Meet Wunder Workshop founder Zoe Lind Van’t Hof… Wunder is Europe’s first organic turmeric-based brand, sourcing all of its products from an independent Sri Lankan farm.
What inspired you to start Wunder Workshop and what is the driving philosophy behind the brand?
I grew up surrounded by interesting books about traditional medicine, the power of plants and how to create all kinds of natural remedies from an early age. My late mother used to cook a lot with turmeric and she often put turmeric in her nut milks and in porridge, giving everything a golden hue! It was only when I visited Sri Lanka for the first time and we were taught by Ayurvedic doctors about all the benefits of spices and traditional medicine, that turmeric really stood out to me as the one and only wunder spice!
Our brand is very transparent, and we want our turmeric products to be good for our customers as well as the planet and the people who provide our ingredients.
What are the benefits of turmeric?
The biggest benefit of turmeric, and specifically one of its most researched active compounds – curcumin — is that it helps prevent and reduce chronic inflammation. Inflammation itself is an important process because it helps the body fight against disease as well as help in repairing damage.
Another active ingredient in turmeric is turmerone, which can be obtained from ground turmeric. Some studies suggest turmerone can support cognitive performance due to its neuro-protective properties.
What drew you towards Ayurveda and how do you incorporate these practices into your life?
Ayurveda, the ‘Science of Life’, has had a profound influence on my daily rituals from an early age. One of its key messages — we are all so very unique, and one way certainly doesn’t fit all. The thing we can learn most from Ayurveda is that prevention is better than a cure, and that our current medical approach is very much about lessening the symptoms rather than coming to the root of the issue. That’s what I love about Ayurveda — you become so much more in tune with your body as you learn to understand what aggravates you.
I’ve read a bit on your beautiful relationship with your mother. She sounds like an inspiring soul. Tell us a bit about her.
She is a huge inspiration. She was such a beautiful, strong but vulnerable woman, who raised me on her own. I’d always prefer to sit on the sofa with her in the evenings, reading books and listening to music over hanging out with friends, even as a teenager. Despite that she worked three jobs, seven days a week, to make sure I had the best school and university education, she would always make time for a sit-down breakfast and dinner that involved the most beautiful and nutritious food, every single day.
She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a month after I launched my business, and passed away a year later. This has certainly been the toughest couple of years of my life, but being able to give back — the love and knowledge she taught me through life — and care for her whilst she was ill has no doubt served as an incredible lesson.
What keeps you motivated and inspired? What are your daily rituals?
I love waking up every single day and not knowing what is going to happen. I start my day with a 10-minute meditation — short but a great little re-set for the day ahead. I can’t start my day without breakfast and my superfood concoctions, and I take the time to eat and drink while reading a chapter of whatever inspiring book has grabbed me in that moment. Right now it’s Originals by Adam Grant. My day is always different, but usually consists of a lot of emails and a couple of meetings. I am quite good at finishing my day by 8pm, and then prepping for the next day, which just makes sure that it starts as smooth as possible. I love seeing my friends for dinner, so I usually spend most of my nights catching up with friends across London.
What’s your most treasured turmeric recipe? (so many brilliant latte recipes, can you recommend another people might not of heard of?)
I usually start my day with blending 1 tsp of Instantly Golden Chai (turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper), 1/2 tsp of Golden Balance (turmeric, ashwaghanda, ginger, liquorice, cayenne pepper, black pepper) and 1 tsp of virgin coconut oil into 250ml hot oat milk. If I feel like a need a super extra boost I will also add a shot of espresso.
On the website we stock five of your products! What are some of the easiest ways for FP girls to incorporate turmeric into their own daily lives?
I love to use the Golden Turmeric Honey as a facemask, as it is so antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and can therefore help blemishes.
The Instantly Golden blends work really well in a smoothie as well, especially the Instantly Golden Cacao — it tastes delicious with banana and coconut butter.
You own your own business, and live in a chaotic city like London! How do you stay healthy?
For me, being healthy means feeling happy and balanced, so I make sure that I always take the time to meditate and observe my thoughts and emotions. I also do my favourite Jivamukti yoga class at least once a week and go for a run through the park twice a week. Maybe in part to my Dutch roots, I feel most happy on a bike! Other than that, I believe that happiness starts with a healthy gut. So apart from having turmeric and adaptogenic herbs on a daily basis, I also eat a lot of fermented foods such raw sauerkraut, kimchi and hot apple cider vinegar.
Lead image by Natalia Mohl.
+ See all of Wunder Workshop’s products here…