Virtuous living in Vancouver: 7 healthy ideas for your mind, body and soul

by Jessica Napier

Health and wellness isn’t just a New Year’s resolution for Vancouverites…it’s a way of life. With yoga studios and juice bars on practically every block, the city is a mecca for wholesome living. These seven health-focused local spots will leave you feeling refreshed, restored and positively glowing. [Photo courtesy of The Juice Truck]

Virtuous living in Vancouver: 7 healthy ideas for your mind, body and soul

Sip something good for you

Healthy living starts from the inside, and there’s no better place to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies than The Juice Truck. As Vancouver’s original purveyors of cold-pressed juices, these guys are known for their fresh, flavourful concoctions (think juices, smoothies, brightly-coloured energy bowls and more) that are packed with nutrient-dense super foods. Visit the bright and airy juice bar and community space on West 5th or swing by the namesake juice truck (permanently parked at Abbot and Water) for a grab-and-go green smoothie. The Juice Truck also offers three-, five- or seven-day juice cleanses to help flush your digestive system and rebalance your body.

Enjoy a mindful moment

Mindfulness is all the rage these days, but sometimes it can be hard to find time to slow down, breathe and press pause on your hectic schedule. Enter Moment Mediation, a modern meditation studio in Gastown that helps busy urbanites reach a state of peace and tranquility. Each 45-minute guided meditation class is designed to suit your needs, whether you need to calm down, get a happiness boost, improve your focus, or you’re looking for a little bit of everything. The studio also offers a separate quiet space for those who prefer to do their own self-guided meditation. If you want to get some real insight on your own state of mind, sign up for an MQ assessment, during which staff will measure brain electrical activity, heart rate, muscle tension and more in order to determine your unique Mindfulness Quotient.

Get it tight

There’s no better high than the rush of endorphins you get after a good workout. If you need to get your sweat on, we suggest skipping the gym and signing up for a class at Tight Club Athletics, Chinatown’s coolest boutique fitness studio. A slick, minimalist space with encouraging personal trainers and seriously fun (and sweaty) group classes, this cool-kid clubhouse might just become your new favourite spot in the city. “Fitness is intimidating, so my goal at Tight Club is to create the least intimidating environment possible,” says founder Keighty Gallagher. Classes are open to all skill levels and range from high-intensity interval training to low-impact TRX (we promise those suspension ropes are less torturous than they look) to lower-body-focused workouts designed to get your booty burning. Need a little help getting started? Sign up for the Tight Life Challenge: a three-week wellness program with trainer-led fitness classes, nutrition counselling and healthy post-workout meals provided by Culver City Salads.

Float on

Need to give your body a break? Visit HÄLSA Spa for a 90-minute escape in a sensory-deprivation salt-water tank. Floating in a dark, soundproof space will help calm your overworked, over stimulated body and restore it to a natural state of homeostasis. This form of water therapy has also been proven to help reduce chronic pain, stimulate blood flow, relax your muscles and create a sense of calm and relaxation. “It’s a wonderful tool for relaxation and meditation. And physically, it’s fantastically restorative for the body,” explains the spa’s co-owner Christian Mackenzie. In addition to four float therapy rooms, the Kitsilano spa also offers 60-minute sessions in private wood-lined infrared saunas, which are equipped with showers, towels, toiletries and all the amenities you need.

Get metaphysical

If you need some spiritual guidance, sometimes it’s best to look outward. The Good Spirit is a New Age shop for a new generation specializing in metaphysical must-haves and personalized tarot readings. The light and airy Gastown boutique is stocked with cleansing crystals, candles, bath salts, smudge sticks (perfect for ridding your home of bad vibes) and other tools for spiritual development. Owner Savannah Olsen also conducts 10-, 20- or 30-minute tarot readings for curious customers on a drop-in basis or by appointment. More spiritual conversation than fortune telling, tarot readings cover relationships, career, mental and physical wellbeing and more.

Mainline some vitamins

Keep forgetting to take your vitamins? Hook up to an intravenous therapy drip at IV Wellness Boutique and get a seriously high dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids delivered straight to your veins. The relaxing interior at this Yaletown wellness centre feels more spa than doctor’s office, but these customized vitamin drips – administered by on-site naturopathic doctors – offer numerous health benefits. Customized treatments can help with a myriad of conditions (stress, jet lag, hormone imbalances, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and even hangovers) and will give you a much-needed energy boost on those grey Vancouver days.

Manage your meal prep

If you find yourself reaching for a take out menu every night of the week, it might be time to rethink your dietary habits. Fresh in your Fridge is an essential service for busy Vancouverites who are looking for home-cooked meals throughout the week but don’t have the time or energy to make it happen. “When you are busy with life and healthy eating seems to fall to the wayside, that's where we come in,” explains founder Erika Weissenborn. “We have a team of nutritionists who will make weekly meals right in your very own kitchen, personalized just for your lifestyle.” Nutritionists work with clients to develop a menu, purchase organic groceries, cook an array of wholesome meals, and even take care of the kitchen clean-up afterwards. The result: a fridge full of healthy lunches and dinners in easy-to-grab Tupperware containers.

Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system, burn some calories or cleanse your aura, Vancouver offers a variety of healthful hotspots to serve your mind, body and soul. Healthy living never looked so good.

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