Friends of ETCH Alison Tehan Nutritionist

Friends of ETCH Alison Tehan Nutritionist

Today we are chatting with Alison Tehan. Alison is a qualified Nutritionist and Health and Wellness Coach based in Mt Eliza on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.  She  is passionate about helping people understand how whole food nutrition is vital to achieve optimum health and wellbeing. We wanted to chat with Alison to learn more about her health journey, discuss her thoughts on how to drink more mindfully and find out which Australian native edible you will find on Alison’s shopping list.


Tell us a little about you and your health journey?

I grew up on a farm and there was always a huge emphasis on eating whole foods and learning to live off the land. I had access to an amazing and extensive vegetable garden and a mother who passed on her love for cooking real food in a simple but delicious way. I feel so lucky from a young age I developed a good relationship with food 

It wasn’t until I had my first child when I had to focus on providing for my own baby that I realised I had a natural understanding and instinct for eating well and understanding the importance of real food. Also at that time I found myself surrounded with family and close friends who were experiencing chronic gut issues. It was a time when there wasn’t a lot of information around or available about gut issues. It was a turning point for me trying to help those around me and realising my natural passion for everything food and feeling good.


What does mindful drinking mean to you and how does it correlate to a healthy lifestyle?


Mindful drinking for me is about being more intentional about why and when you drink. It’s also an opportunity to pause and consider your why and how it will affect your health,  how you feel and show up each day.

I often remind patients in clinic to listen to their bodies, tune in and help them understand what their bodies are telling them, how is their body communicating with them especially if they are drinking regularly. If you are in the habit of drinking alcohol often it can be easy to lose touch with what feels good. When you drink alcohol it affects your sleep.   You can wake up tired and rely on caffeine to get through your day. If you are stressed and not eating well you can feel wired and tired at the end of the day which then can lead to more alcohol to wind down and then it becomes a vicious cycle. Alcohol also affects how your gut moves and  how energised you feel so it’s important to remember the impact it’s having on your body. 


In the clinic Alison often discusses  how to support people to reconnect and learn to trust their own intuition around food.  This can easily translate to what they are drinking too.  So we asked Alison to give us her top 3 tips for those who are looking to be more mindful with their way of drinking?


  1. Write down a plan for the week.  If you are choosing to drink alcohol, having a plan and being intentional about it can be a helpful tool. If you are choosing to go alcohol free, stock the fridge with some delicious alcohol free options (such as ETCH!) so you can enjoy a delicious drink, just minus the alcohol.


  1. If you regularly catch up with friends over a  drink, try to think of other activities you can do together that doesn’t involve drinking but also provides an opportunity to connect in a different way.


  1. If you are going out, think about what sort of night you want to have beforehand. Play it forward and think of how you would like to feel the next morning. Things may not always go to plan but becoming more aware of why you are drinking and how much you want to drink can be really helpful in increasing awareness around drinking rather than mindless drinking.


The incredible health properties of many native Australian ingredients are being recognised as superfoods. We ask Alison if she has a favourite native ingredient that she likes to work with and how people can incorporate eating them into a healthy diet


I love Kakadu plum, it’s the richest source of vitamin C in any plant and actually 50 times more vitamin C than an orange. As a powder, it’s so easy to add to any drink or food. During the cold and flu season in winter I love to add it to any dish such as a smoothie or a pasta sauce to support my families health. I’ve been buying Kakadu plum powder for years and absolutely love that it’s becoming more popular and easier to access.


Finally, we know you are a wonderful supporter of our drinks.  Can you share if you have a favourite ETCH flavour and why? 

ZST is my favourite. I find the flavour really refreshing and it’s not too sweet, it’s a beautiful balance which I love.

Alison Tehan


Are alcohol free drinks healthy?

Are alcohol free drinks healthy?

ETCH = Every Time Choose Health

Non-alcoholic or alcohol free beverages are helping to change the norm and provide inclusion for all in social and dining occasions. Social inclusion is important, we all want to feel  included, but it can be challenging for those looking to moderate or cut out alcohol in our Australian drinking culture when socialising often revolves around having an alcoholic drink in your hand

The huge growth in non alcoholic beverages is being driven by the health conscious consumer demand as people are becoming aware that a great social experience can actually be heightened by enjoying a delicious adult, alcohol free beverages.  

Making the choice to switch your beverage to an alcohol free option for a period of time or to assist you with moderating or cutting out alcohol consumption is a great idea to help with your health goals too.  

Here’s 7 reasons why alcohol free drinks are good for you.

  1.     Mental health: You can fully participate in the moment. Be present and genuinely engaged.  Embracing alcohol free drinking has been shown to generate positive feelings such as a sense of self-determination, building self-esteem, and feeling comfortable with your social identity.
  2.     You wake up fresh. Is 2 – 4 hours of a binge really worth the 24 hours of discomfort that may follow? Hello Sunday morning!
  3.     Biological health: It is well documented that drinking less alcohol can help lower your risk of diseases. Alcohol increases risk of diabetes and weight gain, plus cancers such as stomach cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer, mouth cancer, throat cancer, oesophageal cancer and liver cancer.
  4.   Drinking less alcohol has been linked with a healthier heart and healthier blood vessels. Drinking above the guidelines can lead to on-going increased heart rate, high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat.
  5.   Excessive alcohol consumption over a lengthy time period can lead to brain damage, and may increase your risk of developing dementia.
  6.   When you drink less alcohol, it allows you to be more productive at work or studies, and it can help improve your memory. Decision making skills and communications skills are enhanced / maintained rather than subdued and altered
  7. You will sleep more deeply.  Alcohol can aid in getting you off to sleep but it’s definitely not the answer to a solid night’s sleep. In fact, drinking alcohol can greatly reduce the quality of your sleep.

ETCH sparkling beverages provide a healthy and delicious option for all to enjoy. 


So what are non alcoholic drinks? And what is the difference between a non alcoholic drink and an alcohol free drink?

A non-alcoholic drink is generally defined as containing less than 0.5% abv while an alcohol free beverage should be free of all traces of alcohol.  

ETCH Sparkling beverages do not contain alcohol at all and use no alcohol in the distilling or any part of the creation of the range so are considered safe for all to enjoy, including during pregnancy, for people with diabetes or for those going through medical treatment. 

Other than being alcohol free, the full range of ETCH Sparkling beverages contain no preservatives and no refined or artificial sugars.  If you’d like to read more about our position on sugar you can read the Journal post we wrote about it here 

Alcohol free and non alcoholic drinks can be a game changer for many who are looking for options.  While it’s exciting that there is a huge rise in alcohol free beers, wines and spirits, ETCH’s position is different as it does not replicate alcohol.  ETCH Sparkling is perfect for those prioritising their health and wanting to steer clear of sugary soft drinks, for those who are looking for delicious, but delicate, sophisticated flavours and for those who enjoy a more mindful approach to drinking.

ETCH is a drink you can truly feel good about.  ETCH = Every Time Choose Health, we say cheers to that!


Davidson Plum

Davidson Plum

Davidson Plum:

Davidsonia jerseyana, Davidsonia pruriens, Davidsonia johnsonii,

The Davidson Plum is a rainforest tree species native to Australia. 

The deep dark purple fruits contain a soft juicy pulp with a sharp acidity. The aroma is earthy, reminiscent of fresh beetroot, stewed rhubarb and with only a touch of sweetness. The taste is sour with some astringency or bitterness. Due to this bitterness and low sugar content, the Davidson Plum is often enjoyed in the kitchen made into jams, desserts and sauces balancing the sweet and sour nature.

In our PLM beverage we found blending Davidson Plum with other native Australian fruits and herbs such as Riberry and Strawberry Gum balances out the profile with sweetness and aromatics adding complexity yet dryness on the palate.  The Davidson Plum is the backbone to this flavour.

There are three species of Davidson Plum:

Davidsonia jerseyana is endemic to the Northern Rivers region of NSW and grows naturally from the Tweed to the Brunswick River catchment.

Davidsonia pruriens natural habitat is in North-East Queensland

Davidsonia. johnsonii is endemic to lowland rainforests in north-east New South Wales.

All species have edible fruit and are highly regarded as gourmet bushfood.

From a health perspective the Davidson Plum is a true Aussie superfood.  The fruit are rich in antioxidants with many anthocyanins present (the beneficial plant pigments that give the fruit their deep red, purple or blue hues – also linked to numerous health benefits) as well as potassium, a dairy free source of calcium, lutein (which is important for eye health), vitamin E and Zinc which is beneficial for glowing, healthy skin.


Lets talk about sugar

Lets talk about sugar


One of the most common questions we get asked at Farmers Markets is about our sugar content. 


When creating ETCH, the health properties of the drinks were of high importance to us.  Knowing that many “Sugar Free” drinks brands in the marketplace use artificial sweeteners to make them more palatable, it was a key challenge to create drinks with only natural sugars.


So what role does sugar play in beverage making?  

From a food science and technology perspective, sugar (sucrose) plays functional roles in beverage production. Taste, colour, flavour, texture, fermentation, and preservation all are enhanced or facilitated by using sugar. 

At a consumption level it can also be the ‘pick me up’ and the ‘moreish’ element of a drink.


Why is there such a fuss about reducing sugar in drinks?


As with many things in life, it’s around moderation. The quantum of consumption as a society is the challenge. That’s why In June 2018, the Australian Beverages Council announced a pledge to the Federal Government that will see the non-alcoholic beverage industry commit to a 20 per cent reduction in sugar across the industry’s portfolio by 2025. 


It’s widely published that sugar needs to be managed as part of a healthy diet. In Australia that management is a reduction in quantity. Excess sugar is a driver of many health issues in our community and has a significant management cost.


Do ETCH Sparkling beverages contain sugar?


PLM – Davidson Plum, Riberry & Strawberry Gum and ZST – Fingerlime, Lemon Myrtle & Rosemary

ZST and PLM are completely free of sugar and achieve their flavour profile by the fruit and herbal  extracts and a small amount of monk fruit extract which is a natural sweetener extracted from the monk fruit.

HNY – Local Flora Mornington Peninsula Honey & Rosewater

Our HNY contains 2.4g (per 100ml) of natural sugar in the form of raw honey.  The bees that create this beautiful honey pollinate trees and flowers from the pristine Mornington Peninsula region and the honey adds beautiful complexity.


We are really proud of this aspect of our range of drinks and feel that they contain aroma and mouthfeel richness from the natural ingredients and do not rely on artificial flavours, preservatives, colours or sweeteners, allowing us to stand true to our name: ETCH = Every Time Choose Health.

Strawberry Gum

Strawberry Gum

Strawberry Gum:

Eucalyptus olida, commonly known as the Strawberry Gum or Forrest Berry herb, is a medium-sized tree from the Myrtaceae family that is endemic to the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.

This native Australian tree has flowers that are cream coloured and highly aromatic leaves with the most exquisite sweet aroma and fruity flavour and has been used by First Nations culture for health and medicinal purposes for many thousands of years.


Strawberry Gum leaves are a wonderful source of antioxidants and have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which have been shown to play a role in balancing the gut microflora.

The leaves can be used year round fresh, dried or ground into a powder.  We absolutely love the unique flavour profile of Strawberry Gum and it’s ability to enhance both sweet and savoury flavours.  We find use for it in many dishes in our own home, such as cakes, desserts, jams, sauces and of course beverages.  The ETCH Sparkling PLM features Strawberry Gum along with Davidson Plum and Riberry and it adds to the sweet berry aromatics that this ETCH flavour is famous for.

Eucalyptus olida Strawberry Gum