Meet my city: Bali
Discovering the healthy, clean-eating, fitness-loving side of Bali.
Australian lifestyle blogger and model Natascha resides part-time in Bali and is passionate about discovering and sharing its healthy living side. She shares some of its best kept health secrets...
Which season makes the city feel most alive?
I really love the Christmas – New Year season, when the city comes to life with festivities, celebrations, music and fireworks. Weather-wise, it’s not ideal as it’s rainy season, but there are always patches of sunshine throughout. Personally I don’t mind the rain, but if dry season is your preference, June/July is a great time to visit!
Where is your favourite place to jog or cycle?
Ubud. It’s just over an hour out of Seminyak area and there are beautiful rice fields that you can walk, jog or cycle through. There is a restaurant in Ubud called Sari Organik, only accessible by walking though a rice field. The food is 100 per cent organic and a large portion of the produce is actually grown on site. You can even request to walk though and choose your produce to be made for your meal – incredible!
Favourite health activities?
Bali is a great place for yoga. If you’re in Ubud, Yoga Barn is excellent and if you’re around Seminyak area, there is Seminyak Yoga Shala and both Semara Resort and Villa Prana offer Yoga classes. There is also a new Yoga Studio in the Canggu area right next to the surf spot at Echo Beach. It’s called Samadi Bali and is made from recycled material with its own health café serving juices and organic salads.
What is it about your city that motivates you to be fit and healthy?
Being in a bikini all year round is already great motivation! All the activities the city has to offer especially surfing, swimming and yoga are great to keep you feeling fit and strong. The strong presence of healthy living also has a big impact. The city offers a vast range of health programs, spas, detox, meditation and natural health treatments.
Favourite spot to pick up a healthy morning smoothie?
Bali is full of delicious organic cafes that offer a selection of healthy breakfasts. I personally love the food and smoothies at Zula – my favourite menu items include the buckwheat pancakes, the dragon bowl and the refreshing lemon-vera tonic. At Earth Café – the granola for breakfast and the Mediterranean plate for lunch or dinner is a must. At Watercress – the Watercress Avo on toast is delicious, as is the Cacao Buzz.
Best local spots to pick up fresh, seasonal produce?
Bali Buda is one of my favourite places to eat in Bali. They use local produce, the menu is extensive and the service is wonderful. There is a little shop, which is part of the restaurant, where you can buy fresh bakery goods, energy balls, snacks, freshly bottled coconut water, kombucha tea, and fresh produce.
What do you miss most about Bali when you’re away?
Definitely the food and the relaxed lifestyle. Living on an island means things are at a whole different pace to city life.It relaxes you, reminds you that waiting is okay and that things take time sometimes.
Describe your perfect weekend in Bali.
It would definitely involve a road trip! There are so many great beaches outside the main Seminyak area that are a lot quieter, cleaner and prettier than the main tourist beaches. Exploring and finding a new beach is always exciting! My perfect weekend would start with an early start – morning yoga followed by a wholesome breakfast for the big day ahead before hitting the road.
Nusa Lembongan, an island just 30 minutes from Sanur by boat, would be a top pick. Once arriving, I’d head straight to Jungutbatu beach for its clear water, white sand and beautiful views. Surfboards and paddleboards are available for rent and you can literally walk around the island on foot.
Another option is The Bukit, a large limestone peninsula at the southern end of Bali. Here, one of my favourite places to visit is Bingin Beach. It’s an adventure to find, around 120 steep steps with ocean views over a cliff edge, and plenty of spots along the way to stop for lunch or hydrate with a fresh coconut.
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