Liv Magazine September 2018

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SEPTEMBER 2018 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . c o m LIV MAGAZINE

Steppe Counter

Racing across Mongolia’s hinterlands

After the Storm

RainLily’s empowering mission

Love Every Body How Hongkongers are ditching the diet and celebrating fitness at every size

WIN K-beauty gift sets, gourmet raw meal deliveries and a tasting menu for four on page 20!

SEPTEMBER 05 Editor’s Letter



06 Wishlist

24 Love Yourself

Lovely things we want right now

08 It’s a Date

Events for your diary

12 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

14 Fresh Cuts

Dining news that’s good for you

16 Cheat Day

Because #YOLO

18 Reviews

A hair treatment from emmanuel f., and the new Fitbit Versa

Are Hongkongers finally embracing health at any size?

30 Charity Spotlight RainLily



34 Recipe

Broccoli steak from Blue Supreme

36 Pamper

Our beauty picks for this month

38 Travel

A trail race across Mongolia’s plains

44 Macau


Dispatches from our sister SAR

50 Can’t Liv Without

Lululemon’s Director of Brand & Community, Amanda Casgar




BODY BEAUTIFUL This month, we are feeling inspired to be a little kinder to ourselves. Even though we’ve come a long way in the outdated notion that “thin is in,” here in Hong Kong we remain bombarded daily with aspirational IG posts and ads for slimming centres everywhere we look. Spurred on by the body positive movement taking place overseas, there’s a growing awareness of Health At Every Size, and how exercise and diet should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate. We speak to experts and two body positive advocates about the burgeoning scene in Hong Kong, and hope to see more of it very soon! Learn more on p.24. We’ve also been inspired by RainLily, an NGO that provides counselling and legal assistance to survivors of sexual violence. Established in 2001, this organisation has done vitally important work in our city to advocate for the rights and dignity of sexual trauma survivors. Read about their mission on p.30. Summer may be over, but with public holidays around the corner you can still get inspired with our travel section. We love the sound of an adventure race across the Mongolian plains, but likewise we’d love to learn what Perth has to offer ecotravellers. Turn to p.38 and p.42 and start planning for your next trip.

MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS Looking for some body positive role models? Kate Farr speaks to two inspirational women for our cover story, p.24.

Fresh from a visit to Perth, Kate Springer reveals the best picks for eco-conscious travelers, p.42.

Whether you want to shop local or get your hands on limited edition cult fragrances, Rachel Read has your back, p.36.

An expert on healthy living in Macau, Sally Victoria Benson finds a fab staycation deal at The Grand Hyatt, p.44..

ON THE COVER Photographer: Ike Li Models: Lyndsey Gormley and Steph Ng


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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN WRITER ZOE BELHOMME SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS KATE FARR, KATE SPRINGER, RACHEL READ, DEIRDRE GRIFFIN, SALLY VICTORIA BENSON, IKE LI, AOIFE MCGILLION PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2018 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.


Retail Therapy


Here's what we're crushing on this month


Oozing vintage charm, this rose gold and moonstone ring will add a touch of class to any ensemble. $780 from


Part of their latest campaign to raise awareness of ocean plastic, this cute turtle bath bomb releases jelly-like strands of agar-agar as it dissolves. $80 from Lush.


Tired of lugging all your worldly possessions in multiple bags? Designed in Hong Kong, the BRERA bag comes with a coordinated laptop case and clutch so you will never misplace anything again. US$330 from



Taking inspiration from Himalayan wellness traditions, this lip butter is super nourishing. A dash of ruby red lends a natural glow. $251 from

Retail Therapy


Clean and crisp with just a hint of aquamarine, we love the simplicity of these sleek sneaks. $440 from Keds at Sporthouse.


Masquerading as mooncakes, these pineapple shortcakes are a perfect seasonal treat if you want to swerve the traditional lotus paste and salted egg. $348 from


This natural tree rubber yoga mat is inspired by Moroccan tiles, giving you something beautiful to look at during every down-dog. $780 from


Brighten up your babaganoush with this cute mezze bowl that’s a ray of sunshine $180 from Lane Crawford. 7



THE GREAT ESCAPE Celebrating all things wellness, IRIS: Your Escape is back for its seventh edition at the Central Harbourfront Event Space. Open to everyone, regardless of gender or experience level, the festival includes more than 80 yoga, meditation, art and wellness education classes and is a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded people. This year will also see the addition of “IRIS Insider,” a concept that delves deeper into wellness and healing topics by gathering thought leaders to host game-changing talks, workshops and panels themed on subjects including environmental wellness, addiction, mental health and minimalism. Central Harbourfront Event Space,

SEP 1-9

FEMALE FIRST Eaton Workshop, Sally Coco Intimate Lifestyle Store and Reel Women Hong Kong join hands to bring you the Women’s Festival 2018, the first festival in Hong Kong dedicated to celebrating women. Through live music, film screenings, holistic wellness offerings and thought-provoking panel discussions, the festival aims to open up a dialogue around subjects such as diversity inclusion, Hong Kong education reform, the #METOO movement, women in protest, and nonviolent communication. The nine-day festival will be hosted at the newly renovated Eaton Hotel in Jordan, and tickets start from just $40 for a single admission. 10 percent of net proceeds from event ticket sales will benefit Rainlily, a non-profit organization helping sexual violence victims in Hong Kong. 8

"Close Knit" film screening

29+1" film screening


SEP 23


SEP 21-22

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD Back for its second year, the Food's Future Summit is an assembly of experts, industry professionals, change-makers and conscious consumers examining the key innovations, trends, and issues in the culinary world. Hosted by Foodie magazine, the summit will focus on inspiring and initiating change within the world of food; recognising future-forward businesses; championing individuals behind critical causes; and empowering consumers to make informed decisions about what they choose to eat. This year's summit will kick off with keynote speaker, Josh Tetrick​, the dynamic founder of American groundbreaking company, JUST​. Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East. Tickets from

Are you tough enough to tackle Hong Kong’s first vertical race to the top of Lantau Peak? The Lantau Vertical is an extremely challenging course with an 900 metre elevation gain over just seven kilometres. Don’t be fooled by the 5k slow ascent to start with: your heart will be pumping as you tackle the final 2k of seemingly endless steps. Race entry: $300.


GET THE GIGGLES In need of a good laugh? September marks the the second annual Hong Kong International Laugh Festival. Running for three weeks starting September 8, the Laugh Festival emcompasses all areas of the art, including stand-up comedy, improv, open mics, variety nights and lots more. The brainchild of homegrown comedy talent, Vivek Mahbubani, the festival will feature familiar faces on the Hong Kong comedy scene along with hilarious newcomers and award-winning acts from abroad. Prices vary depending on performance; tickets available online and at the door. All shows take place at 3/F, Comixbase, 7 Mallory St., Wan Chai. Tickets and schedule:

SEP 29-30


LIGHT THE NIGHT The hot summer is almost over, and Mid-Autumn Festival will soon light up the city. More than just an extra day off work, the MidAutumn festival was originally a chance to express gratitude for a bumper harvest and spend time with relatives. Head down to Victoria Park to enjoy the lantern displays, a full cultural programme with Chinese folk art and a fire dragon dance parade. 10

500 participants will take part in the fourth edition of Hard As Nayls, a charity event launched in memory of former Sai Kung policeman Andy Naylor who died during the New York Ironman in 2012. Run across tough terrain around Clearwater Bay, the first day involves parents running with their children over a course of either 4km or 8km while the 16km and 50km adult distances will be run on the Sunday. Space still available. Info and register at:

Sponsored Feature

OnTheList OnTheList is Hong Kong’s go-to destination for unbeatable discounts on premium and luxury labels. Right in the heart of Central, you can easily pop over for a bit of retail therapy! Check out their Flash Sale Calendar! From clothing, shoes and cosmetics, they also have lifestyle items such as homeware and stationary. There’s no better ways to treat yourself or prepare gifts for your loved ones. OnTheList is members-only so make sure you register at to receive your personal invitations. It’s free!

Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene


The way we shop for fashion is changing rapidly, and brands are having to go the extra mile to keep up with new trends. Ohemia is a new multi-brand bohemian fashion and lifestyle store on Hollywood Road that aims to modernise the boutique shopping experience and inspire customers with engaging studio workshops. Set over two floors, the 1,200 square-foot space offers an eclectic mix of womenswear, resort and active wear, jewellery, intimates, accessories, stationery and home dĂŠcor on the ground floor. The upper floor is home to a private lounge and creative studio, which will host regular events such as social gatherings, DIY workshops, swap parties and wellness classes for the community. Custom engraving, a jewel concierge service and a personal shopping experience are just a few of the features customers can expect in the new store. G/F 75A Hollywood Rd., Central,


Cool Stuff


We were so stoked to learn that Villa finder and property management company, The Luxe Nomad, has partnered up with The Aberdeen Marina Club to launch a Seabin to catch floating debris, microplastics, oil, fuel and detergents on Hong Kong’s coastline. Within its first two weeks of operation, the seabin collected 78 kilos of waste! If the trend continues, the device could collect a whopping two tonnes from our waters in a year. The Luxe Nomad plans to install a number of Seabins across the region in partnership with other marinas.


Local brand Snow Fox Skin Care launched its latest range of products designed to help your skin cope with fluctuating temperatures. Toggling between heat, humidity, aircon and drying winter climates can wreak havoc on your complexion, and so the brand has come up with a Cucumber Recovery range to help restore some balance to stressed, dull and combination skin. The range includes a Cucumber Recovery Tonic ($240) made with rosewater to rebalance and restore the skin’s original pH over time; and Aloe Vera juice to encourage a smooth, vibrant glow. The Recovery Serum ($500), made with cucumber fruit extract and Passionflower Extract, should be applied before your day or night moisturizer to maximize hydration and help maintain that natural dewy complection.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Hong Kong Cancer Fund marks the occasion with its annual Pink Revolution campaign. Raising awareness of breast cancer and encouraging women to check their breasts regulary, the charity relies on public donations to sustain their services for more than 26,000 cancer patients and their families. Show your support by dressing in pink on October 27 and making a donation, attending one of their special events, or purchasing a special pink product from one of their partner brands, such as these cute tools from haircare brand Amika. For more information, visit 13


FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you

HEALTH YEAH In Causeway Bay for lunch? If you’re after a lighter meal, the new LCB Café on Lockhart Road is worth checking out. The menu includes a decent selection of healthy mains and salads - we tried the organic five-grain rice with mushroom cream sauce with poached eggs; and the prawn angel hair pasta with pesto - both were tasty and nutritious. Don’t miss the tempting yoghurt and smoothie bowls that can be pepped up with your choice of superfood powder. Perhaps this little café’s main claim to fame is that they’ll serve your latte or cappuccino featuring your portrait, thanks to the fun coffee powder printing device! Enjoy your personalised beverage outside on LCB’s spacious terrace now that the cooler months are just around the corner. 3/F, L’Hart, 487-489 Lockhart Rd., Causeway Bay, 2467-1388,

CALL US CONFUSED Founded by chef Lisa Terauchi, Confusion is a new vegan eatery on Jervois Street in Sheung Wan. After experiencing health problems, Lisa became vegan over two years ago and instantly saw the benefits which led to her opening her first restaurant. Open all day, the small but well thought-out menu can be eaten there or taken away in one of Confusion’s compostable containers. We love that they make every effort to be as green as possible - reducing food and packaging waste is high on their agenda. While breakfast features a full vegan brekkie; mashed avocado on sourdough toast; and overnight soaked oats with berries and flax seeds, it’s the lunch and dinner menu that gets us excited. From their take on the Beyond Burger, to hedgehog mushrooms quesadillas with vegan cheese and spicy Sichuan tofu, the menu is both inventive and satisfying. We also loved their range of flavoured kombucha. G/F, 103, Jervois St., Sheung Wan. 2563-3699. 14


GOING UP Race Season Bust out the training shoes it’s time to get outdoors and start running again, with events taking place almost every weekend from now until March.

Pay it forward: Mooncake edition

ROLL UP, ROLL UP If you’ve always wanted to experiment with a raw vegan diet, but lack the equipment and know-how to make complicated gourmet dishes, check out THE RAW CIRCUS. This new startup offers raw vegan food delivery straight to your door, comprising innovative and interesting meals, snacks and coldpressed juices. We tried the Gourmet meal plan ($495 per day) and loved the dehydrated savoury bites and dips, the moreish raw granola, and the fresh chia pudding for breakfast. Don’t miss the indulgent desserts - rich and creamy, we couldn’t believe how yummy they were.

PLATES OF PLENTY In search of something a bit healthier than bagels and muffins for your client meeting? Enter The Green Platters, a new local company delivering veggie and vegan platters to your door. The largest tray, perfect for 8-10 people, comes on a 100 percent biodegradable and compostable base topped with artisan cheeses, fresh organic fruit and vegetables, wholesome dips, gourmet nuts and crackers and more. Vegan platters featuring nut cheeses also available. Prices range from $499-$2,299.

Got too many mooncakes on your hands? Check for a list of organisations that’ll gladly take your excess.

Not being able to get into class Who are these mad organised MindBody ninjas filling up all the available spots!?

Event FOMO

September brings such a huge flood of workshops, talks, workouts, and networking opportunities related to wellness that we can’t possibly make them all. Stress!




Because life’s too short to always order the salad

MOONSTRUCK To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, Gaucho Argentinian steakhouse has taken its most popular dessert, the Dulce de Leche cheesecake, and transformed it into a decadently moreish mooncake that you won’t be able to resist. Reinventing their cheesecake to include seasonal ingredients such as lotus seed paste, egg and golden syrup while retaining the true dulce de Leche flavour, Gaucho’s Mooncake gift set comes with four ample-sized cakes for $308. Available to order from September 1-25. Orders must be made at least two days in advance and can be done by phone or e-mail; collect and pay at the restaurant. 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central,


Sponsored Feature


Ozone is a client-focused 3,000 sq. ft. facility, fully equipped with top-tier strength training, functional and cardio machines and apparatus, including unique pieces to keep your workouts challenging and fun. Ozone’s knowledgeable and courteous staff are on hand to help you achieve your goals, faster.

MEMBERSHIPS INCLUDE: • Comprehensive fitness assessments and body composition analysis • Personalized assisted training • Customized workout programs • Access to small group classes

UNIQUE FEATURES: • In-house Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Specialist* • DNA testing for optimized nutrition and fitness* • X6 Deluxe high pressure Tanning Solarium* • Heated Himalayan pink salt stretch area • Luxurious private bathrooms and amenities

Month-to-month membership: $2,200 / month + $500 joining fee Special offer 6-month membership: $1,700 / month + $500 joining fee 12-week program: $450 / week (payment upfront) 1:1 Personal Training: $700 - $900 / session One-week pass: Day pass:

Group class: Tanning:


$220 $220/class

$1000/5 classes

$1,100 for 6 sessions (member) $1,400 for 6 sessions (non-member)

OPENING HOURS: Monday - Friday: 5:30 am - 10:00 pm Saturday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Sunday and Public Holidays: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm UG/F, Hang Tak Building, 1 Electric Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, (Off Star Street)

* Separate charges apply


All prices are subject to change at the discretion of Ozone Fitness


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



ZeroYet100 Natural Deodorant The Buzz: Looking to swap out your conventional

deodorant for something a little more natural? ZeroYet100 is a proudly made in Hong Kong deodorant brand that uses only natural ingredients to deliver a powerful deodorising punch. The product is approved by the STC (Standard and Testing Centre of Hong Kong) so you can be sure it’s totally safe. The Product: The deodorant comes either in stick or

Anti-Frizz Hair Relaxing Treatment at emmanuel f. The Buzz: Summer heat, humidity, salt water and chlorine

can wreak havoc on your hair. emmanuel f., Hong Kong’s original organic salon and spa, has an anti-frizz treatment that helps to relax stressed tresses with gentle and nourishing plant-based amino acids, rather than chemicals such as ammonia, thioglycolate, SLS or SLES. The Treatment: We had a detailed consultation and our

hairdresser gave us her honest advice on how best to take care of our hair and keep it sleek and manageable. The pH of the treatment can be adjusted, making it suitable for even the most damaged hair. The treatment began with a hair mask to prep the hair before the anti-frizz product was applied and activated by heat. We also enjoyed a relaxing head massage and a blow-dry. The verdict: We skipped out of the salon with a brand-

new head of glossy, tamed locks. We were thrilled to get such an effective result without any need for harsh chemicals that can irritate your nose and throat. Price: $1,980-2,750 for a three- to- four-hour treatment,

depending on hair condition. Address: U/G F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 2167-8280, 18

pot form. If you’re in a rush, we recommend the paper tube stick packaging, which is fully biodegradable. The deodorant has a slightly creamy texture thanks to the moisturizing shea butter and cold-pressed coconut oil. We also love the addictive fragrance of patchouli and palmarosa essential oils, which is pleasant but not overpowering. The Verdict: We’re converted! Not only does this

deodorant leave you smelling fresh all day thanks to the probiotics in the formula, it also stops perspiration stains from forming on your clothes. It’s not marketed as an anti-perspirant (the founders believe you should sweat naturally), but we generally felt fresher and that perspiration was reduced. ZeroYet100 also offers a detox pack that can help you detox your underarms before making the switch to natural deodorant. Price: $148 for the tube stick; $108 for the deodorant pot. Shop online at



Fitbit Versa The Buzz: US-based tech

company, Fitbit, has been a market leader in wearables since 2007. Originally focused on developing activity tracking devices to help people stay active, Fitbit has expanded its product range to include an affordable health and fitness smartwatch to rival the likes of the Apple iWatch. Since the launch of the Versa, more than 2.4 million users have downloaded Fitbit’s female-focused wellness tracking app, making it easier for women to spot patterns in their cycle and overall wellbeing. The Product: The Versa is the latest wearable device in

the Fitbit family and brand’s most innovative product to date. In addition to all the features you’d expect from a premium wearable device - step counter, heart-rate monitor and GPS - the smartwatch also helps you stay connected with advanced smart features like phone-free music, secure, wallet-free payments and notifications. The smartwatch is completely waterproof and you control all the functionality through Fitbit’s easy-to-use app. The Verdict: The Versa is much more advanced than

Fitbit’s original wearable products, and unlike some of the brand’s other fitness focused trackers it looks really stylish on your wrist. Setting it up is super easy and Fitbit has done a great job of making the app and watch interface intuitive. We wish they could do something about the battery life. This seems to be an issue with a lot of the smartwatches on the market, but every three of four days we get an email reminding us to charge our watch, making it difficult to wear 24/7, which you need to do if you want real accuracy.


Chakra Workshop with All About You Centre The Buzz: Always wanted to understand more about chakras? All About You Centre has the workshop for you! The seven major vortexes that - according to Hindu and Buddhist belief - run through the human body are said to have a profound impact our health and emotions. The Workshop: Sonia Samtani, founder of All About You,

started by introducing what the chakras in our body are and what they represent. She then explained how each chakra influences our lives and what the repercussions are when one is blocked. Next, we were given a chakra pendulum and taught how to use it to detect how our chakras were functioning. Then, we were guided to use simple affirmations to switch our thinking and “unblock” each chakra. We partnered up to give each other readings and created positive affirmation statements to achieve harmony. The workshop ended with a brief discussion and Q&A. The Verdict: The workshop is highly interactive and engaging, and it felt great to learn with other participants who all share our interest in the subject. The facilitator was professional and enthusiastic, and the content of the workshop was comprehensive yet easy to understand. We left with a deeper understanding a lovely pendulum to help deepen our practice. Price: $750 for three hours, including a chakra pendant. 10A, Wing Cheong Commercial Building, 19-25 Jervois St., Sheung Wan, 2992-0828,

The Cost: $1,798 for the watch. Accessories range from

$238 to $788. 19


GIVEAWAYS visit for a chance to win!

WIN: a dining voucher for four at Chaiwala It feels like Pirata Group is launching a new concept every week! We are super excited about Chaiwala, an Indian restaurant that serves up modern Indian fare in the heart of Wyndham Street. Courtesy of Pirata Group, we have a tasting menu for four up for grabs, valued at $1,920.

WIN: a three-day meal plan from THE RAW CIRCUS Want to give raw vegan eating a go? Courtesy of THE RAW CIRCUS, we have a three-day gourmet rmeal plan up for grabs, which includes three meals, two healthy juices, one snack and an indulgent dessert, all delivered to your door each morning. The plan is worth $1,650 and we have one set to give away. Please note that this giveaway can only be redeemed by addresses on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon.

WIN: a face care set from Seanol Miracle After two decades of scientific research, Korean scientists have extracted a marine polyphenol known as “seanol� from an algae, Ecklonia Cava, that grows near Jeju Island. With anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and regenerative effects, this ultra-gentle skincare line is safe, natural and effective. We are giving away 10 Seanol Miracle Facial Spray and Seanol Miracle Facial Bar sets, each worth $578.


Enter at before September 28 to win!


Change Your Life Today!

This September, All About You invites the popular Jaz Goven, known for her fast-track technique, a rapid and effective way to get rid of long-term debilitating beliefs. Through muscle testing, Jaz can find the beliefs that hold you back in life, whether it’s about money or weight loss. Her technique has fantastic results for people. Her services include: • Private Sessions for adults and kids • Workshop for wealth and success

• Workshop for weight loss • Workshops for self-development

For a glimpse of how Jaz works, come to her free awareness talk on September 3rd, where you can see a live demonstration. To register or book, please visit:


Create a sanctuary with homewares you’ll treasure

Living in a pleasant home is good for the mind and soul and a comfortable space that reflects your own personal style can be a haven in this busy city. Dovetail Living offers furniture and home decoration designed to create a space you will love to go home to. For their next pop-up event they are offering a free interior design service to all customers subscribed to their newsletter. Scan the code to subscribe, and visit the pop-up to browse their large range of products including lamps, cushions, vases and a kids collection. Date: 28th to 29th September Time: 11am – 7pm Venue: La Galerie Paris 1839, 74 Hollywood Road, Central Dovetail Living |


Soothe aching, tired legs & feet with a revitalising treatment

We always look forward to a holiday, but never to the flight. Whether it’s a longor -short-haul trip, swollen legs are a common and unpleasant side effect! Our Leg Revitalising Treatment (30minutes, $550) is great for before or after a flight, or indeed any intense exercise! It starts with a menthol anti-inflammatory compression leg wrap, followed by a decompression massage to reduce edema, leaving your legs & feet feeling fresh and light. Book at 2167 8280 - Liv readers get 20% off the treatment when booking together with a pedicure throughout the month of September.

Sponsored Feature

IRIS: Your Escape Presented By ManulifeMOVE Festival Guide A Celebration of Wellness IRIS: Your Escape, Hong Kong’s largest health and wellness festival presented by ManulifeMOVE, will take place for its seventh edition on 22-23 September 2018 at Central Harbourfront. The two-day festival is set to draw more than 8,000 people, inviting not only health and fitness enthusiasts but also families and individuals looking for a refreshing weekend. Over 80 diverse yoga and fitness classes, as well as uplifting music performances, workshops, activities and talks, will be held to unlock an immersive experience of conscious living.


NEW THIS EDITION: IRIS INSIDER IRIS understands that wellness is not only a part of your physical self, but mentally as well. A feast to nurture individuals’ potential for positive changes, the all-new attraction, “IRIS Insider” delves deeper into wellness and healing topics by gathering thought leaders to enlighten participants with game-changing talks and panels themed on environmental wellness, addiction, mental health etc. It also serves as a shared space for local artists and musicians to showcase their talents, thus bringing the community closer together. SPEAKERS HIGHLIGHT: Andrea Gong, Head of Group Spa Operations of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group - Digital Detox and will present ideas of balancing your body and mind with the aid of digital devices; Mehek Gidwani, CEO of Freedom Creations aka Addiction Recovery Coach - Addiction and will share her journey of overcoming a childhood of drug and alcohol abuse.

Sponsored Feature

ZONES YOGA MAINSTAGE Yoga has been the foundation on which IRIS has been built. The word Yoga means union. Our Yoga teachers are meticulously selected to deliver the best experience with a goal of raising Hong Kong’s collective consciousness. Teacher Highlight: Detox and De-stress Yoga with Dr. Yogananth Andiappan Time and Date: 4.50pm-6.20pm (22nd September) Community Full Sun Salutations with Marcus Wong Time and Date: 2.30pm-3.30pm (22nd September)

FIT DISTRICT This is a dynamic fitness space. Break a sweat with heart pumping classes in this fun, interactive environment! Teacher Highlight: NTC Endurance with Utah Lee Time and Date: 3.40pm-5.10pm (22nd September) Ticket To Bollywood with Victor Kumar Time and Date: 2.40pm-3.40pm (23rd September)

SILENT DISCO The Silent Disco is the safe haven of the festival offering a very unique, uplifting experience. Teacher Highlight: Quiet Your Mind & Flow with Steffi Gonzalez Class name: Time and Date: 6.30pm-7.30pm (22nd September) Healing your Inner-Child with Sonia Samtani Class name: Time and Date:11.50am-12.50pm (23rd September) THE PLAYGROUND Our Family zone offers the perfect bonding environment between parents and their children - ideal for all round fun and games! This year we are bringing Doga (Yoga with your dogs) to the festival! Teacher Highlight: Mamaste: Pre & Post-Natal Yoga with Lindsay Parfitt Time and Date: 3.30pm-4.30pm (22nd September) DOGA: yoga with your dogs! With Cherry Li Time and Date: 10.30am-11.30am (23rd September)

ZEN GARDEN The Meditation Zone offers a more intimate experience. Teachers, healers and motivational speakers all share their wisdom, providing a space to unwind from the fast-paced lifestyle we encounter regularly. Teacher Highlight: Bhutanese Mantras & Chanting for World Peace with Rimpoche Jamgon Trulku Time and Date: 1.50pm-2.50pm (22nd September) De-bunking Meditation Myths & Stereotypes with Gianni Melwani Time and Date: 4.30pm-6pm (23rd September) THE MARKETPLACE Indulge in delicious food and drinks, shop for the latest in clothing and apparel, learn about the latest studios and gyms, enjoy a range of treatment essentials, revitalize your body with innovative skincare - The Marketplace has it all! Free entry to all. EVENT DETAILS: Date: 22nd - 23rd September 2018 Venue: Central Harbourfront Event Space Time: 10.30-21.00 on Saturday and 09.00-18.00 on Sunday

For more information regarding the price and event line-up, please visit Website: Social media pages:

Cover Story

ALL INCLUSIVE While many fitness fans in Hong Kong remain committed to achieving Instagram perfection, there’s a growing movement towards body positive fitness, which celebrates what your body can do, not how it looks. By Kate Farr. Photos by Ike Li.


n a city as fast-paced and image-conscious as Hong Kong, it’s little wonder that many struggle with body image issues. Ads for slimming centres, images of impossibly slender models plastered on buses and on the MTR, and a severe lack of clothing options for larger sizes all drive home the message that thin is in. But there’s a nascent trend, partly inspired


by the body positive fitness movement in the UK, that rejects the idea that fitness and a rail-thin body shape go hand-in-hand. Rather than trying to reach a “target weight,” slimming down to fit a certain pair of jeans, or punishing yourself for eating that slice of cake, people are instead celebrating their amazing bodies at any size with empowering workouts that inspire rather than

Cover Story

shame. Community-focused workouts such as CrossFit and The Women’s Five race place the focus squarely on fun, friendship and health, not numbers on a scale. Karen Leung of Mindful Pilates believes that setting realistic long-term goals is a key step towards developing a healthier relationship with fitness. “There’s a ‘fast food’ culture in exercise. People look for a short cut, jumping straight into difficult exercises while looking for that ‘burn’, without realising that they are at risk of injury. If students are truly looking for the health benefits of exercise, I believe they should focus more on the quality of their movements, rather than weight loss.” Leung also believes that being honest about the motivation behind a new fitness regime is important. “Is it truly for yourself, or is it because you care how others see you? The priority should be on mental and physical health, rather than looks.” Chiropractor and Pilates instructor Dr Fleur Castlereagh of Central’s UP!Health also encourages a reality check, particularly when taking inspiration from online. “Unfortunately, the Instagram culture of fitness fanatics with six-packs and bulging biceps has created an unrealistic expectation for the average person trying to get fit and healthy… but don’t judge a book by its cover; just because someone has defined abs and a toned body doesn’t mean they are the picture of health.” This viewpoint is shaped by Castlereagh’s own experience as a former athlete back in Australia. “I struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for a long time as my coaches wanted me to be very lean. I tried every diet imaginable and became very frustrated as my weight was always up and down. After a while I realised that I was better off just focusing on living a balanced life. I haven’t weighed myself for many years now and I don’t take any measurements. I am much happier with my body these days and I definitely don’t analyse it all the time.” Vanessa Cheung is the co-owner of Kennedy Town’s CrossFit Asphodel box, and is another advocate of positive movement for all bodies.

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UNIVERSAL STANDARD FOR J.CREW, available in sizes XS-5X. Costs $1,050

BRAVISSIMO SPORTS BRAS, available in sizes 28DD-40L. Costs £34-43 (HK$340-430)


Cover Story

The Women's Five

“Fitness doesn’t equal thin and tall. I think that’s one preconception that’s prevalent in Hong Kong,” she says. But with many outside the fitness community finding gyms intimidating, how can owners ensure a more inclusive approach? “If a gym is truly professional and cares for the well-being of its members, it really cannot be a one-solution-fits-all approach,” Vanessa states. She adds: “All Asphodel classes are run in a small group format at mixed levels. The entire gym follows the same Workout of the Day (WOD), and since the coaches are all very experienced, they know how to modify and scale this according to each member’s ability. This way, everyone works hard together, whether you’re a competitive athlete or a beginner.” Vanessa believes that this sense of community can help to cement exercise as a lifelong habit, rather than a quick fix. Another advocate of prioritising long-term health improvement over weight loss is David Tanner, founder of the Women’s Five running club, a five-week health and fitness programme culminating in a 5k run. “Gyms sometimes tend to get people to view their own value, health and success in terms of their weight - if you are thin you will be happy. Hopefully, nowadays people have enough general knowledge to see 26

past that,” says Tanner. “Running is one way to lose weight, but weight loss isn’t part of the W5 program. We don’t sell a particular physical outcome; we give women who sign up the guidance and resources to build a solid base of mental and physical wellbeing in their lives.” And so how does Tanner believe that we can foster a more positive body image through exercise? “Accepting that everyone is different, acknowledging that the body is amazing in its complexity and being grateful you are alive. Trying not to think of your body as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but knowing that if there is anything about it you want to change, that it is achievable and you have the power to do so. Finally, knowing that your worth as a person and the appearance of your physical body are not connected.”

The Women's Five

Cover Story

Originally from the UK, Lyndsey is an educator and keen trail runner who rediscovered her love of fitness by participating in the Women’s Five programme. LYNDSEY’S TRAINING SCHEDULE:


When I was younger I used to play rugby and even tried cricket for a little while, and although I enjoyed exercise I never felt there was space for me. Not being naturally athletic meant that I was left out of a lot of team sports. Nobody wanted the fat girl on their team. As I got older I became your typical “fairweather gym bunny.” I would feel pressured to lose weight, hit the gym and post about it in social media before quitting. I could never stick to it because I wasn’t there to celebrate my body, I was there out of shame - I was there to shrink myself. Finally I was persuaded by a friend to sign up to Women’s Five and it changed my life. I was at a really low point in my life and I hadn’t exercised in years, but within ten days I’d signed up and ran my first 5k. Suddenly I had a community that believed in me, even if I didn’t believe in myself. I’ve been told that I’m “fitter than I look” which isn’t true, we just have a perverse

Monday: 30-minute Swim or Yoga Tuesday: 1 hour strength training Wednesday: 1 hour run Thursday: 1 hour strength training Friday: 30-minutes Swim or Yoga Saturday: Long Run Sunday: Track/speed work

perception on what health and fitness looks like. Health is a result of behaviours that are independent of weight and encompasses so much more than the number on a scale. I have experienced so much unsolicited advice and fatphobia in Hong Kong; the culture here seems to be that bodies are open for discussion and that’s not true. I don’t care if you think running will make my calves “manly” or if you want to “compliment” me on my weight loss - just assume that my body is not your business. We tie so much morality to the size of our clothing but the fact of the matter is you cannot look at a person and know whether or not they are healthy. All bodies are good bodies and I am a huge advocate for the Health at Every Size Movement (HAES). You deserve to move your body in a way that feels good to you. I enjoy seeing what my body is capable of. I grew up believing that my body wasn’t good enough. But it has achieved more than I ever thought possible and I want to continue to challenge it and see where it can take me next.”


Cover Story

STEPH NG At just 21 years of age, Psychology student and CrossFit enthusiast Steph Ng is an eating disorder survivor who now advocates for positive body image via her website and podcast, Body Banter. STEPH’S TRAINING SCHEDULE: Five days per week of weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning; two days of rest

During my recovery from an eating disorder, I realised that the lack of honest, open conversation about body image, and mental health issues in general, contributed to my difficulties in recognising and seeking help for my illness. Specifically, body shaming and diet culture was normalised to the point that I thought it was part of being a woman to constantly yearn for a thinner body. I had no idea that I was displaying dangerous symptoms of an eating disorder. Why did I feel pressured to starve myself? Why did I feel like my worth was defined by my weight? It was only after I learned to ask these

questions that I realized that I was living a miserable life only to please the faceless powers of diet culture. They definitely didn’t care about me, so why was I caring so much about them? I founded Body Banter two years ago, with the idea that encouraging more people to speak openly about their experiences with body image issues would not only raise awareness, but also allow people to feel less alone. Changing my perspective on fitness played a major role in my recovery. When I first joined my CrossFit gym, I had physically recovered from my eating disorder, but was still struggling quite a lot mentally. I still saw exercise as a method of compensation and punishment, and felt that the purpose of exercising was to burn more calories. My recovery has been a process of learning to see fitness as a wonderful component - but not the absolute purpose of my life. Health is not a size, and everyone’s journey to finding their best self is unique.”



Don’t Salt My Game Podcast

Body Banter

Health At Every Size Community

300 Pounds And Running Podcast

Hong Kong Eating Disorders Association



RainLily With one in seven women in Hong Kong a victim of sexual violence, RainLily an NGO that provides counselling and services to sexual violence survivors - offers cruicial psychological and legal support. Director Linda Wong tells us about this important cause. 30

Q Tell us more about RainLily and what it does. RainLily is Hong Kong’s first one-stop rape crisis centre for female victims of sexual violence. Set up by the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW) in 2000, RainLily offers sexual violence victims a one-stop service around the clock, including pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infections screening and treatment, medical examinations, psychological and legal process support. Every year, RainLily provides support to over 200 women and handles more than 2,000 hotline calls. The RainLily symbolizes women’s resilience; the violence done against her will not diminish her self-worth.


Q What kind of women do you help? RainLily provides services to female victims of sexual violence aged 14 or above, as well as the victims’ family members and primary supporters. We also offer professional consultation, training and coaching for frontline workers involved in working with victims of sexual violence. Although sexual violence is a problem that affects people from all backgrounds and age groups, our data over the past 17 years shows that we have a higher proportion of help-seekers aged between 17 and 24, most of whom are working or still at school.

Q Are attacks usually carried out by a stranger or by someone the victim knows? Among RainLily’s cases, 83 percent of perpetrators were people familiar and known to the victim, and the majority of those were friends or family members. Q What are the rates of sexual violence against women in Hong Kong? In Hong Kong, one out of seven women has experienced sexual violence, according to a survey conducted by Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities in 2013. However under our culture of silence, most victims hesitate to seek help. The international #MeToo 31


Movement, has exposed the prevalence of sexual violence. The RainLily Hotline received over 70 requests for assistance in just ten days after several public figures courageously came out as sexual violence survivors. While this shows that victims are encouraged to speak out, it also reveals a harrowing reality that a large number of cases remain hidden in society. RainLily needs more manpower and resources to continuously provide professional counselling service to victims and their families. Q What do you wish people knew about your organisation and how you can help? If you or your friend has been a victim of sexual violence or workplace sexual harassment, please remember, you are not alone. RainLily supports and walks alongside you and your supporters in the journey of healing. If you feel helpless when encountering a difficult situation, you can call us. RainLily provides immediate medical, counselling and legal support. We are here to be your constant support on this path.

Q Do you have any particularly memorable cases? One of our service-users joined VOICES, RainLily’s Victims’ Rights Concern Group, after recovering from sexual violence and secondary trauma incurred during the legal proceedings, which failed to provide adequate victim protection during her testimony. She began advocating for policies to protect victims and their privacy during court cases, and in April 2018 LegCo eventually approved a bill to allow the court to permit victims of sexual offences to testify in court by way of a live television link. The participation of VOICES was vital in this remarkable result in reducing the chance of secondary trauma for victims during the legal process. Q How can our readers get involved? We are always looking for passionate individuals to join hands with us and create interesting awareness and fundraising events. We recently launched our “Donate Your Birthday Campaign” - you can donate your birthday to RainLily by turning your friends’ and fans’ birthday gifts into donations to support our crisis intervention service.

RainLily Helpline: 2375-5322 RainLily Legal Clinic for Victims of Gender Based Violence: 2566-1997 Learn more about RainLily: 32



Broccoli Steak with lemon and granola By Leonard Cheung, Blue Supreme Serves 4-6

You’ll never find broccoli boring again after a taste of this recipe, which uses the marvellous vegetable in all its forms.




Peel the stem of the broccoli with a peeler and discard the fibrous part. Then flip the broccoli upside down and slice vertically so you get a plank of “steak.” A large broccoli stem should provide at least two portions. Set aside, saving all the trimmings and tips for the granola.

3-4 large heads of broccoli

Canned chipolte paste



1/2 kg broccoli trimmings

3 heads of garlic

Extra virgin olive oil

Lemon oil

Ice water




100g broccoli tips

15g canola oil

8g sugar

4g salt

20g puffed quinoa


1. Preheat the oven to 200C and roast the garlic bulbs in foil for 45 minutes to an hour. 2. Cook the broccoli trimmings in salted water for 3-4 minutes, and then shock in ice. 3. Blend the broccoli trimmings with lemon oil, salt, roasted garlic and ice water. Taste until you reach the desired flavour and consistency. 4. Strain the puree through a chinois, and cool immediately.


5. Combine the ingredients in a bowl (minus the quinoa), and mix thoroughly. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 185C for 6-8 minutes, or until charred and crispy. 6. Combine the puffed quinoa with the roasted broccoli tips. TO FINISH:

1. Sear the broccoli steaks in a pan with oil, and once golden brown, brush with equal parts combined chipotle and honey. Roast in the oven at 200C for 3-4 minutes. 2. Place your roasted broccoli steak right in the centre, and dress with the broccoli granola and balsamic vinaigrette.

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READY SET GLOW with Rachel Read

SCENT & THE CITY Fans of Le Labo’s divine vegan and cruelty-free scents might already know about their City Exclusive fragrances, sold only in the city that they were created for. However, once a year, there is a limited period where all Le Labo boutiques in the world stock every City Exclusive fragrance! You’ll be able to get your mitts on these very special scents in Hong Kong throughout September; the range includes such beauties as Vanille 44 (a sexy, woody vanilla usually only available in Paris), Poivre 23 (a spicy oriental pepper from London) and Tubereuse 40 (New York’s exclusive scent, filled with florals like tuberose, bergamot and orange flower). All eleven City Exclusive fragrances are available as eau de parfums or perfume oils; if you’re like me and can’t settle on just on, try building your own itinerary with the Discovery Set of five City Exclusive scents. Eau de parfum costs $2,550 for 50ml or $3,950 for 100ml; perfume oil costs $2,160 for 30ml; Discovery Set costs $480 for a set of five 1.5ml samples. 2F Star St., Wan Chai, 3568-6296; Shop 3007, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, 2759-8680.

SLOW IT DOWN If you’re looking for a haven of calm in the city, head to MOKSA, my new favourite beauty spot, located right on the Hollywood Road escalators. This recently opened "slow beauty" destination feels downright dreamy from the moment you enter, with a gorgeously spacious interior decorated in soft pink and blue hues, with warm wood and rattan accents. It specialises in relaxing manicures and pedicures, done using polishes from French brand Manucurist, whose eco-sourced, vegan and cruelty-free “Green” line uses 84 percent natural ingredients (a basically unheard-of high percentage in the nail polish world); meanwhile, the bath, scrub and massage component of the treatments is done using MOKSA’s all-natural essential oils. Next, there’s the retail aspect, where you can buy those Manucurist polishes and aromatherapy blends alongside a beautifully-curated range of other green products. Don’t miss the juice bar for a healthy refreshment before or after your treatment. Manicures start from $180, pedicures start from $280. 1/F, 30 Hollywood Rd., Central, 5597-8873, moksaslowbeauty. 36


Caroline Rhodes, Physiotherapist Founder of The Body Group

IN MY THOUGHTS I love it when people make my life easier, which is exactly what the founders of Thought Based, a cute new concept store in Causeway Bay, have done. The new boutique has cherry-picked a range of the city’s best independent natural beauty brands and collected them all under one roof for my shopping pleasure! The store’s founders are actually the creators of Essencial Candles, a homegrown line made solely from pure essential oils and locally-sourced beeswax; they were inspired by the number of other smaller, all-natural beauty brands they’d meet during markets and popups, and so decided to gather all this loveliness under one roof... and Thought Based was born. In addition to their own candles, they also stock goodies from loads of our other eco and organic favourites (with an emphasis on made-in-Hong-Kong brands), including Coconut Matter, Einnoc solid bar shampoos, and minimalist skincare from Freshmade Organics. G57 & G58, 5-5A Hoi Ping Rd., Causeway Bay, 6336-0953, Rachel Read is a freelance writer, editor and co-founder of writing agency Editors’ Ink (; she also has her own lifestyle blog, Through The Looking Glass (www.rachttlg. com) where she reviews beauty, food and whatever else she can think of. Follow her on Instagram too @rachttlg.

Q Ever since my pregnancy and delivery, I’ve have put on weight that I can’t get rid of no matter how much exercise I do. The area above my c-section scar feels fat and exercise and low carb diet makes no difference. - Baby Bloat A Dear Baby Bloat, you are not alone and the treatment is quite simple. The puffiness above your scar is lymphatic fluid collecting and not draining. Lymph fluid is part of the immune system and carries white blood cells (WBC) all over the body. It travels with the circulatory system to deliver the WBC and carry away toxins. It has a specific path and the area below the belly button travels downwards to the groin to drain. Having a scar across the lower abdomen blocks the lymph fluid from draining and it backs up above the scar and then moves into the hips and buttocks. Not only does this make it difficult to shift the “fat” or puffiness, it slows down the immune system and creates other health issues. The treatment I recommend is to have the fascia, a connective tissue that surrounds every cell in the body and is especially thick across the abdomen, to be broken down with a myofacial massage to manually break up the scar adhesions. This can be done four months after the surgery. The older the scar, the more adhesions you will have. Even if the scar seems to have faded, it’s still tight under the layers all the way to the uterus. After three to four sessions, follow up with medical lymphatic drainage. Depending on your specific needs, other recommendations can be made for a tailor-made diet and exercise program. All of these treatments are covered by medical insurance and a note for physiotherapy is all that is required. 14/F Prosperous Building, 48-52 Des Voeux Road Central,2167-7305,




Aoife McGillion makes her foray into the Mongolian hinterlands with a 100-kilometre, all-terrain running race.


lways wanted to get a taste of the real Mongolia? If you’re up for a real adventure (or you're totally mad), a 100-kilometre ramble through the Gobi Desert might be just the thing. Intrigued by the stories of a traveler I met who spent three months living nomadically on the country’s vast plains, Mongolia has been high up on my bucket list. But with limited annual leave, you need to travel smart. I decided to tie my Mongolian adventure into the Mongolia Action 3-Day Ultra Marathon, a run/hike that typically takes place over the June public holiday weekend. Allowing for a day on each side for travel, it’s possible to do this event with just two days off work. Now in its sixth year, the race offers two distances: 100 or 60 kilometres. But don’t let the long distances put you off: many contestants prefer


to hike the course, and if you’re a reasonably fit regular hiker, you should be able to manage this event with ease. I ran sections, but given the terrain - which included soft sand and 30-degree heat hiking was the order of the day, which gave me more opportunity to see the countryside. THE TERRAIN Doing the 100k race means you need to complete two-and-a-half marathons over the three-day event. Mongolia’s topography is like nothing I’ve experienced before and the race took us through various desert terrains. The course changes every year, meaning that you need to take the terrain into account when you start your training, and 2018 was definitely a “soft sand” year. In certain places, the sand dunes bordered a marshy bog that was surrounded by grass


plain steppes, which certainly kept things interesting. On my second day, I ended up thigh-high in marshy water and spent the next 30 kilometres unsure whether I had developed tinnitus or if it was the constant company of flies following me. But these are the things that make it an adventure.The biggest variable was the weather. On our two longer days, the thermostat crept up to 35 degrees with clear blue skies, and the final day was overcast, rainy and quite a bit cooler - not unlike the West coast of Ireland - and thus easier to handle. Evenings were also cool, which is to be expected in a desert with limited cloud cover. SLEEPING AND EATING Camping accommodation in gers - traditional Mongolian tents - is included in the cost of the race. The race starts from the camp each morning and finishes back at the camp in the afternoon. The gers we had are a lot more glamourous than traditional ones - sleeping three to a ger, we had an ensuite bathroom and shower, complete with hot water. The beds were also comfortable, but I suppose anything would be after a 40-kilometre hike. There was also a dedicated massage tent to ease aches and pains. Also on staff were trained medics from Ulaanbaatar, many of which doubled up as end-of-day physios and emergency blister-fixers. The food was exactly what we needed to keep us fuelled for the race: Pasta, rice, potatoes, noodles, salads, some veg and a lot of meat and cheese. I’m afraid that Mongolia is not particularly vegetarian-friendly, so bring your own supplies if you have a restricted diet.



THE PEOPLE The best part of any extreme challenge is the people you meet along the way. We had 130 runners in our group, most of whom took the same flight from Hong Kong to Ulaanbaatar, though some traveled in from elsewhere, or flew in a few days early to acclimatise and see more of the country. Many traveled alone and we were lucky to have a very inclusive bunch which made for a lot of fun at the end of each day. The awards ceremony is held on the last night back in Ulaanbaatar, followed by a night out on the town. TRAINING I have to admit that my training was slightly marred by socializing and work commitments in the month leading up to the race. It’s difficult to train for sand races in Hong Kong, but in general there’s nothing that gets your fitness levels up quite like Hong Kong’s hills and humidity.

GETTING THERE Mongolian Airlines operates one direct flight from Hong Kong to Ulaanbaatar on a daily basis. It's then a four-to-five-hour bus ride after landing in Ulaanbaatar, and I have been told that regardless of the course for each year, this should be expected.

TIPS: • With its desert climate, evenings in Mongolia can get a bit nippy. Warm wear is recommended. • Got a couple of extra days? Try your hand at horse riding; opportunities are abundantly available in Mongolia. • If you’re new to running or hiking, get out on the trails as part of your training. There are plenty of meetups and clubs available if you’re not sure where to start. • Mongolia offers visa exemptions to a number of countries, but check first. The Mongolian Embassy in Hong Kong is easily accessible and the process is fairly straightforward.



TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer

THE WILD WEST Endless coastlines, vineyards, forests, cycling paths... Perth might not be as busy as Sydney or Melbourne, but it’s one of the most pleasant cities I’ve visited in a long time. Hotels offer complimentary bikes, serve locally produced food, and there’s ne'er a plastic bottle in sight. From foraged fine dining to all-natural spas and “no waste” lunches, here’s a quick guide to eco-conscious travel in Western Australia.


WILDFLOWER Helmed by one of Australia’s most adventurous chefs, Jed Gerrard, Wildflower sits in a gorgeous glass-enclosed space atop COMO the Treasury in the central business district. The concept revolves around the six-season calendar of the indigenous Noongar community. Gerrard goes foraging a few days a week, collecting local herbs and plants to pepper into his cooking - whether it be a sprig of geraldton wax (a native shrub that tastes like kaffir lime) atop the signature Wildflower martini or an aromatic oil made from beach rosemary.

Millbrook Winery (photo: David Griffen)

Rooftop, 1 Cathedral Ave, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, +61-8-6168-7855,

NO WASTE MONDAYS Surrounded by the jarrah forest about a 45-minute drive southeast of Perth, Millbrook Winery has taken some creative steps to reduce its food waste. Each Monday, the winery celebrates the “scraps” leftover from weekend service with a delicious no-menu three-course feast at the wood-clad restaurant. Chef Guy Jeffreys, who has cultivated an enormous garden full of more 100 varieties of heirloom vegetables, will cook up sharing plates of what’s available. On my visit, we enjoyed everything from a mountain of broccolini to Fremantle squid, kale salad, and crispy snapper topped with Aussie black truffle - all paired with the vineyard’s own wines. From A$50 per person (HK$285). Old Chestnut Lane, Jarrahdale, Western Australia, +61-8-9525 5796, Psst... Granted, it’s not the most carbon-neutral way to reach Millbrook Winery, but COMO The Treasury just launched a chopper experience that touches down at the edge of the winery’s lake. Along the 20-minute journey, you’ll get a sense of just how far Perth sprawls. 42





SWAN VALLEY About 45 minutes northeast of Perth, the Swan Valley is another must-explore side trip. It’s not just about wine, though a visit to the chic Mandoon Estate is a must. There’s also locally produced honey and mead at The House of Honey, award-winning gin at Old Young's, more than 80 artisanal cheeses (and great outdoor seating) at The Cheese Barrel, and craft beer at Feral Feral Brewing Company.

TRIGG BEACH Rugged and beautiful, Trigg Beach is known as Perth’s “bush beach” thanks to its scraggly dunes sprouting all kinds of seaside vegetation - much of which is edible. There’s a jogging path as well as a surf camp on shore, where you can learn to ride the swells. After your workout, stop into the retro-chic Island Market for locally caught seafood, delicious pitas, and local craft beer.


LIMON DAY SPA Decked out in wood and pops of yellow, this cheery little day spa is brimming with natural and organic products. If you’re feeling weathered after all the adventures, indulge in a signature Limon Facial, using Mukti certified organic skincare range, essential oils and bioactive native extracts. Shop 5, 226 Oxford St, Leederville, Western Australia, +61-8-9444-8154,



Millbrook Winery

Housed inside the 19th-century State Buildings in the heart of Perth, COMO The Treasury feels like an old-world manor. Once a government building, the complex had been abandoned for years before developer Adrian Fini and Kerry Hill Architects resurrected the stately interiors - now housing 48 rooms and several restaurants. The rooms are enormous - like three hotel rooms in one - with lots of sustainable touches, such as reusable glass water jugs and inroom treats from local purveyors - think Little Creatures Craft Beer, Honeycakes, and more. From $3,400. +61-8-6168-7888,

Millbrook Winery

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

FAMILY FUN This is your final call to take advantage of an enticing summer hotel package! Valid until the end of the month, the Summer Getaway Family Package at the Grand Hyatt Macau starts at just $1,699, and includes one night’s accommodation, breakfast for two adults and two kids, minibar snacks and two hours’ admission into Kids’ City, City of Dreams’ spectacular soft play zone. The hotel will even throw in an extra bed to make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. Grand Hyatt Macau, Estrada do Istmo, City of Dreams, Macau, +853-8868-1234,

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE Impossible Foods, the plant-based meat substitute that looks and cooks just like the real thing, is now available in Macau! You can find the foodstuff at Cha Bei, The Apron Oyster Bar & Grill, and The Noodle Kitchen, all at Galaxy Macau. We are delighted to see Macau at the forefront of change and taking steps towards sustainability; these innovative "meats" have a far lower carbon footprint compared to conventional animal products. What dishes can you expect? Cha Bei is serving the Impossible Burger and Thai lettuce wraps; The Apron is offering an Impossible vegetable millefeuille; and The Noodle Kitchen now has tossed noodles with spice eggplants, impossible seared meat buns and the Impossible chive dumplings - my personal favourite. Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança, Galaxy Macau, Cotai +853-2888-0888, 44


SEEING FIREWORKS The Macau International Fireworks Display Contest takes place every September, and is a firm fixture on the city’s calendar. Now in its 27th year, the competition will feature five nights of impressive displays by teams hailing from Italy, China, Germany, Austria, France, Portugal, Japan, Belgium, The Philippines and Korea. Held over five different weekends, this is the perfect time to head over and enjoy a weekend in Macau. The Mandarin Oriental Macau is my pick for the best fireworks view from your room, or enjoy it up close with a “Firework Skywalk” at the Macau Tower. For more information and to learn what teams are on which weekend, please visit 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.




with Kate Farr

… And we’re back! The summer holidays seem to have gone by faster than ever this year, and despite the protestations of boredom, sibling tantrums and a disappointing lack of lie-ins, I’ll miss them. This month, I’m looking at a helping hand for parents of children with additional needs, a baby store stepping into some rather large shoes, and a card game designed to help children share their feelings… and perhaps shake off a little of that back-to-school blah.


APPY DAYS Created by Hong Kong parents, Twoné and Brad Moreland, Kairy is an innovative new app, specifically designed for the families of children with additional needs. Tracking medications, heart rate, nutrition and other essential data via an unobtrusive wristband, the app is named for the Morelands’ young son Kai, who has a rare neuromuscular condition. After Kai began having major seizures, his parents discovered that extremely detailed information was required by medical professionals to help identify triggers. After keeping a paper journal for a while, they hit upon digitising the process for greater simplicity and accuracy. Twoné explains, ““We don’t want it to only revolutionise our life with Kai. We want to change the lives of many others.” With an easy-to-use interface and the Morelands’ own valuable expertise integral to the user experience, Kairy is all set to facilitate that change. Costs: US$49.99 (approx. HK$393), plus US$5.99 (HK$47) per month, including the app and wristband, or US$39.99 (HK$314) plus US$5.99 per month for the app only. Free trial periods available. or more information and to buy, visit 46

Providing baby essentials for an entire generation of Hong Kong families, Hong Kong family stalwart Bumps To Babes finally wound down operations after a blowout sale (and now legendary queues) at both its Central and Ap Lei Chau locations. But as Disney taught us, you can’t keep a good dog down, and so when the store closed its doors for the last time, its staff got together to formulate an alternative. Enter Baby Basics, an online-only (for now) store run by former B2B staff, offering the majority of the same products as Bumps To Babes - think Sudocreme, Water Wipes and other hard-to-find items - with the same high standards of service. The team are aiming to build on B2B’s legacy, creating a community, rather than simply just another store, and are also working on a physical location, so stay tuned for further updates. Shop online at


MIRROR MIRROR Created by body and energy worker, tai chi teacher, life coach and psychology major Richard Wickes, Mirror Me is a card game with a difference. Designed to help children and adults to process their emotions in a safe and healthy way, Mirror Me is a fun and engaging way for kids to connect with their feelings. Using 52 hand-illustrated cards, the easyto-understand game involves storytelling and role-play, forging greater connection between family members and helping to share differing perspectives. Now fully funded via Kickstarter, Wickes now aims to roll out Mirror Me into schools, bookstores and online, underpinning healthy emotional habits from an early age with every game. $130. Find out more at or buy online at

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



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Amanda Casgar Director of Brand & Community, lululemon Asia Pacific.

Where I work out: My trainer Jay Horley from RAW Fitness has had a huge impact on my fitness - and not just how much I can squat. With Jay I’ve lost body fat and am taking on new ways to measure my long-term health.

Where I go for a healthy lunch: Le Maison Libanaise’s “haloumi fries” are to die for. It’s a very naughty name for a salad and haloumi is packed with more protein than most cheeses.

What I'm reading right now: “The Summer Wives” by Beatriz Williams. I read a lot of fiction and I love everything this woman writes.

My favourite workout gear: lululemon Align Pants feel like butter on my skin. Even if I didn’t work for the brand I would be singing the praises of our naked sensation fabrics.

My beauty essential: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum. I have a big birthday coming up and I’m taking the “Benjamin Button” approach to aging.

What I'm watching on TV: “GLOW” on Netflix is hilarious and so fun. There actually was a show called “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” on TV in America when I was growing up. This show brings back great memories of the 80’s. It also has a killer soundtrack that you can follow on Spotify. My guilty pleasure: I have a prolific kaftan collection. t’s been gamely referred to as the “vibe killer,” though I challenge anyone out there to deny the feeling of cool flowy cotton after a cold shower on one of our hot Hong Kong days. Last plane trip I took: I went to Sri Lanka and found an Ayurvedic yoga resort. We did yoga twice a day and the treatments were unlike any I’ve seen in Asia. Have you ever heard of a butter bath for your eyeballs? I tried it and couldn’t stop giggling. Where I go to get pampered: Lymphatic drainage massage at SoHo Relax.


One thing I always have in my gym bag: My BKBR water bottle. It’s a commitment to stop using single use plastic bottles and I’m all in!

My favourite workout song: “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin reminds me of that scene from “Thor: Ragnarok” when Thor calls his hammer to him and wreaks major havoc on the enemy. What health means to me: Making conscious choices so that I feel a little bit better every single day. It’s being present in the moment so I’m not acting on impulse, but with a bit more intention and a longerterm view of feeling great in my body and in my mind.