Category Archives: Lifestyle

* Staying Bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed on Holiday *


The Streets of Avignon

Living in Berlin gives you access to many amazing countries, all just a short flight or train ride away. I’ve been super lucky to have spent the last week in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a delightful village close to Avignon, and Barcelona. We attended an amazing wedding in France and carried on to meet some more dear friends in Spain.

Naturally, it was all laid on for us. Enough rosé and sangria for a village fiesta, the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted and croquetas, my new favourite deep-fried morsel of goodness. And don’t even get me started on the patisseries and boulangeries.

Place du Palais

When you’re on holiday in another country, it’s all about new experiences and grasping those opportunities that come your way, which for many of us means devouring a whole lot more of the good stuff and not keeping up with the usual exercise routines. It got me thinking about ways to not feel too sluggish, überunheathy and heavy whilst you are exploring the world. Here are a few top tips that I’ve learned from my own travels:

Move: Exercise everyday, preferably first thing in the morning. Just get up and go for a run, walk, bike ride, swim, or do a few sun salutations on the beach. I also pack a Pilates resistance band and some yoga socks for variety, which are both light and won’t take up to much space in your luggage. This makes you feel instantly better after what was probably rather a joyous evening with the odd refreshment or three. It also means that the evenings are kept free for much of the same carry on. And repeat.

There are also lots of opportunities for incidental exercise on holidays. There is no better way to see the city than on foot or on a bike, so ditch the sweaty public transport options and do your body and bank balance some good.

Delightful French Buildings

Vegetables: Try to eat as many as possible so that you don’t go overboard on rich, heavy foods. I’ll often have lunch or dinner consisting of a big plate of salad and vegies, as well as some protein like chickpeas or chicken. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I believe that beetroot is in fact the key to life, so I’ll buy it in any form from the grocery store or village market. It means that I feel a whole lot healthier, as consuming beetroot ensures that my vitals are functioning optimally.

Snacks: You never know how much you are going to absolutely love somewhere and want to stay for longer. You could easily spend the best part of an afternoon wandering around La Sagrada Familia being utterly captivated. Having some fruit, nuts, seeds or wholegrain crackers on hand will ensure your blood sugar doesn’t get too low and you start freaking out. Depriving your body of the fuel that it needs to function means that you’ll get hangry (hungry angry) and crave instant energy, often in the form of saccharine sweet, stodgy food. After you’ve had your second slice of tarte tartin and you’re making eyes at the macaron shop, your body moves in to overdrive mode, which creates a vicious cycle of eating anything and everything you can get your hot little hands on.

Gaudy at his Finest

Indulge, but don’t go overboard: If I know the evening will probably consist of having a few glasses of vin de pays, I won’t have a gelato in the afternoon. Heck yes, I’ll have the petit gâteaux and have yet another ohemgee Super Foodie moment, but I won’t have it every day that I’m in France. This ensures these little indulgences remain special and will long be remembered after the holiday.

To me, travelling to other beautiful countries is what summer in Europe is all about. Now is the perfect time to make your own swift exit to a place where you can’t understand the local news and be blissfully ignorant – you’ll probably find it rather liberating.


* Austria *


Schwarzsee, Kitzbuhel

Austria, or Österreich as the locals call it, is the land of alps, Apfelstrudel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I arrived in this stunning country after a long flight from New Zealand to the bright sun, the temperature warm and a hint of summer in the air. I was in Österreich for a week, initially staying with my dear friend Katie and her family in Kirchberg in Tirol, near the famous resort-town Kitzbühel and then on to Salzburg.

My first impression of Austria was its strikingly beautiful and verdant countryside. The alps are still sprinkled with snow and as it’s high spring, greenery is peaking and blossom is in full swing. As a big fan of blossom and springtime in general, I was in heaven. Words of hope, like “summer is coming” adorned the kitchen walls of a few of the houses I visited and to me this is what spring is all about – hope that the warmth of summer will bring light into lives. Winters are long in this part of the world.


An Evening Stroll in Kitzbuhel

Another observation is that the people in Austria are incredibly sweet. Upon getting off the train, a gentleman carried my luggage and made sure I got to where I needed to be without me lifting a finger. As I’m a bit of a princess, this really did appeal. People were only too willing to help: “You need a place to live in Berlin? I’ll ask my friend”; “You wanna see some sights? I’ll take you to Innsbruck”. Hearts of gold, these Österreicher.


Tania Wimmer Yoga Studio, Kirchberg

I was lucky enough to take part in an amazing yoga class in Katie’s hometown. The class was led by Tania Wimmer, a New Zealand ex-pat, in her purpose-built yoga studio which has the most amazing view (see above). The class was filled with ex-pats and English-speakers and I was happy to hear that they all spoke very good Denglish. In case you haven’t heard of this language before, it’s a mix of German and English and what my Beau and I speak zu Hause. Tania is everything that you want in a yoga teacher – warm, encouraging, funny and heavily involved with the health and wellbeing of the community. She is also organising the Yoga Festival Kitzbühel in early September, which looks to be a total winner.



Another aspect of life in Austria that I was super pleased about is the abundance of places to kneipp. This is something that is not commonly done or known about in many parts of the world, but is something I’ve been doing for a long time now. The health resort I used to work at in Kaiteriteri, New Zealand, is owned by a Southern German man who knows how good it is to kneipp and has a stream dedicated to kneipping in the middle of the forest.


Clara having a wee Kinder Kneipp

Kneipp therapy is a form of hydrotherapy that was developed by the Bavarian priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897). Walking barefoot through water or on wet grass, stones, or snow is one of Kneipp’s very effective techniques. The benefits of kneipping include improved circulation, which increases the blood supply to the organs, skin, nerve centres and strengthens the immune system. There are places to kneipp all over this part of the world, particularly in Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria and there is nothing better than a kneipp in the (very) fresh water after a hike in the hills.

When my Beau and I are not living in Europe, we try to live like we are in Europe, so we kneipp as often as we can in summer. This can certainly lead to some strange looks from people and can clear an area pretty quickly. I mean, so what if we’re kneipping in a fountain in the middle of the botanicals? Don’t knock it till you try it, uncivilised folk.


My next stop was Salzburg, which if you’re unfamiliar with its history, is where The Sound of Music was filmed and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), one of the most influential composers, like ever, was born. Much of my time was spent meandering through this pretty little Stadt, down the narrow, cobbled alleys of the Old Town, soaking up the history with thousands of other tourists. Many a song from The Sound of Music was heard throughout the Old Town and Mirabellgarten, where slightly humiliated-looking tour guides were giving their “original” tours of the city. The Sound of Music equates to big bikkies around here.

Even though the weather was inclement, I loved seeing the beautiful chestnut trees in full bloom, in either pink or white, lining the streets and Salzach river. I also went on a most beautiful walk, from the Festung Hohensalzburg, the massive fortress which towers above the city, along the Mönchsberg to the Museum der Moderne. In the light spring rain, with the chorus of the birds going about their springtime tasks, the dramatic alpine views and enchanting castles along the path, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly free.

* Super Foodie Live *

The Yoga Barn 2

Savasana View at The Yoga Barn, Ubud, Bali (September, 2015)

The New year heralds a fresh start, a new perspective, a switch, a transformation. For Super Foodie, it means a new domain – – and the drive to connect more. Connect with the Super Foodie community, with loved ones, myself, my aspirations, the world, lightness, brightness and life itself.

Super Foodie (Adventure) has been around for four years now and has been ticking along in the background; however, it required a refresh to better reflect my lifestyle. The name of the new domain is significant as it reminds me and hopefully you as well to live, to be alive, be energetic, resilient, alert, conscious, present, to live in the now, to be aligned with light. There is no space for ego, negativity, darkness and certainly not for people who don’t make you feel good.

Super Foodie will continue to bring you snippets of the best and brightest super foods and recipes from near and afar, cool places to visit, rad things to do etc. but in a more consistent and enlightening fashion.

So here’s to 2016 and being a more alive and connected you and me, embracing the now and remembering that life is limitless, so dream big.

“Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it”. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

* Grow Your Own *


Grow Your OwnSeriously, how good is it to grow your own? Pretty damn good, I say. As urban dwellers, we’ve looked for innovative ways to grow our own veggies and herbs with the minimal space we have. We live super central, literally a stone’s throw away from the Rocktagon, the heart of the city. The trade off for having exceptionally easy access to like, everything, is having no backyard. We do, however, have a north-facing patio-cum-rock/shell garden-cum-jasmine grove, which is probably one of the hottest places in town during summer. Sheltered by the surrounding buildings, plants and flowers thrive, elderflower climbs out from in between the buildings (after many years of discarding the heads during elderflower fizz season) and lizards have been known to bask in the sunlight.

I’m very, very lucky to have an überpractical Beau in my life who “just whips things up”. He built 6 large planter boxes which house our greens, herbs and general miscellaneous veggies. They’re strategically placed behind the furniture and line the patio to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor area that perfectly utilises the space (am I starting to sound like Grand Designs’ Kevin MccLoud, or what?) This also makes it oh so convenient for when you want to add something a bit different to your drink (gin and tonic through a spring onion straw, anyone? Seriously – don’t knock it till you try it.)

Over the years we’ve refined what we’ve grown after a little trial and error, as other gardeners will be all too familiar with. We grow perpetual spinach all year round, as well as oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, mint and more mint (for mojitos, of course). In years gone by, we’ve grown bok choy, onions, tomatoes, rocket and chillies. Just whatever tosses your salad, really, and as you see with our wee patch, you don’t have to have a huge amount of space to reap many an earthly delight. Whatever space you have, whether considerable, small or teensy, it’s just so damn good to grow your own.

What to plant now (in New Zealand)

Asparagus, basil, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, celeriac, chicory, chili, chives, climbing beans, coriander, cucumber, eggplant, endive, globe artichokes, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, okra, oregano, parsley, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, radish, rocket, silver beet, squash, sunflower, sweet corn, tomato, turnip, watermelon and zucchini.

Now come on Doctor Green Thumb, get planting!

* Earth Hour 2013 *


Photo courtesy of Discovery News

Earth Hour 2013 is happening tonight from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour is an annual celebration organised by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and communities all over the world, where people, businesses and organisations are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to show their committment to protecting the planet. Millions of people take part each year, acknowledging change and sending a powerful signal to the world to live more sustainably.

The celebration of Earth Hour 2013 got me thinking about what we can collectively achieve every day to protect our planet, as well as what we can do in our own house, especially as it’s been a few years since we’ve spent a full winter in New Zealand (the heat pump has already been put to good use.)

Get educated about your options – If it’s possible for you to go solar, do it. In New Zealand it takes about 10 years for the initial investment to pay off and you’re free from those pesky power bills, which only get pricier every year. Investigate other methods of renewable energy such as stand-alone power systems and grid connected systems at Energywise.

Save energy where you can – Dry your clothes outside instead of using your dryer; wash your clothes in cold, rather than warm water; replace your light bulbs with energy saving bulbs; install an efficient shower head; switch off your appliances at the wall when they’re not in use and get your heat pump serviced regularly or at the very least, keep the filter clean. All of these measures and believe me, there are many, many more initiatives, all contribute to a reduction in your energy bill and more cash in your pocket.

Get on yer bike – Biking has to be one of the raddest things out, as well as being so convenient. Not only does it get you to the market super-schnell, you never, ever encounter any issues getting a park. Simply swan on in past the myriad of cars searching for a park, get your goods (still wearing your helmet sends a powerfully sanctimonious signal), pack your bag and you’re on your way, hooray! Get a killer butt, whilst doing your bit to protect the planet. No petrol costs, expensive car bills, warranties and registrations is also pure delight.

Dine by candlelight – Make a regular gig out of turning off your lights. Invite your friends over for a candlelit pot luck dinner or make your honey a romantic dinner for two. Not only will your senses appreciate the accentuated dining experience, your energy bill will also look healthier.

These ideas really are just a drop in the bucket and I’ll be exploring more ideas in future posts. In the meantime, tonight you can get involved by switching off your lights, finding an event near you and showing solidarity in supporting the protection of the planet.

* Bikram Yoga *


Bikram Yoga Dunedin

I have a love/hate relationship with Bikram yoga. I love keeping up my practice, the peaceful sleeps and the alignment of body and mind. Then at times, especially during the really challenging postures which my body needs the most, I loathe being stuck in the stuffy, sweltering studio and wonder why I’m putting myself through this again. This abhorrence never lasts long, as the endorphins kick in and a feeling of immense, elated calm ensues – I’m won over again.

I’m very lucky that we have a seriously good studio here in Dunedin, New Zealand, which is welcoming, encouraging and unpretentious. I’ve practiced in a few other studios around New Zealand and Europe and I feel as though I’m more focused and poised here than anywhere else. The instructors at our studio are highly supportive and always willing to impart their knowledge about which postures benefit the various parts of the body and assist the students in fine tuning their practice. They also like to really challenge the students, much to our advantage – it’s the hottest, sweatiest studio I’ve ever been in and it puts us all in a determined, unified mindset, ready to stretch as far as we can and stay in the postures for the duration. This camaraderie is like nowhere else I’ve been. It’s little wonder we do so well in competitions, often taking out the top prizes in national competitions.

One thing that I’m attempting to overcome since I began practicing a few years ago (very sporadically, I must add) is feeling faint during the standing series. I have really low blood pressure and have often felt uncontrollably weak, where I begin seeing stars and am forced to sit down and avoid the next posture. It has long been a source of frustration but I’ve found a few ways to counteract this, which I’ll outline below.

Nutrition plays a huge part in practicing Bikram yoga and I’ve learnt that I need to be super energised to be on my game. Smaller meals throughout the day containing whole grains and protein, such as a chickpea and quinoa salad are key. I always have a high potassium snack a few hours before the class, which usually consists of a banana or a kefir bananarama shake. As I’m a hungry lass with a speedy metabolism, I often need to have another wee snack on my way out the door, which won’t interfere with my practice. A few dates dipped in a smidgen of peanut butter or tahini does the trick.

Hydration is also critical, as the 90 minute class is in tropical heat and sweating is the name of the game. A great deal of water needs to be consumed throughout the day and caffeinated drinks restricted in the afternoon. Coconut water is the bees knees for the Bikram yogi. It’s a natural isotonic drink which naturally replenishes the body with sodium, potassium and magnesium after excessive sweating. Himalayan rock salt also works wonders. In much the same way as coconut water, it restores the body with crucial electrolytes and is packed with over 80 minerals and trace elements including iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, silica and selenium. Sprinkle some over lunch or swallow a few crystals about an hour before class.

After the class, I’m often ravenous by the time I get home. My darling Beau usually has a hearty meal cooking on the stove, which I try my best not to wolf down. I head to bed, inspired, rejuvenated and enthused about the next day. Bikram yoga is highly enriching and I encourage you all to give it a whirl.

* This is the first post in the new lifestyle section of my blog. Stay tuned for more interesting topics and healthy tips for living life to the full.