Waking With . Wunder Workshop
We first bonded with Wunder Workshop co-founder Zoe over a turmeric latte - very fitting - and have loved following her nationwide turmeric takeover ever since. Before Wunder Workshop, turmeric in the UK was still very much seen as a spice predominantly used in Indian and South East Asian cooking. Now we enjoy it as a regular part of our diet in hot drinks and smoothies, sprinkled on Qnola, to add colour and flavour to porridge and pancakes - the list goes on. From one honest brand to another, we wanted to share Zoe's morning rituals, including the breakfast essentials she swears by and the importance of taking time to just be...
"The first thing I do every morning is splash ice-cold water in my face, followed by an apple cider vinegar tonic and some moments to myself to journal and focus on the day ahead. I need to tune in with myself, to understand what is on my mind and whether there are any distractions. I find this really helps me, as when we busy ourselves we often lack to connect with what's really going on inside of us which obviously determines your whole behaviour and productivity.
After my warm apple cider vinegar, turmeric tonic, I have soaked oats or porridge with a variety of tonic or adaptogen herbs (ashwagandha, ginger, turmeric, reishi, brahmi), coconut oil, topped with nuts, cacao nibs and bee pollen. After breakfast I have either a green tea, matcha or mushroom coffee depending how busy the day ahead is and how much I need to focus - Mushroom coffee is for the more busy days. This is my most healthiest breakfast, and my most indulgent breakfast is a spelt croissant with a oat milk cappuccino.. I know not very wild...but it does feel like a delicious treat that I usually have on a Sunday morning.
My most essential breakfast ingredients... Apple cider vinegar to cleanse and alkalize my body. Oats for fibre and beta glucans for heart health, coconut oil for healthy fats, turmeric for anti-inflammation and a variety of adaptogen and tonic herbs to improve hormone balance.
The earliest I wake is when I go travelling, I always seem to end up booking the most ridiculous early flights. The latest, is probably midnight… I love dancing, especially in Berlin which often means you lose track of day and night during the winter as you hardly see the sunlight. Which sounds really depressing, but once in a while it’s magic. I had the best breakfast of my life at The Boathouse in Palm Beach Australia. They serve the most creamy coconut yoghurt topped with flowers, seasonal fruits such as mango and papaya and buckwheat granola!
I love waking up early on the weekend and to get out there before everything gets busy. I find a cozy cafe in the neighbourhood to read a book or the weekend newspapers. I leave my phone at home when I do this, as it’s nice to just ‘be’ without any obligations to reply or check anything. My best morning advice for busy people would be to really take that moment to tune in with yourself with or without breakfast. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes. To sit still, close your eyes and breath and eat your breakfast mindfully. Notice how your heartbeat slows down and how clarity reemerges in your mind. I find when I am stressed or busy, I lose focus of what's essential and by bringing myself back to the moment, everything seems less stressful and hectic.
On a typical day I start by taking a moment for myself, to feel grateful for the opportunities and find my focus, followed by healthy food and turmeric tonics. My main role is focusing on product development, collaborations and the creative side of things, so my days are typically filled with working on new products and thinking of ways to bring our mission and message across. This either involves redesigning packaging; I am never content with the current packaging so I keep innovating almost daily, much to the annoyance of everyone else...But I also create new recipes for product ideas (I have plenty, but it’s all about finding that focus and path) which I then let people try. No day is the same as the other, and this is probably my favourite thing about running a startup, that the magic lies in the uncertainty and the opportunities that it brings with it. Most evenings are spent with my friends or happily by myself reading and writing.
I usually work from home, so my ‘work’-life balance is somewhat intertwined, but since I love what I am doing it never really feels like I am depriving myself of anything if I work late. If I feel like I am overwhelmed or exhausted, I know that I need to stop, take a break by going for a walk, going to yoga or a gong-bath, or just watch a movie or a tv series.
My late mother inspired me to launch the company, as Wunder Workshop is really an embodiment of my upbringing. My mum had been very passionate about health and wellbeing since her early twenties, so by the time I was born she had nearly 20 years of experience. This meant I was surrounded by interesting books about traditional medicine, the power of plants and how to create all kinds of natural remedies from an early age. I grew up eating organic and locally sourced vegetarian food, we grew many of our own herbs and vegetables and we used to go to very down-to-earth Ayurvedic health retreats in Sri Lanka. She also ran a holistic spa for many years before I started Wunder Workshop, so all in all I have been very lucky to have always been surrounded by health and wellbeing to lead me on my own journey within this field.
There have been oh so many little highlights (of launching Wunder Workshop)! I try to celebrate all of them as one can get so lost in the busyness and stress that one easily forgets how far you’ve already come. The highlights for me, besides getting new stockists, is when I meet someone who doesn't know me but uses our products. It’s such a lovely feeling to see that my little creations have made it into someones pantry.
I probably have all the products on a daily basis, but the one I always take with me when I travel, is the Turmeric CBD oil. I have been taking it for a year now, and since I started using it my extreme period cramps have vanished. I used to not be able to work on the first day of my period, as the pain would just make me want to lie on the sofa all day. But I haven’t had a day like that for a year now, which is just so amazing to see the power of the cannabis plant and how it syncs with turmeric and our body’s endocannabinoid system.
I don't think my diet (since starting Wunder Workshop) has changed much, it might mean that I sometimes have to have lunch meetings which means I can't always determine what I want to eat, but luckily being in the health food industry the people I meet are often like-minded in their food choices.
If I had to give one piece of advice to someone wanting to start their own business it would be to not be fearful and just go for it (obviously in a realistic way).. Life is so short and I often see my peers unhappy in their job roles and considering leaving but their fear of insecurity is holding them back, meaning they continue living a life that isn’t fulfilling them. This always really upsets me as I would love for them to trust themselves and see something flourish. It’s the best feeling every single day."