ingredients

Makes approx. 12 nests

200g fibre flakes or corn flakes (doves farm) (link)
8 tablespoons coconut oil or cacao butter
5 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut syrup other natural sweetener of choice like maple, date or rice syrup
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds or chia seeds (optional but extra nutritious)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, powder, paste or seeds
Pinch of salt

Optional
Handful sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nut butter or tahini
Handful of dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, goji berries, chopped dates or mulberries
Qnola
Puffed quinoa or puffed brown rice

Method

Make a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a small / medium saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water in it. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer and add the coconut oil or cacao butter. Allow to completely melt, then remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder, syrup of choice, flaxseeds or chia seeds, if using, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine, then add the flakes. Add any of the optional ingredients, if using, and stir a final time to combine. You can use a gentle mashing technique to slightly break down the flakes, if you like. This will just encourage the flakes to set more closely together and will intensify the crunchiness.

Next, spoon the mixture into a case-lines muffin / cupcake tin, using about 1 or 1.5 tablespoons per case. Gently press down on the mixture with the back of a tablespoon or spatula. Place in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to set and stiffen.

Store either in the fridge or in an airtight container.

Decorate with nut butter, fresh or fried fruits, raw chocolate chunks or eggs or even a dollop of something like date caramel or cashew cream.

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