Just in time for healthy new year’s resolutions! Canberra has some wonderful (but not always easy to find/know about) health food shops and places to bulk-buy or bring your own containers. Make sure you check they’ve definitely re-opened after the holidays!
I have a theory about the proximity of health food shops and art galleries – a good opportunity to improve your entire health and outlook…
Mountain Creek Wholefoods, Griffith: A classic favourite. Extensive, intense tea range and lots of health shop products, dry goods that can be measured out (hot tip: there are even barrels under the counter), and a separate area with lots of eco-gifts. Great range of frozen goods and a lovely café to boot.
Parking: Free (specific time limits), very close.
Closest gallery: M16 artspace
Let’s be natural, Mawson: The giantest health-food shop! Their display of bring-your-own-container goods is overwhelming. Lovely vibe and they have the easiest discount club, it’s an automatic percentage off every visit, you don’t have to remember anything. I think there have been yoga classes in the past as it’s such a big space, and beauty treatments are also available.
Parking: Free (specific time limits), very close.
Closest gallery: Mawson Gallery
Greenway organic, Tuggeranong: Interesting ingredients, staples like nutritional yeast and dairy-free ice-cream. Lots of dry goods for dietary requirements e.g. celiacs, as well as frozen food and a wide range of chocolate bars. They get new products in a lot, but it can be worthwhile to phone to check that what you need is in stock.
Parking: Free (Don’t park at Homeworld as it’s very expensive, usually Hyperdome is best as you can get a few hours free), relatively close. Or nearby on-street parking near the restaurant strip exit.
Closest gallery: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
As Nature Intended, Belconnen markets: Lots of what you’d expect in a health food shop plus fruit and vegetables and delicious cakes (see the cabinet). Really good vegan frozen food options, and lots of beauty products. Similar to Mountain Creek as it has a café component (very big) but many more meal options.
Parking: Paid, nearby carpark.
Closest gallery: Belconnen Arts Centre
ANU Food Co-op, Acton: Community-based, non-profit cooperative with bring-your-own-container options. Also sweets, vegan cheeses, unusual vegetables and fruit. Similar to As Nature Intended and Mountain Creek in that there’s an in-store café (the lunches are great value and generally vegan).
It has been around for ages, I don’t remember when it was in the Union building, but before the current bricks-and-mortar, it was in a transportable building near the Law Courts, and prior to that, a different transportable near the current site.
Parking: There is a loading zone out the front, but it’s more polite & good karma to park in the proper spots. There is a useful map on the Co-op’s website.
Closest gallery: Drill Hall Gallery
Naked foods, Braddon: I must admit, I was surprised when this opened, given the long-standing ANU Food Coop isn’t too far away. This is on my “to visit” list, as I never seem to get there during opening hours – “The store is set out in the style of a lolly shop – but the wares for sale are anything but.” – …and I’m like a little kid leaning my head on the glass trying to open sesame the doors.
Parking: Paid, nearby or up the road.
and the best for last…
Canberra Organic Food Collective, Dickson: Grass-roots, affordable organic dry foods. Bring your own container options, it’s easy to decide what you want to order from the price-list (kilogram quantities). The only place I’ve found in Canberra that sells real, genuine, potent cinnamon. Worth it for that alone, but also other good spices, rice, nuts, beans and more.
Parking: Free, on-street.
Closest gallery: ANCA
There are a few health food shop chain stores in Canberra (Go Vita, Healthy Life), but they are pretty easy to find so I haven’t listed them. You can also buy health foods in giant containers at Costco (dates etc.), but I didn’t visit there as I balk at paying a nightclub cover charge, let alone a discount shop admission fee. I have found that Supabarn have really well-stocked and unusual “health food” aisles, too. And some places I’ve missed are in this fulsome list from Vegan ACT.
For fresh vegetables and groceries, there are lots of good independent places like Choku Bai Jo, the regular farmers’ markets (North and South), Fyshwick markets, Organic energy, markets at the Botanic Gardens, and more…
As always, this post is not sponsored (my own time, money and opinions), but probably contains some South/North Canberra bias! All photos are from today apart from the Let’s Be Natural one (taken in April).
Relieve stress, feel more balanced and resolve creative blocks by being “in the moment”.
Use all your senses to connect with the world.
This lifestyle choice is ably explained by Fiona and Kaspa of the Small stones project.
Here are some of my ideas for being present, relaxed and appreciative of the environment around us:
Make a list – a useful strategy, except in powerpoint presentations.
If you can’t sleep, write down all your thoughts on a notepad next to your bed.
This also helps to improve concentration on a single task.
Artist Hannah Bertram has even has a List Makers Project about how to make lists and the people that create lists.
Take a walk and enjoy the flowers in your neighbourhood, and remember to leave some for others to admire.
Appreciate native plants without picking them, particularly in national parks.
If you desperately need to take a cutting from a geranium, remember to maintain the plant’s architectural poise.
Find an art gallery in your local area, visit your cultural precinct or do some drawing.
Read an old issue of National Geographic instead of a fashion magazine.
Feel the quality of the paper and enjoy the beauty of the photographs.
Update your keyboard. The new keys will have a luscious grippy texture and make typing feel exciting again.
The impact of this may seem exaggerated, but it’s similar to music improving everyday activities.
ABC Classic FM had an excellent “Ironing is wonderful” promotion which illustrated this concept.
Duncan Macleod has written a lovely summary of the chores-music advertising.
Remember to recycle your old keyboard, or give it to a friend in a bundle with some homemade biscuits.
That way they won’t feel too sad about having a non-grippy textured keyboard (or they can fill the key valleys with crumbs).
Notice more birds in everyday life.
Donald and Molly Trounson have written a comprehensive and fully illustrated guide for bird observation and education.
It is Australian birds: an index of 864 photographs simply classified for easy identification.
The wrens’ brilliant blues really jumped off the page, but the colour seems less astounding in a reproduction of a reproduction.
Check for a copy of Australian birds at a library near you.
Or listen to the birdcalls from the Australian National Wildlife Collection.
Use satin pillowcases and change your bedlinen for a more restful sleep.
Make another list …if that will help.