Elevate your Tuna

By John, Grocery Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Ah yes, the humble tuna salad... a staple of brown-bagged lunches for countless American childhoods. But what happens when those children grow up? Often the simple joy of the tuna sandwich is cast aside in favor of other, supposedly more sophisticated tastes. It's easy to see why. It's a recipe which is simple to make, but surprisingly difficult to master. Thankfully, we here at Cambridge Naturals are ready to show you several ways in which you can recapture the childhood comfort of the tuna salad experience in several delicious and unique styles.

Let's start with our take on a classic tuna melt! First, prepare the tuna salad. Mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Albacore Tuna with one Real Pickles Dill Pickle spear (diced), one teaspoon Mustard & Co Classic Grain Mustard, one tablespoon Matiz Garlic Aioli, a pinch of Curio Spice Co Aegean Salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Slice some Neighborly Farms Monterey Jack Cheese and layer it on a slice of Dan's Brick Oven Rye + Whole Wheat Bread. Add a healthy layer of the tuna salad and top with more bread. Fry it up, flipping every few minutes, in a skillet with some of our Organic Valley Cultured Pasture Butter. It's ready when the cheese is gooey and melty. Feel free to add some bacon or tomato slices to up your deliciousness factor a little.


One of tuna's most delicious applications outside of sandwich form is of course in sushi. But can you make a sushi-inspired tuna salad hors douvre? You bet you can! For the salad itself, mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Albacore Tuna with 2 tablespoons Real Pickles Ginger Carrots, 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, and half a teaspoon Flora Sesame Oil (be very careful with that sesame oil, a little goes a long, long way!) Spoon the mixture onto Edward & Sons Tamari Seaweed Brown Rice Snaps. The bolder among you might even consider finely crushing some of our Seasnax Wasabi Stix, and sprinkling it on top. These little bites are great at parties so make sure to make a lot. They'll go fast!

Another way to be adventurous with the tuna salad concept would be to replace the tuna altogether. Why not a twist on some classic deli salmon? Mix 2 cans of our Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon, 2 teaspoons Canaan Wild Caper Tomato Tapenade, and 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo. Spread a generous layer of our Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese onto a Sunfood Raw Coconut Wrap along with a heaping helping of the salmon salad. Top with greens, tomato slices, a little red onion, or whatever your little heart desires. Wrap it on up and go to town! A delicious, dairy and gluten free sandwich that really hits the spot.

These three variations are simply a few of many possibilities where tuna (and salmon) salad are concerned, so come in and talk with our helpful grocery staff. We'll share our secret recipes if you share yours. Bon Appetit!

Monthly Muse: Tripp & Emily Nichols

Photo courtesy Emily Nichols.

Photo courtesy Emily Nichols.

Since we left you to find your own muses throughout the holiday season, we decided to bring readers a double hitter this month! What better way to celebrate the start of a new year than by celebrating a power couple that shares small, local products every day? Tripp and Emily Nichols are the creators of Small Batch Daily, an Instagram account sharing a curated collection of American made artisanal food products. From salad dressing and jam to coffee and chocolate, it’s easy to find a new favorite or three by simply scrolling their feed and commenting “sold!” But their love of food and involvement in the industry began long before Instagram started. Read on to learn more about out January Muses!

What is your favorite place or thing to do in the Boston area (together or apart)?

There are many but a favorite go-to activity when friends are visiting is hitting up Sofra Bakery and strolling through Mt. Auburn Cemetery. The food at Sofra is unlike anything around and so, so good. Get the mezze plate with crick cracks no matter what you do. And Mt. Auburn is the perfect place to work up an appetite or walk it off. Sometimes people think it's odd when you suggest visiting a cemetery but it's wonderful. There are miles of walking trails, the landscaping is gorgeous, and from Washington tower there are phenomenal views of the city.

White + Navy Everyday Napkin by The Everyday Co. Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

White + Navy Everyday Napkin by The Everyday Co. Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

What is the last book you couldn’t put down?

Do cookbooks count? Tripp just got me the Nantucket Open-House Cookbook and that's what's currently on my bedside table. It was published in 1987 and definitely has an Ina Garten vibe. In the non-food department I'm absolutely loving Jessica Klein's 'You'll Grow Out of It'. She's a writer for Inside Amy Schumer.

You’re both very involved in food and nutrition, how did that passion grow?

We both grew up in central Massachusetts in apple country and always loved all the seasonal food traditions we have here in New England. After college we each made our way to food through different paths. Tripp did a few stints on Alaskan salmon and crab fishing boats before moving on to the gourmet cheese world at Formaggio Kitchen where he worked for 8 years. Most recently he's traded cheese for beer and now works as Outreach Director for Mystic Brewery. After college I went on to Tufts to do a master's in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. Since completing that degree I've worked at Tufts in childhood obesity prevention.

We love following the Small Batch Daily instagram account! What inspired you to start this company?

It was absolutely inspired by all the makers we met through Tripp's work in the cheese world. We met dozens of folks who'd quit their 9-5 to make jams, honey, chocolate, cookies, cheese, butter, etc. Many of them became our friends and I began experimenting a bit with helping to promote their products on the food blog I was writing at the time. When that was successful we had the idea to try and more regularly showcase small-batch products and hopefully introduce them to a larger audience.

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

Photo courtesy Small Batch Foods.

What are some of the highlights of running a company together from your home? Have there been any unforeseen or humorous struggles to that venture?

It has been so much fun! The biggest highlight has been all the new makers we've met and connections that have been forged as a result. Makers learn about us on Instagram or through other makers and reach out. Those are always the most exciting emails to get. As for unforeseen struggles, sure things always pop up. We rely on Instagram which is always changing its algorithm but it keeps us on our toes.

As a couple that works together, do you have any tips for balancing work and home?

It's nothing special but just carving out specific time for work and setting it down when that time runs out. Otherwise it just bleeds into every part of your day.

Last but not least, what are each of your top 3 favorite Cambridge Naturals products?

This is an easy one:

  1. Counter Culture coffee! I love that Cambridge Naturals carries such excellent coffee. It's my go-to spot to find new brews.
  2. Caleb introduced Tripp to the John Masters Hair Texturizer. It's awesome stuff and I admit I even use it once in awhile too.
  3. Palo Santo incense. Emily and Caleb first introduced us to this wood you can burn as incense and it's divine. I love burning it at home especially around this time of year as winter sets in.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us, Emily and Tripp! To see more, follow @smallbatchdaily on instagram!

Frankincense: A Sacred Resin

By Steph Zabel,
Herbalist, Ethnobotanist and Educator

Last month we covered an exotic, aromatic tree and this time we’ll continue with the arboreal theme. Except now we will explore a small, shrubby tree that is native to dry, desert climates (rather than tropical environments, like cinnamon is). The resin of this fascinating plant — native to India, Oman, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia — has been used for over 5,000 years. It has been highly regarded as a medicine, an aromatic perfume, a ceremonial tool, and was once worth even more than gold.

Photo by Ben Norvell via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ben Norvell via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps you are familiar with the scent of frankincense — often burned as incense in religious ceremonies. Or perhaps you are more familiar with the essential oil — sometimes referred to as olibanum. The oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for soothing chronic stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation, and boosting immunity.

It is also an ingredient in many natural skin care products because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense is believed to help protect and heal skin cells and is used to reduce acne, prevent wrinkles and slow signs of aging. It is an astringent, meaning that it helps to tighten and tone loose, sagging or lax tissues. The essential oil can be added to any moisturizing serum as a nice, supportive addition to a daily skin care routine.

Its physical properties also make frankincense a powerful antiseptic; it is used to eliminate bacteria and viruses, and can help disinfect an area — use it as an aromatherapy spritzer or burn the resin for this purpose.

Photo by Mauro Raffaelli via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Mauro Raffaelli via Wikimedia Commons

The astringent action of this plant can also help eliminate phlegm and congestion in the lungs. For mucous-y situations that seem to hang around in the respiratory system or sinuses, try frankincense as it will not only help to dry up mucous but will also act as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier.

Finally, when rubbed on the body topically frankincense oil can improve circulation and the symptoms of joint or muscle pain in arthritic and rheumatic conditions. It tends to have a soothing effect for any sort of bodily inflammation.

The Chinese called it “fanhunxiang” meaning “calling back the soul fragrance.” It is often used in meditation, since the scent is calming, grounding and pleasant to the senses. It helps one to become more present in the moment and encourages feelings of peace.

Let’s speak a bit of the more esoteric and spiritual aspects of this amazing resin… Frankincense is a venerable old tree, in use for thousands and thousands of years. It was so highly treasured that it was brought as one of the gifts of the Wise Men to be presented at Jesus’ birth.  The resin was also found in the tombs of Egyptian mummies, used not only as an embalming agent, but also as an offering to help the departed souls make their journey to the afterlife.

Amongst many cultures around the world the fragrance of this resin was believed to increase one’s spiritual connection and intuition. The Chinese called it “fanhunxiang” meaning “calling back the soul fragrance.” It is often used in meditation, since the scent is calming, grounding and pleasant to the senses. It helps one to become more present in the moment and encourages feelings of peace.

Several religions use frankincense incense in their ceremonies. It may be used to prepare the environment for ritual, and is said to call forth the angels and other invisible beings to assist in creating sacred space. Symbolically, the smoke that rises as the resin burns helps to carry prayers and offerings to Heaven.

Burning incense _SZ.jpg


Make Frankincense Water:
Place 4-5 small pieces of resin in a quart sized jar. Cover with boiled water, cap, and let steep for a few hours or overnight. The resulting liquid will be light in color and a bit cloudy. Drink up to a cup or so a day, using your taste buds to guide you on your own proper dosage. This tea comes in handy when you are feeling congested. Many people also drink it to help with arthritic or painful joints.

Use the essential oil topically:
Dilute 10 - 15 drops of frankincense essential oil in 1 oz. of a carrier of your choice (olive, jojoba, grapeseed, or almond oil) and rub onto the skin. This is useful for scarring, acne, wrinkles and painful joints.

Burn the resin:
To burn the dried resin use a small charcoal disc (often sold to use in hookahs). Light the charcoal outside on a fire-proof dish and when it finishes smoking and sparking it should simply glow. Place 1 to 3 small pieces of resin on the charcoal and it will start to burn immediately. The resulting incense is pleasant and sweet and can be used to clear and purify the air.

NOTE: Frankincense should not be used during pregnancy, because of its emmenagogue and astringent qualities.


Sacred Earth
Dr. Mercola

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.

This blog series — Herbs and Botanicals— is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Gift Guide by Team Supps!

As we gather goodies to bestow upon our loved ones during this expensive time of generosity and, obligation, there’s definitely room for that nonsensical gadget, useless doo-dad or might-not-ever-be-worn trinket; that said, most of the gifts that will be truly remembered this year, will be given from a place of intention and thoughtfulness. Guess what? So many game-changing presents that have the potential to really support one’s quality of life can be found in our supplement section. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “Give the gift of health this holiday season!” Read on for some of our favorites.

- Zach, Miles, Bex & Alyssa (your friendly Supplements team)

1. MyCommunity by Host Defense

One of our favorite products just got better; Host Defense’s MyCommunity is now available in a 4oz size!  It’s a mindful gift chock full of medicinal mushrooms, formulated to support the immune health of your sibling and their growing family--or anyone else you know for that matter. Also perfect for that extended family member who’s interested in biology, the science behind Host Defense is extensive and compelling. Their packaging is beautiful too!

2. Unfair Advantage by Bulletproof

You've heard of CoQ10 before, right? It's one of the coenzymes we need for creating energy in our mitochondria -- the 'power plants' of our cells. But what about PQQ? PQQ is a novel micronutrient which has some studies showing that it boosts cellular energy production in part by creating new mitochondria. PQQ also boosts blood flow to the brain, where it may have a protective role. Unfair Advantage packs liquid PQQ and CoQ10 into an ampule for quick clean energy when you (or the one you are gifting) needs it most.

3. Organic Drops by Calm-A-Mama

For those of you eager to make a pregnant woman, nursing mother or adorable child smile, these tasty glycerin-based drops are safe for all! With Calm Drops, Sleep Drops, Teeth + Tummy Drops, Happy Drops, Balance Drops and Focus Drops, Calm-A-Mama offers the kind of botanical support that is often a challenge to come by during such sensitive life stages. Formulated with gentle herb and flower extracts, like lemon balm, peppermint, rose and hyssop, Mary Poppins would approve of these delicious drops.

4. Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides by Vital Protein

Collagen, the structural protein praised for its unique ability to provide much-needed strength and elasticity support for our joints, skin, nails and hair, can be found in your traditional JELLO dish, but we find  Vital Proteins Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides to be a much tastier treat. Perfect for the athlete on your shopping list, this delicious protein powder comes from pasture raised and grass fed cows, offering protein AND BCAAs. While it can be hard to stomach cold smoothies in the winter, this mix also tastes great served warm, mixed with water or your milk of choice!

5. Omega Memory by Nordic Naturals

Winter in the Northeast can be tough: cold days, gray skies, and long nights.  A wonderful way to gift a loved one a mild pick-me-up is with Nordic Naturals Omega Memory with Curcumin.  Perfect for the teacher, student, or hard-worker in your life who needs a little more 'oomph,' the omegas provide brain support and the curcumin supports the reduction of overall inflammation.

6. Standardized + Full Spectrum Ashwagandha by Cambridge Naturals

Adaptogenic in nature, ashwagandha is a balancing herb that supports stress relief, emotional balance and hormonal regulation. Many of us find that it zens us out and brings on a general sense of wellbeing when taken regularly and consistently. The Cambridge Naturals blend is potent and effective with both the root and the extract packing their punch.


The 1oz and 2oz bottles from Urban Moonshine, Herbalogic, Bach Flower Essences, not to mention pretty much any of our herb tinctures, and individual Party Smart boxes, all make perfect stocking stuffers for grown-up family members and friends. If you are looking for functional (and yummy) treats for the same crowd, try Veggimins CBD-infused Chocolate, Yes Cacao’s Botanical Chocolate Bars, or Bulletproof Chocolate Fuel Bars. For the kidlets, consider vitamin gummies, a much healthier version of the candy that often overflows from the stockings of wee ones!

See our staff picks and our curated gift boxes for even more gifting ideas!

This blog post is for general health information only. This Web site is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. Users of this Web site should not rely on information provided on this Web site for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Why we are choosing to pay a “Living Wage”

As of December 19th, 2016, we are raising our starting hourly wage from $13/hr to $15/hr.

This is a decision that has been several years in the making. Cambridge Naturals’ co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer Michael Kanter has been actively involved in the federal and state campaigns to raise the minimum wage. As an active member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, he works with business leaders across the country (including executives from Dr. Bronner’s, Badger Balm, Organic India and many others) on this important cause. In March of 2014, we hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at our store for a local business round table on the impact of wages on employee and business health and success. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25/hr, and in Massachusetts, it will become $11/hr in January 2017.

But the minimum wage is not the same thing as the “living wage”. The living wage is defined as the hourly rate that an individual must earn in order to meet his or her basic needs and maintain a safe and decent standard of living within the community in which he or she lives and works. Here in the Cambridge area, that living wage is calculated at $15/hr.

We have always paid above industry averages, and for a very long time have provided medical and dental insurance for all full-time employees. And, this increase in wages is one more important step in doubling down on our Core Values. It means greater financial health and stability for all Cambridge Naturals employees.

As a small, local, family-owned business, we contend with the same challenges and rising costs that all businesses face. And yet, we feel that this is exactly the right move to make at the right time. In making this decision, we carefully studied our expenses and considered the long-term implications to the health of our business.

We believe that strong employees are absolutely vital to a thriving business, and that improving our employees’ standard of living will in turn help our business to grow and prosper. We consider this not only an investment in our business, but also in our community and the local economy, and we are excited to take this important leap forward.

For more details, read our press release here.

Some of our hilarious and hardworking team at our annual holiday bowling party

Some of our hilarious and hardworking team at our annual holiday bowling party

Scum Scum Go Away, Come Again Another Day (Or Not!)

By Bex, Supplements Buyer and The Naturalist Contributor

After an uncharacteristic drought in New England this year, the skies have parted and graced us with some splash-worthy puddles.  When you think of all of that rainfall accumulating (yes, we need more of it) hopefully you envision glistening lakes, cascading rivers and serene beaches. Mmmmmmm, water… Perhaps, if you are like me, you think of your Lifefactory Water Bottle, which you carry around with you wherever you go, like Linus with his blanket. Mmmmmmmm, blanket…

Vital for our health and oh-so refreshing, water is at its best when it’s crystal clear and pure; the murky news is that it can easily become contaminated. So if our water becomes contaminated, it makes sense that our bodies may very well also become contaminated over time. Oh no! A seemingly unlikely culprit, water can actually be quite dangerous when it isn’t properly purified.

Gift Guide: Lady Friends

Whether it's your mother, sister, friend or romantic leading lady, we all know a special woman who deserves some extra love and support this holiday season. Below, some of our favorite items for the powerful ladies in your lives:

1. Thorn & Bloom Perfume
Made by certified natural perfumer Jennifer Botto right in Somerville, these scents are delicate and enchanting and are small enough to stuff in a stocking! Made with only plant-based ingredients, they are the perfect gift for the clean beauty gal in your life.

2. OBC Java Jolt Body Scrub
Locally-made scrubs are the best scrubs! We love Organic Bath Co.’s coffee scrub for all over gentle exfoliation - made with all organic ingredients including certified fair-trade coffee grounds and sugar, it's the perfect shower treatment to wake you up on these cold, dark mornings.

3. Ginger Chi Jade Roller
Used for centuries to refine and enhance skin elasticty, the jade roller by Ginger Chi stimulates the meridians in your face and neck. It’s an easy way to give your face a massage morning or night. Bonus tip: keep it in the fridge and swipe around your eyes to cool down any puffiness. Makes a great gift for a hard working woman who could use some self-care!

4. Herbalogic Peacekeeper Tincture
Keep the peace all month long with this botanical blend from Herbalogic! This tincture is a lady's moon cycle best friend, helpful for restoring hormonal balance and promoting a healthy emotional response*. We could all use a little more peacekeeping in our lives, no?

5. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This beautiful little book from the talented Nigerian writer and public speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie is the perfect gift for all of the powerful women (and the men!) in your lives. It was inspired by her TEDx talk on the same subject, and speaks to a new wave of feminism that necessarily includes everyone - whether you love bras and makeup, or not.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Saving face this season!

Oh JOY! That time of year for blustery cold winds, forced air heat, and crackly dry skin. Our glowing, plump summer skin says, "see ya" and turns into a red, raw, peeling, angry version of its former glorious self. But fear not, there is a solution! Below, our top five picks for making it through the winter with skin like a baby's butt.

Photo by Diane Arbus via Pinterest

Photo by Diane Arbus via Pinterest

1. Start your day with Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer by evanhealy

For years, this has been our absolute go-to for an intensely moisturizing day cream. Full of rich and restorative shea butter, antioxidant seabuckthorn & carrot seed oils, and softening argan oil (all sourced sustainably from Evan's partners around the world), this cream is deeply moisturizing and yet won't leave your skin feeling greasy or sticky. We suggest pairing with one of evanhealy's Hydrosouls - the woodsy, uplifting smells of the Doug Fir Hydrosoul will remind you of why winter is still pretty magical. For extra deep nourishment, apply one of Evan's serums along with the Hydrosoul before using the Day Moisturizer. Your face will thank you!

2. End your evening with Nourish Nightbalm by Organic Bath Co

The ingredients in this deeply protective balm read like a recipe: organic shea butter, mango butter, organic jojoba oil, organic rosehip oil, organic prickly pear seed oil, organic tamanu oil, green coffee oil. It's perfect for soothing and restoring chapped winter skin while you sleep - the ingredients literally melt onto your skin as you apply! Formulated by locals Gianne and Jay Doherty, the Nourish Nightbalm has quickly become a staff favorite - a nighttime ritual we truly crave! Pair with Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator for deeply hydrated skin.

3. Exfoliate once a week with Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator

This is a dual action exfoliator that our staff are absolutely obsessed with - seriously, it will make your skin feel like a baby's butt! Powerful organic & wild crafted fruit and herbal enzymes and tiny walnut shell particles (no nasty plastic beads here!) work to gently slough off dead skin cells, leaving beautifully renewed, refreshed skin ready to absorb the moisture it deeply needs.

4. Nourish your whole body with Little Seed Farm's Body Oils

Our skin CRAVES oils - those water-based lotions just don't do the trick! This non-greasy, organic hemp seed body oil (available in four light and delightful essential oil-based scents) will easily penetrate your skin's surface layer, allowing it to seal moisture and nutrients within! We suggest applying right after a shower while your skin is still damp (and can more easily absorb the oils). For an extra deep dose of moisture, massage Organic Bath Company's Drenched Body Butter into those super dry, rough patches of skin.

5. Save your skin from deep within!

Especially in wintertime, we take a lot of supplements to support our skin. Megafood's Hair Skin & Nails Multi is designed with all of the necessary vitamin building blocks for hair skin and nails, and also contains a supportive herbal blend. Making your own skin-supportive herbal infusions at home is also easy and inexpensive! Check out our bulk herbs section for ideas - we recommend nettles and oatstraw steeped overnight for the minerals your skin deeply craves. And, last but certainly not least, drink water!! 8-10 cups a day of room temperature or even warm water (a splash of lemon adds a dose of alkalinity) goes a long way towards keeping your skin glowing, plump, and gorgeous even as the winter winds whistle on by. Springtime is just around the corner! Right?

It will be cold. It will be gloomy. It will be RESTORATIVE.

By Bex, Supplements Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

Over the past several weeks, we've heard so many of our customers describe feeling inundated with physical, emotional, or political toxicity. The state of the world can take a deep toll on one's body and mind - immune health, stress response, sleep, you name it. While you're preparing to take meaningful action to clean up our planet and our society, it's also so important to also 'clean house' on a personal level and prepare yourself for dark times ahead.

Now, I’m not being fatalistic here, talking about dark times... rather, we’re shifting into the barren, frigged, overcast months when some lucky animals get to hibernate. It will be cold. It will be gloomy. It will be RESTORATIVE. Remember that, ok? While it's so tempting to linger in our beds, we suggest taking action and choosing to feel better! Healthy bodies, healthy minds = can't lose. So, what are some of our favorite self-care tips for tough times?

SNOWBALL FIGHTS! (Just kidding, sort of… actually, running through snowy woods is one of my favorite winter remedies.)

The real answer though: bid good riddance to toxicity! Purify, detoxify, rejuvenate and usher in the most life affirming foods, supplements, lifestyle and body care products. If the word detox conjures up gnarly images of cold-pressed veggie juices that make you shiver at this time of year, don’t fret. There are plenty of warming ways to fuel the body and release all that toxic gunk (think: nourishing soups and teas.) In the next few blog posts, we’ll share some ideas with you on how to purify your phenomenal vessel from the inside out and the outside in, but for now, here are some quick and simple ways to get started!

A pot of Pu-erh tea - one of our favorite restorative rituals. Photo via Rishi Tea.

A pot of Pu-erh tea - one of our favorite restorative rituals. Photo via Rishi Tea.


  1. To start (and this one won’t cost you any money,) we encourage you to take three slow deep breaths every time it is all feeling like too much. Just three mindful inhalations and exhalations. See how good that feels?

  2. Make yourself a pot of tea and DRINK IT slowly. Here are some tea suggestions from a few of our brew-loving staff members: Caleb, Rishi Pu-erh; Brenden, Guayusa tea; Jess, Organic India Tulsi tea; Caitlin, Traditional Medicinals Nettle tea with 1tbsp South River Dandelion, Leek Miso; Vicki, Mugwort tea from the bulk section; Bex (that’s me!) Four Sigmatic Reishi Tea. Stop in and ask us why we love these particular teas and brews!

  3. For a little something more, gift yourself one of the beautiful journals or notebooks from our lifestyle department and write down all the toxic, difficult feelings and actions you want to release this season. Then make a list of the nourishing feelings and actions you want to invite into your life, and the steps you can take to help manifest those dreams.

  4. Next level: Pick up a bottle of Cleanse and Fortify by Maine Medicinals, a surprisingly tasty tonic that “supports the gentle elimination of toxins.” With cleansing and restorative herbs as well as adaptogenic balancing herbs, this is a pleasant way to ease into detox.

  5. Keep reading the blog for ideas on how to filter out the crud and replace it with things that support your well being. We're here for you!

Gift Guide: That Vegan Friend

By Mary, Body Care Buyer & The Naturalist Contributor

At this point we have all gone through a vegan phase or have a close personal friend who has ("I love vegans! Some of my best friends are vegan!"). Maybe you really need to buy this person a gift, but your love for animal products has blinded you to what would be appropriate for them. We have tons of vegan-friendly beauty products and snacks that the vegan you know and love will be grateful to receive. This gift guide is for you!


Treeline Cheese
My personal favorite non-dairy cheese is this cashew-based french-style soft cheese from Treeline. I use it as dip, a spread on toast, and sometimes even on pasta. With a variety of flavors, each cup of cashew goodness is sure to delight even the pickiest eaters.

Primal Strips Jerky
Hidden on a wall of meat jerky lies a secretly delicious vegan friendly jerky treat. Primal Strips Jerky is a customer favorite and an easy stocking stuffer for those with the vegan munchies.

Hurraw Lip Balm
One of the few lip balms we sell with zero bee ingredients whatsoever! These lip balms moisturize and protect during the cold New England winter to come. They also offer one with SPF to protect sensitive lips from the sun all year round.

Coconut Bacon Bits by Phoney Baloney
Bored with salad? Need a little crunch in that sandwich? Want to spice up that baked potato? Love pigs and don’t want to eat them? Add some fake bacon bits to your life! These are handmade in California with just seven ingredients blended to give you the satisfaction of #bacon, and no animals were harmed.

Brianna’s Soap
Made down the street in Arlington, these soaps are 100% vegan and local! Every scent in her growing bar soap collection is available in store. Brianna was also our October Monthly Muse - read up on the inspiration for starting her company here.

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Powder
This protein powder mix is a CN staff all-time favorite. The chocolate peanut butter variety is so delicious, easy to use, and doesn’t have that grainy texture that is often associated with protein powders. Not only are you getting a plant-based protein boost, but it’s filled with a nutrient-rich fruit and veggie blend while tasting like a dessert.