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Health fix: the hen party

Health fix: the hen party

Written by Katie Byrne

Ditch the L-plates and try these healthy hen ideas instead....


From cocktail lessons to chocolate workshops, hen parties can be filled with sweet treats and alcohol - not ideal if you’re watching what you eat before the big day! So for ladies who don’t want to break their healthy habits, Sarah Chapman from hen specialist Eclipse Leisure suggests these healthier group activity alternatives to help you stay in shape before the big day.

1. Sushi making

A sushi lesson is a great alternative to chocolate-making and is just as fun, tasty and far more nutritious! Fish is a source of omega-3 fatty acids which aids circulation and protects the heart, brown rice aids oxygen and calcium absorption into the body and wasabi is thought to help prevent tooth decay and blood clots.

Sozai in London offers two hour sushi making sessions from Japanese trained chefs who put you through your paces to make the finest sushi - fit for the fussiest guests at any dinner party! You and your friends will walk away with a whole new set of skills to show off in the kitchen as well as a large box of sushi made by yourself. Sessions range from £75-£90 per person for two hours, and Sozai has various options to choose from.

2. A yoga & smoothie workshop

Trade in party favourite activities like cocktail-making lessons with the new trend for yoga and smoothie workshops. Smoothies are usually milk or yoghurt based and both cow’s and soya milk are good sources of protein. Cow’s milk also contains vitamins A, B12 and D but contains saturated fats too. Soya milk is a great alternative for a lactose-free smoothie, with less saturated fat and lots of antioxidants.

Slice Studios provide workshops from expert nutritionists for healthy and delicious smoothies and desserts. The workshops are available in Parsons Green, Fulham with one off classes starting at £30 per person. Platinum Healing also offer ‘Juice & Yoga’ retreats in West Sussex, or if you’re feeling in need of a totally relaxing break away with friends in Spain!

3. Tea-toxing

With platefuls of pastries, cakes, sweets and white bread sandwiches, afternoon teas can be a dangerous place for the health-conscious to navigate. However, hotels and cafés are starting to specialise in afternoon teas that aren’t quite so naughty, with a new trend known as tea-toxing.

For a guilt-free afternoon tea, the Teanamu Chaya Teahouse has ceremonial tea sessions with 18 different types of tea and an amazing array of sweet and savoury wholesome treats to choose from including citrus yuzu soft-set marshmallows dusted with green tea and lo mai fan lotus leaf rice parcels.

Browns Hotel in London is another great place for a healthy afternoon tea alternative. Their Tea-Tox option includes sandwiches made from spelt bread, healthy dips with crudités, smoked chicken and walnut on chicory leaf and orange cake with yoghurt and blueberries. If you’re feeling fancy you can opt for a low-calorie glass of extra-brut Champagne - prices start from £37 per person.

4. Cupcake lessons

Just because you’re watching what you eat, it doesn’t mean a treat has to be completely avoided. Cupcake lessons are a favourite group activity for hen dos but it’s near impossible to avoid those refined carbohydrates. Instead, why not host your own cupcake lesson where you can try your hand at sugar-free, lactose-free and gluten free recipes?

There are healthy cupcake cafés to consider too. Bake-a-Boo in West Hampstead provide gluten, dairy and wheat-free cupcakes as well as tasty and refreshing teas like green, almond, cranberry & elderflower. Their pastel clad interior has cute communal tables and sofas; a perfect setting for a group on a Saturday afternoon and you can often book as late as 24 hours in advance (perhaps a plan B if a picnic in the park is rained off!).

5. Team time

If you’d rather not skimp on the food, you could always opt for a fun group activity instead. For example...

Cheerleading – what better way to have a laugh as a group than drawing on your nostalgic teen movie moments and diving into a cheerleading lesson? Everyone can let loose whilst working off those cupcakes, and who knows? It could spark a love for a new work out activity! Find out more about group cheerleading sessions.

Dancing – if cartwheels and air pumping isn’t your thing, why not try a dance class? From hip-hop, burlesque, Bollywood and salsa through to movie themed lessons, a dance class is a great way to get the girls relaxed, have a laugh together and get your heart pumping.

Rollerblading – if the girls are up for it a roller disco party is a really fun activity for a birthday, hen do or work night out. Rollerblading gives your calves, hamstrings and lower back a good work out, and will have you laughing lots if you go all out in retro disco fancy dress.

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