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November 2, 2012

Fit To Be Tried

Recently you’ve been wondering if fit and healthy in Hong Kong is an oxymoron. A city of bars with 24-hour licenses, serving up alcohol in every conceivable form, from giant ice-encased “crack baby” cocktails to vodka jelly syringes. Surely there’s no room for toned arms and flat tummies in this never-ending whirlwind of hedonistic excess? Well don’t lose hope of starting 2013 in better shape than Jess Ennis. We’ve got a couple of sneaky tricks for eating well and getting fit and fabulous even in our crazy, liquor-addled metropolis…

Fit To Be TriedYou Are What You Eat
When you think of salads, you think of limp, curling lettuce leaves and rumbling stomachs; the most uninspiring of lunch options reserved for the weeks post-Christmas and pre-bikini season. Well it’s time to reset those rabbit food pre-conceptions. Michelin-starred chef, Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation fame, has turned the traditional salad on its head with his brand new eatery, Beautifood. Whipping up fresh, healthy, gastro salads, Leung (AKA the Demon Chef), has built Beautifood for busy, health-conscious gals and guys on the go. A little more exciting than your average salad, Beautifood salads come with unexpected twists like the black Caesar dressing and a pickled egg with Pat Chun vinaigrette. Best of all though each salad is served in a space-age plastic bubble custom made with a top layer for keeping crisp bits crispy. Crack open your bubble, combine all the ingredients, pour in your dressing and shake – voila a perfectly dressed salad. Looking for a little more substance? How about a touch of Japanese-Mexican fusion? Beautifood also rolls up sushi burritos with fillings like BLT and hot Sichuan chicken. So if it’s true that you are what you eat, and if a meal from Beautifood really does make you look as good as it tastes, we guarantee you’ll be walking out of the shop looking like Angelina Jolie’s twin sister… (Shop 3, G/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, +852 2860 0012, http://www.beautifood.com.hk)

Getting to the Pointe
We like bars. Sure, who doesn’t? But recently we’ve learned that we also like barres, of the ballet variety that is! Introducing Trinity’s BarreAmped, a fun, fast-paced 1-hour workout, which combines the exercise routines of classical ballet dancers with pilates, yoga and orthopedic stretching, using the barre to achieve optimal positioning. A cult-favourite workout among celebs, Trinity is one of the very first barre studios in Hong Kong and instructor Mylene promises you’ll see longer, leaner legs, noticeably defined arms and toned, taut tummies within just 10 classes. Tired of your normal workout routine? It may just be time to raise the barre. (http://trinity-mindbodysoul.com)

This Little Piggy Went to Market…
…And returned a svelte swan. Or that would have been how the nursery rhyme went if the market in question had been Island East Markets. Offering a myriad of Hong Kong’s finest organic and artisanal produce, Island East Markets has everything you could need to stock your fridge with scrumptious, healthy treats. Freshly baked bread, local honey and farm-fresh vegetables pulled straight from the ground – a mosey round the markets sure beats a grocery run to Wellcome. We’re thrilled to hear that after the runaway success of its four-week trial in early Autumn, Island East Markets will be popping up again every Sunday from 11 November in the run-up to Christmas. (http://hkmarkets.org/)

Ship Shape
It’s all very well for Hollywood A-Listers to parade their teeny, perfectly toned bodies down the red carpet – they have personal trainers, nutritionists and life coaches on speed dial. Ever thought that if only you had access to the same crew of healthy help, then perhaps you’d look just as good? Well now you can, on both counts, and all without the Jennifer Anniston sized budget… Bikini Fit, a premier girls only health and fitness program, launched this month. Once you’re enrolled, you get access to six bootcamp sessions a week, comprehensive nutrition advice, bi-weekly workshops and 24/7 support to ensure that you get a complete body overhaul in just eight weeks. Bootcamp sessions range from yoga to TRX with plenty of squats and kettle bell lifts in between. All sounding as though it’s going to come with a pretty hefty price tag? This couldn’t be farther from the truth. At just HK$595 a week, it’s cheaper than a day out on a junk and we say that’s pretty fantastic value for getting into the best shape of your life. (http://bikinifit.com.hk/)

Cooking by Numbers
After a hard day’s work, it’s all too easy to forego a healthy home-cooked meal in favour of the ease and speed of getting a takeaway. You’re tired, you’re hungry and your kitchen’s far too poky. After all, who can whip up a culinary masterpiece when you only have two hobs and a couple of saucepans at your disposal? Well, you actually, with a little help from the Secret Ingredient boys… No shopping, no washing, no chopping or weighing. SI delivers a bag of pre-prepped ingredients right to your doorstep, making home cooking a breeze. With each component of your meal neatly sorted into little pots labeled with letters that correspond to a super simple recipe card, creating your feast is as easy as A, B, C… With a fab selection of low carb and vegetarian options as well as a recent collaboration with Circuit 25, you can be assured that not only is your meal on your plate in under thirty minutes, it’s also not going to make your muffin top bulge. Having just celebrated their first Birthday, SI are now offering single serve portions as well as their usual portions for two. Absolutely no more excuses – stop using your oven to store shoes, and get into that kitchen. (http://www.secretingredient.com.hk/)

*Recommendations provided by Natalie Robinson, contributor for The Guardian and co-founder of the blog 3BadMice



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