Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 28th Oct 2017

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 28th October

REGISTER NOW

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.”
– Pythagoras (569-475 BC)

We are so delighted to host this special gathering, featuring the wonderful Janelle Kingsley Yoga and Nicole Betts of Pursuit of Wellness, who will be leading a transformative afternoon filled with healing sounds, yin yoga and meditation.

Join us on Saturday 28th October from 2-5pm at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing, at the heart of Melbourne on Little Collins Street. For three blissful hours, you will be absorbed and enriched in euphoric and energising sounds. Your guides will take you on a journey of relaxation, regeneration and harmonic healing by exploring the interplay of both sound and silence.

Mats, bolsters and blankets will be provided, as well as time to socialise over snacks, tea and fresh juices supplied by our friends at Pressed Juices.

Visit the link below to register now. Tickets are only $39 early bird (until midnight Sunday 14th October), or $45 last minute. (Breathe Wellbeing members receive a $10 discount on all tickets).

We would love to see you there!

REGISTER NOW


YOUR HOSTS

NICOLE BETTS | SOUND MEDITATION

Nicole Lee is an internationally accredited Qigong Teacher, Mindfulness & Sound Practitioner and Natural Health Consultant. She offers classes, sessions and programs that develop mindfulness through conscious movement and stillness utilising the practice of Integrative Qigong.

Nicole also facilitates Sound Meditation events in collaboration with different musicians and sound practitioners that incorporate mindfulness, rest and meditation, as well as working with people to increase their wellbeing and vitality through natural and traditional medicine.

JANELLE KINGSLEY | YIN YOGA

Janelle Kingsley is a spirited yoga and meditation teacher and writer based in Melbourne. Her exploration of yoga began more than ten years ago whilst studying philosophy at university.

Janelle has taught diverse groups of people, ranging from the Department of Defence, students at La Trobe University, and managers for Lush Cosmetics. Having previously worked at The Yoga Social in Melbourne’s CBD, she can now be found teaching regular classes at White Dog Studio in Footscray. She teaches Hatha and Yin styles of yoga, pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

With her bubbling energy and downright infectious laugh, it’s hard not to see the brighter side of life when in Janelle’s company.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD | MC + MEDITATION

Victoria is a qualified Pilates and Barre instructor, and holds the Breathe Certificate IV in Pilates, as well as a Certificate IV in Fitness. She is also the Co-Director of Holistic HQ, a wellness community running retreats and workshops in Melbourne.

Fifteen years of personal yoga practice has also greatly influenced the atmosphere she creates in classes, emphasising mindfulness, breath patterns and finding the calm amidst the challenge.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this intimate event.
Don’t miss out!

Or just drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d so love for you to join us! x

 

REGISTER NOW

HQ MUSE // Hannah Buttigieg, Nutritionist – Food Intelligence

 

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 community, supporting you on the path to good health, a sustainable lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

 

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We are so excited to introduce you to Hannah Buttigieg, our guest Nutritionist who will be joining our team at next month’s HQ Getaway (18th – 20th August 2017) at Amarant Retreat in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

Hannah has always had an avid passion for health and fitness, so it became a natural career progression for her to establish a business based on whole foods and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Drawing on her skills of years working in the field of addictions, Hannah understands how difficult it can be to change habits and therefore brings a wealth of knowledge to her work as a behaviour change nutritionist, exploring ways to change old habits and form new, healthier habits.

It is Hannah’s aim as the owner of Food Intelligence to educate people about the benefits of eating the right foods and demonstrate that food can not only give you the body you want but make you feel amazing.

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You have a very unique approach to your work as a nutritionist, shaped by your long career in the field of addictions. How have your past experiences working as a drug and alcohol counsellor influenced your approach as a behaviour change nutritionist?

 

Working with people who experience alcohol and other drug (AOD) addictions, especially in the forensic sector, are hands down one of the most challenging client demographics there is. In our society, we are taught that a person is either well or unwell, an addict or recovered. However, through my work in this sector, I was on a continual learning curve that showed me that this is not the case at all, not even a little bit – addiction is incredibly complex and all shades of grey. It may have been out of self-preservation, or it may have been because I am ever the optimist and try to seek the best out of people, but I learned very early on in my career to celebrate the small wins.

What is important to me is most likely totally irrelevant to my client, because their circumstances and situation is totally different from mine. The most important thing I have taken from my work in AOD is to never be judgemental. Through this work, you are witness and privy to some very raw, often brutal and truly horrific things, and being able to detach yourself from the situation while still being empathetic is a skill that took me a very, very long time to master.  

Based on these experiences, I’ve built Food Intelligence on the following foundations – genuinely celebrating the small wins, because these accrue to the overall big win, and approaching each client from a place of empathy and non-judgement – it’s never our job to judge.

 

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What prompted you to start Food Intelligence as your own business? Was there an obvious gap for what you do that you could see in the market?

 

Food Intelligence came about when I was at a peak stress levels in a previous AOD job. I wasn’t looking after myself well, I was totally burnt out and not coping too well mentally. I enrolled in a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition as a way to learn to look after myself better. During my studies, friends and family kept saying to me that I should start my own business because my unique skill-set from AOD married together with my interest and studies in nutrition perfectly. From there, Food Intelligence came to life!

Well I should say, the idea of it anyway. I was still working full time in the AOD sector and knew nothing about business so it took about 18 months of research and development before I launched the business in March 2016. And yes, I did notice a gap in the market regarding what I do. I found there was a plethora of options for people who needed acute treatment for eating disorders, however for the general population there was very little out there. That’s where I step in as your one-stop shop for achieving your health and wellness goals.

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You’ve travelled a lot, both locally and internationally! What have been your favourite places to visit, and what special food moments or rituals have stayed with you from your travels?

 

Travel is a part of me. I feel anxious and edgy if I don’t have at least several plane tickets booked, or know I can take off at the drop of a hat. Which is probably why doing the Monday to Friday 9-5 thing never worked well for me! In Australia, my favourite place that I’ve spent time (other than the Surf Coast) is the Kimberley in Western Australia.

I was fortunate enough to have worked in a rehabilitation clinic funded by an Aboriginal Corporation. During my time there I was taken to remote places that had pristine beaches, deserts and amazing oases without any people in sight, except maybe the traditional land owners.

Reflecting back on it, the food I ate during these trips was pretty incredible and totally illegal to eat if it wasn’t from an Indigenous person! We often feasted on sea turtle, dugong and stingray. On weekends I’d go mud crabbing and fishing with friends. It was like living in paradise and I very much miss that lifestyle.

With my travels overseas, I don’t think I could say one place has been my favourite. Every place I have been holds a special place in my heart and I’d love to go back to each one of them, except there are too many other places to explore!! My one food moment that stands out in my overseas adventures would be when I was 21 or 22 I was backpacking through Egypt. The girl I was travelling with and I were walking through a tiny town, I can’t even remember its name, when we were walking past a Mosque.

There was a group of women, all dressed in burkas, sitting down on the grass in the shade having a picnic. My eyes met with theirs and I smiled. They called us over and invited us to join their picnic. We could not speak a word of each other’s language, but we managed to ‘talk’ non stop throughout lunch. We feasted on tabbouleh, pita bread, hummus and falafels.

When I think of food and what it means to me this story is exactly that. Food is what brings people together, it breaks down barriers, it gives us common ground, it allows for mutual respect and a snap shot, however small, into other incredibly beautiful cultures.

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You grew up on the Surf Coast and Geelong. What does the area represent to you, and how has the coastal life influenced you as a person?

 

Its home! Its where I come to rest, to be with family, to be with friends who have known me for most of my life. Its where I recharge my batteries after travels. Its where I flop on my mum’s couch when I’m sick. It’s a little piece of paradise that makes up my entire world. Without daily walks on the beach, surfing and diving at every opportunity, road trips down the coast in search of waves or crayfish, I really have no idea who I’d be!

I guess it has also been a big influence on me being an environmentally conscious person, seeing the damage done to our oceans horrifies me and the fact that I can’t stand pollution makes me live my life in a certain way. For example, I make sure I’m energy conscious at home, I take my own bags to the supermarket, I try not to buy packaged food to minimise my waste, because I see the direct result of those choices every time I am in or near the ocean.

 

Who are your biggest influences when it comes to cooking in the kitchen? What are your favourite go-to recipes?

 

One of my biggest influences is Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef, to me she was well ahead of the whole health food movement and seeing her career grow has been hugely inspiring. I also love how she has stayed up to date with new nutrition research and includes that in her work. I have one of her cookbooks from over 10 years ago and all recipes call on artificial sweetner which makes me chuckle as these days she’s evolved to only use wholefoods. I just find it so inspiring watching someone grow like that as a person, a chef and an influencer.

 

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How has your approach towards self-care changed over the years? What are your favourite rituals for self-care now?

 

It has changed dramatically that’s for sure. In my late teens and early 20’s, self care consisted of partying hard two or three nights a week, working out as much as possible and calorie counting. I was a bit of a wild-child back in my heyday, but these days nothing pleases me more than a night in with a cup of tea and either a good book or a Netflix binge. I also prioritise sleep, if I don’t get enough I am not a nice person to be around, I’m grumpy and overeat which then makes me even more grumpy! Daily movement is also mandatory for my self care, whether it’s yoga, pilates or walking, I make sure I move daily.

 

What does your ideal day look like?

 

My ideal day is having a little sleep in and then heading to my favourite hot yoga studio for a 9:30am class, followed by brunch with the girls. Then depending on the mood of the ocean, I’d go for a dive, surf or fish. The best way to finish up the day would be with friends having a big cook-up for dinner. Even thinking about it makes me smile.

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As our guest nutritionist, what are you most looking forward to on your first HQ Getaway this August?

 

I’m so pumped for this retreat! From experience the main thing I’m looking forward to is getting to know the guests. The women who attend these types of retreats I find so inspiring. I think it takes so much courage to say to the world, “I’m dedicating a weekend to myself, and I’m going to disconnect from the world, and reconnect with myself”.

The exchange of energy and wisdom is something I am also really looking forward to as well. Exploring the Yarra Valley will be fun. It’s not somewhere I’ve spent a lot of time and I mean, how could it not be an incredible weekend when the backdrop is so gorgeous…?!  

 

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You are currently creating a really exciting addition to the Food Intelligence portfolio – a blog featuring all of your favourite nutrition and lifestyle tips. What kind of things can people expect, and (equally important!) – when will this be launched, and how can people sign up?

 

This is equally exciting as it is terrifying! It’s something I’ve been working on for a few years now and have never been brave enough to put it out there. I’m also in the process of launching a monthly Food Intelligence newsletter which will have recipes, blogs and other goodies.

At the moment I’m having some website work done so it’s best just to email me at info@foodintelligence.international and I’ll sign you up to the newsletter where you can easily access the blog. Once my website is all sorted there will be a sign-up page.

 

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What advice would you give your younger self in pursuing your dreams?

 

Don’t be so hard on yourself and take more breaks! I’m my own worst critic, which has certainly helped me at times to push myself, but has also seriously stressed me out unnecessarily at others. I’m also known to work to the point of burnout and only then will I take a break. This is something I’m working on and is most definitely still a work in progress!

 

Instagram: @food_intelligence

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodintelligence1/

Website: http://www.foodintelligence.international

 

 

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HHQ PRESENTS // PILATES + PAMPERING PLAYDATE

HHQ Presents | Pilates + Pampering Playdate | 22nd July 2017-4

SATURDAY 22ND JULY, 2-5PM
BREATHE WELLBEING, GOLDIE PLACE
MELBOURNE CBD

BOOK NOW

Holistic HQ is delighted to host this special gathering, guest-starring the wonderful Claire Toone, studio owner and head instructor at Noosa Flow, who will be leading an uplifting and nurturing afternoon filled with energising and restorative Pilates sequences, meditation and pampering – the ultimate girls’ day out!

Join us at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing Goldie Place, a beautiful studio hidden away down a laneway off Little Bourke Street, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. For three blissful hours, you will enjoy thoughtful sequencing, energetic flows and relaxing meditations; a gorgeous mini-spa pampering experience featuring products from our local partners Perfect Potion and Pressed Juices; and a goody bag filled with special treats to take home with you.

Tickets are only $50 early bird (until Sunday 16th July), or $55 last minute until the day of the event. (Breathe Wellbeing studio members receive a $10 discount).

Grab your girlfriends and book your tickets early for this special experience – only 18 spots available, so get in quick sticks to secure your place.

We would love to see you there!

BOOK NOW

YOUR INSTRUCTORS

CLAIRE TOONE, NOOSA FLOW

Claire has been practicing various styles of Pilates and Yoga for the past seven years. After a career in luxury goods sales and marketing, Claire changed direction to follow her passion for fitness and wellbeing.

Her mission is to empower people through moment and wellness so that they can live their lives with confidence, balance and energy.

Claire has taught clients from all walks of life utilising her powerful mix of Pilates, yoga, functional fitness, nutrition and coaching techniques. Her bespoke classes as well as her innately supportive nature have helped her clients achieve bodies, attitudes and lives they love. Claire’s teaching career has seen her instructing in London, Paris and Zermatt, before spending two years in New York City, where she worked for various boutique studios and private clients.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD, HOLISTIC HQ

Victoria is a qualified Pilates Mat, Reformer, Barre and Boxing fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, Reiki Practitioner, Meditation Teacher, and the Director and Co-Founder of Holistic HQ.

Nine years ago Victoria completed her Pilates certification with the Australian Pilates Academy, as well as a studio apprenticeship with Matrix Pilates. She’s since completed her Certificate 4 in Fitness and Certificate in Pilates via Breathe Education, and is currently completing her Diploma in Clinical Pilates.

Victoria has trained and successfully competed as an INBA Sportsmodel, winning 2nd place at the Victorian championships in 2010, and has a big love for Pilates, Yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and… mermaiding! She is a proud Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, and has a decade-long background in marketing, fundraising and events for some of Australia’s most loved charities and not-for-profits.

Victoria teaches at Breathe Wellbeing in Melbourne’s CBD, White Dog Studio in Footscray, and Armature Pilates in Brunswick, as well as private 1:1 and 2:1 Personal Training sessions throughout the week.

BOOK NOW

Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 10th June 2017-3

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 10th June

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.”
– Pythagoras (569-475 BC)

We are so delighted to host this special gathering, featuring the wonderful Janelle Kingsley Yoga and Nicole Betts of Pursuit of Wellness, who will be leading a transformative afternoon filled with healing sounds, yin yoga and meditation.

Join us on Saturday 10th June from 2-5pm at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing, at the heart of Melbourne on Little Collins Street. For three blissful hours, you will be absorbed and enriched in euphoric and energising sounds. Your guides will take you on a journey of relaxation, regeneration and harmonic healing by exploring the interplay of both sound and silence.

Mats, bolsters and blankets will be provided, as well as time to socialise over snacks, tea and fresh juices supplied by our friends at Pressed Juices.

Visit the link below to register now. Tickets are only $40 early bird (until Sunday 4th June), or $45 last minute. We would love to see you there!

REGISTER NOW


YOUR HOSTS

NICOLE BETTS | SOUND MEDITATION

Nicole Lee is an internationally accredited Qigong Teacher, Mindfulness & Sound Practitioner and Natural Health Consultant. She offers classes, sessions and programs that develop mindfulness through conscious movement and stillness utilising the practice of Integrative Qigong.

Nicole also facilitates Sound Meditation events in collaboration with different musicians and sound practitioners that incorporate mindfulness, rest and meditation, as well as working with people to increase their wellbeing and vitality through natural and traditional medicine.

JANELLE KINGSLEY | YIN YOGA

Janelle Kingsley is a spirited yoga and meditation teacher and writer based in Melbourne. Her exploration of yoga began more than ten years ago whilst studying philosophy at university.

Janelle has taught diverse groups of people, ranging from the Department of Defence, students at La Trobe University, and managers for Lush Cosmetics. Having previously worked at The Yoga Social in Melbourne’s CBD, she can now be found teaching regular classes at White Dog Studio in Footscray. She teaches Hatha and Yin styles of yoga, pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

With her bubbling energy and downright infectious laugh, it’s hard not to see the brighter side of life when in Janelle’s company.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD | MC + MEDITATION

Victoria is a qualified Pilates and Barre instructor, and holds the Breathe Certificate IV in Pilates, as well as a Certificate IV in Fitness. She is also the Co-Director of Holistic HQ, a wellness community running retreats and workshops in Melbourne.

Fifteen years of personal yoga practice has also greatly influenced the atmosphere she creates in classes, emphasising mindfulness, breath patterns and finding the calm amidst the challenge.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this intimate event.
Don’t miss out!

Or just drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d so love for you to join us! x

 

REGISTER NOW

HQ MUSE // Annette Ruzicka, Photographer and Filmmaker

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 community, supporting you on the path to good health, a sustainable lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

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Annette Ruzicka is a documentary and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. A love of the natural environment and the unseen or unlikely people who fight for its protection has been the initial focus of her work both in Australia and abroad.

Annette runs a portrait and corporate/lifestyle photography business including videography for individuals, small or large businesses. Annette was also a finalist for the coveted 2016 National Portraiture Prize.

 

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1. The focus of your work via Annette Ruzicka Photography is very much on the unseen or unlikely heroes of the conservation movement, both here and abroad. How do you seek out the subject of your photography, and how do they inspire you?

As a photographer, you’re looking for the real people – the brains, brawn (for lack of a better word) or champion of the work or project – whatever the case may be. This is not always the most obvious or boisterous person, it could be the person in the background just getting on with it. The key is spending time with them, getting to know their story and quite simply, to observe.

The story often unfolds right before you. As my work has incorporated a strong focus on environmental issues, they inspire me by simply doing what they do – either off the smell of an oily rag, or in less than ideal conditions and doing it to address a major environmental problem – and for that alone they inspire me.

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2. You recently were named a finalist for the 2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize – congratulations! What did this accolade mean to you?  

It meant a great deal indeed. At the risk of boasting, it’s a highly coveted prize of national recognition. It’s been extremely valuable for my career and to have one your images selected, framed and in an exhibition is a wonderful feeling in the competitive world of photography. One thing photographers are is very sensitive of their work – so to have this acknowledgment was extremely gratifying.

 

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3. Your volunteer work in Costa Rica was a pivotal experience in your life. What was so remarkable about your first trip there?

Gosh, where do I start? The natural values of the area, the amazing mass turtle nesting events (which only happen 7 places in the world), the locals who kept the work going – amidst poor socio-economic factors, and the complexities and politics of a small community, it was both fascinating and a privilege.

 

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4. Where do you find your happy moments when your work hats are off?

Taking photos! There’s nothing more satisfying than creating an amazing image, or learning something new or finishing that mini-documentary. Being out in nature, looking up the stars until your neck hurts, bush walking and sometimes, just sitting on the couch with the husband with a big bag of popcorn watching The Walking Dead!

 

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5. If you could travel to one special place you haven’t yet been, what would be your dream destination? Why does it capture your imagination?

I want to spend a good 6 months in both Central and Southern Latin America. After my eight weeks in Costa Rica I have developed a visceral yearning to go back. The magnificent natural values of the continent speak for themselves – the Amazon being the most obvious, and its ancient history including Machu Picchu. But it’s the wonderful people of the region, I believe, that I will above all continue to love – culturally, I feel of all the countries I have visited it’s the most aligned to who I am.

 

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6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I am stressing out about something, or letting my imagination get carried away with things, it’s easy to assume the worst. I was once asked, “what evidence do you have to believe this will happen?” and the answer 9 times out of 10 is none! You can always let your insecurities and fears eat away at you,  but nowadays I simply ask myself this question – I find it always stops me in my tracks and lets me just get on with it.

 

Instagram: @annettruzickaphotography

Facebook: www.facebook.com.au/annettruzickaphotography

Website: www.annetteruzicka.com.au

 

 

Best Moments at HQ in 2016

We’re nearing the end of our biggest year yet at Holistic HQ and we thought we would share our favorite retreat moments captured by our talented team of photographers.

 Join us in 2017 for even more retreats and workshops around Melbourne with our incredible community of coaches, teachers, photographers, chefs and of course, you guys!

ACT NOW FOR $100 OFF OUR JANUARY 2017 HQ GETAWAY PACKAGES IF YOU AND A FRIEND BOOK IN TOGETHER!

USE CODE: LOVE2017


HQ GETAWAY, JANUARY 2016

Our HQ Getaway Summer 2016 at Amarant Retreat was so incredibly special – three jam-packed days filled with Pilates, yoga, meditation, massage, vegetarian food, life, career and nutrition coaching, rainforest walks and so, so much more.

“I was ready for movement, relaxation and nice surroundings. I got all of that and more. I thought I’d be the “odd one out” in amongst a group of yogis and serious health nuts but I loved that I was an equal amongst a group of vibrant women all tackling big things in life and all very “real”. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would!” – Tresna

Photos by Annette Ruzicka Photography.


Are you drooling over these photos? Join us in January! Get in quick sticks before it sells out – visit HQ Getaway Summer 2017 for all the deets xx


 

HQ WORKSHOP, APRIL 2016

Our Autumn HQ Workshop was held at the beautiful Allpress Studios in Collingwood, and featured a day full of Pilates, yoga, meditation, DIY salt scrubs, flower crowns and nutrition/sustainable living talks.

“When I think about last Sunday’s workshop I just keep smiling and the one thing that captures it is : GOOD VIBES 🙂 I left that workshop better then I arrived to it…. Thank you… Can’t wait for another one :)” – Aiste

“The entire day was fantastic. From the moment I arrived I was surrounded by positive energy, great people and a day full of recharging my batteries. I loved it. Can’t wait for the next one.” – Rebecca

 

We’re so excited to let you in on a little secret — we are working on some special collaborations for 2017, meaning more workshops in more beautiful locations!

We can’t wait to announce these early in the new year… keep an eye on our social media for more xx

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR WONDERFUL EVENT PARTNERS – WE LOVE YOU!

Sarah Churcher Photography | Lululemon Athletica | The Aromatic Salt Company | Matcha Maiden | Intent Mind | Stacey Leanne Massage | Annette Ruzicka Photography | Clean Slate Skin Care | Pomp and Splendour | MiGoals | Allpress Studios | Amarant Retreat

HQ MUSE // Laura Sides, Holistic HQ Chef

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Our HQ Getaway Chef, the super-talented Miss Laura Sides, trained as an apprentice at the Andalusian-inspired Añada in Fitzroy, and has worked in some of Melbourne’s top restaurants as part of the front of house management team: Lucy Liu and Taxi Dining Room in the CBD, and La Luna in Carlton. Laura’s passion for cooking was something that developed almost by accident.

“My mum wouldn’t let me cook because I’d make a terrible mess. I didn’t really grow up with an interest in food at all. When I moved out of home I started playing around with food, and I found that I really enjoyed cooking and people seemed to really enjoy eating it! Moving to Melbourne [from England] and working with food is where my passion was really cemented.

I arrived in Melbourne with just a backpack and not knowing a single soul. All I knew was that I wanted to work with food and wine and this seemed like the best place in the world to do that.

I unwittingly managed to secure a job in a very prestigious restaurant within 12 hrs of arriving off the plane. When I googled the restaurant later that evening, I saw it had just won Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year. I was absolutely petrified, but I turned up for day one and things rolled from there.

I later moved to Taxi Dining Room, where I started as a food runner and finished four and a half years later as part of the management team. During that time I also studied and qualified as a chef. I had the privilege of working my apprenticeship at Anada Restaurant in Fitzroy, where I would do all the food prep from 7am until mid afternoon, then race down to Taxi and work on the restaurant floor. It was an absolutely crazy time.

I then went back into management and have recently finished eighteen wonderful months as part of the opening team at Lucy Liu. I have never been hugely drawn to the confines of a restaurant kitchen, I crave creativity and being able to do my own thing. I have always known I would come back to food in the right way, and here I am!

 

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1. What is your most memorable meal? Why does it hold such a firm place in your memory?

My favourite meal as a child was kedgeree, which is smoked haddock and spiced rice. Coming from Norwich in Northern England, you’re not really exposed to exotic foods, and I remember thinking, ‘… this is exciting’. Mum made it for us every Christmas Eve. I had it every year from four years old until I was twenty-five.

2. What was the hardest thing about your apprenticeship?

The combination of studying, going into class, doing the contact hours in a kitchen and working as a section waiter was pretty difficult to juggle. I would often leave Taxi Dining Room at 1am, needing to be back in the kitchen at 7am then back to Taxi for 4pm, it took its’ toll!

I also struggled with the Patisseries semester. I’m not one to follow a recipe and with patisserie cooking you really have to be diligent. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth and struggle to cook anything I don’t really want to eat.

3. You’ve worked as the face of some of Melbourne’s top restaurants. How does working on the floor compare to working behind the kitchen?

I love the theatre of working on a restaurant floor, I love the intensity and high pressured environment of service. I love that you really never know who may walk through the door and having the joy of meeting such a broad range of people who all turn up for the same reason – the love of food.

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4. What’s your favourite dish to prepare when you have friends over?

I so enjoy cooking at other people’s houses – it’s like the ‘mystery box’ on Masterchef, you open the fridge and cupboards and just make something. My favourite dish to cook is my version of steamed ginger and spring onion chicken. It’s one of my favourite dishes in Melbourne, originating from Ling Nam in Chinatown.

5. What do you do to eat healthy?

I never, ever eat anything out of the packet. It doesn’t excite me and it doesn’t involve any sort of interaction with the food. So I think that’s a good start. I have also become very aware of the power of water over the past couple of years and try to drink sh*$t loads of the stuff.

6. Who do you look up to in the industry? Why do you love what they’re doing?

The reason I started on this journey, across the world from Norwich to Melbourne was Rick Stein. I’d been through a big upheaval back home, and was ready for a change. I didn’t know where to go first until I saw Rick Stein cook a suckling pig in Ubud, and then realized that’s exactly where I wanted to go. So that’s where I went, and that’s what I ate, and that’s why I’m here now. I love how rustic and simple his food is.

7. If you could cook anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

If I could cook anywhere and for anyone, it would probably be for my Mum and Dad. I never got the chance to cook for them together, so perhaps that’s a step back in time rather than a specific location.

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8. What are you looking forward to on our HQ Getaway in January?

I’m looking forward to the challenge of cooking for so many en masse, and I’m looking forward to using all the gadgets in the retreat kitchen which i don’t have at home but wish i did (ie. Thermomix!!!!!!).

I’m also looking forward to being in a beautiful space with like-minded ladies, away from the rat-race of day to day life.

9. You currently do Crossfit – why does it appeal to you?

I love Crossfit, because I know if I go 3 times a week I can pretty much get away with anything for the rest of the week! I like feeling strong and pushing myself to my absolute maximum capacity (which I simply couldn’t do on my own).

I love turning up with anxious anticipation of the workout ahead, then working out like a crazy person in a hot and sweaty industrial box, high fiving someone and going home being barely able to walk.

10. What do you dream of in 2016?

Channelling all things things I love and have learnt into the career I have always wanted x

Seasonal eating and how to get the most from it

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Now that we are well into summer, there is an abundance of juicy stone fruit, you can smell mangoes everywhere, the salads are out in force in cafes and eateries, and avocados are added to almost every breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Although it may be harder these days to spot the foods which are out of season, because most foods are now grown all year round, there are many benefits to eating for each season. You get the chance to experiment with foods you otherwise would not have considered before.  Here are a few reasons to eat seasonally:

TASTE

The taste of fresh fruit and vegetables at their peak compare to nothing else. Their juiciness and flavour are out of this world. I’m sure you know how much better the flavour is of a tomato in Summer or a vibrant juicy mango compared to eating it in other seasons. What’s not to love about biting into a fresh watermelon on a hot Summer’s day!

EAT LOCAL

When you choose to stick to seasonal foods, you naturally lean towards produce which is grown locally. Seasonal eating also encourages you to get out and explore farmers markets as the local growers will have an array of fruits and vegetables.  This also means the food you are eating will have lower carbon miles and as a bonus, you get to know who grows your food.

COST 

Best of all if you incorporate seasonal produce into your eating it will be cost effective too! Prices will naturally be lower as fruits, vegetables and herbs come into season due to transport costs being significantly less.  This is good news as the savings get passed onto you.

NUTRITION 

Foods that are grown in season are at less risk of  nutrient loss such as vitamin C.  Long term storage of fresh food reduces vitamins and other antioxidants and phytochemicals which are protective and help support cellular metabolism.  Choosing a seasonal diet ensures you are maximising the nutrition content of those foods.

Eating for the seasons enables you to consider your eating habits if you tend to buy the same fruit and vegetables week in week out.  Below are some great reference charts for checking what is growing in season for Melbourne.  If you are living in any other region in Australia simply go to seasonalfoodguide.com.

Get out there and start exploring some new fruits, vegetables and herbs that you may not have cooked with or eaten before.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.48.31 pmImages: seasonalfoodguide.com