Quinoa? Oh-vah. Green juice? Snooze. Here are the health trends that’ll be shaking up Hong Kong this year. By Kate Springer.
If you’re constantly battling an overactive social calendar, you can now look forward to a healthier alternative on your nights out. A couple of years ago, Topiary cocktail bar in Central introduced the concept of “Shim’ cocktails,” which have a lower alcohol content than your average tipple.
The idea of “healthy” cocktails – lower sugar, lower alcohol and infused with healthy ingredients – will be big news this year. Belvedere Vodka recently launched an all-natural Belvedere Spritz Collection, and rumor has it that there’s a coconut water vodka coming soon to Hong Kong.
Maximal Concepts restaurants are on board too, serving a “Kale & Coriander” margarita at Limewood, a delicious “Farmhouse Jam” made with blueberry and thyme at Fish & Meat, and a refreshing “Kiwi Vodka Sake” at Mercedes Me.
“We introduced healthy cocktails to give people more options,” says Maximal Concepts mixologist Lok Gurung. “Next year, we expect to see bars catering more to lifestyle habits – using more superfoods, organic ingredients, and lower calorie drinks.”
PSA: An all-veggie diet is now a life choice to be celebrated. The latest push for plant-based dishes has resulted in incredibly diverse and flavourful meals with an innovative edge.
Grassroots Pantry has long been a go-to favourite for healthy vegetarian cuisine, and chef Peggy Chan recently took it up a notch with a new 98 percent vegan menu. The new dishes eschew dairy, instead of celebrating superfood ingredients such as coconut yogurt, almond milk, kefir, kelp, miso, matcha, and maca. “How does one make bone broth without any bones? We’ve slow stewed a brown stock with chickpea miso, homemade sambal and organic local soy milk for over three hours on the stove,” explains Chan. “That savouriness is incredibly satiating on a cold winter’s day!”
Meanwhile, Red Bar + Restaurant at IFC Mall introduced a “Garden Menu” that’s chock-full of vegan choices. “The vegan dishes are mostly raw, which can help maintain the optimal nutritional benefits of each ingredient,” says Red Bar’s raw food chef Moises Mehl.
Cooking at home? The folks behind Green Monday social enterprise opened Green Common, a grocery store dedicated to 100 percent plant-based products. The group aims to bring sustainable, low-carbon, plant-based products to the mainstream.
There’s something about flipping tires and pushing heavy sleds that’s immensely satisfying. Focusing on primal movements – bending, twisting squatting, pushing and pulling – Strongman workouts improve strength, flexibility, and posture.
Strongman pioneer URSUS Fitness started its Bear Camp on Lamma island a couple of years ago, followed by a brick-and-mortar gym in Sai Ying Pun that opened last October. A testament to the programme’s popularity, URSUS Fitness recently took over another 280-square-metre space next door to expand its capacity. “We use tires and logs, yokes and beer kegs – it’s not fancy equipment but it’s a much more functional way of training,” says Gary Manwaring, founder of URUS. “More than half of the participants in our Strongman group classes are women – you don’t have to be a 120-kilo guy to benefit from the workout.”
Pure Fitness has also ramped up its Strongman offerings with expanded workout areas, a growing team of trainers and an assortment of weighted toys to grip, drag, push and pull.
Need a primer? Those who are totally new to weightlifting will find a modified version of Strongman training at Warrior Academy in Sai Ying Pun. “Anyone wanting to train Strongman should be experienced with conventional weight lifting,” says Tricia Yap, Warrior Academy co-founder. “There is a high risk of injury to the lower back so it is best to get familiar with the basics before taking part.”
First beauty products went organic, and now they’re going one step further. This year, expect an uptick in biodynamic beauty products powered by wild-harvested ingredients, sans chemicals and environmental contaminants.
First beauty products went organic, and now they’re going one step further. This year, expect an uptick in biodynamic beauty products powered by wild-harvested ingredients, sans chemicals and environmental contaminants. Recommended for sensitive scalps, the formula is made from fruit, veggies, yogurt… and even real chocolate.
Meanwhile, a host of online beauty retailers are getting on board: Urban Greenosophy carries biodynamic brands like Terre Verdi and Living Naturally; Cabanee stocks face masks and lip balms from Bottega Organica; and Gooseberry Beauty sells small-batch, handcrafted products from Fig+Yarrow.
Eco-friendly fashion is on the rise – and we hope this trend sticks. Adidas recently announced its “Parley for the Oceans” sneakers, which are spun from plastic collected off the Maldives and made using 3D printing technology. Pharrell Williams also jumped on the trash-to-trend fad with his plastic-fuelled fashion line Bionic Yarn.
The superstars join boutique brands like Wathaa beachwear, FINCH Swim, and Hong Kong-based RUMI X athletic wear. A pioneer in this space, RUMI X uses plastic and recycled coffee grounds to make its yoga leggings.
“People now are more conscious about their environment and aware of the impact they can make,” says RUMI X founder Melissa Chu. “It’s a matter of understanding that we make conscious choices about our lifestyles.”