Those who know us well enough know that we like to start the day with a mug of warm water with a squeeze of lemon and a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV). Although this sounds rather strange there is a long list of health benefits, ranging from fending off colds to preventing indigestion… read on to find out more!
- Probiotic properties and gut health: ACV is made from fermented apple juice and as a result, like many other fermented foods, unpasteurised ACV contains probiotics (bacteria that supports gut health). If you’ve had to take antibiotics it is important that you re-balance your healthy flora with probiotics afterwards, as antibiotics indiscriminately kill all bacteria – good and bad.
- Helping to clear sinuses: the potassium it contains helps to thin mucus and it’s acetic acid properties help to prevent bacteria that contribute to nasal congestion.
- Mouth cleansing: the vinegar helps to kill bacteria in your mouth and gums, helping your mouth taste and feel fresher.
- Aids digestion: ACV contains pectin, which helps the body break down foods. Drinking a little in water 30 minutes or so before a meal could help to improve digestion.
- Feel fuller for longer: Several studies have shown that ingesting apple cider vinegar can increase satiety.
So, the benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet far outweigh the taste (of which we actually quite like now). However, if you don’t feel brave enough to drink it on its own with hot water as we do, then you can try adding a little honey with it or, alternatively, there are plenty of other ways in which to incorporate it into your diet such as homemade mayonnaise and salad dressings.
Our favourite brand is Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s organic, made in Herefordshire, UK and tastes so much better than other brands. They have a Honey infused ACV (photographed below) as well as a Honey & Tumeric ACV with black pepper (for better absorption of Curcumin) and a Fire Cider ACV. They also do 60ml shots for on-the-go as well as a range of kombucha drinks.
Top tip: Always dilute ACV, never drink it straight.
I first discovered Herbfarmacy when researching some local companies to Herefordshire – where I (Charlotte) now live.
I subsequently saw a beautiful display of their natural organic skincare at my local farm shop (how did I miss it before?) and decided that I had to get in touch with them.
Everything that Herbfarmacy create is certified organic by the Soil Association. In their words: “Organic means working with the delicate balance and rhythms of nature, from the soil, to plants and wildlife. We oversee every stage of the plant’s journey, sowing and harvesting each flower by hand and blending the herbal oils to create our signature organic skin care products.” Which we at The Wild Co. think is just great!
Herbfarmacy ethics are at the forefront of their agenda and we like this a lot! The headlines:
GOOD, WHOLESOME ORGANIC INGREDIENTS
TAKING A STAND AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING
PLASTIC FREE PLEDGE
FAIR RIGHTS, FAIR PAY
SUPPORTING LOCAL CHARITIES
KIND ON SKIN
Herbfarmacy products here: Lip Nurse, Enriching Body Oil, Refining Exfoliator, Nourishing face cream. (Mmm dreaming of a hot bubble bath so I can try out these amazing organic products!)
We love the Herbfarmacy website, branding and the marketing of their products. Herbfarmacy is like a local Neil’s Yard and at The Wild Co. we love to and always try to shop local wherever possible. Check out their gorgeous instagram feed and follow them here.
Paul Richards, the man behind Herbfarmacy has a great passion for plants, their powerful properties and provenance, which led him to establish his own farm some 30 years ago.
The Herbfarmacy team work hard to keep their plants happy, healthy, fresh and free from anything artificial on their five-acre farm in Herefordshire. Herbfarmacy say “Every plant we grow enjoys the very best nutrients from our rich organic soil. For us, purity is key – purity in the way we make each product: hand sowing and nurturing the organic seedlings, to hand picking and harvesting the plants when they’re at their very best. And we don’t stop there. Once we’ve picked the plants, they’re carefully steeped in oil or water. Each herb is infused for as long as is needed to harness the maximum benefit of the plant for use in our products.”
Doesn’t this just sound dreamy? We think so. We can’t wait to visit the farm either. Herbfarmacy offer open days so that we can visit their very special farm.
Herbfarmacy have such beautiful packaging and they also do gift sets!
They say: “At Herbfarmacy we never rush. Our plants are always given the time they need to reach their full potential, so we can harvest the very best ingredients. They say that good things come to those who wait and at Herbfarmacy, we couldn’t agree more. We wait for nature so we can grow, create and deliver the finest, purest and most powerful skincare for your customers.”
I think we are going to find it hard to leave such a wonderful place when we finally get to visit. I feel very lucky to have something so wonderful on my doorstep in the beautiful countryside of Herefordshire.
Herbfarmacy even do samples of all of their skincare products for less than a pound so that you can try before you buy. They have so many marvellous products, sometimes it is difficult to know which ones are most suitable for you. We are big fans of try before you buy – brownie points!
What a beautiful quote taken from the Herbfarmacy website:
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
A new post will follow soon with a full review of the products once we have tried and tested them. Watch this space and stay in touch.
The Wild Co.
Ingredients (makes around 20 balls)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (recipe below)
1.5 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup honey
2.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground Ginger
50g dark Chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
A sprinkling of pumpkin seeds (to serve)
Put all of the ingredients from pumpkin puree through to ground ginger into a food processor and blitz until the ingredients are fully blended (or can be mixed in a bowl by hand).
Roll the mixture into around 20 bite size balls and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile gently melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together in a microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not stir the chocolate whilst melting, as this will ruin the consistency).
Remove the bites from the fridge and drizzle them with the melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture. We found the best way to do this was to put the melted chocolate mixture into a freezer bag and to pierce a tiny hole in the bag to ‘pipe’ the chocolate out of.
Top them each with a pumpkin seed and store in the fridge. The bites should last for about a week if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
1 cup pumpkin
Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes until soft then blitz in a food processor to create a pulp.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week ready to add to your favourite pumpkin based recipes!
Copyright: The Wild Co.
Pure foods kindly sent us a sample of their fresh Spirulina and Moringa to try out, which we were very excited about! Pure foods started with a vision of providing people with ethical and highly nutritional foods sourced from around the world. Spirulina and Moringa are two of the most nutritionally dense superfoods in the world. Taking supplements in powder or tablet form means that you lose a lot of the nutritional content, so Pure foods deliver it to you fresh to make sure that the goodness isn’t lost!
What is Spirulina and what is its health benefits?
Spirulina is a green-coloured algae that is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein and antioxidants. Whilst more research is needed, studies suggest many health benefits. For example, Spirulina may improve immunity, protect against allergic reactions, support probiotic health.
What is Moringa and what is its health benefits?
Moringa trees originated in the foothills of the Himilayas, and have been used in traditional Indian medicine for years. The seeds, pods and flowers are used in food (blended into drinks, added to salads or steamed!). So much more research is needed into the benefits of this superfood and researchers have only just started uncovering a fraction of their health benefits. Rich in protein, vitamin C, iron and magnesium and antioxidants, this superfood may reduce cholesterol, inflammation, immunity and boost your energy!
What are our thoughts?
We loved juicing up my green veg and then blizting through Spirulina or Moringa. Last Sunday morning I made a mean green juice (cucumber, ginger, pear, apple, celery and spinach), the added a cube of moringa. It added a creamy yet subtle taste is a great addition to your smoothie or juice!
Check out the pure foods website for more info, recipes and to order your own Spirulina and Moringa!
WHAT LUGGAGE TO BUY
This year I went on a sailing adventure around the Caribbean and British Virgin Islands. From my research it was key to have a large, waterproof suitcase that could easily be flattened and stored away during the trip. There is not much room on a yacht, so one must be very practical with their packing.
I was tempted with the North Face duffel bags that look so stylish. My sister has them but advised me against them as they are heavy to carry on your back and she would prefer a wheely suitcase. When I looked into the price, I thought it was silly to pay such a premium for something which may put my back out.
I continued to research, in the hope to find a similar but cheaper option. I wanted a 90L waterproof duffel to fit all of my things in as I was going for 45 days and this seemed a decent size. This is when I stumbled upon these Kandoo Adventure 90L Duffel Bags.
- All of my luggage for 45 days fit in
- The bag remained waterproof despite being at sea in a room with leaky windows
- The black colour ensure that the bag still looked clean even after numerous flights
- The bag was comfy enough to wear on your back with the rucksack straps but I would recommend getting some better hiking straps for serious treks
- The reviews on Amazon are all fantastic
- These bags get used for adventure treks all over the world
Step out of your comfort zones and push your normal limits
You should definitely check out Kandoo adventures website if you are an adventurer like we are here at The Wild Co. Kandoo specialise in making challenging destinations accessible to every fit, weekend trekker. Some of their tours include climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking to Everest base camp or visiting the iconic ruins at Machu Picchu. Kandoo help you create an adventure that will become a lifelong memory.
Neal’s Yard beauty products
Neal’s Yard were kind enough to send us some of their lovely products – Wild Rose Beauty Balm and White Tea Facial Mist. Neal’s Yard, who opened their doors in 1981, specialise in natural skin and health care and push against the synthetic, chemical approach to beauty products. So we were very excited to try out their goodies.
Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, this lovely, multi-use balm made with wild rosehip seed oil is perfect for nourishing and protecting your skin and comes with a muslin cloth! We loved using it on our lips and face when they were feeling dry but it has multiple uses! It’s top 5 are:
Use with the enclosed organic muslin cloth for a gently exfoliating radiance boost
Intense moisture boost
After cleansing, massage in to keep skin moisturised.
Balancing facial mask
Apply to clean skin. Steam infuse by covering your face with a hand-hot damp muslin cloth for 10 minutes. You can relax for further 30 minutes if you’re looking for an extra boost.
Nurturing lip balm
Nourishes lips to help prevent dryness and chapping.
Nourishing nail balm
Massage into the cuticles to encourage strong nail growth.
The White Tea Facial Mist was absolutely delicious (not edible though), so refreshing and can be even be spritzed over makeup to calm and rehydrate. It’s blend of aloe vera and and antioxidant rich white tea make for an award winning combo which we loved! We keep it in the fridge for an even more refreshing spritz in warm weather.
On the weekend of the 12th of May the Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest food festival, came to Bristol. I went along with a close friend of mine – Evie Drakett. Sadly (for me) Charlotte was away on her trip in the British Virgin Islands she couldn’t join us. The weekend festival was jam packed full of fun things; top chefs (like Dean Edwards and Richard Bainbridge) cooking up their signature recipes, afternoon tea, wine tasting, live music, chilli eating competitions, an artisan market, street food, yoga classes to name a few! Here’s a snippet of a few of the things we experienced on Saturday at the festival..
Billy & Jacks’s Scallops with pea puree, crispy chicken and pea shoots
We were lucky enough to grab tickets to see Jack Layer and Billy Write – MasterChef finalists from 2016 cooking up a storm in the chefs theatre. The comical pair talked us through making a delicious dish – scallops with pea puree, crispy chicken and pea shoots – ‘Our food isn’t particularly good for you. But spiritually and for the mind it’s great!’ they laughed while pouring a whole tub of full fat cream into the pan of fried bacon. I noted some top tips form the pair – apparently: 1. Maldon smoked sea salt is incredible 2. You should use odd numbers of pieces of food when plating up, so that the dish doesn’t look too symmetrical and planned. 3. Less is more! The duo are quitting their day jobs and run their own supper clubs at London Cooking Project as well as catering for private dining events: an inspiration to us all! Check out their instagram @billy_and_jack for some tasty plates.
Great British Bake Off Winner Candice Brown
As we’d guessed, Candice Brown’s baking bread making session was so packed we couldn’t get seats, but fortunately we managed to get a good view form the edge of the audience. Candice won GBBO in 2016 and since then has been busy creating her own cookbook – Comfort – which comes out in July. I was over the moon when Candice announced that she’d be showing us how to make bacon, onion and cheddar soda bread – simply yum!
Candice’s recipe is as follows:
150g streaky dry cured smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
200g strong cheddar cheese, grated
50g pine nuts
1tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt and pepper
300g plain flour
150g strong bread flour
320ml whole milk
30ml lemon juice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
- Fry the bacon, red onion and thyme. Once the onions have softened and browned slightly turn them out onto a kitchen towel and leave to cool.
- Toast the pine nuts until golden and then set aside to cool.
- Combine the whole milk and lemon juice and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl combine both of the flours, salt, pepper, paprika and bicarbonate of soda and mix together.
- Add in the cubes of butter and rub with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add in the bacon and onion mix with the pine nits and ¼ of the grated cheese and mix with a blunt knife (but don’t over mix!).
- Make a well in the flour mix and add almost all of the buttermilk (milk and lemon = buttermilk!). The mix should be quite wet, sticky and rough. Bring it all together using your hands.
- Take half of the mixture, turn it into a round and place it on a greased baking tray, flatten it slightly, score a large deep cross into the top of the bread mix, dust with flour then top with the remaining cheese. Do the same with the other half.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30mins (for smaller rounds), for one large round cook for 30-40mins.
- You can test to see if it is cooked by tapping the bottom of the loaf to see if it sounds hollow – hollow means cooked!
We got to try the finished product – it was super yum! Towards the end of the session she was joined on stage by her lovely pug Dennis – so sweet! Candice’s top tip: ‘Just try it and if it goes wrong just present it as a deconstructed pudding, people love that’.
Bristol City Yoga
Our last stop was a Restorative Yoga Class with Bristol City Yoga. Restorative yoga usually involves five or six key poses often supported by props, allowing you to fully rest. The class was held in a tent and was super relaxing, even amongst the buzz of the festival!
Nurtured in Norfolk edible flowers
Nurtured in Norfolk are a lovely little company that sell micro-cress, edible flowers, peas and shoots… many a splendid thing to brighten up your recipe dishes! We were sent beautiful selection wheels of edible flowers and micro cress to try out. The possibilities are endless with these little plants, but we decided to use them to garnish our non-alcoholic drinks, smoothies and a yummy salad -take a look below.
There are a number of reported health benefits for different edible flowers including relieving anxiety, pain and bloating. Edible flowers can double up as decoration for your home too, but if you want a great selection and have no space to grow your own, Nurtured in Norfolk are the best place to go. They even deliver them to your door.
Imedeen is a beauty supplement that helps maintain healthy hair and nails. The aim of this oral tablet is to nourish the body from within, which is one of our main focuses at The Wild Co. Imedeen have a number of different products depending on age and skin type but this post focuses on just two: hair and nails and tan optimizer.
I wanted to try out Imedeen’s tan optimizer product as I was going to the Caribbean for 45 days and was hoping to get a great tan. You have to take this supplement a month before travelling to get the best results; I didn’t get the supplements until a week before I left but decided to try them out any way. The tan optimizer suppliants contain carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A, which we need for healthy skin.
Tan optimizer tablets work from within to help: Prepare skin for the sun, protect cells from oxidative stress (using Vitamin C and E), support normal skin health.
I have certainly come back to the UK very bronzed and unlike ever before, my skin did not peel – not even once! (Even after I got seriously burnt one day and looked like a lobster!) Despite the strong winds, sea air and salt water, my hair remained quite shiny (as shiny as curly blonde hair goes) and my nails remained strong. I have now switched to Imedeen’s hair and nails to maintain a healthy appearance.
Imedeen’s hair and nails supplements contain Biotin and Zinc:
Biotin is also a nutrient that helps us keep a young, attractive appearance since it plays a major part in maintaining the health of our hair, nails and skin. (1)
Zinc plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, synthesis and cell division (2), all of which are important for looking radiant.
The Imedeen representative that I spoke to in Boots pharmacy was living proof that the products work. Josephine’s skin was so radiant and glowing; her hair was soft and shiny and her completion was flawless. This is a photo of her nails after using hair and nails for four months – incredible!
A delicious desert containing healthy alternative ingredients so that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating chocolate!
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup/honey
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp chocolate powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
Handful of berries (to serve)
Desiccated coconut (to serve)
Yogurt (optional – to serve)
Put the avocado, banana, coconut oil, maple syrup/honey, cacao powder, chocolate powder and vanilla essence in a blender and blitz until creamy and thick.
Spoon the mixture out into glasses or bowls, adding berries and yogurt (if you so wish). Refrigerate if needed and sprinkle with desiccated coconut to serve.