Sarah Asquith-Vallance is one of the UK's top plant-based chef and a sought after culinary demonstrator and nutritional speaker and entrepreneur specialising in plant-based lifestyle. She is known for inspiring people to discover a beautiful relationship with their food, their bodies, their health AND giving them the ability to make amazingly tasty meals so they can live a nourished, energised and healthy life. As well as making and teaching about plant based cuisine, Sarah is also passionate about using food as medicine and supports clients with heart diseases, cholesterol products, fertility and hormonal problems, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and runs the Well Woman Living programmes that incorporates food as medicine at the heart of the programmes.
Sarah had a BSc. (Hons) in Biological Science with Neuroscience from The University of Edinburgh, she studied Plant-based Nutrition with Prof. T. Colin Campbell from Cornell University. She began her career in food in her teens working front of house at the award winning Quince and Medlar restaurant. After working in several UK restaurants, cafes and bistros she decided to focus her food career in plant-based cuisine and trained to be a professional plant-based chef with top raw food chef Chef Chad Sarno and Chef Ken Rubin at Rouxbe.
Before I set off on my own plant based transformation I felt physically rubbish, to be honest, I felt ill. My hormones were out of kilter, my weight fluctuated wildly, I had asthma, I had a pulmonary embolism, I had no energy and was constantly exhausted, I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, my face was covered in cystic acne that just wouldn't heal and on top off all that I was just waking from a 4th operation, this time to remove one of my ovaries, when my new husband and I were told that I would not be able to naturally conceive children and that I would most likely face a future of my health being 'managed' with drugs and would suffer from obesity, heart disease and liver problems.
Wow! As I recovered I saw I had two options. I could accept the way my life was; painful and miserable or I could transform into the woman I really wanted to be which was energetic, vibrant, full of life, healthy and an example to other women (and men) who desired dramatic change in their lives. As you may have guessed, I chose the latter.
Even though I was eating “good” food (meat, fruit, veg, fruit and drinking dairy), deep down I knew I had to make some dramatic changes and I started with what I put in my body and fuelled me everyday, my food. I was up for trying anything to look and feel better, so back in 2003, I went on a search for better health and wellness and along the way discovered a whole new way of living that not only transformed my health but allowed me embody my deep love and compassion for animals.
I spent all my spare time reading up on plant-based food, learning about ingredients, and experimenting with delicious recipes. Then, 5 years later, in 2008 I established The Botanical Chef. Initially I began producing vegan food for my market stall to fill a gap in the market for people who desired plant-based food on the go. Time went on and my business evolved. I stepped away from the market stall and began doing live cookery demonstrations along side well known UK TV chefs such as James Martin, Aldo Zilli, Jon Torrode and Anthony Worrell-Thompson and the baker Paul Hollywood and every spare minute I had I learned more and more about the links between food and health which was ultimately the direction in which the business has gone.
There is also a very happy ending to my own life changing story. My change in diet and lifestyle was gradual but it led me to beautifully clear skin, amazing energy, clarity of mind, my weight naturally balanced, a feeling of being at peace with myself knowing that I was living fully and vibrantly. I also totally cleared my endometriosis and PCOS and no longer worry about obesity, heart or liver problems and naturally concieved and give birth to our son, Atticus in 2012.
SARAH'S LIFE ON A PLATE
• I'm a mum to one son, Atticus, our miracle baby who was born in 2012
• I married my school boyfriend, Andrew, in 2003
• I'm a big animal lover and have two 4-legged friends at home
• I lived in Edinburgh for 4 years and have a BSc. (Hons) Neuroscience from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. It feels like my second home.
• You'll never be hungry at my house. I'm a professionally trained plant-based chef, a big food lover and can lose myself in a French food market for hours
• I escaped the London rat-race and now live in stunning English Lake District
• I love nature, fresh air & sunshine. You will often find me in the woods, by a lake or walking in the countryside, it's the way I like to meditate and chill-out
• I have a passion for hats and scarves
• On a cold wet day you can find me curled up by a log fire with either a 'wee dram' or a hot chocolate mole
• I'm just as comfortable in heels and a beautiful dress as I am in muddy boots and jeans
• I'm a big fan of fine art and love galleries. I have a particular passion for French and American Impressionism
• Lilies are my favourite flowers and I love my fresh herb garden
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