FAVOURITE FINDS FOR NOVEMBER

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SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS
This months favourite finds is very topical, covers many of my growing interests in environmental issues, and has the added seasonal bonus of giving plenty of Christmas stocking ideas too. I recently encountered a gem of a little shop called The Sustainable Store in the heart of Blackrock Market, Dublin. Its mission is to ‘bring plastic free and chemical free products to the local folk’, and with the immanent launch of their website, to the national folks too. It’s a little space that packs a punch for a sustainable future. One of those ‘I’ll have one of everything please’ shops! Each product is carefully researched and has to pass a rigorous test for environmental and ethical manufacturing before it qualifies to become a member of the family. They have done all the research for you to make it that bit easier for you to make a difference this Christmas.

JERRY BOTTLE
Eliminating the plastic water bottle is the perfect place to start for anyone who is trying to reduce their single use plastics, and the Jerry Bottle is a classic. Cutting out plastic water bottles from you life and refilling your Jerry Bottle can be one of your New Year’s resolutions! 100% of Jerry Bottle profits go to supplying clean water projects in Tanzania and India with the Waterfall Charity and other organizations striving to provide clean water to those without. Jerry Bottle is passionate about the importance of water. Without it there is no life on Earth.

A SLICE OF GREEN
As we become more health conscious we’re more inclined to bring wholesome home prepared lunches into school and work, unaware that we are undoing some of our good intentions by storing the food in plastic lunch boxes. Plastic is not only bad for the environment, storing food in plastic boxes leeks toxins into the food, particularly hot food. Stainless steel is clean, safe, durable and made to last. These A Slice of Green stainless steel lunch boxes come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Many of the lunch boxes are leak resistant which is definitely a perk when it comes to school lunch boxes.

BAMBU
One of my favourite items is the Bambu spork - for the combination of it’s handy inventiveness and the word ‘spork’! A complete must have and a fantastic stocking filler for anyone who eats food. Incase it’s not obvious it’s a spoon and a fork rolled into one compact little item. Made of bamboo it comes in a cork sleeve making it pocket ready for your weekend market brunching and munching, so you can proudly announce to the vendor that you won’t be needing plastic single use cutlery. Bamboo is the fastest growing species of grass, it can grow a meter a day and doesn’t need to be replanted after harvesting because of its sturdy root system, it requires no fertilizers or pesticides and it guzzles up carbon dioxide. So many reasons to start a spork revolution!

GEORGANICS
Plastic toothbrushes are in the limelight at the moment for their incredible ability to end up on our beaches and in our seas! Each toothbrush takes up to a thousand years to decompose and 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used worldwide every year. Georganics eco-friendly toothbrush is made from 100% biodegradable bamboo with soft and effective charcoal infused bristles. Georganics toothpastes are completely natural and fluoride free formula, made with vegan and organic ingredients. Their packaging is designed to be plastic free, biodegradable and recyclable. They also have a range of oil pulling mouthwashes – following the ancient ayurvedic practice of oil pulling. It is said to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth and offers a natural alternative to conventional mouthwash. These oils combine coconut oil, which is known for its antimicrobial properties, and other essential oils, to boost its properties and add a fresh after taste.

We generate a huge amount of waste over the Christmas period with our binmen adding extra lifts to keep up with all the extra packaging. This Christmas add a theme of sustainability to your gift giving to counteract the extra load. New good habits are easier to make at the start of a new year. Your new habits can make a big difference for the future.

All of these products, and many more, can be found in The Sustainable Store, Blackrock Market, Dublin. The best way to keep in touch with them is to follow them on Instagram to keep upto date on new products and the launch of their website in December.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for October

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DELICIOUSLY ELLA THE PLANT-BASED COOKBOOK
This new cookbook brings together all Deliciously Ella’s best recipes over the last six years, and their most requested recipes from the Deli – like the almond Victoria cake, green Thai curry, baked sweet potato falafel, peanut butter slices, and the most requested deli recipe, their famous cornbread (all of which we have made and remade from the book). This new book is by far my favourite of her four books. You can see how much she and her team have evolved and grown over the last six years. She started her food blog in 2012 to journal her path to wellness from an autoimmune disease through eating good whole foods. Her genuine love and enthusiasm for simple, tasty, plant based eating, and the growing realisation that the key to good health is in nature, brought her on an incredible journey to where she is today. Since then she has written four cookbooks, built recipe aps, opened London based delis, launched a variety of widely available food product ranges, and qualified as a yoga teacher!

I love how the book is so easy to navigate. Rather than the traditional breakfast, lunch dinner chapters it is divided into the main categories of plant based eating – salads, falafels, burgers, soups, stews and curries . Recipes don’t need to be boxed into certain times of the day. They can be lunch, they can be dinner and they can even be breakfast (there is also a separate breakfast section at the front). When I’m planning out my food prep for the week it usually consists of a big pot of beanie hotpot for the weekend, soups for after school lunches, a two day batch of either falafel or burgers with salads, and a two day batch of either stew or a curry. With Friday as our wild card day where I take requests and reserve the right to decline the request!

Their philosophy is to eat real food with uncomplicated recipes using easy to find ingredients – making it accessible to take their amazing plant based recipes beyond their delis, books and aps, and onto our dinner table. We visited their Weighthouse Street deli on a recent trip to London and I have to say it was one of the highlights of our trip!

Ella’s new book is widely available in any good bookshop, online at Amazon, Dubray and Eason.

THE RICH ROLL PODCAST
This podcast is one of my favourite podcast. It is one of the worlds most highly acclaimed podcasts with over 45 million downloads. It has been running since 2013 and already has nearly 400 episodes ready and waiting for you to browse through. For those who haven’t encountered Rich Roll yet you are in for a treat. He is a plant based ultra-endurance athlete, wellness leader and entrepreneur with a focus on living an authentic life, focusing on health span not life span, and building inclusive communities. He is a complete gent and has admirable interviewing skills, which affords him to effortlessly gets the best out of each carefully chosen guest, each with a life lesson to share in every episode. He has a wide variety of guests, including some of the most progressive thinkers in the field of wellness. The episodes are long format which give Rich the space to delve deep into the inspiring topics. This is the perfect example of how podcasts have come into the forefront as a platform to keep yourself educated, informed and inspired by the most current research from the most brilliant minds.

The Rich Roll Podcast is available on iTunes, YouTube and Stitcher.

FOUR SIGMATIC
Like many others I’ve tried my fare share of the latest superfoods. Some with well founded health benefits, and others nothing above what you’d more easily and affordably get with fresh fruit and veg. The humble mushroom is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense food. It goes beyond being just a superfood, it is also an adaptogen, which means it adapts to your needs. They are incredibly powerful and are, until recently, misunderstood and underutilised. Four Sigmatics philosophy is that ‘your life quality can be vastly improved by simple dietary tweaks’, and this can easily be achieved through the addition of functional mushrooms. Their aim is to simplify the world of functional mushrooms into something we all love – a hot cuppa!

Their product range is broken down into Mushroom Coffees, Mushroom Elixirs, Mushroom Hot Cacaos and superfood blends. Their main mushroom are chaga (the king of mushrooms), reishi (the queen of mushrooms), cordyceps, and lion’s mane.

  • Chaga are high levels of vitamins and minerals, is antioxidant and antiviral, liver supporting, skin supporting, and are also being research for their support for various forms of cancer. Chaga contains significant levels of Melanin. Melanin protects the skin from solar, wind, and other environmental stressors.

  • Cordyceps is documented over and over again to improve the performance levels and recovery time for athletes due to its ability to enhance aerobic capacity. Cordyceps also benefit oxygen consumption, normalizes immune function, and supports the liver and kidneys.

  • Reishi as an elixir for longevity. Reishi is adaptogenic, supports the immune system, has anti-inflammatory, anti-candida, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, shows reduction in size of tumor cells, contains heart stabilizing compounds, lowers cholesterol levels, corrects arrhythmia, and balancers blood pressure levels.

  • Lion’s Mane is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immune supporting, enhances cognitive function and neurogenesis – the growth of fresh new brain cells. Our digestive system and brain are connected by an extensive network of neurons. Lion’s Mane molecular compounds enhances this connection between the two.

Four Sigmatic are available in The Hopsack and some select health shops. You can also order direct from their website and see the full range of their products.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for September

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HOLLY WHITE VEGAN-ISH
Last summer brought with it an amazing collection of new vegan cookbooks. Each one of them a worthy member of my cookbook collection for their individual interpretation of plant based recipe creation. This way of cooking is finally being pushed in new directions, and recognised for its endless possibilities beyond the humble lentil!

My most recent investment is Holly Whites Vegan-ish. Holly has hit the ground running with this very impressive first cookbook. When you learn a bit more about her journey, you realise this is not just a stroke of luck! Since turning vegan four years ago she has embarked on a learning and training journey with international chefs of notoriety in the plant based world. She has brought all this knowledge together to given her own unique slant – with the perfect balance of innovative recipes to explore, and cornerstone recipes that you will find yourself going back to again and again.

It is suitable for those dabbling with the idea of going vegan or, like myself, those who have been vegan for a while, and are looking for a fully comprehensive book that has every recipe you’d ever need, and more, all in one book. She has put her heart and soul into this book and it shines through. Even as I look through the book to write this blog, I can’t resist getting distracted by starting another list of recipes to try out next!

Holly’s new book is widely available in any good bookshop, online at Amazon, Dubray and Eason.

BEE’s WRAP
Recently I find myself naturally becoming more curious about our impact on the environment. The more I learn, the more I realise I had my head in the sand, hopping the problems we are generating for the future generations will disappear. It can feel a bit overwhelming when you start to educate yourself on all the mounting environmental problems. I find it easier to tackle changing one habit at a time, and quickly noticing the difference it makes to what you use and what you throw away. Plastic pollution was the obvious place to start. It has reached an all time high and is having a detrimental impact on the environment including us humans!

On a recent trip into Stock, Dublin, I discovered these wax paper reusable wraps. As a mum of three, sambos are made and wrapped on a daily basis. That was mounting up to a lot of cling-film. I was looking for a way to make my sambo prep more sustainable.

Bee’s Wrap is a washable, reusable, and compostable organic cotton – infused with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. It’s incredibly durable and washes easily. They come in a range of sizes and have a wide variety of food storage uses. They have short videos to show suggested usage on the Q&A section of their website. So far I have just used them to wrap sambos, and plan to expand my usage to food wrapping to reduce food bag usage.

Bee’s Wrap will be available from The Hopsack from October. It’s also available in Stock, 34 King St, Dublin 2. Or you can also order direct from their website and see the full range of their products. It would be great to see them more widely available in Ireland.

MINDFUL BITES
I first encountered Mindful Bites on one of my regular shopping sprees to my favourite health food shop The Hopsack. As a plant based yoga teacher, striving to live mindfully has become part of my way of life. So when I spotted a new product called Mindful Bites it naturally caught my attention.

Mindful Bites are all about the sensual experience of mindful eating. Their mission is to create innovative, nutrient dense products that tantalise the taste buds so much that it stops you in your tracks – slowing you down and savouring the experience of eating mindfully. They support this intention with a guide to mindful eating on their website, and a four pillar steps to help you eat with consciously rather than mindless grazing.

They manage to take nut butter to a whole new level with a unique mix of high quality nuts, blended with carefully selected superfoods. They are a flavour explosion to be savoured and linger on your taste buds long enough to make you pause, slow down and appreciate the moment. They are definitely an indulgent item, but are completely worth it. A small amount goes a long way, and it goes even longer when you hide it in a press and add a dollop on your porridge when nobody’s looking. The Hopsack currently have a 25% discount on the Brazil Nut & Cacao Nibs Nut Butter for the month of September, so be quick and stock up now. But beware once you taste it you’ll be hooked!

Mindful Bites are available in The Hopsack and The Health Store and most good health shops. You can also order direct from their website and see the full range of their products.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for August

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HAPPY HEART ONLINE COURSE
I’m probably one of the least likely people you’d expect to sign up for an online cookery and wellness course, but last February curiosity got the better of me and I embarked on The Happy Pears, Happy Heart course. I’ve been plant based for a number of years, I run/walk, practice yoga and meditate everyday. I knew plant based was good for me, but I wanted to understand how it worked. I was looking for clarity on areas we get very mixed message about – like the recent obsession with protein, if fats are in or out, and the importance of fibre. Although what I was choosing to eat was very healthy, I was inclined to skip meals and end up exhausted by the end of the day. I wasn’t valuing that food = energy, and no food = no energy. I also wanted to simplify my day by spending less time in the kitchen and be more routined with my dinner prep. I had a feeling these two fellas knew some kitchen hacks and I wanted to learn as much as I could from them!

From week one I was very impressed! You get new downloads each week to read through in your own time. The information was very accessible, backed up and well researched. They gave ‘Superheros of the week’ with lots of links so you can investigate further if you have a curiosity to learn more. The recipes were incredibly easy to follow, and very family friendly.

Six months later I still go through the invaluable notes to refresh all I learnt. Now I eat three meals a day, more effortlessly stay the same weight, and have buckets more energy. The course is the start of a new journey, a new you, that you will embrace with glee! The guys are very active on social media and YouTube which helps your transition to life after the course. I mainly cook from their three cookbooks, plan my menu and shop for the week, and try to get a head start with some prep on Sunday.

I’d recommend it to absolutely everyone who wants to be happy and healthy. I recently had the pleasure of doing a video testimonial about the course, and as a thank you they gave me a special code to give to my yogi tribe! Sign up for the next course starting September 3rd, and use the code YOGARU50 to recieve 50% at checkout. Reset you system and finally take ownership of your health.

NUZEST GOOD GREEN STUFF
September is a mental month for me with getting back into routines, and settling everyone back to school. I know in advance that, unless I take steps to look after myself, I will easy get overwhelmed by it all. So towards the end of August I start to take action to support myself in the best way possible, and add a daily supplement to boost my energy levels, support my immune system, and take care of my gut health.

I don’t supplement very often because I like to get all I need from real food. So when I do, I choose Good Green Stuff by Nuzest. It is made from a wide variety of real food, which gives it superior bio-availabilities than many other superfood powders. It is packed full of 75 different greens, fruits, vegetables, herbs, berries, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, digestive enzymes and much more.

Most green powders I’ve used before required dogid commitment to wellbeing, and a bit of nose holding to get it down the hatch, but Good Green Stuff is surprisingly tasty too! It is a bit of an investment but think of it as your nutritional back up plan. It is the ultimate lifestyle supplement to occasionally support those busier periods.

Nuzest Good Green Stuff is available in The Hopsack and also in The Health Store and most good health shops. It’s also worth checking out their website to learn more about the benefits of their products.

ECOVER
When I went plant based I became more conscious of the impact I have on the environment from the way I choose to eat. I also started to question other areas of my consumerism - what happens my cleaning products after they disappear down my drain? Is recycling really making a difference, or is there a way to shop with less packaging? And more recently, how precious water is! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the shocking environmental statistics, but I find consolation in remembering that every tiny decision I make has a positive impact the bigger picture.

Ecovers mission is to ‘lead a clean world revolution’. Their business philosophy is all about the environment with no compromise on their products. All the ingredients of their products are biodegradable, and made from plant based and mineral raw materials. Their packaging plastics are recycled and they are working hard on innovating completely biodegradable plastic. As a step in the right direction they sell refills in participating shops, and have in-store refilling stations in my favourite shop The Hopsack. What I was most impressed with when I swapped over (as a self confessed cleanaholic), was that my house felt, looked and smelt cleaner than with regular chemical based cleaning products. So now you can have a clean house in harmony with your environment. The are a very innovative company and their website is well worth browsing.

Ecover is becoming more widely available. It’s stocked in good health stores, like The Hopsack and The Health Store, and in most Supervalu and Tesco branches.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for July

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TONN
We’re gathering quite the collection of Tonn clothes, and for very good reasons. Tonn are an Irish specialist T-shirt company made from organic cotton. The care that has gone into the production of their products becomes very obvious when you see how they hold their quality with multiple wears and washes. If my family are anything to go by, the minute they come out of the wash, they go straight back on their backs - so the quality gets repeatedly road tested!

They also appeal to my environmental interests. We all know our skin is our biggest organ, and what we put on it counts. All their cotton is pesticide free organic and ethically sourced – making it softer and kinder to your skin. They also invest a lot of time making sure that they use transparent manufacturers and water based inks.

Practicalities aside a t-shirt still needs to make a statement, and Tonn T-shirts definitely deliver on that too. Each design tell a story – combining traditional and modern Ireland - in a simple and distinctive hand rendered style, giving them an on trend vintage look.

Tonn are available online at Tonn. You can also follow them on Instagram to check out the latest Tonn converts – including The Rolling Stones, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kyle MacLachlann and many more!

THE YOGA LIFE PODCAST
Incase you hadn’t noticed I’m a complete podcast addict. I find the medium a fantastic opportunity to keep learning, and a great way to find like minded people singing from the same hymn sheet. Finding good yoga podcasts can be tricky, so I was very excited to find an Irish based podcast!

Kevin is one of those unique yoga teachers that walks the walk. Yoga is so embedded into his everyday, and this is reflected in the quality of his teachings. His podcast The Yoga Life gives weekly yoga chats, and beyond, with guest who have inspired Kevin in some way on and off the mat. I recommend giving it a listen if you are a practitioner or teacher of yoga, or are just interested in living a happy, healthy life. Kevin is a genuine fella and his happy demeanour is contagious. It is very obvious from your first listen how passionate he is about yoga, and helping others to get the most out of their practice.

Kevin is a Dublin based yoga teacher and teaches mainly in The Yoga Hub. He also teaches workshops, so sign up to his newsletter to keep up to date. You can find Kevin on his website Kevin Boyle Yoga, and The Yoga Life Podcast is available on iTunes. You can also follow Kevin on Instagram to take an honest look at what challenges him in his daily practice.

ON
My other love that goes hand in hand with yoga is running. I’ve gone through many pairs of runners over the course of my running years. I find as my foot changes shape I need to readdress my prefered running shoe brand. I’ve ticked lots of runners boxes – stress fractures, black toenails and tendonitis - so I have to be very careful what new brands I experiment with.

Yoga has taught me to be kinder to myself so I walk more days of the week than I run. But a day doesn’t go by that I’m not out for my early morning walk or run. So when I’m looking for a runner I’m looking for comfort and durability in all kind of weather.

On are like no other runner I’ve tried before. They are incredibly lightweight and use a technology called CloudTec which is aptly named. I started with walking and it took a few outings to get used to them. They need to warm up and mold to the shape of your foot with the first few wears. As soon as you get settled into your new pair you’ll want to run further than you have every run before! They are quite sensorial – in that you can feel the surface you are walking on – but at the same time they give adaptive cushioning exactly where it’s needed. Once you’ve landed softly they use Rebound-Rubber technology to project you forward to your next stride. Their philosophy is to let your feet find their natural stride, rather than over protection and correction. A principle similar to Vivobarefoot which I reviewed in my Favourite Finds for June.

They have an impressive range of athletes who have converted to On runners for higher performance – amongst them Rich Roll who is an ultra endurance athlete and podcaster. It’s also worth looking up their technology section of their website.

On runner are available online at On.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru