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Stir fry recipes that are perfect for autumn   

14 Sep 2020
bliss beauty spa leeds

Stir fry recipes that are perfect for autumn

As the seasons change, often so do our menus. Whilst summer saw BBQs and salads galore as we aimed to slim and trim for the perfect beach body, in autumn we love something a little more hearty and warming. Bliss believes that this doesn't have to mean eating unhealthily. For us, autumn recipes should include plenty of in-season veggies to warm us whilst keeping our waistlines happy. With that in mind, check out our favourite autumn recipes, all of which can be adapted for vegetarians. 
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stir fry
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1. Beef and Ginger Noodle Stir-Fry - serves 4
Ingredients
 500g diced steak
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
400g singapore noodles
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
2 red chillies, thinly sliced diaganolly
200g fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved
200g baby button mushrooms, halved
1 bunch of kale, leaves only, chopped
80g oyster sauce
Lime wedges to serve
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Method
Cook noddles according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, heat a wok or frying pan over a high heat and add peanut oil. Add chilli and garlic and stir fry for one minute. Add the beef and stir-fry until browned. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2 mins. Add the baby button mushrooms and kale, and stir fry until vegetables are tender. Drain noodles and add them along with the oyster sauce. Stir-fry until heated through and serve with lime wedges. 
For a vegetarian version, replace the beef with one diced red onion and one diced green pepper, to be added with the shiitake mushrooms.
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2. Pumpkin and spinach stir fry - serves 4
Ingredients
200g brown rice
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1.5 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
1kg of pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 2cm pieces. 
100g baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons honey
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Method
Add the rice and lime leaves to a pan and cook according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, add the oil to a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the  onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for one minute. Add pumpkin and cook until tender (approx 7 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry until spinach wilts. Drain the rice and serve. 
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3. Fish & vegetable stir-fry - serves 4
Ingredients
200g brown rice
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
350g of boneless, white fish fillets, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 small tin of sweetcorn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
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Method
Cook rice according to packet instructions. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for one minute. Add fish and stir-fry until half-cooked. Add vegetables and continue to stir-fry until softened. Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry until heated. Serve with the rice. 
For a vegetarian version, fish can be easily replaced with 500g of pumpkin or butter nut squash, or baby button mushrooms, to be added with other veggies. 
Do check back regularly for more healthy yet filling autumn recipes from Bliss. 

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Quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner recipes   

07 Sep 2020
bliss beauty spa leeds

Quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner recipes

 

Whether you're a parent who's just sent the kids back to school, a student yourself, or basically anyone who would love evenings to be a bit easier, we're on hand to help with our easy weeknight dinner recipes. Here are some of our favourites...
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Fajita-stuffed chicken

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
70g of light cream cheese
50g of light cheddar cheese, grated
 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of cajun spice
1 teaspoon of cumin
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Method
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Fry the veggies in the olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper, until softened. 
In a bowl, mix the cooked veggies with the cream cheese and cheddar until thoroughly combined.
Season the chicken with the spices, ensuring that they are evenly distributed.
Slice a horizontal pocket in each chicken fillet and fill with the veg and cheese mix.
Cook the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. 
 Serve with Mexican spiced sweet potato chips or a side salad.
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Mushroom risotto
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Ingredients (to serve 4)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

300g risotto rice

1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped very small

200g chopped mushrooms

900ml hot vegetable stock

75g frozen peas

Salt and black pepper to taste

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Method

Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion and cook on a medium-high heat.

After a couple of minutes add the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the stock, mushrooms, garlic and peas. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Add plenty of salt and pepper.

When it starts to boil, turn the heat down. Cover and simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring often. If the rice seems to be sticking before it is cooked, add some more water. Once all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked, your risotto is ready to serve.

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Chicken burrito bowl



Ingredients

 1.5 cups of brown rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 chicken stock cube

2 large chicken breasts, cubed

1 white onion, diced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

10 mushrooms, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 jar salsa

1 tin of black beans

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Paprika to taste

Cajun seasoning to taste

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Method

 Cook the brown rice in hot water with the chicken stock cube. 

Whilst the rice is cooking heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onions until softened then add the chicken. Add salt, pepper, paprika and cajun and cook until chicken is sealed. Add pepper, mushrooms, carrots and garlic and cook until veggies have softened. 

Pour over the salsa and beans. Drain the rice, add to the frying pan and mix.

Enjoy!

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Healthier fried rice

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Ingredients (to serve 4)

1 cup quinoa

1 veggie stock cube

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 white onion, chopped

4 chicken breasts, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

 1 handful broccoli, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 eggs, broken into a bowl an beaten

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method

Rinse quinoa in cold water.

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan with the veggie stock cube, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and let set for five minutes or so. Fluff with a fork.

Heat the sesame oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes then add chicken and cook until sealed. Add remaining veg and cook until it starts to soften. 
Add the quinoa and stir-fry about two minutes. Add soy sauce and mix through. Make a well in the centre of the quinoa, pour eggs in and stir them until scrambled then mix everything together thoroughly. Serve!
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Mindful drinking - all you need to know   

24 Aug 2020
bliss beauty spa leeds

Mindful drinking - all you need to know

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You may have heard of the phrases 'sober curious' and 'mindful drinking', which have appeared amidst our vocabulary over the last few years. But if you're still curious about what these terms mean, read on for everything you need to know.

A mindful drinking is somebody who is paying close attention to their relationship with alcohol, and how alcohol impacts various aspects of their life, such as work, relationships, and sleep. They may not cut out all alcohol completely forever, however they reduce their intake. If you're not sure that cutting alcohol out entirely is for you, then mindful drinking offers a good middle ground. 

Being sober curious is sort of a precursor to being a mindful drinker. Sober curious people are reflecting on their relationship with alcohol, and may be considering reducing their intake, however they have not taken any steps to do so yet.

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If you want to start drinking more mindfully, you should consider the life you want to live, and how alcohol fits into that. Consider if you do want to cut back, and how that may improve some aspects of your life. Think twice before reaching for a glass of wine, and ask yourself if you really want it. Look for patterns - are there certain days or places where you drink more? Or certain people who you associate with drinking more than you want to?

You may decide to cut out alcohol for a certain period of time - three months is an excellent time frame, however one month is also good. You may start drinking again after this, however your relationship with alcohol may have changed.

You might opt to only drink at the weekends, in order to feel fresh at work. Or you may choose to stop drinking when you're alone. Alternatively, you might change what kind of alcohol you are drinking, as different types of alcohol may affect you differently. You might decide to stop getting double vodka sodas at the pub and switch to single measures, or alternate between an alcohol drink and a soft drink.

There are a range of alcohol-free beers, wines, and mocktails available these days to make it easier for those who are cutting out or cutting down on alcohol.

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However you decide to change your alcohol habits, it is important to reflect on how it impacted your life. Maybe you got more done at the weekends, or maybe you have lost weight or your skin is looking better. 

Mindful drinking is about everything in moderation, and you can choose the extent to which you allow it into your life.

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Health and wellness in a pandemic   

21 Aug 2020

Health and wellness in a pandemic

We're thrilled that businesses have reopened, and we're all out and about again. However, it is important to remember that things aren't back to normal, and it's just as important to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Follow our top tips to support your health and wellness at this time.

Use this time to rejuvenate your body and mind. Run yourself a hot bath with relaxing aromatherapy oils. Download a meditation app to help find your inner calm, or join a yoga class for some light exercise combined with relaxation. Do read our blog posts on easy yoga poses to do at home.
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yoga 
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Remember that exercising and eating healthily will help to keep your immune system strong and healthy, improving your ability to fight viruses, so find time every week to workout.
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With our hectic lives and plethora of distractions from netflix to nights out, unfortunately most of us don't get enough sleep. Most adults need between 7-8 hours per night, and remember that one night of poor sleep will leave you with sleep debt - the time lost will need to be made up. Download an app or buy a fitness tracker to track your sleep, and figure out how many hours you need to feel energised. Be strict with yourself, cutting down on your evening netflix time, or time taken to get ready in the morning if necessary. 
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beauty sleep
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Give your body what it needs
From eating plenty of veggies, to cutting down on processed foods and taking supplements, fueling your body correctly will make you look and feel a million times better. Over time this will increase your confidence. However, taking time on the outside of your body in the form of a deep skin cleanse or a refreshing eye mask is sure to increase your overall wellness too. Check out our full range of facials for healthier, happier skin and a more relaxed and confident you. 
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healthy eating
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The Bliss team are somewhat experts on the topic of relaxation and unwinding, and you can't argue with the facts - a relaxing facial or massage is the ideal way to enjoy some pampering and melt away to sheer Bliss. And with a huge range of both massages and facials, using high-quality products and delivered by expert therapists, we have something for everyone. 
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facials
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 Our wide range of facials target a large variety of skin concerns, or opt for one which will simply give any skin a boost, and help you to just relax. Shop online and redeem your voucher in branch. 
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facial
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 We offer a wide variety of massages to suit everyone, whether you want a relaxing massage, deep tissue, hot stones, pregnancy massage, sports massage - you name it, there's something for everyone.
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massage
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We'd love to recommend our customised relaxing or uplifting aroma massage, with aromatherapy oils customised at Bliss for that personal touch. Releasing stress, can decrease cellulite, muscle aches & strains, sleep disorders, and blood pressure fluctuations.
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If you have any questions or comments about our facials, massages, or any other treatments, please don't hesitate to contact your local Bliss salon or email Beverley at info@blissbeautyspa.com. 
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Bliss West Park 0113 230 4305

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Top tips to improve your wellness this summer   

10 Aug 2020

Top tips to improve your wellness this summer

Wellness is such a buzzword these days, but it's hard to define exactly how it fits into our everyday lives. Well Bliss has done the legwork, so all you have to do is read through our top tips to fit wellness into your everyday life. And then actually do what we say for best results. 
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Invest in some me-time
Whether it's one day a week, half an hour a day, or just a few hours over the weekend, taking time for yourself is extremely important for you to feel your best. The key is to not do things halfheartedly. For best results, switch off your phone and focus just on yourself. Whether it's some yoga, meditation, going for a walk, or a pampering session, make time to focus on yourself. This can help you to take time away from your everyday life and feel less stressed. If you need a little inspiration, check out our easy yoga poses for beginners, or take a look at our full range of massages and book yourself in for some deep relaxation - bliss!
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yoga
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Improve your sleep
With our hectic lives and plethora of distractions from netflix to nights out, unfortunately most of us don't get enough sleep. Most adults need between 7-8 hours per night, and remember that one night of poor sleep will leave you with sleep debt - the time lost will need to be made up. Download an app or buy a fitness tracker to track your sleep, and figure out how many hours you need to feel energised. Be strict with yourself, cutting down on your evening netflix time, or time taken to get ready in the morning if necessary. 
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beauty sleep
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Give your body what it needs
From eating plenty of veggies, to cutting down on processed foods and taking supplements, fueling your body correctly will make you look and feel a million times better. Over time this will increase your confidence. However, taking time on the outside of your body in the form of a deep skin cleanse or a refreshing eye mask is sure to increase your overall wellness too. Check out our full range of facials for healthier, happier skin and a more relaxed and confident you. 
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healthy eating

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Exercise to suit your age group   

05 Aug 2020
bliss beauty spa leeds

Exercise to suit your age group

If you want to lose a few pounds for summer, exercise is key. Not only can it help you to fit into your perfect party dress, but it also helps us to feel our best throughout winter. It's essential to remember that as with many things, workouts aren't a one-type-fits-all kind of thing. If you want to be as strong as possible in your older years, be sure to do the right kind of exercise when you're younger and throughout your life. Here's the type of exercise you should be doing, according to your age group...

20s

Right now you're at your physical peak of strength, speed and recovery. If you want to maintain that as much as possible later in life, then you should try to lay down healthy eating and exercising patterns now. Aim for five workouts per week with a mix of moderate aerobic activity and strength training. Enjoy a variety of different workouts to endurance, strength and lean muscle, which will be easier to retain later on in life. 

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workout

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30s

As your body and lifestyle changes in your 30s, so should your workouts. It is recommended to focus on pilates or a dynamic form of yoga in this time to improve your cardiovascular system as well as your flexibility. The stress-relieving benefits of yoga also compliment the often more stressful lifestyle of those in their 30s. 

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exercise

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40s-50s

In your 40s and 50s you begin to lose muscle mass and cardiovascular function begins to decline. Weightlifting and body weight exercises can be extremely beneficial to combat loss of muscle mass, whilst HIIT is the ideal option for busy ladies to burn fat and improve cardiovascular function, with highly effective workouts taking as little as 20 minutes.

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exercise

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60s

At this time your thoughts may be turning to maintaining your physical functionality as you age. Increased weight training will help you to maintain muscle mass, whilst swimming will help to maintain cardiovascular functionality. Exercises such as pilates, dance and yoga can be extremely beneficial to help you retain flexibility and balance as you age.

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swimming

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70s+

Regular exercise offers protection against ageing. The focus should now be on low-intensity, low impact workouts, such as tai chi to improve joint health and balance. Brisk walking and even running can also be extremely beneficial at this time in your life. 

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tai chi

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 If you're having trouble losing those last few stubborn pounds this summer, then Bliss is here to help you move forward with 3D lipo - a non-invasive form of weightloss. Learn more here or purchase online as a voucher here. 

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Bliss West Park 0113 230 4305

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9 Foods that can improve your sleep   

17 Jun 2020
bliss beauty spa leeds

9 Foods that can improve your sleep

Last week we brought you 3 top tips for better sleep, and now we're back with 9 foods that can improve your sleep. With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical.

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So why does diet help?

Firstly, our bodies contain a neurotransmitter called tryptophan which modulates sleep. There are some foods that naturally contain this, and eating them about an hour before you go to bed can really help you to fall asleep, and improve sleep quality. Furthermore, one major cause of insomnia is anxiety. Including more magnesium in your diet can relax your body and mind, helping you to fall asleep and sleep better. 

So here is our list of the top 9 foods to improve your sleep.

1. Walnuts and almonds

These nuts are an excellent source of magnesium and melatonin - the sleep hormone!

2. Turkey

Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan, as well as plenty of protein which is also beneficial for falling asleep.

3. Kiwi

Kiwi contains a high level of antioxidants, so when eaten regularly it can improve both sleep quality and the amount of sleep we get. 

4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is high in tryptophan, as well as having a high protein content. 

5. Dates

Dates are an excellent source of melatonin, which helps to lull your body into a sleepy state.

6. Bananas

Bananas are a great pre-bedtime snack, containing magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan.

7. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea calms the mind and eases anxiety, eliciting drowsiness.

8. Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are high in vitamin B6 which encourages the production of melatonin.

9. Milk

Not only is milk packed with tryptophan, it contains high levels of calcium which also helps us to drift off.

As well as including these foods in your diet for better sleep, it is also best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed carbs such as white bread and pasta, particularly after 6pm. 

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3 tips to improve your overall wellness   

15 Jun 2020

3 tips to improve your overall wellness

At these strange times, it's so important that we take care of both our mental and our physical health. It can be difficult to suss out the best ways to feel better, and not everything works for everyone. Here are three of our top tips for improving your overall wellness.
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Invest in some me-time
Whether it's one day a week, half an hour a day, or just a few hours over the weekend, taking time for yourself is extremely important for you to feel your best. The key is to not do things halfheartedly. For best results, switch off your phone and focus just on yourself. Whether it's some yoga, meditation, going for a walk, or a pampering session, make time to focus on yourself. This can help you to take time away from your everyday life and feel less stressed. If you need a little inspiration, check out our easy yoga poses for beginners, or take a look at our full range of massages and book yourself in for some deep relaxation when we re-open - bliss!
.
yoga
.
Improve your sleep
With our hectic lives and plethora of distractions from netflix to nights out, unfortunately most of us don't get enough sleep. Most adults need between 7-8 hours per night, and remember that one night of poor sleep will leave you with sleep debt - the time lost will need to be made up. Download an app or buy a fitness tracker to track your sleep, and figure out how many hours you need to feel energised. Be strict with yourself, cutting down on your evening netflix time, or time taken to get ready in the morning if necessary. 
.
beauty sleep
.
Give your body what it needs
From eating plenty of veggies, to cutting down on processed foods and taking supplements, fueling your body correctly will make you look and feel a million times better. Over time this will increase your confidence. However, taking time on the outside of your body in the form of a deep skin cleanse or a refreshing eye mask is sure to increase your overall wellness too. Check out our full range of facials for healthier, happier skin and a more relaxed and confident you. 
.
healthy eating

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3 Tips for a better nights sleep   

10 Jun 2020

3 Tips for a Better Nights Sleep

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With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical. These days we see a wide range of products available to help us to sleep better - from special pillows, mattresses, and duvets, to essential oils, to apps, to technology products. Who knows what we can trust anymore? 

Here are our top, tried and tested methods to improve your sleep:

1. Keep your bedroom for sleeping only. Working or other activities in your room can affect the way your brain reacts to being in the bedroom. If it's just for sleep then your brain knows it's time to go to sleep when you head in there.

2. Try to maintain a regular routine. Keeping to the same (or similar) sleep and wake up times each day should help. 

3. Minimise general blue light exposure before bed. 

Other things may help you personally, everyone is different. If sleep deprivation is affecting your life, sometimes the only thing to do is get to the root of the problem. The NHS backs an online sleep cognitive behavioral therapy course called Sleepio, which is a great way to do this and is free in many parts of the country. 

Happy snoozing!

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5 Tips to take care of your mental health in isolation   

05 Jun 2020

5 Tips to take care of your mental health in isolation

 

During these challenging times, it's just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to look after your physical health. For those who are isolating, or simply distancing from others, this can be challenging. It's understandable. But there are a few things you can do to boost your mood and maintain your wellbeing.

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1. Don't cut yourself off

Just because you can't spend time with your loved ones, doesn't mean that you're alone. Keeping in touch helps to boost oxytocin levels, so schedule some Facetime with your nearest and dearest.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Healthy eating and exercise can also boost your mood. Try to stay active and hydrated, and spend time in the sunshine if possible.

3. Smile!

The simple act of smiling can boost mood-improving neurotransmitters, increasing levels of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Even better if you smile at somebody else and they smile back.

4. Download a meditation app

Meditation can be incredible for boosting your mood, and as an added bonus it also helps to strengthen the immune system!

5. Recovery breathing

Set aside 10 minutes per day for recovery breathing to keep your cortisol levels at bay. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth with a steady count. A longer out breath helps to dispel excess co2, which also helps to reduce excess cortisol. 

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