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With the much-anticipated party season upon us, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to stay healthy—especially with all the temptation and added opportunities to overindulge in rich foods. But there’s certainly no need to cut out all the joy when it comes to food!
With a big part of the festive period centered around treating yourself and spending time with friends and family over delicious meals, it’s not always easy to stay balanced. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of best-selling UK author and fitness expert Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach.
“Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and you shouldn’t be worrying about what you are or aren’t eating... it’s Christmas after all!,” says Joe. “I’ll get up on Boxing Day and do a workout and then get back to the cheese board and chocolates!"
Joe’s sharing two of his favorite recipes from his book, “Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks,” to help you to stay on track whilst not straying far from the fun lane.
The Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie is a great wholesome equivalent to a Sunday roast or a yummy reduced-carb way to put your leftovers to good use.
“This is another tasty way to use up your festive food for a crowd,” says Joe. “The crispy filo is a delicious contrast to the creamy filling.”
Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large leek, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon cornflour
400ml hot chicken stock
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon crème Fraiche
300g leftover turkey, cut into chunks
200g thick-sliced ham, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh tarragon and parsley
4 sheets filo pastry
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Chuck in the leek, carrots, and mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Stir in the cornflour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked turkey, ham and chopped herbs and spoon the mixture into a medium pie dish.
- Preheat your oven to 200-degree Celsius (fan 180-degree Celsius/gas mark 6). Melt the remaining coconut oil in a small pan.
- Unroll the filo pastry and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Put a single sheet on a board and brush with a little oil. Rough scrunch up the pastry and put on top of the turkey mixture. Repeat with the remaining filo until the top of the pie is covered.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filo is golden and the pie mixture is bubbling. Get stuck in.
For something sweet, you can’t get much better than the perfect blend of dark chocolate and fresh, juicy raspberries in Joe’s Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log.
“It’s not the leanest, but the tastiest Swiss roll I’ve ever made,” says Joe, “And should be made as a treat (over the festive period) or on Christmas Day.”
Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon coffee extract
100g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
75g self-raising flour, sifted cocoa powder for dusting
For the filing
300g double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
180g fresh raspberries (or frozen raspberries)
24x 35cm Swiss roll tin
- Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius (fan 160 degree Celsius/gas mark 4). Line the sides and base of the Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the eggs into a large bowl with the coffee essence and sugar, and whisk using an electric whisk until pale and thickened (about 8-10 minutes). Fold in the cooled melted chocolates and flour.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten with a palette knife. Bake for 12-15 minutes until springy to the touch.
- Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a clean work surface and lightly sprinkle with casting sugar. Remove the cake from the oven and flip onto the baking parchment. Peel away the parchment from the sponge. Loosely roll the sponge from the short end and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the cream, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Top with fresh raspberries* in a single layer and re-roll the sponge, removing the baking paper as you do it. Decorate with cocoa and caster sugar.
*If using frozen raspberries, allow them to defrost and stir them through the vanilla cream.
Whatever you’re up to over the party season, enjoy it! Use food as a fuel for lots of activity and festive sweats. If you need some inspiration or want to squeeze in an extra workout in between all the parties, find a fitness class that fits your busy schedule on the MINDBODY app.
Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks is out now (Bluebird).
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.