Dreaming Of A Vegan Christmas?
Heaven Leigh, owner of Bodhi shares her favourite cruelty-free brands and products to buy your loved ones this Christmas.
Buying that perfect gift is difficult at the best of times and we can all relate to the rising panic that Christmas shopping can bring. Add the complexity that you want to make sure the gift you buy is vegan, ethical and well-made and suddenly shopping seems like the last thing you want to do. Every year I love discovering eco-friendly, plant-based brands that become absolute staples in my bathroom, wardrobe and kitchen. From skincare to nails, bags to shoes, inner health products to outer health experiences and of course we couldn’t leave out food!
I hope you enjoy this list of what to either put under the tree or ask Santa to bring!
Love Heaven Leigh and the Bodhi Team
Skin Care - Retreatment Botanics
Olivia Newton John’s beautiful Gaia Retreat & Spa have started a range of skin care products, we love the Restore Serum which is made with natural, organic ingredients and feature Amazonian Buriti Fruit, native Sandalwood seed, wild Rosella Flower and Kakadu Plum. This serum is rich in antioxidants and pro-vitamin A, C, E and Omega 3 & 9 essential fatty acids. It works on reducing fine lines and wrinkles for vibrant, luminous skin. Restore Serum $95
Body - Butt Naked Skinfood
The Ultimate Goddess gift pack includes 1 x Himalayan and lavender salt scrub and bath soak, 1 x Rose Clay Face Mask and 1 x Chai lip scrub.
Nails - Gloss and Co
Add a little cruelty free sparkle this Christmas with this Australian-made nail polish that doesn’t have all the nastiest in it. Each pack contains a ridge filler base coat glossy hard topcoat,water-based nail polish remover and you get to pick from a range of amazing colors, our favourite is the Universal Gold Glitter. Nail Polish Starter Pack $69
Inner Beauty - WelleCo
Founded by Elle Macpherson and Andrea Horwood, WelleCo have an amazing range of plant-based whole food suppliants. The Super Elixir Greens has a combination of 40+ naturally derived ingredients that helps support gut health immune support enhances energy and helps support healthy skin hair and nails. Super Elixir Greens $145
Fashion Bag - Sans Beast
Catheryn Wills the ex-creative director of Mimco has created her own range of must-have vegan bags. The Midnight Snake Liaison Backpack is the perfect statement piece that is both fashionable and utilitarian. Able to hold a 13” laptop along with multiple compartments and pockets to help keep you organised while looking on point. Midnight Snake Liaison Backpack $399
Yoga Experience - Humming Puppy Yoga Studio
The perfect gift for any yogi is an introductory pass which gives you unlimited classes for 3 weeks at this stunning studio that promotes movement, awareness and meditation during the yoga practice. What makes this studio even more unique is that it is injected with a combination of frequencies to enhance and deepen your experience. Humming Puppy Introductory Offer $70
Fashion Shoes - No Saint
A new Australian brand paving the way in vegan fashion No Saints has a range of luxury vegan sneakers suitable for men or women. We love the Ruby Sneaker that is comfy AF, looks and feels like the softest leather but is made from apple peels Unisex Ruby Sneaker $240
Cookbook - Thug kitchen – eat like you give a f#$k
Thug Kitchen started their website to inspire people to eat vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. So, if you are a vegan or want to be a vegan soon this book is for you. With over 100 recipes of their best loved meals this cookbook will teach you how to feed your body the food it deserves to be healthy and fit. Suitable for toddlers to adults, beginning cooks to home chefs. Thug Kitchen Eat Like You Give a Fuck $30.95
Food Experience - Bodhi Restaurant
Of course, no list is complete without a little self-promotion and nothing says I love you, like sending someone to Bodhi to experience the best in Asian vegan food. With our signature yum cha, fabulous cocktails and beautiful setting what more can we say? Except get some dumplings your belly! Bodhi Gift Certificate
Perfume - Recreation Bondi Beach
Started by Nedahl Stelio a former Cleo and Cosmopolitan editor, who embodies an organic lifestyle, Nedahl has channeled her passion into this Australian owned all-natural fragrance house. Their products are not only cruelty free but are ethically sourced and don't use any chemicals in the preparation process. Our favourite scent for summer is Joyeux. Joyeux Eau De Parfum Peony 50ml $109
Spring Beauty Tips
Spring is in full swing and after a long, cold winter it’s time to restore your radiance, with some of our favourite cruelty-free beauty and wellness tips.
Beauty isn’t just about how you look on the outside and begins with inner health. Specifically, gut health, great nutrition and a balanced digestive system. This will help your skin glow, hair shine, teeth and nails become stronger and give you enhanced energy while providing support to your immune system.
WelleCo founded by Elle McPherson and Andrea Horwood has a range of products tailored specifically for your individual needs and it’s as easy as adding it daily to H2O, coconut water, your favourite green juice or a smoothie.
When it comes to a skin care routine many of us focus the attention on our faces but it’s just as important not to neglect our bodies. Do you want softer smoother skin, reduced appearance of cellulite, improved circulation, unblocked pores and a boosted lymphatic drainage system? Then we recommend investing in a good quality body brush with a detachable handle and a brush strap to get to those harder to reach places. The art of dry body brushing has been around in many cultures for centuries and all it takes is a few minutes daily before you hop in the shower.
Recommendation: Use short repeated strokes starting from the feet and work your way inwards towards your heart.
KOREAN FACE MASK
To say we are obsessed with the 10 step Korean skin care routine would be an understatement but understandably, with busy lives, not everyone has the time to indulge in this daily beauty ritual. We do however recommend investing in a great face mask and this K-Beauty offering literally went viral when actress Drew Barrymore documented her experience with the All-in-One Facial on Instagram. Hanacure is a South Korean beauty brand that relies on plant-based peptides and botanicals to address signs of ageing, dullness, environmental damage, enlarged pores and congestion.
This product has also sparked a selfie craze across social media! See the effects here #hanacureeffect
My Pick: The Hanacure Facemask From $29
Winter can be tough on hair and add to the fact a lot of us like to colour, blow dry, heat style and use various styling products, it’s no surprise hair can be left feeling dull lifeless and prone to split ends.
Olaplex is a line of hair repair treatments that is scientifically proven and has been one of the biggest advances in hair technology. Most salons that colour hair include a two-step Olaplex process while they colour and if your salon doesn’t do it then you may need a new salon. Olapex not only protects your hair by creating a bond but helps prevent further damage. The good news is they have a range of take home products that you can use yourself.
Recommendation: Once a week, the night before you wash your hair, apply No.3 Hair Protector through the length of your hair, let it naturally dry and leave in overnight.
With the arrival of spring and a love of open toe heels it’s the perfect time to give your feet a little extra TLC. Think foot scrubs, deeply hydrating masks that come in little socks that you leave on your feet overnight or a foot peel that sloughs away skin over a few days. Foot peels can be slightly icky for some, especially when you have large pieces of skin coming off your feet but are also weirdly satisfying and leave you with amazing baby soft skin afterwards.
Recommendation: Make sure you have at least 4 days before wearing open toe shoes.
R U OK?
With R U OK Day coming up on Thursday 12th September we’d like to share some Self-Care Tips to Help Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Straight out of the gate, we are going to say that the advice in this feature is not meant to replace medical advice or intended to act as a cure all to anxiety, depression or any other forms of mental health issues.
What we would like to suggest are a few little things that you can implement in your daily life to help lighten your load and ease the stress that may bring you down from time to time.
If there’s anything we do know, it is that self-care goes a long way in making us feel better. We hope you find this helpful, but please remember if at any time life becomes even the slightest bit too hard to bear, book in to see your GP or mental health professional and seek immediate advice. You are too precious not to do this. Remember, everyone has a gift that will make the world more special.
Happiness is Always a Work in Progress
Nobody in life is happy one hundred percent of the time. Not the mega wealthy, the uber beautiful or the person with the seemingly dream job/dream family/dream life. We all have moments when we are down and no one’s life is perfect.
As with any relationship in life, our relationship with happiness requires effort and input from ourselves. What does this mean? Quite simply, it means putting into action the things that you know lighten your load, make you uplifted and prevent you from being down in the dumps. Conversely, it also means shutting down behavior that you know brings you down or removing people from your life that do the same.
Here are a few suggestions that might help lift your mood and lighten your load.
Start Each Day with Intention
You don’t need to set big goals, meeting small ones can lead to big steps in improving your state of mind. It can be as simple as starting your day with positive intentions to help set the tone for the day ahead. It might be aiming to do five minutes of stretching when you get out of bed, playing a short meditation app, or writing in a gratitude journal, listing the things you are grateful for from yesterday and what you might like to set out to do that day. Being mindful of how we react and respond to the world and people around us. Intent gives us purpose and purpose helps us kick goals, which all lead to satisfaction – no matter how small it might be to begin with.
Just Change One Small Thing
If you are feeling unhappy with your life and you’re not sure what to do or where to start, why not begin by changing one small thing that is easy to do. This may not feel like much, but it can often be the catalyst for bigger changes. Conquering one small change can give you the confidence to tackle even bigger challenges down the road.
Make Your Mornings Fun
There aren’t many people who truly enjoy getting out of bed, but it sure does become easier if you incentivise yourself to do so. This might mean catching up on that quick half hour TV show you love, dancing around the living room to your favourite song, walking to a wonderful park with your dog, or simply meditating and planning a list of fun things you can do throughout the day in between work and other chores.
Remember – You Don’t Need to Adult All the Time
We all know being an adult is often overrated, so take time in each day to throw that out the window. Get a set of crayons or charcoals and a sketch pad and draw to your heart’s content. It doesn’t matter if it’s just stick figures or a masterpiece to rival Monet. Being creative taps into your inner child, where you were carefree and had fewer responsibilities. It really does help combat stress and the blues that we all become plagued with at times. For the same reason, get on a bike and ride like the wind, or go ice skating, or simply eat a (vegan) ice cream that you love. It’s always important to remember that child-like sense of joy and wonder and draw on it regularly.
Reduce Screen Time
With computers, smart phones, social media and streaming content available at the touch of a button, as a society we are more connected than we have ever been before, but it’s important to remember that this can also be a way of not connecting with ourselves and the people around us. Escapism is fun and can be a great way to decompress from your day, but it’s just as important to step away from your devices and find the time to be present, mindful and active in the world around you.
Monitor Your Inner Dialogue
Our minds have millions of thoughts each day and our bodies react to all of them. Catch yourself each time you have negative thoughts, feelings of guilt and shame, or playing the should-have, would-have, could-have game. Instead, accept the moment you are in and know that this too shall pass. Replace the negative self-talk with love, acceptance and positivity. Remind yourself that you wouldn’t talk to a friend that way, and nor should you do so to yourself.
Enjoy Restful, Quality Sleep
It’s impossible to be sleep deprived and feeling on top of your game. Chronic fatigue quite
simply counteracts happiness. With this in mind, try going to bed as early as possible and
enjoy at least eight hours of quality sleep every night. Avoid stimulants before bed like too
much food, alcohol or even an action or drama movie.
Create a sanctuary in your bedroom that makes you feel safe, calm and relaxed. Have low
lighting, use a diffuser to fill the air with beautifully relaxing essential oils, invest in quality
bed linen and have blackout curtains to keep the light out. A warm bath with magnesium
salts before bed will further help you relax, and if all else fails, a chamomile tea or herbal
supplement like valerian will induce restful feelings.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
One of the fantastic things about taking up yoga and meditation is that you can practice
this anywhere at any time. Both practices allow us to calm the mind, centre ourselves and
use mindful breathing techniques to help us deal with stressful situations. Be open to
receiving and putting something positive to the universe for others, as well as yourself. Set your intention for the day to be as gentle and compassionate with both yourself and other people, be positive with your conversation and interaction with others, from the barista who makes your coffee to the person who delivers your post. Remember, everyone you meet is experiencing an inner struggle or turmoil, and that small act of compassion may change their entire day, as well as yours!
Ask for Help and Help Others
There is stigma attached to mental health issues and some people feel embarrassed to admit that they are not coping in life. Remember most people go through rough patches at some stage in their lives so it’s important to understand that you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting your hand up and asking for help. Having the ability to talk about your problems can help you workshop through them and gives people permission to share their own personal journey. Never be afraid to be vulnerable.
If you have a friend or a colleague who looks like they are having a hard time don’t be afraid to ask, ‘are you OK?’
One of the greatest gifts is the gift of giving or helping others. One of the important steps in programs like A.A is becoming a sponsor to someone new in the program. For the sponsor this allows you to see how far you have come in your own journey and for the person being sponsored it not only gives support, but allows them to see what they too can achieve if they stick to the program.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or experiencing feelings of self-harm, please contact the following organisations immediately for free of charge help and counselling:
Beyond Blue: beyondblue.com.au 1300 22 4636
Lifeline: lifeline.org 13 11 14
Griefline: griefline.org.au 1300 845 745
Kids Help Line: kidshelpline.com.au 1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service: suicidecallbackservice.org.au 1300 659 467
Supermodel Jess Hart's Journey to a
At age 33, Jess Hart has graced countless glossy magazine covers, sailed on super yachts all over the globe and walked the runway for some of the world’s most recognized fashion design icons. She’s also a relatively new member of the vegan gang, and she’s loving it.
Here, she reveals her journey to writer Shonagh Walker.
“I was a big meat eater growing up,” Jess recalls when we chat on the phone early on a rainy Saturday morning in July. Despite never meeting before, our conversation flowed like we were old friends and we jumped around topics regularly and erratically, laughing about long-past, late-night, tequila- fueled table dancing one minute (we’ve all been there!), and discussing animal welfare the next. In fact, we’d been talking for over an hour before we discovered we were both vegan.
You see, Jess and I were talking to celebrate her first year of sobriety, something she wanted to share with her fans and followers and the readers of Harper’s Bazaar (the story was published in the April 2019 issue).
It came up that she had made a pact with her boyfriend, NASCAR race driver James Kirkham, that she would embrace veganism if he joined her in a life of sobriety. So, at the same time Jess quit drinking, she also gave up eating animals and their by-products, going from full-on omnivore to living life as vegan as possible.
Already a vegan, and only a some time drinker, it wasn’t a major trade off for James, but for Jess, there was a little more effort involved. We are talking about an Aussie girl who used to love a meat pie, after all!
“My mum actually brought us up vegetarian, but I loved meat so much that I would always have it on my plate,” she recalls. “I loved meat pies and chicken! Mum would make me eat them on the porch!.”
“Something about being with James though, made me think more about what I was eating and putting into my body. So we made a deal and I’ve not really ever looked back!”
Everyone begins their journey into veganism for their own individual reasons but most arrive at the same common ground eventually – animal welfare and the environment, and Jess is all too aware of that.
“At first, being vegan for me was largely about health, although, let’s face it – there is plenty of unhealthy vegan food out there! I do try to avoid the highly processed, packaged stuff.”
“At first, being vegan for me was largely about health, although, let’s face it – there is plenty of unhealthy vegan food out there! I do try to avoid the highly processed, packaged stuff.”“James says he will show me one day why he is fully vegan [with documentaries like Dominion and Earthlings], but right now I am doing it for my health. I know I will get there with the animals and environment, but right now this is where I am on my journey and I know by rushing things I will only set myself up for failure.”
At the time of our interview, Jess had been vegan – and loving it - for seven months. She was navigating it with the same aplomb as she does walking any haute couture catwalk.
“I started doing a master cleanse at first and detox, which was a great way to kick start a cleaner way of eating. But now, yeah, I really think it is just an amazingly positive way of life, where I know I’m ultimately living a great lifestyle and it’s also a great way to learn, to play with what I eat and to learn new ways with food.
“Living in New York, it’s obviously easy as there are so many incredible vegan restaurants. However, If I am at an event I will ask for the vegan option and at a dinner, there is always a vegan option. Sometimes it’s amazing; other times it’s boring, so I eat before I go out, just in case! I do eat out all the time – a lot of Asian food, and you can always find something vegan in Asian menus. I think I might move to LA next year and I’m looking forward to the huge vegan scene there.”
“I try to eat a lot of avocado. I eat a lot of spinach and rice, and gluten free toast. I try to be gluten free too, as when I first went vegan I was eating a lot of gluten and sugar and that wasn’t so great for me. Now, I am the gluten-free vegan who doesn’t drink”!
She laughs, ”I am the last person anyone will invite to a party, but you know what? I’m totally OK with that!”
I highly doubt the invitations will stop piling up in Jess’s letterbox any time soon. She’s living proof that life can indeed be fun and fabulous without needing to consume alcohol or animal products, and as we wrap up our now two hour phone call, I make a mental note to invite her to my next birthday bash.
Celebrating Father's Day with Vegan
Ultra Athlete and Dad of Four, Rich Roll
Team BE x BODHI spoke to him about his family and his continuing journey with veganism.
Rich Roll is almost 53 years old. The plant-powered father-of-four epitomises great health and lasting vitality. He’s even been named the fittest man in the world, something he attributes to his vegan lifestyle.
People venture into veganism for many reasons, none of which we’d criticise – after all, there’s never a bad reason to be vegan. For Rich Roll, it was a set of stairs.
In 2008, after overcoming an alcohol addiction 10 years earlier, the best-selling author, ultra-athlete and podcaster was extremely overweight.
“One day, just before my 40th birthday, I was walking up a flight of stairs and couldn’t breathe,” he recalls from his home in Malibu Canyon, California. “I truly thought I was about to have a heart attack. That was my ‘ah-ha moment’.”
The next day, Rich completely overhauled his diet to a plant-based protocol and resumed exercise.
“I brushed off my running shoes and dove back into the pool. I began riding my bike again. After giving up dairy
products, eggs and everything animal-based, I experienced a tremendous spike in vigour, and I knew I had
discovered something that was working for me.”
Fast forward 11 years, and Rich’s reason for being vegan have evolved to include a concern for our planet and
the welfare of the animals we share it with. He has also a garnered a slew of accolades, including being named
in 2009 by Men’s Health magazine as one of the 25 Fittest Men in the World. He’s also the world’s first vegan to
complete a 515km endurance event and finish in the Top 10 males.
But it’s his family that Rich is most proud of. He and vegan chef wife, Julie Piatt, share four children - sons Trapper
and Tyler Piatt (from Julie’s first marriage) and daughters Mathis and Jaya Roll.
Together, they have raised their kids with their plant-powered philosophies.
On any criticism he may have received on this decision Rich says, “My kids have all had their journey and now
they are old enough to choose this way. There is no problem here – they are all super healthy, intelligent, productive
members of society.
“People often get so concerned if a child is vegan, yet the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes are through the roof. If a kid is eating chips or McDonalds nobody says a thing.”
Rich’s podcasts, which feature conversations some of the world’s most inspiring people, including Russel Brand, Damien Mander and Australia’s Turia Pitt, frequently reflect on fatherhood and parenting lessons.
The episode Raising the Conscious Child with master spiritual teacher Guru Singh, focuses on our flaws as humans and parents, how we can simply do our best with strategies for living a conscious life and the universal struggle of managing screen time and social media.
Rich says, “None of us parent perfectly. But the way forward is to better master ourselves, our actions and reactions. My hope is that this exchange will empower people with some tools to do just that.”
Rich is so eloquent and speaks with such clarity, I can’t help but ask how he answers that age-old question – from where do you get your protein?
He laughs: “I usually say in the same way that some of the strongest animals in the planet get it – the hippo, rhino, gorilla. They are herbivores and super strong – they get their protein lower on the food chain. The nine essential amino acids that we need are found in copious proportions in plants. It’s impossible not to get your protein needs from plants. I have never had a problem building muscle mass and getting stronger and faster, and I haven’t had animal protein in a decade.”
There’s no sign of a preachy vegan here – Rich is all about inclusiveness and showing people by example how awesome vegan life can be.
“I like to lead by example,” he says softly. “I don’t want to convert you. If I can live how I do and be fitter than the people I am around, I don’t have to say anything. I can be a living example. I have my bloodwork done every six months and I have never had a problem with deficiency. I push myself harder than most people on the planet, which should be a strong indicator of the fact that my lifestyle works. I credit my plant-based diet for all of my success.”
Rich Roll’s motivational health and wellbeing podcasts and his bestselling books are available at richroll.com
Bodhi Does ZoneOut
Mindfulness Meets Music at the inaugural ZoneOut Festival and Bodhi has free tickets to give away!
We love a good soundtrack here at Bodhi. We also adore anything that calms the chatter in our minds, while at the same time expands consciousness about humanity, the world we live in and the animals we share our planet with.
Little surprise then, that the inaugural ZoneOut International Music Festival had us at hello.
This one-day event, hosted by Universal Music, is happening in Sydney on September 28, 2019 at Carriageworks and will bring together music and lifestyle, showcasing neo-classical musical artists, engaging panel discussions, mindful yoga flows and thought-provoking film screenings.
What is neo-classical all about? This genre focuses on stringing sounds, notes and melodies together for mindful meditation and deep, focused listening, which are two things we are all about.
On the day, guests will get to see live performances from both Australian and international artists leading the genre. They include festival ambassador Luke Howard (Australia), pianist Sophie Hutchings (Australia), masked musician Lambert (Germany), acclaimed cellist Peter Gregson (UK) and indie harpist Remy Van Kesteren (Netherlands). You also won’t want to miss emerging Kenyan artist J.S Ondara.
There will also be a series of ‘cosy concerts’, led by Melbourne composer Nat Barsch, which will offer
chilled out, family friendly musical experiences, with comfy floor seating for parents and babies. There
will even be pram parking available.
Kicking the event off though, will be three yoga flows led by Sydney yogis Gina Bresciani and Sol Ulbrich
from Power Living Studios. Then, throughout the day in between performances, a series of films will be
screened, including behind-the-scenes looks at the creative process behind the musical pieces.
There will also be a presentation of the National Geographic documentary, Save This Rhino, in which
director Kevin Pieterson teams up with cricket legend Graham Smith and outback wrangler Matt Wright
in an expose on the rhino crisis and the new technologies and strategies we have to combat it. The film’s
director, Mick Lawrence, will appear on the Music and Environment panel following the screening, to
provide further insight into the film and the plight of the rhinos.
There will be other engaging panel discussions and a ZOSHOP, where you can browse merchandise and
even try your hand jamming on a range of musical synthesisers, thanks to iconic instrument maker, Roland.
Tickets are available to individual events for between $20 and $40, however you can buy festival passes
from $99 to $218, the latter of which gives you access to all events. Purchase tickets here.
Bodhi has a double full day pass to all shows, screenings and speaking activities to give away, valued at
To enter, simply dine at Bodhi before September 25 and put your business card plus receipt in our entry jar.
Bodhi will draw the winners at 12pm on September 26 and they will be notified via email.