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The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

At HFG HQ, we receive countless products and new cookbooks to test, and we regularly hit the streets in search of ways to make healthy living easier/more enjoyable. Here, we share the best of the week’s discoveries…

We stumbled across… a healthy pit stop amid the hubbub of central London. Just off Carnaby Street, this treasure-trove of boutique restaurants and coffee shops just gets better, with row upon row of menus to whet your appetite. Climb the stairs up to the small but perfectly formed vegetarian eatery Retreat Café (the sort of daydream deli we’d like to open ourselves one day). We tucked into smashed avocado on spelt toast with poached egg, washed down with a green juice and an almond milk coffee as a chaser (made with proper homemade stuff). What a treat.

Retreat Cafe

We indulged… in a bottle of Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco to toast the end of a hard week. At 67 calories a flute (instead of the standard 90 calories) and with half the sugar of regular fizz, it was unsurprisingly bone dry. A bit acidic for some, but still light and quaffable. A good choice if every calorie counts. It’s £17.99 per 750ml bottle from Selfridges, or you can buy it by the case at thomsonandscott.com.

prosecco

Our other premium find of the week is one to dip your bread into: Macadamia Nut Oil from thisisgoodoil.com is wonderfully nutty. Use sparingly (as we recommend with all oils!), not least because at £15.99 per 500ml bottle it’s pricy. Luckily, a little goes a very long way…

Macadmai-oil

We cooked from… The Natural Cook by Tom Hunt, a by-the-seasons cookbook centred on using every last morsel of an ingredient – trimmings and all. This nourishing veggie noodle soup made for happy slurping after a very rainy spring day.

Tom-Hunt

We worked out… with an ab wheel. Fitness fans swear by the it for honing a six-pack, and with bikini season on the horizon, we thought we’d put the kit to the test – body-building illusions aside, of course… The idea is to roll the wheel out in front of you from a kneeling position, then roll yourself back upright. Not as easy as it sounds, trust us. On the first attempt, senior sub editor Rebecca Almond nearly face-planted the floor on the ‘roll out’, then risked dislodging a disc on the way back up. Too ambitious. But take it at your own pace, rolling just a few inches at first, stretching further as your abs strengthen, and the ab wheel is a very effective tool. It’s cheap, too (you can pick one up for about a fiver on Amazon). Rebecca has committed to doing two sets of 10 rolls each morning this week, and already feels stronger for it.

Ab-wheel

Check back next week for more behind-the-scenes exclusives!