Inspiration: Sarah Britton, My New Roots
Name: Sarah Britton, My New Roots
Where do you live? Copenhagen, Denmark
What sparked your interest in health and wellness?
I spent a year working on an organic farm in the United States and after about a week of eating whole, unprocessed foods and physically working my body on a daily basis, I finally understood the tremendous impact that diet and exercise has on our bodies and minds. It seems like such an obvious thing, but unless you experience a real transformation first hand, it’s difficult to comprehend just how massive a shift you can feel from simple, yet cumulative changes.
How did you build your passion for healthy living into a career?
After the farm I went back to school to study Holistic Nutrition. I finally learned how my body works, and realized that most of us grow up having never been taught that. I started my blog, My New Roots to educate others about this very thing.
Who inspires you?
There are the big ones like Alice Waters, Vandana Shiva, Jamie Oliver, but I am also very inspired by the people around me: the parent making a healthy choice for their kids, my husband eating dried fruit instead of his usual bag of candy, my local grocer store filling the shelves with more organic produce, hundreds of people posting their green smoothies on Instagram. I guess what I mean is, I see people making healthier decisions all around me, and it inspires me to try something new, push myself a little farther.
If you don’t care of your body, where will you live?
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Writing my cookbook is definitely the biggest achievement so far! Also considering that I signed the contract for it when I was about four months pregnant, worked on it until the day he was born and was back at it a week later…I had two babies last year! Haha. I’ve haven’t worked harder on anything in my entire life and I only hope that my love and passion for food, cooking, and chronicling that comes through in the pages.
What’s your typical…
In the colder months I eat a lot of porridges. I soak my grains, nuts, and seeds overnight in acidulated water, give them a good rinse the next morning, then cook them with apples, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. Then I like to add superfoods like hemp seeds and maybe a sprinkle of bee pollen.
In the warmer months I am all about raw breakfasts, like chia puddings and sprouted oats. I especially love smoothies because I can cram a whole lot of good stuff in there without really noticing that I’m having the equivalent of a salad for breakfast! My base is always frozen fruit because I like my smoothies cold, then I add a ton of greens, lemon, spirulina, bee pollen, maca, sprouted brown rice protein powder or hemp seeds…my smoothies can get a bit on the overloaded side! But it’s a great way to start my day – so energizing and satisfying.
I usually make a lot of food for dinner so that I can eat leftovers for lunch the next day. If there aren’t any around though, I really enjoy a good slice of sourdough rye bread with avocado, lemon and chilli. I always have a bean or lentil spread in the fridge as well, and that makes for a quick lunch spread onto homemade crackers, or in a half a red pepper with fresh herbs, and toasted seeds.
A beautiful piece of seasonal fruit is a favourite snack, but I also love brown rice cakes with tahini and chia seeds, a small smoothie, fresh juice, or some homemade crackers with nut butter.
I love making a delicious and complete meal at the end of my day. It’s a fun way to relax and we have an eat-in kitchen so my husband and son can be playing around while I cook. I usually make a big salad with seasonal veggies, plus a soup or stew. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll do something more elaborate like spring rolls, sushi, crepes, stuffed peppers, risotto, or a casserole of sorts.
What’s your favourite dessert?
Anything with chocolate! As much as I love fruit, I’ll eat it any other time of day. For dessert I want something rich and satisfying and nothing does that for me like chocolate. My favourites are brownies and cookies, but I’ll settle for a slice of chocolate cake any day 😉
(I, Ella, adore her raw bounty bars – they’re a dream!)
What’s the best recipe you’ve ever made?
I think the one I was most excited over was my Raw Cashew Dreamcake. Before making this, I thought that you could only get raw vegan cheesecakes at restaurants and never attempted to make them myself thinking they would be too difficult. Although it is ideal to have a high-speed blender for this recipe, it’s not totally necessary. It comes together very quickly (no need to bake!) and you can store it in the freezer for weeks, so it’s a fabulous make-ahead treat.
Where do you get the inspiration from to create so many awesome recipes?
I find inspiration in many places: the market, my garden, cookbooks, magazines, food blogs, restaurants, the places I travel to. I also love taking a classic, well-loved recipe and giving it a healthy makeover. It’s so much fun to see my husband’s face light up when I feed him a nutrient-packed version of his old favourites, like burritos or pizza, and have him tell me that it tastes like junk food (this is his biggest compliment)!
What are the ingredients you can’t live without?
As much as I love to eat seasonally, there are definitely some staples that I have on hand no matter what time of year: whole sesame tahini, avocados, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds, coconut oil, lemons, sweet potatoes, fresh herbs.
Where are your favourite places to eat?
Restaurants in Copenhagen are crazy expensive, and don’t often cater to vegetarian diets, so I very rarely go out to eat here. But when I travel, especially back home to Toronto, I love Lebanese, Turkish, Mexican, Japanese, Indian and Persian cuisine. I love big, fresh flavours, lots of herbs, citrus, sweet and savoury combos.
What do you do to stay active?
What do you do to stay active?
I used to go to the gym religiously, but once I moved to Copenhagen I couldn’t handle the steep membership fees. So I started doing Turbo Jam – a somewhat ridiculous, and now quite dated, exercise DVD series from California. It’s kept me in pretty good shape for the last six years! I also love yoga and try to hit the mat every evening before bed. I walk or cycle everywhere, and I’m on my feet cooking all day and running around after my toddler!
What is your beauty routine?
I have never been that much into makeup – partly because I’ve never been taught how to use it properly, but mostly because I feel like whenever I put it on I look really strange and not myself. I also really love letting my skin breathe, so I try to only wear makeup if I have a special event or a photo shoot. My routine is pretty basic: some blush or bronzer, a little mascara and lip gloss. I wash my face with oil instead of soap. I only shampoo my hair once a week, and I use a dry skin brush before I shower to exfoliate.
Do you have any favourite natural skin care products or awesome beauty recipes?
Years ago a friend recommended a brand called Living Libations. It’s a skincare line from where I’m originally from, Ontario, and the creator Nadine is like a mystical forest elf, blending and creating the most phenomenal products from her home in the woods. It’s all organic and ethically sourced. I buy her facial cleansing oil, facial cream, lip balm, and her essential oils for creating my own skincare products.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
My family cottage in Canada. Without a doubt.
Describe your perfect day
Sleep in as long as I want to. Family snuggle in bed. Slow breakfast. Go for a walk outside. Stumble upon a lake, and go swimming. Farmers market, which leads to delicious picnic, which leads to nap in the sun.
A little stretching… Something involving cookies. Cook dinner at home. Candles and good music to accompany, of course. The kitchen magically cleans itself. Read a book and fall asleep.
Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy everyday?
Years ago I started consciously giving myself a gift every day. Not a physical thing (although sometimes it can be), but more of a juicy experience. Like going for a long walk, doing something creative like drawing or writing, re-potting my houseplants (strange, but this feels luxurious to me), a nap, reading a book for half an hour in the afternoon when I should be working, etc. I struggle a lot with balance and so in making this commitment to myself it’s easier for me to set aside time for the things that keep me grounded and energized. I am learning more and more how important it is to actively pursue the things you love, otherwise they can become second priority and time just flies.