British invasion: Health and fitness trends from across the pond


The Union Flag, God save the Queen

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I am in love with the cool, quirky vibe of England, from food to fashion, so imagine my joy when I found out those crafty Brits have the lock on health and wellness, too. Whether you are searching for a fierce fitness routine, wicked workout gear or easy everyday food, look to some of the UK’s hottest health gurus for innovative approaches to living well.


The skinny on the SBC

Ready to crawl, jump and sweat your way to fitness? Then it’s time to get back to basics with the Skinny Bitch Collective, or SBC for short. Founder Russell Bateman has created a fitness phenomenon akin to a hot nightclub: beautiful people and primal movements, with sore muscles and endorphins instead of a hangover. The MissguidedSBC is an exclusive — we’re talking invite-only — workout that busts boredom and builds strong, lean muscles. Fans of the SBC include singer Nicole Scherzinger and electropop pixie Ellie Goulding. Bateman shared his guidelines for living “the SBC way” in a recent interview with online magazine The Coveteur: “Squat, crawl, climb, have sex, rest hard, eat green veg and breathe deeply.” I don’t know about you, but that list is pretty much all I’ve ever wanted in a health regimen. His goal is to empower women through hard work and a sense of humor, clearly evident in the SBC’s Instagram, which is chock full of fitness inspiration and cheeky advice such as “Life is short, buy the shoes,” along with a sprinkling of naughty language for good measure. The SBC exercises are super tough and force you to use your entire body in exciting ways. Think elevated mountain climbers with the wall serving as your floor, clock lunges and good old-fashioned crab walks. So, if the SBC is so exclusive, how do regular folks get in on the action? The Skinny Bitch Collective is primed to take over the world with a forthcoming online subscription service, TheSBCollective.com, which will feature SBC workouts for you to do at home as well as nutrition advice. It’s not cheap, costing £90, or approximately $140 for three months and £300, or approximately $460, for a yearly subscription, but membership comes with the tantalizing perk of getting first dibs on signing up for live classes. The SBC has classes year-round in London with plans to visit Los Angeles, Ibiza and New York this year. Plus, those who sign up for annual membership get the chance to win free entrance into these exclusive events. To find out when membership opens, sign up for the SBC’s mailing list. Now, you know I’m a big fan of try-before-you-buy, and fortunately for us all, the SBC has hooked up with British fashion brand Missguided on the launch of their new sleek activewear line. Missguided shows off the gear in a series of videos that demonstrate the SBC’s signature moves in action. Together, the videos create a workout program that will give you a great idea of what the SBC is all about. These moves are explosive and challenging, so please talk to your physician before getting started.


Sister act

I introduced you to sisters Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, AKA Hemsley + Hemsley, in the second installment of my DIY takeout classics series. If you think that dhal was tasty, just wait until you dive Helmsley + Helmsleyinto Hemsley + Hemsley’s collection of simple, delicious recipes on their blog and in their cookbook, The Art of Eating Well. Hemsley + Hemsley have a refreshing, down-to-earth approach to eating that includes smoothies and salads alongside hearty fare like stews, baked goods and classic dishes such as roast chicken. The sisters are beloved by fashionistas on both sides of the pond — they have been contributors to Vogue UK since 2012 — but don’t think that makes their food inaccessible. On the contrary, the sisters team up with outlets such as Sainsbury supermarkets to bring healthy goodies like No-bake Piña Colada fingers to the masses. Bone broth is an essential ingredient of many Hemsley + Hemsley recipes, with Jasmine Hemsley telling Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis in the December 2014 issue of USVogue that “bone broth is the often-forgotten superfood that forms the basis of nearly all our soups and stews. It’s nourishing, simple, cheap, and makes everything taste amazing.” The Hemsley sisters are also huge fans of making noodles out of vegetables and even have their own brand of spiralizer, which you can have shipped directly to your door via legendary British department store Selfridges. Okay, so the shipping rate, £25 or nearly $40, costs almost as much as the spiralizer itself, but just the thought of getting a package from Selfridges sent to my apartment makes me giddy and kind of justifies the price. Anglophile logic.

Friends, this is just the beginning of the brilliant health movement happening in the UK, and I can’t wait to bring you more. Until next time, cheers!