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Planning The Perfect January

Whether you are feeing suitably overindulged, cheesed off, bored, cold or still brimming with Christmas cheer, it’s likely that January is going to be the start of some kind of new routine for your well-being.

For some of us this means giving up alcohol, overhauling our diets or starting – and sticking to – a new fitness plan. Or perhaps it means a new wardrobe, beauty routine or style resolution. It could even mean a new hobby – there are a lot of dark evenings ahead of us in the coming months, and there needs to be more to your life than the OA or Westworld.

Here are our favourite ideas for a healthy, stylish and stimulating start to 2017:

Take Up Boxing

Melanie Sykes - Fashercise Boxing Gloves

We’ve talked about boxing here before, and Melanie loves her regular work-out at Kobox. There are boxing clubs all over the country, ranging from the most traditional variety (most of which have several women’s sessions at some point during the week) to trendy locations in bigger cities. Harper’s Bazaar listed the best classes in London a few weeks ago here, and it’s easy to find local clubs.

An intense workout, boxing is a great stress-reliever as well as full-body workout, and a fantastic new skill to pick up for 2017. It’s no harm that Fashercise do these gorgeous gloves either, really, is it?

Start Glowing

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Don’t let gloomy weather and dark mornings keep your beauty routine dull and boring. As we get older the same makeup looks that might have worked at 20 just don’t cut it any more, and a casual sweep of foundation on your way out the door might have disappointing results.

There’s no need to ditch your favourite foundation (although if you haven’t tried Charlotte Tilbury yet, you should), but there’s no shame in using a little more, and bringing some primer into the mix.

Our favourite buy of the season is the Best of Becca Youthful Glow Kit featuring their cult Backlight Priming Filter, Under Eye Brightening Corrector, Shimmering Skin Perfector in ‘Opal’ and gorgeous blush in ‘Snapdragon’ – surely enough to brighten up any winter morning.

Contouring? Not just for Kim Kardashian, this is for grownups too – you can sculpt your cheekbones subtly with a sweep of this Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo or go all out with the unbeatable Anastasia contour kit.

The Sweaty Betty Sale

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Hurray!! The highlight of Christmas, right?

All those leggings that you have been eyeing all autumn are now on sale, and you can go nuts at last. Annoyingly, the Scandi Ski collection is still full price (although it was under our tree anyway…), but if you’re determined to get January off to the most stylish fitness start, you can’t go wrong with Sweaty Betty.

Sort Our Your Lunch

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Back in August we talked to the lovely Sjaniel Turrell about how lunch was a vitally important meal for  your metabolism, and that you should aim for a protein rich lunch every day to avoid burnout and unhealthy snacking urges.

The sort of lunch that you can grab on your office lunch break is probably going to be either heavy on carbs or expensive (or both) so the answer needs to be preparation. Either making enough dinner that you have leftovers for lunch the next day or preparing something special.

The key bit from Sjaniel’s article was this:

“If you’re having a salad, add a boiled egg or some fish or chicken. If you’re vegetarian or vegan chose the bean or lentil salad instead of the Greek salad. Load up on green vegetables and douse your food with good olive oil. Focus on getting good fat and protein on your plate at lunch time every single day.

Work on a ratio of 60-70% vegetable and 20-30% protein on your plate. Don’t be afraid of eating healthy fats – these are vital for your wellbeing.”

Try making enough of this fab recipe for Lemon and Ginger Chicken with Beans from Mike Ward to have leftovers and see how much better your afternoon pans out.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake

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Melanie has gone all out and cut out alcohol completely last year, with fantastic results for her health and well-being, but it’s okay to pick up that bottle of wine in your Ocado shop so long as you make sure you drink thoughtfully and in moderation.

One way you could approach this is to learn about what you drink. Instead of grabbing bottle of £7.99 Generic Red from M&S at the train station, why not find out what exactly it is that you like and spend a little more money on a little (or a lot) less wine every month?

There are wine tastings to be found wherever you are in the country, but the best way to go about it is to learn from the experts with a WSET course. The Oxford Chelt Wine School is a part of the nationwide Local Wine School network and they offer Level 1 and Level 2 courses from the Wines & Spirits Education Trust in Oxford and, unsurprisingly enough, Cheltenham.

The introductory Level 1 will teach you the basic differences between wines and help you find out what your favourite wines really are (and why). Then go all out with the fabulous (and challenging!) Level 2 and entertain dinner guests with how Champagne is actually made and find out the difference is between Pinot Noir and Grenache, or what to expect from a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon so that you can go to the expensive bit of Waitrose with confidence.

Drink less – drink wisely.