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MAY 2017 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . c o m LIV MAGAZINE

Yo Mama So Fit Treat your mum (or yourself) with our Mother’s Day gift recs

Hola, Aminos

The best protein powders in town

Yolo, Yogis IRIS: Your Escape lands this month Trail Running In Japan It’s real and it’s awesome

We’re Free! Meet the ex-corporates forging a new career in wellness

WIN manuka honey, designer flip-flops and gym memberships on page 16!


05 Editor’s Letter

LIV | NEWS 06 It’s a Date

Events for your diary

08 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

10 Fresh Cuts

Dining news that’s good for you

12 Cheat Day

Because #YOLO

14 Reviews

Lean & Mean Mentorship at Warrior Academy, and osteo treatment at City Osteopathy

LIV | STORIES 18 Find Your Calling

Meet the ex-corporates who ditched their day jobs to follow fitness

26 Love Ya, Mum

Mother’s Day gift ideas for healthy mamas

LIV | MORE 30 Shake it Baby

The yummiest protein powders in town


34 Recipe

Crazy-easy paleo pumpkin bread

36 Pamper

Our beauty picks for this month

42 Travel

The Echigo Country Trail, Niigata, Japan


44 Family

Join in the Crayon Run

50 How I Liv

Rosemary Vandenbroucke model-slash-fitness maven

16 42



OUT OF THE RAT RACE Ever wonder what it’d be like to just quit your boring day job and do whatever it is that really gets your heart racing? You and the rest of the working world, my friend. But how many of us really take the leap? Quite a few, it turns out! Hong Kong is full of smart, hardworking people who are striving to turn their passion into a new kind of career on their own terms. We meet a handful of these inspiring individuals as part of our cover story on p.18. Mother’s Day is on May 14th this year, and whether you’re a mum, have a mum, are a parent to fur babies or you’re just a really cool auntie, there’s always a reason to celebrate. Check out our roundup of cool, eco-friendly and health-conscious gifts to give the matriarch in your life on p. 26. Protein is vital when you’re training - but with scare stories about nasty ingredients rife in the protein powder industry, it makes sense to do some homework. Luckily we’ve done all the hard work for you and sourced some of the best protein supplements available, whether you’re looking for vegan protein, whey or beef. Read all about it on p.30. Don’t forget to check out IRIS: Your Escape on May 13-14. This homegrown festival is the biggest wellness event in town, and is taking place at the West Kowloon Nursery Park. There’ll be yoga, meditation and fitness classes all day long, as well as performances, workshops and a marketplace to go shopping for fitness gear, healthy snacks and other treats. Find more details on p.6 and see you there!


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Want to quit your job? First, read Jacquelyn Tryde’s interviews with some of the city’s ex-corporates, p.18.

From Abu Dhabi’s first sports resort to Slovenia’s new farmto-table movement, Kate Springer tells us all the travel news we need, p.42.

Andrea Lo speaks to Rosemary Vandenbroucke for her take on the city’s obsession with size, p.50.

Wanna spend some dollars on pampering treats? Rachel Read has the latest skincare, makeup and spa news on p. 36.

Kate Farr has the lowdown on a sanitysaving app that lets your tots try out extracurricular activities before you shell out for a term’s worth of classes, p.44.

Buy an ad

Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN WRITER JACQUELYN TRYDE SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN, CONTRIBUTORS KATE FARR, KATE SPRINGER, RACHEL READ, ANDREA LO, DEIRDRE GRIFFIN PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2017 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.




MAY 13-14


Unfurl your yoga mat at IRIS: Your Escape, Hong Kong’s largest health and wellness festival. Falling on Mother’s Day weekend, families who yoga together can experience the brand-new Family Zone. There will also be live performances, along with great classes, products and cool features at the Marketplace, Discovery Zone and the Meditation Garden. For $100 per day or $150 for the weekend, you get access to unlimited yoga, meditation and fitness classes from some of the biggest names in wellness - it’s a real steal. Tickets $100 per day or $150 for the weekend; children 12 and under: $50 per day or $75 for the weekend; free for children under 3 from Nursery Park, West Kowloon Cultural District.


For the first time, the ultra-cool surf shack and beach bar Mavericks will play host to the Lantau Health and Wellness Expo, where you can acquaint yourself with Lantau’s burgeoning wellness scene. There will be talks, live performances and eco-conscious businesses and services on display. On top of the usual menu, Mavericks will be serving a buffet with an angle on healthy eating. There’ll also be plenty for kids to do, making it a fun family day out. Free. 10am-5pm, Mavericks Pui O Beach. 6


MAY 19-21

MAY 27

Serious about your mid-year cleanse? Set aside a three-day weekend to recommit to your wellness goals. Join Reset Retreat Weekend, hosted jointly by Genie Juicery and Float On Hong Kong to move through a weekend of yoga and float therapy. Light meals will be provided.

Show some love for our local wellness entrepreneurs who will be displaying their products and services at the Wellness 360 Fair at Repulse Bay. Bring your shopping bag - it’s the perfect occasion to stock up on great superfood snacks and smoothies, organic makeup, skin care, eco-friendly children’s wear and lots more.


$2,700 before April 20; $3,000 thereafter. Classes take place at Pause Central, 16/F, 41-43 Graham St., Central. Details at


Free. 11am-6pm, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Rd., Repulse Bay,



How well do Hong Kong’s runners stack up against the rest of the world? Find out by taking part in the Wings for Life World Charity Run. Everyone around the world starts the race simultaneously and live results will rank runners globally, revealing just how quick you are compared to the rest of the world. The distance you run depends on how fast you are; a “catcher car” app will virtually chase you around the track until it catches up with you - the world record is currently 88 kilometres! Fun aside, it’s also meaningful; all proceeds will go towards spinal cord research. All races around the world will start at 11am UTC, or 7pm Hong Kong time. Happy Valley Racecourse,

MAY 13


Got a bun in the oven? Join the new Feedi Baby app for a complimentary prenatal yoga session with Annie Wu from The Urban Om, followed by a pediatrician talk and a trial of Feedi Baby’s new device, which allows you to track your baby’s nutrition, fuss-free. Free. 2-6pm, The Hive, 21/F The Phoenix, 23 Luard Rd., Wan Chai. Visit facebook. com/bonnectfeedibaby for event details. 7

Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene

Lucky Number 8

Part of the Landmark’s third floor is being transformed into a wellbeing zone, with an abundance of healthy businesses setting up shop this summer. One of the key brands to take up space in the nook beside Joel Robuchon is No. 8 by Beyorg, one of Hong Kong’s biggest organic skincare stores, which has been pioneering natural skincare in the city since 2005. At No. 8, you’ll find top-ofthe-line products for face, body, hair and babies, as well as natural cosmetics, from Europe and Japan. Think Amala and Primavera from Germany, Nuori from Denmark and Naturaglace from Japan. What’s more, there are two luxurious spa rooms at the back that offer out-of-this world organic facial treatments. Shop 301A, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 2723-3812,

Go Goji

The new formidable kid on the fitness block is Goji Studios, a new gym concept that boasts a whopping seven locations set to open across Hong Kong (taking over California Fitness’s old spots, in fact) over the next few months! Something of a crossover between a boutique and a big box gym, expect topnotch equipment, purified air, spacious interiors and close guidance by qualified trainers and staff. Add a community of fitness enthusiasts and in-house nutritional support to that list, and what you have is a one-stop-shop health and fitness solution that emphasises all-round health and wellbeing.


One outlet currently open in Hung Hom (Shop G8, G/F, Whampoa Garden 10 Shung King St., Hung Hom) with outlets to open in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Kowloon Bay. More info 2530-3038,

Cool Stuff

A Brush with Destiny

If you make one planet-friendly resolution this month, swap out your regular toothbrush with a biodegradable bamboo model. In fact, go one better and pick up a Humble Brush. Invented by Swedish dentists, the Humble Brush ($35-39) works on a one-for-one model - for every bamboo toothbrush you buy, another will be donated to a child in a country that lacks access to oral hygiene products via the Humble Smile Foundation, a group of student dentists who travel to remote parts of the world to provide much-needed education and treatment. Keep an eye out for the brushes - available in both adults and kids sizes - in outlets all over the city, including The Hive co-working spaces and Just Resonance (10/F, Lucky Building, 39 Wellington St., Central, 9221-503, justresonance. com). They can also be purchased online via the Sai Kung Markets website:

We See You Grinding

Rugby player, health enthusiast and now café owner, Jonny Rees has recently converted his healthy smoothie pop up business into Blend & Grind, a quaint sidewalk café and bar. Finding its permanent residence in the Mid-Levels right by the escalator, Blend and Grind opens during weekdays from 6am, catering to healthconscious early risers who crave a specialty coffee, healthy breakfast takeaway or one of their signature smoothies before the gym or work. Delightfully dog-friendly, your pooch is welcome to lounge around while you enjoy Jonny’s famous smoothies or killer bagels. 1 Prince’s Terrace, Mid-Levels, Central,

Oh My Oats

Roll back and enjoy some artisanal rolled oats delivered straight to your doorstep, courtesy of Pura Vida. Originally from Jakarta, these healthy snacks come in neat little jars that make them oh-so-Instagrammable. Packed with protein (vanilla whey protein is added to each serving), good fats (homemade peanut butter and nuts), probiotics (plain yoghurt), fibre (oats, duh!) and no added sugar, enjoy them after a workout or as a morning pick-me-up. Be warned though, it’ll be hard to pick from their enticing list of flavours, such as Banana Kreme, Nutty Monkey, Strawberry Cheesecake, ChiaNilla or KakaoChia. $40-$43 per pot. Place your order at least 48 hours in advance of delivery through hongkong@puravidajkt. com; Deliveries are made every Tuesday and Thursday during working hours. 9


FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you

COLOMBIA CALLING If you’re on a gluten-free diet, the newly reopened Picada restaurant is something of a godsend - the ENTIRE menu is composed of mouth-watering, gluten-free Colombian tapas. Chefs at Picada use sweet corn, maize flour, quinoa and other indigenous root plants like plantain, yuca and cassava to fire up an authentic Colombian menu. Try the sharing platter of Arepas Rellenas ($85) and you’ll be convinced that the world doesn’t need wheat flour to make great dough. You’ll also like their Yuca Fritas ($58) or the Frijolada bean stew main ($128), a Colombian household favourite. 2/F, LKF 29, 29 Wyndham St., Central, 2526-7538,

SIMPLY DELICIOUS Did you know that the freshest, most authentic Italian food in town can be found in Lai Chi Kok? Si Simply Italian Restaurant has made its debut, opening at D2 Place Two, just a stone’s throw from Lai Chi Kok MTR. Restaurant owner Paolo Sala and executive chef Massimo Santovito are both believers of “Minimalistic Italian” - a no-frills cooking approach that accentuates the quality of their produce, most of which is imported directly from Italian farms. Picky about your greens? Si has a seasonal organic menu on offer, or else go for the Testaoli (fresh pasta) tossed in homemade basil pesto and 24-month Parmigiano ($148). Shop G03, G/F, D2 Place Two, 15 Cheung Shun St., Lai Chi Kok, 2370-9022, 10



Melissa Chu, Founder, RUMI X athletic wear

Sum up your food philosophy liver cleanse - and they’re not in a sentence. fun. I do a five-day juice cleanse I’m not a picky eater. I eat twice a year now. I’ve tried a everything, but I listen to what couple of cleanses from Bless, nourishment my body needs in which I would recommend. the moment. When were you at your least healthy? What do you usually have for breakfast? When I was a vegetarian for five I have a tablespoon of apple years! I didn’t have a balanced Could a real vegan replacement for meat finally cider vinegar in the morning diet - I felt tired and was always be here? After seven years of research and before I eat anything. On days lacking energy. I learned that reformulation, LA-based food tech company I’m not hungry, I’ll have a green I wasn’t getting the proper Beyond Meat has brought the ultimate vegan juice from Pressed Juices or nutrients. burger patty to Hong Kong. Backed by the Be-Juiced to jump-start my day, likes of Bill Gates and Twitter co-founders Biz When was the last time you which can hold me over till lunch Stone and Evan Williams, the Beyond Burger ate McDonald’s? time. If I’m a little more hungry, patty has an uncanny similarity in taste and I can’t remember. It must have I’ll have two eggs, cooked kale texture to the real thing. Even the wafts of been sometime before the and tomatoes with a little bit of aroma as it sizzles on the grill makes you seven years since I’ve been in cottage cheese for flavour. believe you’ll soon be tucking into a beef Hong Kong. patty, rather than a meal made entirely Where do you like to shop for Do you cook at home? from nutrient-rich ingredients such as healthy food? Yes - my go-to for a healthy meal pea protein isolate, coconut oil and beet. I usually shop for my groceries is my own cooking. I’ve been In fact, you’ll be amazed to learn that at the wet market, and like to trying to eat clean, and trying the Beyond Burger patty is even richer look for organic produce at Wah out some recipes from blogs like in protein and iron than beef! It’s a big Kee Groceries in the Central wet Sweat With Kayla and The stride towards a plant-based future for market. It’s a gem and a lot of Clean Blog. The meals are all, and we can’t wait for Hong Kong to restaurants go there to source easy to make, packed sink its teeth into it. local ingredients as well. with nutrients, delicious The Beyond Burger is now available What are your favourite and very filling. at Green Common Alexandra restaurants in Hong Kong? House, Central, and Ocean Centre, It really depends on what I’m in Tsim Sha Tsui. Ask for the Beyond the mood for. One of my favourite Burger ($78) or the Beyond Burger places is The Optimist in Wan Plus ($108). Chai, and Yu for Sichuan foods.


Do you have a cheat day, and if so, what do you eat? Yes, Cheetos are my guilty pleasure. Have you ever done a cleanse? Yes, I’ve done a lot of different cleanses over time - including the 11



Because life’s too short to always order the salad

EXTRA GALLIC The annual Le French May​arts and culture festival is in full swing, and that means the city’s French restaurants are laying on special menus in celebration. Amber, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s signature restaurants (and one of the world’s top 50 restaurants) is laying on a special French supper menu from 9pm every evening in May - making it a perfect place to stop after catching a show or art exhibition. The menu highlight seasonal French produce, including oysters, morel mushrooms, white asparagus and foie gras, all with a unique Amber touch. The meal is $1,988, paired with four Champagne wines, or $2,388 for four courses and five wines. Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 2132-0066,



TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends



Lean and Mean Mentorship Program at Warrior Academy The Buzz: The Lean & Mean

Mentorship Program at Warrior Academy in Shek Tong Tsui is a small group strength training program that gives all its participants one-on-one support. The Program: A separate

offering to the regular class schedule, the Lean & Mean Program is a highly-tailored fitness “mentorship.” Members who take on this commitment train four times a week as a group. You get the same coach at each classes for accountability and continuity. You also get personalised meal and exercise plans to follow at home. The Experience: 20 minutes

into the session (after an extralong warm up to fire up those sleepy neurons), you really start to see how a group class can be organized like personal training. Even though we

shared an instructor, we really felt like we had their undivided attention. When we were done, it was only 10 in the morning but everyone felt great. The Verdict: We couldn’t have felt more welcome as newbies. Lots of positive reinforcement and compliments were thrown around, fueling our determination to step up the workout regime. Commit to the eight weeks and you are guaranteed to tone up and get stronger. The Cost: The Lean &

Mean classes are available at $5,600 for eight weeks with four classes a week. It also includes two group classes that you can pick from the schedule every week. 1/F, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, 2838-3878, www.

Osteopathic Therapy at City Osteopathy The Buzz: City Osteopathy combines osteopathy with other disciplines such as physiotherapy, Pilates, clinical massage, sophrology (mood-lifting mind exercises) and acupuncture as ways to “listen to your body as a whole” and ultimately heal it. The Experience: The session begins with a 30- to

60-minute consultation, the aim of which is to identify the causes of the issue - in our case, a longneglected lower back ache. Our lovely osteopath Elaine really took a deep dive into our medical history and lifestyle. Then came the posture and alignment assessment. Elaine instantly saw the problem - a slightly elevated hip on one side and a tendency to tilt our weight forward onto our toes while overarching our back. Next, lying down, Elaine gently massaged and loosened up the tissue along our back. She swung our legs from side to side to give a deep tissue stretch before flipping us over for more full-body manipulation. The Verdict: We were sold! Where deep tissue

massages have failed to help in the past, we felt a million times lighter after Elaine’s gentle maneuvers. Our one-hour session with Elaine was not only a tension release for a tight back, but a lovely reminder about the value of health and wellness. The Cost: initial consultation: $1,150

(1 hour); subsequent standard consultation: $850 (30 mins) or $1,400 (1 hour). Suite 1401, Century Square, 1 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2151-4795, 14

GIVEAWAYS visit for a chance to win!

WIN: A jar of manuka honey from NZManuka

Summer’s here, and newly launched footwear brand Pagoda aims to treat your feet with its plush velvet flip-flops. Inspired by Burmese velvet slippers, Pagodas are smarter than your traditional rubber thongs, but are incredibly comfortable and durable. We have three pairs up for grabs, worth $250 each.

Looking for some real, certified manuka honey from New Zealand? NZManuka offers the real deal, with varying strengths available to help you address various health concerns. For instance, the UMF 20 can help heal minor wounds, and can also be used to treat acne and other skin complaints; the UMF 15 is a great immunity booster, and UMF 10 is great for calming your digestive system. Courtesy of NZManuka, we’ve got five 250-gram jars to give away: two UMF 10s (worth $299 each), two UMF 15s (worth $488 each) and one jar of UMF 20 worth $888.

WIN: A pair of Pagoda velvet flip-flops

WIN: A one-month membership to Fitness Revolution Want to get results, and fast? Fitness Revolution is Wong Chuk Hang’s newest gym, offering heart-rate-based functional interval training, combining cardio and strength training to get you working optimally and efficiently. We have three one-month memberships to give away, each of which includes unlimited access to the gym and three group classes per week, valued at $800.


Enter at by May 28 to win!

Sponsored Feature


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Taking you places with CATCH ME CATCH ME is the latest activewear label that has just launched last week! Born in Hong Kong, Catch Me understands the fast-paced and the hectic lifestyle in this town. Keeping that in mind, Catch Me is created for the woman-on-the go, taking her places from her work day to her work out, all in one outfit. Check out their lookbook to see how these versatile & stylish (super comfy too!) pieces can be worn in the office, in the gym and even on a night out. | IG: catchme_here


Look your best at the wedding Cambridge Weight Plan(TM) offers nutritious and tasty meal replacements, along with support from a trained and experienced nutrition consultant, to help you reach your goal without losing your energy. Whether you’re the bride or groom, family, or an invited guest, we can help you to look and feel great on the day and achieve your best health in the long-term. Contact or visit to learn more.


Chinese elements in natural skincare Cabanee has recently launched 5YINA, a holistic seasonal skincare line inspired by ancient Chinese wisdom. 5YINA designed the collection with the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, to keep your skin healthy and glowing all year round. “Enlighten Spring” is designed for normal to sensitive skin, while “Lucent Summer" is for active, oily and combination skin. Grace Autumn suits normal to dull / damage skin the best. For normal to dry / mature skin type, Quiescent Winter collection should be used. The fifth season, “Divine”, is for all seasons, which products are for all skin types including hypersensitive. enquiries:,

Cover Story

Forge Your Own Path These ex-corporates migrated from their desk jobs to the world of wellness. We find out what it takes to make the leap. By Jacquelyn Tryde.


Victor Chau A

n ambassador for Lululemon, FoodSpring HK and Boys of Yoga, Victor Chau flies to various Asian cities every month teaching workshops and training other yoga instructors. But before his life as a yogi, Victor was in the PR industry for many years, representing luxury brands and hotels. His last gig in the corporate world was with Lane Crawford Beijing.

Q Was quitting your job terrifying? A It was absolutely scary - and my being Chinese didn’t exactly help because I was raised to believe that financial security trumps your true calling. But thanks to a very supportive partner and some savings, I decided to take the leap. Q What are some skills from your corporate life that have helped you as a yoga teacher? A I feel so fortunate to have had training in my PR and corporate life. Organising yoga workshops or retreats is like putting on a fashion show – something that I have had to do a million times. I understood timelines, budgets, how to get things done efficiently. I also knew how to promote my workshops, myself as a yoga teacher and more importantly, the precious lesson of yoga. Q Do you miss anything about corporate life? A Yes and no – I still miss the regularity that corporate life gave me, the visible progression in a career and very steady income going into my bank account. However, I love how I can now meet different people from different cities, sharing what I truly love - yoga.


Cover Story


Ramona Pascual T

hough she only started to compete seven years ago, Ramona has racked up an impressive record at international MMA tournaments. In fact, she was the first female fighter to compete for an MMA championship title in Hong Kong in April. Prior to that, however, Ramona graduated with a business degree in the United States and worked a number of desk jobs before following her true calling as a fighter and personal trainer. Q What did you do in your past life? A I was in sales for a global software company then went into management at a small fitness company before going to work for a small financial services firm as an analyst. All these jobs spanned across five years, during which I learned a lot and met a lot of great people, but in the end I realized I had other aspirations that I needed to focus on. Q What motivated you to make the shift? A I have been fighting since I was 22 but never fully committed to it due to work obligations. I suppressed the desire to become a full-time fighter because of cultural and societal pressures, but when I turned 27 I came to the conclusion that I was almost 30 and it was now or never. Q Was quitting your job terrifying? A Not really, as I wasn’t in a situation where I’d been at the same company working my way up for five years. I didn’t have as much to lose. The corporate environment was never for me, so the shift was easy. Q Tell us about your current venture. A I am currently a full-time personal trainer at Epic MMA & Fitness where I create programs mainly around strength and resistance training to help my clients reach their goals. On a deeper level it’s helping them discover their physical potential and empower them to take on challenges in other areas. I am also a professional MMA fighter.


Cover Story


Johnny Tieu N

ot your average fitness trainer, the ex-finance turned fitness-obsessed general manager of TopFit is a nine-time marathoner, competitive obstacle course contestant (and winner) and ultra-trail runner. Having bid farewell to his high-flying banking career in NYC, he has since embraced his sporty side, becoming the business development director and senior trainer at TOPFIT, as well as a Nike trainer and a fitness consultant.

Q Tell me about your corporate job before TOPFIT. A My prior life, which seems like ages ago, was in finance - specifically Banking & Risk Management for Bank of America in NYC. I was born and raised in New York City. Being in the financial center, graduating from NYU, and surrounded by the corporate incentives all around, I found myself delving into the finance world and trying to find a passion in my career for five years. Q Did you enjoy the work? A The enjoyment was high right out of college. The projects and clients I dealt with at that time seemed to make an impact and were fulfilling. That was short-lived once I started looking at the bigger picture of things around me and what made me happy. I enjoyed my work for the first two years then after I found myself more passionate about competitions, fitness, and making an impact in helping others. From there my day job was no longer fulfilling. Promotions and raises didn’t bring the joy that I thought it would. Q How did you make the shift? A The true notion of quitting happened


when I saw a travel deal too good to pass up and decided if I didn’t do it then, when would I? I quit my job and travelled for four months. With no plans of my next steps, I hopped from country to country. My final stop in Hong Kong guided me to where I am today. Through social media and common friends who knew of my fitness background, I ended up teaching an open session and was pitched an offer to delve into the fitness industry here. Q What are some corporate skills from your past career that have helped you in your current role? A My background in understanding business models, financial documentations, team management, dissecting trends/risks, and social communication/presentation has aided me in my current roles. How to educate and lead training sessions, understanding the financials and build out of gyms, to making an impact to the fitness industry. These are just some of the qualities and skills that help me on a day-to-day basis.

Cover Story


Charlotte Tsuei C

harlotte Tsuei had the inspiration to start her very own athleisure store during a meditation session. Since then, she’s responded to that divine inspiration by opening Hong Kong’s first multi-brand athleisure and lifestyle fashion store Caelum Greene, with a pop-up store in The Landmark. Her years of experience in fashion retail, merchandising and e-commerce has put her in good stead curating one of the most gorgeous wellness sport retail shopping experiences in Hong Kong.

Q Tell us about your corporate job before Caelum Greene. A Prior to starting Caelum Greene, I worked in the fashion retail industry for most of my career, in various roles. I started my career in e-commerce and online marketing for a California-based activewear brand called Zobha. When I moved to Hong Kong almost five years ago, I transitioned into merchandising for Christian Louboutin Asia, where I stayed for a few years. More recently, I worked in business management for Pure Group, responsible for all of their retail point of sales in Asia. I loved my work and always took my job seriously. Q What made you take the leap? A I always knew that I’d like to have my own business, though in my mind that transition would occur later in life when I had accumulated more experience. It may sound silly but the idea for CG came to me in a meditation. I felt very strongly about the inspiration and the opportunity was as clear as day to me. So I took the leap and never looked back. Q Was quitting your job terrifying? A Absolutely! The lack of stability, the


even longer hours ahead, the fear of failure - pretty scary stuff. I, however, believe that it’s better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all. I thought I could always go back to working in corporate, if anything as a better and stronger team member. Q Is there anything about corporate life that you miss? A I suppose I sometimes miss the set schedule of corporate life. Holidays aren’t really holidays anymore (I’m on “holiday” right now) and I still work around the clock. 

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Cover Story


Lisa and Patricia Lam S

ister dream team Lisa and Patricia Lam are expert brewers of fermented tea. Inspired by her dog, Taboo, Lisa came up with the brand name Taboocha – one of Hong Kong’s first locally brewed Kombucha brands (Taboo remains the face of the brand to this day). The sisters gave up promising careers in fashion buying and law, respectively, to delve into the world of wellness and health. True to their dog-loving nature, with every bottle returned, a dollar is donated to a local dog-rescue foundation. Q Tell us about your jobs before Taboocha. LISA I worked at Lane Crawford in the buying division for three years. It was a challenging and precious learning experience but it was also extremely stressful. I developed some health issues due to a lowered immune system. Towards the end, I realized that I would have more satisfaction starting a business that would positively impact the community. Pat I used to be a disputes solicitor in a US law firm and worked there for seven years. I enjoyed working with my team although

it was relatively longer hours and, at times, quite a stressful environment. I chose to leave my legal career two years ago because there was urgency for me to help with my father’s business. At the same time, Lisa’s kombucha business was growing and she needed more support. Q What motivated you to make the shift? What thoughts were going through your head at the time? LISA On top of the health issues I developed, I realized that fashion buying wasn’t what I had in mind for the long run. I started making kombucha for personal consumption and changing up my diet to boost my immunity. Because the drink helped me so much, I wanted to share it with the local community. I thought that a Hong Kongproduced health drink had both a story and a social aspect behind it, and I was confident it was going to be appealing to both locals and expats.    Pat It was a difficult career shift for me because of the drastic reduction in income and as a result, big changes in lifestyle and spending. No more fancy meals and cocktails! My workplace shifted 24

from Central to Lai Chi Kok and I was working with my family 24 hours. To be honest it was a rather difficult transition period because of the pressure of having to learn to start making important business decisions, working with family, managing my time, and above all, dealing with the stress. Thankfully I think I am through the worst period and am now feeling much better about my new life! Q What skills from corporate life have you brought to your new venture? LISATo be effective, efficient and to have a strong work ethic. The perfectionist nature of my past job also equipped me to be extremely detailed oriented, which is important in the brewing process of kombucha. Pat To be cautious and consider the pros and cons of every situation before making an informed decision. Best thing I’ve learned: never rely on the court to resolve a dispute!

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Your Escape Lineup Announced

Hong Kong’s biggest wellness event brings the city’s biggest names in fitness together in one place.


he final countdown is on for IRIS: Your Escape! Taking place on May 13-14, the event will see thousands of Hong Kong’s health and wellness enthusiasts descend on the West Kowloon Nursery Park for two days and more than 60 classes of yoga, fitness and meditation. Besides classes, there’s a marketplace where you can shop for healthy food and gear, a kids zone for families, silent disco by Soultrains, music and dance performances and so much more. Tickets are $100 per day, or $150 for the weekend, including access to all the classes you like! Don’t have your ticket yet? Get 20 percent off your tickets with the code LIV20

when booking online at

Weekend Lineup This spectacular line up would not be made possible if it wasn’t for our beloved May Nogoy. We would like to express our gratitude to her and all the instructors below. We look forward to spreading positive vibes!




DAY 2 - SUN 14 MAY

Rosemary Vandenbrouke (Vinyasa Yoga)

Clayton Horton (Ashtanga Yoga)

Ariel Tang (Jivamukti Yoga) Daphne Chan (Dharma Yoga)

Melanie YBB & Jessica Lee (Acro Yoga Community HK)

Greta Lai (Vinyasa Yoga)

Victor Chau (Vinyasa Yoga)

Andy Wilner (Core)

Chaukei Stefanie Ngai (Vinyasa Yoga)

Za (Embodied Flow Yoga)

May Nogoy (Flow Yoga)

Adam Weirick (Alignment-Based Vinyasa)

Joakim Olin (Dharma Yoga)

Martha Collard (Gong Bath)

Dr. Yogananth Andiappan (Anahata Yoga)

Seema Bhatia (Panchakosha Meditation)

Tanya Chou (Sound Healing)

Resham Daswani (Tea Ceremony)

Willo O’Brien (Coaching Workshop)

Khenpo Lungtaen Gyatso, Bhuddist Monk (Universal Human Values)

Gen Kelsang Rabten, Buddist Monk (Mindfulness)

Gretchell Yaneza (Inner Balance Meditation)

Mother Ocean (Samadhi Spiritual Discourse)

Linda Venus Fancy (OSHO Meditation)

Rosalie e’Silva (Yoga Nidra)

First Light (Dance In The Dark)

Dileep Puliyolly (Kundalini Meditation)

Darrel Erxleben (Vinyasa Yoga)

Jason Sinarwi (Body Blast)

Fernando Junior (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)

Nicole Leung (RAD Roller)

Odinson by EPT (Holistic F.I.R.E Training)

HIT45 (HIIT Training)

Max Gao (Piloxing)

Anhao Wellness (Pilates)

Viking (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)

Fernando Junior (Movement)

Dima Apelbaum (Movement)

Stanley Wong SANE Fitness (Animal Flow)

All About Aesthetics (Fitness)

Master Joe Lok (Phoenix Qigong)

Sudevi Sundari (Light On Yoga)

Trybe (Ninja Flow) Trixie Velez (Zumba & Fat Burn Extreme)


Alive Yoga (Yoga Wheel Demo) SUP Yoga (Dee Cheung & Nadine Bubner)

Godfrey Chung & Co. (Eye Contact Experiment)

Miya Dunets (Vocalist)

Rachel Solomons (Prana Wheel Demo)

Fernando Junior (Capoeira Demo)

Oxana Banshikova & Co. (Cosmic Dance)

Rachel Solomons (Prana Wheel Demo)

Ocean (Bamboo Flute)

Za & David Ho (Acro Yoga Demo)

OHM with Bobsy of MANA!

Bollywood Dreams Group (Bollywood Dance)

Kelly Mountain (Tribal Fusion Dance) MONOKEE with Jolanda Van Zeeland (Electro Band)

Yogaraj CP (Yoga Mastery Demo) Bounce Limit (Rebounder Demo) Concrete Lotus (Vocalist+Electro) Emma Brown (LED Hoop)


SILENT DISCO by Soultrains

Tiffany Lau (Family Yoga)

Jenny Smith (Mothers Day Yoga)

Third Culture Theatricals (Kids Theatre)

Zinzi Culalic (Kids Yoga)

Nancy Chatchawan (Kids Yoga)

Thao Walker (Kids+Family Yoga)

Kiki Lam (Kids Workshop)

Third Culture Theatricals (Kids Theatre)

Vincent Chau (Family Music) Alice Freeman NirvanaFitness (Breathing)

Third Culture Theatricals (Kids Dance Fitness)

Charlotte Douglas (Family Yoga)

Kiki Lam (Kids Workshop)

Yin Han Cheng (Guided Meditation)

Kelly Mountain (Tribal Fusion Dance)

Nikita Ramchandani (KITA Yoga)

Za Ra & David Ho (Acro Yoga Family Jam)

Gina Robinson (Intuitive Guidance) Elena Foucher (Mind Groove)

Rachel Barraclough & A Day With Fe (Non Violent Communication)

Corrine Calder (Womens Temple)

Jill Marshall (NIA Dance)

Dr. Katherine Dale (Lunafication)

Steffi Lopez Gonzales (Yoga)

Jen Kentrup (Yin Yoga)



8yr old DJ Little ALE ! (Kids Dance Party) Sudevi Sundari (5 Rhythms Dance) The Vibe Tribe (Vinyasa Yoga) Rachel Oser (Torah Yoga)

For more info, visit



Mother’s Day

Yo Mama So Fit Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day on May 14th - here are a few of our favourite gift ideas, from fitness tracking gadgets to skincare, for all you lovely mums.


Feeling Sheepish? American brand Pure Lano uses medicalgrade lanolin in its skincare products to create an intensely nourishing line of allnatural products that penetrate deep into the epidermis - ideal if mum suffers from dry skin. Its Luxury Full Body Treatment set ($950) is made up of a body wash, exfoliator and ultra-moisturising body creme to care for and protect even the scaliest shins. Available from



Macau with Mum?

Thinking about whisking mum to Macau for the night? The Mother’s Day promotion at JW Marriott Macau is actually an excellent deal. Available for the month of May, the Relaxing Escapade package includes one night in a deluxe room, breakfast for two, a 60-minute aromatherapy massage at ESPA for two, welcome gifts and access to all the Galaxy complex’s resort amenities, all for $2,388, plus service charge. With massages alone ringing in at $1,150 per head, this package really is a steal. Learn more at

Mother’s Day

Coffee with a Conscience


Shocking statistic: around the world, 100 billion single-use, non-recyclable coffee cups are thrown away every year! Do your bit to ease our landfills by bringing your own coffee cup - Ecoffee’s is made from 100 percent sustainable bamboo fibre, and comes in a selection of groovy prints, earning you style points as well. $130-$170 from

Coco For You


Coconut Matter’s all-natural lip balms have had a big makeover, combining all-natural pigments with avocado, grapeseed and coconut oils, candelilla wax and cocoa butter to create an indulgent vegan balm that delivers real results in seriously sleek packaging. Fifty percent of the proceeds of these gorgeous balms will benefit the Adventist Hospital Foundation in aid of young cancer sufferers, so you can feel even better about your buy. $200, $100 of which goes to the Adventist Hospital Foundation, available from


Mother’s Day

Off the Chain


Always wanted to give a health tracker a go but don’t fancy a big rubber band on your wrist? Fit tech just keeps getting more stylish, and the Misfit MIS9000 is a gorgeous rose gold lariat that goes with just about every outfit. It automatically tracks your steps, distance, calories and sleep, vibrates to tell you about incoming calls and texts. It also has movement reminders and alarms, and is water resistant up to 50 metres. Even better, the MIS9000 is set at a very friendly price point of just $299, making it a perfect gift for fit tech newbies. Available from


Gourd Love Ya

We love TREE’s new teracotta vases, which have bags of character and make for a perfect vessel for a bunch of Mother’s Day blooms. Handmade in the Philippines, each one is unique, and they come in a variety of finishes - from raw to lacquered, for a rustic look. $395-$745 from TREE, 28/F, Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, 2870-1582, 28

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Take the Stress out of

feeding your child with Feedi Baby The revolutionary app allows you to automatically track your baby's feeding habits, bringing relief to parents everywhere.


e understand how busy life is for a new mother (and indeed the whole family!) when a precious new baby arrives. From nappy changes and midnight feedings, to keeping in touch with family and friends. Perhaps you might also be planning to go back to work. At Feedi, we want to help families get on top of their new routine by taking the pressure off feeding time. Feedi is the first smart baby bottle dock that allows carers a fuss-free, paper-free way to track baby's consumption. Whether it's baby

formula, breastmilk, water or puree, Feedi automatically records how much is consumed at a click of the button. It's easy to work into your everyday routine. Simply slip the Feedi silicone bottom beneath your baby's bottle, and attach onto the Feedi dock before feeding. Timestamped data on consumption is automatically synced to the Feedi app on your mobile and keep dad and other caretakers involved in real time. An important question Feedi answers is: When, how, and how often is your baby eating? Paediatricians ask these questions to determine whether your baby is getting enough nutrients for healthy IG /feedibaby

development, and to see if you have any concerns about feeding. Almost 1 in 12 young children suffer from a food allergy and they seem to be getting more and more common. Feedi enables careful exclusion diets, where introduction of suspected food is recorded to assist diagnosis of an experienced dietician. Instead of logging baby journals with pen and paper (often at crazy times of the night), Feedi makes recording and accessing details a breeze. Never miss a beat on baby's consumption again. Spend the saved time for bonding with baby, or to catch up with much needed sleep.

FB: /bonnectfeedibaby


Shake it Up W hey

Island Supplements When it comes to protein supplements, not all are created equal. That's why we’ve rounded up some of the cleanest and yummiest protein powders available in Hong Kong. By Jacquelyn Tryde

Whey Concentrate INGREDIENTS: Whey protein concentrate from grassfed cows in New Zealand, naturally sweetened with stevia. NUTRITION: 20 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 25-gram scoop. GREAT FOR: Anyone who gets a kick out of supporting local brands. Island Supplements is a Hong Kong company started by four founders who were determined to fill the gap in the market for 100 percent natural, high-quality whey protein. WHICH FLAVOUR? Try their Sencha Green flavour if you are matcha-obsessed like us.


IT’S SPECIAL BECAUSE: When kept as pure and untreated as possible, whey is loaded with proteins, antioxidants and immune factors. Island Supplements’ whey protein concentrate is gently cold-processed rather than high heat-treated, bleached or acid flushed, allowing it to retain most of these fragile bioactive compounds. Their unflavoured version is also unique in that most commercial whey proteins on the Hong Kong market use artificial sweeteners to cover up an “acidic” taste. Add a scoop into your favourite blend and it won’t alter the taste of the drink at all. BUY: $488 for 1 kilo from

PurePaleo Protein INGREDIENTS: The key ingredient is HydroBEEF, a proprietary protein powder made from pasture-fed beef. It’s flavoured with natural chocolate or vanilla, plus stevia leaf. NUTRITION: 21 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 27-gram scoop. GREAT FOR: Those who are sensitive to even trace amounts of dairy and appreciate the power of 30

beef to build muscle, cartilage and ligaments. This is also a product optimised for Paleo diet followers. BEST TAKEN WITH: If you wish to stay fuller for approximately three to five hours, blend it into your protein smoothie with some nuts (or nut butter), flax, hemp or chia seeds. This adds good fats and additional fibre. IT’S SPECIAL BECAUSE: HydroBEEF

is the stand-out ingredient, derived from grass-fed beef raised in Sweden with no added hormones or GMO feed. As it’s dairy-, gluten-, grain- and legume-free, PurePaleo Protein is by far the most hypoallergenic option on our list, though it goes without saying, it’s not suitable for vegetarians. BUY: $660 for 810 grams from


HOLA, AMINOS Can’t choose between the many types of powders out there? Here’s our five-minute guide.

Ve g a n

Sunwarrior Classic Plus INGREDIENTS: An organic protein blend of pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed and amaranth, with organic vanilla flavour, ancient sea salt, guar fibre and stevia. NUTRITION: 18 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat per 25-gram scoop. GREAT FOR: Those who live and breathe a plantbased lifestyle. Even though Sunwarrior Classic Plus is a vegan product, this superfood formulation has managed to pack in almost all the amino acids you'd find in an egg. WHICH FLAVOUR? Go for the vanilla, or if you’re making a smoothie with lots of fresh fruits, the classic natural flavour is made without stevia. IT’S SPECIAL BECAUSE: It’s totally vegan, organic and has a rich amino acid profile - and it even tastes good! BUY: $353 for 1 kilo from The Store, 2/F, 38 Cochrane St., Central, 2967-7787,

 WHEY PROTEIN What is it: A by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese. Who’s it for: Those looking for an effective way to retain and build muscle mass straight after a workout. Whey protein is quickly digested, providing a rapid rise in amino acids to increase muscle mass and curb appetite. Not suitable if you’re lactose-intolerant.  EGG PROTEIN What is it: Eggs are the holy grail of protein because they contain nine essential amino acids, of which the body is able to use up to 94 percent, making them extremely efficient protein powerhouses. Who’s it for: Egg protein powders can be used as substitutes to regular eggs in cooking, enriching your pancakes or crepes recipe with an extra dose of protein. Egg protein is also lactose-free.  CASEIN PROTEIN What is it: A protein found in milk. Who’s it for: People looking to gain lean mass and reduce fat mass. Casein breaks down

slowly over several hours, allowing individuals to stay anabolic (continue burning calories) throughout the night. Not for lactose-intolerant users.  PLANT-BASED PROTEIN What is it: Typically contains a combination of two or more of ingredients such as brown rice, pea, hemp, alfalfa, chia seed or quinoa, to name a few. Who’s it for: Vegans and vegetarians or those who prefer to derive protein from plant-based sources. Plant-based proteins have been shown to increase muscle growth as effectively as animalbased counterparts.  BEEF PROTEIN What is it: Derived from grass-fed cows and hydrolyzed for easy absorption. Who’s it for: Those who are sensitive to lactose. Unlike whey, which is digested in the intestine, beef protein is digested in the stomach. This avoids the swelling sensation that can result from whey consumption.



Beef Collagen

Bulletproof Collagen Protein INGREDIENTS: Pure collagen derived from grassfed cows. NUTRITION PROFILE: 10 grams of protein, zero carbs and zero fat per 11-gram serving. GREAT FOR: Those looking to improve the condition of their skin, connective tissues, joints, flexibility, sleep and recovery. HOW DOES IT TASTE? Unflavoured; dissolves quickly in warm or hot water. HOW TO TAKE IT: In keeping with the “Bulletproof lifestyle,” it’s recommended that you add a scoop of collagen to your morning coffee. You can also add Vitamin C and

copper supplements; they assist the formation of high-quality collagen molecules. IT’S SPECIAL BECAUSE: Collagen is a vital building block in the human body, and has been shown to support metabolic functions and detoxification. Due to modern food preparation practices, the average person tends to receive insufficient amounts of collagen in their diet. Protein powders with pure soluble collagen are hard to find, making this product quite unique in Hong Kong. BUY: $295 for 454 grams from The Store.

W hey

Clean Nutrition Co. Clean Protein INGREDIENTS: Primarily made of whey isolate derived from grass-fed cows from New Zealand. Natural sweeteners such as Stevia Extract and Luo Han Guo are used. NUTRITION: 24.5 gram of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs and 1.4 grams of fat per 32-gram scoop. GREAT FOR: Active individuals who want a combination of fast-and-slow-digesting ingredients to help with immediate and long term muscle maintenance. HOW TO DRINK IT: Our favourite flavour is cocoa. The taste is so rich it works with water alone. IT’S SPECIAL BECAUSE: The powder is chemically unaltered and loaded with naturally occurring BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids. The whey protein is simply drained off the curd, filtered for impurities and dried, therefore retaining its original nutritional profile. BUY: $560 per kilo from Delivery is free worldwide when you buy two or more bags. 32


Low-calorie Ve g a n

PaleoMeal DF Berry INGREDIENTS: In addition to having a natural pea protein isolate as its protein source, PaleoMeal DF Berry is enriched with a complete list of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins (C, E, B complex) and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. NUTRITION: 16 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 36-gram scoop. GREAT FOR: Weight management, as it contains all the daily essential nutrients but comes with a lower caloric tag - it’s just 100 calories for two scoops mixed with water. HOW TO TAKE IT: Mix one scoop in 10 ounces of water and consume within 15 minutes. BUY: $470 for 540 grams from

WE ALSO LOVE FOODSPRING Hailing from Germany, this top-quality food supplement brand offers sports nutrition, fruit and vegetable powders, healthy snacks and more.

AP NUTRITION It doesn’t come much cheaper than AP Nutrition, which cuts out the middle man and sources from the factory.

MY PROTEIN Europe’s biggest protein brand has a Hong Kong store that offers a dizzying array of sport nutrition, health food and pantry essentials.




PALEO PUMPKIN BREAD By Coby Liu, Veg Matters This wholesome paleo pumpkin bread satisfies your carb cravings yet doesn’t call for additives or big doses of sugar. It’s super easy to put together, too.

INGREDIENTS: • 200g pumpkin puree or steamed fresh pumpkin • 15ml olive oil • 2 eggs • 1 tsp baking soda • 160g almond meal


• 20g honey (optional) • Handful of pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

COOKING TIME: 30 minutes

2. Mix pumpkin puree, honey and egg in a bowl. 3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine. 4. Pour mixture into loaf pan. 5. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.

STORAGE: Store in airtight box at room temperature if you’re planning on eating within a day or two.


6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Hong Kong's new bakery

es and cupcake i k o o c s, cute t f o r k i d s ’ p a r t i e s ! c e f r e p We make: customised cakes and cookies, dessert booths, dessert tables  We offer: private cooking classes, birthday parties, baking and cooking supplies

visit for more! address: Westlands Centre, 20 Westlands Road, Taikoo phone: 3188-5735 whatsapp: 9220-9622


READY SET GLOW with Rachel Read

IT’S EASY BEING GREEN You know how it is… you wait ages for one cool green beauty brand to arrive, and then six come along at once! Lane Crawford has curated a highly covetable Let’s Live Better edit of natural, organic and ecofriendly skincare brands, many of which can’t be found elsewhere in Hong Kong - and we’re having a hard time deciding which to try first. As I sit writing this at 3am, cult British brand This Works’ Deep Sleep Night Oil and Pillow Spray are sounding like particularly good ideas, but I’ve also got my eye on synthetic-free targeted serums from high-tech French range Codage, pure botanical goodies from Edible Beauty, and the incredible-sounding Cryo Facelift Ice Cube Treatment from Aussie wonders Vanessa Megan – stick them in your freezer, then rub over your face and neck until completely melted for a rapid radiance boost… super cool, right? This Works products range from $115-540; Codage $260-$1,090; Edible Beauty $305-$600; Vanessa Megan $125-$1,130. Available online or at Lane Crawford IFC, 8 Finance St., Central, 2118-2288,

ALL ABUZZ One sure-fire sign your hotel is part of the luxury superleague is when it gets it own swanky spa - and The Langham Hong Kong’s new Chuan Body + Soul wellness sanctuary definitely delivers. This 604-square-metre hideaway features serene treatment rooms, saunas, showers, a rooftop swimming pool and split-level health club. Its pampering body treatments are based around the traditional Chinese five elements philosophy, and it will be the only place in Hong Kong offering resultsdriven facials using Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, an award-winning organic skincare line developed by the renowned aesthetician. We can’t wait to try the Bee Sting Facial Therapy, which uses Mitchell’s patented bee venom products… often known as nature’s Botox. Treatments range from $580-$2,280. 15/F, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2132-7880, 36

HEAD OVER HEELS Divine shoe designer Christian Louboutin turned his attention to beauty a few years ago, and now there’s a brand new, ultra luxurious cosmetics concession in Lane Crawford Times Square. Be sure to check out the gorgeous new Eye Collection of calligraphyinspired mascara, liquid liners, kohl pencils and brow definers. While anyone with eyes can appreciate how drool-worthy Louboutin’s killer packaging is, you might be more surprised to learn just how many eco points the brand scores: their polishes are all “Big Three-Free” (formulated without chemical nasties toluene, formaldehyde and DBP); their lipsticks are made without parabens and phthalates; their mascaras are (deep breath) silicone-, fragrance-, triethanolamine- and polyethylene glycol-free, and they don’t perform or sponsor any animal testing across their entire beauty range. Who knew? Nail polishes $450, mascaras $610, lipsticks $800. Available at the Christian Louboutin Wyndham Street boutique or Lane Crawford Times Square, IFC and Canton Road counters.

ASK THE EXPERT Introduction to

Aurélie Martin, Neuro-Energetic Kinesiologist at The Round Clinic

What is Kinesiology? Neuro-Energetic Kinesiology is a non-invasive powerful healing technique that combines Eastern energetic healing approach to health - the use of acupoints and the meridian system from the Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as the Chakra system - with knowledge of anatomy and physiological pathways. Thanks to the bio-feedback from the muscle testing technique, the practitioner gets direct info from the body and targets the “energetic knots or stresses” related to the issue in order to reach a more balanced state in the body.

When should I consult a kinesiologist, and what should I expect at the appointment? Being a great tool to balance the body, anyone would benefit at some point in their hectic life to have a check and achieve better body/mind health. However we can definitely say that kinesiology gives great results in helping people with stress management, relationship issues, chronic pain Rachel Read is a freelance writer, editor and cofounder of writing agency Editors’ Ink (; she also has her own lifestyle blog, Through The Looking Glass ( where she reviews beauty, food and whatever else she can think of. Follow her on Instagram too @rachttlg.

with conscious or un-conscious mental/emotional issues, or as a complement to psychotherapy, by taking care of the body/mind connection. It is also a fantastic way reduce symptoms of anxiety or sleeping problems in children. The techniques used include muscle testing, soft hand palming, pressure on acupoints, and meridian tracing.

Information presented by The Round Clinic


A Run Less

Ordinary Though many remain closed to foreigners, Japanese endurance races are starting to make their mark on the international circuit, and the upcoming Echigo Country Trail in Niigata is no exception. By Kris Van de Velde


or decades, Japan has been a country obsessed with distance running. Longlegged East Africans from Kenya and Ethiopia may have stolen the limelight and scored the bulk of medals at major running competitions since the 1980s, but running has become no less of a pastime for the Japanese. Endurance running is part of the Japanese spirit of never giving up, no matter how tough things get.



Marathons - not just the Tokyo Marathon - and Ekidens (team relay races) are immensely popular in the Land of the Rising Sun, and it is no wonder that the ultrarunning and trail running scene is also more developed here than in most other Asian countries. Yet, Japanese races continue to have a hint of mystery about them. It’s usually not easy to enter them, either because of language issues or simply because events are closed to foreigners. However, times are changing and increasingly more organisers are now welcoming international runners to their events. Hiroaki Matsunaga is among those, and his Echigo Country Trail in Niigata Province, west of Tokyo, was a big new hit in last year’s Asia Trail Master circuit. Echigo Country Trail is a very colourful trail running event that receives full support from local authorities and communities. This year, it will take place on June 17-18, and features races of either 52 kilometres (with 2,000 metres of elevation gain) and 15 kilometres for beginners that take you on mountain trails between the local villages. Even your kids can have a go with a relatively short run of 2.5 kilometres, making it a very family-friendly event. The long distance race has lots of runnable sections, but it does have some technical parts, too, some even requiring the use of ropes to climb up those



steep hills. Experienced trail runners will certainly not be bored. The male and female race winners will also score 500 points for the Asia Trail Master Championship. The event is hosted by the town of Nagaoka and more specifically the Oguni and Ojiya Forest Parks. This is a remote corner of Japan’s countryside, and there is nothing here to remind you of the glitter and glamour of mega cities like Tokyo or Osaka. The area has its onsen (hot springs) and sentĹ? (public bath houses), of course, and participants who come to the event will be immersed in Japanese and local traditions during the pre-race dinner party. A visit to a local bath house is also possible and recommended. The overall event experience is further enriched with a small but fun expo with all sorts of trail running goodies, local food delicacies and displays of local art and handicrafts. The race begins at 6am on Sunday morning, and the cut off time is 10 hours later. Along the route, there will be no fewer than six fully equipped refreshment stations. The enthusiastic village inhabitants will be lined up along the streets and trails to cheer you on. Accommodation can be booked and arranged in Oguni, Ojiya and Nagaoka, from where there will also be a shuttle bus at the railway station to the race start at the Oguni Forest Park. Nagaoka is also connected to Tokyo via the Shinkansen fast train. If you like to try a different kind of trail race and escape Hong Kong’s summer humidity, look no further: the Echigo Country Trail is a brilliant weekend outing. Learn more by visiting echigo-country-trail.


Win tickets! We have four race entries for the Echigo Country Trail up for grabs! Just visit giveaways to enter. Winners will be announced in mid-May.

Pre-register with Flight Centre Active Travel to partake in the most sought-after sporting events worldwide! Talk to our expert and reserve your spots now. For any more informations, call + 852 2830 2818 | email | visit Terms & conditions apply, visit our website for full details. Written quote must be presented prior to booking. *Travel restrictions and conditions apply. Prices are per person in HKD, exclude taxes & subject to availability, and only applicable when two people are travelling together. Prices are correct at time of print and subject to change without notice. Flight Centre (Hong Kong) Limited trading as Flight Centre. Travel Agent licence no. 350062 t


TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer

BISON GRASS FACIALS? Sorry, ladies, this one is for the guys. The Residence Male launched a slew of new therapies specifically designed for gents, answering a call from stressed-out men who love a good spa day just as much as we do. While most of the massages are relatively straightforward, one treatment stands out: a facial that’s fueled by bison grass - yep, that’s wild grass enjoyed by bison. Supposedly, the grass has medicinal properties that will help to soothe signs of fatigue and tighten up skin. And while he’s at the spa? The property’s over-water villas and private plunge pools should help find your zen. Treatments from HK$1,100. The Spa by Clarins, The Residence Male, Falhumaafushi, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Maldives, +960 682-0088,

BE A GOOD SPORT Abu Dhabi isn’t the first place that comes to mind when dreaming up an adventure getaway... but maybe it should be, especially now that it’s home to the Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi, the region’s first sports hotel, complete with outdoor Olympicsized swimming pool. In collaboration with the next-door Al Forsan International Sports Club, it also provides a roster of sporty activities, from horseback riding and shooting to water-skiing, polo, paintball, archery and more. Bring the kids: there’s a crazy jungle gym at the hotel with a zipline that’s perfect for tiny Tarzans. And while you’re there, sign up for Abu Dhabi’s dozens of hair-raising experiences, including Formula Rossa - the world’s fastest rollercoaster dune bashing, go-carting, and more. Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Street 12 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates, +971-2-201 4000,



SLOVENIA’S GREEN QUEEN Sharing its borders with Italy and Austria, Slovenia has often stood in the shadow of its more tourism-ready neighbors. But no more: Slovenian chef Ana Ros was just crowned the “World’s Best Female Chef 2017” by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants - and the culinary accolade has already caused a ripple effect. Helming the family-run Hisa Franko restaurant and inn, in northwestern Slovenia, Chef Ros takes a “zero kilometre” approach to her cooking. She sources all of her ingredients within walking distance, from the forests and mountains, rivers, villages, farms, and generations-old cheesemongers. Go for the fresh food, stay for the scenery - the Central European country has been named one of the greenest in the world, thanks to its vineyards, forests, lakes and mountains. Staro selo 1, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia, +386 5 389 41 20, Kate Springer is an Asia travel expert who contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. Follow her travels on Instagram @katespringer.

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FIT FAM with Kate Farr

Now we’re in that downhill coast towards the summer break, it’s time to think about just how, exactly, to occupy the little darlings over the long holiday ahead. With that in mind, I’ve got a smart new activity app to save your sanity, a talk for expectant mums braving the sweaty summer ahead, and a fun family run to get everyone off the sofa - no excuses.

COLOUR ME CHARITABLE You may already have heard about The Crayon Society - a group of volunteers who collect and remould used crayons to raise funds for local children’s charities. Taking place on Saturday May 20 from

9-11:30am will be the organisation’s first ever Crayon Run, a fun family race along Discovery Bay’s Tai Pak Beach benefitting The Society For The Relief Of Disabled Children. Registration is “give what you can,” and events will include courses suitable for kids from toddler to teen. There will also be a collection of used kids’ running shoes on the day on

behalf of local running club KipMovin, whose Shoes For Kenya programme donates much-needed footwear to some of the poorest communities in coach Thomas Kiprotich’s home country. That’s at least two great reasons to get everyone up and running. Advance registration is required. Email



If you’ve ever parted with a term’s worth of fees upfront for an activity that your child has subsequently decided they hate, you’re not alone. Aiming to ease the strain on parent-offspring relations, KidHop has teamed up with more than 50 activity providers across Hong Kong Island (they are currently working on Kowloon and beyond) to allow families to try commitment-free classes in subjects such as art, language, sports, dance and plenty more besides. There are three subscription plans available, each of which offers a number of class credits to redeem with no strings attached. If your kid falls in love with an activity, they can sign up for more. If not, simply move on to the next class, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t wasted a small fortune. Genius.

Pregnant in Hong Kong over the summer? You could spend the next few months sidling between every 7-Eleven in town to stand in the aircon. Or, you could head to Midwife Sofie Jacobs’ chat on how to cope during swelter season. The Surviving Summer: Pregnant And New Mumas talk tackles essentials such as how to avoid swelling up like a balloon, what to eat, drink and wear to avoid that fetching tomatoin-a-sauna look, and - every new mum’s biggest panic - how to get out and about with your baby without cooking them. This free event takes place on Wednesday May 17, 9:30-10:30am at Bumps to Babes’ Horizon Plaza store, and it’ll have you sailing through summer as cool as a cucumber.

$298 to $998 per month, depending on subscription plan For more information and to download the app, visit

Free of charge. To attend, register online via, call 2552-5000 or email hq@

Kate Farr is the co-founder of writing and editing agency Editors’ Ink ( She also blogs about Hong Kong family life at Accidental Tai-Tai ( Send your family health news to


Wan Chai shop G/F, No. 223 Queen’s Road East, HK Tel: 2185 7825


The Guide WELLNESS CLINICS Alive Wellness

A fairly new complementary therapy centre in Central, Alive Wellness offers a huge range of therapies, including acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, kirtan, lymphatic drainage, physiotherapy and mediation. Room 602, Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43-55 Wyndham St., Central, 2541-8600,

Balance Health

Teatments are divided into three streams: natural medicine, physical therapies and mind-body connection. With more than 30 types of treatment available, Balance Health’s specialties include chronic pain, stress, allergies, women’s health and digestive issues, to name a few. 27/F, Universal Trade, Centre, 3-5 Arbuthnot Rd., Central, 2530-3315,

Byrne, Hickman & Partners

One of Hong Kong’s longestestablished physiotherapy practices. Offers treatment for sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation and clinical Pilates, and can also help to treat chronic and posture-related pain.

health services, though it also has a conventional medical practice. For aches and pains, it has osteopathy, chiropractic, TCM and acupuncture. More left-of-field treatments include reiki, colourpuncture, iridology and crystal healing, among others. 13/F and 17/F Kailey Tower, 16 Stanley St., Central, 2523-7121,

Mind N Life

Clinical psychologist Dr. Quratulain Zaidi runs a family-friendly psychology practice. A particular area of interest for her is tech addiction. Can also help with problems such as anxiety, stress/ burnout and sleep issues, as well as more urgent psychological issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and self-harm. Patients are seen at The London Medical Clinic or at On Lan Street, Central.

Soholistic Wellness Centre

Formerly the New Age Shop, Soholistic offers various alternative therapies, including kinesiology, health coaching and hypnotherapy. If you’re into more fringe therapies, it also offers tarot reading, past life regression and chakra therapy. 1/F, 7 Old Bailey St., Central,

Room 201, Dina House, Ruttonjee Centre,


11 Duddell St., Central,

Sports and Spinal

2526-7533, Also has clinics in TST, Repulse Bay and Sha Tin.

Integrative Medicine Institute

One of Hong Kong’s longest-standing integrative wellness practices, IMI offers a huge range of complementary

A physiotherapy clinic with two outlets in Central, Sports and Spinal specialises in back pain and spinal complaints, though it offers treatments for all kinds of physiological issues, from massage to post-op rehabilitation. For children, its sister theraputic centre, SPOT

( offer assessment and early intervention for kids facing developmental or physical challenges. 15/F, Winway Building, 50 Wellington St., Central, 2530-0073,

Stanley Wellness Centre

This friendly integrated wellness clinic in Stanley Village offers a host of treatments, including osteopathy, naturopathy, homeopathy, sports massage, mindfulness and counselling, to name just a few. ​G/F 120 Stanley Main St.,​​Stanley Market, 2372​-​9700​,

UP! Health

This friendly, newish clinic offers chiropractic and myofascial release in a fun, bright and welcoming space that’s a mile away from a stuffy doctor’s office. Room 1102, Wellington Place 2-8 Wellington St., Central, 2110-1674,


This massive online store divides into several categories, including health supplements, groceries, personal care products, household cleaners and babies and kids. On the groceries side, it has an entire section dedicated to specialist diets, whether you’re vegan, paleo, dairy- or gluten-free, or raw.

Lotus Mart

Specialising in natural soaps, personal care product and household cleaners, Lotus Mart is a great place to pick up toiletries and bigger items such as laundry detergent and eco-friendly paints. Also has a kids’ section with eco-friendly disposable nappies and wipes from Seventh Generation. Check out the “Deals” section, which has monthly specials on selected products.


This gourmet online store is an Aladdin’s cave of small-batch artisanal products. There’s a large selection of healthy goods, including energy bars, organic dressings, dips and sauces (some of which are vegan or vegetarian) and other treats. Highlights include the Thai Mekhala brand of sauces, which are vegan and made in Chiang Mai.

One Vegan Shop

For an impressive range of veganfriendly food and lifestyle products, any budding herbivore needs to check out One Vegan Shop. There’s a huge selection of milk alternatives, baking supplies, dairy-free cheese, meat substitutes, snacks and more - a hugely helpful resource for vegans, food allergy sufferers and health fanatics alike. Delivery is free for orders of $300 or more, but there are a few far-flung spots they won’t go to; check the website for details.

Nutri Alley

A new online store catering specifically to people with allergies, Nutri Alley carefully sources each of its products – from snacks, condiments and drinks to day-to-day groceries – and provides a handy key so shoppers know at a glance when an item is suitable for them. The goods are categorized into nut-, dairy-, egg- and caffeine-free, and it’s also noted if they’re kosher or vegan.

CROSSFIT Coastal Fitness

Founded by former Hong Kong rugby star Ed Haynes, Coastal Fitness takes a community-driven approach to health and fitness. The gym’s Energy System Training program aims to equip you with long-term fitness development through mobility drills, running, squatting, kettlebells, Olympic weightlifting and a battery of tests to ensure continued progress. 3/F, Block C, Sea View Estate, 8 Watson Rd., North Point, 2512-2262,

CrossFit 852

One of the largest CrossFit gyms in Hong Kong, this two-storey complex is all about community and high-octane workouts. In addition to CrossFit classes, the skilled coaches offer a diverse range of specialty disciplines, such as power lifting, mobility, gymnastics and more. 1/F, Li Dong Building, 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, 2205-0338,

CrossFit Typhoon

An authentic garage-like box, CrossFit Typhoon is tucked away up in Sai Ying Pun. The narrow but energetic gym leads a butt-kicking WOD that’s full of squats, pull-ups, jumping, pushing, throwing and sprinting. 38-40 Third St., Sai Ying Pun, 2858-8864,

Fitness Academy

A group of CrossFit friends turned business partners are behind this box in Quarry Bay. Fitness Academy champions everyday athletes who want to perform better in various sports, improve their metabolic conditioning, or just get in shape. Shop D, 901-907 King’s Rd., Quarry Bay, 3708-8190,

LRCF Fitness Box

Situated between Mong Kok and Olympic, LRCF is currently Kowloon side’s only box. Its primary focus is on offering one-on-one conditioning programs that address your needs and help to improve your CrossFit technique. 25 Tong Mi Rd., Mong Kok, 2658-6218,

Reebok CrossFit Asphodel

Back in 2010, Reebok Crossfit Asphodel was the very first CrossFit box to open up in Hong Kong. What started as a relatively bare-bones club has evolved into a powerful community of experienced strength training and functional movement specialists. GF, Fook Hing Factory Building, 33 Lee Chung St., Chai Wan, 3568-7719,

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Back Page

I started modelling when I was 14. The attitude to fitness and thinness back then, to be honest, was unhealthy.

[towards sizes] is changing. But in the media - local media in particular - they're still so stuck in this image of “skinny is best.”

They said, "You need to try and figure out a way to lose 10 pounds."

It's upsetting at times. The other day I was doing a yoga photoshoot on the beach, and from certain angles, it could look quite unflattering. There was paparazzi taking photos, and the message that they sent across was a really negative one.

There was no education whatsoever on nutrition, or a balanced diet. My weight was yo-yoing, because I was an adolescent growing. As a girl, I had always been active. I was a triathlete and on the basketball, swim and track teams. I loved music, and loved to dance. So that kept me balanced. But because I was working two to three jobs a day, I had no time for sports. And I wasn't eating properly. I was never comfortable in my own skin, and was trying to fit this picture that clients had of me. I wasn’t being myself. Daybreaker is all about taking back the morning, and dance parties are one way we do this. Dancing doesn't have to be at night and involve alcohol in a nightclub. It’s an uplifting experience, and an outlet that helps people self-express, and just let loose. We couldn’t be happier with our first event. There wasn’t a person there not smiling from ear to ear. I’ve had people come up to me, shocked at how much fun they had, completely sober.

[The photos showed] an angle where you saw unflattering “rolls,” because I’m in an awkward position. When you’re bending over, you're going to have a crease somewhere on your body! So here I am, at the healthiest, strongest, fittest time of my life - and they’re writing a negative article. Hong Kong is a high-stress environment, and people are recognising the need to take care of themselves. I think I would’ve been an athlete if I hadn’t become a model. I’m kind of going back to what I would’ve been, because now I'm a holistic health coach and teaching yoga. If I could give my 14-year-old self advice, I would definitely say “love yourself.” Don't let anyone influence you, and listen to your gut instinct - which always rings true. Rosemary offers yoga classes and private health coaching. Contact info@rosemary-v. com for more info.

In Hong Kong, the fashion industry’s attitude



VANDENBROUCKE Supermodel-turned-wellness warrior Rosemary Vandenbroucke brought Daybreaker, an early morning pop-up disco, to Hong Kong. Having modelled in Hong Kong for two decades, she tells Liv Magazine about how the pressure to be thin still dominates the media.


Photo: Timon Wehrli, Red Dog Studio

Profile for Liv Media Limited

Liv Magazine May 2017  

Liv Magazine May 2017