News

An ode to maple syrup

An ode to maple syrup

When I first began sourcing the raw materials for VALA, I thought that all maple syrup was created equal. I quickly learned that this wasn’t the case, as lots of maple syrups contain artificial flavours and colourings, whilst others are diluted with corn or cane sugar. A quick skim of the label on most shop-bought maple will open your eyes to the hidden additives inside each bottle.⁣ ⁣Whilst using a cheaper syrup would have kept our costs down, I was adamant that I only wanted to use the highest quality ingredients for VALA and didn’t want to compromise on quality...

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Why we are sugar and preservative free

Why we are sugar and preservative free

I’m often asked why I’m so passionate about not using refined sugars or sweeteners in VALA. In 2012 I got ill for a few months and after several rounds of antibiotics I began searching for more holistic ways to heal my body. My mum showed me a newspaper article about a famous tennis player who followed a sugar free, plant based diet and started to notice the health benefits. I was curious to find out more, fell into a rabbit hole of research and eventually decided to modify my diet. Back then I had a real sweet tooth and was...

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TOP FIVE TIPS: The Inca Trail with Natalia

TOP FIVE TIPS: The Inca Trail with Natalia

Friend of VALA Natalia @n.talia_marie shares her top tips for hiking the Inca Trail, which has been on my dream hiking list for many years. If you have similar aspirations, you too can live vicariously through Natalia as she gives us an insight into the highs, lows and must-knows of the Inca Trail below. These spill over into the comments because there was too much helpful and interesting advice to edit out. Enjoy!⁣⁣PLAN AHEAD⁣The Inca Trail is a popular hike that requires a permit. These get booked up months in advance, so plan ahead! The hike is 26 miles and ends at...

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TOP FIVE TIPS: Swimming outdoors with Jill Barnard

TOP FIVE TIPS: Swimming outdoors with Jill Barnard

VALA pal and designer/art director extraordinaire @jill.barnard is taking over this week's guest spot with her top five reasons to try outdoor swimming. Several years ago, Jill waved goodbye to London life, made her way down to Cornwall and has been a part-time mermaid ever since. Given that we have different lockdown guidelines in Wales and outdoor swimming is currently off limits, I've been living for Jill's drool-worthy feed to get my fix of ocean dipping. Check out her reasons to give open water swimming a go below:⁣⁣YOU NEVER REGRET GETTING IN⁣Cliché as it might sound, a dip first thing in the...

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The many benefits of incline running

The many benefits of incline running

One of my favourite local spots to run around is Gnoll Country Park in Neath, however getting there requires running down a rather large hill. To make things even more fun (I mean painful 😬), getting home requires running back up said large hill with 140m elevation gain.⁣⁣I'm not the best at incline or distance running and the thought of walking up a hill for 40 minutes after a long run seems less than appealing, so I've become somewhat of a hill sprint convert. Not only are hill sprints great for building power, increasing stamina and strengthening quads, hamstrings, glutes...

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How to rediscover your exercise mojo

How to rediscover your exercise mojo

Some days are harder to find motivation to exercise than others - we're all human, after all. On 'slower' days I like to remind myself that exercise is not only great for the body but for the mind too. It can be a really effective way to help manage stress and anxiety. This has been proven in clinical studies, as research from The University of British Columbia has found that “On high-stress days, regular exercisers’ negative effect was 14 percent lower than that of the other subjects".⁣⁣I've learned from personal experience that exercise helps me to feel calmer and less sluggish throughout the day,...

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