Cold Brew Tea – A Health Kick That the Brits Will Love

We seem to be a nation of sceptics when it comes to the latest global health trend, but what could be more approachable than a nice cup of char?

kenkoMove over cold pressed juices, we are entering the age of cold brew tea. The latest health trend to take America and Hong Hong by storm, cold brew tea is valued for it’s increased nutritional content and reduced caffeine content as compared to its steaming, steeped counterparts.

Kenko Tea Bar, an independent startup currently doing well at their Old Street Station popup in London, told us that their tea leaves are soaked for at least eight hours at 7 degrees celsius, allowing the flavours, antioxidants and nutrients to infuse, while the bitterness and much of the caffeine gets left behind.

kenoKenko‘s teas contain ‘more of antioxidants than a serving of ANY fruit or vegetables’ (!) are high in vitamins and mineral, and extremely low in calories. Green tea has been shown to improve brain function, boost the immune system, reduce the risk or heart attacks and stroke, and increase metabolism. We’re sold.

Our favourite is the Pure Matcha. What better accompaniment than a Faust’s Potions Awake Potion natural health shot? After such an intense nutrition burst it will quite literally be time for #WorldDomination, so watch out world!

Good intentions aside, we are already musing on the potential for a ‘Long Island’ line, of course.

 

Obstacles to Happiness by Anthony De Mello

These powerful words are by Anthony De Mello, a great spiritual teacher – a lesson in uninterrupted happiness. He reminds us not to get bogged down by the roles that society assigns us. As a radical thinker and renowned philosopher, we use De Mello’s words as a critical component of our mental-wellbeing first aid kit. This chapter is an excerpt from his brilliant book Awareness. We hope you find it useful.

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Obstacles to Happiness by Athony De Mello

What I’m about to say will sound a bit pompous, but it’s true. What is coming could be the most important minutes in your lives. If you could grasp this, you’d hit upon the secret of awakening. You would be happy forever. You would never be unhappy again. Nothing would have the power to hurt you again. I mean that, nothing. It’s like when you throw black paint in the air; the air remains uncontaminated. You never color the air black. No matter what happens to you, you remain uncontaminated. You remain at peace. There are human beings who have attained this, what I call being human. Not this nonsense of being a puppet, jerked about this way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel. So you proceed to feel it and you call it being vulnerable. Ha! I call it being a puppet. So you want to be a puppet? Press a button and you’re down; do you like that? But if you refuse to identify with any of those labels, most of your worries cease.

Later we’ll talk about fear of disease and death, but ordinarily you’re worried about what’s going to happen to your career. A small-time businessman, fifty-five years old, is sipping beer at a bar somewhere and he’s saying, “Well, look at my classmates, they’ve really made it.” The idiot! What does he mean, “They made it”? They’ve got their names in the newspaper. Do you call that making it? One is president of the corporation; the other has become the Chief justice; somebody else has become this or that. Monkeys, all of them.

Who determines what it means to be a success? This stupid society! The main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick! And the sooner you realize that, the better. Sick, every one of them. They are loony, they’re crazy. You became president of the lunatic asylum and you’re proud of it even though it means nothing. Being president of a corporation has nothing to do with being a success in life. Having a lot of money has nothing to do with being a success in life. You’re a success in life when you wake up! Then you don’t have to apologize to anyone, you don’t have to explain anything to anyone, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you’re happy. That’s what I call being a success. Having a good job or being famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant. All he’s really worried about is what his children will think about him, what the neighbors will think about him, what his wife will think about him. He should have become famous. Our society and culture drill that into our heads day and night. People who made it! Made what?! Made asses of themselves. Because they drained all their energy getting something that was worthless. They’re frightened and confused, they are puppets like the rest. Look at them strutting across the stage. Look how upset they get if they have a stain on their shirt. Do you call that a success? Look at how frightened they are at the prospect they might not be reelected. Do you call that a success? They are controlled, so manipulated. They are unhappy people, they are miserable people. They don’t enjoy life. They are constantly tense and anxious. Do you call that human? And do you know why that happens? Only one reason: They identified with some label. They identified the “I” with their money or their job or their profession. That was their error.

Did you hear about the lawyer who was presented with a plumber’s bill? He said to the plumber, “Hey, you’re charging me two hundred dollars an hour. I don’t make that kind of money as a lawyer.” The plumber said, “I didn’t make that kind of money when I was a lawyer either!” You could be a plumber or a lawyer or a businessman or a priest, but that does not affect the essential “I”. It doesn’t affect you. If I change my profession tomorrow, it’s just like changing my clothes. I am untouched. Are you your clothes? Are you your name? Are you your profession? Stop identifying with them. They come and go.

When you really understand this, no criticism can affect you. No flattery or praise can affect you either. When someone says, “You’re a great guy,” what is he talking about? He’s talking about “me,” he’s not talking about “I.” “I” is neither great nor small. “I” is neither successful nor a failure. It is none of these labels. These things come and go. These things depend on the criteria society establishes. These things depend on your conditioning. These things depend on the mood of the person who happens to be talking to you right now. It has nothing to do with “I.” “I” is none of these labels. “Me” is generally selfish, foolish, childish—a great big ass. So when you say, “You’re an ass,” I’ve known it for years! The conditioned self—what did you expect? I’ve known it for years. Why do you identify with him? Silly! That isn’t “I,” that’s “me.”

Do you want to be happy? Uninterrupted happiness is uncaused. True happiness is uncaused. You cannot make me happy. You are not my happiness. You say to the awakened person, “Why are you happy?” and the awakened person replies, “Why not?”

Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!

You can learn more about the work of Anthony De Mello from The De Mello Spirituality Center.

Bane + Antidote Reviews: Wonderfruit Festival 2014

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Sunset over Wonderfruit 2014

We love festivals. We love summer. But the downside of the summer festival season is that we have to cram a year’s worth of show-pony exhibitionism and toe-tapping exuberance into just three short months. Such syrupy, highly concentrated antics require superhuman feats of stamina. And then it’s nine depressing months before your next disco unicorn reaches full-term, and after a lengthy tutu rebirthing/mending process, it can all thankfully begin again.

You can therefore imagine our excitement to learn about Wonderfruit, which took place for the first time from the 19th to the 21st December 2014. Wonderfruit festival is brainchild of the great minds behind Secret Productions (the wizards responsible for Wilderness festival), who have exported their secret formula for fun to the sunny, smiling land of Thailand. Wonderfruit is the first festival of its kind to hit South East Asia, so we were careful to manage our expectations. This was no small feat Secret Productions were attempting. There were bound to be teething problems and challenges to overcome. It is notoriously difficult for foreigners to set up projects in the region, and it must have been especially so for an innovative project such as this.

Boy were we surprised, and in the best possible way. In a nutshell, Wonderfruit was a glorious cross between Secret Garden Party and Burning Man, with a sprinkling of Wilderness’ refinement. Voila! One Wonderfruit steak well done…

Imagine a sandy lakeside beach fringed by palm trees, nestled by a tiki bar, with bikini-clad beauties dancing barefoot to a thumping sound system under thatched parasols. Imagine a badger-set reinvented, The Quarry, the funkiest, chunkiest place to dance until dawn under a stunning Andrew Cross of AN Architects bamboo superstructure, strewn with disco balls, with luxurious daybeds and hammocks under dappled shade for disco weary souls the morning after. Imagine delicious and appetizing food stalls amidst rice paddies, serving to-die-for organic coconut pancakes and the best Thai street-food around (yum), with giant tropical crickets serenading you as you dine. Imagine flamboyant naughtiness, a cabaret cocktail tent where magestic drag queens strut, Cirque du Soleil pole dancers twirl, dwarves strike a poses in wrestling outfits and kinky 1920s porn projections tie everything together. Imagine a compelling crowd consisting of young and hip Bangkok locals, a cosmopolitan Singapore and Hong Kong set, and the diehard UK loyalists for whom no time zone is too far when it comes to a party of Wonderfruit’s calibre.

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The Quarry by Andrew Cross, built using local techniques and materials

If there were teething problems, they didn’t show. We fell for everything that the Wonderfruit shmorgasbord had to offer. It was mouth-wateringly tasteful, incredibly well thought through AND there was no litter. The bar staff were competent and there was no shortage of ice (even on the Sunday morning). The portaloos were exceptionally clean and staffed by a hoard of joyfully enthusiastic ladies. And the security guards were friendly and smiling. Thai hospitality certainly makes for a refreshing variable in comparison to the shaken-warmly-by-the-throat British kind.

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Smiles and chunky tunes

Just one last gloat… to top it all off, the legendary DJ Swamy of Burning Man/Robot Heart fame created the ultimate palace of iniquity in the form of the Solar Stage, from which he proceeded to play fabulous chunky sets all weekend. Can you honestly imagine a better way to prepare for the Christmas glutfest than getting an envy-inducing tan while enthusiastically dancing all weekend in the heat, your hardest decision being whether to have another swim or a coconut and rum to cool off? We can’t. And we hope we never have to ever again.

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Delicious food

We feel privileged to have been there for the first run and are very excited to have found a midwinter solution to our annual sparkle-hibernation period. Thank goodness it’s only a skip-hop-and-jump away from our winter base in Hong Kong. But even if you’d have further to go, we thoroughly recommend the journey. The inner festie beast must be satisfied! Otherwise those first summer outings can get ugly. We know you know what we mean.

We salute you Jo Vidler, Dickie Cohen, Ben DeVere, Tess Acheson and all the Secret Production team for seeing through this vision. We thank you deeply Pete, for opening up your beautiful piece of paradise to the public and for battling the red tape and bureaucracy that must have blocked the path at every turn. Guys, we have no idea how you managed to pull this one out of the bag. But you did. And it rocked.

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Until next year… and our next Wonderfruit Festival Review!

Claire Hamilton BSc MBAcC LicAc on Faust’s Potions Natural Hangover Cures

Claire Hamilton is an acupuncturist and yogi, the founder of Wild*Wellbeing, and a comforting presence for many disco-weary souls at many of the UK’s leading festivals. She tells us why she recommends Faust’s Potions as a natural solution to the symptoms of a fast-paced lifestyle.

Claire at SGP

Why I trust that Faust’s Potions work:

Having been a lover of potions, lotions and all things that nature can cure since I was a teenager, when I was introduced to Faust’s Potions by Nina they just made sense to me. 

I have studied nearly the A-Z of healing… from Ayurvedic massage with an Indian guru and Aromatherapy with Neal’s Yard Remedies, to supplements with Solgar Vitamins; from meditation, shiatsu and Yoga in the Himalayas to 7 years of formal training in a Psychology & Physiology… and most recently a degree in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture! I finally feel as if I know a thing or two about about healing! After nearly 20 years of learning, researching & experience in my clinic, I can differentiate between what will help a person and what will not very quickly.

The ingredients in Faust’s Potions herbal hangover, jet lag and fatigue remedies are no doubt carefully selected and perfectly combined, but I am primarily drawn to them because the Potions combine medicinal wisdom from the East and West (something I am particularly passionate about). In fact I have recommended similar combinations of vitamins and supplements to my patients countless times, but hadn’t come across a product that combined them in one magical formula – until Faust Potions came along! The ingredients are potent and work; the Awake and Asleep Potions do exactly what they say on the tin. And as they come in such handy packaging, I can now stop rattling around with a purse full of morning and evening vitamins.

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Why I recommend Faust’s Potions:

A lot of my patients work hard and play hard, and hence suffer from the inevitable exhaustion, anxiety and insomnia that affects such types. People who live a fast-paced lifestyle tend to use coffee to get going in the morning and keep going beyond, alcohol to calm down at the end of the day and in a lot of cases prescription drugs to help with sleep and feeling sane. This lifestyle is not sustainable over a long period of time without negatively affecting health. Many people are now seeking a more natural, balanced and healthy way to keep up with their lifestyles.

Because of my work in London as a healthcare practitioner and as founder of Wild*Wellbeing at the renowned Secret Garden Party and Wilderness festivals, I have witnessed the need for this kind of remedy first-hand. I have recommended Faust’s Potions to my patients time and time again. Naturally they are an essential part of my personal survival kit every summer!

After a heavy night, people are increasingly drawn toward refuelling their bodies with healthy, natural nutrients which are fast acting and have more long-term health benefits than the traditional oily-salty-food-and-hair-of-the-dog combo. As far as hangover cures go, the Awake Potion has it all. Where the night before is concerned, seasoned party animals and festival revellers would be wise to ditch their Valium for an Asleep Potion, eye mask and some ear plugs… they’s be away with the fairies before they knew it! As 5HTP is one of the key ingredients in the Asleep Potion, they’d find that they woke up in a better mood than when they went to sleep, which at a festival, surely has to be a first?!

Claire Hamilton

BSc MBAcC LicAc

Acupuncturist, Yogi & founder of Wild*Wellbeing

www.claire-hamilton.com

Twitter @WellbeingLondon

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Faust’s Potions natural solutions are available to purchase here.