Dec. 17. 2014
Lifestyle
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Meet Sarah from My New Roots, the brains behind classic, visually stunning recipes.

I’ve had the pleasure to get to know the beautiful (from the inside out) Sarah from My New Roots beyond this lovely interview; and let me tell you she’s incredibly sweet and passionate about what she does, things I admire in a friend and as a source of inspiration. When I first read Sarah’s interview, I was incredibly engaged and caught myself shaking my head in agreement with her words about balancing life with work and enjoyment- a true soul sister in my eyes and spirit. Her recipes are classic, photography is stunning, and not to mention she’s a total babe (and new momma!). I’m so excited to share this candid interview with Sarah in hopes that her philosophy about life and food as well as her thoughts on living whole and well as we do here on Nutrition Stripped, will inspire you as greatly as she has done for me. Without further delay, meet my soul sister from Copenhagen, Sarah B of My New Roots.

 

Name

  • Sarah Britton

If someone were to ask you what you “do”, what would you say?

  • Food writer, photographer, blogger, recipe developer, and teacher.

If you can, in two sentences how would you describe your philosophy about food and living well?

  • My diet and lifestyle philosophy is to be as close to nature as possible. That goes for what I put in my body, how I spend my days, and the things I surround myself with.

Tell us about your health and wellness journey, how did you get started creating your passion into this career?

  • It all started when I went to volunteer on an organic farm in Arizona, back when I was 23. I spent nearly a year working the land and gaining a greater understanding of my body’s relationship to food and nature. I had never felt better in my entire life! When I returned to Toronto, I decided to attend the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, to deepen my understanding of this relationship, and lo and behold, definitely found my calling. I created the blog, My New Roots, shortly after graduation.

When was your “ah-ha” moment, of when you felt you were succeeding at what you do?

  • The first time I felt like I was truly succeeding, was when I received the first email from a reader telling me that she had seen significant changes in her life because of the recipes on my blog. Wow! What a feeling that was. Every time I receive one of those emails now, I am humbled and motivated to push forward.

What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?

  • If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?

Where do you draw most inspiration? Who? What?

  • Most of my inspiration comes from food itself. The beauty in the way that it grows, its colours, smells, textures, patterns, and of course, flavours. I spend as much time in nature as I can, staying in tune with the seasons and natural cycles. These things inspire me the most and motivate me to share my perspctive with the world.

Picture this, you’re living your most perfect day- what does this look like?

  • Morning cuddles with my baby, a big glass of warm lemon water, followed by some light stretching. I would make a glorious breakfast with lots of fresh fruit and maybe a smoothie, some sprouted grain pancakes perhaps. Then I would like to go for a walk with my family in the sunshine and run around the forest. A swim in the river would be ideal. The rest of the day would be spent close to the water, eating yummy things, napping, reading, more swimming. A bonfire to end to the day.

It’s not always an easy road, can you tell us about challenges that occur and how you deal with them or stress?

  • I think my biggest challenge is balancing life and work. Because what I do professionally is so much fun, I often “work” very long hours without really noticing. Then an entire week goes by and I feel like I haven’t taken any time out just for me. When this happens, I take a step back, actually make myself a schedule to follow (something I struggle with!) and make sure to plot in time to pursue other things, like being with friends, nurturing my creative side, exercising, gardening etc.

 

What’s your typical meal for…

  • First thing upon waking: warm water with lemon (sometimes I add turmeric and cayenne)
  • Morning: in the warmer months I almost always have a smoothie. In the colder months, I like sprouted grain porridge or pancakes.
  • Lunch: a big salad with whatever I have on hand, maybe some toasted sourdough rye with avocado and fresh sprouts.
  • Supper: I tend to make a lot of abundance bowls because they are fast, easy, and delicious! These include grains, legumes, plenty of veggies both cooked and raw / fermented, a fabulous homemade sauce and topping. Mmmm…this is making me hungry!
  • Snacks or sweets: I love homemade granola bars, smoothies, fresh fruit and brown rice cakes with homemade nut butter and chia seeds.
  • Favorite beverage: WATER! No doubt about it.

If you could pick one meal to eat over and over again, what would it be?

  • Anything from Gracias Madre in San Fran.

What’s the one item that’s always on your grocery/market list?

  • Lentils

Living well isn’t just about nourishment of food, it’s also about managing stress, sleeping well, and exercise. What’s your typical…

  • Exercise routine you can’t live without: This is pretty embarrassing, but I love Turbo Jam!
  • Way to decompress from a busy day: reading a good book (usually a cookbook! Haha.)
  • Favorite bedtime ritual (that you can share haha): A hot shower.

Speaking of being gorgeous and embracing your authentic self, what’s your…

  • Beauty and skin routine look like: I don’t really wear makeup unless it’s a special occasion, so most days I’m just bare-faced. I wash my skin with a mild, soap-free cleanser.
  • Your favorite beauty products: I love anything that Living Libations makes.
  • Your favorite hair care tip: Don’t wash it! At least not very often. I go about a week in between shampooing and my hair is super healthy.
  • Your ultimate self-care tip: Get enough sleep.
  • Your secret (not so secret anymore) beauty tip: Laugh!

What makes you laugh, smile, and be joyful?

  • Being with my family and friends. Growing, preparing and eating delicious food. Being present and grateful. Spending time in nature. Being creative.

You just brought a bundle of joy into the world, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about life from you little one?

  • What haven’t I learned?! I guess one of the biggest things is about surrendering. When you have a baby, suddenly there is so much that you cannot control, and fighting that only makes it worse. I’ve learned to let go of the little things that would have previously weighed me down. This allows me to be more present and joyful.

Tell us about your amazing cookbook to come out?

My New Roots – Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season features over 100 vegetarian dishes, most of which are vegan, many are gluten-free and some are totally raw. The book includes a wide range of meals from the very easy, to those that are more fun food “projects” that require fermentation and such. There are fancy things to impress your best guests, and tasty basics for weeknight family-style meals. Snacks, desserts, and sweet treats are also a very welcome part of this collection of vibrant and inspiring new recipes.

Very much like the blog, my cookbook is inspired by the seasons and eating in connection with nature, as often as possible. Each recipe features health and nutrition information on the key ingredients, so you will always know a little something special about the health benefits in your favourite dishes.  http://mynewroots.org/cookbook/

Saving the big one for last, where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? Any big plans you want to share!

  • I want to keep My New Roots in an expansive place, to listen to my readers and continue to create a place for them to find inspiration. I can’t share too much right now, but suffice to say that there are SO many exciting things on the horizon and I cannot wait for the big reveal!

So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? My New Roots: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyNewRoots | Instagram: http://instagram.com/mynewroots/

I hope you all enjoy these interviews of people I find inspiring and hope they also bring another level of inspiration to you as Nutrition Stripped does!

xo McKel