Chōsen Experiences Sat, 17 Nov 2018 06:46:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A FEAST FOR THE SENSES – AND THE SOUL /a-feast-for-the-senses-and-the-soul/ /a-feast-for-the-senses-and-the-soul/#respond Sat, 17 Nov 2018 06:46:09 +0000 /?p=1738 [...]]]> Fresh, organic, wholesome, seasonal and delicious – these are just some of the words that describe a typical meal served at a Chōsen Experience. But for Josh Davies, Executive Chef for Chōsen Experiences, each meal is also a celebration. “It’s a celebration of the best local produce, but more importantly it’s a celebration of the local farmers and suppliers, who work hard to give us amazing ingredients that we can transform into something special.”

And Josh certainly has an abundance of such produce to work with, despite the group’s remote location near Port Elizabeth in the country’s Eastern Cape. “Cooking for everyone at this Chōsen Experience is such a delight because I get to use ingredients that I’ve never really come across before, like kudu, a type of African Antelope” he explains.

South Africa is known for such diverse top-quality meats, from the exotic springbok and warthog to ostrich, buffalo and venison – it is therefore no surprise that meat features prominently on this week’s South Africa Experience menu. “I have featured more meat on the menu, then say in Bali, because it really is at the heart of South African cuisine. I wanted to showcase these foods as simply but creatively as possible and give our attendees an opportunity to explore the local flavors to get a deeper sense of the destination.”

As with every Experience, Josh strives to design a menu that aligns with the Chōsen ethos. This translates to “clean” dishes that are a healthy balance of lean animal protein, good fat, and fiber in the form of leafy greens, nuts, seeds and fruit. The ingredients are prepared as simply as possible to retain their nutrients and flavor.

Josh has been cooking professionally for 23 years, four of which have been for Chōsen Experiences. The Australian chef, who lives in Bali with his family, says that one of the best aspects of his job is having the opportunity to be as creative as he wants. “Aside from the fact that I get to travel to beautiful places like South Africa and meet wonderful people along the way, I have free rein to experiment with any interesting ingredients I find. And for a chef, there’s no greater feeling.”

While this week’s menu features a variety of dishes that showcase some of South Africa’s best ingredients, we’ve asked Josh what he thinks will be the group’s favorite. His guess: “An oversized quail, sometimes called Jurassic quail, cooked over a braai (a South African barbecue), topped with herb-packed chimichurri sauce and served with chargrilled broccoli, smoked red peppers and asparagus cooked in citrus juice. That’s South Africa on a plate!”



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THE NATURE CONNECTION /the-nature-connection/ /the-nature-connection/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 08:46:20 +0000 /?p=1735 [...]]]> Many studies have shown the importance of nature to our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Spending time in nature is thought to have such a profound healing effect that many doctors prescribe walks in the park, long hikes, and other nature-based activities to patients with anxiety and depression. Just in the last month, doctors in Scotland’s Shetland Islands also began prescribing “nature”, in the form of listening to birdsong, picking up driftwood and more, to patients with chronic illnesses as part of their overall treatment strategy.

Indeed, immersing oneself in nature is so beneficial to human health that the Japanese even coined a term for it in the 1980s. “Shinrin-yoku”, which means “taking in the forest atmosphere”, has also become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

With exposure to nature having so many benefits, it’s easy to see why it’s such an important component of the newly launched Chōsen Experiences South Africa program, which sees attendees participate in wildlife experiences like rhino spotting, camping under the stars and canyoning. Actively leveraging the natural environment has, in fact, long been a part of the Chōsen program, because it helps maximize the learning impact of the Experience.

But how exactly does nature help us be better humans? Besides improving our physical fitness by getting us to move, experiencing nature has a positive effect on the brain. In studies, it’s been shown to restore depleted attention circuits, thus boosting our creativity and problem-solving skills and improving our ability to focus and process information.

Living in the city, where we’re constantly bombarded by noise, information and other distractions, can also make our brain tired. When we spend time in nature we give our fatigued brain a chance to slow down. After even just a brief period in a natural setting, the brain is rejuvenated and ready to resume mentally demanding tasks with renewed energy.

Furthermore, nature is a mood booster. In a Stanford University study, participants who walked in a natural setting versus an urban setting showed increased activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain whose deactivation is linked to depression and anxiety.

It also goes without saying that people who spend a lot of time in nature are more relaxed. There’s something to be said for the calming, nurturing effect of watching a sunset or waterfall, taking shelter under a canopy of trees, feeling the damp earth beneath our feet, inhaling a lungful of fresh mountain air and tasting the salt of the ocean on our tongue. What is more, natural settings are more conducive to quiet contemplation, thereby heightening our sense of self-awareness and opening us up to greater self-reflection and self-evaluation.

There are so many ways to connect with nature, from passive activities like mindfully observing an animal in the wild, gardening, resting on a sunny patch of grass and smelling a fragrant flower, to more active, high-energy ones like surfing, skiing, hiking an outdoor trail and rock climbing.

However you choose to enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll want to surrender yourself to the beauty of your surroundings and take your time appreciating every sight, smell, touch, taste and sound – this is what it means to be truly one with nature.



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THREE WAYS YOU CAN DO YOUR PART FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION /three-ways-you-can-do-your-part-for-wildlife-conservation/ /three-ways-you-can-do-your-part-for-wildlife-conservation/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:01:47 +0000 /?p=1729 [...]]]> Paul Gardiner has long been passionate about conservation. The son of conservation pioneer Adrian Gardiner, Paul is currently Global Marketing Director of the Mantis Group, which has partnered with Chōsen Experiences for this week’s South Africa Experience.

Paul, together with Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of the Wilderness Foundation Africa, talked to Experience attendees about the importance of conservation and discussed how we can all do our bit to protect and save our wildlife and natural resources.

“There’s never been a better time to take action,” says Paul. “We are losing our wildlife at an alarming rate and if we don’t do something now, there will literally be nothing left for the next generation.”

Paul equates being in the wilderness to medicine, saying that it heals the mind, body and soul. “If you live in a big city there are very few places you can escape to, but if you come out to a place like South Africa, for instance, and go on a safari drive where you get to observe animals like rhinos, lions and elephants, you will immediately notice a difference in how you feel. It is truly a healing experience, which is why we must protect these precious creatures.”

There are many ways we can support our local environment while conserving and maintaining our natural resources. One way, says Paul, is to support groups that are committed to conservation. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Wilderness Foundation Africa, The Tusk Trust and African Parks are just three of many that are doing excellent work on the ground. Earlier this year, the Mantis Group, in partnership with Accor Hotels, created Conservation Community Fund Africa, a non-profit organization that raises money for these very important NGOs.

Another way is to support tourism in countries like South Africa, whose wildlife and reserves are big visitor draws. By travelling to these places you are helping preserve the natural attractions that make the sites popular.

The third – and probably simplest – way to do your part for conservation, says Paul, is to talk about it. “The more people know about the urgency to protect our wildlife and natural environment the better. There are so many social media platforms you can go on to spread this message. By getting more people talking about it you increase awareness of the issue.”

A few years ago, for example, the Wilderness Foundation Africa hosted Vietnamese-Australian pop star Thanh Bui in South Africa, where they exposed him to the underworld of poaching and talked to him about the demand in East Asia for rhino horns. Paul says that East Asian cultures have used rhino horns for centuries so there was a need to be culturally sensitive, but at the same time, they had to drive home the message that the practice was no longer sustainable: “We lose about three rhinos a day. At that rate, they will be extinct before we know it.”

When Thanh Bui returned to Vietnam he went to schools and other venues, where he educated locals about the problems associated with rhino poaching. Pretty soon it was something that many Vietnamese were talking about. Although it was a straightforward strategy, it was effective at helping shed light on a serious matter, says Paul.

“You have to create as much noise about conservation as possible and take the opportunity to educate others, otherwise we will lose our wildlife for good. We cannot allow more extinctions to occur on our watch.”







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GOT A BIG DREAM? START SMALL: OLYMPIC SWIMMING HERO AND CHŌSEN EXPERT RYK NEETHLING SHARES HIS GOAL-SETTING SECRETS /got-a-big-dream-start-small-olympic-swimming-hero-and-chosen-expert-ryk-neethling-shares-his-goal-setting-secrets/ /got-a-big-dream-start-small-olympic-swimming-hero-and-chosen-expert-ryk-neethling-shares-his-goal-setting-secrets/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 03:36:38 +0000 /?p=1725 [...]]]> It’s not easy transitioning from successful athlete to successful entrepreneur, but Ryk Neethling has made the move seem almost effortless. The 41-year-old Olympic gold medalist – and the first South African to compete in four successive Olympic Games – could have comfortably segued into a different career in the sporting field, but instead, he took on roles as shareholder and marketing director at luxury property development company Val de Vie Estate, Pearl Valley Golf Course and Cape Winelands Properties. In addition, he is an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the CEO of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, where he’s involved in raising awareness of the importance of water safety and education through sport on behalf of the Princess of Monaco.

With his steadfast work ethic and rigorous self-discipline, it’s no surprise that Ryk, a Chōsen expert, is the host of the Chōsen Lifestyle Optimization Experience South Africa, taking place this week. But while he has found success both in and out of the pool, the swimming legend wants us to know that his journey towards his dreams was not without its difficulties.

“Transitioning from sports to business is challenging for all athletes,” he explains. “You have to reinvent yourself and your identity. There are many doubts along the way and you pretty much have to start from scratch all over again. As an athlete I also had my trying moments but it was through these tough times and failures that I grew the most.”

Goal setting has long been a huge part of Ryk’s success. Dreaming big is one thing, but he believes that the best way to bring those dreams to life is to take small steps towards them. “If my only goal as a 12-year-old was to go to the Olympics, I would have given up long before I got there because it’s such a massive dream and I probably would’ve been discouraged the moment I hit a roadblock. Instead, I made it my goal to do better every season, and before I knew it I was competing at my first Olympics (in Atlanta in 1996).”

Ryk still follows this goal-setting process, breaking up big goals into several smaller ones and focusing on the goals he has set himself for the day. He says that when you follow this process so that you are consistently checking off these smaller goals, you will be amazed at what you eventually accomplish.

“That’s where I think people go wrong when it comes to setting goals,” he adds. “They have the dream but don’t get to see it through because they don’t break the main goal up into smaller, short-term ones. It’s really a process that requires persistence, dedication and focus. Many people are also afraid of failure, but failure is where we find our strength. It’s where most of our growth takes place.”

Besides goal setting, Ryk says he did not get to be the success he is today without a few other personal rules. “I treat everybody the same and always with respect. I also work hard, act with integrity and make it a point to stay humble. On top of that, I believe it’s important to have people around you that you look up to; I’ve had some great role models along the way, one of them being my father.”









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CHŌSEN SOUTH AFRICA EXPERIENCE: WHERE CONSERVATION MEETS SELF-OPTIMIZATION /chosen-south-africa-experience-where-conservation-meets-self-optimization/ /chosen-south-africa-experience-where-conservation-meets-self-optimization/#respond Sun, 11 Nov 2018 15:58:46 +0000 /?p=1722 [...]]]> The inaugural Chōsen South Africa Experience hosts attendees from some of the most urbanized locations in the world, from London and Hong Kong to Mumbai, Los Angeles and New York. Their collective goal: Self-optimization.

For such an important personal journey, the right environment is everything. That’s why South Africa was selected for this particular experience. “The difference between the home cities of our clients and ‘the bush’ in South Africa could not be more marked,” says John Stanton, co-founder of Chōsen Experiences. “This ‘alien environment’ influence on the learning process is heightened in locations of great beauty like South Africa. Also, we believe that the further removed you are from your normal urban environment, the more impactful the environmental influence. All our Chōsen locations are selected based on their potential to support an emotional breakthrough during an Experience.”

During the Chōsen Experiences South Africa program, attendees will participate in activities that are focused on functional fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and adventure challenges. They will also go on guided safari drives to see Africa’s “Big Five” – elephants, lions, Cape buffaloes, leopards and rhinoceroses – while connecting with the environment on a more meaningful level.

Conservation is a key component of the Chōsen Experiences South Africa program, with conservation-themed activities a major part of the weeklong itinerary. It’s no surprise, then, that the Experience takes place at Founders Lodge by Mantis near Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Founders Lodge is the home base of the Mantis Group and its visionary conservation philosophy. John and his Chõsen Experiences co-founder Robin Connelley decided to work with Mantis, not only because it is an exceptional hospitality partner, but also because of the company’s strong conservation and education focus.

Both John Stanton and Robin Connelley believe that conservation and self-optimization go hand-in-hand. “Like all Chõsen programs, this one combines both the Chõsen and the Mantis concepts and was designed to actively leverage the natural environment for increased learning impact,” John explains.

A Chõsen alumnus is someone who decides to make themselves a priority and to live a life of learning, and therefore, improvement. This inherently ties in with conservation because our lifestyle decisions – from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the way we choose to travel – have a greater impact on the world around us than we might think. When we understand exactly how these decisions affect the environment and wildlife, we become more informed, more conscious, more empathetic consumers who are in a better position to make a positive impact. At the same time, we are inspired to check our own values and see how we can continue to refine our habits and behaviors for both the short- and long-term health of the environment.

When the Experience is over, attendees will have a better understanding of what it means to live a sustainable lifestyle. Curated activities, learning how to protect endangered animals like the South African rhinoceros, for example, will further shed light on the issue of conservation and demonstrate the impact of humans on the natural world.

In addition to being a unique way to deliver the signature Chõsen philosophy, this Experience will leave attendees with a depth of information, practical skills and an awareness that they can apply to their lives when they return home.



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Eight ways to avoid jet lag when traveling /eight-ways-to-avoid-jet-lag-when-traveling/ /eight-ways-to-avoid-jet-lag-when-traveling/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:36:54 +0000 /?p=1666 [...]]]> It’s not your imagination. Jet lag is real and has genuine biological consequences! The good news is there are simple ways to reduce its impact on your mental and physical well-being. Here, the Chōsen team shares their top eight tips to overcome jet lag, fast.


Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, you want to arrive at your destination fresh and ready to go. Adjusting to a new time zone can waste precious hours – even days – of exploration time, and that’s exactly what can happen when jet lag takes hold. These smart, simple tips will help you avoid the problem, and make the most of your next long-haul travel experience.

  1. Skip the meals: Food is a tool our bodies use to tell the time. When we eat, our bodies know it’s time to be awake. So, eating while flying across multiple time zones can be exceptionally confusing to your circadian rhythm. By avoiding some meals during a flight, you’ll help your body rest. You will also improve your ability to adjust to a new time zone by reducing the burden on your digestive system and mitochondria, which are responsible for the metabolic activity of cells in your body. This will leave more energy available for your body to adjust on arrival. Having a good meal balanced in fat, fiber and protein about two hours before flying will keep hunger at bay.
  2. Eat DHArich foods before flying: Consuming foods high in DHA (an essential fatty acid found in salmon and other cold-water fish) helps reduce inflammation in the brain, so add these to your diet in the days before flying. You will be surrounded by electronics on the plane, so you’ll need all the nootropics you can get.
  3. Snack well (if you need to): If it’s a long flight, take healthy snacks such as raw nuts, and organic protein. Avoid the ice creams, bread rolls and highly processed packaged foods that are often handed out on the plane.
  4. Stay hydrated: As a general rule, try to consume one liter of water for every three hours in the air. Adding electrolyte tablets to water is also beneficial. Bring along herbal tea bags for relaxation, and to curb any hunger. Avoid alcohol before and during flight.
  5. Maintain movement: A workout before flying is ideal. During the flight, move around whenever you feel restless. Generally, listen to your body and stretch any areas attracting your attention. Consider taking along myofascial release balls to roll your feet or back during flight.
  6. Rest on arrival if you need to: Take care of yourself upon arrival and pursue your ideal conditions for a good sleep. Avoid alcohol, sugar and stimulants (coffee/chocolate/exercise) before bed. Turn off electronics and create a dark environment to notify your body it is time to rest.
  7. Sit back and relax: The lead up to traveling can be hectic, so leave that stress behind on the tarmac. Get into the ideal mindset with music, comfortable clothing and essential oil scents to create a relaxed state.
  8. Switch off screens and head outside:  If you happen to arrive during daylight hours, spend as much time outside as possible to adjust. Time away from electronics will help your internal clock and circadian rhythm recalibrate, and sunshine can assist in keeping you awake.

Your routine at a new destination will be different to that at home (the food will be different, there may not be a gym or quiet mediation space nearby), and this will impact on your ability to adjust. However, if you need a deep meditation, or a little exercise to be able to rest at the end of the day, prioritize it. Simplify your routine down to its most essential elements and jet lag won’t hold you back.

Ready to fly? See where a Chōsen adventure could take you.

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SEVEN keys to eating well: the Chōsen nutrition ethos /seven-keys-to-eating-well-the-chosen-nutrition-ethos/ /seven-keys-to-eating-well-the-chosen-nutrition-ethos/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:19:13 +0000 /?p=1656 [...]]]> The Chōsen nutritionist, Elisa Haggarty, is a New York City-based health coach. She knows better than most that food is one of the best preventative medicines we can use. Our diets are often a reflection of our lifestyles, Elisa believes, and what we eat can lead to transformational change in other areas of our lives. We must consider seven key factors in our diets if we are to change our relationship with food – for the better and forever!


Can there be a one-size-fits-all list of principles for improving diet? I am not one for following strict rules and meal plans, let alone ‘diets’. Instead, I believe that SEVEN food-related guidelines can naturally put us on the right path to health. Fortunately, these home truths remain constant across the planet. So whether you’re in a bustling city or an idyllic country retreat, the same simple, practical thinking applies.


  1. Think local

Choosing locally produced food is where a transformational diet begins. In fact, if you do this, the six points to follow will become a whole lot easier. Local food doesn’t have to mean from your own garden, or what is grown in your town. Think regionally! What is being produced within your region that you can include in your daily meals? If you’re not sure, the best place to start is your nearest farmer’s market or produce swap. Avoid supermarkets, even those focused on organics (an organic supermarket will still sell packaged, processed and imported foods). Once you start seeking out local food, you’ll be surprised at what you find – community gardens and farmers markets can be closer than you think, even in big cities.


  1. Be in synch with the seasons

Your circadian rhythm is like an inner clock that’s tuned to the sun. Eating seasonally supports your immune system and circadian rhythm, which improves every part of your life, from sleep patterns to appetite and mood. A seasonal diet is also more likely to be grown locally, and therefore fresher. What’s more, seasonal foods have fewer miles to travel before consumption, so they’re better for our planet, too!


  1. Yes, fresh is best

Dull, limp and lifeless-looking fruits and vegetables are telling you something. They’re saying it has been some time since they were harvested, and they have lower nutritional value than foods picked that day. Choosing food with more ‘life force’ makes a meal more nourishing. It will be tastier, too!


  1. Go organic for the ‘dirty dozen’

Eating organically isn’t always possible. Because pesticides and herbicides mess with our endocrine systems, however, we should avoid them when we can. If you can’t go the whole hog, choose organic for what we call the ‘dirty dozen’ – 12 foods that are most heavily sprayed with chemicals due to their susceptibility to pests. Among these are leafy greens, berries, coffee beans and animal protein. Because these foods are more likely to contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, make the effort to consume them organically.


  1. Eat it whole

Whole foods are inherently and implicitly beneficial, and contain all the balanced elements of nature. Highly processed foods contain a heap of negatives that we usually try to avoid, including additives, preservatives and fillers.


  1. Make it nourishing

By following the first five principles, it’s highly likely you’ll nail the sixth without trying. The meaning of a nourishing meal will vary with the individual, of course, so your unique needs should be weighed up. If you have specific allergies, or nutritional requirements due to age, pregnancy, exercise routines or health conditions, make sure your food meets your particular needs. A nourishing meal is also an enjoyable one, so choose meals with a sense of creativity.


  1. Be mindful

Food is a gift. At least three times each day, you have the opportunity to take deep breaths, to connect to your body, and to connect to your mind. The way in which you eat is usually how you relate to the world. Fast eating is often connected to fast living – so slow down!


Elisa will be hosting the Chōsen experience week in Bali, starting this week on August 5, 2017, and will share her latest research on optimizing nutrition for the ultimate lifestyle balance and performance. Follow on Insta for live action from the week


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The Wellness Guide to Singapore with Rhyce Lein /the-wellness-guide-to-singapore-with-rhyce-lein/ /the-wellness-guide-to-singapore-with-rhyce-lein/#respond Sat, 14 Jul 2018 05:47:10 +0000 /?p=1634 [...]]]> Balance, variety and a community of like-minded people these are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle for Rhyce Lein, General Manager of fitness specialists GuavaPass. Rhyce recognizes that not everyone can make a yoga class part of his or her working day. However, as a Chōsen experience alumni, he knows how important balance and supportive networks really are. Here, he shares his tips for staying in shape while visiting or living in the Lion City.


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You work out most days. How do you keep things interesting?

I work out Monday through Sunday, and I like variety. That’s what GuavaPass is all about – curating the best workouts to suit your needs.

I balance my high-energy and high-impact activities with active rest-style classes of stretching and yoga. The high-energy workouts are known as ‘yang’ and need to be supplemented with ‘yin’ practice to optimize performance. So, a typical week for me in Singapore looks something like this:

  • Monday: I like to start the week off strong! I tend to go for a GuavaPass HIIT class (high-intensity interval training) to burn away the weekend’s indulgences.
  • Tuesday: I head to F45 Amoy Street to focus on strength and resistance training. There are so many benefits to this kind of workout beyond the increase in lean muscle – there’s evidence to show it’s great for increasing bone density and improving your metabolic rate, as well as improving the symptoms of some specific skeletal conditions.[1]
  • Wednesday: I’ll do a GuavaPass yoga or barre class. And yes, men do barre! In fact, barre is great for working on smaller muscle groups through isolated movement.
  • Thursday: By mid-week, I’m back at F45 Amoy Street to do some strength and conditioning classes.
  • Friday: After four days of solid exercise, I need a stretch, so I focus on that at the end of the week.
  • Saturday: You’ll usually find me at F45 Amoy Street’s ‘Hollywood’ class. One of my favorite classes in the F45 series, it’s an hour mix of cardio and resistance.
  • Sunday: By the end of the week, yoga is my pick. I visit the Robinson Quay studio of Yoga Movement for a ‘hot’ core class. It’s a great studio and a killer class! Yoga Movement offers hot classes where the temperature can rise to around 40 degrees Celsius to increase the intensity of your practice. It’s not for everyone, and they offer non-hot classes too.


Where do you go for workout-friendly food?

Easily my favorite breakfast spot in Singapore is Common Man Coffee Roasters. We tend to gather here on Saturdays and Sundays after our workouts. Their all-day brunch menu offers the staples, as well as great vegetarian options and house-made condiments.

For fast, efficient service and good food, my pick is Grain Traders. The restaurant is perfectly located right in the CBD, and the food is amazingly fresh. It’s a must-try!

For something indulgent, my two hotspots are Spago by Wolfgang Puck, on the SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, and Neon Pigeon. I suggest checking them out in this order: go for sunset cocktails at Spago followed by dinner at Neon. You won’t be disappointed.


After all that working out, how do you manage soreness?

Finding someone who knows your body and can manage specific issues over the long term is ideal. Dr. Stretch is my favorite solution for this kind of management. These guys are new to Singapore and use a specifically designed technique to deliver a deep, core stretch. For someone who exercises all week, stretching and being proactive in managing any tight areas is important.


Chōsen travel tip:

For that all-important perfect night’s sleep, Chōsen recommends Hôtel Vagabond Singapore, a luxury boutique property housed in a 1950s heritage art deco building just north of the central business district.

Hotel         Deluxe Executive Club 2







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Love your ferments – Chōsen guide to fermentation /love-your-ferments-chosen-guide-to-fermentation/ /love-your-ferments-chosen-guide-to-fermentation/#respond Sat, 26 May 2018 03:12:09 +0000 /?p=1617 [...]]]> Creating a healthy microbiome inside our bodies is a key element of good health. Here, Josh Davies, Chōsen Executive Chef shares his recipe for making food your whole body will love you for.

‘Living’ foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are back. And there are plenty of good reasons why we’re seeing them on the menus of health-conscious cafés right across Bali, and the world.

The simple yet still somewhat mysterious process of fermentation has nutritional scientists and chefs sitting up and taking notice. This is not only because ferments taste great, but also because the process creates natural probiotics that protect us from illness and are incredibly beneficial for our physical and mental well-being.

When vegetables and fruits are fermented, healthy bacteria get to work breaking down the hard-to-digest cellulose in foods, as well as some of the natural sugar, which turns them into micro miracles for your gut. We now know that gut health, or rather the lack of it, can be the source of many serious diseases.

For all these reasons we are now adding house-pickled vegetables to many meals at Chōsen, packing in the probiotic power to our organic raw ingredients.

You can find pickled and fermented vegetables in many good food stores, but they are also incredibly simple to prepare at home if you give them a little time. Here is a recipe to try out the magic of microbes for yourself.

Chōsen pickled vegetables

You’ll need:

  • 1 large Pot
  • 1 medium pot
  • Mason or other preserving jars, washed and sterilized

(Note: there are many good guides to safe ‘canning’ or sterilizing online. A basic rule, however, is to ensure your jars are washed in hot soapy water, rinsed, then oven-dried at 355°F/180°C for 15 minutes, or submerged in boiling water for around 20 minutes.)

Brine mix:

  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 100ml organic apple cider vinegar
  • 300ml white vinegar
  • 500ml filtered water
  • 10g pink peppercorns
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Put all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Sterilize mason jars.
  3. Wash and cut vegetables – cut each vegetable into thin, same-size pieces.

The ideal vegetables for pickling include cabbage, fennel, zucchini/courgette , broccoli, kale, red onions and shallots, chili, ginger, leek, red or yellow peppers, and cauliflower.

  1. Fill mason jars with prepped vegetables (individually or mixed).
  2. Pour hot brine mix into mason jar/s. Fill to the top. Allow to cool to room temperature covered with a cloth. Once cooled cover with lid (keep it loosely closed, not tight).

Store in a cool dry place for five days. Remember to release excess gases each day by loosening, although not removing, the lids. Then store in a fridge with the lid properly closed. Vinegar used in the fermentation process is a natural preservative and will help the vegetables last a minimum of one month.

See more Chōsen nutritious recipes here.

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Core to Extremity: What is it and why should you be doing it? /core-to-extremity-what-is-it-and-why-should-you-be-doing-it/ /core-to-extremity-what-is-it-and-why-should-you-be-doing-it/#respond Sun, 13 May 2018 00:01:47 +0000 /?p=1586 [...]]]> Chōsen’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Taylor Rank, explains the style of functional exercise that aims to increase your overall fitness and reduce your risk of injury.

You have likely heard the term ‘activate your core’. It’s a common phrase that refers to an important principle of functional fitness – ‘core to extremity’.


Core: often referred to as the ‘midline’ is the bridge that connects our upper body to our lower body.  Anatomically I consider this to be the glutes, hips, and torso.  

Extremity(s):  pieces/segments that are distanced or furthest from a center mass or body. 

Core to Extremity: the origin of movement that utilizes the largest muscle group possible and progresses onwards/outwards to the smaller muscle(s) or groupings of muscles.


Put simply, the term core to extremity means starting any exercise movement by fully engaging the muscles in your core – like your glutes, hips and abdominal muscles ­– before then progressing outward and using the muscles further from the center of your body (AKA your extremities).


It’s a simple notion, but, in the world of functional fitness, its importance cannot be overstated.


That’s because functional fitness is all about effectiveness and efficiency; when we do a deadlift or a clean and jerk, for example, we are trying to effectively and efficiently move a heavy load. Initiating a movement starting with the core, which is our largest muscle group, is far more effective and efficient because it allows our body to express its fullest strength and power by utilizing all muscle groups to their fullest potential.


To illustrate this, let’s look at the movement sequence involved in a power snatch, the action of squatting and then lifting a barbell from the ground to overhead. An athlete performing a power snatch should start by pulling the bar from the ground using their legs and hips, while at the same time using their torso to stabilize. Only once the athlete has utilized the full range of motion of their core muscles and ‘reached extension’ (where the ankles, knees and hips are all in alignment) should they then use the extremity muscles in their arms and shoulders to finish the movement by pulling and catching the bar overhead.


This sequential engagement of core and then extremity muscles creates optimal power output and efficiency. If the athlete were to break this sequential progression – for example, by pulling with the arms before reaching extension – they would work harder than necessary to lift the weight. We in the fitness industry call this a ‘core to extremity violation’.


But the principle of core to extremity is important for another vital reason; it ensures that we are actually working our core muscles and building core strength. Core strength is, of course, very important for optimal physical performance.


If the human body is a house, the core is like the foundation. If the foundation isn’t strong and stable, the house sitting atop it will crumble or collapse at some point. If your core isn’t strong and stable, it really doesn’t matter how strong your arms or legs are because, when you lift a load, your extremities won’t be supported by your mid-line.


And this isn’t just the case with lifting weights. If you’re a runner, better core strength will help your speed by better translating the power generated in your legs into propelling your entire body forward, and raise your endurance by improving form and posture.


Good core strength also reduces the risk of injury across all exercise and activities by improving balance and stability.


So, whether you’re looking to workout more efficiently, enhance your strength and fitness, or simply improve your overall quality of life, the core to extremity principle should be at ‘the core’ of each exercise movement you do.


Taylor Rank is an international Strength and Conditioning coach and one of the Chōsen experts who helps design each transformational retreat week. He is leading Chōsen’s fitness and nutrition program The Mindful Athlete from 17-23 June.


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