A short and sweet interview with the best museli maker around, meet the founder of Primrose's Kitchen, Primrose Matheson.
Where are you and what are you doing right now?
Sitting at my desk doing early morning connections on twitter and linked in ( still trying to get my head round both of them)
Tell us about your past jobs. What lead you to your current position?
I worked two summers for my brother at his eco tourism rib company, first year as kiosk staff and second year running the whole thing. I went off to study and came back to Guernsey where I worked as a homeopath for two years and did free lance pr work for family businesses.
I then went off to study Esalen massage and incorporated that into my therapies. I wasn't satisfied enough with begin a therapist, I dreamt of having my own products and getting my creative juices going so utilised the knowledge i had from my studies and the business knowledge i had learnt from running other peoples business and incorporated the two.
Who and what influences your work?
Lots of things inspire me. Latest superfood discoveries, new recipes I see,new products on the market, nature, my family. My parents had their own businesses, then my brother, they inspired the positive view i think you need to start something on your own and continue to instil the glass half full rather than half empty attitude which are the difference between things being a success or a disaster- 'your thoughts create your reality'.
How did you come up with the concept for Primroses Kitchen? When did you become interested in healthy living?
I knew I didn't want to just be a practitioner forever, i preferred the idea of having a product i believed in and marketing that and knew the practitioner element would be utilised naturally through the people i came into contact with and was able to offer guidance to just in conversation. I experimented with unusual ingredients and flavours to come up with something truly novel which tasted good but ticked all the health boxes I thought were important at the time. Then the muesli was born.
My health in my youth was not very good as i had glandular fever, ME/chronic fatigue and I was sent to see nutritionists, healers, herbalists, homeopaths - you name it I saw them at some point so I became interested in that world from an early age and that is why i finally went on to study it. All those disciplines essentially all empower you to have control over your health, creating it for yourself rather than handing the responsibility over like what we do when we see doctors. When our body is dis-eased it is not "at ease" it is out of balance and we just need to be disciplined with ourselves, heal ourselves through nurturing the disease with a pure diet, exercise, plenty of water, mindfulness techniques, all things to reduce the stress and burden that has be an instigator for the imbalance. Sometimes supplementation is needed to correct imbalance caused by stresses but I don't advocate it for long term use as your body will forget how to do it itself.
Tell me about some of the benefits of your products eg. the raw, gluten free muesli (which is delicious by the way). Why eat raw?
Just to clarify, it contains 22% raw vegetables, the whole product is not raw as oats dont last more than a few weeks if they are completely raw so they are heated when they are pressed. But I believe balance is the key. We don't need extremes in any part of our life, food included as it inevitably needs to issues round control and body image. Extremes come when we are not in balance and our body is trying to compensate to bring a sense of relief and balance back.
My muesli is gluten free so is suitable for most people with gluten sensitivity. It contains 22% raw vegetables to increase you vegetable intake during the day and offer you more fibre and minerals. I have also added beneficial seeds like milk thistle well known for there complementary effect on the liver, chia seeds for their high protein content and psyllium for its high fibre content for pushing out toxins from out system as well as lecithin for aiding fat metabolism and lowering bad cholesterol. I only use virgin coconut oil also which has great benefits for the gut and brain and skin.
What are the most important foods to eat?
In my opinion the most important foods to eat are vegetables as they are often the hardest ones to get down you but contain most of the important vitamins and minerals that you need in a form that your body can readily assimilate. Alongside vegetables is protein but from sources like nuts and seeds and pulses rather than meat which is acid forming in the body. And after protein top up your oil in take with natural oils like coconut and hemp as we need these healthy omegas to lubricate our joints, support mental health and healthy skin and gut.
What is your preferred 'superfood' and why?
Virgin Coconut oil- It tastes delicious, you can can add it to almost anything and it improves it. I use it instead of butter on rice cakes with marmite with a boiled egg!
Its antiviral, anti fungal, antibacterial, although a saturated fat it actually benefits your heart, boosts metabolism and is fantastic for any digestive issues. A great moisturiser for the skin too!
Do you ever have to sacrifice on flavour to create a healthy recipe?
Not for my products as we have to be the instigators of change and you can't encourage people to change eating habits if everything that is on offer to do this tastes bland and boring. You have to convince them that good food can taste good too! Im an impatient cook as when I'm on my own as i always leave cooking until i feel hungry so then i just want to eat, so sometimes flavour goes out the window for speed!
Can you recommend three simple ways to make out lives healthier?
Drink a litre of water an hour before your breakfast- stops over eating through dehydration and will energise you for the day.
Eat at least one raw food a day- we have a finite amount of enzymes in our body. Elderly people have poor digestion as they have fewer when they are old which is why its vital to keep a daily intake of enzyme rich food.
Be conscious of your breath throughout the day, breath deep into your chest and exhale fully to dispel used air it will energise you and reduce stress held in our nerve rich stomach.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Up and in the kitchen for 6.30 to advise staff for the morning then at my desk for an hour of PK social networking, breakfast at my desk ( i know !) organising orders that are gong out that day, emails, drumming up new stockists, organising in store samplings, looking into trade shows, working on ideas for new products, continually sourcing new ingredients or looking int new suppliers.
How do you keep in shape?
I like to go for a run in the evening around 6.30, I live in Dorset so I run out the front door and down the lane and across some lovely sheep filled fields where I can take in some good fresh air.
I also love swimming in the sea which is about 20 minutes drive from me. At weekends or sunny evenings I will drive down and have a swim and meditate in the beach- no place i would rather be…
What are your 5 essentials?
Baby bottom butter from waitrose. Sounds strange! but pure ingredients,cheap,can use it as a lip balm or moisturiser and lasts forever!
Organic Rose of mosquito oil, a pure face moisturiser that reduces redness,expensive but you only need a tiny bit.
Raw almond butter in the fridge for day time snacking on some corn cakes. Almonds are only alkalising nut...
Gluten free pancake mix- lots of brands out there but its my treat. Either sunday breakfast with coconut oil and sugar free jam or for afternoon tea in the winter by the fire.
Cashmere jumper- A luxury I cant live without summer or winter. Keeps me cosy and always makes me feel elegant however scruffy i actually look!
Any beauty rituals?
Nope, im afraid im a low maintenance country girl who cuts her own hair!
What’s coming up next for you?
New product development always on the go, getting Primrose's Kitchen to become a more recognised brand...
Describe your perfect day.
Summers day, rising early with the sun. A satisfying and productive day in the office, finish at 3 and head to the beach with Isla my whippet, have a swim, watch the sun go down, come home and make a healthy salad and sit in garden and eat it then practise some guitar until it gets too cold then hop in the bath and light some candles and float away!