Sarah Britton is the brilliant mind behind My New Roots – the beautiful blog showing people how delicious wholefoods can be. From her life-changing loaf of bread to vegan mac and cheese, super cereals and raw brownie, Sarah has pioneered the veggie recipes we know and love. We’re so excited to feature her on the blog today, celebrating the release of her second book, Naturally Nourished, with her Day on a Plate!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do.
My name is Sarah Britton and I have a blog called My New Roots (MNR) that was founded in 2007 – so almost 10 years ago now. I started it because I had spent a year working on an organic farm that completely changed my view of food, health and wellbeing. After that I went to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition to deepen my understanding of this food-body-mind connecting thing. After that I started the blog to share everything that I’d learned in school because I felt like we all deserve to understand what our bodies can do for us and we grow up not being exposed to that stuff. I started MNR as a way of sharing what I believe was really vital information for just living well.
So now MNR has expanded into a brand and full company which is mindboggling to me because I never anticipated I would. Now I have two cookbooks under my belt, a mobile app, a digital print store of my photography. I hold wellness retreats, do cooking classes all over the world, lectures – I really love speaking a lot so I’m doing that more and more. It’s become quite a business and it’s just amazing and I have so much passion for it still.
- What was the ‘uh ha’ moment that inspired you to get in to health and wellbeing?
When I was working on this organic farm. I went down there for a 5-week workshop and ended up staying there for a year. The turning point, which I actually speak about in the opening paragraph of my first cookbook, was this tomato that I ate – I didn’t know a tomato could taste like that. I didn’t know how delicious, how complete and full and nourishing food could be – and yeah, I woke up for the first time. I realised how good food can taste but also how good it can make you feel. Within 2 weeks of arriving on this farm I had the most profound physical, mental, spiritual transformation which is why I stayed for the entire year because I just couldn’t get enough. I was so excited by it and so encouraged by the positive change I could see in myself.
- Talk us through a typical day in your life…
So I wake up around 7am – my son wakes me up. We’re up and I make him breakfast. I have my lemon water. He really likes me to sit while he’s having breakfast and I have my lemon water with him while he has breakfast. I make his lunch, get him to school, come back and I like to do my workout then so before I’ve eaten anything.
I like to practice intermittent fasting so I leave at least 14 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day so I’m still in my fasting zone. I like to do my workout first thing because I’m in a movement place (I bike him to school in the morning). I’m really into body weight training which is a dynamic yoga. I started practicing Ashtanga yoga when I was 16 years old and my practice has really evolved and since having a baby, doing something a little more intense is really helpful.
Then, I have breakfast – if it’s the Winter I really like having porridge or pancakes or waffles or something warm. I soak all my grains overnight and then I blend them up if I’m making pancakes or waffles. If I’m making porridge, it’s usually buckwheat or quinoa and I simmer them until they’re cooked. In Summer time I usually do a raw breakfast so a smoothie/smoothie bowl/raw porridge (where I’ll blend buckwheat instead of cooking and have it cold). Denmark is a cold, damp place to live so I find that I have to eat seasonally here or I suffer the consequences.
Sun is out…it’s smoothie time!🙌🏼☀️Finally. I can never eat cold food when it’s cold outside (call me crazy) so I’m stoked to see the light coming back and the temperatures rising. Today’s blend was soaked oats, frozen banana, pear, hemp seeds, sprouted brown rice protein powder, mucuna pruriens, rice milk, vanilla, and that coconut milk powder I was going on about. I kept a little in the blender and added spirulina, then swirled it through the white smoothie.🌀Topped with more pear, dried raspberries and frozen blackberries. Such a satisfying lunch! Happy SUNday ya’ll!
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Then I get to work around 9/9:30. I start off with emails, blogging stuff. The day is always really different but I really like the balance that I have. I have some computer time and then I have most of my time in kitchen. I try and get my digital stuff out of the way in the morning and then I can get straight in the kitchen. Play, take photos and do an Instagram post.
Lunch is often – Danish rye bread is so good – my husband starting making sourdough rye which is great. I’ll have a slice of that, usually with some homemade hummus, avocado or a poached egg and then as many veggies as I can get in to myself – I really just like carrot sticks, sprouts (I make my own sprouts at home). I usually have two or three handfuls of those or I keep them at my desk and have them throughout the day. They really keep me full and satisfied and I like their crunchiness. Also a lot of leftovers, I’m a big believer in batch cooking. So I tend to make a lot for dinner the night before, whether it’s a soup or stew or even a salad I’ll have that as leftovers for lunch.
I’m not a big snacker. I sort of stick to three meals – that’s changed because I used to graze a lot during the day. But I think with he intermittent fasting, I have to get more food in my system in a shorter amount of time, it feels like I’m snacking all the time when really it’s just three big meals.
Drinks I love green tea, I have that in the morning. I have to be careful not to have one in the afternoon. I’m really really sensitive to caffeine.
As far as Dinner goes, I usually eat the lightest meal at night. A light soup (in Winter) or a salad in the Winter months.
Then I cycle back to the school to pick up my son and we go to the playground for a couple of hours – that’s always a great time. I really love that a lot – lots of sliding, monkey bars and all that jazz.
And then I go to bed around 10pm.
- Coffee or tea?
Tea, tea, tea. I’ve coffee twice in my life and I turned into a total maniac so I definitely can’t have it. I really like herbal tea. I like mixing my own herbs a lot – I studied herbal medicine at school. So I love concocting different stuff depending on how I’m feeling, where I am on my cycle. I feel like herbs are an underused system – we don’t use them in the Western world as much as we could. Plants are medicine and you can make your own medicine every day and I think that’s really cool. I’m really into tea – it’s a miraculous gift.
- What is your indulgence of choice?
I don’t like to think of food in terms of things that are good and things that are bad for us. Obviously as a nutritionist there are things I don’t think we should be eating all the time. I don’t like to put it in a category of an indulgence but I guess if I had to pick something that I know is not the most health supportive… A loaf of sourdough bread with olive oil and butter? It’s my favourite thing in the world. Lots of wine every once in a while but these are things that make life good, I don’t really consider them indulgences.
- Three things you can’t live without?
Avocado, lemon and sweet potato.
- What is my go-to snack for days on the run?
This is so boring but I just really like bananas – so boring. I love a good banana, well-ripened. Life changing crackers on the blog are great with tahini or nut butter and chia seeds.
- … And any last words of advice or tips for those starting out on their health journey?
Go slowly! I encounter a lot of people who want to overhaul their diets over night and go to a lot of extremes, but in my experience this leads to disappointment and failure. When ever you are making a change in life – especially with food – it needs to be gentle and you need to be realistic and set small achievable goals which will encourage you to keep going. I always recommend swapping out white rice and cooking brown rice instead or bring carrot sticks in your lunch when you go to work. It’s simple things like that. If you have carrots prepped and sitting in your lunchbox – you’re going to eat them. It’s enabling yourself to make good choices. Not doing anything major in the beginning. Don’t do a 10 day juice fast, don’t sign up for a crazy meal plan. Make really small, achievable goals and celebrate those victories. Inevitably, those little changes will add up to something big – they’ll add up to a life change. If you do one small thing each day and do it for 365 days, that’ll add up to a huge life change. And that’s really exciting. Go slow, be gentle with yourself, set realistic goals and celebrate your victories.