• Expert panel turns spotlight on wellness

    Expert Panel: Farrah Storr, Dr Nigma Talib, Mary McCartney, Imran Amed, Matt Morley


Expert panel turns spotlight on wellness

​Expert advice on all aspects of wellness, from food and fitness to architecture, was on offer during a panel discussion hosted at Embassy Gardens.

Guests including EastEnders’ Tamzin Oathwaite, ITV weather forecaster, Lucy Verasny, Marie Guerlain, creative founder of Ondine, the model Emma Walsh and professional boxer Dereck Chisora attended the wellness event, which was a collaboration with Dr Nigma Talib, Naturopathic doctor and author, who also launched her new skincare line.

Imran Amed MBE, editor in chief of The Business of Fashion, Camilla Fayed, founder of the Farmacy restaurant, Amanda Byram, presenter and fitness guru, Mary McCartney, photographer and vegan cookery writer, and Matt Morley, founder of BioFit Gym were on the panel to share their knowledge and offer advice.

Speaking to the audience at Embassy Gardens - a landmark development on the South Bank, Amed described how he had been “a typical insecure overachiever” until his mid-twenties when he decided to channel his energy into something he believed in. After taking a three-month sabbatical and attending a silent meditation retreat, he set up the fashion news and analysis site that now employs 75 people.

“I keep calm by meditating - it’s becoming a more widely used tool and something we can all use to manage stress,” he said. “I give myself two minutes every day to observe myself, and would recommend it.”

Camilla Fayed explained how her journey towards health and wellbeing began when she was pregnant:

“I decided to give up meat and started a journey to begin to understand my mind and my body,” she said. “A big barrier to health and wellbeing is the fact that good, healthy, whole foods are expensive; that’s a disastrous fact right now.”

Mary McCartney said that although she grew up in a vegetarian household with her parents Michael and Linda, she “didn’t really like” vegetables: “I got to a point where I had to assess what I was putting into my body and make sure it had nutritional value,” she said. “I then got my family into vegetables by watching Masterchef and involving our children in the cooking.”

Matt Morley, a qualified fitness instructor who founded Biofit, said it was important to “zoom out” and take inspiration from natural environments: “I’m particularly interested in Biophelia,” he said. “If we become too urban or hi tech it will affect us. We connect better with spaces that are biophilic and feature natural, healthy design.”

Dr Talib said that we are valuing health and wellness more than ever before and that she was determined to be the kind of doctor who “gets to the root” of symptoms. “Whatever you eat, breathe or drink is going to affect you emotionally, mentally and physically,” she said. “Anything you eat is going to show up on your face. But I always recommend an inside out approach; you can’t just eat well and then wash your face in soap and water.”

The discussion was followed by a rooftop cocktail reception and guests also had the opportunity to experience some of Dr Talib’s signature treatments, including express facials, as well as take home a copy of her book “Reverse the Signs of Ageing” and products from her skincare range at the end of the night.


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