In 2003 my wife, Verity, and I treated ourselves to a 10 day cleanse at a health retreat. We had steam baths, massages, days of juice fasting, long walks, nutritional education, cooking classes, naturopathic consultations and most importantly 10 days of rest. We came back with a newfound vitality and zest for life. By implementing simple changes in the ensuing months such as healthy eating, drinking plenty of water and exercise, we just felt so good!
While we were at the health retreat we learned some great tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle including how to cook healthy food. By feeding our bodies quality nutrients our body works as it should and life is so great!
Coming back to Auckland we realised that most cafes and eating places served food that was not really good for you. Sure, muffins, pies, coffee, paninis and chips taste great, but soon afterwards you feel pretty lousy, not to mention the long term health issues that result.
I had a great career working for Sanitarium Health Food Company in Auckland for 10 years as a marketer of healthy breakfast cereals like Weet-Bix but had always had the dream of becoming a chef or owning a cafe, so in late 2004 I took a bold and risky move and decided to leave my great job to open a healthy cafe.
I quickly faced some hard realisations in researching successful food outlets. In order to be successful in hospitality it appeared that you needed to serve coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, sugary cakes, food full of white flour and be open long hours in the weekends. Against the advice of several people, I decided that I could not sleep at night serving people these kinds of food and beverages, so I continued on in search of a suitable location.
I purchased an existing cafe that was not going that well on Fort St, literally signed my life away with a long term lease and over the Christmas holidays of 2004 I spent 2 months renovating, painting, organising and setting up my new cafe.
Thinking I knew it all from my Sanitarium career, I had to quickly learn the smarts of hospitality. It took a very stressful 12 months of menu amending, roster changing, marketing and staff training. However, I stuck at it, and eventually managed to get our formula working right. We had queues out the door most lunchtimes which made me very happy to know that so many people desired to eat healthy. It was a very intense 12 months, but the biggest thing I learned from this was to keep trying new things and to stick at it.
In 2008 I decided to take another big risk. We signed another lease and moved into a shop about 1 km up town in Lorne St. The site was previously a jeweller’s shop. This was the perfect time to design a fresher cafe, and design it so it was operational and more efficient to run, with places for everything. We decided to cook the food for both shops in Fort St, and courier it up fresh every morning and afternoon. This formula worked very well.
I have a passion for sharing health principles with people. So many people are dragging themselves through life content with being overweight, having headaches, health issues and feeling tired all the time.
I put a lot of time into our weekly e-mails with health tips and recipes. I also do cooking demonstrations where I can share how simple it is to make healthy food. The Revive Cookbooks are another way to share the recipes we use at Revive Cafes so people can learn how to prepare healthy meals themselves.
If you are not feeling 100% then chances are a couple of these keys will make an amazing difference in your life!
This is all about putting great quality fresh alive foods into your body.
Make sure a large proportion (ideally 50-70%) of your diet is fresh/raw fruit and vegetables in their natural state.
Eat a variety of foods and cut down on red meats.
Avoid fried foods, fatty foods.
TIP: Eating slowly causes saliva to aid the digestion process which results in better absorption of vitamins and minerals and also less stress.
Keeping active is a key requirement for good health.
Your body needs at least 30 minutes of exercise three times per week.
"Those who cannot find time for exercise will have to find time for illness"
TIP: Arranging set times each week to exercise with a friend or spouse will make sure you do not miss out.
Our bodies need 8 glasses (2 litres) of pure water a day
Tea, coffee, juice, flavoured waters do not count!
TIP: Have a sipper bottle with you all day, that way it is beside you when you need it and you can make sure you are getting 8 glasses (2 litres) a day.
TIP: Have 2 glasses of water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning to clear out your system.
The sun has many healing and rejuvenating properties. You feel so good when you get some sunshine.
Experts believe we need at least 10 minutes of sun on our arms as a minimum per day!
TIP: If you are ever unwell or sick see what a difference half an hour out in the sun makes.
Temperance is a word that means having balance in the good things of life and avoiding the bad things in life. We all know that drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are bad for our health. Our bodies are much better off if we minimise or avoid them altogether!
TIP: If you want to quit any bad habit you need the support and encouragement of a spouse or a close friend.
Good clean air is necessary for your body.
Breath deeply and slowly. Many people are fast shallow breathers.
The optimal number of breaths per minute is around 6-10. If you breathe faster than this you need to focus on slowing down.
As much as possible get out into the county and breath fresh, clean air.
TIP: Sleep with the window open and you will get a better nights sleep.
TIP: Take 10 big breaths when you get up in the morning to oxygenate your blood!
Most people generally need 8 hours per night
If you are not waking feeling refreshed and rested you need to get to bed earlier
A consistent sleep pattern is good for the body ? the same time to bed each night
TIP: Some experts say the hours before midnight are worth double for sleep. Get to bed earlier if you can.
This is all about the mental and spiritual side of health.
Make sure that you go to bed each night free from stress and worry. If not, deal with the issues.
If you are harbouring any grudges or are not at peace with anyone, make things right.
Keep fully focused and on track with your long term goals.
Search out and find the wonderful things that God can do in your life.
We have collected some of the comments and quotes we receive from our customers via our secret shopper surveys and e-mails we receive. (Note these are un-edited comments, they have some spelling and grammatical errors).
"You are guaranteed to find something delicious at Revive".
"Delicious healthy food every visit".
"Stunning vegetarian food with the friendliest of service".
"Revive is one place the staff look as if they are happy to be there - perhaps it is because they are proud to be serving food they know will be enjoyed". Gill
"Every day in every way, Revive just gets more delicious". Richard.
"Great, fresh, healthy food".
"Delicious healthy food served with a smile:".
"Food from Revive has the most fantastic flavours. It leaves you feeling refreshed and satisfied". Rita
"At Revive, I am sure to get great tasing healthy food every time".
"It's just great! I love every part of it and I'm not even a Vegetarian!"
"I feel great for the rest of the day!"
"You definately must give this place a go!!!good food at a great price!!!!it's all very fulling however you dont go away feeling yuck..its a very pleasant kind of full."
"The food and staff at Revive are top-notch!" Olivia
"It is a real pleasure being the butt of my Vegetarian friends jokes now when I tell them I've dined at Revive! All those years of being afraid of Vege's and now I know what all the fuss is about -Thanks Revive!!!"
"I'm not a vegetarian but found the curry very delicious. Sometimes vege currys can be a bit bland but not so yesterday. Always come away from Revive feeling satisfied but not overly full and bloated."
"Better than my Mum's cooking....but don't tell her that!"
"Please clone Revive and locate them all over the suburbs!"
"Your chef seems to be very creative as I am always amazed by your fantastic selection of salads and the menu never ges boring!"
"The food and the atmosphere is great at revive. I just work up the road, and I can always pop in and find something healthy and delicious, whether I'm in a rush or looking for a nice relaxed meal". Tess
"I am always happy with the great food and excellent service at Revive!"
"Everyone would choose to be vegetarian if they tasted your great food". Stephen
"My colleague was so impressed with my takeaway lunch she demanded to know where it was from, ducked out and returned with her own. This afternoon she's subscribed to the email and raved to all her friends. I already know how amazing your food is - I'm just glad to have helped spread the word".
"It just makes you feel healthier".
"One happy husband every Thursday evening"
"The food, service and appearance of Revive is absolutely top notch!!"
"The food at Revive is always fresh and delicious. I'm not vegetarian but I love visiting Revive." Kat
"Really enjoy the food, healthy but also tasty. I don't get bored like I sometimes do with other vegetarian food".
"Vitalising exeprience. I always walk out of Revive feeling happy, healthy and fulfilled".
"Everyone I introduce to Revive LOVES it. When colleagues from Wellington visit they also say "I'm going to treat myself at Revive."
"An every-changing selection of consistently delicious healthy food". Lyndon.
"Fast, Friendly and Fantastic".
"I always feel fantastic after eating revive, although I have only eaten salady food I feel full and satisfied :)"
"Great tasting food, amazing variety and you feel great afterwards".
"Absolutely brilliant!! Healthy food and as a vegetarian I know I can eat everything on the menu!"
"I only buy my lunch once a week & I am happy to spend my money at Revive - healthy, tasty & good value for money - a win-win for me!"
"It's great to have a wide range of choices of healthy food at everyday prices. Richard"
"A smile given is 90% of customer service!"
"One of the great things about Revive is the way it commuincates with customers -this survey, emails, specials, No peeking etc. A big lesson for every other business in NZ".
"Healthy, tasty and convenient. Big thumbs up for Revive!" - Olivia
"Revive has the largest selection of adventurous fresh salads and savoury dishes, and offers a relaxing haven to enjoy them". Anna
"Revive had made my life healthier! I feel so wonderful every time after visiting Revive!"
"I'm a reviver! Even in Europe we don't have comparable Food Bars!" Andrea Jones
"I have been visiting Revive for some time now and I am pleased to say that I have never come across an unfriendly or unhappy staff member at Revive. Everyone is always helpful, smiling, friendly and cheery. Keep up the GREAT service"
"Revive offers fantastic healthy food, excellent service, and an overall nutritional and healthy "experience" - their weekly email with healthy lifestyle tips and recipes is always a joy to read on a Monday morning".
"My partner and I always enjoy each and every dish we order, and both feel that it is just enough food to be filling without feeling over-full. Overall, a very satisfying experience!"
"Brilliant knowing I can count on fast fresh healthy delicious food every time!"
"its a lovely warm place"
"Nutritious, healthy, tasty and consistant ;)" Anna
"It is extremely difficult for a pregnant woman to find a yummy, nutritious lunch in the city (you cant eat cold meat, soft cheese etc) - Revive is a lifesaver!"
"Friends are always quite impressed when they first come along to Revive as there aren't many places to go for a healthy lunch".
"The only problem is deciding on what to order as every thing all looks yummy - though this is a good thing as it means you definitely need to go back to try something else"
"I love eating at Revive, it is my weekly treat and what a treat it is! I also eagerly await the emails with their tempting recipes which have always come out 100%. If you haven't tried Revive yet, you don't know what you are missing". Zoe
"Being a carnivore, never thought veggies could taste sooo GOOOOOODDD!! If only mom made them this way, she would have had no problem getting me to eat my greens!! Thanks Revive!!!" Sumaira
"always fresh and full of flavour, could eat there every day and not get bored of the choicE!!"
"I can always trust I'll leave feeling full and healthy".
"I really look forward to my Revive lunches. Those mornings are the longest mornings ever when I know there's fresh, healthy food, full of flavour waiting for me. Don't tell my boss but I spend at least 30 minutes of work time choosing what I'll order before I leave my desk".
"Fantastic wide range of healthy food thats great value for money and will keep you full up all afternoon".
"Revive is a great place to eat - Is fresh, healthy and a nice alternative to the usual lunch places" Rita
"I love eating at revive - i never have to feel guilty because everything is so good for me!"
"I love Revive, the food is simply the most delicious and affordable in Auckland"
"Revive always has a variety of tasty healthy options to choose from. You never need to feel guilty!"
"Fab food and brilliant value, definately a place to bring your friends and feel"
"Ive been with Revive for two years now and enjoy how I can purchase a healthy delicious meal at my doorstep. Revive offers many different meal options (even for the fussiest eaters), and I love the health tips in the weekly emails with jeremy. The meals at Revive never become tiresome because they are forever changing and there is always a new and exciting flavour to tempt my tastebubs. God bless you Revive you have made me a healthier person! Holly and Beth"
"I feel like I can really trust your food for being healthy, natural and nutritious!"
"Revive is one of the few places I don't have to feel guilty about eating out at when I'm training for a mountain climb or a big run. The food is healthy and nutritious every time. Good taste and good fuel!"
"I dont often have lunch out, as I find quite hard to find healthy, fresh fast food that wont break the diet. Revive makes it easy to treat yourself to a meal, that good and wholesome. It is so refreshing to find a food joint makes such a commitment to healthy food and the well being of their customers. I always walk away from Revive feeling guilt free and happy. Revive is definately good for the body, mind and soul!"
"Revive is an oasis in the desert for me. As a vegetarian I love that I have a healthy cafe to eat in and take friends. I love the freshness and variety".
"Being a vegetarian for nearly 10 years now I have never encountered such a great meal and sense of satisfaction as what I have had at Revive. Kendall. "
"A scrumptious healthy lunch to takeaway"
"Finally some exciting, fresh and healthy food available just around the corner!"Jemma
Great food. Great service. A great way to get your body's karma back on track.
"Come lunchtime, I feel like something nutritious, wholesome and flavoursome. Revive does this after each visit, I even buy enough to take home for tea - as it's better than cooking it myself! Definately a healthy, tatsy experience!"
"I started off having Revive as a treat once a week, but am now addicted! The flavour & texture is fantastic and the volume of the meals is perfect. Also, the standard of food and service is consistent, a quality which is hard to find with other cafes."
"Just wish you had a cafe somewhere closer to Bombay in south Auckland, then I would be there every day!!"
"Exquisite and unique flavours in every dish! Gives me energy without feeing full to get through afternoon - I shouldn't be spending this much on lunch but your salads are almost addictive!"
"Beautifully presented food that tastes better than it looks!" Anisha
"A place I can go to eat where I know the food will always leave me feeling good".
"The only place I can go in Auckland and know that all the food is fresh and healthy...AND always tastes amazing"
"It's so great to have such a terrific and tasty vegetarian restaurant located right down town! Revive rocks" Lindsay
"Never leave feeling guilty for what you just ate !!!!"
"So nice to have a cafe where everything on the menu is good for you, takes the guess work out. It is so nice to finally have a full vegetarian place to be able to buy your lunch in town!" Michelle
"Great food, need more restrauants like this, especially in Queen Stret, for all the office workers. Keep up the good work"
"All the staff are friendly and help add to the positive, healthy environment... It always makes me feel welcome to come back again"
"Great food. Great specials. Great Service" Anita
"The food and service is always good and I feel energized and healthy after having lunch at Revive!"
"One of the first things I do on a Monday morning is check my email to see what the Revive weekly offer is, and what the weekly special salads are."
"Revive is a like a little exotic health club,tucked away in the CBD"
"great food, great value and right in the middle of the CBD!"
"Tasty + healthy + economical= Revive!"
"Fab Food, Fab service and Fab Friendly staff!"
"Not only is Revive's menu healthy and tasty - an unbeatable combination - you also have heaps of wonderful mouthwatering choices". Kiri
"Revive is da Bomb!"
"Didnt think it would be as yummy as it was advertised.. after trying it i am pleased to say that it was indeed very tasty!!"
"At last, a vegetarian restaurant in Auckland's CBD that actually works, with friendly, knowledgeable staff offering a tasty experience. A welcome oasis that can be enjoyed by vegetarians and non vegetarians during the work week. Linda The most delicious, healthy food in Auckland".
"Revive makes eating healthy so easy, and a meal to look forward to". Lisa
"Gosh...sorrry...nothing really "quotable" is coming to mind. The juice and smoothies are great and so is the food!"
"Its nice to find somewhere that provides a broad range of good wholesome food in a relaxed and calming environment in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. A great lunch place which is obviously increasing in demand. Being a vegetarian its great to know that i will find a tasty wholesome meal complete in nutrition".
"Quick and fresh healthy food which you can enjoy anytime"
"Colourful, fresh and friendly".
"I love Revive food - it tastes "alive"! I always feel satisfied and just plain "good" after eating at Revive. Your cafe has a real "buzz" and friendly atmosphere about it that many other cafes in the CBD lack".
"The food at revive really makes me feel like a better, healthier person after I have eaten it".
"I have been going to revive for 6 months and it's the best healthy food i have found in auckland".
"I always enjoy my Revive experience - the staff are friendly and helpful, the food is delicious and always served promptly and it has a great atmosphere! Kate"
"I have never been a great one for Vegetarian food but since two of my work mates recommended your restaurant I have changed my diet to a degree".
"Such an inviting and and warm service !!"
"Being predominantly vegetarian its great to have a place in the city that i feel i can go to and get a balanced, nutritious and tasty meal at an affordable price. Well done Revive!"
"Fantastic food as always - from the first bite you know you're not in an average restaurant". Nigel.
"Guaranteed to help me boost my vegie intake to 5+ a day in the most enjoyable way!"
"Thank God for Revive!! Healthy and yummy takeaway food. Who'd have thought it possible?"
"Great colour range of fresh, wholesome and tasty food. Carefully prepared and presented". Fleur
"If you want honest, natural to the core, hearty food, Revive is the place to go to". Adrienne
"At Revive you consistently get delicious food which is always changing - the only problem when you go is knowing what to choose".
"It's great to know that someone other than myself is looking out for what I eat!" Amy
"One lunch your guarenteed to feel great after eating So great to have fresh food at one's fingertips!"
"always yummy, tasty & healthy food - a feast for the eyes & the stomach".
"I love Revive! It's great to finally have a place to get delicious, healthy 'fast' food in central Auckland. You are sure to receive healthy and tasty meals from Revive!" Flora