Holistic Living with Sarah Britton
A holistic lifestyle is an approach to living that encompasses the entire being - mind, body, and spirit. Emphasising the interconnectedness of these three aspects of our being, living holistically recognizes the importance of nurturing each one in order to achieve overall health and wellness. Embodying a holistic lifestyle can lead to a more balanced, harmonious, and fulfilling life through a greater sense of connection to ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Combining her education, interests and passions, Sarah Britton has transformed a Holistic Nutrition certification into a holistic lifestyle model which she shares with the world through her 2 cookbooks, retreat business and an online holistic wellness membership platform. With a goal to help connect others to themselves on a deeper level through the methods that have helped her on her own path, Sarah is dedicated to supporting people to live a more vibrant life through movement, meditation, breathwork and connection to nature.
We share a moment with Sarah to learn more about her inspiring work.
When was My New Roots established and why?
My New Roots began in 2007 as a place to build a community of people, all around the world, who also cared about health and wellbeing. I had received my Holistic Nutrition certification and was looking for an outlet to share the knowledge I had acquired and to keep up with my research and study - I had little intention beyond that. Weekly, I would share things I’d learned that were life changing, pieces of information about our bodies and health that I felt like all people had a right to know about themselves that aren’t taught to us. I was constantly blown away and I wanted others to have access to this knowledge too! At the time there weren’t many resources readily accessible like there are now, and it seemed like a great idea to put free, relatable, and fun information into the world. It was mostly lifestyle-based at the start; how to dry-skin brush, natural sun protection, what toxins to look out for in household products, etc. As I started to write original recipes however, I received a lot of positive feedback, which showed me I needed to deepen my skills in the kitchen. I came from a standard North American upbringing, in a home that cooking was a daily chore to be completed as fast and easy as possible. I wanted to learn about food in a different way, inspired by my education, since I knew how food worked in our bodies and I wanted to approach cooking from that holistic place too. I wanted to incorporate holistic health into the flavours of my food - improving nutrient density and retention, bioavailability, and deliciousness!
You provide many offerings, what are these?
The blog came first, which then led to my two cookbooks, My New Roots, and Naturally Nourished, linked here: https://www.mynewroots.org/site/cookbooks/ in some ways, my global audience led to my retreat business, Golden Circle Retreats: www.goldencircleretreats.com, where along with Mikkala Marilyn Kissi of Living Yolates, we’ve taught amazing retreats all over the world. This is likely the work I’m most proud of, creating a place for women to join together in sisterhood. Magical things happen when women get together, and if you layer on top of that deep learning, movement, inspiration, bonding, celebration, nourishing foods, and so much more, you see all the possibilities that exist for each of us in this amazing life. It really is that special!
My most recent offering that I may be equally proud of is My New Roots Grow: www.mynewrootsgrow.life, a holistic wellness membership platform dedicated to supporting people to live a more vibrant life. Move your body, breathe deeply, connect to nature through gardening, foraging, and learning, spend joyful time in the kitchen making foods with whole and seasonal ingredients in conscious and traditional ways, and so much more. Grow really is a universe that you have to dive into to comprehend its breadth and depth! A special offer for you, please join as my guest for $5 for your first month to Grow using the code: daughtersofindia on a monthly membership - we can’t wait to welcome you!
Has cooking always been a passion of yours?
No, definitely not! As I mentioned, the way my parents treated food lacked joy - operation feed the kids! I remember a couple instances where we made dinner as a family but it was an activity, something to keep us busy, but my brother and I were rarely involved in the process. I didn’t really grow up thinking about cooking at all! It wasn’t until I started farming and playing with simple ingredients growing around me that I began to become inspired by what was possible. The same 3 ingredients from the garden could be magically transformed into a handful of completely different meals and this blew my mind. Eating and cooking seasonally really forces you to be creative and to reset your relationship to food - you learn to listen and express as nature intends, to practise techniques that honour the ingredients, and to become deeply connected to the process. Knowing how food affects our bodies, minds, and spirits, and then how to cook allowed for a serious passion to grow.
I believe cooking seasonal, local foods is the most intimate connection we can have to the earth and to our environment. I believe it’s an opportunity every day to go to the kitchen, nourish ourselves, connect to the earth and season, to the elements, and to remember the beauty and connection that’s at our fingertips each moment. The disconnection that our modern, busy, tech-focused lives brings us so far away from the fundamentally human aspects of life that matter deeply to our wellbeing. Cooking is a way for me to push past distraction and to reconnect, and express in co-creation with the earth. It’s a humbling experience every single day to take creative expressions from the earth in the form of vegetables, grains and legumes, animal products, fruits, nuts and seeds, and to alchemize them myself into something resembling a prayer, a meditation, an offering to myself and others. It’s everything to me!
Why do you love growing your own food?
For the reasons I love cooking, I love gardening. To have the privilege of stewarding a piece of land is a gift and huge responsibility. To be able to help earth to express her energy through your care… What more can we ask for? It’s the ultimate for me. I’m by no means a talented gardener but I am committed each season to learning a little more, listening more closely, and remembering a little deeper - it fills me and I’m very appreciative and grateful that I have the time, space, and place to garden.
Can you share your “food philosophy” with our readers?
It’s very simple! Eating as close to the earth as possible, as unprocessed as possible, as locally and seasonally as possible, and with as much joy as possible! We all have different philosophies and for as many bodies there are on the planet, there is a style of eating. I believe my philosophy accounts for the vast differences between us all. It’s important to mention that we all don’t have equitable access to food, that we all don’t have the luxury to think about what we eat, how it affects our bodies, or to choose what we feel like for dinner. Taking into consideration that privilege, I believe this simple and conscious way of eating is best for most of us.
Why is addressing nutrition in a holistic way important for healthy balance and well-being?
Holism considers all aspects of health for balance and wellbeing - it can’t be just movement, just nutrition, just meditation, etc. It’s about everything we ingest and how we ingest it: air, energy, other humans, sunshine, media, beauty, movement, foods, home life, relationships, and so much more. Health for me is striking that balance between all things, being in tune with my ever-changing needs, and accepting it’s never going to be perfect or static. Moving in the ways we can that feels good, breathing deeply, being mindful, being in a state of gratitude, all will affect how what we eat works for us and fuels us. All things, including what we eat create our health. Focusing too much on one area can quickly lead to a disordered place, the opposite of balance and holistic wellness. Again, unfortunately, even thinking about this is a privilege and luxury, to think about our health and then take steps to improve it. If you’re one who does have this luxury and have found balance in the moment, I invite you to share what you can with others to help them achieve a sense of balance as well. This can look a million different ways!
What are your top suggestions for enjoying a healthy, well-balanced life?
- Eat whole food and stay hydrated
- Get enough rest and quality sleep
- Move your body
- Surround yourself with fresh air and let the sunshine on your skin
- Foster relationships
- Feel your feelings
- Nurture your mindset
- Take nothing for granted
As a successful business woman, do you have any advice to share with our readers?
It’s flattering to be considered as a successful business woman :) And the biggest piece of advice I can give is to ask for help. I was not very good at that for a long time! It was hard for me to let go of the vision I had of doing it all myself. But when I did accept help, it was pretty miraculous. I was able to focus on what I am good at. I was able to take away things I am not good at, I was able to spend more time in my zone of genius. I believe the key to a successful and conscious career is to understand your strengths and find ways to delegate the rest. Get in your creative flow, carve out your unique space highlighting your strengths, doing the things you love. In case you forgot, your career can be joyful and fun! You will find you have 10 times more energy without being bogged down. It’s an investment, but with the right team, it’ll pay off in more ways that you can imagine.
We love seeing you in our beautiful garments. What is your favourite Daughters of India design and why?
My favourite is the Kyra dress — both the mini and midi styles. They’re the easiest things to wear - it’s like your softest, most-loved, well-worn t-shirt in dress form. I always feel so beautiful whether I’m at home, at the store, on a walk, in the kitchen, out with friends, and it feels like the sweetest thing ever on my skin! It’s really the perfect piece of clothing.
We love what you are doing and would be so honoured if you were to share a delicious recipe with us!