This is a place for all men & women in Shanghai to find tips on how to thrive in this city, and more! With the tips below I hope to empower you with the knowledge of whole foods and how to find them in Shanghai so that you can reconnect with the pleasure of eating nourishing food. Even though eating a whole foods diet rich in fat is a good starting point to your healing journey, it is not the only element. To thrive you need to examine your relationships, the makeup products you use, your sleep patterns and exercise. This page will help you to do just that. I want you to wake up smiling and feeling refreshed every day. Giving your body and mind raw ingredients will awaken your its capacity to heal. Care more about where your food comes from and remember if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin! Move frequently and improve your flexibility and mobility through yoga or tai chi.
My guide to healthy food shopping in Shanghai
Since new health-oriented grocery shops are popping up all the time, I thought I’d better update my shopping guide for all the health-conscious people. I’ve rounded up my favourite food stores and farms to help you stock up your kitchen with nothing less but the best!
Fields' free-range organic eggs, Kerrygold butter, organic vegetables, kombucha raw honey, nut butters, lamb liver and sprouts are on my weekly shopping list. Also, all my grass-fed meat comes from Fields as their website clearly states what the animal was fed and whether it was humanely raised. I mostly buy imported meats from New Zealand as I know that the majority of beef and lamb that comes from there is sustainably raised and grass-fed. To support local food production, I occasionally buy different cuts of Wansheng Organic Black Pig. Fields is also a great place for salmon, especially when they have 2 for 1 offers. Always stock-up on meat and seafood when there is a sale. Use a coupon code "THRIVEINSHAGHAI" to get 50 RMB off your first order.
GroupMall (WeChat ID: groupmall-china) is great for coconut oil, coconut water, olive oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and raw nuts. They also have Hot Deal section where you can get top quality produce at reasonable price.
For my coconut milk, kombucha and coconut yoghurt, I rely on Lizzy's All Natural.
For Primal approved snacks order some Mantra Bars made with all-natural ingredients (WeChat ID: mantrabar). To receive 15%off and free delivery just mention ThriveInShanghai when placing your oder.
When it comes to stocking up my pantry with oils and vinegars, iHerb is always my first choice. I buy my coconut oil, MCT, herbs spices, and supplements all on their website. It's possible to order from iHerb tax free if you choose SF express for delivery and the total tax is under 50RMB. Also, you can save 10% on your first order with a coupon code TCQ200.
If you are feeling more adventurous and want to try some goat yogurts or kefir, contact Irene on her WeChat account iyoshanghai.
For some good quality imported coconut products such as coconut water, coconut chips, coconut oil, and organic coconut vinegar check out gre3n. You can save 10% on your first order with a coupon code THRIVE.
For activated nut & seed butters contact WeChat account Realiciousbutters
For Paleo bread and other Paleo-friendly treats contact Kuen. Her WeChat account is kuenholmstrom
The best thing about Shanghai is that you can find young fresh coconuts and avocados on every corner of the street. Expect to pay no more than 12RMB for one avocado and around 10 to 15RMB for a coconut.
If you ever run out of something you can always pop into The Avocado Lady store (274 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Wuyuan Lu 乌鲁木齐中路274号, 近五原路). She stocks most of western produce and plenty of vegetables.
There is also City Shop, City Super & Ole Supermarket where you can find most of your healthy ingredients. However, these shops’ prices are often much higher than the online shopping places mentioned above.
If your family eats many veggies and fruits then I recommend you order an organic veggie box from GomaGreens or one of these 4 farms located around Shanghai:
However, be warned! Some of these farms’ websites aren’t easy to navigate, especially if you can’t read Chinese.
Now, to stay healthy buy your groceries and get creative in the kitchen.
Eating out in Shanghai can be very tricky as most of the restaurants, even those claiming to be serving healthy food use toxic vegetable oils to prepare most of their dishes. If you are eating out, if at all possible, request that food is cooked in real butter, and build your meals around vegetables and proteins. Read HERE to understand which fat is good and which ones you should avoid at all cost.
Click here to find out more about setting up your healthy kitchen and kickstarting your journey to optimal health.
My guide to building strength and focus
FITFAM SHANGHAI - FREE WORKOUTS!
This community based group organises free workouts all over Shanghai. Most of their outdoor sessions are scheduled for 6 a.m. But if you’re not an early riser, then check out their other ad-hoc activities such as free yoga classes and workshops. Once you join their official WeChat account (FitFamShanghai)you can select location that best suits your needs and access the updated schedule. What an awesome way to meet like-minded people, exercise, have fun and keep each other accountable! And all of this is free of charge!
YOGA, PILATES & DANCE
Tanya and her body shaping class is an awesome way to improve your alignment. To join scan the QR code below:
50RMB Sunday yoga in Xiangyang Park with Julie. The session is held from 10am to 11am. This is an all-levels class and everyone is welcome. To join scan the QR code below:
FreeSoul-yoga studio (9 Clouds, 4 floor, no. 17 North Xiangyang Road). Jade is the owner and the teacher. She has been highly recommended by all of my yogi friends ;-) Check out the updated schedule on her website and add the studio’s WeChat Account: FreeSoulYogaSH to reserve your class. The current first timer offer of 200RMB for two classes is a pretty sweet deal.
If you like smaller classes Community Yoga studio in Jingan, might be the place for you. The first time drop in session only costs 50RMB and the studio often organises free classes and events to give back to the community. If you need more details, contact Nellie on her WeChat: nellfrimml.
Another studio worth checking out is My Soul Yoga (Fuxing Park and Nanjing Xi Lu). This yoga studio offers comfortable and relaxed environment and the rates are reasonable too.
Pure Yoga studio (IAPM mall and Plaza 66) is also worth mentioning especially since it offers free trials. However, be warned! Although Pure’s teachers are fantastic, its yearly membership is very pricey and the environment very commercial.
Be sure to try out Aerial yoga at Z&B Fitness, BarrenInFusion (no. 129, Pu An Road) or at Supermodelfit. Aerial yoga is not only fun but it also comes with tones of benefits. Unlike in a traditional yoga practice, in aerial yoga you use a silk hammock to support your bodyweight and do lots of inversions. According to David Asprey “hanging upside down sends nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your brain.” . Personally, I found that unlike traditional headstands and shoulder-stands, doing an inversion in a hammock took pressure off my back and left me and my muscles feeling totally relaxed ;-).
Z&B Fitness located on14/F 1219 Changle Lu (near Wulumuqi Lu) 长乐路1219号14楼 (近乌鲁木齐路) not only offers aerial yoga but also hips of other classes. AKA… Yoga, cardio, pilates, dance - all under one roof.
Now, which studio do I belong to?
Well…I used to be a member of a yoga studio, but at the moment I haven’t really committed to any of them. After completing my Yoga Teacher Training in Bali I became more of a stay-at-home yogi. I love to incorporate yoga practice into my morning routine and have been able to do it consistently (consistency is the key!). My favourite free online yoga workout is definitely Yoga with Adriene. I am a total fan! I love her authenticity and her motto "Finding What Feels Good". If I do happen to wake up in a bad mood, which happens very rarely these days, after her class, I feel much better. If you are wanting to start a home yoga practice, I highly recommend you to check out her website. The videos are between 25 to 50 minutes and doing one video each morning will set your day on the right path. Also be sure to try her Yoga to Start Your Day class and Yoga for Strength and Focus (my personal favourite ;) Both classes are fantastic!
Or if you prefer a personal trainer to work on your boxing, gym or weightlifting skills, contact Ania on her WeChat: song_anya
Reiki, meditation and Tibetan singing bowls are offered in Shanghai by Gabriel. If you want to find out more about sound healing, a reiki treatment or balancing your chakras, contact Gabriel on his WeChat: gabosalaz or follow his WeChat group: The inspiring journey.
Sound Gong Bath with Valeria (WeChat ID: mannayakasha) is my favourite way of cleansing my chakras.
The Swedish Flotation Spa in Shanghai is a gravity-free experience where you float in an isolation tank that cuts off all sensory experience. The tank is filled with Epson salt that keeps you afloat and provides your body with plenty of magnesium. I tried it once and felt very relaxed and slept like a baby that night. However, if you don’t like dark enclosed places, this relaxation therapy might not be for you. For more info contact Theo, the owner, on his WeChat: theo-ma
When it comes to Shanghai's best value for money Chinese-style massage places, my favourite is Double Rainbow located on Yongjia Road (near South Shanxi Rd). The place is operated by blind masseurs who do an excellent job. A blind massage offers a great way to relieve tension as well as physical and psychological stress. As with most blind massage places, clothes remain on and you don't get a private room. The price of a full-body massage starts at 68RMB for 45 minutes.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more and want something more fancy, then check out Zen Massage. You can get some sweet discounts on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. If Zen isn't enough for you and you really want to try something special, then get a hot stones massage or a purifying lymphatic drainage massage at Green Massage (58 Taicang Road).
Click here to find out more about encompassing exercise, sleep, relationships and nature to kickstart your journey to overall wellbeing.
My guide to eliminating toxic skincare, haircare, and makeup products.
Avocado oil is by far my favourite. I have tried numerous oils on my skin but this one wins hands down. Not only is it easily absorbed by the skin, but it also leaves my skin soft and hydrated. I also use this oil as a carrier for all essential oils.
Coconut oil wins in this category. It works well for removing mascara without irritating my eyes.
Baking soda mixed with coconut oil is the best natural deodorant I have tried. It's 100% effective and it will keep you smelling fresh throughout the day. Simply mix together 8 teaspoons of baking soda and 6 tablespoons of coconut oil and then add 10 drops of doTerra Wild Orange EO.
Coconut oil and Redmond clay powder are my two favourite ingredients when making a toothpaste. Mix 5 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of Redmond clay powder and 3 tablespoons baking soda, add 6 drops of clove, 6 drops of peppermint, and 6 drops of cinnamon essential oil. Store your homemade toothpaste in an airtight glass jar.
Also, for healthier gums and fresher breath I highly recommend oil pulling every morning every as soon as you get up and before you brush your teeth or drink anything. This method was used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine. Oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. When you are done, spit out the oils and immediately rinse your mouth with warm water. I have been doing this for over 4 years now and can really notice the difference.
If you are interested in making your own makeup and other beauty products, Severine Derville from My Beauty Farm frequently organises workshops in Shanghai and lets you take home 2 beauty products made on the day. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you rather shop for natural products, then you may want to check out these companies based in China:
BADASS Beauty (WeChat ID:amBADASSadorSH) Great for unrefined shea butter, black soap and coconut oil.
Roedolf & Wang (WeChat ID: 18384298764 ) Great for soaps, scrubs and facial creams.
Slow Living (WeChat ID atournier) Great for organic handmade skincare products and aromatherapy products. My personal favourite are Audrey's handmade soy candles. She infuses them with natural essential oils including orange, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and geranium to help induce relaxation.
Natural Soaps (WeChat ID Anna Suzhou) Great for homemade soaps.
Julia's Natural Soaps (WeChait JuliaSoap) Great for homemade shampoos and natural hair masks.
Kuru (WeChat yezzreyes) A Mexican Brand which specialises in toxic free nail polish. Conventional nail polish can be one of the most toxic beauty products around so if you love a nice manicure or pedicure get Kuru nail polish.
Handmade Organic Chocolate (WeChat ID Globetrotter28) They specialise in handmade organic chocolate face masks and body butters.
For top quality essential oils in Shanghai I'd highly recommend doTERRA EOs, read here why. The shop is on 218 Fengxian Road, 4th floor, near Plaza 66. Or you can shop via their website. If you’re ready to get your hands on some doTERRA EOs, then grab one of their starter kits and enrol with my Sponsor ID, 237125, to get doTERRA products at wholesale prices (35-40% below retail). DoTERRA Kits are amazing as they include free oils. Once you try doTERRA EOs I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do! If you’ve any questions regarding doTERRA EOs reach out to me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Click here to find out more about starting out with DIY beauty products.
If you find this guide useful I'd appreciate it if you could help me get the word out. Just share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WeChat, or even by email with anyone you think might benefit from reading it. I'll see that you get bonus karma points for taking the few seconds to do so. Thank you x