G N V! AL TI LI CI RA OF SPE EB S RY EL R A C EA RS Y E 5 IV
FITN E SS NU T RIT ION WELLBEING T RAV EL ECO S PA
OCTOBER 2020 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE
MEET THE WINNERS
Find out who came out on top of the 2020 Wellness & Lifestyle Awards! WIN: an air purifier and a free-flow happy hour package on page 13!
OCTOBER 05 Editorâ€™s Letter
LIV | MORE
LIV | NEWS
Lovely things we want right now
08 Hot Right Now
New happenings on the wellness scene
10 Fresh Cuts
Where to try temple cuisine in Hong Kong
Sichuan lotus root
Bakuchiol, clean beauty's trendiest active ingredient
Explore Hong Kong's scuba diving scene
Green life hacks for the eco-conscious parent
An infrared spa treatment at W Hotel, and a new pregnancy tracking app
LIV | STORIES 14 Wellness & Lifestyle Awards Your favourite wellness and lifestyle brands in 2020
26 Movers & Shakers
Ones to watch in our local wellness industry
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS
A FALL ORDER
nd just like that, summer is done! Bring on the fall season, with all its autumnal goodness like sweater weather, pumpkin special editions, and bags on bags of snackable Halloween candy. There’s also something else to look forward to this year that’s entirely new - our first ever Wellness & Lifestyle Awards! We scoured the city for our fave brands earlier this year, from gyms and yoga studios to homeware brands and holistic wellness centres, and asked you, our esteemed readers, to cast your votes for the best in the biz. Along with our crack team of judges and a math whiz sibling to help calculate along the way, we’ve finally announced the winners of the 2020 WLA Awards! See who ranked most favourably on p.14. Did you know that most retinol uses animal byproducts like fish liver oil or egg yolks? If you’re trying to be more ethical about your skincare routine, consider the case for bakuchiol, a totally plant-based alternative to retinol. We explain how it works and which beauty brands are using it on p.32. Diets come and go, but eating like a monk will never go out of style. This month we also explored the ancient culinary tradition of temple food, the cuisine that Buddhist monks and nuns in South Korea pioneered. Find out why it’s catching on with non-monastic foodies on p.10. Congratulations to all our WLA winners, and thanks to everyone who voted!
Zoe Belhomme shares her best planet-friendly parenting tips on p.36.
Kate Springer takes the plunge into Hong Kong’s scuba diving scene on p.34.
ON THE COVER
Photographer: Nathan King (nathankingphotography.com) Location: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
We gathered together some of the inspiring individuals behind our featured brands from the Wellness & Lifestyle Awards for a cover shoot on the pool deck of the Four Seasons. After a month of rain we were blessed with half an hour of glorious weather and managed to land this spectacular snap of our awardees! In this image, you'll find:
Becky Yeung B.Y.O ACTIVE, Silver Winner, p.20 Flora Chan, Flo Jewellery, Platinum Winner, p.20 Guillaume Giroud, Central and Stanley Wellness, Platinum Winner, p.18
Sheetal Avlani and Anita Patel, ZeroYet100, Platinum Winner, p.18 Stephanie Huen, Hush Home, Gold Winner and Readers’ Choice Winner, p.23
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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS JO ROBINSON SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI DIGITAL & PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER TERRY HU EDITOR CARLA THOMAS SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS KATE SPRINGER, ZOE BELHOMME PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2020 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.
Here's what we're crushing on this month
How cute is this DIY dessert from French pastry bar Le Dessert?! Their pavlova-at-home kit comes with freshly whipped chantilly cream, raspberry coulis, fresh fruit and the allimportant white meringue centerpiece. $550 from Le Dessert, Landmark Atrium
Made with women of all shapes and sizes in mind, weâ€™re in love with these form-flattering and super soft minimalist bodysuits from local label Annibody. $360 from annibody.com
PUT THE BOOT IN
We are digging the boots-with-shorts trend, and these clompy kicks from ASH are giving us all the biker feels. $3,290 from ASH 6
The Aman hospitality brand has just launched SVA, a line of health supplements inspired by the in-house treatments at their beautiful, wellness-inspired resorts. Each one is tailored to support a range of health concerns, including digestion, sleep and immunity. Prices vary. Shop at shop.aman.com
SPILL THE TEA
BLEND OF DAYS
The ultimate kitchen tool, this hand blender can also be used to chop, whisk, even spiralize veggies into three different styles of low-carb noodles. $798 from Philips
BOOM OF ONE’S OWN
Channel some serious Fresh Prince vibes with this 80’s-style boombox, updated with some handy modern features like rechargeable lithium battery and Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone. $2,648 at MoMa Design Store
Looking for a non-lame, non-alcoholic wine? Fortnum’s sparkling rose tea gives you that bottle-poppin’ celebratory feel without the booze, with notes of sherbet, wild strawberries, elderflower and oolong. $268 from Fortnum & Mason
No shame, we love a bit of luncheon meat. With Omnipork’s latest meat-free interpretation, we can indulge in our favourite cha chaan teng treat in a way that’s kinder to our health, animals, and the planet. $48 per pack from Green Common, selected Marketplace by Jason and HKTVMall 7
HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene
MIND YOUR SELF
Feeling ever so slightly frazzled by the year that will live in infamy? Check out Mindful Studio, a cozy yoga and meditation studio in Central that opened just last month. It’s the passion project of Simon Hui, a former civil engineerturned-Buddhist monk. Simon eventually disrobed from monastic life in 2014 and moved back to Hong Kong, but his love of meditation and the pursuit of inner peace remained, leading him to launch his own studio. The space is warm and inviting, with plenty of new props like meditation cushions, bolsters - even crystal singing bowls! With a max capacity of around four students per session, this boutique studio caters to private and small group classes, and offers a range of classes, including flow and hatha yoga, walking meditation, and sound baths. A firsttime trial pack costs $200 for two group classes, with additional credit packs available for private and group sessions. Check out Simon’s website for more information on classes and pricing. mindfulstudiohk.com
MASK ME ANYTHING
If you’re anything like us, there’s always one name on your holiday shopping list that’s impossible to shop for. Bespoke gifting service The Masked Gifter seeks to tackle that problem for you, providing a helpful list of gift ideas that you might not have thought up on your own. After a five-step process that collects info about the recipient, you’ll receive a list of gift options that you can tailor according to budget and taste. Their staff handle everything after that, from braving the holiday crowds to expert gift-wrapping, with step-by-step updates along the way so you’re still involved. Go on, give yourself the gift of a little outside help this festive season! Contact email@example.com for more information. 8
GOING UP CRUEL TEA FREE
Serving you eco-friendly vibes and conscious collaborations, Po House is a new sustainable lifestyle platform that we’re pretty pumped about! The brand’s first venture opened last month with the opening of Mother Pearl, a plant-based boba tea and snack stall on Lyndhurst Terrace that opened to rave reviews. The first of its kind in Hong Kong, the shop serves up mouthwatering vegan concoctions packed with all-natural ingredients that are made entirely in house from scratch, with recipes designed by none other than local vegan culinary icon, Peggy Chan. Not to rest on their sustainably grown laurels, two more Po House projects are also in the works for this year: Ode House, which will specialise in sustainable fashion and preloved garments, and Nourish, a collection of clean skincare and beauty lines sourced both locally and around the world. Watch this space! motherpearl.world
Travel Bubbles It’s far from a reality just yet, but we’ll take this small glimmer of hope as a sign that life just might get back to normal(ish) in the nottoo-distant future?
Sexual Wellness Is sexual health the final frontier of wellbeing? Goop and those Womanizer tram ads - seem to suggest so!
Our Lost Summer We just passed an entire holiday season with no beaches, pools, travel or gatherings. :(
The Christmas Countdown
SPLASHING OUT New cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong have slowed to a trickle, and businesses across the board are being finally given the green light to open! Ocean Park is re-opening its doors with a series of sweet deals for Honng Kong residents, including discounted rates, green staycations and outdoor activities held right on the park grounds imagine aquarium-side yoga, fountain park SUP, or hiking under cable cars. The marine-themed amusement park also announced they’re opening onsite campgrounds, so guests are able to glamp the night away under the stars, if that’s their thing. Admission tickets currently cost just $320 until the end of the year, or grab an unlimited entry pass (valid until March 31, 2021) for just $498. oceanpark.com.hk/en
Less than 100 days to go until the first-ever socially-distanced festive season. Um, yay?
GOING DOWN 9
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT:
TEMPLE FOOD IN HONG KONG By Carla Thomas
riginating in the Buddhist temples of South Korea, temple food is the type of cuisine eaten by monks and nuns. Typically absent of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and popular aromatics like garlic and onion, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it might be bland - but you’d also be mistaken. Temple cuisine actually builds surprisingly bold flavours through natural, time-intensive cooking techniques such as fermentation, pickling, or dehydration, as well as mindfully sourced and prepared ingredients. The five “pungent spices” (onion, garlic, leeks, green onions, spring onions) are never used, as they are believed by Buddhist monks to prevent a mind from achieving calmness. Dishes are instead flavoured with simple seasonings that vibe better with the enlightened mind - think turmeric, sichuan pepper, or shiso. What’s all the hype about eating al templo? Temple cuisine is basically edible mindfulness, extolling not just the virtues of a vegan and MSG-free diet, but also the careful nurturing and selection of crops and slow, considerate preparation of dishes. Nothing instant or processed is ever used, and if possible, waste is to be avoided. Expect many small-portioned dishes that are delicately plated with welllayered flavour complexes. So not only do you enjoy organic, additive-free food that’s easy on the environment, you benefit from the entire culinary experience, cultivating an attitude of gratitude over where your food came from and how it was prepared! Although the most authentic temple food can be found in South Korean monasteries, here are a few places to try it right here in Hong Kong.
SOIL TO SOUL Newly opened in K11 Musea over the summer, Soil to Soul is a contemporary vegetarian restaurant inspired by ancient Korean temple food. Devoutly skipping the five forbidden spices, as well as meat or fish, you’ll find inventive twists on temple fare, such as mushroom terrine, perilla seed with taro soup, and rehydrated apple salad. The lunch set starts at $218, and the dinner tasting menu will run you around $598$788. An a la carte menu is also available. 704, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2389-9588, soiltosoulhk.com
FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you STARBUCKS LAUNCHES PLANT-BASED MENU OPTIONS
CHI LIN VEGETARIAN This Chinese Buddhist restaurant is like an oasis in the middle of Kowloon, located in the verdant and tranquil Nan Lian Gardens. This classical Chinese garden is home to a Buddhist nunnery, as well as countless courtyards, lotus ponds, and a waterfall situated right next to the restaurant. The menu is low-oil, low-salt, low-sugar, uses no MSG, and is virtually vegan, although some of the less traditional dishes on the menu do contain dairy (pizza or waffles, for example). Dishes range from $80-$288, and the set lunch costs $150 per person. A minimum spend of $120 per diner is asked. 60 Fung Tak Rd., Diamond Hill, Kowloon, 3658-9388
TRICYCLE ONLINE COURSES Still practising social distancing? Learn the art of Korean Buddhist cooking from the comfort of your very own kitchen, with a Korean Buddhist Cooking course offered by leading Buddhist magazine, Tricycle. This online course available on the mag’s e-learning platform covers four self-paced units, each with its own recipes like soy braised lotus root, vegan savoury pancakes, and how to make your own fermented sauces. You’ll also find paired meditations for each lesson that deepen your connection to Buddhist teachings, while developing a healthier relationship to food, cooking, and eating. Costs $149.
Vegan-friendly coffees and dishes are coming to a Starbucks near you! The new plant-based menu launch includes coffee concoctions like the Almond Milk Nutty Latte and Soymilk Sesame Latte, as well as meat-free bites like the Maize Impossible Sandwich, a glutenfree brekky sammie filled with egg, cheese, pumpkin and the Impossible Sausage patty, making its Asian debut. starbucks.com.hk
MATCHALI OPENS SECOND BRANCH IN PACIFIC PLACE Mad about matcha? Make sure to check out HK’s first homegrown matcha brand, Matchali, at their second opening in Pacific Place. The cafe is serving up the same yummy matcha-based drinks that caused a stir at its first location in The Landmark, as well as an autumnal menu - think Apple Hojicha Cold Brew or Matcha Chai Latte. You can also add some fun new extras into your bev, like collagen or CBD drops, for a naturally calming effect. Shop 200D, L2, Pacific Place, Admiralty, 2844-8988, matchali.com
TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends
Pregnancy Tracker App Vital Dome Experience at bliss spa in W Hotel The Buzz: Infrared saunas are said to help heal the body through detoxification and relaxation in a way that’s similar to how regular saunas work, but at a lower temperature more comfortable to withstand. Developed in France, Vital Dome uses a similar concept, applying infrared technology via black carbon panels in order to achieve a desired result, whether that’s improving circulation, recovery from injury, or just relieving a bit of stress. The Treatment: The Vital Dome machine looks intimidating at first, like a sensory deprivation tank. As we undress and slip in, however, it’s comfortable and disperses a uniform heat that’s actually quite pleasant. The technician drapes a towel over it to create a seal around our decolletage, leaving our face and neck blissfully outside of the Vital Dome’s heat zone. After an earlier consultation, our technician programmes the machine to the Slimming & Toning plan, a 45-minute session that sustains an internal temperature of 61 degrees. Verdict: We love saunas, but they can also be stifling to the point of discomfort. Using the Vital Dome, we’re able to hang out comfortably for a full 45 minutes, presumably reaping any bodily benefits from sweating it out for so long. While we can’t say we noticed any total body transformations, some sore muscles from an earlier training session were noticeably soothed, and it felt good to flush out our system uninterrupted for longer than we normally would. Cost: $980 (+10 percent) for 45 minutes; $1,280 (+10 percent) for one hour. whongkong-x.com/en/spa 12
The Buzz: When you find out you’re expecting a baby, the sheer volume of information out there can be overwhelming! Newly launched in the Hong Kong market, the Pregnancy Tracker app is a powerful tool that lets you track every aspect of your pregnancy, find medicallyverified answers to your pregnancy-related questions, and manage your schedule, from your doctor’s checkups to your supplements schedule. It even helps you save money - the Market feature lists exclusive discounts, sales and offers for expecting parents. The App: There are a ton of useful features on this incredibly handy app, which is also jam-packed with insightful content to guide you through what to expect in every week of your pregnancy. We particularly like the “Is it safe?” section, where you can check food and activities that may or may not be recommended for pregnant women. If you’re a data nerd, you’ll love the weight gain graph that will help you see if your weight gain follows recommended guidelines. We especially love the cute fruit feature, which compares your growing baby to various fruits from every week of gestation. And when delivery day comes, there’s even a contraction timer so you know when to grab your hospital bag. Verdict: This is a must-download free app for parents-to-be. It has everything you need to know in one handy place, and it’s reassuring to know that all the information supplied has been verified by an obstetrician. We love it! Download at pregnancytracker.app
GIVEAWAYS Visit liv-magazine.com/giveaways for a chance to win!
WIN: An AG+ Portable Silver Ion Plasma Air Purifier Keep your personal breathing space fresh and healthy with this mini air purifier by Aurabeat, a Hong Kongbased tech company. Perfect for your office, car or home study, this cute air purifier comes with a four-layer filter, including a silver ion layer that effectively destroys bacteria and viruses. We have one filter up for grabs, worth $1,280.
WIN: Free-Flow For Two at Hyatt Centric’s Cruise Restaurant Delicious nibbles and bottomless drinks with a sunset view? Yes please! Cruise is Hyatt Centric’s top-floor restaurant, with an impressive outdoor area overlooking the harbour. They’ve just launched a new 3-6 promotion, which offers free-flow beer, wine, prosecco and signature cocktails, as well as bottomless snacks, from pork baos and rice rolls to spiced fries and matcha crepe cake. It’s a perfect place to watch the sun go down as the weather starts to cool. The package is worth $326 per head, and we have three pairs of tickets up for grabs.
Enter at liv-magazine.com/giveaways before October 28 to win! 13
SIMPLY THE BEST
The results are in from our first ever Wellness & Lifestyle Awards! Chosen by a handpicked panel of experts as well as you, our savvy readers, meet the very best brands working to make Hong Kongâ€™s wellness industry better than ever. 14
BEST HEALTHY LUNCH PLATINUM WINNER: NOOD FOOD Available in more than 20 PURE Fitness and PURE Yoga outlets, nood food is one of the most convenient healthy lunch spots around. Here, you’ll find plenty of healthy fare on offer for all types of dietary restrictions, including vegan, keto, paleo and gluten-free. allnood.com GOLD WINNER: THE BIG THINGS BENTO The Big Things Bento is a series of nutritionally balanced, veg-heavy bento boxes with healthy protein and complex carbs. We love its wide range of sustainably-sourced premium ingredients and delightful presentation. thebigthingskitchen.com
BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE PLATINUM WINNER: SPICEBOX ORGANICS This proudly local food shop with branches in Kennedy Town and Mid-Levels is one of the best spots in town for diet-sensitive shopping essentials, with a wide selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. We also can’t get enough of their extensive spice selection. spiceboxorganics.com GOLD WINNER: THE STORE Health food shouldn’t be a luxury, which is why online shop The Store offers amazing prices on our favourite healthy food brands. We love their selection of quality, nutrition-rich products. Impressively, it offers free same-day delivery too! thestore.com.hk
BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC SPIRIT PLATINUM WINNER: CEDER’S This distilled alternative gin is made with classic gin botanicals from South Africa like juniper and coriander, then blended with pristine Swedish water for a substitute that’s completely alcohol-free and still highly satisfying. All the flavour and fun, and with zero alcohol - count us in for one more round! ceders-alt-gin.com GOLD WINNER: LYRE’S Lyre’s is a premium range of non-alcoholic drinks, crafted to pay homage to the world’s most classic spirits. Using all-natural essences that match the aroma, taste and appearance of the traditional spirit, Lyre’s is an impressive, healthy dupe for the real thing. lyres.com 15
BEST BOUTIQUE GYM PLATINUM WINNER: FLEX STUDIO Established 15 years ago, Flex Studio is one of Hong Kong’s longeststanding boutique gyms. Not only does this sleek studio chain offer a broad repertoire of classes, from barre to yoga, it’s also Hong Kong’s only certified Classical Pilates studio. flexhk.com GOLD WINNER: OZONE FITNESS This boutique gym in the heart of trendy Star Street is all about hands-on help from its experienced staff. Ozone Fitness is also home to Hong Kong’s first and only heated Himalayan salt stone floor, where members can relax and recover after training. ozone.fitness
SILVER WINNER: BUSY BODY FITNESS Located in Sha Tin, BusyBody takes a community approach to fitness, encouraging its members to de-stress and hang out at their facility before and after their workout. Don’t miss their diverse class schedule and greatvalue packages. busybodyhk.com
BEST YOGA STUDIO PLATINUM WINNER: PURE YOGA PURE Yoga sets the bar high when it comes to yoga studios, offering worldclass instructors, top-of-the-line facilities, and an inviting environment that welcomes people of all ages and abilities. With 12 studios covering all corners of Hong Kong, it’s hard to beat PURE’s huge selection of classes available. pure-yoga.com GOLD WINNER: YOGA ROOM Located in the heart of Sheung Wan, The Yoga Room has been serving Hong Kong’s yogis since 2006. With four studios and 100 classes every week, they offer a wide range of yoga and specialty classes to fit any level, interest or need. yogaroomhk.com
BEST NEW GYM PLATINUM WINNER: PURE FITNESS INTERNATIONAL TRADE TOWER The gym everyone can’t seem to stop talking about is the newly opened PURE Fitness International Trade Tower over in Kowloon East. This twostory, 32,800-square-foot space is a cutting-edge fitness playground, boasting the brand’s longest sprint track and largest dumbbell area. pure-fitness.com GOLD WINNER: STRENGTH CULTURE It’s cool to be strong! This well-equipped strongman gym has produced some of the best athletes in Southeast Asia and offers a unique class style that allows you to track your progress and tailor your training. strengthculturehk.com
SILVER WINNER: THE GYM Run by professional athletes, The Gym offers personal training and small group classes. The passionate founders are all about sharing knowledge gained over years in the professional sporting circuit. They’ll take your goals and work with you to create a bespoke system that delivers results. thegymhk.com
BEST SPA PLATINUM WINNER: SENSE OF TOUCH All about the personal touch, this boutique spa has been helping Hong Kong unwind since 2002. With locations in Central, Repulse Bay and Tseung Kwan O, Sense of Touch partners with leading skincare brands such as [comfort zone], USPA and Biodroga to deliver highly personalised facial and spa treatments. senseoftouch.com.hk GOLD WINNERS (TIED): DOLMA WAXING BOUTIQUE Dolma Waxing Boutique is one of Central’s best-known waxing salons in Central. Run by the inimitable Dolma herself, whose legendary speed and efficiency has had her crowned the “Queen of Waxing,” this salon offers a great wax at a fair price. brazilianwaxing.com.hk FLAWLESS A chic luxury urban beauty salon, Flawless specialises in mani-pedis, massage and facials. An exclusive partner of cosmeceutical brand Medik8 in Hong Kong, Flawless is all about getting serious results based on your skincare goals. flawless.hk.com
BEST SKINCARE BRAND PLATINUM WINNER: ZEROYET100 Proudly made in Hong Kong, ZeroYet100 started by developing a wildly popular all-natural deodorant. They expanded into a full skincare line that focuses on natural ingredients in zero-waste packaging, at a price point that allows everyone to overhaul their skincare routine and live more sustainably. zeroyet100.com GOLD WINNER: HARLOW Available exclusively at The Four Seasons Spa, HARLOW aims to get our skincare back to basics, encouraging a more mindful attitude about what we put on our face. With a short, plant-based ingredients list, HARLOW uses only pure, whole ingredients. harlowskinco.com
SILVER WINNER: SIMPLICITE Plant-based, wild-crafted and PETA-accredited, this Australian skincare line contains no artificial ingredients or additional fragrances - just pure plant extracts to nourish the skin. Its unique formulations gently but effectively tackle conditions such as early aging, sun damage, sensitivity, redness, hyper-pigmentation, congestion and acne. simplicitehk.com
BEST HOLISTIC WELLNESS CENTRE PLATINUM WINNER: CENTRAL & STANLEY WELLNESS With clinics both in the heart of Central and on the Southside, Central & Stanley Wellness takes a whole-body approach to wellness, treating the individual rather than the symptoms. With a personal approach to every patient, Central & Stanley Wellnessâ€™s diverse team of experts work together to help patients take control of their health. stanleywellnesscentre.com GOLD WINNER: THE ROUND CLINIC An award-winning, family-oriented wellness centre, The Round Clinic offers a variety of natural health treatments, including osteopathy and physiotherapy, by a team of registered international therapists. The Round Clinic team works across a broad spectrum of disciplines, with a special focus on children and families. theroundclinic.com
BEST OSTEOPATH PLATINUM WINNER: CENTRAL & STANLEY WELLNESS Founder Damien Mouellic is an osteopath with more than 20 years’ experience in the field. With a handpicked team of osteopaths and experts in other allied health fields, Damien works to help patients find the underlying causes of their health issues while promoting optimal wellness. stanleywellnesscentre.com
GOLD WINNER: THE ROUND CLINIC The Round Clinic was founded in 2015 by Osteopath Ines De Beer, one of the first practicing osteopaths in Hong Kong. She provides highly specialised osteopathic services including sports osteopathy, cranial osteopathy, pediatrics and pre-and-post-natal osteopathic treatment. theroundclinic.com
BEST WELLNESS SANCTUARY PLATINUM WINNER: FOUR SEASONS SPA Consistently voted one of Hong Kong’s best spas, The Four Seasons Spa has long been a leader in holistic wellbeing. It was the first mainstream hotel spa to offer alternative treatments such as Full Moon Meditations and sound therapy, carving out a wellness oasis in the heart of Hong Kong. fourseasons.com/hongkong/spa
GOLD WINNER: ASAYA One of last year’s most talked-about wellness openings, Asaya at Rosewood Hong Kong is so much more than a hotel spa. This fully-fledged urban wellness destination goes beyond facials and massages and instead looks at wellbeing as a whole, with renowned resident experts covering areas such as emotional and mental wellbeing, functional movement, TCM and so much more. rosewoodhotels.com/en/hong-kong/wellness/asaya
BEST ACTIVEWEAR PLATINUM WINNER: RISING LOTUS We all love a good set of leggings, and for our money, there’s hardly a better activewear brand out there than Rising Lotus. We love their flattering yet functional leggings, supersoft sweatshirts, and stylish selection of sports bras. Not only are the designs on point, this local athleisure label also uses recycled fabrics to make its garments. risinglotus.com GOLD WINNER: PURE APPAREL PURE Apparel is a community-inspired activewear brand. Designs are created by listening to the needs of PURE teachers, students and customers. All products are created to allow for freedom of movement and expression. pure-apparel.com SILVER WINNER: B.Y.O ACTIVE This performance-driven athleisure was designed with active women in mind. Think functional features like squat-proof leggings, large pockets, flattering seam lines and adjustable sports bras. With classic dark base colours and pastel hues, it’s also the perfect balance between fashion and functionality. byoactive.com
BEST MINDFUL JEWELLERY PLATINUM WINNER: FLO JEWELLERY More than just accessories, Flo Jewellery was founded with a desire to inspire its wearers through ancient symbols and wisdom. Their signature Chakra collection features geometric chakra designs, made with sterling silver or 18K gold. flojewellery.com GOLD WINNER: AUSTY LEE FINE ART JEWELLERY Psychedelic and cutting-edge, Austy Lee produces one-of-a-kind art jewellery that’s bold in colour and design, and made with unmistakable craftsmanship. His fashion-forward pieces use only the finest materials like 18K gold, jade and other precious gemstones. austyleeartjewellery.com SILVER WINNER: GOSIA ORLOWSKA This line of mindful jewellery is purified with crystals and sage before they’re sent out, in order to ensure the best energy for its new owner. Every piece is handmade with love, using ancient design features like evil eyes, chakras, Om symbols and birthstones. gosiaorlowska.com
ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES
TOTAL BODY WELLBEING AT CENTRAL AND STANLEY CLINIC
oted by both judges and Liv Magazine readers as Hong Kong’s Best integrative Wellness Centre, and Hong Kong’s Best Osteopathy Clinic, Central and Stanley Wellness takes a whole-person approach to healthcare. With the aim of transforming the way Hongkongers experience healthcare, Central & Stanley Wellness has a team of seasoned practitioners across a broad range of disciplines.
An Integrated Approach
Rooted in a foundation of functional and integrative medicine, the team works synergistically to treat the source of their patients’ discomfort, rather than merely addressing the symptoms. At Central & Stanley Wellness, the professional team goes beyond your medical history to look at your overall state of fitness, your mental wellbeing, your diet, family history and general lifestyle to better understand what you need from a treatment protocol.
With locations in both Central and Stanley, the practice offers its patients a choice of easily accessible clinics. With a comfortable and nurturing environment, it’s also a place where you can pick up topquality supplements, personally selected by the nutrition team for their efficacy.
Wellness in the Community
The founder, Damien Mouellic, is a seasoned osteopath with decades of experience in his field. He is passionate about community outreach and educating the public on the benefits of osteopathy for all. He is the founder of the Hong Kong Osteopathic Association, and regularly volunteers his time and clinic space to the CIS Free Clinic, a free healthcare clinic for Hong Kong’s underprivileged communities organised by students from Chinese International school.
Central Wellness : 6/F, 15 On Lan St., Central, HK 28660287 | Stanley Wellness: G/F, 120 Stanley Main St., HK 23729700 www.stanleywellnescentre.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
BEST GIFTING PLATINUM WINNER: GIFT SOMETHING Gift Something is the ultimate one-stop shop for any gifting occasion. Whether it’s a birthday bouquet, gift hamper, or a unique experience gift for someone special, choose from a wide variety of tasteful gifts and send it straight to your recipient’s door. giftsomething.com GOLD WINNER: GIVE.GIFT BOUTIQUE Established in 2008, Give.Gift Boutique is one of Hong Kong’s leading gift companies. With hundreds of corporate clients under its belt, it can offer excellent value for money due to the volume of orders it processes. givegift.com.hk
BEST HOME INNOVATION PLATINUM WINNER: RAZE Raze is a material science company that couldn’t have launched its selfsanitising surface spray at a better time. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting, Raze brought to market a spray that offered long-term antimicrobial protection, using nanocatalyst technology to neutralise viruses, bacteria and VOCs for up to three months. nanoraze.com GOLD WINNER: WATERLINKS Waterlinks is the premium online store for water filters, air purifiers and natural cleaning products in Hong Kong. Passionate about quality water, clean air and a better environment, all their products have been measured against international standards. waterlinks.com.hk
BEST NEW WELLNESS APP PLATINUM WINNER: CHAKRABUDDY Keen to learn more about the ancient art of chakras? This bilingual self-care app includes comprehensive information on all the energy centres in the body, as well as a healing guide complete with meditations, diet recommendations, yoga poses, journal prompts and more.
GOLD WINNER: PREGNANCY TRACKER Pregnancy Tracker is an indispensable and powerful tool for expectant mothers, providing a pregnancy calendar as well as clinically approved information to help both mother and baby. Read our review on p.12! pregnancytracker.app
BEST HOME BRAND
YOUR LUCKY STARS Letao from The Healing Kingdom reveals what's in store for us next year when Jupiter - the planet of expansion and opportunity - enters the sign of Aquarius.
ARIES: Expect to see rewards in education and communication this year. This is a great year for learning new skills and short-haul travel.
PLATINUM WINNER: NAKED LAB This bedding line was founded in 2018 when the founder’s infant daughter was suffering from severe eczema and needed quality, hypoallergenic sheets. We love their baby cot sheets and pillowslips, which are hypoallergenic and naturally antibacterial. All Naked Lab products are also Oeko-Tex certified and free from harmful chemicals. nakedlab.me GOLD WINNERS (TIED): HUSH HOME The winner of the Wellness & Lifestyle Awards Readers Choice, Hush Home was created to transform everyone’s well-being through healthy sleep. Developed in California, its perfectlybalanced mattress, pillows, and bedding use up-to-date sleep science to offer deeper, morecomfortablerest. All products are sustainably made from the highest quality materials by the same workshops that supply the world’s leading hotels. hushhome.com OKOOKO Okooko by European Bedding specialises in organic latex mattresses and pillows, FSC-certified bed bases, and bamboo Lyocell sheets to meet all your sleep needs. With sustainability at the core of their business, Okooko is committed to caring for our planet with a fully transparent, ethical supply chain. europeanbedding.hk
TAURUS: There will be a surge in positive energy related to home, family and property. If you are thinking about moving house or redecorating, this is the time! GEMINI: Fun, romance and creative projects come to the fore. This Jupiter transit will bring a lot of good times, so let your hair down and enjoy! CANCER: A great year for health and careers. You will find inspiration in the day-to-day. Your relationship with your colleagues will improve. LEO: This is a period in your life that is very conducive to partnering, commitment and marriage. You will also learn more about yourself through a partner's eyes. VIRGO: A very intuitive time, when you will see many hidden things rise to the surface. You may see benefits in the areas of joint finances, loans, taxes and personal transformation. LIBRA: New education opportunities and long distance journeys are on the horizon. Expect a boost of energy in relation to your personal freedom and legal matters. Be brave and seize opportunities that arise. SCORPIO: It's a great year for career recognition, status and professional achievements. Put your effort into your career and see yourself shine! SAGITTARIUS: This is a time for you to network, challenge yourself in new environments and grow your friendship circle. It's also an opportunity for you to tackle your long-term goals. If you believe it, it will come true! CAPRICORN: This is a more compassionate, empathetic and sensitive period for you. It would be a good time to go on a retreat or begin a meditation practice for heightened intuition. AQUARIUS: This year, you will gain more confidence and recognition, and generally feel more optimistic. PISCES: Monetary problems from the past may clear up during this period, and you may experience a boost in your finances.
6F, 64 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang www.thehealingkingdom.com | +852 9136 0453
HIT RESET We speak to Matt Reid, co-founder of RESET Bioscience, to learn more about their premium CBD formula that’s hitting Hong Kong this month.
Q How did you get into the world of CBD? My wellness journey began when I learned there were no laws requiring wellness products to work. I found it socially irresponsible that it was legal to sell a wellness product without having to prove any efficacy - this is how RESET Bioscience was born. We started RESET with the mission to improve consumers’ lives globally through nutraceutical wellness products that are scientifically proven to be effective. I take Balance daily as part of my foundational wellness ritual. I take it to reduce my stress, reduce my cortisol levels, and to help me sleep more soundly. My father takes Balance daily, to help with pain management. Suffering permanent pain from a car accident at 25, two fake hips and arthritis; he was given the nearly devastating news that he could no longer take ibuprofen due to how it had damaged his lower intestine. Even his osteopath questioned his increased mobility to which my dad responded the only thing he’s done differently is take Balance. Q What is this product useful for, and how should a customer take it? Data indicates CBD has the potential to aid in four principal areas- pain, anxiety, sleep, and inflammation. RESET Balance is a tincture to be taken alone or in beverages, so there's no need to swallow a horse pill. Customers love this water-based liquid form because it can be used as an ingredient. You can add it to all your favorite rituals - juice, protein shake, coffee, tea, cocktails! - or just simply take it daily. Q As a Hongkonger, are you excited to be bringing this product to Hong Kong? Where will we see this product in the coming months? I’ve lived in China and Hong Kong since 2004. It’s an amazing place to thrive, but it’s not always an easy place to live. I genuinely think that all Hong Kongers
suffer from some degree of stress, exhaustion, poor sleep, and inflammation - all symptoms that our CBD is designed to ease. In addition to our easy-to-shop website, you can add RESET Balance to beverages as an ingredient of choice at premium restaurants across the city, including at Matchali, MANA!, Limewood and Honbo. It will be available online at Lane Crawford this Fall, and in-store early next year. We’ll also be hosting activations across Hong Kong to educate why our THC-free CBD is totally legal, how to take it, and what to look for in a CBD brand - including our own. Q CBD is exploding in Hong Kong at the moment, why do you think that is? With growing consumer interest in CBD globally and exponential sales in the last few years, it's not surprising CBD is here, too. The timing is perfect. The government has set regulations to clarify CBD’s legal status, and people are simultaneously taking a deeper interest in their health and wellbeing. It’s the perfect time for CBD in Hong Kong. Q Can you tell us more about how Reset Bioscience's product is different from other CBD products on the market? You’d be surprised to find almost every other CBD product comes from the same sources, so it's a repackaging exercise. We are different in that we have had a hand in every single step of creating Balance, from seed to shelf. We have spent years and millions of dollars to ensure every aspect is controlled and analyzed for safety and quality, starting with the Colorado farm where we source the CBD. CBD is an incredible natural ingredient with a broad range of benefits, but it doesn't mix with water, making it really hard for your body to absorb. For perspective, marble absorbs more water than CBD. Unfortunately for consumers, the market is saturated with these unabsorbable CBD oils. In RESET Balance we’ve used our proprietary delivery platform powered by nanotechnology to encapsulate billions of pure, triple-tested, tiny CBD particles that can survive digestion, resulting in scientifically proven, optimal absorption for consumers. RESET Balance is uniquely water-based, allowing up to 80% absorption compared to CBD oils
that can only be absorbed 5-20%. RESET Balance is an effective, scientifically proven product designed to radically improve the bioavailability of hard-toabsorb CBD, so you take less to feel more. This means you save money with no wasted product. Q Can you tell us more about the science of CBD? CBD works with your nervous system, the “nervous highway” that runs messages throughout your body. You’re firing messages in fractions of a second using naturally occurring cannabinoids - even if you’ve never taken CBD. Taking Balance adds premium, highly functioning cannabinoids into your nervous system providing additional calmness, increasing your body’s effectiveness and potential benefits from CBD. Your nervous system is also adaptogenic, meaning it acts to normalize and regulate the systems of the body. Balance can do everything from guiding your body into its natural process for sleep to addressing pain messages for pain and inflammation, be it from an injury or a chronic physical challenge. In partnership with RESET Bioscience
One important part of the Wellness & Lifestyle Awards is recognising individuals who are changing Hong Kong’s wellness landscape for the better. Meet the inspiring entrepreneurs whose businesses are all helping us lead happier, healthier lives.
CHANGEMAKER OF THE YEAR:
DANNY YEUNG Founder, Prenetics The founder of Hong Kong’s premier medical testing lab, Danny Yeung has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. Prenetics is a leading genetic testing and digital health company that owns Hong Kong’s largest private laboratory, capable of carrying out more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day, with a 99.9 percent accuracy rate. To date, they have performed more than 300,000 tests and identified around 280 COVID-19 carriers in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Prenetics is also the creator of CircleDNA, the most comprehensive DNA test in the world.
ANGELA HANCOCK Bust-A-Rut After years of battling with body image, Angela Hancock finally discovered her love of fitness, and with it, how to love herself. In 2014, she founded Bust-A-Rut, a lifestyle coaching company dedicated to helping women over 40 stay vibrant and healthy. A fitness instructor for over 20 years, she loves to support women in achieving their optimum wellness, through a combined approach of nutrition, fitness, and positive mindset.
LIFESTYLE COACH OF THE YEAR
LETAO The Healing Kingdom
SPIRITUAL GUIDE OF THE YEAR
Letao turned away from his corporate career eight years ago to become a full-time tarot reader and spiritual advisor, earning himself a reputation as one of the cityâ€™s most celebrated and trusted tarot readers. Deeply spiritual, he provides insight and guidance on a range of topics, from love and relationships to family and loss. His mission is to help and guide clients towards greater understanding, clarity and healing.
YAN YAN YIU Veratec Yan Yan Yiu was one of the first entrepreneurs to bring clean, ethical skincare to the city back in 2001. She launched her company, Veratec, with a mission to bring luxury skincare and lifestyle products into Hong Kong after noticing a gap in the market. Over time, however, it evolved to become an earth-friendly company first and foremost, one dedicated to sharing the best clean beauty brands in the world. She currently represents HARLOW in Hong Kong, which is stocked exclusively at the Four Seasons Spa.
YAN YAN YIU
BEAUTY BOSS OF THE YEAR
OLIVIA COTES-JAMES LUUNA Naturals With the mission of making periods better for every body in Asia, Olivia Cotes-James founded social impact company LUÜNA naturals. With a line of healthy & planet-friendly organic cotton tampons, pads, liners and a reusable period cup, their products are better for our bodies and the planet. Every purchase of LUÜNA products helps provide healthy period care, both products & education, to vulnerable groups across the region to tackle gender inequality & period poverty. So far they have pledged over 35,000 organic cotton LUÜNA pads and 1,000 LUÜNA Period Cups to those in need.
WOMEN’S ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
TRICIA YAP Functional Medicine Health Coach & Personal Trainer A former management consultant and MMA fighter, Tricia Yap is the founder behind some of the city’s most popular fitness brands, such as Goji Elite and Bikini Fit. This internationally accredited strength, nutrition and functional medicine health coach (and mum!) is passionate about women’s health and wellness. She has just announced the launch of Limitless, a new fitness venture that combines movement, nutritional medicine and accountability coaching to help women through their key life stages.
WELLNESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
REVITALIZE SPECIAL OFFER
Ozone Fitness is delighted to be named the winner of the *Best Boutique Gym Gold Award *in the Wellness & Lifestyle Awards 2020 To celebrate this Award, we are launching a REVITALIZE Special Offer in the month of October 2020. OFFER DETAILS 1. 2K2M: 2 months’ membership for HK$2,000 (normally HK$4,400) + $500 joining fee 2. 10 personal training sessions for HK$7,000 (normally HK$8,000) with 2K2M offer only Ozone terms and conditions apply
Contact: email@example.com or call James on 6689 3996. UG/F, Hang Tak Building, 1 Electric Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
ozonefitnesshongkong www.ozone.fitness 29
Sichuan Lotus Root By Xuan Warm up as the cold season approaches, with this fiery lotus root recipe from modern Vietnamese restaurant Xuan.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
INGREDIENTS • 1 lotus root
TIP: Pair with quinoa and steamed greens for a complete plantbased meal option.
• 5g garlic • 5g ginger • 5g chilli sauce (or use finely chopped dried red chillies or chilli oil) • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
INSTRUCTIONS: • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn oil • 1 tsp chilli oil for garnish (optional) • Roasted white sesame seeds or spring onion for garnish(optional)
1. Peel the skin and thinly slice the lotus root. 2. Blanch and set aside. 3. Stir fry garlic, ginger and chilli in a pan to make a sauce. 4. Toss the lotus root with this sauce. 5. Top the dish with a drizzle of chilli oil and sprinkle with roasted white sesame seeds or spring onion.
NAKED AM B I T I O N Joyce Lau, founder of bamboo bedding company Naked Lab™, was just nominated the Platinum winner in the Wellness & Lifestyle Awards. She chats with Liv Magazine about her entrepreneurial journey. Q Congratulations on your win! What does this award mean to you? Thank you! I am completely shocked. I put my heart and soul into my work at Naked Lab™, and to know that I have been rewarded truly means the world to me. I started the brand as a solution to a problem. Naked Lab™ was founded in 2018 after I became a mum to my baby girl, Pia. When she was two months old, she was battling a serious eczema situation. Bedding is close to your skin for such long hours, and good bedding is especially important for your skin's health. I was so relieved and happy seeing how much Pia's skin improved when we used bamboo silk bedding. This feeling inspired me to start Naked Lab™ and share the great benefits of bamboo silk bedding with other families. To win the award, it proves to me that I am on the right path, that following my heart and doing what I love really works. Professionally, it means I can connect with more people, help more people and create positive change on a bigger scale. Q People often don't give much thought to their bedsheets. Why should people think more carefully about what they put on their beds? You are right! Bedding and sleeping accessories like pillows and mattress are especially overlooked when considering factors that contribute to the quality of your sleep. Sleep is not only your foundation to health but life in general, and a good night's sleep can give you the best start to the day! When you think that we spend almost 1/3 of our lives on our beds, you SHOULD invest in quality bedding. When choosing bedding, we should look at not just the comfort and smoothness of the fabric, we should also look at qualities like breathability, which can improve skin health. We can also look at the thermal regulating and moisture-wicking properties as this can
help induce good sleeping hormones. Most importantly, we should choose chemicalfree bedding. Our bedsheets are so close to our skin for so many hours, we do not want to be in contact with and breathing in chemicals for so long! Q You are about to become a mum for the second time. Has your pregnancy affected how you run your business? Throughout the past two years working full-time as an architect, being a mum and growing Naked Lab™, I have learned that as an entrepreneur, you need to stay flexible in both your mind and business. It was good training, especially looking at how much has happened in the past year in Hong Kong which in turn has impacted the economy, I am happy that I was able to quickly adapt my mindset to be more flexible and responsive. I have learnt how to prioritize my time. Also key is to accept that I cannot do everything at once, and nothing is perfect. I believe that nothing is impossible; you just keep trying your very best, keep
in collaboration with Naked Lab
marching on, and keep setting clear goals. Besides, I'm on my second trimester so I am FULL of energy! Q What advice would you give out there to mums or parents of young children who want to start a business? Being a mum is the busiest job on earth. So if a mum or a parent wants to start a business, I would recommend that they spend more time on research and preparation. Since time is so precious already, building a good and solid foundation for the business will save you a lot of time and headaches down the road! What are your plans for the brand for the next 6-12 months? For the first year we were mostly just selling online. This year we have been very lucky to have found like-minded partners to represent us on their website or their physical store. For the coming months, we are going to focus on collaborations, give shout-outs and create synergy with brands that our community loves!
THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle
BAKUCHIOL RETINOL'S CRUELTY-FREE DOPPELGANGER
Bakuchiol might not have the same name recognition as retinol, but if the beauty experts are correct, it’s just as formidable an anti-aging weapon - and one you might want to consider switching to. By Carla Thomas
e’ve long loved retinol for its ability to increase cell turnover and keep our mugs looking youthful, but we’ve spotted more and more clean beauty advocates touting bakuchiol as an all-natural replacement. Why is bakuchiol suddenly having a moment with beauty buffs? For one thing, it’s vegan! It might surprise you to learn that many retinols are made with egg yolks and fish liver oil. Bakuchiol, however, is derived from seeds of the bakuchi, a plant native to India where it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This makes it a cruelty-free and more environmentally friendly option than retinoids. What does it do, you ask? Everything retinol does and less! Bakuchiol mimics all the same anti-aging properties of Vitamin A derivatives, like boosting collagen and reducing fine lines and wrinkles, but minus the horrible side effects such as redness, inflammation, and peeling that can often crop up with retinol and retinoids. If you’ve been looking to clean up your skincare routine with sustainable and ethical beauty products, or just have sensitive skin that hasn’t reacted well to retinol in the past, here are a few bakuchiol-based products for you to try out.
BYBI BAKUCHIOL BOOSTER
A night-time booster to incorporate into your skincare routine, this vegan-friendly alternative keeps it simple with just two all-natural ingredients; one percent bakuchiol, perfect for improving skin’s texture, and squalane, a cruelty-free emollient derived from olives. And the price point for a serum is pretty unbeatable! $125 from Sephora
SYMPLI BEAUTIFUL REVITALIZING VITAMIN A COMPLEX
Talk about an A-list! This powerhouse formulation uses not just one but three different forms of animalfree Vitamin A (bakuchiol, carrot root and retinyl palmitate) to keep your skin healthy and naturally glowing. $134 from iherb.com
ESSE RESURRECT SERUM
This probiotic skincare line uses sustainably sourced African plants and flowers. Esse's latest serum uses a Namibian desert plant that's prized for its ability to rehydrate and regenerate cells after long periods of drought. It also contains a healthy dose of bakuchiol and GABA, an amino acid that helps to increase the production of dermal cells, making it a potent anti-aging product worth splurging on. $920 from Esse Skincare
Homegrown beauty brand Purearth is hitting the high street, launching at Lane Crawford IFC this fall! This proudly local slow beauty brand has been making us swoon over their Ayurvedicbased skincare since 2014, with products made entirely from rare botanicals that are wild harvested by farmers and grassroots producers in the Himalayas. Crafted in small batches, their products have previously only been available online, or at a handful of select organic stockists around Hong Kong, so we’re thrilled to learn that it’ll be that much easier to sample and shop Purearth’s all-natural skincare and wellness collections! We particularly love the Mitti Raw Honey Face Masque ($434), a richly nourishing concoction made with sustainably sourced honey that’s become a cult favourite among beauty buffs. The Lane Crawford location will also serve up the brand’s signature line of herbal teas at an in-house tea bar, as well as offering masterclasses and one-on-one Ayurvedic skincare consultations.
Do you enjoy meeting people and closing deals but you also have an interest in Hong Kong’s marketing landscape? Are you open to a varied job that touches all aspects of a business, from sales and branding to delivery and stock management?
We are looking for a NEW BRANCH MANAGER for our office in Central! Okooko by European Bedding is a premium bedding company that's dedicated to a better night's sleep through its award-winning, eco-friendly, organic rubber latex pillows and mattresses. We are passionate about sleep health and quality, ethical products that are better for our health and our planet.
Interested parties please contact Thijs at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply. 33
TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer
ong Kong might not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a scuba diving trip, but you might be missing out. In fact, Hong Kong is home to over 90 species of coral - that is more than the entire Caribbean combined - and at least 300 species of fish. It’s not quite Raja Ampat, but given ongoing travel restrictions, we’ll take it. To learn a little bit more about Hong Kong’s underwater world, I caught up with Darren Gilkison, owner of Splash Scuba school in Sai Kung, and Jonathan Cybulski, a University of Hong Kong PhD candidate and historical and marine ecologist who has been studying Hong Kong’s coral for the past four years. “The sheer volume of coral in Hong Kong is astounding to me as a scientist,” says Cybulski, who is also a National Geographic Explorer. “You have one of the most densely populated places on earth but, just 30 minutes on a train, you can hit the water and see corals - it’s like picturing coral growing in Manhattan.” So how good is scuba diving in Hong Kong, really? If you are anticipating 40-metre visibility like you’d get in the Maldives or Indonesia, Gilkison recommends tempering expectations. But still, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by the experience. “There's a heck of a lot more to see than one would think. And the volume and size of fish are improving, due to the trawling ban that came into effect in 2012,” says Gilkison, who has been running Splash for roughly 14 years. “For sure the visibility varies, but this year it's been particularly good [possibly due to reduced marine traffic and pollution].” Cybulski seconds that. On a good day, you can see up to 10 metres. On an exceptional day, maybe even 20, he says. What kind of marine life can we see? In the past few months alone, Gilkison says he has had several incredible experiences while scuba diving. Just recently, he encountered a school of mackerel. On another dive, he saw several rays gliding through the water. “This year we've seen more frogfishes, blue-ring octopus,
corals in brain-shaped globes,” says Cybulski. And where you find coral, you will most likely find marine life. “More than 25 percent of all marine biodiversity relies on coral reefs for some stage of their life for survival,” says Cybulski. “While diving, I have seen cuttlefish, sea urchins, jellyfish, octopus, snails, gorgonians [a type of soft coral], nudibranchs, sea fans, and tons of sea anemone and clownfish - there are lots of ‘Finding Nemo’ scenes in Hong Kong.” How can we explore these beautiful waters responsibly? “The No. 1 rule of diving? Do not touch anything. That is one of the keys to protecting marine life and protecting yourself and the habitat,” says Cybulski. “It’s also important to remember that corals are really fragile animals and you can do serious damage if you touch or accidentally kick one.” Another way to champion our marine environment, says Gilkison, is to support coral research and restoration projects, such as the Hong Kong Artificial Reef Project, the Coral Transplant Project, or the Coral Monitoring Quan Cai group.
crabs, clownfish, demoiselles, scorpionfish - and I saw the biggest sweetlips I've ever seen in Hong Kong the other day. It must have been a good metre long,” he says. What are your favourite dive spots? At Splash Scuba, diving excursions typically take place in Sai Kung’s sheltered coves and outlying islands, such as Basalt Island, Bluff Island, the Kwo Chau Islands (or the Ninepin Group), Tiu Chung Chau, Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park and Double Haven. “The dams are also pretty interesting like East Dam almost always has barracuda,” says Gilkison. “And Long Ke Wan has some nice corals, which our divers usually appreciate.” For accessible coral sightings, Cybulski recommends heading to Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, which is home to more than 60 coral and 120 fish species. “Corals are like underwater forests. You have different branches, shrubs, shapes - and here in Hong Kong, we tend to get massive
What’s the best time to scuba dive in Hong Kong? The optimal seasons are late summer to early autumn (August through October), or late winter to early summer (February to July). “The summer can be windy and choppy, though we can still find sheltered bays that are great for diving,” says Gilkison. “The water clears up as the seasons change, and we get some really nice conditions. And right now, it is particularly beautiful.” Learn more: splashhk.com; jonathancybulski.com
Kate Springer is an Asia travel expert who contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. Follow her travels on Instagram @katespringer. Send travel news to email@example.com
with Zoe Belhomme
GREEN BABY STEPS It’s easy to talk about being eco-friendly, but it’s just as easy to throw those habits out the window once parenthood strikes, swapping sustainability for convenience as we fight the good fight. Still, a little goes a long way, and setting a green example to our children is one of the best ways we can raise eco-warriors and ensure our planet’s future is in good hands down the line. Here are five simple and eco-friendly switches that any parent can start with. SWAP: PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSHES FOR: BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES
Toddlers and kids can churn through toothbrushes, so a simple swap to bamboo helps to reduce plastic waste. Try a biodegradable option like The Eco Bamboo Toothbrush, which can be found at Slowood. 3 for $48 at slowood.hk SWAP: BUYING NEW FOR: PRELOVED FASHION AND TOYS
Savvy mums are increasingly opting for second-hand over new. Not only is the circular fashion economy good for the wallet, it also helps reduce textile waste. Whatsapp and Facebook groups are a great way to find out what other HK mums are offloading, often for free or cheap, but for something more special companies such as Retykle specialise in pre-loved children's clothes from luxury brands.
retykle.com SWAP: BABY WIPES FOR: REUSABLE CLOTHS
Did you know that most baby wipes contain plastic? Buying wipes without plastic can be expensive, so why not switch to cloth? You can make your own by cutting up tea towels and soaking them in a solution of coconut oil, natural baby shampoo and a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil. Or for a more premium option, Cheeky Wipes sells sets with different fabrics, containers and fragrances included. Sets from $500 at amazon.co.uk 36
SWAP: DISPOSABLE NAPPIES FOR: REUSABLES
Disposable nappies can last up to 500 years in a landfill. Reduce the number that makes it there in the first place by swapping just a couple of nappies each day with reusable ones. For ease and good containment, we love Charlie Banana pocket nappies, or for maximum convenience, GroVia’s hybrid cloth diapers allow for disposable soaker pads to be inserted. If cost is your main priority, prefolds with a simple, unbranded PUL cover will also do the job. Charlie Banana: 6 for $975 at hk.charliebanana.com GroVia: $175 each at Petit Tippi SWAP: PREPACKAGED PUREES FOR: REUSABLE FOOD POUCHES
Weaning can involve lots of additional plastic, including supermarket brand preprepared pouches. Instead try making your own food for your little one, then popping the purees into non-perishable containers. We love the ones from Squooshi. Not only do they feature cute animal designs and a wide bottom zipper that's easy to fill from, but an extra tight cap helps to avoid leaks. To clean, either hand wash or pop them on the top shelf of a dishwasher. They're also free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead. 6 for $100 at squooshi.com
TAKE OUT TINS Kids are finally heading back to school, so make sure their lunches are up to scratch with a top-of-the-line lunch box to show off! The first few months of the school year are still quite hot, so best to opt for something with insulation and separate compartments to keep everything separate, like this Thinksport Airtight Lunch Container. This box stands out because each section is completely closed off once the lid is sealed, meaning no cross contamination whatsoever! The inner plate is made from stainless steel while the outside is a lovely soft silicon, and it also comes with a kidfriendly fork and spoon. $319 from babycentral.com.hk
BACK TO SCHOOL
VIRTUAL TRAINING Online learning has become de rigueur this year, and while classrooms are opening back up again, many parents are still considering alternative ways of educating their young ones in the somewhat likely event that another wave hits the city. KĂŻdo Education is an internationally renowned preschool that just launched Kido Home, an online-only learning platform for children between two and six. Through videos and engagement kits, the programme includes seven activities per week covering areas like literacy, art, STEM and physical development, as well as Mandarin options for both native and English speakers. The preschool runs for two hours each day and costs HK$3,200 a month. kidohome.net
Zoe Belhomme is our resident fitness writer and new mum. She loves working out, eco-friendly parenting, and partnering with her husband to produce some of the regionâ€™s biggest sports events at MBS Concepts. Reach out to her directly with your healthy family news at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
SHOW US HOW YOU LIV! Tag us at @liv.magazine for a chance to be featured in our monthly Instagram roundup! 38
Natural & Organic Asia (NOA) Awards aim at recognising the achievements and excellence of development, marketing and launch of innovative and sustainable natural and organic products in Asia. This year, the levelled-up NOA Awards will once again take centre stage at the 7th Natural & Organic Asia!
Vote for your favourite products now! (Last Day to Vote: 30 October) The winners will be announced on the 13 November at the Awards Presentation as part of Natural & Organic Asia.
Best Vegan Product
Cashew Cream Cheese Style Vegan Spread By Alive Food
Organic Vegan Thai Yellow Curry Paste By Mekhala
Vegan Almond Biscuits By Eat Better
Nuts & Dried Fruits By MORNOVA
Nuts & Fruits Honey By PALERMO
PURE OLIVE OIL SOAP By Olive & Ash
Best Natural Living
Certified Organic Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid By INIKA Organic
Sundays - No. 25 Dusty Rose By Sundays
Best Beauty Product
513 Paints - Semi Matt By 513 Paints
Baby Bowl Set By Natural Made
Organic Argan Oil By Armara Glow
Bia Skin Superfood By Codex Beauty Bia Collection
Australian Lemon Myrtle Hand Sanitiser By SimplyClean
Better Earth Handmade Soap By SOAPER DELIGHTS
Immortelle Divine Youth Oil By eamore
Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Eye Cream By INIKA Organic
SOILABLE Paper Straw By SOILABLE
SOVOS Bioactive Organic Sanitizer By SOVOS Aromatherapy
Hyaluronic Marine Serum By MUKTI
Alive Kombucha -Pineapple Chilli By Alive Food
Almond Milk 1L By Almo
Your Wellness Collection Gift Tin By English Tea Shop
Organic Turmeric Ginger Lemongrass Tea By Gurung Tea
Best Health And Wellness
AlgaeCal® plant calcium By AlgaeCal®
Say Something With Tea Range - The Greatest Sips By English Tea Shop
Oil Pulling Mouthwash By HEAVEN
Ivy Forest Honey By Hong Kong Raw Honey
Brain Breakthrough By INJOY Health
Essential Greens By Melrose
ViA Bottle - Wellness By VitaJuwel
Organiac Immunity Boosting Powder By Organiac
O r g an i c
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11 -13 NOV 2020 | HKCEC
A new season of self-care Pre-order the December JENG! Box now $1500 worth of wellness treats for $480, delivered to your door
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