October 2014–Urban Health Newsletter

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Upcoming Events @ Urban Health Home Kitchen

This month at the Urban Health Home Kitchen we will be hosting two exciting themed night events:

October 18th–Mexican Rooftop Mingle

For those of you in love with Mexican food, get ready for the Mexican Mingle night on October 18th. Prepare yourselves for a true fiesta, including delicious seasoned re-fried beans and Mexican rice, heaps of the world’s best guacamole and salsa with corn chips, and beef and vegetarian tacos. All the fixings for margaritas alongside a blender will be provided–just bring your own bottle of tequila to pour in!

Last but not least, there will be a real deal piñata, equipped with treats! For those of you who do not know about piñatas, they are a papier mache animal stuffed with candy for guests to hit at with sticks until they explode! Muy Divertido (Very Fun)!

Register on our MeetUp page

October 25th–Spanish Rooftop Party

Special guest Chef Marta, who previously collaborated with Urban Health for the Spanish Root Private Kitchen Dinner, is back again for a very special Spanish Rooftop Party. A delicious array of Spanish bites will be served along side an enormous mouthwatering paella! Stay tuned for the full menu, coming soon.

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In addition to our splendid themed nights, Urban Health Home Kitchen will carry on with the Wednesday Night Dining Club. This month, we will offer a very special vegetarian dining club for urbanites who are meat-free. Come join Urban Health after work on October 22nd for the vegetarian Dining Club–it’s a great chance to meet people and taste some great gluten-free vegetarian dishes by Chef Andy.

To sign up for Urban Health’s October events please join us on Meetup to RSVP.

Unfamiliar with Meetup? No worries, just shoot us an email at info@urbanhealth.hk and we can help you to reserve a space.

Gluten-Free Restaurant Review

For the month of October, we are featuring not one but two great restaurants in Hong Kong. Locofama and Grassroots Pantry are located opposite one another in Sai Ying Pun’s Fuk Sau Lane off Third St.

Locofama

LocofamaInterior Locofama is both a restaurant and health foods store, side by side. With a mission to bring both non-GMO local farmed produce and products to the forefront, Locofama offers an interesting variety of recipes, many of which are gluten-free. The restaurant is cozy and decorated with an eco-modern style featuring a creative layered wooden interior with hints of black metal.

The chefs and staff understand the requirements that go into the preparation of gluten-free cuisines. Separate pots and equipment are specially reserved for gluten-free food preparation. You can feel at ease eating here with a staff so knowledgeable about gluten-free diets.

If you don’t have the time to sit down and eat, no problem–go take a look at the store. They offer many delicious gluten-free snacks, such as GF Amisa Organic Lactose Free Chocolate Rice Cakes, GF Go Raw Super Cookies(In carrot cake, chocolate chip, spirulina and original flavor), GF soy sauces, and more!

For dining in at Locofama, Urban Health Recommends the following dishes.

From the STARTERS section:

LocofamaMarketOysters

Market-Priced Fresh Oysters

Our favorite appetizer was these deliciously fresh oysters! Of those we tried, the notable ones are the organic ones from NZ, and two tasty varieties from France. The prices usually vary from around $40-60 HKD per oyster.

From the MAINS section:

LocoFamaMushroomLinguine

Mushroom Alfredo Linguini

Ingredients:

Pasta (gluten-free option available), nutritional yeast, gluten-free cream, and onion, with the option to add chicken.

$158 HKD w/ GF pasta or $200 HKD w/ GF pasta and chicken

This gluten-free Mushroom Alfredo is deliciously creamy and tastes fresh. Even some of us in the UH team who don’t typically enjoy pasta loved this dish. Seafood linguini is also available.

Grassroots Pantry & Prune Organic Deli

GrassrootsExteriorGrassroots Pantry & Prune Organic Deli and Workshop across the street is another gem in the neighborhood. Chief Executive Chef Peggy Chan prepares a healthy and natural menu made from the best of plants. The motto of Grassroots is “farm to table”–freshly-harvested local produce are prepared for you to savor.

All dishes are vegetarian and can be made gluten-free, vegan and/or Buddhist-friendly upon request. Grassroots chefs are incredibly well-versed in the art of gluten-free food–separate equipment are used to avoid the transference of gluten particles and to ensure safety standards are met.

The food at Grassroots tastes incredibly fresh and come with creative presentations. Their menu offers Asian and Western dishes alongside each other. Old classics are remade with interesting flavor combinations and a level of quality that can only be obtained with fresh, high quality produce. This is particularly true for one of the starters–the Curry Kale Ceasar Salad served with raw almond croutons.

The Grassroots team deserves a round of applause–their cakes and desserts menu is entirely gluten-free! Some of their deserts include: Tiramisu, Salted Caramel Banana and Chocolate Tart, Raw Pumpkin Seed Salted Caramel Pralines, Raw Calamansi Lime Pie w/ Coconut Whip, Zucchini Choco Loaf, and Blueberry Cheesecake.

Our personal favorite was the Earl Grey Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd, Coconut Triple Crunch and Pine Nut Lemon Frosting.

Off the menu, we recommend:

From the STARTERS section:

Southeast Asian Platter

This delicious ensemble includes 3 delicious bites: Indonesian Gado Gado Cucumber Roll with Cashew Satay Sauce, Pandan Hedgehog Mushrooms with Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce, Vietnamese Bahn Cuon made with Wood Ear Mushroom, Tofu and Jicama. The platter is served with a dipping sauce portion of Vegetarian “Fish” Sauce.

From the MAINS section:

Thai Basil Tofu Stir-Fry

We just love this delicious Thai dish from Grassroots. The stir-fry brings together local organic tofu, broccoli, bell peppers, string beans and Thai basil served with a serving of savoury coconut brown rice.

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Andy’s Corner

One year ago, my partner and I went to Singapore for a fun-filled weekend trip to meet up with some old friends. I was super excited for the trip because we would be camping on an island near Singapore. Sure, we would be outdoors without air-con in the heat, but being the outdoorsy kind of guy that I am, I was definitely looking forward to my first camping experience in Singapore!

We arrived late and woke up super early to catch our ferry. Fatigued or not, I was ready to soon be cycling around the island. We arrived on the island by 12pm; it was HOT and I was already extremely hungry!! We decided to go to one of the bigger seafood places to enjoy some cold young coconut and simple dishes before renting our bikes and journeying to find our camp site. Once we sat down, we were offered coconuts, which helped to cool us off while we tried to figure out what to eat.

As my partner is highly allergic to gluten, we asked the restaurant owner to help us to take our order. The most unexpected thing happened, especially for Singapore. The owner of the establishment refused to serve us, called us fussy eaters, and asked us to pay for the drinks and leave! She even had the nerve to say, “Gum ma fan gar” (English translation “so troublesome”) to us! Our only crime was to politely ask the cooks to clean the wok and cook our dishes with garlic, oil, salt and pepper (no soy sauce or starch). Similar incidents have happened before to us while traveling in Shenzhen and Malaysia. Unfortunately, I suppose we were naïve in our assumption that all Singapore restaurants would be more accommodating to our requests.

This is actually one of the key motivations behind Urban Health’s huge interest in changing the dining experience of celiac and gluten intolerant diners across Asia. One of our biggest initiatives is to offer Asia’s first gluten-free consultation service for restaurants. These consultations come with an implementation timeline, menu review/creation, scientific testing of ingredients, as well as gluten-free diners’ concerns/expectations with restaurant staff.

Our aim is to help raise awareness, boost the reputation of food service providers and to help gluten-free diners overcome their fears of eating out by enlightening restaurants to the needs of celiac and gluten-intolerant diners as well as enabling restaurants to be able to deliver gluten-free foods safely and confidently. Successful implementation of these goals allows for more and more restaurants to offer gluten-free foods safely, thus giving gluten-free diners more options for eating out with friends and family.

Andy Kun, Co-Founder & Director at Urban Health Group

Comic by Jonathan Reule

Urban Health Abroad–Monsoon Gym and Fight Club, Koh Tao, Thailand

monsoon-gym-and-fight2Last month, Urban Health had the pleasure to visit the Monsoon Gym and Fight Club on Koh Tao Island, Thailand. Koh Tao island is a popular vacation island, north of Koh Samui and Koh Phanang. Koh Tao is well known for its incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, but is also popular destination for those looking to train in the popular kickboxing technique of Muay Thai.

monsoon-gym-and-fightIf you are looking to train in Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, or simply get a great workout, look no further because Monsoon Gym in Sairee Beach, Koh Tao offers all of these things to tourists. Located on the main road between Sairee Beach and Mae Head Bay (directly up the hill behind AC Resort), the gym offers up do date modern facilities. Living quarters are provided for those coming to train for extended periods. The gym provides a large boxing ring where trainings take place and adjacent is an air-conditioned Western style gym with all the staple exercise machines and weights for the lifters.

Urban Health got the chance to train with instructor Nadine for her Gladiator fitness course. Nadine’s Gladiator fitness course includes a cardio warm-up followed by 6 circuits of overlapping exercise movements. The circuits alternate moves using different sized weights and equipment, with planks and squats. Split in half, the first 3 rounds of circuit differed from the last 3, building in intensity. Balance, endurance, and core stability are all emphasized throughout the training. It is easy to see why one would use Gladiator fitness to complement intensive Muay Thai training. The workout lasts one hour and the final minutes is wound down with cool-down stretches. The class is held twice daily, Monday to Friday at 7am and 6pm, very reasonably priced 300 BHT (or about 72HKD).

For those interested in taking extensive training in Muay Thai, packages include:

  • 2 training sessions/day, 6 days/week (with a choice of Muay Thai, Western Boxing, Gladiator Fitness)
  • Full gym access
  • A set of equipment (gloves, wrist wraps, anklewraps, Muay Thai shorts and a T-shirt)
  • Accommodation in an air-conditioned dorm room

The following time periods and rates are available:

  • 1 month = 21,500 THB. (5151 HKD)
  • 3 weeks = 18,500 THB. (4432 HKD)
  • 2 weeks = 15,500 THB. (3713 HKD)
  • 1 week = 10,500 THB. (2515 HKD)

For a more comprehensive list of prices for private classes and gym usage with self-arranged accommodation, please send inquiries to gm@monsoongym.com. We hope that you will take the time to check out this very cool gym and training centre in the middle of the jungle the next time you head off to Thailand!

Monsoon Gym & Fight Club
Sairee Beach, Koh Tao,
Thailand, 84360
Tel: +66 (0)86-271-2212

Shop Discount

idetoxThis month’s shops discount is coming to you from i-Detox. i-Detox is a wellness education centre, progressive health food shop and urban detox consultancy that was founded by Hong Kong detox and wellness pioneer Anita SK Cheung in 2008.

The philosophy of i-Detox is distilled from latest developments in holistic nutrition, functional medicine, naturopathy, as well as age-proven wisdoms gleaned from traditional cultures. Our mission is to make healthy living enjoyable and sustainable.

This month we are featuring three popular products from i-Detox!

Go Raw Sprouted Granola
Available in 3 flavours: Original, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate

  • With just a touch of sweetness and full of fiber
  • Serve with almond milk for a breakfast treat, or eat right out of the bag
  • Grain and nut-free, gluten free

Retails at HKD $113

iDetoxGoRawGranola
Dr. in the Kitchen “Seedsters” Sprouted Seed Snacks
Available in 3 flavours: Sweet Onion & Garlic, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Smokey Barbecue

  • High in fiber and protein (made with clusters of sunflower, flax and chia seeds)
  • Gluten-free
  • Delicious

Retails at HKD $55

Aduna Baobao Superfruit Powder (Exclusively distributed by i-Detox)
Available in 3 flavours: Sweet Onion & Garlic, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Smokey BarbecueAduna Baobab is one of the most nutrient-dense raw wholefoods on the planet. Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder is packed with vitamin C, is a rich source of fibre and is high in antioxidants, giving it a amazing range of potential health benefits.

  • 6X Vitamin C of Orange
  • 6X Potassium of Bananas
  • 2X Calcium of Milk
  • 50% Fibre

Retails at HKD $113

AdunaBaoBaoSuperpowder

Urban health is excited to offer VIP Discounts at i-Detox for the month of October. Simply show the Urban Health logo to the shop during your purchase to receive discounts!

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