• What Does 'Being Healthy' Really Mean?

    "Life is more fun when you have the energy to live it." We asked personal trainers and professional athletes what it means to them to be 'healthy'. 

    what does being healthy really mean fitness wellness

    Alice Hector – Elite Professional Athlete

    Healthy to me is the ability to do your chosen activities freely and feel good about yourself. It does not mean dieting or restriction in any way, but subconsciously making good food and lifestyle decisions (good habits) and also being relaxed about chocolate/wine/treats when you fancy them.

    From my stance as an elite athlete, healthy does not necessarily mean elite performance (as that can easily tip the balance into being unhealthy, just as a sedentary lifestyle can) but I believe you can be healthy and be a top professional athlete and drink wine - just not the whole bottle!

    Anne Iarchy – Personal Trainer

    Having a lifestyle that combines healthy eating, regular physical activity, and a positive mindset. Striving to be disease-free by leading that lifestyle. And being able to do whatever you want to do thanks to that lifestyle, e.g. not being limited by mobility, injury, size or shape.

    Polly Hale – Personal Trainer

    Being fit enough to do everything I want to do, from still carrying my kids when needed (the eldest is 10!) to recently joining pole dancing classes. Life is more fun when you have the energy to live it to the max without compromise.

    Ken Byrne – Ironman Athlete

    Being healthy to me means being happy, being able to be active, finding a good balance between work and family, and not being too hard on myself to achieve everything. Understanding others and trying to deal with life's stresses the best I can.

    Alvaro Martin – Elite Triathlete

    Being healthy means, for me, thinking about the right choices and acting on them. It's not just about food; it's about your whole life. Books, music, friends, work and everything makes up your life!

    Leanne James – Personal Trainer & Triathlete

    Being healthy to me would be feeling good about myself, making the right choices and creating the right balance between family, work, fitness and nutrition, and friends; which is never easy! And then not giving myself a hard time if it doesn’t always go to plan.

    Making the right choices for me can be anything from the right food choices, or whether to push through a tough training session if feeling exhausted (and knowing when to stop!) to making time to go and have a coffee with a friend or watch my children play a sports match rather than being too busy.

    Tim Harrison – Fit Food Writer

    Being healthy for me has to be “whole self healthy”: mind, body and soul – holistic if you want. Your training should enhance your happiness and fuel the chance to train.

    Thomas Hill – Personal Trainer

    Being life-proof. Being able to do anything that life demands of me from running for the bus to wrestling with my kids to picking up all the shopping bags at once!

    Beatrice Vetter-Ceriotti

    Being healthy, mentally as well as physically, to me means keeping healthy habits and with them striking a balance between work, life, and my sport allowing me to achieve my goals without depriving myself of activities that bring me joy. What society nowadays perceives as a healthy lifestyle with restrictive eating and an unattainable body-image of a healthy person is in my opinion unhealthy in itself. Celebrating what your body is capable of, regardless of what people think you should look like, should be the main goal. Healthy is to be kind to your body and soul.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founder Of Primrose's Kitchen

    Founder Q&A Interview with Primrose Matheson Primrose's Kitchen

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We chat with the founder of natural health food brand Primrose's Kitchen, Primrose Matheson, about building a successful business from scratch and the lessons she has learnt on the way. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Primrose's Kitchen?

    Primrose’s Kitchen started as a result of my own struggles with my health and from a desire to get more fresh fruit and vegetables into my diet whilst creating a quick-to-assemble meal that could be eaten any time of the night and day.

    What motivated you to develop the idea?

    I had glandular fever and chronic fatigue which motivated me to look at my diet and create meals that really nourished me.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    The biggest challenge was creating my own factory space. There was no one who had the equipment to air-dry and make the products in the strict way that I wanted them made in order to maintain their fresh goodness so I had to build one myself using loans and applying for grants.

    healthy food granola muesli Primrose's Kitchen nutrition

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Living in the beautiful Dorset countryside helps a lot. I walk my whippet Isla first thing in the morning and nourish myself primarily with the foods I grow, make, and forage so I know they are as nutritionally rich as they can possibly be. Supermarket vegetables are days old before you finally eat them.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Primrose's Kitchen?

    The most exciting part of the business is seeing my product on the shelves in store and the positive feedback from customers who have gained a real benefit from enjoying them.

    What does the future hold for Primrose's Kitchen?

    We are always looking at developing new products and going forwards will be looking to moving into new categories.

    Primrose's Kitchen healthy nutrition

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Find a good mentor to share the ups and downs and employ people whose strengths are your weaknesses.

    There are always going to be things you are not so good at but there are people out there who will be great at those things and actually enjoy doing them. Passion is the key part of success in any industry I believe.

    What's your favourite product in the Primrose's Kitchen range?

    My favourite product currently is our banana and turmeric soaked and sprouted granola, it is a delicious caramel flavour.

    Quickfire Questions

    1. Coffee or tea? Herbal tea – haven’t done caffeine since I was 12
    2. Summer or winter? Oooh both? I love open fires but love swimming in the sea on a summers evening….
    3. Hot yoga or regular yoga? Reformer Pilates
    4. Granola or muesli? Granola with coconut yogurt
    5. Stay in or dine out? Dine out.. love being cooked for!
    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Mindful Chef

    Sundried interview the founders of Mindful Chef

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We chat with the founders of Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe box delivery service, about growing their hugely successful business and balancing work with life. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Mindful Chef? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    Giles: We're a health-focused recipe box company set up by myself, Myles and Rob. Mindful Chef was born one summer's evening in 2014 when we were on a fishing boat off the beautiful Exe estuary bringing in the day's fresh catch to the local villagers. We thought to ourselves, how could we replicate this on a national scale, and have never looked back.

    Myles: We're on a mission to make healthy eating easy and do so by delivering all the pre-measured ingredients and recipe cards you need to cook up nutritionally-balanced dinners in under 30 minutes. Since our launch in 2015, we've shipped over 10,000,000 ingredients from incredible small farms across the UK and are now voted the UK's #1 recipe box by thousands of customers on Trust Pilot.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    Giles: We were confident with the concept but getting things off the ground logistically was pretty tough and we spent a lot of long weekends packing up the boxes and delivering them ourselves!

    Mindful Chef certified B Corp ethical business

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Giles: It is important to have 'me time'. So whilst I work hard during the day, for long hours, I make sure that for some evenings or weekends I have total switch off periods where the mind is allowed to rest and think about something other than work. This creates a far superior work ethic and output when you get back into it the next day.

    Myles: In today's fast-paced world it can be pretty difficult to switch off but we try our best to promote a 'work hard, play hard' attitude. We encourage our team to take lunch breaks from cooking up lunches together to team workouts and even taking the office puppy Toby out for a walk.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Mindful Chef?

    Giles: For me, it would probably have to be our initial crowdfunding campaign in 2017 when we raised  over £1 million in such a short space of time and gained backing from some incredible sports stars including Victoria Pendleton CBE, Sir Andy Murray, and Will Greenwood.

    Myles: Another thing we are incredibly proud of is our work with the charity One Feeds Two - for every meal a customer buys, we donate a school meal to a child living in poverty. We've donated over 900,000 meals so far and are close to our goal of 1 million! This also contributed to becoming a certified B-corp in 2018, essentially using business as a force for good and striving for more than just profit - focusing on people and the planet.

    Giles: Of course none of this would be possible without our amazing customers!

    Mindful Chef ethical farming sustainability

    What does the future hold for Mindful Chef?

    Myles: Our focus for 2019 is to continue our mission to make healthy eating easy for as many people as possible and grow our Mindful community. We are working with some exciting names in the health and wellness industry including Olympians Jessica Ennis-Hill and Victoria Pendleton, "The Happy Place" super mum Fearne Cotton, nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, as well as our extensive team of inspiring ambassadors. Watch this space!

    Giles: Product-wise we have also just launched our new 15-minute meals, to make healthy eating easy even on the busiest of evenings and have an exciting menu collaboration in March. There's plenty more to come later in the year.

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Myles: Set up a support network. I was very fortunate to have two other brilliant, smart friends to work with. A lot of entrepreneurs start out on their own and it can be a very lonely place to find yourself. If you don't have co-founders to lean on think about getting yourself a mentor. Someone with experience that you can speak to and learn from - it can be really helpful.

    Giles: Focus on delivering something that people need. Something people really need. Test it and launch an MVP quickly to ascertain whether there is appetite there in the real world. Then pour your heart and soul into it. The worst case is you learn heaps and go back to the day job a richer person in terms of skills and experience gained.

    What's your favourite meal on the Mindful Chef menu?

    Myles: Teryaki salmon with crispy kale
    Giles: Thai pork meatballs and courgetti soup

    Quickfire Questions

    (Myles answers first, then Giles) 

    1. Coffee or tea? Tea, Coffee
    2. Summer or winter? Summer, Summer
    3. Gym or outdoors? Outdoors, Outdoors
    4. Weights or cardio? Smart weight training can double as cardio, Weights
    5. Stay in or dine out? Dine in with Mindful Chef :) Dine in
    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Research Shows 40% Of People Have Tried A Fad Diet To Lose Weight

    fad diets weight loss cupcake

    Sundried conducted a survey and found that 40% of people admit that at one time or another they have tried a fad diet in order to lose weight. But why do people try these extreme weight loss options?

    What are the types of fad diets?

     A fad diet is a popular diet that promises fast weight loss with minimal effort and quick results. Fad diets are often promoted widely on social media and on television to gain publicity, but will quickly fade away once they are discovered to not work or to even be dangerous. People who are desperate to lose weight or perhaps who think they've "tried everything to lose weight but nothing works" may be tempted to try a fad diet as a last resort. 

    Any diet that is not sustainable and is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle should be considered a fad diet. There are often questions about more popular and long-standing diets such as the Paleo diet and Ketogenic diet to try to determine if they are fads or not, as many people swear by them as long-term lifestyle choices. 

    zone diet paleo ketogenic eating friends social

    Fad diet examples

    There are endless fad diets being created on a daily basis by people who want to try something new. From the baby food diet to the South Beach Diet, they often find fame but for the wrong reasons. We take a look at some of the biggest fad diets as well as some of the craziest.

    The Zone Diet

    The Zone Diet is a very complicated diet whereby meals are split into 'blocks'. The Zone Diet uses the Glycemic Index (GI) to classify carbohydrates and can be incredibly difficult to follow. Most people would not have the nutritional knowledge, time, or means to follow this diet and therefore it could lead to all sorts of complications.

    The Atkins Diet

    The Atkins Diet gained notoriety after a spate of deaths left its safety in question. The Atkins Approach is classified as a low-carb fad diet which encourages people to eat a lot of meat and dairy. As such, the true healthiness of this diet was called into question and it lost a lot of popularity. 

    The Werewolf Diet

    This diet is less well known than other popular fad diets. The Werewolf Diet has followers eat according to the lunar calendar by fasting during a full moon and only drinking water. The theory is that the water in our bodies is controlled by the moon in the same way the moon controls the tide and that by following a lunar calendar, you can control how much water weight you gain or lose. This diet doesn't provide any new evidence and is actually very similar to other diets which also promote fasting, doing a 'water cleanse' and not eating after 6pm. 

    The Five-Bite Diet

    This diet is another which seems a little silly at first. The clue is in the name, and this diet states that you can eat whatever you want, so long as you only have five bites of it. Straight away it's clear that the science behind it is creating a calorie deficit, but it seems to go a funny way about it! This diet prescribes skipping breakfast and eating only five bites for lunch and five bites for dinner. This is clearly a very unhealthy way to live, and the five bites you do have could have little to no nutritional value!

    fad diets nutrition healthy apples fruit sugar

    Worst fad diets

    Sundried asked "what is the craziest fad diet you've ever tried?" Here were some of the responses:

     "I tried bulletproof coffee for a while then thought why don’t I just put a ton of double cream in my coffee in the morning. It badly repeated on me at work a few hours later. Didn’t try again!"

    - deerheadapparition on Reddit

    "The cabbage soup diet, it was horrendous and didn’t do anything apart from make me feel light headed and slightly sick."

    - Paul Suett on Facebook

    I did the 5:2 diet for 18 months and it actually worked quite well, but it only works if you stick to it religiously and I was very hungry!"

    - Daniel Puddick, founder of Sundried

    How do fad diets work?

    In most cases, fad diets don't work at all. People who choose to follow a fad diet may lose a large amount of weight in a short time, but it is not sustainable and therefore most of the time they will regain the weight they lost, if not more. Losing weight too quickly is dangerous and can not only leave you with health problems, you also risk being left with saggy skin and stretch marks.

    The science behind most fad diets is that in one way or another they leave you in a calorie deficit. This is the only true way to lose weight, but it needs to be sustainable. You should never aim for more than a 500 calorie daily deficit, which for most adults means not eating fewer than 1,500 calories a day. Extreme weight loss diets will have you eating below 1,000 calories a day, or even fasting and not eating at all, which will make you lose water weight and perhaps even muscle mass, but not fat. You will also be left feeling tired, irritable, and most of all - hungry! When looking to lose weight, it's important to always consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist who can help you undertake your weight loss journey safely and in a sustainable way. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • These 5 'Healthy' Protein Bars Contain More Sugar Than A Donut

    glazed donut

    If you've been reaching for protein bars as part of a healthy diet in the hopes of boosting your protein intake and losing weight while building lean muscle, you may want to check out these 5 'healthy' protein bars which actually have more sugar and calories than a donut.

    Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut Nutritional Information

    We'll be comparing the 'healthy' protein bars to a classic: the Krispy Kreme glazed donut. If you're on a diet, trying to lose weight, or just trying live a healthy lifestyle, no way would you go near one of these. But shockingly, they contain fewer calories, carbs, sugar, and fat than a lot of the 'healthy' foods on our list.

    We've created a handy table at the end of the article directly comparing the stats of the 'healthy' foods with the donut.

    One Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut contains:

    190 calories

    11g of fat

    22g of carbohydrates

    10g of sugar

    3g of protein

    Krispy Kreme Donuts Nutritional Information

    Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie

    Myprotein cites the key 'benefits' of eating this cookie being that it's high in protein, vegan-friendly, and baked using high quality ingredients. While 13g of protein is certainly high compared to a normal cookie, it still contains a lot of calories and sugar (much more than our Krispy Kreme donut).

    You'd probably be better off eating a grilled chicken breast (or suitable vegan alternative) to get your protein hit and then enjoy a delicious donut, leaving you having consumed fewer calories and carbs than if you'd eaten one of these cookies. 

    One Myprotein Baked Chocolate Cookie contains:

    289 calories 

    8.6g of fat

    38g of carbohydrates

    16g of sugar

    13g of protein

    Multipower Power Pack Bar

    The Multipower Power Pack bar is marketed as being a 'healthy snack' and claims to contain 27% high quality protein. While this may be true, it also contains as much sugar as a Krispy Kreme and less protein than 100g of quinoa. 

    One Multipower Power Pack Bar contains:

    145 calories 

    4.7g of fat

    14g of carbohydrates

    11g of sugar

    11g of protein

    Myprotein High Protein Flapjack

    The Myprotein flapjack is a formidable snack, containing a huge 324 calories (as much as a small meal) and an impressive 20g of sugar (almost twice as much as the donut). Despite this, it still contains less protein than a standard chicken breast or protein shake.

    Why not enjoy a normal snack like a bar of chocolate so that you don't feel like you're depriving yourself, which would contain fewer calories and less sugar than this flapjack, and then top up your protein intake through a natural source like eggs, steak, or quinoa. 

    One Myprotein High Protein Flapjack contains:

    324 calories 

    11g of fat

    32g of carbohydrates

    20g of sugar

    20g of protein

    Nutramino Protein Bar

    The Nutramino Protein Bar is marketed as being a healthy on-the-go snack, boasting about its 20g of protein. However, it contains 4g more sugar than a donut and more than twice the fat found in a Mars bar. 

    One Nutramino Protein Bar contains:

    290 calories 

    14g of fat

    22g of carbohydrates

    15g of sugar

    20g of protein

    Science In Sport Protein Bar

    Finally, we have the Science In Sport protein bar. SIS are world-renowned for their energy gels and are proud to fuel such athletes as Chris Froome and Olympic medallists. However, their protein bar contains almost twice as much sugar as a donut and is calorie-rich at 223 calories. 

    One Science In Sport Protein Bar Contains:

    223 calories 

    6.4g of fat

    21g of carbohydrates

    18g of sugar

    20g of protein

    Nutritional Comparison

     Product Calories Fat Carbs Sugar Protein
    Krispy Kreme Donut 190 11g 22g 10g 3g
    Myprotein Cookie 289 8.6g 38g 16g 13g
    Multipower Bar 145 4.7g 14g 11g 11g
    Myprotein Flapjack 324 11g 32g 20g 20g
    Nutramino Bar 290 14g 22g 15g 20g
    Science In Sport Bar 223 6.4g 21g 18g 20g

    Key Takeaways

    The point we're trying to make here is that there are are lot of products out there that are being marketed to us as being 'healthy' when they really aren't. Nutrition and weight loss are difficult enough as it is without struggling to know what you should and shouldn't eat. 

    As always, check the labels on what you are eating and educate yourself on how much of each macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) you should be eating each day, as well as how much fibre you need (hint: it's more than you think!) and limiting your sugar intake.

    These days, sugar is added into everything and so limiting your intake can be difficult. Make informed choices and don't be tricked into eating something just because of the way it's sold to you. Natural foods will always be healthier than packaged foods, and if you want a treat from time to time then go ahead! You can still indulge without going too far over your daily caloric allowance. 

    Remember: weight loss is only possible if you maintain a caloric deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you consume. You only need a 500 calorie daily deficit to lose 1lb of fat every week. Eating one 190-calorie donut probably isn't going to bust your diet, but a 324-calorie 'healthy' flapjack might! 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren