Good Morning, an interview with Sarah Britton
I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with Sarah in Ontario this summer. We had a mutual friend who suggested that we would get along like wild-fire. And she was right.
Sarah is a living, breathing representation of her work. She is filled with wisdom and knowledge and shares it abundantly with everyone around her. If you are not familiar with her, she is the woman and holistic nutritionist behind the wildly popular website, My New Roots. She has an incredible cookbook (one of my favourites) and a second one on the way, Naturally Nourished which you can pre-order!
Sarah radiates positivity. She beams. She is comfortable in her skin. She is open and warm, strong and poised. She has a self-assuredness that women strive for. I know I do anyway. Sarah is a Well Woman through and through.
I have been inspired by Sarah’s food, talent and the way she communicates healthy plant-based living for a long time. More than anything, I love her interview because of it’s sincerity and realness. She understands the importance of self-care and rituals without being tied, inflexible or rigid. Her essence is that of fluidity and she allows that nature to play into her life in every way.
Sitting down with her to go over the interview questions was heart-warming and I was touched when her eyes began to well-up with tears during one of the questions. She is extremely committed, grateful and passionate about her work and purpose.
I really could go on and on but I will let you get to the interview! Also, the photos below were shot by the Copenhagen talent Line Klein.
Enjoy, read, be inspired by this force of a woman and turn your ears onto what she’s currently listening to, below.
Describe who you are. What is your favourite quality in yourself?
Well, I am a pretty extroverted person with many introvert qualities. I think that’s me in a nutshell. I love people. I love building community. I love connecting – but I also need to take a lot of time for myself! And a quality that I really admire in myself… I’m a good friend.
What are your morning rituals? What’s the first thing you do when you rise?
First thing I do is feed my son (laughs). It’s really sweet because as soon as I put his breakfast down in front of him, he reminds me to have my lemon water. That’s my “coffee”. After all of that, I bike him to school and once I’m back then my rituals begin… I usually have a really nice stretch or dance and just get into my body for the day. It’s really important to me. After, lots and lots of water, then breakfast, and then I start working.
Does the quality of your morning set the tone for the rest of your day?
I’d like to say yes, and it did before I became a mother, but now mornings can be really hectic. There are just a lot of pieces to put together, and I think if I let the climate of the morning set the tone for the rest of the day, I’d be in trouble because they can be a little nuts! So it’s when I get back from dropping him off and sort of reground and connect then I can set up for the day. I don’t want to say that I “get through” the mornings because I really enjoy them. But I’m just in “go-go-go” mode. I’m not like, “what do I feel like, what does the day require?” There’s not a lot of reflection time first thing!
What does self-care look like as a mother? Did it change after the birth of your son?
Oh definitely. Being a mum, you put your child first all the time, and there’s very little time for yourself. After becoming a parent, I literally put my own needs on a shelf for a year and a half, two years. So now after reflecting upon the stress and difficulty of those first couple years, I’m really taking self-care much more seriously. And for me it’s retreating. I need to be totally alone and I need to do something creative. The hard thing for me is that I’m a very product-oriented person, and I love creating. So self-care is actually tough for me because there isn’t anything physical to “show” for it. I try and just exist, dance, breathe, do yoga, instead of making cookies or doing a painting. That’s my action journey!
What foods do you nourish yourself + family with in the morning?
Well we eat pretty seasonally in our house. This time of year (summer) we eat lots of cooler foods and raw foods. My son and I love smoothies – and it’s a great way to sneak greens into him. He also likes soaked oats and so I put those in his smoothie or that’s his breakfast. He also loves chia! He’ll ask for “more chia” and I’m like, that’s music to my ears! And then he’ll ask for “more lentils” and I’m rejoicing! In the winter we do warm porridge to keep the heat in our bodies, and because I love being creative, I dig the blank canvas of either a smoothie or porridge and then just loading it with toppings all over. And then I like to take a picture and put it on Instagram – haha! But again that’s my creative gene kicking in, I feel unfulfilled if I don’t put something out to the world every day.
Do you drink coffee or tea?
Teaaaaaa. So much. I’ve only had two coffees in my life and I went very berserk both times, so that was a clear sign, no coffee for Sarah.
How has My New Roots evolved with you over the past few years?
9 years this October! It has gone from a hobby to my job. And that’s awesome! A lot of people ask, if this wasn’t your career would you still be doing it? The answer is absolutely yes. It’s my biggest creative outlet, and a place to share knowledge. The reason I started My New Roots in the first place was because I learned so much at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition and wanted to share it! I realized how so few of us (including myself) knew so little about how their bodies work. I thought it was almost an injustice. And I feel like we all have the right to know how we function and how to look after ourselves and our loved ones. And so now I keep writing this blog and travel all over the world, cooking, teaching, workshopping, lecturing. It really is a dream come true! It’s been an unspeakable amount of work (laughs). But you know, I can’t imagine what else I’d be doing with my life, and I just feel so lucky that there’s an audience for what I do that is open and accepting and wants to learn more. I just think it’s such an exciting time. I feel lucky that I landed in this time-space-reality when I did, and there’s people who want to listen.
You have a new book (YES!), Naturally Nourished, coming out in 2017. Can you tell us about it? What’s it all about and where did the inspiration come from?
Yes, my new cookbook is going to be released February 14, 2017! It’s a real departure from my first cookbook, which used some harder-to-find ingredients, superfoods, and more long-term food projects. As a response to the feedback I received, the second book was created for cooks of any skill level, on any budget, for any day of the week. In fact, all the ingredients in the book can be found at a regular grocery store! I am so excited to have it out in the world, because I think it could really make a difference in people’s lives, having a resource of healthy, plant-based recipes that aren’t expensive or difficult to make. I pushed myself to my creative limits with this work, and I’m truly proud of what I’ve created.
Are you on to any weird/fun health kicks right now?
Oh good question! I mean I’m obsessed with kombucha. I just came back to it about a year ago. I just can’t even imagine life without it. It makes me feel really, really good. And I’m also into body weight training these days, which is fairly new to me. I used to be crazy about the gym in high school and university. But in the last five years or so, I’ve been completely turned off by the it and I cannot be in a room with all those machines and electronics. What I discovered is that in addition to my yoga practice, I love feeling totally strong and capable, and I love using just my body weight as resistance. So I just find all these videos on YouTube! It’s so great! I’m disciplined enough that I can exercise at home, and I’m also a total cheapskate so spending money on classes is out of the question – haha! I feel really good in my body these days. The physical part is so important.
Quality of food is so important but so is quality of mind. How do you feed your mind?
This is a tricky one for me because I am a hardcore perfectionist so there is a lot of negative self-talk. This can be around anything, it could be around my work, around my parenting, how I look, my relationship. So how do I bring myself back? It’s tough, I’m working on it actually. Self-love is so strong and present on some days, and I wonder how I ever doubted myself. How did I ever think I was not worthy? Other days, it just disappears and I’m like what, where did it go?! I love myself very much, so why don’t I feel it right now? So I guess I’m always working on it. I think a big one for me is trying to achieve some kind of balance. I can get really down on my body. That’s a big one for me. I don’t talk about it often; I never talk about it on the blog. I’ve struggled a lot with image and weight and change especially since becoming a mum. That’s really a huge focus for me, smothering that silly voice in my head. And that’s why for me, staying active is essential, as it seems to quiet that voice. But I’m working on silencing it even when the days are too short and I can’t find time to hit the mat, you know? Oy. Another action journey!
What does it feel like to be one of the woman leading the way in the plant-based food movement?
Well that’s a huge compliment. I feel, again just really, really grateful that I knew what I wanted to do pretty quickly and have had the luck of the timing with it. And I feel so lucky to be in a position to keep inspiring people. Graduating from IHN, I felt an immense responsibility to share what I learned because we all need to know how to take care of ourselves, and our sisters! I am so grateful to be a woman, and to be a part of a larger sisterhood that is rising up. We are so powerful together and this network is strong!
Can you speak to some of the foods you choose to eat and choose not to eat? Do you feel sensitive around the different food “labels?”
I’m very sensitive about food labels – I think they put us in a box and I would rather just have an open field to run around in! Haha. You could call me “vegetarian” but I just prefer, “whole food and plant based” eating because I think it describes the mindset about the way I eat. Eating as close to nature is my priority, and that encompasses choosing locally-grown and seasonal food, and supporting the growers around us and knowing them. The connection to food is so important and being able to look someone in the eye who you know has grown your food is really incredible. So if I ever eat eggs or dairy, I’m very conscious about where I source them from. I’m 90% vegan (again, a label) but eating as many plants as possible. More plants, more plants, more plants! That’s my number one.
As a woman, leader, natural teacher and after spending a few days with you, I can see how you radiate light, groundedness and connectedness. It’s very inspiring. As someone who many women look up to, what is one piece of wisdom you wish to share?
Thank you so much! What a compliment! And my advice is, you just have to really do what you love. There is no other person like you and you have unique gifts to share. I just imagine how rich the world would be if we all did that. And to not be afraid to seek community and support in doing what you love because you’ll be happy for the rest of your life, every single day if that’s what you choose to do. So find what you’re good at, find what you really care about and what’s meaningful to you and share that with people because there is no way they won’t grab on to it. I’m living proof! You beat that drum over and over and over and over again. People will hear it and they’ll come running. That’s just how it works.
Describe mornings with one word.
Busy! (laughing). I’d love to say: calm, serene. But busy. Mornings are full 🙂