It’s bbq season (finally!)

By John B, Assistant Grocery Lead

Whether you’re using wood fire, charcoal, or are strictly about that “propane and propane accessories” life, the time of year has finally come to dust off the ol’ grill, grab your best tongs, and invite your friends and family around to crack some cold ones, blast some tunes, and feast most heartily! This means it’s time for another round in what has become something of a series for me here at The Naturalist, my epic BBQ meal plans! These four recipes, packed with amazing natural ingredients you can find here at CN, will satiate a crowd of about six with surprisingly little effort on the part of the grillmaster or grillmistress. 

My apologies to vegetarians and those who keep kosher, as half this meal plan is out-of-bounds, I’m afraid. Don’t let it stop you from trying the cauliflower steaks and grilled strawberries. You should also check out my prior ALL-VEGAN BBQ post or just come by our Porter Square location, where I will happily suggest recipes to you in person all day long!

One last thing before we get started: you may not know this about me, but when I’m not dropping knowledge about healthy, natural foods I am both a DJ and musician! As such, I’ve included a great little Spotify playlist of BBQ music for you to enjoy while cooking and eating. What is BBQ music, exactly? Can’t say I know for sure, but it definitely spans genres, continents, and decades in search of something fun, sunny, and a little saucy. Enjoy!

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HONEY MUSTARD GRILLED PORK CHOPS

INGREDIENTS:

6 6-ounce pork chops
½ cup Crystal’s Own cranberry honey
3 tablespoons Primal Kitchen dijon mustard
3 tablespoons grain mustard
3 tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon South River sweet white miso
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Maldon Sea Salt to taste
CN bulk black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Marinate the chops in a mixture of all the remaining ingredients for at least thirty minutes (overnight for maximum flavor) and grill over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

 

LEMON PESTO SHRIMP SKEWERS

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb medium or large frozen shrimp, deveined and thawed
3 lemons, thinly sliced
8 Bambu bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Cadia extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Maldon sea salt to taste
CN bulk black pepper to taste
½ cup Dan’s Power Plant Fauxmaggio pesto

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat grill to medium-high, skewer shrimp and lemon slices, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until shrimp is opaque and lemons slightly charred, roughly 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with pesto and serve.

 

LOADED GRILLED CAULIFLOWER

INGREDIENTS:

2 large heads cauliflower
¼ cup Cadia extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon CN bulk garlic powder
½ tsp. La Chinata smoked paprika
Maldon sea salt to taste
CN bulk black pepper to taste
2 cups Neighborly Farms green onion cheddar, shredded
Primal Kitchen ranch dressing, for drizzling
2 cups Phoney Baloney coconut bacon
2 tsp. finely chopped chives
If You Care aluminum foil

DIRECTIONS:

Remove and discard leaves from cauliflower heads, then trim the stem so cauliflower can lie flat on the cutting board (leave the core intact). Cut each cauliflower in to “steaks” about ¾ inchthick. Reserve any loose florets to cook with the steaks. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat the grill to medium. Brush one side of each steak with your olive oil mixture and place the brushed side down on a grill. Brush the top sides with the olive oil mixture and cook until tender and charred in spots, about 8 minutes per side. Top each steak with cheese and cook until melted. Toss extra florets in the olive oil mixture and grill, turning often, until charred and tender, about six minutes. Drizzle steaks with ranch and then sprinkle coconut bacon and chives on top.

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GRILLED STRAWBERRY PINEAPPLE SKEWERS

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb strawberries
1 pineapple, skinned and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 tbsp. Organic Valley butter, melted
1 tbsp. Crystal’s Own Blueberry Honey
1 tsp. lemon zest
8 Bambu bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Maldon sea salt to taste
Lakewood lemon juice, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS:

Thread strawberries (stem to tip) and pineapple chunks onto your skewers. In a small bowl, whisk melted butter, honey, lemon zest and salt. Brush mixture onto your skewers. Heat grill to medium and grill on each side until slightly charred, brushing continually with butter mixture as you go. Remove from heat, drizzle with lemon juice, and serve!

Celebrating our 45th Anniversary!!

Can you believe it’s been 45 years?! Cambridge Naturals was founded in 1974 by Michael and Elizabeth*, at the ripe young age of 23, and we are still proud to be local, family-owned, and independent. And, we’re so lucky to have many customers who’ve been shopping with us from the beginning!

To celebrate, we’re pulling out all the stops the weekend of May 3rd - 5th (Friday - Sunday) at both locations, with special flash sales, events + tastings, raffle prizes, and more!

We’ll be updating this blog post with specifics, so stay tuned!

*Would you look at these two wild + crazy kids?!

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Supplement not Supplant!

By Eric, Customer Service Specialist

Do you have both a morning and evening regimen of natural pill popping? Perhaps you take natural supplements to address a specific condition? Maybe it’s for general health and wellness, for disease prevention… Do you take a tincture to calm down when you feel anxious and another to give you energy? Do you take an herb when you feel sad? A few to help you sleep?

If you answered yes to all of these questions then congratulations, you’re like me! And, like me, possibly a bit out of balance -  finding quick solutions while still avoiding deeper lifestyle improvements that may require a bit more effort, but are totally worth it.

At Cambridge Naturals, we try to balance effective herbal and supplemental supports with holistic recommendations for healthy lifestyle. Here is a reminder of some basic ways to honor your body, mind and spirit that support a healthy life brimming with equanimity and a general sense of well-being:

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Sleep. It’s the cornerstone of health and happiness! If you’re not getting enough (roughly seven to nine hours per night), herbs and extracts can definitely help. And, relying on those alone may not support your longer term healthy sleep needs. It’s a healthy expectation to feel energized when you wake up. Consider this:

  • Sleep feels good. Go to bed early so you can experience more of it.

  • Avoid bright lights and screens for an hour before bedtime.

  • Try playing a YouTube video of soothing sleep-promoting music or a guided meditation when you go to bed.

  • Choose a cool room temp, snuggling under lots of blankets, as opposed to a warm room.

  • Use progressive muscle relaxation techniques.

  • Practice deep, slow breaths.

  • For supplements, consider deeper, long term solutions like adrenal health formulas that support those very important organs responsible for regulating your healthy cortisol levels.

Eat a nutritionally diverse plant-based diet. If sleep deprivation is your issue, consider avoiding eating meat at your evening meal. Pizza and chocolate may not be the best choices either - pizza is loaded with difficult to digest grease and eating chocolate before bed may keep you buzzing all night long.  If you’re craving a late night snack, try a banana. Bananas are rich in many of the ingredients found in natural sleep support supplements such as potassium, magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6. They even promote the production of melatonin.

Exercise. For increased energy and to feel better in your body, consider committing to an exercise regimen, preferably three or more times per week. It can help to bring a buddy to the gym or yoga studio for mutual motivation! If you’re physically able, walking is an excellent, low-impact exercise that can have an amazing impact on mood and fitness in the long run. Consider 30 minutes a day.

Meditate. You’ve heard it from lots of people! Maybe you used to do it, and just need to get back into it. Consider waking up an extra 20 minutes early every single day to meditate. It may seem like a drag until you are actually meditating, and then it feels so right. There are countless wonderful methods, but if you just can’t get into them, try a guided meditation on YouTube, possibly one with positive affirmations about your day ahead. There are also several apps including Headspace and Insight Timer which offer free meditations!

Gratitude. Improve your mood and outlook on life through gratitude! If you think you don’t have much to be grateful for, you are a perfect candidate for this technique:

Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for, big or small. I will start you off with my own list:

  • I am grateful for the opportunity I had to help raise my stepson.

  • I am grateful for my warm winter coat.

  • I am grateful for the beauty of trees when their branches are covered in snow.

  • I am grateful for blue skies….

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It’s easier than you think to come up with 10 things. Write them down and say them out loud. Consider doing o this every day for a week. Then, challenge yourself by writing down and reciting a list of 100 things you are grateful for! Focusing on the positive can change your life in dramatic ways.

While none of these healthy lifestyle suggestions come in a capsule, they can be benefited by taking the right supplements and herbs for you personally, in moderation. Cause you don’t want to end up like this guy!


This blog series is for general health information only. This website 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 website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician or other healthcare provider.

Routinized Ritual: A V-Day Self-Love Recipe

By Bex, Events Director

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! For a “holiday” that conjures up cliché after cliché (I love you to the moon and back. You are my heart’s desire. A rose by any other name...), Hallmark card after Hallmark card upon which you may find those clichés glorified, and box after box of those flavorless food-coloring infused heart candies rife with ”LOVE ME” neediness, we don’t focus as much on going inwards and asking: “How can I love myself more deeply?”

Here’s a more fitting self-love cliché in my opinion: “Time is of the essence.” Honestly. Is being an adult this hard for everyone? Why is it so hard to take care of myself?! Part of it has to do with time allocation. I thrive when I load my schedule with waaaay too much to possibly accomplish on any given day. While I want to do everything to take care of myself, self-care becomes yet another area of stress if don’t leave room for anything.

As someone who relishes new experiences, adventures, and spontaneity, “routine” has always been a word that I’ve felt best applied to what I want to do on the dance floor rather than, well, what I “should” do to my bed everyday: make it. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced what I call: Routinized Ritual. Every morning and night, I set aside just a little bit of time for a few tools that help me enter and exit the day. They don’t require a luxury lifestyle or excessive amounts of time. The best part? It turns out that these daily acts of self-love help me remember to prioritize my own well-being and fit other acts of self-care into my day when extra time presents itself. An unexpected victory? I’ve made my bed every day this week!

Bex is feeling the self-love this season

Bex is feeling the self-love this season

Recipe:

  1. Pick an amount of time that you can commit to and for yourself each and every day.

  2. Morning? Night? Both? The important thing is that you are carving out just a little bit of time to remind yourself that you are worth it! Consider planning larger chunks of time (weekends, vacation, a random 3-hour chunk when you need it) for deeper self-care fests.

  3. Choose 3 acts of self-care to gift yourself with today! These can rotate, or they can stay consistent. Give yourself the leeway to switch it up. You might find that these changes are weekly, monthly, seasonal, or completely random. “Go with the flow” would be the fitting cliché here.

Here are my current routinized rituals, completely subject to change:

Morning:

  1. I scrape my tongue and oil pull (let us know if you have questions about the details of those rituals,) which has somehow also made me love flossing. What?!

  2. I drink one large glass of water followed by a large dose of L-theanine laden green tea during which I plot out the day ahead and set myself up for success

  3. I dry brush my skin and oil it up before I shower--and butter it up again afterwards if it is a particularly dry time of year (like right now…)

Night:

  1. A daily dose of exercise followed by a short stretch and self-massage

  2. My gratitude practice: at the end of the day I like to write down at least three things that I’m grateful for

  3. Grab-bag (because I still like to leave room for switching it up.) Tonight this will likely be a face mask. Last night, it was a long reading from the Mystic Mondays Tarot Deck. Tomorrow it might be an epsom salt bath.

More Acts of Self Love:

  • Burning incense, lighting a candle, or diffusing essential oils

  • Write your dreams down in a dream journal

  • Sweat! Go find an infrared sauna or a steam

  • Buy yourself flowers!

  • Talk yourself up in the mirror. It may feel awkward, but telling yourself how wonderful, beautiful, and accomplished you are has been proven in studies to support confidence and wellbeing.

  • Deep clean an area of your home with music blasting!

  • DANCE!

  • Take a yoga class, or just stretch a bit

  • Listen to good music and journal

  • Calling your parent, sibling, best friend

  • Garden! Buy a plant, water your plant, look at your plant

  • Sing or play an instrument

  • Read a book!

  • Take a meandering walk

  • Draw, paint, or color in a coloring book (Guess what? Finger painting is still fun when you’re an adult)

  • Find a swing-set and go for it! (Seriously… Also still fun when you’re an adult)

  • Meditate for a few minutes or longer, even if you think you don’t know how to meditate

  • Make yourself a special elixir, smoothie, tonic, or meal. Soup is my personal favorite.

  • Sleep in!!!

Why we don't stock vapes

By Zach, Supplements Manager + Co-Director of Purchasing

We take health seriously. We curate our selection. We agonize over our products. Many factors contribute to how we evaluate products and brands: ingredient sourcing, base ingredients, testing methods, and dozens of other variables are taken into consideration when choose (or choose not) to stock something. In light of that, we want to talk about vaping. Yes, vaping. Specifically CBD Vapes. But before we get there, let's lay down some base info.

Vaping nicotine is considered a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, no doubt about it. But what about those who just vape nicotine and don't smoke cigarettes? Early research shows that vaping nicotine vapes alone may increase risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack risk vs not vaping at all.  And some researchers have proposed that vaping while also being an active cigarette smoker may actually be doubly bad for your health. So it seems like vaping itself isn't inherently 'healthy' and is potentially 'unhealthy.' 


So what about CBD vapes? 

Based on anecdotal reports and our understanding of physiology, vaporizing CBD does likely have a very high absorption rate because it bypasses digestive processes and enters the blood quickly through the lungs. As a result, it may have a more noticeable, 'fast' effect compared to a tincture, oil, or pill.

But there is still controversy to be hashed out around the potential health benefits and potential health risks of CBD vapes. The pens themselves are made of metals, plastics, and sometimes glass. In most all E-Cigs (AKA Vapes), high temperature pieces of metal or quartz wrapped in metal wire are what actually vaporizes the CBD oil. Multiple studies done by prestigious institutions like Johns Hopkins, the NHI, and others have shown that the vape pens themselves may expose the user to unnecessary intake of toxic metals like nickle, cadmium, and lead.

As a health focused business, we aim to provide solutions for health. While 'vaping' CBD may be an effective tool for some people, we believe that ingesting it orally and using it topically has broad potential health benefits. Therefore CBD can be effective without the potential exposure to toxic metals that vaping and potential health risks that vaping may have. We appreciate the value vaping may have, and the need it may fill, but at this point, we have decided not to stock any CBD Vape products. If a CBD Vape is what works for your health, for your needs, 'more power to you.' We support you on your health journey!

Beautiful fields of agricultural hemp from our partner SunSoil in VT.

Beautiful fields of agricultural hemp from our partner SunSoil in VT.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this website is intended as, or should be construed as, medical advice. Consumers should consult with their own health care practitioners for individual, medical recommendations. The information in this website concerns dietary supplements, over-the-counter products that are not drugs. Our dietary supplement products are not intended for use as a means to cure, treat, prevent, diagnose or mitigate any disease or other medical or abnormal condition.

Heal your winter skin!

Ahhh, the joys of wintertime in Boston. Shorter days, bone-chilling temps, icy sidewalks, frigid winds whipping through the streets. As if that wasn’t delightful enough, one’s skin begins cracking and peeling, and that dormant dermatitis temporarily finds a new and vigorous lease on life.

But fear not! There are healthy solutions to dry and itchy skin. Along with drinking lots of water and getting ample rest, our squad of staff experts have some go-to favorites for keeping your epidermis baby smooth all winter long!

Evanhealy's Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir

”I slather on Evan Healy's Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir every morning after washing my face. It keeps my face super moisturized and has really helped with the amount of dry flaky skin on my nose and cheeks. The sweet smell of Blue Tansy oil is an added bonus!'“
- Stephanie, Body Care Buyer

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Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream

”Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream is that product I can’t live without. Clean ingredients, works wonders on my dry skin, giving it immediate relief, especially during the winter season. It is light yet super hydrating, a little bit goes a long way and it also gives my skin a dewy look after application. Definitely recommend!”
- Jessi, Body Care Buyer

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Heart Grown Wild In The Trees CBD Body Oil

”This body oil is phenomenal! Not only does it smell like an evergreen forest, it has just the right amount of CBD oil to truly soothe tired muscles and nourish dry or inflamed skin.”
- Ellen, Body Care Buyer

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Weleda Skin Food

“The scent is just so unique, and it has a thicker texture compared to other lotions that I really like. When I need serious repair for my dry hands and cuticles, Weleda Skin Food is my go to!”
- Mike, Grocery Buyer

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Alaffia Fair-Trade Unscented Shea Butter

”Alaffia’s Unscented Shea Butter is a year-round staple for me, but especially in these dry winter months. I find that adding even a tiny dab to my daily face regimen helps stop dry, flaky spots from forming, and leaves my skin with a nourished glow. Sometimes I’ll even use it as a face mask – slathering my face with a thick coating, letting it sit for an hour or so, and then taking the excess off with a warm damp cloth. And on days where I’m blowing my nose a lot, applying a little shea butter afterwards can keep my skin from getting angry.”
- Sam, Body Care Buyer + Assistant Manager

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Ginger Chi Jade Roller

“Is there anything more luxurious than rolling a cool, smooth stone over your skin? Perhaps, but this certainly does the trick for me. Jade rollers have been used for centuries in China to refine the skin, enhance elasticity, tighten pores, increase circulation, and soothe inflammation. My tired and worn-out winter face feels amazing after I apply on my facial oil and roll!”
- Emily Kanter, Co-Owner

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Dry Skin Brushing

”Dry Skin Brushing has been a transformative addition to my skincare routine. Dry brushing somewhat forces me to take 10 minutes to myself and focus on each inch of my body. Working in long, slow strokes or small circles, I work my skin brush from my ankles to my armpits and everywhere in between. I feel and see a noticeable difference in my skin's softness as well as experiencing a rejuvenated, renewed feeling of shedding the old and welcoming the new. Dry skin brushing is an easy addition to a routine or a perfect way to start a new routine. Wake up every inch of YOU!”
- Caitlin, Body Care Lead

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Love CBD? Try this!

Have you heard about CBD? No, that’s not a joke. There are still many people out there who are just now learning about the magic of cannabidiol, a compound extracted from the hemp plant that can work wonders on achy muscles and joints, acute and long-term stress, and inflammation. The power of CBD is due to our body’s endocannabinoid system, and it can be incredibly effective for many people. In the last three years, we’ve brought in more than 200 products that contain high quality, full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD - everything from liquid tinctures, to capsules, to topical salves, to chocolates, to cold-brewed coffee, and the customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

But before we knew all about CBD, there were many other supplements and herbs that were prized for their stress-relieving and inflammation-modulating effects. And, we at Cambridge Naturals still love them and use them frequently! Whether used on their own, or accompanied by a CBD product, these herbs and supplements can be powerful supports for getting through the day and feeling great.* Below are some of our favorites:

Kava Kava

Kava Kava (Latin name: Piper methysticum) is a root grown in the Pacific Island region. It has been used traditionally for hundreds of years (both medicinally and ceremonially) for its calming, relaxing, and mood uplifting benefits. We carry Kava Kava in capsule, tincture and bulk powder form. “The calm I feel after taking a dropper-full of Kava Kava could be compared to the calm I feel relaxing on a Sunday morning with a special someone. My brain, it could be said, is laying on its own pillow once the Kava Kava starts working on its magic,” says Vicki, CN’s Bulk Herbs Lead. Herbs can be wonderful allies, but all those with compromised liver conditions should not take Kava Kava. As always, make sure to follow the recommended dosage guidelines!

When you take your kava tincture, make sure to look fierce.

When you take your kava tincture, make sure to look fierce.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral used by our bodies to support, among other things, strong and healthy bones, blood pressure, and muscle + nerve function. Supplemental magnesium comes in many effective forms including tablets, liquid, quick-dissolving powder, topical oils and gels, and even in the form of Epsom salts for baths! We use it both topically and internally for achy muscles, for its deeply calming effects, and even for sleep support. Bex, our Events Director, says, “On those days that I'm feeling extra-edgy, I turn to magnesium to support de-stressing, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I've found that it has been particularly helpful for moodiness, cramping, sleep issues, headaches and digestive distress during my monthly moon--and my experience has been corroborated by a slew of studies.”


B-Complex

You’ve probably heard your doctor talk about B12, or maybe folic acid, but what about the full range of B-Vitamins? Did you know that a B-Complex can be a gentle but effective stress support supplement? “I am that person you know at work whose brain is always on,” says Zach, CN’s Co-Director of Purchasing. “You know the one. They speak a mile-a-minute, think even faster, and they always have ten tabs open on their web browser. To support my mind and my body, I take B-Complex Vitamins. Shown to help support reduced cortisol levels (the 'stress hormone') and to support cognitive health in a myriad of ways, I find a good B-Vitamin soothes my nerves, focuses my mind, and energizes for my body. If swallowing pills not your thing, a B6-B12-Folate lozenge is a great way to get some of the most essential B-vitamins.”

The wonderful  Arnica Montana  via Wikimedia

The wonderful Arnica Montana via Wikimedia


Arnica

Arnica, an herb indigenous to Siberia and Europe, has been used in holistic medicine for hundreds of years for its anti-inflammatory benefits. You might be familiar with topical formulas (balms or salves) that contain Arnica - an effective remedies for bruises and muscle tension. Arnica can also be taken orally as a homeopathic. “Arnica is a wonderful floral addition to a routine that needs some relief. With anti-inflammatory properties, I look to a simple arnica flower infused oil for the occasional bump, bruise or discomfort,” says Caitlin, CN’s Body Care Lead. “Arnica is a go-to for me as it is typically low in price and fairly easy to find - we have several arnica-infused options for your skin including oil, stick, balm or spray.”


Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, otherwise known as “Indian Ginseng”, is an adaptogenic herb - meaning it works with the body’s natural processes to balance healthy levels of stress and energy. Many people find Ashwaganda, when taken over the long term, to be extremely beneficial. “Ashwagandha has been a staple in my daily herbal lineup for over 2 years now,” says Alyssa, Supplements Buyer. “It's gentle and balancing nature helps me stay grounded and healthy despite changes in my internal and external environments. Unlike herbs like Kava kava, the effects of Ashwagandha are best felt with prolonged use... I look at it as an herbal investment for my endocrine and immune systems.”

Fields of lavender via Wikimedia Commons

Fields of lavender via Wikimedia Commons

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils, and with good reason! Not only does it smell amazing, but it can be a very effective remedy for relaxation and sleep. Lavender EO should only be used externally, such as in a diffuser, or diluted with water in an atomizer bottle as a linen/pillow spray. You can also find many balms and salves that contain high-quality lavender EO. “I use Badger’s Sleep Balm with lavender every night,” says Caleb, Co-Owner. “I rub a little bit on my wrists, temples, and under my nose, and find that it helps calm my mind so that I’m able to drift off to sleep without all the racing thoughts of the day!”

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm, or Melissa Oficinalis, is a widely-planted and widely-cultivated green herb grown and enjoyed everywhere from Europe to the US. It’s known for being a gentle herb for uplifting one’s mood, and has also been clinically studied (with hopeful results!) for use with hyper-activity disorders. “Like a lot of folks in this day and age, I often find myself with rather higher stress levels than I'd like,” says Sam, CN’s Body Care Buyer. I often use lemon balm to soothe my overactive stress-demons, in one of two ways: as a tincture for a concentrated dose, or as a cup (or several!) of soothing tea. This past weekend, on a day when everything seemed to be Too Much (the store was busy, I had So Many Things To Get Done, and I made the mistake of reading the news) I brewed a large pot of lemon balm and drank it over the course of a couple hours. By the time I finished the savory herbal brew, I felt the very definition of mellow.

Gaia Herbs’ traditional Golden Milk powder is tasty and effective!

Gaia Herbs’ traditional Golden Milk powder is tasty and effective!

Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, and in traditional South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. More recently curcumin, one of the active constituents in turmeric, has been recognized for its powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. “Turmeric, now there's an herb whose value is unquestionable!” says Michael Kanter, Cambridge Naturals’ Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer. “Especially when one is dealing with an aging body and joints. That's me! Maybe it's you, too? My body thanks me every day!” There are so many ways to take quality turmeric - including tablets, capsules, powders (for use in cooking and beverages), and even teas and tonics.

* None of these statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Reuse & Reduce: How to go Zero Waste!

By Alex N, Customer Service Specialist

Bees Wrap reusable food wrapping

Bees Wrap reusable food wrapping

As some people may know, I am new to the Cambridge Naturals family. One of the ideals that I was/am really excited about was the commitment to environmental conscientiousness. For my recent product staff pick, I wrote about the importance of reusable straws such as the U-KONSERVE stainless steel straws which are great for creating less trash in the landfill, along our roads and in our oceans. A quick google search showed that “Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. That's 46,400 school buses every year!”

We have several other reusable straws available, as well as many options for staying hydrated throughout your day, including Klean Kanteen, Soma, Welly Bottle, and Hydroflask. Any of these are wonderful choices in order to cut down on the 50 billion plastic bottles used last year just here in America. Yet these are not the only options that are carried in terms of sustainable wares here at Cambridge Naturals.

So many fun reusable straw options!

So many fun reusable straw options!

If metal isn’t your style then try out the bamboo straws from the company, Bambu. This is a wonderful choice due to the unique antibacterial quality due to an antimicrobial bio-agent called “bamboo kun” which is found naturally in this sustainable plant. It is this that supposedly makes bamboo a naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and odor resistant material making it a great option for use when drinking and eating.

Hydration is not the only area in which we can all waste less and show more love to our planet. Plastic forks, knives and spoons may be convenient, but they’re wreaking havoc on our oceans. Every year, 300 million tons of plastic materials come into circulation be it in the form of plastic packaging, utensils, containers and bags. About 40 billion individual plastic utensils are produced each year, and with such low rates of reuse and recycling, most of them end up in our landfills, beaches and oceans.

The reusable Bamboo utensils from To-Go Ware with their convenient fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks set is another great way to reduce the impact we have on the environment. This is especially important as most people have three meals a day and use plastic utensils one time. The great thing about To-Go Ware’s utensils are that they also come in a convenient holder which is made from one up-cycled reincarnated water bottle a piece in order to carry them where and whenever you want a nosh. Thus saving more plastic from the dump and convenient for the person on the go.

dans le sac reusable storage bags

dans le sac reusable storage bags

When eating on the go utensils aren’t the only way plastic sneaks into our lives, it can be a challenge to find the right reusable container and of course the corresponding lids that often get misplaced or warped. For folks who can relate to this struggle I recommend the W&P Design Porter lunch bowl with its silicon strap either in BPA free plastic or Ceramic. Both are microwavable and dishwasher safe. If you are looking for a more snack-able storage option there is Kid Basix’s safe-snacker stainless steel container with attached lid or Full Circle’s reusable snack and sandwich bags. For the leftovers in our lives there are Bees Wraps, an alternative to plastic wrap for sustainable reusable food storage and 100% recycled parchment paper and aluminum foil.

W&P Porter Lunch bowl (in ceramic and BPA free plastic options)

W&P Porter Lunch bowl (in ceramic and BPA free plastic options)

Cambridge Naturals doesn’t just make it easier to be more sustainable during times of consumption, you can also find some great bathroom necessities. Such as NatureZway super absorbent bamboo bath tissue, Widu’s wood combs and brushes, handmade natural fiber toothbrushes from Source as well as Preserve’s toothbrushes and razors made from recycled yogurt cups. While we all make waste it is also important to consider what and where we are depositing it. For those times there is Full Circle Compostable waste bags and BioBag’s sturdy Tall Kitchen Food Scrap bags as alternatives to plastic garbage bags that are difficult to break down in the environment.

Reducing waste seems like such a large task to take on by ourselves because of all the containers and single use items that are in our lives everyday. Reusing containers and bags have a huge impact, as you leave our store you can also do your part to reduce waste by bringing your own reusable bags. If you don’t have these already handy make sure you check out our selection from Baggu, ChicoBag, VejiBags, and Dans Le Sac for zero waste on the go bags.

Remember all these small steps can add up and have a lasting impact on both your personal sphere and a healthier environmental impact for all!

Cooking with Cadia!

Cadia is one of our favorite brands here at Cambridge Naturals. Their organic, sustainably-harvested food products are as simple and honest as it comes, and best of all, the price point won't break the bank! We've got about a dozen of their grocery items on our shelves, and in this blog we are going to use each and every one of them, as we put together a delicious dinner party, from pre-meal cocktails and bruschetta to a main course with salad and finally a high protein dessert with a surprising secret ingredient.

There are lots of other great ingredients from our shelves in these recipes as well, and we're always bringing new things in, so come by the store to ask our friendly grocery team what we're excited about!

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Maple Bitter Bourbon Bomb

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 oz. Cadia Maple Syrup
1 1/2 oz. Cadia Sparkling Water
3 or 4 drops Urban Moonshine Maple Bitters
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/4 oz. Lemon Juice
2 oz Bourbon (optional, of course)
Orange Wheel
Orange Spiral, to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and bitters in an old-fashioned glass. Add the orange wheel and muddle the ingredients. Add bourbon if you so desire, fill the glass with ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish and serve.

Super Simple Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Cadia Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
1/4 cup Cadia Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cadia Balsamic Vinegar
5 or 6 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 baguette
Celtic Sea Salt and lemon pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients except the baguette in a bowl and let them sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Cut the baguette into thin pieces and toast them in the oven. Smear your topping on the bread and you're good to go!

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Garbanzo and Cucumber Salad

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Cadia Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
3 English Cucumbers
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Cadia Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Cadia Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Mustard and Co. Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 handful parsley, chopped fine
Celtic Sea Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cut cucumbers in half, lengthwise, then again to create 4 wedges. Cut the wedges into quarter inch slices. In a medium bowl, combine garbanzos, cucumbers, pepper, and onion. Whisk all the remaining ingredients until well combined for your dressing. Add the dressing and toss gently. Let it marinate in the fridge as long as possible before serving for maximum flavor.

 

Baked Bacon-y Black Beans

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans Cadia Black Beans
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Cadia Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon Cambridge Naturals bulk chili powder
1 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk oregano
1 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk yellow mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon Cambridge Naturals bulk black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until they soften. Add the chili powder, dried oregano, mustard powder, salt, pepper, and brown sugar, stir it all together, and cook for about another two minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar, molasses, and beans, stir, then add water until it just covers the beans. Transfer the pot, uncovered, to your preheated oven. Bake for about an hour or until the sauce has thickened.

 

Beanie Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Cans Cadia Red Kidney Beans
3 Brookford Farm Eggs
1 1/2 oz. Navitas Raw Cacao
4 oz. Cadia Maple Syrup
2 1/2 oz. Will and Rose's Walnuts
5.5 oz Theo 85% Dark Baking Chocolate
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cambridge Naturals Bulk True Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Cadia Almond Milk
1 tbsp. Cadia Coconut Oil

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line the baking pan with parchment paper. Put all the ingredients (except walnuts and chocolate) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Chop the walnuts and chocolate and mix most of them into the brownie batter. Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with the remaining chocolate and walnuts. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool before cutting.

CN Goth Picks

Words + Pics by Sam, CN Body Care Buyer

As the days brighten and lengthen with the approach of New England’s eventual spring, it is important to take time for mindful reflection on sunlight and green growing things - and also their opposite: darkness and gloom. On this first day of April, as the crocuses begin to peer unnervingly from the depths of the earth, we welcome you to Cambridge Supernaturals, your beloved boo-tique for all things spooky, creepy, and bump-in-the-night. Listed below are some ghoul-tastic goth highlights, all the better to help you ring in a spooky spring!

Body Care

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Noyah Lipstick in Currant News

On the first pass, this satin-finish lipstick starts as a beautiful berry, but can be built to a rich dark vamp shade. Embalm your lips with this clean castor oil-based formula for that fresh out of the coffin look. Perfect for a day hiding from the sun, or a night lurking in the shadows.

Death By Lavender Deodorant North Coast

You may take “you look dead!” as a compliment, but that doesn’t mean you want to smell the part. Enter this remarkably simple formula from North Coast Organics: a coconut, arrowroot, and baking soda based deodorant that’s gentle on the pits and kind on the nose. Death By Lavender will leave you smelling like lavender and citrus instead of doom and gloom.

Bulk

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Activated Charcoal Powder

Darkness in a jar. Powdered night. Perfect for throwing a handful in front of you as you enter a room to establish a spooky ambience. Or you could maybe not do that, and instead use this wonderfully pitch-black powder for its drawing and cleansing properties. Mix a little into a french green clay face mask or homemade face cleanser, and take a spa evening to yourself.

Bold as Blood Tea

Whether you think vampires are cool or passe, I think we can all agree, at least, that their diet is deeply questionable. Instead of drinking someone else’s blood, why not boost your own? This blend relies on mineral-rich herbs such as nettle and beetroot to naturally support healthy iron levels in the blood. A long steep of this tea brews up to a savory concoction that’s a lovely dark rust color in the cup, so hey, you can at least pretend.

Groceries

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Sweetpea Farms Buckwheat Honey

Don’t let Sweetpea Farms’ innocent labeling fool you - behind the bright, picnic-evoking label is a dark and ominous ichor with a deep molasses taste. Perfect in coffee or tea, liberally drizzled over pancakes, mixed into your favorite barbecue sauce, or for calling forth eldritch creatures in your favorite midnight ritual under the full moon.

Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice Ramen

This toothsome gluten-free ramen is made with Forbidden Rice, and cooks up (in a matter of minutes) to a rich dark violet color with a satisfyingly chewy consistency. The dark noodles, swimming in a savory miso broth, call to mind the tentacles of the long-lost Kraken, lurking below the waves. Also, the conveniently-sized packet fits easily into a purse or backpack for lunch on the go!

Supplements

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Megafoods Blood Builder

Again, while vampires may be in vogue, their diet certainly is not. Circumvent their brand of sanguine satiation by looking after your blood health! Megafoods’ Blood Builder formula is focused on providing food-based iron, folate, vitamin C, and B-12, extracted from beets, broccoli, and oranges. And unlike vampirism, Blood Builder is accessible to vegans, vegetarians, or anyone unironically looking to boost their iron.

Raw Forest Foods Wild-Harvested Black Ants

This nutrient-dense supplement rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you fulfill the dream of calling an army of insects to do your bidding! Granted, the bidding in question would have to be “providing a rich supply of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to support overall health,” but as long as you stay within those bounds, you too can be Leader of the Amassed Ant Hordes.

Lifestyle

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Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel

As HP Lovecraft might have possibly once said, “Yoga can be a beneficial part of one’s daily exercise routine, and an excellent chance to pause and meditatively reflect on the seething horrors of the unknowable void.” Lest you slip and fall into that void during your practice, consider this wonderfully witchy towel from Manduka emblazoned with the moon’s many faces against a roiling night sky. The partially-recycled, sweat-absorbent towel is designed to provide an extra layer of grip on top of your yoga mat.

Miso Handmade Attack Cat’s Organic Catnip Creepy Zombie

A little monster for your little monster. Teach your cat the vital skill of zombie home defense with this catnip-filled poppet from Miso Handmade, lovingly stitched from wool felt for maximum creepy cuteness. Prepare your cat for societal collapse while engaging them in play!