Diabetes: An increasingly common condition

072016-HC-Marbella

Dr. Luis Hidalgo, Medical Director at HC Marbella International Hospital, answers all your questions about diabetes.

What is diabetes? What does it involve?

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body is unable to regulate glucose (sugar) in the blood. The cells of the body need sugar to function normally. Sugar is introduced into cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. If there is insufficient insulin or if cells do not respond well to insulin, blood sugar levels increase. This is what happens in people with diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

On many occasions diabetes does not produce any symptoms. If they do occur they can include the need to urinate frequently, thirst, weight loss and blurred vision.

Why should we worry about it?

Because, although it might not cause any symptoms and the patient may not feel unwell, over

time diabetes can cause serious problems. If not treated correctly it can lead to:

  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke (cerebral infarct)
  • Kidney disease
  • Sight problems including blindness
  • Pain or loss of feeling in the hands and feet
  • Need for amputation of the fingers or toes.

 How can I find out if I have diabetes?

You will need a blood test to measure the concentration of glucose in your blood.

What are the risk factors?

Some factors which increase the risk of diabetes have been identified. They are as follows:

  • Being overweight
  • Being over 45 years of age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Having given birth to a baby weighing more than 4.1kg or diabetes in pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

At HC Marbella we recommend a blood test to rule out diabetes in individuals who are overweight and have one of the other risk factors. Patients without the above mentioned risk factors should be tested from the age of 45.

How is diabetes treated?

There are many drugs that can be used to control blood glucose levels. Some people need to take tablets which help the body produce more insulin or which help the insulin to be more effective. Others need medication which cannot be taken orally but needs to be given via a small injection. This includes insulin and a new group of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. Prevention of the problems which can be caused by diabetes is important and can be achieved by keeping blood glucose within normal limits. However this is only one aspect that requires attention. High blood pressure and high cholesterol frequently cause more serious problems than those caused by high blood sugar. Compared to the non-diabetic population, diabetics are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attach or stroke. For this reason, people with diabetes often require medication to control blood pressure or cholesterol levels to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke.

It is not only medication that is an important tool in the management of diabetes. We also recommended that sufferers should follow a Mediterranean Diet. This includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals with a limited amount of meat, fried foods or foods rich in saturated fat (or 'bad' fats). It is also important to take regular physical exercise and avoid being overweight. If you are a smoker, then it will be immensely helpful if you give this up as soon as possible, since it has been shown also to help people with diabetes to remain healthy.

Can diabetes be prevented?

It is possible to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes. The most important thing that you can do is to control your weight and avoid obesity. If you are already diabetic, losing weight can improve your health and help to control your blood sugar levels. Physical exercise also aids in prevention and control of the disease.

 
This month has been a hectic one, to say the least!

072016KIM

This month has been a hectic one, to say the least! There have been all the La Sala parties and the opening of the new restaurant, OAK Garden & Grill which, I must say, is amazing, so for the next few weeks I’m going to take it easy and have a good detox. I've been looking around the area and have found some amazing places to go to cleanse the body and mind, Here are my Top Ten tips on giving your body a boost for the summer.

1. Healthouse

One of the most exclusive places is the health spa at Las Dunas. It offers a selection of detoxing packages and is a place where you can either go for a relaxing day out or, alternatively. make it into a little holiday. There are many different treatments to help with weight loss or just to give you a sense of well-being. The spa facilities are first class and, with a team of experts on hand to answer all your health problems, it is the perfect place to go and address any health issues you might have, from food intolerance to issues which may be causing you to feel run down or stressed. I have already booked my spa day and I’m really looking forward to it.

2. Get it moving

One of the treatments available here on the Coast has been around for years, although it is probably something you wouldn’t really want to talk about in polite company - colonic irrigation. I have had this treatment before and, although it can be quite uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing, it really does have health benefits. So how does it work? Colonic irrigation is a process where 60 to 70 litres of water is introduced into the colon, acting as a detoxifying procedure,  flushing out all the old waste which may have been causing you pain and to retain unwanted toxins. When the body has excessive toxins they can circulate though the whole body and, if the colon does not eliminate them, they can be redirected to other organs like the liver, kidneys and lungs and can cause some bad health issues so, while this treatment can be rather uncomfortable, the health benefits are worth it.

3. Look your best

I have been planning to visit the Look Your Best centre in Marbella's port for months, They offer a one-to-one programme to help with any body issues you may have. By using the latest technological innovations their approach to fitness is far from a normal gym session. They also have a great introductory offer at the moment where you can enjoy a 20 minute one-to-one workout with one of the qualified instructors and use all the equipment. Sometimes it's good to mix up your normal workouts to give your body a boost.

4. Biocentury

We have all heard about how juices can have a really good impact on helping with weight loss, but in reality it's hard sometimes, when you have kids running around, to slice and dice ten different types of fruit and veg every morning prior to blending. I’ve been trying to stick to my Biocentury sachets each day; these are so easy to use, are full of vitamins and actually taste okay. You can get them at nearly any supermarket and they don’t cost too much either. I just make one up with a glass of water each morning and have found that it has helped with my digestion and overall energy levels.

5. Boot camp

I have heard great things about some of the boot camps here on the Coast and am going to be signing up to one at the end of the month. The Marbella fitness camp has so much to offer from daily boot camp workouts to zumba and boxing. I have tried a boot camp once before in the UK, but it was really hardcore and I only lasted three days. It was very similar to an army camp - up at five and surviving on around six hundred calories a day so, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had, but I like the sound of the boot camps here. Training on the beach at sunrise and swimming in the sea sounds far more tempting. My friend has been going to one for the past few weeks and she said she has never felt better; just hope I keep it up this time.

6. Protein

One of my best friends has the most beautiful long, glossy hair. The other day I asked what her secret is and she swears it's a result of eating more protein, so I’ve been researching the subject this week and was quite surprised at how much diet plays a role in the condition of our hair and skin. Basically, it's a case of rubbish in, rubbish out. Protein plays a major role in the structure of our hair so if, like me, you suffer from dry, brittle hair try mixing up your diet with protein in the form of lentils or cottage cheese. I’m going to try to add some more protein into my diet and hopefully get my hair in condition in time for my wedding next year.

7. Juice on tap

As I have already mentioned, it can be hard to find the time to make up juices every day, so I was  happy and surprised to find Juice Mad online. You can have all your juices made up for you and delivered right to your doorstep. Choose different types of juices to detoxify and boost energy levels. They all come ready to drink, so definitely check Juice Mad out.

8. Summer camps

The schools are closing this month, so it's more important than ever to keep the little ones active. There are loads of summer camps along the Coast that offer your child the opportunity to make some new friends and learn new skills, from swimming to dance, tennis and even golf. Have a look at the website marbellafamilyfun.com for a selection of great camps to keep your little ones happy and active throughout the summer.

9. No rest for the wicked

What with all the parties and openings going on this month you can feel as though you haven’t had a good night's sleep for ages. Research shows that sleep is one of the most vital parts of your day  and a lack of it can cause your body to burn out and lack energy, so this month I’m going to try a tip my mum passed on, which is to mix some lavender with warm water in an old spray bottle and lightly spritz over my pillow before bedtime. It's meant to calm the mind and send you into a deep sleep. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to make you feel more energised.

10. Adios

I'm off travelling next month with my little gang, so this is my last column for SOCIETY Magazine and, I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed it. Exploring the area and finding lots of new and exciting places to go has been lovely. I truly love living here on the Coast; it's the place I call home and I hope that some of my suggestions have helped you to to find some new and exciting places to go and things to do. 

 
Start Spreading the News

ReflectionsSince I started writing this column many of you have suggested that I should write a book about my life. Well, I don’t know about that but, believe me, you could easily fill a book with the day-to-day goings on in the salon. Here’s this month's highlights.

A Hair-Raising Story

Nader has finally decided to grow his hair. Hallelujah! This is a cause for celebration because there are only so many times you can be stopped in the street by the police because your shaved head makes you look like you might be connected to a terrorist cell. It was also quite common to see people cross the street to avoid Nader because they thought he was going to run off with their designer handbags. Now that he has grown his hair he seems to be channelling '80s boy band', which is definitely preferable and less disruptive.

This Means War

Now that Gerry has his own column in Confeti Magazine he thinks he has finally arrived. As if he wasn’t bad enough before, his ego has now reached a new high – or should that be 'low'? He had been behaving like a child and couldn't stand the fact that I had a column in SOCIETY Magazine, so he stamped his feet till he got his own way. He is lucky that he is the best cutter I have ever met, as much as it pains me to say it.

Leaving the Euro

All hell broke loose in the salon and I actually thought we were going to come to blows. No, it wasn’t over misplaced hair tools, nor was it over a client. It was much more important than that – we were arguing about the Eurovision Song Contest. You see, the staff at Reflections are a mixed up bunch and we come from all over. Gerry thinks he is Italian (he is actually from Tooting in London!), Nader can get very passionate about Israel and don’t even mess with Cristina when it comes to Spain. As for me – well, I was traumatised by it all. Thank God I’d had a bottle of wine before watching it or I don’t know what I would have done. I have been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest since I was six years old and can still remember the feeling of seeing Bucks Fizz for the first time and thinking that they were out of this world.
What the hell happened? Firstly, we had Justin Timberlake performing. Isn’t he American? I mean, shouldn’t the name give it away; EURO-vision. Who are we going to invite next year? Mars or, maybe, Jupiter? And since when have Russia and Australia been part of the EU? They seem to have let in anyone with an ‘ia’ at the end of their name. There must have been a hell of a lot of visas in that auditorium! Talking of the Aussies, did you see their judge? She looked like she had fallen into a drawer and come out wearing half of it. What was that about? I quite liked the Russian performance even though the pyrotechnics were a bit OTT. Health and Safety must have been praying he didn’t have a lot of hair lacquer on. As for the Spanish, why did they sing in English? Now, that was confusing, I was wondering by this point if I was watching the right programme and don’t even get me started on the winner! Ukraine was singing or should I say wailing about Stalin and genocide. Genocide? At Eurovision?
After watching I have decided the UK should leave Europe as it obviously isn’t working anymore. Bring back Lulu is what I say!

Validated By Moi

Every mother should have a bottle of Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment €17,25 in her beach bag. Lightweight and deeply conditioning, the spray works to reduce dryness, resulting in smooth and nourished hair. This product will untangle your daughter's long matted locks after a day on the beach and there won’t be a tear in sight. There is nothing quite like it on the market at the moment.

I have been dragged kicking and screaming into Club Olaplex. Yes, I will admit when I'm wrong and I was somewhat sceptical at first. I felt it was very gimmicky and made me think, “Hmm...Emperor's New Clothes?” However (big sigh), having used it over the past six months I have been really impressed by its strengthening abilities. The boss, Mr B, will be popping the champers now I have finally got on-board.

While I am down on my knees in the confession box I might as well admit I have fallen in love with the GHD Classic Curve. I know, I know - I am a bit behind the times on this one but, heigh ho, better late than never. They give natural, effortless beach waves for any age and the results are incredible, providing there is enough length.

Sleeping Beauty

Another item just added to the ‘Jonathan Recommends’ list is Germaine de Capuccini Sleeping Cure, €35,00 a detox night concentrate designed to put an end to the fatigued appearance that makes your skin look five years older. It works with maximum effectiveness during the 23:00 to 2:00 Golden Hours, when the cellular regeneration process reaches its highest point.
I know that I always bang on and on to the staff about always reading the instructions before using any new products, but usually I do practise what I preach. However, I was feeling ridiculously tired/hangover on this particular evening and decided I knew better. I snapped open the top of the ampoule with my hand, of course not realising that the residual glass had now fallen into the cream,which I was now busily smearing across my face. This would have been bad enough on its own, but I managed to massage broken glass into my face TWICE before I realised my skin shouldn’t be feeling like it was on fire. I looked into the mirror to see that I was covered in blood, if I had told you that I had fallen face-first off a motorbike going 100 kph you would have believed me. It was only then that I had a moment of clarity and realised that’s what the plastic doodah in the box was for. Hey, who needs one of those 200€ vampire facials when you can give yourself a Jonathan DIY version?
After nearly scarring myself for life, I will say the Sleeping Cure is really amazing and I must remember to buy some more. Honestly, the amount of Germaine de Capuccini products I now have in my bathroom I should look about six. Actually, forget that - I should look like a bloody embryo!

Ta-ra!

Love Jonathan

 
Reflections Salon Snippets

072016Reflections

This month Jonathan shares his salon snippets on hot receptionists, cloning nail technicians, hunting for a good hair stylist and brassy blonde clients.

The search goes on...and on...and on.

How hard is it to get good staff these days? It’s never been easy, but these days it seems more difficult than ever. No matter what we do, who we speak to or where we post our job opportunity for a creative hair stylist and an experienced nail technician, we seem to be getting nowhere fast

We are receiving CVs daily but they all seem to be from fruitcakes. I am seriously thinking about rewriting our application form to include the following question: do you suffer from any recognised or even unrecognised psychiatric illnesses?

It is me that is putting people off or am I expecting a miracle? Why are people so frightened of hard work these days? ‘Hard work’ seems to have become an alien concept. As soon as they find out how many hours I put in, they head to the hills. I am not saying that mine is the only way but it seems to equal success!

We get so many stylists coming and going I don’t usually bother to learn their names until they have been with us for at least six months. It’s a constant theme in my life; boyfriends and staff – I can’t seem to keep either.

We had the mini exodus (which we do NOT mention) and then there was the highly skilled colourist who took sick leave but, 10 days later, was spotted moonlighting on easyJet. Believe me when I tell you orange is NOT his colour.

Finally I thought I had finally found myself a little gem, who actually turned out to be more of a polished rock. As soon as she walked through the door I took to her and those who know me well will know how unusual that is. It could have just been her accent though, because the only other northerner is our receptionist, Lottie and that all depends on what day it is or who she is talking to.

And then the biggest disappointment of all came when my so-called gem messaged  me to say she had gone back to Manchester as her Nan was ill, but she would be back at work in a week. This was soon followed by the best resignation letter ever - which she posted on Facebook!

To add salt to the wound she then unfriended me and the rest of the staff on Facebook which these days must be the ultimate insult. It used to be getting a drink poured over your head in a nightclub, now it’s a Facebook unfriending.

However, we have finally found a superb nail technician. Yes, I can hear you all breathing a sigh of relief. I knew that if I heard reception say, “I am afraid we have no available nail appointments” just one more time I was going to have pick up a nail file myself. We can blame part of this on Kazumi, since if she wasn’t so damn good at her job Reflections wouldn’t have such a great reputation for nail work.  Anyway - drum roll, please - the latest addition to the Reflections team is...Jeneen! I love her and basically want to clone her. Her work is excellent and she has a great, professional attitude. Thankfully she is taking some of the strain away from poor Kazumi, who was going in a downward spiral till she got some help, bless her.

We have tried everywhere else, so maybe we will have some better luck with Society Marbella readers. If you are a skilled hair stylist or an experienced nail technician and would like to work in one of the most established salons on the Coast, please call reception and speak so Tina or Lottie or send your CV directly to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sane applicants only please!

Keep your hat on

With summer in full swing many of you have been cooking yourself on the beach and coming in with J-Lo style tans. However, if you are the colour of Madge from Benidorm and sit in my chair telling me your hair colour has faded you will probably receive a few choice words before being told to BUY A HAT! In fact, buy nine or 10 or even start a collection. Whether it’s a Philip Treacy or a cheap and cheerful straw hat from Mercadona, I don’t care. Just keep it on your head when in the sun.

If your hair has gone that nice Grotbags green, forget about walking around with ketchup on your head - no-one wants to see that. What you need is the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three €14,63 which deeply cleanses, removing chlorine, iron and minerals and helps prevent swimmers' 'chlorine green'. Your hair will feel like you have been at it with a Brillo pad but it does exactly what it says on the tin. Follow this with (and this goes for all of you sun worshippers), Kérastase Masque Force Architecte  €38,00 The rich formula of this mask has been specially formulated to reconstruct hair that is in need of a little TLC, leaving your locks smooth and soft. You know me, I am always one to wave the Kérastase flag and this is a summer must-have.

Hottie Lottie

I think we need to talk about our receptionist, Lottie's sudden boost in popularity. She has been receiving so much male attention of late that she needs to employ her own security team. In fact, Lottie is so hot right now she is in danger of spontaneously combusting. Basically, she finally listened to me and got rid of the boyfriend. I told her that if she did this the universe would provide -  well, I didn’t think it would provide her with all these bloody flowers.  Daily deliveries to the salon are like a bullet to my heart so, to cheer myself up, I confiscate them 'til further notice. Well, The Lotsta hasn’t got any decent vases so it’s only for the best that I take them home. Well that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

Ta-ra

Love Jonathan

 
Discover the ‘Bardou’ You

Bardou

Natalie Richardson, Adee Phelan and the team at Bardou live to make you more beautiful and, indeed, the brand new salon on Avda. Playas del Duque in Puerto Banús is a thing of beauty itself. The impressive exterior with its spacious terrace hints strongly at the delights you can expect to find through the glass doors of the salon’s double-fronted entrance.

The first impression of the interior is the sensation of space that the designers have maximised with the organisation of various treatment stations and relaxation areas in the main salon area. There are other 'off-stage' rooms for tanning and massages that are discreetly tucked away; in some cases behind the scenes for extra privacy and in the case of massages, to reduce distractions. The use of fashionable shabby-chic stripped and varnished floorboards in the main salon contrasts perfectly with the black and gold detailing throughout, including the fabulous Baroque-style mirrors that enhance the hair stylists’ stations.

And there’s champagne. At Bardou, clients are offered a glass on arrival to ensure that their time in the salon is relaxing and the attentive, friendly staff instantly make you feel as though you’ve walked into a place where they have been excitedly waiting for your arrival.

Hair styling is an art and, with celebrity hairdresser Adee Phelan at the helm of a team of three senior stylists, you can be confident that your hair will get the best cut and colour. The latest Olaplex treatment is available and Bardou’s impressive range of hair products is top notch and extremely popular.

There are manicurists’ stations dotted here and there and, with part of Bardou’s promise being ‘Express Beauty’, it’s good to know that if you’re in a hurry you can enjoy a manicure or pedicure while having your hair done. Of course, you don’t have to rush your treats and there’s a lovely pedicure corner with a reclining chair where you can put your feet up and relax.

Make-up and facial treatments are another Bardou speciality and the dedicated, professional team uses only the best quality products. The Crystal Clear line will have you looking refreshed and younger; we recommend the Comcit facial that includes a Crystal Clear polish with derma roller to plump up the skin.

Eyelash extensions are very ‘du jour’ and Bardou has an expert who can give you a lovely lash look. You can also have your eyebrows shaped, tinted or given the HD treatment. And, if you’re looking for permanent make-up then that is available for eyebrows, lips and eyeliner. In fact, you can also have a beauty mark – very Marilyn Monroe and Ariana Grande!

The up market line of make-up products used by the salon’s artists is the High Definition brand. This micro-fine make-up is a favourite with artists preparing actors and models for filming and photographic shoots. It creates a natural life-like radiance and will keep you looking picture perfect for hours on end, plus it is available for a range of skin types and skin tones. Bardou also has a number of special offers for wedding parties that will ensure everyone from the bride to her bridesmaids and family members look as good in the photos at the end of the day as they do at the beginning. Hen parties are also welcome and if you bring your girlfriends for a party in Banús, then Bardou is the perfect place to spend a few hours trying out wedding make-up ideas.

From head to toe, Bardou is the place to go when you want to look perfect – book an appointment and discover the salon team’s expert knowledge that will create a whole new “Bardou’ you.

Jessica (Beauty Therapist)

Jessica attended the Yorkshire College of Beauty and qualified with a distinction in 2008 before specialising in non-surgical and aesthetic treatments and working for MYA cosmetic surgery in the UK. She is also a trained photographic make-up artist and has worked in Barcelona, Malta, Paris and Marbella on commercial assignments.

Paul (Stylist)

Paul has been hairdressing for 25 years, having trained and worked in Leigh-on Sea managing the Jon Sturgeon Hairdressers before moving to Spain just over three years ago. He qualified in ladies' and men's cutting and colouring, hair extensions, up styles and wedding hair.

Lauren (Stylist)

Vidal Sassoon trained in London and a L’Oreal colour expert for ten years. Lauren managed a top central London salon and has lived in Marbella for 18 months. She worked on Virgina Macari’s shoot for British Vogue and SOCIETY Marbella for Bardou, as well as some high profile TV projects. She is qualified in women and men's cuts, colouring and is a Great Lengths and Gold Fever extension specialist.

Savannah (Stylist)

Savannah qualified at Andrew Collinge Academy in Liverpool and went on to work in some of the city's top salons before making the move to Bardou Marbella. She specialises in long, curly blow dry styles, up dos and braiding, as well as colour and cutting. She has also styled for numerous magazines and TV commercials and is trained in Great Length hair extensions.

Julie (Front of House)

Julie has worked in the customer service industry for many years, assisting celebrities and members of the Royal Family while working as a flight attendant. We are very lucky to have Julie in our team after several years at Reflections. Julie will be sure to welcome you with a cheerful smile as our front of house.

Tori (Head of Beauty)

Qualified in Cideso beauty therapy in Ireland and has been in the industry for over 12 years at five-star spas and cruise ships, Tori is qualified in all types of aesthetic treatments and specialises in facial rejuvenation, including the new Crystal Clear Comcit machine, which is exclusive to Marbella and features, microdermabrasion, oxygen and micro-needling. She is also qualified in sports massage.

 
Marbella Healthstyle

Kim

Finally the sun has made an appearance and it feels as if it is hopefully here to stay! It's great when the summer arrives and everyone has that holiday feeling. This month I’ve been checking out a lot of the new beach bars and chiringuitos along the Coast. As a family we always have our Sunday 'fun day’ at a different beach each weekend, so it's good to see that there is an endless list of amazing places to go.

1. La Sala by the Sea

Of course, out of all the beach bars one of my favourites has to be La Sala by the Sea. The atmosphere is amazing and, depending on which day you choose to go, you can experience a mix of everything from a laid back vibe to full on party style. It has the atmosphere of a beautiful resort in Thailand with its stunning decor and a menu which is full of classic Thai dishes; a personal favourite is the Teriyaki Salmon. A day spent here is always top of the list and do check out La Sala's website as they always have fantastic deals on throughout the year.

2. Book My Sun-bed

A brand new app has arrived on the Coast and I think it's a great idea. Gone are the days of having to get up at six and claim a sun-bed with your beach towel. Now you can book your bed online through the app and reserve it until you choose to arrive. It also gives users the chance to discover new places to go, which they might never have known about. Using the app you can scan through, see if there are sun beds available then make a hassle free booking. Perfect! For more info have a look for Bookmysunbed at the Apple app store.

3. Bikini Time

As summer is just around the corner I have been on the lookout for some new beachwear and have my eye on the amazing bikinis from Virginia Macari. Having seen them I have decided that I want the whole collection. Up until now I have always found it hard to track down bikinis which look great but are still comfortable and practical for a day by the pool or on the beach. I have my eye on the gorgeous lemon #LaSicilia bikini - it's beautiful and would be great for a boat day or pool party.

4. Finca Besaya

One of the most famous restaurants here in Marbella is Finca Besaya and it is most definitely one of my top places to go for a night out. The restaurant is situated just outside Marbella in a beautiful villa which has a real hippy vibe and is worlds away from the old Marbella stereotype, being full of vibrant colour and a Moroccan inspired decor with a large terrace, bar and beds. The restaurant has a stunning menu and after dark the terrace turns into a great place to dance the night away.

5. Butterfly World Fuengirola

As it has been raining on and off for the past few weeks we have been taking the kiddies to some of the indoor activities in the area. One which my little ones absolutely loved was Butterfly World in Fuengirola. It's contained in a little temple which opens out to a magical garden full of ponds with little bridges, stunning flowers and plants - and the most amazing butterflies from all over the world It really is a lovely place to take the kids for an afternoon.

6. Barcelo Spa  

I was treated by my lovely friend this month to a day at the gorgeous Barcelo Spa and had the most relaxing day. Sometimes being a mummy - as amazing as it is - can be full on, so it was lovely to have a few hours with my friend to chill and be pampered. They have a fantastic pool with massaging jets, a sauna, steam room and a long list of treatments to choose from.

7. OAK Garden and Grill

I am very excited about the opening of La Sala's brand new restaurant, OAK Garden and Grill. It's starting to look fantastic and the menu is insane. Watch this space to find out more!

8. Healthy Choice

I’ve been trying to find new ways to make my food healthier, so I’ve trying to lower my intake of sugars and carbs this month. However, as a fan of pasta (spaghetti bolognese being one of my all time favourite dishes) I found it really hard to cut them out of my diet. However, I am delighted to have discovered courgettes. Just use the courgette as a substitute for the pasta and it tastes just as good. Shred it with a peeler into strips, quickly fry in olive oil for two to three minutes then serve in your choice of pasta sauce. It contains hardly any calories (around 36 per courgette, compared to a bowl of pasta, which could be in the hundreds) and, as it's a vegetable, you are getting one of your five a day.

9. Les Cubes

I've heard great things about this place and I’m planning a little trip here with the girls this month. The menu looks fantastic and the setting can't be beaten. Even though it has only recently opened I have already heard great things about the tasting menu. Apparently the place is divided into two areas (or cubes): To Be Or Not To Be (drinks and lounge) and Kalinka Malinka and C'est La Vie (gastronomy). Anyway, it all sounds fabulous and we can't wait to drop in for a visit – it'll probably be a long one if I know my girls!

10. Fashion Show

I always have a great time dressing up and playing around with fashion so was massively looking forward to attending a fashion show at La Sala. Intropia was showcasing its new line, which included beautiful day-wear and the most fabulous evening dresses, perfect for some of the opening parties this year. It's all available in El Corte Inglés, so you can bet that I'll be be popping down to take a look and try a few bits on!

 
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