Gut cleanses, kombucha cocktails and a luxe countryside retreat: This week's Be Happy Hotlist, hot from Ibiza
Self-care isn't selfish. In fact, it's the foundation on which we can build the best versions of ourselves, which is better for everyone in the long run.
The Shelf Help ethos is all about making our well-being a priority and looking after our mind, body and soul wherever and whenever possible.
And so welcome to the 'Be Happy Hotlist', a weekly dose of five self-loving things that I am doing right now (other than reading) to help me stay positive, centred, healthy and calm.
This week I am...
1. sleeping...at ca na xica in Ibiza
3. Breathing...like a badass
4. Cleansing...my gut and (poor) liver
5. Carrying...a blinging vegan bag
1. SLEEPING...at Ca Na Xica
A stylish and secluded agriturismo in the Ibizan countryside, Ca Na Xica combines five-star comfort with the island's famous boho vibe. I spent three nights here on a wellness press trip with digestive health brand Renew Life and I loved the outdoor showers, the views onto miles of olive groves, the total peace, the detox-retox breakfasts (featuring bee pollen, goji berries, beetroot bread, green juice, coconut lattes, cava and croissants) and the petite and pretty spa.
Made from fermented black tea, kombucha is an easy way to add some 'live' food to your diet. Live food creates an environment where healthy bacteria thrive, and healthy bacteria = a happy gut and a happier you (90% of serotonin is made in the gut). It's also a great alternative to cocktails for those times you're off the booze, or a way to make a real cocktail that little bit healthier when combined with cava, as demonstrated at a pop-up dinner from Ibiza's brilliant Los Fermentistas and The Last Supper Club.
In London I've been drinking ginger-flavoured Jarr kombucha instead of Aperol Spritz at Shoreditch House (and I've just found out that Wholefoods also have it on tap).
3. BREATHING...like a badass
We all know how to breathe. But most of us aren't doing it right, spending our lives in fight or flight mode and taking short, shallow breaths that only add to our bodies' stress levels. Rebecca Dennis discovered Transformational Breathing when she was a stressed and suicidal media exec battling severe depression and says that it saved her life. She is now a qualified Breath coach, workshop leader and founder of Breathing Tree, specialising in treating issues such as anxiety, depression and insomnia in her workshops and 121 sessions at her studio in London's Marylebone.
She believes that conscious breathing is the ultimate key to our well-being, health and inner peace, and my experience in one of her Morning Breath workshops was pretty profound. In the group there were tears, emotional breakdowns and breakthroughs. My reaction to the session was more visceral, experiencing shaking and tingling, but afterwards there was a huge sense of release, and very definite peace.
And the good news for those of you (us!) who find 'workshops' a bit weird is that this was all done laying on the floor with our eyes closed so it was easy to 'let go' without feeling too self-conscious.
4. CLEANSING...my GUT AND (POOR) liver
This week's session with naturopathic doctor and Renew Life spokesperson Dr. Sara Celik resulted in a prescription for a 14-day "First Cleanse" - designed to gently stimulate the cleansing and detoxification process of the body’s seven channels of elimination: the liver, lungs, colon, kidneys, blood, skin, and lymphatic system - followed immediately by the more intense 30-day 'Liver DTX', as well as adding a daily probiotic supplement and more 'live' food to my diet generally.
As a longtime fan of a happy hour I'm not surprised to learn that my liver may need a little TLC but I AM surprised to learn that the reason I'm still getting spots on my jawline at the age of 40 is because I took the Pill for so long (20 years) and even though I stopped taking it four years ago I probably still have too much oestrogen floating about in my system. The liver is where unnecessary hormones are eliminated and so the idea is that by giving it some love it can go back to work extra hard.
NB these cleanse programmes are herbal supplements that I will add to my regular diet, rather than juicing, fasting or cutting out foods.
5. CARRYING...a blinging vegan bag
Generally anything shiny makes me smiley. And this totally blinging tote is bringing a bit of Ibiza glam to my days (and the District Line) now that I'm back in Chiswick. Also, it's made from washable paper - yes! - so is vegan and good for the planet but still strong and water-proof, which is good news in West London.