Birch Moon is a small business based out of Ottawa with a passion for beautiful nature and good tea. We're on a personal journey of transforming our lifestyle to a more intentional, holistic and sustainable and we hope to inspire you to join in.
“Siberia always had a special place in my heart. It carries warm memories of my childhood, from endless summers on lake Baikal to snowy winters skiing Siberian mountains. My family grew up in the region and we took every opportunity to visit our relatives and the mesmerizing wilderness. To this day, my mother loves to insist that the peaceful, untouched and at times very harsh Siberian nature has made the family's health that much stronger.
When I was 16, I came to Canada to complete my post-secondary studies and pursue a better quality of life. After graduating from Algonquin College here in Ottawa, I ended up settling in and getting integrated into the Western society.
Many immigrants like me go through different cultural shocks, aka adjustments, when moving to a new country – mine ended up being health related. My gut health went to crap (pun intended) – it caused non-stop bloating and pains, skin breakouts, feeling weak and tired. I went though difficult phase of depression and anxiety, and my spirits were just low. You know that feeling of pure "MEH" ... that was my life. Despite achieving significant life milestones and building a successful marketing career, I was not feeling my best at all. After seeing various specialists, conventional medicine was unable to figure out the cause of these symptoms but at least it was able to help reduce the discomfort.
That's when the universe conspired to help me. My career brought me to discover the wellness industry and this is where I started learning more about the history, principles and benefits of a holistic lifestyle. I began to see how the praise of financial success, busy urban lifestyle, minimal exposure to nature, consumption of over-processed convenient foods, and lack of genuine community have been slowly damaging the health of western societies. It didn't take long to witness that my own new western lifestyle and life priorities were the biggest contributors to my health problems.
I was raised in a culture that cherished nature and traditional medicine, and where pretty much everything was made from scratch. This meant access to lots of locally grown vegetable and fruits and locally made products, with little to no processed foods. Many families, including mine, had small farms where they grew potatoes, berries, cabbages, cucumbers...you name it. Although we were living in a 100 sq m flat, in the urban centre, we were able to nurture our health by consuming real food, spend lots of time outside, and enjoy simple things life gave us.
Who has inspired you?My mom has been my biggest support and inspiration in life in general. She grew up in cold Soviet Russia, moved away from home very young to pursue higher education; her young adult years were spent in the wild 90s of the post-soviet era, where she was climbing the corporate ladder to build her career and starting a family. I doubt life has even been easy for her, she’s worked hard since she was a young kid because life back then just wasn’t really great for most people. But despite the socioeconomic hardships and living in a pretty patriarchal society, she grew into a very positive and wise woman, amazing boss, a supportive friend and relative, fantastic mom and wife, and she has an incredible relationship with herself, her health, and wellness. And the fact that despite it probably being the toughest decisions she had to make, she gave me the opportunity to come so far away from home and build a better life in Canada... It is very admiring and I aspire to be as resilient as she is.