Eco friendly

Favourite finds for December

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SEEDLIP
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.

DR BRONNER
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.

WHITE MAUSU PEANUT RAYU
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 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 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