The good gourmet: Harvest Fare
Harvest Fare in Blessington, Co Wicklow (right), is a terrific little health shop stocking a wide variety of foodstuffs, beauty products, vitamins, minerals and oils. The staff are very helpful and include a reflexologist, a homeopath and a nutritionist, who are always on hand to advise.
They are very supportive of local and Irish products and stock all the Atlantic Aromatic essential oils. A great tip is to put a little tea tree essential oil in your kitchen bin -- this will eliminate all the nasty odours.
All the vegetables at Harvest Fare are supplied by local producer Denis Healy, and they have some locally produced honey from J Sellers, Dunlavin (€5.25).
If you are looking for some nutritious treats for the kids' lunch boxes, Lyme Regis fruit bars are a great idea; the moist organic apple oat bars is 86c.
My two little princesses are lovers of Frutina's real fruit snack. This is 100pc dried fruit with no preservatives or artificial flavours and comes foil-packed for freshness. They come in a variety of flavours, but we mainly buy apple and strawberry; apple and apricot, and apple and wild berry. The store also stocks a huge number of sugar-free, gluten-free and lactose-free products.
At this time of the year, Harvest Fare is focusing on detoxing and has dedicated a whole section of the store to various items to help you cleanse from within. The concept behind the shop is to help you improve your overall health. The shop has Chi Detox patches (10 foot patches, €25.95), which you stick on the soles of your feet overnight -- all the impurities are drawn out as you sleep. Surprise, surprise, my patches turned black. They are also terrific for pain relief.
Another excellent product for cleansing is Viridian 100pc Milk Thistle (30 capsules, €35), which helps to clean your liver. Apple cider is also excellent in reducing acid and produces a more alkaline digestive tract (€15.38).
If you are looking for a way to get more vitamins and minerals into the kids, then sprouting your own seeds might just be the thing -- a small BioSnacky glass germinator costs €6.99.
If you're feeling a little fed up with the cold, dark, wintery days then Solgar Sunshine in a Box (€35) might just be your ticket to an inexpensive holiday. Plenty of research has shown how important it is for our skin to get some vitamin D, and Sunshine in a Box contains vitamin D, B Complex for stress and to aid balance, plus the herb Rhodiola, which is a natural mood lifter.
Harvet Fare also stocks natural beauty products, including Dr Hauschka and my new favourite, Trilogy organic skincare. I particularly like the rosehip oil; it's a super daily moisturiser for face and body which helps minimise fine lines, wrinkles, scars, ageing skin and damaged skin.
Their is also a natural treatment centre behind the shop, where you can avail of various natural treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicine, amatsu, aromatherapy massage, kinesiology, nutrition, reflexology, homoeopathy and osteopathy.
All treatments by appointment only.
Harvest Fare, Main Street,
Blessington, Co Wicklow.
Tel: 045 891 636;