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The Little Black Book of Health and Fitness

D&E in Performance, Self - 24 Jun 2019


The boom in all things fitness and health in the last 5 years has meant a recent explosion of wellbeing ‘experts’. Thanks to social media, everyone can build a public profile now which is a wonderful empowering tool. However I would advise against taking every ‘expert’s’ word as Gospel – someone may have 100k followers, but their advice may not be 100% correct.

Thanks to my job, I have access to many wellness gurus, and below are the ones that I really trust, who have invaluable experience under their belts and whose advice and training is researched, thorough and relevant. Some may not have a huge following on social media, but that’s because a true pro isn’t about Instagram stats, flashing a six pack, or taking Belfies, it’s about knowledge, experience and how they translate it to you.

These people, in my opinion, know their stuff:



Joslyn Thompson-Rule

A Nike Global Master Trainer for good reason - what Joslyn doesn’t know about fitness or fuelling for fitness isn’t worth knowing. Someone who puts her knowledge and integrity above creating ridiculous poses on Instagram, she is one of the most knowledgeable people I know in the fitness world. Creator of the Women in Fitness Summit which she hosted last year, her aim is to bring proper expert knowledge and advice to the wellness industry. A badass herself, she is a Crossfit competitor, strength coach, mama and all-around cool chick.


Dalton Wong

Dalton Wong started out his career in rehabilitation so he, therefore, understands the functioning and structure of the human body like no one else. A stickler for good form whilst exercising, he is often called upon by Hollywood stars, whipping them into shape for demanding roles with his calm, un-shouty manner.


David Kingsbury

Lululemon ambassador David Kingsbury is an excellent personal trainer and Pilates specialist. A keen sportsman, David’s rugby career was struck by injury, but rehabilitation taught him the importance of a structured training regime and led him into the world of personal training (lucky us!). David’s approach is extremely thorough and his knowledge of the body, how to strengthen it and how to prevent or work with injury is exceptional. Today he works out of his studio near Notting Hill.



Louise Parker

I have personally witnessed the transformative effects of the Louise Parker Method with friends of mine that have done it. It uses a four pillar approach: Think Successfully, Eat Beautifully, Workout Intelligently and Live Well to get results. The go-to trainer for many a film star (and some say the Royal family) Louise has a real, common sense, no gimmicks approach to transforming your body and health and a deep understanding of the female body and the demands on us ladies (she has had three children herself). With trainers and nutritionists in-house that can liaise with you wherever you are in the world, she also has two books so you can learn about her method for a fraction of the price. The Louise Parker Method: Lean for Life and The Louise Parker Method: Lean for Life cookbook


James Duigan of Bodyism

James Duigan is one of the best-known names in health and fitness. A gentle but clever man whose motto is ‘Be kind’, he and his Bodyism team place as much importance on positivity and your mindset as getting your body in shape. Having first arrived from Australia homeless and sleeping on London’s night buses, he has come a loooong way to the Bodyism home where he now resides in Notting Hill. James’ Clean and Lean books are, in my opinion, the original and still the best, simplest way to eat and exercise for good health.




Amelia Freer

Nutritional therapist Amelia Freer has a refreshing view on how we eat. Firmly anti-diet, she encourages people to nourish themselves, rather than restrict. Well known for Sam Smith’s makeover, Amelia is hugely knowledgeable about the human body and how eating the correct foods can change how we feel and function, working with other experts to test for dietary deficiencies as well as a psychotherapist who specialises in food-related issues if you need it. Above all Amelia loves fresh, nutritious food, straight from the ground (you should see her veggie patch!) to feed the body mind and soul and her books, Eat Nourish Glow, Cook Nourish Glow and Nourish & Glow: the 10 Day plan all reflect that.


James Collins

James is a leading sport and exercise nutritionist and is President of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Food and Health Forum. Currently working as a consultant with European football, James also applies his knowledge of the sporting elite to non-athletes especially those of us with a fitness or health goal in mind. A regular columnist for the Telegraph, he speaks a lot of sense.


Anthony Warner – aka The Angry Chef

Fed up of reading about nutrition from people in a g-string bikini or a pair of Speedos? The Angry Chef has your back. A chef for 25 years, the Angry Chef is not a nutritionist and nor does he pretend to be but he writes absolutely brilliant articles questioning the truth about peoples claims surrounding food. Things that make him angry: people making unscientific claims about the health benefits of diets, recipes and ingredients, people who present themselves as experts without the qualifications to back themselves up, and food manufacturers making false claims about their products etc. His hilarious, no bullsh*t writing is much needed in our ‘everyone is an expert’ age.



Mercedes Sieff

Mercedes is one of the UK’s leading Vinyasa Flow Yoga instructors and one half of the award-winning Yeotown Retreat and Yeotown Kitchen on London’s chic Chiltern Street. Teaching a popular weekly class at London’s Triyoga, her classes involve bold, creative sequencing, and encourages students to explore more contemporary, challenging asanas. A wise soul who is authentic in everything she does she is also a qualified positive psychology coach.


Tara Lee

Tara has been practising yoga for over 20 years, and if you know yoga, you’ll know that experience means a lot on the yoga mat. Specialising in Vinyasa Flow, pregnancy and postnatal yoga, Tara is also a teacher of teachers and runs intensive courses for teachers a few times a year. Teaching a dynamic form of yoga Tara is influenced by many styles including Ashtanga, Sivananda and Para yoga, and her students rave about a stronger, leaner, more flexible body as well as an increased sense of well-being as a result. I have found her postnatal DVD invaluable post birth.


Tass Cambitzi

If you think Yoga is all about lying on the floor taking a few easy stretches and a few deep breaths, then get yourself to Tass Cambitzi’s Power Yoga class at Triyoga in Shoreditch or Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. In this tough Vinyasa Flow workout, Tass will challenge you way beyond your personal limitations. With a strong, precise flow of sun salutations, core work, inversions (she’ll have you attempting head and handstands in no time), Tass is a stickler for correct form and function, believing that building a stronger body will create a steady mind. One of the most exhilarating classes I have ever been to (all set to a great new soundtrack every time) it has become a highlight of my week and has done more for my body than any gym workout ever could.


Nicole Page-Croft

There is a magnetic aura of worldly-wise spirituality that surrounds Oxfordshire-based Nicole. Originally from Australia but brought up in South-East Asia she has been practising yoga for 20 years and teaching for more than 12. With a degree from Oxford University and two Diplomas in Buddhist philosophy under her Yogi belt, she is adept at translating her learnings into practical teachings for modern life (I have been on Nicole’s retreats and we all hang on her every word). A fountain of knowledge in pre and postnatal yoga and birth, her book The Good Birth Companion is a must for expectant mothers and her Dynamic Flow class is playful, challenging and cleverly suits everyone from beginners to the very advanced.



Chloe Hodgson

Visit Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire on a Friday morning at 10.25, and you can expect to be mown down by a small army super chic, legging’d ladies all making a beeline for Chloe Hodgson’s 10.30amPilates class. Packed out every week, the Stott trained, steel-stomached Chloe delivers impeccably precise instructions guaranteed to strengthen nearly every muscle in your body. The results are a firmer bod and stronger core which will not only enhance your usual fitness regime (and create a tight, toned body) but will prevent injury and help bolster your body to bear the brunt of everyday life.




Jillian Lavender

If you want to learn how to meditate, forget the books and the apps, just speak to Jillian Lavender from the London Meditation Centre who is a total authority on the subject. Back in 1995 Jillian once had a job as the CEO of a publishing company so she knows what it’s like to live a manic lifestyle. Close to burnout, Jillian started meditating and felt her anxiety fall away, so she decided to train as a teacher. Having dedicated her life to teaching Vedic meditation (the oldest form there is), Jillian’s course will help you understand very clearly how to do meditation and what it can do for you. It’s the best 8 hours I ever spent.




Jacqueline Hurst

Jacqueline will fix you. Having struggled in life when she was younger with drugs, alcohol, anorexia and anxiety, she went on a mission to change her mindset and in the process transformed her life. Today, as a life coach and hypnotherapist she sees clients with all manner of problems, from weight issues, eating/ body image issues, to addictions, and low confidence. Straight talking and to the point, she has an innate understanding of people and pour psyche and is on a life mission to help people turn their lives around. She rocks.



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