BAM – the best Bamboo clothing

We have loved the brand BAM for a very long time now. Having followed their journey which began over ten years ago in the garage of their founder David Gordon. We love their values of delivering high quality, comfortable clothing and all the while their production sees that everyone is treated fairly and responsibly. Basically I see them as a company that cares!

The natural product Bamboo is awesome for clothing. If you haven’t tried it yet you are in for a treat.

It keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter.
It’s antibacterial so your clothes don’t smell even on the smelly days.
It offers great UV protection.
It’s kind to skin which makes it really nice for anyone with skin issues and irritations.
The bamboo plant is super quick to grow too so it doesn’t need a tonne of pesticides or fertilisers, which equals a happy planet!
And most importantly it is so soft. It’s like cashmere that you can wear to train in!

What we are wearing:
Serenity Top in Magenta Marl
Bamboo Classic Vest in Indian Ink
Cropped leggings in Charcoal Marl
Yogi Pants in Fig (Pictured left)

What the boys are wearing:
Bamboo Luxe T shirt
Bamboo Athletic shorts Indian ink





All of our staff were very kindly given a whole outfit by BAM. What we loved most was that all of the items could be worn both on and off the mat. On those days when you feel so busy and rushed and you might not practise because you haven’t got the right gear on or you haven’t got time to change, there will be no more excuses when you have BAM clothes. It’s on those busy days that you can wear BAM from start to end . You will look good, you will feel great, therefore you will be inclined to move, whether its walk, run, hike or get on the mat for yoga. You will be able to jump on the mat inbetween tidying the house and picking the kids up from school, even if its just five minutes, it can be done. I’d like to say BAM clothes make life easier! You might not be able to wear these lovely clothes if you have an office job, mind you their classic vests make for great layering under a smart top maybe. But for a busy mum these clothes are a god send. They they wash well, don’t need ironing, they can be worn straight from a crumbled heap in the corner of the room and still look great. I wear all of these items to teach in and for my own personal practise too. What I love most though, is after a long day, taking a hot bath, then slipping into the soft yogi pants, with their kind double waistband and putting on the gorgeously soft Wanderer top with its long length that covers everything up. It’s in that moment I feel like my clothes are giving me a very welcome hug!

BAM have kindly teamed up with us to offer you our Zest Life clients a discount of 15%. So go to bambooclothing.co.uk, get buying and get your clothes hug today! DISCOUNT CODE – ZEST15


Jilla Active – Yoga Gear











Jilla Active

Hearing about a new active wear yoga brand is so exciting. Receiving their beautifully packaged garments through the post is one thing, wearing them to teach and to carry out my own practise is another and to absolutely love them is the icing on the cake.

Jilla active are a British designed active wear company based in London. Olivia and Bridget head up the company and have been so kind to send us a selection of items that all look gorgeous and feel amazing. They use a lot of Bamboo in the garments making them so soft and so comfortable to wear. They also always use a really lovely soft and calming colour pallette, which comes across as very classy, grown up and sophisticated.










What’s different about them?

The first thing that comes to mind is the detail. You know how some items of clothing you buy you might think “ I wish they had put that there, or made this bigger of that smaller”. Well these experienced designers have thought of all of that for you and done it. I cannot fault any of the items that were sent.

Since being pregnant, having my son Freddie just over 10 months ago and not really training properly, certain body parts had begun to sag! I felt so untoned and my butt wasn’t what it used to be! I went to teach one evening, putting on my usual leggings and was disappointed with the reflection. I felt unsupported and all a bit wobbly to be honest. I then however put on a pair of Jilla active “Be a wild thing Capri” and everything got sucked and tucked in all the right places. I was so amazed and pleased with how they felt, they were supportive and uplifting with out being tight or restrictive which is so important when you want to be comfy and relaxed on the mat. They helped me to feel more confident in my looks and my body. I know confidence should come from within and it doesn’t matter what you look like but sometimes we need a little helping hand and these clothes certainly helped me.

Items we have tried, tested and loved.

Drift Away Vest

Be in the Moment Bamboo Tank

Wanderer Bamboo Top

Be a wild thing Capri

Limitless Tight

Be in the moment Legging




The only thing I would say is the leggings seemed quite small, I exchanged them for a Large, even though I am a 10/12. Jilla have kindly teamed up with us to offer you, our Zest Life clients a discount of 15%. So go to Jillaactive.com, get buying and get happy!



Banana Peanut Butter Flapjacks


A lovely healthy, guilt free alternative to a flapjack. Tastes a bit like a banana bread but has all the goodness of the oats you’d find in a flapjack. They make a great breakfast alternative and also a great snack for the mid afternoon energy slump. Wheat and dairy too.








ingredients – Makes 16

2 mashed bananas – the riper the better as easier to mash and sweeter

2 cups oats

1 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

6/7 apricots chopped

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp maple syrup – add 1 tbsp  more if you like them sweeter

200ml oat milk



Heat oven to 140

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.

Add the oats and other dry ingredients to the bananas, stir and combine.

Add the peanut butter along with the maple syrup, give it a good mix now.

Finally, add the oat milk till you have a thick consistency.

Grease a small baking tray with coconut oil and transfer the mix to the baking tray. Press the mixture down very firmly with the back of your hand, or the bottom of a clean mug.

Cook for about 25 – 30 minutes till the edges have started to turn golden brown and the mixture is quite springy to the touch. Cook for few more minutes if you feel it needs longer.


Just Being – Peters Poem

Just Being

                      Just sitting
                  On Mother Earth,
            Absorbing Surya’s rays.


                    Just Listening
            To Terns and Wildfowl and
                Their Soundtrack of
                     Just watching
                 As the Tides’ stillness
             Deceptively ever nearer.
                      Just waiting
                  As ripples radiate
                   A hidden Presence.
                     Just breathing
                    As Prana’s  flow
                   Ebbs in and  out,
                       Just stillness
            As all things ever changing,
                          Into this
                         and then
                     Just changing,
                 With no  Beginning ,
                      Never Ending
                        Just Being.



chai tea

15027395_1183969888359120_8877152492050546426_nZestlifeSince travelling in India I have always loved chai tea. Whenever I drink it I am always transported back almost twenty years to my first visit there. I remember sitting on a platform in Bombay waiting for my first train across India and being sold cups of wonderfully sweet chai tea while I waited. It was always served in tiny terracotta pots, almost like a shot of tea really and only cost just a couple of rupee a cup, a far cry from the tea prices of Starbucks. Anyway, a very good friend of mine Kate has given me this recipe of her divine chai tea to share. It’s a perfect spice blend to warm the hearts at this cold time of year. Make the dry ingredients up and leave to infuse for a few weeks before making the actual tea. Finding a lovely beautiful tea tin to store it in is a must!


70g (half a regular sized packet 125g) Loose black tea- Assam is a good choice

2 x cinnamon sticks – crushed

30 x cardamon pods – crushed

15 x cloves – crushed

30 x black peppercorns – cracked

1 x star anise – broken up

1 x nutmeg – finely grated

fresh ginger




Serves 2

Use a pestle and mortar to crush up your spices, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise. Work them individually, then add them to your loose black tea. Grate in your nutmeg using a fine grater. Store in a tin for a few weeks.

To make the drink itself….

Place 3 cups of water in a pan and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add 2 tsp of your tea blend, 2 tsp of honey and finally add a slice of fresh ginger.

Place back on the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add milk to taste, bring back up to simmering.

Serve in your finest mugs, whilst wearing warm woolly socks and sitting in front of a fire.


mushroom soup

14495246_1157677790988330_946871926516649646_nZestlifeAutumn days call for warming soups. Having just been for a fabulously cold swim this morning, all I could think of was making a warming soup for lunch. This recipe is so quick and so simple and great served with garlic bread!









Serves 4

1 tsp Coconut oil

1 Onion

3 Garlic cloves

1 Celery stick

500g Mixed mushrooms – wiped clean and chopped- chestnut, button, portobello, wild

Handful of Dried wild mushrooms

Handful of Fresh thyme

1 litre of Vegetable stock


1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Leave to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add finely chopped onion, celery and garlic. Sweat till soft and golden.

3.  Add the chopped mushrooms, thyme leaves and leave to soften for about five minutes on a low heat.

4. Once softened add the stock, enough to cover the mushroom mix, the soaked dried mushrooms and their fluid. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Once cooked remove from the heat and blend to smooth consistency. A hand blender is great in this instance. You can add more stock, milk (dairy or Non) or cream, till you get your desired consistency.

6.  Served with chunky bread, ciabatta or garlic bread is fabulous.




blackberry cordial



I have made this divine cordial with elderberries for years and it wasn’t until this year with an absolute abundance of blackberries that my partner suggested we try it out with some blackberries. It is wonderfully sweet, so you only need to use a small amounted diluted with either cold or hot water. We add a few drops to morning smoothies or pour over ice cream for a simple dessert. It will last for months in sterilised bottles.




Cold water

Granulated sugar

Cinnamon sticks


Fresh ginger

Juice of one lemon



Glass bottles

Small funnel



Sterilise your glass bottles, either in a heated oven or hot wash in the dishwasher.

Put your blackberries in a large pan and add enough cold water to just cover. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft.

Strain the liquid form the fruit, return the liquid back to the pan. For every 600ml of liquid add 450g of sugar (I used golden granulated but white granulated can be used), two cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves and and inch piece of peeled ginger. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved then boil hard for ten minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the liquid and pour carefully into your sterilised bottles using a jug and your funnel. Label and then enjoy as you wish.











Wild Garlic Pesto

11169951_821336297955816_988242792869360404_nZestlifeRamsons other wise known as Wild Garlic make the most quirky flavoured pesto. We started created this recipe last year after learning more and more about foraging and eating from the wild. The leaves start to appear around mid March and the flowers a few weeks following. Make sure you are confident at identifying the plant, (mind you the smell is so strong you can’t miss them), then once you’ve located a patch get harvesting and cooking.





2 Handfuls of wild garlic leaves

200ml Extra virgin olive oil

50g Pine nuts or walnuts

2 Garlic cloves

50g Parmesan cheese, grated



For a large jar, Serves 6

Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water for about 10 seconds. Immediately refresh in cold water, drain and gently pat dry with kitchen paper.

Put the wild garlic, oil, nuts and garlic into a food processor and blitz until you create a puree.

Transfer to a bowl and add the parmesan and season with s and p.

Put in a sterilised jar till ready to use. It will freeze quite happily for use throughout the year.

We serve this stirred through wholemeal pasta along side a crunchy, leafy salad. Its one of our Friday night arrival meals, thats filling enough to leave you satisfied and excites the taste buds for the weekend ahead.

Why detox with yoga?









  • A yogic Detox stimulates the body’s own powerful waste disposal mechanisms – throughout the digestive system but also the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, endocrine and lymphatic systems.


  • Yoga creates a deeper awareness of what the body actually needs thus influencing more mindful choices of not only cleaner foods but also a more balanced lifestyle and chosen environment.


  • Letting go of physical and emotional tension is as important a part of a Detoxing as clearing physical waste. Yoga recognises the importance of eliminating “dis-ease” to bring the body and mind back into balance and optimum health.


  • Kriyas(cleansing practices)  and breathing practices(Pranayama) stimulate deeper more effective respiration & circulation.
  • Asana (Postures) – a carefully sequenced flow of Asana will create deep stretching and/or compression to first “wring out” tissue releasing cellular waste products.  As the stretch is released muscles, nerves and organs are flushed and recharged with freshly oxygenated blood and nutrients, energising & rejuvenating the body.


  • Asana also have the effect of releasing physical tensions that are the result of emotional stress thus helping us to re-pattern poor movement habits leading to less stress on the body, better posture and deeper breathing.


  • Use of Mudra and breathing practices work directly on calming the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn can help slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity and help deal with the stresses and strains of life.)


Author : Claire Riley, yoga teacher and lover of all things to do with healthy living.


Butter bean & herb dip

1931320_988530101236434_7562845629185671143_nZestlifeI am huge fan of humous and I’ve been looking for a similar high protein dip to serve on our retreats as an option for lunch. It needed to be bean based for the protein but also have a great flavour. I came across this recipe in a newspaper supplement and tweaked it to give it a bit more of a kick. I hope you like it. It’s great served piled high in the middle of large plate surrounded by warm pitta and fresh crudités, such as broccoli, pepper and celery.






500g cooked butter beans

2 garlic cloves

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp of olive oil

a good dash of tabasco

1 handful of chives chopped

1 small handful of dill chopped

1 tbsp small capers, rinsed and drained

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

salt and black pepper


Add all of the ingredients into your food processor and combine until you have a thick, smooth consistency.

Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.