E E K M TA H O E
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F I TN E SS N U TRITION WELLBEI N G TRAV E L E CO S PA
JANUARY 2018 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . c o m LIV MAGAZINE
Return to Fighter Street
Working out in Phuket’s Chalong district
Superpark opens in Tai Kok Tsui
An App for That
Would you trust your smartphone with your birth control?
Zing a Rainbow Smoothie inspo for days
Make an Impact
Our new charity spotlight
Yes, You Can! Meet the Hongkongers inspiring us to smash our goals in 2018
WIN vegan protein, gym memberships and dining vouchers on p.18!
JANUARY LIV | LIV | NEWS STORIES 05 Editor’s Letter
06 Wish List
20 You Can Do It!
08 It’s a Date
28 Rainbow Dash
Lovely things we want right now
Events for your diary
10 Hot Right Now
New happenings on the wellness scene
12 Fresh Cuts
Dining news that’s good for you
14 Cheat Day
We check out the Natural Cycles app, and try the Barre Strong challenge
Get inspired for 2018 with these butt-kicking Hongkongers
Pigmented superfood powders to glam up your smoothie bowls
32 Charity Spotlight
We chat to Jeff Rotmeyer of homless charity ImpactHK
LIV | MORE 34 Recipe
Limewood's famous watermelon salad
Our beauty picks for this month
Phuket's Fighter Street revisited
Dispatches from our sister SAR
50 Can’t Liv Without
Lucy Bennett-Baggs, founder of Just Challenge Hong Kong
Natural and Organic Skin Care with a Difference
www.simplicitehk.com / FB: Simplicite HK
YOU CAN TOO! It’s 2018, which means that many of us will be dusting of the juicer, pulling on the trainers, and setting healthy intentions for the new year. That’s awesome, but what we’re really interested in this year is how to conquer those self-limiting thoughts and accomplish something you never thought you could. That’s why for our cover story this month, we’ve spoken to five inspirational Hongkongers, who - in their own way - overcame adversity to achieve their goals. From paraplegic rock-climber Chiwai Lai, to model-turned-MuayThai-fighter Mia Kang, to 81-year-old yogi Ng Wai-kit, each of these remarkable people have a story to tell. Read them on p.20. We’ve all seen those delicious-looking, rainbow-hued smoothie bowls on Instagram, but how can we get those gorgeous colours ourselves? We round up the supplements, ingredients and powders you need to get those vibrant shades on p.28. We have a new regular section this year! Our charity spotlight features local heros giving back to the Hong Kong community. This month we speak to Jeff Rotmeyer of ImpactHK, who distributes much-needed supplies to Hong Kong’s homeless via community Kindness Walks. Learn more about this fabulous cause on p.32. Happy new year to all our readers! We look forward to growing and getting healthy with you in 2018.
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS Looking for some inspo? Zoe Belhomme spoke to the amazing Chiwai Lai for our cover story, p.20.
Start drafting your 2018 holiday bucket list with the help of Kate Springer’s roundup of dreamy new resorts, p.42. Camel milk? Yes, really! Rachel Read finds out why it’s perfect for sensitive skin, p.36.
From a hike up Penha Hill to a new Pilates studio, Sally Victoria Benson shows us Macau’s healthy side, p.44. If your teens are cluttering up your house, Kate Farr has the deets on an open day that’s just for them, p.46.
ON THE COVER
Model: Mia Kang
Photographer: Paul S
Makeup: Jaime Smith Hair: Yoyo Yip Location: SharedSpace
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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN WRITER ZOE BELHOMME SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN INTERN DORIS LAM CONTRIBUTORS KATE FARR, KATE SPRINGER, RACHEL READ, DEIRDRE GRIFFIN, SALLY VICTORIA BENSON PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2018 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.
Here's what we're crushing on this month
SOUND AND VISION A portable speaker in rose gold? Yes please! Ultimate Earsâ€™ mini Wonderboom speaker comes in a host of funky colours and packs an audio punch too. $849 from authorised resellers citywide.
ON THE MAT
Step up to your practice this year with this eco-friendly, biodegradable and super-grippy microfibre suede mat. $1,680 from Yin Yoga at Lane Crawford.
A NEW LEAF
Add some botanical-chic vibes to your pad with this lovely, leafy art print. $799 from BoConcept.
Turn any smoothie a brilliant shade of cerulean with this herbal blend of spirulina, tulsi and ginger. NZ$35 from www.mistydaybrews.co.nz.
SOFTLY SOFTLY SWOLE SPREAD
This snickerdoodle-flavoured almond butter by Buff Bakes has 11 grams of protein per serving, and tastes awesome too! Keep your eyes peeled for red velvet, cookie and even unicorn flavours. $98 from iherb.com.
Trouble sleeping? This "Dream to Sleep" kit by This Works is packed with snooze-inducing essential oil blends. $360 from Lane Crawford.
Take up a mindful hobby and knit some cute booties for a friendâ€™s bub with this goof-proof knitting set. $220 from knittingroomhk.com.
We love the mesh-and-marble aesthetic of this Tsunami Power-Up sports bra. Pre-order available from January 8. $395 from missrunner.com.
EYE LOVE IT
British makeup guru Charlotte Tilbury has just started shipping her products to Hong Kong, and we are lusting after this 12-shade eye palette thatâ€™ll take you from your desk to the dance floor. GPB65 from www.charlottetilbury.com.
IT’S A DATE JAN 6 - FEB 11
THE CAT’S MEOW
The acclaimed revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical, CATS, will be running at Hong Kong’s Lyric Theatre across January and February. One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, CATS is full of colourful characters and catchy tunes that will have you dancing in your seat and purring along from the moment the curtain raises. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd., Wan Chai. Tickets $445-$1,045 from www.hkticketing.com
JAN 17 - 31
The world’s most grueling nautical test, The Volvo Ocean Race will be stopping off in Hong Kong for the very first time this month. Head down to Kai Tak Runway Park to soak up the festival atmosphere and watch as the seven impressive yachts, including Hong Kong team Scallywag, as they dock around the old airport. The team will also be taking part in a series of local races, including an around the island race, an adrenaline pumping in-port race and a quick dash up to Pearl River to Guangzhou. Free. www.volvooceanracehk.com. 8
Work off those mince pies and raise money for a good cause at “AIDS Free,” a charity fun run held by the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation. Choose from a 5k or 10k routes around Mui Wo’s beautiful natural scenery. There will also be game booths, making it afun, fitness-focused day out for the family. Dogs welcome.
SEEDS OF CHANGE
To promote The Hive’s new Co-Farm initiative, Conscious Cinema - in partnership with The Vibe Tribe - will be showing the movie “Seed: The Untold Story,” a documentary about industrial farming and the agriculturalists trying to preserve the planet’s seed diversity. There will also be an introduction to The Hive’s new co-farm and agritech hub, and a photo exhibition by New Zealand photographer Cameron Sims. 6:30-9pm, The Hive Studios, 8/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town. $100 (members), $150 (non-members) from pelago.events.
Single entry $350 or $500-$600 for team fun run entry. Starting point: Mui Wo Silver Garden, Lantau. www.aids.org.hk.
Want to get inspired to lead a zero-waste life? Join this roundtable with Bea Johnson, global zero waste superstar and author of "Zero Waste Home." After the discussion there will also be a marketplace where you can pick up some eco-friendly products. 6-8:30pm, 7/F, Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central. Tickets $100-$150 from bit.ly/bea-johnson-hk.
JAN 18-FEB 10
LOHAS FOR LIFE
Find out what’s new on the health and sustainability scene at the annual LOHAS Expo, and its concurrent event, Vegetarian Food Asia 2018. Expect hundreds of booths showcasing food, eco products, skincare and innovations. Feb 1-2 trade only (pre-register essential); Feb 3 open to the public. Tickets $10 on the door. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. www.lohasexpohk.com.
Paola Cortese, founder of zero-waste website LoopUnite, is hosting Loop Coach, a four-session course giving you practical advice on how to reduce your household waste by 80 percent. Choose either session A (Thursdays 7-9pm), or session B (Saturdays 10am-noon), and you’ll come out the other side a zero-waste warrior. Learn more on the LoopUnite Facebook page. Classes will be held at Dream Impact, Unit C, 4/F, 760 Cheung Sha Wan Rd., Lai Chi Kok, 3107-4315. Tickets $1,664 from eventbrite.com.
HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene
F&B sourcer and supplier, Eat the Kiwi, has been delivering the freshest New Zealand products and ingredients to the city’s top restaurants and hotels for more than two years, and we were super excited to hear they’re now delivering directly to retail customers. Their products are all unique and come from passionate speciality producers in New Zealand who know a thing or two about growing and rearing great quality produce. Besides meat, seafood, fruit, veg, dry goods and other kitchen essentials, it also stocks a delicious Lemon Honey Ginger Syrup by Six Barrel Soda Co (pictured). Mix this citrusy tonic with hot water to make a soothing hot drink that will ward off the winter chills. Or you can pep it up with some whisky for an easy-peasy hot toddy. www.eatthekiwi.com.
Looking for some weekend inspiration? Check out SuperPark, a 45,000-square-foot indoor sport and activity facility that’s just opened in Tai Kok Tsui. Originally from Finland, this branch of SuperPark is the first in Asia, and has three themed zones with activities for tots, kids, teens and adults. There’s an Adventure area with tube slides, pedal cars, zip lines and obstacle walls; a Game area with basketball hoops, batting cages, football and dodgeball; and a Freestyle area with a skate park, climbing wall, gymnastics area and trampoline area. The idea is to get the whole family up, moving and having fun, though you don’t need to have kids to have an awesome afternoon there. G/F, One SilverSea, No 18 Hoi Fai Rd., Tai Kok Tsui, superpark.com.hk. 10
Pure, Hong Kong’s premium fitness and wellness brand, expanded rapidly in 2017 and it doesn’t look like they’ll be resting on their laurels anytime soon. New to the family is Pure Yoga World Trade Centre, a 9,000 square-foot facility boasting harbour views from four individual studios. You’ll also find a nood food juice bar serving superfood smoothies, cold-pressed juices and raw dishes. The studio will run more 125 classes each week, with internationally certified instructors covering 30 varieties of yoga, including hot, hatha, aerial, wall rope yoga and meditation. 7/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Rd., Causeway Bay, 8129-2200, www.pure-yoga.com.
HOLE IN ONE
Need to find some indoor fun that will keep the whole family entertained on chilly winter weekends? Check out the newly opened Strokes in Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay. It’s an 8,000-square-foot entertainment venue complete with a nine-hole mini golf course, restaurant and bar and multi-functional event space. The first indoor mini golf course in Hong Kong, Strokes offers two American-inspired nine-hole courses for you to take on - Palm Springs and Coachella Valley. Put your putting skills to the test as you tackle 360 loop-the-loops, bridges, ball jumps, tunnels, winding passages, ramps and more. 9 Kingston St., Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, 2877-1800, www.strokeshk.com.
A Helping Hand
Lets face it: cooking healthy at home can be time-consuming. If you’re struggling to come up with new and tasty recipe ideas, then new cookbook, Your Outsourced Kitchen, could lend a helping hand. The beautifully designed book is written in both English and Tagalog, and features more than 80 recipes, contributed by some of Hong Kong’s leading chefs and nutrition experts. You’ll find healthconscious dishes from institutions such as Grassroots Pantry, Bombay Dreams, Jinjuu, Genie Juicery, Love True Food, The Flexible Chef and Elle Kealy. Get your hands on a copy via the website for the launch price of $342. www.youroutsourcedkitchen.com.
FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you
KOMUNE LIVING Ever since Wong Chuk Hang has been just an MTR ride away, we can’t help but notice the recent spate of interesting restaurant openings over there. Taking centre stage this month at the Ovolo Southside hotel is all-day dining destination, Komune. The restaurant has partnered up with award-winning chef Alvaro Torres to bring to life an eclectic menu of South American, Mediterranean and pan-Asian dishes that are perfect for sharing whatever the time of day. Think L.A. style crab rolls, grilled tender octopus or melt-inyour mouth, slow-cooked short ribs rubbed with Sichuan Spice. There’ll be tons of veggie options too, making Komune a great spot for health-conscious all-day dining that’ll keep your veggie friends happy, too. 64 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Wong Chuk Hang, 3460-8157, www.komune.hk.
GOING UP ROOTING FOR YOU
Delaying our New Year’s Resolutions
Has the festive season taken its toll? Is your body crying out for a night in and some proper nutrition? We’ve just discovered that meal delivery service, Roots Eatery, has teamed up with health-boosting Tizzy shots to help people make a clean start to 2018. Roots has created two wholesome and nourishing dishes: flank steak served with broccoli, mushrooms, barley and cherry tomatoes ($130); and stuffed peppers with tomato, zucchini, lentils and quinoa ($120). Your meals will be delivered to your home or office alongside a fiery ginger Tizzy shot - an immune boosting tonic to help ward off any January colds and sniffles. The combo meal is available to order from January 1 until March 31 via their website.
Um... how about Chinese New Year’s resolutions instead?
Veg-forward Hotpot All the satisfaction, less of the meat. Pass the tofu!
JUST LIKE CLOCKWORK We’re always on the lookout for new healthy grab n’ go solutions, and so we were excited to give 12NOON a whirl. The lunchtime takeaway spot serves up salads, wraps and cold-pressed juices that are balanced, nutritious and freshly prepared daily. This month, 12NOON has launched three brand new set menus, all of which include a hot or cold main, plus a side, a dessert and a juice. And with prices starting from just $65, a filling healthy meal has never been so easy on the wallet. From cauliflower mixed rice; rocket, pomegranate and feta salad; to chicken teriyaki and avocado rolls, the new menu is tasty and satisfying but also packed with the good stuff. We also love that all 12NOON’s unsold food at the end of the day goes straight to charity. 173 Des Voeux Rd., Central, 2847-9022; Shop 310B, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2698-5257. www.twelvenoon.net
Yes it’s mindless consumerism that contributes to excess waste... but so many deals!
Juice Cleanses It’s too cold outside and they make us grumpy. No thanks.
GOING DOWN 13
Because life’s too short to always order the salad
WINTER WARMERS Hotpot - that quintessential Hong Kong winter pastime - isn’t exactly known for being good for you, but new Korean restaurant The Joomak is aiming to make the experience more inclusive, with a vegetarian-friendly menu packed with healthy Asian ingredients. Choose from either ginseng chicken or vegan prickly pear carbonara as a soup base, and then load up on vegetarian platters featuring fresh hand-pulled noodles and fresh veggies. There’s plenty for omnivores too; think kimchi seafood tofu soup, or hanwoo beef with scallion. Shop 34, LCX, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2111-0851. 14
TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends
Barre Strong at Barre 2 Barre The Buzz: One of the city’s original barre studios, Barre 2 Barre runs a 30-day Barre Strong challenge each year. Partnering with local health and wellness brands, the idea is to take as many classes as possible during your one-month unlimited pass, and see the effects afterwards. The Challenge: Pupils have access to the studio’s full range of classes for the entire 30 days. Sessions include Bootcamp, Cardio Bounce, Yoga and their infamously painful Fire Mixed levels class. On each of the four Saturdays throughout the challenge, you get hour-long workshops that complement your barre work - think breathing techniques, education on protein intake, sound healing and kinesiology. The Verdict: As the classes don’t make you sweat, we definitely thought we weren’t working out hard enough at first. However, once we began to master the techniques we started to feel the benefit of each movement... and the inevitable burn. After around 10 days we could see more definition around the core, even though we hadn’t changed our diet at all. We also felt stronger in the upper body and our general posture significantly improved. The Cost: The Barre Strong Challenge cost $2,800 per
Natural Cycles The Buzz: Natural Cycles is a new smartphone-enabled
alternative to birth control that has recently been fully approved by the EU as a safe contraceptive. The technology startup has more than 500,000 users across 160 countries. How to use it: Every morning before you get out of bed,
you place a basal thermometer under your tongue and input your temperature into the app. After a couple of cycles, the algorithm will detect exactly when you’re ovulating and consequently your fertile and nonfertile periods. For the first few cycles your results are “predicted” until the app can detect and confirm a pattern. Natural Cycles can be set to avoid pregnancy or help you get pregnant. The Verdict: When you’re a teenager, you’re told that you only have to touch a boy to get pregnant, so the idea of using a digital contraceptive seems scary at first. But if the EU says it works, we’ll give it a go. The app is very easy to use and after a while it’s great to be able to track regular, often subtle, changes in your body. We also really liked the handy tips and advice that popped up every few days. The only thing you have to worry about is making sure you use another form of contraceptive if you want to do the deed on those red days.
month, and an unlimited class subscription is $1,800.
The Cost: The app is US$9.99 per month. A year-long
Individual classes range from $240-$280, depending on the package. 4/F Cheung Hing Commercial Building, 37 Cochrane St., Central 9688-3503, www.barre2barre.com.
subscription is US$79.99, which includes an oral basal thermometer.
GIVEAWAYS visit liv-magazine.com/giveaways for a chance to win!
WIN: A ONE-MONTH MEMBERSHIP TO OZONE FITNESS Conveniently located in the Star Street precinct, Ozone Fitness is a new luxury gym that has personal trainers on hand as part of your membership, so you can receive personalised advice whenever you train. Don’t miss the heated Himalayan salt therapy area, where you can relax, detox and recover after your workout. We’ve got five one-month memberships to give away, each worth $2,200. ozone.fitness.
WIN: A $1,000 DINING VOUCHER FROM AQUA RESTAURANT GROUP Aqua Restaurant Group, the company behind some of your favourite dining outlets (including Aqua, Hutong and Tivo, to name just a few), have recently launched dining vouchers. To celebrate, Aqua is giving one lucky reader a $1,000 voucher to spend at any of their outlets, so you can treat yourself and a friend to a gourmet feast.
WIN: A TUB OF SUNWARRIOR PLANT PROTEIN FROM THE STORE Looking to make plant-based gains in the new year? Courtesy of thestore.com.hk, we have six tubs of Sunwarrior raw plant-based protein up for grabs. Made from legumes, hemp seeds and goji berries, each tub has 15 servings. The tubs are worth $170 each. thestore.com.hk.
Enter at liv-magazine.com/giveaways before January 28 to win!
AROUND TOWN GIENNE SKINCARE FOR A PERFECT COMPLEXION
ALL ABOUT YOU WELLNESS CENTRE
All About You Centre specialises in providing services in hypnotherapy. Contrary to popular belief, hypnotherapy is not used to put people in a trance and make them act like chickens! It is an extremely powerful method used to access the subconscious mind and eliminate limiting emotions and beliefs. Hypnotherapy is extremely effective in resolving issues such as phobias, anxiety, trauma release, weight loss, breaking habits and can help enhance performance for sport players. If you would like to start the new year by freeing yourself from limiting situations of the past, a few sessions of hypnotherapy will do the trick! www.allaboutyoucentre.com | email@example.com
New product from 5YINA, a California made clean skincare brand inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine - DIVINE ALL SEASONS BIO-ADAPTIVE CLEANSER This ultra-balancing cleanser is formulated with active and purifying plant extracts to dissolve daily impurities, residual makeup, and pollutants. Rinses off to reveal a smooth and translucent complexion while preserving your skin’s delicate pH and moisture. Features precious pearl powder to gently exfoliate and lift off debris, leaving your skin baby soft and ready for your next skincare step. Available at: https://www.cabanee.com/
HONG KONG DANCE COMPANY
Tale of Three Cities Free your mind and embark on a soul-searching journey with Tale of Three Cities, featuring the best choreographers from Hong Kong, Taitung and Seoul. Retracing our roots and contemplating modern life, the dance performance depicts our innate longing to return to nature. Xie Yin from the Hong Kong Dance Company will join hands with internationally acclaimed choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava, member of the Paiwan tribe, and emerging Korean choreographer Han Hyo-lim to explore the potential of the body within the context of intangible heritage – telling stories about our cities through captivating movements. 2-4.2.2018 (Fri – Sun), Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium, $280, $200, $100, Fri – Sun 7:45pm Sat – Sun 3pm, Tickets available now at URBTIX
#GOALS Rather than quitting booze or joining a gym this new year, why not make it your mission to turn off those self-limiting thoughts, and do something you never thought possible? We speak to five inspirational Hongkers who did exactly that. By Zoe Belhomme and Sarah Fung.
CHIWAI LAI A four-time winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships, Chiwai Lai had his promising athletic career cut short after he lost the use of his lower body in a car accident. But despite his physical limitations, he never gave up, and became the first paraplegic to scale the face of Lion Rock.
Q How did you first get into rock climbing? My secondary school installed a climbing wall and that’s where I got my first taste of climbing. I found it easy compared to my classmates and was hooked straight away. Q What do you love about it? The first time I tried sports climbing, I relished the physical and mental challenge. I started training and pushing myself, and within a year, I’d won the Asian Youth Championships. I love the adventure and exploration that climbing allows you. Q How did your injury happen? In December 2011, I had a car accident that rendered me paraplegic. When I woke up, I’d lost all feeling in my lower body. I felt hopeless and helpless because I couldn’t climb or compete as an athlete anymore. I hit an all-time low and I couldn’t believe that overnight I’d lost everything I was most proud of. Q What was your journey to recovery? How did you mentally stay strong? I started off by using elastic bands to regain strength in my upper body myself while still in my hospital bed. I noticed that this started to have a positive influence on other patients, as they would see me improve every day. The patient adjacent to me was pessimistic and neglected all his rehabilitation exercises, but after seeing the improvements I was making, he got a new lease of life and started to exercise too. But I always had to think about what I could do, and not what I couldn’t.
and I was struggling with the the inconveniences of daily life. For the first six months after the accident, I couldn’t even look at people because I’d lost my confidence and was afraid of what people were saying about me. But after I got over the initial shock and I started to recover, I knew I was still the same person. Five years after the accident, I climbed to the top of Lion Rock with the help of 40 volunteers. It proved to me that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Q Do you have a mantra that you life your life by? "Be water" by Bruce Lee. To me this means being flexible and adaptable so you can face anything life throws at you. Q What’s next for you? What are your goals in life? I was honoured to be nominated for Best Sporting Moment Award at the Laureus Sports Awards in December, I would love to win and be formally recognised for my physical achievements. I also want to climb one of Hong Kong's skyscrapers, or one of the tallest mountains in the world. Follow Chiwai’s climbing adventures at @Chi Wai Lai and Instagram @Chiwaicia
Q What has been the hardest part of this journey and what made you start climbing again? The hardest part was accepting that I actually had a disability. People looked at me and treated me differently, 21
MIA KANG Having modeled in Hong Kong and internationally since her early teens, Mia overcame eating disorders and body dysmorphia to become a professional muay thai fighter, winning by TKO (technical knock-out) during her professional debut earlier this year.
Q How did you get started in the modelling industry, and how and why did you get involved in Muay Thai? I started modelling at the age of 13. Since I can remember I’ve lived under the pressures of the industry and have never been happy in my own skin. I first started Muay Thai for fitness but started taking it seriously in early 2016, when I had to take a break from my industry for physical and mental health reasons. A 10-day vacation to Thailand turned into nine months living in a Thai training camp. Q What was it like, modelling from a young age? Since my early teens, I have lived with the constant pressure of trying to conform to a standard of beauty that wasn’t me. Day in and day out, you are judged on your physical appearance and the person that you are means nothing. I’ve been through every eating and body dysmorphic disorder you can imagine. For 27 years I was constantly criticised and living with intense insecurities. Photo: Paul S 22
Q What was the turning point for you? I was asked to go on a 10-day, liquid-only diet before a shoot and my body and my mind broke down. It didn’t help that I was 27 and everyone in the industry wanted me to look like I did when I was 17. Q What has been the hardest part of this journey? Watching my body change as I found health and happiness. It was so hard to watch myself gain weight and muscle, it was against everything I’d ever known. But it was the most rewarding experience, as I learnt to let go of my insecurities. Q Have you faced any criticism or haters? How did you respond to that? Yes. And now with social media there are trolls and body shamers. I control my social media space by blocking and deleting negativity, I have a zero tolerance policy for cyber bullying.
Mia, left: 120 pounds, suﬀering from eating disorders and depression; Right: 170 pounds, an athlete and happy.
Q How did you develop mental resilience during this journey? I forgot about everything in life except living in the moment. I left behind all my material possessions and work. I cut out everyone but a handful of people. I took each day as it came, and focused on learning about myself. Q Do you think the fashion industry has shifted? I am the biggest I have ever been in 16 years of professional modelling, and I am at the peak of my career. I think this is because people realise that beauty is beyond size. And people value the woman that you are far more than the numbers on a measuring tape. In my opinion, Hong Kong has a very unhealthy beauty ideal. Being born and raised in Hong Kong and spending most of my career here, the pressure to be “slim” is insane. I’m excited for the industry to hopefully expand their horizons, and I want to help pioneer this. Q What are your goals for next year and beyond, both as a model and as a fighter? All I want to do is try and reach my potential. I want to continue modelling, continue martial arts, get my PhD, do some movies, become a mother one day, and dive further into the business world. Whatever I decide I want to do, I can do it.
Photos: instagram.com/missmiakang 23
KELVIN NG Known as “The Lord of the Rings,” Kelvin has been one of Asia’s top gymnasts for more than a decade. But his career dreams were almost left in tatters after he suffered a severe shoulder injury in 2014. He’s had to overcome both physical and mental challenges to recover and get back on track, and is now looking forward to competing in next year’s Asian Games in Indonesia and bringing home a medal for Hong Kong.
Q How did you get into gymnastics? I started when I was about four. Because I was such an active kid, my parents needed a way of helping me expel some energy. I loved being in a gymnasium and continued to practice through my early school years. In 2002, at 11 years old, I was accepted into the Hong Kong team and within a couple of years, I competed in my first international championships in Hawaii. Q What do you love about gymnastics? By nature I am quite a shy person and often find it difficult to express myself, but in the gym I’m different - I feel comfortable and confident and express myself through body movement. The gymnasium is like a playground to me and it’s where I can get creative. Q How do you cope with the pressures of training and competitions? Gymnasts start their training very young so they naturally develop a resilience and mental toughness. You get setbacks of course but if you can’t deal with them you just won’t succeed in sport. At secondary school I was training six days a week alongside studying and I had to sacrifice things that most teenagers take for granted. But gymnastics is my passion; no one has ever pushed me into it. Q Tell us about your injury and how you bounced back? At the end of 2014, I suffered a serious injury to my right shoulder. Having focused on the rings for a large part of my career, my joint was worn out and only 24
surgery and proper rest could heal it. I was out for at least a year which was difficult because I’d been used to training almost every day up until that point and working towards competition goals. I tried to stay positive and worked on improving my abilities in different gymnastic disciplines such as the floor. Q What has been the hardest part of this journey? About two weeks before I was due to take part in my first competition post injury I suffered another blow. I tore my ACL ligament, which was excruciating. This second injury took its toll on me and it was a very depressing time. I was getting older and because I needed results to keep my funding I started to worry about my future. It was a lonely time but thankfully I had my trainer, and mentor Sergiy Agafontsev, to support me through this period. Q What’s next? While I have to look after my body more, I am currently injury-free and working towards the Asian Games next year in Indonesia.
ESTELLE BARBAROUX Always up for a challenge, Estelle Barbaroux decided to try her hand at a charity boxing match last year… despite having never stepped into the ring. How did you hear about the boxing match? I play rugby for URFC and the opportunity to take part in the Rugby Club Fight Night was posted onto my team’s group Whatsapp chat. I wanted to sign up for the physical challenge - I had never boxed or even gotten into a fight! My family is very adventurous - they love mountains - and as a child I spent a lot of time on long hikes in new countries, sometimes in extreme conditions. I wanted to push myself, and to be fearless. How was the training? The training was fun… and hard. The fun part was getting to know the other fighters - some I knew from the rugby pitch and some I had never met. It was really intense too - the cardio was really tough, and the techniques we learned were harder than expected. How long did you train for? We trained twice a week for 12 weeks. It started out fun, but by the end many of the fighters were supplementing their training with additional classes, so I started doing extra training too. We were all friends, but as the event came closer we realised we would soon have to fight each other.
and ready to learn. But when they started matching people, I realised that I didn’t have a weight match - I’m very small. I started getting stressed, knowing that I would have to fight a bigger opponent than me. The fight was on my mind constantly, but luckily I had some good friends who encouraged me to live in the present. How did the fight go? It went very well. We both managed to hold for three rounds. It went very quickly - three rounds at two minutes each. Stepping into the ring, you don’t see the people around you; you just focus on the person you have to fight. It was really difficult to remember the techniques and the rules, and to stay in control. When I watched the video I thought, wow - I really did that! What did you learn from this journey? I learned that I have to keep pushing myself, to challenge myself and be fearless. Whether you win or lose, everything is a good experience because you learn something new. Would you do it again? If I was asked to do it again, I would. And I would encourage anyone to give it a try.
What stressed you out most before the fight? When I started going to training, I was really relaxed 25
NG WAI-KIT With his newfound love of yoga, which he took up back in April, 81-year-old Ng Wai-kit proves that there’s no such thing as “too late” when it comes to starting on a new wellness journey.
Q Tell us a bit about yourself. Prior to retiring at 65 I was a businessman. With plenty of time on my hands now, I enjoy travelling to Australia and Canada to visit my children. I also swim, hike and play mahjong. I was invited to start practicing yoga at Pure for its “Yoga for All” documentary series, and I have been happy for them to document my yoga journey. Q What other exercise did you do before yoga? When I was young I loved playing basketball and bowling. I have always loved swimming and hiking, so these two are my main exercises nowadays. Q What was your first impression of a yoga class? It was wonderful! I had a private one-on-one yoga session, and the instructor was very attentive, patient and experienced. She gave clear instructions and lots of encouragement to guide me step-by-step into the poses. Of course, I couldn’t do everything; my body is stiff. But I was motivated to keep practising as I wanted to see an improvement in myself.
Q Did you experience any doubts? I didn’t set high expectations for myself. I know an old man’s stiff body is not able to do as many poses. Bu with more practice, I see improvements and I’m slowly getting into poses that I couldn’t do before. Though my confidence has been boosted, I don’t push myself too much, as I need to listen to my body and do what I can on that particular day. Q How did you conquer those thoughts? Show up, keep practising, and do whatever you I can on that day. Q What are some of the mental and physical benefits you have experienced since starting yoga? Definitely increased flexibility. I’ve also seen improvements in coordination and balance. And my breathing has become longer, deeper and more even. Some poses have also built up my strength as I have to engage my arms, legs and core. I’ve also noticed that I have more stamina in other activities such as swimming and hiking. Mentally, I’m more focused and relaxed. Q What are you most proud of in your yoga practice? It’s very rewarding to see improvement in myself. There were poses that I couldn’t do before such as wheel pose and seated twist, but with regular practice I’m getting there gradually.
Colour My Bowls Want to up your smoothie game? Doris Lam finds out how to get those rainbow hues with natural, health-boosting ingredients.
Photo: Just Blends 28
SPIRULINA WHAT IS IT: A dark green-blue powder made from an algae found in freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers. HEALTH BENEFITS: Spirulina is known for its high vitamin and protein levels. It’s also said to benefit the digestive system and boost immunity. TRY IT: Due to its strong pigmentation and taste, put only half a teaspoon into your smoothies. Try using coconut water or almond milk and blend with berries and mango. WHERE TO BUY: Spirulina can be found at all major health stores, or you can order online at iherb.com.
Misty Day Plant Potions Just Blends
BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER WHAT IS IT: Often sold as a tea or in powder form, butterfly pea flowers are used to create a blue herbal drink that turn purple when you add a squeeze of lemon or lime. HEALTH BENEFITS: High in antioxidants, butterfly pea flower is said to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and boost memory.
Kimberly Pine via Unsplash
MATCHA POWDER WHAT IS IT: Japanese matcha powder is ground from high quality green tea leaves, and is found in drinks and desserts all over Asia.
TRY IT: Add a pinch of this bright blue powder to a smoothie blend of frozen banana and a splash of coconut milk. WHERE TO BUY: Order online from bluechai.com, with worldwide delivery available.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Matcha powder is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s also said to kickstart your metabolism. TRY IT: Add a small spoonful of matcha powder into yogurts, pastries, smoothie bowls or just add in hot water as a beverage. WHERE TO BUY IT: Just about everywhere! For top-quality matcha, order online at www.mymaha.com.
Butterfly pea flower tea by Blue Chai 29
We ask smoothie bowl queens Vanessa Cheung, co-founder of QUO Kefir Believers and Instagramer Joanna Lai (@Nourisheats) to share their tips and tricks on making the perfect smoothie bowl.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Studies show that maqui berry may benefit diabetes sufferers. It also boosts your metabolism and has anti-aging properties.
Q What’s your go-to smoothie bowl recipe? Vanessa: QUOlixir (Quo’s water kefir) with frozen mixed berries, plant protein powder, moringa, a handful of cashews/almonds, a dash of flaxseed meal, and turmeric powder. Nourisheats: I mainly use frozen banana as the base and add different nutritious powders and supplements for the colours. Nourisheats: I have been experimenting with blue majik [a spirulina-based health supplement] to create my favourite blue smoothie bowls, along with different fruits to create interesting colours. Everything just looks extra dreamy.
WHERE TO BUY: Order online at iherb.com or myprotein.com.hk.
MAQUI BERRY POWDER WHAT IS IT: Maqui is a small purple berry from Chile.
TRY IT: Blueberry-based desserts and smoothie bowls will take on a vibrant dark purple once you add a scoop of maqui berry powder.
Q What do you like to top your smoothie bowl with? Vanessa: Goji berries, raw cacao nibs, cinnamon, seeds and nuts, and sometimes more fruit. Nourisheats: As much as I love to use extra fruit, I also like to mix and match textures. I have been adding coconut flakes, granola and even raw nuts for extra nutrients. Q What powders do you use? Vanessa: I like to mix it up, but i always keep matcha powder, maca, moringa, flaxseed meal, cinnamon and turmeric around. They’re all my favourites because they all add different nutritional benefits, flavors and textures. Nourisheats: My favourite is activated charcoal. Not only does it help to detox my body, but it also gives a mysterious colour.
Misty Day Plant Potions
TURMERIC POWDER WHAT IS IT: Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family. Found in Southern Asia and India, this powder is more commonly used for savoury dishes in Indian cuisine, though it’s recently found its way into health drinks. HEALTH BENEFITS: Reports show that it may improve digestive problems and lower blood sugar levels. Similar to ginger, it’s also a great pick-me-up when you’re feeling under the weather when mixed with lemon juice and honey. TRY IT: Blend the yellow powder with pineapple and ginger for a cheerful wake-me-up smoothie bowl.
WHERE TO BUY: Turmeric powder is available in supermarkets and indian spice shops citywide.
Bowls Just Blends
Powder Power Looking to get your ‘gram on in a jiffy? These companies offer superfood powders in just about every colour under the sun.
JUST BLENDS With a drool-worthy Instagram account, get inspired with Just Blends. Its “Unicorn” starter pack comes with sachets of pink pitaya, butterfly pea, charcoal and matcha powders, plus your choice of gold, silver or rose gold stainless steel straws. Spend AU$100 or more for free worldwide shipping. justblends.com.au.
Offers worldwide shipping on its superfood powders, including charcoal, beetroot powder and their “Mermaid Blend” of hemp and spirulina. Also has eco-friendly accessories to complete the look. Find inspo on the recipes page on their website.
WHAT IS IT: Similar to the more commonly known white-fleshed dragonfruit, the pink dragonfruit (also known as pitaya) has a bright, magenta-coloured flesh.
Pontus Ohlsson via Unsplash
HEALTH BENEFITS: The high fibre content from the seeds may help with digestive problems, and it contains plenty of Vitamin C. TRY IT: Blend half a pink dragonfruit, a handful of strawberries and frozen bananas with coconut water to create a hot pink smoothie bowl. WHERE TO BUY: The local wet market sells this gorgeous fruit, but if it’s out of season, you can buy powdered dragonfruit online. ORANGE:
CARROT WHAT IS IT: Duh, it’s a carrot. HEALTH BENEFITS: Carrots are high in vitamin A and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
If you’re looking for supplements that no one else has heard of, Hybrid Herbs offers freezedried adaptogenic powders such as schizandra berry and rhodiola rosea. www.hybridherbs.co.uk.
MISTY DAY PLANT POTIONS These pretty powders come from New Zealand and come either as single ingredients (such as butterfly pea flower or rose petals) or tonic blends (such as maqui, goji and rose, or tulsi, blue spirulina and ginger). Worldwide shipping available. www.mistydaybrews.co.nz.
TRY IT: Finely shred ½ cup of carrots and blend it with a splash of almond milk, bananas, cinnamon and ¼ cup of frozen or fresh pineapple for a creamy orange smoothie bowl. WHERE TO BUY IT: If you can’t find a carrot in this city, we don’t know how to help you.
C H A R I T Y S P O T L I G H T:
IMPACTHK In the first of our new charity spotlight series, we speak to Jeff Rotmeyer, founder of ImpactHK, a new charity that provides much-needed resources and hands-on support to Hong Kong’s homeless population.
Q How did you come to start ImpactHK? a I never planned on starting a charity. Three years ago, I had the idea of doing one kind act per month for the homeless, in which we would walk through impoverished areas such as Temple Street and hand out supplies. It became quite popular, which gave us the opportunity to make a greater impact. We progressed to doing two walks per month, to four, and so on. Today, we are doing close to 30 walks per month in five locations across Hong Kong, and ImpactHK became a registered charity in March 2017.
independent, and they are supported by our counsellors and our financial advisor. They are great friends of mine and I meet them both regularly for dinner and a chat.
Q What are some of the most diﬀicult things you’ve witnessed during your time with ImpactHK? a We have come across quite a few homeless individuals who are are struggling desperately with drug addiction. Being homeless is extremely difficult and painful, and everyone who’s homeless is dealing with some serious issues. It’s normal to want to erase that pain or grief.
Q Where do you hope to take the charity in the future? a We will be opening up at least one day centre very soon in early 2018. This will be a safe place for the homeless to visit where they can take a shower, get new clothing, wash their clothes, get haircuts, use the computer, and - of course - get fed. We will also run a number of support programmes including counselling, sports and language learning. We will also double our number of Kindness Walks per month to at least sixty. The more we are a regular, kind presence in these individuals’ lives, the better our ability to build trust and friendships. We will also explore and implement job creation initiatives in industries that help Hong Kong and the less fortunate. And of course get more people off of the streets and into leading happy and fulfilling lives. It’s going to be a great year!
Q And what have been some of the most rewarding moments? a We recently got a couple of people off of the streets and into a home. They are both now working and financially
Q What is one thing you wish people knew about the individuals you help? a I wish people knew that each homeless person is a unique individual with his own story and difficult past. People are so
fast to label them as lazy, drug addicted or too proud. The only similarity among all of the homeless people we know, is that they all need a true friend that they can trust. As a charity, that is our top focus. Q How do you fundraise? a We have done really well in raising money from our caring volunteers and dedicated supporters. We believe we now have enough to renovate and rent our day centre for one year, and so we are currently looking at places. We have also received some money from the Round Table charitable club, and we also do private Kindness Walks with corporations and groups, which is enabling us to grow and hire our first full-time employee.
GET INVOLVED Jeﬀ tells us how you can help ImpactHK improve the lives of Hong Kong’s homeless:
arrange collection, so send us a message and tell us what you’ve got!”
“The easiest way to help is by joining one of our Kindness Walks. Simply hit “going” on the Facebook page and show up. All event details for that specific walk can be found there, too.”
We are currently raising funds to help get the people we serve off of the streets and into homes. Our costs include rental deposits, first month’s rent, real estate fees and transport.
“Clean clothing, bedding and towels are always appreciated, as are airline packs and sanitary items. Unfortunately we don’t have the manpower to collect, so please bring your donations to the start of our scheduled walks. If you have a lot to give, we may be able to
“This humanitarian movement has been made possible by hundreds of caring volunteers coming together to make ‘Kindness’ a priority! We are building a team of individuals from multiple backgrounds to make our programmes as strong as possible.”
COMPRESSED WATERMELON SALAD By Limewood This perennial favourite on the Limewood menu is a light and refreshing dish that’ll brighten up any grey winter day, and is a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and seafood.
NAHM JIM DRESSING
• ¼ whole watermelon, rind and seeds removed, cut into chunks
• 1 whole lime, juiced
• 6 small red radishes, very thinly julienned
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 200g red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
• Handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• Handful of fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped
• 1 small red Thai chili, finely diced (you can remove the seeds to tone down the heat)
• 10g toasted peanuts • 10g crispy shallots
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
• Olive oil
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 5 coriander roots and stem, roughly chopped
DIRECTIONS: 1. First, make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients together and leave to sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
3. Toss in the fresh herbs, peanuts and shallots, being careful not to break up the watermelon too much.
2. Then combine the watermelon, radish, cherry tomatoes, mint and Thai basil, along with the Nahm Jim dressing. Season with sea salt as needed.
4. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil.
READY SET GLOW with Rachel Read
I’M A BELIF-ER If your skin is feeling the effects of all that festive overindulgence, Korean beauty brand belif’s new Prime Infusion series might be just the shot of revitalisation you’re after. All six products in the line - including a toner, repair cream and snazzy threestep “ampoule programme” (SO K-beauty!) - are powered by mountain arnica, a medicinal herb that has long been recognised for its potent skin repair and regeneration properties. This stuff only grows on alpine grasslands at 2,000 metres or above, and is picked by hand… it always feels good knowing some solid graft has gone behind your beauty regime, right? As with all belif products, the Prime Infusion line is free from synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, mineral oil and ingredients of animal origin. Princes range from $320-910. Available at counters citywide including FACESSS, L4 Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 2110 0131. See all locations at www.facebook.com/belifhk
RECOVERY POSITION I’m too old to have attended any New Year’s Eve parties that I need to recover from, but who cares, because Sense of Touch’s Post-NY Recovery Programme is simply too good to miss out on! They’ve lined up a trio of top-notch treatments designed to help you bid farewell to the January blues in style - including a pampering Recovery Massage, a re-energising Rehydrating Facial and a high-tech LPG Cellu M6 Detox & Drainage Treatment. What's more, they have slashed a whopping 40 percent off their regular prices just for Liv readers! Simply mention "LIV" and "POST-NY RECOVERY" when you book any of these treatments (or all three… we won’t judge) to take advantage of this pamper-perfect promotion; it’s available at all Sense of Touch locations until 31 January 2018. Recovery Massage costs $570 for 60 minutes (originally $950); Rehydrating Facial costs $490 for 60 minutes (originally $820); LPG Cellu M6 Detox & Drainage Treatment costs $570 for 45 minutes (originally $950). Available at all Sense of Touch branches including 1-5F, 52 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2526-6918. See all locations at www.senseoftouch.com.hk 36
MILKING IT Known as “white gold” thanks to its in-built moisturising, nourishing and soothing properties, camel milk is packed with natural proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and antibacterial agents that are supposed to work wonders for the skin - and now we can all get our hooves on the stuff thanks to Camel Milk Co.’s new Hong Kong online store. This Australian brand’s range of all-natural, ultra-hydrating soaps, lip balms, hand wash and body butter are paraben-, SLS-, petrochemical- and phosphate-free; it’s all ethically sourced and not tested on animals, either. The whole range is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for sensitive skin. Prices range from $60-220; free shipping in Hong Kong. Available online at www.camelmilkhk.com.
Rachel Read is a freelance writer, editor and co-founder of writing agency Editors’ Ink (www.editorsinkhk.com); she also has her own lifestyle blog, Through The Looking Glass (www. rachttlg.com) where she reviews beauty, food and whatever else she can think of. Follow her on Instagram too @rachttlg.
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Aofie McGillion revisits Chalong’s “Fighter Street” in Phuket to see how the area has developed.
few years ago I published an article in Liv Magazine about Soi Tad Ied, the ultimate fitness destination in Phuket where an entire fitness industry has developed around three or four gyms that have set up on one street. “The Soi,” as it’s known to locals, is littered with gyms offering a full array of martial arts and fitness classes, including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), CrossFit, strength and conditioning and spinning, as well as hot yoga, meditation and Pilates. The rest of the businesses on the street complement the whole fitness theme; every other shop sells protein shakes and smoothies; restaurants advertise clean eating; and elsewhere you’ll find massage and laundry services galore. Since that first visit, I’ve returned more than half a dozen times, so I thought it would be worth writing about it again. Over the course of my visits, the street has changed. New gyms, restaurants and accommodation options have popped up and I’ve had an opportunity to try almost everything. What keeps me returning? Well, there’s the ease of getting there, the quality of the workouts, the results I get, the amazing people I meet, and the value for money. But above all, I go to work out at Unit27 (www.unit-27.com). Whether they’re total beginners or professional athletes; restarting their fitness regime or looking for a total physical transformation, visitors come to Unit-27 for the commitment, passion and drive of the trainers, staff and fellow gym-goers. Focusing primarily on Strength & Conditioning, HIIT and CrossFit, I personally favour the Unit’s bootcamp-style workouts, which are proven to get results.
THE SESSIONS Most classes at Unit-27 are an hour long, with 15 minutes for warm up, another 10 to explain the exercises, half an hour of sheer intensity and a period at the end for cool down and stretch. Half an hour doesn’t sound like much, but when the warm-up alone gasses you out, half an hour of more-intense intensity is more than enough. Here are a few of my favourite classes: Morning Glory is a pyramid-style training session and is one of Unit27’s original classes. The sessions involve sprints and runs for cardio, body weight exercises, and kettle bell, weight plate and medicine ball drills. It offers a powerful combination of intensity and conditioning. Kalorie Killah is a weight-loss session designed to push your heart rate through the roof, allow it to return to rest and then repeat until the muscles burn. Possibly one of the toughest HIIT sessions, it will definitely boost your metabolism and fat-loss potential. Rapid Fire is the Unit’s signature daily strength & conditioning series. Each day of the week has a different focus, whether that be strength, endurance, power or speed. Towards the end of the week they combine all aspects of the previous four days into circuits and then 39
hold a team competition. It’s not uncommon for people visiting Unit-27 for shorter stints to do two or three training sessions per day, and Rapid Fire is always a good one to include in that mix. Revolutions is the in-house spin class. The spin room is essentially a disco and the instructors are as intense during this session as they are for any of the other HIIT sessions. Call to Duty is the newest addition to the Unit-27 schedule. This outdoor challenge is held at various locations around Phuket. The views are iconic and breathtaking, the challenges are mentally and physically demanding in true Unit- 27 military style. Mobilize is the Unit’s yoga-style session. It’s held first thing every day and is an absolute must if you are working out intensely over a few days, or have general issues with flexibility. Most of the classes offered by the Unit can be regressed or progressed accordingly, meaning that everyone can find their level immediately and get the most from every class. The schedule also includes a couple of classes for advanced athletes. Attendance at these is strictly monitored because the intensity is borderline lethal.
EATING Most restaurants on Soi Tad Ied offer clean eating options. I have tried most of them and these are my picks: Muscle Bar is Unit-27’s restaurant and a popular place. The food is clean and the menu variety is great. The Shack is my favourite restaurant. With arguably the best coffee around, it has great portion sizes and the menu allows you to mix and match the elements of your own meal. They do smoothie bowls and overnight oats too. I’m neither a vegetarian nor a vegan but Pure Vegan Heaven has some really amazing food options. It is the only vegan restaurant on the street, but the menu is quite extensive and I haven’t had anything here that I didn’t love. Try Cocoville’s restaurant for the banana pancakes or if you have a hankering for Thai food. Nommy Frozen Yoghurt. Just as the name implies, is all about FroYo and this is a regular feature on my day planner. 40
While it is possible to arrange a gym and stay package, it’s often far cheaper to arrange accommodation separately. There are plenty of options within a stone’s throw from Unit-27, and you would struggle to spend a huge amount on accommodation in this area. Most of the options are pretty basic but it’s clean, comfortable and safe. These are some that I have stayed at: 2Home Resort www.2homeresort.com. The Anchan Boutique hotel anchanboutiquehotel.com. Princess Pool Villas www.chalongprincess.com. Happy Cottages www.happycottagesphuket.com.
7 DAY DETOX PROGRAM WITH MICHELLE RICAILLE
TRANSFORM IN 2018
• Go for the ice-bath/Swedish sauna combos to revive your sore muscles, particularly after leg day. • Peak season runs from November through April, during which time classes will book out quickly. You may want to download the Unit-27 app and book in advance. • There are only a few training sessions held at Unit 27 on weekends, which you might want to bear in mind if you are going over a long weekend. You can always supplement a free afternoon with run up to the Big Buddha. • Make sure your accommodation has a pool so you can cool off after a hard day of workouts.
Join our holistic detox with food, supplements, daily yoga classes and nutrition lectures. Reserve your place firstname.lastname@example.org
ISLAND SOUTH JANUARY 13TH - 19TH Shops 308-310, One Island South 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang
TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer
In honour of the new year, I’m dedicating this column to soon-to-debut retreats across Asia. From sustainable resorts to underwater suites, these fresh faces should fill up your 2018 bucket list in no time.
SIX SENSES BHUTAN The happiest country on earth is welcoming a new wellness retreat: Six Senses Bhutan. The hotel concept will include five distinct lodges, scattered across the country in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro. Each address will showcase its own character via unique architecture that celebrates the local culture - think reclaimed wood cottages, forest lodges, mud-brick farmhouses, and gorgeous mountain chalets. www.sixsenses.com/resorts/bhutan.
COMO UMA CANGGU Opening this February, COMO Uma Canggu aims to provide luxury surfer lodgings in the heart of Bali’s Canggu coastline - away from the clogged arteries of Seminyak. If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf, this is the place: The 119-room retreat (which includes a few three-bedroom penthouses should you be traveling with friends) promises beginners’ classes, as well as advanced waves for veterans. Around the grounds, travelers can also explore the 10-kilometre beach with a beach club, ocean-front restaurant, yoga, Pilates, personal training and the brand’s signature spa services. Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, Echo Beach, Canggu, Badung 80361, Bali, Indonesia, +62-361-3022-228; www.comohotels.com/umacanggu. 42
ATLANTIS SANYA I’ll be the first to admit that Sanya isn’t exactly on par with Hawaii, but the island continues to attract big-name hotels - each bigger and better than the next. The latest to join the palmfringed fray will be the Atlantis Sanya. If you’re looking for a wild weekend break from Hong Kong, the resort should keep you busy with its dedicated Aquaventure Waterpark, aquariums, oceanfront restaurants and underwater Signature Suites that provide floor-to-ceiling views of the Ambassador Lagoon. Atlantis Sanya, Haitang Bay, Sanya 572000, Hainan, China; www.atlantissanya.com.
AMANYANGYUN A highly anticipated new retreat from Aman Resorts, Amanyangyun is slated to open this month. Located about 30 kilometres south of Shanghai, the 37-room hotel is the product of a massive restoration project that spanned more than 15 years. Both the Ming- and Qing-dynasty-era stone village houses and the 10,000-tree camphor forest were relocated 700 kilometres from their original home in Fuzhou, where they were threatened by the construction a new reservoir. 6161 Yuanjiang Rd, Minhang District, Shanghai, China 201111, +86-21-8011-9999; www.aman.com/resorts/amanyangyun.
SHINTA MANI WILD Since I’ve written about Shinta Mani Wild in a previous column, will keep it short. The highlights at this Bill Bensley-designed nature sanctuary? Nature conservation projects, safari-like expeditions through Cambodia’s national parks, alfresco spa treatments, a waterfall bar, and old-world tented accommodations worthy of Jackie O. Count me in. Shinta Mani Wild, +855-63-964-123; shintamani.com.
Kate Springer is an Asia travel expert who contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. Follow her travels on Instagram @katespringer. Send travel news to email@example.com
News and deals from our sister SAR
BOOK YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY GETAWAY NOW!
LET’S B FRIENDS A stylish spot located right in the centre of Macau, over looking Nam Vam Lake and the Macau Tower, Caﬀe B Macau offers the best of both worlds when it comes to Italian dining. This is a great place to stop off for lunch after a tour of Macau’s historical centre without the crowds and noise of St. Pauls and its surrounds. Caffe B has a light and healthy approach to Italian food, and while they do have meat on their menu, their loyal customers come for their grilled vegetables, delicious soups, fresh salads, clam pasta and Pizza Cris. Lake View Mansion Block 1, 744G-H Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Nam Van, Macau. +853-2838-6886, www.facebook.com/Caﬀe-B
We love a good deal, and Sheraton Grand Macao has an awesome offer for the romantic V-Day weekend. Book “A Grand Romance” deluxe room package for two between Feb 9-15 and get a bottle of bubbly, a chocolate truffle Valentine’s cake, afternoon tea at Palms, $1,000 dining credit or a complimentary Valentine’s Day set dinner, a pair of one-way Cotai Water Jet ferry tickets (or MOP200 to spend in the spa) and guaranteed late checkout at 4pm. If available, you’ll also get upgraded to the next room category. The whole shebang is priced at $2,488 (plus taxes and service charge). How’s that for a great value getaway? www.sheratongrandmacao.com.
PILATES HOUSE PARTY The new kid on the fitness block, Pilates House Macau is founded by Instagram influencer Ceci Lam. Ceci is a Polestar Pilates instructor, certified pre- and- post-natal Pilates instructor and all-round cool girl. Her studio teaches a range of Reformer classes, including Base, Body, Stretch, Cardio and Core, and upon request they will also do private classes tailored to your needs. Expect low-impact exercises with a focus on core strengthening and elongating the muscles, with the aim of improving your posture and mobility while strengthening both your body and mind. A trial session is MOP150. Packages start at MOP1,400 for five classes. www.pilateshousemacau.com. 44
A WALK TO REMEMBER You might be surprised to learn that Macau is home to many hiking routes and great places to stretch those legs between dice rolls and Macanese feasts. A hike up to the Chapel of our lady of Penha is a must if you’re looking to work up a sweat and do something a little cultural at the same time. You can easily vary your pacing, making it either a relaxed stroll or an intense power walk! On your way up to the monument, which dates back to 1622, you’ll pass some of the old Portuguese-style homes that housed the government and military back in the day. One of the few remaining areas dotted with houses rather than apartments, it’s one of Macau’s greenest areas. The chapel that sits at the top is situated on one of the highest peaks in Macau. It has the most stunning views of the city, taking in Macau Tower, Taipa Island and all the way across to Zhuhai. The picturesque hilltop is a popular location for wedding snaps and Instagram alike. How to get there: Penha Hill can be accessed from Sai Van Lake. Sally Victoria Benson grew up in Macau and is the publisher of macaulifestyle.com, the city's leading lifestyle platform. She's passionate about sharing Macau's hidden healthy side and everything happening in the city.
FIT FAM with Kate Farr
Happy New Year! If, like me, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks blanketed in a combination of stretch jersey and refined carbs, then January marks the ideal opportunity to swap slippers for sneakers and get moving. This month, I’ve got a brand new ethical kids clothing brand, a day of fitness fun just for teens, and an online helping hand for parents-to-be.
MAKING WAVES Newly launched unisex kids brand Little Waves has just washed ashore in Hong Kong, bringing a small but perfectly formed capsule collection of surf and skateinspired togs for tots aged 18 months to four years. Think easy breezy acid-washed shorts, bucket hats, and colourful tees that are perfect for a long day shredding waves (or building sandcastles). The range also includes adorable cuddly surfer bears and handy tote bags, ethically produced in South Africa by women from the “Hopeful Hearts” programme, which helps single mothers learn to sew in order to support themselves and their families. Rad and ethical? We’re in. Prices from US$20-35 (HK$156-273). Buy online at littlewaves.co.
HATCH THE BIRDIE Expecting but can't find time for an antenatal course? Midwife Sofie Jacobs of Urban Hatch offers a new subscription-based online antenatal course can be accessed 24/7, wherever you are. There are 33 videos divided into six modules, comprehensively covering everything from early labour to caring for your new addition. Supporting the videos are downloadable factsheets, exclusive online events, regular live Q&A sessions and access to both private online forums, and real-life meet-ups to share anything and everything related to bumps, birth and bundles of joy.
IN THE HOUSE Got a teen? Want them off your sofa? Flex is holding a free open house day at its One Island South space on Saturday January 13, and although there are some classes for younger kids early in the day, the event will predominantly focus on teens, with anti-gravity yoga, suspension fitness and teen Pilates classes available. There will also be a free postural screening sessions with Chiropractor Dr Gillian Tsang of UP!health in the afternoon, along with healthy snacks, drinks and a goodie bag for all. Booking is essential, so get on it ASAP to snag a space. Book via flexhk.com or call 2813-2212.
Costs US$97 (HK$758). Learn more at urban-hatch.com. Kate Farr is the co-founder of writing and editing agency Editors’ Ink (editorsinkhk.com). She also blogs about Hong Kong family life at Accidental Tai-Tai (accidentaltaitai.com). Send your family health news to firstname.lastname@example.org
Redeem Yourself Now!
Get your New Year fitness goals off to a flying start, with 12 Highly Effective Metabolic Rate Boosting Classes for only $2100. Includes Ab Blast, Fat Burn, BLT Pilates, Xtend Barre®, TRX® and Absolute Abs & Fitness classes from AntiGravity® Aerial Fitness! www.flexhk.com
SoHolistic Wellness Centre for Body, Mind and Spirit A friendly healing oasis in SoHo, offering: Hypnotherapy & Counselling Reiki & Energy Healing Kinesiology
Tarot Readings Sound Healing Psychic/ Spiritual Readings
www.soholistic.asia T: 2810-8694 – all by appointment
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Mobile Disco “The Oldest Swinger in Town,” DJ Fred Fung has been providing quality music entertainment in Hong Kong since the 1970s. From Motown to rock n’ roll, right up to the latest hits, his chart-toppers through the ages will delight everyone. Whether you want background music for a cocktail reception or to fill up a dance floor, DJ Fred will get the party started. Clients include: The Masonic Lodge | Hong Kong Tatler The Peter Bennett Foundation | KCC | USRC WhatsApp 9834-4320 for rates and availability.
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Le Meridien Cyberport
Sense of Touch Stanley Wellness Centre TREE
ISLAND EAST Food for Life Gymbox Healthy Chicken
Just Green St.Francis Street
Le Pain Quotidien
Feather & Bone
Glow Goji Studio Central
SoHolistic Wellness Centre
Sense of Touch LKF
HAPPY VALLEY/ WAN CHAI
OVO Cafe Ozone Fitness Resiglow Stone Nullah Tavern
Dr. Lauren Bramley & Partners
KOWLOON/ NEW TERRITORIES
Chuan Spa Dr. Reborn Feather & Bone Goji Studio Megabox Goji Studio Mong Kok Goji Studio TST
High Street Bar & Grill
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Little Cove Espresso
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Thann Spa TST
United Services Recreation Club
The Winery Ursus Fitness Utime
Butcher & Baker Cafe
SAI YING PUN Cafe Polygon
Crown Relocations FoodCraft
Foodcraft Jaspas Just Green Little Creatures Spicebox Organics The Hive Utime Waffling Beans Warrior Academy
SOUTHSIDE/CYBERPORT 3/3rds Beef & Liberty Byrne Hickman Chicken on the Run Classified
NEW THIS MONTH: Essensuals Salon
Mindful Wing Chun
I’m reading... "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. I Can’t quite believe it has taken me 28 years to discover this gem!
I work out at... Pure. Their gyms are convenient and offer a great range of classes, but I love to get our on Hong Kong’s trails. I just wish I had more time to explore.
My beauty essential: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. She originally created the cream to heal one of her horse’s wounds and it honestly works miracles – particularly on chapped lips!
Favourite App: Instagram. It’s become such a brilliant platform to share genuinely interesting content. It became a vital communication channel during the early days of my business.
I always have in my fridge: Good condiments. Red onion chutney, ketchup, wholegrain mustard.
Where I go to get pampered: I often swing in to Airplay for a blow dry. The salon is so well located and they always do a fab job on my hair.
My last trip: India, to do a recce for an upcoming challenge into the Himalayas in 2018.
My New Year’s resolution: I say this every year but I always want to get fitter. I am training for next year’s Marathon Des Sables, so from January 1, I’m going to be fully committed to the cause! Check out Lucy’s upcoming challenge: leading 100 inspiration people through the Himalayas for charity. www.just-challenge.com/himalayas2018
CAN’T LIV WITHOUT
Lucy Bennett-Baggs Lucy Bennett-Baggs is the founder of Just Challenge in Hong Kong, a fledgling company creating life-changing adventures for people of all abilities, while also raising money for worthwhile charitable causes. At her previous role with HSBC, Lucy conceptualised a series of highly successful charity challenges - including two expeditions across the Gobi and Sahara Deserts - raising over $US500,000 for WaterAid. We get to know this adventure-preneur a little better. 50