WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Travel

Sunlight Therapy and How To Have Safe Sun

Essentials, Beauty, Natural Living, Summer, Traveldanielle coppermanComment
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If you're anything like me, you'll have a tendency to gravitate outside at the first sight or sense of sunshine. I am a sun baby through and through; I could basque in it - literally soak it into every pore of my body - until it goes down. When it's not sunny, I feel low, but as it rises day in day out, I always tend to rise with it (regarding my sleeping patterns are as they should be and not disrupted by stress or other factors).

It fascinates me why we are all (mostly) drawn to and addicted to the Sun. It enlivens the senses; it governs many natural bodily functions, such as sweating, hydration, metabolism and mental wellbeing; and it permits more time outside, meaning more fresh air, more nature and more freedom out of the constant confines of an office and / or home. Our modern lifestyles are predominantly based inside, exposed to artificial lights and screens, and it's thought that these conditions may encourage and even worsen Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, seriously, make a conscious effort to get outside a few times a day (that doesn't include your commute).

The Pros

The sun triggers the production of endorphins, which just make us feel good.

Vitamin D. You all know about that.

The Sun is energising. Its rays and the frequency of its energy is absorbed into our cells and fuels our internal systems. In other words, it boosts the metabolism and feeds our internal processes.

A surge in metabolic power can have domino effects on nearly everything else going on within. From how we break down energy from food and how strong our immune systems are to the behaviour of brain chemicals and other substances that contribute to mood, weight, energy and more.

It increases positivity and elevate low moods. As well as endorphins, we produce higher levels of serotonin when exposed to more sunlight, a chemical / neurotransmitter believed to help regulate mood, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. It is known to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Think of it as Sunlight Therapy.

It brings people together more. When the Sun is out - especially in the UK as it's so rare - there is a stronger sense of community and connection. People gather more frequently to and generally spend longer together, as the days are longer and lighter.

Sunlight can also help regulate sleeping patterns. With more exposure to light, the sleep hormone melatonin is more efficient and we tend to produce more of it, meaning we sleep better and at more natural times, which may mean we're able to wake more easily too.

The Cons

Over exposure to the Sun has been linked with accelerated aging.

Over exposure to the Sun has also been linked with risk of developing skin cancer.

In warm, humid climates, dehydration is a common side effect of too much time spent in the Sun. This includes dry skin as well as internal thirst. Drink more than you usually would and moisturise like you mean it.

Overuse of sun protection can lead to greasy, oily skin and clogged pores (choose a natural one, for this reason if nothing else).

Below are a few summertime beauty products I've tried and loved or have been recommended recently; most are natural, organic, free of parabens and other nasty chemicals and / or ethical in some way, but some are a little guiltier. I use a combination, depending on where I am, what my skin is doing and what kind of skincare support I need in each present moment.

A Few Skincare Brands You Should Know About

Prep

Decleor Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator

Holistica 'I Am Balanced' Crystal Mist with Orange Bloom and Smokey Quarts

Sukin Balancing Anti-Pollution Face Masque

Loli Beauty Purple Corn Grain Face Mask

Loli Beauty Plum Elixir

Madara Brightening Aha Peel Mask

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Protection

Biosolis SPF 50 Solar Spray

Organii Sun Milk Cream SPF 50

Madara Plant Stem Cell Age Defying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Kypris Pot of Shade

Green People's Organic Sun Cream SPF 30

Endota Spa Daily Defence Cream SPF 50

Darphin Soleil Plaisir SPF 30 

Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection SPF 25

Acorelle 100% Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30

Aethic Vegan and Eco Compatible Sunscreen

Hurraw SPF 15 Lip Balm

After Sun

+ Directly after exposure to the sun and / or if you have light burns or any sensitivity, try to avoid heavy creams or oily products and opt for lighter, more cooling treatments.

Vegan, Paraben-free Aloe Vera Gel / Organic Aloe Vera Gel or even better, fresh Aloe Vera gel scraped from the plant

Cucumber slices or natural cucumber water

Pure Organic / Raw / Manuka Honey face mask

Loli Beauty Aloe Blueberry Jelly

Loli Beauty Blue Cornflower Water / Chamomile Lavender Water / Rose Water

Espa Soothing Body Oil

Espa Regenerating Face Treatment

Organii After Sun Cream

Green People Hydrating After Sun

Biafine Emulsion Hydratante

Fake it

Luna Bronze Sunless Tanning Lotion

Luna Bronze Eclipse Tanning Moose

Tan Luxe Rejuvenating Anti-Age Self Tan Drops

Tan Luxe Tan Booster

Tan Luxe Hydrating Self Tan Water

Tan Luxe Illuminating Tanning Butter

Espa Gradual Tan Moisturiser

Espa Gradual Tan Face Concentrate

Lavera Self Tanning Lotion

Eco by Sonya Invisible Tan Cream

Tanorganic Certified Organic Self Tan Lotion

Kora Organics Gradual Self Tanning Lotion

Glossier Hydrating & Soothing Moon Mask Face Treatment

111 Skin Hydrating Sheet Masks or Khiel's Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask or Origins Soothing Lavendar Soothing Sheet Mask

May Essentials ~ 2018 (ft. Cannes and LA)

Travel, Monthly Essentialsdanielle coppermanComment

There's a fine line between healthy and too healthy.

Have just booked to take part in a beach clean up in July. This website has events all over the UK coastline; it's free, you'll get some fresh air and you'll make a big difference to the cleanliness of our oceans.

Michael Nau sings to my soooooul.

Crystal water bottles; perhaps a little extra but why not? One ~ Two.

This vegan backpack by Matt & Nat came with me on several trips and serves as a perfectly sized, simply designed and super chic carry on.

Everything from Lunya looks so idyllic. Not only beautiful but also designed to improve sleep. Get it here now.

I never sleep on planes but I took a dose (or 3) of this melatonin tincture - purchased from Erewhon - and, no word of a lie, I slept 9 hours straight on the flight from LA - LDN.

How and why to keep your bedding fresh during the summer.

These went down well on my instagram feed last week.

So into illustrated ceramics like this these days. And pretty much everything on Trouva tbf.

Major Summer Vibes.

Love love loved this on my long haul to LA. 

This dream dress.

My summer reading list: Anatomy of the SpiritMolecules of Emotion, Heart Talk, Jane, Why social media is ruining your life, Holding Up the Universe.

New favourite raw chocolate bar (spiked with maca and lucuma, holaaaa).

Haven't taken this or this off since I put them on. 

Willlllooowwwww.

Cannes

Toward the middle of May, I spent a couple of days in Cannes with Grey Goose. I'm not usually much of a drinker, but I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about the inspiring brand and their unique products (all of which are made with single-origin French ingredients, traceable from field to table), all whilst celebrating the 71st Film Festival. Here's a few of my favourite discoveries from my time there:

The most idyllic lunch spot, we spent an afternoon on the island of Île Sainte-Marguerite. Definitely work a day trip into your visit if you're ever Cannes-bound.

Was spoilt with a new Away suitcase for the trip - my favourite carry on case due to its built-in charger.

Grey Goose on tap; sounds intense but actually served as such a light refreshment and, due to the purity of the recipe, I didn't feel hungover once. We were joined with Grey Goose global ambassadors who curated a selection of incredible cocktails throughout the weekend, which really inspired me to step up my beverage game this summer. 

LA

Finally had a flick through Cap Beauty's new book, made a visit to their store and discovered more about their Daily Hit cannabinoid and hemp oil - where all products are 100% natural and teeming with nutrition and life force. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

Met the lovely Nitsa from Sunpotion and chatted all things tonic herbs, traceability and shaking up the supermarket shelves.

Using this Everyday Oil, well, everyday.

These helped me adjust to LA time, big time.

Loved Dang's Salted Caramel coconut chips when I last visited the US, and arrived to find they now do an even better Chocolate and Sea Salt blend. Dangerously good.

Made it to Sqirl on our last day for some pre-flight nourishment. Get the Sorrell Pesto bowl (and avoid mistaking their sugar syrup for olive oil and douse your meal in it like I did).

Def a fave. All dishes are natural, gluten free and made without refined sugar.

Gjelina never disappoints. When we rocked up at 11pm delirious from jet lag on our first day, their pea and burrata toast and mushroom pizza hit all the right spots.

Found the best dairy free coffee creamer.

Got me one of these and have been enjoying it on stressful days settling back into daily work-life.

My new forever scent.

Spent far too much time and money in The End.

Same goes for Passenger. Too many beautiful things in one beautiful place.

Obsessed with Sage Plant Based Bistro and their in-house vegan and sugar free ice cream concession, Kind Kreme.

A road trip to and through Joshua Tree is something I would do every weekend if I could.

Frontier Cafe do the best vegan tempeh BLT and I think I will struggle to ever find one that can compete with it.

Staying my friend Bonnie's apartment I fell in love with grinding coffee beans freshly each morning. Try it, you'll see.

Bamboo tea strainers! One. Two.

I love a copper straw but also giving these a go too.

Never going back to disposable cotton pads. Never ever.

Loving this site and I think you will to.

Full travel journal on LA coming soon.

Restorative rituals for on the road ~ for Suitcase Magazine

Commisions, Wellbeing, Travel, Rituals, Pranayamadanielle coppermanComment

 

If your lifestyle requires you to travel regularly, you’ll notice it taking a toll on you both mentally and physically. To help reduce the side effects of excessive travelling, I’ve come up with three simple meditations that can be done anytime and anywhere to decrease stress, improve sleep, increase energy and keep you balanced while on the road.

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.

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Body scan: to encourage restful sleep

Body scanning is an easy mindfulness exercise to relax the body, calm the mind and shift attention away from overpowering thoughts. It involves spot 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.

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Nadi shodanana pranayama: to increase energy levels

This is an energising, cleansing and detoxifying practice that enhances concentration. It involves alternating breathing through the nostrils to control the breath in a way that rejuvenates the nervous system and balances both sides of the brain.

Method

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair with your feet flat, ensuring that the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Decide how to use your hands to control the nostrils; one thumb to close off both nostrils, your thumb and index finger, or your thumb and ring finger (the vishnu mudra method).

3. Close your right nostril by pressing the thumb against it gently. Inhale deeply through the left nostril and hold your breath, then move your thumb to your left nostril and close it. Exhale through the right nostril. Keep the thumb on the left nostril and inhale deeply through your right. Hold the breath and then close your right nostril again. Exhale through the left. Repeat 10-20 times.

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Ideal destination visualisation: to reduce stress

Visualisation is a powerful tool for quietening the mind and instilling a sense of positivity within. It involves tuning in and blocking out external distractions and the noise of the mind in order to deeper into the subconscious. This reduces clutter in the mind which subsequently diminishes anxiety, giving more positive parts of the mind a chance to be active. Practise this on the plane or before bed to encourage sounder sleep.

Method

1. Sit or lie comfortably, somewhere private if possible.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take three long, deep breaths and then let it settle into a natural rhythm.

3. Focus on your third eye (the space between your eyes/eyebrows) and imagine you are arriving at your favourite destination or somewhere you would love to be. This could be a specific place or a vague environment, such as a mountain, a field or the beach.

4. Visualise yourself in these surroundings – how it looks, smells, feels. Are you alone or with people? What can you hear? How does it feel to be there in that moment?

5. Continue with this visualisation for as long as feels right. If your mind begins to wander, bring it back to this place and return to the scene in your mind, trying to notice new things each time. Let your mind wander without force or resistance.

6. Practise this ritual for 5-10 minutes. When you are ready, deepen your breath and start to make slow, subtle movements; wiggle your toes, move your fingers, roll your shoulders. Gently open your eyes if you have the space or privacy, take some gentle stretches.

 

Travel Well ~ A weekend in Lisbon

Traveldanielle coppermanComment

I always make so many lists when I go abroad of places I want to visit during a trip. I then spend most of my time during the trip making new lists which feature a combination of places I've ticked off the original list, places I walk past and want to come back to later, and/or places I stumble upon spontaneously; compiling all of my favourite places with consideration for others who may one day visit and appreciate some first hand recommendations. I also have good intentions for the list to form the foundations of a blog post on my return, but every time I find I hit the ground running straight into overflowing inboxes and other tasks to make up for lost time, with no chance to look back. So, unsurprisingly, it never happens. This post, however, marks a moment of change.

From day trips and flea markets, to local beaches and the worlds best pasteis de natas, here is a breakdown of my favourite eats, drinks, see's, do's, shop's and stay's during my brief encounter with Lisbon.

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Eat

You'll struggle to find a bad Pasteis de Nata anywhere in Portugal, I'd imagine, but if it's the best you're looking for, head out of the city to Belem and don't stop until you get to Pasteis de Belem. This place is nothing too fancy; just traditional, affordable and famously delicious. If there's a queue, queue. If you want to take away, take no less than 5 (per person) or you'll be kicking yourself when your only one is over and done with. But if you have the time (and I'd really advise you make the time), find a seat in the back and give these mouthfuls of pure insurmountable pleasure your full attention.

For an authentic Portuegese experience, I can recommend Ribadouro, A Provinciana, A CervicheriaCervejaria Do Bairro and PinóquioCervejaria Ramiro is a famous family run seafood restaurant which we had to queue for but was well worth the wait. Peixola is another slightly more modern place for fish (and rum, just FYI), as is Sea Me Paixaria Moderna, which exists to pay tribute to the old fish shops of the city. And finally, Cantinho Do Avillez is also a must; a relaxed atmosphere with unique interiors and a sophisticated and well thought out menu.

For those with allergies / intolerances or other specific requirements, Terra Restaurante offers a pretty authentic and mostly vegan / vegetarian buffet. Cone ou Copo for all your gluten free / dairy free ice cream needs. Pizzaria Lisboa is one of the best pizza's I've ever had, and it was gluten free. Koppu Ramen Food is also lovely if you've tried enough of the local cuisine.

For sweets, Pastelaria Alcoa, a modest bakery chain, has a lot to offer, alongside hundreds of other local pastelarias dotted throughout the city. If you've run down your Pasteis de Nata quota for the day, a selection of handmade chocolates and the most heavenly chocolate cake awaits at Landeau Chocolate.

Drink

For daytime drinking, Liquid is the place to go for a selection of all-natural juices and smoothies, and if you need some emergency goodness, Power Foods delivers.

Topo and The Insolito are both great rooftop spots, if the one thing you want is a perfect view. Both also happen to serve a selection of drinks and amazing food. The Insolito is situated on the edge of Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara - a small park with a fountain that occasionally has markets and live music. About as picturesque as it gets.

Next to your list, add Pavilhão Chinês - a really characteristic bar in an old transformed grocery store. The rooms are museum-like - decorated with thousands of antiques and artefacts.

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See

All of the architecture, everywhere. Just walk around, put your phone away and take it all in. Dotted around the city, almost like checkpoints, are a selection of miradouros - which translates literally to mean 'viewpoint'. Basically, they're little spacious areas - often with benches, greenery and occasionally a tiosk selling food and drink - that offer particularly good views / photo opps.

St Jorges Castle in the Alfama district is also a popular site for the best views of the City.

Pay a visit to Basilica de Estrela and be sure to pass by the Santa Justa Lift even if you don’t go up it. We stayed in the Alfama District and would highly recommend just wondering around here enjoying corner cafes, local shops and an endless array of artful exterior tiling.

The Botanical Gardens are also a nice place to take a rest from walking.

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Do

Take a short train ride out of the city to Belem and take a stroll through the small town. You’ll find lovely cafes, bars restaurants and stores and the usual lovely architecture. You should also schedule some time for the Jardim Botanico Tropical and if you like art museaums, the MAAT.

Take a day trip to Cascais - also reachable by train - and spend some time wondering through the town until you reach the beaches. There are plenty of places for lunch, lovely traditional stores as well as a small market.

LX Factory is a creative hub on the outskirts of the city. You’ll find all sorts, from antique shops, furniture stores and a holistic therapy cafe and training hub, to cafes, concept stores and artist studios, in an otherwise derelict factory. V inspiring and worth a short taxi ride out of your way.

Lisbon is famous for its jazz, so spend some time researching or asking locals for the best venues in the city. We spent an evening at a really tiny jazz club called Hot Club, with an intimate vibe and cosy atmosphere. 
 

Shop

As well as exploring the city centre and the streets lined with local vendors, we found a few special gems during our visit; different to the touristy shops or the usual chains. Fiera da Ladra Flea Market is worth a visit for anyone into vintage anything. Whenever I travel to new places, I try to seek out local markets. It's really wonderful browsing the stalls and provides a lot of culture and tradition in a combination of locally crafted goods and second hand tat. This flea market is huge so allow some time to wonder around. A vida Portuguesa is a huge indoor market selling vintage bits and bobs, from clothes and furniture to collectors items and homeware. Some things are a little pricey but it's lovely to browse if not to buy. There are also some really unique stores and showrooms in the LX Factory (see 'Do').

For food, Time Out Market - an indoor food market, serving fresh hot and cold, ready-to-eat food. You can also pick up groceries or baked goods if you don't want to stop for a meal. They have a great selection of many different cuisines; a combination of fine dining and casual yet creative street food. If you want to buy local groceries to cook back home, Mercado Biologico Do Principe Real is a market selling all the fresh, organic produce you could need.

Stay

Whenever I travel, I tend to stay either with friends, in rented apartments or in hostels - especially if I'm travelling alone. I love meeting new people and getting really valuable advice on the area from the locals who live there. During this trip we had a private room in the Alfama Patio Hostel which is really beautiful and has a garden and rooftop. Each morning they made a batch of fresh crepes, included in the price of the room, and all awakened guest gather in the garden to enjoy them together. For anyone booking last minute or on a budget, Lisbon has a pretty strong selection of pretty nice hostels. Otherwise, there are many really lovely hotels and of course Airbnb's a plenty.

For more, this site has some other great recommendations.

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Well Being Retreat at The BodyHoliday, St Lucia

Events, Traveldanielle coppermanComment

I'm super excited to finally announce my latest project, in collaboration with The Club CoastalI've curated an exclusive, completely one-off retreat experience at The BodyHoliday, St Lucia, from May 20th-27th.

Well Being Around the World - Lake Como

Travel, Around the Worlddanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know how or why it took me so long to visit Como, but it did, and in hindsight, I'm really not impressed with myself. To think that I could have been waking in a room with a panoramic view of the lake, eating the best gelato of my life and just generally living a more simple life at an idyllically slower pace (and all under the life-giving warmth and energy of the sun) long ago, is hard to come to terms with and makes my work-centered world here in London seem, frankly, strange and unusual. As travelling always does, it made me question why we city folk put ourselves through the paces we do, and at the paces we do - running almost constantly at full speed from one thing to the next without any real feel for each individual moment. I truly believe it is the energy of these cities that keeps us powered up and focussed on doing and achieving, since, as soon as I step foot in a place with a slower pace and simpler agenda, I feel myself begin to exist more slowly and more simply. And it feels really good.

We started our Como experience at the North point of the lake where we spent a couple of days really at one with nature. We were staying right on the edge of the water, and spent our days exploring local villages by foot and lazing by the lake - soaking up the sun, getting weathered by the wind (the North is seriously windy) and wallowing in the water. There are local hikes and water sports too, but if you're on more of a 'doing nothing' vibe, it's the perfect setting to do just that. The lake is large and it takes a few hours to drive around it, but there is a local bus (more like a coach) that runs around it hourly or half hourly, which is really convenient if you want to explore some of the larger villages. We took a bus to Menaggio and after a leisurely coffee, we took a boat from there to Varrena. After some gelato, we took another boat over to Belaggio, where we found a place to settle for dinner. With only 2 nights on the lake, we wanted to fit as much in as possible, and whilst this might seem like a lot for one day, I'd recommend it as the villages are small and, although visually unique, are all quite similar. Enough time for a snack and some sun lounging in each is sufficient if you're on a tight schedule.

We left the lakes and ventured further inland to C Hotel & Spa in Cassago Brianza / Lecco - a design hotel tucked away in the hills of a tiny and peacefully quiet village. The hotel stands with just 18 rooms (the phrase 'quality over quantity' truly applies here) and also boasts a pool, a gym, a spa, a restaurant, a concept store and an award-winniner gelateria (dangerously close by), and we were invited to review their new 'Detox' programme. 

Our stay began with a private training session in the gym, which, fresh out of the lake and still drowsy from the sun, was more difficult than anticipated. We spent an hour doing quite isolated exercises both inside the small gym and outside on the lawn, which was perfect as I wouldn't have lasted long doing cardio in that heat. We then went straight into a full body massage with two resident masseuses, before lolling around in the spa with a snack platter of pressed juices, fresh fruits and mango sorbet from the on-site gelateria. In the evening, we tried out the detox menu in the hotels restaurant which involved all kinds of fresh and vibrant ingredients in the form of salads, soups and meat and seafood dishes. We then took an evening stroll in the local area before calling it a night after such a hard day (not).

This kind of behaviour continued for another couple of days. Working out, eating, yoga, facials and unforgettable ayurvedic massages became routine and the entire experience was life changing. We felt refreshed, revitalised and rested, and my boyfriend (who isn't really spiritual at all) even experienced his first emotional release during an Ayurvedic massage. That kind of stuff is seriously exciting to me.

With not many other residents around, we couldn't have planned for a dreamier getaway. It was almost like a retreat - with fitness, food, spa facilities and untouched nature all in one place - only with a menu that also includes the best red wine you've ever tasted (made minutes down the road) and a few pasta options for good measure. Nothing about this place is restrictive, which makes it an ideal stay for couples or groups with varied interests and levels of eagerness to detox. 

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"C-Hotel was built according to the principles of bio-architecture. We chose the sustainable construction, with a special attention to the balance between the surrounding environment and the building, not a burden on the ecosystem. We created everything using natural resources and reducing harmful emissions to the maximum, favoring renewable energy sources, environmentally friendly materials and techniques".

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"A perfect symbiosis between natural and experience". 

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"Austere but not extreme, contemporary and yet timeless, calm but not ascetic, strong but not intimidating, smart but not ostentatious. The created layout has been thought to spread a feeling of comfort and tranquillity".

 


"Local, seasonal and fresh, we are convinced that food tastes best when prepared with fresh ingredients, grown and harvested with a proper respect for nature. That is why we work, anytime we can, with the best local producers". 

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"Mind and sight are led to a state of relaxation through the visual order generated by our design. The clear framework dictated by the long architectural elements, creates a flowing perception of space. The use of stone, wood and the subtle combination of natural colours in contrast with the white walls and ceiling, helps to create a welcoming, warm and sensual environment".

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BARCELONA CITY GUIDE, THE YOGA KITCHEN AND WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL ALONE

Movement, Summer, Travel, Wellbeing, Lifestyle, City guidesdanielle coppermanComment

I'm (finally) getting around to writing this from the comfort of my boyfriends apartment in Sweden, wearing tiny nike training shorts with a contradictory oversized jumper, wrapped in blankets, drinking iced coffee. It's all very confusing, but this is what tends to happen during that awkward inbetween phase of seasonal change. And now, writing about Barcelona and browsing through photographs of myself in mermaid pose by a pool is just throwing me off even more. But you need to know about the places I discovered in Barcelona in case you're thinking of going in the future, so I'm going with it.

Earlier this year, caught up in a not-so-irregular email frenzy (the kind where you're beginning to question whether your fingers are even attached to your hands anymore given the rate they are moving) I almost trashed an email invitation that I thought at first glance was an ad. It was not. Kimberley Parsons, owner of Retreat Cafe and author of The Yoga Kitchen, was reaching out to invite me to her Catalonian Yoga Retreat (just outside of Barcelona), to celebrate the release of her cookbook. And since I had made no sturdy summer plans, and was still yet to make my way to Barcelona, my répondez (or should I say respuesta) was a no brainer. I booked my flights almost immediately, and added on a few extra days before the retreat started to spend some proper time exploring the city. My friends often find it brave that I travel alone, but I think my past experiences as a model probably have something to do with my personal lack of concern. I don't like being alone at home all day in London, but abroad, I love to be left to my own devices, and to explore a new place on my own terms. I don't just love travelling, I love exploring and discovering, which is why being alone doesn't seem to phase me. There is nothing like connecting with local inhabitants of a new place, and from experience, I manage to do less of this if I am travelling with others. Sure, I also love travelling with friends or family as the chance to share certain experiences with another person is unbeatable in its own way, but travelling alone gives you the chance and space to interpret things for yourself, and without necessarily realising it, you will often discover new things and rediscover the old, by reconnecting with yourself internally. I find that travelling opens my mind and also my heart, and enhances my energy output in a way that attracts positive and inspiring experiences and discoveries to come to me.
 

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Despite growing up in the countryside, I have become quite the city girl. But despite being a self-proclaimed city girl, the fast pace of city life will always get to me and is something I really don't miss when I'm away from it. Barcelona has the perfect balance in this respect. It has all the busyness, excitement, creativity and innovation of any capital city, but the atmosphere is sleepy and slowed, and the vibe is more communal and authentic. And it has a beach.

With only two full days in the city before retreating north into the Catalonian hills, the inner tourist in me woke early every morning and slept late every evening. I hate the thought of missing something and love to immerse myself in the traditional culture of a new place, which in Spain, means eating dinner around the time I would usually be going to sleep. Here are a few of my favourite Barcelonian discoveries, and after that, more on the retreat:

FLAX + KALE, TERESA'S + TERESA CARLES
I headed here for a smoothie and left with three. I then returned en route to the airport at the end of my trip and gorged on sashimi salmon toast and a vegan ice cream sundae to end all ice cream sundaes. They have some unique flexitarian options and something delicious for everyone. Teresa Carles is the chef in charge, and is also responsible for Teresa's Juicery, Teresa Carles and Teresa's.

SATANS COFFEE CORNER
This place has two locations, one of which is located on the corner of some quiet bending back streets, which is where I guess the name comes from. I had an amazing iced coffee (made from the finest single original coffee beans) and chose a breakfast bowl and some poke from their menu of local, house made dishes.

BRUNCH + CAKE
More than just brunch and cake, but you can’t call a place brunch, breakfast, smoothies, coffee, juices, sandwiches, salad bowls, toasts and cake, can you? With several locations across the city this place offers interesting and exciting nourishment any time of day (despite the name).

SURF HOUSE
A cute little surf shack that makes Barcelona Beach feel like Bondi. They have an amazing selection of fusion bowls, fresh burgers and revitalising drinks, and from them I chose an amazing tuna sashimi bowl and a smoothie. It's not often you find a place with vegan options sitting across from bbq ribs and nutella drenched waffles, but this place proves it can happen.

BOCQUIERA MARKET
If you like food, and lots of it in one place, spend some time wandering Bocquiera Market. A huge indoor/outdoor food market selling fresh produce, cooked meals, meat, fish, cheese, bread, smoothies and nut and seed pick & mix. I stumbled across it accidentally and stocked up on the most amazing macrona almonds, macadamia nuts and a coconut smoothie.

MACBA MUSEUM
Due to my time restriction (and the beautiful weather outside), I didn’t explore inside the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, but a friend of mine living in the city suggested swinging by to watch the skateboarders doing their thing. I took my Bocquiera takeaways and ate them in the sun, watching them make a half pipe out of the museum steps.

PRESS + RESET
One of few juice joints in the city, Press and Reset is a cool, cold pressed juice bar, located on the sidewalk approaching the beach. I took a strawberry almond milk from the fridge and enjoyed it with my feet in the sea.

THE JUICE HOUSE
Juices, smoothies, tea infusions, acai bowls, chia pancakes, avocado toast, salads and more, with options for meat eaters, vegans and everyone else in between.

BLUE PROJECT CAFE
Vegetarian, vegan and raw nourishment. Beautiful, delicious and incredibly functional if you need some cleansing between tapas courses and rounds of san gria.

PARK GUELL
I thought it was only right to engage in some actual tourism in between exploring the health food scene, so I made my way from the beach, through Park Cituedella all the way up to park guell. its quite a walk but i wasn’t working out so i enjoyed every sweaty minute of it. when i reached the park i explored the public grounds before taking the tour of Gaudi’s infamous architecture.

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T H E    Y O G A    K I T C H E N

After two days of touring Barcelona's health food scene and making my way to enough of it's famous landmarks to satisfy my inner tourist, I headed North of the city to the a traditional 19th century converted farmhouse situated in the Catalonian hills, to join Kimberley and ten other guests for The Yoga Kitchen Retreat. Kimberley's book - The Yoga Kitchen - is all about eating to realign our seven chakras which, incase you are unfamiliar, are the different energy systems within our bodies. These chakras, known as the Root, Sacral, Solar, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown, are the major energy centers of the body and are charged and recharged through contact with the stream of cosmic energy in the atmosphere. Each chakra relates to a certain part of the body, and if you feel physical or mental tension or experience complications in a certain area, this is known as a blockage or closure, and is your bodys way of showing when something is out of balance and unaligned. In her book, Kimberly focusses on the connection each chakra has with diet and mindful habits. She explains how we can support each one through our diets and provides over 100 plant based, sugar free and gluten free recipes to nurture each chakra. To emphasise the importance of phsycially and mentally nurturing our chakra's and keeping them balanced, Kathryn Fielding was our yoga teacher for the week, and each daily practice was inspired by each daily menu, focussing on a single chakra each day, starting from the root upwards.

We spent every moment before 8am in complete silence, and from 8am to 9am, this was only broken by the words of our teacher. At first, especially since I was sharing a room, I found this challenging as I hate awkward silences as it is, and wanted to acknowledge my roomie with a friendly 'good morning'. However, since everyone was silent, it wasn't really awkward at all, and by day two I had come to quite enjoy over-emphasising my smile and pointing at things in order to communicate.

After half an hour of independant, self-guided meditation, we started each day with 1 to 1.5 hours of chakra relevant morning yoga, either on a rooftop overlooking the hills, or on the edge of the infinity pool (not the infinite edge, dw). We then walked, simultaneously energised but relaxed, back up to the main house where a breakfast shot and smoothie was waiting for us. We sat at a long, communal table and got to know each other between courses of avocado toast, savoury flapjacks, egg bowls, rice bowls and hearty, seasonal salads - all made from the freshest local produce. You couldn't even imagine a brunch so perfect if you tried, unless greasy spoons or frosted flakes are your jam.

After breakfast - which was often 4 or 5 courses (sometimes 6 if you finished someone elses) of the most wholesome, natural and intentional ingredients - the rest of the day was our own. At first, I was dubious about going away with people I didnt know and was concerned that I might not want to commit to everything on the program, however, unlike a lot of more regimented retreats, we were left to do whatever we wanted for the rest of the day, and even the afternoon and evening activities were not compulsory. This fitted with the 'wake up well' and 'wind down well' ethos behind my brand, as I loved having structure in the morning and evening, but freedom to do what I wanted during the day. Somedays we walked off our breakfast banquet with a hike to and from a local lake. Others, we took bikes to the local town, played tennis in the private courts, swam in the pool, sunbathed, socialised or in some cases worked without feeling like we were working.

In the evenings, we had the choice to take part in yin and restorative yoga, often in a cool, cave-like room or on the rooftop overlooking the sunset. After that, we gathered around the communal table for a three course selection of chakra-relevant Yoga Kitchen nourishment. We started each meal with something light (raw asparagus mousse, roasted carrot gnochi, warming soups and seeded crackers). The mains (lentil dahl, white bean risotto, aubergine brown rice bowl to name a few) were fulfilling but also easy on the digestive system, and the desserts (turmeric mousse, raw chocolate bites, brazil nut ice cream) were, although not needed at all by this stage, welcomed and received with open arms (and chakras, lol). Some evenings we toasted essential oil spritzers and digestive tonics whilst star gazing, and others drew to a close with a cup of tea, a late night swim or just some low-key independant reading.

The experience as a whole was incredibly heart opening, and to have Kim and her husband both hosting, their love and energy definitley penetrated through every one of the guests. Some guests had never done yoga before whilst others were comparably pro, but no matter anyones level or ability, i defeinitely noticed something change in each guest by the middle of the week. Some people had stressful journeys, many of us were going through hectic times at work, and one was dealing with a painful breakup, but as we all opened up, shared things and let good food, positive energy and restorative yoga practices sooth these current challenges, we were able to accept things, enjoy things, embrace the power of positive thinking and of each others energy and truly let go. I swear I saw all twenty tense, hunched up shoulders drop heavily after a few hip opening postures and superfood shots.

I think the temperature just dropped by another 5 degrees so I'm going to round this up now, but if you want to find out more about The Yoga Kitchen, follow Kim @kimberleyparsons. She holds these retreats all year round and all over the world, so take a look on our website or subscribe to her newsletter to keep updated.

If you want to keep up to date with my travels and discoveries, follow me @dcopperman. I'll also keep these posts updated if I discover new things on repeat visits.

Well Being Around the World - Obonjan Island, Croatia

Summer, Travel, Lifestyle, Around the Worlddanielle coppermanComment

This summer arrived pretty slowly and disappeared pretty quickly. Last summer, I travelled around cuba, mexico, belize and guatemala with my oldest friend, which, as you can imagine, took quite some planning. But this year, I allowed the summer to unfold naturally, making no plans whatsoever, apart from to go with the flow (said the free-spirit traveller in me).

This worked out well for me, because running my own business causes me enough stress as it is, and I didn't want the pressure of making summer plans to add to this. I love going with the flow. It is so much more fun to see what experiences and oppertunities unfold. I truly, truly believe that over-planning kills magic, and that to a certain extent, the universe has its plans for you. And luckily for me, this summer the Universe made plans for me on the Croatian island of Obonjan. So I abided.

I arrived on Obonjan island towards the end of the season (Aug - Sept), having been asked to develop an island flavour of Qnola to help the visitors and guests to Wake Up Well throughout the season. Qnola Obonjan involed a base of vanilla and maca infused organic quinoa, mildly sweetened with coconut palm sugar and enhanced with dried lavender - a native herb of Croatia and a healing addition to support the body and sooth the mind. I also contributed to the schedule and hosted some Mindful Morning events throughout my time there. We held our first gathering in the woods with Pip Roberts, where we led our guests through a centring meditation exercise, before sharing our morning regimes, techniques and other offerings specific to waking up well away from home. The entire circle opened up and we connected and learned from each other as everyone offered an insight to their own rituals.

For the rest of our time on obonjan, we genuinely just. relaxed. The qnola was already produced and sitting happy in the shop, so after ensuring that each morning was mindful, we spent the rest of our days sunbathing, eating fresh, hand made food and stargazing to our hearts content.

Scenery
From split or zadar, you take a water taxi or a shuttle boat from sibinek (check out SHE whilst you’re there), and as you pull up to the island you are greeted by serene looking wicker umbrellas, lined up as if they’ve been waiting just for your arrival. As the island is only newly inhabited, it hasn’t been built up too much, so the umbrellas stand almost alone, decorating the check-in area and an ocean-facing bar and shading prime sunbathing spots in the form of rock faces and decking.

After check in and leaving your bags for someone else to deal with, you wander through the island into calm, cool woodland; home to 2-man tents and 4-man tipi-style lodges (complete with a private bathroom and a balcony - in our case, overlooking the ocean). The accommodation is idyllic. It’s quiet and away from most of the motion, its spacious and its impeccably clean.

Adventuring further into the island, you come across the huge pool (filled freshly each morning with ocean water), multiple beaches, artistic music stages and dreamy dirt track dance floors and a selection of unique eateries.

Day Time
During the day - for those rested enough to wake up - the schedule offers meditation, yoga classes, creative and spiritual workshops and the opportunity to book a slot with the islands masseuses, reiki experts, and more. Yoga and meditation is held in different places most days, dependant on the weather and amount of people attending. From the bark of the woodland, to stone semi circles, each place is unique and special in its own way, and each is, of course, quiet and calm. We enjoyed sunrise yoga overlooking the ocean most mornings, soothed by the sounds and the rhythm of the waves, and welcoming the occasional splash. The Green Bar is the perfect place to refresh after a class or just a heavy night (serving fresh smoothies, chia seed pudding, herbal teas, avocado toast and salads), and then, there’s little more to do than eat, drink and sunbathe - oh shame. Dj’s are on a chilled vibe most of the day, providing the perfect soundtrack to whatever you have the energy to do. If you don’t like chilling, this place is not for you, and i also think you are weird, but that’s ok/just my opinion.

Evening Time
Later on, the music transitions accordingly and live acts come into play on a few of the main bars and scenic stages. Sunset yoga is a must, even if you dont do or like yoga, go and watch those who stand silhouetted in warrior 1 and the sun paints the sky (and the sea) pinks, oranges and purples. Late Lunch at Bok, dinner at The Kitchen or a pizza from Pavillion Pizza are options if you don’t fancy a floor feast in your tent, and some of the islands cocktail specialities (from Drift, The Pool Bar or Forest Bar) wash all of the above down nicely. Before, after or during the music - depending on your vibe - its nice to take a stroll to the edge of the island to find astrologers with their telescopes, eager to share their knowledge of the constellations, and stun you with a close up of the Moon and nearby planets.

Conveniences
The food on the island is amazing. It's good quality, locally sourced and fresh. So local, in fact, that if the boats can't get out or the rish can't be caught, you will experience shortages. The island has a few stores, including the SLC concept store (selling summerwear, souvenirs and spiritual offerings) and a small grocery store (selling local necessities, picnic essentials and, ofc, Qnola). There are fridges in the accomodation, so I'd recommend bringing a few things in from the boat port if you're prone to getting hangry.

Obonjan is a magical place. The island, until now, has been completely uninhabited and untouched. As soon as you arrive on the island, your mind slows down and your mood adapts to the serene surroundings and the other islanders. The energy on the island is so balanced and everyone connects somehow - if not at sunrise yoga then most probably later on at the Forest Bar. The island is small, and there is not a lot to do other than stretch, meditate and just be. But in a place where everyone else is just being, it makes the concept of checking emails or even opening your laptop totally bizzare. Obonjan is all about letting go and exploring the other special people sharing the island with you at the time. Despite live music, buzzing bars and quite possible a few hangovers, it's not really a festival at all.

Well Being Around the World - Uppsala, Sweden

Sweden, Travel, Lifestyle, City guides, Around the Worlddanielle coppermanComment

I have always loved Sweden, and anything Swedish for that matter. I love the people, the design, the creativity, the lingonberry jam / smörgåsbord / gravlax / meatballs and the way you find fields and farmland on the outskirts of even the larger more industrial cities. Stockholm has the perfect balance of city living combined with country lifestyle, and I find the vibe is much slower and more laid back compared to other major cities.

Last month I travelled slightly North of the Capital to visit my boyfriend in Uppsala, during Midsommer - a National weekend-long summertime celebration. Sweden is great for many reasons, one of them being their willingness and ability to throw great parties at any oppertunity. Everyone makes an effort to get together to celebrate good company and good times with amazing homemade food and a lot of the alcoholic stuff. We spent Midsommer feasting on shrimp tarts and killing ourselves slowly with an entire kladkakka. The rest of my stay involved many fika's and by that I mean Swedish coffee breaks and by that I mean chokladbollar, cycling around the city as the sun rose (they have like five minutes of darkness during the summer), and learning to say Hej Hej and Tack Tack.

Below is a list of the best places to find things like kardemummabullar, lakes to swim in and painfully nice things for the home. Hopefully these things excite you as much as they do me.
+ I'll keep this page updated with any new discoveries from any repeat visits.

Restaurants, Bars + Cafes

Kafe Kardemumma
Kafe Kardemumma is tucked inside Uppsala's neat little library. On the edge of hundereds of bookcases is a calm corner of cafe life. The place is filled with natural light, and the interiors - white walls, beautiful tiles, worn but wonderful wooden flooring and art deco wall lamps - create a simultaneously cool and welcoming place to enjoy a wholesome lunch or to take a fika break with a book.

Cafe Victoria
A small summer cafe situated on the edge of the Botanical Gardens, amongst allotments and overlooking the tropical greenhouse and the flourishing grounds. With outdoor space dotted with garden furniture, it is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and some pastries or one of the more substancial homemade dishes they have to offer, before or after a walk around the gardens.

Kitchen + Table
A easy going, modern restaurant in the heart of the city. The food is a combination of World cuisine and Scandinavian cuisine, and everything is made using ingredients from local producers.
They also do a laid back brunch service on the weekends, with a buffet style offering of Swedish classics and American inspired dishes.

Cafe Linne
A great spot on a quiet, picturesque street serving coffee, cakes, pastries, sandwiches, salads and a selection of hot food. Outdoor seating makes this place an ideal spot for people watching and passing time.

Frenchi Cafe / Restaurant
A beautifully designed little number sitting on the ground floor of Klubb Rådhuset - a painfully beautiful yet modest department store in what was once used as The Town Hall - first built in 1645. Frenchi is an inspired brasserie, popular for its French menu and interiors, both of which are spiked with Asian influences. Enjoy a unique and innovative breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner anytime of day, or take a Fika in one of their terraces, with good coffee and perfect sweet treats.

Lingon
A traditional Swedish restaurant situated on the river, with a large outdoor area overlooking the calm waters. Their menu contains some of Swedens most traditional dishes, including Seafood Casserole, Gravlax and Meatballs.

Cafe Arummet
A cosy and very traditional cafe also on the river, popular for their huge counter of cakes, quiches, smörgåsbord, pastries and other sweets. They offer all-you-can-drink, refillable coffee, and this is what I used to wash down the most insane gluten free kladdkaka (several of their cakes are gluten free and some entirely dairy free and vegan).

Cafe Å Lait
A cool little one-stop shop to grab an on-the-go coffee, and a little snack if thats what your feeling.

Aaltos
A pretty spesh Italian grill serving all the Italian specialities you might expect from an Italian restaurant. With fancy interiors this place is chill just for drinks, and ideal for celebratory dinners with a nice crowd.

Terrason
The name terrason is given to this bar because of its terrace running around the entire exterior. We went here for a drink, sat on the terrace and watched the sun come up, which brought on all kinds of deep meaningful chats.

Ikea
Sorry, not sorry for this one. No one needs to include Ikea in a city guide - you should all know it's gonna be a good time there - but seriously, if the Swede's swear their meatballs are the best, then their meatballs are the best.

Stationen
A beautiful place in Uppsala's picturesque train station, serving up a mixture of French and Swedish favourites.

Cousteau
A beautiful place with a nice vibe. Go there for delicious meat and fish dishes (think trout, lamb and seafood) and for real good vegetable plates (think jerusalem artichoke, chanterelles and kale). Head nextdoor for a completely vegetarian version, Legume de Cousteau.

Annabels
Everything here is prepared with locally produced Swedish ingredients, sometimes combined with the odd ingredient from neighbouring countries. They transform meat and fish into wonderful things, but the vegetables are the main focus, and each dish is designed and updated seasonally.

Dylans
The best burger bar in town, and it even offers gluten free buns. Their combinations are unique and you can even add avocado.

Güntherska Hovkonditori & Schweizeri
Everything they make here is made from scratch using high quality ingredients. They have a pretty unbeatable selection of cakes, pastries and desserts (apparently the best Kardemummabullar), and make amazing fresh bread including sourdough - which they also make into sandwiches.

Hamburgs Fisk
Real good fish place. The Swede's do seafood and shellfish well, and this place is proof if you need any.

La Parrilla
A new restaurant whos menu is influenced by Spanish and Latin American cuisine. They cook their hot meals over an open fire giving everything an intense flavour. They menu consists of vibrant, fresh starters, salads and small plates, as well as more hearty main courses.

Åkanten
The best thing about this place is the outdoor seating lining the water. Nice vibe, traditional menu and pretty ok scenery.

Nubben Cafe
An atmospheric restaurant serving traditional Nordic specialities, including Smörrebröd, Herring Cake, Wild Boar and Shrimp Salads.

Juice Bars

Moe Joes Juice Bar
Freshly made juices, smoothies and salad bowls are on the menu here, all made using real, whole and vibrant ingredients.

Green House
A vibrant little eatery with a menu of good seafood and dishes with a middle eastern influence, including houmous, tabbouleh etc etc.

Markets

Bondens Mat i Uppland
Here, local food producers gather and sell things like cheese, jams, vegetables and fresh meat.

Fyristorg
Here, the stalls on the square are open all year round on Saturdays. Stall vendors offer their locally-grown goods, from fruits and vegetables to bread and flowers.

Health Food Stores

Tantens Gröna Skafferi & Garderob
Specialist Chocolate shop, selling all kinds of chocoalte treats, including vegan and sugar free options.

Tehornan
A sweet family run business selling good quality loose teas, coffee, herbs, spices and traditional sweets and fika snacks. The store smells immense and the walls are lined with jar upon jar of loose leaf tea. They also sell homeware including mugs, teapots, trays, aprons, teatowels, tea strainers, brewing apparatus and Swedish souvenirs.

Parks + Lakes

Fjällnura
About 30/40 minutes out of Uppsala by car, Fjällnura is a cosy collection of cabins tucked into the beautiful forest, the perfect lake. Stay overnight or visit for the day. They have pedlo's and canoes to rent, as well as crazy golf and large bonfire pits to barbeque all your worries away.

Botanical Gardens

Stadsträdgården Park

Fyrisån River
Running through Uppsala with sidewalks almost all the way along it, the river Fyrisån River is the perfect place to perch in the sun or stop to take it all in on the way in or out of town.

Clothing, Homeware + Vintage Stores

Household
If you like minimal homeware, unique gifts and fun party decorations, make some time for Household. Inside, its much like a little warehouse. No frills, but plenty of (affordable) thrills in the form of candles, marble kitchenwear and small furniture.

Weekday
Good for basics, and interesting yet effortless designs. Men and women.

Volt
If theres a boy in your life, go here for him. Somewhere in between high end and high street menswear store, which they have also turned into a magazine too.

Korrens Kuriosa
Second hand shop selling clothes, furntiure and other trinkets you don't need but do want.

Odhner Vintage Shop
Second hand design store selling furniture, fabrics, and fun things like rocking horses, art and groovy lamps.

Klubb Rådhuset
A modern department store in what was once used as The Town Hall (first built in 1645). The original interiors remain, which is why it feels more like shopping in a palace than a store. The building is home to some unique labels and brands, both local and international.

 

QNOLA IN WAITROSE

Travel, Review, Lifestyle, Eventsdanielle coppermanComment

In 2014, I designed an unusal granola recipe made using quinoa instead of oats. For the weeks that followed, I continued to make this then-called 'Quinola' at home on my days off from modelling, to enjoy as a quick and easy breakfast as I ran out the door for early shoots or as a snack, fitted in my bag to keep me going during long days of castings, go sees and meetings. A few days ago, Qnola was launched in Waitrose stores across the country. I don't know how I got here, or how I did any of the things I did along the way. I just know that I did them, and now I am here. The bestselling flavours Almond + Vanilla and Beetroot + Pistachio are now officially stocked in 23 stores Nationwide (see our stockist map for full list of locations).

Almost two years ago, when I first changed my diet and stopped eating wheat, gluten, grains, dairy, hydrogenated fats and refined sugars, I needed a quick and effortless yet nourishing breakfast option that wasn't - like conventional cereals - basically just a flapjack broken into small pieces. Granola, despite its healthy image and the extent to which it is advertised and promoted as healthy, is in reality outrageously high in sugar, and even if these sugars are natural, your body will still register them and respond to them in a similar way to how it would respond to refined sugars. It is the quantity of sugar that you need to be careful of. On top of this, some granola's are made with butter, margerine or hydroginated fats, chemicals, preservatives, flavourings, colourings and other additives. The nuts and seeds involved are what often fool people into thinking granola is an innocent and virtuous breakfast and snack choice. And because I thought it was healthy, I used to eat it for breakfast, as a snack, and sometimes instead of or after dinner. When you think something is healthy, the amount of it that you allow yourself to consume can quickly become unhealthy.

Qnola is a range of nutritionally charged quinoa based breakfast goods, free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar. With only 8g of sugar per 100g it is currently lower in sugar than any other granola company on the market, and most of these sugars come from the carbohydrate content, rather than solely the organic coconut palm sugar. The products are filling, yet light, sweet, yet very subtly, high in healthy fats, protein and fiber, and made by hand in the UK with pure superfood flavourings you won't find in many other cereal products.

.   .   .


To celebrate the launch we are running our first ever Shelfie campaign. To get involved, all you have to do is head to the nearest Waitrose store that is stocked with Qnola, take a shelfie either with the products or of the products on the shelf, tag @qnolauk and include our hashtags #wakeupwell and #qnolashelfie so we don't miss your submissions. Winners will recieve a luxury breakfast hampers worth over £100. Inside, you'll find our favourite products designed to help you Wake Up Well, from our Summer edition Qnola, Nut Blend Nut Butter, Pukka Herbs Tea, The Pressery Almond Milk and Four Sigma Mushroom Coffee to Neal's Yard Defence Oil, Ren Skincare, a Qnola Wake Up Well Eye Mask, an item of Luxury Sportswear and spiritually charged jewellery. We'll be selecting two winners at the beginning of September, so make sure you submit your posts via instagram and / or twitter before August 31st.

If there is a Waitrose store near you which isn't listed on our current stockist list, please email hithere@qnola.co.uk with the name of your town or city as the subject title and we will make it happen!

AEVIRYONE NEEDS AN AEVI BOX

Essentials, Seasonal, Summer, Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Aevi is a female-lead company offering seasonal gift boxes of mindfully selected body-loving beauty and lifestyle goods. Founders Marie and Natalie are fully aware of the needs of our bodys, minds and souls, and in attempt to provide exactly what each of them needs as we shift among seasons, they source the most suitable provisions to keep everything in check. They know how drastically seasonal change can effect us, whether this includes skin irritations, mood swings or something else entirely, and they do their best to provide the most powerful natural beauty and wellbeing products to cure side effects of these transitions. The word Aevi comes from an Old Norse language and translates to life, which is what each Aevi box contains.

"Everything is thoughtfully curated to help soften the affect that climate has on the body and to sustain a well loved and loving heart, mental health advocacy, and glowing beauty of your skin".

The Aevi box is here to remind us to take time to practice self love, to tune into ourselves and our surroundings, and to rediscover and evaluate the importance of ourselves. When our bodies, minds and souls are balanced and taken care of, a healthy lifestyle will evolve, and this will be reflected in our day-to-day lives, allowing us and them to thrive in harmony.

"When you take the time to love and care for yourself, you not only give yourself the power to feel grounded in your own circumstances but you also positively influence the people, situations and lives around you".

The Spring Box changed a lot of things for me. As well as discovering and connecting with new brands, the box provided me with the care my body needed to survive the climate change as we shifted from the darkness of winter to the vibrance of springtime. The Earth Tu Face body scrub helped to refresh my skins cycles, soothing dryness and giving new life to my overall complextion. The Kahina face mist served as a way to refresh and revitalise my skin upon waking each morning, and the 1509 fragrance oil worked at calming and balancing my mind as each new day unfolded.

For The Summer Box, a niche selection of pure and calming beauty products have been sourced, to amplify a sense of lightness this time of year, and to support a sun-kissed summertime glow. Having noticed that sometimes transitions between seasons can affect one’s routines and overall wellness (from cold climates to warmer weather, dark mornings to bright nights) Aevi have created a box that will help the skin, body and mind adapt in the best ways possible. Perhaps you'll be dealing with sunburn, damaged hair or fatigue at this time of year, and in any case, Aevi has something you'll need. Eir NYC Sunset Body Oil heals dry, parched skin damaged by sun, salt and wind. Nuori Lip Balm will naturally and nourishingly hydrate dried or sun damaged lips. Lichtjuwel Liebe Spray is a natural, holistic fragrance spray containing heart opening scents and a rose quartz (the stone of love), to sooth and balance the aura and elevate mood and positivity. Living Libations Sunscreen is a natural, botanical sunshade designed to reflect the suns rays, whilst also nourishing the skin without parabens or synthetics. Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Shimmer Spray will keep your locks looking and feeling lively from the beginning of your beach day through late summer nights and the Matchaeologist Matcha Kit will help to detoxify the body with an instant natural remedy, made from hand picked virgin tea buds.

As well as offering the finest products all in one place, the individual products from each box are also available to purchase via the Aevi website. So if you have big plans for the summer, and especially if you're due to travel a lot, discover which products will suit your own personal needs and create the perfect summer survival kit.

Oh My Goodness G Tank

Essentials, Travel, Review, Lifestyle, Drinks, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Despite the fact it’s July, things still haven’t really cleared up here in Englaterre and although i’d like to think i'm sitting in parks and outside cafes cooling down on iced teas and iced lattes, I’m not. I’m still sitting inside, I’m still hoarding teas and dried herbs and spices for brewing, and my minimum of 3 cups of something hot and herbal per day is not about to change.

For years I’ve been buying dried herbs, spices and roots to make my own loose tea. My local health food shop has an in house herbalist and an apothecary of these ingredients so I am always experimenting with new combinations, designed to give different benefits and to sooth different ailments, illnesses and moods. Fresh herbal teas are far more healing and on a different flavour level entirely than tea bag teas. For ease, I use tea bag teas when travelling or in a rush, but for genuine health benefits, energy boosts and meditative benefits, as well as intensified flavours, i much prefer loose leaf. Oh My Goodness are a young brand specialising in creative, premixed loose tea blends, including combinations like New Balance and She Glows, each of which has been curated from carefully selected ingredients aimed at rebalancing certain imbalances within the body/mind/both. To compliment their range of teas, they’ve also developed a beautiful loose leaf brewing flask, which goes by the name of G-tank - ideal for making teas wherever you are, and taking them anywhere with you. Whether you're living out of a hotel room, constantly on the go, staying abroad or even working at a desk all day, the G-tank makes brewing and drinking loose tea easier than ever. With a removable tea strainer, it is practical, versatile and easy to clean. You don't need a tea strainer or a tea strainer stand to drain the loose tea in, you simply fill up the flask and away you go. The longer you leave it to brew, the more beautiful it becomes, as the ingredients infuse the water. It's basically like the lava lamp of all portable bottles.

I love their New Balance tea, containing Oolong tea, Sencha tea, Premium green tea, Cassia seeds, Lotus leaf, Hawthorn berry, Radish seeds, Barley malt, Cinnamon, and Orange peel. The benefits of this blend include fat loss, detoxification, reduced bloating, healthy digestion, improved concentration, elevated immunity and stress reduction.

+ I add juiced ginger or pomegranate to flask too, to add even more flavour and detoxifying side effects.

MAGNESIUM WRAP AT THE GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA

Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Business Stories, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel has been open for a few months, and is the only YLT hotel in the country. Tucked down one of Bath’s traditionally tiny cobbled streets, you wouldn’t expect to find an award winning restaurant, the best afternoon tea of your life (which they can offer gluten and dairy free) and a roman inspired spa village behind its modern exterior.

Bath is famous for the Roman Bath’s, and the Gainsborough’s Spa Village uses the nutrient rich, pure water from the original springs. I took an afternoon out to explore the experience, which started with a probiotic fruit shot made from kombucha crystals and mixed with natural grapefruit and olive oil extract. Then I was talked through a selection of essential oils, and based around what I wanted to achieve from the experience, I selected those that held the healing, cleansing and calming properties I was in the mood for. I dropped a few drops of each (bergamot, ylang ylang, frankincense) into a drawstring muslin pouch of epsom salts, to take with me into the spa village and to inhale each time I transitioned between the steam room, sauna and heatology pools.

I took half an hour to blow off some steam in their small but private gym before heading into their first heated pool. After 6 minutes in there I took to the second heated pool, set a little cooler in order to stimulate my circulation. Following this I started my … journey with ten minutes in the infrared room. I rubbed… ice all over my body before moving swiftly on into the steam room. There was lavender salt water to keep hydrated with as well as shots of pure hot chocolate for an instant energy kick. Sweating and intermittent temperatures makes the body work so much harder than most people are aware of, so these provisions were essential in keeping the body and mind working optimally, as well as energizing on a cellular level, to give power to the body’s processes of cleansing and detoxifying. I ended in the dry heat of the sauna, chucked some more ice over me and then floated into a treatment room for a 90 minute Magnesium Wrap. It sounds like lunch, but it wasn’t. I lay on the most comfortable table I’ve ever laid upon, had my whole body scrubbed with vigor and natural salt scrubs, was oiled all over, massaged with a magnesium gel and then wrapped up in warm towels to encourage the magnesium to soak into my body. There was no escaping for that magnesium gel. No chance. Whilst it soaked in, my hands, knees, feet and head were massaged with inexplicably perfect pressure, and that’s when I fell asleep. But not from boredom, from sheer pleasure and being in the most intense state of relaxation since my last Savasana.

 

Fashion Week Friends

Essentials, Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Having been modelling (and with that generally comes travelling) since the ripe age of 15, I know a thing or two about how to pack a bag. Especially one full of energising and soothing provisions to aid things like tiredness, stress, sensitive skin, damaged hair, and hunger pangs. As fashion week approaches and the talents flock over from New York to hit little London, here’s a few simple, transportable supplies i always reserve space for in my day bag, as well as my larger luggage.

During fashion week or a standard week of castings and shoots, I always keep my Zuperzozial Cruising Mug with me if I know I’m going to be constantly on the move. I also throw in some green or detox tea bags. I always have a bottle of water with me and if I make the effort i’ll shove some fresh lemon, lime, cucumber, chia seeds and aloe vera juice in there too. (If you have the room, these are pretty groovy). I have about 4 lip balms in my bag at any given time, this is because I can never find them quickly enough. Often I’ll be rummaging for so long that whoever I’m in the company of starts to wonder what it is I’m about to produce. So four makes the probability of my hand falling on some lip balm first time a lot more likely. Same goes for hairbands.

As for snacks and on-the-go nourishment, I’ll take either a pot of raw nuts, some fresh berries with a dollop of almond butter, homemade cacao snacks or a small pot of Qnola in case I don’t have satisfying options or time to stop for lunch.

As for beauty products, I’ve always been very low maintenance and not especially interested in complicated routines. Day to day, I’ll make room for a moisturiser (always, always, always Dr Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, as it is thick and deeply nourishing but not oily, greasy or watery), eye drops and eyelash curlers. Make up wise, I use Erborian CC creme or Mac Mineral Powder instead of heavy foundations, The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome and / or Nars Dual Intensity Blush (in Jubilation) for my cheeks and eyes, and Estee Lauder's subtle Lash Primer. If I’m travelling, I’ll also take a dry body brush, Frank Body Scrub, and a natural face spritz which I often make myself, combining natural oils with rose water in a Muji Spray Bottle. Ren's Wake Up Wonderful will always have a place in my luggage, not only because the scent reminds me of my childhood but because it’s an overnight treatment - you don’t have to do anything but sleep. A nighttime ritual during fashion week is essential, although given that many late shows finish in the early hours of the next day, it’s not always possible. In case it is, I carefully pack one of my Skog, Diptyque, Neom or Muji candles help me to relax and refresh the air if I am cooped up in a hotel room, making it easier for me to breath, take a moment, and wind down after a long day.

AN EVENING ON UPPER STREET

Essentials, Travel, Review, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

From top | Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm, Aesop | Catherine Oil Burner Blend, Aesop | Samples, Aesop | Glass Pot, Folklore | Blue Dipped Gold Hammered Earrings, Oliver Bonas | Glass and Acacia Storage Jar, Folklore


Yesterday was supposed to be my ‘day’. My ‘day’ - my time - to do Christmas Shopping, and get the great people in my life the great gifts they deserve. Since I was putting together Holiday Breakfast Hampers we curated at Qnola all morning, the ‘day’ I’d set aside was in fact an ‘evening’. But I think I had a better time anyway. It was a mild evening, I was hardly layered up at all - no scarf, no gloves. What month is this? Hang on, where am I? Whatever’s going on, the air was fresh, the shops weren't too busy and the music on my iPod seemed better than ever. It was one of those (perhaps rare) moments where you’re insurmountably happy and content in your own company. And my mood was only lifted when I managed to get pretty much everything on my list, got offered a glass of wine by a salesman in Aesop (good tactics - bought a lot), and discovered a few shops I’d never heard of, selling very ‘me’ things and lots of them (again - bought a lot).

For last minute gifts, head to Upper Street in Islington for a calmer shopping experience than more central London locations. Spend some time in NookLondon and Folklore - remember that you are buying for others and not yourself - swing by Ottolenghi or The Artisan Gluten Free Bakery for homemade healthy fuel anytime of day, and then browse what I think was a Christmas Market but didn’t have the chance to enjoy as markets are a day thing, and on this particular day I was a nighthawk shopper.

TURMERIC AND MUSTARD CREAMED CORN

Snacks, Sugar Free, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

Sweetcorn was something I would have eaten every day of my life when i was a child if i’d had any kind of power or control over my own decisions as a 6 year old. However, leaving my life in the much more capable hands of my mother (and father, but hmm not so much where food was involved - my mum still doesn’t know about our detours ‘thru’ Mcdonalds when it was his turn to pick me up from gymnastics on a saturday morning), I had a positively varied diet and am obviously grateful that i wasn’t forced to live off of tinned vegetables until i learned to cook. 

When i did learn to cook, and when i started my blog, sweet corn was absent. I swayed away from tinned foods and also those higher in sugars, and didn’t respect sweetcorn for its nutritional values as much as some other vegetables - like dark, leafy greens and sweet potatoes. However, this summer changed everything. I found myself in a dark bus station, transferring from one chicken bus to another, somewhere along the Guatemalan border, tired, hot, and hangry. When you’ve been on a bus designed to accommodate a quarter of the amount of people crammed onto it, gloria gaynor blasting throughout (who am i kidding, that bit was great), with only a mint from the driver to munch on (cute, but not quite sufficient), let me tell you the first thing you need after finding space to breath is a corn on the cob. i didnt know it at the time. But standing there waiting, as if she knew i was on that bus you know, on a torn apart pavement was a woman, with a smile, and a corn cart. (These things exist). Damn, that woman was serving all kinds of corn - sprinkled with lime or lemon or chilli salt or pepper, hot sauce or mayonnaise (ok maybe not). But it was everything. My friend and I abandoned our belongings - gigantic backpacks containing most of our lives - as if nothing else in that moment mattered other than getting us some of that corn. well. we got it. and damn did we love it. life was sweet, and in this moment, crouched atop our luggage eating juicy boiled corn with our hands, i knew these golden kernels of goodness were back in my life for good.

When i returned home i kept up my sweetcorn obsession, adding it to my lunch bowls, broths and other meals, as well as using it as a base for dips and soups. But since the winter is a coming, and my body is craving food not just for its energy but also its warmth, i needed to work it into a more comforting dish i could cuddle up with. this recipe is deeply warming and genuinely soothing. i love that food can do that to you. it hits every spot in the body that needs hitting. Now that we’re well into the season of making no plans to socialise whatsoever, spending time in the kitchen should become less of a chore and more a way to pass time between new series/christmas movies and online gift shopping, and to warm you up if the heatings not cutting the chill.

INGREDIENTS
Serves 2 as a main meal, 4 as a side.

400g Cooked Sweetcorn
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/2 Cup Almond Milk + 1 Tablespoon to make Bean Paste
5 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk Fat / Cream
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Tahini
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (can also use ghee or butter if not vegan/dairy-free)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/3 Tin Cooked Cannellini Beans (any soft white beans)
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast - optional
1 Teaspoon Reishi or Shilajit Mushroom powder - optional

METHOD

Start by making the bean paste/puree. Take your white beans and strain and rinse them in a sieve. Tip them into your blender or food processor and then add 6 tablespoons of your oil (save the other 2 for cooking), 1 tablespoon of your almond milk and 1 tablespoon of tahini. Blend on a medium - high speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. It should be runny, relatively thick, but not lumpy.

Next, cook your corn. If it is on the cob, boil the whole cobs for around 10-12  minutes and then use a sharp knife to cut away the kernels. If you are using frozen, boil for 8-10 minutes until it is juicy and soft. If you are using pre-cooked tinned corn, follow the instructions below.

In a separate saucepan to your corn, combine the remaining oil (or butter), the remaining almond milk, the coconut milk, salt, nutritional yeast and reishi or shilajit, if using, and mix with a wooden spoon. Stir over a medium - low heat and gradually add the cannellini bean mixture, stirring constantly. Once the sweetcorn is cooked, drain the water and add the corn to the milk mixture. Stir constantly and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the mustard, to taste, starting with a little amount and building up the flavour as you desire. Simmer for a further 10-12 minutes, to allow the mixture to thicken.

Serve hot with cooked quinoa, cubed avocado, shredded spinach and alfalfa sprouts, or other green vegetables - raw, boiled or sautéed. Add a source of protein such as chicken breast or salmon fillet. Also enjoy cold stirred through a salad, cold quinoa or other pseudo grains, or served as a side to any savoury meal. It is delicious added to mashed avocado on gluten free toast, served with eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast, stirred through soups or served as a cold side, I imagine, at a barbecue or picnic.

RUNNING WHEN YOU'RE PRACTICALLY LOST

Travel, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

This morning I woke up, took one look at the sun shining through my window and thought, 'Hell, I want aaaallllll of that, every last bit'. Because, you know what? The sun doesn't shine often enough in November for you to sleep through it. I decided to run.

I've been meaning to go for a run since I arrived in the city, mainly because I like fresh air and I like to explore, and walking is too slow. My excuses for having only run once during my time here (and that was the taxi's fault) are that I've either been shooting, travelling or a bit intimidated about running around a place I don't know. What if I get lost. What if I trip. What if people just don't run that much here and assume I'm being chased. No but seriously, I didn’t want to end up running through places where all people want to do is walk leisurely and window-shop. 

I wanted to look up a route before setting off, so I tried to Google some but got bored and confused reading about road names I didn't know. I’d been told the bridges were a good place to run, so decided the only way to proceed swiftly without putting it off any longer was to find a bridge and start running. I chose the Williamsburg as it’s near to my apartment. I had no idea where I was going and expected to spend about half an hour trying to find pedestrian access, so when it only took me 8, I was already feeling good about myself. 

I read on Google for the brief moments I'd spent there that the incline is intense and that the level of the Williamsburg Bridge in terms of difficulty is ‘ difficult’. Don’t listen to them, listen to me. I am not an experienced runner - I don’t even know if I run correctly - but other than a gentle incline, the route was pretty much flat, and I didn’t want to jump off the bridge half way through if that's any encouragement. Don’t let anyone on a running forum put you off. For anyone visiting NY, I'd recommend the following route if you want to see some nice views, if you like parks and bodies of water and if you don't want anything too time consuming or intense.

I used the Nike running app to keep track of my time and distance, and ended up running over 5 miles, totally distracted by the sun, cars, subways, rivers, tennis players and a couple taking fitness photographs of each other half naked. I ran from the beginning of the bridge on the Williamsburg Side on S 5th St, over the bridge into the Lower East Side, under the bridge along Delancy towards the river, across another little bridge over the highway and into East River Park, heading left. You could run the opposite way toward the Manhattan Bridge or the Brooklyn Bridge back into Brooklyn, but I had stuff to do and things to get back for so I took a quick jog through the park along the river, and headed back over the Williamsburg Bridge to get home.

S O N G S   T O   R U N   A C R O S S   A   B R I D G E   T O 

Beirut - East Harlem - for the beginning
Beirut - Gulag Orchetrar - for the struggle
The Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place - for the peak
Paul Simon - Obvious Child - to keep you peaking
Zero 7 - In The Waiting Line - for the home straight

 

ONE WAY TO SPEND A FREE WEEKEND IN NEW YORK

Travel, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

A few weekends ago, I embarked upon an impulsive trip out of the city, and by 'the city' I mean New York City, but I'm imagining it in an American accent and 'the city' is just cooler.

I wanted to do something new or see something amazing, and although I would have been perfectly happy staying in 'the city', where I know what I like and I like what I know, and where there's plenty of new and amazing things to find, sometimes I get this overpowering urge to just leave all of my things, to leave what I’m used to, and go and experience something or somewhere entirely new. (This urge has always been within, but has sadly been suppressed since I started my business). It is indescribably freeing and fascinating, and somehow calming. I get this feeling that I can only describe as something similar to cabin fever when I'm in a city for too long. I get caught up in the busyness of it all, and, whilst I love cities, I hate the stress of them. (That's mainly aimed at you, London).

With so many cities and states surrounding my current location, with such little knowledge about any other them really (particularly geographically - I couldn't even tell you where Glasgow is if it wasn't for Google. But, seriously) and with several pieces of advice collected over the years, I booked the weekend off with my agency and booked a long distance Amtrak journey to Niagara Falls, NY. I had no idea what an Amtrak was either, but read on - I was pleasantly surprised.

You take the Amtrak from Penn Station, and if you’re visiting New York, and are rich with time, I highly recommended that you do. Fully aware that a 10 hour journey is enough to put most people off anything, I still find it hard to understand why there isn't more hype around this trip. I was excited to establish that Niagara Falls was so close to New York City (it blew my mind when I discovered it was actually in New York state, but I am possibly the last person to find this out so I won't go on about it now) and literally booked everything as soon as I'd gotten over all this new knowledge.

I had no idea what to expect of the train journey but the Amtrak train turned out to be more comfortable than some living rooms I’ve been in. You could sit on the floor in front of your chair for the amount of legroom you get. The chairs are huge and recline fully (literally the lazy-boy chairs of public transport). There is fast, free Wi-Fi on board for the entire journey, fully functioning power sockets, air-conditioning, heating, plenty of toilets and a café. The time spent on that train ended up being some of the best quality, uninterrupted me-time I’ve ever had. I took an early train at 7am to ensure I saw everything along the way. Leaving the city, congested highways turned all of a sudden into miles of countryside. I was surrounded by vast fields lined with copper-coloured trees, illuminated in enchanting autumnal hues by the soft morning light, which made my eyes want to melt with pleasure. Somehow that’s the most accurate way I can describe it, but I'm beginning to think it might sound more off-putting now I see it written down. I was going for the opposite effect.

The majority of the journey takes place along the Hudson River, and when I say along, I mean on. We travelled through the Hudson River Valley, in and out of several tiny yet characteristic towns including Yonkers, Albany and Buffalo, and then made our way through the incredible gorges of the Finger Lakes region. The tracks were level with the water most of the way and only the occasional caramel-coloured tree separated the carriages from the waters edge. Listening to your favourite music whilst gazing out of the window will make you feel insurmountably grateful – for life, for the world, for music, for the seat you’re sat on, for windows – for whatever. It will make you realize that when you actually consciously stop to take the things around you in, there is so much to be taken in. So many of us go about our lives not fully aware of what we're doing or where we are, and we definitely don't take time to consider and appreciate the world we are in. Or on… 

Hostels are one of my favourite accommodation options, not because they're inexpensive, and definitely not because they're comfortable, but because I genuinely feel that the people you meet and the knowledge and advice you collect from the owners of each place is invaluable – you just can't purchase that shit. I’d choose an uncomfortable nights sleep in the same room as a chatty traveller I had nothing in common with over having a hot shower and a bed that’s possibly more comfortable than mine at home. I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, but I think I’m trying to persuade you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace your inner traveller next time you go abroad.

I spent my first evening visiting the falls in the dark. It was an interesting order to do it in, because I didn’t really know what I was looking at, apart from a lot of water creating a lot of beautiful backsplash, illuminated by subtle lights shining over from Ontario. Needless to say, it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever stood so close to. The air was so fresh I didn’t recognize it, and the spray coming off of the falls felt deeply purifying against my skin. I started at Rainbow Fall, walked along the rapids composed of the five great lakes, across a bridge onto Goat Island, along a little path, via the Bridal Veil Fall, to Luna Island, and then back onto Goat Island to Terrapin Point and the Horseshoe Fall, which joins to Canada. This is beginning to sound like the narrative of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I am aware. 

On Saturday I woke up at 6am in attempt to catch the sunrise. It was pitch black and ice cold, but the air was crisp and fresh and I went for it anyway. There was no one around and I felt like I was running through the set of a zombie movie, but I got to Three Sister Island in time to watch the sky brighten from the comfort of a boulder (and to send a photo to my two sisters back home - cute I know). The sight of the waterfalls in the daylight was blindingly beautiful, and as I peered over the railing directly into the waterfall, I understood what it meant to have you're breath just taken away.

By Midday I was joined by a lovely roommate , and after briefly acting as her tour guide, we took a boat tour directly beneath all three of the fall's. We got ponchos, we got soaked and we got selfies, then we walked over the bridge and through border control to have lunch in Ontario. It was like a Mini Las Vegas, complete with casinos, Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Café, Hard Rock Café, a waxwork museum, a Guinness world book of records museum, arcades, haunted houses, a Ferris Wheel, and a few other things I couldn't stand around long enough to absorb. We hid inside a little diner and watched kids running around high on Maple Candy and Salt Water Taffy, whilst we ate our lunch and tried to adjust to our surroundings. We stocked up on Maple Syrup and other souvenirs, watched the sun set with a completely new perspective of the waterfalls and then got the hell out of there, hoping one day to see a calmer, more genuine side to Canada.

On Sunday we ventured away from the falls, taking a brisk hike through endless woodland to the ‘Whirlpool Skate Park’, which has nothing to do with skateboarding and a lot to do with being a class six whirlpool, almost the entire width of the Gorge. It’s a lesser-known part of Niagara Falls, but just as beautiful as the rest of it, and exceptionally tranquil. 

+ Little heads up - if you're looking to keep healthy whilst you're here, my only advice is to prep and pack. Take whatever you know you'll want with you, as this is not the kind of place that has a Wholefood's Market. There is nothing healthy in the area and the main food attractions are Rainforest and Hard Rock Cafe, so unless their fully loaded burgers have recently been proven nutritious, don't expect to find a menu tailored to the gluten, grain, dairy or sugar free. 

 

COCONUT PALM AND SALTED ALMOND DUSTED TOFFEE APPLES

Snacks, Sugar Free, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

I arrived in New York October 23rd. People were already in fancy dress. People's dogs were already in fancy dress. Halloween in the USA is no joke. It is real.

A brief timeline of my first few days in the city:

Settled into my friends apartment in East Village.
Ate at Dimes too many times. Ate at Hu Kitchen too many times.
Saw too many dogs dressed in tutu's.
Said Hola to my agents, had new digitals taken and began a marathon of castings.
Regretted bringing so many jumpers because the weather here is currently tropical.
Said goodbye to my laptop as my flatmate bathed it in lemon and ginger tea. Was forced to take a break from my usual work, so between castings and meetings, made some healthy toffee apples.

Toffee apples are everywhere right now as Fall celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive. I was never very fond of them as a child, they were too tough to get into, and the reward for hurting teeth, cutting lips and getting sticky hands wasn't tempting enough for me. They just aren't that good. There I said it. But what I came up with in my friends apartment on the rainiest Fall afternoon, using organic coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, no dairy and the juiciest organic apples, kind of changed my mind about a few things. Particularly my opinion on toffee apples. These ones are much less sickly, much more nutritious, much more flavoursome and the coating is slightly chewy, as opposed to the solidified shards of toffee commonly found coating shop bought options. And if you're worried about people (kids) not liking a healthier version, my flatmate and her boyfriend polished these off in under 2 days, blissfully unaware of what ingredients went into them. They probably don't even know what coconut palm sugar is. So go with it, no one will know...

INGREDIENTS
makes 4-6

1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Cold Water
1 1/4 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice - optional
4 Small - Medium Apples of choice (I used Granny Smiths)

+ You will need a selection of bamboo sticks, kebab sticks or lollipop sticks.

TOPPINGS (estimate the amount required depending on which ingredients you choose, and how much you want to coat the apples)

Chopped Salted Almonds (or any nut/seed of choice)
Golden Linseeds
Chia Seeds
Cacao Powder
Maca Powder
Chopped Cacao Nibs
Granola or Qnola

METHOD

Start by boiling the water in a medium saucepan. As it begins to boil, stir in the coconut palm sugar, and let the mixture boil on a high heat for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a medium heat, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer here for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly as it can stick to the pan or burn easily. Keep a close eye on it, watching it thicken, and continue to simmer until it becomes darker brown in colour, thicker and begins to reduce slightly. To test whether it is done, take a teaspoonful and rest it on a plate to cool. As it cools it should become even thicker and should be slightly tough to touch. If it is still sticky and runny, continue to simmer and allow it to thicken even more. Once you are happy with the consistency and once it begins to set more solidly, remove the pan from the heat.

Now you need to work relatively quickly as the toffee will cool rapidly. Lightly grease a plate or a baking tray with coconut oil. Take one apple at a time and insert whichever sticks you are using through the middle of it. It shouldn't go all the way through to the other side, but deep enough to ensure it won't slip out. Now, carefully tilt the sauce pan to one side, dip the apple into the toffee mixture, and turn the apple repeatedly to coat it evenly. Lift it out of the toffee and continue to turn it above the mixture, to let any excess drip off. I recommend scraping the bottom gently, to ensure it doesn't stick too much to the plate/tray that you place them on. As the toffee begins to stop dripping, place the apple on your prepare surface, and repeat with the other apples. You can either leave the apples bare like this, or roll them through the toppings of your choice. I chopped some salted almonds finely and placed them in a medium bowl, then gently rolled the apples around in the bowl until the almond dust stuck. If it is easier, you can top the apples by taking a handful of your toppings and pressing it into the toffee coating.
Once coated, or if you are leaving them bare, place the apples in the fridge to cool and set a little more, for around 1 hour. The longer you leave them, the better.

+ These will last for around 2 weeks in the fridge or in an airtight container.
+ You can also use this toffee recipe to make individual toffees. Instead of coating apples, simply allow the toffee to cool a little, and then take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and mould it into individual shapes, or fill chocolate moulds with the mixture, and set in the fridge.

TRAVEL WELL | EDIBLES

Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Whenever I go abroad, one thing on my mind is how I'm going to keep healthy whilst I'm away from home. No vitamix, no guarantee of a health food store (or even a local store at all, for that matter) and potentially no gluten, dairy or sugar free options - depending on my destination. If I'm away for work, the chances are I will be staying in a big city, meaning nourishing, natural necessities won't be too hard to come by. I have previously worked in New York and LA - both of which are like magnets for up and coming juice bars/raw food cafes/organic eateries, etc. However, if i'm going away for some peace and quiet, or if I'm going to be travelling non stop and constantly on the go, it's much harder to judge what sort of shops I'm likely to have access to. For that reason, I keep a few vital ingredients in my luggage to ensure that if natural food is scarce, I can either make myself an instant snack or shot of something nutrient-rich instead, or rebalance my body if I have had to settle for something I wouldn't usually eat. Above are a few of my favourite foodie travel companions. and below are some explanations. Easy to carry, compact, leak-proof and  concentrated forms of essential goodness.

.  C L O C K W I S E    F R O M    T O P    L E F T  . 

. 1 . On-The-Move Qnola Pot, Cacao & Cashew, 60g | Protein-rich, gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free. Can be eaten dry, with yoghurt or milk and with fresh fruit.
. 2 . The Chia Co Instant Chia Oats, 45g | Not grain free, but gluten free. Whilst I rarely eat grains, I find this is always handy to slip into my carry on for long haul flights. Flavoured naturally with dried berries and sweetened only with coconut palm sugar - ideal for breakfast in the airport before a flight, or even on the go - just ask an air hostess, train cafe manager or petrol station cafe to fill the pouch up with some hot water. I like to add local fresh fruit too, and additional superfood powders like maca and acai.
. 3 . Sister & Co Coconut Oil, 60ml | fits into your 100ml limit plastic bags. Take in your carry on bag to add to meals (like porridge or soup), and to use throughout your stay away from home, to cook with. Also, ideal to use on your skin during a long haul flight if you don't mind looking a little greasy. It will help balance the moisture levels in your skin, keeping it hydrated and penetrated with minerals.
. 4 .  Four Sigma Foods Instant Cordyceps - 1 serving | instant medicinal mushroom tea in the form of tiny dissolvable granules. Just add hot water or mylk. Perfect for car journeys or long walks (especially if the weather is cold). This particular blend is good for increasing energy and promoting recovery, as the cordycep mushroom is an adaptogen, meaning it helps maintain constant energy levels, rather than just stimulating them drastically yet temporarily.
. 5 . Charcoal Powder - to keep your water purified and to remove toxins. Although in some destinations you may not be advised to drink the tap water, adding charcoal to bottled water still has incredible benefits. Charcoal is high in minerals and has the ability to bind and trap foreign materials in the body (things that shouldn't be there). It helps to detoxify the body, making it ideal if you fall ill whilst abroad.
. 6 . Inner Me Supplements - perfect for travelling as you don't have to pack glass jars that take up valuable space and could potentially break. These also come in day-allocated strips, so you'll keep organised whilst abroad, and will even know what day it is (something I fail at, whenever I'm on holiday).
. 7 . Steenbergs Turmeric - an ideal ingredient to add to smoothies, juices, salads, salad dressings, soups and hot and cold water. Deeply cleansing and detoxifying, and great for boosting the immune system.
. 8 . Loose Tea Strainer - not essential, but if I am abroad for a long time, I like to rotate a few loose herbs and spices to make cleansing tea combinations. The flavours and healing benefits are more vibrant and accessible when each ingredient is in its whole, dried form.
. 9 . Aduna Moringa Powder - a great size to take travelling. I love all superfood powders, especially maca, acai, ginseng, spirulina, baobab, reishi, chaga, shilajit and many more, but not all of them come in these handy compact sizes. Easy to add to smoothies, juices or just water for a morning boost, or an calming evening system cleanse.
. 10 . Green Juice (strictly for the journey) - don't put this in your hold luggage or you'll end up smelling of wheatgrass for your entire trip. I always take a green juice before my flight, to cleanse my body, encourage my system to get to work, and to aid digestion. Depending on the ingredients, a juice can also have calming benefits, which is great for an evening flight. This is the last chance you'll get to provide your body with a hit of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals before boarding a flight or another mode of transport, so make it a good one! Pictured above is one from my friend Madeleine Shaw's collaboration with Savse Smoothies and it is the first shop bought juice in which I've found seaweed. In a deliciously unusual way, it is much more interesting than so many other green juices out there. 
. 11 . Buckwheat Flake and Chia Superfood Mix - these are super easy to throw together. I always mix some dry buckwheat flakes, quinoa flakes, chia seeds and maca powder in an airtight sachet or container, to have on hand incase of delays. Previously, I've poured a little of the mixture into a coffee cup and asked a barista in a cafe to fill it with hot water. It's not the most delicious treat, but its something!
. 12 . Clearspring Matcha - as well as herbal or green tea bags and loose tea ingredients, I sometimes like to pack matcha powder, as it travels well and is much purer, stronger and more concentrated than the contents of a teabag.
. 13 . Purition Protein Powder - I used to add protein powder to smoothies everyday when I worked out a lot, but recently I have been less active, and I try to avoid any form of dairy unless I am exercising, and even then, it will only be in the form of whey - unfortunately not cheese. I recently discovered purition powders and love their flavour combinations. They are also the perfect size for travelling.
. 14 . Bikini Blend Protein Powder - another protein powder I recently discovered. The madagascan vanilla blend is the most delicious protein powder i've ever tried. Probably because the ingredients are all 100% natural and each product contains no sugar or artificial additives. 

+ A few other ways to prepare for long journeys or long trips away from home is to pack essentials from your pantry. Things like quinoa (some places still have no idea what you're talking about when you ask for this in a store), buckwheat pasta, dried nuts and seeds, chia seeds and gluten free oats make for quick simple meals, and things like meat, fish, fruit and veg with definitely be available at your destination, and more delicious the more locally your source them.