Ger's Monthly Update Only Natural

Would you buy tahini from this man?

We would and here’s why. Meet Nikolas Papadopoulos. Nikolas is Greek and grew up with a love of the unadulterated foods of his homeland. Having moved to Ireland he set up El Greco Foods in 2013. As his website says :
“Drawing inspiration from the Greek culture of food we travel the country to find the people whose produce we put on the table. Our aim is to offer products that are natural, nutritious, flavoursome and ethically sound.”
We’re so with you on that Nikolas and we’re thrilled to have just become stockists of El Greco’s amazing food offering.
Nikolas Papadopoulos Only Natural
From chatting with Nikolas I discovered how important it is for him to personally get to know the producers who’s foods he brings to the Irish market such as Mihalis Tzortzis the producer of his Olvia organic olive oil.

Nikolas Papadopoulos Only NaturalOther things I learned included :
Green olive oil exists, a pressing of the youngest olives. This is the one to use to anoint your salads and pastas etc, it’s so special that it would be a sin to cook with it.
There are walnuts and walnuts. His Adam Gardens organic walnuts taste like pure silk without the slightest hint of bitterness. If you’re making a salad where the nuts can be the making of it, these are the nuts to buy.
There’s tahini and tahini. His organic tahini is so bursting with flavour that it puts other tahinis in the shade.
Halva (a traditional Greek sweet made from sesame seeds and sugar) is perhaps not for every day but, what the heck, if you’re going to enjoy a little sweetness, let it be natural.
So chop the sweetest tomatoes you can find, slice a little feta, sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano and be generous with the green olive oil, it’s not quite the same as eating it on a beech on Kos but you know what I mean! There is, literally, a price to pay and artisan wholefoods like these do command a higher premium than their more commercially produced and adulterated cousins but when you taste them you’ll know that they’re not the same thing.

Our new offering of organic herbs from The Ethical Gardener

Last autumn I got a sample of some potted basil plants from this small company operating out of north Co. Wexford.
Like most of us I’ve bought the equivalent from the Supermarket and, as a rule, I’d expect to get two or three weeks out of them. The Ethical Gardener’s plants are still sitting on my window sill (perhaps looking a little bedraggled 6 months later) but there nevertheless and they’ve lifted many’s the tomato salad and bowl of pasta in the meantime. So I know at firsthand that these organic herbs are pretty special and have decided to add them to our offering. We currently have various basils, lemon balm, parsley, watercress, thymes and sorrel and I’m sure the guys will come up with many more ways of enlivening meals with their amazing herbs over the summer ahead!
I highly recommend checking them out next time you’re in the shop!
Ethical Gardener Lemon Balm Only Natural

Therapist Profile – Rachel Collins, Ayurvedic Healer

The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Ayurvedic medicine, as practiced in India, is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world and its practices, alongside those of Western medicine, still inform the healthcare practice of a large part of the Indian subcontinent’s sizable population. To an extent these practices have become known in the West and certain natural healthcare companies’ (Pukka comes to mind) philosophies and products are firmly based in Ayurvedic Tradition.
Rachel Collins Only Natural
Here in Wexford Ayurvedic help is also on hand for those who want it in the form of practitioner Rachel Collins who runs Elysium Sanctuary in Newbawn. Although other therapies such as Tai Chi and Yoga are taught at Elysium (indeed Rachel told me she’s in the process of developing her own yoga style named Vivaha, based on what she’s seen work for clients) I had the sense from talking to Rachel that Ayurveda is central to what she offers to those looking for a way to better health. As with many practitioners personal ill health was what brought Rachel to an exploration of Ayurveda as part of her own healing journey and, impressed by just how well it worked for her, Rachel now seeks to pass it’s wisdom onto others.

And what’s the key to the Ayurvedic approach, from talking to Rachel I think it has to be better self knowledge. The theory is that everyone’s physical, emotional and spiritual makeup is determined by the balance within them of the five elements earth, water, air, fire and spirit.  The elements in Ayurveda combine to form Doshas.  How these Doshas manifest  in our makeup is called Constitution.   We all have elements of all three doshas within us but usually one or two will tend to be dominant, for example Pitta/Kapha or Vata/Kapha.  Knowing our unique Constitution in Ayurveda is key to health.

Vata Dosha:

Vata people tend to be thin, dry and cold. Vatas think fast and are very changeable. Because vatas are creative and excitable they can become easily depleted and anxious if they don’t have proper grounding.  Vata people need routine; especially in sleep and diet. Foods that are especially helpful for vata types include warming and heavier foods such as soups, cooked vegetables, healthy oils and dairy products.

Pitta Dosha:

Pitta people generally have a medium build and reddish complexions. They tend to be driven and focused but can also be easily angered and tend towards perfectionism.  Because pitta people tend to have a lot of “heat” they can be prone to inflammatory conditions (rashes, ulcers etc) and can tend to overwork. Remedies that would help balance heat in pitta types would be to decrease heating food like stimulants, alcohol and spicy food and increase cooling activities and foods like aloe, raw vegetables and meditation.

Rachel Collins Only Natural

Kapha Dosha:

Kapha people move slower than the other types but they are grounded and reliable. They generally have larger body types and good stamina.  When kapha people are out of balance they tend towards forms of mucus congestion or digestive sluggishness (referred to as “damp” in Chinese Medicine). To counter this tendency Kapha people benefit from movement and pungent foods.

So, a philosophy who’s aim is the help the individual to become aware of their own makeup and live the life that suits them, I love the simplicity of it!

An initial session with Rachel (which costs €80 with follow ups at €50 to €60) lasts for about 1 .5 hours and involves her taking a full medical history. She told me that much can be learned about an individual’s constitution by observation of the pulse, the tongue and even a person’s bone structure, teeth, hair colour and skin, whether or not they can easily gain or lose weight and how their sleep patterns are. Recommendations are made regarding lifestyle and diet and, if necessary herbs can be used to bring the body back into balance. However Rachel’s method of working is always to encourage people to make small, gradual changes so that improvements happen over time and this seems very wise to me.

Elysium Sanctuary Rachel Collins Only Natural

If you’d like to know more check out elysiumsanctuary.com as well as anadiayurveda.com or  contact Rachel on 087 9233164. You can also pop into the shop on Friday 13th of April from 10.30am when we’ll be hosting one of our coffee mornings when you can chat with Rachel about how Ayurveda, Yoga or any of the therapies Elysium offers could be beneficial to you.

Quest Supplements, more value for you and an amazing competition

Quest Only Natural

With bases both in the Middle East and in the UK Quest have been manufacturing high quality natural supplements including nutritional and botanical products and probiotics since 1982 and Only Natural is proud to have stocked them since we first opened our doors in 1985.

We’re delighted to be able to offer our Quest customers extra value from now on with the recent introduction by the Company of the Quest Loyalty Card. With every 5 Quest products you buy from us we’ll give you the choice of one of their top 10 sellers (including the amazing Kyolic Garlic, how we love that product!) absolutely free! We can’t wait to start giving them away!

On top of this, the Company’s running a rather cool competition between now and the end of April. You could win a trip for 2 for 4 nights to Dubai. All you do to enter is fill out and send away the freepost competition entry we give you any time you purchase 2 products from the Quest Range. It couldn’t be simpler and you could be packing your bags for a fun packed trip before you know it.

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