A Taste of Paradise

Wellness in the City has gone global! Whilst we concoct winter warmer recipes in the chilly Southern Hemisphere, our London based representative went on a little holiday to the serene island of Sardinia, Italy – finding peace and perspective away from the big smoke.

Our London-based writer, Emma van Braningen, is driven by a balanced lifestyle with an emphasis on nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. She has recently started following a vegan diet for mainly ethical reasons (an added wellness bonus). A food-lover and inspired by travel, nature and design, she hopes to experience the world from urban London life to beaches in South-East Asia – watch this space!

Our Londoner’s Experience:

Anyone who has experienced London living will recognise the double-edged beauty of the city. Pulsing with activities from street markets to pop-up festivals, brimming with people from around the world and a booming economic hub of the globe, there is no such thing as a dull day. On the flip side, that can be exhausting both physically and mentally.

Last week I decided to take a break from it all and literally catch a breath of fresh air in Sardinia – I am convinced I found a piece of heaven on earth. Although the cities may not be anything to write home about – with the exception of Alghero – the island boasts the most incredible nature and the loveliest of people who will more than go out of their way to accommodate you (including rattling off complicated directions in rapid Italian, proving interesting with my zero Italian).

Having grown up in South Africa, the sprawling cliffs, beaches and colourful fauna spoke directly to my heart. Having lived for almost six months in London, the sense of space, lack of pollution and crystal blue seas spoke directly to my soul. Sardinians seem to be an active nation, mountain biking across the twisting cliff-side roads, rock climbing on dramatic rock formations, kite-surfing on the turquoise waters, and hiking for hours to get to hidden beaches only accessible by foot or boat – as mentioned, pure paradise!

Food wise, I admittedly struggled with a vegan diet. Famous for their seafood, meats and cheeses, veganism seemed a rather alien concept. That said, ice cream stores in Alghero surprisingly proudly displayed vegan banners. Although perhaps not high in nutritional content, I can guarantee that Sardinia’s ice creams are high in soul nurturing content! In all, I largely stuck to vegan pizzas topped with tons of cooked vegetables or vegan pastas (surprisingly difficult to come by), which unfortunately meant a lot of refined carbohydrates that I generally try to limit in my diet. However, supermarkets and street markets are widely available with delicious fruit and veg, and fish lovers can enjoy fresh fish brought straight from the sea directly in front of them, topped with delicious olive oil from the olive groves directly behind them.

Within three days my skin had cleared up, away from all the pollution, and had soaked up much needed vitamin D, boosting my overall sense of wellness. Just a two to three-hour plane ride from London, Sardinia is the perfect little paradise to escape bustling city life for even a weekend – a necessity to rejuvenate in order to once again enjoy all the splendours of urban living.

For holiday inspiration and tips of where to stay, what to see and what to do in Sardinia, visit http://www.charmingsardinia.com

Wellness in the City

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