Guayaki Yerba Mate
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yerba mate

We feel deep love and a close connection with the ocean, and we’re stoked on the sport of stand-up paddling. Trainer Jaime Donnelly from SUP drinks mate and prepares folks for the water intensely. Here’s her routine and her take on how the plant helps her navigate the waves:

Stand-Up Paddling is not only the fastest growing water sport in the world, but one of the most fun, exciting and physically challenging as well. For me, a handy snack of a few walnut stuffed dates  (quick sugar with some fat) along with a can of Guayaki Revel Berry chilled yerba mate gets the job done pre-race or for intense training. As opposed to the caffeine in a cup of coffee, yerba mate keeps me balanced, focused, and energized not only through my workout but for the rest of the day. Best thing about mate – there is absolutely no crash. The plant/food based nutrition is actually beneficial to my health, versus depleting like the alternative (synthetic) options. Since I have started consuming mate, my body feels noticeably more hydrated and balanced; my stamina is consistent.

More: http://www.supthemag.com/features/from-the-mag/from-the-mag-paddle-healthy-with-jamie-donnelly/

 

The Guayaki teams in North and South America both work tirelessly and passionately for the same rainforest mission, but we don’t often get to spend time together. Our recent trip to visit the Ache Guayaki in Paraguay was a very special experience for us: we got to participate in the yerba mate harvest, connect with the rainforest, and for many of us, it was a chance to meet the rest of our Guayaki family for the first time.

We asked our team members who went to South America to send a picture that stirred a memory of the trip and tell us a story. Each felt something different; everyone felt something magical.

Luke

The photo I picked was taken the morning after we arrived. We had a long day of travel and an amazing day at the Iguazu falls the day before. That night, we met all the other people (now friends) at the lodge and shared our stories and just hung out learning about who we all are. We knew by the end of the night we had a very strong connection and the energy was building. The picture is of Alex and Boy under a umbrella of light, energy, spirit (you tell me) waiting to start a  trip down the Iguazu river.
Now after the trip I see the light as a bond taking place that we all became part of throughout the remaining days and time with our Ache Guayaki family.

don Miguel

Amongst all the photos that I took along the way, this one stands out to me as encapsulating the unity of our group with the Guayaki children.  Luke had the idea of walking around the village and looking for the church.  As we set out, the kids took us by the hand and led us along the way.  Through their village amongst the trees, we encountered pigs, chickens, and a big ol’ black cow grazing in the futbol field.  We saw a few men hard at work on their new school house, with a termo and guampa nearby for requisite breaktime.  Next to the schoolhouse, we saw the organic garden that had been planted in which the children took great pride.  The photo was taken as we had made a half lap around the village seeing the day to day goings on of the Guayaki people in their little piece of paradise in Paraguay.
 
 

Janal

I’m not sure who took this photo but I love it. It’s a beautiful moment when you find yourself coexisting with nature. Harvesting alongside the Ache makes you so keenly aware that you are part of something unique and how lucky you are to be embraced by this amazing community. It was the most gratifying work I’ve ever done and it gives my daily work an additional layer of personal meaning.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bernadette

That third and final morning was sublime as I had finally unwound and grounded into the experience.  It was a gestalt. There was the peacefulness of the rainforest and the bounty if offered in the newly harvested, aromatic mate. The feeling of shared purpose and  connection with the Ache community and those of us who came to participate. There was curiosity in the air.  Even though we were from different parts of the globe with very different lifestyles, we knew our lives were intimately connected. That was really cool to experience. 

This is one of my favorite photos, because of what it going on. This is a photo of the 1st milling/culling of the mate which is done by hand in the forest by the whole community; men, women and children (perhaps 6 and older).  The leaves are stripped from the branches and whole small stems with leaves are broken into 4 to 5 inch pieces in preparation for the flash drying. I loved participating!Us adults worked mostly quietly and repetitively.  The children laughed and played, feeling proud to be old enough to participate, and the teens poked fun with each other. I think I will always remember that crack, crack, cracking of the stems being snapped, the sounds of the forest and that pervasive feeling of connection. The sharing of a tasty mate gourd at break gave much needed energy to carry on with the labor and brought it full circle!

Mateo

This is one of my favorite pics because it captures Margarite and Alex, who is such a powerful visionary for the Next Economy and how we can live in balance and harmony with nature on this planet.  And Margarite struck all of us as such a powerful leader.  She was able to very succinctly summarize the Aché’s struggle: To protect the forest and to rise out of poverty while maintaining their indigenous traditions and way of life.  It is a pleasure to be working at the side of these two in working to support the Aché’s struggle, and the struggle we all face to save our planet from collapse and learn to live in a balanced way with all life on earth.

See more awesome pictures from our trip on Pinterest.

Donn Felker is CTO of tech company Qonqr and author of the books Android Tablet Dev for Dummies and Android App Dev for Dummies. Struggling with his coffee addiction, he made a Facebook post asking his friends for ideas. One of them suggested yerba mate, leading Donn on this journey:

gourdI never liked coffee until about my mid twenties. I found some sugary sweet drink that was some thing called a “latte”. I ended up liking it and ordered one whenever I met my friends at a coffee shop. Over time I noticed that these things also carried quite the “zing” (and jitters among other things) after I drank it. Before I knew it, a couple years later I was having a coffee every other day. Then I got married and my wife loves coffee. She brewed it all the time at home so I started having a cup here and there and made my own version of latte’s and such. Fast forward five years later and I’m a two cup of coffee drinker per day. If it was a late night it could be 3-4 cups of coffee to get the engine going.

As time progressed over the last year or so I noticed a change in the color of my teeth (as do all coffee drinkers usually). I brush my teeth so its not a hygiene issue. My dentist told me “you have very porous teeth, and if you drink coffee it will be absorbed into your teeth. Sure you can brush, but thats why your teeth are looking a shade or two darker.” That literally grossed me out. I was also growing very tired of the jitters and was beginning to have problems sleeping at night because I had so much coffee flowing through my system. I wanted to quit, I was done. I wanted brighter teeth (and better smelling breath, who likes coffee breath anyway?). So I tried to quit, cold turkey … oops.

Second day into quitting the massive headaches hit. I was grumpy, blah, not feeling good. Long story short, I started drinking coffee again. I tried cutting back, didn’t work. I tried slowly removing myself off of coffee, nope, didn’t work. I eventually didn’t even like the taste of it anymore, but I needed it. I couldn’t believe it… I was hooked on coffee. What the hell!  How could I let this happen!? Almost amused at the fact that I was hooked I posted on Facebook about how I was hooked on coffee and wanted to get off but wasn’t sure how. I mentioned I liked Yerba Mate and was going to give it a try but it seemed that the tea packets didn’t pack enough punch to help me get past NOT drinking coffee. That’s when my old friend Mateo commented and said I needed to try the loose leaf yerba mate instead.

new yerba mate drinker donn felker

After some conversation with Mateo about the loose leaf I was able to finally get my hands on some loose leaf Guayaki Yerba Mate as well as a Mate Gourd (a gourd is a cup that is made from a Gourd plant and is used in traditional drinking of the mate). Mateo informed me that drinking the mate that was loose leaf allowed the mate to be brewed as strong as coffee. Using the gourd took some getting used to, but I enjoyed it. It was a different experience and I’m glad to have one. However, I’m a klutz and I work at the computer a good part of the day so I could possibly spill it over a few thousand dollars worth of equipment – not good. To combat this and still have the great effects of the loose leaf tea but to also be safe around my electronics I picked up a French Press Travel Mug I can now bring Mate with me while I travel.

I used the gourd for about two weeks and noticed a great improvement in my quality of life. The first major benefit I noticed was that I slept like a rock at night. Apparently yerba mate helps you sleep at night when you drink it during the day. Very cool.  The second was that I did not have any caffeine/coffee withdrawals – I had plenty of energy.  Third, I didn’t experience the jitters or crash that you can get with coffee or even black or green tea.  I also felt VERY CLEAN when I drank it. Sometimes coffee (even with rice milk or almond milk) still sat very heavy in my stomach at times (this was only my experience so your mileage may vary). I did not have the brown staining effects of coffee as well as nasty coffee breath. Finally, I was able to finally kick the coffee habit. The one super nice thing about this? I’m able to enjoy an occasional coffee again. I still love the smell and the occasional taste of it. So every couple of weeks or maybe once a month I’ll have a cup of coffee, iced coffee or something that has coffee in it, simply because I want to… not because I have to. I’ve been able to go days without drinking tea and not have cravings or withdrawls of the sort. Overall its been a great experience.

Tips on kicking the coffee habit with mate: I’ve tried a few brands of mate and the kind that worked best for me (and the kind I liked the best) was the Guayaki Yerba Mate. You can find it at health stores like Whole Foods and the like. Make sure you buy the loose leaf kind and make sure you have a tea infuser, coffee maker for French press. Quitting coffee is like quitting any other drug – you have to be emotionally invested in quitting. Spend a few bucks, get a good infuser (get used to the occasional leaf in your tea, it won’t kill you) and/or a gourd. Drink it early in the morning when you wake up or when you normally drink coffee (I know many folks who only drink coffee after lunch). Basically… replace it with your coffee routine. I now take a bag of mate with me when I travel and I bring my travel press. Hot water is usually easily found at a hotel and then you’re off to a good morning with some good tea.

Have fun and enjoy!

– Donn Felker

dj anski

DJ ANSKI – raving   by Micah Cruver 

Friday morning, as the sun came up, we brewed some fresh loose-leaf mate to help us prepare for the long journey ahead. After packing up the trunk and back seat with Guayaki, DJ gear, balloons, lasers, and lighting equipment, we hit the road. Hours of pumping music, thickening forests, and resisting the urge to break into the cans and bottles of organic gold in the back went by, and we finally arrived at our destination, Bellingham Washington.

As I set up the lighting system and DJ gear, the crew unloaded the mate, and set a case upon every table. 15 cases should be enough, right? We were about to find out. After everything was set up, we all took a moment to snag a bottle of Pure Endurance, hoping it would help carry us through the next 4 hours of madness. People started to trickle in as the front doors were opened; the show was about to start. WIthin minutes, the entire auditorium was packed, and people started to crowd around the tables, curious about this new drink. I had a few minutes before I needed to head onstage, so I told a large group of neon-clan students the benefits of yerba mate, and they were excited for the extra energy boost they would need later on in the night. I had to head up and prep to go on, so I asked a couple of my crew members to hang around the tables and explain the Guayaki story to people before it got too loud.

Half an hour into the set, we hit maximum capacity. Almost 800 Western Washington University students had crowded into the multipurpose room, and were currently all jumping in unison, singing along to a remix of “What is Love?” as the strobe lights flashed, and lasers scanned the crowd. It was definitely a night to remember. I have never seen such a positive, high-energy group like this at any of my events so far, and I have a feeling part of it was due to the organic caffeine a large portion had been lucky enough to enjoy.

Guayaki has become my ultimate fuel for DJ performance, and something I always want to share with the crowds and fans. I’m greatly looking forward to the next event, and opportunity to share the gift of yerba mate!

Can you spot the Guayaki in each one?

(http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.308361279216302.93045.223806561005108&type=3&l=3209f2f5bd)

-Micah Cruver

(http://www.facebook.com/AnskiMusic)

University Cebador, Portland State University

Hello everyone! My name is Dorsey. It’s a pleasure to introduce myself. I’m an intern at two amazing environmental organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area (The Pachamama Alliance and Green For All), a part-time blogger, a babysitter, a caterer, and an environmental and political activist. Here’s how I fell in love with a plant that some of us know, and some of us are just waiting to discover.

I discovered yerba maté recently during a year I spent traveling and volunteering in South America. I was actually not in a part of the continent where maté is popular or easy to find, but thank goodness I made fast friends with a Chilean chica named Josefina (José for short) who traveled with a bombilla and a big bag of maté leaves. This was especially fortunate because in most parts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia (where I was traveling) the only kind of caffeine you can find is instant coffee, or what I like to call instant stomach-ache. Instead of sitting in a stuffy café José and I would pass our hours in the plazas sipping down gourd after gourd of maté and feeling great about all of our decisions in life. The conversations would often center around how lucky we felt to be traveling the world, and what were our grand plans for helping humanity, saving our pachamama [Mother Earth], and changing the world. When we were forced to drink the instant coffee under fluorescent lighting I remember our conversations were not nearly so inspired. Read More

AHA! Say it in your head or shout it out loud. Either way it inspires a sense of jubilation. I had one of these moments recently while on a camping trip in Yosemite. In late March, Yosemite got dumped on. For the outdoor enthusiast, this refers to a copious amount of snow in a short amount of time.

Did I have you thinking there for a moment that I am a professional outdoors-man, a camper, hiker or trekker? Cause I am so not. Actually, I spend all my free time at the beach. I play professional beach volleyball and am an avid health and wellness advocate.

Bio: Long story short, I ate like crap growing up, got sick all the time and had acne that followed me well into my twenties and I was fed up with my reality. I tried everything without success until I shelled out $50 for the “Acne Yoda” e-book. This was my first AHA! moment where I started to understand that my health was the result of what I put in my mouth. Read More