Wild Remedies founder Krysta Francoeur was recently interviewed for Creative Business Mavin Magazine after the Editor In Chief and founder of Royal Blue Studio,Lindsay Malone. We loved the questions Lindsay asked and wanted to share the article with our Wild Remedies tribe <3
L: Krysta! How wonderful it i to have you in this issue! I am so excited to get to know you better and to share your knowledge with our readers. Please tell us how you came about creating your company, Wild Remedies.
K: Thank you! I’m so honoured to be included in this awesome magazine! Well it’s been quite a journey for me up to this point :) Unfortunately it started out with a lot of suffering... For about half of my life I was constantly sick. From horrible throat infections, to cysts I needed surgery to treat, to cervical cancer, to fibromyalgia… you name it, I had it - at least every month or two I was down with something. I was also unknowingly battling severe clinical depression for years and ended up self medicating with drugs and alcohol which didn’t help matters. Fun times!! Although my entrepreneurial nature led me to owning a small advertising agency, I found myself struggling to do the things I wanted to do and perform the way I wanted to perform. I tried several diets - one so extreme that I ended up having to have my gallbladder removed. And then of course I gained it all back and more. At my tipping point I was 193 pounds and MISERABLE on the inside. I felt helpless. Like my body was betraying me and that I would be sick and fat forever. One day I was watching Netflix and I came across the documentary “Food Matters” and something just clicked for me. Everything I learned about the greedy corporations selling the masses “fake food”, to how emotions and thoughts can change your body… it all made sense, and I suddenly felt empowered to change my eating habits to feel good, not to just look a certain way. So I ditched the crappy food I was eating (including meat), started juicing and eating live foods, and began regular exercise and mindfulness practise which led me to shed 50 pounds and become the energetic, ambitious person I was meant to be. In the process of all this, I was able to attract an opportunity to move to South East Asia to work for the company that actually introduced me to my first meditation program. So I sold everything I owned, and moved from Canada to Malaysia. Wellness became a passion for me and I learned a lot about nutrition, meditation, and spirituality. When I was introduced to the medicinal tree mushroom called Chaga, I was surprised I hadn’t heard about it and was really interested in it after doing some research and learning about the crazy amount of antioxidants it has, and reading all of these incredible illness recovery stories from people who used it. I head read testimonials of people curing cancer, hepatitis C, skin issues, and all kinds of crazy things. So I purchased my first tester of Chaga extract, made some tea and LOVED it. I loved the taste, the smell, everything. I just knew it was something special. About a month or so after having a cup of Chaga tea every other day, I passed by a pharmacy and decided to get a blood pressure test. Even though I had lost a bunch of weight, I oddly still had chronic high blood pressure. I expected to see the same results from this test and almost fell off my chair when they told me my result was NORMAL. For the first time in 8 YEARS. Looking into it a bit further I found that Chaga is actually used a lot in Russia and China to treat high cholesterol and blood pressure. That’s when I knew I had to get other people trying it and founded Wild Remedies. I truly believe in the power of plant medicine and this is most potent stuff I’ve ever come across - other than the psychedelic stuff :P
L: I've never heard of Chaga until I went to your site, which is amazing by the way, so who can benefit from it?
K: Why thank you! I loved designing the site because I really got to put “me” into it. One of the benefits of being a designer and having your own business :D Anyone can benefit from Chaga! Even kids and pets! My current blend has cinnamon so you may not want to feed it to super little ones or Fido, but I have one customer who gives it to her dog and the pup loves it :) I’ll be launching a natural flavour soon which is more suitable for kiddos. Chaga is perfect for anyone who is short on time but wants to seriously bulletproof their health. You can find different forms of Chaga like the raw pieces and ground teas, but you have to steep these in hot water for 8-12 hours to get the medicinal benefits. Wild Remedies Chaga is a special extract that is way more potent and all you need to do is add half a teaspoon to hot water and you’re done. You can pop the tiny tin in your bag and have it any time, anywhere. Chaga is also known to treat various illnesses. There have been some interesting cancer trials done regarding chaga and early-stage tumour reduction (which you can read about on the Wild Remedies site), it obviously has an incredible affect on high blood pressure, and it’s been been traditionally used as an antiviral and to treat stomach and skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. Chaga’s also a great complement for someone going through Western cancer treatment as it really helps boost the immune system. Chaga also has some beauty and spiritual properties (opening the third eye) which you can learn more about on the Wild Remedies blog ;) The only people I found who should consult their doctor before using Chaga are folks on antidiabetic and anticoagulant drugs, or penicillin.
L: You've told me how Chaga tastes, I want you to explain it to our readers. What is your favorite way to consume it?
K: Delish! A lot of people compare the flavour of Chaga tea to mild black coffee - and mine contains organic ceylon cinnamon so it’s like Christmas in a cup. You can also make it into a latte by adding some nut (or regular) milk and natural sweetener. It’s really fantastic. One of my favourite ways to consume it is Chaga Chocolate Mylk. I add a half teaspoon serving to some coconut milk, organic cocoa powder, and raw honey and blend it up. OMG it’s so good and so good for you. The Chaga mushroom actually contains natural vanillin flavonoids (found in vanilla) so it goes really well with dessert flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and chai.
L: How is Chaga harvested?
K: Wild Remedies Chaga is harvested by actual Chaga Hunters who climb trees and sustainably remove the mushrooms from birch trees in the forest of Siberia. Chaga also grows in North America, but I chose to provide my tribe with wild Siberian Chaga from a special producer that creates the most potent extract available. I did a lot of hunting to make sure I was sourcing the best possible product and I found it!
L: I love that you have recipes that show you how to embrace Chaga. I see the banana ice cream one...I'm a huge banana ice cream fan by the way.
K: This is another beautiful thing about Chaga extract (as if their aren’t enough reasons to love it already). You can make tons of stuff with it. You can add it to a smoothie, or raw vegan desserts to give your favourite treats a massive antioxidant boost. I have a partner that does chaga cookies at her cafe, and this weekend I’m creating a new recipe - vanilla chaga donuts, with pink rosewater frosting and pistachios. All raw vegan, gluten, and dairy free! I’m currently publishing some awesome chaga recipes on the Wild Remedies blog. Some are super simple, and some are meant to impress your friends - and look amazing on Instagram ;)
L: Let's talk about healthy lifestyles. This is such a broad area now, because most people are just trying to find their own way. How do you recommend taking on a new "healthy lifestyle?" What's your first tip?
K: Mindfulness. Hands down. It all starts with a shift in how you see yourself, your environment, and what you put in and on your body. I’m a big believer that thoughts create things (and heal), so really watch how you’re thinking. Are you thinking a lot of negative thoughts throughout the day? How do you talk to yourself? Learning to love yourself and your “vessel” is extremely important. It’s sometimes tough to change these patterns when you’re feeling like shit and you hate your current situation, but this really is a powerful stepping stone, and there’s a lot of resources out there to help you. Watch “The Secret" and if you’re curious about “woo-woo” stuff, I highly recommend the Abraham-Hicks book, “Money and the Law of Attraction”. It actually talks about a lot of health and emotional stuff. I’ve been sending this book to EVERYONE. Paradigm shifting big time :) After that, get on the juice train. Not fruit, just the dark green stuff. When I drink a good green juice I instantly feel amazing. I’m a huge fan of Kris Carr and her book “Crazy Sexy Diet” was a great taking off point for me.
L: Do you offer tips and support to readers who want to learn more and "hang out" with you?
K: Absolutely. I’m an open book. I don’t consider myself a health guru, just a regular person who was able to get healthy naturally (mostly - I’m still on one antidepressant). I still do some “bad” things like binge on cheese once in a while, drink vodka every other weekend, and I have another 15 pounds I’m still working on losing - but life needs to be be about balance. I love food and social occasions, and completely restricting the things I love to be the perfect picture of health just doesn’t resonate with me. It’s not about perfection, it’s about feeling good and happy. I welcome all wellness warriors or wannabes to join the Wild Remedies Tribe. It’s a fab Facebook group for anyone wanting to talk Chaga, natural remedies, recipes, or to share struggles, victories, and ask questions. We’re here to support each other! As I answer these questions I’m teleported back to the time when I woke up every morning in physical pain and ashamed of my body. I don’t want anyone to have to suffer like I did when I know there’s a way out. You can join to the Tribe here, or follow Wild Remedies on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates on recipes and other pretty and holistic stuff I’m cookin’ up ;)