Only Natural Sourdough Workshop, Saturday 5th of November

sourdough loaves images

The Chorleywood Bread Process may not rank with the bubonic plague or the atom bomb when it comes to a negative impact on mankind but there are those who think it’s right up there.  It’s the highly mechanized bread production method developed in the UK in the 1960s that revolutionized how bread is made (and not in a good way!). It lead to the wholesale replacement of largely home based, slow fermentation bread baking with bulk production of highly additive laden, poorly nutritious bread and it’s the method used to produce 80% of the world’s bread today. Regarded as revolutionary and liberating at the time it has and does feed the masses but with what? Real food, I don’t think so! Many people think it’s time to redress this situation.

“We believe in the right of access for all through education to nutritional, life-affirming foods”.

This is from the mission statement of Julie Lockett and Joe Fitzmaurice on their website What a great place to start!

Julie and Joe run the Riot Rye Bake House and Bread School in the Eco Village of Cloughjordan and are passionate about empowering Ireland to bake real bread. We’re delighted to be hosting Joe for a full day Sourdough Baking Workshop in the Taghmon Community Centre on Saturday the 5th of November. Would you like to learn how to bake goodness packed, nutty and delicious sourdough bread at home? You’ll do this on the day, lunch will be provided and you’ll leave with an amazing new skill and your first loaves to finish at home.

Numbers are limited to 10 and the cost is €90. Book your place today – in store, by calling 053 912 3236 or on-line at but be quick some places are already booked!

Riot Rye Logo

Sourdough image
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Don’t worry, be happy!

Whether we like it or not, stress is a fact of modern life, whether it’s the ongoing challenge of ‘managing’ life in this increasingly frantic world or coping with individual high stress events as life throws them at us. It is a natural reaction to events, our mind telling us to be alert and ready to navigate life’s difficulties. It only becomes a problem when that state of alertness becomes habitual. When we experience prolonged periods of worry and anxiousness so great that we start to become overwhelmed by them, then all sorts of things can go wrong. Firstly there’s the feeling itself, life’s joy becomes overshadowed by fear and worry and then other areas of life become affected. We don’t sleep well and don’t have the energy to function properly and our immune system brain fog imageand digestion come under pressure leading to sickness. Mental fog and poor or no decision making replace clarity of mind. Long term unresolved stress can lead to depression and isolation, not a pretty picture!
So whether you’re trying to cope with a tough period or event or fighting a longer battle to feel better remember the natural strategies and aids that can help. There are many herbal, homoeopathic and nutritional aids to combat excess stress, see our product of the month to see the effect some of these have on the body.

These are some lifestyle recommendations.

Eat plenty of whole grains, beans, nuts and green leafy vegetables, they provide B vitamins and Magnesium to support the adrenal glands. Fish, nuts, seeds and good vegetable oils help to balance your mood. Avoid tea and coffee which jangle the nerves (while matcha or powdered green tea can actually help them!) and be wary of alcohol (it’s actually depressive and in troubled times we’re more open to addiction).

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Recipe of the Month – Denis Cotter’s Gratin of Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes and Gabriel Cheese with Chive and Mustard Cream

Asparagus Gratin 2
Ok, so you’re feeling a bit stressed! Maybe you do want to cook and maybe you don’t. I think you should give it a try for two reasons.
Firstly this is a typical Denis Cotter recipe, it’s quite involved. You have four separate elements to prepare which you then combine. It takes about an hour to prep but for me this is perfect. I can’t think of a better way to unwind.
Reason two isn’t a bad one either. I cooked this recently and was blown away by it. I’m a huge admirer of Dennis’s work, his recipes are all about getting the same complexity of flavour and pure culinary pleasure without using meat. You can even do the prep the day before and get some pals over, assemble and pop it in the oven on the night. Stress, what stress???
Oh and don’t forget the Mars Bar ice creams for dessert, it’s a night to go easy on yourself. read more →

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Destress with Yoga!

Linda O'Grady image
Our topic this month is stress – yes something that we all experience in some form or other, some of us on a daily basis whether it’s trying to get everyone out the door and be on time for work or short term stress such as selling a house, losing a job or a relationship breakdown.  We’ve all been there at some point in our lives and it is a natural part of our journey on this earth.  Stress comes in many different forms and so too does coping with it.

It is well known that exercise is good for stress (it releases the feel good endorphins) as well as being in the moment with people being encouraged to practice Mindfulness on a daily basis.  Yoga combines the two so I volunteered to take myself off to a yoga class.

We are fortunate here in Wexford to have numerous, experienced and qualified yoga instructors but recently I have been hearing quite a lot about Linda O’Grady founder of Sadhana Yoga.

Linda is a Yoga and Pilates teacher, Therapist and Wellness Coach, with 18 years’ experience in holistic health (nutrition, herbal medicine, bodywork) and Yoga.  She teaches classical Hatha Yoga using the Vinyasa krama system. read more →

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Product of the Month, Higher Nature Balance for Nerves

We think it does what it says on the tin!

Higher Nature logo

We are often asked for something natural to deal with stress and, despite the fact that there are many great products on the market to do just that and it’s never a one size fits all situation as everyone’s needs vary, I often find myself recommending Higher Nature’s Balance for Nerves Capsules as one of the best of them.

The formula contains, among other things, the following :
A number of nerve soothing B vitamins including 50mg of Pantothenic Acid (B5) per capsule to support the adrenal glands and, over time, bring down the body’s production of ‘cortisol’ the ‘fight or flight’ hormone so relieving us of the Higher-nature-balance-for-nerves-imageneed to be on ‘alert status’.
Magnesium, calms the muscles, nature’s relaxant.
L Theanine, an active principal of green tea, increases the body’s production of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are important in relaxation and mood stabilization. L Theanine is thought to affect the body in the same way as meditation does by leading to a state of relaxed alertness.
Lemon Balm which is regarded as a calming herb to reduce stress and anxiety and promote sleep.
Passion Flower which is also beneficial for anxiety and insomnia.
Taurine is an amino acid which encourages the production of the neurotransmitter GABA which in turn decreases the production of cortisol and adrenaline. This allows the body to manage anxiety so that thoughts don’t go spiraling out of control.

So if stress is an issue for you either in the shorter or the longer term consider a natural supplement to help bring you back into balance and remember how good life can be. We think that Higher Nature Balance for Nerves might just be a good first port of call.
30 capsules (two  or four daily) retail for €7.99 and 90 capsules for €21.99.

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Recipe of the Month – Molasses Oat Bran Cookies

Molasses Oat Bran Cookies pic

Oats are officially a superfood, they keep you fueled and energized, they keep you feeling full if you want to avoid cravings, they keep your digestion ‘right’ and they even contain compounds to keep you calm.
But what about the oatbran, this is the often quite finely milled outer husk of the oat grain? It’s special properties come from the fact that it’s a type of fiber called ‘soluble fibre’ with unique heart healthy, cholesterol busting properties.
You can simply throw a few tablespoons of oatbran into your granola or yoghurt or indeed you can make porridge from it on its own but with a little imagination it can become the basis for any number of baked delights. We asked Ruth, our in store super baker, for some ideas for oatbran and here’s what she came up with.

These cookies are crunchy and yet chewy in the middle! They are full of flavour from the spices and molasses, balanced out by the sugar. As this is Heart Health month at Only Natural, we decided to combine Oat Bran, a high-fibre food that can lower your cholesterol. We’ve also added molasses, which is rich in Iron.

We’ve used organic unrefined cane sugar as it has been minimally processed and hasn’t been exposed to the damaging pesticides present in conventionally grown sugarcane. Unrefined cane sugar also contains 17 amino acids, 11  minerals and 6 vitamins, including antioxidants that may help reverse oxidative damage.

These cookies are perfect with a cuppa!


165g Wholewheat Flour (use plain gluten-free flour for coeliac friendly version!)
135g Porridge Oats
100g Oat Bran
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
200g organic Unrefined Cane Sugar (e.g. Billingtons)
220ml Rapeseed Oil
1 large Egg
85g Molasses
Flaked Almonds to decorate

oat-bran image


In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, oats, oat bran, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, oil, egg and molasses.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and make sure it’s mixed through before putting in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line three baking trays with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and space them evenly on each cookie sheet. Press down with palm of hand to make half inch thick rounds. Sprinkle tops lightly with flaked almonds. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

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Holistic Wexford’s Website is Now Live!

New website for Wexford natural health fans !!!!!

holistic wexford logo

We’re lucky in Wexford to have such numbers of dedicated and knowledgable natural health practitioners, from yoga teachers to aromatherapists, from homeopaths to nutritional therapists. There’s no shortage of choice for anyone who wants to go down the natural healing route under the guidance of a qualified therapist. It was a natural progression when a number of these therapists banded together a short while ago to work together to promote themselves and Wexford as a ‘healing destination’.
We’re really thrilled to announce the next step on Holistic Wexford’s journey – the group’s website has just been launched! To quote from the homepage “Holistic Wexford is a group of over 50 Complementary Therapists, Fitness Providers, Health Food shops and people working in the Healing Industry. We set up our group in September 2014 with a goal to building a directory of Holistic Professionals, also to connect with like-minded people to create a support network for each other.”

Natural-Healing image

At last a central information source on everything in the natural healing world that’s taking place in and around the County. Classes and courses, workshops, a ‘who’s who’ of natural healing in Wexford with an exhaustive list of practitioners’ biographies, healing methods and contact details, it’s all here! Not everyone’s on there yet but a resource like this can only grow stronger and more representative of the natural health community over time.
How we look after ourselves is a matter of choice but if you want to keep abreast of what’s happening locally in the natural health and healing field you’ll certainly want to check out and make the most of this amazing new resource of local knowledge.


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Product Review – Body Balance for a Healthy Heart

Stacked Stones

Local innovation leads to a new heart health supplement

For over 10 years now David Burke has run a very successful naturopathic practice in Waterford, offering services including acidity and allergy testing, nutritional medicine, NLP and hypnotherapy. I spoke to Wexford man StephenBody Balance image Carr with whom David recently set up Celtic Nutrition. The Company’s aim is to bring David’s unique nutritional supplement formulas to the Irish marketplace. The first of these, Body Balance for a Healthy Heart, has just hit the shelves and we’re delighted to be stocking it in Only Natural.
My impression from speaking to Stephen is that David is more than passionate about his formulas, taking as long as it takes to get the right nutrients, in the right forms and dosages, in the right ratios and from the right sources for optimum benefits! Body Balance for a Healthy Heart is the result of long years of clinical practice and three years of product research.
According to the Company website “Most cardiovascular problems are created by one or all of three elements: blocking of arteries, stiffening of blood vessels and blood thickening. The ingredients of our “Healthy Heart” product have been specifically chosen and blended to combat these three elements.” Interestingly, although cardiac health is the main focus of Healthy Heart it has also been found to benefit sports/athletic performance as well as mood and clarity of mind.
It has a very comprehensive list of ingredients so I’ll just touch on some of the main ones here. See for the full picture including testimonials.

read more →

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Healthy Heart Naturally – more than COQ10 and Fish Oils Supplements?


As Ireland continues on the road to becoming Europe’s most obese nation avoidable deaths and diminished quality of life due to heart disease are still part of our health climate. Better heart health is achievable through lifestyle choices and, where applicable, preventative and remedial supplementation. Coronary heart disease involves damage and narrowing of arteries and veins resulting in the heart having a more difficult job to fulfill its function of pumping blood around the body resulting in an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Firstly reduce your exposure to the risk factors that predispose to heart disease. These include being overweight, smoking, excessive stress, insufficient exercise, raised cholesterol and diabetes.

A heart healthy diet includes lots of whole grains and vegetables, healthy fats from fish and vegetable sources, soluble fibre to both regulate the digestion and reduce cholesterol (oats and oat products like oat bran and oatcakes come to mind here) and heart healthy herbs such as garlic and turmeric.
Hawthorn is a very effective and quick acting remedy for high blood pressure.
If elevated cholesterol is a problem due to lifestyle or hereditary causes Red Yeast Rice (taken with COQ10 which is sometimes included in the supplement), Plant Sterol tablets (Irish made brand Zerochol comes to mind) and Soya Lecithin can all be beneficial.

hearth health diet image
Ensure healthy levels of both calcium and magnesium. Calcium aids the heart’s read more →

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The Seeds of Change in Only Natural?

Irish Seed Savers image

We’re thrilled to have just started working with Irish Seed Savers the conservation charity based in Co. Clare whose remit is to save and disseminate Irish Native varieties of fruits and vegetables, trees, herbs and flowers. They play a major role in helping to conserve Ireland’s native biodiversity and without them many of our native varieties would now be extinct. This is an ongoing and vital job and we think they deserve all our support!

“What’s the difference between us and other suppliers of vegetable seed?” they ask. 

“Companies that are bigger, who have a more commercial approach to selling seeds, generally buy them in cheap from Holland and other European countries then supply their own packaging. All our seeds are completely organic, open pollinated (this means you can harvest your own viable seeds from the resulting plants) and Irish grown, as natural as you can get”

Irish Wild Flowers
That’s good enough for us! Come in and check them out, our initial order will consist of seeds suitable for sowing in this, the second half of the year. And what do you get from the experience? I can think of few things more therapeutic or rewarding than watching a seedling that I’ve sown emerge from the soil. Hortitherapy maybe? Take it a step or two further and you could contribute to you and your family’s diet with real, wholesome, tasty food that you’ve grown yourself, Mother Earth is good if we work with her.
Great oaks from tiny (native Irish) acorns grow!
Open Pollinated Seeds
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