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WELLNESS Fivelements Habitat launches in Times Square

The new 15,000-square-foot concept brings sacred arts, wellness programmes and award-winning plant-based cuisine to the heart of Hong Kong







JULY 2019 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE




ounded by wellness pioneers Lahra and Chicco Tatriele, Fivelements Habitat is set to open its doors this summer in Causeway Bay. This brand-new "urban sanctuary" concept combines sacred arts, healing, beauty treatments and gourmet plantbased cuisine to instil a profound sense of wellbeing in its guests. With soothing interiors and a lineup of Hong Kong's top wellness facilitators, this 15,000 square-foot space offers programmes such as yoga, movement, martial arts and dance. Guests will also find classes to strengthen the mind and spirit, from meditation and mindfulness to visual arts, tea ceremonies, sound healing and holistic therapies, as well as intuitive healing and energy work. Guests in need of pampering will also find a wellness sanctuary providing natural beauty treatments, as well as access to tailored wellness coaching programmes. Once you’ve nourished your soul in a wellness session, nourish your body at Sakti Elixir Bar, a 55-seat casual dining venue with a Delistyle counter for healthy plant-based eats. Doors to the Fivelements Habitat in Causeway Bay open on July 12, with two more locations to follow in the next 18 months. Contact the Fivelements Habitat team (, 6803-5081) to learn about the exclusive pre-opening membership offers available.






JULY 2019 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE

Count On Me

Could you benefit from an accountability coach?

Talk Therapy

A mental health podcast from Mind HK

Under The Sea

Getting scuba-certified in divers’ paradise Koh Tao

HIT RESET Realign your relationship with technology WIN an 18K gold bracelet, VR gaming and a spa treatment on page 18!


At OT&P, your health and convenience is our highest priority. We oer services from dietetics to mental healthcare, ensuring that you are always at your best. Contact us for more information. Book a consultation at

JULY 07 Editor’s Letter



08 Wishlist

20 Be Kind, Rewind

10 It’s a Date

28 Taking Charge

12 Hot Right Now

32 Charity Spotlight

Lovely things we want right now

Events for your diary

New happenings on the wellness scene

14 Fresh Cuts

Dining news that’s good for you

16 Cheat Day

Because #YOLO

18 Reviews

FLYE Dance Fitparty and a facial for your back at Amooma Spa

How to reset your relationship with technology

Accountability coach Beth Wright

A podcast from Mind HK about living with mental health issues


LIV | MORE 34 Recipe

Baked Wasabi Mayo Salmon from South Stream Market

36 Pamper

Our beauty picks for this month

38 Deep Dive

Learning to scuba in Koh Tao 12

42 Travel

Interview with wellness travel expert Vivienne Tang








n celebration of Global Wellness Day on Saturday, June 8, more than 30 wellness influencers and guests of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong gathered at the hotel's Pool House to usher in a new commitment to health and wellbeing. The morning started with a relaxing gong meditation performed by Malbert Lee, who educated guests on the benefits of sound to focus the mind, relax the body and instil a profound sense of peace and wellbeing. Afterwards, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s culinary team laid out a sumptuous spread of healthconscious, sustainable and innovative dishes, a


taste of what wellness-seeking guests can now enjoy during the breakfast buffet at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Grand Cafe. Standout dishes include the coconut yoghurt granola, a raw vegan banana cake sweetened with local Hong Kong honey, and mashed avocado on gluten-free toast, to name just a few. The Liv team was proud to partner up on this event, and to support Grand Hyatt Hong Kong in its mission of introducing more health and sustainability initiatives throughout the property. Thanks to all who attended this awesome morning of wellness!


HIT LIKE At certain points in my life, I have been known to overpost (and overshare!) on Instagram. From happy hour prosecco to latte art to strange dogs I met on the street (no regrets), I loved to curate these 15-second snapshots of my life. When I went to Coachella last year, my phone essentially fused to my palm. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course - to each their own. Sharing your experiences with family and friends who live on the other side of the world is one of the most redeeming qualities that modern technology offers us. But I found the more I used it, the more I’d think about my life’s moments through a filter, rather than just enjoying their realness. That’s not an original thought; I know more people are coming to the same realisation. And that’s why we decided to tackle the idea of readjusting our value relationship with technology. How can we live with tech in a way so that it best serves us? We get into that on p.22 with our cover story on resetting your relationship with tech. Did you know that you have a 95 percent chance of achieving a goal if you’re accountable to somebody for it? Accountability coaching is the latest wellness trend to emerge, read more about it on p.28. Let’s get deep for a second - 20m below sea level, to be exact. Thailand’s Koh Tao is one of the world’s premier spots to learn how to scuba dive, read up on how to get open water certified on p.38. These days, I try to be more mindful around my social media use. I don’t have Facebook on my phone, I upload to Instagram once in a blue moon. I actually had a week without a SIM card recently, and it was so liberating to not be connected to anyone between WiFi sources. I’m no Luddite, and I’d never want to sacrifice the trappings of tech...but consciously uncoupling from it has been a surprisingly nice reset for my life that I recommend trying sometime. Don’t @ me.


MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS Zoe Belhomme gets technical, exploring how to adapt our technology use for healthier living on p.20. In need of a healthy escape? Kate Springer talks to wellness travel expert Vivienne Tang for her favourite Asia retreats on p.42. Aoife McGillion explains the importance of being accountable, speaking with accountability coach Beth Wright on p.28. Kate Farr gives her swan song FitFam, with hot tips for a recycled toy programme and a novel about infertility on p.46. Sally Victoria Benson geeks out over Macao Science Center and its family-friendly partnership with Mandarin Oriental on p.44. Our photographer for this month’s cover shoot, Toronto-born Paul S. has shot campaigns for Nike Hong Kong, Tom Ford and Dior, to name just a few.



Photographer: Paul Sunga Model: Natalie Soderstrom

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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN EDITOR CARLA THOMAS WRITER ZOE BELHOMME SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN EDITORIAL ASSISTANT KELSEY TANGEL CONTRIBUTORS KATE FARR, KATE SPRINGER, KELSEY TANGEL, SALLY VICTORIA BENSON, AOIFE MCGILLION PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2019 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.


Retail Therapy


Here's what we're crushing on this month



Protect your hair from sun, salt and pool water with our current fav. Part leave-in conditioner, part ultra-light styling cream, this hair milk controls frizz, nourishes dry locks and tames flyaway strands. Oh and it smells divine! $310 from John Masters Organics.

From the beach to the bar, these preppy “Hapa” shorts look smart, but are made with a fast-drying material that can take you from a date to drinks to an impromptu dip, meaning you’ll never be caught without your swimmers again. $900 from


Vegan footwear brand VEJA uses materials like corn waste, wild rubber and recycled plastic bottles to produce an ethical alternative to leather sneakers without sacrificing on style. Starting from $680, available at Caelum Greene.



Don’t be fooled by the navy fabric and tan accents; TUMI’s Recycled Capsule collection is all green, upcycled from post-industrial and consumer waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. $4,390 at TUMI stores.

Retail Therapy


Good old IKEA has just launched this cute carafe with a lid that doubles as a drinking glass. The wide neck makes it easy to clean - perfect for making fruit infusions. $59.90 from IKEA.


Heavenly scents meet modern art with this scented candle, designed in collaboration with contemporary Chinese sculptor, Qu Guangci. $700 from Cha Ling.


These silicone storage bags from Stasher are self-sealing, air-tight, and best of all, non-plastic - so you can finally part ways with your antique Ziploc bags. Starts at $190, available at Caelum Greene.


This ingenious Japanese-inspired food carrier comes with separate compartments to keep fresh fruit from sogging up your sandwich. $615 from Alessi. 9



ARCH TO THE BEAT Hong Kong had its fair share of festivals of late, but this one’s dedicated to holistic wellness. The ARCH Wellness Festival will have you delving deep with like-minded, new-age enthusiasts through meditation, yoga, fitness, dance, healing practices, panel discussions and workshops. Three different themes - Mind Breaker, Super Human and Super Natural - set the scene each day,

working your mind and body out in tandem. The whole event is free to attend, just register via Eventbrite beforehand. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 129pm. Central Harbourfront,

AUG 10


Get artsy at the Design and Art Summit, a handicraft market showcasing HK-based artists and designers. Make a day of it by browsing unique pieces up for grabs, chatting with local artists, or just laying back and soaking up the creative vibes. Expect music performances from local acts, with food stalls serving up bites if you’re peckish. From 10am-6pm; free to attend. Central Harbourfront Event Space.



JUL 18-21


After its debut last summer, refurbished police station Tai Kwun has put together a fantastic summer programme of cultural offerings. The Day I Fell Into A Book injects new life into literary classics, blending storytelling in English with sound, lighting and projections. Held at the JC Cube, this three-dimensional sound and theatre experience creates an immersive environment to soak in the fun of storytelling, perfect for little ones and grown readers alike. Performances at 3pm and 7pm on July 18 & 19; 11am, 2:15pm and 4:30pm on July 20 & 21. Tickets $200 for standard, $140 for concessionary tickets. 10 Hollywood Rd., Central, 3559-2600,

JUL 17-23



The inaugural FWD Mellow Yellow Music Festival at Central Harbourfront is a full roster of laid-back musical acts ranging from folk to jazz - perfect for the whole family. Kick back with a drink and some tasty grub, or check out the market area. Entry is free, so this day out won’t break the bank either. From 3-9pm. Central Harbourfront, for more information see

More than a million people attended last year’s Hong Kong Book Fair, hosted by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council, and this year is set to be just as popular. This trade fair and exhibition attracts an international crowd from the literary and publishing worlds, but is also suitable for your garden-variety bookworm. Join seminars with local Hong Kong authors expanding on this year’s theme of “Romance Literature,” or pick up new and preloved books that you might not find elsewhere in HK. Open from 10am. Tickets are $25 per adult and $10 for children; Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 11

Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene


Sustainable luxury activewear store, Caelum Greene, has upgraded from its Hollywood Road address with the opening of a flagship store at The Landmark. Known for stocking eco-friendly, quality and functional fashion and wellness products, the brand has garnered a loyal following of wellness and sustainability-conscious customers. Caelum Greene is significantly expanding its ranges to include more men’s athleisure as well as eco-friendly lifestyle products and accessories. New brands include London-based activewear, Vaara, two maternity brands, glomamaco and Boobdesign, and edgy, ecofriendly active lifestyle brand Daquini. Shop 304–305, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 55302524,


If you were secretly addicted to Pokemon Go, this app will be right up your street. District is a Hong Kong-founded fitness app that gamifies the exploration of your urban environment, and keeps you on the move to boot! The app mixes augmented reality and location-based technology including GPS and Bluetooth beacons to guide users to checkpoints to collect points and rewards. Expect timed fitness challenges, quizzes about your location and hidden objects to locate. The District app is now available to download in Hong Kong and will be available in other Asia Pacific markets in the very near future.


Cool Stuff


We’re increasingly looking to technology and IoT systems to make our cities smarter and more sustainable - and tech might just provide us with a solution to our food packaging waste problem! Revolv is a new circular reusable container programme that aims to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used by the F&B industry. After successful pilots in Bali and here in Sai Ying Pun, the tech startup is rolling out its affordable reusable packaging at selected restaurants and communities all over town, and if it goes well, it could mean we never have to throw away a coffee cup or plastic lunch container ever again. Partner restaurants will package takeout orders in Revolv’s reusable packaging, and once they’ve finished their meal, customers can drop them off at selected locations to be collected, cleaned and reused. If you want to check out Revolv’s products in action, stop by the Impossible Foods and Invisible Kitchen zero-waste food truck at Taikoo Place before July 12 and give it a go.


Rollerskating is enjoying a renaissance in Hong Kong, and we’re loving this fitness throwback! Madame Quad Emporium is Hong Kong’s first shop specialising in skating, selling a wide range of quad skates, protective gear and other lifestyle products. Self-described as a “safe space,” this welcoming little nook is run by two members of Hong Kong Roller Derby who are passionate about introducing the world of rollerskating to the public. Apart from gear, the girls also offer beginner skate lessons, roller derby fitness classes and DIY skate workshops. Open 11am-7pm every day except Wednesday. 2C, Po Foo Bldg., 1-5 Foo Ming St., Causeway Bay, 3612-0491,



FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you

TASTE THE RAINBOW With a new light and colourful summer menu, ubiquituous coffee chain Pret is packing serious colour and superfoods into their meals, making use of seasonal seafood as well as veggie and vegan ingredients. The Scottish roasted salmon and smashed beets ($66) comes with broccolini, peas, quinoa and beetroot sesame hummus, while the avocado vegan box ($62) has roasted sweet potato and pomegranate seeds. Sarnies include a sustainably sourced blue swimmer crab and avocado ($27) on soft malted brown bread, while the coronation falafel outshines the traditional chicken variety on taste and calories. We particularly love the blue goodness bowl ($32) which comes with a healthy dose of spirulina, greek yoghurt, blueberries and roasted coconut flakes. Available at selected Prets around the city.

HAU YOU DOIN’ NOC Coffee Co. is on a roll lately, opening its seventh shopfront location this time in trendy Tin Hau. This latest branch is an impressive 1,700-square-foot modern space tucked away on Mercury Street. The coffee specialists have spared nothing, installing natural wood elements and floor-to-ceiling windows that accentuate the natural light. From the store’s L-shaped coffee bar, NOC serves up its own houseroasted No.18 and No.34 coffee, as well as a seasonal selection of single origin pourovers. If you’re feeling peckish, try one of their brunch items, including scrambled crab toast or loaded potato waffles. G/F, 23 Mercury St., Tin Hau, 3619-7500, 14


GOING UP Star Street

THAI ONE ON Opening this month at The Pulse in Repulse Bay is Sip Song, a Thai restaurant inspired by the beach culture of the Southern Thai coast and the food of Bangkok night markets. Yes, it’s trendy, but Maximal Concept’s latest isn’t meant to be fancy - it’s somewhere that makes you want to kick back with a cocktail or coconut, grazing on food with some pals as you slowly unwind. From the BBQ pork neck with sweet and spicy chili jam and roti pancakes to the Thai-style scotch eggs and whole steamed mullet, dishes are big on flavour and perfect for sharing. It’s also family-friendly - they’ve designed a children’s play area, with games like giant jenga to keep even big kids entertained while you sip your coconut rum.

From the brand new MANA! Cafe to smoothie/coffee specialists Blend & Grind, this quiet nook between buzzing Wan Chai and Admiralty is fast becoming a favourite for healthy bites.

Cold Soup Gazpacho, borscht, vichyssoise... the humble chilled soup is our current lunch of choice over the sweltering summer months. Call it a savoury smoothie and start a new health fad!

Shop 114-115, The Pulse, 28 Beach Rd., Repulse Bay,

Umbrella Etiquette Opening your wet brolly at someone else’s eye level minus ten points.

Full Moon Parties

TRUCKING GOOD We have a soft spot for caterers Invisible Kitchen because of their green and ethical approach to food. If you haven’t tried their menu before, and you’re around Tai Koo, be sure to check out their food truck, in collaboration with Impossible Foods. From Monday to Friday until July 12, pick up plant-based buddha bowls, subs, snacks and desserts, all healthy, inexpensive and super delicious. Each buddha bowl or sub is priced at $50 and includes a $5 donation to Feeding Hong Kong or Lantau Buffalo. Available until 12 July. Monday to Friday, 11:30am-2:30pm at Taikoo Place.

Last month’s Shek O beach party fail has people referring to the fiasco as Hong Kong’s very own Fyre Festival.




Because life’s too short to always order the salad

A COZY CORNER If you’ve ever been to Shane Osborne’s Michelin-spangled restaurant, Arcane, you’ll know that fresh, quality ingredients prepared simply but with love are the key to its enduring popularity. The same philosophy shines through in Cornerstone, Osborne’s new, more relaxed all-day dining concept that’s just opened in SoHo. With minimal faffing from the expert chefs, the natural flavours of each ingredient are allowed to shine through. For instance, there’s a humble tomato and buffalo mozzarella made with oxheart tomatoes, burrata and oakleaf, or a beautifully simple chicken with crunchy brocollini and shaved parmesan. There’s plenty for vegetarians, and many dishes can be made vegan upon request. We also love their waste-saving approach to water; for $18 a head, diners can avail of their doublefiltered water, available in still or sparkling. G/F, 49 Hollywood Rd., Central.


Perfect Skin101



iv readers and skincare enthusiasts alike were delighted to attend Perfect Skin 101, an informative and insightful talk by Karen Aleksich of Environ, a cutting-edge, results-driven skincare brand from South Africa. Guests were guided through the science of Vitamin A, the cornerstone of Environ's products, and how it is scientifically proven to improve your skin's condition. Karen also educated guests on how to use other ingredients, such as glycolic acid, AHAs, BHAs and Vitamin C, for an effective, science-backed skincare regimen. Karen also offered a primer on effective suncare, educating guests on the benefits of physical and chemical sun protection, and the science behind SPF.

Every attendee was gifted a goodie bag filled with Environ samples, and even had the opportunity to shop the range with an exclusive 20% off products on the night. Special thanks to Shaka Rolls for the delicious grazing table of Hawaiian-inspired rice rolls, and to Aussie drinks company Capi for the cucumberinfused sparkling water that our guests enjoyed. We look forward to welcoming you at our next event!


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


Stardust Bacial at Amooma Spa The Buzz : Sweat and sunscreen can wreak havoc

on our skin in the summer - and not just on our face! That’s why Amooma Spa has come up with a 75-minute “bacial” (yes, that’s a facial for your back) to get the skin on your back on track before your next junk trip. The Treatment: Tucked away down a blink-and-

you’ll-miss-it alleyway off Queen’s Road East, Amooma is a tiny yet beautiful day spa housed in a traditional “tong lau” shopfront, complete with a Zen-style open-air courtyard leading to the treatment rooms. The “bacial” starts with a cleansing and sea salt scrub, followed by a steam and extraction. The skin on your back is not as sensitive as your face so it’s not at all painful and actually quite pleasant. Then there’s a detoxifying back massage, and to finish, a self-heating algae and marine clay back masque and scalp massage. The Verdict : You get the best of both worlds with this heavenly treatment: supreme pampering and a skin-calming, results-driven treatment in an area that doesn’t often get any love. Let’s face it, how effectively are we cleaning those hard-to-reach areas in the shower? Our skin felt clean, dry and blemish-free for days afterwards, making this an ideal treatment for anyone who suffers from bacne, or whose back could do with a little TLC. Price: $1,280 for 75 minutes. G/F 14 Sik On St., Wan Chai, 2111-3535, 18


FLYE Dance FitParty The Buzz: Blending dance styles from around the world

with a workout designed to burn up to 900 calories, FLYE Dance FitParty is the combined efforts of lawyerby-day Eliza and competitive ballroom dancer Upekha. Only a few months old, this fresh-on-the-scene class has already attracted a loyal fanbase who stan for the mix of fun choreography, high-intensity training, and irresistible dance tracks. The Class: Held at Minh Club in Sheung Wan, the class is divided into four parts; 30 minutes of rhythmic cardio (dance routines), 10 minutes of HIIT, five minutes of leg toning, and a 10-minute Bollywood dance-off. This week’s theme is Diva Nation, and a live DJ spins tracks from badass female artists we love (Beyonce, anyone?) After learning choreo for a half hour, we’re all sweating as we move into some high-intensity Tabata, aiming to get our heart rate at 180bmp for optimal fat burn. Finally, Upekha teaches us a simple Bollywood routine. After a few run-throughs, we’re divided into two groups, and square off in a friendly group dance-off. The Verdict: If you’ve ever danced like no one’s

watching, you’re guaranteed to love this. Not only is our heart pumping by the end of the 55-minute class, we’ve also learned a few new moves that we can’t wait to bust out on our next night out. From the femaleforward playlist to the infectiously upbeat instructors, this one’s for the girls and we’re here for it. Price: $150 Class venues alternate, subscribe to the FLYE newsletter for info on upcoming classes.

Sponsored Feature

Go with the We speak to Flora Chan, founder of Flo Jewellery, about what inspired her to launch her wellness-inspired jewellery brand. Tell us how you came to start Flo Jewellery. I started the brand in December 2015. Before that I was in people development industry and always love seeing people grow. I saw that a lot of people were limited by their own beliefs and they were not happy - in their relationships, with their lives in general. As a child, I used to love arts and make jewellery for my friends. I then came up with an idea to create jewellery that are not just beautiful accessories, but also would bring meaning and positivity to people. I want to create an impactful brand that inspires people to see the infinite possibilities in everything, empowers people to make positive changes in their lives, and enlightens people to raise consciousness. Flo Jewellery is a meeting point of my passions, experiences and life mission. How do you get the idea for your designs? I have always been interested in ancient wisdom and symbolism. The Flower of Life and Sacred Geometry collections are inspired by powerful talismans found in ancient cultures and the patterns bring harmony and peace. Inspired by my engineering background and love of geometry and arts, my jewellery designs are minimal yet elegant; the designs are representation of divine mathematical formula that appears in beautiful creations by mother nature. For the Tree of Life collection - it’s a reminder for us city people to be one with Mother Nature, believe in what she can bring to our heart and soul - love and inner peace.


What are some of the most popular pieces in your collection? The Chakras collection. Chakras are our energy centres that are associated with our body parts and emotions. If we endeavour to work on our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, we can promote with ease the flow of energy through our chakras. For example the solar plexus [chakra] relates to self-confidence and willpower, while the heart [chakra] relates to relationships. Wearing the chakra symbols reminds people to consciously change their mindset and energy to bring balance in their life. A lot of yogis love this collection as yoga is one way to strength chakras. The personal bonding I have built with customers through chakra reading service is something I didn’t think about when I started my business, but I simply love guiding my customers to select the piece of jewellery that defines important moments in their life journey.

Sustainability is an key part of your business. Tell us more about your jewellers. We only use sustainable factories to produce our jewellery. I personally travel out to meet the suppliers to get a deeper understanding of how their businesses are run, ensuring they are compliant with the highest environmental and ethical standards. I think that a lot of people are tired of fast fashion jewellery so for me, jewellery made ethnically with integrity is the way to go. Our prices are accessible starting from under HK$500 for high quality 18K gold plated silver jewellery. Energy is important to me, and we only work with artisans who can put a lot of love and good energy into the pieces. Ultimately what I want to do with the brand is bring love and light to people.



GIVEAWAYS Visit for a chance to win!

WIN: an 18K gold bracelet from Kajal Naina Invite a little more harmony into your life with this gorgeous aum bracelet from jewellery designer Kajal Naina. Sporting an aum is said to have myriad spiritual benefits for the wearer, from creating positive vibrations to improving concentration and willpower. And even if you’re not sold on that side of things, the solid 18K gold design with ruby and pearls is elegant enough to wear with just about anything, from athleisure to evening wear. We have one Serenity Aum bracelet up for grabs, valued at $3,525.

WIN: a Stardust Bacial from Amooma Skin problems don’t just crop up on our face; our back can also suffer from painful acne, excess oil and annoying blemishes. Whether your bacne is getting you down or you just fancy a relaxing spa treat, Amooma’s Stardust Bacial (that’s a facial for your back, obvs) will sort you out, with a cleanse, scrub, steam extraction, relaxing massage and mud masque, all in aid of sorting out the often-neglected skin on your back. The 75-minute treatment is worth $1,280 and we have one to give away. Read our review on p.18 to learn more.

WIN: VR gaming for you and three friends at Zero Latency Looking for a way to beat the summer heat? Get inside and try out the cutting-edge world of virtual reality at Zero Latency’s massive, warehouse-scale gaming facility. Free-roam virtual reality lets players and their friends explore virtual worlds like they do in real life. Players are immersed inside a game, where your body is the controller. From galaxy space missions to fending off a zombie invasion, there are plenty of options to keep everyone happy (and cool!) for an afternoon. Tickets are valued at $350 each, and we have a set of four up for grabs to one lucky winner.

Enter at before July 28 to win!


Learn From The Best

All About You is one of the only wellness centres in Hong Kong where you receive therapy as well as learn how to become a therapist! If you are interested in becoming a practitioner and want a one-stop shop to learn different modalities, visit All About You! Upcoming Practitioner Training: • Integrated Clinical Hypnotherapy, Level 1: 6th - 7th July, 2019 • Neuro-Linguistic Programming - Practitioner Training: 30th August - 6th September, 2019 • Reiki Healing, Level 1: 21st - 22nd September, 2019 • Fast Track Technique, Level 1: November 2nd, 2019


To book a session or training, please visit: | call: 29920828 | Whatsapp: 54358119


The Luxury Of Spirituality

Inspired by beauty in all forms - people, nature, cities, culture, the stars and the sky - Kajal Naina tells a story with each diamond, gemstone and pearl. A fresh take on wellness and spirituality, the Aum collection presents a range of necklaces and bracelets adorned with precious gemstones and mother of pearls in unique designs and combinations. The meaningful curves of the Aum symbol take a fine luxurious form that will leave you looking and feeling beautiful, inspired and protected while wearing it., Facebook: @kajalnainajewelry, Instagram: @kajalnaina


Rollerskating Hits Causeway Bay

Madame Quad Skate Emporium is here to help you get your skate on! We offer a variety of services and products to introduce you to the amazing world of rollerskating. Anything from beginner skate lessons, to roller derby fitness classes, to DIY skate workshops. Our shop is a colourful, safe space located in the heart of Causeway Bay. We sell the best quality skates, protective gear and lifestyle products, all recommended by seasoned skaters. If you prefer a custom look, we will turn your favourite shoes into skates. For more information check out our website:


Cover Story


RELATIONSHIP WITH TECH Love it or hate it, we’re living in a digital age. So how can we better use our technology so that it serves us - rather than siphons away - what precious little downtime we have? By Carla Thomas and Zoe Belhomme


Cover Story


hen’s the last time you looked at your phone today? Chances are good that it wasn’t too long ago, and if that’s the case you’re not alone. A 2017 study from Nielsen Media Index showed that Hongkongers spend an average of 4.7 hours per day on their smartphones, up from 4.2 hours just the year before. We all know we spend too much time immersed in tech - it’s impossible to ignore when you’re on the MTR or walking around Central and virtually everyone around you has their eyes glued to their screens. But what should we do about it? In this day and age it’s hardly practical to bin your phone or laptop; workplaces often require devices to function within a team. In fact, internet access is increasingly being viewed as a fundamental human right - who are we to reject it outright just because we can’t stop scrolling Instagram? The simplest answer? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Harnessing the power of technology to live a healthier, more mindful existence is easier than ever these days, with a whole universe of apps, wearables, and common sense strategies that we can employ to enhance rather than strip away our quality of life. Sure, an all-out digital detox is a great short-term measure that can feel highly liberating. But a total reset of our relationship with tech could have longer-lasting results that we’re more likely to benefit from.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT Apps in the wellness space abound these days, covering everything from meditation to mental health therapy. Headspace and Calm are just two examples of popular apps that teach meditation and breathing exercises, while the NHS-endorsed My Possible Self gets users to monitor and track their feelings, taking

District note of triggers or patterns and accessing “self-help” therapy modules as and when needed. Hong Kong mental health charity MIND HK is also developing its own app, Help Me, which would act as a virtual counsellor capable of providing intuitive support to users through AI and Natural Language Processing. Moving outside our psyche, there’s also a whole spectrum of fitness, nutrition and holistic health apps to help keep users physically fit and healthy. District is an app recently launched in Hong Kong that turns cities into virtual playgrounds through the magic of augmented reality. Runners navigate through the app to reach checkpoints in order to win points and rewards, as well as other fun tasks like timed challenges. Ben Pember, District’s CEO and Co-founder, is a firm believer that technology should be used to catalyze healthier lifestyles. “Essentially, in the end it’s up to each of us to decide how we use technology,” Pember says. “Something like District, which encourages healthy living and urban adventure via a digital platform, is precisely where we hope the future of technology is headed.”


Cover Story




Belun ring


Technology is so integrated into our daily lives that wearing it is becoming more commonplace. Mobile manufacturers like Apple and Samsung offer their own smartwatches, while activity trackers like FitBit are constantly evolving to offer users more monitoring functions for a wider variety of activities. The FitBit Iconic, for example, monitors standard metrics like calorie burn, heart rate and sleep quality, but can also track your swims, runs, and even weight lifting. Garmin’s Vivomove smartwatch line goes beyond the physical, measuring emotional indicators like all-day stress tracking with a relaxation timer. Beyond smartwatches and activity trackers, there’s a whole range of other innovative wearables to keep us well. The Upright Go posture trainer is a discreet, lightweight sensor you wear on your spine to alert you when you’re slouching; two modes allow you to either monitor your slouching or correct your posture when you do, all through an app on your smartphone. Even more mindblowing is FOCI, a focus-enhancing wearable that monitors your concentration. The device clips onto your clothing, and captures your cognitives states, actually visualizing them as coloured orbs in a detailed analysis of your mental activity for the day right on your smartphone. Wearables are also diversifying more than ever as a result of the healthtech industry, which is booming thanks to aging populations worldwide. Hong Kong-based company Belun designed a wearable ring that can actually diagnose sleep apnea. With around 80 percent of sleep apnea sufferers unaware that they have the condition, the Belun ring is a huge departure from clunky, uncomfortable diagnostic machines that can only be used in clinical settings. Tin Luk,

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a scientist at Belun, believes embracing tech will be key in preventative medicine. “With the use of technologies, people can better manage their daily habits and health to reduce the risk of having chronic diseases.”

MIND OVER MEGABYTES At the end of the day, as much as tech can integrate into our lives and serve us, we still need to be mindful of its presence and how dependent we are on it. Paradoxically, technology provides the perfect platform to help reset our digital reliance, with functions and apps that promote mindful usage. Apps like Moment and Offtime ask users to set their own specific app-usage limits, implementing alerts or barriers to rein in overuse. Flipd takes it a step further and actually blocks certain phone apps once users have exceeded predetermined targets, even if you try to reset the device, making it the ultimate commitment app. And of course, who needs an app when we could just tailor our behaviour the good oldfashioned way and set boundaries for ourselves IRL. Lucie Bliss, a finance project manager, decided to ditch technology altogether on Sundays so she could be more present with her family - no phones, no TV, no Kindles and definitely no social media. “Even though I practice mindfulness through yoga on a regular basis, I found I wasn’t able to enjoy the present with my family,” says Bliss. “I was either posting carefully curated images or checking out what everyone else is up to via my Instagram or Facebook feeds. I decided to set myself some boundaries so Sunday became a ‘no tech’ day for me and my husband.” Some other strategies to modify your behaviour around tech include setting established “no-tech”




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windows throughout your day - read a book on your commute home, for example, instead of scrolling Facebook. Many experts recommend leaving your smartphone to charge overnight outside of your bedroom; it removes the temptation to check it first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, and you won’t be subjected to the nasty blue wavelength light that inhibits melatonin production - essential for proper sleep. Last but not least - get to the root of how you’re feeling. “If you’re trying to reduce your dependence on technology, start by asking yourself what your current relationship is with technology,” says Joy Li, a counselling kinesiologist. “What issues is it causing and how would you like to be instead? By examining the points of tension and understanding what you would like to achieve, you can come up with the right strategies to achieve your goals.” Next time you feel the urge to check your phone, consider where you are and what you want to be doing. Would you rather be watching videos on Instagram, or giving yourself time for breakfast? Would you rather be checking your emails, or enjoying a catch-up with your friends? Put into perspective, it can make it easier to dismantle that learned habit of robotically unlocking our phones and removing ourselves from the present.

BACK TO BASICS Despite its drawbacks, we’re fortunate to be living in such a tech-forward world; it’s made our lives easier, richer and connected us in ways never before imagined. It’s easy to overdo it when it comes to technology, but ultimately how we co-exist with the gadgets and codes around us is down to our own behaviours and attitudes. So next time you’re


feeling overstimulated by all the technology in your life competing for your attention - just pause, take a breath, and hit reset.


How to Detox for BETTER BRAIN HEALTH JUNE 20, 201 9


ast month, Liv Magazine readers attended a free health seminar to learn all about detoxing. Led by naturopathic doctor Ken Chu, guests learned all about the myths and science behind detoxing, and gained some practical tips on how to safely and effectivey reduce their chemical load. Each attendee was also given a complimentary scalp analysis, a live blood cell analysis, a voucher for a free body scan, a goodie bag filled with healthy treats, and a mini portion of a macro-balanced meal plan from Emporio Antico. Thanks to everyone who came to this fascinating talk; see you at LifeHub again for our next instalment!




TO ONE Being accountable to someone doesn’t sound like much fun, but it’s actually been proven to massively boost your chances of achieving goals, whether that’s writing a book or running a marathon. Accountability coaches, as scary as they sound, are here to hold you to task. By Aoife McGillion.




hen it comes to setting goals for fitness and nutrition, the incentives are obvious: fat loss, increased energy and strength, looking better, sleeping better, living longer... the list goes on. But when it comes to actually achieving those goals, why are the incentives, and even a plan of action, not always enough? According to research, there are two factors that effectively help people reach their goals; one is personal incentives, things like losing weight or hitting a fitness target. And the other, surprisingly, is accountability.

The bit people often struggle with is the followthrough. The goal is there, but life gets in the way.

A study on accountability, conducted by the American Society of Training and Development, found that you have a 65 percent chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone else that you will achieve it. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with someone, your chances of success increase by up to 95 percent. Beth Wright is an accountability coach. She supports clients to meet their deadlines and achieve their personal fitness goals. “Being an accountability coach is about being the person that my clients trust enough to commit to working alongside to achieve

their goals,” she says. “It’s not just about checking in with my clients on a daily basis or reminding them of their goals, it’s also about encouraging and motivating people throughout their journey and being there to support and adjust the program when things crop up which threaten to derail our plan.” Already a qualified personal trainer, Wright shifted her primary focus to nutrition and providing bespoke plans and daily support after noticing where her clients were often falling short. “I don’t tend to see people struggling to make appointments with a personal trainer or deciding that they want to lose weight or achieve a certain body shape,” she says. “The bit people often struggle with is the follow-through. The goal is there but life gets in the way, and it suddenly becomes much harder to attain.” She has daily check-ins with her clients, writing fitness and nutrition programs tailored to each individual and adjusted to accommodate lifestyles, work and family commitments. “A lot of my clients are extremely successful career women, entrepreneurs, CEOs and mothers who often put themselves last,” she says. “I work with my clients to help them to prioritise their own



health and fitness which allows them to be even more successful in other areas of their lives, both business and personal.” Wright focuses not just on transformations, but on long-term success and ensuring her clients understand what good health means and how to sustain their new, healthier lifestyles. “My goal is to give my clients all the information I wish I had 20 years ago. I want them to enjoy life to the fullest whilst being the very best version of themselves.” So how does it work? Accountability coaching is often a matter of personal style, but Wright’s accountability process has three steps: building a plan around a goal, accountability and feedback, and finally, making the end result sustainable.

1. IDENTIFYING A GOAL AND BUILDING A PLAN Understanding what goals you have is useful, but even more important is finding out why someone wants to achieve this goal. “I want to know the ‘why’ and the main driver for wanting to achieve a certain goal. Once I know this, I can work with my clients to do anything - whether it be to help them lose weight, look fabulous for a special day, prep for a competition or create a strong and athletic body without limiting their enjoyment of food.” At this stage, Wright will advise on whether other experts are required for their goals. “Most of my clients already have personal trainers, and I like to work in conjunction with them or at least make sure they know what I am doing from a nutrition perspective so we can get the best results for our client.”



2. ACCOUNTABILITY AND FEEDBACK One of the main features that sets an accountability coach apart is the constant feedback loop with the client. On a daily basis, Wright wants to know about her client’s energy levels, how they’re sleeping, how their digestion is working and if they’re experiencing any mood changes. “Often people struggle with what we call ‘dietary adaptation’ and identifying those signs as the program is underway, helps for readjustment and making sure that the plan is not adding additional stress to a client’s already-busy life.” For a busy person, outsourcing the responsibility to check in with yourself and keep you on track, guiding you through difficult choices, like what to order at a client dinner, or how to maintain your weight on a holiday, is quite liberating for many. It frees up headspace and, most critically, time.

3. SUSTAINABILITY The final part of Wright’s program is sustaining the results, once the goal has been reached. “The program is not over once you reach your goal. We then focus on maintenance and rebuilding the metabolism - we call this process a “reverse diet,” which involves bringing clients back to their maintenance calories, in order to sustain their

new weight and enjoy life to the fullest.” One thing Wright sees again and again is the impact of yo-yo dieting on women’s bodies. Over time, it lowers an individual’s metabolism which means it gets harder and harder to lose weight. “I work with my clients to rebuild metabolisms that have been affected by years of dieting. It isn’t an easy or quick process, but it’s worth it.”




A podcast that smashes the stigma around



ongkonger Aaron StadlinRobbie experienced his first panic attack in 2012. It was a transformative experience, as he began the arduous process of figuring out just what had happened to him and how he was supposed to manage it. Now a 32-year-old father living in Hong Kong, Stadlin-Robbie is documenting his journey to recovery. He’s paired up with local mental health charity Mind HK to produce Talking Mental, a podcast that seeks to break the stigma we face when speaking about mental health issues. By Carla Thomas

Q Why is mental health awareness important to you? When I first encountered my issues with panic attacks and anxiety, I had no idea what was going on, but I knew something was wrong. That was when it was the scariest for me, knowing something was wrong but having no idea what it was. It’s not as evident as a physical injury, there was nothing tangible there for me to see. However, after I received good consultation from proper experts, it gave me such a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Education is key! Q Tell us a bit about Talking Mental, the podcast you’re producing. The structure of the podcast is that it’s a guestbased podcast, with each guest an expert in his/ her field that I felt was correlated with my mental 32


health issues [e.g. psychologist, nutritionist]. What I hope Talking Mental can be something for people to get educated about what mental health is and to take away information from these experts. My job is to make sure that the content is delivered in a relatable way by being myself. Q Explain what the podcast you host aims to do, and why you think it’s necessary today. I firmly believe that some of the biggest problems surrounding mental health begin from the stigma around it - the stigma around actually wanting to learn about mental health, or around talking with friends and family or even around going to a psychiatrist. To me, stigma is avoiding talking about something because it makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable - and talking about awkward topics is my forte. I’ll talk about pretty much anything. Nothing is taboo. Q What are some of the biggest challenges for people suffering from mental health in HK? The lack of proper education around the topic as well as people not knowing how to talk about it. I’ve spoken to many sufferers here in Hong Kong and unfortunately, a recurring comment is that they can’t talk to family or friends. Mental health issues are seen by society as a negative trait in a family. And rather than losing face and tackling the problem, it often gets swept under the rug. Combine this with a lack of education, and it becomes very difficult for people to find the right help. Q What advice would you give someone who’s currently struggling with mental health issues? If you have friends and family who won’t judge you, talk to them, reach out to your inner circle of friends who you trust the most. Use them as a support system in your search to find the best help. When you suffer through mental health issues, it’s a lonely, lonely place and it’s exhausting. Having a friend who can catch up for 10 minutes to release the pressure valve is key! Just as important though, look for help; everyone on this planet should see a psychologist whether you suffer or not. Lots of people go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour to maintain their physical health. Go and give your mind some maintenance as well.

Lots of people go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour to maintain their physical health. Go and give your mind some maintenance as well.

Q What’s the best way to support someone who confides in you about their own mental health issues? Listen, listen, listen! For any sufferer, knowing you aren’t alone when you feel the most alone is the most powerful thing. Also by listening, you can get a real gauge on where they are and you can find the right help accordingly. Lastly, get educated! Mind HK do amazing work helping the public with mental health training, I highly recommend checking them out. Q Are attitudes towards mental health changing in Hong Kong, or same as it ever was? It’s true that in Hong Kong, we are behind the eight-ball compared to the rest of the world. But I’ve seen and worked with some amazing people and I can confidently say that the message of breaking the stigma here is moving in the right direction. Lots of work to be done, but I’m juiced for what Hong Kong will look like five years down the track. Episodes of Talking Mental can be found at For more information on supporting Mind HK, visit 33



Baked Salmon With Wasabi Mayo By South Stream Market This blend of zesty citrus and fiery wasabi puts some extra kick in your next salmon dinner. Pair with a salad and glass of white for sheer perfection.



30 minutes

TIP: If refrigerated, let salmon come to room temperature before baking.




• 250g x 2 salmon fillets, skin on

1. Set your oven to 150°C. 2. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and cover with olive oil and lemon juice. 3. Place in an oven-proof dish. 4. Bake for 25 minutes. 5. While baking, mix Kewpie mayonnaise with wasabi, lime juice and sesame oil. 6. Remove salmon and spoon over the wasabi mayo.

• salt & pepper • 1 tsp lemon juice • 1 tsp olive oil • ¾ cup Kewpie mayonnaise • 1 tbsp wasabi paste • 1 tsp sesame oil • 1 tbsp lime juice


THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle

HAIR COMES THE SUN We all know how CHOOSE SPF HAIR CARE There are sun protection products on important it is to slather the market that contain sunscreens, on the sunscreen once so for prolonged exposure these are summer starts to show its invaluable. L’Oréal and Davines both sunny, ultraviolet face. But do sun ranges. They also help protect the hair from chlorine and sea salt. did you know that your hair needs just as much SKIP THE POOL PARTY protection as your skin? Chlorine needs to be removed from We spoke with Ian Gough, the hair quickly as it can turn lighter hair green. This is very hard to remove, creative director at W52 especially from blonde hair. Hair & Nails, to get the lowdown on looking after LA FRIZZ-ISTANCE your locks during hot and Summer heat and humidity are very hard on the hair; you can use humid summer months. smoothing treatments such as Brazilian blowouts and Kerasilk, which smooth and de-frizz the hair for up to three months, but remember to use


sulphate-free shampoos to prolong the results.


Hair masks are a great way to help replenish the hair structure and can be applied and left on at home. Just remember that it’s best to apply conditioner after a mask to smooth and soften the hair.


Just as a final precaution, we advise you to use a deep cleanser shampoo to take away any build-up that may make your hair more damaged especially over the summer months. Davines do a gentle but deep-cleansing product called SOLU.





TO BEAUTY… AND BEYOND! Looking to overhaul your summer skincare routine but not sure where to start? Harvey Nichols’ beauty floor is getting in on the clean skincare trend with the launch of Beyond Beauty, a specially curated section dedicated to stocking more than 100 niche brands that are either certified organic, or created by dermatologists, so you can ensure that what you’re putting on your face is clean, green and highly effective. Highlights include Royal Fern, a botanical brand from Germany that uses Royal Fern complex to stimulate cell turnover and reduce hyperpigmentation. Looking for something that’s vegan, free from parabens, mineral oils and silicons? Try villiv, a Swiss cosmeceutical brand that’s as strong on its all-natural message as it is on results. Check out the collection at Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 3695-3388,


LIP SERVICE Did you know that 1 billion lipstick cases are thrown away each year? This shocking statistic is what inspired La Bouche Rouge to create a new, sustainable way of shopping for lippie. It has designed a chic leather and metal lipstick case-forlife that holds refills you can swap in and out with the click of a magnet. These lovely lippies are made with all-natural ingredients and come in a range of hues and textures - we particularly love the bold reds and the lightly tinted “baumes” that you can wear day in, day out. Cases $1,000; lipsticks $350. Available at Lane Crawford IFC, 8 Finance St., Central, 2118-3388.

St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower ($195 for 200ml) “So damn easy to apply, no streaks and you can build it up over time.”


Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs ($300 for 4.4 oz.) “A quick, easy-to-use solution when your legs are looking a little pastier than you’d like!”

AILEEN CHAN, PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER Charlotte Tilbury, Hollywood Contour Wand ($320 for 12ml) 'I'm a huge fan of all CT bronzer and contouring products. They actually do make you look like a Hollywood star! This one’s creamy, light, easy-toblend and glamorous.” 37






H Looking to get scuba-certified on your next holiday? Carla Thomas checks out the Thai island of Koh Tao, famous for its dive schools and thriving coral ecosystems.

ave you ever noticed how hypnotic fish tanks are? There’s a reason for that. Studies have found that watching aquariums actually helps to reduce stress and anxiety, lowering physiological responses in our bodies like blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. This produces an overall feeling of calm and relaxation, something you might have experienced on your last trip to an aquarium. Now imagine that on a much, much, much bigger (dare we say, oceanic?) scale, and maybe you’ll understand what all the fuss is about scuba diving. Scuba diving has come leaps and bounds since its earliest origins back in the late 19th century; it’s never been easier, safer or cheaper to explore the world below sea level. And lucky for us Hongkongers, one of the best places in the world to learn is just a hop, skip and ferry ride away on the balmy Thai island of Koh Tao. 39


Sitting pretty in the Gulf of Thailand, the topmost in an island chain of tourism darlings like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Koh Tao is widely regarded as one of the best destinations in the world to get scuba certified. An abundance of coral and other marine life, paired with shallow, warm waters that never deviate more than a degree or two make it both comfortable and interesting to explore, while a lack of strong current makes it safer for inexperienced divers. Because of such ideal conditions, dive schools here proliferate, and it’s led to Koh Tao being one of the cheapest places in the world to learn how to scuba dive - around 11,000 baht or HK$2,788 for a beginner’s course. Don’t assume the low price is proportional to quality, though; the industry is highly regulated, and it’s common for dive instructors here to have decades of experience. Total beginners will be looking for an Open Water 20 certification, which teaches you over four days how to dive to a depth of 20 metres in open water (ocean, sea, lake). Different dive schools offer different certification agencies - for example, PADI, RAID or SSI - but they’re all internationally recognised, and one is just as safe as the next. 40

DIVING FOR DUMMIES Once you’ve decided on a centre, it’s time to hit the classroom! Not as exciting as the high seas, but all diving courses start here so you can learn about things like physics, physiology and the underwater environment, before you find yourself quite literally in over your head. You’ll spend about the first and second day, about five hours in total, learning about scuba diving before you even get your feet wet. Then you’ll spend anywhere from four to six hours in a confined water setting (i.e. a swimming pool, for anyone not versed in scuba slang) learning very basic skills like breathing with a regulator in your mouth and checking your air supply. You’ll also spend considerable time on rescue procedures, as well as how to set up and dismantle your diving kit.

SMALL FISH IN A BIG POND Once you’ve mastered the pool, it’s time to hit the open water and practice what you’ve learned. On the third and fourth day, you’ll go on four dives at different locations offshore of Koh Tao that are easily reached by boat.


WHERE TO GO IN KOH TAO OCEAN SOUND DIVE + YOGA Both yoga and scuba diving rely on breathwork, so it makes sense to offer the two activities alongside each other at this chilled-out, yoga-focused dive school on the southern side of the island. Located in Chalok Bay, Ocean Sound teaches the PADI Open Water course to divers, as well as a regular lineup of yoga classes, offering 90-minute classes twice daily in everything from vinyasa to restorative. ROCTOPUS Located closer to the main area of Sairee Beach, this dive shop revels in a more rock’n’roll image, driven by the staff’s intense passion for respecting and protecting the ocean. Roctopus offers the RAID Open Water 20 certification, as well as a range of courses and internships in their eco-diving programme, which teaches students about marine conservation on the reefs around Koh Tao. Perfect for ecowarriors who want to use their underwater skills for good.

This is the fun part, and while it’s overwhelming at first, the strangeness of being underwater quickly wears off so you can start to enjoy the show. Slow, calm breathing helps relax you as well as controlling your buoyancy. The whole thing feels quite meditative, with rhythmic breathwork followed by a reliable release of bubbles. The swathes of coral around Koh Tao are rife with fish and other aquatic critters, like stingrays, moray eels and even the occasional whale shark, so there’s plenty to take in.

SCUBEZ-VOUS AVEC MOI? Beyond the proven stress reduction on our bodies, there’s a number of other useful health benefits that scuba diving has to offer. The natural pressure of water provides a light, low-impact resistance for muscles and joints. Diving has also been shown to improve blood circulation and concentration capacity, not to mention the positive effects of being outdoors in the sunshine. In short, getting open water certified is well worth taking the plunge for your next wellness adventure. Direct flights between Hong Kong to Koh Samui are available with Cathay Pacific or Hong Kong Airlines, starting at around $3,200. From Koh Samui, take a 1.5 hour ferry to Koh Tao.



TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer


s we head into the dog days of summer, tensions and temperatures are running high! I’m longing to press reset with a healthy escape, so I caught up with Vivienne Tang to learn more about the evolving world of wellness travel. Tang, who runs wellness and luxury travel platform Destination Deluxe (, tells us about her entrepreneurial journey, the rise of health-conscious travel, and three of her favourite energising retreats.

How’d you get into wellness travel? Vivienne Tang: My wellness journey started a long time ago – I actually experienced my first reiki session when I was 16. But I didn’t get into wellness travel until much later, when I co-owned a healing centre, The Sanctuary, and worked with various energy healers who travel the world to offer their services at spas and retreats. At the time, I was also a fashion editor so I fused my interests and launched one of the first wellness online magazines in Hong Kong, The Source Asia. Later, I joined AsiaSpa magazine, where I fell even more in love with wellness travel. When did Destination Deluxe come about? VT: In 2016, I rebranded my existing online magazine and established Destination Deluxe, which focuses on wellness travel in addition to spa, beauty, holistic 42

therapies and sustainable living. On the site, you can book wellness holidays, get inspired by unique itineraries, or explore our hand-picked selection of luxury hotels and retreats. Wellness travel has taken off in the past few years. Why do you think that is? VT: With increasingly stressful lives and growing social media engagement, which often comes with added pressure and time spent away from our loved ones, it is inevitable that we need to recharge. That’s why solo wellness retreats, in particular, have become so popular, as you really get time to focus on yourself - no partner, no kids, no boss, no emails - at least for a few days. On that note... which retreats in Asia are your favourite? VT: It’s very difficult to choose just three retreats! Here are a few of my favourites:


KAMALAYA One of Asia’s leading wellness retreats, Kamalaya is built around a Buddhist monk cave on Koh Samui in Thailand. This beautiful energy permeates the entire property. One of my favourite programmes is “Sleep Enhancement,” where you’ll learn how to cultivate better sleeping habits. The food here is phenomenal too, making it easy to stick to a healthy diet.

FIVELEMENTS RETREAT BALI A beautiful retreat set in the jungle outside Ubud, Fivelements Retreat Bali works directly with Balinese healers who use ancient techniques, such as chakra balancing and prana healing. I personally love the signature fire ceremony, a cleansing ritual where you can rid yourself of negative thoughts or unwanted energy, and make room for new things in your life.

COMO SHAMBHALA RETREAT One of the most stunning properties I’ve ever seen, COMO Shambhala Retreat is famous for its natural surroundings, which includes a set of spring pools above the Ayung River in Bali. The water is said to have healing qualities, so don’t miss a chance to bathe in the natural rock pools. In addition to tailored retreats and award-winning cuisine, guests can recharge in nature and soak up this magical energy. wellness

Kate Springer is an Asia travel expert who contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. Follow her travels on Instagram @katespringer. Send travel news to




News and deals from our sister SAR

COMING UP ROSES Escape the summer heat with a spa treatment that will have you feeling all rosy - all rose quartzy, that is. The Spa at Wynn Palace is Macau’s largest spa, with 22 ultra-chic and comfortable treatment rooms including eight private suites. They have great facial and massage options, but their Rose Crystal massage is my personal pick. A deeply relaxing Swedish massage relieves muscle tension, while rose quartz gemstones are used to open the heart chakra and help promote restfulness. These powerful stones are placed all over the body and on your palms throughout the massage, harnessing those good vibrations. Wynn Palace’s own signature aromatherapy oils cap off this sensational self-care session. MOP$1500 plus 10 percent tax. Av. da Nave Desportiva, Cotai, +853-8889-3228,

BEAN SCENE One of Macau’s most loved coffee houses, Blooom really is worth the trip next time you’re jonesing for some java. Not only do they roast their own beans locally, they also offer MOP$2 off to anyone who brings their own reusable cup. Passionate about spreading the coffee gospel, they’re also a training centre for Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Coffee Diploma courses, where anyone can learn the ins and outs of the barista trade. I’m a big fan of their monthly coffee subscriptions, beans delivered right to your door! They also sell lots of different brands of artisan chocolate such as Mirzam, Feitoria Cacao and Chocolate Tree. Dairy-free milk options are also available, and it’s best to grab and go as there’s limited seating. R. De Horta E Costa No. 5, +853-6665-0584,

FUN WITH SCIENCE Macau’s only non-gaming hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, has come up with an inventive way to enjoy a getaway with the kids. The 1001 Inventions Exhibition Project package includes accommodation in a Deluxe City View Room, as well as entrance to one of Macau’s best attractions, the Macao Science Center. The great thing about the Science Center is children can actually touch and try out the exhibits, getting some hands-on fun with exhibits that cover topics like robotics, space or DNA. You can easily spend a day exploring this 5,800-square-meter building, shaped like a rocket no less, before heading back to the hotel to play by the pool. Package also includes dinner for the family at the Lobby Lounge, and access to the 3D Dome Show at the Planetarium. Macao Science Center is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm except on Thursdays. Priced at $2,455, for two adults and one child, valid until Oct 31, 2019. For reservations, visit mandarinoriental. com/macau.

Sally Victoria Benson grew up in Macau and is the publisher of, the city's leading lifestyle platform. She's passionate about sharing Macau's hidden healthy side and everything happening in the city. 44



with Kate Farr

This month marks my last FitFam column, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing each month since Liv’s 2015 launch. It’s been exciting to watch Hong Kong’s continued wellness evolution, and to share so many new opportunities for families to achieve balance, improve their health and live more active lives. Thank you to all who have read this column over the past four years… now here’s to a happy, healthy summer holiday!


PASS THE BATON Launching in September 2019, Happy Baton encourages families to embrace a “less-ismore” philosophy at playtime with the city’s first online toy library. Offering a pick-up service for gently-used, unwanted toys, the team sanitise and categorise each item before offering them up for rental and delivery at a low fee. Users are encouraged to continue to rent rather than buy with “Happy Badges” - virtual tokens that can be collected and exchanged for donations to Plastic-Free Seas. Toy collection is available now, so if you’re looking to cull some clutter this summer, here’s your ideal opportunity. Costs vary. For more information visit or

A Hong Kong-Australian “lactive wear” brand aimed at nursing mums who work out, glomamaco aims to normalise breastfeeding with its smart new sports bra collection. Designed by one of its fitness instructor co-founders to withstand even the most rigorous of workouts, glomamaco’s breastfeeding-friendly sports bras are made from soft, stretchy, yet highly supportive fabric, with one-handed nursing clips and drop-cups allowing easy feeding access. Available in sizes from small to large (AU 8-14), these moisture-wicking, wire-free bras are made for comfort, whether you’re at circle time or at the gym. Costs: AU$50 (HK$270) Buy online at

MOTHER LOVE Penned by a Hong Kong mum under a pseudonym, “My Roller Coaster Ride to Motherhood” is a new novel that sensitively tackles the thorny topics of infertility and pregnancy loss. Drawing on the author’s personal experiences, this moving story sheds light on the battle that many women face to become parents, and how maintaining hope and optimism in the face of great pain can help in the healing process. Costs: US$14.99 (HK$117) paperback; US$4.99 (HK$39) Kindle edition Available via

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


ALL ABOUT POSTPARTUM RECOVERY There is often so much focus on the new baby, the new mother sometimes doesn’t get the attention she deserves. Giving birth is a truly wonderful experience, which also takes times to recover from. Whilst there probably will never be a mircale product, there are certainly products available to make your postpartum recovery so much more comfortable. First days only produces helpful products from mothers.

100% NATURAL NIPPLE BALM Totally vegan friendly and made from only the finest natural ingredients, this nipple balm is safe enough to be left on whilst breastfeeding. It is so gentle that it can be used on your new baby too. Lips, elbow or any other dry or sore areas will love the intensive nourishing properties of this balm.

INSTANT PERINEAL COLD PACKS These cold packs are full-sized maternity pad with an integrates cooling least 20 minutes, which is the generally recognised maximum recommended time for cold therapy use. The cold packs are gentler than applying ice directly and eliminate the risk of freezer burn or excessive numbing. They do not require freezing prior to use so you can use them anytime, anywhere.

LARGE 650ML PER BOTTLE Regularly washing Perineal area helps to keep it clean and reduce the risk of infection. This bottle is large enough to provide at least 90 second flow and is angled with a long wand to reach exactly the right places easily. Made from medical grade materials, this is a long lasting item that doesn’t need to be thrown away. Exclusively available at Baby Basics Hong Kong, 7th Floor, Lansing House, Central.


And love your skin again!

Our fun and friendly boutique media company is seeking a Director of Partnerships to join our team. We offer a relaxed and supportive working environment with flexible working hours. THE DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS WILL: • Work with the Publisher to set sales targets and a create a roadmap to achieve these goals • Generate sales across all Liv Media’s offerings: print, digital, social, email marketing, content creation, creative services and events • Offer training and mentorship to the sales team, and help them achieve their sales targets

PT, yoga teacher or wellness practitioner? Grow your client base with us

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE: • Will have a proven track record in media sales (print and digital). Management experience a plus. • Will be a creative thinker and able to help clients achieve their marketing goals using Liv Media’s assets • Will bring with him/her an excellent network of contacts • Possess an HKID • Cantonese an advantage, but not essential INTERESTED? Send your CV and covering letter to s arah@ .

Mobile Disco “The Oldest Swinger in Town,” DJ Fred Fung has been providing quality music entertainment in Hong Kong since the 1970s. From Motown to rock n’ roll, right up to the latest hits, his chart-toppers through the ages will delight everyone. Whether you want background music for a cocktail reception or to fill up a dance floor, DJ Fred will get the party started.

BIO BEAUTY SPA State-of-the-art Laser, HIFU, Trilipo Treatments for skin tightening & refining, Facials & Massages 201 Lyndhurst Building, 29 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

T: 2489 0222

Clients include: The Masonic Lodge | Hong Kong Tatler The Peter Bennett Foundation | KCC | USRC WhatsApp 9834-4320 for rates and availability.

W A N N A LI V ?

Pick up a copy of Hong Kong’s wellness magazine at 200+ locations citywide CAUSEWAY BAY/ HAPPY VALLEY 10/10 Space Asia Yogies Bodywize Classified Coffee Academics Commons Workshop Dr. Reborn Eric Kayser Feather & Bone Food for Life Goji Studio HKFC Jaspas Medi Spa Organic Plus Resiglow Sci-Fit SharedSpace Strokes Utime Yoga Aloha CENTRAL/MIDLEVELS Chicken on the Run Spicebox Organics Elephant Grounds Organic Plus Blend & Grind Eric Kayser 12NOON Aberdeen Street Alive Wellness Altria Properties Annerley AsterSpring Athletic Juice Bar Austy Lee Baby Basics Balance Health Barre 2 Barre Be-Juiced Bear’s Lab Byrne Hickman & Partners Caffe Habitu Central Health City Osteopathy Classified CranioSacral Therapy HK

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WAN CHAI 12NOON Bite Unite Classified Eric Kayser Food for Life Honbo Iyara Le Pain Quotidien nood food OVO Cafe Ozone Fitness Santi Space ISLAND EAST Classified Tai Hang Healthy Chicken Food for Life nood food Organic Plus Ryze Trampoline Park TREATS Three Keys Craft Space KOWLOON/NEW TERRITORIES Barre Formula Chuan Spa Classified Sai Kung Dr. Reborn Feather & Bone Clearwater Bay Goij Studios Just Green Little Cove Espresso Optimum Performance Studio United Services Recreation Club

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When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer

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Liv Magazine July 2019  

Liv Magazine July 2019