We need to talk! PERIOD

“Aunt Flo”

“Time of the month”

Maybe it is even THAT time of the month?

Perhaps you are just having some Lady time?  Why can’t we just say PERIOD?


Lessening the shame that surrounds menstruation is a worthy goal.  So much anxiety around women’s reproductive cycles lingers in the old wives’ tales about how menstruating women shouldn’t be social,  bake bread, or pickle vegetables.  OK, I will admit the need to withdraw by choice is a noted feature.

So what’s with all my sudden menstrual anarchy and what had this got to do with gut health?

Turns out, ALOT!  Surprise surprise.

I got this gut health thing, trust me, It has been an experimental learning curve which has moved me through my internals.  I have gone from pain to gain and now that the noise of digestive discomfort has become a whisper, other areas want the same attention.


Hormonal health is a whole other complex system but the connection is evident. The microbiome is now considered an endocrine organ, some consider it even more powerful than the other endocrine glands – inhibiting or supporting hormonal balance.  If you have a microbiome in balance you are more than half way to having great hormonal bliss.

Bonus features include gut health being in a favourable position so those sugar cravings can be pinpointed exactly to hormonal weak spots!




Here I am in my 40’s, straddling between menopause and my daughters puberty!  She is 8 and the intrigue has begun BUT keeping quiet about it adds to the taboo.  I will not greet my girl’s first period with silence.  Want her to be confident that a period is nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s biology…..if you’re someone who menstruates, then you are always, at every minute of every day, experiencing some part of that cycle. It is a bodily function that can temporarily affect you, just like an allergy might. If you start to think of your own period symptoms as a health issue we should be able to speak about’.

It has only taken me near 30 years of menstruating to fully know that every day I am part of a cycle.  Why was this information denied.  I am grateful to the wisdom I received from Mayella Almazon, to fully appreciate and harness this cycle as being swept along in a pattern that effects everything: your courage, your self-worth, your attractiveness to others and your energy levels. The idea that you can use the knowledge to plan your life accordingly………….  It is Life Changing!


Here is a little glimpse of her infinite wisdom.

My cycle is mine,

I am in control

I decide what is best to do when.

I organise any public workshops accordingly.

There is no more PMT.

No more unconscious mood swings ( I am aware of my mood changes let’s say!)

No more battling through the continuing wave of emotions.

There is just surrender with complete awareness of where I am at in my cycle.



Imagine a period that is predictable, cramp-free, and is sustainable for both your health and the environment.

Imagine a period that is treated as a source of information about the overall health and welfare of your body.

Imagine a period that is not taboo.


Now I am off to ‘Surf The Crimson Wave‘ !!!????!!!!


You can join myself and Mayella for a day retreat to discover the joys of Women’s Wellbeing starting with AUTUMN, the first of four seasonal workshops:  If you know someone who might benefit from this workshop focussing on hormonal well-being please share.

Further information and booking availble HERE.









Being Wild in the Woods


There is a certain amount of trust and intuition that allows one to literally pack up and head to a country you know little about, except for the Algarve of course, with sheer curiosity.  Perhaps it is more of perceiving it as something you have just yet to know.

And so it is, this summer, The Cultured Club embarks upon an exciting trip to Portugal to meet wonderful people, discover wild landscapes, learn of new wild foods and finally be guaranteed some summer sun.

Really, The bacteria make me do it!

I am beyond excited to detail a very special course at out first destination in the beautiful mountains of Central Portugal.

We will be joining Lynn in A vida Fausto, a paradise where she has consciously chosen to live off the grid and to build a healthy habitat. I can think of now better playground to explore the world of fermentation and the foraging potential of the local terroir.

The Cultured Club is offering a 5-day retreat solely focussed on this lost skill with the added deliciousness of foraging walks and an abundance of organic food  for a happy gut, commencing on July 2nd.

You are welcome to arrive at A Vida Fausto on the Sunday from 2pm onwards.  With a relaxed getting to know each other and settling into our new environment, we will offer an introductory talk on the various aspects of Fermentation and gut health, followed by a shared dinner under the canopy of trees.   A very unique sleeping experience in the middle of nature awaits you as the evening closes.


Over the subsequent next four days we will have a morning and afternoon workshop on the practice of Fermentation.

This will include:


  • Making probiotic drinks
  • Capturing our own wild yeasts and bacteria from the forest.
  • Making vinegars
  • Fermenting food with a variety of techniques
  • Making fermented condiments
  • Improvising with foraged ingredients
  • wasting less in kitchen
  • Ways to serve and implement into gut happy meals
  • Exploration and understanding of Gut health.
There are no musts – you decide for yourself how much group and how much alone time you want.
╰☆ The Location
A vida Fausto is located on the foothills of the Sierra de Estrela mountain range, near Coja in Arganil. Read and watch more about these stunning surroundings on her website: www.avidafausto.net/well-being
╰☆ Accommodation
Lynn has transformed small green houses into comfortable bedrooms, which are placed in cozy corners around her Birdhouse. They are equipped with a twin or double bed, cabinets for clothes and a little terrace with 2 chairs and a coffee table. These greenhouses are transparent and provide you with a unique 5 billion star sleeping experience close to nature.╰☆ Facilities
At A vida Fauto there is a vermicomposting flush toilet, which isn’t any different from the one you use at home. The hot shower, fuelled with wood can be used in the morning before breakfast or at the end of the day before dinner. There’s unlimited drinking water straight from the natural spring. The birdhouse provides electricity to charge phones and laptops. However the use of hair dryers and other high power equipment is not possible.
╰☆ The Package
We offer this retreat for the friendly Early Bird price of 449 euro per person if you pay before June 1st, 2017. After that the pakage price is 499 euro per person.
The package includes:
☯ 5 nights accommodation in a shared greenhouse room
☯ 15 organic plantpowered organic gut friendly meals prepared fresh and with love
☯ 8 focussed workshops on fermentation
☯ A foraging hike exploring wild edible plants and flowers of the area
☯ trip(s) to the waterfall when it is just to hot to do anything else
☯ Bedsheets and natural soap (due to the water going straight to the land, we use only 100% natural products
☯ Tea and fruitwater during the day and in addition beer and wine in the evening
☯ Electricity to charge phones/laptops
☯ Wifi around the Birdhouse. Cafes in the village provide free wifi too.
╰☆ How to get there
It’s a 3,5 hour drive from Lisbon and 2,5hrs from Porto. Rental cars in Portugal are very affordable, it’s a fun roadtrip and we encourage carsharing. There are also great, convenient and fast public bus services (with wifi) running from both cities to the busstop Catraia de Mouronho.╰☆ Booking & Reservation
To reserve your spot send an email with in the description “Wild in the Woods” and your full name to avidafaustso@gmail.com and by transferring 100 euro as a deposit after receiving bank details.If you think one of your friends may be interested in joining us, feel free to invite them to this page. For further question you can reach me on here info@www.new.theculturedclub.com

For practical questions about the accommodation, food and other things it’s best to reach out to Lynn (Loetje Loe on Facebook) directly via message or email avidafausto@gmail.com

Give your microbiome the holiday of a lifetime!

Are you serious? Five course Fermenting

Whilst fermented foods are gaining attention, some of your have embraced them with relative ease.  And rightly so, they are delicious.

For others, there may be a period of adjustment, as the new ecosystem in your gut settles down.

But five courses of the stuff?  You have got to be kidding.


Firstly let explain, Fermented foods are a food group, a lost food group therefore it features on the plate alongside other foods.    It is NOT five courses of ONLY ferments, that would be wrong.

Five course fermenting is a new series of workshops to be presented quarterly by The Cultured Club.  The intention is to illustrate how these foods can appear on the plate in an interesting way, beyond a serving of kraut or kimchi.  You get idea now?

Each course will demonstrate a simple fermentation technique and how it can be worked into a dish.  In some cases in a way that you might not even know you were eating fermented foods.

We are deep in preparation for our workshop happening this weekend, as you will see the menu showcases some fermented foods paired with other great flavours.  All courses are vegetarian.

Fumbally Stables in Dublin, 15th Oct, 12pm-5pm.  There may be a seat left at the table if you are quick.


Kimchi Pancakes with dipping sauce

Eggs 2 ways

Beet kvass egg, miso mayo, dukkah  & miso egg, dashi, furikake

beetroot kimchi, skordalia, cauliflower rice, pumpkin seeds, seaweed

Fermented cabbage leaf, mushroom filling, celeriac, apple, kale crisps

Apple & goji berry compote, coconut yoghurt, buckwheat crunchies

Invisible helpers

Today is World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2016

Today is the perfect day to share thoughts I have been wishing to express for a long, long time.

Thankfully today I am as happy as could be.  Life throws its usual surprises, joys, curses, and challenges, but deep in my head, heart and gut, I AM HAPPY.

However, I didn’t always feel this way.  In fact there were times I was so anxious I would miss the party.  There were times that it felt impossible to see the good in any situation or anyone.  A little cranky, a little shy, feeling unfulfilled in a big way and in the most part a low-grade anxiety that would send the day in the wrong direction.   I was good at hiding it with a big smile and surface conversation.  To be honest, I never really thought it was a problem.  It was just how it was, a general dull, predominantly negative state of mental health.

Then something remarkable happened.  I gained perspective through one small simple tweek in my life.

I had always been shy of the gym or anything involving too much physical exertion and although this is often prescribed as a remedy, it did not inspire me.  Lazy, guilt for feeling lazy, more laziness, it is a vicious circle.

I was also under the impression that I ate a healthy diet but through divine inspiration, I was about to up my game to foods that would propel me into a positivity I had never known before.  Like my head, my body was experiencing a state of health similiar to my head.  Nothing specific, nothing broken, just a low-grade average feeling.

I introduced Fermented foods into my diet.  

These foods are high frequency, healing foods and a lot changed.  My energy increased, I lost weight,  I had a vitality, my skin glowed, food fuelled me, it didn’t cause me digestive malaise and best of all my mind became an oasis of joy and positivity.  So much so that the thought of physical exertion thrills me now!

I am convinced the friendly little bacteria which proliferate in fermented foods did a great job of cleaning out my my head, pushing away any dark clouds and allowing in the sunshine.  You can imagine my delight when the studies started to come out to prove that this shit works!

The gut and the brain, they are intricately linked. Here is the info graph.

Things couldn’t be better, I have gained a fresh perspective over the years which allows me to view things in the positive.  I now clearly understand and see the effects of energy flowing where attention goes.  Even when challenging times arise, there is always something good to unfold.

My message is simple: EAT FERMENTED FOODS.  It was a tasty addition to my life with many benefits, plus it saved a fortune on therapy!  It is World Mental Health Day and if we can help, it is our human duty to do so.

Here are a few articles below for further reading:





The joys of Christmas

Christmas is a coming and the goose is getting fat and I bet the goose is feeling the burden of Christmas!

But this is not a rant about what we choose to eat, it is about repackaging the whole deal!

The traditions with integrity I get and I love the fact that the yuletide cheer lightens up the darkest time of the year, (I shall refrain from diverging into the details of the source of the tradition) BUT, I always get a little fretful around this time as the pre christmas pressure to buy meaningless STUFF clashes with a deep sense that really there is nothing we need.

Don’t get me wrong, I love giving things to people.  Mostly it is edible and usually something I am sure of sharing, as it is made with carefully selected ingredients.  Whether it is appreciated, it has been made with LOVE.

My Children have yet to write their letter to Santa ( ages 7 and nearly 4 years old) and what I have noticed that it is an inconceivable notion even to them.  I don’t push the idea of the big man in the sleigh, nor use his arrival as a threat over their behaviour, but deciding what you want from him, well, they just don’t understand the boundlessness of it all.

So, how do we repackage this notion of giving?.  I love it when a deep inner logic which I struggle to express is articulated so specifically, so boldly and so intelligently than I could ever give justice to. I read an article this morning entitled ‘The Gift of Death‘  and it has stayed with me every minute of today.

“We are screwing the planet to make solar-powered bath thermometers and desktop crazy golfers.
People in eastern Congo are massacred to facilitate smart phone upgrades of ever diminishing marginal utility(3). Forests are felled to make “personalised heart-shaped wooden cheese board sets”. Rivers are poisoned to manufacture talking fish. This is pathological consumption: a world-consuming epidemic of collective madness, rendered so normal by advertising and the media that we scarcely notice what has happened to us.”  George Monbiot.

You can read the whole article here and I would urge you to do so.

A pathological system we all play a part in to show our nearest and dearest how much we care!   I don’t want to spoil your Christmas, so if you would like to know more I encourage you to take the time to watch THIS:The story of stuff! 

We know none of it makes sense!  I remember deciding one Christmas to “buy” a goat for each one of my nephews one Christmas! They wanted the goat of course and the concept of it going to a family in the developing world was lost and I was banished to the ‘Weird Auntie’ corner forever!

I would stand by it though still and encourage ‘being present’ and the giving of the quackiest, alternative gifts with a positive story behind them!  Hope my family are game.

Give a concept, give a thought, give inspiration, give a skill, give an experience, give them something to talk about, goodness knows we are seriously avoiding the real  issues.

Of course you could give them a gift voucher to The Cultured Club to open the door to a lost skill which also aims to #wasteless.  It is not that I want your money, if we all bartered I’d be thrilled.  Therefore we can all contribute to changing this crazy system.

Just incase anyone wants to take me up an a barter, here is my WISH LIST

  • yoga classes
  • a massage (or any other alternative therapy which will continue to attract more positivity in my life)
  • A colonic session, just to totally clear out (TMI)
  • Your computer knowledge: esp web related or photoshop/graphic design
  • Photography expertise & some photos
  • Video expertise & some footage
  • Graphic printing abilities.
  • Gardening experitse.
  • Some plants.
  • A dinner invite & good company (These offers decreased since I started playing with my food.)
  • Shelves, yes shelves, I can never have enough shelves, (the jars needs somewhere to live.)
  • An inspired music collection to work to, relax to, dance to!
  • SPACE: to teach, to meet, to rest, to gather, to co-create.
  • Your love of house cleaning (I am a reluctant housewifey)
  • Babysitting offers
  • Your support
  • Your encouragement
  • OH, and an open ended invite to enjoy your holiday home in Spain/Italy/whenever there is sun!

All of it ………………..priceless!

Culturing your kitchen.

It has often been said “If I could just take you back to my kitchen”  as customers dip their tastebuds into the delicious world of fermented and cultured foods.

Each time I hear it I genuinely think “I would love too do that” but in reality there are not enough days in the week.

However it did start me thinking : What if I could come to your kitchen?

Well, now, I can!!!

This day long workshop is designed to

  1. Introduce the principles of fermenting your food
  2. Set up the various cultures which will do the magic bit for you
  3. Introduce an hassle-free system to maintaining these Cultures.
  4. Demonstrate how easy it is to turn your food into superfood
  5. Introduce your tastebuds to this new and lively taste
  6. Leave you with a range of dishes and meals you can easy create yourself.

The Day will start at 10am finishing up at 4pm in which time you will be guided through the various fermented foods and drinks that are so easy to make.

You will learn:

How to make water kefir,  kombucha, kvass and traditional lemonades and these will be set up to ferment in your kitchen with clear instruction on how to bottle and store them when fermented.

How to make milk kefir and alternative milk kefir and a variety of ways to use these superfoods.

How to make Laban cheese from kefir and hoe to make alternative nut cheeses, spreads and dips

How to make a fermented food using a two different techniques.

How to ferment your condiments such mayo, mustard or ketchup

How to make scrap vinegars to reduce waste in your kitchen.

How to a easy assemble a meal from these ready made foods.

You will enjoy:

An introductory smoothie packed full of superfoods to start the day.

A light lunch featuring of a variety of fermented foods.

Demonstrations and hands-on making of these traditional foods using two techniques.

Food preparation for a hassle free dinner.

All this will be enjoyed with a friend, your ‘Cultured Buddy’ of choice!  This can be important to help you share your excitement of these foods alongside helping you retain the information!!


There will be a consultation before the arranged workshop to establish any food intolerances or allergy. Fermented foods compliment any diet and as powerful healing foods may help ease any food sensitivities.

All food will be provided on the day and inclusive of any jars.  A starter kit of basic utensils will also be included.

Once your tastebuds have been exposed to the ‘living’, vibrant taste of these foods you will want more and lucky they will be ready in your kitchen to enjoy !



The Cultured Club is dedicated to reviving this lost tradition and bringing the control of our health into our own kitchens.
'Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food' is a hard philosophy to live by when we are so removed from the food we eat.

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