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Healthy Parisian Living: Bringing Wellbeing to the New Year in Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

Bento CoCoCo

Editor’s Note: Early January is the perfect time to focus on healthy living. Whether you’re recovering from the fêtes or making New Years’ goals for living a healthier life, we hope to provide inspiration and resources for being kinder to your mind and body. I hope this healthy roundup of Paris addresses helps you kick off a year of well being!

Every year, losing weight and eating healthy take the top spots of New Year’s resolution lists, even in Paris. But by the end of the month most of those get-in-shape goals have fizzled, by no means helped by the miserable weather that plagues the French capital in January. Here are a few fresh suggestions that can help you keep those healthy lifestyle resolutions.

Nottingham Trent University

Spin, don’t run. The popularity of indoor cycling is still going strong, and for a few good reasons. Spinning classes are a low impact, fun and extremely effective way of blitzing calories: expect to burn up to 650 in an hour. Dynamo was the first to pioneer New York’s SoulCycle model in Paris, followed by Let’s Ride (which has now been acquired by Dynamo), and Kiwill. There’s no shortage of studios and classes across Paris, but as the early morning sessions are often fully booked, it’s essential to sign up for the mailing list to be alerted of the new sign-up windows. SoulCycle adepts may have complained that spinning classes in Paris are more laid back than in New York, but these days all fitness levels are catered to and the more advanced sessions will leave you completely drenched in sweat. Those who fear their French may not be up to scratch to follow the instructors will appreciate the English-language classes at Kiwill on Sunday. All studios offer a free trial class and three welcome sessions for €45.

HiP Paris Blog Healthy Living Paris

Gezy-pics

Far from the madding crowd. If your idea of getting fit doesn’t include being cooped up in a sweaty gym, check out Power Hiking Paris. This non-profit group of international hikers meet up every weekend for power hikes in the countryside around Paris, in addition to weekends away elsewhere in France and trips to more exotic locations. These hikes are no stroll in the park; be prepared to walk 27 to 32 kilometers at a brisk pace, with just a few short breaks to catch your breath. However, less-demanding 20-kilometer hikes are offered once a month for newbies and those whose fitness level is not yet up to snuff for the more demanding hikes.

Despite having to get up early on Sunday mornings and power hike in any kind of weather, members swear by the concept saying it’s an inexpensive and convivial way to burn calories and stay fit.

Sign-up is free on the group’s meetup page, with a contribution of €3 per person per hike.

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in ParisNubio

Juice power. The days when fresh juice in Paris meant a glass of citron pressé diluted with tap water are long gone. Juice bars offering cold-pressed juices, smoothies and healthy snacks have cropped up in almost every arrondissement. But Atelier Nubio, one of the early arrivals to the Parisian juice scene, remains the only one offering LA-style, comprehensive detox cures that can be home delivered. Those who aren’t tempted by the thought of a liquid diet can stock up on tasty healthy snacks like coconut bacon, watermelon jerky and probiotic dark chocolate, as well as freshly made vegetable soups and colorful salads.

Not your average bento box. Japanese-food lovers usually head to rue Sainte-Anne to satisfy their bento cravings, but those who want an even healthier option now can opt for Bento CoCoCo, a serene cafe near the Palais Royal specializing in imaginative bento boxes that are organic, gluten-free and vegan (although a meat option is also on offer daily).

To create her simple, yet imaginative dishes the Japanese owner says she’s inspired by shojin ryori, the exquisite, beautifully presented vegetarian cuisine of zen Buddhist monasteries in Japan.

Like the bentos, the equally healthy dessert menu changes daily, ranging from traditional daifuku (glutinous rice cakes filled with a sweet red-bean paste) to homemade matcha ice cream and an extraordinary saké sorbet.

HiP Paris Blog explores healthy living in Paris

 

Hammam Pacha

Ladies only. If the ubiquitous presence of croissants and chocolat à l’ancienne as comfort against the cold threaten to derail your healthy-living resolutions, try to stave off temptation by heading to Hammam Pacha, a ladies-only day spa on the Left Bank. The entrance fee allows the use of the beautifully tiled baths, steam room, sauna and a Moroccan-style lounge area where you can chill out with a glass of mint tea. Additional packages like the traditional black-soap scrub- which will leave your skin as smooth as a baby’s- and different types of massage can be purchased as a top-up or as a package, as well as access to the annexed organic café proposing a range of authentic, yet healthy, tagines.

HiP Paris Blog Healthy Living ParisNubio

Dynamo Cycling – 14 Rue Saint-Augustin, 75002. By appointment only. Métro: Bourse (line 3)

Let’s Ride –  21 Rue des 3 Bornes, 75011. Open Monday to Friday 6h45 to 14h and 17h45 to 22h and Saturday and Sunday 9h15 to 14h and 16h30 to 19h30. Métro: Parmentier (line 3) +33 (0)1 84 05 81 91.

Kiwill –  27 Rue du Grand Prieuré, 75011. Open Monday to Wednesday 9h to 21h Thursday 7h to 21h Friday 9h to 21h Saturday and Sunday 10h to 20h. Métro: République (ligne 3, 5, 8, 9, 11) +33 (0)1 47 00 04 19. 

Power Hiking Paris – More information on their Facebook page.

Atelier Nubio 4 Rue Paul Bert, 75011. Open Monday-Friday 10h to 19h. Métro: Faidherbe Chaligny (ligne 8) +33 (0) 9 84 35 51 13.

Bento CoCoCo – 35 rue Coquilliere, 75001. Open Tuesday to Friday 12h-17h, Saturday 12h to 17h and 19h to 22h. Metro: Pyramides (ligne 7 and 14) +33 (0)1 72 38 49 71.

Hammam Pacha – 17 rue Mayet, 75006. Open Monday to Friday 11h to 22h, Saturday and Sunday 10h to 19h. Métro: Duroc (ligne 13) +33 (0)1 43 06 55 55.

 

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Written by Elena Berton for HiP Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.

Posted in Food, Green, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

Desperately Seeking Tsukemen: Where to Find Paris’ Best Japanese Noodles

HiP Paris Blog seeks out the best tsukemen in ParisTsukemen – City Foodsters

Not long ago, I stumbled across the show, “The Mind of a Chef” on Netflix. Five minutes into Episode One, I was already drooling. Aptly entitled “Noodle”, the show is pretty much a 23-minute montage of Chef David Chang slurping down bowl after steaming bowl of delicious-looking ramen in different kitchens, restaurants and countries, while he delves into the history (and science) behind the Japanese dish.

Because I am the poster child for the power of suggestion, I instantly became obsessed with finding “tsukemen” in Paris, a noodle dish featured on the show that was totally new to me. Invented in the 1950s by Kazuo Yamagishi, tsukemen differs from traditional ramen dishes in that the noodles don’t come in a soup. Instead, they’re served separately, and you use chopsticks to dunk them into a reduced broth or sauce, before slurping them up with delicate finesse. The noodles are coated in the flavourful sauce, but retain their natural taste and chewy texture because they aren’t sitting in liquid. (The literal translation of tsukemen is actually “dipping noodles”.)

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

Le Clarisse: Sake Pairings Give Paris Dining A Fresh Twist

Paris is one of the best cities in the world for exceptional food and wine combinations. In a refreshing change of pace, restaurant le Clarisse offers their tasting menus paired with sake in addition to the standard wine route.  Although France’s gastronomic identity is undeniably tied to wine, who doesn’t like to opt for something original from time to time?

Tucked away in the 7th on a street busy with bar and restaurant options, le Clarisse is an elegant stop offering French-inspired fare prepared with precision and delicacy by a Japanese chef. While the restaurant itself isn’t new, the change in chefs a little over a year ago makes it well worth renewed consideration.  Recently I was invited to taste test the sake-pairing menu and see what kind of revamp resulted from their association with Chef Sadaki Kajiwara.

The regularly changing menu is just the right size for my taste: four starters and five mains to choose from, each of which comes with a recommended wine or sake pairing and can be ordered a la carte or as part of a prix fixe menu. Restaurant director, wine connoisseur and in house sake expert, Jean-Philippe Pluvinet, is on hand to personally walk guests through the beverage pairings. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 8 Comments »

Petit Usagi: Bento Box Dining on Paris’ Canal Saint Martin

Although fabulous French food abounds in Paris, too many steak tartares and croque monsieurs can leave you yearning for something different. To rescue you from the Paris-Brasserie slump is this little gem of a japanese spot right on the canal, Petit Usagi. We can’t wait to grab one of these bento boxes and linger over dinner on the canal! -Geneviève

Situated on the ground floor of the new boutique Citizen Hotel, Petit Usagi is the tiny new outpost of the Northern Marais eatery, Usagi. Run by Shinsuke Kawahara, the lunch-crowd favorite serves a selection of healthy and simple Japanese options overlooking the trendy Canal Saint Martin.

The bijou yet airy and light-filled space is decorated with lots of blonde wood, cheerful touches of sunny yellow and cobalt blue, and an abundance of mini Japanese lanterns with a bunny motif (usagi means rabbit in Japanese).

Petit Usagi’s speciality is the bento box — which is essentially the Japanese version of a lunch box — providing you with protein, veggies and some kind of grain in one cute little airline-like platter. Continue Reading »

Posted in Restaurant Reviews | 5 Comments »

Guilo Guilo – Eight Courses and Four Reviews of this Japanese Gem

Amy Thomas (God I love Paris), Kim Laidlaw (I Heart Paris), Forest Collins (52 Martinis) and our very own Erica Berman recently got together for a very special meal at the elusive Montmartre restaurant, Guilo Guilo. Renowned for its Japanese wunderkind chef Eiichi Edakuni, its fixed menu (which changes daily), and the near-impossibility of scoring reservations if you’re not prepared to make the treck up to Montmartre in person, it did not fail to impress these serious food-blogger dames…

guilo guilo montmartre mainAmy Thomas – Guilo Guilo’s open kitchen and staff

Eight Courses and Four Reviews of Japanese Gem Guilo Guilo

What do you get when four foodie bloggers come together for reservations at one of Paris’ most under-the-radar yet hard-to-get-into spots? A mélange of approving opinions and happy bellies. A review of Guilo Guilo, sliced four ways:

Let’s start with the food

Forest: Chef Eiishi Edakuni concocts beautiful, intricate, tasty, tidy, subtle, little mystery-mouthfuls. Not being certain about all the ingredients is part of the fun— but maybe not for the vegetarians!?

Kim: It was a seemingly never-ending flow of courses presented in bite-sized gems, bursting with flavor. I love this style of eating where you get to try so many different tastes. It’s a real success at Guilo Guilo where you are able to sample a far more interesting side of Japanese gastronomy than you would in sushi-centric joints.

Erica: Creative, original and delicious. The chef expertly pairs diverse and unexpected ingredients to create some of the best food I have had in 18 years of Parisian living.

Amy: Oh, how I love experiences like this. Every little dish was a gift: pretty to look at, thoughtfully constructed and artfully crafted, creative but pure and, bien sur, delicious. And the hits just kept coming! Eight courses? Gift after gift…

Guilo Guilo ParisErica Berman – Guilo Guilo delicious morsels

And to go with the food?

Forest: For a nice change from French bubbly, crystal clear sparkling sake isn’t as strong as expected but it still delivered a delicate kick with a dry, clean and refreshing finish. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 6 Comments »