BOOK NOW
BOOK NOW

3 Nights at Gaia

Just over a month ago, I visited a beautiful luxe health retreat in the hinterlands of Byron Bay, Gaia. Gaia means spirit of Mother Earth, and the entire operation – from the hand-picked ingredients used to nourish us to the pristine grounds and fresh air all around us – embodies this philosophy. I chose the mother-daughter package, to enjoy some quality one-on-one time with my gorgeous mumma before the silly season and my wedding festivities, and to thank her for all she has done. It is a really lovely thing to do with your mum or sister, and we both really enjoyed this package. We felt well and truly pampered and rested by the end of it!

The moment I set foot on the property, I could feel it was special. There is no tranquility like that of green rolling hills, quietly rustling tall shady trees, happy birds and the trickle of a water fountain or two. That’s it! Literally, no building for the eye to see or highway for the ear to hear. It is pure, unadulterated quiet and serenity. The retreat is small and intimate, so there aren’t herds of people to-ing and fro-ing. No hall or elevator music as each room is it’s own little bungalow, accessed from the outdoors. The main dining area, yoga room, spa and pool area are all speckled around the property keeping everything just close enough whilst still encouraging a pleasant stroll through the grounds.

The days looked like this:

  • A deep, vibrational gong to wake you up nice and early.
  • They provide tea, a kettle, lemons and fruit to start the day right! Hot water with lemon for me.
  • A morning yoga session.
  • Breakfast of a cold buffet + a hot plate – they were very accomodating to our vegan request, and most meals were predominantly plant-based anyway.
  • I’d then go for a walk around the property with mum, stopping off at the veggie garden and the scenic lookouts. One morning we walked in to Newrybar town, approx 40 mins each way. It’s a beautiful street to walk around with eclectic furniture and a gorgeous cafe, Harvest. You can also use the retreat bikes.
  • There are mid morning activities to choose from, that change daily e.g. cooking class, skincare seminar, a workout, garden tour etc.
  • Lunch was a la carte and always delicious! One giant plate of goodness, with lots of the ingredients fresh from the garden.
  • In the afternoon spa treatments were usually scheduled, and I would head to the pool to enjoy a swim and a few laps before indulging in whatever spa treatment they had in store. Every single one was 10/10 amazing. One of the best spa’s I’ve ever been to!
  • More lying by the pool reading and swimming. There is also a hot tub and sauna to make good use of.
  • There is the option of an afternoon activity, similar to the morning options.
  • Early dinner around 6pm – 3 courses! Never skipped dessert, it was too good!
  • Maybe a tea to finish off the evening whilst I relaxed in the bath or read my book.
  • Bedtime at 9pm… I slept so well here.

The highlights:

  1. The food – never missed a beat! Whether it was the incredible gluten-free porridge mix, the sautéed veg breakfast hot plate, an exotic blend of greens from the garden, light but insanely flavourful dressings and sauces, and incredibly crafted desserts, the meals were a true highlight. Honestly, it might be easy to overindulge what with a buffet for breakfast, a three course meal on offer for dinner and wine available on request, but my best tips are:

  • take advantage of the turmeric shot at breakfast, skip the smoothie and opt for water or the veg juice, stick to one cold plate from the breakfast buffet (start with fruit) and make sure the hot plate is mostly veg, skip the snack table that is available all day (you should be eating enough at meals to get you through), enjoy your entire plate at lunch and the three courses available at dinner – opting to share dessert if you feel you want to stay on the lighter side, say no to wine for the entire stay! I think with the lack of snacking, keeping active and going to bed early, the food provided without the extra’s is just the right amount to nourish your body properly and showcase just how amazing healthy food can be. If going vegan is of interest you, this is definitely the place to try it out!

  1. The Spa + Retreatment – they use their own home-brand… Retreatment, beautifully crafted and thoughtfully put together with certified organic, cruelty-free, vegan, locally-sourced, active ingredients. I have been lucky enough to be using the full range and absolutely adore the white cypress mist, the H20 vita boost serum and the face dew moisturiser.

      

  1. Sound meditation – this was incredibly relaxing and healing for me. Not only stimulating auditory senses, but also kinaesthetic, as you feel the vibrations in your entire body. The sound bowls are made from precious materials from the earth such as quartz infused with jade and even white gold, and they make a unique, incredibly soothing sound. Do not miss this one!
  1. The garden – maybe it’s the mini gardener in me, but I have such huge appreciate for harvesting your own food. The garden tour was really great to learn some new tips and tricks and bring you closer to the food you find on your plate.

  1. Check in – can be any day, unlike other health retreats where you must start and finish at the same time as other guests. Gaia allows flexibility and ease so that you can slot in some R&R at a time that works best for you.

As you can see, I absolutely loved my time at Gaia, and highly recommend it for those looking for a holiday they don’t need a holiday from! There is no shortage of feel-good things to do or delicious food to eat, and you will feel nourished from the inside out after just a short stay. It truly is worth the money. I hope you find yourself there one day soon!

Light, love & good health,

Sami

xx

My Bali Travels: Eat, Stay, Yoga

Bali is a dream come true for a health-foodie yogi and surfer couple like us! It is a warm, tropical paradise that offers incredible healthy food, a variety of exciting activities, culture, kind people, yoga (everywhere), and of course, many luxurious and affordable hotels and villas. We have been a few times but I must say that this time was most definitely our favourite. Having learned a thing or two from our past travels, I think we nailed it! There are so many different places to go and stay and eat in beautiful Bali, and there truly is something for everyone. I like to think we found some real gems on our recent stay! If you are reading this blog post and follow me on social media, you likely have an interest in health. Read my post here for why I think it isn’t necessary to spend ridiculous amounts on a health retreat if you are after a healthy getaway. Wherever you choose to stay, whether it is one of the below places or not, be sure that it has air-conditioning (no matter what season) and some kind of mosquito protection (either a mosquito net, enclosed four-poster bed, or an in-house zapper!).

Uluwatu / Bingin

Stay

We stayed at Sal Secret Spot (a boutique eco-hotel), Mu Bungalows, and The Temple Lodge. Sal was under renovations in the main area which was a shame. Where we stayed was a little further away down a windy cliff path which I wouldn’t recommend, although this was where the view of the ocean was. The other area has a pool and seems to offer a little more privacy between rooms. I would look into those rooms if going back.

After Sal we went to Mu Bungalows which was stunning. It was a very Balinese experience with dim-lit bungalows and huge outdoor bathrooms. Even more spectacular than the individual bungalows are the grounds. This is what makes Mu! Daybeds and cute sitting areas adorn the garden, a beautiful infinity pool overlooking a panoramic view of the ocean, the best coconuts of my trip (and I had one a day!), yummy fruity breakfast, and in-house yoga.

The Temple Lodge – we didn’t stay here but I went here a few times and looked into rooms. I will be trying it on my next trip!

Yoga

We went to The Temple Lodge, Uluwatu Surf Villa’s and Mu for classes, and my favourite was Naomi at Uluwatu Surf Villas. Her class was wonderful, they offer a cold young coconut after and you really can’t go passed that Shala and the view!

Eat

Cashew Tree

– Soul Bowl, falafel wrap (no tzaki or cheese and add avo if dairy-free), gado gado rolls, pitaya bowl

Nalu Bowls

– Uluwatu bowl or the Pipeline! Sub granola for raw nuts and always, always add dragon fruit and mango 🙂

Nusa Lembongan

Stay

Tigerlillys

Prepare to be in boutique bali heaven! We ended up getting the Suite and it was a two-story bungalow with a large outdoor bathroom. Despite being outdoors it is so clean! Tigerlillys has a cute little pool and also has a delicious cafe on property with some really healthy options – smoothies, smoothie bowls, vegan salads, tempeh, san choy bow etc. Great location and fantastic service.

Yoga

– Yoga Shak

– Serenity Yoga (newer than ^ and probably my preferred choice. It offers “fly-high” yoga too!)

Eat

– Pisang Pisang (in Rama Gardens) – everything is good! Tofu peanut butter shake, pineapple garlic juice (all their juices are unusual and amazing), Japanese hand rolls, tropical rice paper rolls, potato curry, papaya salad… everything we tried we loved! The staff are so sweet and accommodating too.

– Tigerlillys – mushroom tempeh san choy bow, the lychee mint smoothie with coconut milk, super smoothie bowl, the asian salad.

– Blue Corner Dive – this place has a really cool social vibe with beanbags on the beach. Portions are a little small so don’t be afraid to over order. Both vegan salads are delicious, the mini gluten-free tacos and an unusual green juice made with prickly pear!

– Eco Deli – look, it’s not my favourite place but it does offer some healthy food on an island where this is quite limited. I do recommend the above places first but do try it for a smoothie or a juice – The Date Shake is pretty good!

Keramas

Stay, Yoga, Eat

Komune – an all-in-one health resort that has amazing facilities in front of a popular surf break. It has a great spa, two pools (one is a lap pool), a 24-hour gym and yoga on-site. There is a healthy menu at one of the restaurants which was pretty good, however their “health key” is often off and there is no vegan key, just vegetarian (despite some of the items being vegan, but this can get confusing). I would probably only recommend this spot if you surf or your partner does, as there are other health resorts around Bali in a better location and with better food! It is very well priced though, and the spa was divine.

Ubud

Stay

The Stonehouse Villas

Just incredible! There are no words. This is a small facility with 3 rooms/houses and each is uniquely decorated to the nines. We stayed in the longhouse which is a boho balinese paradise! Think four poster bed, draping curtains, an antique bathtub, a swinging lounge, two balconies, and the most gorgeous furniture and decorative pieces in Bali. The staff are lovely, the area is pristine, the décor is one-of-a-kind and the location is central enough yet you feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets.

Yoga

Yoga Barn – you can’t go past the classes here! I highly recommend Les and Denise.

Eat

Seeds of Life – all raw and vegan. Get the mexican lasagne, live pizza, breakfast burrito, granola with almond milk and choc sauce, banoffie pie, creamer tonics, the Inca Gold smoothie, Green Juice with lavender and aloe.

Sage – Must go here! All vegan. Jackfruit tacos, cauliflower frittas, tempeh buffalo wings, vegan gluten-free pancakes, breakfast burrito.

Alchemy – make your own salad and definitely get their sweet and spicy cashews and rawmasen, cauliflower rice sushi, Raspberry Lips smoothie, bounty bliss ball and the “French Kiss” nice cream.

Down to Earth – start your day with the detox special (ACV, cayenne pepper, psyllium husk, maple syrup and betonite clay)! They have a giant menu. We had lunch and recommend the basil tofu rice paper rolls, the vegan burrito and the dragon bowl.

Kafe @ Yoga Barn – pop in here for a quick shake or juice post-yoga but I recommend food elsewhere.

Five Elements – fine dining, a delicious vegan dinner experience at a world-class health retreat. Definitely get the vegan mushroom burger – it tastes like a healthy cheese burger!!!!

La Pacha Mama – Vegetarian Mexican. We went here when it had just opened. Our smoothies were phenomenal, the space is beautiful and the staff lovely. I really enjoyed my vegan mushroom tacos, but my boyfriend who is a burrito connoisseur was a little disappointed with his burrito!

Places we didn’t get to but wish we had:

Bambu Indah (another great place to stay, I hear) and they have an organic cafe

Green School and their cafes (closed during our stay due to school break)

Clear Cafe

The Elephant Cafe

My Own Bali Self-Retreat

I don’t believe you have to go to an expensive health retreat to have a healthy experience in Bali. I believe that wherever we go – Bali, Bowral or Bermuda – we can curate our own health holiday.

While I was booking my trip I toyed with the idea of booking a fancy retreat for at least some of the trip. My partner and I do this trade off where he get’s to do what he wants for half the trip (it’s a no brainer – chase waves and surf all day) and I get to own the other half (duh, yoga). So I knew that I had a get-out-of-jail-free card to pick a hotel of my choosing. But the truth is, I ended up finding so many gorgeous boutique hotels that either offered daily yoga themselves or were close enough to a studio that did. What’s more, they were much more affordable, just as luxurious and most even had a couple of healthy items on the menu. But I knew from my previous time in Bali that there is absolutely no need to worry about where will I find gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, healthy food, because Bali, especially where we were going, fully caters to this crowd.

So I booked into the places that appealed to me, knowing full well that I could create my own cleanse/detox/retreat with all the healthy food and yoga Bali has to offer and a few of my own guidelines to follow. I’m not going to pretend that the below “rules” were all planned out from the beginning – as a health coach and nutritionist-in-training, I guess these sort of came naturally to me as I went. By day 4, as I was sipping my daily coconut poolside, I had an idea that I was indeed creating my own wellness escape and that perhaps some of you who have lusted over a luxurious health retreat might benefit from me sharing my experience with you. So that is all this is – me guiding you on your own no-guilt getaway. All you need to do is pick a destination, do a bit of research on cafes and yoga spots (or gyms, pilates, whatever you are into), and commit to a clean holiday experience. It might seem a bit crazy, planning a trip without planning to drink, party and over-indulge on ice cream, but to be honest it really is what a vacation should be about – relaxing and recharging.

I’d prefer to come home from a holiday with a clear mind, fresh body and rejuvenated spirit so I can settle right back into the swing of things.

The below tips are specific to Bali but there is no reason they can’t be tweaked to a destination of your choice. So without further ado, here is my own Bali self-retreat that I hope can help you on your next trip to paradise!

Daily yoga most hotels offer morning yoga for around $10 but if not, a hotel or studio nearby will.

Incidental cardio walking around sight seeing, beach walks, not having a car, snorkeling, swimming etc. will all have you leading a much more active lifestyle then you probably do at home. I was making a conscious effort, where there was a long pool to swim 20-40 laps every other day – a luxury I don’t often get at home.

Ocean swims most days – if you can squeeze it into the schedule, jump into the ocean or pool. There is something so cleansing about this. It is especially nice after your morning yoga.

Vitamin D – 15 minutes of sun exposure each side (laying down) before creaming up with sunscreen and/or sitting under an umbrella. This might sound controversial considering “slip, slop, slap” has been ingrained in us here in Australia, but the research supports this. Sunscreen nullifies your bodies ability to receive adequate amounts of Vit D. Watch this video here for more if you are interested/concerned.

A coconut a day – sometimes 2! You obviously don’t have to if coconut is not your jam but other then the well-renown health benefits (hydrating, alkalizing, rich in potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, cytokinins → anti-aging, anti-cancer effects) It helps you feel like you are on vacay (in case you forgot), replaces the need for a pool-time cocktail and makes a delicious mid-morning healthy snack. Enjoy the young coconut flesh too!

Vegan diet – I always subscribe to a vegan diet when I travel through Asia, and I can honestly say I have never been sick to date. No Bali belly… ever (I’ve been 5 times). This might scare some of you or sound drastic but I truly believe a break from heavier foods such as meat can do your digestion wonders. There is a reason that most health retreats cater this way. It gives your digestion a well-deserved break, alkalises the body, cuts out a lot of processed sh*t and encourages you to eat more plants/raw food. Obviously don’t binge on hot chips and soy milkshakes, but open your mind up to the endless possibilities of plant-based cuisine, try those quirky cafes and most importantly embrace wholefoods.

Find your nearest health cafes – Bali is full of them! My 3 x a day looked something like… B: smoothie bowl or fruit salad with nuts and granola, L: quinoa or red rice salad with hummus, avocado & seeds or jackfruit tacos (!!!), D: Coconut curry with tempeh and extra veggies with a green/fruity juice. Snacks = coconut + flesh and maybe some local fresh fruit. Salaks are a favourite! Oh, and we would often make room for a raw, refined-sugar-free dessert. This is the kind of holiday indulgence I am all about!

10 glasses+ of FILTERED water – again, no Bali belly here please! Stick to filtered water. Obviously so important to stay hydrated in hot climates.

No alcohol – fruit juice, smoothies and coconuts for me!

8-10 hours sleep each night – I slept like a baby whilst I was away. It wasn’t that we were wasting our days sleeping in, but rather, getting to sleep earlier, especially without TV or computers keeping us up and messing with our sleep cycle. 9pm bedtime 6-7am rise!

Reading, writing, minimal social media use each day – do the things that better you not that waste time, make you feel insecure and distract you from the good all around you.

Massages and body scrubs – take relaxation to the next level and treat yourself to one, two, or twelve massages and other beauty treatments to really zen out and indulge your body (it’s not always about our tastebuds). They can be as little as $20 for one hour in Bali, so enjoy it whilst you can!

Meditate – this is one of those things we “just don’t have time for” in our everyday lives, so why not make the commitment to making the time for it now that you are on vacation. If you are new to it, download an app (I like insight timer – they have short and longer guided ones too), commit to 5-15 minutes and do it whenever you can. Feel the benefits and see if it’s something you want to bring in to your life back home.

And don’t forget to bring some of these essentials…

  • Dry Brush
  • Hair serum – anti-frizz, hydrating
  • Face mask – I like this cacao banana one.
  • Hydrating face mist – to freshen up mid-day. I’ve been using this one.
  • Books – lots! Some I brought with me were Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”, Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Spirit Junkie”.
  • Diary / Scrap book
  • Earphones – for those long beach walks
  • Goggles – in case you want to do laps
  • Lavender oil – to induce calm/sleep
  • Water bottle – refill and carry with you

Tips to have you feeling better Post Travel

There’s a lot of information out there nowadays on how to prepare for healthy travel, snacks to pack for the plane, what to do and what to do on board to avoid jet lag etc. but there seems to be very little on how to settle back into the swing of things post travel. After a flight we are dehydrated, our appetite is haywire, our body confused, our circadian rhythm is off, our bowel movements may be on hold, and yet we have to be up and at em to tack a to-do list as long as our arm! So, how are we supposed to do it all when all we want to do is lay down? Here’s what I find helpful to get me feeling better in no time.

Water – 3L! The first thing I did when I got home was guzzle 500ml of water when I walked in the front door. I continued to drink water, infusions and herbal tea all day (ginger and peppermint tea are great for digestion).

Lemon water – if you get back first thing, a good idea is to get back into the routine of starting the day with warm lemon water. Add a pinch of ground cayenne or turmeric or some fresh grated ginger to pep things up. I’ve also decided to switch things up with grapefruit from time to time which has a similar effect.

Chlorophyll – I also like to add 15ml of chlorophyll to a few glasses of water throughout the day. Chlorophyll promotes cleansing, alkalises the body, energises us and fights free radicals (antioxidant properties).

Dry brush – I’ll admit, the first thing I do is take a shower. I am in no mood to dry brush that musty feeling of airplane all over my skin! However after my first quick shower, I then apply oil to my hair (see below) and unpack/organise for 1-2 hours. THEN I dry brush before showering again to deal with that oil….

Coconut oil for hair – Planes not only dehydrate your body and skin, but they also leave your hair dry and brittle. Apply coconut oil to your hair, starting from the scalp and combing with your fingers toward the ends. Don’t forget to massage the roots to promote healthy hair growth. After 1-2 hours (or as long as you like), wash it out, making sure to double shampoo and then condition. Afterward, if you have one, use a split end/dry hair serum whilst hair is still damp.

Unpack – As tempting as it is, don’t leave this for the next day when you likely have to go back to work! It’s just another thing on your to-do list and will only clutter your space and make you feel messy. Get it done early, while you are oiling your hair, and get organised!

Walk – even if just for 30 minutes. Get outside, breathe the fresh air in. Natural light will help optimise melatonin production, managing your circadian rhythm to regulate sleep patterns.

Raw fruit & veg – hydration, hydration! This cuts out the processed foods which can clog up your system and has you gorging on delicious wholefoods which are nutrient dense, alkalising and extremely hydrating. I snacked on fresh berries for a hydrating antioxidant hit, and had lots of raw salad and a smoothie throughout the day.

Supplement regimen – I’m generally a little slack with this while I am away so if you take supplements, now is the time to get back into the habit of having them at the right times during the day.

Moisturise – After your shower, or if you are like me, when you get into bed that night. Our skin is very dehydrated remember from air travel and airports, so lather it on!

Yoga – If you have time, take a class otherwise simply stretch it out on the floor. Downward dog, Reverse Warrior, Triangle, Butterfly, Pigeon, Bridge, and a Supine twist are all great poses. These will stretch out stiff muscles and bring you a sense of calm.

Bedtime – not too early, try to get used to your home timezone, however you want at least a full 8 hours before you have to wake up the next day. I was sleeping like a baby on vacation (sometimes 10 hours!) so this is something I want to prioritise. More sleep! We all need it. See my jet lag tips here.

A Healthy Guide to the Garden Island…K A U A I

I must say, Kauai truly is a special place. From the moment we hopped off the plane we knew it. The warm sunshine, fresh air, friendly smiles and natural beauty all around us (even on the side of the highway!) were all so welcoming and postcard perfect. We went around the corner straight from the airport and found a cute little farmers markets at Vidinha Stadium where we stocked up on fruit and veg for the drive to the North side of the Island. The highlight was a big bag of small but juicy lychees with the tiniest pips!

We stayed on the North, in Hanalei. In my opinion, it is the most aesthetically beautiful area of the island, very lush and green. I’d recommend staying here or closer East (where the majority of cafes are located). In our condo we had a kitchen so we cooked a few healthy dinners with the amazing local organic produce from the markets as well as the delicious products from the health food stores. Exploring health markets is one of my favourite things to do on holiday so it was nice to be able to buy and cook with local produce, plus it felt like we were local! Speaking of locals, there are beautiful chickens roaming freely around the island, unexpected in this lush oasis but endearing all the same! Much nicer than seeing them caged like you come across in other beautiful holiday destinations 🙁 They are pretty much part of the furniture, and are not shy!

Below I have listed the incredible farmers markets, cafes, juice bars, fruit stands, activities, yoga studios and health shops we visited during our stay. I only recommend what I thoroughly enjoyed. It is definitely an active escape, but please, you can make it as energetic or relaxing as you choose. I think Kauai is the perfect place for adventure as well as for pure restoration. Nature’s beauty surrounds you and the tropical, easy-going vibe is contagious!

Travel tip: hire a car. Kauai is a large island with each area offering a lot so make sure you can access it all!

It's my favourite place on earth!!! Beach walks at dusk along Hanalei Bay ✨❤️ #weddingdestination #bestholidayever

Farmers Markets

Vidinha Stadium – 3pm Fridays (East)Farmers markets just around the corner from yoga Hanalei... What a view to drink in post practice! Everywhere we look is postcard picture worthy. And these local #markets were #beautiful! Fresh fruit & veg, soaps, jewellery etc & lots of drinking coconuts which you could take back to get chopped & have the meat scooped! My kinda coconut situation #healthytravel

Hanalei Markets – 9:30am – 12pm Saturdays (North)

Waipa Ahupuaa Field – 2pm Tuesdays (North)

Another day in #paradise, another farmers market, another coconut From tree to me! #local #fresh One of the best ways to replenish the body of water & electrolytes lost on a hot summers day is hydrating with coconut water ☀️ It's no wonder coconuts are prevalent in so many hot climates... Nature has our back! #hydrate #refreshing #summer

 

Fruit Stands

Aloha Juice Bar – Hanalei (North) – for the very best acai! We went here every morning. My toppings were to add blueberries, macadamia nuts and bee pollen 🙂

The last Acai bowl of the trip Best #acai in Hanalei! Delicious crunchy granola, crushed macadamias, bee pollen, sliced banana & blueberries to top What a way to start every day here!!! Mahalo @alohajuicebar

 

Moloaa Sunrise Fruit Stand – (North-east) Gotta get the “date with fate” smoothie!!

11420944_631625246974806_1759522629_n

Kalalea Juice Hale – (North-east) … King Kong acai bowl is a must! Chocolate Peanut Butter lovers dream!

IMG_7885 IMG_7901

Akamai Juice Company (North) – I adored! Found on the last day and wish I found it sooner. The Magic Dragon juice is a must. Try a hot shot if you are feeling a bit sniffly.

Banana Joes (North) – small juice bar, lots of yummy, organic produce and snacks. They stock some Rainbow Foods dishes!

Kombucha

Potions Kombucha Bar (East) – a must for kombucha lovers! The friendly owner, Gadhai, is a monk with extensive knowledge on kombucha and herbs and has created some carefully and cleverly constructed masterpieces to create tasty brews that deliver all the goodness of kombucha plus more to your bodies.

Kauai Juice Co (North-East & East locations) – juices, health shots, kombucha, kim chi plus more! You can find their kombucha at most supermarkets on the island, some delicious flavour combos!

11386573_1588525584732401_1506222466_n

Cafes & Restaurants

Rainbow Living Foods (East) – Raw Vegan… a must! Smoothies, wraps, pizza, burgers, tacos, sushi, salads, chia caviar, falafels and desserts…. A health foodie lovers dream!

11374610_827846217329546_1454587855_n

Postcards (North) – best dinner spot in the North that offers vegan/vegetarian/healthy options. Mostly we cooked but if we went out for dinner North, it was here.IMG_7732

JO2 Natural Cuisine (East) – A great dining experience with friends. There are a lot of vegan options on the menu – I recommend the papaya tacos, cauliflower bisque and mushroom risotto 🙂

Café Coco – A Jamaican vibe with gorgeous, fresh, colourful creations!

IMG_9080 IMG_9071 IMG_9030

Sushi Girl – perfect little stop over when coming back from Key beach or the Hanakapi’ai hike. A sushi burrito is a must! We got ours “just veggies”, and it was delicious.

A SUSHI BURRITO??!! 2017 already shaping up We got the "just veggies" version- do add seaweed salad, ponzu & chilli sauce, don't wait to too long to eat it @sushigirlkauai

Health Food Stores/Supermarkets

Papayas Natural Food Market (East) – THE BEST! It has all your needs, beautiful fresh produce, endless aisles of packaged goods, health food products, extensive range of teas, pick-n-mix nuts, seeds, grains, pastas, legumes… It also stocks some of Rainbow Living Foods dishes in the fridge! Plus beautiful oils, soaps and toiletries…. Could spend hours in here.

IMG_8224IMG_9070

Hanalei Organic Market (North) – a pretty good range of products, supplements and snacks. Didn’t have the best Acai bowl here (go across the rd to Aloha instead) but definitely a great stock up spot for the area

Banana Joes (North) – a cross between a juice stand and a small grocery store, it stocks some items from Rainbow Living Foods, fresh produce, dips, kombucha, soaps etc. and has a small smoothie selection.

The Healthy Hut Market & Cafe – a great selection of health food products and fresh produce! Try the spirulina popcorn!

 

Yoga

IMG_8577

Yoga Hanalei (North)

Metamorphose Yoga (North) – we had the best class with Tulasi!

 

Activities

15873257_10158010692390402_2475091414124827498_n

Na Pali Coast hikes:

  • Hanakapi’ai Trail (North-west) to a beautiful, breathtaking 300ft waterfall… Just gorgeous!
    • You can also do the Kalalau Trail which is 35km so an overnighter, but you can camp! We didn’t do this but I am sure it is definitely worth it… it is rated top 10 adventure hikes in the USA.

11232014_10155781789925402_6487794007350565232_n 11700849_10155781787155402_9160814583199069243_n

Kayak to “Secret Waterfalls” (East) – a 2 mile kayak to a spot where you can leave your kayak, jump out and hike 1 mile to the falls. 6 miles round trip! A nice activity to incorporate into your stay, not many places I have come across where you can leave your kayak on the side of a river without worrying it will get taken away. However, when we were there the waterfall was a little sad! Not much water flowing, not in comparison to the Hanakapi’ai Fall we saw the day before. I still recommend it for the exercise and experience.

11036450_10155794761505402_4986904634968710793_n

Paddle Board around Hanalei Bay (North) – you can paddle into town down or up Hanalei river which feeds out into the ocean. Some of the best scenery around. The silence is so calming and the greenery is unparalleled. We saw a big turtle here! I recommend Kayak Hanalei.

Queens bath – a couple of watering holes that are beautiful to swim in, in summer. In winter they can get very rough, wavy and dangerous, however you might find yourself there on a calm day during low swell.

Bathing like royalty in Queens Bath The Bondi Icebergs of Kauai

Helicopter ride around Kauai (East) – we went with a company called Island Tours, which I would recommend. There are plenty of options though, even open door helicopters. They take you to the Jurassic park waterfall, over the canyon and around the coast. Choose the one that suits your budget and definitely prioritise it in your trip. The best way to see the island!

11008782_10155781665440402_3025754489568805528_n 11666180_10155781666190402_7391780480738824796_n

Snorkel – unfortunately, on our first trip, our snorkel tour was cancelled due to the wind. We hired snorkels for $5 and took them to different beaches around the island. Do the same! Or buy your own from the ABC stores. On the second trip we went on a small boat to view the Napali coast by boat and it was absolutely stunning! You get to see parts of the island inaccessable by land, dozens of waterfalls, secluded beaches, sea caves, and even dolphins and whales!! Afterward we jumped off the boat for a bit of a snorkel. Such a beautiful part of the world.

15871984_10158015872905402_8961374025385378984_n

Wailua falls – stunning lookout to the falls

11692779_10155795029750402_4883226638763920928_n

Anini Beach – the most beautiful beach!

11325208_668417826591058_1423377949_n1

SIGN UP TO THE HEALTH & BLOOM NEWSLETTER