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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.


 
What's in My Bag: with Maribeth Helen
Maribeth Helen

By now, I'm sure you've come across the work of Maribeth Helen. She is an herbalist, word witch and an all around incredible being. Maribeth's zine, Self Care in Uncertain Times, is well loved and has been widely coveted. Most likely to to its release during a time when we seem to need it most and the beautifully worded and relatable title.

Maribeth's words are akin to coming home. She has a way of sharing her knowledge and experiences that is so thoughtful and patient, which is something that is so valuable in this world. Needless to say, I was stoked when Maribeth agreed to share what she carries around in her bag and what keeps her feeling nourished and powerful. 

Maribeth also has some workshops coming up! So if you are lucky enough to live near the towns that she is teaching in, I strongly encourage you to reserve your spot asap. Check out her workshops page if you're in California or Massachusetts!

Spencre xo

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Over the years I have intentionally let go of many of my possessions as I moved around quite a bit. Recently I've even enjoyed leaving my bag in the car and walking out for a short hike with only my water bottle to carry. With that said, I like to keep certain well-loved potions (and snacks!) close, especially if I'm out in the city, going to work, or taking a longer trip away from home. I've been in the habit of keeping a good book in my bag as to spend down time or breaks reading instead of looking at my phone. Lately I've been carrying this special tote made by fellow herbalist and awesome friend Bonnie Rose Weaver. 

Maribeth Helen : What's In My Bag
Maribeth Helen : What's in My Bag

The Stuff!

 1. Balsam Fir Hydrosol by Fat and the Land Apothecary: Anja has such an incredible spirit and relationship with the earth. I am constantly inspired by her connection to the plants and how she infuses the magic of the season into everything she does. I've been carrying her gently cooling and deeply grounding balsam fir hydrosol to keep my nervous system at ease and to refresh my skin after skipping around in the warm California sun. 

2. Citrus Digestive Bitters by Urban Moonshine: I try not to go anywhere without bitters. This sensitive digestive system can use all the support it can get and Urban Moonshine does such a good job at blending powerful and effective herbs in such a gentle and tasty way. I like to drop these bitters right on my tongue or in a little warm water before or after a meal to invigorate and enliven my whole digestive system while helping to strengthen it's ability to assimilate nutrients from the foods I enjoy.  

3. Pink yarrow flower essence: I love sending and receiving mail and I love when my friends send me perfect potions that always seem to line up with what I need. My dear friend Maggie Ruth tends to have a very intuitive sense when it comes to sending me plant medicine. As a sensitive and compassionate human who lives and works in a city, I am often struggling to keep healthy boundaries around what energy is mine and what energies I need to release. Maggie's pink flower essence helps to ground me in staying true to myself while being in relationship with other people. 

4. Tulsi & Ginger Tea by Traditional Medicinals: I love tea, duh. :) This particular blend by Traditional Medicinals is so warming and incredibly grounding. It's my go to on the go tea in case I need to ground out or take a moment to recollect, get cozy, and reset when I'm out for the day. It's also great if I'm eating out and need some extra support for my digestive system....yeah I'm totally that person who brings their own tea to the restaurant. I don't drink so I am in the habit of bringing tea with me to gatherings where there might be alcohol and I want to drink something other than water, and this blend helps to take the edge off my social anxiety. 

5. The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams: This. Book. I'm reading it for a second time. It is long and it is slow (like my favorite walks) and it is filled with many many incredibly potent moments of wisdom that come from this woman's unwavering love of the land here in the United States. She calls this book "A Personal Topography of America's National Parks" and I am a total nerd for it. It is personal, it is political, it is wild and soft, rooted in history and questioning, it's observant and spiritual and totally present. It is fine storytelling and full of poetry. 

6. Snacks! : I never go anywhere without snacks because well, hanger. To this day when I visit my parents, my mom still brings an extra bag of almonds for me, just in case. I'm not kidding. So, snacks. My snacks range but usually I try to include some protein and fat. I've been loving YES bars which are made here in the bay area and always sprouted nuts are a win, lately paired with a blood orange because I can't get enough of the color! 

7. Grapefruit Rose Lip Balm by Wild Carrot: I am really picky when it comes to my lip balm and with this windy Spring weather I am always reaching for my favorite by Wild Carrot Herbals out of Oregon

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Find Maribeth online at maribethhelen.com and on Instagram @maribethhelen

Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Photo by Bonnie Rose Weaver

Photos by Maribeth Helen with the exception of the one above these words, which is by Bonnie Rose Weaver.