Amie Richmond - Urban Massage Article

What are the five new healthy drinks?

Plant-based ‘super waters’ make big health claims – but do they really live up to the hype? Read about the new healthy drinks here:


With around 92% water, watermelon is the ultimate thirst-quenching food – but the buzz around new watermelon water may not be so justified. “Although the sugars that make it sweet are natural, it’s a high GI fruit,” explains nutritionist Angelique Panagos. The plus side? Packed with vitamins A and C to reduce wrinkles and antioxidants like lycopene and l-argenine to boost collagen production – it’s the ultimate anti-ageing beverage.


You might know it as the green goop you spread on a severe case of sunburn but the fresh pulp from aloe leaves produces a juice said to aid digestion, its vitamin C content boosts the immune system, while vitamin B12 gives you an energy kick. “While there isn’t much scientific evidence out there, it seems that the glycoprotein and polysaccharide content help reduce inflammation to calm intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s and IBS,” says nutritionist Chloe Strickland-Eales.


Sourced from the sap of (you guessed it) birch trees, this refresher contains only four calories per 100ml and is rich in micronutrients such as copper, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium and magnesium. It also contains xylitol, which promotes good dental health and saponin, which blocks the absorption of cholesterol explains nutritionist Amie Richmond.


“At only 10 calories per 100ml but packed pull of manganese for nutrient absorption, maple water is a healthful and low-sugar alternative to coconut water,” says Richmond. Meanwhile its hydrating electrolyte content means that it’s great post-workout to aid recovery.


Containing around half the calories and sugar of coconut water, prickly pear cactus water packs electrolytes and minerals that hydrate, aid digestion and revitalise tired skin. The betalain extract can also ease hangovers explains Strickland-Eales.

Amie Richmond - Urban Massage Article

Your ultimate guide to protein powder

No longer the preserve of grunting body builders in the gym, find out why protein powders can form an important part of anyone’s health and workout routine.

A hit of protein may sound simple enough, but with so many types to choose from such as casein, whey, non-GMO and so many ways to take it: before or after your workout, as a drink or baked into food – it’s tempting just to give up and pick up a family pack of crisps and a bottle of wine! Don’t. Let team UM guide you through the tricky world of protein powders…


Whey protein might seem like an obvious choice: it enters your blood stream faster than any other protein and boasts the highest levels of leucine, an amino acid, which builds muscles and fuels you through a workout. Take it within an hour of exercising for faster, better results. But experts warn that it might not be right for everyone: ‘Whey is the globular protein, discarded as a waste product in the cheese industry,’ explains nutritionist Amie Richmond, ‘Even if you have a slight allergy to dairy it can have a detrimental effect on your immune system because your body will attack it like a pathogen.’ The result? A runny nose or mucus build up in the lungs.


Taken before bed, it helps repair muscles throughout the night. The best option is micellar casein – your body digests it more slowly so you’re getting more bang for your nutritional buck. Like whey, it is derived from dairy so unsuitable if you’re lactose intolerant and grass-fed options are always best.


Now for the vegan-friendly options. Made from de-hulled soybeans, soy protein digests at a mid-range rate and contains high levels of the amino acids, glutamine and arginine – ideal to support, digestion, brain function and a healthy immune system. The bad news? It tends to be highly processed explains Gareth Dew, founder of Dew fitness and nutrition. Not only that but it also has a high isoflavone content. ‘These little blighters interact with oestrogen in the body and can skew the female hormone’s production when taken in excess,’ explains Richmond, ‘The fear for men is that this can reduce testosterone levels but women should seriously watch their intake based on their height, weight and macros.’


Last but definitely not least comes hemp. No you’re not going to get baked off the stuff and it isn’t the most effective at building muscle (it contains just 10g of protein per scoop compared to 25g in whey) but it’s not all bad news. ‘Hemp is a complete plant based protein so it offers inflammation fighting omega-6 and it also has a high fibre count,’ explains Dew, ‘If you just want a subtle protein boost this is a great option nutritionally.’


If you don’t like the idea of a liquid diet that doesn’t involve white wine spritzers, you can bake with protein powders by using it as a substitute for flour. Just remember that while it may fit better with your macros and workout gains you can’t eat as much as you want. ‘A calorie is still a calorie!’ says Richmond, ‘While one might do the trick, don’t undo a good workout by gorging on an entire batch of protein muffins!’

Amie Richmond - Daily Express Article

Weight loss diet UPDATE: Exercise is NOT the most important factor in slimming down

THERE ARE a variety of factors that can impact a person’s physique, but some have more weight than others.

By Lizzie Mulherin

PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 22:30, Wed, Dec 14, 2016

While weight loss and exercise can go hand in hand in some instances, a gruelling fitness regime on its own will not guarantee slimming results.

From extreme boot camps to workouts from suspended rope, health-seeking hopefuls have gone to great lengths in a bid to banish unwanted pounds.

But the focus has been misdirected, according to weight loss expert and nutritionist at Amie Richmond.

Amie said: “When embarking on a fat or weight loss programme the first question you should always ask yourself is ‘do I want to be thin or do I want to be healthy?’

“We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’ and it’s true. In the long term putting your health first requires fuelling your body with the right nutrients, which is the most beneficial way to maintain a healthy weight and achieve your goals.”

Many experts say only 30 per cent of any weight loss or diet regime is due to exercise. A staggering 70 per cent, however, is down to what you eat.

Amie continued: “Whilst diet and exercise are both important for your overall health and wellbeing, particularly when starting your weight loss plan, It is vital that food habits change in order to see real lasting change.”

According to the weight loss expert, the first step to achieving slimming goals is being realistic.

This means ditching extreme diets of any kind – including crash diets – in favour of healthy, balanced meals which include protein, carbohydrates and good fats.

She explained: “Losing weight too quickly by under-eating, over-exercising or skipping meals can lead to excess skin folds on the body where it has shrunk too quickly.

”Extreme exercising can also put increased pressure on your adrenal glands and can end up stressing your body with high cortisol levels, which in turn can lead to future health problems.”

It’s also favourable to eat seasonally, the nutritionist advised.

Amie said: “Choose a food plan based on real food, as near to nature as you can. Opt for seasonal fruits and vegetables as these are the most nutrient dense and low in calories.

“Try and achieve a ‘colourful’ plate with a variety of vegetables in each meal, such as beetroot, sweet potato and spinach.

“Eating three nutritious meals a day with two small snacks is ideal as this ensures your blood sugar levels do not drop suddenly leading to impulse eating of sugary foods.”

Amie said it’s also important to ditch sugar, monitor your salt intake and carefully check the labels of your food so you know what you are consuming.