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When gut-health is prioritised, skin transformation accelerates and wellbeing sky-rockets. I have understood this connection for decades, but it wasn’t until I faced a personal health crisis in 2016 that I realised just how critical gut-health is…

Make no mistake, gut health is on trend. What interests me is that the latest scientific research is affirming what holistic skincare wisdom has been saying for decades – there is a direct connection between gut health and skin health.

I have incorporated gut health strategies into my skin transformation coaching since my early 30’s, but I recently faced a debilitating health crisis which suddenly made this gut wisdom very important to me.

In late 2016, over a period of just one month I went from being fit and active, hiking in outback New Zealand and in the most advanced Pilates class to hardly being able to walk or dress myself.  The discomfort started off in my lower back, spread to my hips and then to my upper back and shoulders. I was in terrible pain. As I continued to deteriorate, I started fearing that I was going to end up in a wheel chair. Then as an added bonus I developed perioral dermatitis and patches of persistent eczema.

I underwent a huge number of tests ranging from MRI’s to blood tests for autoimmune disorders.  None of the specialists could find anything wrong with me except for high levels of inflammatory markers in my blood.  There was no explanation and I had no idea what to do next. I started thinking this could be the end of my career.  How could I continue to teach skin care therapists about health and wellness with any integrity when I couldn’t even heal myself?

Luckily I ended up under the care of a great physiotherapist who used a holistic approach and could help me to connect the dots.

Janine Tait | Bestow Founder

A year prior to this happening I had picked up a mild gastro infection while I was travelling New Zealand offering skincare education. It didn’t cause me too much distress so I let nature take its course and within a week the symptoms settled down. But they never fully disappeared and I was left with an irritable bowel.

After about six months of this mild discomfort I decided to get it checked out. A physician took a biopsy of the bowel and diagnosed me with lymphocytic colitis, an inflammatory condition of the colon where the lymphocyte or immune cells accumulate in the bowel wall. The physician suspected that my immune system had dealt with the original infection but had failed to turn off. My gut immune system remained on high alert, the lymphocytes all waiting for invaders and at the same time inflaming my bowel.  There was no cure, I just had to hope the situation would resolve itself given time.

A few months on, my gut was still unhappy and the pain in my joints began. Looking back I realised that my sensitised immune system had continued to inflame the colon, resulting in leaky gut. The increased permeability of the gut meant undigested food and inflammatory substances could enter the blood stream and spread throughout my body. For me they took up residence in my joints and skin.

Nothing I tried gave me any relief. I couldn’t exercise, could hardly walk, needed help to dress and couldn’t even travel for any distance in the car. I became fearful, stressed and in constant pain.  You can imagine what a relief it was for me to find this holistic physiotherapist who could help me.

She encouraged me to go on a dietary programme to heal my gut. Within 24 hours of eliminating certain foods I started to feel just a little bit better.  These were foods that I would normally consider to be healthy but I now know are irritating to a damaged gut. It was the first sign of improvement since this saga began and I was encouraged. I stuck to the programme religiously and it took me a good 18 months to completely heal myself!  My skin was the first to heal and then slowly, as my gut symptoms improved, the inflammation in my joints reduced.

I am now back to full health, I’m focussing on regaining my spot back in the advanced Pilates class and I’m out enjoying the New Zealand great outdoors – a recent trip to Steward Island being a highlight!

There were other gifts that came out of this challenging experience too. Firstly I lost weight. It just dropped off me as soon as I embraced the dietary programme and I lost 7 kilograms in total. I also find I’m more motivated to pursue wellness as a priority, incorporating daily meditation, good sleep rhythms and enjoying a healthy balance of breath-based and cardio exercise.

I am so grateful to have had this experience. I now have a strong sense of conviction about how important it is to heal your gut before you try to heal your body or your skin.  

I’ve become passionate about producing resources and tools to help therapists and their clients transform their skin and their wellbeing with gut-health strategies.  The Bestow Gut Love + powder and Bestow Love Your Gut online programme are game-changers and I can’t wait for you and your clients to try them.

BESTOW GUT LOVE + POWDER

A world-class synbiotic powder, including probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes to restore the gut and renew skin from within. Rich in fibre, it promotes regular elimination of toxins, creating the inner environment for clear, glowing skin.  READ MORE.

BESTOW LOVE YOUR GUT PROGRAMME

This online programme combines gut science with wellness wisdom and provides the dietary guidelines I used to heal myself. The beautifully designed online platform provides gorgeous gut-healing recipes, a 7-day meal planner, shopping guides, nurturing rituals and inspiring education. READ MORE

Bringing it all together

The Bestow Love Your Gut Programme brings together all four principles in a 7-day gut healing plan which can be cycled as a four week programme for greater benefits. The beautifully designed online platform provides gorgeous gut-healing recipes, a 7-day meal planner, shopping guides, nurturing rituals and wellness wisdom.

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JANINE TAIT is New Zealand’s leading dermo-nutritionist, a holistic skincare educator and the founder of Bestow Beauty, a fast-growing wellness company which offers a beautiful range of organic skin nutrition superfood blends, recipes and rituals to heal and nourish skin from within.

  • September 21, 2018

Bestow founder, Janine Tait shares with us 4 awesome benefits of drinking Green Tea, the extra benefits of Bestow Green Tea and why she created an organic range of fair trade Teas.

FOUR AWESOME BENEFITS OF DRINKING GREEN TEA:

  1. It’s anti-carcinogenic
  2. Is scientifically proven to increase the hydration of the upper layers of your skin
  3. It enhances the action of protective enzymes in your skin
  4. Improves the protective barrier of your skin

TWO EXTRA BENEFITS OF DRINKING BESTOW LUMINOSITEA (Green & White Tea):

  1. It’s very high in Catechins a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant. Here’s a tip: the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you’ll get in your brew.
  2. White tea is even more powerful than green tea as it does all of this and more! And helps prevent the loss of your anti-wrinkle fibres. Bestow Luminositea is a Green and White Tea Blend.
Janine Tait, Bestow Founder
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You get enough of these powerful phytonutrients in one cup of Luminositea to reap all these benefits. Drink at least one cup a day!

BESTOW ORGANIC HERBAL TEA GIVES BACK

I think you’ll pleased to know that Bestow Organic Teas are not only delicious and good for your skin, they are also helping to transform a community in Sri Lanka.

When we decided to develop a range of skin-beautifying teas, it was very important to me that they were not only organic but were sourced from a fair trade supplier.

I know that many of the workers in tea plantations in third-world countries are poorly paid and treated like second-class citizens.

For me, socially conscious business it is not about beating the supplier down to get the bottom dollar but paying a fair price for a quality product that is fair to all the people who are involved in producing it.

  • May 14, 2018

Bliss balls – probably the most photographed raw treat on the planet but still an awesome way to create a healthy treat with a variety of ingredients and in these ones we’ve added some fab Bestow Superfoods for an extra Easter boost!

 


RECIPE

1.5 cups of dates, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water then drained
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
2 tablespoons of almond meal
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, softened
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence
1-2 teaspoons of Bestow Berry Beautiful Powder (optional)
1 teaspoon of Bestow Beauty Powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch or two of himalayan salt

Blitz all of the above ingredients together in a food processor or bullet. Scrape out into a bowl and add the following:

2 tablespoons of organic dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of cacao nibs

Stir all together, place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up to make it easier to roll them. Then we have rolled a tablespoon of the mixture and coated with one tablespoon of pistachios – blitzed to fine crumb, 1 tablespoon of dried raspberry powder (available from organic or health food shops) and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened dessicated coconut.

Store in the fridge or freezer. Happy Easter!!

 

Four Bestow Sisterhood Sponsored Girls
On Track for a Bright Future Against the Odds

Dear friends,

I wanted to share a very encouraging story about the effect that your Bestow Sisterhood sponsorship is having on the lives of our little sisters in Cambodia. As you know, the girls we sponsor do not have the same opportunities that we have here in New Zealand. However, we received some surprising news this week which shows how well the Cambodia Charitable Trust (CCT) is doing in bridging this gap.  But before I tell you about that, I need to rewind this story back a few years…


CITY UNIVERSITY LAUNCHING PAD FOR RURAL CAMBODIAN GIRLS

Back in 2015, my husband Kevin and I joined my sister, Denise, on one of her trips to Cambodia. During our trip, I visited an academy in Phnom Penh set up by an American charity to provide support and accommodation for young, rural Cambodian women to make it possible for them to attend university.

Under normal circumstances, it is virtually impossible for a poor rural Cambodian girl to attend university in the city without outside support. It would be far too dangerous for her to live alone so far away from her family. Young men, on the other hand, are safer and more equipped to look after themselves. It was on this trip that I realised how crucial these charities are at providing the vital link in improving young women’s access to university education in Cambodia.

HOPES RAISED, HOPES DASHED

We were delighted to see that the young girls at this academy were supported above and beyond their university studies. They had extra classes to improve their English and learn skills in diplomacy and ethics. This kind of support meant they had far greater options upon graduation even the possibility of travelling overseas. We wanted to know if some of our rising stars from the Cambodian Charitable Trust (CCT) could attend this academy and follow this pathway towards university. We discussed a variety of options, like donating some of our personal funds to the academy in exchange for taking in our girls. We were so hopeful and excited about this possibility.

You can imagine how we felt when, Souen, the CCT Cambodian Manager, broke the news to us that it was unlikely that any of the CCT sponsored girls would achieve the academic levels required to be accepted into such a place. Growing up in the poverty-stricken conditions of rural Cambodia they were simply too disadvantaged, not to mention malnourished, and though CCT hugely improved education standards at their schools, they couldn’t compete with the quality teachers and education opportunities in the bigger cities. The best we could hope for, he said, was for our sponsored girls to become mothers who then tutored and encouraged the next generation of girls to pursue this type of opportunity.

 

 

A SURPRISING TWIST

We were saddened by this news, but Denise and the CCT continued their amazing work – upskilling teachers, upgrading school facilities and sponsoring children, thanks to sponsors like the Bestow Sisterhood.  CCT-sponsored schools, teachers and students have been going from strength to strength. Their work has been recognised by the Cambodian Ministry of Education who have asked them to implement a teacher training programme across all of Cambodia.  It is expected that the programme will raise the standard of education throughout the country!

Then, just this month, we received the following report from Jane Muller, one of the key members of New Zealand’s CCT team, after her latest visit to CCT-sponsored schools in Cambodia. She says:

“When we visited Ang Seyma Secondary School last month we were concerned that the dropout rate at the school has increased. The school director puts this down to the poverty in the area: the poorest families borrow money, can’t manage the repayments and end up withdrawing their children from school and sending them to work in the garment factories or on construction sites to help repay the loans.   In other cases, the parents move to Phnom Penh or Thailand for work and leave their children with grandparents or relatives.  The parents are rarely able to come home to visit, so the support to stay in school and get a good education is diluted. 

While this depressing pattern was occurring regularly, the school director told us about five amazing, high-achieving young women, four of whom are sponsored through the Bestow Sisterhood. He said, without a doubt, all five would have dropped out if it wasn’t for their CCT sponsorship.

Chontrea, sponsored by Hady Wenham at Forme Spa has been selected to sit the exam to find the top performing Grade Nine students in the country. Ouch Sokanha, sponsored by Matt and Lisa Williams of Professional Beauty Solutions – who distribute Bestow in Australia, and Lek Sam Ath, sponsored by Bestow Beauty, have been selected to sit the same exam for Grade Eight. Rachny, sponsored by Sarah Huggins from Inspire Beauty & Day Spa, is always top of her class in Grade Seven.

This sort of news is so encouraging. It was not that long ago we were told none of the students in our remote, rural schools could compete for top places against students from the cities. A few years later, the quality of the education they are being provided, and the support of their amazing sponsors, has led to these young women achieving at a highly competitive level academically. 

A heart felt thank you to those sponsors, you really are changing lives.

– Jane Muller

 

GOING FORWARD FROM HERE

Against the odds, there’s a good chance that these bright, dedicated girls will have the opportunity to attend an academy like the one we visited if they wish to.  Each are likely to go on to have bright futures with choice and autonomy over their own lives – something that was looking very unlikely just a few years ago.

We are blown away by these results which go well beyond what Denise and I thought would be possible. We feel so encouraged that by coming together as the Bestow Sisterhood and partnering with the CCT, we are opening up new possibilities for girls growing up in Cambodia who start out with far fewer opportunities than we have in New Zealand.

Being a part of the change happening in these girl’s lives is a wonderful feeling. Look at what we are achieving together!  Denise and I offer our heart-felt thanks for your generosity and compassion.

Janine Tait x

PS: If you would like to sponsor a girl through the Bestow Sisterhood, please CLICK HERE.

 

  • March 20, 2018

We are celebrating the arrival of summer with these delicious, yellow squares of goodness. The combination of mango and Turmeric create not only a vibrant colour but a tropical taste sensation. And because we were erring on the OCD side today we teamed our Turmeric Slice with our Bestow Turmeric Organic Tea (Puritea) and a gorgeous linen dress in shades of Turmeric from Widdess!

Full of healthy fats from coconut and Bestow Beauty Plus Oil, just a small piece of this treat is very satisfying, not to mention amazing for skin health!

This slice is also high in vitamin A (an essential skin nutrient) from the dried apricots and mango and is full of anti-inflammatory properties provided by the Turmeric.

Ingredients
1/2 cup of green banana flour (could sub almond flour)
3/4 cup of dried apricots, chopped (we prefer organic – sulphite free and they taste heaps better!!)
1/4 cup of sultanas
1 cup of coconut chips
1/3 cup of coconut butter
1/2 cup of mango or pineapple (fresh or frozen)
2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil (or Bestow Beauty Oil)
Pinch of Himalayan salt

Method
Line tin with baking paper. Combine coconut oil, coconut butter, mango or pineapple, Himalayan salt and turmeric in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mango or pineapple has melted down and all ingredients are well combined. To help this process, once it has warmed through you can mash it in the saucepan.

Remove from the heat and add dry ingredients to saucepan. Mix well. Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Make sure to press down firmly so the mixture is compacted and will set well.

Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Slice into squares and keep in the freezer. Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving.

GLUTEN FREE /DAIRY FREE / REFINED SUGAR FREE / VEGAN

 

  • December 6, 2017