Love from HQ // Last Minute Christmas Ideas

Hi lovelies!

Are you still umm-ing and ahh-ing over what to give your special ones this festive season? If you want to give them the gift of beautiful memories, a focused mindset, a rested and fit body, or simply peace of mind, we’ve got you covered! Read on below for some awesome last-minute ideas, delivered with love from our HQ team.

Wishing you much peace this festive season,

Vic + Abs xx


Our wonderful masseuse Stacey Irving of Stacey Leanne Massage provides deeply nourishing relaxation and remedial massages at her home in Brunswick, Melbourne and also offers mobile massage across the inner city suburbs. She’s available for evening and weekend appointments, and can even do pregnancy massage as well as lymphatic drainage.


Her aim is to provide affordable and accessible massages so that feeling balanced, relaxed, taking care of pesky niggles or managing acute injuries is easy.

Stacey has some totally gorgeous gift e-vouchers available, if you’d like to buy one in the lead up to Christmas for a loved one or maybe as a treat for yourself, vouchers are only $50 for an hour treatment if purchased in December.

For more info, visit her website or contact Stacey directly at x


Is your beloved dreaming of a little getaway…?

Our next HQ Getaway is coming up in early 2017 (Fri 20th – Sun 22nd January), and offers a beautiful way for them to start their new year. Located in the Yarra Valley, surrounded by lush green forest, Amarant Retreat is an eco-friendly sanctuary for reflection and immersion.

We’ll help the gorgeous women in your life to start their 2017 refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated, as they reflect on their goals and get clear on their intentions for the year ahead.

After 3 days and 2 nights of healthy food, fresh air, yoga, pilates, meditation, 1:1 nutrition, life and career coaching, rainforest walks, uplifting and supportive female company, nature, sleep, exploring your dreams and taking time to ‘be’, they’ll feel reconnected with how they truly want to feel, everyday.

HQ Getaway July 2015

We still have a limited number of spots available on the retreat for you or a loved one – perfect for spoiling your best friend, your sister, your wife or girlfriend with the best possible start to their 2017!

You can download our retreat e-brochure with all the details here: HQ Getaway – Retreat Brochure – Summer 2017

Want more deets? Click here or drop us a line at with any questions you may have! xx


If you’ve got someone you know that is like “Gah… dreading going back to work already and the holidays haven’t even started” — well, this is just the thing they might be looking for.

Give them a 1.5 hour “Career shake up” strategy session with our girl Alice Chien from Intent Mind, tied up in a pretty red bow. They’ll walk away breathing easier, having a rock solid handle on the choices they have early on in 2017 for a fulfilling year of work, and a 90 day plan to take meaningful action on. 


If this sounds like a present you want to give to someone (or yourself even), drop Alice an email at

She’s even got a festive price for people who purchase before Christmas and will send you a printable gift certificate to skip postage delays.


Maybe they’re feeling ‘meh’ about their health, have a nuisance injury that’s limiting their exercise routine, or are just ready to get their 2017 started with a new challenge – let’s shake things up for them!


Our fitness guru Victoria Brockfield can come to the rescue with some private PT sessions at the gym, park, beach or at your home across the inner city suburbs of Melbourne. Consults include a fitness assessment, goal setting and nutrition advice via our resident nutritionist Abby.

Gift e-vouchers are available for one, three or five sessions, and are charged at only $50 per 1-hour session. For more info, contact Victoria at xx


Our last suggestion is a freebie, for both you and them! Life is so precious, and every moment that you spend fully immersed in the company of your loves will form your most treasured memories in years to come.

Why not pledge to give them the gift of your time in 2017? We’ve created this free downloadable voucher for you to print and cheekily include under the tree this year.

The Gift of Time

We think they’ll love this one the most. xx

RECIPE // Summer Burrito Bowl


Doesn’t Summer food seem to translate as fresh, simple, and flavoursome?! We think so. Get ready for a flavour hit with this super-quick and simple burrito bowl (it was so good we actually forgot to add the Aji sauce! Oops.)



  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. 1 cup uncooked)
  • handful chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2 stalks spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, diced
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
  • 1 cheek mango, scored
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 avocado, scored
  • OPTIONAL: 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • OPTIONAL: tbsp peri peri powder
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp Chilian Aji sauce (or similar chilli salsa)



  1. In a serving bowl, add all vegetable ingredients and mix. We recommend scoring then scooping mango and avocado with a spoon, and the pomegranate will loosen its seeds after vigorous tapping on the bench whilst uncut, and a scoring across its midline and careful prying apart will release the seeds and juice with ease. Check out Youtube if you’re not too sure – once you know how to work with a pomegranate, you’ll never live in fear of it’s juice again!
  2. If you’re going the meat-eater route, add cubed chicken to a tsp olive oil in a hot pan, dust with peri peri powder and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  3. Serve cooked quinoa alongside salad and chicken. Add Aji salsa for an extra chilli hit!


Nutrition myths busted! (some of them)



Is organic food better than conventional food to eat?

Basically no. There have been copious studies showing eating organic does not increase the nutrition content of the food. With organic food there is a much lesser amount of pesticide residue on the fruit and veges which is great but if you’re like me and cannot justify spending three to five times the amount of your food shop then just focus on packing your basket full of fruits and vegetables first.

Are frozen vegetables good for you?

Of course they are! In fact very shortly after veges (or fruits) are picked they are snap frozen to minus 20 degrees. This retains more nutrients in some fruit and veg compared to ones that has been picked fresh and then transported for thousands of kilometres. Frozen vegetables also reduce food wastage (everyone has that limp spring onion lurking in the fridge). Using frozen fruit and vegetable is better for your purse and the environment due to the less wastage. Don’t be scared to use them in meals as they are great options – frozen peas, frozen mixed veges can quickly go into a frittata and you’ve got your serve of veg sorted.

Aren’t eating eggs bad for cholesterol?

Lots of people are worried about eating eggs as they think they are high in cholesterol. The fact is, dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in the body.  It’s saturated fat which has a much greater impact on your cholesterol.  Having an egg or two a day is totally fine and the Heart foundation recommends eating 6 eggs a week for heart health.  Eggs are high in omega 3 and 11 essential vitamins and minerals so keep enjoying those googy eggs with soldiers.

White sugar is bad…but coconut/rice malt/agave/honey/maple syrup is good!

Sugar is sugar is sugar. There are many so called health gurus out there that will say to swap white sugar for rice malt syrup/maple syrup or coconut sugar.  The fact is theses are all sugars and your body identifies all of the above mentioned sugars as the same.  Some claim that choosing a sugar such as maple syrup is better because it contains minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc, however you would need to consume more than a cup worth of said sugar to get an adequate intake of these minerals.

Coconut oil is the only oil I should be eating and putting on everything

While coconut oil has a place in a balanced diet, don’t forget that is it high in saturated fat. It’s totally fine to consume in small quantities but don’t cover everything you eat in the stuff. Coconut oil cannot perform miracles and it is best to use it as an oil to cook something at a high temperature (since coconut oil has a high smoke point) or a bit of it if you make a raw dessert every once in a while.

Eating carbohydrates will make me fat 

The reality is any excess kilojoules (energy) you consume vs expend will lead to excess weight – not just carbohydrates. Your brain and muscles need carbohydrates to function properly but the key is to eat carbohydrates loaded with fibre. Why is this important? Eating carbohydrates especially of the wholefood type (think oats, barley, quinoa, wholemeal bread, beans etc) contain plenty of fibre which keeps your blood sugar levels consistent, make you feel fuller for longer and as a result you’ll eat less and weigh less, not put on weight. The fibre draws water to it and acts as a broom in your large bowel to make sure your colon is healthy and keeping cancer causing cells at bay. So carbs don’t make you fat, you need them for your body to function properly.



HQ Getaway July 2015

Rainforest walks. Beautiful vegetarian meals. Roaring fireplaces. Pilates, yoga, massage + meditation. Life-changing conversations. Seriously – it doesn’t get much better than this.

DAY ONE // An hour’s drive outside of Melbourne can quickly feel like you’ve been whisked a million miles away. After a short pitstop in Healesville, dropping in at the Healesville Organic Farmers Markets and the very lovely Harvest Cafe, we arrived at our home for the weekend – the beautiful Amarant Retreat, set in the lush temperate rainforests of the Yarra Valley.

The three-level building, nestled into the hills amidst dewy ferns, towering gums and mossy rocks, provided the ultimate haven from the chilly Winter mists (it also happened to be the coldest weekend on record this Winter!). Our hearts and bodies were warmed the moment we stepped inside – toasty warm fireplaces, orange and lemongrass essential oils burning, and heated floorboards greeted our frozen feet.

After settling in, we got cozy by the fireplace and set our intentions for the weekend under the guidance of Alice of Intent Mind, and got to know our little company of bliss-seekers. Friends firmed up fast as we completed our first Pilates class and a sunset bushwalk, and were cemented around the beautiful vegetarian dinner provided by our master Chef, Laura.

We completed our first day with a Yin Yoga session in the Celestial Room, and start to wind down peacefully with some guided meditation, before finally curling up in our cozy rooms upstairs and letting the blissful feelings settle in.


DAY TWO // The melodic sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl awakens those who haven’t already risen early for morning meditation and yoga downstairs. A truly lush breakfast is served up – Sunday porridge cooked with fresh dates, oats, cinnamon, lemon peel, almond milk and coconut cream. Topped with pecans, local berries, flax oil and vanilla bean honey, we have to just about stop ourselves from licking the bowl.

After a vigorous Pilates session with Victoria, we break off to start our sessions – full body Swedish relaxation massage with Stacey, or one-on-one life coaching with Alice. Those waiting their turn enjoy a leisurely afternoon of creating vision boards, flicking through pages of inspiration to find the images that resonate with their heartfelt dreams.

Dinner in the evening is a hearty winter forest mushroom risotto, served with walnut and green leaf salad and truffle oil. The dessert blows minds – chocolate avocado mousse topped with fresh local berries, cacao nibs and maple syrup.

We roll into the yoga room for a restful and restorative Yin Yoga session, resting our legs against the wall in a supported shoulder stand and feeling the worries of the world float away. In the quiet cocoon of darkness, by the flicker of candlelight, we finish our session with a collective resounding OM, sharing an unspoken connection that will live on well beyond these three days.

DAY THREE // We rise early before the sun and wander down to the Celestial Room, where we gather our bolsters and blankets, and sit peacefully in lotus pose, finding our breath and stillness in the moment. Gently, we are guided through a morning meditation, awakening to the senses of our body and mind before opening our eyes to a brand new day.

Laura has already been busily cooking in the kitchen, and has prepared us yet another delicious breakfast. The recipe cards in our goody bags come in use for the Bliss Ball making demonstration led by Abby, who shows us how to make decadent chocolate orange bliss balls from scratch. As the girls squeeze in their final massage and coaching sessions, we take in the cool mountain air on the verandah and thank our lucky stars for finding this truly special place. It feels like home.

The dates for our next HQ Getaway are already booked in at Amarant Retreat! If you’d like to join us for our next HQ Getaway (Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd January 2017), please drop us an email at or visit our HQ GETAWAY info page for all the details xx 

With love,

V & A xx

Join us for our 2017 HQ Getaway!

We are so thrilled to announce the dates for our Summer HQ Getaway!

If you are looking to start your 2017 with your best foot forward, this is the perfect opportunity – a weekend away where you walk in wanting a rest, space to breathe and reflect, internal and external nourishment, and time to just ‘be’.

Located in the beautiful Yarra Valley, surrounded by lush green forest, our venue is Amarant Retreat, an eco-friendly sanctuary designed for reflection and immersion.

Over the course of three days (Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd January 2017), you will have the space to connect with the energy and spirit of the forest and gorgeous fellow females, ultimately deepening the unique connection with your innermost self.

HQ Getaway July 2015

We’ll help you start your 2017 refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated, as you reflect on your goals and get clear on your intentions for the year ahead.

After 3 days and 2 nights of healthy food, fresh air, yoga, pilates, meditation, 1:1 nutrition, life and business coaching, traditional massage, rainforest walks, uplifting and supportive female company, nature, sleep, exploring your dreams and taking time to ‘be’, we hope to reconnect you with how you truly want to feel, every day.

When you walk out, you will have been taken care of, nourished and filled up, knowing exactly what to do to live a beautiful life everyday: a life filled with energy, vitality, purpose and beauty.


• 2 nights and 3 days luxuriously accommodated at Amarant Retreat –
beautiful, comfortable bedrooms to enable sound sleep and sweet dreams

• Healthy, beautiful vegetarian meals for the whole weekend – to bring
clarity, energy and vitality

• Seasonal food preparation class – learn how to prepare nutritious meals
using food from the seasonal table

• Morning meditation, yoga and pilates, and rainforest walks – be in your
body in nature, grounded

• 1:1 nutritional coaching, 1:1 life and business coaching, and a traditional
massage session are all part of your personal journey

• Organic pamper bag to give your goals a head-start, building a cupboard
of go-to products that nourish you and the planet.

• Abundant supply of organic fruits, treats and teas to snack on all weekend.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more photos of the rooms please check out:



Individual bed in shared accommodation suite (with 2-4
other lovely ladies) + shared bathroom ensuite
EARLY BIRD! $690 incl. all meals, all activities and 2 nights’ accom
(prices rise to $790 from 1st October – instalment plans also available)


Private double bedroom for one + bathroom ensuite
EARLY BIRD! $890 incl. all meals, all activities and 2 nights’ accom
(prices rise to $990 from 1st October – instalment plans also available)


You can download our retreat e-brochure with all the details here:

HQ Getaway – Summer 2017

Or just drop us a line at – we’d so love for you to join us! x

RECIPE // Simple Strawberry Sorbet

I’m such a fan of recipes you can whip up in two minutes. This dessert is simple, delicious, so easy and good for you! What more could you ask for.


– 4 cups frozen strawberries

– 1/2 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt (go for the slightly sweet version for a little more sweet and less tang)

– 3 tablespoons dark agave nectar

– good squeeze of half a lemon


Throw together into a food processor and blend. You may need to stop and scrape up the sides to ensure it blends through evenly. 

Serve with fresh strawberries, cocoa nibs or whipped coconut cream. Delish! Xx

HQ Muse – Andie Meredith


Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our HQ Muse, Andie Meredith!


1. How was your business born? What led you to follow a life in design?

My design label came about during my final year of study – Bachelor of Design (Fashion), where i developed several design briefs based around my chosen target market. From there i graduated (with a business plan), and an opportunity to attend an emerging designer trade show. As a debut designer, I began wholesaling my seasonal women’s wear collections in short runs.

Over a period of about 6 years I continued to design and produce women’s wear collections, including signature print fabrics. Throughout that time people would often comment on how my designs could be quite suited to pieces outside of women’s apparel. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to explore the idea of developing those designs (that I would have once used as part of garments and accessories) to be used on all kinds of surfaces – including homewares, paper products, light installations, industrial design, shoes, ceramics – you name it. I envisage the designs to be used across many mediums. So with a little bit of planning and lots of enthusiasm, I’ve now steered the direction of my design label toward several niche markets, focusing on surface design.


2. Signature fabric prints are a major feature of your designs, what inspires you to come up with the prints?

My fabric design process also developed during my final year of study. It’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to draw on over the years. The process itself stemmed from my love of the art nouveau period and in particular the artist, designer, and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who design and built the Glasgow School of Art.

I’m also innately quite drawn to nature, organic shapes, raw and ephemeral objects, so that certainly informs my design aesthetic.

While completing my final year collection I was thoroughly immersed in Mackintoshs’ works and quite liked the idea of looking at the materials he worked with – mostly malleable and experimented with ways in which i could reinterpret his processes and works. My process came to be: experimental mark making on paper, using ink, wire and string. From there i chose sections of my artwork (experimental mark making) and created repeat patterns using photoshop. I’d spend hours on end with colour palette (usually constrained and subdued) specifications, and before I knew it I’d have several designs ready for printing.

The actual printing onto fabric process has been an enormous learning curve for me over the years. After spending a substantial amount of time testing several suppliers, both onshore and offshore, and both digital and screen printing by hand, I’d like to think I have found a fellow artist who will continue to support my whacky ideas, share their wealth of knowledge and most of all contribute the highest quality fabric printing.

At present I have just received a bundle of freshly plant dyed, linen and hemp that has been screen printed with a couple of AM classics. The plant dye is unique in colour and offers a lovely depth of character in contrast to the ‘expected’ digital print method. The hemp and linen fibres prove longevity in design and function. I’m looking forward to coming up with some new products and over the next couple of days I’ll be using the fabrics to make up some goodies for the HQ Workshop and Rose Street Artist Market.



3. Who are your role models or muses for your designs?

I’ve always been in touch with the Andie Meredith audience – consistent market research was a large part of my design process – knowing the ‘Andie Meredith audience’ was imperative in designing and making. I like to listen to people and I’m quite observant and perceptive. So with this in mind my audience is quite vast in age and background. The woman who wears and admires Andie Meredith designs is confident in herself, she wants to know the story behind each design, she believes in sustainable living, purchases with a conscience and values ethical production.


4. You have now branched out to accessories and gorgeous homewares, are there any new products on the horizon?

Yes, indeed! I’ve got lots of ideas and planning ticking over in the background, which I hope to be announcing soon.


5. What does your ideal day look like?

I’m somewhat spontaneous, although I also like to have a little bit of a routine in my day-to-day life. I like to explore and try new things, and being in a new city, I have an endless list of things to do! There are some things I like to think are a must… laughing and sunshine are a must.


6. Do you have a life motto?

I find myself reflecting quite a bit. I guess you could say the notion of living and learning really.


7. Where can we source your beautiful products from?

Since recently moving to Melbourne I have started a space at the Rose Street Market, but my instagram feed is my most reliable source for product updates.


8. You create bespoke designs by request, how was the experience of creating a specific design for a wedding?

Yes, the wedding fabrics were the very first bespoke prints and I must say the entire process was a great success. For this particular wedding the fabric designs were the basis of the entire colouring and styling, quite like an ‘anchor point’ for the couple to plan the whole ceremony around. Because of my background in working with fabrics, designing collections and runway events I was able to draw on my knowledge and experiences to gain an understanding of the couple’s vision and also advise on how to implement the designs once they were printed onto the fabric.

It was really quite rewarding to see the entire day come together. I was also fortunate enough to make the dresses and accessories as well as wear one of the (bridesmaid) dresses.


9. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self in chasing your dreams?

Take risks, be confident, trust what you know and know what you trust.





HQ Workshop // One Day Urban Retreat


Allpress Studio, Collingwood | 10am – 5pm, Sunday 17 April 2016


Looking for a way to reboot your 2016 and tune into the seasons? Join us for our next HQ WORKSHOP on Sunday 17 April – a one-day seasonally themed retreat held at a gorgeous urban oasis – Allpress Studio in Collingwood.

With Autumn’s day and nights now of equal length, light and dark are perfectly balanced as we begin to tip into the dark phase of the year. We will explore this interplay of light and dark,  between fire and water, and yang and yin through our sessions, each led by experienced teachers and weaving a common thread throughout the day.

Expect a wonderfully joyful experience, full of play on our mats through Pilates and Yoga, reflection and peaceful contemplation via our meditation and group sessions, and learning and growth through our nutrition, floristry and sustainability workshops. You can download our full program shortly.

Tickets are $150, including a full day of activities, a wellbeing lunchbox provided by Egg Unlimited, a beautiful goody bag with special gifts from our local event partners including Andie Meredith and Mulbury, as well as practical workshops where you will make your own seasonal treats to take home.

Drop us a line at with any queries, or CLICK HERE to register now.


Your hosts

HolisticHQAbby McLennan

Abby is a qualified Nutritionist having completed her degree in nutrition and psychology, and is also a qualified beauty therapist with an advanced diploma in skin biology/aesthetics. She is our in-house nutritionist at Holistic HQ, and is also our co-founder. Abby currently consults out of her own home, and can be contacted directly for 1:1 appointments at

Photo Credit - Annette Ruzicka PhotographyVictoria Brockfield

Victoria is a fully qualified Pilates mat, reformer and barre instructor, former sports model and the co-founder of Holistic HQ. Victoria teaches across Melbourne at some of city’s top studios, including Breathe WellbeingWhite Dog StudiosPremium Performance and Armature Pilates.


Natalie Abbott

Natalie teaches Dance and Yoga, and aims to create sensorial performance experiences by fusing the two into an intensely physical movement class with flow and charisma. She’s worked as a dancer for Canadian pop chanteuse Grimes, and has performed at Chunky Move, Dark MOFO and Next Wave Festivals.

Natalie is trained in the power vinyasa flow style of yoga teaching. She achieved her accreditation through Power Living Australia Yoga under the mentorship of Duncan Peak and Keenan Crisp. She currently teaches at Power Living South Melbourne, Virgin Active, Bourke St and occasionally runs her own classes at Dancehouse in Carlton North.



Petra Cremming

Pomp and Splendour is an inspired floral studio in Melbourne, created by florist and nature lover Petra Cremming. With an open mind and and original eye for visual detail and design, the Pomp and Splendour aesthetic celebrates the forms and contrasting textures found in both the natural world and the urban environment.