Introducing At Home With: a series that explores how our favourite people are creating space for themselves, finding their own rituals, working on themselves, exploring sources of inspiration, and leaving us with their top recommendations for reading, watching and eating. It is a way to connect with each other during our new times and gain a glimpse into their life.
We're starting the series by asking our founder, Isabella Zar, to open up and let us into her current way of living, talking to us about why she started Fungirl, her rituals and beliefs, and leaving us with her top tips and advice.
Firstly, how are you?
The answer to this would be different each day. Truthfully, I've been feeling like a rollercoaster - so today, I'm feeling calm, grateful, tender & homesick.
Who are you?
Isabella Zar, but I go by Chi. I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Fungirl. Lover of nutritionist yeast, smelling rosemary, hair braiding, and big time mushroom enthusiast.
What’s your sign?
Sun in Leo, Rising in Sagittarius & Moon in Taurus.
Fungirl was born out of love for chocolate and mushrooms. I've indulged in both for years, and when I moved to LA I couldn't find a clean and delicious chocolate that left me feeling energised and overall good about eating it. I began making chocolate for myself and friends, and it naturally took off from there. I'm so excited and grateful to be able to share Fungirl with everyone and help to educate and bring awareness to the benefits of cacao and mushrooms.
Where do you feel most at home?
Anywhere with my family. Feeling so far from them at the moment has been really tough and only makes me realise how the feeling of being “home” is more so about who I am with. I feel at home with my family, wherever that may be geographically.
Water (sometimes with lemon sometimes without), supplements (currently taking L-arginine & L-ornithine, cod liver oil, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, JSHealth Hair & Energy, Pure Encapsulations Liver G.I. Detox, Pure Encapsulations Magnesium), natural light, incense, drinking hot elixirs (this one is my current go-to) , I like to read a page from “The Daily Stoic” and a few Rumi poems from “The Big Red Book”, then I'll get in some form of movement (usually one of these or a workout with my new trainer Blair Atkins, try her IG workouts, she's no joke!) and have a quiet moment with my man & pup (maybe a walk, maybe a couch snuggle).
What are you burning at home?
Always some sort of incense 3-4 times a day. I am currently on the hunt for a natural candle brand, send through recommendations pls <3
Fungirl, Project Chi Gut Restore, Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Cannellini Beans, pickled vegetables.
Something you love to indulge in?
Chocolate, massages, skin care.
How do you like to exercise your body?
Currently feeling more called to yoga - I’ve been practicing Kimetic and Juktamiva yoga combined with lots of shaking and dancing. I swear by this, it puts me into a really clear and light head space, and connects me to my body - I love moving freely and discovering what my body needs and how it can move.
And what about your mind?
Yoga and movement are my form of meditation. I also avoid my phone for the first 30-60min of the day. I am always going to be a student of my own mind, every day I go inside and chat to myself, see what I'm feeling, where I’m at, what I need more of and what I need to let go of. I do find that when I move my body and come back to my breath, my mind quietens down. I have also been leaning more into my faith, learning to surrender and tune into the signs of guidance. It’s all about trust and can take a minute to get there, but when reached, I immediately feel my mind is more at ease.
What do you do for fun?
I need to create more space for “fun” in my life - but currently I find fun in dancing, hiking with friends, sex, and road-trips.
Name a book everyone should read.
The Untethered Soul is a must. Also, currently reading ‘How to Change Your Mind’ by Michael Pollen and loving it.
Name a film everyone should see.
Vicky Christina Barcelona, Purple Noon, Sleepless in Seattle (can never name only one).
Name a restaurant everyone should dine in.
Sydney - Fratelli Paradiso (my favourite and I miss it!), you must order their Scampi and tiramisu (if you ask they will serve a single bite on a table spoon and it’s the perfect way to cap off dinner).
LA - Abbot's Pizza. So not a dine-in and the order sounds kinda gross but their salad pizza on a gluten-free base will change your life (dramatic, but true). Also, Sushi Fumi is low-key and really good - get their soy paper crab hand roll and thank me later.
Mexico - Have to include this as I've just come back from a Baja trip and the food was beyond incredible. Fauna and Deckman's located in Valle de Guadalupe are two restaurants that you MUST visit.
My husband and puppy
Where do you find inspiration?
Nature - simply by observing trees, flowers, bugs, fruits and vegetables. Our abundantly fruitful earth has so much to offer.
What does creativity mean to you?
When I was a teenager I thought "creativity" meant you had to be good at painting, designing or dancing, of course it still is, but I've realised that creativity is truly any form of creation and expression, and you can find it in anything.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
I would go to Australia, kidnap my family and dearest friends and teleport us all to Mallorca.
Pomegranate & mint water, daily vegetable juices, tiny bikinis, a diligent skincare routine, and beach holidays booked on the calendar.
How do you create work-life balance?
I allow myself time in the morning to gently ease into the day and on days I don’t feel swamped I will switch off at a reasonable hour.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You’ve gotta risk it for the biscuit” - and it’s so true! You have to take risks and jump outside your comfort zone, this is the only way to get what you want, make shit happen and evolve.
Do you have a favourite medicinal mushroom?
Lion’s Mane!! I’ve been taking this consistently for about 4 years and when I take a week off, I feel it! Lion’s Mane keeps me switched on, focused, energised and my memory is so much better - I swear by it.
Tell us your favourite way to enjoy Fungirl.
As is, with tea, post-dinner. Sometimes it’s best not to mess with a good thing!
Can you share a little something with us? A recipe, daily practice, DIY tip...
Go to this playlist, press shuffle, and for the next 3 songs shake your limbs, dance, and jump. Once the 3 songs are over, stop the music, stand still with your left hand on your heart centre and right hand on your belly - feel the vibration running through you and feel the shift in your energy and mind for the rest of the day. If you need a little more guidance, go follow this groovy routine with Fernanda de La Puenta, she's a dream and makes it so much fun.