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Wednesday 14th September 2016 by Kelly Skipper

Eek, I can't quite believe that glo is ten years old in October. From a discussion with my now hubby at the airport before jetting off on our hols (and pre kids) to talking through the idea with Charlotte whilst in the middle of doing a car boot sale on the outskirts of London, I cant quite believe how much our baby has grown.  Glo definitely feels like the 5th member of my family and so very proud of what we and all our clients and therapists have helped us achieve over the years.  Anyway less of the gush.......

To celebrate our 10 years of business, we will be writing a series of blogs focusing on all things 10.  I am kickstarting it with my Top 10 Favourite Things Ever.  When Charlotte asked me to do this, I felt like I had been asked to appear on Desert Island Discs and with a naive "yes piece of cake" it is only now that I realise that it isn't quite as easy as I had originally thought.  

Anyway, below are my top 10 fave things - which also gives you an insight into my wonderful little world.

1. My Family
Harris Family

An obvious choice, but my husband Geoff, kids Coco and Gil as well as my Mum, Dad and Sister.  They all keep me sane and I love them all to the moon and back. 

2. Mascara 
Mascara

Keeping it real.  I couldn't live without this baby. With fair skin and blues eyes lashings of this stuff makes me feel human and i can tackle anything once i have my "eyes on"

3. The Smell of Clean Washing 
Washing drying on a line
This just takes me back to when i was a child and my mum used to hang her washing outside on the line.  I used to stuff my face in that fresh airy loveliness and breathe it in. Just gorgeous!

4. Sun-tanned Feet 
Sunkissed tootsies

I am not a fan of my feet.  They kinda look like pigs trotters at best with short toes and they are teensy size 4, but there is something about have them sun-tanned brown that makes me smile.  Not matter what you wear on your feet or what nail varnish colour you choose they always look good when they have been in the sun. 

5. Music
Music and headphones
Music has had such a profound effect on my life, from teen memories of dancing to Soft Cell and Whitney Houston in my besties living room (we were 80s children - cant you tell?) to working for a record label and where I met my now hubby,  music is the one thing that has always played a big role in my life.  Not only does it make you get on your feet and dance like a loon (when nobody is watching obvs) but it can also help relax, reflect and conjures up a huge array of emotions. 

6. Chocolate 
chocolate
The world would be a much less exciting place without chocolate. Whether its a chocolate dessert, chocolate ice cream or a good old fashioned bar of chocolate, it really is one of my favourite things that I couldnt live without. 

7.  Bubbles 
Champagne
Who doesnt love a glass of fizz?  Whether its prosecco or champagne that cork usually only gets popped when there is a celebration to be had.  Weddings, Birthdays, Christenings, Anniversaries - some wonderful drunken memories of a lovely, happy giddiness (and a fair few hangovers too).

8. The Crunch of Snow 
Footprints in snow
It doesnt snow that often in London (which is probably why I like it), but there is something so magical about the silence that snow brings when living in a city.  With no cars on the roads all that can be heard is footsteps crunching in the snow and the giggles from children (and the odd adult) playing in the snow.  There  really is nothing quite like it. 

9. My Monday Morning Hikes 
Canyon hiking
Monday is my day off and whilst most of it is packed with family errands and chores I always make time for a hike (or walk).  Living in Los Angeles, means that there arent many occasions that you are not near a busy road or motorway and the general hubub of daily life.  A walk in the canyons with the sprawling expanse of the city below, the endless blue cloudless skies and a peak at the sea helps clear my mind, keeps me fit and totally sets me up for the week ahead. 

10.  Fresh Bed Linen 
White bed linen
Closely tied with my favourite hobby of sleeping. there is something so very lovely about sinking in to bed at the end of the busy day with fresh, clean or new bed linen.  It makes the snuggling down for a good nights sleep much more enjoyable. 

So there you go.  I could have kept going with a tonne more favourite things and memories, but alas we have pamper parties and events to book.  Thanks for reading and why don't you let us know what your Top 10 favourite things are?!


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Friday 22nd July 2016 by Kelly Skipper

As more people struggle with the daily grind,  anxiety, depression and stress, mindfulness meditation is packing a mean punch, especially for a practise adapted from a 2,400-year-old Buddhist tradition.  

Mindfulness Meditation

A favourite practise for the Hollywood Glitterati (Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Clint Eastwood) meditation involves sitting still, focusing on your breath, noticing thoughts, feelings, sensations and surroundings and when the attention drifts, bringing it back to the breath – and it is actually surprisingly challenging.

The Challenges and Benefits of Meditation

The first challenge, for most is actually finding the time to meditate , but if you MAKE the time then you are likely to reap the benefits.   You don't have to meditate for an hour a day, so we recommend 5-10 minutes to begin with.

Clearing your mind, feeling sleepy and your body aching from sitting with a straight back are also other perfectly normal challenges that you may need to overcome when meditating. 

But challenges aside, the benefits of Meditation are huge:

1. It lowers stress levels 
2. Decreases depression
3. Improves your focus, attention and ability to work under stress
4. Increases mental strength, resilience and emotional intelligence
5. Helps relieve pain
6. Improves mood and psychological wellbeing
7. Lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart disease or a stroke

How to Meditate
Meditation to calm the mind

To start meditation you will need two things:  Something to sit on and a timer.  

You can sit on a chair, cushion, bench or on the floor and we find a phone with a stopwatch a great little timer. 

The biggest thing to remember is to sit with a straight back (this keeps you alert and allows you to concentrate on your breath), cross your legs and look slightly downwards. Your eyes can be open or closed and don't worry about your hands just rest them where you feel comfortable. 

You then need to get comfortable. Open the timer on your phone and get into an upright and comfortable posture. Dim the lights a bit, or shut them off completely to help you focus better. Start the timer and then bring attention to your breath.  Close your mouth and focus entirely on your breath as it enters and leaves your nose. Just breathe naturally and observe your breath without thinking too much about it. Don’t think. This is the hard part. Don’t analyse your breath; just bring your attention and focus to your breath, without thinking about it or analysing it. Bring your attention back to your mind when it wanders.

Meditating for 10 minutes a day is infinitely better than meditating for 70 minutes once a week so start small with 5 minutes per day and remember to pick a quiet spot with a quiet timer. 

We have also unearthed some great guided meditations below that we thought you may also find useful to help you get started:

Breathing Guided Imagery meditation
10 minute meditation for anxiety
Deep relaxation meditation

Mindfulness Meditation In The Workplace

Benefits of meditation
The Harvard Business School along with INSEAD—Europe’s leading business school—have concluded from their research that the two most effective business tools for twenty-first century executives are meditation and intuition. The benefits of meditation in the workplace positively impact both the individual and the business.  

Employee stress can often result in:

  • Blocking of creativity, inspiration, and mental clarity
  • Damaging relationships with others, which in turn negatively impacts teamwork
  • Insomnia, which leads to a decrease in new thinking, inspiration, and innovation
  • Anxiety. Which can make it difficult to work on a team that requires patience and collaboration 

Regular meditation for employees can result in the following benefits:

  • Focus and Clarity
  • Improved communication
  • A reduction in staff absenteeism
  • Increased productivity

With an increased awareness and government initiative on mental health and mindfulness in the workplace, glo has put together a fantastic mindfulness training workshop to assist staff on mindfulness practises, its history and a guided mindfulness session, so please feel free to get in touch if you want more info. 

So there you have it.  the mighty meditation in a nutshell. Let us know how you get on. 


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Tuesday 12th July 2016 by Charlotte Maxwell

It's been a helluva year so far with one thing or another, and as you may remember from a previous blog around New Years, I use diet to help keep on top of things, alleviate stress and calm my system naturally. At times of stress, the temptation to eat feel good foods like sweets, crisps, and other sugary pick me ups which boost the feel good factor but once the sugar high drops, my mood and energy can crash lower than before.


The acid reducing detox diet by Dr. Joshi is great for helping us to relax. Reducing acid in the body means you sleep better, have smaller energy spikes/more sustained energy levels, feel more positive naturally, and feel more on top of work-loads and other factors that can cause stress. You can reduce acid in the body and create a more alkaline internal environment by cutting out the following:


1. Wheat (eat rice cakes, gluten free bread instead of bread, and rice or rice pasta instead of wheat pasta)
2. Coffee/Tea (except Green Tea)
3. Sugar
4. Fruit (except Bananas)
5. Dairy (goats dairy is ok and so is mozzarella cheese)
6. Deadly nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, etc.
7. Alcohol
8. Red meat (eat fish or chicken instead)


The Dr Joshi detox diet is for 3 weeks and I thoroughly recommend it if you want to see how much impact a diet can have to help us feel relaxed and happy.
On top of the Joshi approach, the following comprises a nutritional top 10 of foods that can help us relax:

   

1. It’s nuts  

brazil nuts

Nuts,especially Brazil nuts, are very high in selenium which when lacking can lead to increased anxiety and depression. A handful of mixed nuts can also keep tiredness at bay.

You can swap nuts with Tuna, Cod Salmon and shitake mushrooms as these foods also have selenium but not as much as nuts.

2. Spinach like Popeye!

spinach

Spinach is packed full of Magnesium which helps to keep our muscles and nerves relaxed. Magnesium can help to prevent muscle tension, cramps and fatigue. Spinach is also a good source of vitamin A, C, iron and folate. One cup of fresh spinach or half a cup of cooked spinach a day is ideal. An organic version is best (or grow your own!), because spinach usually is high in pesticides! You can buy magnesium supplements too to take during the day if you have restless legs at night.

Other sources of magnesium are halibut, pumpkin seeds and peppermint

3. Go herbal

basil

Basil contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which is good for rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. And it tastes so fresh and yum. Add a handful to your meal and get a boost of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. If you’re cooking with it, add at the end so you don’t lose the fresh flavor! Basil also contains magnesium!Other herbs which can help to reduce stress are: Lemon balm and chamomile.

Try a herbal infusion at night before bed, or during the day if things are feeling a bit hectic.

4. The dark side!

dark choc

Dark Chocolate contains an Amino Acid called Tryptophan which is used by the body to create serotonin (a neuro chemical which relaxes the brain). Dark chocolate is very rich in tryptophan but make sure you choose one that’s high in cocoa solid and not sugar.

Tryptophan can be found also in proteins like almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, legumes and red meat, and we cover this more in some of the other foods below:

5. The 3 bears

oats

Complex carbohydrates like oats enhance the absorption of tryptophan, which is in turn used to manufacture serotonin. These carbohydrates wont flood your body with sugars and are also a great source of soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol. Eat with non animal proteins like Nuts, or sunflower seeds.

Other sources include Brown rice, unrefined grains and legumes.

6. Milk

milk

Milk also contains the protein tryptophan which as we know the body converts to serotonin. Neuro-transmitter not only helps you to relax, but also makes you sleep more soundly. So if you are milk tolerant and want a cosy drift into sleep, drink some milk before bed.

7. Relish the Taste of Ocean

shrimps

Shrimps are small but are packed with tryptophan and selenium as well as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12. And if you’ve heard that shrimps are high in cholesterol, some studies suggest that the cholesterol in shrimps may actually be good for you!

Other sources are lobsters!

8. Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli is a fantastic provider of Potassium, Beta-carotene, and vitamins E and C! Low potassium levels can cause muscle tiredness, feelings of fatigue and make you irritable and anxious. And the vitamins help to boost our immune systems.

Alternative sources of potassium include avocado, banana, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, winter squash, Aubergine and tomatoes.

9. A nice cuppa

green tea

Green tea is rich in L-theanine which is an amino acid mainly found in tea leaves and is found to reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance mood by stimulating the production of alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves is when our mind is in a more relaxed and calmer state. Beta brain waves. It’s a super food really as it lowers risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, reduces blood pressure, prevents hypertension, and promotes weight loss. It’s totally Amazing!!

For an alternative, try Black tea and oolong tea as they also contain L-theanine and anti-oxidizing properties found in green tea.

10. Kiwi Fruit

kiwi

In order to convert Tryptophan to serotonin we need Vitamin C! Kiwi fruit is absolutely jam packed with Vit C and will satisfy your vit C needs with just 1 fruit!

Alternatives include: Strawberries, papaya, orange, grapefruit and guava are just some of them.


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Thursday 16th June 2016 by Kelly Skipper

Its officially Summer and whilst the countdown begins to holiday season and dare I say the possibility of the sun shining, we wanted to put together our best selection of health and beauty tips that will help you positively radiate throughout the Summer months.

.Skin

Exfoliate the skin for a Summer glo
Exfoliate
.  Exfoliate.  Exfoliate: The best way to get skin-ready for Summer is to (yes you've guessed it ) EXFOLIATE. Exfoliation gets rid of old, dead skin cells and is also the best way to achieve that summer glow. We recommend exfoliating every 10 days for the face, once or twice a week for the body and paying particular attention to those sandal and flip-flop wearing feet.  If you are planning for a day by the pool then exfoliate in the evening, but remember that exfoliation reveals new, sensitive skin that could be more prone to burning in the sun so slap on that sunscreen

Watermelon to hydrate
Hydrate
:  Heat and sun flush the water out of your skin so as well as drinking the recommended eight glasses of water each day (gulp!), enrich your diet with water-rich foods such as berries, apples, watermelons, salad or broccoli to add extra hydration. You also need to make sure that you moisturise regularly

Sunscreen for sunbathing
Protect
:  Sunscreen is the first thing we pop into our bag when heading to the beach, but alas when running errands, going to work or simply walking the dog its not something we often think about applying.  Adding a healthy layer of face protecting sunscreen to your morning beauty routine is a must and these days there are plenty of moisturisers on the market that also include SPF sun protection. For those of you that are spending a day at the beach (or pool), start smart and apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you head outdoors. If you can, stand in front of your full-length mirror to make sure you don’t miss hard-to reach spots like the middle of your back and the back of your legs. Remember to reapply at least every two hours and if you don't know what sunscreen to buy then check out the EWG safe sunscreen list

Hair

Protect your face and hair with wide brimmed hat
Protect
:  Make a daily habit of applying a hair care product that contains UV filters. These products protect hair from sun damage and help keep colour-processed hair from fading.  We are also quite partial to an over-sized ultra-chic wide-brimmed hat  which also protects your hair whilst looking uber glam at the same time,

Beachy hair waves
Avoid the Heat
:  The sun is already putting too much heat on your hair, so avoid the additional heat as much as you can. At least once or twice a week, give your hair a break from blow dryers, straighteners and curling tongs. We heart washing our hair in the evening, popping it into a bun and letting it dry naturally so that once we shake it loose in the morning we have the perfect beachy waves.

Hair conditioner
Hydrate:  Keep your hair nourished and hydrated by applying deep conditioner to wet hair and thoroughly combing it through before heading out to the surf or sun.  The heat from the summer sun will open the hair cuticle and help the conditioner to penetrate better. To replenish moisture to sun-damaged hair use deep conditioning masks at least once a week.

Make-up 

Maker up primer for summer
Take Time to Prime: Primers are amazing summertime secret weapons as they are super  lightweight and quietly camouflage skin issues without completely obscuring them.   Primers also help keep your foundation on longer so a definite handbag essential for a sweaty summer

Waterproof mascara
Go waterproof.
Eyelashes are tiny hairs, so keep them well-nourished, clump-free, and free of smears by using a waterproof mascara that is enriched with good-for-you oils. Also avoid those awful under-eye sweaty smears by applying mascara to your upper lashes only. 

Tinted lip balm for moisturised lips
Pucker up
  Instead of a lip gloss or lipstick use a tinted lip balm as this will keep your lips hydrated and will also stay on for longer. 

So there you have it.  We hope our handy hints help.  

Let us know how you get on

glo

x

 


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Thursday 21st April 2016 by Charlotte Maxwell

Spring time juice cleanse

This is the time of year (clocks have changed and it’s lighter and brighter, days are warmer) I’m tempted to treat my body to a juice cleanse. Having ramped up my exercise regime (I rotate dynamic yoga one day with a run the next), I’ve heard it’s the perfect time to clean out and re-energise your body. It’s a bit like spring cleaning my house – there’s an urge to clear out the cupboards and de-clutter my home in Spring. So this year my environment outside will be mirrored by a cleaner and refreshed physical body.


Our bodies are so intelligent and do a great job of detoxing on their own, but these days in modern life an overload of stressors: environmental toxins, processed foods, unresolved emotions and psychological stressors alongside more sugars, alcohol and caffeine our bodies can’t quite keep up. Doing a Juice Cleanse is liking giving your body a deep-clean and then the re-set it needs to feel vibrant, healthy and functioning well.

juice cleanse

 Juice detoxing doesn’t suit everyone and if you’ve never done a juice cleanse before it’s best to check with your dr before you start. Like any detox, it’s always easier to do a cleanse with a friend to share the experience with.


It’s recommended to prepare your body before you start a juice cleanse. So the week before I will cut right down on red meat, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and dairy. A Macrobiotic based diet is great for this with lots of brown rice and vegetables. I will use Aveline Kushi’s complete guide to macrobiotic cooking for recipes. Then the day before the cleanse I will just eat raw fruit and vegetables.


Each day of my juice cleanse, I’ll start with a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon. Throughout the day I’ll supplement my juices with herb tea, or room temperature water.
I’ve read that it’s preferable to have slightly more fruit-based juices during the day to help break down toxins in the body. The more vegetable-based juices are generally more alkaline and contain more minerals, so they are better in the afternoons and evenings to help rebuild the body and prepare it for rest. It is not a strict science, so you can mix them up, but these are good general guidelines. I’ve also read it’s best to strain out any lumps of fruit/vegetables as solids will activate the digestive process and make you hungry!

 veg for juice cleanse


According to juice experts The Blender Girl, a colonic at the start of the cleanse is essential (gulp) as the digestive process slows down, toxins can be left in the gut and bowel which need to be eliminated.


I will use the recipes on the Blender girl’s website – 3 day spring juice cleanse with 3 juices a day and 9 yummy recipes.


I think a 3 day cleanse is a good place to start!
Wish me luck!
Charlotte


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