2011 List of Best Discoveries

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The closing of yet another year usually demands for a time of reflection on what we have achieved this year. 2011 has been a year of discoveries of sorts for me. I traveled to the United States for the first time, saw St. Charles, Chicago and New York and stopped over in countries I never been before even for a mere 4 hours at a time. Paulo Coehlo wrote in The Alchemist “when you want something, the universe will conspire to give it to you” and I truly believe discovering and ‘stumbling’ upon places, websites and other resources which eventually became my staples were not in any way a coincidence but rather small steps in fulfilling the intention of wanting to lead a healthier, happier and more sustainable way of living.

Inspired by Kevin and Annmarie Gianni’s Best of 2011 list, here are some of the best I’ve discovered in 2011 –

Best Organic Coffee Shop
RAW Cafe
Wisma Equity Building, 150 Jalan Ampang (opposite KLCC)

Located conveniently across from the PETRONAS Twin Towers, this was one of the best places for coffee I was introduced to this year. While completing a stint at the client site sometime in 2011, RAW Cafe became my go-to place for breakfast and sometimes lunch. The whole concept was very well thought out, down to the utensils, cups and takeaway boxes they serve you with which are all recyclables or acquired from sustainable means. You have the option to substitute milk for soy in your coffee and hot chocolates and pick up some sandwiches on your way out (the mushroom pesto sandwich is divine). Everything edible here is organic. Prices of coffee are comparable to that of Starbucks with perhaps RM2-3 bucks more if you opt for the soy.

Best Organic Cafe
Haven Cafe
12, Jalan Ampang Hilir, 55000 Kuala Lumpur

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Haven Cafe is more than just your standard cafe. This little white bungalow in the pristine area of Ampang Hilir, houses a cafe, a mini grocery store and a beauty spa functioning more like a ‘one-stop-shop’ to meet all your organic needs. Schedule some time to meet a friend for lunch, then make an appointment for a facial right after and on your way out pick up some groceries for the week. That’s one way to reduce your carbon footprint no?

Best Organic Shop & Food Store
JustLife 
LG 208 The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (other outlets)

JustLife store has been around for over 10 years, supplying the Malaysian market with imported and locally produced organic goods. The one that I frequent most is located in The Gardens where I pop by sometimes during lunch time or after work to pick up some vegetables or dried goods for my kitchen but they have a few branches around town (the other favorite would be in Ikano, Damansara Perdana). They carry a wide choice of organic tea (packed, loose leaves), fresh produce, dried goods like pasta, quinoa and couscous, organic snacks, and household cleaning items.

Best Online Yoga Resource
Yoga Journal

Hands down, one of THE best website I stumbled on this year. Providing a collection of ‘everything yoga’ from individual Asanas and tools to help you build a sequence for your yoga session, to food, philosophy and lifestyle. Whether you are a newbie to yoga, or looking for something to spice up your practices, this is a go-to place that never fails to teach me something new each time.

Best Collection of New Age Bloggers
The Daily Love

Perhaps ‘New Age’ is an inaccurate description of this bunch of vibrant, talented and life-embracing group of people but for the lack of a better word I have decided to call them New Age instead. Fear not, there are no talks on putting a spell on anybody here – just a collection of thoughts from life coaches, positive like-minded people to remind the rest of us not to take life too seriously. This is where I go to when my day is not going like I wanted it to for a quick pick-me-up.

And last but not least (and I really hope you are not reading this while you’re at work)

Best Celebrity Yoga Body of 2011

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (photos courtesy of mindbodygreen.com)

Adam, now 31 has been practicing yoga for 2 years, initially to cure a chronic back pain. Women’s Health shares some of his favorite poses to counter back pain here

So folks, it’s time to pull out your pen and paper and start scribbling down your new years resolution for 2012. Happy New Year!

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