11 tips on living well with Kirsten Shanks

The ethereal Kirsten Shanks - founder of Orchard Street, naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist is brimming with self-care knowledge and shares her tips on living well.

EMBRACE BOTANICALS through the simple art of iced infusions. Incorporate the beautifying prowess of hibiscus and rosehip, the mineral rich potency of nettle, the digestive soothing ability of fennel and peppermint or the cleansing capacity of dandelion leaf.

STRESS SUPPORT. This time of year can be a financial, emotional and nervous stress for many. Allow nature’s medicines to offer adaptogenic support: ashwagandha, rhodiola and siberian ginseng are invaluable botanicals for times like these.

FOOD. Predominantly plant based. At a time when so many animal products are consumed globally, endeavour to steer towards more compassionate options when opportunities arise. Perhaps every meal at home, all breakfasts and lunches or every other day is purely plant based.

CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION. When it comes to alcohol, endeavour to bring your awareness to each drink. Wine and beer offer more than fuzzy inebriation but arise from millennia of refining the arts of fermentation and can offer a complexity of flavours. When possible choose natural, organic options, free from preservatives. Savour each mouthful and let it linger rather than quaffing down.

WHEN DRINKING. Protect your liver before and after with St Mary’s Thistle extract and activated B vitamins. Before you rest for the night, take charcoal tablets with abundant water. On waking, try this electrolyte formula 1L filtered/spring water, 1/2 tsp sea salt, juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, 2 tsp maple syrup or honey. And rest.

SUPPORT DIGESTION Ease bloating and gas often accompanied with rich foods of the season with fermented foods, bitter greens, apple cider vinegar and abundant spice. Digestive infusions of botanicals such as fennel, peppermint, lemon myrtle and chamomile can work gentle wonders.

START each and every day with 10 conscious breaths, a lemon water and your probiotics.

Weave MUSHROOMS into your daily brew. Immune enhancing, energising, adaptogenic and detoxifying, these potent wonders of the fungi kingdom are the perfect panacea for the festive season.

Keep BREAKFAST light, clean and nourishing to set you up for whatever the day brings; such as a smoothie rich in detoxifying herbs, fibrous greens, probiotics and plant based protein.


YOGA ~ Take the opportunity of time free from work and daily commitments to establish, build or maintain your yoga practise. If a studio isn’t nearby, try establishing a home practise with online classes. I love Barre Body, with wonderful classes merging yoga, pilates and ballet for building strength, tone and fitness ~ they have a brilliant online studio! Gaia and Yogaglo are a great resources also for online yoga.

MEDITATION. The Buddhist Metta Bhavana ‘loving kindness’ meditation is perfect for this time of year, and can bring compassion to conflicts with others. This practise in essence is the cultivation of love and compassion as a progressive meditation; first towards yourself, then to a good friend, to a neutral person in your life, to someone you may be challenged by and finally to all sentient beings.