Healthy holidays in India If you love yoga, try an Indian retreat somewhere such asMysore, the home of astanga yoga. You can practice yoga daily for up to six months and do all sorts of courses in breathing and Indian philosophy for less than the cost of a British min-break. The food and accommodation all cost less than £1000 for up to six month yet people report life-changing benenfits Cost £380 for flights to Bangalore (buses run every five minutes to Mysore), the equivalent of £66 for yoga and £50 for accommodation and food a month.
Haggle At local farmer’s markets and shops many producers these days will expect a little haggling (and it’s great for banter). Try, ‘Well how about you give me the pumpkin and the beans and the apples for a fiver?’ Once you get past the cringe factor you’ll realise it works and many proprietors will wonder about those who don’t do it. People, it’s a recession. Milk it.
Use everything Although fruit and vegetables can be expensive try not throwing anything away. If you’re cooking butternut, try roasting the seeds in a pan with sesame oil and chilli flakes and sprinkling on salads. Having a good juicer helps, so you can pulp every last bit of most fruits and vegetables into a nutritious drink.
Weekly Lunch prep On Sundays, try cooking work lunches for the week, making up five or six dishes and keeping them in bowls in the fridge all week – for example, bulgur wheat taboulleh, lentil and Brazil nut salad and falafel with roasted butternut. Each morning make up a Tupperware full for the day and watch people at work gasp at how healthy and tasty your lunches look.
Surf for bargains Investigate where you can save money such as buying on-line. On-line pharmacies such as mastersdirect.com sell big name supplements for 30 per cent less than you would pay in the shops.
Buddhist Retreats Samye-Ling is a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Scotland that runs retreats with vegetarian food and meditation lessons that could seriously change your life. Cost £130 including accommodation, tuition and food. See samyeling.org
Menu Planning Sit down each week and look at what is in the cupboard, scour the Sunday papers and internet for fruit and vegetable specials, then plan the week’s meals and make a detailed list before you hit the shops.
COST-CUTTING TIP: Look at what you already have around you and see how it can be used to make your everyday lifestyle healthier. If you have a garden, grow vegetables. If you have dogs, walk them.
THE EXPERTS’ CHOICES
Nutritional therapist and author of The De-Stress Diet Charlotte Watts suggests three healthy ways to save
Go (a bit) organic Going all organic is a purse-sapper. Prioritise which foods to buy organic by logging on to foodnews.org for a guide on produce that is high in pesticides and best bought organic.
Oils for skin Moisturise with unrefined, untoasted sesame or linseed oil straight after the bath or shower. Omega oils like these moisturise the skin without any of the chemicals found in commercial preparations and they’re cheap as you only need a tiny amount.
Make your own granola Some of the ingredients from supermarkets you can mix together include, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried unsulphured apricots, ground almonds, dessicated cocunut, all varieties of nuts and seeds – raw and unsalted – whole oats, flakes or puffs of millet, amaranth, rye, buckwheat and quinoa, fresh fruit and frozen berries.
Find Charlotte at charlottewattshealth.com
Dynabands Like an elasticized long rubber belt, they are fantastic for toning, are portable so you can take them with you to the park and they last for years. At dynaband.co.uk they’re £9.99 with illustrated instructions.
DVD Benefits Borrow from your local library or buy the used ones from amazon.co.uk and re-sell them when you get bored. My favourites include: Body Control Pilates by Lynne Robinson for strengthening and toning the tummy, The Power of Three by Davina McCall for all over toning, Basic Yoga workout for Dummies for all over stretching, flexibility and strength and Billy Blanks Tae Bo for weight loss, toning and de-stressing.
Use your parks They’re free and lots of them now have outdoor gyms or ‘trim trails’ that anyone can use. Or join a Green Gym, a free scheme that encourages fitness through practical outdoor tasks to improve green spaces throughout England. Find one near you at www.btcv.org.uk.
Find Kathryn at absolutefitness.co.uk
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