A Foodies Guide to Marrakech

Hi guys! It has been a while since I posted a blog as I have been trying to make my instagram posts more detailed for you but after all the amazing food we ate in Marrakech I thought I would share some of the places we visited!

You do not have to walk far in Marrakech to find tagine and amazing mint tea but there are so many places to eat it is hard to know where to choose. With tripadvisor, instagram and our riad owner giving us recommendations we did really well at finding some really good spots.


Nomad is a well established restaurant in the Medina, in the heart of the soukes. We went for courgette and feta fritters to start and then for main I went for a vegan option of roasted cauliflower and Ryan had a lamb tagine, both were incredible.


Set down a quiet street, away from the chaos this beautiful restaurant is a little oasis. The staff and setting were spectacular and the food was really good. It was a fusion restaurant of Morrocan and Italian, with two seperate menus, however, we stuck with Morrocan food, a lamb sharing tagine and really enjoyed it (however, there was a lot of meat maybe too much so be prepared if you have this option!)


This was by far our favourite place, having only been opened two weeks it was recommended by our Riad owner and it was amazing. With a fusion menu and a beautiful roof top, the staff were great and we ended up spending about 3 hours in there relaxing, having non alcoholic drinks (not many places are licensed in the Medina) and then ordering bits of food. I would go back in a heart beat!

I had a chicken tagine and Ryan had a burger but we also had a few of their juices and cauliflower hummus, which I need to recreate!

Comptoir Darna

On our last night we got a taxi to Hivernage to eat at Comptoir Darna as they had entertainment each night which was a live band and belly dancers! This was the first time we had seen so many English people on our trip, the tables were very close and the menu was pretty expensive compared to our other meals.

It was a nice experience and the food was lovely but being a huge foodie, I thought it was a little over priced for what you got and it was really the beautiful restaurant and entertainment you were paying for… nevertheless we had a great night and if you want to get dressed up and have some lovely cocktails this place is for you!

Some of the other places we visited for drinks:

  • Max & Jan
  • La Mamouria Hotel
  • Le Salama

We stayed in the most beautiful Riad which I would 100% recommend – Riad Up

The Omega 3/6 Ratio

Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential to health and it is important that they are consumed in our diets. This blog will explain what the difference between Omega 3 and Omega 6 is and explore different food sources to consider including in your diet. It is quite common to believe that Omega 3 is only available in oily fish however, there are ways for vegetarian and vegans to get these essential fatty acids into their diet.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fatty acids and must be obtained through food. The reason they are ‘essential’ is due to them being biologically active, unlike other fats that can be used for energy they are important for contributing to growth and development, brain function and inflammation. Inflammation is vital for us as it helps to fight against infection. However, it can also cause damage to the body but there will be more on this later.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 are very different and ideally should be consumed to a ratio where Omega 3 is dominant. Omega 3 is found in plant oils and oily fish.

Omega 6 is found in processed oils such as sunflower oil and due to the Western world increasingly using processed oil (whether that be in the food industry or in your kitchen) it is causing a large difference in the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio some believing it is currently a 16:1 ratio (Omega6:Omega3)

What is Omega 3?

Omega 3 comes in different forms; ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) , EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). ALA must be included in our diet as it has a range of important functions and it compulsory for making Omega 3 fats but unfortunately our bodies cannot make it on its own. You can find ALA in rapeseed oil, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Once we have ALA in our bodies it then starts to produce long-chain fats, EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are seen to have the most health benefits, however are only made in small amounts and it is not the fastest process from ALA. To ensure you are getting enough of these fats it is important to consume foods rich in them. Oily fish is a great source of EPA and DHA, white fish does contain them however at much lower levels. Government guidance is to aim to consume fish twice a week with one being oily fish (preferably MSC certified products) it is important to note that when consuming a lot of different fish to be aware of pollutants such as mercury levels. The health benefits of oily fish do outweigh the risks from the pollutants and consuming two to four portions of oily fish a week is usually safe. However, for women who are pregnant and children under 16 it is important to seek advice on fish to avoid or limit the consumption of.

Omega 3 for Vegetarians and Vegans

The BDA (British Dietetic Association) advise those who cannot get their Omega 3 EPA and DHA from fish sources to maximise conversion by avoiding high in saturated fat foods, focusing on plant foods that contains ALA (as mentioned above, we can convert ALA into EPA and DHA but this is not very efficient) and consider a supplement from algae derived DHA as well as including sea vegetables into your diet. However, it is important to speak to a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian before adding supplements into your diet.

Other vegetarian sources of Omega 3 are flaxseeds, walnuts, soy and green leafy vegetables. There are now Omega 3 enriched foods such as milks, yogurts and breads this may contribute to your Omega 3 intake but it is important to note that this is usually just small amounts.

How is Omega 6 different to Omega 3?

Omega 6 is largely found in processed foods within the Western world and although it has its benefits in small amounts when coming from plant foods such as soya, if we consume too much from vegetables oils such as sunflower and corn oils it can contribute to health risks. It is thought today that our Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio has considerable increased over the past few decades and diets are now too high in Omega 6. Diets that are high in Omega 6 compared to Omega 3 are more likely to produce inflammation which can contribute to heart disease and obesity. Therefore, it is important to bring the Essential Fatty Acids into a better proportion to help reduce the risk of health problems.

Top Tips for balancing Omega 3 and Omega 6:

  • Increase Omega 3 intake by consuming foods such as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, flaxseeds, soya, green leafy vegetables
  • Reduce Omega 6 consumption. This can be through opting for extra virgin olive oil instead of sunflower oil and reducing the amount of fast food consumed.



Food Prep – One Pot Chicken Quinoa

Hi Nutribloomers!

It has been a while since I have uploaded a recipe and this I must admit is not fully mine, it is one my boyfriend has been using and tweaking from a couple of websites and then I have ‘made it my own’ as us Nutritionists do.

I often get asked for lunch ideas and I am planning a mini ‘food prep’ series soon but for now this is one of my favourites, so grab a baking dish and get started. (I have even included the nutrition information too!)



Ingredients (4 servings):

150g Quinoa

450g free range chicken breasts (for veggies halloumi or tofu)

1 red or yellow pepper

1 red onion

2cm ginger

1/2 red chilli

1 tbsp light soya sauce

50g hoisin or oyster sauce

80g cashew nuts

200 ml chicken or vegetable stock



  1. Preheat oven to 180° (fan oven)
  2. Even lay the quinoa out in a lightly greased baking dish
  3. Top with uncooked peppers, onions and raw chicken
  4. Mix sauce of choice with light soya sauce, minced ginger, chilli and stock, then evenly pour over the ingredients in baking dish
  5. Bake for around 45 minutes (check half way through and stir)
  6. Add cashews 5 minutes before the end or toast them in pan and add later
  7. Serve with green veggies – my favourites are brocolli or avoacado and then drizzle some chilli oil on top




Approx Nutrition (per serving):

Energy Kcal Fat Saturated Fat Carbohydrate Sugars Protein Salt
548 15 3 48 23 49 1.2


Let me know how you get on and tag me in any photos you may have x


A Nutritionist’s Guide to Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is a favourite amongst many yogis (especially me!), not only does it have all the benefits of ‘traditional’ yoga, but it also heats you from the inside out, with some people believing the idea of hot yoga was to replicate the heat and humidity of India.

Hot yoga is great for many reasons, but it results in the body getting very warm which can result in a lot of sweat. Most articles promise that hot yoga will ‘sweat out toxins’ but from previous blogs, we know that our body is a complex, intelligent system with our organs such as liver and kidneys getting rid of toxins for us. So, although there are many benefits to hot yoga such as muscle flexibility being improved, increased blood flow to arms and legs due to the physical exercise aspect and it goes without saying – a stress reliever, making us feel calmer and in some cases ‘brand new’ after an amazing class, the hot aspect cannot work miracles (sorry!)

In most cases people perceive hot yoga as more demanding on the body and rightly so, you are in a 40 degree room after all! However, it can be a little intimidating to beginners or those that are not sure if they will stand the heat. Every yoga class should be taken at your own pace but this blog is here to give you a couple of top tips on how to prepare the body for your sweaty, energising hot yoga classes.


Hydration is key!

When you become dehydrated, water and electrolytes imbalances can occur which may lead to the exercise performance being affected. Therefore, hydration pre, during and post exercise is crucial whether it be ‘normal’ or hot yoga. There are variables between individuals when it comes to sweating rates and sweat electrolyte meaning customised fluid replacement programs can be recommended however, this blog will be general guidance.

The American College School of Medicine (ACSM) provide evidence-based position stands, providing guidance of the appropriate hydration for individuals performing physical activity. For example, pre-exercise the ACSM recommend consuming 5-10ml/kg body weight 2-4 hours prior to minimise dehydration during exercise.

Dehydration increases physiological strain and degrades aerobic exercise performance, which is accentuated in warm weather, baring in mind most hot yoga studios heat the room to over 40 degrees! Ensuring that you are hydrated pre-exercise and sip water throughout the class can help prevent severe dehydration and, in some cases, reduce fatigue. Don’t worry about sports drinks here, water is always the first fluid of choice.



Carbohydrates are an important fuel for the brain and central nervous system. Many studies have shown that consuming carbohydrates before exercising can increase carbohydrate burning in the muscles and can delay the feeling of fatigue with some studies even showing an increase in performance.

If you are a breakfast lover the NHS recommend starting your day with a wholesome breakfast, which is perfect if you have time to eat before your morning class. Oats are a great source of fibre and carbohydrates, they are so easy to throw in a smoothie or make porridge/overnight oats with teaming alongside foods such as honey, nuts or fruit (contributing to your 5 a day at the same time).

Replenishing your carbohydrate stores after class is vital, try and team with protein for a delicious post workout meal. For the evening yogis, meals such as lentil and chickpea curry or chicken and broccoli pasta are a great sources of carbohydrates and protein!



Protein pre and post exercise is important however, the strongest research is for post exercise. Protein does provide a little fuel source for exercising the muscles but its main job is to compensate for increased muscle breakdown post exercise to help repair and grow the muscle. For those who have done hot yoga before, it definitely works those muscles!

High quality proteins are recommended post exercise, ideally, ones that are absorbed fast such as whey protein. Many studies have found that consuming the protein with carbohydrates after exercise enhances recovery and promotes muscle building (also replenishing the carbohydrate stores you have just used in your yoga class!) The amount of protein required depends on the individual and their overall movement, the ACSM recommends 0.75g /kg body weight for a more sedentary person compared to an athlete recommended 1.2 – 2g/kg body weight. Great sources of protein are lean meat, fish, eggs, soya, beans and lentils. The classic beans on toast could be a great post yoga snack if you prefer food to protein supplements after a class.



A balanced diet will always be key here if you are a regular yogi, as always food should always be first! If you are unsure on anything from this blog please speak to a registered dietitian or nutritionist, especially when it comes to supplements. Hot yoga is a great form of exercise but if you already have a balanced diet, supplements should not be needed. Always stay hydrated and ensure the body is nourished before and after your class!


My favourite studio in Greater Manchester is HotYoganic, if you are in the area be sure to give them a try! There is a lovely variety of classes, including beginner classes!





Sports Nutrition Anita Bean, NHS, ASCM, Burke et al 2011.

6 steps to becoming a Registered Nutritionist

Hey guys,

It has been a while since I have wrote a lifestyle type blog, but I thought it was about time I did a part 2 to A day in the life of a nutritionist by adding some top tips to actually becoming a Registered Nutritionist.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as taking a weekend course in nutrition and then calling yourself an adviser. As you may have seen all over social media, in your office at work or even just people chatting in the yoga changing rooms – every one is an expert when it comes to food and nutrition… so we are led to believe.

However (!!) this is obviously not true and we tend to find these ‘experts’ are giving out anecdotal advice (what worked for them will work for you) – great news right? If it worked for someone else then it must be worth a try, whats the worst that can happen?


Lets take a step back – does the person giving you this advice have any idea on your medical background? Do they appreciate that nutrition is not black and white and there is no perfect diet? Are they aware of the impact this could have on your life? Could it affect anxiety levels, productivity at work or recovery from the gym? Have they looked to see if this can affect your micro nutrient intake?

These questions may seem simple but they are all questions that should be considered when you speak to a professional. So, mini rant over lets look at how you become a Registered Nutritionist.

Step One: Biology A-level

Most accredited universities will not take on students without a biology background, it may sound premature to be thinking about this but choosing a science A-level helps you meet the application criteria.

Step Two:  An accredited University course

There are many nutrition courses at University nowadays but I would recommend only applying for Association for Nutrition accredited degrees. These courses have to meet the AfNs code of conduct and are assessed to ensure the content is detailed enough to help you in your career post graduation. You can find a list of these courses here.

Step Three: Voluntary Work

You will struggle to find a nutritionist or dietitian that hasn’t had to complete hours of voluntary work or work placements throughout and beyond University. I truly believe this helped me develop my career and helped me get the great opportunities I got – it also is a great way to choose a career path, what you may think is your desired job may turn out to not be all it seems!

Step Four: Associate Registration

Post graduation apply to become an Associate Registered Nutritionist as soon as you can, this is essential for becoming a fully Registered Nutritionist. You are required to work for around 3 years as an associate, collecting evidence to support the AfN competencies. Once you have three years paid or unpaid evidence under your belt and a nice reflective portfolio to support this, you can then submit to become registered.

Step Five: Continuous Professional Development

CPD – this is so important in the world of nutrition as there are always new findings, updated guidelines and policies to keep up with. Attending accredited CPD events can help you build you associate portfolio but is also key when you are fully registered. You are required as a Registered Nutritionist to complete around 30 hours of accredited CPD each year. I keep a written reflection of each event in case the AfN call upon my CPD evidence and keep it with the event CPD certificate.

Step Six: Protect the public

Protect the public – we work hard to become Registered Nutritionists, around 3-4 years at university and then at least 3 years as an Associate. Use your knowledge and skill set to teach the public the truth about nutrition and health, be creative and don’t be disheartened by the world of marketing!


For my PT friends out there the AfN have a list of courses that meet their framework for the fitness industry, you can find this here if you are interested in nutrition. 


If you have any other questions please send me an email and I will be happy to help!

Good luck foodies!

Sarah x

How to get enough Iron in your diet

Many nutrient requirements change through the lifespan and iron is no exception, not only is there different requirements at different ages there are different requirements between genders. This article will explore different recommendations helping you reach your daily intake through highlighting foods rich in iron.

Iron is a mineral that has many different roles within the body. Iron is needed for cell growth and production of red blood cells in our blood, the haemoglobin in red blood cells binds oxygen and transports it around the body. The British Nutrition foundation state that iron is also an essential component in many enzyme reactions, having an important role in the immune system.

Recommended intake for different groups:

The British Dietetic Association provide the table below to help us recognise the different requirements;

Population Group Age (years) Iron mg per day
Infants 0-3 months

4-6 months





Children 1-3 years

4-6 years

7-10 years




Adolescents 11-18 years 14.8 (girls)

11.3 (boys)

Adults 19-50 years

50+ years

8.7 (males) 14.8 (females)




Iron deficiency:

Iron deficiencies occur when a lack of dietary iron results in a deplete in iron stores in the body. More than 2 billion people in the world suffer from anaemia making iron deficiency the most common nutrient deficiency. Mild anaemia symptoms are often feeling tired, lacking energy, shortness of breath and sometimes an increased risk of infection. More severe iron deficiency symptoms are heart palpitations, brittle nails, itchy skin and mouth ulcers developing.

Population groups that are more at risk of iron deficiency are woman of a child bearing age and teenage girls as you can see from the table above their requirements are higher than those of men the same age. The National diet and nutrition survey (NDNS) indicate that women are below the reference nutrient intake (RNI) and that younger woman are below the lower reference nutrient intake resulting in intakes being inadequate.

Although woman of a child bearing age require more iron, there is currently no need to increase intake during pregnancy. The BNF state that the extra demand can be supported by pre-existing stores and the lack of menstrual blood loss.


Dietary Iron:

There are two main sources of dietary iron; haem iron which is found in animal food and non-haem iron which is found in plant-based foods. Haem iron is the most bioavailable form of iron with sources being red meat; beef, lamb and pork particularly rich sources whereas poultry and fish aren’t as rich. However, even though haem iron is the most bioavailable, non-haem iron is the predominant source in our diets through foods such as cereals, pulses, beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables. It is important to understand that non-haem needs a little help with absorption, for meat eaters this isn’t so difficult as haem iron can increase the absorption so a balanced plate of red meat and green leafy vegetables can have a positive affect on iron absorption.


Optimal iron sources for plant-based diets:

Non-haem iron can be affected by different foods which can potential reduce the absorption. Phytate, fibre, tannins (in tea) and calcium can all bind to non-haem iron in the intestine (resulting in low absorption rates) however, eating foods rich in vitamin C such as fruit and vegetables can support the absorption when eaten at the same time. For example, teaming a small glass of orange juice and topping your porridge and fortified milk with seeds and berries may help aid absorption.


Foods rich in iron:

Animal products which are high in iron include;

Beef, pork, lamb, liver, sausages and eggs with some fish including mackerel, tinned tuna and prawns contain small amounts.

Plant-based sources of iron include;

Baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, tofu, figs, almonds, brazil nuts, peanut butter, sesames seeds, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.

Fruit and vegetables to team with the plant-based sources (high in vitamin C) include;

Kale, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, oranges, broccoli, mango, red peppers (some are a source of iron too!)


Top Tips:

  • A balanced, colourful plate full of a variety of vegetables
  • Try a small amount of dried fruit for dessert such as apricots/figs
  • Add beans with meat in stews, curries, pasta dishes
  • Sprinkle salads with seeds such as sesame or sunflower
  • Opt for fortified foods such as milks and cereals (check the label, is iron fortified?)
  • Seek help from a Registered professional if you think you maybe deficient in iron, the doctor can check with a blood test.



British Nutrition Foundation

British Dietetic Association

The importance of vitamins in a plant based diet

Plant based diets are a great way to protect the planet, get a variety of fruit, vegetables and grains into your diet and not to mention supporting the positive movement in animal welfare. However, when cutting food groups out of your diet, especially meat and dairy products, it is important to plan your diet carefully. Going plant based can be a healthy, balanced way of eating if you are eating a variety of different foods and opting for fortified products. Ensuring you are including certain micronutrients in your diet that can be lacking when you no longer eat meat or dairy products can be difficult and may require a certain amount of planning at the beginning.

There are many different essential vitamins our body needs to function but for the purpose of this article we will look at ones that may need to be supplemented when following a mainly plant based diet.


Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin and one that must be carefully considered when going vegan. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which plays an important role in cell metabolism, serving as a cofactor for enzymes involved in the normal function of the nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and the metabolism of folate. The British Nutrition Foundation state that B12 is involved in energy production and together with folate and Vitamin B6 is required for maintenance of normal blood homocysteine levels – if this rises too much it can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, anaemia, and potential nerve damage. The British Dietetic Association recommend eating two portions of fortified foods per day to help with your B12 intake. If this isn’t possible, consider taking a daily supplement with approximately 10mg of Vitamin B12.

Food sources of Vitamin B12 are almost all animal origin products such as meat, salmon, milk, cheese and eggs. However, there are a couple of plant-based sources; breakfasts cereals, unsweetened soya milks and yeast extract such as Marmite are fortified with vitamin B12.

The Vegan Society advise that if you are relying on fortified foods, check the labels carefully to ensure you are meeting your daily requirements using the example of “if a fortified plant milk contains 1 microgram of B12 per serving then consuming three servings a day will provide adequate vitamin B12. Others may find the use of B12 supplements more convenient.” B12 is best absorbed in small amounts so it is thought they less frequently you obtain B12 them more you may need to take.



Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. Iron is usually found in meat and eggs with absorption being helped through Vitamin C.  A vegan diet can be high in iron, although iron from plant-based food is absorbed by the body less well than iron from meat.

The recommended nutrient intake for iron is higher for women than men to cover menstrual losses. Woman between the age of 19-50 years are recommended 14.8mg/d where as men are just 8.7mg/d.

Food sources of plant-based iron are foods such as dried fruits, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, seeds and pulses. To help absorption consume with foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.



Dairy foods contribute around a third of calcium in the diets of UK adolescents and adults from foods such as cheese, yogurts and milk. Calcium is needed for helping support strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contraction including your heart and making sure the blood clots normally. Calcium is an important mineral throughout the lifespan as lack of calcium can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in later life.

The recommended daily requirement of calcium for an adult aged 19 to 64 is 700mg a day with adults requiring more than children due to their bone growth. If a woman is breastfeeding her requirement goes up 550mg/d more than a woman who is not breastfeeding, so it is essential to ensure you are meeting this requirement post pregnancy.

Food sources of plant-based calcium include bread with wheat flour (this is fortified with calcium by law) fortified breakfast cereals and dairy alternatives, calcium-set tofu, pulses, tahini and sesame seeds, dried fruits such as raisins and figs.


Most other nutrients can be met through a healthy, balanced diet and I have previously written blogs on other important nutrients for vegans such as omega 3 and vitamin D.

If you have any concerns about how to ensure you are getting enough of the above nutrients, please see your GP or a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for expert help.




NHS, British Nutrition Foundation, Vegan Society