Favourite finds for February

WellFest is Ireland’s largest yearly health and wellness festival, running on 11-12th of May ‘19. Which coordinates perfectly with the sun gathering momentum for the Summertime and energy levels on the rise. The festival hosts over 150 national and international health and wellness experts. The line up is always incredibly impressive and the choice is unparalleled. No matter what your prefered interpretation of what wellness means to you they’ve got you covered – from Main stage presenters to WellFit, WellFood, Wellmind, WellYoga, to name but a few. If like me yoga is your passion this festival is a must – with back to back classes all weekend with Ireland’s top yogis and visiting internationally acclaimed yogis.

There is no limit and no extra charge to any of the activities and talks all weekend. Top tips from a seasoned WellFest goer – print out the line up and mark up your schedule for the two days. The only complaint you might have is there was so much you wanted to do you could have done it all again!

As one of the WellFest award winning online publications writers I have the absolute pleasure of teaching at the festival again this year. You’ll catch me at the WellYoga stage. Check out the detailed schedule closer to the day to find my slot and come say hello.

Tickets sell fast for this one, go to their website to avoid disappointment! A weekend ticket is €79 and a single day ticket for €49. Sign up for the Wellfest Blog to get some inspirational articles on all things wellness straight to your inbox, or follow them on Instagram to stay up to date on the festival lineup and ticket sales.

Adding to their amazing accomplishments, Deliciously Ella has stepped into the world of Podcasting to share their wealth of knowledge, and experience, in all things food and health related. Deliciously Ella is the brainchild of Ella and Matt Mills – husband and wife team. Ella started a food blog in 2012 to journal her path to wellness from an autoimmune disease through eating good whole foods. The growing realisation that the key to good health is in nature brought her on an incredible journey to where she is today with a team working under the name originally started as this humble food blog ‘Deliciously Ella’. They have written four plant based cookbooks, built recipe aps, opened London based delis, launched a variety of widely available food product ranges, and now a Podcast!

The podcast eloquently tackle some tricky subjects – like climate change, veganism and diet myths – in an easy to access conversations. One of my favourite episodes is ‘Why we care’ where they very honestly discuss why they do what they do, and what drives their passion to share their plant based journey. The weekly podcast also hosts guests from the world of health, nutrition and business to share their expert wisdom and offer a wider perspective to their listeners.

Their passion and honesty is completely contagious. Everything they turn their hand to rings true to their core message to eat real food and share the joys and benefits of plant based living for each individual and the planet we all live in.

The Delicioulsy Ella Podcast is available on iTunes, Podbean and Acast.

This is an Organic vegan superfood brand I have watch grow since 2011, from three pals passionate to share their journey and all they’d learnt about positive health, to a widely available growing range of over 60 products. Originally Ireland’s Raw Kitchen they did what every good entrepreneur does – absolutely everything themselves! – from filling bags to fulfilling orders. In 2014 they redesigned their branding, changed their name and Nua Naturals was born!

The range spans pretty much every superfood I’ve come across, with the addition of berries, seeds, lattes, smoothie boosters and vegan friendly protein powders. Their philosophy is to help their customer ‘make small changes that make big differences to their lasting health for a happy and balanced life’. They also have recipe and a blog on their website which is well worth a browse for tips of how to get the most out of the products and articles on a range of topics such as immune system support, best superfood to add to your diet and skin health.

Nua Naturals are available in The Hopsack, The Health Store and all good health shops. You can also order direct from their full range of products, browse their recipes and read their healthy tips for life blog from their website.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for January


As a designer I am naturally drawn to aesthetically pleasing objects in all facets of my life. I have an appreciation of the time that goes into creating a beautiful object, and when it is functional too I get very excited! Arran Street handmade homeware is both. They refer to themselves as ‘architects in clay’ which is a genius explanation of their style of crafting.

Their designs are an admirable balance between simplicity and rustic with a nod to Irish heritage. They are hand-thrown which makes each piece unique in it’s own little way, and yet still has uniformity that clean lines and simple structure require. Each piece is stamped with a signature ‘A’, inspired by the old-Irish A on the Arran Street East street sign. The palette of earthy colours is inspired by the ,location of the studio, tucked away beside Dublin’s Victorian Fruit and Vegetable Market. Soft hues of fruit and vegetables like pink grapefruit, lemon, pomegranate, cabbage, potato, and parsnip. The care and craftsmanship of each piece is obvious to the touch. They are an incredibly tactile objects with a lovely hearty weight. You can feel the story in every textural line.

You can visit their studio and shop on Little Green Street, grab a coffee in their little coffee shop, and see where the magic happens. They also run workshops to share their knowledge and teach you the craft of throwing.

When at home I drink from only one cup and eat from one plate, or one bowl. It adds to the mindful experience of being present while eating – savouring the taste and enjoying the company at mealtimes. Even if I’m the only one who has my own special handmade delph! Arran Street is available from a growing retail list of stockist and online stockists. They also have an online shop where you can buy direct from the studio.

Headspace is probably the best known meditation App with the largest library of guided meditations to support you through every eventuality in life. There are thousands of studies that have shown mindfulness meditation can positively impact mental and physical health. Headspace is committed to researching the science behind this ancient practice to understand its far reaching benefits.

I had been meditating for a while before I started using Headspace, but felt I needed a bit of extra guidance and wanted to learn a bit more about different meditation techniques, like noting and visualisation. It is fast becoming the most daily used App on my iPhone. I meditate every morning with Headspace, picking either an individual guided meditation or a themed course. Along with the daily meditations I use it to support specific need like ‘Presentations’ before a meeting or ‘Transforming Anger’ if I’ve blow a fuse with the kiddies and need some ‘headspace’. I’ve even used the ‘Losing your Temper’ meditation on the kids – getting them to sit quietly, listen to the meditation and take a minute after for contemplation. It’s a fantastic parenting tool!

Meditation may not change life events but it does help change your reaction to life events. It helps you stay present and not get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ wheel. The benefits of the practice are far greater than the value of the small amount of time required for your daily practice.

Headspace are currently running a 40% off for a whole year of meditation. Simply go to their website and subscribe. I started with this deal last January and loved it so much I’ve just resubscribed for another year. You can also sign up for a free trial which gives you a few sample meditations.

Dublin yogis you’re in for a treat! This new boutique studio is a little gem. Created by award winning yoga teacher and public speaker Sinead Mooney (aka Moons). The care and attention to every little experiential detail that has gone into this beautiful little space is both obvious and subtle too. The heating system is a negative ion system which both warms you up from the inside and counteracts the overload of positive charge we pick up from overuse of everyday electrical devices. This beautiful intimate, bright and warm studio is full of love, kindness and happy vibes. Moons radiates the love of the practice and her passion to create a space where her students can experience and own this powerful practice for their unique lives. ‘To not only survive... but to thrive.’

There is a full schedule of classes to choose from, including Slow Flow, Yin, Yoga Fundamentals, Prenatal and weekend workshops. You’ll find me there every Thursday morning for my 9:15am class. Booking in advance is recommended.

To find out more about Moons Yoga Loft and to book classes check out the website. Classes can be booked direct online from MINDBODY or on your mobile by downloading the Mindbody App from the App store.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for December


What do you drink when you’re not drinking? Inspired by The Art of Distilling published in 1651, Ben Branson has invented the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit. It has been a long time coming and on behalf of all non drinker thank you Seedlip! But this isn’t just hitting the spot with non drinker, it is sweeping through top-rated restaurants, the world’s best cocktail bars and luxury hotels with the most incredible success story, selling out in Selfridges in less than half an hour! Seedlip is on a mission to change the way the world drinks with the highest quality non-alcoholic options.

It initially caught my attention with it’s striking packaging. The illustrations are stunning and the logo tips its hat to the historical craft of distilling. Their website is worth a visit too – simple to navigate it tells the story of Ben’s journey, gives information about the ingredients, lots of ideas for non-alcoholic cocktails and a list of stockists. I first tried the Garden 108, drawn to it for its kindred spirit in the sacred 108, served simply with tonic water and a pea shoot at The Ivy. It was incredibly refreshing and was a revelation to finally being able to join in with the gang and get in the festive spirit without the spirits! As a complete spice addict I’ve treated myself to a bottle of Spice 94 and intend to experiment with lots of Instagramable mocktail over the Christmas period!

Seedlip is available in select off licences and as a special treat for a post shopping cocktail in The Ivy Dublin! You can also order direct from their website and see the full range of their products.

I am totally obsessed with Dr Bronners liquid soaps. Only the purest organic and fair trade ingredients go into their products. They are mainly vegan and certified to the same organic standards as food, with no synthetic preservatives and no foaming agents. Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third- generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family. They are still a family run company with an ethos for working hard on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint which is definitely an area I will be focusing on for 2019.

My current favourite is the Lavender Liquid Soap. Unlike some other soaps it is scented with pure lavender and lavandin oils that are very calming and soothing to the mind and body. It is concentrated so a little goes a long way. I got one of their 32oz bottle and it lasted for months of family showers and multiple other uses. They are called 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soaps for very good reasons. They are up for just about any cleaning task with the added bonus of leaving a lovely scent. Along with showering I use the lavender liquid soap to clean my yoga mat, add it to a bath with epsom salts for a long soak, or for a foot soak after a long run or a busy day.

Dr Bronner is available in The Hopsack, The Health Store and some select health shops. You read more about their story and see the full range of their products from their website.

This little condiment if fast becoming a cult product and I’m giddy at the thought of our girl Katie Sanderson expanding the range! It makes the foods on your plate all dance together and your taste buds sing with glee! A little drizzle over any Buddha bowl combination, or even our Saturday weekly beanie hotpot, is heaven on a plate. It works with just about anything, I’ve even been known to sneak it on to my savoury porridge! It’s in hot competition with our other family staple hummus which as a plantie based house we go through by the lorry load.

Katie spent her early years in Hong Kong and has used this to influence her creativity and her incredible palette for flavour. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling her menus at a yoga immersion in Fumbally Stables and it was elegantly breathtaking and like nothing I’ve ever tasted before (or since!).

White Mausu Peanut Rayu is available in The Hopsack, Fallon & Byrne, Avoca, & Brother Hubbards to name but a few! You can also find a full extensive and growing list of stockist from their website and see the full range of their products.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for October


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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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