An insider’s guide to New York’s health and fitness scene!

New York

“I have to admit I moved to New York as much for their innovative wellness scene as I did for work opportunities,” laughs journalist Kelli Armstrong. Following an impressive Aussie magazine career, Kelli recently relocated to New York to pursue her passion for healthy living. She’s currently working as a freelance writer, studying to be a health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and documenting her wellness journey on her website health-bird.net.


So who better to give Sporteluxe the inside scoop on New York’s healthy hotspots? “In the last three months I’ve been satisfying my lust for organic restaurants, wholefoods stores, yoga, spin classes, smoothies, juices and shopping,” says Kelli. “The choices in New York are endless, but here’s my faves!”

Juice Press New York

The best juices and smoothies

Juice Press (pictured above)

“I’m totally addicted to their pressed juices! Lucky Seven (carrot, pineapple, pear, orange, ginger, beet, lemon) and Love at First Sight (green apple, kale, spinach, lemon) are my faves. Ideal for when you need a pick-me-up after one cocktail too many or gym burnout.”

One Lucky Duck

“Lucky for me this raw organic hole-in-the-wall is on my street! They win the award for the most unique vegan smoothies and shakes. My fave is the carob latte with banana, cashew milk, carob and vanilla. There are also juices, salads, sushi, ice cream, cookies and selected organic skincare on offer.”

The best healthy dining

The Fat Radish
The Fat Radish

“I’m mad about the avocado and seven-grain toast with spicy eggs on the brunch menu at this hip Lower East Side space, that sources locally grown organic produce for their dishes.”

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

“The ultimate in farm-to-table raw food dining, this eatery boasts a menu packed with creative seasonal dishes. The menu is entirely plant-based, using no processed ingredients whatsoever. And it’s almighty delicious! The sake cocktail list is just as inventive and mouth-watering for those who fancy a tipple. Eat here and you’ll feel satiated by a delicious dose of clean-food goodness.”

Candle 79

Candle 79

“I love taking visitors to this Uptown raw vegan hideout that I consider a bit of a New York secret. Everything on the menu and behind the bar is sustainable and organic and the Freshly Minted cocktail is a must!”

Image credit: peasinablog.com

The best fresh produce

Union Square Green Market

“Over 100 purveyors of seasonal, fresh produce pack out the ever-bustling Union Square farmers market four days a week. Think fresh flowers, fish, organic wines, fruits and vegetables, breads, honeys, cheeses…you name it! I stock up here a few times a week and whizz up all sorts of concoctions in my new Vitamix!”

The best fitness hotspots

Jivamukti Yoga

“Jivamukti is my savior when I need to bend, stretch and relieve myself from New York’s 24/7 assault on the senses. My yoga has improved more in three months at Jivamukti than it has in 10 years. You tend to push yourself because everyone here seems so advanced! There’s also a lot of chanting, sweating and inversions involved. Hello headstands!”

Monster Cycle
Monster Cycle

“I recently discovered this new kid on the Soho block. Riding is in a pitch-black basement studio that’s lit only by audio-visual screens blasting out the latest music videos. The effect feels kinda nightclubby and sexy. What’s cool is they don’t sell disposable water bottles – it’s BYO and you fill up at the water station. Even cooler are their fashion and art installations including the huge pentagon light in the yoga and strength studio. Only in New York would you find rad gallery worthy pieces in a cycle class slash yoga studio!”

Image credit: miami.racked.com

The best sporty shopping

Paragon Sports

“The place to head for a winter puffer coat, hiking gear, the latest Nike running shoes (that Nike Town might’ve sold out of) or even roller skates as a friend of mine recently did! If it’s sporty it’s sold here! They also have awesome sales too.”

The best place to chill

Soho House
Soho House

“This is a cool members-only hangout in the Meatpacking District (where Sam from Sex and The City lived). To enter you need to know someone who’s part of the clique but once inside you can bliss out in the Cowshed Spa, sip cocktails by the rooftop pool or celeb spot in the Mahogany Bar. I made it my mission to do all three during summer!”

Tompkins Square
Tompkins Square Park

“Last time I ventured into this East Village sanctuary on Avenue A there was a cool (and free!) Jazz Festival going on. Otherwise, it’s always a hive of activity. Think people playing basketball or hockey, lovers smooching on the grass, locals dancing on the footpaths or open mic poetry comps. New York parks are always colourful!”

Brooklyn Markets
Brooklyn Markets

“Vendors selling vintage clothes, furniture, food, antiques and more flock to Forte Green on a Saturday and Williamsburg on Sundays. I’ve never walked away empty handed whether it be cool 60s sunglasses or an art deco lamp I recent picked up for a steal.”

Where to stay

Soho Grand New York
Soho Grand

“Industrial chic in the heart of Soho! Before moving to NYC, if I wasn’t crashing on a friend’s couch I always stayed here when I was in town for work. The concierge can acquire anything your heart desires – and in Manhattan that list can be extensive! The bars are always brimming with hipster New Yorkers and the odd rock star and the property is on West Broadway, in the heart of Soho shopping.”

For more wellness and travel inspiration check out Kelli’s website www.health-bird.net or follow her on Instagram @health_bird