I just came back from a six-week trip in South East Asia. Mysterious temples of Cambodia's Angkor Wat with massive butterflies lending on the shoulders of Hindu statues; Wednesday night beach parties in Thailand's Koh Samui with Frenchies; sharing a motor bike (and an evening) with a popular Jazz singer and running away from monkeys in Bali; embracing the real meaning behind the abbreviation of PDR in Laos (People Democratic Republic of Laos? No! Please Don't Rush!), observing hundreds of barefoot monks collecting sticky rice at 6am from the locals in Luang Prabang whilst hiding from a pesky Austrian male solo traveller...
All of this bliss happened just a few weeks ago but it feels like ages away. That's what London's weather in November does to you - my sunny and humid memories have been washed off by the rain pretty much immediately upon arrival (thank God I've got the photos).
Now, for someone preaching wellbeing, complaining about inevitable things like London's weather is just not good enough. So I've looked around for some healthy things I can fit into my busy day to keep me going - until I go away to a sunny place again, that is.
I promised myself that I'll be starting a morning with a guided yoga session. Body in Balance TV has thousands of videos to choose from - and a free trial to start with.
After the yoga session - it's tea time. I go for the Japanese hero - Matcha Green Tea. I found this figure quite impressive: "137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea" (who wouldn't?) So I'm sipping on my tea thinking about Buddhist monks who have been doing so for over 900 years.
For lunch, it's got to be organic produce. If I'm at home for lunch (a very rare occasion), I order a box of yummy goodies from Riverford. Winter is Vata season in Ayurveda, so I go for stews, soups and other foods that nourish and balance the body (with sweet, sour and salty tastes prevailing). I also declared war to lattes and cappuccinos, threw away all my loyalty cards from coffee shops and stocked up on the chicory drink.
During the day I often crave for some filling snacks. I don't like naughty snacks though (or rather, I'm trying not to!), so I choose Conscious Food biscuits - wheat, dairy and gluten free! The ingredients are coming from organic farms and communities throughout India, and I can't stop thinking about my upcoming yoga retreat in sunny Chennai.
On a Friday, I usually have two options: going out for drinks with friends, or going for a yoga class. I often go for the latter (not latte!), no matter how boring that sounds. I like Katy Appleton's open yoga class in Triyoga studio in Chelsea (which has a more sophisticated interior than many bars in Central London, so I kind of feel I killed two birds with one stone). Katy delivers yoga, and not just exercising, if you know what I mean.
To continue my Indian saga, I slip into Holistic silk slipper socks when I get home - they are hand knitted and fairly made in the Himalayas from naturally dyed Angora & Merino wool. Chic and comfy. As I'm sitting in my cozy home with my cuppa, I'm thinking about all those girls wearing heels the size of the Eiffel Tower tonight, and I don't envy them.
Winter is all about nourishment and moisturising. My hands need extra care as they get dry in the cold quite quickly. I treat them with Abacus Ideas Nutritious Hand & Nail Cream enriched with wheat germ oil, Vitamin E and Organic Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The "looking after yourself" ceremony needs to be done in a tranquil environment, so I light up a Himalaya Cranberry Tangerine Soya Candle - very topical just before Christmas. I also like doing my evening meditation with a candle on.
Over the weekend, I'm trying to find some time for an Ayurvedic massage - there's nothing more relaxing than that. I like Ayurveda Pura Spa, and I don't mind travelling all the way to North Greenwich, because it's worth it.
It's Sunday and I can't stop thinking about sunny places. I have just discovered this new Ayurveda resort in India, called Kairali. You might think I'm mad about Ayurveda, but it does incredible things to me, so for now I stick with it.
Oh, and I always look up on The Baoli for some healthy tips, products, getaways and inspiration. It's a great source of ideas for gifts too.