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What’s In My Bag with Nadine Joseph of Pretty Mushroom
 
What's in my bag with Nadine Joseph

Nadine Joseph is the founder of Pretty Mushroom, an herbal elixir blend company based in Seattle. Nadine reached out to me earlier this year and I was immediately taken with the transparency of sourcing with where she gets the herbs and mushrooms for Pretty Mushroom’s products. If you know me, you know that I have a deep love of mushrooms and that I also have a strong dislike of over harvesting and unethical standards, especially when it comes to shrooms. That is not the case with Pretty Mushroom however. Nadine is very upfront about where she sources her powders, which I LOVE and her elixirs taste amazing too. Both Connor and I have been putting a scoop into our coffee each morning and I’m so excited to start including these powders in my at home baking. So, I hope you enjoy the following article and look inside Nadine’s bag!

Spencre xx

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What we put in our bags says a lot about who we are and what we do - and I am no exception to this. A good portion of my day is spent doing magical marketing things for my company, Pretty Mushroom, on my office computer. But the part of me that has a deep love for the outdoors always leads me to spontaneously “disappear” on hiking trips throughout the week. Because of this tendency, you’ll see that my bag carries all the bare necessities that I need when I check out for a few hours, plus a few things that aren’t exactly “utilitarian”. I’ve been toting around an army green messenger bag for years. It isn’t pretty - it’s marred by various turmeric stains from leaky bottles and carries the crackly remnants of leaves and flowers that I’ve picked up from my various adventures. But, bringing along this bag is like carrying a little piece of home wherever I go and I love it.

Nadine Joseph

Nadine Joseph

Treasures

Treasures

So, here is what's inside: 

Library Book: One thing that shaped me growing up were weekly trips to the library. Pouring over books for hours inspired a sort of curiosity and appreciation for the world that I’m not so sure I could have gotten otherwise in the small town that I grew up in. I’m always reading, and my latest categorical obsession is ethnobotany, the study of the traditional knowledge and customs of people concerning plants and their medicinal uses. At my company Pretty Mushroom, we source herbs/mushrooms that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices for hundreds of years. Recently, I have been exploring ways to show appreciation and respect for the traditional roots of the herbs and mushrooms that we use in our blends. The wellness industry isn’t exactly diverse, and I feel like one important step towards diversification is recognizing the cultural background of the wellness practices that we have integrated into western wellness. 

Badger Lavender and Bergamot Sleep Balm: My dad used to keep a tin of this in his bedside drawer, and I have fond memories of taking it out, opening the tin, and giving it a good whiff because it smelled so relaxing. Now, I use it to moisturize my hands and lips, particularly in the winter. The soothing aroma of lavender and bergamot instantly makes me feel at home, no matter where I am. 

Book by Mary Oliver: Mary Oliver’s words are a salve to me; reading her poetry often has as calming of an effect as a warm mushroom latte. Her poetry and prose combine a mindful spirituality with a deep appreciation and love for nature. I have an anxiety riddled, type “A” personality that can be both a blessing and a curse. When I feel overwhelmed, taking out one of Oliver’s books and reading always quiets my mind - kind of  like a meditation. 

Felix Gray Glasses: These glasses filter out harmful blue light from my computer screen, eliminating the eye strain and headaches I used to get. I have never been a personal fan of social media/screen time, and I have mixed feelings about the fact that so much of my time as a wellness entrepreneur is spent behind a screen. The discussion of social media/technology and its effects on our bodies is probably best saved for another time, but while I find a balance that works for me, these blue light filtering glasses ensure that my eyes stay protected. 

Bobble Water Bottle: I carry a fierce fondness for this water bottle that is a result of me having it since I was 12 years old. On the days that I forget it at home, I feel like something is missing. For me, hydrating regularly while I am on the go is a die hard habit.

Dog Toys: I have a super wiggly and loyal chocolate lab named Cora. She goes with me almost everywhere, especially on my random hikes. Whenever I’m stuck in a creative rut or have had a long day working, I’ll always find myself taking Cora to the park.  I’ll throw this tennis ball with her a few times to play fetch. 

Nadine’s pup, Cora

Nadine’s pup, Cora

Happy Mushroom Blend: When I decide to work on my laptop at a cafe or juice bar, I will often mix this in with whatever drink I get. This blend protects against stress, reduces fatigue, and increases overall well-being. Oftentimes, I mix this in with chai lattes and coffee - it adds a tinge of chocolatey goodness to whatever I happen to order *and* I get all those adaptogenic benefits. 

Happy Mushroom Blend! Click photo to read more about the product

Happy Mushroom Blend! Click photo to read more about the product

Sunscreen: I grew up in Florida - the good old sunshine state. I have fond memories of my dad always reminding me “Did you put sunscreen on?” It’s a habit that never quite stuck with me - sunscreen has alway felt so greasy on my skin. Lately, I have been keeping this in my bag so that (hopefully) I’ll remember to slather some on. I’m trying, Dad! 

Gin Gins Ginger Chews- These are a lifelong obsession of mine. I love the combination of flavors - sharp ginger and sweetness. Their company also has sustainable farming practices and have made efforts towards more sustainable packaging. I love them all around!

A bottle of Lemon Turmeric Tonic: I make a large batch of this every weekend and it’s a zingy on-the-go drink that leaves me feeling refreshed. The Pretty Mushroom blend in this tonic recipe vanquished the itchy raw patches of eczema that I have been battling since before I can remember. I tried seemingly every potion and salve out there to get rid of it, but what ended up doing the trick was a combination of diet changes and some anti-inflammatory adaptogenic herbs/mushrooms. I combined all of these into our Pretty Mushroom blend, which contains a high curcumin content turmeric that is potently anti-inflammatory. It never fails to kick my eczema’s butt! The blend also consists of rose hips and astragalus for protection against hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and wrinkles. I drink this tonic throughout the day, everyday. If my body feels a bit off balance or if I’m on my monthly cycle, I’ll add some grated ginger to the mix for its potent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. 

- Lemon Turmeric Tonic Recipe -

1/2 c Unsweetened Sparkling Water
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 tsp Pretty Mushroom Blend
1 tsp Maple Syrup
Juice from 1 Orange (½ cup OJ)
Optional: 2 tbsp grated ginger

(1 Serving)


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My Pronouns: Her/She

Website: PrettyMushroom.com

Company Instagram: @ItsPrettyMushroom

Personal Instagram: @ItsaNadine

Nadine Joseph is the co-founder of Pretty Mushroom, a line of adaptogenic blends that enhance beauty, mood, and mind. With a background in neuroscience research, she created Pretty Mushroom as a way to simplify the oftentimes confusing world of adaptogens into something inclusive, approachable, and science-backed. Keep up with Nadine on Instagram here.


 
Formulations//Ruminations
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If I were to be completely honest, I would have to admit that I have a commitment issue of sorts. I find it difficult being in one place longer than 3 months, my recent pledge to vegetarianism has been blown far to the wayside, my grudges last either 4 days or 4 years, I can't commit to tattoos larger than a dot or a half inch line.. 

These three formulations are the results of my wanting to stay in one place. They are the pledges to my ever growing devotion to herbalism and my wanting to connect with those who I love and appreciate. They have been given as gifts to dear friends and named for lovers and David Bowie; they have been dreamed up through tears, funk and pure bliss. 

I initially created STAR SOOTHER last winter on the night of David Bowie's death. It was a reaction to the incredible grief I was experiencing both from his passing and the deep depression I found myself in that first winter away from California. I gathered my favorite herbs together and tossed in a citrine stone given to me by a fellow scorpion friend and danced around the kitchen putting my heart and soul into the first creation of this blend. I carried it with me through a southern trek of America and found comfort in its restful qualities.

OH LOVER came to me as I departed from two dear friends a few months before the creation of STAR SOOTHER. Inspired by the sweetness of their love, I threw together the most delicious and passionate herbs I had in my pocession. The first brewing of this syrup journeyed with these friends as they braved the salty seas of Cuba and the rough sands of Mexico. Even somehow surviving a theft of luggage and traveling back to Florida, still intact nearly a year later. Some parts of the original syrup have changed but most of it is the same. For this batch I added honey from my beloved farm back in Sweden. Honey that is so sweet and dear to me that I almost found it difficult to part with; but knowing that I could pass it on to you was an inspiration and I felt no regrets adding it to the pot. 

LONELY HEART was a dream of mine for some time. It's a combination of the herbs that bring me such immediate joy, a flower essence I've grown to love and a crystal I've known for years. This is my first time actually bring this particular formula to the physical realm, but I feel as if I've known it for years. When I was in herb school I felt such a strong pull toward roses that I sought out the advice of a teacher and expressed my concerns of a possible addiction to her. She assured me that all was well and if rose was singing to me in such a soulful way, then I should just keep on riding that wave. 

Know that these creations are meant to be a sort of hug from someone who understands. I may not have been exactly where you've been and we may not share similar stories but I am here for you and try my best to understand where you come from. The tinctures, syrups and zines I create are intended to be a friend to carry in your pocket and your belly. It's my gesture of showing love to those I can't speak to and the ones I don't know. 

You are loved. You are so loved. 

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