The Noise Around Nootropics

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You may have heard a lot of recent buzz around nootropics in the wellness world- and rightly so! But before you go believing they are just another ‘fad’, think again…

The word ‘Nootropic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘nous’, which means ‘mind’. Their story began in the 60s and 70s when research was done into compounds that could improve cognition and memory. The idea is that Nootropics stimulate neurons and increase both blood and oxygen flow to the brain, leading to improvements in your attention span and other areas of cognitive functioning.

Simply put, they can be defined as ‘brain-boosters’ and ‘memory-enhancers’’; compounds that enhance elements of human cognition including mood and focus.

And did you know that before reaching for any supplements, most of us consume them daily? Caffeine is one of the most common, popular and easily accessible Nootropics out there. And so is our beloved turmeric! What better excuse than to include this super root into your every day?

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Plus, our Golden Glow adaptogenic blend combines the power of turmeric with the potent Ayurvedic nootropic Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), which has been known to naturally improve memory and boost cognition, helping you to feel focused and alive. The powers of Brahmi were first reputed in old Ayurvedic texts; it was given to devotees who were in need of some extra brain power to memorise long texts and improve cognition. It is the antioxidant effects of Brahmi that support increased cognitive function, alongside its ability to affect brain levels of acetylcholine, which is essential for memory.

Not only this, but Brahmi is a powerhouse of an adaptogen. It has a notable ability to reduce anxiety by modulating brain levels of serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for our moods).

Research surrounding the power of Nootropics is moving at an incredible pace as knowledge of them moves into mainstream wellness. In the meantime, head on over to our Wunder shop and stock up on your daily dose of turmeric goodness- our favourite Nootropic of them all!

GOLDEN BALANCE: ROCIO GRAVES

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Food photographer, personal chef + food activist host Rocio Graves is not only the queen of nourishing plant-based recipes, but also one of our go-to people when it comes to finding inspiration for self-care rituals and simps but effective healing tools to soothe mind, body and spirit. Today she shares how she finds her own version of golden balance, and rituals that keep her aligned, happy and healthy.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

I’m not sure I have yet found that golden balance, haha. But these are some of the things that keep me vibing high: listening to music, being around animals (if it’s a purring kitten all the better), drinking plenty of water,  doing yoga, waking up before sunrise, staying away from gossip and watching low vibe content online (I haven’t owned a TV in over a decade), spending more time outdoors (Mother Nature is our true healer) than indoors,  meaningful conversations, physical touch (I’m a hugger), being of service, creating, doing the right thing. 

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

It’s the most important! And I implement it into my my life every single day. Self-care to me comes in the form of having a good night sleep (in bed by 10pm) and getting up before sunrise. It’s putting my bare feet on the ground in the morning, doing a little stretching before I sit down in meditation. It’s choosing foods that will nourish me on a cellular level (local and seasonal and organic), its incorporating medicinal plants and mushrooms into my diet every day, its breathing fresh air, being in direct contact with sunlight every day, its not spending too much time in front of screens (having boundaries and learning to be more efficient with my time so I can finish my work and be outside). Caring for myself is how I choose to live my life. I’ve done the opposite for most of my life and it didn’t work for me.  

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.  

‘Trust in the Divine Plan’

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

Nourishment to me comes in many forms. From the type of air I’m breathing to the music I’m listening to, the people I spend time with, the sunlight that kisses my skin, the water I drink, the information I consume, the thoughts I have, creating space in the mind and body to receive… Nourishing myself in all these ways takes daily practice and I do my best. 

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I like to turn off all screens, put my feet on the ground and read a book. Or drive in my car with loud music. It depends on my mood. At night, when the sun sets,  I like to use only candles to light the room. This allows me to wind down and have a deeply nourishing sleep. 

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

ohhh, I have so many… at the moment: fresh ginger, tahini, a good Indian spice blend 

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

it’s actually toast with rubbed garlic, olive oil, ginger/date/turmeric chutney, sliced avocado, sea salt and lemon zest. It’s a ‘guilty’ pleasure because my digestion doesn’t agree with bread, even if gluten-free.  I would definitely say I prefer this to any delicious sweet dessert.  

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I like to add it to dressings and chutneys as well as curries and golden milk in the morning and at night. 

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

I love a turmeric latte in the morning and I’m not a big fan of the taste of matcha!

GOLDEN BALANCE: NEIL SELIGMAN

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Meet mindfulness king and author of ‘100 Mindfulness Meditations’, Neil Seligman. The UK is in the throes of a Mindfulness Revolution— it's almost impossible to visit Instagram without coming across yet another post telling us why we should be more mindful + less mindless. Doctors, academics, neuroscientists, psychologists, journalists and coaches all seem to be embracing the practice, proclaiming its benefits, and it’s any wonder why! Neil noticed that many people who are excited by the ideas and benefits of mindfulness have found it tricky to integrate daily. Keep reading to find out how he keeps a golden mind despite the pressures of life.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

My mindfulness practice leads me into the day with a mix of breathing exercises, mindful movements, yoga, meditation and commitments. That helps to set me up for a day of balance and usually happiness.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Self-care is foundational to everything else - it has become the ground upon which my life is constructed.

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.

'Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour' ~ Rumi

- How do you practice nourishment every day?

That depends on what I discover in my daily meditation and what I feel inspired and motivated to do each day. My go-to nourishment activities include walking the dog, weight-training, swimming, and dancing - particularly '5 Rhythms’ which I try to do every week or two. I also find my work deeply nourishing and inspiring as well as expressing my creativity in my Soul Portrait process.

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I like to read - I have a thirst for learning and love anything around psychology, human potential, and mindfulness. My boyfriend and I usually have a few TV shows on the go as well - we’re into the latest Orange is The New Black and West World at the moment!

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?

Himalayan Rock Salt / My Mum’s Marmalade / Dark Chocolate

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

Probably gave that away already - absolutely love dark chocolate - particularly the ones with orange flavour. Found a great one in Greece on hols last week!

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric?

In a turmeric chai

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Turmeric latte!

GOLDEN BALANCE: PHOEBE GREENACRE

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It's time you got to know travel lifestyle blogger, yoga teacher + founder of the gorgeous luxury activewear Silou London, Phoebe Greenacre.  After 10 years of working in the corporate marketing world for luxury, travel + wellness companies, it was time to start her own. Having saved up for overseas trips since the age of 16, she's checked off 54 countries + her curiosity grows with every new adventure. Her mission is to inspire people to travel the world, try new things (like yoga), have an open mind about wellness + encourage you to trust your soul in all things. Keep scrolling to discover what keeps her balanced on the road and in her heart. 

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

To find my source of golden balance, I need to move my body first thing in the morning. Followed by at least 10 minutes of meditation. Then no matter what happens through the day, my mind and body are equipped.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Oh my god. My friends call me the self-care queen! My day is full of daily rituals. From breathing exercises while the kettle boils, to burning incense before bedtime, I love to slow down my normal go-go-go self with rituals unique to me. Im also a big believer of getting body work done, massages, facials, or a long hot bath sprinkled with candles and aromatic oils. I could go on!

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

"no one is you and that is your power" Not sure who it belongs to, but I often adopt it as my daily mantra.

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I make sure I fuel myself with whole fresh foods, lots of filtered water and minimum processed foods. 

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I love listening to meditation yoga nidra podcasts, light my favourite candles or incense or a cup of Wunder Workshop turmeric latte.

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

I have to always have a extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed organic coconut oil and Himalayan pink salt in my kitchen. 

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

I have many. My favourite would be a glass of Argentinan Malbec and some organic milk chocolate.

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I definitely love adding turmeric to my curries and cooking. I'm yet to try it in my beauty regime!

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Both!

GOLDEN BALANCE: KRISTIN DAHL

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Kristin Dahl is a Los Angeles based nutritionist + women’s wellness educator, who offers a fresh take on holistic living in a modern world. Her teachings come from an extensive background in holistic health, plant-based cooking, herbal medicine, and functional nutrition. Kristin is the founder of The Women’s Wellness Collective & the holistic lifestyle hub, Dahl House Nutrition. Take a peek into her creative + inspiring approach, known to educate and empower individuals to make lasting change. 

-       How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

Recently, my daily dose of golden comes from the sun. With inspiration from some of my favorite ladies (Nadine Artemis & Maggie Harrsen ),  I’ve been soaking in a bit of sun - with no sunscreen - daily for 20 minutes (I built up from 5 minutes a few months ago). This sun therapy has been doing wonders: elevating my mood, increasing my energy, and offering my skin a refreshing glow!

I’ve also been spending more time than usual unplugged, in nature. Spending days on end walking in the woods, hiking in the mountains, gardening, swimming in the ocean, and sinking my toes into the sand. I find the go-go energy of city life quite draining and turn to nature as a restorative refuge. Getting into nature & unplugging is honestly the most important step anyone can take for their health. For city folk, far from the land - find a park to stroll in and sit, breathe, sink in. 

-       How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Self-care for me is non-negotiable. This comes in many forms: time in nature, drinking daily herbal infusions, spending time creating healthy meals, exercising daily (even if it’s just a long walk), lots of baths, the occasional massage, and a facial about every month or two.

Most importantly, self-care for me looks like truly listening to the needs of my body over everything else. Drinking plenty of water, getting exercise, eating balanced meals & saying no to anything that isn’t a hell yes + taking downtime, space,  and unplugging whenever I need to re-ground and center myself.

-       Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. -Melody Beattie

-       We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I make herbal infusions most days; they are an incredibly powerful way to get a dose of vitamins, and minerals. This form of herbal medicine is so simple yet profoundly healing. The ritual of making infusions in itself is a lovely way to connect with the plants. Some of my favorites include nettles, lemon balm, holy basil, and burdock. My favorite summer blend is nettles, peppermint & oatstraw infused & then chilled. It’s incredibly refreshing!

Another key component for inner to outer nourishment is staying properly hydrated – this is fundamental, but often overlooked.

-       What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I love taking a walk in the neighbourhood after a long day as well as reading, stretching, taking baths, watching movies, drinking tea, and deep breathing. I also love listening to calming music or binaural beats as a way to slow my brain down.

-       Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

Hard to name just 3!!

Pantry: Coconut oil, raw honey, Himalayan salt

Fridge: fresh cilantro, sauerkraut, ginger

-       Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

Gosh, YES! Don’t we all? I love gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, coconut ice cream, staying up all night when it’s a full moon, and drinking biodynamic wine with friends.

-       What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I love making curries, adding turmeric to juices, golden milk, porridge, granola, chia pudding.

-       Matcha or turmeric latte?

In the summer months it’s matcha – sometimes over ice & fall + winter turmeric golden lattes!

GOLDEN BALANCE: MICHELLE ROQUES O'NEIL

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Voted as one of the Top 10 Aromatherapists in the world by Vogue, Michelle Roques O'Neil is no stranger to the world of all things spiritual, holistic + balancing. Her brand Therapie is home to crystal-infused beauty products that help you glow from the inside out. Today, she shares the rituals + practices that go beyond skin deep in order to keep her balanced from morning to night. 

- Hi Michelle. We would love you to tell us little about your journey and the story of Therapie.

Therapie evolved out of my treatment practice, where although I got great results, I felt that people were not investing fully in their wellbeing on a daily basis. I’d be filling people up only to receive them back in a completely burnt out state once again – I wanted to change their daily mindset and habits.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

My daily dose of golden balance comes in the morning; it’s a precious time for me. I’m usually up early, I love the silence as I sit quietly sipping on hot water and lemon... a habit I picked up 30 years ago when working for Micheline Arcier. I do my morning pages at this time, it’s a process I’ve done for 20 years – it’s just great for decluttering the mind and dumping anxiety, some days it’s just that ... other days it can be really inspirational.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Absolutely, self-care is essential to keep the spirit and soul on track. It’s so integral to Therapie’s philosophy and one of the key pillars of the brand ...engaging in little moments of respite throughout your day to reconnect with life and notice the little pleasures- whether it’s a cool shower taken with some deep breaths or anointing a scented oil over wet skin, just doing this consciously will get you out of your head and connect you to the boundaries of your physical being. I take small breaks like spritzing myself with Therapie Restore Aura Spray, £32 (roquesoneil.com) (it s a desktop staple) 3-5 deep breath (inhale for 3 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds) is enough to revive and reset your inner balance. So the answer is yes – they are essential and help you to step out of the norm into the magical.

- Share a quote with us that inspires you every day.

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” - The Dalai Lama

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I do 20 minutes of integrated Qi Gong. It’s been something that I’ve done for over 20 years. It’s a moving meditation which physically heals whilst increasing my sensitivity. It really sets me up for the day.

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

Meditation, reading, listening to music and cooking.

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

Chilli, garlic, fresh coriander.

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

Iced cold brew black coffee (only one and not everyday)

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

We use organic turmeric oil in our Comfort Warming Rub, £24 (roquesoneil.com). Earlier this year I caught the Aussie flu, I hadn’t been so ill in years and that amazing pot of soothing kindness really eased away my aches and pains, it’s quite magical and the most brilliant multi-tasking hero.

Food-wise I make dal with turmeric, definitely – my ultimate comfort food. I serve it with finely shredded hispi cabbage with grated coconut, turmeric, coriander, a dash of coconut milk and a squeeze of lime, with Himalayan salt to taste, delicious!

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Turmeric latte all day long!

GOLDEN BALANCE: JEANNE DE KROON, FOUNDER OF ZAZI VINTAGE

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Meet Jeanne De Kroon, founder of Zazi Vintage: a luxury ethical fashion brand working for sustainability, women's economic + social independence. Today she shares the story behind Zazi Vintage, her love for Yin yoga + what truly nourishes her mind, body + soul. 

- Hi Jeanne. We would love you to tell us little about your journey and the story of Zazi Vintage. 

I started my company called Zazi a year ago which turned in to a platform that combines all my dreams of working with the most amazing women in small villages on sustainable development and simultaneously operates in the luxury fashion market by making crazy coats from old carpets found in dusty mountains by local partner families and fund girls education projects.  It grew from one girl ironing dresses on her yoga mat (me) at home into a real company within the past year, and right now operates in many central asian countries, India, Nepal and Afghanistan.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

My golden balance mostly comes from my little sacred morning routine. I like to wake up early and start the morning with Yin yoga and put on some music from the Huni Kuin tribe from the amazon. I have my little rituals (includes drinking coffee and eating dates with almond butter) but more importantly, my best days are when I start writing down my intentions after a short yin yoga session. I also love running in the woods every morning. My days in general are quite full with busy city life and coordinating my company at this stage so these 2 hours in the morning that I take for myself are the thing that keeps me balanced and happy. 

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Its essential! I am an only child so  understanding the self and the way that this Jeanne body and mind works has been the most exciting journey of all journeys. I think in modern day society we don’t take enough time for ourselves and it is only in the times that you can reflect that you find the most special powers you have. I guess this is where my morning routine comes from. I haven’t always had the easiest path (like everybody) and have seen dark days and depression without purpose and play. Implementing rituals that create awareness of your own body and mind and your perception of the world around you gives space to grasp the reason behind it all.

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I practice nourishment in many ways but I still believe that the most important thing you can feed yourself is to be surrounded by people that give you energy, life and light. 

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

Yin yoga! And I am trying out a lemon water fast now using Wunder Workshop over the next week. I think fasting is one of the most magical things so far like all things that work on our ‘yin' energy. 

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

I always add turmeric to my daily routine. I have been spending a lot of time in India the last years as I am working with different women empowering NGOs where the women told me about the benefits of drinking golden milk in the evening and whenever something in your body or mind is not working. 

I also love anything green and adding almond butter on every fruit possible. 

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

DATES AND ALMOND BUTTER ! 

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I of course love turmeric lattes (especially the Golden Shrooms one) but I also love mixing water with homemade fennel and hops drops and some turmeric honey from Wunder. It has been my favourite summer drink! 

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Turmeric of course

GOLDEN BALANCE: NITSA CITRINE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT SUN POTION

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As creative director for a brand that wants its users to feel nothing short of amazing, Nitsa Citrine is as inspiring in her spiritual approach to life, as her love for herbs like us. Sun Potion is home to many medicinal plants, tonic herbs + superfoods crafted with a view to improving overall wellbeing, health + happiness.  Nitsa is the epitome of golden and today she shares what keeps her balanced on the daily.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

Tuning into a sense of gratitude for every moment I am here on the planet.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Self-care is a priority for me.

I truly feel that in order to make positive shifts in the outer world, we must tend to the inner.

I implement self-care into my daily life through vibrant, nutrient-dense foods, surrounding myself with beautiful music, art and friendship whenever possible, as well as taking time for quiet and solitude. I love silent mornings. 

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

“Love is a clash of lightnings.”

― Pablo Neruda

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

Daily living tea meditation + adaptogenic herbal tonics!

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I love to finish my workday with a solid half hour + in my infrared sauna

-Or, slightly less detoxifying - a glass of biodynamic wine.

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

Organic, local and/or wild harvested ingredients (absolutely no GMOs!!!)

Minimally processed, if at all (ie. only whole, living foods, or if processed it is fermented, stone ground, or intelligently extracted to the most bioavailable form - our 10:1 cold water extract of he shou wu, for instance)

Sharp Japanese knives! (can't stand a dull knife, kills me)

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

 Ordering room service and not leaving my hotel for as long as possible

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

I put turmeric in everything - in my elixirs, shakes, food, salad dressings... sometimes even DIY face masks!

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Impossible decision! Matcha and Turmeric are the two loves of my life!!

GOLDEN BALANCE: ALEX HEAD, FOUNDER OF SOCIAL PANTRY

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With a dedicated team of experienced chefs, event planners + waiting staff, Social Pantry has become the go-to London caterer for bespoke events, weddings and parties. We caught up with founder Alex to chat all things golden when it comes to mind, body and soul food.

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

Throughout the winter I was loving a turmeric latte, it gave me the gentle, warming boost I needed in the morning, this along with plenty of fresh mint and ginger tea is key to my routine. 

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

It is really important, but like anyone I am sure, it is the first thing to go when I get busy. I swim 2 or 3 times a week and do yoga twice a week which gives helps keep me balanced. An evening in by myself is also crucial to keeping on top of everything and getting a moment to relax with my own thoughts. 

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

“The best people love to eat” - Julia Childs

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

I’m big juice fan. I have one juice a day, which seems to fight off all sorts of colds in the winter.  I have invested in the company PRESS as they’re doing great things and I love their juice. A daily juice at the start of the day, lots of fresh, seasonal and delicious food during the day and a fresh mint tea at the end of the day keep me balanced. 

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

I love a bubble bath! This plus a wine or calming tea depending on the mood for me is the perfect way to end the day and something I often look forward to on busy days.

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

  1. Fresh mint – in your tea, salad, water…
  2. Grains – I have a selection of them in my larder, I love mixing them through delicious fresh salads.
  3. Seeds – I am known for adding seeds to everything! 

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

Oh goodness… dark chocolate. Anything dark and fair trade normally wins.

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

Adding a pinch of turmeric to your scrambled eggs is a winner….

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Being an independent café owner I would recommend both but when ordering for myself, I always go turmeric.