Monday, May 19, 2014

DIY Wellness Day

This past weekend, I joined up with some girl friends who decided to do a do-it-yourself Wellness Day to inspire everyone to eat better, healthier, and also engage in exercise.  Soundness of mind and body always sounds like a good idea to me, so I agreed to try it out.

It was a really great experience and I am so glad I participated.  We kicked everything off bright and early on Sunday morning on my friend's gorgeous and expansive terrace.  We invited a yoga instructor to come and lead us in a 90 minute vinyasa yoga session, and also to teach us about juicing and blending.

We arrived at my friend's apartment a little after 9 AM, to a beautifully laid out table where she and her husband had thoughtfully provided chilled water to us in bobble water bottles, each water bottle helpfully labeled with our names, along with a platter of crudités, fresh fruit and banana oatmeal bars.  How thoughtful and healthy!
 Loving the prints and colors happening here...

 After a few quick nibbles, we unrolled our mats and prepared to get our yoga on.
It was really fun to do yoga outside, in such an urban environment.  Occasionally the wind would get rowdy and every so often a truck or car would be very loud (the honking from the taxis were probably the most distracting) but I enjoyed the change in environment very much.  I thought the juxtaposition of urban apartment buildings and calming yoga poses would be weird, but it actually felt more organic, somehow.  I am so used to doing yoga in a studio that I welcomed the change in scene.
 My friend has a beautiful space.
After our invigorating yoga session, we settled down for the presentation on juicing.  We sipped detox or "flat belly" water, which is chilled water with mint leaves, cucumber and lemon.
The teacher had a very professional and highly instructive powerpoint presentation, which I was not expecting.  I learned some rather technical stuff, like which vitamins and fibers are soluble and insoluble, and what glycemic load is.

Here are the ingredients used for the juicing presentation.

I was reminded that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of carbohydrates - something we forget about in the day to day because we think of carbs as bread and crackers.  I learned a lot about masticating juicers versus blenders and how the heat generated by fast speed blenders ruin a good portion of the enzymes in fruit and vegetables.  That's why the latest fad in juicing is "cold-pressed" juice or "slow-pressed" juice.  That means they were pressed by a machine that does not generate the heat caused by the whirring blades.

This is a centrifugal juicer.  Juices made from this kind of juicer should be consumed very shortly after juicing.
 This is a nutri-bullet, but really any blender will do to make smoothies.
 After the presentation, the teacher made a few delicious smoothies and juices for us to sample.

We joked that these were the healthiest "shots" we all had taken in a while.  I have now had enough juices to know that despite how scary the colors of these juices may be, they are usually pretty delicious.  What can I say, appearances can be deceiving!  One of the best things about juicing is that ingredients and flavors that are not palatable to me when eaten on their own (turmeric, ginger, cucumber, celery, beetroot…) take on delicious and interesting and much more tolerable dimensions in juice.

 These are the ingredients you can use to make juices.  Just consider the possibilities!  I am already very seriously contemplating purchasing a juicer and making this part of my lifestyle.
After the presentation and the juice tasting, we settled down to a beautiful and delicious lunch prepared by my friend's husband.  We talked about "juicing the rainbow" in the presentation - a concept to convey balance and variety in what ingredients one should use to juice.  Well, I must say it is also good to eat the rainbow as well.  Just look at the vivid colors in these dishes.

I will let my friend's impeccable labels speak for themselves!

 My first plate.  Everything was so delicious.
 We finished with shredded coconut in dark chocolate.
After this impressive schedule of healthy activities, we then headed out to get foot and body massages at Kiwi Spa in Central.  It was our first time trying out the spa.  Considering the pretty reasonable price (HK$168 for a 50 minute foot massage), I was quite pleased.  I would declare this inaugural DIY Wellness Day a fabulous success, and hope there are many more!

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