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

Favourite finds for June

THE PLANTPOWER WAY ITALIA
I love everything these two creative beings produce – from podcasts to cookbooks and life journey memoires. I first heard of Rich Roll through The Happy Pear. Rich Roll is an Ultra Marathon runner and his wife Julie Piatt is a spiritual leader and entrepreneur. They are testament to the benefits of leading a whole food, plant based diet. I was already eating mainly plant based when I first encountered them, but I didn’t yet have enough information to feel it was the right choice for the rest of my family. Their first cookbook ‘The Plantpower Way’ gives lots of delicious and surprisingly simple plant based recipes, along with incredibly significant and decisive information about the health benefits of going plant based for any age, the impact agriculture has on the environment, and how easy it is for each and every one of us to make a difference.

Their new book is inspired by their yearly retreats they run in Italy and Julie’s love of Italian food. Browsing through this beautiful book will tickle your taste buds and finally give you the answers to how to make vegan versions of your favourite Italian foods, melty cheese and all!

The Rich Roll Podcast is available on iTunes and The Plantpower Way Italia is available online on Amazon.

VIVOBAREFOOT
I practice the two extreme disciplines for my feet – yoga and running. They relish in times when I roll out my mat, lift and spread my toes, and pay them lots of attention to them in my yoga practice. Then they get a bit of a shock when I wedge them into over cushioned, latest technology runner, and pound the pavement on my morning runs. Leaving them feeling confused, and on more than one occasion, laid up with an injury. Vivobarefoots principle is to reconnect people with their feet and nature. Taking inspiration from indigenous tribes they invented a shoe that gives minimum interference between the soles of the feet and the sensorial experience of the surface we tread on. Our feet were designed to be muscular and supple, and feed proprioceptive signals to the brain to allow the body to move accordingly. Shoes are often over cushioned and narrow fitting which weakens the muscles of our feet and displaces the natural bone structure.

When you first experience wearing your Vivos, you immediately notice you walk with such awareness of ‘walking’ – your stride will change, and your movements will become more fluid as you adjust to finding the support of the reawakened muscles. Walking become a lesson in being in your body and in the present moment. I highly recommend giving this new way of moving a go.

The shoes are available to buy online at Vivobarefoot.

YOGANDHA
I absolutely love these wellness oils. They are created by yoga teacher Sinead Duffy out of such genuine care, extensive research, and deep belief in the many benefits of essential oils. The oils are 100% natural, vegan and handmade in Ireland. I couldn’t decide which of the body oils I loved most so I bought all three, and use them everyday depending on what mood takes me. I use Muscle Soothe after my yoga practice or a morning run to restore tired muscles; Relax after a long soak in an Epsom bath to bring a bit of calm to my day; and Detox in the mornings to wake me up and get the circulation going.

I also incorporate the three rollerballs into the start or the end of my yoga classes to bring Grounding, Balance or Salute (energy) – depending on the theme of my class. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in yoga and meditation practices to calm the nervous system, bring you into the present moment, and deepen the mind, body and spirit connection,.

The oils are available in The Hopsack, Avoca, Nourish and online at Yogandha.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for May

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RECIPES FOR HAPPINESS
These guys have rapidly become an irish institution and are ambassadors for living a healthy and happy life. While they are vegan, they are very careful to advocate an all inclusive message of ‘eat more veg’. This is their third cookbook and I have anticipated it’s arrival since they announced its launch this May. It does not disappoint! It is jam packed with easy, user-friendly and incredibly tasty dishes. There is lots of the classic recipes from their YouTube channel, like Sheparless Pie and Three Bean Coconut Curry, which are staples in our house. They’ve also been very brave and tackled making vegan hot dogs and chicken nuggets in their ‘I cant believe its not’ section. My favourite section is ‘Fermentastic!’ which gives an intro to the art of fermentation, and simple reasons why fermentation is the king of all food for gut health. The only bread we eat in our house is fermented sourdough. Once you get into the rhythm of it, it becomes part of your routine and a family pet.

I have to admit when I first encountered the lads I found their energy levels a bit scary. But there is no room for the Irishness of softly, softly, heads down when it comes to changing lives and making a difference in the often confusing world of healthy living. They are a testament to staying genuine to who you are and keeping a sharp focus on your mission.

The book is widely available in any good bookshop, online at Amazon and online or click and collect from Eason.

YOGALAND PODCAST
I can’t quite call this a May Favourite Find because I have been listening, and relishing, every single of the 103 podcast from Yogaland since they started! Andrea Ferretti is a yoga writer based in San Francisco, who has over ten years experience with writing and interviewing inspirational yogis for Yoga Journal. With all this knowledge she launch Yogaland, and brings thought provoking weekly interviews with many of the big names in the world of yoga. There is a wide range of yoga related topics, for practitioners and teachers alike. It’s an absolute must, there is no other yoga podcast that comes close to it!

Some of my favourite episodes are her interviews with Jason Crandell, her other half. They go deep into the practice, and particularly as a teacher, I’ve learnt so much from these episodes – these are ones to relisten to a few times with a notebook and pen. Jason has a mind blowingly extensive knowledge of yoga, with a passion for anatomy and alignment as a gateway to a deeper understanding of yoga on and off the mat. I look forward to finally training with him this September in Flow Studio, Belfast.

The podcast is available on iTunes.

CHINA GEL
I first encountered China Gel in a yoga workshop where the teacher rubbed it onto the back of our necks after a long practice and I was hooked! The tingling sensation is both cooling and warming and your muscles simply melt. It is a natural herbal remedy that helps relax your muscles and encourage fresh blood flow – which aids faster recover if you have an injury, or releases any held tension from daily stresses or movement and exercise. It contains seven natural herbs – menthol, camphor, lavender, angelica, ginseng, aloe vera and witch hazel – giving it a invigorating scent and an easily absorbent texture. I use it everyday, after my practice or a run, on any areas that feel tired or have had a deep stretch. I use it with Yogandha oils particularly on my legs to make sure they are restored and ready to run, walk and practice the next day.

China Gel is currently not available in health shops in Dublin. I loved it so much I applied to be a stockist so I could keep using it myself! It’s available in my Yoga Shop in 4oz or 6oz.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru