Kirsten Shanks, Naturopath and Entrepreneur

If you’ve not yet heard of Orchard Street juices, you must have been living under a (health) rock. The juice and smoothie range is, literally, on everyone’s lips. From Miranda Kerr to Lara Worthington (nee Bingle), it has a cult following of It girls and boys everywhere. Behind the company’s delicious flavours - like Cashew Chai and Green Guru - is its creator, Kirsten Shanks – a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist. Kirsten is what one would expect from juicing genius; glowing, gently spoken, eloquent and possessing an air of tranquillity and grace. 

Long and lissom with a gorgeous baby bump in tow, Kirsten's cerulean eyes pop against her burnished complexion. Her Rose Bay home reflects the energy and aesthetic of Orchard Street – a Zen-like space not dissimilar to her three stores, peppered with ayurvedic adornments, Indian relics, grassy natives and crystals that twinkle in the afternoon sun. We mosey around the home she shares with her husband and the (organic) apple of her eye, her gorgeous and gigantic puppy, Queenie, chatting casually about her minimalist makeup regime, natural oils for growing pregnant bellies and a devotion to the green life.


“Orchard Street was a long time coming; I started studying naturopathy when I was 19...

... and I graduated when I was 23. I always had visions for these spaces but I didn’t really know what it was that was going to bring that together. At first I thought it’d be a teahouse or a clinic, but it’s funny that what I imaged then compared to the stores now, it’s so similar. When I graduated I was quite young so I went travelling around the world for three or four years and learned from these amazing teachers, particularly in ayurvedic medicine and macrobiotic medicine from this woman in Guatemala. It was incredible. Then I came back and set up a clinic in Sydney for a while.

kirsten's natural glow is helped by daily juices and smoothies

kirsten's natural glow is helped by daily juices and smoothies

 
the brand is an extension of her healthy and holistic lifestyle

the brand is an extension of her healthy and holistic lifestyle

As a naturopath, juicing is always part of your protocol.

You should always include green juices as part of your day with lots of veggies. But, I hadn’t even really recognised the concept [of Orchard Street] until I went to New York and juice cleanses were just everywhere. I just had this moment where I went, ‘Oh my God, there’s nothing in Australia like this.’ I didn’t know any businesses like it at all, and definitely nothing that was organic and really holistic. 

 

It was also a platform for me to share this greater experience of wellness…

…and from that moment everything fell into place. When your passion meets your purpose, it goes ding ding ding! I’m such a visual person and because my vision was so clear, it was just about putting everything in place to make it happen. But not coming from a business background, it was kind of about, how can I make this a sustainable business? I’m still kind of learning about that. 

kirsten embodies health, wellness and clean living

kirsten embodies health, wellness and clean living

 
her kitchen is packed with nutritious wholefoods 

her kitchen is packed with nutritious wholefoods 

I have hot lemon with water and apple cider vinegar every day.

 I often do mix the two – I find the lemon adds a little bit of sweetness to the cider. In winter, I add a bit of turmeric or cayenne. Then I’ll often have a green smoothie, or a smoothie of any sort. If I’m lazy I’ll pop into one our stores and get one, otherwise I’ll make one at home. It's pretty handy having a full fridge at work! Especially when I’m working from the office, which is above our kitchen. I’m like, ‘Oh what am I going to have for lunch?’ I walk down into this massive cool room with all the things that I love! I love the Green Fields, I have one every day. Sometimes I’ll make sprouted bread and might have avocado toast and a green juice. 

 
she loves to play with herbs and spices to create healthy elixirs

she loves to play with herbs and spices to create healthy elixirs

I always like some kind of green in the morning.

It provides me energy and nourishment to move forward. With the pregnancy, I’ve definitely been a bit hungrier, so morning tea is always happening – like two morning teas sometimes! Often then I’ll have a bliss ball or a chai, or on hot days I’ll get these new ice cold elixirs we’ve got happening – they’re ice frappes with medicinal herbs in them, and I’m a little bit obsessed with those! For lunch, I usually have a big salad with a good sprinkling of nuts and seeds. 

 
pregnancy has brought on cravings for carbs, grains and sprouted bread 

pregnancy has brought on cravings for carbs, grains and sprouted bread 

I’m vegetarian… 

…but in saying that, during the pregnancy my iron has been really low so I’ve had to introduce a little bit of red meat, which has been a bit of a challenge. For me, diet wise, it’s all about eating with awareness and knowing where your food comes from. So rather than getting handed anything on a plate or blindly choosing whatever’s on the shelves of the supermarket [I try] being a conscious consumer. I’ve definitely been craving more carbs through pregnancy, so I’ve been exploring the world of grains; sprouted bread, buckwheats and quinoas – it’s been really interesting. Aside from that, just hungrier! 

 
Kirsten's love of food started in her childhood kitchen

Kirsten's love of food started in her childhood kitchen

I come from a culinary family.

My parents own a restaurant and my brother is a chef – food has been the centre of our family life. My mum’s a beautiful cook and meal times are always a celebratory time. I just went home to New Zealand for Christmas, and there’s five of us in the kitchen kind of elbowing each other out of the way!

[When it comes to food choices] anything purple is good for your skin. So any of the berries, it’s high anti-oxidant that you’re looking for, and good fats. Nuts I’m obsessed with and avocado, I eat at least an avocado a day, coconut oils. Omega-rich things like chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds as well. 

 
the zen life extends to all corners of kirsten's home

the zen life extends to all corners of kirsten's home

I’ve done yoga for 14 years or so. 

Before I even knew what it was really! I actually did the yoga teacher training just to really understand the philosophy of it all. I found since being pregnant I can’t tolerate the heat, so I go to Dharma Shala in North Bondi or This is Yoga in Clovelly. They have beautiful Yin classes and I’ve been doing that. I also do a bit of Ashtanga. There’s a lady called Eileen Hall, she has Yoga Moves in Paddington, which is very traditional. I mix it up with Barre Body – I love Barre Body. 

 

I am very basic with skincare.

I use a variety of different serums, but often I use The Beauty Chef Serum and Shemana has a beautiful oil based serum. To be honest, that’s kind of pretty much it. I do sometimes use a bit of balm around my lips, the Beauty Fix Balm is really nice. I’ve also got a beautiful one from New Zealand, Kawa Kawa - it’s very natural and organic. 

oils and serums make up kirsten's skincare reportoire

oils and serums make up kirsten's skincare reportoire

 
salt baths, body brushing and tongue scraping are vital parts of her beauty regime

salt baths, body brushing and tongue scraping are vital parts of her beauty regime

I’ve always been conscious of low-tox skincare…

…but especially during the pregnancy you just become extra conscious. I’m a bit obsessed with Epsom Salts, I have heaps of baths with them. I just use plain ones and add essential oils. [I avoid] nail salons, hairdressers, everywhere where there’s so many chemicals floating around. I’ve always had long hair, except maybe when I was 13 and I bleached it!

 

I use body oil. 

I love the Kora Rosehip Body Oil and I love that it’s certified organic. The rosehip has been fantastic during pregnancy - I rub it on my belly for stretch marks. I found the Divine Mum’s Tummy, which is Therese Kerr’s (Miranda’s mum) company – [it’s] really beautiful for the belly. I also often use sesame oil - I warm it up and rub it all over. For me it’s more of a grounding and soothing thing, I do it at night. 

mutual love: kirsten is as in love with kora organics as miranda is with orchard street

mutual love: kirsten is as in love with kora organics as miranda is with orchard street

 
she takes a simple fuss-free approach to makeup

she takes a simple fuss-free approach to makeup

In terms of makeup, usually I just use a little bit of mascara

I might use the Ere Perez one and then a basic eyeliner and that’s usually me done. With hair I use the Aveda Madder Root for a little bit of tint in my hair. 

 

I always get my hair done with Aveda

It’s the closest to natural [hair colour] aside from Henna, which I found really messy and it’s so unreliable. I had this really beautiful copper once and then I used it again and it went green! It actually went green with exactly the same colour! I go to a hair salon in Bronte called Shagg Hair Studio, it’s an Aveda salon. 

kirsten is a fan of aveda products and salons

kirsten is a fan of aveda products and salons

 
she is a self-confessed fragrance fiend

she is a self-confessed fragrance fiend

I’m a big perfume girl.

I always used to be a Jo Malone girl but with the pregnancy I’ve found I’ve been going towards these guys, Petalhead, they’re beautiful. They are from New Zealand and we’re the only place that stocks them here. I love the Ayu too - they’re incredible, and they’re an Ayurvedic inspired brand. These guys are just a mix of beautiful scents – so, perfume using essential oils. I’ve been using less during the pregnancy. I love fragrance, I’m the same with candles, essentials oils, incense as well – luckily my husband is okay with it, otherwise I’d be in a bit of trouble! 

 

I use a Neti Pot. 

The Neti Pot is an Ayurvedic practise, and you fill it with saline water. I use filtered water and a bit of sea salt, and literally just lean over and pour it in one nostril and out the other. It’s to clear your sinuses and traditionally it’s used as a pre-meditative practise so you can breath clearer, but I just find it really cleansing, especially in winter. I use the copper tongue scrapper as well. It’s part of my morning ritual. There’s something about the ions in the copper, and we use little wooden toothbrushes."  

her dedication to ayurvedic practices goes beyond nutrition and  organic products

her dedication to ayurvedic practices goes beyond nutrition and  organic products

 
 
 

Story and styling by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis; photography by Myles Pritchard; makeup and hair by Diana Djurdjevski.