B A L I
It does seem every time i return to Bali, whether it be 6 months or 1 year later, the little island paradise is developing and changing on an exponential curve with no means of putting on the breaks. I always duck in and out as its a lovely reset and accessible break for me, just 5 hours from Sydney. I love to visit my friends who reside there - however all central and westernised. I’m yet to leave the mainland and travel north or south to rural areas and really be immersed in Indonesian culture …so until then what i can share is a little guide around the places i do know - the wonderfully wholesome cafes, healing treatments, whimsical rice fields, and some of the best yoga classes i can say I've ever taken - and even ways you can help the community.
What i have realised recently is, You don't have to single handedly save the world - as long as you make a conscious effort and do what you can. Natascha and i made a little rule to pick up 3 pieces of rubbish when ever we left
Here are some little things you can do to help the community :
- Eat at local warungs or grocers owned by locals - Oma Jamu for example (i talk about this later on in this post in Munchies with Mimi. So KEEP READING!
- Stay at Home Stays when you can - they are usually locally owned.
- Pick up 3 pieces of rubbish whenever you can.
- Avoid using soaps provided by hotels.
- Request to not have your towels replaced daily.
- Bring your own Water Bottle! this way you can avoid buying plastic bottles.
- Avoid using plastic straws.
- Try to dine in to avoid takeaway packaging.
- Carry a tote bag with you - don't accept plastic bags.
- Take advantage of the recycling bags now provided in most Accomodations and use them properly.
Natascha and I Volunteered at BAWA – Bali Animal Welfare Association – and got to witness a day in the life of the wonderful Souls who work there every day helping with BAWA’s amazingly inspiring rescue and rehabilitation work. It’s heart-warming, but some of the cases are simply heart-breaking too.
BAWA is truly the saviour and only hope for so many animals in desperate need here in Bali. If you wish to donate to Lend a hand and make a small or big difference at BAWA, helping the Animals with their recovery and rehoming- please head to http://bawabali.com/donate-to-bawa/
BAWA also Operates the island’s only free animal ambulance which is currently in need of replacement. If you want to help with this, have a look at: https://igg.me/at/1J-I2g0QFME
On a more serious note - Please head to their website and have a read up in their campaign section about the Slaughtering and Dog Meat Trade Issues.
I usually spend a decent stint in ubud but not this time- After volunteering at BAWA all day unfortunately we ran out of time to visit the Green School - If you get the change i strongly suggest you head up to Ubud and take a tour at Green school - a completely eco and self sustaining School for Local children where they're doing so many incredible things to give back to the community. Teaching the locals and their children to help them better understand how to care for their land in a consumerist culture. Bambu Indah is a beautiful eco resort where you can wine and dine (it was the most amazing meal plant based i ever had, papaya steak is BOMB!)
Also if your into yoga be sure to attend one of the many classes available at YOGA BARN . You can join anything from basic to advanced level yoga, mediation, sound healing, dance meditation and more. Ontop of that they have a delicious cafe/restaurant serving fresh juice and nourishing food all day long.
If your after a massage or a gut healing, try Ida's Body Work - and see KUTUT!
MUNCHIES WITH MIMI IN BALI
One of the best things about visiting Bali is the abundance of insanely healthy, mixture traditional and western food. You’ll find anything and everything, from little Local Grocers to Australian owned Vegan Cafes - your sure to find something to satisfy your tastebuds where ever you are. Aside from the wonderful Dining experiences don't forget to support the locals and grab your Fresh Tropical Fruit and Coconuts from local markets or road stalls! Heres something you didn't know - I’m not Vegan at all! But i do truly appreciate the creativity behind vegan cooking, and understand the ethical beliefs - and so a lot of my Bali Ventures are spent exploring the unique Vegetarian and Vegan alternatives to the cheeses, milks, meat and eggs we so often eat at home. In this little Pocket of Paradise i feel Inspired to cook creatively! So, Heres a little, itty-bitty insight into some of my Favourite places in Bali, but Trust me, the list goes on! So stay tuned for more.
Whether you are un Canggu, Ubud or the Bukit you will find yourself within arms reach of my most favourite morning hang out, cafe, restaurant and grocer - Bali Buda. I flick through the pages of their News Paper-Sized menu, Traditional indo meals are mixed with French, American and Italian style breakfasts, lunches and dinners. You can treat yourself to a “Healthy Drink” from their menu… or you could choose form the “Super Healthy Drink” section, the choice is yours !
I stopped one morning for breakfast and found myself inducing in a Balinese Morning Glory - made from chunks of steamed Purple Sweet Potato, Dates, Goji Berries and Chopped Banana swimming in a sea of Delicious Warm Coconut Mylk.
Another one of my favourite dishes is there MacroBiotic Plate - a nourishing conception of Tofu, Brocolli, Chickpeas, Daikon, Seaweed, Sesame, Brown rice and Miso.
The Takeaway is fabulous too - i often order the Live food platter - sliced Jicama (A Local Vegetable kind of like a Potato and an Apple combined) Tomato, Cucumber, Their Famous Sprouted Seed Pizza Crackers and Raw Dips.
Behind secret temple doors a vegan oasis awaits… with a wide variety of vibes, whatever the occasion - cozy cushioned areas for snuggling sipping “Hot Lava” (Raw Cacao, Cashew Mylk and Chilli) Tree House tables and chairs and fabulous wifi for working hard travelling throw this emails. Down stairs dining area open kitchen / restaurant vibe … and an abundance of plants!
Best of All There is Snack store downstairs for on the go Healthy Mucnhies!
You can never gowrong with a DIY Salad Bar and Vegan Parfait Breakfast Bar…. “Alkalize, Rehydrate and Transform” your insides. Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe and Juice Bar is always my first stop in ubud.
Located: Jl. Penestanan, Ubud
Having not been to Bali for a while, i wasn't up to date with the Hang Out Spots.…. I heard from far and wide that Shady Shack was the best place top eat in Canggu, so my expectations were set high - and i was impressed! Breakfast was delicous— chocolate mud smoothie.. yes please. i cant say i was impressed with the coffee but
a few nights later we went back for Dinner and tested upon of an assortment of Exotic salads, Mushroom and vegan sweet potato gnocchi … which was to die for.
Owned by fellow Australians, Betelnut Is My favourite spot for a Jamu shot and a coconut mylk latte - deliciouso! You can find Jamu all over the place in Bali - it is usually made from a mixture of Tumeric, Tamarind, Cinnamon and Ginger and Lime with Honey to Sweeten. Jamu’ has been used for years and years as a natural remedy to improve liver detoxification, reduce inflammation, improve immunity and fight off bacteria.
THE CASHEW TREE
The islands Best Rice Paper Rolls - free from flavourless space-wasting glass noodles - full of veggies and accompanied by a delicious tahini sauce instead of peanut! Not that i don't love notoriously sweet peanut sauce, but its a nice little change…
Located: Jalan Pantai, Bingin
If you want to support a local Indonesian family grocer but still want the high quality local produce or youre simply craving a slice of Tumeric-Marinated tofu - Oma Jamu is the place for you!
This humble store doubles as a grocer with fresh veggies, ice cold coconut water, Jamu Juice , Kombucha, seed crackers and a very cute hand packaged selection of nuts and dried fruit.
Located: Jl Batu Bolong, Canggu, just past Deus
And finally for Something to Suck On…
if your after a quick refresher I've just discovered Mad Pops! Super duper simple local and seasonal ingredients, all natural, Vegan, gluten free, all that jazz… but most importantly - theyre freakin delicious! they're basically a frozen chia pudding 😉 here we have a small selection of the many flavours that include Vegan Key Lime Pie, Banana- chocolate, Blueberry-Coconut, Pineapple-Vanilla-Ginger-Coconut (my fave), Coffee Vegan Chocolate Crunch, Chia-Lemon zest-Coconut… and the list goes on, Totally Unreal!