EVENT: Fitness and Wellbeing at Bowhouse

Getting along to a brand new Fitness and Wellbeing event at Fife’s Bowhouse is a great way to start the New Year as you mean to go on

Taking place on Saturday, 19 January and bridging the gap between fitness and healthy eating, this is Bowhouse’s first Fitness and Wellbeing event.

Packed with activities and inspiration and more than 10 different classes to take part in, as well as healthy food demonstrations and a selection of healthy street food stalls, the event promises to be the ultimate start to 2019.

Based on Balcaskie Estate near St Monans, Bowhouse is Fife’s innovative makers hub, bringing people closer to a healthier understanding of the food they eat.

Alongside the food and drink producers based at Bowhouse is Fit to the Core, a fitness studio offering a range of classes with tailored training, nutritional coaching and more.

At the new Fitness and Wellbeing event, the Fit to the Core team will be running a taster of its regular programme, including spinning classes, Pilates and aerial Pilates, a fun take on the balance workout which suspends parts of your body from the ceiling in mounted hammocks in a fun mash-up of Pilates and aerial skills.

More down to earth but no less challenging, the line-up of other fitness activities includes CrossFit classes and demonstrations from Functional Fitness St Andrews, Boxercise, Metafit and Zumba.

And, if you’re feeling the chill this January, St Andrews Hot House Yoga’s classes might be the remedy. With a focus on breathing, each class is a total body workout, as well as a great way to reduce stress and improve sleep.

Hot House Yoga specialises in practising in the heat, which includes benefits such as detoxifying the body through sweating and allowing the muscles to stretch further.

Once you’ve got your breath back , you can enjoy a taste of some delicious and nutritious food. Healthy street food stalls include Milly’s Kitchen from Cupar, which will be serving a hearty menu of deli-style dishes. and Good Food Good Feelings with on-the-go vegan treats.

If you’re looking to boost your own healthy food repertoire, there will be a full programme of demonstrations from Scottish chefs and food and drink insiders. This will include a chance to learn how to make your own protein balls and find out more about healthy fat loss.

Learn to make your own protein balls

Since it first opened its doors in 2017, Bowhouse has grown to become one of the major food and drink developments in Scotland, quickly placing itself at the centre of national conversation about all aspects of the national diet.

You can reach Bowhouse by bus to nearby St Monans or take advantage of its ample parking and drive. It’s only 90 minutes from Edinburgh and under an hour away from Dundee.

Or why not really get into the spirit of the event and walk or cycle your way along the Fife Coastal Path, which runs close by?

Fitness and Wellbeing at Bowhouse will open its doors at 9am and run classes from 10am till 4pm on Saturday, 19 January. Get tickets here


EVENT: Wellbeing in the West End

Wellbeing in the West End will offer three days of self-exploration, nutrition, fitness, yoga, meditation and mindfulness between 11 and 13 January 2019

If you live in the Capital and are looking to shape up, detox, chill out or become more mindful this January, get along to Edinburgh West End’s first ever wellbeing festival!

Local health professionals are coming together to host Wellbeing in the West End on 11, 12 and 13 January – when they’ll be offering a range of workshops and classes at different venues throughout the district – and they’re inviting you to join them.

The £20 ticket price, which will help to raise money for The Joshua Nolan Foundation and The Rock Trust, includes access to all activities, classes, workshops and talks – each of which have been designed to help nurture and nourish your own wellness.

According to organisers, the three-day celebration of self-exploration, nutrition, fitness, yoga, meditation and mindfulness will be like nothing Edinburgh West End has ever seen before. The itinerary features a series of different talks, covering the likes of goal setting and managing anxiety, and exhibitors will showcase a range of health and wellbeing products and services, such as organic food, jewellery, crystals and therapies, at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre.

wellbeing festival Saturday-2Wellbeing festival Sunday-3

Beneficiary The Rock Trust works with homeless and socially excluded youngsters aged 16 to 25 across Edinburgh and the Lothians. Meanwhile, The Joshua Nolan Foundation believes it’s possible to prevent every suicide. The charity offers support, training and advice to people living in Scotland of all ages and gender identity, who may identify as being ‘at risk’ or affected by suicide.

Holistic Scotland Magazine stockist Calm on Canning Street is one of the West End venues taking part.

“We are so excited about this event, which combines all the things we love: community, self-care and self-kindness,” says Calm on Canning Street founder Katy Lomas (pictured).


“We wanted to make this accessible and affordable for everyone and we are delighted to be able to support two very special local charities doing amazing work within our community, as well as support local therapists, wellbeing practitioners and promote all the amazing businesses within the West End.”

For tickets, click here 

Or, to find out more, check out the Facebook page 




Already dreading New Year? How to make 2019 different from all the rest

Holistic Scotland Magazine columnist Leonie Gordon explains how we can set the start of 2019 apart and reset ourselves – from the comfort of our own homes

Are you already secretly dreading New Year and its resolutions, which you know you’ll break within weeks, or even days?

Are you ready for something different – to go deeper and break the cycle?

Towards the end of the year (every year), many of us turn (consciously or subconsciously) to reflecting on the past year’s successes and ‘failures’ and thinking about what we want for the year ahead.

We often use goals and New Year’s ‘resolutions’ to help us get to where we hope to be in the year ahead. And so often we have given up before we even begin.

But it’s time to reset the self-destruct button.

Leonie 1
Leonie Gordon

Wouldn’t you love to be able to have some space to retreat and be nurtured at this time of year instead, to allow the dust of 2018 to settle and your real dreams for 2019 to emerge naturally without all the heartache and effort?

And wouldn’t you love to be able to do that from the comfort of your own home with and to start now, with time to reflect on the past year, to let go of the ‘failures’ and celebrate the successes, in an online retreat designed to help you rediscover your energy, happiness and purpose, and to inspire you to shine your own unique light in the world?

Well, here is your chance to retreat in your own home over the next 50 days. Many years ago, I threw out New Year’s resolutions and, instead, started retreating, connecting in and creating my visions for the year ahead. That’s why, for the past five years, I’ve been supporting others to do the same in Aberdeenshire where I live.

So many people have said they would love to join in if only they lived closer to me and so this year I have created an online retreat.

This 50-day online retreat will gather an intimate circle of people who want to dive deep, loosen the grip of self-doubt and conditioning and connect into what they really long for to make 2019 their best year yet.



You will connect to your unique creative life source that fires your hopes and dreams. Our creative flow is not something we can all turn on and off. It is a space within ourselves that we have to connect to and that shows us the path we long to follow.

There is a story about Michelangelo when he was working on David. It’s said he sat in his studio for months looking at the giant piece of marble that would eventually become his masterpiece. After a time, his patrons came to him and said, “We hear you have stopped working!” to which he replied, “I have been working every day.”

We will be gathering, meditating, visioning, dreaming, sharing and nurturing your ability to connect in and provide yourself with space to tap into your natural curiosity and creativity and let your own truth emerge.

May all your dreams come true

It takes disciple to be a free-spirit and truly live your dreams… We will identify those practices that you find inspiring and create new practices to support your unique vision for the year ahead.

If you feel the longing don’t hesitate, the course starts as soon as you jump in.

Included with the 50-day online retreat is:

  • 5 x 1 1/2 hour in-depth coaching calls/webinars providing teaching, resources, tools and deeper experiential dives.

In between these calls, over the 50 days you will also receive:

  • An online community where you can share the journey.
  • Call recordings for those who could not attend live.
  • Inspirations to help you digest the teachings.
  • Extra audio tools offering shorter practices for ongoing use.
  • Journal prompts
  • Creative and visualisation tools to create your vision for 2019.

Dare to start dreaming now!


How to avoid headaches at work

Dr Daniel Fenton, clinic director at London Doctors Clinic, shares his top 10 tips for warding off headaches and migraines at work dan-fenton

We have all suffered the discomfort of a headache at some point in our lives, but anyone who’s ever experienced migraines knows all too well the misery and suffering this condition can cause.

According to the Migraine Trust, migraines are the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of one in seven people. It is also one of the most common health complaints we see as GPs, which isn’t surprising considering that over ten million people across the UK suffer with headaches on a regular basis.

These debilitating headaches often lead to people taking time off work. According to a new report by the Work Foundation, it’s estimated that absenteeism and presenteeism due to migraines results in 86 million lost workdays per year, which costs the UK economy a huge £8.8bn per annum.

Migraines are identified by recurrent disabling headaches – they’re much more severe than the average headache and are thought to be caused by temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Sufferers often begin having episodes from childhood and these can range from mild to extremely painful with vomiting and even temporary paralysis.

In line with the focus for this year’s Migraine Awareness Week, it’s important for businesses to cultivate a culture of mindfulness around migraines in workplaces, and to:

  1. understand that migraines are a complex neurological condition and that not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and
  2. make reasonable concessions for employees who get migraines, such as offering them flexible working hours and looking at how their physical environment can be adjusted to help avoid elements that may trigger a migraine.

So what steps can we take to prevent migraines at work?

  • Be mindful of stress and anxiety

Prioritise taking steps to reduce your stress or anxiety levels as this will lessen your headaches – be it through relaxation exercises, psychological therapy, a walk in the park or a long bath. A great way to feel calm when you need a quick solution is to take deep breaths from your diaphragm- set aside 10 minutes to inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, and your body should soon relax.

  • Manage the glare

It’s no secret that squinting causes headaches but what few office workers realise it that the glare from their screens can make them squint. Encourage migraine-prone employees to get glasses with glare resistant lenses, and to give their eyes regular breaks from the computer screen by looking away and focusing on an item in the distance for a minute or two.

  • Cut down noise

Noise is a migraine trigger so if you’re prone to migraines and can’t avoid noise at work, wear ear plugs or find a quiet breakaway spot to work in. If necessary, speak to your manager about reducing noise levels in the office.

  • Get more sleep

No surprises here – too little sleep causes headaches as well as grumpiness! Having a consistent sleep routine is vital for keeping migraines at bay. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. It may sound obvious but be careful with your consumption of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol and don’t over-indulge in exercise or food before bedtime – this could have a negative impact on your sleep and possibly lead to headaches.

  • Get moving!

If you sit, lie or slope about and don’t exercise you will get headaches. An aching head does not inspire us to get active but getting outside in the fresh air can help loosen tight muscles which cause migraines. Make it a priority to move – be that going for a morning run, walking part of your commute to work or pushing back your chair to do desk-er-cises during the day. Exercising will not only transform your life, but considerably reduce your migraines too.

  • Correct your posture

Bad posture gives you headaches so make a point of sitting up right, squaring your shoulders and straightening out whenever possible. Find a way to remind yourself to ‘straighten out’, such as setting an alarm or making a mental note to sit up straight whenever you drink coffee.

  • Eat regularly and check your diet

No matter how busy you are, don’t skip breakfast or lunch. Fluctuations in blood sugar can sometimes cause migraines so always have breakfast and aim to eat at regular intervals. Sugar and processed carbohydrates cause huge fluctuations in blood sugar so be careful of them.

Cheese, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol are known to trigger migraines in some people so if you’re a regular sufferer, cut these foods and beverages out one at a time for 2-4 weeks and assess if that makes a difference. If you can’t function without your daily Caramel Frap, consider switching to decaf or limit your coffee intake to one cup.

  • Drink plenty of water

Not drinking enough water will very often give you a headache and can lead to migraines. The first thing you should always do when you feel a headache coming on is have a good long drink of water! Make a point of keeping a water bottle on your desk and drinking from it regularly.

  • Supplement with vitamin B2

There are several herbal supplements you can take to improve migraines which are loaded with Vitamin B2. Clinical studies show that taking regular doses can reduce some types of migraines or prevent them altogether. Your local health food store or chemist should have a range of products available.

  • Trigger management

If it’s not very obvious what’s causing your migraines, keep a diary. Note when your migraines start, what you were doing at the time, how long they last and what, if anything, provides relief.  This can really help you and the doctor to work out what next.

Finally, if you are still getting migraines you should see a GP. There’s an array of things that can be done, that will make a huge difference to your quality of life.

So in summary you should: relax, give your eyes a break, wear ear plugs to block out noisy colleagues, get some sleep, get moving, SIT UP STRAIGHT, eat some breakfast, have a drink of water and take your vitamins!

For those people who struggle severely migraines, book them a visit or video consultation with a GP.


Win a spa break with Macdonald Hotels

Macdonald Hotels Spa Collection has launched a competition for one lucky winner to land a well-deserved spa break as part of National Spa Week 2018 (10-17 September).

It’s inviting people across Britain to nominate a friend, family member or themselves to win a spa day experience and overnight stay at a Macdonald Hotels Spa Collection hotel.

Emma Leadbeater, Macdonald Hotels Spa Director, said: “There’s no better cure for something getting under the skin than a facial! If someone you know just can’t catch a break –  if they keep missing their bus or their computer crashed, and they’ve lost a big piece of work, then this is your chance to make their day by entering our competition.”

The Macdonald Hotels Spa Collection is a group luxurious retreats, providing rejuvenation and relaxation in tranquil surroundings, where highly-trained staff use the finest professional products from ELEMIS as well offering bespoke treatments which are as individual as each hotel.

Nominations can be made by using the hashtag #CatchASpaBreak on Facebook or by emailing to explain the reasons why someone you care about really deserves a special treat.

Regular spa visits are used around the globe as an effective way to combat everyday stresses, whereas in the UK a spa treatment is still regarded as a rare treat – that’s why spas across the UK have come together during National Spa Week 2018 to provide an antidote to life in the 21st century.


On Monday, 1 October, five lucky winners will be informed that they have a free spa day in store, including lunch and an overnight stay for them and one guest.

Macdonald Hotels Spa Collection covers more than 20 locations across the UK and winners will be able to choose from any of the following participating hotels:

  • Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa, Ascot
  • Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton
  • Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa, Peebles near Edinburgh
  • Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel Spa, Chester
  • Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, Hampshire
  • Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, Aberfoyle
  • Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa, near Stirling
  • Macdonald Manchester Hotel
  • Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Windemere
  • Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa, near Chester
  • Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford

Find out more here