Ukrainians will always be the first to tell you about the importance of having balance in your life (a perfect example is the balance between food and shots of samohonka). Now, as the holidays are winding down and stress levels are winding up, the time has come to re-establish balance in our lives.
Breaking Bad Relations
I broke up with refined sugar a few months before Christmas and told him we’d never get back together. I was doing great on my own – had never felt better, until the slip-up.
It was over the holidays – I don’t remember the details too clearly, but I do remember creamy hot chocolate swirling around in a white mug and a perfect dollop of the airiest whipped cream, topped with a dash of chocolate sauce. It’s been an on-again-off-again relationship since then. That is, until Yaro showed up.
Yaro is a Kyiv-based food company which boasts an array of plant-based food products, including handmade chocolates and sweets. And of course, all of their products are refined-sugar-free and taste like a little piece of heaven. If you too have been putting off a breakup with sugar, Yaro’s sweet treats should definitely be given a chance!
New Year, New Heights
I’m a fan of exercise and can attest to its positive effects on the body and mind, both immediate and long-term. Although I do Ukrainian dance on a weekly basis, I love a new challenge, and decided to give bouldering a try after hearing a lot of talk about it. It’s a form of rock climbing at lower heights, without ropes or harnesses, that can also be practiced at indoor climbing centres (such as Kyiv’s TSEKH). At a cost of 170 UAH per hour (plus an extra 50 UAH to rent the specialised shoes) it is money well spent. Scrambling up those walls added some welcome variety to my regular schedule (although I couldn’t use my arms properly the next day). Definitely a sport to try at least once.
Resetting and rebalancing the body and mind helps me gain focus on what’s happening in my life, as well as my future direction. On a less philosophical note, I feel like a million bucks when I eat whole foods, exercise, and listen to my body. I love the Christmas holiday season, but for most of us it’s also a time of overindulgence. Since everyone finds balance in a different way, I encourage you to go out, take advantage of all that the city has to offer, and find what works for you. And remember: everything in moderation!
Must Try: Top 3 Chocolate Set, Choco Cookies, Fresh Roll Avocado, Almond Paste Vanilla
Tip: Check out their website to find locations across Kyiv (many Silpo supermarkets stock Yaro products too).
Tsekh Workshop Climbing Gym
Marmelad Shopping Centre (Borshchahivska 154, 6th floor)
170 UAH per hour
50 UAH for shoe rental
Tips for Success:
Renting the specialised footwear is a must
The level of difficulty is indicated by the colour of handholds and footholds
The climb is complete when you hold the highest grip with both hands for a total of three seconds.