I get invites to events every now and then, but haven’t been to one in a while since I haven’t really wanted to leave Maya in the evening yet. But when I got invited to Jan De Vries Health Food Store for a blogger evening I had to say yes as it was right up my street. So I asked my friend Olli who runs the @myEdinburgh Instagram account to join me and told Matthew he had to get the girls to bed on his own and headed out for a healthy evening.
I’ve walked past countless times but actually never gone in – usually I would go to the Holland & Barrett health store just around the corner. But I now know that Jan De Vries is a great place to go for wholefoods, healthy drinks, vegan skincare and supplements. They also offer in-store consultations from a range of health experts including a homeopath, nutritionist, medical herbalist and a masseuse. I actually had a mini health consultation whilst there, but more about that later!
Btw, I took the photos at the end of the event – we weren’t the only people there!
So where does the name Jan de Vries come from? Doesn’t sound English does it. Jan de Vries was the founder and a widely celebrated naturopath and an expert in his field. He was born in Holland in 1937 and grew up during the Second World War – and from these difficult years he developed a desire to help people. He studied pharmacy and travelled around the world, learning about natural medicine – and eventually, in 1961, he opened his first clinic in Holland with Alfred Vogel (the guy behind Vogel Herbal Remedies). But, in 1971 he moved to Scotland with his Scottish wife and set up his first shop in the small seaside town of Troon. Now there are 11 stores around the country.
I love health stores and could spend ages going through all those fascinating products if I had the time! I’ve tried all sorts of different powders, supplements and health foods in the past and will, no doubt, keep exploring. Healthy living interests me so much that I have even thought about studying nutrition many times. Maybe I will one day!
My favourite bit from the evening was trying out all those organic, refined sugar-free, ethical, vegan chocolates and nut butters by Almighty Foods – a small Perthshire-based company. It was all so delicious and nothing like some of the dry, boring vegan chocolates I have tried in the past. And that toffee almond nut butter was heavenly!
Also tried some scrumptious and beautiful raw cakes by Rawnchy, who is about to open a shop in Glasgow. The founder, Poppy, is such a bubbly and warm person that I really hope will do well in her raw dessert adventure!
We hung around this desk for quite a while! Matthew messaged me saying Maya is going mental and asking me to come home, but I was busy as you can see. I knew she would calm down, plus she’ll never get used to being without me if I never leave her – so they had to manage without me for a bit longer.
And this is where chocolate comes from! It’s a seed from the cacao tree, and inside you’ll find cocoa beans. Amazing.
I was booked in for a 10-minute health consultation with a nutritionist, and that was a very interesting session. I don’t have any health issues but wanted to ask about how to make sure I get everything I need nutrition-wise when breastfeeding. And what she said was quite shocking as I’ve always thought breastfeeding for as long as possible is what you should do. She basically said that when babies get teeth it means that they’re ready to stop breastfeeding, because that means that the enzymes in their stomachs are ready to start digesting food. The enzymes are so strong that they can actually cause the milk to curdle and cause discomfort in the baby. Whoa! I need to do some more research into this, cause it’s so mind-boggling that I need more proof to believe it I think. And how come some babies don’t get teeth until they’re past one? Hmm.
The nutritionist also said it takes about three years for the body to reach the pre-pregnancy mineral levels, so it’s not a good idea to have another baby sooner than that. She was vegan and pointing out how cow’s milk is there to make their calves grow into big cows, but that they don’t feed their calves for more than a year so that the calves wouldn’t grow into obese cows. And that’s what we give to our kids! Also, the countries with the most osteoporosis are the countries where people eat most dairy – such as the Nordic countries. She also said that for the body to absorb calcium you need magnesium. Magnesium is such an important mineral that is needed by the body in large amounts – it’s a common deficiency. Ok, think that’s all I can remember for now!
In regards to the photo above – I recently bought flaxseed oil from Holland & Barrett that tastes horrible. The nutritionist said it’s probably rancid and that the only nice-tasting one she’s tried is the one in the photo by GranoVita. Yet to try it but it can’t taste any worse than the one I already have!
After an informative and tasty evening we took our goody bags and went home to our kids. I walked through the door and found Matthew and the girls in Lana’s room, with Lana crying and Matthew almost crying with relief. Maya was the only calm one haha! I need to get out more…
x Nina x