What Bali Taught Me About Food And Wellbeing

I just came back from two amazing weeks in Bali, where we filmed a social media campaign for Cetaphil, called „The Cetaphil Experience“. It’s a 4 day skin care retreat which educates and empowers women from all over southeast Asia on Skin Confidence. I was the host of the whole experience and lead everyone through fun activities and an interesting program. This is the second time we’re doing this event. Last year, it took place in the Philippines, which was also incredible! (You can watch some videos from last year here!) The trailer from Bali will be released soon, and I can’t wait for you to see it, as it is so beautiful and inspiring and full of valuable knowledge about skin confidence!

This post is a bit of a mix between my own amazing experiences and some valuable travel tips for Bali – and you can also get a FREE Checklist full of beauty travel tips you can use for any destination in the world! Just sign up below:

When 27 amazing girls come together

Cetaphil invited 25 beauty bloggers from all over southeast Asia to join the experience. There were also two lucky winner who joined us for the experience. When so many young, ambitious, inspiring and beautiful women get together, true magic can happen… These bloggers have a very strong sense of creativity and absolutely don’t care about what others think. They blog because they love it and because they inspire millions of people. They are so confident – or at least it seemed so at the first sight. Until we did some activities…

Yes, I do have insecurities!

To kick off the experience, I hosted a workshop where the girls got to share some personal insecurities with each other. I started off with one of my personal insecurities: Sharing my emotions with others! I tend to keep my emotions to myself, positive as well as negative ones. When extraordinary things happen and I get excited, I tend to think that it’s cool, but like I don’t need to tell everybody how awesome I am! When I’m sad or frustrated, I usually keep those emotions to myself as well, because I don’t want to bother anyone with my worries, trying to make the problem seem smaller than it actually is. So I keep that all to myself and create storms inside of me. Revealing my own insecurity in front of a group of confident-looking, beautiful, and successful bloggers made me feel very confident and happy! So all of them had to share their personal insecurity as well, and it was so beautiful to see how they supported each other and empowered each other to feel confident in their own skin. I felt such a strong sense of community and love towards each other, and the energy was very heart-opening.

My little Bamboo House

After the Cetaphil Experience at Karma Kandara, one of the most luxurious and beautiful resorts on the whole island, I decided to spend a few days in Ubud, a little city in the heart of Bali. Ubud is known for its strong spiritual energy, for fresh smoothies, juices, raw food and Yoga. I stayed in a beautiful resort where I had my own little bamboo house. It had two floors and was located next to a small river, which reminded me of the Swiss alps, where my grandmother had an apartment next to a small river, where I spent all of my winter vacations with my family.

Downward Dogging in the Rice Fields

The bamboo house was actually located a five minute walk from a famous yoga studio. However, I followed my sister’s advice and walked 40 minutes to a beautiful little yoga studio in the middle of beautifully green rice fields and palm trees. The yoga class was so hard lol, but the most beautiful location I’ve ever done yoga in my whole life. If you ever go to Ubud, make sure you check out Ubud Yoga House

Yoga helps me get centered. I have so many ideas and thoughts throughout the day that sometimes, it feels like my mind is flying all over! So Yoga helps me relax the mind and focus on the very moment now. Yoga has so many benefits, I could write a whole book about it. And as a side effect, it’s an amazing workout for a lean and sexy body, if practices regularly! So if you haven’t tried it, make sure you check it out and practice regularly for a few weeks to see the effects it can have on you.

The Most Beautiful Jungle Flower Bath

Asia is really well-known for inexpensive spa treatments, and in Ubud, you will find a spa at every corner. I was lucky enough to follow my guide book’s advice and book a 2 hour spa treatment at Bali Botanica Day Spa. I LOVE spas and massages and it is my FAVORITE way to spend me-time, time just by myself without anyone interrupting me. Before I go to spas and restaurants, I always check out their pictures on Instagram to get a first impression. I was even more blown away when I saw the place in real life! My massage room had a shower, a massage table and a bath tub overlooking the jungle of Ubud! I was able to choose the oil I wanted to be massaged with and the smell of the body scrub. I chose the Vishudhara oil, which is said to be good for the throat chakra, the area around the throat, which is the energy center for open and strong communication (which aligns with my insecurity I shared above, right?), and a herbal scrub made of honey, almond oil, aloe vera, lavender and mint extracts, which helps open the pores, revitalizes and exfoliates the skin. The treatment ended with a beautifully scenting flower bath and a very strong ginger tea for a strong immune system. Overall a unique and world class experience!

Nourishing Places for the Body and the Mind

I had heard that Bali was a great place for vegan food, and since I eat mostly plant-based, I was so happy that the Cetaphil Experience took place there, so I could explore some amazing food!  My friends’ recommendations brought me to places like The Elephant, a vegetarian restaurant with a beautiful view over the rice fields and the jungle of Ubud, Earth Cafe, a small restaurant with delicious food and an organic food store, The Seeds of Life, THE place for the best jars ever, and Alchemy, a raw vegan restaurant with the best pizza in town. 

A jar (in the photo) is a mixture of fresh fruits, chai seasoned chia pudding, a smoothie on top with dried bananas, homemade energy bar and cacao nips on the top. It took me about half an hour to drink and eat it all and my stomach felt so satisfied for hours! 

What I like about these places is their philosophy. It’s not that they just serve food of a certain type. They have their WHY behind everything they do. At Alchemy for example, the staff wears t-shirts saying „You are what you eat“. Which is so true! So true. Ever wondered why you get bad skin or stomach ache after eating chips, salami, or greasy burgers? Well that’s why. After a few months of almost daily green smoothies back home, I was craving green stuff so badly. So I was SO happy to order green juices, green smoothie bowls and fresh coconuts – my personal beauty travel favorite!

Curry Paste on a Daily Basis

On my last trips, I always took cooking classes to learn more about the local food traditions and their secrets to health and beauty. I love experiencing something new, and I love cooking anyway, so I took on the challenge in Bali as well! My two amazing friends Udhara and Cynthia, who were both part of the Cetaphil Experience as well, and I took a Balinese cooking class at Casa Luna Cooking School in the heart of Ubud. We created two different curry pastes with the following ingredients:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fresh Chilis
  • Ginger
  • Galangal
  • Turmeric
  • Tamarind
  • Candle Nuts
  • Lemongrass
  • Pepper corns (not the clear white ones, because we learned that they are chemically bleached!)

The Balinese eat these curries with rice every single day, mostly vegetarian, as meat is expensive for locals. It turns out that the Balinese don’t have any allergies. Gluten allergies and lactose intolerances are foreign concepts for them, which I found very interesting. So I decided to implement more of these spices into my daily diet, especially garlic, turmeric and ginger, since it’s easily available in Switzerland.