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Enhance your yoga practice with essential oils


one of tw o chocolate vegan g from Cho ift sets cola and Love te



“Why I decided to go vegan” Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff


EVERY YOUNG PERSON DESERVES A SAFE NIGHT'S SLEEP 1 in 4 homeless applications in Scotland last year were made by young people. They need your help to move on from homelessness for good. Join us on October 26th as we celebrate 25 years of our Edinburgh Sleep Out. For just one night, we ask you to swap your bed for a sleeping bag and support our work to ensure that no young person in our city is denied their human right to a safe home.             #SleepOutEdinburgh

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Meet the team the August/September issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine. We’re delighted to bring you a fantastic range of features centred around our vegan theme. Find out how to enhance your yoga practise with essential oils, which beauty brands really are cruelty-free, how to create the perfect home spa and discover whether going vegan is really the only way to save the planet. We’ve been really lucky to have some amazing contributors this month, including Jacqui Curley of Best of Scotland Holidays, who helped to review our Edinburgh hotels for our Hot in the City feature; Britain Magazine editor Sally Coffey, who dived in at the deep end for our Wild Swimming round-up, and fermenting foodie Janice Clyne. We’re also delighted to introduce our new Ask Ali series, in which nutritional therapist Ali Cullen, who works with A.Vogel, will endeavour to answer all your health questions starting with the menopause.

Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor

Hannah Hamilton Editorial Assistant

And we have a brand new columnist! Marie O’Neill, who specialises in mindfulness and emotional wellbeing, is pleased to be able to share her very first column entitled ‘The quest for inner happiness’ with us on page 42. Feel free to get in touch and share your news, thoughts and opinions with me at In the meantime, happy reading!

Katrina Mather Columnist


Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor, Holistic Scotland Magazine Pamela Spence Columnist

Holistic Scotland Magazine Email: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Published by Lynda Hamilton Communications, 14 West Vows Walk, Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1RX

Publishing Editor: Lynda Hamilton Parker Editorial Assistant: Hannah Hamilton Design & Production: Adam Pajdzik, Print & Distribution: Gladstone Media Next issue: October/November 2018

DISCLAIMER: The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only and are not intended to replace medical care. Always check with your GP before embarking on any new nutritional or fitness programmes and before trying any of the remedies featured in this magazine. Always seek medical advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking any medication before following any advice featured in this magazine. Although the publisher has made every effort to include and recommend products and services which are sustainably packaged, vegan and cruelty-free, please note it is not always possible to tick every box. Always visit the product website to check the nature of its packaging, along with its vegan and cruelty-free credentials.

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Ali Cullen Columnist

Marie O’Neill Columnist


August/September 2018 12

What’s new in natural health?


Ask Ali – your menopause questions answered


Why everyone’s talking about fermented foods



“Why I decided to go vegan” – Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff


Eat your way to a sustainable lifestyle Easy vegan midweek recipes

14 34 54 56


Columnist Katrina Mather – For the love of juice


Discover the botanicals behind the gin



Columnist Marie O’Neill – your emotional wellbeing


Five ways to find calm in a frantic world


Eco watch



Embrace the healing power of trees


Wild swimming in Scotland

Why nature’s tiny workers need your help


Forest bathing for beginners

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Plant power

August & September are great months to...

Eat strawberries Wimbledon might be over but, if the good weather continues, you can expect to see British strawberries in season until the end of September. Not only are they packed with juicy, sweet flavour, they’re a great source of fibre and vitamins, as well as manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, copper, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, a handful of just seven strawberries (80g) is thought to provide your recommended daily amount of Vitamin C. They’re also lower in sugar than you might expect and are a top source of fruit antioxidants. Eat them as they come or add them to a smoothie for lots of health-boosting benefits.

Snack on gac It is said that the exotic, melon-like gac fruit, which comes from Vietnam, contains some of the highest concentrations of natural lycopene and betacarotene of any known fruit or vegetable. gac fruit, which also contains high levels of Vitamin E, is reported to contain up to 70 times more lycopene than tomatoes and up to 10 times more beta-carotene than carrots. While it’s been appreciated for centuries by the Vietnamese people for its myriad of health benefits, gac fruit has only just started receiving international attention – having recently been dubbed the ‘fruit from heaven’. Scientific research suggests it can help to improve skin, hair, nails and eyes, while global studies have found that consuming lycopene-rich foods can help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and boost the immune system. But don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on a pile of gac because Only Gac Fruit has launched the natural antioxidant ‘wonder’ oil as a supplement in gel capsule form. 06 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


Get watering Make sure your plants – whether in the garden or at the allotment – are well watered this August. Try to water them in the evening when it’s cooler to avoid evaporation. Rumour has it that watering at night can reduce watering by 50%.

Explore Edinburgh’s new gin botanical garden If you’re a gin-lover, this is a great time to explore the botanicals behind your favourite drink at The Old Curiosity Distillery’s newly-launched gin botanical garden. The botanical garden, which is the nation’s first of its kind, is set within a 7.5-acre Secret Herb Garden nestled at the foot of the Pentland Hills. Here, along with scores of juniper bushes and the largest collection of apothecary roses in the UK, you will find all the other ingredients which go into creating the magical, all-natural, colour-changing Secret Garden gin range. Find out more on page 38.

Pack a picnic National Picnic Week might have come and gone, but that’s no reason ditch your tartan blanket just yet. Instead, get closer to nature by dining al fresco. Glenkiln Sculpture Park – located just over seven miles west of Dumfries – has recently been crowned Scotland’s Best Picnic Spot 2018. The park was once home to six sculptures until one of them was reportedly stolen in 2013. Most of the remaining sculptures were removed for security, but the moorland setting around Glenkiln Reservoir is still said a scenic wonder.

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Dates for your diary The Vegan Roadshow, Scotland-wide Visit the Vegan Oureach Scotland team at pop-up stands around the country this summer to find out more about their work and going vegan. Newbold House, Forres – 1 September The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn – 8 September Pink Lotus Yoga Festival, Aberdeen – 29 September Culture Day, Forres – 29 September World Day for Farmed Animals, Aberdeen – 6 October Find out more at

The Vegan Roadshow

Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest for Love: The Unicorn Jams, Edinburgh – From 5 August Be among the first to experience Emma Dean and her Broken Romantics Band performing acoustic snippets of their show at various locations around Edinburgh as part of the 2018 Fringe. People of all ages are encouraged to get along to take part in the singing, learn the ‘unicorn strut’ dance, and get dressed up in their most flamboyant rainbow unicorn-inspired costumes for a chance to win free tickets to the cabaret show itself, which runs from 6 to 25 August at the Greenside. Find out more at

Ecology Centre Summer Festival, Kinghorn – 8 September Join in The Ecology Centre’s 20th anniversary celebrations on the banks of Kinghorn Loch in Fife where activities will include yoga taster sessions, Indian head massages and lots of fun for the kids, such as storytelling, pond-dipping and den-building. Stallholders are set to include Holistic Scotland Magazine, Détente Therapies, candlemaker Jo Jo Co and many more. Visit for details

International Pain Elimination Day, Edinburgh/Worldwide – 14 September Hypnotherapists across the globe will be taking part in the world’s first International Pain Elimination Day and will be offering pain-relieving therapies in exchange for donations to global children’s charity UNICEF. In Edinburgh, Susan Watson of Perfect Solutions Coaching will be joining forces with other therapists in the city to offer individual therapy sessions at the Liberi Centre on Cranston Street. To find out more, email 08 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Clinical Psychotherapy Hypnotherapy Multi-Modal Psychoanalysis Mindfulness Therapy, Coaching MBCT, MBSR, CBT, DBT, CBASP Holistic Therapy based around NICE recommended & Research Evidenced Methods

Specialist in long term Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression, Mood disorders, Stress & Anger Spirituality/belief , LGBTQI*, BDSM

For Free Information Email: Fully Registered, Insured and Accredited

Edinburgh – Glasgow – Falkirk – Skype

A few of our favourite things… Sun Chlorella Cream

Fuelled with algae goodness – aka Chlorella Growth Factor – Sun Chlorella Cream has been designed to nourish and protect your most exposed organ (your skin).Sun Chlorella is not only a favourite of celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, it provides the skin with more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, healthy fats, and chlorophyll. It can reportedly help to smooth the skin and protect against free radicals more effectively than Vitamin E. It’s also free of parabens and propylene glycerol. Find out more at

I LOVE Signature Collection

I Love Cosmetics has launched six brand new signature scents across its bath and beauty range - and we love them all! The collection comprises fragranced body washes, body mists, vibrant bath salts, luxury body butter, and hand and nail cream - each of which is available in Elderflower Fizz, Vanilla Milk, English Rose, Violet Dreams, Glazed Raspberry, and Exotic Fruits. They’re also vegan-friendly and paraben free. Shop the range at

The Great British Porridge Co

Naturally sweet, vegan, dairy and gluten free, the Great British Porridge Co’s range of delicious, 100% natural instant porridges are high in protein and fibre and full of natural goodness, making breakfast even easier and more nutritious. Crammed with the best, ethically-sourced fruit, nuts and seeds, as well as British wholegrain oats, these naturally-delicious porridges come in three nutritious flavours: Goji Berry & Pumpkin Seed, Blueberry & Banana and Strawberry & Peanut Butter. Just tear open the pack, add boiling water and, in 60 seconds, you can tuck in! Check out

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Cocofina Organic Coconut Oil 10ml Sachets

These 10ml coconut oil sachets are great for removing make-up, including waterproof mascara, on-thego, as well as protecting the skin and hair from sun damage and soothing sun burns. They’re perfect for slipping into your bag or purse no matter how light you’re travelling and the oil can be used as a natural primer or skin moisturiser. But that’s not all! The coconut oil is vegan-friendly and certified by the UK Soil Association and has won many Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food – making their handy size great for cooking or, our personal favourite, oil pulling when you’re away from home. Pick up a pack of 7 for less than £10 at

Sukin Signature skincare

Sukin’s Signature range is made in Australia using only the best ingredients, which include cold-pressed, solvent-free oils, essential oils and 100% natural botanical extracts of the highest grade. Its products are gentle enough for even the most sensitive of skin and (trust us), after trying them, you’ll be hard-pushed to find something better for your daily skincare regime. Our must-have daily skincare trio comprises the Foaming Facial Cleanser, Hydrating Mist Toner (which is especially good on hot days), and Facial Moisturiser. Stockists include Holland & Barrett and TK Maxx, or you can browse the full range at

BLOGGER OF THE MONTH Janice Clyne first came across fermented foods in 2011 when she was studying Macrobiotics and has been hooked ever since. Her fridge and cupboards are full of ferments bubbling away – a bit like a mad scientist! She’s a dab hand at making sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, sour dough and more and was experimenting and obsessing over ferments years before we even realised it was a ‘thing’. Read her quick guide to fermented foods on page 20 and check out the blog at for recipes and more.

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What’s new in natural health? Green, black and oolong tea could boost weight loss

New research suggests that drinking tea could help us to lose weight by increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut. According to women’s health expert Dr Catherine Hood, who is a member of the Tea Advisory Panel, an in-vitro study has shown that green, black and oolong tea extracts all enhance the growth of beneficial human intestinal bacteria. Overall, the evidence suggests that tea and its polyphenol ingredients may have prebiotic activity – changing the ratio of types of bacteria in the gut which, in turn, may contribute to weight loss.

Brits consume an extra 1,000 calories on holiday

Brits scoff close to 1,000 extra calories a day during work trips and holidays away from home, according to new research. In fact, healthy eating goes out the window for the majority of people in the UK when they are out and about. The report also suggests that a third of adults who are regularly on the go increase their calorie intake to 3,000 or more a day during downtime.

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep

Poor sleep can make us do the strangest things, according to new research. A clinical study of people who regularly ‘struggle to sleep’ found that they were prone to putting items such as keys, hairbrushes and the kettle in the fridge, along with pouring orange juice on their cereal when feeling sleep deprived. The research commissioned by natural health company BetterYou also found that participants had put clothes on inside out and turning up at the wrong town for work.

Link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction

Men who suffer from gum disease are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, according to a new study by the Journal of Periodontology.

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were found to correlate with reduced brain grey matter volume, especially in young women who are heavy drinkers. According to officials, the findings shed new light on the biological implications of adolescent drinking and could contribute to the development of new treatments.

Majority of Brits lack fibre

Gum disease happens when the tissues supporting the teeth swell and become sore or infected. Failure to treat it in its early stages means the disease will continue to worsen and can result in tooth loss. Finding blood on your toothbrush or in the toothpaste you spit out after brushing is a common symptom of the condition. Your gums may also bleed when you eat, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Supplements a must-have for those with bad eating habits Busy lifestyles and a reliance on fast food mean we are putting our health at risk, a new study has shown. The findings by Pharmacy Outlet have revealed that just one in four of UK adults eat the recommended minimum of at least five portions of fruit and veg each day, with 38% consuming one or more ready meals per week. The main reasons for a poor diet were convenience and an inability to cook very well.

Fifty-four per cent of Brits lack fibre in their diet, according to new research carried out by Nairn Oatcakes. Ninety-two per cent of adults polled weren’t aware of the Government’s recommended daily 30g consumption of fibre. Yet fibre aids digestion and can help prevent constipation, as well as help to control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Why daily drinking can cause everything from tooth decay to cancer Just one alcoholic drink a day changes the balance of bacteria in the mouth and can lead to a range of diseases from tooth decay to cancer, a new study has revealed. Scientists tested saliva samples from more than 1,000 adults and found that, compared to non-drinkers, those who had one or more alcoholic drinks per day saw a reduction of healthy bacteria in the mouth, with a significant increase of harmful bacteria also detected.

Drinking changes the metabolism of young people

Adolescent drinking is associated with changes in metabolite profile, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. Some of these changes

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POLLEN GOT YOU DOWN? Columnist Pamela Spence reveals which herbs are our allies in the fight against hay fever Hay fever – it’s the bane of nearly one in three people in the UK. Doctors are reporting a spike in cases this year and it is predicted that double the number will be affected by 2030. This annual trial for some can turn the most beautiful summer day to misery and leave many folks running for cover inside and away from nature. Hay fever is a well-known seasonal allergic condition where the body’s defences over-react to pollen, leaving the sufferer with an itchy, scratchy throat, sore, watery eyes, sneezing fits and runny nose. If hay fever affects you it is important to know what pollens your body reacts to most because then you can plan the season a bit better. First up is tree pollen in early spring, followed by grass pollen from mid-May to July and finally weed pollen from end of June to September. It may be that you are only triggered by one of these types. To reduce symptoms, or perhaps even get rid of them there are some simple practical measures you can take. Barrier ointments reduce

the number of pollen particles entering our noses and drying washing inside avoids pollen getting trapped in clothes and bedding. In the world of herbs we have several

allies – elderflower is the most common. The elder really is one of the most useful trees we have and its timing is exemplary. In spring and summer the tiny creamy yellow blossoms are our best defence against hay fever, and in autumn, when they turn to berries they are highly anti-viral and help us to ward off colds and even ’flu. Nettles are extremely useful as they can reduce histamine levels as can chamomile and echinacea. Drinking equal parts of echinacea, nettle and chamomile tea 2-3 times per day can really help to reduce symptoms and if you can add elderflower to that it will impact your symptoms even more. Medical herbalists can also prescribe more specialised herbs like eyebright for people who have itchy, sore eyes or baical skullcap and ephedra for very difficult cases. Ephedra is the original source of the drug ephedrine – which is basically plant adrenaline and can calm even the most outrageous of allergic symptoms. As it’s a restricted herb it’s only available for qualified medical herbalists to dispense and if your symptoms are particularly difficult to manage, it’s well worth it – so go and see your local medical herbalist if the simple approach is not enough! Nettles can help to reduce histamine levels




Pamela Spence, MNIMH FB@PamelaSpenceHerbalist To find a medical herbalist in your area go to

EAT TO BEAT THE MENOPAUSE Dr Marilyn Glenville’s 12-step hormone-balancing diet Menopause symptoms can start in the mid-40s (or earlier for some women) and include changes in the frequency or heaviness of your periods, premenstrual tension, mood swings and irritability. As your body produces less and less oestrogen, other symptoms might appear, such as aching joints, depression, lack of energy, declining libido, weight gain, headaches and, most commonly, hot flushes and night sweats. Luckily, there are things we can do to help alleviate these symptoms – and they all lie in what we eat. Nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville talks us through her 12-step menopause-busting diet. “The menopause is a time of change and your female hormones are going to be fluctuating up and down until you come out the other side and into the post-menopause, when your hormones will stabilise,” says Dr Marilyn. “The more gradually you go through the menopause, the less hormone fluctuations you experience and the easier the transition. What you eat now to prepare yourself for this stage can make

the difference between having a difficult or easy menopause.” 1. 2. 3. 4.

Include hormone-balancing phytoestrogens in your diet Eat more Omega 3 fatty acids Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables Change from refined carbohydrates like white bread and white pasta to unrefined ones like wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta 5. Buy organic foods where possible

GET 15% OFF YOUR NEXT PURCHASE AT NATURES NATURALS Natures Naturals is the sole UK and Ireland distributor for the FemBev range of products designed for women suffering the effects of the menopause. Just visit the website at and enter the code ‘HSM18’ to claim 15% off.

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6. 7. 8. 9.

Reduce your intake of saturated fat from dairy products and meat Make sure you drink enough fluids Increase your intake of fibre Eliminate foods containing chemicals such as additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners 10. Avoid or reduce your intake of caffeine 11. Reduce or eliminate alcohol 12. Avoid refined sugar either eaten on its own or added to food “I also always recommend that women take a good-quality multivitamin and mineral to prepare for and during the menopause. A regular exercise programme, as well as eating a healthy, bone-building diet, is also crucial for warding off osteoporosis.” For more from Dr Marilyn, visit

What is the menopause? Dr Heather Currie of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists explains The menopause is the biological stage in a women’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs and the amount of oestrogen hormone in the body drops. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Each woman is different and will respond to the menopause in her own way – both physically and emotionally. Before the full onset of menopause, there is a stage known as perimenopause. This can last for four to five years or longer. Not all women have symptoms at this stage, but some women may experience a change in menstrual cycle, hot flushes and night sweats, headaches or dizziness, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, memory problems, loss of interest in sex and weight gain. This is due to the body adjusting to the decline in levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone Getting a regular good night’s sleep, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, and taking part in regular exercise and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and breathing exercises, have all been shown to improve symptoms.

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Ask Ali Nutritional therapist Ali Cullen of A.Vogel answers your health questions. First up, the menopause Q: My mum had a terrible time with her menopause and I don’t want to have the same experience. I’m now in my mid-40’s – what can I do to prepare and help myself? A: That’s a very sensible approach, as prepping for the menopause is a great way to avoid some key problems. First and foremost, your adrenal glands are capable of providing ‘back-up’ hormones to buffer the fall in oestrogen and progesterone. If you have been stressed to the hilt for years before the menopause your adrenal glands will be exhausted and less able to perform this useful function. So, now is the time to prioritise your rest and relaxation, jettisoning unnecessary tasks and focusing instead on things that support and nourish your body and emotions. Drink plenty of water, cut back on caffeine, and assess which of your regular activities are ‘heart sink’ rather than ‘heart sing’! Your adrenals

also benefit from good sleep, B vitamins, and magnesium (found in wholegrains, veggies, dried fruit and nuts). If you have had a great deal of stress to contend with, you may find that a supplement of these nutrients will help whilst you regain your balance. Q: Since being perimenopausal I’ve had increasingly sore breasts. I’ve been to the doctor and there’s nothing worrying in terms of lumps, but it’s so painful. What can I do about it? A: This is very common in the menopause and often caused by fluctuating oestrogen levels. As long as you are not on any other

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hormonal contraception/medication you could try Menopause Support tablets, which gently support oestrogen levels. Check that you aren’t dehydrated, as fluid retention makes breast pain worse. Drink plenty of plain water and cut out normal tea, coffee, and fizzy/sugary drinks. Try nettle tea or Golden Rod and Knotgrass tea instead, as these are good for fluid balance. Have you had yourself measured properly for bra size? In and after the menopause breast tissue, size and shape can change quite dramatically and an illfitting bra, especially if you wear under-wired ones, can cause breast pain too! Most big department stores offer a free service so it would be worth checking out. Q: I’ve been considering taking HRT for my menopause symptoms, although I suppose they aren’t really terrible, just annoying. What are my options? A: Whilst there are some situations where HRT is truly helpful, such as immediately posthysterectomy, it’s worth considering carefully before taking it in less extreme circumstances. I say this after seeing so many women who have found that when they eventually came off it their original symptoms came roaring back, leaving them at square one but just older! At this point it’s very hard to help with natural remedies, because the sudden withdrawal of HRT is not a ‘natural’ situation. There are fairly simple remedies available for most menopause symptoms, ranging from Sage (a nonoestrogenic remedy for hot flushes and night sweats) to soya isoflavones (a gentle oestrogenic remedy for low oestrogen symptoms). Lifestyle changes such as improving your diet, drinking more water, and taking more time for eating well and sleeping properly are also hugely helpful. Join up to the free 7 Day Menopause programme offered by A.Vogel

for masses of information and expertise. Sign up at If you do decide to take HRT then, when the time comes, come off it as slowly and gradually as possible rather than stopping it overnight.

Who was A.Vogel? Swiss-born Alfred Vogel (1902 – 1996) was a pioneer of natural health who dedicated his whole life to promoting naturopathy and herbal medicine. Today, his legacy lives on through the A.Vogel brand, which specialises in effective natural remedies and medicinal products made from freshlyharvested plants; healthy food products and dietary supplements made from organic raw materials, and reliable information surrounding natural health. Find out more at

Next issue: Ali will be answering questions on joint health. Send your questions (in confidence) to askali@ Published questions will remain anonymous. Ali will do her best to also answer questions which aren’t published. Ali’s answers are not intended to take the place of medical advice. 19 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Why everyone’s talking about fermented foods Blogger of the month Janice Clyne gives us the low-down on pre-digested, probiotic-packed foods Magic happens when foods are naturally fermented. The process harnesses the natural yeasts and bacteria found in all fruit and veg and produces high levels of probiotics (aka good bacteria) which are essential for optimum gut health. Bread, wine, beer, cheese, olives and yoghurt are all great examples of fermented foods but lately we’ve been seeing some others popping up in supermarkets which perhaps aren’t as familiar. Want to know more? Let’s start with the basics.

What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods which have undergone a microbial transformation – resulting in a food of higher nutritional value. They are pre-digested so that proteins and carbohydrates are broken down, while vitamins and minerals are made more bioavailable. B vitamins are produced and problem compounds, such as phytic acid, are broken down. That’s why naturally fermented sourdough bread is better tolerated and more nutritious than ‘normal’ yeastbased bread. Gluten is also broken down during slow fermentation.

the immune system is in the gut which, of course, is hugely affected by diet, as well as lifestyle choices and stress. The gut is populated by millions of microbes which all add up to make up our gut bacteria or ‘microbiome’. Our microbiome affects every aspect of our health and re-establishing a strong balance of good bacteria in the gut can literally improve the health of every bodily system, from the brain to the digestive system and skin and immunity and metabolism. The more good gut bacteria you have, the more benefits you enjoy. Think of it as having your own little army looking out for you – fighting off invaders, reducing inflammation, boosting mood and metabolism, digesting food, and producing vitamins.

Why is everyone raving about them?

Which ones should we eat?

Fermenting food also preserves it. Fermented foods and drinks contain the best and most diverse source of probiotics you can find. Eighty per cent of

Diversity is key and each fermented food and drink contains different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. It’s important to note that gut bacteria

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need a food source which is predominantly fibre. The western diet is sadly lacking in fibre but there’s little point in taking probiotics if you don’t feed them! Sauerkraut and fermented veg solve this problem by providing loads of probiotic bacteria, along with the veg which are high in fibre.

What’s a good beginner’s recipe? Fermented Garlic is so simple and versatile and can be added to any dip or dressing – adding loads of probiotics to a meal. The flavour mellows during the fermentation and somehow doesn’t linger on the breath. Another one to try is Pineapple, Turmeric and Ginger Kraut, which could convert even the most avid sauerkraut hater. It’s also an anti-inflammatory powerhouse and fantastic for the digestive system. Janice is a food scientist and biochemist based in Glasgow who is passionate about fermented foods. Find all her recipes, along with details of her fermented food workshops, at

How can we make our own? A little mantra to remember is “under the brine and all is fine”. It’s essential to keep actively fermenting veg under brine. This keeps oxygen out and provides the lactic acid bacteria, with the perfect conditions to grow. Once the veg are exposed to oxygen, moulds can take over and spoil your ferment. A large cabbage leaf or a plastic zip lock bag filled with brine, placed on top of your veg will hold everything under the liquid. A little glass Gu dish or ramekin is the perfect size to add on top of your cabbage leaf to weigh it all down. Use the correct size of glass jar and leave about 2.5cm space at the top. Don’t fill it right to the top and remember to place a plate underneath to catch escaping brine. 21 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

“I suffered for years with IBS until I started eating fermented foods” Former fashion designer Ruth Munro was so inspired by the benefits of fermented foods, she made a business out of it. She’s now the proud owner of The Edinburgh Fermentarium, which makes small batch krauts, kimchis, slaws and sauerkrauts. “I suffered for years with IBS,” says Ruth. “I tried cutting out wheat, dairy, the nightshade family and lots of other foods, but got little relief. Then I started eating fermented food and I felt that it put my body back in balance. It also boosted my immune system. Now I hardly ever get colds, sinusitis or the IBS that used to plague me. I was amazed by the positive effect that a couple of spoonful’s of kimchi or glass of homemade kombucha was having on my health. “Achieving a healthy gut and digestive system is key to improving health in other parts of the body. Fermented veg such as kimchi and sauerkraut are pre-digested, which makes it easier for your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals. They can regulate the appetite, reduce sugar cravings and aid digestion. Science has even found a link between good gut health

and a reduction in symptoms for those suffering from depression, Parkinson’s, autism and MS. I think we are rediscovering the benefits of this amazing traditional food and the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. “And although there are lots of health benefits to eating fermented foods, let’s not forget the amazing flavour. Fermentation creates a particular tang and complex flavours which can’t be replicated by chemical additives, vinegar or spices.” Ruth’s range of condiments are unpasteurised, raw and vegan and are free from preservatives, gluten, dairy and MSG. She also runs a series of workshops – born out of a passion for sharing the benefits of fermented foods and a healthy gut. Find out more at

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High mood food Joey O’Hare, founder of gut health deli High Mood Food in London, shares the five fermented foods everyone should have in their diet – and they all begin with a K!



A fermented tea drink that’s teeming with beneficial live bacteria. Kombucha contains the natural antioxidant properties of organic tea, as well as live bacteria and yeasts which support digestive health.

Fermented cabbage – simple as that. It’s beautifully tangy and works as a flavor enhancer in almost any dish.



A Korean-inspired mixed vegetable ferment packed with ginger, garlic and chilli, as well as other powerful flavours.

A delicious, organic fermented dairy drink – packed with probiotics. Kefir grains feed on the lactose in milk during the fermentation process, making it easier to digest and lower in natural sugar than other dairy products. Try some in your breakfast bowl or blend into a smoothie.


Sourdough bread is fermented over 48 hours to help break down the phytic acid present in flour, making it easier to digest and its nutrients more bioavailable. Sourdough has a lower GI (glycemic index) than other breads too. Find out more at 23 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Eat your way to a sustainable lifestyle It’s thought that two planets’ worth of natural resources will be needed to support the global population by 2030 and we’re slowly realising that it’s more important than ever to look at our own impact on the world we live in and how we can make a difference. The food we eat has a huge role to play – from the fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses we put on our plates throughout the year, to where it comes from in the world – and, according to many, eating sustainably is the way forward. Plant-based brand Alpro has created a handy guide on how to reduce your impact and eat your way to a greener lifestyle and more sustainable future…

Put plants first

Food production can be a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Many products also require more water and space than the cultivation of plants. Putting plants at the centre of your meals for a day can save up to 1,500 litres of water – the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of showers.

Think energy efficiency, think plant-based

We all know the importance of watching our energy consumption and small actions can make a big difference. One simple way to

reduce your individual carbon footprint is to eat more plantbased foods. Crops such as soya beans require much less energy to produce than other foods and are a high-quality plant-based protein source. For breakfast, try adding soya drink into your morning porridge, or grabbing a soya latte in your reusable coffee cup on the way to work.

Shop smart and eat leftovers

As a nation, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every 24 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


year. To avoid this unnecessary waste, make sure to shop smart and plan ahead. Try creating a shopping list for the upcoming days to make sure you buy only what you need. If you do find yourself with leftover fruit and veg, why not freeze and blitz together with a plant-based drink during the week for a delicious smoothie?

Shop local

It’s important to always shop as locally as you can. By doing so, you not only reduce the carbon footprint of your food choices, but you’re also supporting the smaller producers in your community. Your local farmers market is the perfect place to get fresh seasonal produce. When it’s not possible to get products from your region, try to make sure ingredients have been sustainably sourced. Alpro supports this practice, with 60%

of the soya in Alpro products grown in Europe close to production facilities (rather than Brazil, where deforestation is still a huge issue), and all its almonds sourced from the Mediterranean (versus drought-hit California, which is also much further afield).

Use seasonal produce

Buying seasonal food from local sources means that your food has spent less time traveling and in storage, which can significantly cut back on environmental impacts. By shopping seasonally, you’ll enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed foods, not to mention the fact that local, seasonal produce just tastes better!

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“Why I decided to go vegan” Kristina Rihanoff As a competitive dancer, former Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff has always worked hard to stay in shape and diet is fundamental to the way she looks, feels and performs. After discovering that her body functions best on a plant-based diet, she’s now top of her game and says she has never felt better. “When my partner, Ben, was really ill with glandular fever, our vegan friends suggested he try a vegan diet for at least a month to give his body time to cleanse and recover. We read extensively about adopting a plant-based diet and watched lots of documentaries before deciding to give it a go. Both of us felt amazing! It’s been a year now and we are loving the vegan lifestyle. “I had also become very aware of how polluted our minds were by myths promoted

by the food industry. But I believe it’s important to educate yourself about where food is sourced. After understanding how livestock is raised, I don’t want to eat meat any more. “Unfortunately, 20 years

ago I was told that you can only get good lean protein from chicken, eggs and fish and you have to drink milk to get calcium for your bones. Thankfully we live in a different age now where we can

find more information about dietary facts.” Kristina, who is also a qualified yoga instructor, says she hasn’t found it difficult to make the change and has even switched to vegan skincare and supplements. She’s also a brand ambassador for Forever Living, whose products she loves. “I love the taste of fresh veggies and fruit,” she says. “Forever Living’s Aloe Vera Drinking Gel is also a must. I drink it every morning on an empty stomach and it sets me up for the whole day. “I eat a lot of beans, falafels and hummus with big salads. I love making soups and I adjusted all my Russian dishes to vegan meals as well. It’s so much fun to create your own! “My favourite foods are probably hummus and carrots – and I love all types of nuts. But my guilty pleasure is vegan ice cream. Thankfully, the larger supermarkets are now offering lots of vegan options.”

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In fact, Kristina’s only challenge in pursuing her newfound vegan lifestyle is catering for her young daughter, Mila, who turned one earlier this year, and partner Ben’s twins. “It’s harder with the kids because I think everyone must make a conscious decision about the diet themselves. My daughter currently eats everything but she sees me eating lots of healthy food and has started to copy me. Vegetables, salads, fruits and nuts are what she loves the most. “I can’t say I’m really that into cooking but I do love to create my own recipes. Ben is a much better cook and has more patience with it. I’m just like all other working mums. Some days are harder than others. Ben loves cooking new, exciting things for the kids so I’m very lucky.” Despite being top of her game, Kristina says she has no plans to return to Strictly and is, instead, focusing on motherhood as well as an exciting new project with Ben. “Strictly is a great show and I spent eight wonderful years on it but it’s six months out of your life when you can’t do anything else. My priorities changed dramatically after having Mila. “Ben and I are also in the process of opening a wellbeing centre offering yoga, dancing and pilates, with a vegan café and spa. It’s a very long project but we’re excited to be creating something together.”

Photography: Joe Alvarez

EASY VEGAN MID-WEEK RECIPES GOSH’S BEETROOT BURGER SALAD Ingredients • 1 pack of Gosh! Beetroot, Kale & Quinoa Burgers • 2 courgettes • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes • 100g of tenderstem broccoli • 100g of asparagus • A handful of rocket • A handful of basil leaves • ½ cup of edamame beans • A drizzle of olive oil • Salt & pepper to taste

Method Preheat oven to electric 150°c/fan oven 120°c/gas mark 2

For the basil dressing: • 1 cup of basil leaves • ½ clove of garlic • The juice of 1 lemon • Salt & pepper to taste • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds (optional)

Reheat the oven to electric 200°c/fan oven 180°c/gas mark 4 and cook the Gosh! burger for 15-20 minutes.

To sprinkle on top: • ¼ cup of sesame seeds • ½ a teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional) • Extra basil leaves

Place the cherry tomatoes cut in half on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper and roast them for 45 minutes. To make the dressing, simply place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Heat a griddle pan on the hob with a drizzle of olive oil. Slice the courgettes into thick slices, then cook on the griddle pan until cooked through and lightly charred. Remove the courgettes and proceed cooking the asparagus, broccoli and edamame beans on the griddle pan for a few minutes until cooked through.

Toast the sesame seeds in pan on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Give the pan a shake from time to time to prevent burning. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli, asparagus, courgettes and edamame beans with the basil dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and chilli flakes (if using). To plate up the salad start by layering the rocket, all the grilled vegetables, the roasted tomatoes and the Gosh! Beetroot Burger cut into strips. Drizzle some extra basil dressing and sprinkle generously with the toasted sesame seeds, basil leaves and chilli flakes. Enjoy! Recipe: Happy Skin Kitchen. 28 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


SMOKIN’ LOTUS’ COLD SESAME NOODLE SALAD “This is a lovely refreshing side dish and a great compliment to all the other rich meat dishes normally found at a BBQ,” – Rosie Chik, Smokin’ Lotus. Serves 4-5 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes TIP: For an easier version replace the dressing with 4 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Oriental Sesame Dressing.

Ingredients • 150g dried rice vermicelli noodles • 75g sugar snaps • 150g beansprouts, rinsed and drained • ½ large cucumber • 5-6 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced • 4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped To serve: • Sesame seeds (optional) Dressing: • 3 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce • 1 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Pure Sesame Oil • 4 tsp rice vinegar

Method 1. Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain very well, put into a large bowl. 2. Blanch the sugar snaps in a small pan of boiling water for 1 minute, Drain, plunge into cold water, then drain again. Thinly slice on the diagonal, add to the noodles with the bean sprouts. 3. Wash and cut the cucumber into thin batons or use a julienne tool to make thin strips, add to the bowl with the radish, spring onion and coriander. 4. To make the dressing, mix all ingredients together. Add to the bowl and toss together 5. Turn into a serving dish and scatter over the sesame seeds.

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AVOCADO TOAST Ingredients • 2 slices of thick-cut country bread • 2 tbsp melted butter • 50g celery, diced widthwise (cut to just under 1cm chunks) • 50g Persian cucumber, thinly sliced widthwise • ½ tbsp white wine vinegar • Friendly pinch of salt • 1 tsp TABASCO® Sauce • 1 avocado • 1 tbsp sesame seeds • Flaky salt to taste • Fresh ground pepper to taste • 50g of the inner light green leaves of celery (optional) Makes 2 Servings

Preparation Brush two slices of bread with the melted butter. Lightly toast bread, if desired, but ensure bread is cooled before adding vegetable topping. In a bowl, combine the celery, cucumber, white wine vinegar, salt and TABASCO® Sauce. It should be spicy and bright in flavor. Cut the avocado in half. Use your knife, safely, to remove the pit. Take a spoon and place it between the skin and the flesh and gently move it around the top of the avocado and then down around the base in order to carve the avocado out from its skin. Place the two sides of avocado face down on a cutting board and cut each half into 5 or 6 pieces lengthwise. Fan out the two halves of the avocado.

Build your toast Using a slotted spoon, place an equal amount of the vegetable mixture on each piece of toast. Place your knife underneath the avocado fan to lift up and place on top of the toasts. Finish Avocado Toast with a healthy helping of sesame seeds, flaky salt and freshly cracked pepper. Finally – take the inner celery leaves and give them a quick toss in the remaining celery/cucumber liquid. Place on top of the toasts to give them a finishing touch. Enjoy! Recipe: Chef Jessica Koslow of Sqirl (U.S.)

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GOSH’S MOROCCAN SPRING GREEN WRAPS These wraps are a sneaky way of including lots of veggies without even realising it. They’re also another amazing example of how delicious and easy a plant-based meal can be. The Moroccan bake makes them ultra-filling, complimented with lots of colour, texture and flavour. Ingredients • 2 Gosh! Chickpea, Courgette & Moroccan Spiced Bakes • 7-8 chestnut mushrooms • 1 carrot finely grated • About 1 cup of finely sliced purple cabbage • ½ cup of sauerkraut • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice • 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce • 1 fresh chilli finely sliced (optional) • A handful of spring green leaves

For the guacamole: • 1 avocado • The juice of ½ lemon • Salt & pepper to taste For the hummus: • 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas • 1 heaped tablespoon of tahini paste • 1 clove of garlic • The juice of ½ lemon • ½ teaspoon of cumin powder • Salt & pepper to taste

Method Preheat oven to electric 200°c/fan oven 180°c/gas mark 4 Add all hummus ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, for about 2-3 minutes. Set aside. To prepare the cabbage slaw, slice the purple cabbage as finely as you can and place it into a bowl with the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt. Massage it in with your hands. Set aside. To make the guacamole simply peel and mash the avocado until you have a creamy consistency. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and mix well. Chop the mushrooms into slices and place in a pan with a splash of olive oil, tamari or soy sauce and the chopped chilli (if using). Cook the mushrooms on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until all the water has evaporated. While the mushrooms are cooking place the Gosh! Moroccan Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. To assemble the wrap: cut the end of the spring green leaf so you end up having a kind of “square”. With a sharp knife destem your spring greens. Spread the hummus on top, add three slices of the Gosh! Moroccan Bake, add a dollop of guacamole, some purple cabbage, the cooked mushrooms and the shredded carrot. Wrap the spring green as tight as you can, like a burrito. Cut the burrito into half and serve it with the leftover hummus. Irresistible! Recipe: Happy Skin Kitchen

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VEGAN MAPLE MAC AND CHEESE The ultimate comfort food gets a vegan makeover. Difficulty: beginner Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes Serves: 6

Ingredients • 350g dried macaroni • Sea salt • Black pepper • 1 onion • 100g dairy-free margarine • 85g plain flour • 1 litre unsweetened organic soya milk • 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard

• 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup • 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes • 50g vegan cheese • 5 cloves garlic • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme • Olive oil • 40g fresh breadcrumbs

Method Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted boiling water. Peel and halve the onion, then place in a small pan over a medium heat with the milk. Slowly bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Set aside. Melt the margarine over a medium heat, then add the flour, stirring continuously until it forms a roux. Add the warm milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Bring to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard, pure maple syrup and nutritional yeast flakes, grate and stir in the vegan cheese (if using). Drain and add the macaroni to the sauce, then toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish (roughly 20cm x 30cm), then set aside. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the thyme leaves, discarding the stalks. Add to a medium pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, then transfer to a food processor with the breadcrumbs and a splash of oil. Blitz until combined and roughly chopped, then sprinkle over the pasta. Place the dish in the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then serve. Recipe: Maple from Canada 32 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


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Chocolate and Love

When Richard O’Connor and Birgitte Hovmand struggled to find quality organic chocolate when pregnant with their daughter, they decided to make their own. They embarked on a journey to source only the best cacao and other premium ingredients and when their daughter was born, so too was Chocolate and Love. Eight years on, the Scottish company not only produces an award-winning premium organic Fairtrade-certified dark chocolate brand, but exports to 35 countries worldwide. So far, Chocolate and Love has won 29 Great Taste Awards and its new Pomegranate 70% bar has just picked up an award from the Academy of Chocolate. As well as the high antioxidant levels naturally found in cocoa, each chocolate bar is gluten-free, GMO-free (as all certified organic products) and without additives. The range uses cane sugar and is

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free from soya lecithin, while seven of its variants are dairy-free, making them ideal for vegans. Every aspect of the business is run as ethically as possible, with the company minimising shipping to cut down on fuel costs and using paper that‘s 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified for its wrappers, as well as using biodegradable silver inner wrappers produced with materials made from sustainably harvested wood. It also uses FLOPAK Green packing material. Chocolate and Love also supports reforestation by planting trees through


15% off for Holistic Scotland Magazine readers Visit Chocolate and

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One of two vegan gift boxes from Chocolate and Love!

Holistic Scotland Magazine has two vegan gift boxes from Chocolate and Love to give away – each of which includes a gift box comprising 4x 80g bars, a vegan gift tin filled with 5.5g napolitains and two individual vegan bars. To be in with a chance of winning, just email your name, address and telephone number, with Chocolate and Love in the subject line, to by 12 noon on 16 October 2018. Good luck!

35 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Katrina Mather

For the love of juice Juicing can be a great way of getting raw vegetables containing phytonutrients, minerals and enzymes into our bodies to help alkalise our cells and reduce inflammation Any mention of ‘juicing’ is usually met with questions and some healthy scepticism. But my first experience of juicing was a personal one. I’d been dealing with a lot of health issues as a teenager – IBS, acne, depression, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), anxiety – the list was endless. I found myself on a desperate search to find something that would make me feel better. As I began researching, I started making small changes to my diet and mindset, but the change that completely turbocharged things for me was when I started juicing. So many of us experience pain, low energy or health conditions during our lives and yet the link between physical symptoms, lifestyle and diet isn’t always that obvious. In the UK, lifestyle diseases are the

biggest killers so, the way we live, with stress and suboptimal diets, can often be a trigger for many health problems. We all know that it’s healthy to eat more vegetables. We know we should, but quite often we don’t – and most of us don’t eat enough raw vegetables. But when we harness vegetables in their raw form, the body benefits enormously from the phytonutrients, minerals and enzymes which alkalise our cells and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This is where juicing can become a gamechanger. By using a juice-extractor to separate the insoluble fibre from the vegetables’ juice, we can ‘pre-digest’ a large quantity of raw vegetables in their most potent and nutritious form. Using 80% vegetables, with 20% fruit to make the vegetables more palatable, the results people get from

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including even just one juice a day – on top of a normal diet – can be staggering, never mind the powerful results people experience on a juice cleanse or fast over a few days. Weight-loss is one of the most talked about side effects of juicing, but the list of benefits is a lengthy one. Even just adding one vegetablebased juice in the morning, on top of a regular diet, people notice and report more energy, less pain and inflammation, better sleep, improved digestion, healthier looking skin and feeling mentally brighter and calmer. I don’t think we can afford to underestimate the healing power of Mother Nature’s raw fruits and vegetables! A genuine concern from those new to juicing is the lack of fibre, but if we’re adding a vegetable-based juice on top of a normal diet, the body still gets all the fibre it needs from our other meals. The beauty of juicing is that it supplies the body with a blood transfusion-like dose of raw, alkalising, anti-inflammatory vegetables – without the fibre, the body can easily soak up and absorb the nutrients with minimal effort. There are also tremendous benefits to be seen from the occasional fast, allowing our digestive system to rest from time to time. We are seeing people prove that to be true – with the 5:2 diet, for example, where people eat less on two days of the week and report to feel much better.

A juice recipe to try 1 beetroot (raw, not precooked – fabulous for healthy blood pressure) 2 celery stalks (powerhouse of nutrition, an integral part of all my juicing recipes) 1 inch of ginger (great for digestive health, eases inflammation) ¼ lemon (peeled, but leaving the white pith) 1 carrot 1 apple

Juice or smoothie? There’s always a bit of confusion between ‘juices’ and ‘smoothies’. Juices are made with a juice-extractor, which separates the juice from the fibre. Smoothies are made with a blender where you add a liquid and keep all the fibre. Smoothies are generally more economical because you’re adding another liquid into the mix. But I nudge people with health conditions towards juicing to get more vegetables into the body. Smoothies tend to be fairly fruit-based – which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that generally we tend to be quite good at eating fruit anyway, so the aim of the game is to get more alkalising vegetables into the body. As a society we have drastically deviated from a wholefoods diet and we are seeing the change in our health as a result. Many people in first world countries are overfed but undernourished. Now, more than ever, we need to step away from dieting and start nourishing our bodies. That’s why juicing can be a lifeline for people – as a fast and powerful way to reduce inflammation. Even just making a conscious effort to nibble on raw vegetables throughout the day can make a massive difference to how we feel.

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Katrina Mather is a health educator and founder of ‘The Body Toolkit’, awardwinning health retreats in Scotland

Discover the botanicals behind the gin Earlier this year, business partners Steve Ross and Hamish Martin launched The Old Curiosity, a new Edinburgh-based distillery whose smooth and flavourful gin is 100% naturally distilled using floral botanicals free from chemicals, sugars, fruit extracts and flavour compounds. Now, they’ve gone one step further and opened Scotland’s first and only working gin botanical garden in Hamish’s stunning 7.5-acre Secret Herb Garden at the foot of the Pentland Hills. Here, along with scores of juniper bushes and the largest collection of apothecary roses in the UK, grow all the other glorious ingredients which go into creating The Old Curiosity’s magical, all-natural, colour-changing gin range. Gin lovers in Scotland can now explore and celebrate the botanicals behind their favourite drink on an extraordinary journey which embodies The Old Curiosity Distillery’s unique mantra: ‘from earth to bottle’. Steve, a mixologist, and Hamish, a renowned herbologist who studied at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, are offering tours which awaken the sense

and take gin enthusiasts through everything from hand-picking and drying the flowers, to distilling, bottling and labelling. With more than 1,000 juniper bushes and 500 different herbs and floral varieties, such as scented lemon verbena, geraniums, irises and roses, the gin garden is the ultimate tribute to nature’s magic. The opening of the gin garden coincides with the launch of two new seasonal, limited edition gins: The Old Curiosity’s Geranium & Mallow, which brings to life a selection of summery flavours, and Damask Rose – both of which are limited to 500 bottles and available at Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh. Geranium & Mallow builds on a smooth and

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are introduced. This creates a pale golden spirit which turns vibrant pink once tonic is added, bringing back the true colour of the petal. “All the work we do at The Old Curiosity Distillery – and at the garden – is made with the highest respect and love for nature,” says Hamish. “Since launching our gin range, we’ve been striving to open the distillery to the public and share with them the wonderful environment we’re blessed to work in and the passion that characterises every single one of our activities. We can’t wait to welcome gin and nature lovers to the UK’s one and only gin garden.” Find out more at

light gin base distilled from juniper, coriander, angelica and winter savoury, infused with the rich aroma of freshly distilled geraniums. Mallow flowers are then added to produce a nearly clear spirit which turns pink when tonic is added. The result is a heady but beautifully balanced gin with a soft texture. The second limited edition offering is created from the same gin base – into which distilled petals of the ancient Damask Rose (one of the oldest rose strains in the world and praised for its heady aroma)


Please drink responsibly

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Colour-changing gin with healing properties The Old Curiosity Distillery’s gin comes in three different flavours: Apothecary Rose, Lavender & Echinacea and Chamomile & Cornflower. Because they are naturally distilled, the gins keep the natural properties of the plants they are distilled from. Created from one of the oldest rose varieties in the world, Apothecary Rose has been used in herbal remedies and tinctures for over 5,000 years. It brings a subtly fragrant and elegant flavour to the spirit – as well as its colour-changing properties which see the liquid change from pale gold to vibrant pink. Lavender & Echinacea, of course, have many restorative and healing qualities and change the gin’s colour from purple to pink. Finally, Chamomile & Cornflower is an infusion of pure blue cornflower pigments with subtle notes of the chamomile flower which transform the spirit from blue to pale pink.

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Visualise your way to calm in four easy steps Engage your senses to explore the colour, sounds and smells of a beautiful garden.


Sit comfortably in a quiet place with subdued lighting. Close your eyes and imagine your favourite colour. Allow this colour to cover your whole field of vision.


Now visualise a garden filled with plants and flowers – splashes of green are interspersed with yellow, orange, red and pink. Wisps of cloud float in a blue sky and golden sunlight filters down through the trees.


Bring in your senses of smell and hearing. You can detect the scent of roses and honeysuckle in the air. In the background you hear the buzz of insects and the wind rustling in the leaves, while birds chirrup and sing. Tune into these scents and sounds for a moment as you drift into a relaxed, meditative state.


When you feel ready to do so, let the image of the garden slowly fade from your mind and gently open your eyes.

Use this technique whenever you need to induce a sense of calm. This is an extract from Instant Relaxation by GP and health journalist Dr Sarah Brewer and is part of the Blueprints on Everyday Wellness series available from Amazon.


DON’T MISS! World Peace Public Meditation Join The Wee Retreat at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 21 September to help mark the International Day of Peace. The event is open to all faiths and will observe a one-minute silence at 12 noon, followed by a meditation. Peace Day is observed around the world on this day each year after being established by the United Nations in 1981. To find out more, or to register, visit

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The quest for inner

happiness Marie O’Neill In my native language (Swedish) there are two words for happiness. One is glädje – used to describe the fleeting joy we might feel as we tuck in to an ice cream, enjoy a stroll on the beach or get a new car or work promotion. This feeling is reliant on our circumstances and when those circumstances change, so does our mood. I believe that chasing this kind of elusive happiness is the foundation of capitalism, the source of epidemic stress levels in our society and, according to the Buddha, the root cause of human suffering. The other word, however, is lycka – used to describe the deep-rooted feeling of inner peace and contentment which doesn’t rely on outside circumstances. This feeling happens when we are in alignment with ourselves, connected to our truth and aware of the perfection of all that is. This feeling might be rare and difficult to attain (never mind hang on to) but, in my experience, it’s like a muscle we can train. The more we cultivate this feeling, the more we learn to conjure it up at will. We can choose to live our lives from this foundation of inner peace, confidence and trust. In my counselling work, I use a process for cultivating true, lasting happiness – using these three main tools:

Marie is a counsellor and mindfulness coach, who specialises in health, wellbeing and personal development. She is based at Calm on Canning Street in Edinburgh and offers 1:1 sessions, courses and workshops. Find out more at Processing the Past. We all have unprocessed feelings, thoughts and experiences which are affecting us in different ways. Some of these might be obvious to us, but we might not know what to do about them. Some might be completely unconscious. But keeping them hidden from ourselves can drain us of energy as we go about our daily lives. By talking about our feelings and thoughts we can become aware of how things are affecting us and start to make our peace with the past. Once we understand how our behaviours are directly linked to past events, we start to have a choice in how we react to things now.


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Focusing on the Future. We all need to have a sense of purpose in life. If we don’t have a real connection to our reason for being here - on this earth - it gets really difficult to motivate ourselves, day after day, year after year. Life can feel overwhelming and exhausting and we can lack resilience to cope when things don’t go our way. Finding and focusing on our deeper purpose can help us gain a healthy perspective and give us the strength and inner resources to keep going when things are tough. It can also give us confidence and a deep sense of achievement knowing we are on the right path in life.


Dwelling in the Now. The final and crucial practice for cultivating a deep sense of contentment is through mindful introspection. Using mindfulness-based techniques regularly helps us connect to a deeper sense of peace. Taking time to slow down and focus on our direct experience in the now helps our bodies deal with stress, our minds think clearly and our souls rejuvenate. Having a relationship with our innermost selves and whatever our sense is of the source of our being, gives us a deep sense of fulfilment, comfort and true happiness.


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Susan Watson is a holistic therapist, coach and trainer based in Edinburgh who specialises in non-evasive pain elimination and anxietyreducing techniques.

Susan runs corporate workshops and provides therapist training and supervision, as well as 1:1 appointments, which can be face-to-face or via Zoom or Skype.

T: 07946381886 E:


Do you feel over loaded - that your mind is constantly busy with no respite? Want to learn more about Mindfulness and learn to stop? Pause & Breathe is mindfully run by Susie Hooper Events and courses are held across Central Scotland For those further afield she can offer facetime sessions, or day or weekend courses

Yoga Retreats Re-energise, re-connect & rejuvenate at Capo Retreats 

CONTACT Email: Follow on

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Five ways

to find calm in a frantic world

With the stresses and strains of everyday life, finding a sense of calm has never been so challenging. At Calm on Canning Street in Edinburgh, we believe that devoting regular time to wellbeing practices keeps you nourished, grounded and energised during the good times and helps you build strength and resilience to manage the difficult times.


Take a regular yoga class. Yoga is one of the best ways to de-stress. It teaches us to move away from our chattering minds – into our body and breath – and helps ease tension, stress and anxiety.


Try guided meditation and mindfulness. Research shows exposure to help reduce anxiety and depression and improve vitality and mood.


Get into nature. If you live in the city, it’s even more important to take time out to walk in a park and be surrounded by green. Research shows exposure to nature can reduce hypertension, respiratory tract and cardiovascular illnesses, improve vitality and mood, and help reduce anxiety.


Put down your phone. Be aware of when you get caught in a scrolling frenzy. Step away from the phone and give yourself time to be present in your own life.


Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all suffer from feelings of stress, guilt, regret, shame and anxiety. It’s important to become aware of your inner critic and pepper all the self-criticism with some self-love and kindness. At Calm on Canning Street, we offer classes for all ages and abilities – from Beginners Yoga, to Yin and Hot Power Yoga. We also run meditation and mindfulness classes every week and have three wellbeing rooms offering Massage, Counselling and Life Coaching. We can’t wait to welcome you to our beautiful little sanctuary. That’s why we’d love to invite you to a FREE taster class. Sign up for any class from the Timetable at using the code ‘HOLISTIC’ and claim your class. 45 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

PLANT POWER Yogi Oils founder Katrino Indigo explains how we can use essential oils to harness the healing power of plants and enhance our yoga practise Plants have been used therapeutically for self-healing and care for thousands of years and can undoubtedly help to bring mental clarity and calm to our lives. But did you know that combining them with your daily yoga practise can help you harness their healing power and enhance your flow at the same time? Katrino Indigo is a yoga teacher who teaches elemental flow and restorative yoga using essential oils and plant remedies. She develops her own unique blends – sniffing, meditating

with and mixing each one till she gets the combination just right. “It’s said that each plant has an emotion and a soul,” she says. “One way we can work with a plant’s soul is in the form of essential oils. When we do, they can have a subtle healing effect on the body and act as a beautiful aid to self-care.” “Take sandalwood, for example. Sandalwood is a very grounding plant because it grows slowly and is firmly rooted to the ground. When I work with sandalwood, which is close

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Katrino Indigo uses essential oils to enhance her yoga classes

to the earth, I am calling on and using these qualities. I will focus my yoga practise on grounding – the feet, the hips, the legs – and staying close to the earth, with a rooting intention.” Katrino uses only the highest therapeutic grade of essential oils and, depending on the theme of her class, or area of the body she is working on, chooses the plant medicine accordingly. “I work with the potential emotional healing qualities of the plants,” says Katrino. “Each one has been carefully

hand-blended, sniffed and chosen to link up with the chakras, elements and human

body. I work closely with emotions in my classes so I wanted to create blends I could work with and explain and that be used with ease at home. My goal was to make essential oils more accessible to people who were interested in working with them but weren’t sure where to start. “You can smell them, apply them topically with a base or, depending on the quality, you can ingest some oils. But you need to be very careful because oils are powerful creatures. Different oils also react differently and take different lengths of time for the human body to process and feel the effects.” Katrino is based in Fife, Dundee and Glasgow and can be found teaching yoga and at festivals all over Scotland. Find out more about her Yogi Oils on page 48 or go to

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Oils to help you go with the flow

doTERRA Yoga Collection doTERRA has launched its own Yoga Collection this month to help enhance your life and yoga practice. Its exclusive trio of therapeutic grade essential oil blends comprises Anchor, Align and Arise aromas designed to steady, centre and enlighten your spirit through every breath while strengthening and stretching your body. Available from


Katrino Indigo’s Yogi Oils (featured on page 46) come in 5 different blends: • Earth – to ground (with Patchouli, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Clary Sage) • Water – to flow and grow (with Geranium, Lemongrass and Chamomile) • Fire – to transform (with Sweet Orange, Clove, Ylang Ylang and Neroli) • Air – to express (with Spearmint, Lavender, Lime and Eucalyptus) • Aether – to be curious (with Clary Sage, Chamomile and Lavender) To find out more, or to buy, go to

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Diffusers For an ambient mist while you practice, invest in a diffuser. Here are some of our favourites...

Tisserand Aroma Spa Diffuser Combines aromatherapy and chromatherapy with gentle variations of softcoloured light which can be personalised at the touch of a button.

doTERRA Petal Diffuser

Madebyzen Sleep Oil Comprising Lavender, Mandarin, Patchouli, Sage and Sandalwood, this is a beautiful and sedative blend which relaxes, calms and soothes the senses to help you drift off into a fragrance-enriched slumber. Ideal for after your evening practise. Buy at

Tisserand Energy High Diffuser Oil An invigorating blend of Bergamot, Lime, Orange, Cypress, Grapefruit, Coriander and Juniper, this Energy High Diffuser Oil is great for the likes of hot yoga and is naturally super-charged to help put a spring in your step. Shop at

A relaxing mist and soft white ambient light make this Petal model ideal for night-time diffusion. It can cover up to 330sq ft, with three settings to customise the release of essential oils into the air.

doTERRA Zenbow Diffuser Colour changing mood lighting moves through a rainbow of colours while emitting a cool, scented and relaxing mist to create a Zen-like like atmosphere.

madebyzen Oska Aroma Diffuser Colour changing light helps you relax, while the APP technology allows you to connect to the diffuser via Bluetooth so you can easily control the system.

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Dreamcatcher Lady Custom-made dreamcatchers & gifts handcrafted by other artisans

Optimum Health Balance Kinesiology

OHB Kinesiology and its practitioners are recognised by the Kinesiology Federation. Training now available in Scotland: OHB Self-Help Workshops, OHB Foundation Training, OHB Practitioner training FOR INFORMATION ABOUT TREATMENTS AND TRAINING CONTACT:

Lois Radmer

KFRP, MAR, OHB Practitioner and Tutor Mo:07541120540


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The5Rythms... a whole-body experience The 5RhythmsÂŽ is a simple movement practice designed to release the dance that lives in everybody, no matter your shape, size, age, limitations and experience. To find your dance is to find yourself at your most fluid and creative level. While the practice itself is the essence of simplicity, it has the power to catalyse deep healing and creative expression. The primary teaching of this work is: if you put the psyche in motion, it will heal itself. The 5 rhythms (Flow, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness) come together to create the Wave, that we dance through. Rather than having steps to follow, each rhythm is a different energetic field in which you find your own expression and choreography, thereby stretching your imagination as well as your body. If you love to dance, and feel the beat in your bones, this might just be the place to come and explore. Sarena teaches in Edinburgh, Dundee, Anstruther and Linlitghow. or email 51 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


WWF Scotland has called for the Scottish government to invest more in green technologies, public transport and warmer homes. It’s latest opinion poll revealed that 72% of the Scottish public think they should invest in products which reduce emissions, such as public transport and affordable heat networks, to create a low carbon Scotland.


A UK farmer is encouraging Brits to start making changes to the way they shop now to avoid food shortages post-Brexit. Anthony Davidson of bigbarn. says farmers are producing tons of goods that end up in landfill because the supermarkets can import cheaper produce from abroad. He says this likely to change significantly after Brexit, with imported goods becoming more expensive. Anthony claims we will need to rely more heavily on British produce, but we might not have the farming capacity to keep our trolleys stocked as we aren’t supporting our own farmers in the lead up to Brexit.

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A Holyrood committee is appealing for views on the feasibility of a not-for-profit, publicly-owned energy company. It’s exploring whether this could reduce costs for consumers and how it can promote green issues and energy efficiency and support local and community projects while working to reduce fuel poverty. Have your say at scottish. before the 13 September deadline.


New figures show the scorching sunshine massively boosted the country’s solar output in June. Gina Hanrahan of WWF Scotland says June was a bumper month for solar power and that householders in cities such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth could have enjoyed more than 130% of their electricity and enough hot water for the whole month from solar energy alone.

Did you know?

Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice in the last 25 years. “The Antarctic is on the frontline of climate change,” says Dr Sam Gardner of WWF Scotland. “In our lifetime, West Antarctica has experienced some of the most rapidly warming temperatures on the planet. These have caused regional declines in sea-ice, a shift in the distribution of penguin species, and even forced us to redraw the shape of the coastline as glaciers recede. And we here in Scotland are part of the cause. That’s why the new Climate Change Bill before the Scottish Parliament is so important. We need all parties to now live up to our commitments under the Paris Agreement to cut emissions and build a thriving clean economy by setting a target to end our contribution to climate change by 2050 at the latest.”

GOOD TO KNOW • The UK’s first ever No Planet B festival – an eco-friendly extravaganza dedicated to zero waste and delicious vegan street food – is set to take place in London in summer 2019. Find out more at • A new Swedish innovation looks set to revolutionise the way we shop for fruit and veg and help us ditch supermarket single use plastic for loose groceries. Now launching in the UK, Carrinet Veggio comes as a set of five food-grade reusable polyester drawstring net bags in three different sizes. Shop at • Help to plant trees every time you search the web by using Ecosia as your default search engine. Ecosia uses the profit it makes from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most and support communities in the likes of Ethopia. Find out more at

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Is going VEGAN really the only way to save the planet? YES

Tod Bradbury, Animal Aid Climate change and global warming are a threat to us all and we all try and do the best we can – whether that’s by walking to the shops rather than taking the car, or by taking a re-usable coffee cup and water bottle to work to reduce our single-plastic use. While this undoubtedly helps the environment, seldom do we hear about the dietary aspect of climate change and reducing our own impact on the environment. Yet a recent report by Oxford University concluded that the single biggest thing we can do for the planet is to stop consuming meat and dairy. In fact, the project’s lead researcher adopted a plantbased diet after the first year. People might think switching to alternatives such as grass-fed beef could be a good move for the environment, but the study found that plant-based

“The single single biggest thing we can do for the planet is to stop consuming meat and dairy”

protein still has a significantly lower environmental impact than that of animal-based protein. In fact, the study is one of many which shows that animal farming is an environmental disaster and, in 2010, the United Nations published a report concluding that animal farming is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all motorised transport combined. It’s now estimated that animal agriculture is responsible for between 14 and 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, while motorised transport is responsible for around 12%. If you are interested in helping the planet – and reducing animal suffering in the process – why not try a plant-based diet? You can order a free ‘Go Vegan’ pack from Animal Aid. Just visit go/veganpack Tod Bradbury is vegan outreach campaign manager for animal rights organisation Animal Aid. His work involves making veganism and plant-based eating more accessible and mainstream to help encourage non-vegans to try veganism.

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Steve Bennett, international businessman, adventurer and author If we’re focusing on saving the planet we should, instead, make changes to how much plastic we use in packaging etc. Buying organic meat from your local butcher can reduce packaging waste. If we weren’t designed to eat meat then our forefathers would have simply gathered plants and vegetables, but they didn’t. They spent most of their days hunting and, as a result, gathered immense health, brain power and provided their bodies with essential vitamins and minerals. In the last 10,000 years, we’ve gotten smaller in height and brain size. With a heavy carbohydrate and sugar-based diet, we are suffering increased rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and many other illnesses. On top of that, we’re also experiencing skin problems, heart disease, tiredness and inflammation of all kinds. It’s no surprise our primal ancestors relied on meat especially during seasons when certain vegetables and fruits weren’t available. To be primally acceptable, all our meat must be organic. This means the animals were raised on food they were designed to eat. Think of the saying “You are what you eat” and extend it to the saying “we are what our food eats”. Animals allowed to live naturally, in their natural habitat, feeding on their native primal diet, are amazing for our health. But those forced to eat corn and grain – food which turns to sugar in the gut – are nowhere near as healthy for us to consume. Not to mention the antibiotics and steroids also used to feed cattle etc.

Most of the time, your best bet is your local butcher rather than supermarket stores. Meat is a very good source of fat – so much so that’s its benefits were even praised in the bible under Genesis 45:18: “And he shall live off the fat of the land”. Scientifically, our bodies are designed to eat meat. It has numerous health benefits and has been the staple diet of humankind since day one. Cavemen ate organically and so should we. We were not designed to eat meat full of antibiotics and other dangerous toxins. If we eat meat produced in factories not fields then we will undoubtedly damage both the helpful bacteria in our gut and our hormones too. Steve Bennett is the author of recently-released title ‘Primal Cure: The Secret to Weight Loss & A Healthy Long Life That Government, Food & Pharmaceutical Companies Might Not Want Us To Know’, which is available from Amazon

“If we weren’t designed to eat meat then our forefathers would have simply gathered plants and vegetables, but they didn’t.”

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15 TIPS TO HELP YOU GO – AND STAY – VEGAN Thinking of switching to a plant-based diet? Check out these 15 tips compiled by Rebecca Knowles of Vegan Outreach Scotland and The Vegan Roadshow to help you stay the course 1. Focus on the why, not the how – a strong resolve triumphs over minor challenges. If your determination wavers, watch a few minutes of Land of Hope and Glory, Cowspiracy, or What the Health (available at whatthehealthfilm. com to re-ignite your resolution. and

4. Keep it simple – start by veganising your favourite meals. Whether it’s bangers-and-mash or coq au vin, there are vegan alternatives for all your favourites. 5. Commit to end addiction – casein, one of the proteins in milk,

produces casomorphins which attach to opiate receptors in the brain. This is why cheese is so addictive!

6. You’re already doing it! – there are so many foods

which are accidentally vegan. Check out Veganuary’s list of Accidentally Vegan Products (UK) in its vegan starter kit

7. Don’t worry about protein – if you’re 2. See the face not the food – break lifelong conditioning by picturing the faces behind the food as you walk down the supermarket aisles. 3. Get a support network – connecting with vegan friends is essential. Local is best but online is great too. Every region of Scotland has its online vegan groups with periodic meet-ups for discussions, meals, and activism. Check out

getting enough calories, you’re getting enough protein! ALL grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain every one of the essential amino acids.

8. Own your impact – the latest research

from Science magazine claims that “avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet”.

9. Grow out of the dairy “fairy” story – calcium comes from the soil and things that grow

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Vegans on tour!

Vegan Outreach Scotland is a grassroots movement which started in the Scottish Highlands more than three years ago. Its purpose is to help people make the connection between their lifestyle choices and the exploitation of other species, the devastation of the planet, and the damage to their own health. Check out The Vegan Roadshow, which sees Vegan Outreach Scotland take to the road.

in the soil – not from a cow. Why drink the breastmilk of another species to get calcium when you could eat green leafy veg instead?

14. Get active – helping others transition to

10. Align your lifestyle with your values – if you believe causing unnecessary

suffering to animals is wrong, change some of the things you eat so your diet aligns with that value. Then look at household and beauty products, then clothing. It’s about gradually becoming truer to yourself.

the vegan lifestyle strengthens our personal resolve. 7% of the UK is now vegan. According to a study in 2011 by Rensselaer Polytechnic, 10% is the tipping point when the rest of the population will follow suit.

11. Prevent eating-out disappointments –

use the Happy Cow app (happycow. net) which lists vegan eateries and options around the world!

12. Keep on learning –

a fast and easy way is to subscribe to YouTube channels. Our top picks are NutritionFacts. org,Plant Based News, and Bite Size Vegan. One Green Planet’s Food Monster app gives you 10+ recipes a day plus an archive of more than 8,000 recipes!

13. Focus on what you gain, not on what you lose – animals belong to themselves. You cannot “give-up” what was never yours.

15. Remember: it’s all you! – Vietnamese

peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh said: “we are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness”. It‘s this illusion of separateness which has allowed us to exploit, harm and destroy other species and the planet. When we remember our oneness with all life we can no longer do that.

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What really is cruelty-free?

Having loved animals all her life, Chloe TolleyWorsman was horrified when she was gifted a wellknown beauty box that wasn’t cruelty-free. So much so, that it prompted her to set up the Cruelty Free Beauty Box monthly beauty subscription box. Here, she tells us what cruelty-free really means and which brands to avoid. “I’d always wanted to help make a difference and have a business I was passionate about,” says Chloe. “I soon realised there weren’t any options for cruelty-free and vegan beauty boxes in the UK that covered every angle of cruelty-free. That meant anyone leading my kind of lifestyle missed out on having a subscription box.

CRUELTY-FREE CHECKLIST • Companies DO NOT test on animals at any point during production of their products • Companies DO NOT allow third parties to test their products on animals • The ingredients they use from suppliers are NOT tested on animals • They DO NOT allow countries to test on animals when required by law (for example, cosmetics sold in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals)

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“No matter what direction The Cruelty Free Beauty Box ends up going in, I will always speak up for the voiceless” shop with us safe in the knowledge that we had done all the research for them. “Having loved animals all my life, I’ve always hated the thought of animal exploitation. I despise the fact that, as humans, we feel they are for us to abuse in the way that we do. There is an old saying: ‘Speak up for those who have no voice’ – and that’s exactly what I have always done and will continue to do. We live in a world where some things are classed as okay and some aren’t. We’re programmed to be horrified at one thing but not another. Before founding The Cruelty Free Beauty Box, I’d sign every petition I came across, wrote to MPs and shouted from the rooftops about what went on behind the scenes. But it wasn’t good enough and constantly played on my mind and kept me awake at night. No matter what direction The Cruelty Free Beauty Box ends up going in, I will always speak up for the voiceless.” The Cruelty Free Beauty Box is a monthly beauty subscription box which also offers a build-your-own option, one-off boxes and The Beauty Shop, which is home to more than 50 different cruelty-free brands. It only features products which are vegan and many of them are also natural and free from the likes of parabens, which are chemicals with preservative properties that have been linked with the development of certain cancers. Chloe Tolley-Worsman, founder of the Cruelty Free Beauty Box, and her horse, Bounty

“But I also wanted subscribers or potential customers to be able to discover cruelty-free products and see that there’s a whole different world behind the greedy giant companies. “Cruelty-free can be quite complex at times so I wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy our products – whether they were looking for a subscription box or just something from the online shop. I wanted customers to 59 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

“The products are colourful and smell wonderful,” says Chloe. “I think there’s this myth that vegan and cruelty-free means boring and scent-free but this couldn’t be any further from the truth! We feature and stock budget-friendly products as well as luxury products. We like to think we have something for everyone. “We’ve worked with some fantastic brands over the past year – some of which are real hidden gems. Our favourites include Evolve Organic Beauty, Le Mont Botanique, Lucky Cloud Skincare, and Eden Perfumes. “We work with small, independent brands and large, well-known brands. But we particularly like working with smaller brands which need to be more recognised. There are some wonderful products out there.” To find out more, or to shop, visit

NAUGHTY LIST Chloe recommends avoiding the following brands which the Cruelty Free Beauty Box doesn’t deem to be cruelty-free • • • • • • • •

MAC L’oreal Nars Neutrogena Maybelline Listerine Airwick Always

• • • • • • • •

Revlon Rimmel Nivea Ariel Avon YSL Vaseline Unilever

• • • • • • •

Sensodyne Garnier Glam Glow Gilette Febreeze Colgate Dove


If unsure, do your research! The Cruelty Free Beauty Box

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Cruelty-free beauty buys Keep the mozzies at bay while you stun in the sun with our pick of some of the best vegan summer skin and haircare essentials money can buy Incognito Second Skin Moisturiser

Bio-Extracts Anti-Wrinkle Boost

SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration

RosehipPLUS Rosehip Oil

This award-winning, creamy moisturiser and after-sun doesn’t just keep skin suitably hydrated and smelling great, it’s combination of Aloe Vera, Korean Ginseng, Calendula Extract and Java Citronella also offers a foundation layer of protection from biting insects.

Retaining moisture in your hair is essential to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle and SheaMoisture’s new 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration range works extra hard to lock in moisture hair craves. The lightweight and nourishing collection features a blend of 100% Extra Virgin Coconut and Shea Oils, creamy Coconut Milk and Acacia Senegal.

If, in the past, you have already succumbed to too much sun exposure, Bio-Extracts’ Anti-Wrinkle Boost could help to sort you out. This intensive collagen-boosting serum which is thought to stimulate skin rejuvenation is said to be ideal for the treatment of mature skin and skin damaged by extensive sun and pollution exposure.

The benefits of Rosehip Oil are endless - from reducing the appearance of stretchmarks to soothing sun burn - and can be used daily by both men and women of all ages, including those with even the most sensitive skin.

Fab.ME Multi-Benefit Lotion

Fab.ME breathes life into your mane with the spritz of a bottle! Its many benefits include detangling, colour fade protection, split end smoothing, free radical and heat damage protection, frizz control, and more volume.

HealGel Capsule Range

Each of these four award-winning products provides a different type of skin rescue and has been developed by some of the world’s top surgeons, in partnership with celebrated dermatological bio-chemist Colette Haydon. 61 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

How cruelty-free is your clothing? PETA director Elisa Allen lifts the lid on why not all clothing that’s deemed to be ethical or sustainable lives up to its name As more and more consumers wake up to the real costs of cheap clothes – from the poisoning of workers by toxic chemicals to landfills brimming with discarded garments – “ethical” and “sustainable” have become two of the biggest buzzwords in the fashion industry. But unless that jacket or pair of shoes is vegan, applying those terms is just greenwashing. That’s

because producing leather and other animal-derived materials pollutes the planet, endangers workers’ health, and causes animals to suffer needlessly. The groundbreaking Pulse of the Fashion Industry report released last year by the nonprofit Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group found that three of the four most environmentally damaging materials are derived

from animals. Leather is the worst offender. Since leather is a lucrative “co-product” (not a by-product, as is so often claimed) of the unsustainable meat industry, this is hardly surprising. Raising and killing animals for their flesh and skins wastes so many resources and causes so much destruction that it’s hard to know where to begin in describing the problem. There’s the massive amount of land involved in livestock production and the energy required to operate factory farms, abattoirs, and lorries that transport animals. There’s the wasted water and the crops that are used to feed animals instead of hungry, malnourished human beings. The billions of animals killed by the meat industry every year also create a lot of waste. This waste – untreated, unsanitary, and bubbling with chemicals – may be left to decompose in huge lagoons or sprayed over crop fields, resulting in run-off that contaminates nearby soil

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and waterways. Then there’s the climate-change connection: according to the Worldwatch Institute, animal agriculture is responsible for at least 51 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. And since the bulk of the environmental impact – a whopping 93 per cent, according to the luxury-fashion conglomerate Kering – associated with leather production occurs before the skins are sent to tanneries, touting “green” processing methods, such as those used to create vegetabletanned and chrome-free leather, is really just more greenwashing. By contrast, polyurethane leather has less than half the impact on the environment that animalderived leather does. Just let that sink in for a second: animal-derived leather is more than twice as harmful to the environment as polyurethane, which is a plastic! Now, factor in the toxic chemicals needed to keep animal-derived materials from decaying. PETA Germany investigated the billion-dollar leather industry in Bangladesh, documenting that tannery workers – including children – perform hazardous tasks such as soaking hides in chemicals. The unprotected workers stand barefoot in cancercausing chemicals and work with acids that can cause chronic skin conditions. An estimated 90 per cent will die before the age of 50. We don’t need to wait another day to display our eco-chic sensibilities: innovative vegan options – including pineapple-leaf leather, soya-based “vegetable cashmere”, fleece made from recycled plastic bottles, wool made from seaweed and hemp, and many others – are already available. Sustainable style is here, and it doesn’t come from an animal.

Animals are not ours

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA believes that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way. Find out more at

Top vegan supplements Field of greens

Classed as a raw vegan superfood, Field of Greens is ideal if you’re doing a detox, following an alkaline diet or just trying to work more greens into your daily regime. Shop online at

Hübner’s Silicea Hair, Skin, Nails & Bones

Silicea helps to replenish lost silica (one of earth’s most valuable minerals) which, in turn, can promote smoother, younger-looking skin; thicker, healthier hair, and stronger nails and bones. Pick up a pack at health stores nationwide or at

Cytoplan Vegan Glucosamine HCL Taking a glucosamine supplement can help to maintain joint health as we get older and it’s said to be particularly good for vegetarians and vegans, as well as anyone with a Candida or yeast sensitivity. Shop at

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“ANIMALS DESERVE OUR LOVE AND COMPASSION” Scottish entrepreneur Amanda Eskdale of Odara Mineral Beauty shares her passion for cruelty-free and how she wouldn’t have set up her own beauty business any other way From her kitchen table on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Amanda Eskdale developed her very first mineral foundation in 2016. Five different shades followed and, before she knew it, Amanda had created her own range of natural and vegan-friendly skincare and mineral make-up. From there, Odara Mineral Beauty was born and has grown to become a successful Scottish beauty brand in its own right – with an everexpanding portfolio of luxury skin products. Amanda is so passionate about vegan skincare that she’s now developing her own vegan day spa and facial clinic. “Being a cruelty-free brand means absolutely everything,” says Amanda. “As an empathic ‘earth’ child of the 70s/80s I remember quite vividly animal cruelty issues being splashed all over our TV screens and newspapers. “Fox hunting was one of my first ‘for and against’ debates in primary school and I grew up with an awareness by learning

more about these issues. I understood fully about meat and how it arrived on my mum’s kitchen table. It was a stomach churning period in my life but an interesting one. “Animals were my thing for most of my youth and I had an unconditional love for nature and an unknowing of where it came from. I now believe that, whatever the breed, species or cuteness level,

Beauty and skincare specialist Amanda Eskdale

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animals were put on this earth to serve one purpose – to teach humans love and compassion. And, in turn, they deserve our love and compassion. “We have a connection to them that goes beyond master and servant and their existence should be treated with respect, regardless of their place on this planet. When it comes to cosmetics, for example, if we need to test an ingredient or product on a defenceless animal to determine its safety, this indicates to me that no-one should even consider its use at all. If a human being isn’t prepared to test a product on themselves then that product shouldn’t hit the shelves. After 27 years working as a health and beauty therapist, Amanda noticed that more and more of her clients were looking for therapy for chronic health issues or to improve their wellbeing rather than just for relaxation or simple beauty treatments. This turned her attention, once again, to the products consumers were using and where they came from. “As various well-known brands became more popular and their organisations were subjected to heavy investments and takeovers, doubts would creep in on just how authentic their own ethics, formulas and promises once made at their birth remained. “I noticed ingredient lists changing and certain ‘red flags’ would rise. And then there’s the make-up trend boom since the arrival of the Kardashians (and other influencers). I started to see young consumers wearing so much unnecessary make-up – cheap makeup; make-up that’s full of synthetic chemicals and ingredients which are banned here in

the UK because of toxicity and animal testing laws. “I wanted to create a brand suited to our skin which offers results without creating further harm. I also wanted to be honest, supportive to the environment and cruelty-free. I think all these things are equally important and are the fundamentals to any successful cosmetic brand business.” Cosmetic animal testing has been banned in the UK for 20 years and, since March 2013, it has been illegal to sell cosmetic products which have been or contain ingredients which are tested on animals within the EU. Thousands of cosmetic products and ingredients which have been available for a long time now are already considered safe so they don’t require further testing. Therefore, it’s not justifiable to cause animal suffering to develop more. But other countries, such as China and the US, still use animals to test their cosmetic products and ingredients. “Hopefully, one day this will end too,” says Amanda. “Until then, get savvy with your spending and continue to support cruelty-free brands.”

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Cruelty-free beauty tips for youthful-looking skin Beauty expert Amanda Eskdale shares her ethical beauty tips 1 Reduce stress

Everyone in life is searching for the fountain of youth. We all want to know the secret to to looking young and staying healthy. To achieve this, I strongly recommend you lead a stress-free life, or at least as stress-free as you can manage!

2 Laugh

A daily dose of laughter releases your happy hormones which are vital for fighting depression and reducing stress which, inescapably, shows on our faces. Laughter also reduces pain and boosts your immune system – giving you both an internal and facial workout. Smiling alone works 15 muscles in your face and increases the blood flow, which is a key component in looking young.

3 Eat a healthy diet, get a good night’s sleep and plenty of exercise Preferably breathing in some nature along the way.

4 Review your products Take a good look at the

ingredient lists on your packaging and understand what each one is and what it does. I know budgets are tight for most people and that skincare can be expensive but it’s a lifetime investment. Let’s face it, you want to be putting your money where it serves you best. Organic, natural-based formulas always work best in my opinion and help your skin and wellbeing at the same time.


5 Make the switch if you’re still using synthetic, chemical-laced products These do nothing for you except cause long-term harm. You won’t be disappointed by making the change. Choose products that are right for your current skin type or concern. If in doubt, pop in to your local beauty salon for free expert advice to help with your selections.

8 Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! It really is that simple.

6 Cleanse, tone and moisturise daily

Make sure you stick to your daily regime with good organic, natural formulas which nourish and suit your skin type.

7 Wearing less make-up is always more

Just the right amount of hydration helps your make-up last longer and ood make-up starts with good skincare. There are a lot of cosmetics available now containing natural SPFs, so make sure to pop some in your make-up bag and use every day to provide you with the UV protection you need.

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Shop Amanda’s range at

Why nature’s tiny workers need your help

Bees are attracted to lavender, which is easy to grow

Bees play a huge part in our ecosystem – transferring pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilising plants so they can grow and produce food. But sadly statistics show that honeybee numbers are dropping significantly in the UK. We have already lost around 13 bee species and another 35 are in danger of extinction if we don’t act fast. Some of the reasons for their decline include disease, parasites, pesticides and habitat loss, with reports showing we have lost 97% of our flower-rich meadows since the 1930s. Luckily, there are lots of ways we can help.

DID YOU KNOW? • In the early 1900s there were around 1 million beehives in the UK; by 2015 we were down to just 270,000. • Across Europe, nearly 1 in 10 wild bee species face extinction Choose bee-friendly seeds and plants Even small gardens can become great havens for bees given the right circumstances and this starts with choosing bee-friendly seeds and plants. There are lots of nectar and pollen-rich plants, wildflowers and herbs to choose from, such as wild red clover and lavender. Wild red clover produces vibrant pink and red clover bulbs which attract a variety of pollinators. Lavender, which produces purple flowers and a beautiful scent, is also a 68 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland


good choice because it’s easy to grow. Bees are also attracted to a herbs such as sage, thyme and parsley which are easy to grow in pots and don’t take up a lot of space. As always, choose plants and flowers that suit your garden and herbs you use throughout the year. The greater the variety of plants and flowers you have, the more wildlife they will support. Provide shelter Just like lots of garden wildlife, bees need foraging areas and shelter, so creating a friendly and safe habitat is key to attracting them to your outdoor space. If you have a lawn, reserve a small area that you leave to overgrow and plant red clover and lavender nearby for an enticing welcome. Small wood piles also make great shelters for bees and other invertebrates. Gather some old branches and logs (avoid treated wood) and pile it up in a quiet corner of the garden. The best place is under some trees or shrubs because it is cooler there. There’s also a great range of bee houses available to buy which make great gifts and can be hung just about anywhere in the garden. The bonus is that you can watch them going about their daily lives without having to disturb them.

Wild red clover

Put away the pesticides Avoid using any pesticides in the garden. There are plenty of non-toxic and homemade alternatives out there to get rid of unwanted pests. Meanwhile, making your own compost is a great way to recycle your leftover food and cuttings and encourage wildlife into the garden. Composting has been shown to improve the soil’s structure, making it a great breeding ground for bees and other invertebrates. To find out more about bees and how to help them, visit

COULD HONEY BEES HOLD THE KEY TO HOW THE HUMAN BRAIN WORKS? Researchers from the University of Sheffield have found that looking at honeybees in a colony in the same way as neurons in a brain could help us better understand the basic mechanisms of human behaviour. They studied a theoretical model of how honeybees decide where to build their nest and viewed the bee colony as a single superorganism which displays a coordinated response to external stimuli – similar to the human brain. The study concluded that the way in which bees “speak” with each other and make decisions is comparable to the way the many individual neurons in the human brain interact with each other. Previous research has shown that human brains follow certain rules known as psychophysical laws. Single brain neurons don’t obey the laws, but the whole brain does. Similarly, this study found that even if single bees do not obey these laws, the superorganism, i.e. the bee colony, does.

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Embrace the healing power of trees Sylvotherapy (or the ancient practice of reconnecting with the healing energy of trees) may have fallen by the wayside over the last few decades, but it’s now making a comeback on a global scale. Otherwise known as forest bathing or Shinrin-Yoku in Japan, where it recently re-emerged as an important healthcare practice, it’s rebirth is now sweeping its way across Europe – making for a great excuse to get outdoors and take long walks in the forest. Time spent in the forest can improve our health in a number of ways. Breathing in oxygen-rich air with naturally occurring tree oils, for example, is thought to help promote a healthy respiratory and circulatory system. It’s also said to reduce blood pressure and stress levels in the body. The emphasis is not on doing anything but rather absorbing the healing properties of the trees and just ‘being’ in a space which promotes calm and stillness. Walking through the forest activates our senses of hearing (singing birds, the howling of the wind), smell (the freshness of the air, the wood fragrance), sight (all the shades of colours, green, brown), and touch (trees, leaves, moss) encouraging presence and leaving us feeling blissed out and relaxed.

EMBRACE YOUR OWN FOREST BUBBLE IN FRANCE La Clairiere Bio & Spa Hotel in Alsace has introduced a variety of Sylvotherapy-inspired wellbeing programmes to help guests reconnect with nature. Find out more at

Did you know?

Research shows that spending at least two consecutive hours in a green space every month can boost your immune system and improve your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

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Forest bathing for beginners Caitlin Keddie, a certified forest therapy guide, is the founder of Forest Therapy Scotland, which offers guided therapy walks in Glasgow, as well as Edinburgh, West Lothian, Falkirk, Perth and Inverness. Here, she tells us everything we need to know about forest bathing.

What is forest therapy?

Forest therapy isn’t just about healing people. It includes healing for the forest (or river, or desert, or whatever environment you are in). Forest therapy draws attention to simply being in the present moment, becoming aware of your environment through your different senses, and building curiosity and relationship with the natural world.

How does it work?

It’s not a one-time event. Developing a meaningful relationship with nature happens over time and is deepened by returning again

Group activities in a forest setting help to deepen the connection with the natural world

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and again throughout the natural cycles of the seasons. Just like yoga, meditation, or working out, Shinrin-Yoku is a practice. And, since it’s a practice, it’s most effective to learn the techniques from a trained and qualified guide. Forest therapy can help us become more mindful, aware, relaxed, less stressed and inspire our creativity through natural stimuli. A certified forest therapy guide will scout out a suitable trail and offer a range of techniques and ways of connecting with your environment, which you canthen use and adapt on your own nature walks at home.

Spending time in nature in this way, for me, is like hitting a reset button. It works every time. I came across the concept of forest bathing while experiencing high levels of work-related stress and it clicked instantly with me. My own health and happiness has improved tenfold since embracing this practice and highly recommend it as a simple, yet incredibly profound, form of self-care.

What happens during a session?

Each session starts with a guided meditation, then I lead a slow and mindful walk with the intention of simply noticing what’s in motion all around us. We then engage in several activities which help us to deepen our connection with the natural world, as well as with ourselves, and our group or community. Before we draw the experience to a close, everyone is invited to spend some solo-time to just bathe in their senses and observe the surroundings. Finally, we end with a special tea ceremony where I offer locally foraged herbal tea picked from the place we have visited. Oh, and I always bring snacks to share. Tea ceremonies play a key part in Forest Therapy Scotland’s guided walks

Who can it help?

It’s an incredibly accessible practice and doesn’t require a great deal of physical exertion. The slower and gentler the walk, the better. It’s fantastic for all ages, including very young children. Spending time in nature in a mindful way can help them become more resilient, connected, and independent. According to research, the health benefits of this practice include lowered blood pressure, lowered stress hormone levels, reduced anxiety and improved mood. Personally, I find it’s particularly good at reducing stress and anxiety and boosting my mood – kind of like a natural anti-depressant, but without the side effects. 73 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Do we always need a guide or can we do it alone?

Of course, anyone can take a walk in the woods. But it’s easy to get distracted by stressful events, pets, children, and what’s for dinner. Having a guide means you can connect with and enjoy the experience without the stress of figuring out where to go, what time it is, and what kind of activities can be helpful to slow down and awaken your senses. It’s also a great chance to meet other people in a group setting. Find out more at 74 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland



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75 | august/september 2018 | holistic scotland

Where to go wild swimming in Scotland Portobello Beach, Edinburgh

By Sally Coffey

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

Did you know there are numerous health benefits to outdoor swimming and, in Scotland, you can swim freely in open spaces? A study by Czech scientists in 1996 revealed that regular immersion in cold water can boost your immune system by shocking your body into producing more white blood cells. Meanwhile, there’s lots of anecdotal evidence which suggests cold-water swimming has a positive effect on mental health. The Outdoor Swimming Society claims membership has rocketed from just 3,000 in 2006 to more than 25,000 in recent years – and member Calum Maclean says he loves the sense of adventure and achievement he gets from wild swimming. “I prefer to swim alone,” says Calum. “It really does clear your mind. Often getting into the water is a real challenge but the mental push to enter when it’s cold and windy helps develop resilience in my opinion.” With thousands of lochs, more than 10,000 miles of coastal waters and the chance to swim under huge open skies against a backdrop of majestic munros, Scotland is the ideal wild swimming destination – so what are you waiting for?

Dive into Loch Lomond & The Trossachs where there are lots of places to swim in and around the land that inspired Sir Walter Scott’s seminal poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’, which first drew visitors there. Scott described Loch Ard as an “enchanting sheet of water” and many swimmers choose the freshwater loch because its relatively shallow waters make it warmer than its deeper counterparts. Just remember to look out for the canoes and small sailing boats! More intrepid swimmers might prefer to head to Roby Roy’s Bathtub – nicknamed after the famous Scottish outlaw which captured Scott’s imagination. Here, you’ll find a large plunge pool beneath a waterfall at Stirling’s Falls of Falloch. Currents are strong and the deep waters mean it’s extremely cold, but that doesn’t put wild swimmers off.

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At the North West shore of Loch Ard


The Highlands & Islands

Edinburgh & the Lothians

Some enlightened Edinburgh residents chooseto Head north where many swimmers are drawn to take to the waters of Portobello Beach on the the deserted beaches of the Isle of Bute or the secret city’s eastern outskirts. Just bear in mind (if you’re pools of Skye. With the Scottish Outdoor Access thinking of following suit) that you’ll need to check Code applying to both coastal and inland waters, the weather conditions before you dive in. wild swimmers pretty much have their pick The coastal waters can get choppy! of beauty spots here. The Falls of Falloch, Stirling If you find comfort in In such an ancient numbers, you could take landscape, however, part in the annual the joy is often in Stoats Loony Dook discovering places swim at South off-the-beatenQueensferry track. each New Wild Year’s Day, swimmer when Calum around says: “My 1,000 people favourite (often in places are fancy dress) those that take to the take effort freezing Firth to reach: of Forth in often lochs the shadow of in mountain the Forth Bridge coires and places to see in the new far from roads. year. This one does “The little-visited need planning, though, River Douchary in since you need to register and it Wester Ross takes several books up months in advance. hours of walking or mountain To find out more about places to swim in biking to reach and has several stunning Scotland, go to waterfall pools.”

Did you know?

The Georgians were great ambassadors of ‘taking the water’ – an 18th and 19th-century tradition of visiting the seaside or spa towns to dip in waters for the good of their health.

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Kohler Waters Spa

an experience like no other

The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews

With National Spa Day taking place between 10 and 17 September, what better time to book one of Scotland’s top luxury spa-cations? Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews offers the ultimate day of pampering and relaxation, with the most stunning views of Fife’s home of golf. It’s the first Kohler spa experience outside the USA – where you can enjoy the therapeutic effects and healing properties of earth’s natural, mineralrich water, combined with a range of bespoke treatments using only the finest essential oils and natural skincare products.

Lose yourself in a world of wellness in the spa’s Signature Thermal Suite, which is home to an oversized hydrotherapy whirlpool, sauna, steam room, icy plunge pool and two experience showers which create the illusion of showering in the rain. Once you’ve worked your way around the warm, hydrotherapy pool, whose therapeutic benefits can help to ease conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, sports injuries and joint pain, you can enjoy one of a range of tailor-made treatments, which include different types of massage, facials, detoxifying wraps, holistic body treatments and exfoliating spa rituals.

Voya and Comfort Zone are among the spa’s preferred brands

Deep Relaxation Room

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The rooftop Spa Garden hot tub

Comfort Zone skincare products are free from silicones, parabens, mineral oil and SLES, with up to 99% natural origin ingredients

There’s even a separate menu for bathing treatments, which combine chromatherapy, aromatherapy and invigorating whirlpool jets and can be booked as add-ons to help you reap the benefits of better sleep, relaxation and overall wellbeing. Once you’re suitably relaxed, you might like to take a swim or recline by the indoor pool and waterfall, or venture upstairs to the rooftop Spa Garden and hot tub, which enjoys views over St Andrews.

Evening at the indoor pool

A Classic Spa Day at Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel costs £180 per person including one 75-minute spa treatment of choice, a one-course lunch in the Spa Café and full day use of all of Kohler Waters Spa’s facilities. To book, visit or call 01334 474371.

Holistic Scotland recommends Hot Stone Massage – an ancient ritual which starts with a body massage using warm and cold stones which can help you to relax, alleviate tension, reduce stress and detox. It can also help to ease aches and pains, stimulate the metabolism and restore vitality and balance. 75-minute Hot Stone Massage £136

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HOT IN THE CITY With a whole host of festivals creating a buzz in the Capital this summer, Edinburgh is the place to be. Here’s our round-up of six of the best hotels in which to soak up the atmosphere, whether you’re looking for a budget stopover or luxury staycation.

Best for luxury – The Chester Residence The Chester Residence is a series of luxury townhouse apartments in the heart of Edinburgh’s up-market West End. An apartment in the period property makes a great pied-a-terre for anyone who’s looking for a modern and spacious place to stay that’s quiet yet relatively close to the action. Beautifully appointed and equipped with all the mod cons you’d expect from a stylish, converted townhouse, The Chester Residence is steeped in Scottish charm and just a short walk from Princes Street and the main tramline. Editor Book at

The Chester Residence

Best for budget – Haymarket Hub For a basic, affordable stay, head to Haymarket Hub adjacent to Haymarket Station. This no-frills hotel is great value for money and despite its location on a very busy street, in the throng of the action, the rooms are pretty much soundproof and make for an excellent night’s sleep that’s a world away from the cars, traffic lights and tram action outside. Breakfast is served in Platform 5, the restaurant next door, which also does great bar lunches and evening meals. Book at The Haymarket Hub

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Best for families – Holiday Inn Holiday Inn Edinburgh is located next to Edinburgh Zoo in Corstorphine on the outskirts of the city and is the ideal base for families. The hotel’s indoor pool, which even offers swimming lessons, is great for making a splash and there are plenty of massage and beauty treatments available in the spa. Guests can work out in the hotel’s fitness centre and there’s a large lounge area in which to chill with a cocktail, coffee or other drink from the bar. Book at Holiday Inn Edinburgh

Best for B&B – Millers64 Millers64 is a boutique bed and breakfast a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh city centre – ideal if you want a spacious, en-suite room for the night. This is a small hotel with a lovely feel and all the amenities of a large hotel. But it’s the little details that really make a difference, such as the decanter of whisky and plate of nibbles – great for a wee dram to warm yourself up before heading out for the evening.” Book at Millers64

Best for business – Courtyard by Marriott Courtyard by Marriott is a great stop-gap if you’re combining business with pleasure – or if the festival is your business! This gem is hidden behind a subtle entrance, nestled among the busy streets where the dinner service is excellent – and the food even more so. To compliment the business aspect, they offer a Breakfast on the run service meaning you can order breakfast the night before and then collect it in the morning when you check out starting as early as 4am. Whether you’re after a cultured trip, or a business break, you’ll feel at home. Book at Courtyard by Marriott

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Want to pick up a free copy of Holistic Scotland Magazine? Just pop into one of the following outlets and get one free of charge, subject to availability. • Aberdeen Airport • Cairngorm Lodges, Royal Deeside & Cairngorms • Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training, Edinburgh • Complementary Healthcare Clinic, Falkirk • Comrie Croft, Crieff • Driftwood Floatation Spa, Kirkcaldy • Eco Nature Holidays, Glendaruel • Edinburgh Airport • Edinburgh Centre of Nutrition & Therapy • Glaswegian Health Shop, Glasgow • Glasgow Airport • Greener Kirkcaldy • Hands on Therapies, Barrhead • Health Food & More, Kirkcaldy • Hemp, Edinburgh • Highland Wholefoods, Inverness • Holistic Hemp Scotland, Forfar • Jan de Vries Healthcare, Edinburgh,

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Auchterarder, Largs, Prestwick, Stranraer, Troon, Glasgow, Stewarton JW Physiotherapy, South Queensferry Lavender Room, Troon Maggie’s Centres, Scotland-wide Mandala Flow, Edinburgh Millstone Wholefoods, Oban Mind & Body Studio, Kirkcaldy Nourish and Flourish with Fiona Morris, Edinburgh & Peebles Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm & Shop, Falkland Scotland Therapy, Edinburgh & Glasgow Strength + Soul at The Barn, Shotts The Carrick Clinic. Prestwick The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn The Wee Retreat, Glasgow Tollbooth House Therapy Centre, Kirkcaldy Whitmuir Organics, West Linton

You can also read a copy of Holistic Scotland Magazine while you are waiting at various salons and other outlets, including airport lounges.

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Holistic Scotland Magazine August/September 2018  

Holistic Scotland Magazine is Scotland's first print title dedicated to natural health and wellbeing and more mindful living. Inside this ve...

Holistic Scotland Magazine August/September 2018  

Holistic Scotland Magazine is Scotland's first print title dedicated to natural health and wellbeing and more mindful living. Inside this ve...