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Health and wellness: STUSH style!

Living, and living well are two entirely different concepts. I find myself very blessed, in that I am not only living, but living well. I live well because I am surrounded and inspired by love… my beautiful daughter, my sexy farmer, this fertile and lush space that we are privileged to call home. Life is pretty idyllic, and I get to share all this with likeminded adventurers so that they can take a little of the STUSH lifestyle home with them. Living well.

On January 16th, Marta Lamolla, a friend and local pilates instructor, held our very first STUSH Pilates session and champagne breakfast. Marta, like myself, has a vested interest, in not only living, but living well. Marta is a veteran visitor—she’s been up to ZionItes many times, and apparently had us earmarked for a pilates session long before we were ready.

I found this gem just a few months back, actually just a friend of ours took us here. We found STUSH in the BUSH and fell in love with the place. You guys didn’t have the deck yet, so I recently spoke [again] with Lisa, I came, and fell even more in love with this place.

Marta and her partner Nick had us pegged from the get go. “STUSH in the BUSH represents precisely that, off the beaten track, and together with pilates, it gives you that control, that strength, that flexibility. And I think that it’s the perfect match.” Clearly they aren’t the only ones who think so, as our deck filled up with yoga mats, and people ready for a good morning exercise. To live well, we have to not only feed our bodies, but our minds, our hearts, our souls. Good experiences, good relationships with good people, and especially good food, are what we as human beings need in order to live, and live well. And watching our guests do pilates on the deck, surrounded by lush green fruit trees, vegetables, and the occasional doctor bird, I’d have to say they agreed.


After about an hour long workout, everyone tucked in to the table for breakfast. After all, how can you say you’ve been to STUSH in the BUSH if you haven’t eaten anything? An eggless Ackee quiche, cheddar and scallion biscuits, ZionItes greens… stushed up with some roasted beets, papaya and toasted pumpkin seeds, vegan chocolate chip cookies and champagne mimosas (okay it was Prosecco but it was very delicious) topped with a homemade sorrel syrup were just a few of the things to grace our table. 

Surrounded by laughter, life, and friends, is there any other way to live well? Nick agreed. “We’ve lost that idea of working together. When Marta said it would be great to do something here, I was like ‘we get to work with people who we know we have a kinship with,’ and that’s the only way we individually and as a country are going to ever improve and make this country what it can truly be.” Community is something that has been sacrificed in today’s modern world, often for convenience and ease of access. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. If we can inspire each other to live well, to foster positive and meaningful relationships with each other, our environment, and especially our food, we can change that course. 


“We put together those strengths, because that’s what it’s all about,” said Marta. “Sharing the love.” And all that is certainly, living well. Although this is only the beginning of our partnership, I already know we have begun something very special—something we know will inspire others to participate in fitness in the Bush!


Our upcoming fitness sessions are...

  • May 29th, Pilates and Chocolate, hosted again by Marta Lamolla
  • June 12TH, Yoga Brunch with the talented Kayla Hough.


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That Connection Between Food and Life

The average age of a farmer is 58.  Meet my husband, my sexy farmer - Christopher Binns. He's not average and he's not 58. Definitely sexy, but more important, he makes food sexy. He is the BUSH to my STUSH and it works!

To live, you must eat. To live well, you must eat well. In my world that means organic, naturally grown, sustainable, fresh, seasonal, respecting the connection between food and life. To the best of his ability, Chris makes sure I have all that's possible at my fingertips. We have become such a fast food culture, such an expect everything at all times culture, that we have forgotten the relationship between nature and man. In our mechanization and affection for bigger is better, we have forgotten what food is really meant to be... DELICIOUS!!! And you don't get delicious from fast food or substandard ingredients or food that has travelled for thousands and thousands of miles. We have been conned, hoodwinked if you will.

We have sadly traded nutrition for convenience, good flavor for MSG, and certainly relishing a good meal in good company for eating in cars. Progress or regress?

While the realities of life may dictate convenience at times, we should afford ourselves the luxury of great meals as often as possible. And to be truthful, its not as hard as most may think.  I have recently converted to the "LOCAVORE" camp, thanks to Barbara Kingsolver and a local friend and client, Sarah Hsia Hall who turned our watermelon radishes into pickles, affectionately dubbing them #locavore in her Instagram posting and I love it. 


It has forced me to think outside the box, to become more creative with food. Drought stricken, Chris still delivers every morning a harvest of pear (avocado), limes, lemons, ackee, some passion fruit, sometimes a bunch of ripening banana and a few black cherry tomatoes that are simply delicious. "Avocado Soup???" he says, giving me that look, "are you joking?" Coming across the plate is the nonconventional, but trust me it was velvety smooth and refreshing. Although not a fan of cold soups, he totally enjoyed it and divined me genius. For the locavore, pear season is not all year, so we are eating pear in a myriad of ways until we just don't have anymore! Buy juice??? No way! We make it the old fashioned way (smile), tart and tangy lemonades and limeades. Lip-smacking delicious! Not to mention the lemon curd, passion fruit butter, lemon risotto, key lime pie (okay so they aren't key limes, but they are farm fresh) and you can't have guac without limes (wink).  I recently acquired some cassava flour and breadfruit flour, locally milled, and am excited for the possibilities. So far our breadfruit focaccia has been a winner. Up next? limited only by my imagination.

Being a locavore means I support my local markets, and what I don't grow, luckily there are other farmers like us out there growing. My first question at the market, "local?" one really can't assume otherwise. Being a locavore means turning down mushrooms, granny smith apples, and those big fat strawberries from farin (for you non-Jamaicans, that's foreign). Chris recently acquired some strawberry plants that I hope will bring that delectable treat back in my life, when I can't get to the strawberry man in St. Andrew. My second question at the market, "organic?" this one is much more difficult in the land of chemical sprays and fertilizers, but we soldier on. I certainly don't want to rush to the casket, so I choose organic whenever possible. We are ever grateful for those farmers who make that choice too.

At the end of the day food is life. Food brings nutrition. It sustains you. It provides energy. It brings wellness. You can't live without it. Shouldn't it then be the best it can be?