Why I support ethical brands like Pukka Herbs

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A decade ago, buying organic tea, activated nuts and kombucha used to only be possible in hippie health food stores. But in the last couple of years, lots has changed and more and more health, sustainability and eco-conscious brands have gone from niche to mainstream.

And 2018 has seen lots of changes! From being able to find healthy bliss balls at 7/11 to my go-to superfoods and organic Pukka teas being stocked at Coles, some of my favourite brands have been catapulted into the mainstream domaine. These brands are shaking off the tag of exclusivity once associated with the wellbeing sectors and are making themselves accessible to everyone.

The power of a brand with a purpose that's beyond just profit has never been clearer; especially as us Millennials are longing for brands that do good. I remember reading “Earth Is Hiring” by Peta Kelly and thinking AH-MEN when Peta was inviting our generation to give a sh*t about each other and our earth. As she says, “Our planet isn’t a place for us to holiday, but a place of permanent residence with the requirement that we nurture and love our Mother Earth.”

With news like Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and publicly stating he doesn’t believe in climate change, it can feel like we’re taking steps back, but I wholeheartedly believe that we are moving in the right direction. When doing research for this post, I was really impressed that 63% of consumers would choose an eco-conscious brand over a mainstream brand (UK survey).

I definitely have noticed this shift in conscious consumerism - both in myself and my friends/family. Not only are more people taking measures to improve their health, but in doing so they are also looking for products that support our planet. We vote with our money, and more people are using this power to proactively support brands who’s values they align with. And so, these “niche” health products are slowly becoming available in mainstream retailers. Obviously there’s still a long way to go, but there are options! One of the brands that I want to celebrate today for the incredible job that they do, and for successfully going from niche to mainstream is: Pukka Herbs.

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I’ve been drinking Pukka’s yummy 100% organic medicinal grade herbal teas ever since I moved to Australia and have always admired them for their ethos. I already knew a little bit about their sustainability program and best practices before writing this article, but when I actually looked into the specifics, I was honestly blown away by their dedication to protecting the environment, supporting the communities and also their transparency.

If you’re already a Pukka Herbs fan, there’s some good news: some of their top flavours are now not only available at independent health food stores across Australia, but also in Coles. Yaaay! The flavours available are: Detox, Mint, Ginger, Lemon Ginger Manuka Honey, Turmeric Gold and Night Time.

At the moment I’m loving their Lemon Ginger & Manuka Honey tea because I’ve been sick on and off, and this tea is a great immune booster thanks to the lemon and ginger. Manuka honey has traditionally been used for improving digestive issues and also has many antioxidant benefits. Plus, it’s a great tea for a pitta-vata dosha like myself (you can do a Pukka dosha quiz here). Pukka actually blend all their teas using the wisdom of Ayurveda, meaning that the teas are tailored to help solve different health issues through the power of the herbs they use. I think a lot of people don’t realise just how powerful herbs actually are and what a great addition they are to naturally helping with all sorts of health issues.


Why Pukka Herbs truly walks the talk

Pukka truly walk the talk when it comes to all things sustainability, fair trade and organic production. Their whole founding philosophy is “built on the principle of doing good through commerce bringing positive change into the world through a genuine contribution to global equality, ending poverty and protecting the environment.” The word “Pukka” actually stands for authentic in Hindi, which I think is such a beautiful name. Translated into action, this looks like this:

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  • Everything Pukka creates – even the string on their tea bags – is certified organic. Saaaaay what?! Prior to learning this it hadn’t even crossed my mind that this was a factor to consider.

  • You won’t find pesticides, GMO or artificial flavours in their teas.

  • Pukka is a certified B Corp. What this means is that they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. Collectively, B Corps across the world lead a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good. How good!

  • The packaging is FSC certified and is 100% biodegradable. FSC is a certification that shows consumers that a brand operates in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible way.

  • Pukka gives back in many different ways. Here’s just a few:

    • 1% of all profits go straight to environmental causes. In 2017, over $752.000 AUD were donated to environmental charities.

    • Pukka has a Fair For Life certification, which guarantees a respect of human rights and fair working conditions as well as respect of the ecosystem and promotion of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture practices.

    • $262.000 AUD were invested into community fair premium funds helping the producers and local communities where the herbs are grown.

  • For the first time, Pukka has mapped out their carbon footprint, breaking down their total carbon output from 'crop to cup'. It’s not only cool that Pukka chooses to be this transparent, it’s also really insightful and made me understand a lot more about the production cycle.

    • But you know what was the most shocking? The biggest carbon impact from crop to cup is actually us consumers boiling our kettles - 49% of the total carbon footprint! This is because most people boil twice as much water as they actually need simply because they don’t think about it and just boil a full kettle. Ufff…Just think about the difference it would make if we all only boiled the exact amount that we need.

If you’re a keen bean, you can ready more about everything Pukka has achieved recently in this 2017 sustainability report or in this summary leaflet.

I truly hope that more and more brands like Pukka will go from niche to mainstream, so that more people will become conscious consumers and make better choices for their health, our communities and our planet. We all have the power to vote with our money, so let’s make sure to make the right choices and support the right kind of businesses!

*this post was written in friendly collaboration with Pukka Herbs Australia.

18 Things You Might Not Know About Me

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My first blog post on the new website yeeeew! Some of you may be following me since the beginning, but there’s a few new faces around (hiiiii) so I thought I’d share a bit more about myself on here.

If you have more questions, feel free to comment below and I’d love to answer!

  1. I speak three languages and have never lived in one place for more than three years at a time. I’ve had the amazing privilege of calling Germany, Switzerland, Paris, London, Dubai, the US and now Australia, my home. 

  2. I work full-time for a brand entertainment agency whilst having my own health coaching business and wellness blog on the side. The side hustle is real!

  3. My favourite motto to live by is: “You don’t have the be the same person you were five minutes ago.” This quote has accompanied me from the beginning of my recovery journey. It reminds me to not fall into the “all or nothing mentality” and that I am in control of my mindset at all times.

  4. I’m a morning person and honestly can’t think of a better way to start my day than with a workout. It just gets me into a good mood and sets me up for the rest of the day. 

  5. My alarm is set for 5:20am, even on weekends.

  6. I used to drink up to 5 coffees a day and smoke half a pack of cigarettes! Far out, how times have changed.

  7. Phil is my boyfriend of 7+ years. We met in the first week of uni and hit it off straight away. He says he had to fight for me for the first three months because I didn’t want to commit, but in my mind I was set on him straight from the beginning. I don’t know how I lucked out as much as I did with him, but we’re the best of friends and life partners.

  8. His family has moved around almost as much as mine has. His parents currently lives in Thailand and his sister in Uganda.

  9. I’m such a homebody and always prefer staying in over going out. I don’t mind a cheeky glass of wine with friends, but I prefer a relaxed environment where you can have soul-nourishing conversation rather than screaming at each other over deep house music.

  10. Next bucket list travel destinations are New Zealand and Japan.

  11. I’ve got a laundry list of allergies: bees, antibiotics, hair and eyebrow dye and ant bites, just to name a few. I’ve been in the hospital numerous times for allergic reactions, the craziest probably being when I coloured my eyebrows and woke up not being able to open my eyes because my face was THAT swollen.

  12. I’ve lived in Australia for over 2 ½ years and my family hasn't visited me once! Shame on them…They finally booked their flights for next year March and I’m already plotting the entire itinerary.

  13. I have food stains on 95% of my clothes, being clumsy is a daily struggle and I have a skill for loosing my keys and travel cards.

  14. I have one younger sister (5 years apart) who is adopted from the US. She has the most beautiful Afro hair, although she hates it.

  15. I love playing the “Where are you from"?” guessing game with people. Top guesses usually are: Irish, Scottish, Canadian, American or Swedish. Because I was in an international school system for most of my education, my accent is a weird mumbo jumbo of all kinds of languages.

  16. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. You don’t have control of everything that happens to you, but what you do have control over is how you react in every situation. It’s something I constantly need to remind myself when sh*%t hits the fan, but life is so much easier with this outlook.

  17. I’ve been off the pill for 6 ½ years and only ever took it for about half a year. I realised pretty quickly that I just wasn’t myself on it and that I didn’t want to go through life putting daily hormones into my system. I’ve never looked back!

  18. My favourite productivity hack is called Pomodoro’s. It’s a time management technique where you use a timer to break down your work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short 5-10 minute breaks. During those 25 minutes, there’s no getting up, no Insta scrolling, no distractions, just powering through! Because it’s such a short time, it’s easy to commit and I tend to get my best work done this way.

I hope you enjoyed these little fun facts,

Stef x

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Let's Talk About Sleep, Baby

Let's Talk About Sleep, Baby

You can sleep when you’re dead.”

“There is no rest for the weary.”

In today’s society sleep is totally underrated. In fact, sleep deprivation is almost worn as a badge of honour. I hear people bragging about how they pulled an all-nighter or get away with sleeping 4 hours a night all the time. I used to be one of them.

But the truth is, in order for you to perform to the best of your ability you need to get deep, restorative rest every single night. The average person needs between 7-8 hours of rest each night, and the mountain of studies proving this fact is undeniable.

What You Can Do With A Coaching Degree From IIN

What You Can Do With A Coaching Degree From IIN

As many of you know, I studied with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and qualified as a Health Coach in 2016. Every week I get emails and DM’s from you guys asking me for feedback and advice on IIN, so I thought it beneficial to offer some more unbiased and authentic opinion on the pros and cons of the course and offer an insight into where a path in health coaching can take you.

I did write a lengthy blog post last year outlining all the general information about the course like what the program entails, duration, cost, time commitment etc, so definitely have a read through that bit first if you are serious about learning more.

How To Navigate Love And Eating Disorders

How To Navigate Love And Eating Disorders

For about two years, I struggled with my inner daemons on my own.

That is, with my eating disorder, of course.

It was a debilitating feeling, knowing that no one else knew that side of me. I wanted to let someone in, but at the same time I couldn’t think of anything worse than someone finding out the truth.

When I finally found someone who I could confide in – and who didn’t seem to care in the slightest that I had “issues” – it changed the way I dealt with my problems. I finally let someone in. That person was Phil.

My Body Journey And Where I Am Right Now

My Body Journey And Where I Am Right Now

"I've been underweight, I've been chubby, I've been skinny fat, I've been super lean, I've been at the peak of my physical fitness and then lost it all again. All along this journey, I've hated my body, loathed it, accepted it, then loved it, then hated it again, wanted it to be skinnier, then stronger, fitter, more flexible, and the list goes on...

3 Recovery Techniques You Should Try

3 Recovery Techniques You Should Try

As you all know, I’m BIG on trying out new fitness, recovery and wellness modalities, so I was super excited when Shaun from Koa Recovery first reached out to me. That was almost a year ago, and since then I’ve become a strong proponent of the amazing services they offer. So I wanted to share those experiences with you and tell you why these recovery modules are so amazing, how they work and how you benefit from them as well.

Detox Time With Lucky You Cleanse

Detox Time With Lucky You Cleanse

Let's draw a scenario here quickly: you generally eat very healthy, exercise regularly and pride yourself on being nutritionally savvy. You've normally got your diet down to a T, but lately you've been feeling a bit sluggish. You've been indulging a bit more than usual, had more coffee than usual, and the weekend extravaganzas with wine and chips is taking it's toll as well.

In comes: a juice cleanse.

My First Bootcamp Experience – 6W2S

My First Bootcamp Experience – 6W2S

As you guys may have seen on my Instagram over the last couple of weeks, I've been doing a 6-week boot camp challenge. In fact, I'm already done with the first round and have decided to go for round 2 because I loved it so much. So I thought it might be time to talk a little bit about what exactly I'm doing, why I'm doing it, why it's so great and what I've learned in the process.

13 Life Lessons I Learnt At YTT – Part 2

13 Life Lessons I Learnt At YTT – Part 2

Ever since coming back from India, I feel like I’ve stepped into a freedom I can’t explain, can’t quite put into words.

In Part 1 of this post, I’ve talked about some of the great things that YTT has taught me - celebrating the small victories, practicing gratitude daily, how expectations ruin everything and how we should just still more often.

Today I’m sharing some more, and some very deep, experiences that have helped shape and shift my mindset ever since I returned.

I've trialled the Eat Fit Food 3-day vegan reset plan... This Is What I Thought

I've trialled the Eat Fit Food 3-day vegan reset plan... This Is What I Thought

Once September hits, it seems like time flies by and before you know it, it's already Christmas. Am I the only one that feels like the last couple of weeks have just gone by in no time? It's all a bit of a blurr to be honest. Fair enough, I've had my hands full with my full-time job, coaching, teaching rooftop yoga at The Old Clare (tickets for next week via Eventbrite), daily workouts, events and collaboration, but seriously, TIME IS FLYING. It's kinda scary.

13 Life Lessons I Learnt at YTT – Part 1

13 Life Lessons I Learnt at YTT – Part 1

6 weeks have passed since I did my Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. Certified yogi: tick

The one question I get after "How was it?" is this: "Did it transform your life like everyone said it would?"

In other words, they want to know if I've come back a zen AF yogi that has found enlightenment at the end of the tunnel.