Welcome to My New Roots. Since October 2007, this blog has been the place for me to share the edible inspirations from my playtime in the kitchen, and my deep love for whole foods. The recipes and ideas you’ll find here revolve around my plant-based way of eating, and I hope that through the simple and delicious dishes I create, you too will discover a whole new world of flavour and nourishment.
Below are the answers to readers’ most frequently asked questions. If you are looking for an answer, it’s likely you will find it here.
Why did you start My New Roots?
I started this blog because I wanted to share the incredible knowledge I had received through my education in Holistic Nutrition. I discovered so many things that I believed needed to be public information, not just for those who can go to school to study in this field. I wanted to set up a non-biased space for people to come and learn about how to take better care of themselves through diet and lifestyle, as I have seen immense changes in myself since making little, positive changes every day.
I was so tired of being bombarded by self-interested media and half-truths about how to look after myself, and I knew I wasn’t alone. Since my education was almost like a user-guide for my body, mind, and spirit, I thought it was time to spread the word! When I discover something new I am simply too excited not to share! We’re all in this together – let’s help each other be the best we can be! (Yes, I was probably a cheerleader in a past life).
What is your Education?
I am a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). To obtain this accreditation, I attended the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Canada. IHN is a private college that offers an intensive 1 year full-time or 2 year part-time program based on a university-level curriculum with locations in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.
Students graduate with a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and have earned the designation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP), with full qualification to receive the Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner (RNCP) and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP) designations.
I really loved this school because of its incredibly diversified curriculum, and the education I received gave me a great springboard to continue in my own way. You do need to be certified to practice legally as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (not a dietitian, as you may know). A word of caution: you will not be recognized by the medical community with this designation, so if a private practice is what you’re looking for, go for it. Even if you just want the information for yourself, it is truly the best year of education you’ll receive about your body, mind, and how to take care of yourself in a holistic, natural way.
Since I lived in Canada at the time I took my education, I really don’t know anything about the schools in other countries. You’ll have to look up CNP certification programs if you live elsewhere.
What exactly is Holistic Nutrition?
The best way to define Holistic Nutrition is a health care system based on integrating the physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional and spiritual components of someone’s life. It emphasizes personal responsibility and a cooperative relationship between practitioner and client. Working with both the diet and lifestyle, I help people return to a state of healthy balance and well-being.
Why did you start cooking?
When I moved from Toronto to Copenhagen I found out that I couldn’t legally practice, so I wrote a list of the jobs I really wanted to do instead. Without thinking about practicalities or what was “realistic”, the one thing that kept coming up was cooking. What?! “I am not a cook”, I kept saying to myself. “I have no formal training, no experience besides making food for myself and developing recipes for My New Roots, so how in the world can I expect a restaurant to hire me based on the fact that I like to fool around in the kitchen?” I finally got sick of doubting myself, realized it was clearly what I wanted to do, so I pulled up my socks and headed out to every single veggie-friendly restaurant in the city.
Well, sure enough, someone took a chance on Sarah B. In my interviews I just let my honest passion for food and learning shine through, so of course I got the gig. Of course.
How did you learn how to cook?
I taught myself. See answer above.
What is your food philosophy?
A lot of people want to know “what I am” – vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, fruitarian, macrobiotic…guess what? I am a person who eats!
My food philosophy is this: I don’t like labels. They force a person to define themselves with very rigid terms, and beat themselves up if they suddenly eat something that doesn’t fit that definition. I know I never want to have to label what “kind” of diet I subscribe to. Being dogmatic about anything, for me, just doesn’t work. Being flexible does.
I eat almost entirely organic food. My diet consists mainly (like, 99%) of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. I probably eat an egg once every couple weeks if the mood strikes me, and sometimes I will enjoy some goat or sheep dairy in very small amounts. You’ll even catch me nibbling on a freshly caught fish once or twice a year at our summerhouse (if I know where it came from, who caught it, and that it was killed humanely, I’m game. Why not? There is nothing like a fish straight out of the ocean!)
The only label I’ll slap on myself is “whole-food-lover”. Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I never count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.
What are some tips you would give to other food + health bloggers?
1. Don’t give up. You will undoubtedly come to a point where you think: No one is reading this. Nobody cares. This is so much work. What’s the use? But I urge you to keep going. It has been over five years of non-stop blogging for me. Most of the time I feel totally inspired, excited, called to keep on keepin’ on. Some weeks, I want to just throw up my hands and forget about it, but I don’t. My perseverance has paid off so, so much, and I know that I am finally making a difference, however small it may be.
If you want to know more about the practical side of blogging and how to actually to start one of your own, visit this page which will give you plenty more details.
2. Get a decent camera and learn how to take beautiful pictures. Food blogging is no longer just about the recipe – you must have mouth-watering images to draw people in. Since I invested in a DSLR, things have really taken off and my photos are much better than they used to be (have you been back in the archives to my first year of posts? Actually, don’t look!).
If you would like to know my top photography tips, please visit this page for details on the camera and lenses I use, my props and backgrounds, and how I edit my images.
3. Reach out. Get your recipes on as many other sites as you can (Tastespotting, FoodGawker, Yummly etc. will drive extra traffic to your site). Use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as well. Appraoch blogs you like and write a guest blog post for them, or offer to feature a recipe of theirs on your site. It’s all about making those connections, and getting your blog to reach as far as it can on as many different platforms as possible.
Are you currently accepting clients?
No, I am not currently accepting clients. If you have a specific health issue, I would highly recommend seeking out a holistic nutritionist, naturopathic doctor or alternative health practitioner in your area.
How do I find out more about your classes and lectures?
I will always post upcoming class dates on the EVENTS page of the blog and on Facebook. Please stay tuned there.
Do you make money through your blog?
I create recipes because I love doing it, and the blog will always be free for you to use. I make a living teaching cooking classes, workshops and lectures, my cookbook, video series, and writing recipes for other publications. And soon, my online learning platform, My New Roots Grow!
Thank you for visiting My New Roots!
In love and gratitude, always,