Tag Archives: Health and Wellness

The Season of Asparagus and Strawberries

Be sure to make the most of summer foods while they’re in season. Read on to find out more about two of my summer favourites, asparagus and strawberries.

Asparagus
British asparagus has a short season and is available from May to June. With this in mind it is well worth making the most of this lovely intense savoury flavour whilst it is at its best. Apart from being delicious, asparagus has high levels of vitamins A and C, iron and potassium, perfect for a healthy lifestyle.

If the spears are quite large simply break off the larger end of the spear and throw the woody ends away. Asparagus will naturally break where the woody stems give way to the tender part of the vegetable. You can use this marvellous vegetable for a starter, light lunch or incorporate it into a main meal. One of my favourites, which we make here in the Winepress, is simply to grill the asparagus and serve with a garlic mayonnaise. The simple preparation enhances the flavour of this wonderful ingredient, making it a wonderful seasonal treat. Alternatively why not try using asparagus in a creamy risotto or in a salad with bacon and salad leaves topped with a poached egg.

Strawberries

The arrival of the first British strawberries into the kitchen always brings a smile to my face. For me they are a true taste of summer.

Strawberries have been a key ingredient for classic British summer foods for many years. Desserts such as Eton Mess, summer pudding and the classic strawberries and cream are a few to mention. To get the very best flavour, I recommend eating them at room temperature, or even placing them in the sun for an hour or so, as this brings out their natural sweet flavour and colour.

As a delicious indulgent treat, I like to dip whole strawberries into melted dark chocolate and set aside until firm. You could serve these as petit fours for a dinner party or for children’s parties.

Strawberries need not be confined to the dessert menu, why not thinly slice strawberries and place them over a summer salad – delicious! Using a little balsamic vinegar or freshly ground black pepper enhances their fresh flavour. Make the most of these seasons’ strawberries and enjoy them in as many ways as possible, easy to do as they are so versatile. Why not let us know about any unusual combinations you have tried.

Why not pop over to Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa and let us prepare a mouthwatering meal using the best seasonal ingredients.

Mesut Sen
Sous Chef at Donnginton Valley Hotel and Spa

The Plank

When preparing for a holiday we know that everyone wants to look their best! The best abdominal exercise to get that tummy into shape is the plank. This not only works the top part of your tummy muscles but also the lower abdomen.
There is no need for any equipment this exercise can be done in your own home.

Follow the steps below and you will soon see the results.

The PlankFirst of all if you have any injuries or back problems consult your doctor first.
Start off on the lower options and as you practice you will be able to up your game.

  • Lie on a mat tummy down on the ground.
  • Bend your arms and bring them underneath your body lifting your chest and upper back off the ground.
  • If you’re a beginner leave your knees and legs on the mat. Keep your back flat and hold in your abs and bottom. Hold this position for as long as possible and then repeat.
  • Plank higher intensityTo add a higher intensity, bring your body up onto your toes into a plank position. It is extremely important to keep your body flat and not to let your bottom go up or let your hips drop.
    Hold this position for as long as possible and then repeat.

Why not stop by the Health Club and Spa at Donnington Valley Hotel to find out about our range of membership options and our fitness classes? Click here to find out more on our website.

Join the Zumba Party

Created in the 90’s by celebrity fitness trainer and choreographer Alberto Perez from Colombia. Zumba, which means ‘ to move fast and have fun’ in Spanish, was created taking inspiration from traditional salsa, meringue and samba dance styles, combined with intense Latin music tracks.

Zumba has been one of the fastest growing fitness classes all around especially in the USA and is now taking the UK by storm. It is a fun, energetic and easy to follow class with body benefits that everyone will love.

With classes now starting at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa Zumba is right on your doorstep. It is a perfect class to come along with your friends and family and have fun for an hour whilst having a work out at the same time.

5 reasons to do Zumba:

One: It is a fitness class like no other. One hour that will make you smile and laugh with a routine is easy to follow without becoming boring as the steps and moves are so varied.

Two: It’s a fitness class which works your body but feels like fun. Whilst with friends and family having fun, this class can seriously change and sculpture your body. Bring on the Bikini’s!

Three: Build up your stamina. Want to get stronger? Zumba classes will strengthen your core and it exercises all parts of your body.

Four: It is perfect for people with all levels of fitness. You can manage the class at your own pace and build up your strength and stamina class after class.

Five: Want to move your hips like the ladies in strictly come dancing? As Zumba is based on salsa, merengue and samba you will enjoy a class full of Latin rhythms. Shaking your hips from side to side before you know it, it will become part of your life!

So come on down to Donnington Valley hotel & Spa and enjoy some party time!

http://www.donningtonvalley.co.uk/spa_membership.asp