The best healthy dishes we‘re eating right now
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E K ME TA H O E
FITN E SS NU T RIT ION WELLBEING HO ME ECO S PA
AUGUST 2022 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE
AUGUST 03 Editor’s Letter
LIV | NEWS 06 Wishlist
Lovely things we want right now
10 Hot Right Now
New happenings on the wellness scene
12 Fresh Cuts
Locally made vegan milks
Vegan meal delivery from Nutrition Kitchen
Charities helping the city's most marginalised groups
LIV | STORIES 20 Taste the Rainbow
A recommendation round-up of Hong Kong's best healthy bites
26 Failure to Focus Exploring the rise of adult ADHD 06
LIV | MORE 30 Recipe
Chinese-style mochi bites
New beauty businesses in town
Space-saving tips for small flats
Conscious parenting tips 34
GUESS WHO’S BACK (BACK AGAIN)
’ve just returned from my second trip abroad since *all this* kicked off, and it feels great to be back. I’ve missed Hong Kong, and all the quirky things that make it so idiosyncratic. The unconcealed landscape protruding through the skyline, despite the rampant development. The heavy smell in the air that’s equal parts wet subtropical jungle, smog, and kitchen exhaust emissions. The comforting knowledge that any space I enter will be aircon-blasted to within five degrees of an early stage of frostbite (Europe could never!). One of the things I’m most excited about reacquainting myself with is Hong Kong’s vibrant culinary scene. Oh, to be at a bustling cha chaan teng or dim sum purveyor! Or a seaside bar enjoying sundowners as I sit and think: “I really wish I’d been here for that ‘Stranger Things’ sunset.” That inspired this month’s cover story: an ode to tantalising, toothsome dishes around Hong Kong that hold a special place in our hearts. Myself and the Liv Team have pooled our best recommendations for healthy meals, snacks and treats that we keep coming back to, again and again. For our totally unscientific, highly subjective list of the city’s best healthconscious bites, check out p.20. It’s a running joke that we all have short attention spans these days, because Instagram and TikTok, amirite? But there might actually be more to it. Adult ADHD has become an increasingly common diagnosis, and more Hongkongers are coming forward to speak about their experiences with the disorder. We learn more about it on p.26. Speaking of things I love about Hong Kong: let’s have a moment for ice-cold Vitasoy! I’m a huge fan of alternative milks, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many local producers are making delectable, minimally processed plant-based milks right here in our backyard. Read more about them on p.12. This month, we also cover the wave of new beauty businesses springing up around town (p.32); the uplifting concept of “conscious parenting” (p.36); charities working to promote inclusivity in Hong Kong (p.18); and a secret family recipe for Chinese-style mochi (p.30) that we can’t wait to make. Looking forward to reacquainting myself with this totally one-of-a-kind city for the rest of summer!
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS
Ziggy Makant speaks to local experts about the conscious parenting trend on p.36.
Aarohi Narain examines the rising incidence of adult ADHD on p.26.
Sarah Fung is your go-to beauty guru, with a roundup of new spas, salons and brands on p.32.
Marria Qibtia Sikandar has five space-saving tricks for a tiny Hong Kong home on p.34.
ON THE COVER Featuring
(clockwise from top left): Maltese Chicken Cobb Bowl at NOC Coffee; Lahpet Thoke at Club Rangoon; Bedouin Bowls at Little BEDU;
Shredded Chicken Salad at
Le Garcon Saigon
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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS ANSHU RIJHWANI PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER CHARU MATHUR EDITOR CARLA THOMAS SPECIAL PROJECTS STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS ZIGGY MAKANT, AAROHI NARAIN, MARRIA QIBTIA SIKANDAR PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2022 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
OFF THE CUFF
UP THE DUFFLE
Give yourself every excuse to work out this month by picking up this stunningly shiny pink duffle bag! It’s rosy, reflective, and replete with storage pockets for all your gear and other effects. US$39 from shopamayra.com
Give ‘em the ole razzle dazzle with this lightcatching golden ear cuff. Fits snugly inside your conch without the need for an earring back, so you don’t have to commit to any painful piercings or annoying aftercare. $159 from Love, Bonito
LET US SPRAY
The latest speakers from audio brand Marshall don’t just look sleek, they also deliver superior sound quality AND come with a rubber backmounted strap so you can easily affix them anywhere, such as bike frames and tent poles. $999 from Fortress 6
Luxury candlemaker Diptyque just got into the household products game, and we are all in! The multi-purpose home cleaner disinfects naturally thanks to vinegar, and leaves a subtle scent of lavender, cedar and fig tree. Bonus: you can buy refillable pouches for the glass bottles once they’re finished! $370 from Diptyque
WHAT’S THE SCOOP
‘Tis the season for frosty sweet treats! Our current go-to is this summer edition Bronte Pistachio Sorbet from chocolatier and gelateria Venchi. Not only is it deliciously nutty, it’s vegan! $65 and up from Venchi
Bee-inspired beauty brand APIVITA just launched a 24-hour deodorant that’s got us simply buzzing! Enriched with propolis and probiotics, it’s friendly to the skin’s microbiome while still holding up to summer sweats. $150 from APIVITA
Make light work of an unsightly disorganised pantry or home office with this pocket-sized printer which creates labels via an app on your mobile device. $399 at LOG-ON
CURD’S THE WORD
Create impossibly tender fresh tofu with this traditional DIY kit, which comes with a wooden mould, gourmet soy milk, and a secret recipe from famed Michelin-starred chef Vicky Lau. $200 at Date by TATE, 210 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan 7
FUEL YOUR WORKOUT
JULY 20, 2022
iv readers got to spin, sweat and snack at our exclusive event hosted by low-GI food brand, Fifty50. Held at Project S, a brand-new gym in the heart of Sheung Wan, guests chose between an exhilarating Les Mills RPM class, or a more chillaxed Les Mills BodyBalance session. Sarah Wersborg, a former dancer and the studio's founder, taught both classes. Before and after, guests were also invited to sample Fifty50's best-selling peanut butter, as well as their delicious low-GI cookies. Guests took home a tote bag filled with low-GI treats from Fifty50, and merch and vouchers from Project S. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Youth Diabetes Action. Thanks to everyone who joined, and see you at the next event! 9
HOT RIGHT NOW
BACK IN THE SADDLE
It’s been a minute since we’ve been up for attending a spin class, but the new XYZ studio might be just the thing to change that! After taking some time to revamp their facilities and class offerings, the brand is taking a different tack towards health and wellness, focusing on providing a “yin yang holistic fitness” experience that balances mind and body. Expect classes that go beyond the typical high-intensity, sweatdrenched spin class, with yoga, bootcamp, and dance classes now available. The new space spans a whopping 9,439 square feet, with three beautifully designed studios: Mycelium, Cocoon, and Cave. XYZ is also partnering with international instructors and therapists; the first such collaboration is Shift, a spin class combining music and positive affirmation cues for a more mindful and meaningful experience on the bike. 12/F, China Building, 29 Queen’s Road Central, 2865-0999, youarexyz.com
GOING UP Global temperatures
Fullerton Ocean Park is the five-star hotel brand’s first Hong Kong location and it looks unreal! The new property features 425 guest rooms, two penthouse suites with private pools, an infinity pool, five restaurants, 24-hour gym, luxury spa and a 6,400-square-foot indoor kids’ play zone. We’re excited to check out the hotel’s theme rooms, decorated according to motifs such as “Mermaid Princess” and “Pirate Paradise,” slated to open in the near future. Most importantly, Fullerton Ocean Park has received WELL-certification, making it a more sustainable staycaytion thanks to environmental initiatives like no single-use plastics, and an in-situ hotel farm. 3 Ocean Drive, Aberdeen, 2166-7388, fullertonhotels.com
The world has experienced record-breaking heatwaves this summer. This is not a drill: climate change is here, people!
Entrepreneurial spirit So many new gyms and restaurants are opening this month - gotta love Hong Kong’s resilience and creativity!
“How To Build a Sex Room” We are loving this new Netflix show but with Hong Kong’s tiny flats, the best we can hope for is a Sex Wardrobe. Or possibly a Sex Aircon Platform.
ROOT OF LIFE
Did you know that around a quarter of Hong Kong is forest? We’re a city brimming with lush landscapes and country parks, but it’s not often we stop to contemplate and celebrate them. The latest art exhibition at Tai Kwun does just that. “Breathing With Trees” is a beautiful curation of works from local artists, examining the rising threats of climate change, deforestation and urban expansion, while offering innovative solutions for future generations to preserve our forests. From pencil drawings and photography to VR installations, there’s much to explore in this thought-provoking free exhibition. Be sure to check it out before summer ends. 10 Hollywood Rd., Central, taikwun.hk
Three years in and the mask fatigue is real. Hot tip: go maskless by carrying a pair of dumbbells everywhere you go and tell people you’re exercising.
GOING DOWN 11
DITCH THE DAIRY Alt-milk is having a moment - and we’re not mad about it. Lower your carbon footprint and go dairy-free with these made-in-Hong Kong nut milks. By Aarohi Narain
From nostalgic tetrapaks of Vitasoy to handchurned soy milk dispensed from daybreak to dusk at your neighbourhood juk house, soy milk reigns supreme here in Hong Kong. To elevate and celebrate this beloved treat, Chef Vicky Lau (the Michelin-starred chef behind Mora and TATE Dining Room) has launched a line of gourmet homemade soy products called Ān. The line includes two beverages made with nut paste: all-natural pistachio and Chinese almond. You can pick them up at the newly opened Date by TATE shop. G/F, 210 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, 6730-2494, an-soy.com
Homegrown nut butter boutique NuttieB always delights with its creative spreadables, like Cocoa Hazelnut Butter and Coffee Cashew Butter. Their most recent addition to its Instagram-famous lineup? Cashew milk! Prepared in-house using just roasted cashews and water, this nutty elixir contains no emulsifiers, sugars or oils. Since it is freshly made and contains no additives, it has a limited shelf life but don’t worry - it’s so good you’ll polish it off in no time! nuttieb.store 12
It’s about time boba went vegan, so we’re glad to see NUTTEA - a dairy-free bubble tea chain out of Taiwan now popping up in locations across the city. There’s a vast menu of nut-based creams and blended bevs, but don’t miss out on the signature nut blend milk here. The company sources macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds from premier growing regions across the world, then churns the nutritious kernels into silky smooth milk right here in Hong Kong. nutteahk.com
Soak, drain, blitz, and strain - in just four simple steps, that’s all it takes to make your own nut milk. If you’re left unsated by store-bought or yearning for a simple pantry project, pick up a DIY nut milk kit from sustainable grocer Slowood. Choose from almond, cashew, walnut, and hazelnut, all with reusable glass bottles and strainers. As an added bonus, the leftover nut pulps can be repurposed for tasty crumbles and cookies. slowood.hk
Raw almonds are naturally rich in enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which means they can be tough on your tummy and compromise your ability to absorb nutrients. The solution? Soak them in water! Sprouted almonds are easier to chew and digest, and deliver a sweeter, richer flavour that’s ideal for desserts and smoothies. Try it out with a freshly made-to-order batch of almond milk from Foodcraft, which makes a range of preservative-free sprouted almond milk. foodcraft.hk
SpiceBox Organics is one of our favourite places to stock up on conscious kitchen essentials, and true to form, they’ve got the goods when it comes to homemade nut milk! The certified organic food store and café offers two varieties: Organic Almond and Organic Cashew, both enriched with medjool dates and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt. While almond milk can help improve vision and strengthen bones among other benefits, cashew milk is chock full of key nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and zinc. spiceboxorganics.com 13
FOOD NEWS SALISTERRA X LINDSAY JANG SALAD POP-UP AT UPPER HOUSE
Bored with ho-hum salad offerings? We humbly suggest checking out the FAMILY FORM menu at Salisterra. In collaboration with local food icon Lindsday Jang (founder of Yardbird and Ronin), the limited edition menu features four generous and innovative salad bowls ($195 each). Think kale, romaine, goat cheese, wild rice, and almonds with roasted chicken thigh in a balsamic vinaigrette; or mixed greens, pickled beetroot, shallot rings, fresh mozzarella, oranges, and sourdough croutons drizzled in beetroot vinaigrette. Try ‘em all before the promo ends on August 31, either dine-in at Salisterra or takeaway from the pop-up stall on Level 6. 88 Queensway, Admiralty, thehousecollective.com/en/the-upper-house
CHEF’S CUTS OPENS IN CENTRAL
If you’re in Central this month, be sure to check out Chef’s Cuts, the new in-house restaurant at premium supermarket Chef’s Market. Conveniently located in Central Market, this gourmet grocer already stocks epicurean delights like cured meats, cheese, freshly made confectionaries, and a refillable zero-waste zone for oils, vinegars and wines. Their new dining experience promises some decidedly mouthwatering plates, like a sustainably sourced ceviche with octopus, shrimp and hamachi doused in aji amarillo with mango. Stop in for some sundries, stay for lunch or dinner! G04, G/F, Central Market, 93 Queen’s Road Central, chefs-market.com.hk
FOODPANDA LAUNCHES HEALTHY EATING PROMO
Online food and grocery platform Foodpanda wants to incentivise Hongkongers to eat healthier by offering discounts on orders from their most health-conscious brands. Starting this month, place an order over $150 with Treehouse, Green Common, nood food, Pololi, Kale, Pokeworld, or Poked and receive $30 off using the code HEALTHY. To really sweeten the deal, once you’ve used the code once, you’ll receive a second voucher ($30 off $150) to use at the same healthy vendors, in a bid to encourage customers to make healthy eating a habit. Love to see big tech promoting a healthforward agenda! foodpanda.hk 14
TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends NUTRITION
VEGAN MEAL PLAN WITH NUTRITION KITCHEN The Buzz: If you’ve been dying to try veganism on for size, but struggle with Hong Kong’s meat-forward food landscape, there’s an easy solution. Local meal delivery service Nutrition Kitchen just launched an entirely plant-based meal plan, promising restaurant-quality, nutritionally balanced meat- and dairy-free dishes that are nutritionally balanced and delivered to your door. We try a week of vegan meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - to assess whether it’s for us. The Meals: Delivered in compostable boxes labelled with full nutritional breakdowns, our meals arrive promptly each morning. Breakfasts are hearty; we’re impressed by the creative substitutes for egg-based dishes think chickpea huevos rancheros
and Tex-Mex tofu scramble. Lunch and dinner recipes are just as innovative. We’re pleasantly surprised by tantalising mains like mushroom meatballs with orzo salad, curried tempeh on brown rice, and portobello steak with harissa and butter bean mash - not what one expects when they switch to a vegan diet! The Verdict: Top-quality vegan food can be tricky to find in Hong Kong, and when you do, it often comes with a price tag. Nutrition Kitchen does a great job of putting together a convenient and affordable plantbased option, working out to as little as $74 a meal, depending on your needs. We appreciated the generous servings of vegetables included in each meal, and the off-the-charts
creativity! Although chefs work with mock meat (Omnipork mapo tofu, Gardein chicken green curry), it’s not the only tool in their arsenal, and we love discovering all the ingenious whole foods recipes that are better for our bodies, and the planet. One drawback for some might be the protein content, which admittedly isn’t as high as meat-based meals. But it isn’t lacking either, and we’re always left satisfied - it just depends on your personal health and wellness goals. Worth a shot if you’d like to expand your horizons when it comes to living a more plant-based lifestyle! Cost: $1,305 for one week (MondayFriday) of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). nutritionkitchenhk.com
Yes He Can Christopher Liang is on a mission to change how Asia - and the world consumes water. The Hong Kong CEO of (Phenomenal) beWater speaks to Liv Magazine about his simple yet groundbreaking idea to ditch plastic bottles and switch to canned filtered water instead. Q Tell us about beWater. How did the idea come about? beWater came about as a new way to introduce water for a generation of consumers that values health and portability. We saw that consumers in the market, especially those who enjoyed hospitality and fitness services, cared more about their health and the environment, and these were the two metrics from which the concept of beWater was derived.
Q Where do you source the water from, and how is it treated? Our water is sourced naturally from groundwater close to our high-tech treatment plant in Saigon. We are collaborating with Fortune 500 company Ball Corporation, as well as Japanese technology providers Fujiwa, on this venture. Our production quality conforms to both ISO22000 and FDA standards. The pH levels of our water is consistently high at around 7.0 and the mineral content is well balanced with 0.07% silica, 0.15% potassium, and 0.63% sodium.
Q Tell us about why you decided to use aluminium cans rather than Tetra Paks. Aluminium cans have been shown by numerous studies in recent years to be the most ESGfriendly packaging material for fast moving consumer goods. They can actually be made and recycled numerous times, with fewer carbon emissions per cycle than other materials such as plastic or glass. We view aluminum as the 21st century alternative to Tetra Paks as there is less
Alunimium canisters can actually be made and recycled numerous times, with fewer carbon emissions per cycle than other materials.
labelling required; our product information is etched directly into the metal itself.
Q What are some ways you plan to improve beWater's presence in Hong Kong? We plan to improve beWater's acceptance and circulation in Hong Kong by targeting hotels and fitness centres as well as upmarket groceries such as City'Super. We also plan to implement regular can collection and recycling awareness events.
Q What are your goals for the beWater brand in Hong Kong and globally? Our goals for beWater and particularly our (Phenomenal) beWater brand is to become a household name and staple water brand in Hong Kong within the next three years, and to become one of the leading water brands in APAC, with between 15-20 percent of regional market share, within the next five years.
Q Where can we find beWater in Hong Kong? You will soon find (Phenomenal) beWater across a range of Hong Kong's most popular hotels including The Intercontinental, Accor Hotels, Fullerton and Hyatt Hotel Group, as well as premium fitness and yoga studios.
Q Do you find it a challenge to change people's consumption habits from bottled to canned water? How do you convince them to make the change? It was slightly challenging when the concept was first introduced to the Asian market two years ago, but the change has been significant and swift. To have pure water encapsulated in cans was our patented creation and it seems to work quite well with gyms and hotels since they fit snugly in the inroom minibars.
Q Why do you consider it your mission to bring beWater to market? How important is sustainable development to you personally? It was a challenge as well as a socio-economically viable opportunity at the time to introduce aluminium as the packaging material of choice for our waters. It has occurred at a time when more and more people particularly those in emerging markets - are becoming more ESG conscious and ecologically savvy, as could be seen in the legislative directives in Hong Kong (via HKTDC); Singapore (PaCT); and Vietnam(Directive 33) I also realised it was the right thing to do as a health
conscious millennial and it was my idea to give back and care for mother nature, since more people are to purchasing and consuming packaged drinks more than ever before.
Q Where is beWater currently available? The original beWater was first launched in South East Asia back in 2020 when our concept took off with several internationally renowned hospitality groups such as Accor and the Intercontinental, and quickly spread throughout APAC as a source of exquisitely refined waters that was portable, tasteful and environmentally sustainable. (Phenomenal) beWater is the upgraded version - patented in 2022 - that conforms to FDA standards. It has a crisper taste and better pH, and shall be the international standard for our concept in East Asia.
Q What is your plan to encourage recycling? We have a tried-and-tested system that we hope to emulate in Hong Kong as a pioneer of truly circular packaging. We will visit our corporate distributors on a periodic basis (for instance, once per month) to take a proactive role in monitoring the collection of our used canisters. Our goal is to build social awareness and momentum to generate a self-sustaining loop, We want government bureaus and corporates to align in initiatives that contribute to a sustainable future .
Q What have been your most challenging hurdles? It has been a challenge to survive as a fresh concept given all the changes in government COVID restrictions. The ever-changing rules have severely affected the operational efficiency of businesses, social consumption, and the F&B sector in particular. However, the silver lining is that things are getting better, with people getting immunised, and our social lives returning to normal. After surviving the fifth wave, with people forced to go home or work from home and shrink their social lives, we don’t foresee any major challenges from now, as restrictions have been relaxing since April.
ECO/CONSCIOUS ALL HANDS O N DECK:
Four nonprofits building a more inclusive Hong Kong As much as we love our city, we have a long way to go when it comes to inclusion. Hong Kong’s wealth disparity is one of the largest in the developed world, and around a quarter of city residents live below the poverty line. These charities are working to level the playing field by passing the mic to marginalised communities. By Aarohi Narain
EmpowerU Let’s face it: Hong Kong would come to a standstill if not for hardworking migrants. With around one in three families in the city employing a migrant domestic worker, it’s our multitasking aunties who keep us afloat. At the same time, domestic workers are not solely defined by their profession; many arrive with varied skill sets and rich experience, with bright ambitions for their future. Local nonprofit EmpowerU started with a mission to help upskill migrant workers, and the initiative has since blossomed. Founded in 2018 through a collaboration between University of Hong Kong educators and a team of domestic workers, its course catalogue has expanded considerably, and the charity now serves ethnic minority youth, through community-based education programmes for young ethnically diverse Hongkongers. From certifications in fire safety and prevention for domestic workers to hands-on training in entrepreneurship and social
and emotional learning for youth, EmpowerU offers real opportunities for people to create transformative change. DONATE HERE: empoweru.io/donate
Grassroots Future Imagine stretching $50 to cover your living expenses for a day? For refugees and asylum-seekers in Hong Kong, that’s reality. It may surprise you to know that Hong Kong is not a signatory to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. In practice, that means refugees are protected from deportation under the principle of non-refoulement, but they cannot legally work or access benefits. In other words, refugees are reliant on the government’s meagre allowance, so any support from charities is crucial to get by. Founded by social activist Tegan Smyth, the force behind the food and storytelling project Table of Two Cities, Grassroots Future builds capacity in the refugee community. In addition to regular donation drives, the nonprofit collaborates with organisations like Refugee
Union to offer crocheting classes and wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation. The focus is on supporting refugee-led initiatives, be it around food, art, music or mental health, where individuals come together to create connections and support each other. grassrootsfuture.org
staffed both by people from within the community and beyond. Donate $500 or more, you’ll get access to Diverse. City, a series of self-guided tours on podcast travel app Storius that may just give you a new perspective on Hong Kong.
Grassroots Future is currently fundraising for tuition fees. Donate here: give.asia/campaign/children-s-educationappeal-2022-2023#/
Donate here: unison.org.hk/en
Hong Kong Unison About 1 in 12 Hongkongers identifies as an ethnic minority, or around 8 percent of the population. Despite many generations of this diverse group having little to no experience living anywhere but Hong Kong, segregation persists in our city, in areas such as housing, education, and the workplace, to name a few. That’s precisely why the nonprofit Hong Kong Unison was formed back in 2001. Led by social worker Fermi Wong, Unison provides scholarships, career guidance, Chinese language support and more to ethnic minority students across the city. In addition to lobbying for stronger antidiscrimination policies, the organisation holds community discussions and active citizenship training to enable ethnic minority youth to learn their rights and responsibilities, and empower them to speak for themselves. It’s meaningful and much-needed work, and the nonprofit is
Resolve To solve the world’s most complex problems without leaving anyone behind, we need diverse leaders who know how to combine critical thinking with action and empathy. So, what does it take to cultivate leaders from traditionally underrepresented communities? That’s the core question that animates the work of Resolve, founded by Victoria Wisniewski Otero. Resolve’s flagship programme is an annual fellowship that identifies emerging leaders, and nurtures their ambitions and skills through workshops, networking and mentoring opportunities. This year’s theme is Wellbeing Reimagined, highlighting inclusive and accessible health for all. Fellows represent a whole spectrum of identities. In addition, the nonprofit launched an Equality Toolkit, a handy step-bystep guide to help anyone become a better ally. Download the toolkit for free: resolvehk.org/everyaction-matters Donate here: resolvehk.org/donate
Hong Kong Unison
Eat Me Our top-rated healthy meals, snacks and treats, all Liv-approved. By Carla Thomas.
t Liv HQ, we love to eat. Snacking, dining, munching, noshing, grazing, gourmandising - call it what you will, we’re into it. Lucky for us then, that it’s a critical part of our job to stay up to speed on Hong Kong’s ever-changing food landscape. We have a duty, a moral responsibility, to scour the city in pursuit of highquality, health-conscious food that will satisfy you, our dear readers. In that spirit, we present to you this entirely opinion-based list of our favourite healthy meals and treats in Hong Kong. Each of these dishes sit right smack at the intersection of nutritiously sound and mouthwateringly tasty, which explains why we find ourselves coming back to them again and again. Bon appetit!
Baked eggplant moussaka from Ma... and the Seeds of Life
Maltese Chicken Cobb Bowl at NOC Coffee ($138)
Tried, tested and true, we can’t fault the Maltose Chicken Bowl ($138) at NOC Coffee. Heaped with roast chicken, avocado, pumpkin, cherry tomato and cauliflower, crunchy salad greens and thyme honey mustard dressing, it’s a consistently healthy lunch option that packs a hefty protein punch, and contains at least four daily servings of veg! Locations in Sai Yin Pun, Tin Hau, Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsuen Wan and TKO, noccoffeeco.com
Salt Baked Carrots at BEDU ($14O)
2. Faux-Gras at Ma…and The Seeds of Life ($28O)
Ma... and the Seeds of Life is Hong Kong’s first fully plant-based fine-dining restaurant, and we love just about everything they do, including the delicious eggplant moussaka (left). But their beautifully plated starters are where they truly shine. Do you love foie gras, but shudder to think about the force-feeding required to produce it? Embrace an elevated vegan version with “FauxGras”! It’s a cruelty-free pan-fried pate made with porcini mushrooms and cashews, drizzled in a decadent peach and red wine reduction then topped with apple caviar. You won’t miss the real thing, we promise. Shop No. 11, 1/F, H18 CONET, 23 Graham St., Central, marestaurant.com.hk
A hidden gem at the foot of the Shin Hing Street stairs, BEDU’s Middle Eastern mezze never misses when it comes to healthy sharing plates. We’re always impressed with signature dishes like smoky hummus and Hong Kong honeybaked feta. Recently, their summer menu has expanded to offer more veggiebased dishes, like salt baked local carrots with lime, sumac and sheep’s milk cheese and beetroot basturma, with caramelised whey and pine nuts ($130). 40 Gough St., Central, bedurestaurant.com
3. Lahpet Thoke at Club Rangoon ($148)
This traditional Burmese fermented tea leaf salad is an edible wonderland of pickled tea leaves, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, Burmese crunch peas in fish sauce with a squeeze of zesty lime. Bright, delectable, and full of fermented goodness, your gut will thank you for this delicious offering. 33 Aberdeen St., Central, clubrangoon.com.hk
Spicy Cauliflower Pocket at Chickpea ($78)
Vegans and flexitarians alike can appreciate the flavourloaded Cauliflower Pocket from takeaway joint, Chickpea. A freshly made pita pocket overflowing with kale, quinoa, chickpeas, tomato, pickled red cabbage, cucumber, hummus, toum, tahini and roasted cauliflower - what could be better? Locations in Central, Wan Chai, and Quarry Bay, chickpea.hk
Allium Ursinum Asaya Kitchen, The Rosewood
Named for the wild garlic that forms the principal ingredient of this oh-so pretty dish, Allium Ursinum might be fully vegan, but it has a richly complex flavour profile, combining wild garlic, chard and locally sourced petit pois with black truffle, squash and Sichuan green pepper, topped with sauteed walnuts, chives and lemon zest. Enjoy a la carte or as part of a sustainable summer tasting menu for an indulgence that'll leave you feeling light in both body and soul.
6. Bedouin Bowls at Little BEDU (from $95)
Speaking of BEDU…. we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that they also operate a bangup grab-and-go outlet just around the corner! Little BEDU may be tiny (maximum of four standing customers only!), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in nutritional value, offering clear macro information for its salad and rice bowls, created in partnership with local dietician, Nutrilicious. Available for pick-up or on Deliveroo.
6/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, Tsim Sha Tsui, 18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3891-8732, rosewoodhotels.com
7. Red Velvet Parfait Pancakes at 14 South Lane ($158)
Long-time readers know that we stan 14 South Lane, and we stan it HARD. In particular, we drool over their creative pancake concoctions. Try the Red Velvet Parfait Pancakes on for size, a towering stack of gluten-free pancakes made from quinoa, coconut, flaxseed and topped with low-GI dark chocolate ganache, summer berries and organic maple syrup. Can’t get enough? Make your own by joining 14 South Lane’s DIY pancake workshop! G/F, 14A South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, 14southlane.com 22
Shop 2, 49-51A Gough St., Central, bedurestaurant.com/littlebedu
9. Three-Grain Mapo Doufu at Moxie ($2OO)
Low-Carb Grill Chicken Set at Bengal Brothers ($128)
Built right into the name, this carb-light dish kati roll stall Bengal Brothers is a surefire way to keep your macros in check. Lean grilled chicken serves up a healthy serving of protein, whilst pickled veggies support a healthy gut. Paired with healthy whole foods like cucumber, coconut and peanut salad, and this on-the-go option is a winner for us. Locations in Wan Chai and BaseHall (Central), bengal-brothers.com
Shop 203, 2/F, Alexandra House, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, moxiehk.net
Saba-boshi roll at Honjokko ($16O)
Lemon Tiramisu Waffle Cake from Kefi ($78)
Kefi is a tiny, independent cafe in Kennedy Town that prioritises nutrient-dense dishes that are satisfying but also super healthy. Everything you find here is low-carb, low-calorie, made with natural ingredients and with no added sugar. While we love their protein-rich salads, we just can't resist their lemon tiramisu waffle cake. A healthy take on the traditional limoncello tiramisu dessert, this version swaps ladyfingers for high protein waffles made with almond flour and whey protein. The filling is made with lemonflavoured Greek yogurt rather than mascarpone, and the drizzle of homemade lemon curd is free from refined sugar and additives. G/F, Kennedy Mansion, 165-175 Belcher’s St., Kennedy Town,
With conscious, ethically sourced dishes crafted by the city’s brightest culinary talent, it’s a challenge to put a foot wrong at Moxie. This upscale all-day restaurant executes everything to perfection, including the standout Three-Grain Mapo Doufu. Reimagining the iconic Sichuan classic without meat and white rice, you’ll be treated to a gorgeous rendition of nutrient-dense barley, buckwheat and spelt, with a fiery kick courtesy of Sichuan peppercorn leaf.
This light and healthy no-rice roll from Honjokko wins big points from us, swaddling omega-rich marinated mackerel inside thinly sliced cucumber, along with generous lashings of ginger, spring onion, pickled plums, and shiso drizzled on top. Imagine going for a sushi feast and not walking out of the restaurant in a carb coma! The Sixteenth, 2/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Rd., Quarry Bay, honjokko.hk
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Cake by Suphia’s Functional Foods ($55O) Need a cake for an upcoming birthday, baby shower or leaving do? The entire cake range from this health-conscious vegan bakery is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Made without dairy or refined sugars, all cakes are raw and gluten-free with low-sugar options available for diabetics and keto diets. And you can’t go wrong with salted caramel, peanut butter, chocolate, and ice cream - it’s scientifically proven. suphias.com
Cauliflower Bum Bum at MEATS ($16O)
A fork-tender cauliflower drowning in misoglazed honey, pomegranate seeds and a rich and creamy plant-based cashew sauce. No one expected a steakhouse to come up with one of the city’s best vegan mains, but here we are! G/F Soho 28, 30 Staunton St, Central, piratameats.hk
Røget Ørret at Hjem
If you’ve never sampled smørrebrød - a traditional open-faced rye sandwich from Scandinavia - run, don’t walk to Hjem and immediately order the Røget Ørret. Expertly cured Norwegian trout meets crunchy cucumber and aromatic dill salad on a bed of fingerling potatoes and velvety crème fraîche. Deceptively simple, but too satisfying for words. Hjem, 161 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, hjemhk.com
Carrot Cake at Orka ($48)
Made with locally sourced organic farm carrots and low-GI coconut sugar, this conscious carrot cake is a slice of heaven that won’t send your blood sugar spiking. Even better: it’s slathered in a homemade cashew frosting, so it’s suitable for vegan and lactose intolerants. If carrot cake isn’t your thing, we can also highly recommend the indulgent gluten-free brownies.
G/F, 36 Wyndham St., Central, facebook. com/orkarestauranthk
Brussels Sprouts at Yardbird ($12O) Shredded Chicken Salad at Le Garcon Saigon ($138)
Craving Vietnamese? If you’re trying to skip the carb-heavy noodle and rice dishes, opt for this satisfying salad. Shredded roast chicken with crispy cabbage and peanuts, tangy pickles and fibre-rich rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) hit all the major nutritional bases. 12-18 Wing Fung St., Wan Chai, legarconsaigon.com 24
Holding their own against the charcoalsmoked meaty yakitori skewers at Michelin-starred izakaya Yardbird are these celebrated brussels sprouts. Marinated in house black garlic sauce then chargrilled and tossed in lemon juice and crispy garlic chips, it’s no wonder that people flock here for this tantalising veggie dish. Winsome House, G/F, 154-158 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, yardbirdrestaurant.com
FOCUS Adult ADHD is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis. Aarohi Narain investigates why, and what the signs are.
hen I was a little kid, during maths lessons when the teacher was talking, my mind would suddenly go blank. I wouldn’t remember anything afterwards.” Jonathan Mok, a 40-year-old Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner, describes his earliest classroom experience of inattentiveness - something that would only be diagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder much later in his adult life. Passed off as distractible and disinterested in school, Mok says completing his undergraduate degree in history came with similar challenges, even though the subject matter interested him. But it wasn’t until he entered the workforce that more serious setbacks - and maladaptive behaviours - emerged. “My bosses and colleagues kept having to remind me to pay attention to detail,” he recalls. “To cope with my struggles at work, I lost control in my personal life. I was partying from 6pm to 2am every night, overspending and going into debt just to gain some instant gratification.” For people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, Mok’s experience may sound familiar. A neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by inattention, carelessness and impulsivity, ADHD is often diagnosed and treated in children. But for those individuals whose early signs were missed during childhood, receiving a diagnosis of adult ADHD can be a transformative experience. The DSM-5 defines three main ADHD types: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive and combined. While the inattentive type is associated with traits like being easily distractible, forgetful, and prone to making careless mistakes, the hyperactive/ impulsive type is reflected by restlessness, fidgeting, interrupting others and trouble resisting temptation. Though well-documented among children and adolescents, adult ADHD is much less explored and understood. So, what causes ADHD? According to clinical psychologist Dr Scarlett Mattoli, a specialist in neurodevelopmental differences at Central-based mental health clinic Psynamo Group, one of the more well-supported theories points to fewer
dopamine neurons in the prefrontal cortex. This section of the brain houses executive function skills such as planning, working memory, emotional control, attention, self-monitoring and more. “The pathway in the brain that helps us pay attention to things we may be interested in is set up to orient us to ‘new,’ but not connected well enough to orient us ‘sustainably’,” she explains. “Less interesting tasks that have a longer-term reward, like studying over gaming, are less viable for us to attenuate to. This can present itself as constantly being distracted.” Dr Mattoli says that there is often a tendency among those with ADHD to self-medicate; they may use suppressants like alcohol to dull anxiety and stress, or stimulants like coffee to create feelings of alertness. For Mok, who received a formal diagnosis at the age of 37, seeking professional help was key to letting go of past shame, and unlocking his dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. “I finally understood why my mind went blank,” he says. “It’s just how my brain is wired. It was never my fault.” Journalist and bar industry expert Holly Graham echoes that sentiment. Getting an adult ADHD diagnosis in 2021 when she was 34 paved the way for deeper self-reflection and personal growth. “I have great difficulty in getting tasks started; I spend so much time building up to them that it can be quite overwhelming,” she says, adding that she is also prone to interrupting, excessive talking and
Until behaviours become more pronounced, and relationships or productivity suffer, most people aren’t motivated to do anything about them - Dr Scarlett Mattoli
oversharing. Graham says her diagnosis has helped to explain other parts of her psyche that she has struggled with in the past. “A relatively unknown symptom of ADHD is rejection sensitivity, meaning I can be super sensitive if upset or challenged, and spend way too much time overthinking it,” she says, “I’m still learning about why I am the way I am. I’ve had lots of moments like ‘Ohhh, it’s my ADHD that makes me do that.’” Dr Mattoli says that it’s common for people to seek a diagnosis in their 30s and 40s, partly because many ADHD behaviours may not present a problem for people in their teens and 20s. For example, in social situations, adults with ADHD might receive praise for their outgoing and effusive nature. At work, they can appear highly productive and ultra-focused. In reality, people suffering from ADHD may only be working extra hours because they are losing focus constantly, and spend more time absorbing information and redoing past tasks. “Until some of these behaviours become more pronounced, and relationships or productivity suffer, people aren’t motivated to do anything about it,” says Dr Mattoli. “Examples include always being late, forgetting personal and professional commitments, missing deadlines, failing to respect boundaries, talking over people, or losing important items constantly. Even with all the technology, timers, and time management tools that we have today, these habits still seep through eventually.” Although medication is one course of
I finally understood why my mind went blank. It’s just how my brain is wired. It was never my fault. - Jonathan Mok
I’m still learning about why I am the way I am. I’ve had lots of moments where I’ve thought ‘Ohhh, it’s my ADHD that makes me do that.’ - Holly Graham
treatment, Dr Mattoli asserts that longer-term lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, hydration, sleep, mood regulation and self-care are paramount to managing the condition. According to a 2018 study by the University of Hong Kong, around 2.5 percent of the city’s adults live with ADHD, on par with the worldwide prevalence. Mok, now a vocal ADHD advocate, hopes to see more conversation and awareness around the disability among Hongkongers. Every year, he helps organise ADHD Awareness Week during the last week of October, aimed at celebrating the unique talents of ADHD adults, who often display above-average creativity, boldness and hyperfocus in specific areas. “Hyperfocus is something I see as an asset of ADHD,” agrees Graham. “I just published my first book [Cocktails of Asia] which from inception to print took only six months. ADHD can be such a superpower when used the right way!” She’s quick to point out that more compassion and sensitivity is required around the topic. “It upsets me when people flippantly describe themselves as ‘so ADHD’. It’s more than just a short attention span, so take the time to research and understand. And if you do have ADHD, don’t be ashamed of it: be open and educate others!”
ADHD Symptom Checklist The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale is a commonly-used assessment tool to determine whether an individual is likely to have ADHD. It was developed in partnership with the World Health Organization and the Workgroup on Adult ADHD. If you have four or more dark grey boxes checked in Part A, you may want to contact a mental health professional for further investigation, while Part B may give you more insights into your symptoms and difficulties. Never
PART A 1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done? 2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization? 3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations? 4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started? 5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time? 6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?
PART B 7. How often do you make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring or difficult project? 8. How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work? 9. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you, even when they are speaking to you directly? 10. How often do you misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work? 11. How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you? 12. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated? 13. How often do you feel restless or fidgety? 14. How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time to yourself? 15. How often do you find yourself talking too much when you are in social situations? 16. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to, before they can finish them themselves? 17. How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when turn taking is required? 18. How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?
Chinese-style Mochi BY VIVIAN KONG
Mooncake season might be right around the corner, but we’ve got our minds on mochi and mochi on our minds! This recipe is gluten-free and too easy to make; try making it and experimenting with different healthy fillings, like vegan ice cream, fruit or low-GI peanut butter.
180g glutinous rice flour
103g roasted peanuts, crushed
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2¼ cup water
1 tbsp cooking oil
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Mix glutinous rice and tapioca flours with water to form a batter. 2. Transfer batter to a pan, using cooking oil to lightly grease. Steam on high heat using a steamer, breadmaker or stovetop wok with cover, for 10-15 minutes. 3. Check center of the dough to check that its cooked through; it should be springy and chewy. 4. Let cool to room temperature. 5. Mix peanuts and sugar evenly in a bowl. 6. Using a knife, cut into squares or balls, adding healthy filling inside if you wish. Roll the mochi in the coating, then serve!
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
Although tempting, don't eat too quickly!
THE GLOW UP
News from the beauty aisle
As Hong Kong moves agonisingly slowly towards opening up to the world, a flurry of founders are launching beauty businesses, from spas to skincare brands. We love to see it! Here are just a few of our favourites that have passed our desk in the last few months. By Sarah Fung
BAESIX This brand new Hong Kong skincare line was created by entrepreneur Danielle Poa, who struggled to find products for her sensitive, highly reactive skin. With just six products, Danielle has created a simple skincare routine: face wash, toner wipe pads, face and eye serum, SPF 35 CC moisturiser, and overnight mask. Made in Korea, the entire Baesix line is hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free and certified organic. We also heart their eco-credentials - all packaging is compostable or recyclable, and the brand is soon to launch a refill service baesix.com
ELPIS GREEN A socially responsible company, Elpis Green distributes a hand-picked 32
selection of the best clean and eco-friendly skincare brands from Poland. Their two signature brands are Alkemie and Mokann. Alkemie is inspired by ancient wisdom and traditional herbalists, and combines passion for sustainability with the latest skincare technologies to create multi-award-winning products, beloved by the likes of inStyle and ELLE, to name a few. All the products are vegan and the packaging is fully recyclable. Mokann, meanwhile, develops effective vegan skincare, with fully recyclable packaging. What’s even cool is that their headquarters and factory eschew fossil fuels and are fully powered by renewable energy. Elpis Green has counters at The One and Lab Concept. You can also shop online at elpis-life.com
HIGH SOCIETY SKIN CLINIC With a dedicated following of loyal clients and a new flagship location in the heart of Central, High Society Skin Clinic is making waves in the city's skincare scene. With 11 treatment rooms, their new 3,500-squarefoot space provides cutting-edge treatments using the latest machines for maximum effect. Whether you want a HIFU to lift and smooth the skin, a NEO Emsculpt session to burn fat and tone muscle, or a Vital Dome treatment to promote sleep and aid recovery, High Society has it all and more. We recently tried the Hollywood Cream Bagel facial - the first spa to offer the treatment in Hong Kong, the Wishpro Plus machine uses a capsule system and magnetic pulses to deliver
High Society Skin Clinic
products deep into the skin. 22/F , Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2799-0800, highsocietyskinclinic.com
MINIMIS Formulated in Canada by two sisters from Hong Kong who wanted to simplify their skincare routine, Minimis offers a simple four-step routine that’s packed with natural ingredients that are known for their nurturing ingredients. Think algae, blue chamomile, meadowfoam and jojoba, to name just a few of their active botanicals. Start with the cleanser, before moving onto the water serum, a face oil and finally a light but nourishing face cream to lock in all that goodness. Available at cabaneeorganics.com
SKREEN This new Hong Kong skincare brand is on a mission to reduce the number of single-use cosmetics containers that are sent to our landfills every day. They offer a bottle return and
refill service and really try to make it easy for you to make a green choice. Every product you buy comes with a pre-paid return envelope that you can just drop off at the post office, and you’ll even get a $20 discount off your next order. The products themselves are reasonable - ranging from $120 and $190 for rose toner, hyaluronic acid, blue chamomile moisturiser, or grapeseed cream cleanser. They even donate 2 percent of their net profits to Green Peng Chau Association for even more eco feels. Want to try before you buy? You can also pick up products at Green BItch in TST. skreen.hk
THE CHALESS Tucked away on Aberdeen Street, The Chaless is a petite but perfectly formed pampering haven. Founded by Anna Trier of Sense of Touch, The Chaless provides a full range of pampering treatments at a walletfriendly price point. The spa itself feels like your most stylish friend’s living room, while the vast spa menu covers just about everything, from machine-
driven treatments to intense facial massage; sleep-promoting therapies to sinus relief. 16 Aberdeen St., Central, 2997-6389, thechaless.com
ZERRIN A sustainable shopping platform headquartered in Singapore and serving southeast Asia, Zerrin wants to share amazing eco-friendly products with the world. It has recently expanded its clean beauty section and has hand-picked brands from Singapore, India, the U.K and New Zealand, looking at both the products’ effectiveness and and the brands’ green credentials, cutting through greenwashing and making sure that each brand truly walks the talk before bringing them onboard. Highlights include the reef-friendly SPF50 sunblock from Quick Screen; the microbiome-friendly cleanser from Sage & Ylang, and the certified organic and fair trade hair oil from Want Skincare. zerrin.com
RIGHT AT HOME
5 SPACE SAVING TRICKS
For Your Tiny Hong Kong Apartment
Hong Kong apartments are famously small, with little leeway to decorate well. Here’s how to create the illusion of a roomier apartment without stripping your space of its style and charm. By Marria Qibtia Sikandar
USE MULTIFUNCTIONAL FURNITURE
Choosing multi-functional furniture is a must when you’re existing in a small space. One piece of furniture serves various purposes - for instance, choosing a coffee table with ample storage inside it for items like books, magazines, blankets, toys, and any other essential bits you want to be readily accessible but not necessarily in view.
HIDE YOUR TRASHCAN
Most Hong Kong kitchens are teeny-tiny, it’s an unavoidable fact of life here! Make it feel bigger by stashing your trash can under the sink. This saves floor space, and keeps unsightly rubbish out of sight. Opt for one with a top handle for easy and more sanitary handling when changing the bin bag.
THINK BEYOND THE BOOKSHELF
Get creative with your wall-mounted storage, and you’ll free up valuable square footage. Floating shelves, for instance, take up less space than traditional shelving and can be affixed anywhere. When planning where to install them, think about choosing somewhere that makes sense for your space. For example, if you have plenty of cooking utensils and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, invest in an overhead wall rack to hang pots, pans, and other bits.
USE MIRRORS TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF MORE SPACE
Mirrors are a tiny home’s best friend! They not only reflect light and make a room look bigger than it is, they also create the illusion of more windows. Simply place a mirror opposite a window to reflect the outdoors and make your space feel brighter and larger. Got an awkwardly narrow hallway? Hang a full-length mirror to give the illusion of two rooms.
MAKE USE OF THE WINDOW AREA
If you’ve got enough window area to work with, consider decorating it and turning it into a focal point or seating area. Add a long seat cushion with plush pillows to make a large window sill cosier, or add plants, candles, fairy lights or a set of tasteful curtains to zhush up a space.
with Ziggy Makant
re you a “conscious parent”? The term was coined by Dr. Shefali Tsabary to describe an approach to parenting that prioritises the child's development as an individual. The theory is that parents inadvertently pass on their psychological and emotional pain through subconscious patterns, and that by becoming mindful of your own thought patterns and biases, you can allow children to develop on their own terms, rather than trying to shape them into a version of yourself. We speak to three local conscious parenting experts to learn more about this increasingly popular parenting philosophy.
Hypnotherapist, All About You ZM: You run conscious parenting workshops here in Hong Kong. Could you give us an overview of how it works? Conscious parenting encourages children to be autonomous, with the understanding that they are loved and accepted. It sets the foundation for healthy adults who operate with maturity and wisdom instead of creating sabotaging patterns that arise from feeling unaccepted. Children of conscious parents can differentiate between feedback about their behaviour without it meaning that something is wrong with them. There is freedom of expression and a high level of self-esteem. Children are set up to be driven towards their goals, without being defined by them. Parents have a healthier relationship with children, more rapport in the family, open communication, and a more peaceful, harmonious relationship overall. Remember that deep down, the entirety of your child’s behaviour is done with the goal of seeking acceptance.
AMBER LE SCELLE:
Children’s Mindfulness Coach and Author, Illuminate Kids Wellness ZM: When my child expresses a raw emotion I find it so triggering! It makes me want to shut down their feelings instantly. What are some tools for parents to self-regulate their own emotions while still supporting their little one? Invent a “Special Breath” together! Deep breathing and connection are some of the best ways to regulate a child’s emotional state (and your own!). Co-create a personal type of deep breathing with actions related to your child’s interests, such as dinosaurs or butterfly breath. Practice these breathing actions when you both are calm, so you have it ready for more challenging moments. Your child will feel ownership over this tool, and you’re modelling a positive behaviour at the same time. Perform your special breath when emotions are triggered, which means you both “freeze and breathe” a few times using your tool. Shared breath and connection will help calm emotions, allowing you to talk it out. 36
DR. KIMBERLEY CARDER: Clinical Psychologist, MindnLife
ZM: Explain what a “child-centred parenting approach” is, and what behaviour management strategies you work on with parents? So much of the evaluation of a child's behaviour and "outcomes" are measured through a top-down lens of expectations in their environments: how does their school or parents want them to behave? With a child-centred therapeutic approach, kids are given their own safe space in which to explore their thoughts and feelings without getting anything "wrong,” and without the fear of getting into trouble. This gives the child a space to hear their thoughts out loud, and develop a relationship with an adult that won’t affect their home or school life. Parents are always a part of this process, so it’s important for them to get on board too! In a child’s younger years, behaviour is communication, since children are still developing their emotional vocabulary. Helping the family translate the behaviour and understand what's creating it allows for the healing to happen at home.
CONSCIOUS PARENTING 101
Want to give conscious parenting a go? Here are a few easy ways to start including some conscious parenting principals in your life.
RECOGNIZE YOUR CHILD AS AN INDIVIDUAL Resist the urge to push your child into subjects or hobbies that you want them to do, and instead support their interests - even if you don't understand them.
ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS Try not to hold your children to the same standard as an adult. They're kids, which means that they can be messy, emotional, forgetful and impulsive. Let go of your frustration and channel some empathy (and inner peace!) instead.
Supporting your child's individuality doesn't mean letting them run riot! Set expectations and consistently reinforce them whenever your kids slip up. Give them responsibilities and encourage them to do things for themselves.
Conscious parenting also means sitting on your hands and allowing your child to make their own mistakes. But it's OK! Children need to know that failure is not something to be afraid of, and in every failure there's an opportunity to learn.
MODEL THE BEHAVIOUR YOU WANT TO SEE
Children have their own thoughts and feelings, and it's important to speak to them how you would like to be spoken to. Try to check any impatience, sarcasm or teasing, and instead make your child feel heard and respected.
Children are perceptive, so avoid passing on your own issues by minding how you behave and talk. You won't be able to get your kids to put their phones down, eat their vegetables and play outdoors if you spend
all your spare time eating cookies from the couch! The same goes for negative selftalk - we want our children to love and appreciate their bodies, so make sure you're practicing self-love too - resist the urge to talk negatively about yourself.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH If you feel yourself about to lose it, remember to respond, not react. Take a deep breath and try to model the kind of reaction you'd want your child to have in response to frustration.
Ziggy is a Hong Kong-based mum of two, pre- and postnatal trainer, micro-influencer, and co-host of the Mom Body Soul Podcast. She loves all things motherhood, sustainability and parenting. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @zig.fitmama or reach out to say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org for FitFam leads and pitches!
“Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” ― Anthony Bourdain
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