You might have heard people harping on about the “know your farmer” movement lately. Cafes with quirky hand drawn signs spout things about reducing the distance between the source to the table, people flock to weekend markets to stuff their baskets with produce, and the word ‘organic’ is about as popular on menus as smashed avocado on toast. It certainly conjures up images of food being delivered by a cheery farmer in overalls but is saying that we know our farmers just another nonsense platitude?
There are some days when you wake-up with golden light streaming in through your window and a forecast of expansive blue skies, and you just know that it is going to be a fresh and beautiful day. It’s that kind of feeling- a wholesome, fresh feeling- that a lifestyle of health and wellness is all about. It goes far beyond including fruit and vegetables in your diet and is much more to do with chasing the feeling of vitality and colour.
This is all well and good for the lucky ones who have the time to frolic in the wilderness and spend their days tending vegetable gardens and doing yoga in the park, but a little harder for us mere mortals who struggle through life fuelling our bodies on coffee and doughnuts.
Frankly it can be a little difficult, and there is certainly nothing ‘well’ about beating yourself up, whether over a missed workout (or ten) or a sneaky cookie binge, whilst striving towards having a healthy lifestyle. Always be kind to yourself, know that there isn’t such a thing as the perfect body and be aware that sometimes having a brownie is as healthy and essential as getting a grip on an exercise routine.
With that said, Brisbane is making it easy to be your best and healthiest self. Our little city on the river is no longer just a mecca for the burger and the beer fanatics, but a veritable source of the green and good. Just take a peek at Instagram and you’ll find that acai bowls and green smoothies are creating a colourful patchwork of health across the city. No longer content with the sluggish slowness that comes with tense muscles and hungover skin, more Brisbanites are treating themselves with purifying facials, bites of protein and cleansing hot yoga sessions.
To make a hard job just a little bit easier, here is a guide to some of Brisbane’s best wellness hot spots. From a zen-inspired experiences to leafy green eats, Brisbane has it all and we want you to know about them!
Healthy on the InsideBotanica-Red Hill – With a gorgeous interior and a selection of salads that will make eating healthy seem like a joy, Botanica will be a regular stop on your journey to good health. Not a place to dish up salads that will have your tummy growling within the hour, Botanica serves up a colourful smorgasbord of filling and delicious vegetarian delights.
Pineapple express-Portside Wharf – Superfoods don’t have to be boring, and Pineapple Express proves that over and over again with it’s Insta-worthy meals. Full of colour and elusive superfoods, a meal at Pineapple Express will inject a little wellness into your everyday.
Miss Bliss-West End – Wanting to stuff your face with blocks upon blocks of chocolate but trying to resist? Head to Miss Bliss Wholefoods Kitchen for one of their chewy protein balls or take a seat and order a bliss bowl, seed loaf or cacao hot chocolate.
Coco Bliss- Paddington – Juices, smoothies and guilt free treats take precedence at Coco Bliss- it’s the perfect place to pick up a healthy vegan, raw and refined sugar free snack to help you tackle 3.30itis.
Paleo cafe-Multiple locations – ‘Eat clean, Live lean’ is the motto that is embodied at the Paleo Cafe which (obviously) serves up paleo food. With breakfast, lunch and snacks on the menu, this little cafe is in both Paddington and North Lakes for you Paleo fiends.
Sourced Grocer-Newstead – Sourced Grocer is the home of wholesome and healthy foods to eat in or take away. You might have to elbow the yummy mummies out of the way but it’s worth it for the famed and acclaimed avocado smash.
Just Relax, Don’t stress!
Just Float- Brisbane CBD – Floating therapy is the latest form of relaxation therapy to pop up in Brisbane. It works by reducing sensory information through floating in a tank of warm water and epsom salt. It has been credited with helping with stress relief, muscle tension, meditation and pure relaxation; it’s basically an all round health solution. If you’re curious or just need some serious R&R, don’t go flying off to the dead sea just yet because Just Float in Queen St is a good option.
Endota Spa- Multiple Locations – Treat yo’ self girlfriend! The Endota spa branch is all over Brisbane and offers a range of treatments, massages and packaged deals. Relaxation, deep tissue and hot stone massages are all on offer to relax those hunched computer-shoulders we loathe.
Stephanies Spa retreat- Multiple Locations – There is almost no greater day than a day spent at a spa retreat. When your body resembles a knotty minefield of pain, a day at the spa can have you supple and moving again. So really, it’s a pretty necessary thing, right? The Divine Princess Ritual with a rose petal foot exfoliation, Indian face, neck and scalp massage and foot reflexology sounds like a treatment that was made just for us.
Dome Spa Retreat- Marriott Hotel – Like a day-cation, spending some time at the Dome Spa retreat will have you glowing and back on your feet in no time. Situated in the Marriott Hotel, the Lomi Lomi massage will have you confused about the fact you are in Brisbane and not stretched out on a hot sandy beach in Hawaii.
Stretch it, Strengthen it Cue Yoga Studio- Red Hill – Touted as Brisbane’s premier yoga studio, Cue studio is the place to get out those Lululemon tights and Lorna Jane crop tops that you dropped a couple of hundred dollars on. Cue has a lot of different classes for different skill levels; from the basic beginners class through to a class called ‘Burn’ for more experienced Yogi’s among us.
Revive studios- Ashgrove – If you’re looking for a wellness related class, anything from barre pilates to Back to Ballet, there is a good chance that revive studio in Ashgrove has it.
Yoga Door- New Farm – Brisbane’s home to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, this James St yoga studio is perfect for gaining strength while also developing a new way of thinking and relaxing. Plus, bonus points for you if you ride there along the new riverside pathway.
Q Pilates- Sherwood & Jindalee – Offering clinical, reformer, mat and barre pilates at both locations, Q is a boutique group of well-equipped, professional pilates studios. Passionate about rehabilitation, Q pilates is the place to go if your looking for specialised care.
Studio Pilates International- Everywhere – The McDonalds of Pilates studios, these guys have branches all over the city. That doesn’t mean they’re low quality but rather, very accessible. Inspiring, safe, intense and the perfect escape, these are the qualities Studio Pilates aim to infuse into their studios.
Zen hot yoga and pilates- Sherwood – Another Sherwood gem (some pretty damn stretchy and strong people must live in the area!), Zen offers the very popular hot yoga as well as pilates classes.
Stretch Yoga – Holland Park – There’s nothing quite like a zen yoga session in a gorgeous study with a crisp white wall adorned with plants boxes. Stretch yoga is a favourite among locals on the south side of the city, and they even do sessions especially for pregnant women.
And Some Free Options…Go for a walk up Mt.Cootha – A nicely sloping track that will have you huffing and puffing just the right amount. Only a couple of minutes out of Toowong, you will feel like you have stepped away from the hustle of the city and into the relaxing presence of nature.
Peek around the Epicurious garden in South Bank – Learn how your produce grows and spend a couple of hours languishing on the green grass of the Epicurious garden. Nothing quite like sitting amongst the aromas of herbs and spices growing from the ground.
Swap supermarket for a farmers market – Swap the aisles for the outdoors and pick up your fruit, veg and bread at one of the many gorgeous markets around Brisbane. Make sure you take a big basket and wrap yourself in a scarf for those frosty mornings. You can see a full list of Brisbane’s best farmers markets here.
Long chats with friends almost always help – Sometimes a long chat over a good cup of coffee will do as much good for the soul as an hour long pilates class. Friendships are key to living a healthy life!
What would you include in a Wellness Guide to Brisbane? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, via email or over on our social channels.