Welcome to the ‘Conscious Tea’ series – a space to share/ learn/ discover some of the incredible people of this planet that are making our world a better place one thoughtful action at a time. Setting an example of how we can all live our lives, a little more consciously.
Let’s meet my first Guest: Hannah McGregor-Shenton of Hart Skincare!
I first came across Hart Skincare a few months ago, when I was on the hunt for some more local, organic and sustainable skincare. At first, I thought Hart’s packaging was beautiful, and the ingredients were quality, but the more I discovered about this brand (and it’s founder) the more I fell in LOVE!
I met up with Hannah McGregor-Shenton, founder of Hart Skincare, a little over a month ago now. What struck me about her (aside from her awesome name – Hannah’s rule!) was her clear passion for all things eco-friendly and sustainability. Furthermore, her passion for empowering women to take charge of what they put on their bodies.
Did you know- our bodies are exposed to over 700,000 toxic chemicals each day? Yikes!
Hannah mindfully manufactures skincare products by hand to help us reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals that are often found in conventional skincare. Thanks Hannah!
Did I mention, all of Hart Skincare’s range is as plastic free as possible, right from production to final product (again, Hannah’s just rule)!
If I could use one word to describe Hannah, it would be: passionate. Hannah’s face literally lit up as we sat talking skin health, reproductive health and sustainability. Hart Skincare is the perfect combination of all these passions, creating unique products that are (& I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this) changing women’s lives for the better.
Following this meeting, I sat down with Hannah to zone in on these passions, along with her Hart Skincare message and as a result, are now offering you an opportunity to get to know her, and her brand a little better!
So grab a cuppa, and join me for the first profile of ‘The Conscious Tea’ – Lets meet Hannah McGregor-Shenton & her Hart Skincare!
What is Hart Skincare? Tell us a little about your brand!
I suppose the best way to put it would be to say that Hart Skincare is an Adelaide-based, handcrafted, thoughtful skincare brand with a focus on how the skin changes during each phase of the menstrual cycle.
What drove you to start up your brand?
When I first started to reduce my plastic waste and clean up my skincare products, I was having trouble finding low waste skincare products with truly natural ingredients. I would finally stumble across something that ticked all the packaging boxes. Then I would read the ingredients and pop it right back on the shelf. This search went on for some time and then when I was introduced to some DIY skincare books and I was fascinated, I was constantly trying to convince my friends to make their own products too, but they just didn’t have the time.
I realised that someone really needed to bridge the gap between homemade, low impact and clean ingredient skincare and store bought skincare, but I didn’t think that could possibly be me. The more I pondered over starting my own skincare brand, the more I also noticed my own skin struggles; how my skin was constantly changing and the same routine wasn’t working for my skin from one week to the next. That’s when I found out about how our skin is impacted so greatly by our hormones and I asked myself, why is no one else talking about this in the skincare field? I felt so underrepresented as someone with constant skincare struggles and a desire for simple yet effective, minimalistic, long lasting, products. So I finally decided to get down to work and create just that.
What does ‘wellness’ look like to you?
Ooh this is a challenging one, I suppose wellness can be so varied and mean so many things to different people. To me it means that I am taking control of my own health, with awareness and consideration. A whole body, mind and spirit approach that helps to identify within myself if something feels different or strange. It means I can live without guilt or shame, yet acknowledge what my body needs; I can be perfectly imperfect.
Name your number 1 skincare must (what should every skincare regime have?)
A decent cleanser. If you can get the cleanser right, you rarely need to do much else to your skin. Since rotating my cleansers throughout each phase of my menstrual cycle, my skin has been so well balanced and rarely needs moisturising too!
What is something people might not expect from you?
You might expect this but you may not know that I live as close to zero waste as I can. It’s awesome and so freeing! There are a few things here and there (like packing tape) that still pop up every now and again that I’m still working on eliminating, but again, no guilt, no shame, perfectly imperfect. It’s been around a three year process so far.
If you could invite three people to dinner (dead or alive), who would you invite? What would you serve for dinner?
I would totally invite my Mum – I rarely get to see her as she lives in England, Lisa Hendrickson-Jack – her story is compelling, and Marie Forleo – I think she would be a lot of fun! We would have lots of organic, seasonally focussed, plant based meals, what we’ll make will totally depend on the produce.
Your hopes for the world?
I would love to live to see an innovative and conscious world where we constantly put the needs of the environment first. One where we are able to consume less and appreciate more.
Where can we find you?
Thanks so much for reading my little story, you can find me on instagram or Facebook @hartskincare and on my website hartskincare.com.au
Would you like to try Hart Skincare for yourself? Girl, I’ve got you covered! Use the code ‘CONSCIOUSLY10’ for 10% off the Seed Collection at checkout!
Fact: whenever I used to have my photo taken I’d always want to be shot from behind, looking off into the distance. Not because that’s like, totally aesthetic, and I’d like, get so many likes, but simply because I was embarrassed by my skin.
My skin and I, let’s just say, we certainly did not get off to a great start. From the time I was a toddler, my skin was always angry and inflamed. In fact, I can recall sitting on the dining room table, covered head to toe in betadine (current Hannah cringes), in an effort to soothe the itch and calm my eczema. Why the dining room table you ask? This was to stop my then baby brother, ingesting the product (he had a thing for touching things and then putting his whole hand in his mouth – but that’s another story).
My parents tried every cream, every diet, every witchy trick in the book and we still couldn’t get it to heal. Doctors told them ‘she’ll grow out of it’… I certainly didn’t.
As I grew older, my eczema began to calm (maybe the doctor was right), but then came the arrival of puberty and the skin on my face began to erupt. Pimples, while fun to squeeze, were my absolute teenage nightmare. I can remember crying to my mum, asking for make-up to cover it. Now, my mum and learnt her natural health lessons (god bless her!), and refused to let me put anything nasty on my face. She gave me a mineral foundation, I cried. It didn’t cover a thing, my acne was still visible, while the other girls at school walked around with flawless complexions.
(Disclaimer: natural make-up has grown leaps and bounds since then and there are some totally EPIC full coverage options out there now!)
Little did I know, that those same girls were wearing chemical laden make-up that ultimately made their acne worse, causing them to put even more make-up on each day. Mum, if you’re reading this, you’re a total legend. I’m sorry teenage Hannah didn’t realise this.
Then my senior year commenced, and the acne got worse, I simply, totally COULD NOT get a good ATAR with bad skin Mum, argh! So, at a loss, Mum gave in, and we were back at the doctors. I started the pill. Hallelujah! Clear Skin! For the first time in my young life! Or so we thought…
A few months went by and my eczema resurfaced with a vengeance (at least, I thought it was eczema?). The patches rose on my calves and my wrists, places my eczema had never been before. My skin was dry, cracked, and scaly. One night, I cried to my dad. He showed me his ankle ‘does it look like this,’ he asked. Well yes, it did. ‘Uha, you have psoriasis,’ he said.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! What more could this world want from me, am I distained to be ugly for the rest of eternity!?!?!? Full disclosure, teenage Hannah was very dramatic!
I was desperate, and we know I was desperate, because I started… researching (Again, I was a COMPLETELY different person back then, now, researching skin conditions is one of my favourite pass-times!) & off to the family Naturopath I went. This is where the real work began. I, reluctantly (I loved cheese), said goodbye to: dairy, sugar, gluten and…. My beloved pimple-clearing pill.
It was tough, my skin got way, way worse before it got better. My period did not return for 18 months post-pill. But truthfully, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. My only regret is that I didn’t take photos so I could share them with my clients as living proof that you too – can heal!
I like to think of this healing crisis as one of the defining moments in my Naturopathic journey. This true proof of beauty, grounded in nature, is a passion that I was then able to turn into a career. 5 years, a few health crisis’ and many tears later, I now hold a Bachelor of Health Science Naturopathy. My little superpower which means I can help YOU achieve the same results!
Sure, it took work, and still takes work. But my skin is in the best shape it’s ever been. My skin is now the best indicator of my health, a spot of psoriasis on my leg, or a pimple on my face is like a gentle nudge from my body to say ‘hey, we need some extra support here.’
I carefully supplement, and only use products as close to their natural form as possible. And ultimately, I’m confident in my skin, even when it’s breaking out. I will happily turn my face to the camera now. Lights, Camera, Action! Watch out world, the true, happy and most importantly, healthy Hannah is here….
If you would like more information about how to rejuvenate your skin, drop me a line, I’d love to work with you!
This recipe honestly needs no introduction! I’ll let my kitchen happy-snap speak for itself! I invite you to enjoy my Conscious Sunday Morning Staple… Banana Protein Panackes!
So here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp plant-based protein powder
½ cup plant based milk
2 organic eggs
1 large ripe banana
1 tbsp coconut oil
Handful of frozen berries
1 tsp rice malt syrup
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and protein powder in a large mixing bowl.
In a blender, add eggs, milk and banana. Blend until smooth.
Add blended mixture to dry mix and combine to achieve pancake batter.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan and scoop 2-3 tbsp of mixture into the pan to shape pancake over a medium heat, cook for 1-2 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Then flip pancakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
Repeat until entire mixture is cooked.
In a separate saucepan, add berries and rice malt syrup and mix over a low heat until syrup begins to form.
Stack pancakes on plates and drizzle berry sauce on top.
Enjoy! Serves 2.
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I don’t know about you, but this whole ISO situation has me cooking… alot. I’ve been loving putting a healthy spin on some of my favourite feel-good recipes & I’m so excited to keep sharing them with you!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that Thai food, next to potatoes in any form, is my absolute all time favourite cuisine!
So here is my version of the crowd favourite… Pad Thai. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegetarian! For a vegan option, simply omit the egg! Not to mention, from preparation to serving, this recipe takes under 20 minutes!
So here’s what you’ll need:
1 tbsp peanut oil
5-8 green onions, finely chopped.
2 red capsicums, sliced
2 zucchini’s, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 organic eggs
250g rice noodles
Beansprouts, lime and chilli (to serve)
3 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
2 tbsp maple Syrup
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp tamari
Prepare sauce – combine ingredients in a bowl, stir well and set aside.
Prepare noodles to packet instructions.
Saute green onions in peanut oil for 2-3 minutes. Then add vegetables, egg and pan fry over low heat for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Drain noodles and add to vegetable saucepan, together with peanut sauce. Stir until all is combined.
Serve with beansprouts, lime and chilli.
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I feel like it has, at one stage, been every girls dream to grow our hair so long that even Rapunzel would be jealous! We’ve tried every product our hairdresser has suggested, avoided heat, stocked up on vita-gummies from the supermarket, sitting tight hoping we’d achieve that extra inch in time for our birthday bash & 9 times out of 10 we’re left wondering if all the money we’ve spent was even worth it. Well, if you’re fed-up like me, I think it’s about time we look into the science behind hair-growth and brew our own award-winning formula to grow hair, longer, stronger & healthier!
THE TOP 4 REASONS YOUR HAIR ISN’T GROWING:
Our hair is one of the fastest growing tissues in our bodies which is why stunted or slowed hair growth can be a sign of imbalanced in the body.
Vitamin and Mineral deficiency – is one of the major reasons why we struggle to achieve long, luscious locks! Poor diet results in reduced intake and absorption of essential hair-growing-vitamins leading to slower hair growth and in some cases, hair thinning and hair loss!
Stress – High levels of stress can also deplete us of these essential vitamins and minerals leading to stunted hair growth or hair loss! Yes, that relaxing spa weekend you’ve been daydreaming about may just be the start of not just reduced stress, but a mane your girlfriends will turn green over.
Genetic/ Hereditary – sometimes your hair growth rate can simply come down to the genetic cards you’ve been dealt. Some of us are just not wired to be Rapunzel! This doesn’t mean we can’t optimise what our mama gave us!
Other disease – some other health conditions may affect your ability to grow those locks. If you are concerned by your hair growth, it’s always best to discuss with your healthcare professional.
So let’s get to it…
LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR HEALTHIER HAIR:
You knew I was going to say it… Say GOODBYE to synthetic chemicals! Many of the commercial products we use on our hair are laden with nasties that will ultimately cause hair breakage, loss and stunt growth. I recommend a shampoo with natural ingredients, these are actually better for our hair as they often contain natural oils that keep our scalp nourished and in turn, promote hair growth! I pick up my hair-care products from Enough Studio!
Hydrate! Dehydrated hair tends to break easily, crushing your Ariel dreams! Drink plenty of water to ensure your hair has it’s best chance to grow!
Make your hairdresser your bestie! Regular trims of split/ dead ends have been proven to promote hair growth time and time again!
Speaking of the hairdresser, my friend, and founder of Enough Studio, Lisa Nguyen, had this to say about growing a healthy mane:
Trim your hair
Although going for regular trims at the salon does not necessarily help your hair grow ‘faster’, it does help your hair grow healthier and longer over time.
Wash your hair
Washing your hair less often where possible can help to maintain a healthy level of natural oils in the hair. Daily shampooing, especially with a shampoo made with sulphates, can strip the hair of its natural oils and dry it out, making hair prone to breakage.
After rinsing off the shampoo, always applying conditioner to the ends to ensure your hair is well moisturised. A good, nourishing conditioner will help to keep dryness and split ends at bay. Opt for a silicone-free conditioner; silicones coat the hair with a type of plastic, making it feel soft at first, but the hair can still regress underneath the coating.
Use regular treatments on top of your normal conditioner routine to get your hair in excellent condition. Hair is made up of protein and moisture and maintaining the right levels of each is essential when it comes to healthy hair growth. Consult your stylist to get a prescription of hair products that are right for your hair.
Styling your hair
The tools and accessories we use on hair can also play a big part in preventing breakage. Following your shower routine, your hair is in its most fragile and delicate state when it’s wet, so avoid using a bristle brush after you shower, using either a ‘Tangle Teezer’ or a wide-toothed comb, which will help to prevent breakage. To avoid damaging the growing hair, use minimal heat on your hair as possible. Using straighteners and hair dryers frequently can result in protein loss in the hair and cause split ends.
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, so when we remove protein from the hair through lightening procedures and the use of hot tools, it becomes weaker and therefore more likely to break. To minimise breakage, it’s imperative to protect your hair before you use hot tools of any type.
For a straighter look, choose a hairdryer over irons. Be as kind to your hair as you would to your skin! Think how much gentler a hairdryer would feel against your skin than a tong or straightening iron. Unlike skin, however, hair is not self-repairing – that’s up to us, in terms of what we use on it.
If you can’t move away from those irons, at the very least try turning the temperature down a few notches to minimise the damage caused.
Another major cause of breakage is colour damage, usually caused by bleach and hair colourants, the worst offender being ammonia due to its high PH and ability to damage the natural protein in the hair. Using ammonia-free hair colour is much more respectful to hair, minimising the possibility of breakage.
If you’d like to add low-tox TLC to your hair-growing regime, you can find Lisa and the Enough team here.
Now for perhaps the most important part…
Analyse your plate – eat to grow your hair!
THESE KEY VITAMINS & MINERALS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR HAIR:
Vitamin A – This vitamin is key for hair growth as it is needed by all bodily cells for development! Vitamin A also plays a role in the production of sebum which moisturises the scalp to keep your hair healthy! Vitamin A can be found in orange foods i.e. sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkins.
B Group Vitamins – B vitamins are involved in creating red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients around the body, including our scalp and hair follicles. B vitamins are also used up by our body during times of stress, thus many of us may be deficient. B Vitamins are found in a wide range of our foods such as leafy greens, seafood, nuts and whole grains.
PRO TIP: B12, another essential B vitamin is generally only readily available in animal products, so if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, it may be worth considering supplementation.
Vitamin C – aaaahhh, good ‘ol Vitamin C! Vitamin C is one of the most powerful known antioxidants, protecting our hair from free radical damage that may stunt growth. Vitamin C is also essential in the bodies’ production of the protein, Collagen, an essential structural component of hair (More on this later).
Vitamin C is found in berries, citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower and capsicums!
Vitamin E – like our good friend, Vitamin C, Vitamin E is another star antioxidant!
You can find Vitamin E in almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado and spinach!
Iron – Iron is your key to-gooder, helping red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells. Making this guy super important when it comes to hair growth! Iron deficiency is often one of the major causes of hair loss, particularly in women.
We can boost our iron levels by enjoying eggs, spinach, leafy greens, lentils and oysters!
Zinc – Zinc is our happy handy-man, playing an essential role in hair growth/ repair, along with keeping the oil and follicle glands in shape. Zinc deficiency is also often associated with hair loss. Get your Zinc fix from seafood, spinach, pumpkin seeds, lentils and wheat germ!
Protein – our hair is made of almost entirely protein, so it’s obvious that without adequate protein consumption we won’t achieve our dream mermaid mane! On average, females require approximately 46 grams of protein per day and men require 56 grams.
Collagen – Oh Collagen, the latest trend that’s swept the nation! If you’ve been wondering if Collagen is really all it’s cracked up to be…the answer is YES! Collagen helps to promote healthy hair by being a building agent for hair proteins resulting in stronger, healthier hair! Collagen is formed in the body by combining amino acids from the proteins we eat, along with Vitamin C and Zinc for good measure. Yet another reason why meeting our protein targets are so important!
SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT?
I’m a firm believer in food as medicine. What does that mean? Well, I think all health is determined by how we treat the vessels in which we reside, and this includes how we fuel it. Before you go running to your local health-food store, and filling your basket with the latest you-beaut hair growth formulas…consider: are you giving your body everything it needs to fulfil your mermaid hair dreams? If the answer is NO, pop those vita-gummies back on the shelf and take a long-hard look at your diet. There are always ways we can improve our vitamin & mineral status, the best part is, it can taste delicious too!
If you’ve upped your culinary skills and designed a mermaid hair protocol and are still concerned, it’s time to bring in your health-care team! Let them work with you to uncover where you may be lacking.
And there you have it! Your Naturopathic insight into growing an enviable mane!
Want more tips & tricks? Or concerned about your nutritional status? Make a booking here today!
Who else struggles with the afternoon snack attack? You know, the one where you’re feeling like you need a boost of energy, but ultimately just end up standing at the fridge, staring into the abyss and either settling for the most random combination of food that even your dog wouldn’t eat; OR going hungry until dinner.
Well, let this be the end of those days, may we now open the fridge and be greeted by these delicious bite-sized balls of goodness! I give you my famous Choc-Raspberry Protein Balls!
Ahhh protein, protein almost quite literally makes the world go round! We certainly need protein to keep out brain functioning and out tummy satisfied so we stay fuller for longer. This recipe is packed full of almonds, one of nature’s most delicious forms of protein!
This recipe also blesses us with the sweet kick of the humble Medjool date and fresh raspberries, powerful antioxidants that help to reduce free radical damage and other disease!
It’s certainly not a Consciously recipe without Coconut! Coconut doesn’t just smell great… it’s also full of healthy fats that will keep our busy brains happy and charging through our computer work long into the afternoon!
& then there’s my good friend Cacao, packed full of Magnesium and our happiness chemicals: serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine to help reduce stress and have us feeling blissful all arvo long!
6 Medjool Dates, soaked & pitted
1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Raw Almonds
2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Frozen Raspberries
Blitz all ingredients in a food processer or blender until it forms a thick paste. Roll into bite-sized balls. Place in the refrigerator to set. These babies will keep for about a week and are a delicious afternoon snack!
I hope you love these as much as I do!
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