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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).
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.