Introducing the brilliant Simon Jones of Praxis Probiotics, cottage style 'fermentalist' and in many hearts and minds, Derby's foremost social activist.

Simon Jones


Tell us briefly about yourself.

Hey, I’m Simon Jones and I’m a 37 year young fermentalist who set-up PROBIOTICS which is a small cottage industry business which specialises in producing the highest quality and ethical probiotic fermented vegetables, Kombucha & Kefir.

I am also a passionate youth & community development worker, event organiser, spoken word artist and activist for social justice and sustainability. Alongside other friends in my community I currently organise various THRIVE workshops & community fundraising events to help promote holistic health and community empowerment.

For the last 7 years I had become increasingly dependent upon alcohol and am currently embarking upon a year of sobriety to raise money for Active Cancer Therapy Support, whilst also documenting my journey with the aim of helping to support & inspire others with what I learn on my journey.

1. How important do you find self-nourishment is?
It’s urgently important, especially within the context of living in a highly toxic and unjust society with various crises threatening our survival, from the mental health epidemic, food poverty & hunger, chronic disease & illness to mass extinction and ecocide we’re facing.

If we’re going to overcome the myriad of personal and political problems we’re presently confronted with then we need to understand the importance of prioritising our personal and social health, for the sake of ourselves, each other, future generations and all life on this planet.

2. What works for you in terms of striking a work/life balance?

I think striving to strike a balance between all aspects of our lives is key to our overall health and wellbeing. To begin with I think we should ideally be aiming to dissolve the distinction between our work and play, seeking to create opportunities where our paid work is our passion in a way that meets as many of our needs as possible. I’m very fortunate that the work I do with PROBIOTICS contributes to my physical, mental, social and spiritual health. However, I’m also involved in various other voluntary projects, have a social life separate from work and need to put time aside where I can switch off from work or engage with other activities which are largely unrelated.

The first most important thing I do to achieve this is to create a weekly plan where I set goals in different areas in my life - work, community, social, health, home, etc - and then reflect each week on how it went before making any changes that would improve the balance. Secondly, I have a morning and evening ritual where I do similar, I look at what needs to be done and make sure that I’m always seeking to tweak my approach to make sure that I’m achieving my goals in a way that all my holistic health needs are being met.

3. What is your ideal regular beauty routine?

I don’t really have an aesthetic beauty routine, yet I’m aware that when I manage to strike the right holistic health balance with my life I’m smiling more, looking more vibrant, emitting more radiant energy, have clearer skin, feel and thus exude more confidence, am more mindful thus patient, compassionate and potentially more attractive company.

I think that if we prioritise our physical, mental, social & spiritual health, we will look and be our best inherently with whatever consequences that may bring which so many people are seeking.

4. How do you nourish your body and mind?

The health of the body and the mind are inherently interlinked so it’s impossible to nourish one without nourishing the other. The key components for me would be a nutritious organic, wholefood diet which includes probiotic food and drinks, bone broth, water, herbal teas, supplements if needed (Most of us are lacking in various areas due to poor soil quality, toxins and lack of sunlight, etc). I exercise regularly, which I mix up over a fortnightly period, including swimming, cycling, walking, Capoeira, Yoga, Qigong, Barefoot Running and stretching. A sleep hygiene routine to ensure at least 6 hours (Ideally 8). I meditate daily, have screen and social media free periods first and last thing as well as throughout the day. Daily I write visualisations, affirmations, lyrics, reflections and gratitudes. I read loads, mainly non-fiction but disciplining myself to read fiction daily too. Despite living in the city I try and spend time in nature, no matter how brief. I seek to cultivate and maintain quality social relationships with my friends whilst also acting in solidarity where I can with those in most need. I’m not religious but like everyone reading this I have compassion for others and am naturally driven to try and alleviate suffering or contribute my energies to improving my local and global community to whatever humble degree I can without it burning me out or becoming too detrimental to my own well-being. I have a potent sense of purpose which informs my sense of spirituality and overall sense of well-being, which I think is one of the most important strands of any holistic health and well-being approach.

5. Why do you think there’s a growing demand for natural products?
I think there’s an increase in awareness of their efficacy and relevance due to social media and the piles of evidence stacking up in support of them. This juxtaposed with the simultaneous increase in awareness surrounding the toxicity of unnatural products combined with concerns related to various flaws with conventional approaches towards health care generally may have something to do with it.

6. What contributes the most to your happiness?
People. We’re a social species and without the various people in my life, from the closest friend to more distant strangers, we’re all interconnected and interdependent and without each other we wouldn’t survive. Our greatest experiences of joy and fulfilment are shared with others and the most profound senses of purpose come when acting collectively with others for a good greater than ourselves. In order for us to THRIVE as individuals we need to act in love and solidarity with others for those that need it the most, seeking emancipation through the creation of better ways which meet all of our holistic health needs in our communities.

I also like shirking all my responsibilities and doing all the things I shouldn’t from time to time, too.

7. What lifestyle and beauty tips would you pass on to others?
There’s a few above. However, heal the gut, educate yourself, create, love, dance, laugh, soak and sprout ya seeds, boycott the corporation and be the change we wish to see, breath deeply, touch, put down the device, empower the children, learn from the past and be careful not to throw the bathwater out with the baby, know that we have all the solutions we need, understand how we’ve been damaged by the powers that be, believe in our ability to recover, together, thrive, together. Now’s the time, together!

Or, ask yourself this. What do you think are the 3 most important questions we should be asking ourselves and each other? Write them down with space underneath. Write down your answers, then repeat.

You can check out Praxis Probiotics here