Basking in the glow…

Contemporary Stretch
6:15 pm - 7:25 pm
December 13, 2018

Sundays ‘Independance Day’ with guest presenter Lincoln Bryden was, once again, a glorious event. So much laughter, fun and love: love of dance, movement and the opportunity to get together and celebrate simply being able to! The wonderful smiles and words of thanks make the efforts of Karen, myself and guest presenters all worthwhile. We choose to work alongside experts of original and creative teaching, with years of experience, this makes the event achievable and challenging in equal measure for all levels of dance experience.

Click here to see the photos of the day!


Our next event is on Saturday 1st December 2018 with our guest presenter the much loved and popular Jo Ali-Parry with a festive themed day (1-5pm). Our early bird booking ends on 12th October, so get your ticket now and celebrate the Christmas season in a healthy, fun and positive way.


Well done to…

Abi Arris who completed the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday! Abi is raising money for ‘Guys and St Thomas’s’ charity in memory of her Godmother and best friend of Abi’s mum, Val Harris.


Immunity boost!

There are lots of bugs and colds around at the moment, please look after yourself!

Ways to boost and protect your immune system are,

Exercise – be active daily for 30 mins (or accumulate 270 mins of exercise across 7 days), fidget and move your body every hour. Even one minute of marching on the spot, squatting, dancing and so on has a fantastic effect on our immunity and physical and mental wellbeing.

Laugh – research has shown how laughter boosts our happy hormones and immune system. Keep company with upbeat, positive and funny people; watch and listen to upbeat TV, social media and music etc.

Sleep – 6-8 hours a night allows us to have a full sleep cycle, where our body can fully repair and restore.

Stress – manage stress levels via exercise, mindfulness, meditations. High levels of stress are linked with lowered immunity, low mood, low energy, reduced efficiency, poor concentration and memory and fat gain.

Wash your hands – wash away those bugs. I wash my hands after I have worked with clients and classes, also after a trip out shopping etc.

Stay away from sick people – if you are caring for a poorly person then wash hands and even wear a medical mask, you help no-one by being sick too.

Wipe down surfaces – use anti-bacterial solutions, such as handrails, door handles, phones, cup handles. Steam washing is an excellent non-chemical way of sanitising our homes. Excessive use of anti-bacterial chemicals can actually damage our gut biome and thought to be linked with poor thyroid function. Do not share crockery or cutlery without washing.

Diet – eating sufficient vitamin and mineral dense foods (found mainly in vegetables and fruit).

Repair your Gut – a healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system, nutrient absorption, improved mood, sleep, energy levels, mental clarity, reduced aches and pains, better hormonal balance, optimal weight management, healthy clear skin, and preventing major as well as minor disease!

I will give a free Gut health talk on Saturday 20th October 2-3.30pm – numbers are limited to allow time for questions.

Sign up now! Email

We all need to know about how to repair and maintain a healthy Gut (I will set up a Justgiving page for donations to go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of those we have lost to cancer).


Here is a fab seasonal and immune boosting soup recipe found on the Food Matters website

Turmeric Pumpkin Soup with Coconut and Lime

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 35min

You can substitute in turmeric powder here if you are unable to get root – use about 1 tsp. If you use an upright blender, be careful and be sure to leave room for steam to escape. This soup is a great make-ahead option and freezes well before the addition of coconut cream (add upon defrosting).

Serves 6.


250g | 1 large brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbls | 40 ml coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
15g | 3 cm piece of fresh turmeric root, thinly sliced
20g | thumb size piece of root ginger, thinly slices
70g | half bunch fresh coriander, roots and stems washed well and roughly chopped, leaves reserved for garnishing.
1 tsp chilli flakes (+ more to taste)
1kg pumpkin, peeled and deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks
185g | 1 cup split red lentils, washed
1L | 4 cups good tasting vegetable stock
250ml | 1 cup full fat coconut cream (+ more to serve)
2 tbls | 40 ml of fresh lime juice (half a lime, + more to serve)
1 tsp sea salt (+ more to taste)

Coconut cream, fresh lime, thinly sliced spring onion and fresh coriander leaves to serve.

In a large sauce pan over high heat, cook the onion in the coconut oil till softened. Add the aromatics: garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander stems/roots and chilli, and cook for a couple of minutes till fragrant. Add the pumpkin, lentils and stock, bring to boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer to cook for 20min, or till the pumpkin is soft and the lentils are disintegrating.

Once cooked, use a stick or upright blender to puree the soup. Return to stove and add the coconut cream and heat through, but do not boil. Just before serving add the lime juice and salt. Depending on the saltiness of the stock you used, you may need to be quite generous with the salt here. Taste, and trust your judgement. You really want to make the flavours pop, and pumpkin and lentils both need plenty of salt to give them flavour.

Serve with extra lime wedges, a drizzle of coconut cream, and top with spring onion and coriander.

This soup will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days, add extra water when reheating if soup thickens too much. If freezing, add coconut cream upon defrosting.


Remember to book your place on my free gut health talk and look after your immune system!


Have a great week,

Love ya!

Helen xx





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I have known Helen for 12 years. I joined Helens fitness classes and have never looked back. Helen is my personal trainer, massage therapist, and still love attending her fitness classes. Helen is very helpful when discussing my dietary requirements, as well as guiding me through the ante/post natal period with my second child and injury rehabilitation. I have found Helen to be very professional, knowledgeable and a brilliant motivator. Helen has not only become a very close friend but a mentor to my wellbeing. Helen is my ‘Guru’!
Angie Ash