Wild Foraging + Intuition + Gut Healing Tonics – Meet Moonbrew
There seems to be a fair amount of equal intimidation and curiosity surrounding fermented foods and beverages these days. Often, you might hear that making your own kombucha, nut cheese or yogurt is simple, though I see often in practise, people wanting to source pre-made fermented foods and beverages for overall ease. And I can admit, even as an RHN, I too outsource these foods on the regular.
One thing I coach on in my nutrition sessions is the importance of finding conscious brands that use whole foods and high quality ingredients. Just because a food is organic, or fermented, doesn’t mean the ingredients are necessarily adding to your health vs creating more work for the liver and gut.
Until recently, ‘Jun’ was completely unknown to me, and therefore my clients. I cant tell you how excited I am to have learned about this raw, and gut healing tonic! I’m the co-founder of The IBS Academy, an online resource for those suffering from chronic IBS, and food intolerances. The role that beneficial bacteria, finding ways to better manage stress and committing to a predominantly whole-foods diet is huge in our recommendations. This is why we knocked on Moonbrew’s door to learn more about her tonics, lifestyle and how listening to her intuition lead her to health, purpose and love her heart knew she would find. Meet Jaime Lee, of Moonbrew Tonics…
The IBS Academy is an online resource for those who are suffering from chronic IBS, and are looking for natural and effective strategies in addressing gut health at the root level.
We understand the importance of the microbiome in people’s ability to live a life filled with energy, vitality, peace of mind and freedom.
This may have been ‘the norm’ for people until quite recently as our diets have moved so far away from being completely whole foods and rich in beneficial bacteria. Each culture has a food in which was once a staple in their diets and is filled with beneficial bacteria. Though, how prevalent are these foods in today’s society?
Also, stress management and a sense of community were potentially easier attained with a slower paced lifestyle.
We believe that we must find health and balance in all areas of life in order to achieve wellness in our digestive systems; proper nutrition, and stress-management are staples in our coaching programs. We’ve been watching Moonbrew grow all the way from the east side of Canada, and love what they’re doing to help people reconnect with some of what we’ve lost as a society.
It seems to us that your foundation is rooted in returning to some of the ways we used to live life and connect with food. We’d love to hear more about how and why you do what you do…
Your fermented teas are quite unique and in many ways…
What’s the difference between Jun and Kombucha, and what made you pick brewing Jun over the massively popular Kombucha?
The biggest difference between jun and kombucha lies in the ingredients; instead of black tea and refined sugar used in kombucha, jun is brewed with green tea and honey. I personally found that my home-brew kombucha was exacerbating my chronic candida symptoms at the time. I stopped brewing only to have it present itself to me as a distinct thought that arose through meditation. I couldn’t ignore it and ended up researching the many different varieties and fermentation methods. The moment I realized what jun was, I knew I had to explore it.
What different about the way you brew your tonic?
As a culture, jun is considered to be more wild than kombucha. Because of this, you can expose it to just about any herb, creating potent healing remedies. For me, this is an integral component to how I brew. Unlike many other fermented beverages, I brew not only with the tea but local fruit, herbs, botanicals, spices and roots. The end product is a powerful healing tonic that provides many additional benefits than simply probiotics. From antioxidants and immune support to anti-inflammatory properties and digestive-enhancing enzymes.
Something that I’ve come to recognize as different is also my connection to nature and how that has influenced the tonics. I began brewing jun in my home kitchen, infusing with only ingredients I harvested from my garden or foraged from BC wilderness.
Jamie, you left Toronto, to go home to your roots in Vancouver after graduating as a holistic nutritionist. Some would say there is more opportunity in Toronto, yet you followed your heart, and intuition and traded the concrete jungle for the redwoods. That is so inspiring! What has come from you trusting your gut and following your intuition?
Intuition has played a huge role in both my life and business. But it hasn’t always been this way.
We, especially as women, have an incredibly strong sense of intuition; that gut feeling. Though what I’ve come to realize is that it’s often suppressed. We’re no longer in a space where we’re urged to exercise it on a consistent basis. But there are many ways to tap into it and when that happened for me, life began to unfold in ways that felt seamless. The moment I landed back in Vancouver and breathed the ocean air for the first time again, I knew this is where I needed to be. There’s something to be said about leaning into your intuition and trusting it fully. There’s power in that. And since tuning in, my journey has unfolded with a sense of ease and clarity.
And I so appreciate this question, Cass! It’s come up for me quite a bit lately as I work to delve deeper into my internal knowing. My intuition. And I really do feel this is only the beginning. There’s more work here for me to do.
What’s your favourite part about handpicking the ingredients that go in your brew?
Being in nature is truly grounding. It’s about oneness and balance. Stability and nourishment. At this point in the business, we source the majority of our ingredients from farms across BC, while just a few of our ingredients are harvested by foragers with respect and intent. That being said, I am working to create a line of tonics that change and flow with the seasons where the majority of the herbs and botanicals used will be hand-harvested from only what is currently available.
I have a strong connection to the land here and make a conscious effort to strengthen this connection as often as possible.
How would you say the bacteria in your brew help to promote a healthy digestive system?
Our jun tonics are free of both force-carbonation and pasteurization which means they are all-the-more healthful. Force-carbonation stagnates the bacteria and yeast rendering it less bioavailable than if it were naturally carbonated, while pasteurization – to ensure shelf-stability – is known to wipe out some of the living bacterial cultures.
I consider our jun tonics to be more like a probiotic supplement than a fizzy beverage. And when you provide the body with gut-nourishing bacteria, it crowds out the body-harming bacteria. And a thriving gut is one that has a strong digestive fire and smooth movements. Our guts are also directly connected to not only our brain but our immune system, too. Benefits of drinking jun include sustained energy, mental clarity and stress reduction. It also contains essential B vitamins like B12 and organic acids that are required for the production of blood and neurotransmitters. The healing properties of jun reach far beyond the digestive system.
If you could give any advice to anyone reading this who is suffering from poor gut health, anxiety or doubt for their future and a life filled with fulfillment, health and purpose, what would that be?
There are a few insights that ring true for me.
Take your time
Whether it’s working through a candida protocol or launching a new project, organic growth and healing takes time and persistence. Even on a more minute level, slowing down will help to alleviate the pressure and anxiety of constantly rushing. Try taking three, full deep breaths when you notice this feeling arise.
I always say, “life opens up to you if you let it” and there’s magic in the “letting.”
Shift happens. Opportunities arise. Doors open. People appear your life.
Learning from our elders, we know that with a great sense of community comes vitality. Creating and nurturing our connections bring us joy and strength and love and without that, what’s the point?
Your body knows what it needs and it will show you. This applies to the physical aspect as well as the emotional and spiritual. Take the cues it provides and make a point to address them.
Thank you, Jaime. As someone who has watched you grow, both personally, and in business, I can say that I truly felt the love you put into your tonic while I was drinking it. It was an experience, and it felt like I was giving my body something special (and I was!) – the same way I love luxurious all-natural skin and body care products, and organics foods, your tonics fuelled my soul. So excited for you, soul sister xo
Jaime Lee Mock – Founder of Moonbrew Tonics