Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a medicinal mushroom that grows on birch trees in the temperate regions of the Earth and is known as ‘King of the Medicinal Mushrooms.' Used for thousands of years, chaga is revered for being the most adaptogenic substance on the earth, and has been used for centuries by tribes in the Arctic regions to assist the body's natural capacity to resist stress. Chaga is well-regarded in Scandinavia, Russia, China, Japan, Canada and other temperate regions as a health tonic.
The mammoth episode many of you have been waiting for. This is part 2 of our childbearing series, and the one where Tahnee and myself dive deep into the practices, philosophy, diet, herbalism and more that went into creating the year in which Tahnee was childbearing little Aiya. This podcast was recorded during the first week of the bubba's life, so the sharing experience of the birth is fresh; something Tahnee was wishing to be able to infuse into this intimate sharing of how she chose to approach nourishing her body during pregnancy.
Here’s briefly what we cover in the episode plus some more extensive notes than usual from Tahnee for those who are on their own pregnancy journey:
* Pregnancy + Home Birth Plans
* How did I know?
* We found out at four weeks, basically I was very aware that something was different in my body!! We’d both felt the baby come in November, and exactly three months later we were pregnant, and I’ve heard that’s common
* Our Pregnancy diet
* we don’t follow a dietary plan, more intuitive
* generally vegetarian, though we do include meat in our diet, probably once or twice a week? fish, buffalo, occasionally organic chicken and beef, other wild meats (rabbit, goat, boar), broths/stocks
* more mindful of eating a variety of foods and definitely eat more quantity, smaller meals, regularly
* organic and local as much as possible - farmers market and Santos/Source keep us fed
* fridge/freezer is stocked
* wild foods, high mineral content
* fermented foods
* Best supplements during pregnancy
* I didn’t take a lot of vitamins or anything like that, apart from lipsomal vitamin C
* lots of herbs, mostly tonics, plus raspberry leaf and nettle, slippery elm occasionally, yellow dock, dandelion, milk thistle, ginger
* lots of probiotics
* iodine until I saturated
* personally most concerned about losing minerals as bubbas drain mamas (for every baby a tooth, is an old saying!) so been keeping up the minerals
* estroblock when we had it, just one cap per day of the pro
* clays and charcoal (you might’ve heard of pica - desire to eat clays - common in pregnant women)
* DHA, EFA: fish oil, also raw seafood, fish and oysters
* sea minerals
* The best tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy
* best suggestion is reishi, but I took everything in the SuperFeast range at various stages, kidney jing herbs lately (postpartum) to heal and boost recovery
* Best herbs during pregnancy
* avoid steroidal herbs, emmenagogues
* check out Susun Weed’s book and Aviva Romm
* Symptoms of pregnancy
* been lucky, apart from tiredness and needing to eat a lot more, I’ve had very little to complain about. Have felt body change, but that’s been fine, I’ve enjoyed being pregnant. Heartburn when my uterus got really big (apparently babies with lots of hair give their mamas heartburn…), but that stopped when baby dropped, ‘growing pains’ around my ribs (like when I was a kid), car sickness if I had an empty belly
* Pregnancy cravings / changes
* started eating meat again, pretty mindfully
* needed lots of simple carbs in the first trimester, regularly. Like, every two hours. Bilbo Baggins style - breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoons I wasn’t a hungry, but at least one snack and then dinner. And often needed to eat in the middle of the night. So I did. 😃
* waking up starving - that’s new for me!
* generally more calories
* haven’t put on much weight, I don’t think, except for boobs and belly and in third trimester around my bum and hips. I haven’t weighed myself
* Exercise during pregnancy
* yoga - only consideration, IMO, is how the mother feels and to listen to her body - if you’re a regular yogi, you will be less flexible in certain areas, this is OK, it’s not about extreme ROM it’s about being mindful about what needs support during the transitions — for me, pecs (chest - boobs!!) and lower traps, rhomboids, hip flexors, quads, glutes and lateral body (QL and thoracolumbar fascia) - I have avoided a lot of ‘hip openers, they made my pelvis feel unstable (deep hip flexion, ext rotation, e.g. pigeon), though I’ve loved square…
* Used a lot of props, have not gone deep but have stayed in poses for a long time. Early pregnancy I wanted to be very active, so preferred more active, mobile classes, teaching ashtanga etc lots of Embodied Flow with Tara Judelle on YogaGlo.
* WALK! I think this is the best thing you can do - I TRY and walk daily (an hour, in nature, but that’s changed as I’ve gotten bigger) - most ‘traditional’ women walk on average 5 kms per during their pregnancies, so I tried to do about an hour a day…that’s dropped off lately, as I get crazy contractions when I walk
* swimming - though mostly just a dip
* stay active - most important, I think
* Lots of additional pregnancy tips
* Vit D on boobs, belly as much as possible = naked sun time
* saunas in winter (short, until I felt too hot, not forced), hot tub
* massage, moxa
* yoga nidra
* Home birth prep and planning
* really just made sense to me, was only option as far as I was concerned. I did not want to be travelling during labour or after birth
* super lucky to have access to the midwives program, through the Byron hospital
* two experienced midwives and one student attended birth, Daddy delivered
* birth pool hire - Birth Afloat (small heated pool)
* spring water - Wild Oasis (filled and added Crystal Energy and sea salt)
* placenta encapsulation
* other tips - buy lots of old towels from op shop!!!
* herbs for post-birth - jing herbs (cordyceps, deer antler, eucommia bark), reishi, lion’s mane, placenta, daily tonic tea: schizandra, raspberry leaf, nettle, vanilla, rhemmania, chaga.
- Ina May Gaskin: Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- Aviva Romm: Natural Pregnancy
- Sarah Buckley - not so much her book, but her interview with Daniel Vitalis about hormone cascades was awesome, ReWild Yourself podcast
- Susun Weed: Wise Women’s Herbal for the Childbearing Year, and her blog
- Jeannie Pavarti Baker - all her books
- Tami Lynn Kent: Wild Feminine, Mouthing from Your Centre
- Jane Hardwick Collings: Ten Moons
- didn’t get to read this, but it looks good, Jenny Blyth: Down to Earth Birth
- Penny Simkin: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
- Roy Dittmann: Brighton Baby
You’ve been waiting… and now our annual Chrissy Sale is on!
The “Santa Is A Mushroom Chrissy Sale” means that the mushroom-gifting Santa Clause has blown his shamanic breath all over our range of mushrooms and tonics to make them all a whopping 20% off store wide from now until we finish up before chrissy on the 23rd.
We’ll be getting your special orders out to you as quick as a flash so you can give the gift of superhuman health this Chrissy in the form of the best tonic herbs and mushies this world has to offer to your friends and family.
AND, for our SuperFeasters outside Australia, we’ve gone ahead and discounted the shipping to you all so you won’t pay more than A$20 for us to get the herbies up on Santa’s mushroom-tripping-reindeer sleigh (he may deliver them you a little later than Christmas however :wink:)
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
SuperFeast's founder Mason Taylor and his partner Tahnee McCrossin are due to give birth to their first bub Nov 26, 2016. For those of you who are pregnant or approaching pregnancy, they've recorded this special podcast discussing their childbearing year. Stay tuned for Part 2.
This is a special episode, part 1 of our Pregnancy Prep and our Childbearing Year. For months my beautiful partner @tahneeyoga and I @masonjtaylor (especially her though) have been asked about our approach to pregnancy thus far. So on the 39-week mark of growing our baby we sat down together to share with you all the ins and outs of how we have prepared in this 2 part podcast. Tahnee especially dives deep in this episode into how she has cleansed her body over the years leading up to conception via deep organ detoxification.
What you’ll learn:
- The role the liver plays in pregnancy and why cleansing it is critical
- How to embody detox and nourishing practices into your lifestyle so your body is always prepared for pregnancy (or just to have a rocking hormonal system)
- Simple techniques for removing heavy metals from your system so your baby doesn’t get overloaded
- Why men must prepare for pregnancy just as much as the woman for the sake of the child – Simple yet powerful techniques for cleansing and healing the gut so you can bring your micro biome back into balance
- How the gut bacteria a woman is passed over to be her child’s immune system
- Why you must look back into your past for clues into what you need to cleanse and nourish in your body – Our top herbs for cleansing the parasites out of your system
- The best and most effective order for deep organ cleansing
- A breakdown on the best tonic herbs to restore strength to your system so it is ready for the childbearing year
- How learning to release tension assists conception and creates ease in pregnancy
Link below, ENJOY!
At SuperFeast, we believe in superhuman health hacks, so long as we don't have to make any compromises for quality! We love sharing the hacks and lifestyle upgrades that we use to support us on a daily basis. When it comes to getting the herbs into our bodies, we definitely try and go for convenience, and as Master herbalist Ron Teeguarden says, "the herbs you don't take won't do anything for you." These are some of our fave ways to ingest the herbs QUICKLY - and we'd love to hear yours!
Mushroom milk (we like PureHarvest Oat, Almond or CocoQuench or The Brokenhead Company coconut milk if homemade is in the too-hard-basket!) - 1 tsp herbs/mushrooms, honey/maple syrup to taste (sprinkle with cacao or cinnamon for a quick upgrade) - yummy, nourishing and easy (GREAT FOR KIDLETS!!) - you can add a tsp of cacao for a quick hot chocolate too. :)
Happy herbal snack paste - 1 Tbs tahini (or any nut butter you like), 1 tsp herbs/mushies, 1 tsp sweetner (honey/maple or if you prefer stevia, a teeny bit!), also great with 1-2 tsp raw cacao (try with a pinch of salt, vanilla and/or cinnamon for extra yum) - mix, eat! Great stuffed into a date or two, spread on toast or on sliced apple! UNREAL with hazelnut butter + cacao, like a healthy nutella.
Mushroom miso - 1 tsp REAL miso paste (make sure it has not been pasteurised), 1 tsp herbs/mushrooms, 1 cup boiling water, 1 Tbs shredded nori, 1 Tbs finely sliced shallots and 4-5 cubes silken tofu, if you eat it (make sure it's non-GMO, organic and good quality!). Hearty and nourishing.
- The hardcore longevity nerd - grab a spoon, pile it up with your herb extract powder and pop it straight in your mouth for 20-40 seconds. This way the herbs get straight across the blood barrier in your mouth, and it tastes fantastic!... When you get used to it ;)
What are your fave quick and easy herbal hacks? We'd LOVE to know!
Let's face it, none of us wants to get old! This is why we love the Chinese pharmacopeia, and their focus on longevity, and even immortality (from the more shamanic Taoist practices). One of the best herbs for helping slow down, or even reverse, the ageing process is one of our favourites here at SuperFeast - astragalus.
Astragalus is known for its immune-boosting properties (for good reason!!). But did you know the herb can add anti-aging to its impressive resume, as certain astragalus molecules have been found to contribute to telomere growth. What's a telomere? Well...
Inside the nucleus of a cell, our genes are arranged along twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide. To put it simply, as these telomeres get worn out over time (from constant reproduction), they start to deteriorate and get damaged, and we age. By slowing, or even stopping, this process, theoretically we could live longer, healthier lives.
According to a study published in the Journal of Immunology, substances within astragalus root (called cycloastragenols and astragalosides) can slow the aging process by activating telomerase enzyme production (responsible for telomere regeneration). Our dual-extracted astragalus maximises the therapeutic effects of these compounds, making them bio-available (much easier than processing a root!!). Try adding it to a smoothie, cup of tea or hot herbal tonic, or best of all, raw chocolate!! <3
We love this Astragalus Superfood Hot Chocolate during Winter, it makes a lovely, rich drink perfect for dessert or morning or afternoon tea.
Astragalus Superfood Hot Chocolate
1 cup plant milk (we like unsweetened coconut or almond milk for this)
1 tsp SuperFeast astragalus extract
1 teaspoon lucuma powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cacao powder (we love Power Superfoods Cacao Gold)
1 square dark, dairy-free chocolate
pinch of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp maple syrup or honey, or stevia to taste
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the plant milk to a gentle simmer. Add the astragalus, lucuma, cocoa powder, chocolate, sea salt, and vanilla to the pot. Stir the warm milk mixture constantly until the chocolate is totally melted, then taste for sweetness and adjust to your palate. Serve right away OR blend the mixture in a blender until frothy.
Drink hot and enjoy! (Note - you can replace the astragalus in this recipe with any of our tonic herbs or medicinal mushrooms.)
Although the MIRON jars appear black, they’re actually a really gorgeous, deep violet/purple. You can see the colour when you hold them up to a light source.
While MIRON has only been available to modern folks relatively recently (since 1995), evidence suggests that violet glass was used by the ancient Egyptians as well as medieval alchemists to protect special herbs and materials.
When it comes to our tonic herbs there are a few natural things that can degrade their quality: light and air are the worst offenders. We love our resealable Kraft bags, but we know that sometimes they don’t seal properly after a while (especially if you’re messy with the herbs…things can get sticky!) and they just don’t look that sexy on the kitchen counter, do they? But the MIRON looks AMAZING on the kitchen bench, and it has a couple of magic tricks up its sleeve!
PRESERVE YOUR HERBS
MIRON violet glass protects your herbs from the light - from the entire visible spectrum!! But the MIRON glass still lets in ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR) and violet lights...which have amazing healing properties on the human nervous system (more on that below). What this means is that herbs stored in MIRON violet glass are safe from degradation for up to three years. How’s that for longevity?
You can see what just two months of storage in the different jars did to these fresh chives (none of them were refrigerated and they were exposed to direct sunlight daily).
Another test showed what seven months did to a cherry tomato (room temperature, normal lights).
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely a fan of green chives and red tomatoes!!
And in another test, beekeepers from Germany showed that the taste and aroma of honey is beautifully preserved in MIRON glass. Enzymes and other active ingredients do not break down as with other types of storage containers.
And finally, the Institute of Dr. D. Knapp tested different spirulina samples. Fresh tablets were packaged in amber, plastic and MIRON violet glass jars, Four weeks later the results were energetically measured. Refer to the images above…look at that sexy MIRON spirulina!
In Taoist and Yogic traditions, violet light shows the highest vibration frequency (720 – 770 billion Hertz) of all colours, corresponding exactly to the vibration frequency of our central nervous system. In his book “Heilkraft des Sonnenlichts” (“Healing Properties of Sunlight”), teacher, musician, and mystic Jakob Lorber (Graz, 1800 – 1864) specified why homeopathic remedies could only be preserved within the violet energy range. According to his opinion and his research, remedies stored in these glasses will not only be preserved for decades but will also be enriched/activated. Tests done during the last decades confirm this thesis. We’re not suggesting you keep your herbs for decades (we think you should ingest them!) - but it’s cool to know that their energetic essence is being preserved, no?
SUPERFEAST HEARTS MIRON
These jars are super precious (and expensive!) and we’d highly recommend you re-use them if you can. If you want to re-use them for herbs, you can buy in bulk and just top up your MIRON glass jar, storing the rest in the freezer for a refill down the track. We’re even thinking about selling empty jars so you can fill your own jars from the bulk bags…let us know if that’s of interest to you.
We’re also excited to be offering MIRON Violet Glass water bottles soon too…magic stuff!
We’d love to hear your feedback on the jars - please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org - and we hope you love them as much as we do.