A tip from Sarah; “...do not try to cook 20 servings of rice in one pan”. Have you ever tried to cook 100 meals in one go from your kitchen? Introducing the genuinely amazing Sarah Victoria Wright, a self-confessed plant-based entrepreneur, who creates delicious recipes, hosts a podcast, teaches yoga and is just a beacon of joy. Upon completing her Yoga Teacher Training in 2020 surrounded by delicious (and more importantly nutritious) plant-based food, Sarah was inspired to turn her catering business into a fully plant-based catering service. Quickly securing a contract to supply meals to the NHS front line workers during the Pandemic, Sarah has gone onto become a weekly guest on BBC Nottingham ‘Make A Difference’ segment, where she now shares recipes, yoga tips and meditations in an effort to spread her wealth of knowledge and love for a plant-based, yoga lead lifestyle. Everybody has different taste preferences but I have not yet found a person who does not melt with joy once they have tried a brownie created by the fantastic Sarah.
Read on to discover Sarah’s story and then try her turmeric latte recipe for the perfect evening warm drink or banana icecream to curb those evening sugar cravings.
Hello Sarah! Thank you so much for taking part in our In bed with… series, how are you and how have you been these past few months?
Hey Char! You're so welcome, I'm glad to be here. I have definitely experienced lots of ups and downs over the past few months (haven't we all?!). But I feel so grateful for the time to slow down and find space for new things in my life.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey towards all things tasty and plant-based?
Absolutely! I wish that I had a more interesting story but it really was just a case of watching lots of documentaries which led me to read books, medical research and listen to lots of podcasts. Since my early teens, I had suffered so frequently from tonsilitis, sinus and digestive issues. I just thought that was my genetic make-up, that I would always have to "take it easy", not push myself or get too tired as it would make me sick. That was genuinely my mindset and growing up with a Mum who was a nurse, tablets and antibiotics were always the quick fix to any illness I was experiencing. This eventually made me lose faith in the medical system and I decided to take matters into my own hands. I went wholefood, plant-based around 2 years ago and I swear, I have not been sick once. In early 2020 I flew to Spain to study my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training (where I met the incredible Char Dunn). It was on a beautiful permaculture farm in the middle of Spain. The food was INSANE and entirely plant-based. I could not believe how beautiful, nourishing and delicious it was.
We had movie evenings watching 'Cowspiracy' and 'What the health' and it changed my life in such a short space of time. On returning, I decided to turn my then, non-vegan catering business, Coco Manor into a plant-based meal service and almost instantly secured a contract supplying an NHS Hospital in Nottingham with meals every week. It was hard work but SO much fun! I created little labels on each meal letting the members of staff know how many servings of fruit and veg were in each meal, how much protein was in the meals and the fibre content. When I made each delivery, some of the medical staff started to ask me about the meals and were so surprised that they were entirely plant-based.
I know that you have been featured weekly on 'Make a Difference' BBC Nottingham often, how did you end up on this weekly radio show?
This was a little bit of being proactive on my part. So, I had started to practice 'connecting to source' meditations every morning after my yoga training (they are meditations that help you to connect with your higher self and greater purpose in life) and one day, I had such a clear message come through that I had to educate my community about factory-farming and the benefits of a plant-based diet. I went for my daily lunchtime walk and just started scrolling through Instagram when Arun, a presenter from BBC Nottingham came up on my stories (he was a friend of a close friend). I simply messaged him asking if he would like me to talk about plant-based food or share some recipes. He literally called me within 5 minutes and asked me to be part of the Make a Difference segment, which was running during the first lockdown.... and that's where it all began! Since then, I have shared yoga tips, meditation tips and plant-based recipes on the radio every week during the 'Tasty Tuesdays' segment.
During 2020 there was a great rallying to support the NHS, I know that you were providing meals for key workers, what sort of meals were you making for them?
So on the menu, we had; Sri Lankan Chickpea Curry with Turmeric Cauliflower, Lentil Ragu Penne, 3 Bean Chilli with Sweet Cornbread, Super-green Risotto and Moroccan Tagine with Cous Cous.
Looking back, it was SO much fun but absolutely crazy. I was making 100 meals in a day from my home kitchen. The greatest lesson I learned... do not try and cook 20 servings of rice in one pan (disaster!!). Oh, and a whiteboard is fantastic for being organised.
I believe that food and sleep can be so connected for so many people. Personally, I enjoy having something like a hot chocolate or herbal tea and dates in the evening (I know we both have a slight obsession with peanut butter), is there any foods or meals which you would recommend for a great night sleep?
I couldn't agree more. I have such a sweet tooth! Pre-plant-based I would eat chocolate or ice cream almost every night which messed with my sleep so much.
Diets high in refined sugar basically increase chronic inflammation as it changes the gut bacteria—now recognised as a key regulator of overall health. Sugar in our diets also elevates cholesterol, which is linked to increased inflammation. Inflammation isn't a bad thing, it's your body's natural process of fighting against things that harm it, such as toxins, in an attempt to heal itself. However, when you consume too many toxins (refined sugars) your body goes into overdrive. This can massively disrupt sleep!
Knowing this, I consciously have cut out refined sugars, which was really hard in the beginning but your suggestion of dates or banana ice cream (1 frozen banana, a handful of ice and some oat / almond milk in a blender) or a turmeric latte are great options, and still manage to curb those sweet cravings really well.
My favourite recipe for the latte is 200ml of coconut milk (unsweetened), 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (a great anti-inflammatory), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a little bit of cracked black pepper (it helps the absorption of turmeric).
Head to Sarah's website here to find recipes, upcoming workshops and book onto her yoga classes
Follow Sarah on IG here
Tune into Sarah's Yoga classes here