I remember the first time I tried to ferment my own food. It was kombucha, and I was so nervous about food safety that I bought this way overpriced kit where the SCOBY got FedEx’d from Brooklyn.
I was utterly fascinated by the process and could watch my jar the way so people watch their fish tank. It’s science…but it feels like alchemy.
I met Jamie very briefly at a gathering a couple of month’s back but I was drawn to her grounded nature and of course, this very cool stuff called Jun she was brewing. So, given that we are talking about all things gut this month, I thought you all might like to get to know Jamie Lee Mock, the foraging entrepreneur behind Moon Brew.
Before I tried Moonbrew, I had never heard of jun…can you describe what makes it unique?
I love that jun is still relatively new as it gives me the opportunity to speak about it!
Jun is incredibly unique, even though it’s often compared closely to its culture cousin, kombucha. The true difference between the two fermented teas lie in the ingredients; instead of black tea and refined sugar used in kombucha, jun is brewed with green tea and honey.
With that said, the jun culture of bacteria and yeast are what differ most. While we compare the kombucha culture to a wild weed, growing strong under most given conditions, the jun culture is precise and rather fussy like an orchid, requiring specific conditions in order to thrive. Also, 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.
You speak about how creating Moonbrew has really deepened your connection with nature. What drives your passion for fermentation?
This experience as ebbed and flowed for me but what I find truly most nourishing to my soul is the process. Working with my hands. Using my intuition as a guide. It takes me out of the “every day” noise and transports me right into the present moment. It feels as though I’m channeling the ancient ritualistic process of brewing, harvesting and creativity, in my own way.
Speaking from experience, as an entrepreneur, self-care is so critical…and yet so easy to overlook. Do you have any specific practices around self-care?
I’ll be honest, in the beginning, I had this pre-conceived notion that as an entrepreneur, I’d have more time for self-care. It was my curated schedule, right?! Though looking back over the last nine months, that hasn’t been the case. There are what feels like a million and one components to starting a business that I just couldn’t foresee at the time. However! This is no longer the case. Now that I’m aligned in flow with the business, there is a new flexibility within my schedule. I have created a personal routine and am better able to hold myself accountable to create time for self-care.
I am by no means a morning person as I sleep close to 9+ hours each night(!) but upon waking, my self-care routine looks a little like making my bed, preparing green tea or matcha, writing a one-page manifest for the day and a coffee enema (a new-found practice that has changed my life). This takes no longer than 35 min total and creates a feeling of abundance and accomplishment for the day.
It is also really important to me to spend time connected to nature. Whether this is for a hike, river adventure, community garden harvest or ocean meditation. I feel completely renewed and regenerated whenever I get the opportunity to immerse myself in the wild.
If people are interested in fermenting at home, what advice would you give them?
From my experience, the best advice I could offer on this would to be forgo any and all recipes or guidelines and simply do. Fermentation of any kind will surprise you and I’ve found there is no better way to learn than letting the culture guide you. Also, tuning into your intuition will provide beneficial in any and all methods of fermentation.
We’re talking a lot about the connection between the gut, the brain and the skin this month. What are your fave tips for strengthen a positive connection between these systems?
Would it be too cliché to say probiotics? Ha.
Naturally occurring, wild sources of probiotics found in fermented foods and beverages are my absolute favourite way to establish a connection between the gut, brain and skin systems. They are not separate. By nourishing the gut, we directly nourish the brain and skin, too. There is now much scientific evidence proving the correlation between gut and brain and that’s precisely why we experience elevated moods, mental clarity and increased energy when we consume these kinds of probiotics.
Alternatively, I feel this connection to be more than simply nourishment from that of which we consume. Strengthening a positive connection between our gut, brain and skin is also influenced by our spirit. We all have a sense that stress is a burden to our health. It also dampens our spirit. Should this take precedence in life, we’ll quickly notice our health deteriorate.
Nourishing our spirit can involve proper physical nourishment but also soul nourishment. Being creative is soul nourishment. Laughing is soul nourishment. Community is soul nourishment. Working on purpose is soul nourishment.
It is truly about finding balance within the full spectrum of mind, body and spirit.
A note from Desiree…if you are immuno-compromised, I don’t recommend fermenting at home. Please note that I do not promote the use of enemas…these are Jamie’s views. Talk to your doc first!