Meet the four Kiwis making a real difference, one smoothie at a time
Take four friends, each with individual talents – a banana-peeler extraordinaire, creative-come-cleaning wizard, business shaman and kombucha-brewing financier – mix ‘em all together and what have you got? A big green, kale and goji berry-infused recipe for success.
Graedon Parker, Rajeev Joshi and brothers Nick and Jason Corliss are the team behind Organic Mechanic, purveyors of superfood smoothies, organic kombucha and very good vibes. Each weekend in Auckland, they nourish bodies and souls through their stalls at La Cigale French Markets, Grey Lynn Farmers Market and Howick Farmers Market. They also provide free hugs – should you need one – and give back to the community through their charitable initiatives.
Through countless hours of trial and error, the boys have come up with a range of tasty concoctions that each achieve a power-packed purpose. Feel like you’re coming down with the winter chills? The immune-boosting smoothie, packed with vitamin C and probiotics is designed to boost the immune system and keep those niggly colds at bay. Or, if you’re a little sluggish, Organic Mechanic’s new ginger-infused kombucha may help give your metabolism the kick-start it needs.
While none of the Organic Mechanic team has qualifications in nutrition, Nick says they’ve done their research and spoken to professionals for in-depth understandings of food and wellness. “We are all self-educated and have a passionate interest in helping people to be happy and healthy through food and lifestyle,” he says. Positivity powerhouses, these four fruity entrepreneurs attest to the pros of healthy eating, yoga and meditation as key to their lives; daily practices they attribute to easing the challenges of running a demanding business. Rather than simply focus on profit, Graedon, 25, says Organic Mechanic’s approach encompasses making a positive difference to people’s lives.
In 2013, they launched the OM Give-Back initiative after asking customers to vote on a community project they wanted to see supported. #Smoothiesinschools won and the team hit James Cook High School, a decile-one college in Manurewa, with a load of organic produce from the markets to teach the students how to make their own nutritious smoothies at home. “It was a massive success and we all really enjoyed donating our time to the cause,” says Graedon. “From there we went to the chemotherapy ward in Middlemore Hospital in 2014 and then to Mangere East Primary School in April this year, where we have some big plans to really make a difference with the help of the community.”
For Nick, 24, the focus of the project is based on the adage, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ “We want to have fruit trees in low-decile schools, help them with their vege gardens and hopefully supply them with blenders so they can make their own smoothies, or even pick an apple off a tree so they have something nutritious to eat,” he says.
“Young people are our future and in order to bring harmony and balance back to the planet we have to feed the minds of our young people with the truth, whether that be in food, environmental discussions or just loving and believing in themselves,” says 26-year-old Jason.
“I think our parents’ generation was mainly focused on finding happiness from the outside in, meaning that their focus was on a bigger house, a nicer car and more money,” adds Nick. “We can learn from that and forge a new path, where eating better and nourishing the mind and body is a focus to find purpose and happiness in life.”
ORGANIC MECHANIC ‘S DIY SMOOTHIES
The OM boys share three of their favourite recipes and suggest, if your budget allows, to use organic ingredients. Simply blend all ingredients in a processor and serve.
The Golden Ticket
Detox the body and boost the immune system with this ultimate liver-flushing smoothie. Warning, this is not for the faint-hearted!
2 lemons chopped in half, skin on
200ml filtered water
1 inch-piece organic turmeric, grated
1 inch-piece organic ginger root, grated
1 Tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 organic garlic clove (optional), building up
to 5 cloves daily, grated
This smoothie is designed to encourage radiant skin and hair, joint health, good digestion and a clean liver.
200ml of water
1 pear or apple, grated
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 large cup of leafy greens (spinach, kale and, or silverbeet), chopped
1 inch-piece of ginger, grated
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp turmeric powder
1½ cup filtered water
Handful of ice
This delicious winter warmer smoothie is packed with antioxidants to keep you healthy.
200ml of water
1 banana, chopped
1 handful of frozen berries
1 Tbsp of goji berries
1 Tbsp of cacao nibs
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Words: Lucy Slight