The weather in Hong Kong has certainly been wet and gloomy, a real shame for all of us but we are especially sorry for those of you who got caught in the rain in the South Stand at the Sevens this past weekend… On a cheerier note, our monthly roundup of April’s best wellness products is out and there’s nothing gloomy about this batch of bright stars!
Bahia Cosmetics Prickly Pear Seed Oil
Ever wonder how the beautiful women of Morocco keep their skin so glowy and gorgeous? While many of us have heard of now world-famous argan oil, what we have been missing out on is the almost magical Prickly Pear Seed Oil, sometimes called Barbary Fig Oil or Cactus Oil. One reason why this oil has been hard to come by is that it is not easy to produce, requiring one ton of fruit to make one liter of oil. However, now us Hong Kongers can get in on this Moroccan beauty secret with new startup Bahia Cosmetics‘s 100% organic and cold-pressed offering. Why is Prickly Pear Seed Oil so wonderful? For one, it is a great source of skin protecting Vitamin E: bye-bye free radicals that terrorize your skin. It’s also rich in Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids, both essential for skin health. The oil is also packed with Vitamin K to help with brightening, and amino acids that help your skin produce more collagen. The latter is what gives your face that plump look of youth; collagen also works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Prickly Pear Seed Oil does all of this while being non-greasy and boasting a wonderful scent. Of course, with any plant based skin care the sourcing makes all the difference: Bahia gets their Prickly Pear Seed Oil from a Berber women’s cooperative in Morocco, ensuring fair labour and sustainable agriculture practices. All of Bahia’s products offer eco packaging too: the paper board, the glass bottles and the PET plastic are all recyclable!
Bahia Cosmetics Prickly Pear Oil, HKD 650 for 30 mL (or user our exclusive offer of 15% off online orders with promo code ‘GQUEEN15’), Discount on Green Queen Available on their website.
Kowloon Bay Brewery’s Gluten Free IPA
Hong Kong’s craft beer scene in Hong Kong has been heating up in recent months with the launch of numerous local breweries. Now, Kowloon Bay Brewery has upped the ante by creating the first gluten-free craft beer in Asia. Their gluten free IPA (India Pale Ale) is everything you are looking for in a craft beer, it is complex, flavorful and hoppy (tried and tested by yours truly) and far from the staid, watered-down varieties you frequently find on tap throughout the city. If you are wondering how it’s possible to create barley-free beer, the secret is sorghum. Kowloon Bay’s IPA is brewed using this ancient gluten-free grain that originally hails from Africa. Our bet? You will start seeing sorghum pop up more and more on the healthy eating scene, thanks to its wonderful properties. Make sure to like Kowloon Bay Brewery’s Facebook page to find out where you can grab a GF bottle/pint near you, they are not currently available for retail consumers only at bars and pubs, but hopefully that won’t be the case for long!
Gluten Free IPA, Available at select bars and bottle shops around Hong Kong.
NuZest’s Clean Lean Protein
With so many protein powders on the market today, the choices can sometimes feel overwhelming. Enter NuZest’s Clean Lean Protein. This protein powder is made from European golden pea protein, meaning it is plant-based and free from soy, dairy and glute. Golden peas are also wonderfully allergen-free, low in carbs and fat, and incredibly easy for us to digest. Clean Lean Protein is also a complete protein, meaning it gives your body all of the essential protein building blocks it needs to repair itself and rebuild muscle tissue. NuZest’s founders are a pair of Kiwis who wanted cleaner and more nourishing options for their daughter who was born with MS. They have spent years researching their formulas and their work has paid off: their clients, which include celebrities and athletes, can’t get enough! Clean Lean Protein it is available in five flavors for even the pickiest modern warrior – Smooth Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, Creamy Cappuccino and Just Natural. You can add the Wild Strawberry to a smoothie or use the Just Natural to give your favorite baked goods a protein boost. The options are infinite…
Clean Lean Protein, HKD 395 for 500 grams, Available on their website.
Inspiral Raw Organic Baobab & Onion Kale Chips
Given that loving kale has become the healthster requirement du jour, it was to be expected that a deluge of kale-themed snacks that have flooded health food store and supermarket shelves over the past few years. This includes a number of attempts at kale chips. If done right kale chips are a wonder of a snack. Light, delicious, scratching that crisps itch without the crisps guilt. Us Green Queen gals have tried our fair share of kale chips that were lackluster at best: crumbly pieces of kale powder that were more cashew than kale, some seemingly tasting of cardboard. Which is why we are excited to share that some of our favourite kale chips ever, UK based Inspiral chips, have landed in Hong Kong thanks to the original superfood superstore i-Detox. Our favourite flavour is the Raw Organic Baobab & Onion Kale Chips: these babies are light, crunchy and most importantly for a snack: delicious. Plus they have all the powers of superfood sensation baobab, which is chock full of vitamins C and B, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants, all while being raw, meaning you get all the vitamins and minerals from that god of the health world kale. If you are looking for a little variety in your life you can also try their Purple Corn Kale Chips, Beetroot Kale Chips, Wasabi Kale Chips, and Incan BBQ Kale Chips.
Inspiral Raw Organic Baobab & Onion Kale Chips, HKD 50 for 60 grams, available on i-Detox’s website.
Potti Desktop Aquaponics Kit
Aquaponics, aka the method of growing plants in a closed system using fish poop as plant food, has been gaining in popularity as a space and resource conscious way to grow produce all over the world, not to mention in our fair city (check out our piece on Hong Kong’s very own organic aquaponics farm). Historically, aquaponics requires a large commitment of time and space, which meant it wasn’t a realistic choice for home growing. Until now, that is. Superfarm HK has released the Potti, which allows you to jump on the aquaponics bandwagon with an incredible self-cleaning and self-fertilizing home aquaponics kit available with five different plant options such as herbs, flowers and vegetables. The idea blossomed (ahem) thanks to Superfarm’s commitment to science education in schools. The founders of the organization wanted something tangible to introduce to school children when giving them presentation and talks about sustainable agriculture in general, and aquaponics in particular. So the idea for a portable desktop aquaculture kit was born and behold: the Potti! The kit ingeniously combines a fish tank with a home garden, creating a beautiful addition to your living space that helps clean the air and grow your dinner. We LOVE!
Potti, HKD 799, available on their website.
Images courtesy of Bahia Cosmetics (lead photo), Kowloon Bay Brewery, NuZest, Inspiral UK, and Seed Farm (Potti).