Nutrition

Favourite finds for June 19

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BETTERYOU
BetterYou are an innovative natural health supplement brand who are pioneering the way in looking at how we absorb our nutritional supplements. They are currently concentrating on the vitamins and minerals that are becoming more depleted in our daily lives through lack of sunlight, poor quality soils in agriculture, and an increases in digestive issues. Traditional capsule method relies on good conditions of your gut for absorption. BetterYou use clinically proven optimal absorption directly onto the skin and through oral sprays.

I first encountered BetterYou when I started using their Magnesium spray to restore tired muscles after strong yoga practices. Soon after they brought out their Magnesium Flakes which started my obsession with long recuperative soaks in the bath! Magnesium is important for calcium absorption, repairing soft tissue, speeding recovery time from muscle injuries and most importantly helping you get a good night sleep.

I also use a range of their nutritional oral sprays which delivers micro-sized droplets directly into the bloodstream through the soft vein dense tissue of the mouth for optimal and rapid absorption. I’ve used their Turmeric spray for its anti inflammatory benefits; the Iron spray to support me if I’m feeling tired; and more recently I have the whole family on a daily sprays of the Vegan Health to make sure we’re ticking all the vit D, B12, iron and iodine boxes.

BetterYou provides a range of nutritional supplements available in The Hopsack, The Health Store and all good health shops. You can also learn more about their products and order direct from their full range of products from their website.

LIVING THE SUTRAS
The philosophy of yoga is fascinating, vast but sometimes hard to get your head around. In Living the Sutras authors Kelly DiNardo and Amy Pearce-Hayden aim to make these important ancient texts more accessible by looking at the sutras through modern eyes and helping you understand how to apply them to your life. The Yoga Sutras are the core of yoga philosophy written by guru Patanjali over two thousand years ago. They are made up of 196 proverbs that give suggestions on how to incorporate the concepts of yoga into your everyday lives on and off the mat. It is a fantastic entry point to understanding how to move towards yoga as a way of living. The two authors have also recently launched a podcast to support the concepts in the book called Living It. They talk to internationally renowned yogis about the realities of living your yoga practice.

Living the Sutras is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon in and all good online bookshops. They also have a podcast to support the concept of the book called Living it available on iTunes.

HAPPY MAGAZINE
Happy Magazine is an innovative support website, and more recently a printed magazine, for people affected by cancer in Ireland. It offers daily content to support cancer patients through beauty, chemo advice, food, health and wellbeing, book and gift recommendations home workshouts and so much more. I am incredibly honoured and proud to be one of the contributors to the online and published magazine, bringing the many benefits of yoga through simple home practice sequences.

Created by graphic designer, mum of one, and cancer survivor Holly Kennedy. When Holly was going through treatment she was amazed to find that there was nothing out there that gave practical advice and support for the ‘whole’ person. Something that understood the experience she were going through and to answer all those questions that didn’t fall into the remit of the medical system. Holly took the brave step in setting up exactly what was missing, and building an online support magazine to help people cope with this difficult time and offer positivity, inspiration, tips, motivation and encouragement to find happy again.

And as if all those achievements weren’t impressive enough – Holly has just recently been awarded Best Start Up Business runner up in the Young Entrepreneur Awards! A very worthy win. Visit Holly’s inspirational website and browse her back catalogue of articles. Sign up for her newsletter and get daily positivity straight to your inbox. You can find out more about where you can pick up a copy of the published magazine from the website.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for May 19

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THE HANDMADE SOAP COMPANY
The Handmade Soap Company’s mission is to share their passion ‘To bring pure, heartfelt joy to your everyday, so even the small things feel precious’. They started with a love of natural ingredients and a big pot in their kitchen. Their products are made from coconut, vegetables, and scented with essential oils. No nasties, no parabens, no products are tested on animals, and their packaging is both beautiful and sustainably sourced.

I’ve bought The Handmade Soap Company products as gifts many time. Their company ethos of ‘straight from nature’ appeals to my ambition to keep life simple and natural. I spend ages testing and smelling their divine samples in the shops, but I have never bought them for myself. I finally found myself at the receiving end of a gift when I got a lovely surprise delivery of goodies from Holly Kennedy creator of Happy Magazine.

My favourites are the calming and relaxing Lemongrass & Cedarwood range and the uplifting and soothing Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme & Mint. Like every good essential oil blend they include top notes, middle notes and base notes to their ranges which they highlight on their website for the essential oil fans out there.

The Handmade Soap Company are widely available, you’ll find them in Avoca, Kilkenny Shop and all good gift shops. You can also shop their full range of soaps, creams and diffusers direct from from their website, they also ship internationally.

THE IRISH BALANCE PODCAST
The Irish Balance Podcast is hosted by Dr Ciara Kelly, an Irish medical doctor and health & wellness blogger. She is currently following her passion to help people understand how lifestyle affects their health by completing her Masters in Public Health & Nutrition. Wellness is about all the choices we make and the impact these choices have on our overall health. Ciara’s mission, through her podcast, blog and social media, is to simplify the methods for finding wellness and explore what balance is to each individual. Her message is clear and consistent across all her platforms, with a realistic, balanced and non extreme approach to sustainable wellness. It is a refreshing break from the often mixed messages we receive when it comes to health and diet advice. I would recommend you start with the most recent episodes of the podcast and happily work your way back to the start. She has an incredible bank of knowledge in all areas of wellness, no matter what your interpretation of a happy and healthy life is there will be plenty for you to tap into and learn with this podcast.

The Irish Balance Podcast is available on iTunes and Podbean. You can also follow Ciara inspirational content on her website or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

PURPOSE FOODS
Purpose Foods cropped up in my Instagram feed one day and as a previous packaging designer I was intrigued by their brave white minimalist packaging. Reading further, what struck me as different from other snack bars was their focus on prebiotic fibre to feed the good bacteria in our guts and promote healthy digestion. I am a big fan of fibre and feel its importance has been overshadowed by the protein obsession for years. Their three high fibre, vegan, energy & protein bars are – ‘Brekkie on the go’ packed with vitamins and minerals; ‘Post gym fix’ high in plant based protein; and ‘Crave kicker’ fibre rich craving cruncher. But don’t let their names limit you, they work for me at anytime of the day!

The ingredient list on most energy bars can be a minefield of unidentifiable substances. Purpose Foods ingredients are all natural and carefully selected with a ‘nothing to hide’ policy. Each bar has a small list of around six ingredients, chosen for a specific purpose and health benefit. You can read more about how they select their ingredient on their website.

I ordered a starter pack of mixed of the three flavours which arrived in a matter of days. You can order them direct from their website. As of yet I haven’t spotted them in the local health stores but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. They also have a blog which will be worth keeping an eye on but currently as they are a young company is just starting.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Favourite finds for September-18

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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 18

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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