The battle of the bulge has begun as the post-Christmas paunch starts to protrude from the already generous winter jumper, now tighter in all the wrong places. Plump from seafood bisque and bloated from gallons of wine consumed on the beaches of Barbados, Miami and Cape Town, Londoners are returning to their office chairs, only for them to pinch like an easyJet seat.
However, 2015 brings the obligatory health food fads, shape-shifting work out regimes and an assortment of clean treats. Here are some of London’s newest – and most sensible – fillips for the healthy and the guilty alike.
Start your day with Imbibery (imbiberylondon.com), the new London-based juice company flooding Mayfair, Chelsea and Marylebone.
Set up by American duo Meryl Zises and Lily Rogath, they told me that the key to their start-up’s success was that the juices were ‘an instant hit of vitamins and nutrients… offering London an easy, yummy way to get healthy and sexy’. The slickly branded cold-pressed juice craze has been taken up a notch, with Imbibery offering dozens of super-food-packed varieties now being drunk everywhere from spinning favourite Psycle to the Gail’s morning coffee crowd. Clean, refreshing and, most importantly, good for you, it’s a great way to kick off a new healthy eating regime. For something totally different, try the Green Lemonade, a zesty and out-there combination of lemon, spinach and pineapple.
Next on my health tour of London was a stop off at Tom Winterbottom (tomwinterbottom.com), a St John’s Wood-based personal trainer (an acquaintance of mine) who specialises in shrinking the waistbands of bankers, lawyers, yummy mummies and rich kids in the area.
As a result of the popularity of the spinning classes and other group fitness workouts at the likes of Equinox, GymBox and Psycle, he’s seen a surge in demand for small group workouts, usually women-focused cardio-boxing sessions. For Tom’s clients, ‘These mini group sessions are individualised, affordable and having a friend sweat next to you helps spur each other on to toned, fat-loss success.’ Finally, for the real prize after a hard day of juicing and cardio, treat yourself to Livia’s Crumble (liviascrumble.com).
Crumble-creator Olivia Wollenberg told me she wanted to create something indulgent yet packed with goodness that wouldn’t jettison the waistline by putting ‘a healthy twist on an all-time British classic that everyone loves’. With six indulgent flavours stocked in Selfridges, Daylesford Notting Hill and a home delivery service accessible to most of London, the traditional crumble has been reinvented without skimping on the taste. Vegan, full of super-foods and with nothing artificial, try the Plum, Mulberry and Lucuma variety for your next sweet treat or dinner dessert.
When I asked Olivia how she squared what is generally considered a dessert with the health food market, she said, ‘I am not into detoxing. I think one should be able to indulge in a healthy way.’ With so many options in London now, 2015 may just be the healthiest, tastiest year yet.