Raw Christmas Presents #1

It seems that Christmas is upon us (or rather, the media is pressing upon us to buy yet more things). I always try to choose the small company, the organic company and the ethical company whilst recognising that ‘green’ shopping is in so many ways just consumerism (often, even pricier consumerism) by a different name (and colour). That said, I’m no Christmas nay-sayer and I adore the whole sparkly season of friends, family and celebration, but each year I do make attempts to minimize and simplify the whole dazzling affair. Scents and choc might seem like cop-out gifts, but in these straitened economic times when people are cutting back on all kinds of things, I think ‘little treats’ that spark to life our most essential senses within day-to-day life shouldn’t be underestimated. Delicious smells and tastes can be transformative on dreary January and February days and if you haven’t gathered by now, I am nothing if not incessant about heightening the joys of day-to-day to life in the smallest of ways.

In many ways I find this blog difficult to keep up because a lot of what I do, I repeat, every day, every month, and every year, it’s hardly the ‘shock of the new’. I wrote in 2009 about the magical inspiration I found in the juicing and blending ideas of this company and I still regularly browse through their menu plans and descriptions of raw juices just before going to sleep for next-day inspiration. Believe me when I say that a couple of essential oil drops makes a huge difference to those seasonal green leafy, pear and apple juices! As for the chocolate suggestion, I don’t think I’m alone in experiencing that a daily square (or two) of carob confection or raw chocolate helps the green juice go down ...

With no further ado then, the question of what to buy raw (or raw-ish) foodie friends (and drop heavy hints for myself along the way) has been simplified in 2011 by the discovery of the following. I’ve been on Amy Levin’s Ooosha mailing list since the launch (she runs workshops too) and as her pictures show (above are ‘cool breeze’ and ‘tribloluminescence’) this choc is not only healthy but provides a beautiful and welcome shot of colour in this season of darkness. As for the oils, whilst essential oils are relatively easy to hunt down, organic essential oils can sometimes be limited in choice and food-grade organic essential oils even trickier to locate, yet the Brighton-based NHR has a huge selection from a (angelica) to not quite z (ylang ylang), from tiny 2.5ml bottles up to a litre and sells both online and face-to-face...

Photos © Amy Levin @ Ooosha and NHR Organic Oils


Lisette A/W 2011-12 #2

Cold 'n' foggy. Time for some more snuggly views of the lovely winter collection from Lisette...

Photographs © Lisette