Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
Time in San Francisco has given me space to reflect on our Buchi Kombucha venture…as well as drink plenty of local brews here. My favourite? Cherry Chai by GT Kombucha. Amazing!
So here is an update and a copy of our Buchi Bulletin that we hand out at the markets each month.
A few highlights:
A special shout out to editor of Peppermint Magazine Kelley Sheenan and her partner Ben. We feel particularly grateful to be working with on developing new Buchi labels which will contain all the ingredient listings and nutritional information. So stay tuned!
Yes, we will be ACO certified by the end of the year….its a thorough process!
We have Kombucha brewing kits at the markets now, so if you want to brew your own kombucha, come and see us at the markets or give us an email: email@example.com (We could always post one out to you).
And our ‘Taste of the Season’ this month is our Warming Winter Pear Kombucha. It’s delicious. Made with our 100% fermented Buchi kombucha, biodynamic pears, cinnamon, and lashings of passion and love!
Read a copy of our June Bulletin HERE.
[The photo is of a beautiful SCOBY bank (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast - commonly called the SCOBY or Mother)]
Have been on and off for years, but have moved on to Coconut Oil more recently, which tastes simply luxurious compared to the Sesame Oil I’d been having years ago. Inspired by Jess Ainscough’s (aka the wellness warrier) post about oil pulling, I too wanted to share my expereinces of oil pulling, particularly from a mama’s perspective.
I started oil pulling after the birth of Adiva, about five years ago. An Ayurevdic health practitioner started me on the practice after experiencing a pregnancy that was bound with severe Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) a form of morning sickness with unrelenting, excessive nausea and vomiting which went on throughout most of my pregnancy. And because I vomited so much during pregnancy, sometimes 10-15 times a day, my teeth and gums now carry scars that will never go away – deteriorated tooth enamel from the acid, cracks, and sensitive gums. (The pregnancy with Jedda was much the same). Pregnancy is notorious for the development of teeth issues – we carry 50% more blood in our bodies, we often have food sensitivities, and we are growing a baby that takes from our body what it needs, sometimes at the expense of the mama.
Hence my now passion for oil pulling.
But what is oil pulling (OP) you may ask?
It’s a little known fact that Ayurevdic medicine historically prescribed Sesame Oil swishing in the mouth as one of the daily routine habits in the morning for oral and dental hygiene (yes, Jase initially liked to make giggly boy chatter about ‘oral oil pulling’ – classy I know. I think most partners will probably make the same simple jokes). Oil pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders.
How does it all work?
My morning ritual, while making our morning tea, is to swish coconut oil in my mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Because it has been chilly in the morning here in Brisbane, sometimes I need to put the coconut oil jar in hot water for a minute so that it turns from a solid block back into liquid. And sometimes if I don’t have time, I will put a tablespoon of the solid block in my month until it melts and then swish. Not as pleasant, but still effective nonetheless. I sometimes also add a couple of drops of oregano oil (great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oil) and simply spoon it into my mouth. One tablespoon is all you need. Then I swish the oil around my mouth for 10-15 minutes (and 5 minutes if that’s all I can manage for the day and 20 minutes if I am having a peaceful morning). And believe me this really is the best start to the day!
Remember, don’t swallow the oil, the swishing will render it full of toxins. And brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly oil pulling.
If the first few times your gag reflexes kick in, decrease the amount of oil you are using and definitely don’t worry about the essential oil. Persist though – it’s worth it.
What are the benefits?
There are so many: • Whiter teeth • Healthier gums • Prevents bad breath • Increases energy • Decreases headaches and migranes • Clears sinuses • Alleviates allergies • Clearer skin • Regulates menstrual cycles • Improves lymphatic system • Improves PMS symptoms…and more…
There’s not much research done. But there’s a dearth of research done on the benefits of both coconut oil and oregano oil that you can’t ignore the practical application of oil pulling. And there is a fabulous book on the topic called Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by naturopathic physician Bruce Fife. He states:
‘The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it ‘pulls’ out bacteria and other debris’.
‘As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.’
I think I will always wear the scars of bearing two beautiful girls, but my gums feel healthier, my teeth whiter, and my head clearer as a result of oil pulling. I would love to know your experiences of oil pulling. And if you haven’t tried, give it a pull!
I was wondering what to do with our beautful rosy and plump Rosella’s in our garden (jam, yes, but I did that last year) so yesterday I made a special ‘taste of the season’ Kombucha and named it Spicy Rosella. It’s amazing. Tenderly hand picked by Adiva and I, steam softened to maintain as much of the potent antioxidents as possible, and sweetened with hints of delicious cinamon quills and apple. If you are in Brizzy come down for taste at Northy St markets this weekend, or give me an email and I will put a bottle aside for you because there are only select number. I feel most happy when I am crafting and creating. Give it go. It’s good for the soul.
We are bringing Kombucha to Northy St Organic Markets! (in fact my post is a little late as we’ve been there for a few weeks now, sorry). We feel so grateful to be so well received in this beautiful community. It’s very satisfying to be around people equally passionate about fermented foods and health. And to be honest we’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand for our Kombucha. It’s been a sell out every week. But we hope we have it all handled now with over 1000ltrs of blissful brewing Kombucha. And we just got word from Saturday’s West End Markets and they have a spot for us too (no weekends for us anymore, but bringing kombucha to the people feels very right).
So if you are in the Brisbane area come and visit us for a sample. We have four different Kombucha varieties: i) Buchi Mama Origional (made on the SCOBY mother and that’s all); Deep Green Kombucha (yes, we use the Miessence Deep Alkalising Green mix with loads of blue green algae (spirillina), wheat grass, barley grass, kamut grass etc); Ginger Tumeric Kombucha (packs a punch for people who like that ginger kick); and Hibiscus Pine Lime Kombucha (this was made for people transitioning to Kombucha and who need a little sweetness in their drink).
And for people who are not in the area, but in Australia, you can still contribute to our crowdfunding (Pozible) for the next few weeks and we will send some delicious Buchi Kombucha your way. Check out our site http://buchi.pozible.com and make a pledge. Don’t worry about your location, we’ll be shipping Buchi all around the country to say thanks for your support.
In my last post I said to stay tuned for more information about going commercial with Kombucha…and here it is! Jase (my partner) and our dear friend Matt are now brewmasters for Buchi (pronounced ‘boochi‘) Kombucha and are seeking crowdfunding so that the people of Australia will be able to access high quality, low-cost, local, sustainable, certified organic, raw Kombucha. And for people who contribute to the crowdfunding project they will all receive some awesome in-kind rewards…umm Kombucha!
Kombucha is a fermented health elixer that is just packed with vitality and goodness. The bacteria converts sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time, and linked to a range of health benefits including organ cleansing, detoxification, improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity and anti-aging benefits.
The link and video below show the boys, their passion for Kombucha, the business plan, why its a glocal production, and how to get some free Buchi by becoming a supporter and contributing to the crowdfunding. Have a watch and vote with your dollars:
>CLICK HERE to support Buchi Kombucha and find out more about this amazing project.
It’s been a few months since my last post – the longest writing drought since I started writing this blog nearly three years ago now. I’ve felt somewhat paralysed to write lately, not exactly knowing my path in life anymore, feeling unsure, sensitive. In numerology I’m in a year one of the nine-year cycle. A new beginning which holds the promise of new adventures and daring feats, and yet while the prospect of starting something new is certainly exciting, it is also a little daunting….and to be honest it had me a little stumped as to how I move forward. And when I do take steps it’s often feeling a little ungainly, like a newborn colt trying to stand up after birth.
This year I’ve said goodbye to my postdoctoral research (although my next book is still in the wings) and old ways of doing work. Jase and I have made the decision to take concrete steps towards financial independence and freedom of time. We’re getting responsible for generating our own ethical wealth and want to break the cycle of trading our time and money (for someone else). Our experience of working is one reminiscent of Robert Frost‘s quote ‘By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually become the boss and work 12 hour days’. Instead, we want to move even closer towards more everyday sustainable living, conscious health, deliberate wealth. And the path is not always so clear how we do that yet.
What is clear though is that to get something we’ve never had, we need to do something we’ve never done before. So I have started to do just that… and I try to remember that from little things, big things grow!
So this is how I have become unstuck (sometimes anyway)…
In January I started making my own sour dough bread. Our family mission is make and bake our own real bread from now on. To do this we have become the proud parents of a beautiful sourdough ‘starter’ culture that we feed and house and in return she provides us with a spectrum of bacteria that raises and ferments our dough and tastes sour and magnificent. Nothing better than a warm sourdough bread for in the morning with real butter…and lots of it! We get beautiful creamy yellow butter made from cultured cream from Northy St organic markets here in Brisbane. We have churned our own butter before, but it’s not particularly cost effective so far. So until we have our own cow, we will stick to with the butter that the butter man sells at the markets.
Later in the month I conquered the software program Prezi and made my own ‘Start your own ethical organic business in 2012’ presentation (with the help of some supportive friends). It took me a while to get my head around this program, but it was worth the brain strain to produce a presentation that is visually stimulating and compelling. I have been delivering this presentation across Brisbane and to international audiences via webinars. If you want to check it out, just let me know.
In February we started making our own kombucha. Kombucha is a passion of ours, as are fermented foods generally. Jase is now our very own brewmaster and making us our very own delectable fermented brews. Like our soughdough starter culture, we are now the house to many healthy kombucha ‘mothers’ who’s symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts breathe life into our sweetened tea. The microorganisms ferment the tea, converting the sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time. We have equally passionate friends who are embarking on this endeavor commercially with us. Stay tuned as we go into large production later in the year…
And then there was the Earth Frequency Festival in the Sunshine Coast…
And at the Bodhi Festival in Newcastle we had a Miessence nutritional stall and I managed to sneak in a yoga practice and a healing with the Shanti Mission…
And in March was the Glocals Forum organized by Organic Farm Share that I spoke at. I felt particularly honoured to be on the panel and alongside some of the most incredible local community leaders. Glocal is a term which defines local leaders actualising transformative ideas that have the capacity to regenerate both society and the environment we currently live in. And it’s a privilege to be part of the organic farm share community.
This is a year that is certainly thrusting me, us, our family into new projects. I don’t know yet how to make these passions into a generous sustainable income for my family, or how they fit together, but I am clear that taking small steps in sustainable living is crucial to living a more connected, content life. And if you are like me, taking small steps do not come naturally. I usually have a clear path. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the last few months to cultivate more trust and patience:
Trust my Intuition: Intuition is our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. When I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty I often panic and make my decisions with my head rather than my heart. I don’t listen to that strong, initial gut response and I start polling people around me for an answer.
Feel More – Think Less: ‘Drop’ into yourself. Ask yourself what is the next step that makes you feel happy, that feels ‘right’.
Exercises in gratitude: In times when I feel uncertain as to my path I can often spiral into a self-conversation about scarcity and I wait wondering when things will all fall apart around me (or that I will fall apart). I am learning to sit with uncertainty and be appreciative for what I have in these precious moment. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me to do this, but I have learned to trust this practice.
This is an article I am proud of and feel grateful to Peppermint Magazine for publishing it. I have also had quite a number of people email me as a result of the article expressing thanks and appreciation. I feel deeply honoured by their corrospondance to me. Click the link to read the entire Habitat Article…. Enjoy!
Alf is a entrepreneur activist, ethical investor, and developer of regenerative businesses. He is a founding director of several enterprises which have achieved annual revenues ranging from three hundred thousand to twenty million dollars. Alf is the co-founder and co-director of Miessence the worlds first certified organic range of skin care, cosmetics, and nutritionals and co-founder of the Organic Farm Share. I have certainly learnt much from him about growing ethical businesses and the organic industry.
Come and learn about health and the body, toxicity, how you can start and grow a successful organic business, build a passive income and have a positive impact on our planet. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS, OR TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT AT THE EVENT, OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
Since journeying back to Australia and emersing ourselves in everyday Brisbane living again, I have found myself yearning for connection with nature, health and self – yearing for community (It seemed so much easier when we were living on farms, tipis and yurts around the globe). It’s been a somewhat unsettling time for us as a family, and without this connection a certain amount of dis-ease has been creaping into our lives. Tiredness. A colesore here and there. A sore throat. Sore back. Crankiness.
Jeddabugs second birthday was an opportunity to reconnect to nature, health and self again. One of the greatest lack in our world, is the deep agony of separation and loneliness – we all long for connection with others. So we called on our community to help us celebrate Jeddabugs birthday and create our vege patch. It was a wonderful day and I feel deeply grateful to all beautiful friends for bringing our vege patch to life, for your generous time and seedlings, and blessing our Jeddabugs on her second birthday. It was a wonderful gift to our family and we hope to to repay it forward to others also seeking connection with nature, health, self and community.
I bet you have heard of them, but may not know exactly what they are and how they operate in your life. This short video by Narelle Chenery from Miessence is a gem. It explains (in just a few minutes) how we accumulate free radicals from environmental toxins and poor food choices, and how we can act to neutralise them with antioxidant-rich foods such as berries and raw cacao.
SAVE 20% off this order and all future orders by purchasing your Miessence Vitality Pack here
for your daily superfood dose of In-Liven Probiotic, Deep Green Akaliser and Berry Radical Antioxidant.
To your health and vitality,
I’m back into the swing of life after rougue-travelling (and will be able to post more regular bloggs now). I am doing a workshop presented by the Southern Cross Catholic College P & F next week. It’s titled ‘What’s Toxic & What’s Not’ . Come along if you would like more information about what chemicals are in the body – and what should be there, how they get there, health impacts, chemical policy, the precautionary principle…and generally some critical tips for living more healthy in a toxic world. It will be a jam-packed night of exploring these issues. These are the details:
Thursday 15th September, SCCC Community Hall, 281 Scarborough Road, Scarborough 7pm – 9pm (tea and coffee from 6.30pm)
Contact the lovely Deborah Fay for more information – firstname.lastname@example.org
See you there, Sa xox
I presented a workshop called ‘Natural Mama and Eco-Parenting’ to a packed audience. Thankyou Sydney! Then the rest of the weekend I ate myself around the entirety of the expo – there was not a sample that I did not hit my tastebuds. And Loving Earth did have me come back quite a few times…I even had Adiva smuggle me a few of their new raw orange chocolates and hid behind another stand until she came to get me…I know, certainly not very natural parenting of me. They are just so good though!
Of course, the chicks and I also hung out with the lovely Miessence crew and handed out samples of Deep Green and the fermented InLiven probiotics.…targeting as many parents, children and toddlers as possible (See pic of Adiva and Jeddabug sharing their own stash of Deep Green and InLiven); bought some of the sensational Nui wild virgin coconut oil for cooking, eating raw and lavishly smothering on my skin; gave a cheer of gratitude to the Vitamix boys; met the owner of the organic Tetra tea tree baby bedding (we used their products when our girls were babies and just love them); spoke with the Sun Warrier (Bio-fermented raw sprouted whole grain brown rice) protein distributer to see what super deals we could strike; fed the baby animals in the children’s petting zoo lots of organic carrots; then got engaged with watching Costa and Kylie Kwong cook organic treats on stage; and was re-energised by Carla Oates (aka. the beauty chef) prepare body scrubs, face masks and spritzers for the skin from everyday food products straight from the refrigerator and pantry. Lovely to watch. I also met up with a few ladies who went to my talk at the expo last year and who are now heavy pregnant. It was a satisfying sight to behold!
These photos are of my highlights of the Sydney Organic Expo. We are happy to be back and connecting with the organic community again…but do look forward to nomadic living again next year!
And on this organic farm, Jase has perfected what he believes is the best cup of coffee. Consider yourself forewarned, once you begin brewing better coffee it becomes increasingly difficult to go back to enjoying crappy coffee.
This is how he does it:
Combine these with care, patience (it does take a while for the water to boil on the wood stove) and excitement and Jase has the perfect cup of coffee. I’m jealous, I admit. It’s one of the only times in my life I have wanted to be a coffeee drinker.
If you are interested in health, wellness or where your food comes from, then Michael Pollan is your author. I took the opportunity last night to spend an evening with Michael Pollan in Manhattan as he participated in a conversation about Food Rules. This is both the name of his current book, and the title of the talk. Firstly, it’s a great book and it really resonates with me – primarily because its just got some good solid (and sensible – my mother would like this) principles. And secondly, if you are a busy Mama (I don’t know many that aren’t) this is a book that you can read in a matter of hours. It’s well worth the investment for you and your family.
Listening to Michael Pollan (also author of Omnivore’s Dillema) got me thinking about our own family’s ‘Food Rules’. And this is what I’ve come up with so far (NB: I’m going to speak on behalf of my whole family here given that I do most of the thinking/purchasing/preparing/cooking for everyone in the house)
Our Food Rules -
That’s it for right now. I would be interested in hearing about other people’s Food Habits…
Here is a picture of the the fabulous Michael Pollan as he answered my question about soy protein:
There are foods here in the US that are currently in abundance and that we generally find difficult to find in Australia. Organic blueberries (and berries generally) are some of these. We are able to get pounds and pounds of blueberries at the moment…such a luxury! So inspired by these small balls of blue bliss we have been having a luxurious Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Hemp Milk for dessert (or breakie) all this week. And it takes just a few minutes to prepare and is just so good for our bodies. We would like to share this recipe with you. This delicious decadent can be served with peace of mind as it delivers incredible health benefits. Enjoy!
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Hemp Milk and Blueberries [serves 4]
2 cups hemp milk (See below for more details)
5 tablespoons chia seeds
1 vanilla bean (or pure vanilla essence)
2 cups fresh organic blueberries (or frozen if you are in ac ountry where blueberries are hard to come by at the moment)
6 to 8 drops of your favorite sweetener, to taste (We like agave or local organic raw honey)
Combine vanilla bean and hemp milk, usually in the blender, or if you are using vanilla essence, stirring with a spoon is fine. Add the chia seeds and sweetener and stir vigorously with a fork for several minutes. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, stir occasionally until the chia seeds are well blended and separated. Let the mixture sit out for an hour, stir one more time and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight, until thickened and firm. This is a good dessert to make a day in advance in order to give it time to set. When ready to serve, mix in the blueberries and serve. Delicious.
Note: Hemp milk. We generally make our own by soaking the seeds and blending it in the vitamix with spring water, vanilla bean and a tsp of agave. This is often not possible in Australia where hemp seeds are still illegal for nutritional purposes. So Aussies will just have to use almond milk. There are also a few good Hemp Milk brands on the market here in the US. Our preference is Living Harvest.
Note: Here’s a quick note on the nutritional content of this pudding. Hemp seeds and chia seeds contain both of the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from the omega 3 family and linoleic acid (LA) from the omega 6 family. They also contain all of the essential amino acids making them ‘complete’ proteins. Chia seeds are a great source of calcium containing 631 mg per 100 grams of seeds. And to top it off, we add blueberries with their powerful antioxidant abilities from ‘anthocyanins’ known to neutralize free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins and other health issues. They are also a good source of vitamin C and manganese.
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