Herbstalk Plant of the Year: Rose

By Steph Zabel,
Herbalist, Ethnobotanist and Educator

How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its
Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too
Frightened.
— Rose for the Heart / Hafiz

The Rose family (Rosaceae) is one of the most beloved group of plants —humans have had a deep love for Rose and her relations for thousands and thousands of years. Not only does this family produce beautiful flowering plants such as spirea, potentilla, lady’s mantle, agrimony and hawthorn, but also important fruit crops such as pears, peaches, plums, cherries, quinces, almonds, raspberries and strawberries.

What would our world be like without these delights?!

Of all these family members, Rose is the most well-known and sought-after. She is the true queen of flowers.

We all know Rose as the symbol of love and beauty but its use as an herbal remedy is less known. However, the gifts of this flower are plentiful.

Rose petals are cooling and astringent, which makes it useful in cases of heat or inflammation in the body. I like to mix rose petals (from pink or red flowering species) in tea blends to drink on hot summer days. Rose helps to cool heat that exists in the body, whether it manifests as hot, inflamed skin conditions or as internal heat in the gut, such as ulcers, colitis or Crohn’s. High in bioflavonoids, rose is also a wonderful cardiovascular tonic which helps to strengthen vascular function and support proper circulation in the body.

All roses will develop hips once their flowers fade, which are a delicious wild edible. They are nutritive and tart, and can be infused into a tea that is high in many vitamins, especially Vitamins A and C. Even though citrus fruits get all the glory for being a great source of Vitamin C, rosehips actually contain a higher concentration of this important vitamin and are in fact one of the richest botanical sources of it. This makes rosehips an excellent addition to fall and winter tea blends to help support the body in cold and flu season.

As an energetic remedy Rose works on opening the heart chakra (not surprisingly) and also acts as heart-settling nervine. It brings peace and strength to the body and spirit, and can help to lift anxiety and depression. Likewise, if one’s emotions are too hot or stuck — with frustration or anger — Rose comes to the rescue.

The gift of Rose is two-fold: it helps to soften and relax the heart space (and tense emotional states) while also offering strength and fierceness when needed. A rose is beautiful and vulnerable in flower but also sharp and fierce in thorns — it imparts these same qualities to us when we use it internally or as a flower essence.

There is so much more to learn about Rose — it is a multi-faceted and multi-purpose remedy. I believe it is also important for our modern day lives in that it helps us shift our orientation from being too much in our heads to being more in our hearts.

And this is exactly one of the reasons we chose Rose to be our Herbstalk Plant-of-the-Year for 2017!

Herbstalk is an annual event that takes place in early June at the Armory in Somerville. The Herbstalk Team also organizes the popular Wintergreen Holiday Market at the Armory in late November. More details can be found at: www.herbstalk.org. For more information on Steph's work (including classes and consultations) please visit: www.flowerfolkherbs.com.

Beauty Uniform: Julia Teren of Thesis Beauty

Julia Teren, founder of Thesis Beauty

Julia Teren, founder of Thesis Beauty

By Mary, The Naturalist Contributor & Body Care Buyer

Reading the label of a skincare product is like reading a nutrition label, except worse. There’s an ingredient list, common allergies, there are chemicals I know I want to avoid, chemicals that sound like I should avoid them but are really just a fancy name for Vitamin E which I don’t want to avoid, and there are ingredients I covet. There are oils we all know and love (Jojoba! Rosehip!) and oils we didn’t know about before we saw them bottled and prepared on the shelf (Moringa!). Then there are 4 different kinds of the same oil and 3 different moisturizers claiming to target sensitive skin. It reminds me of the first time I moved out of my parents house and had a panic attack, standing in the middle of the bread aisle at a supermarket in West Hollywood, overwhelmed at 18 years old by the sheer amount of options I had and wondering whether I should even be eating bread anyway.

Julia Teren, founder of Thesis Beauty and self proclaimed Beauty Purist, has created a line of incredibly pure and effective skin care while making sure labels are easy for consumers to digest. I discovered Thesis like many of you probably did: while longingly searching for non toxic skin care that actually worked. Thesis also became my first realization that skincare could be the next local food movement. By choosing Thesis I’m supporting a local family owned business that uses premium organic ingredients without charging me a premium price. By supporting Thesis, I’m helping grow the rich community of makers, artists, and healers that call New England their home.

Below, Julia shares her own experience with discovering pure beauty and how Thesis came to be.

Thesis is a local favorite among Cambridge Naturalists, what was the first product you created as a brand that led to the growth of the company?

First of all, we are so proud to be part of the awesome Camberville community and Cambridge Naturals and grateful for all the unbelievable support we are getting! Thank you so much!
The first product I came up with after months and months of extensive research was the serum Lullaby for Dry Skin. At the time I was struggling with skin dryness exacerbated by living in an urban area such as Los Angeles. The weirdest thing was that my skin was dry, but still breaking out. At times it would actually swing in the opposite direction and produce crazy amounts of sebum while still feeling awfully dehydrated, flaking, and just looked embarrassing. Nothing I got in stores (and at the time I was dead set on going organic and natural) could fix this, no matter the price. So it was my priority to make something soothing and moisturizing for the face first to alleviate dryness, clear flaking, and stop breakouts. Countless hours were spent to come up with this truly balanced, nutritious formula that was light, moisturizing, and smelling great.

They say you have to spend at least 10,000 hours to master a skill, I think I paid my dues beyond that. In the meantime I was also trying to formulate a good cream because my shins were so dry and itchy I was scratching myself to tears. Dozens of failed experiments later, a silky Lavender cream was born. Those two were my saviors and the formulas have experienced minimal changes since their debut because they were so successful.

Julia and Serge

Julia and Serge

How has Thesis changed since those beginnings?

Well, it's been a journey. We started back in 2009. We had a different name and very much homemade packaging, and the bottles and jars were blue. I had to master Photoshop and photography skills from scratch in order to come up with professional-looking labels. In fact, I had to re-design them at least 3 times. But from the very beginning, and to this day, we have been focusing on eco-friendly packaging, mostly glass with sun-protective qualities. So on the surface, the design has changed, but our organic-vegan-eco ethos is firmly rooted in all we do.

I love the term “beauty purist.” It sums up those of us searching for nontoxic and sustainable skincare products perfectly. When/how did you first become a self proclaimed “beauty purist?”
I think I have this perfectionist mentality where everything has to be done to the highest standards or it's not worth doing at all. So I can relate to how frustrating it can be to read skincare label. Say, as a beauty purist, you want to find a product that would be organic, vegan, and simple. What you find instead: asterisks on the labels with exceptions, or in-brackets explanations with the "derived from" theme, or with free-from list of ingredients while the ingredient panel would be plagued with a lot of other chemicals. So when I started Thesis I decided it must be the best or what's the point in wasting ingredients.

What’s your daily skincare routine? Does this change with the seasons or while traveling?

That is a very good question. My friend just asked me yesterday: "Which products in your line do you use?" and I replied "All of them!" - that's because I developed them originally to tackle my own skin issues. In summer, when it's hot and steamy my dry skin behaves more like combo type, so I use products intended for oily/combo skin to curb excessive sebum production and control pores. As heat subsides and we step into cooler, dryer months my skin swings back to its normal, dry self, so I begin to swap one product after another to gradually revert back to the dry skin routine. But regardless of the season, I am trying to be good about following simple steps: #1 Removing makeup, if necessary. I really only wear mineral mascara and occasionally mineral eye shadows. Lately I got obsessed with super bright lipsticks, so those may require makeup remover for sure. #2 Cleansing. I love Tender as Petals for its mildness, and it's also just very slightly scrubby and gives me a gentle massage. #3 Moisturizing - it's everything for me. The one thing that I can't forget while traveling or under any other circumstances is a moisturizer. #4 Scrubs and masks - whenever the life of a busy mom permits. I sometimes apply a mask even just for 5-10 minutes before little hands start knocking on the bathroom door, but it already makes me feel better, taken care of, and the skin is certainly very happy even with this effort. I am grateful that this routine liberated me from camouflaging my skin with foundations because there is usually nothing to camouflage anymore.

The Thesis Beauty Team (including Bjorn)!

The Thesis Beauty Team (including Bjorn)!

What has inspired or continues to inspire your beauty uniform?

The raw movement. Several years ago I got inspired by bloggers and recipe books describing raw, living foods - the dishes on those photographs looked better than what they were called to substitute! To that end, I feel like organizing my kitchen better played a very important role in improving cooking habits and transitioning to raw.


I try to apply raw principles to my skincare formulas as well - most ingredients are raw, unprocessed and food grade. It also made me look deeper into supplements and vitamins, so now I only use raw, organic vitamins, live probiotics, unprocessed proteins, etc. Raw and organic ingredients provide maximum benefit to the skin and the body which has been confirmed by a number of studies. I can attest to that with my own experience. I also used to get enough sleep, but with when our son came I haven't slept in probably 2 years. I attribute my energy and complexion to the beauty uniform that I am trying to uphold as best I can.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring beauty purists, what would it be?

Reading labels and understanding ingredients is essential, so it pretty much boils down to educating yourself about what should and shouldn't be on your plate, in your lotion, in your laundry, etc. Another aspect of it is the perceived beauty standard touted explicitly or subliminally by media, movies etc - they are forced upon us. Also at play are our inner unresolved issues, complexes that prevent us from loving and accepting ourselves as we deserve. I strongly believe that healthy is beautiful - the rest is passing trend.

Do you have a favorite Thesis product or one that is particularly special to you?

Serum for Dry Skin is my favorite moisturizer. It helped me normalize my skin, transition to a purist routine, and eventually drop camouflaging with everyday makeup.

Thank you so much for sharing your Beauty Uniform with us, Julia! For updates from Thesis follow them on instagram @thesisbeauty

Not just a number: Introducing Plain Jane Beauty

By Caitlin, CN Body Care Lead

In a world cluttered with toxic cosmetics, it’s no wonder that choosing the right foundation can be such a daunting task. Making the switch to safer can seem like a lifestyle overhaul, especially when you’ve been (as so many of us have!) bowing at the feet of conventional cosmetics for years. At Cambridge Naturals, we understand the need for clean cosmetics that actually work, and most importantly, we understand the urgency of partnering with inclusive beauty and body care brands that offer a variety of styles and shades - suiting the needs of all of our diverse customer base, not just a small selection.

Being a ‘green’ and sustainable business is more than just paper recycling, car pooling and water conservation. Those things matter too, however, it also includes fostering business relationships with like-minded vendors and manufacturers; sustainable ingredient sourcing, product packaging; fair labor practices and social and economic responsibility.
— Lake Louise, Founder of Plain Jane Beauty

Our latest partner in the Body Care Department is Plain Jane Beauty - a champion in inclusive and clean cosmetic formulation. Formulated by certified makeup artist, Lake Louise, Plain Jane Beauty offers 17 shades of liquid foundation from ivory to ebony - and we carry every one of them! Lake Louise tasked herself with creating a cosmetic line that had foundations for all shades without compromising the health of your skin or the performance of her products. With fabulous foundation names like “I am Exquisite”, “I am Magnificent”, "I am Brilliant" and “I am Radiant”, Plain Jane Beauty affirms your lifestyle choices, your power of choice, and your strength and beauty.

Lake Louise Ziwa, founder of Plain Jane Beauty

Lake Louise Ziwa, founder of Plain Jane Beauty

Plain Jane Beauty’s liquid mineral foundations blend aesthetics with ethics. Using natural mineral pigments, certified organic ingredients and plant oils such as frankincense, neem and calendula, your skin will be fully nourished without feeling greasy or clogged!

Not only is Plain Jane Beauty making strides with cosmetics, but they’re making strides as a “green” business. Lake Louise says “being a ‘green’ and sustainable business is more than just paper recycling, car pooling and water conservation. Those things matter too, however, it also includes fostering business relationships with like-minded vendors and manufacturers; sustainable ingredient sourcing, product packaging; fair labor practices and social and economic responsibility.” Plain Jane Beauty uses fair trade coffee, cocoa powder and shea butter, certified organic ingredients whenever possible, and makes a conscious effort with eco-friendly packaging and promotion. Plain Jane Beauty reuses shipping packaging and boxes, prints all marketing materials locally and on recycled paper and uses vegetable-based inks. We are excited to offer this brand in store, and we know you’ll be excited by this wide range of colors, too!

We highly value our partnership with Plain Jane Beauty, and we welcome you to come try out their products with us! Please ask our Body Care team for a sample to try out! We are happy to help you find the shade that best suits you!

The Father's Day Gift Guide

It's time to celebrate dad! If you're having trouble finding the perfect gift, Caitlin has rounded up some of our favorite clean and effective body care and lifestyle products to show dad some love:

Brothers Artisan Oil “The Wash”

Charlestown, MA based Brothers Artisan Oil delivers quality cleansing for face, body and hair all wrapped into one! Tea Tree and Charcoal for those long days that need washing away and Blood Orange, Lemon and Lavender for a nice, relaxing weekend wash to relish in.

LEAP Organics Lip Balms

Hyper-local brand LEAP Organics will have your father figure moisturizing their lips in style! Eucalyptus Mint, Lavender and Citrus flavors all feature fantastic artwork of animals in need of our help! When you buy LEAP Organics, you’re supporting local and supporting LEAP’s charitable partner, 1% for the Planet, which receives 1% of LEAP purchases. The earth will thank you!

A Wild Soap Bar Timber and Coal Soaps

These chunks of soap stack perfectly on any surface, and lather incredibly well! If your dad is looking for that powerful, grounding signature scent, look no further! Handcrafted in small batches, A Wild Soap Bar’s Jory Hanus “celebrates the average hardworking American whose hands helped build this great nation, providing a nostalgic look back at a simpler, more honest time”. Worth a wash!

Badger Basic Shave Kit

Fellow local B Corp, Badger, is dedicated to taking care of parents and their children offering the babies at work program and partially subsidized, reasonably priced childcare. Something else Badger is doing for parents is providing the perfect self care products. With the Basic Shave Kit, dad will be enjoying his “me time”, too!

EnviroCare Combs  

Made in the USA from 100% recycled material, GMO and BPA-Free - what’s not to love?! We love EnviroCare because they’re a family-owned business that’s been around for over 40 years, just like Cambridge Naturals! Gifting EnviroCare Combs this Father’s Day not only will make your dad’s hair happy, but it will support an environmentally conscious family-owned business, too!

Maika Travel Kits

Want to ditch the idea of one-time use gift wrapping this Father’s Day? Put your dad’s gifts in these great travel cases by Maika! Printed on recycled canvas with eco-friendly inks, these are sure to be something your father will feel great about using over and over again!

Imbibing, Naturally

By John, CN Grocery Buyer and The Naturalist Contributor

"What's that?" you may be asking. "How could the place where I purchase my vitamins and protein shakes help me get drunk?" Well, dear readers, although Cambridge Naturals will always be here for you when you're in need of a cleanse or detox, we're more than happy to help you creatively re-tox as well! Booze in careful moderation* may have some medicinal value, and its functions as a social lubricant and stress reliever have been documented since the poems of antiquity.

But antiquity is not what we're here to talk about. The world of the mixed drink has changed dramatically in the last decade, and Cambridge Naturals is stocked to the rafters with ingredients which can bring your next party to the vanguard of the craft cocktail revolution!

What follows are not a couple, not a few, but five different drinks showcasing a wide variety of items for sale in our store. It could have been a dozen! The possibilities really are limitless. Come find me in person at the store for the low-down on some of my extra-secret concoctions or to let me know what you've come up with.

THE HOT HONEY PALOMA

  • 4 oz Grapefruit flavor Spindrift sparkling water
  • 2 oz Organic Mezcal or Tequila*
  • 1 tablespoon Mike's Hot Honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Sprig of Mint

Stir the liquor, honey, and lime juice well, then pour in the Spindrift and enjoy!

THE SAPPY CHAMELEON

  • 1 oz Feronia Forests Mission Maple Syrup
  • 1 oz Overproof Rum*
  • 8 oz Chameleon Cold Brew

Combine and mix ingredients in a glass, stir, and serve!

THE CHAI ORANGE HONEY OLD FASHIONED

  • 3 tablespoons Boston Chai Party Homemade Chai Spices
  • 8 oz Organic Bourbon*
  • 8 tsp Puremiel Orange Blossom Honey
  • Urban Moonshine Citrus Bitters
  • Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

(recipe makes 4 cocktails)

First, put the chai spices in a sachet and infuse the bourbon for a few hours. Then mix 2 oz of the infused bourbon, 2 teaspoons honey, and 3 dashes of the bitters with some ice in a shaker and shake it all up. Pour over an old fashioned glass with ice and top with a splash of sparkling water.

THE GINGER CACAO BOMB

  • 1 1/2 oz Repurposed Pod Cacao Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz Organic Gin*
  • 1/4 oz Old Friends Farm Ginger Syrup
  • a dash of Urban Moonshine Original Bitters
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice, shake, pour over ice, and bottoms up!

THE CAMBRIDGE NATURALS BLOODY MARY

  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Hosta Hill hot sauce
  • 3oz Organic Vodka*
  • 6oz Mucho Gazpacho (Original)
  • Mix in a glass with ice and your choice of garnish, line the rim with Maldon's smoked sea salt!

That's all for now! Cheers! Slainte! Probst! Kampai! Salud! See you next time!

*Please drink responsibly. Any of these cocktails can be made without alcohol and enjoyed immensely!

Final Exams Survival Guide

By Jenn, CN Customer Service Specialist & Industrial Design Major

Finals are a difficult time for students. You want to be able to eat well, get some sleep, see all your friends before you depart for the summer, and of course pass your exams! It can seem overwhelming, but here are a few tips that have gotten me through the end of the semester for the last four years.

Photo via textbooksandtea

Photo via textbooksandtea

1. Stay Fed

This can seem like a difficult task, like, who has time to cook? And those take-out charges seem to add up so quickly, but there are a few foods I love that can be quick, filling, and nutritious. I love the single serve nut butters from Once Again - they can fit in my bag and can be spread on crackers, bread or just directly into your mouth (seriously, I've done this many times). Food bars can be a saving grace as they are great on the go and will help you get to your next meal without a massive blood sugar crash. In particular, I love Macro Bars from GoMacro. They have a huge range of flavors and a lot of them are protein-packed, along with being extremely tasty. All of my non-veg friends swear by the Bulletproof Collagen Bars, as they are full of healthy fats from MCT oil and loaded with protein rich collagen (also, they taste pretty delicious, or so I've heard). Our Cambridge Naturals™ nuts, sourced from Tierra Farms, are the perfect munching companion for your late night study sessions - all organic and all filling. We also recently started carrying Yuso, a cute and filling Japanese inspired snack full of rice and a savory filling all wrapped up in seaweed! Perfect for when you're sick of bars and nuts!

2. Stay Hydrated

A lot of people forget to drink water when they're busy but, staying hydrated is extremely important all the time, not just during finals! We have a great selection of reusable water bottles from Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask, along with carrying a diverse selection of bottled water and coconut water, you really have no excuse but to stay hydrated.

3. Stay Focused

Working in a health food store I’ve been able to learn a lot about different types of supplements and what they do. And we carry some great supplemental study companions, My go to is Host Defence MYCO Brain, it’s a wonderful blend of herbs and mushrooms to help keep me focused. Theanine is a great ally during finals it helps to keep you calm and focused. Theanine is derived from green tea and can provide a nice steady dose of energy!

Crush your exams like Hermione Granger. Photo via Pinterest.

Crush your exams like Hermione Granger. Photo via Pinterest.

4. Stay Awake

We have lots of things to help you stay awake for those long study sessions! For the coffee lovers out there, we carry some great coffee brands including Counter Culture and Tandem! If you're not super into coffee, we also carry dozens of teas to get you through. I love the MEM Tea Earl Grey - local and caffeinated, what more could one ask for? And if you're not into warm beverages, we carry great cold brew from Commonwealth Coffee. The hops one is my favorite. We also carry Runa Ready To Drink Guayusa beverages, if you're just not feeling the coffee but still need the burst of energy! And for those times when you just want to look awake we have Vapor Beauty Halo Illuminator for the dark circles under your eyes!

5.  Stay Alive

We all know that during finals it's good to hang out with friends and blow off a little steam, but if you have an 8am exam the next day, having a few drinks can sometimes cause more harm than good! Luckily there is a solution - two in fact. Take Party Smart from Himalaya before heading out, or a Hangover Helper Gummy from Nature's Dynamics when you get home to help ease you into the next day.

Come into Cambridge Naturals and let us help you get everything you need to survive the end of the semester!

Roses for Mother's Day

Fresh flowers will only last a few days, so consider giving your mom one of these long-lasting gifts infused with the gorgeous scents of rose essential oils!

Badger Damascus Rose Beauty Balm is luscious treat for anyone's skin. Made thoughtfully in New Hampshire, Badger uses 100% Natural and Certified Organic ingredients to keep your mom's skin happy while wishing her a happy Mother's day!

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light gives your skin the most perfect lightweight protection without being overprotective - if you know what we mean :) Gift the wonderful woman in your life with this day cream, and she will be set for the seasons to come.

evanhealy Rose Petal Facial Tonic Hydrosoul is a staff favorite, a customer favorite and the skin's favorite. Roses are said to be a symbol of unconditional love and empathy, making this the ultimate gift for your unconditionally loving mother figures!

Little Seed Farm Geranium Rose Soap Bar is carefully crafted with real rose petals to beautifully polish the skin. Made by a family in Tennessee, you can be assured that love is an added ingredient in this bar!

Thesis Rose Garden Bath Salt this lovely local product is 2 gifts in one! Not only are you gifting this gorgeous glass filled with luxurious bath salts, you're giving the gift of self care! Any mama would appreciate some "me time" with Thesis Beauty!

And lastly, if she really loves roses...

Global Goods Partner Felt Flowers are the perfect way to give your mother figure flowers this Mother's Day! Made with Fair Trade felted wool, these flowers come with a bendable wire stem and require no water or food to stay pretty forever!

Learning From Plants Directly

By Steph Zabel,
Herbalist, Ethnobotanist and Educator

In this spring season the plants are quietly emerging and greenness is returning to the land. Perhaps you’ve spotted the violets popping up around town. Soon we will have an abundance of these indigo gems sprouting up... Hopefully you will take the time to pluck a few to adorn your spring salads, or to place in a small vase in your home.

tea observation.JPG
pine.jpg

Now in early May, we may feel our restless hearts yearning for full-on warm weather and all of the blossoms it brings. We notice that things are changing very quickly and every day something new is emerging from the ground. So I send out this reminder: pay attention to the trees and weeds and bulbs that are sprouting at this very moment. You can learn so much from their growth and unfolding.

Perhaps this is a new idea for you -- Did you know that you can learn from plants directly, without a mediator (i.e. a teacher/herbalist) in the middle? You can! And it is likely much more simple than you ever expected.

In my practice I believe it is so important to taste, smell, observe and interact with herbs in order to more fully connect with them.

In honor of Spring's arrival, here are a few of my favorite ways to get to know plants one-on-one:

  • Observe. Consciously pay attention to the plant life that grows everywhere. Choose one plant -- you just need one -- that you will become deeply acquainted with, whether it's a tree, shrub, herb or weed that you pass in your daily routine. Notice what the plant looks like every day and how it changes throughout the year. Notice as it leafs out, opens it flowers, and creates seeds. Notice how it dies or goes dormant in the winter, and if it comes back the following spring. This is a slow practice that takes patience but it will give you so much insight into the growing patterns of your chosen plant.   
  • Be still and sip. Consciously sit with a cup of tea (made of one herb), and approach it as a sort of meditation. Appreciate and take in the color, scent, flavor and viscosity of the tea. Notice every single little detail. See how you feel about it, noticing its effects on your physical body and your emotions. After practicing with single herbs like this you may be surprised to discover you know exactly which herb will suit you best in the moment, and what herb to choose when you are unwell.
  • Use your imagination. Take a piece of paper and some colored pencils or pens. Go sit outside next to a plant that catches your attention. Start doodling as you look at the plant, just letting your pencil flow and not trying to draw the plant exactly as it looks. Add in colors. Be free and messy. Soften your gaze and allow yourself to play as your draw the plant. Pay attention to your intuitions about the plant; let your imagination use it as a starting point and see what artful expressions you create. What do these expressions tell you about the plant? What do they tell you about your relationship to the plant?

I encourage you to try out these simple methods. In my practice I believe it is so important to taste, smell, observe and interact with herbs in order to more fully connect with them. You can gain so much from these simple exercises.

If you would like more guidance in connecting with plants and learning how to use herbs in your daily life, perhaps you'd like to join me in one of my upcoming Herbs for Everyday Living series...

Warmest Spring wishes to you!


Steph Zabel, MSc, is an herbalist and educator who helps urban dwellers connect with the plant world.  She teaches herbal classes, is available for individual wellness consultations, and is also the founder of HERBSTALK, Boston’s community herbal conference.  Learn more about her work at: www.flowerfolkherbs.com and www.herbstalk.org.

THE TRIUMPH OF THE VEGAN AT THE BBQ!

By John, CN Grocery Buyer

It can sometimes be a lonely affair to be the vegan at a summer barbeque. Perhaps you’ve brought enough portabellas to share, but they end up cast aside in favor of cheeseburgers. Maybe you’ve even given up on bringing along food to share altogether, and succumbed to the urge to just graze on chips, underwhelming salad, and corn on the cob. Well fret not, gentle herbivores, for I’m here with a trio of plant-based recipes you can put together here at Cambridge Naturals that will be the star of the show, even among confirmed meat lovers like myself!

Chips and dip are a perennial favorite for those pre-meal munchies, while you sip your first beer and warm up the coals. Try pairing a bag or two of our incredible Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips (I like Purple Heirloom, but they’re all good) with this simple VEGAN “PARMESAN” YOGURT DIP! Just stir together 1.5 cups of Forager Unsweetened Cashew Yogurt with 3 tablespoons of the Herb and Spice variety Rawmesan, one clove of minced garlic, and half a teaspoon of Curio Spice Co. Kampot & Sea Salt. Easy, huh?

For your meat replacement, rehydrate some of our bulk dried shiitakes and then marinate them ( I recommend using our Coconut Secret Garlic Sauce and a squeeze or two of Kitchen Garden Sriracha). Impale a handful of the mushrooms each on some of our Bambu skewers, grill ‘em up, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds from our bulk section if you’re feeling extra fancy. There you have it, delicious YAKITORI STYLE SHIITAKE MUSHROOM SKEWERS!

As for a side dish, let’s talk pasta salad. It’s a staple at picnics and barbecues, and this variation is sure to please. For a VEGAN MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD that will knock your socks off, start by boiling a 16oz bag of our Semolina Organic Fusilli (made in LA!). De-pit and chop some of our Alive & Well Probiotic Kalamata Olives, and stir in a 6.5oz jar of our Matiz All-i-oli garlic spread (Fiery Garlic if you’re feeling extra bold). It’s that simple. Heck, maybe try chopping up and tossing in some of our Matiz Artichoke Hearts, while you’re at it!

If you’re in a hurry, and even these remarkably simple recipes seem to require too much time or effort, come in for some high quality pre-prepared options: Hope Thai coconut curry hummus, Magic Bites Lentil Fingers, and Karine & Jeff’s Moroccan Style Chickpeas (they’re as good cold as heated!) are all excellent suggestions for the vegan on the go.

And while you’re at it, keep the cooler stocked with plenty of Maine Root Ginger Brews alongside the brewskis. They’re great on their own, and they also pair extremely well with dark rum for a magnificent Dark and Stormy!

Hope that helps to get your imagination going with regards to the myriad creative ways in which Cambridge Naturals can help make you a backyard hangout hero this summer. Come on in and chat with our knowledgeable grocery team for even more suggestions.

Introducing: Vapour Beauty

By Caitlin, CN Body Care Lead

Today, we are introducing Vapour Organic Beauty to our customers at Cambridge Naturals. We invite you to explore and enjoy the latest clean cosmetic brand to grace our Body Care Department.

Vapour 2.png

Vapour Beauty comes to us from the hearts and minds of Krysia Boinis, Kristine Kehely and Eric Sakas. Together, the team (based in Taos, New Mexico) brings their expertise in entrepreneurship, fine art and a taste for high quality performance to present you Vapour Organic Beauty.

Crafting a line of clean beauty care products that fit the team’s standards meant leaving the unnecessary, often toxic filler ingredients behind, and advancing the future of beauty. Vapour is an innovative skincare and cosmetic hybrid that marries exquisite herbs and oils in a waterless base. Adding the fine art experience of Kehely, Vapour launched with a wide range of carefully chosen colors to achieve beauty lit from within.

Vapour Beauty has quickly become an award-winning leader in sustainable, non-toxic beauty and pure performance products! Rest assured that Vapour has done the work for you when it comes to ingredients, sourcing and responsibility, receiving Champion Safety Status by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Vapour is:

  • 100% Natural
  • 70% Organic
  • Cruelty Free
  • Made in USA
  • Made with Solar and Wind Power
  • Made with Recyclable Packaging

Want to make the jump into Vapour, but want to perfect your shade choice first? Use Vapour’s Free Shade Consultation tool. Here, you can upload a photo of yourself, evaluate your skin type, the climate you live in and list your current foundation brand and shade. In return, Vapour’s Beauty Experts will recommend your best options based on your answers. Now, that is innovation! Our body care team is also happy to assist you at the store, where we have all shades of their fantastic foundation (both liquid and sticks) available for you to try in person.

Please join us in celebrating the launch of Vapour Beauty by stopping by our Body Care Department and exploring these fabulous products. We have lots to celebrate as a store, as a local and global community and as crusaders for non-toxic beauty! Welcome, Vapour Organic Beauty to Cambridge Naturals!