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


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

What’s your 5 a day?

A great campaign has started this week ‘Veg Power’ an initiative to get children eating more vegetables, I am a huge supporter of this and really think more work needs to be done to make fruit and veg seem cool to kids! So in light of this I thought it would be a good time to go back to a basics and talk about why and how we can achieve 5 a day…

The 5-a-day message has been around for years, it sounds simple ‘eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day’. Evidence from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that there are significant health benefits to eating 400g (5 portions) of fruit and vegetables a day, yet only 8% of teenagers and around a third of adults are achieving this number. The WHO state that reaching 5-a-day can lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. So, why does the UK do so poorly on meeting this recommendation? We are here to help identify what counts towards your 5-a-day and give you some top tips on how to add them in to your daily diet.


Why 5-a-day?

Not only can fruit and vegetables help reduce your risk of diet related diseases but they help contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium and folate, and eating a variety of foods can help you meet your recommended daily intake. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of dietary fibre and can help maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestion problems. In the UK, the guidelines for fibre are set at 30g per day however, we are only hitting around 18g. A high fibre diet has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of bowel cancer, check out my blog post on fibre here.


What is a portion?

A recommended portion is approximately 80g. Here are some examples of one 80g portion from the British Dietetic Association:

  • One banana
  • Half an avocado
  • Two satsumas
  • Two handfuls of berries
  • One heaped tablespoon of dried fruit
  • Three heaped tablespoon of fruit salad
  • Three heaped tablespoons of vegetables (raw, cooked, frozen or tinned all count!)
  • Three heaped tablespoons of beans, peas, lentils however, these pulses only count as one portion even if you have more than 80g.


Fruits and vegetables do not have to be fresh or organic to count towards your 5-a-day. Canned, frozen, dried fruit and 100% fruit juice all count. It is important to note that if you have more than 150ml fruit juice a day it does not count to more than one portion. The UK government recommend the 150ml limit due to fibre being removed in the juicing process. Dentists also recommend having fruit juices with a meal, for example having a small glass of fresh orange juice with your breakfast. This is to prevent possible tooth decay due to the sugar released once fruit is juiced.


Achieving your 5-a-day

Five a day is a minimum target for fruit and vegetables. Adding fruit to your breakfast, extra vegetables to your meals and switching some salty snacks for carrots, peppers or cucumber with dips such as hummus can be easy ways to up your intake. Once you have comfortable reached 5-a-day see if you can sneak some more in, the more vegetables the better.


Top Tips

  1. As mentioned above, your fruit and vegetables don’t have to be fresh all the time. A top tip is to ensure that you have frozen and tinned options to hand for those last-minute meals and to also prevent food waste. Broccoli, onions, butternut squash and berries are easy, convenient foods to have in the freezer. Tomatoes, sweetcorn, peas, roasted peppers and mixed beans are great to have in your cupboards. Chickpea stews are a great ‘go to’ meal and which can be made with all cupboard/freezer ingredients.
  2. Switching meat for beans, lentils or pulses can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get closer towards your 5-a-day. Loading up stews, curries or chilli with beans and variety of vegetables can be a cheap, tasty and a nutritious way to cut down on meat (maybe even start halving the meat content if you do not want to cut meat out completely.)
  3. Seasonal fruit and vegetables can be easier and cheaper to get your hands on, so try to hunt down a great local farmer market (this can also reduce your plastic usage as they do not tend to come pre-packaged) to see what is in season, they may even taste better than those that have been brought over from Peru.
  4. Variety is key. Nutritionists always talk about a balanced diet but that is not another word for ‘healthy.’ The BDA recommend ‘eating the rainbow’ choosing each portion of fruit and vegetables from the following colours: red, green, yellow, white, purple and orange. The different coloured fruit and vegetables contain their own combination of vitamins, minerals and of course, fibre.


The key message is to make eating 5-a-day easier and more accessible. The NHS and Change 4 life have great resources when it comes to making swaps, and the internet has great recipe ideas. Adding one portion of fruit or vegetables to your day for a couple of weeks is a great start if the thought of 5 a day is too overwhelming. Think of it as adding nutrients to your existing diet, not restricting or cutting nutrients out.


Top Tips for Veganuary

Happy New Year!

Another year has gone in the blink of an eye as well as a lovely Christmas break full of extra yoga (utilising that time off work well!) or full of extra food and drink! January for many is a time where people look to make fresh starts and try new things – we have all seen the new years resolution posts haven’t we?!

One of the most popular ‘new things’ to try over the last couple of years has been Veganuary. Veganuary is a charity run campaign to encourage people to try a vegan diet for the month of January hence Vegan-uary. Last year saw an increased number of retailers and restaurants jumping on board the vegan hype, having dedicated menu sections and shopping aisles purely for vegan products.

Many people have opinions on this campaign both positive and negative, but there is no doubt veganism is rapidly growing as a lifestyle choice, with the Vegan society stating there were 542,000 vegans in the UK in 2016, a whopping 360% growth over the last ten years! So, whether you are new to the vegan scene or you just want some extra nutrition advice, here are some top tips to consider if you are opting for the plant baed diet this January.

How to get enough protein:

Protein plays several important roles in this functioning of our body such as growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. There are a variety of plant-based sources of protein on the market such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu and soya. In the UK it is advised to aim for approximately 70g of protein each day. When following a vegan diet variety is key as some sources of protein do not contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Foods such as soya, quinoa and hemp are thought to be the only ‘complete’ plant-based sources of protein that do not come in supplement form.

Vitamin Deficiencies:

People following a vegan diet can sometimes be more likely to be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins to try and include in your diet are listed below.

Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin to be aware of it you are eliminate all animal products from your diet. 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 such as breakfast cereals, yeast extract, soya yogurts and non-dairy milks. If this isn’t possible, consider taking a daily supplement with approximately 10mg of Vitamin B12. (If you have any concerns about this please see your GP or a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist)

Iron is usually found in meat and eggs with absorption being helped through Vitamin C. Plant based sources of iron are not as easily absorbed however, you can find iron in 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 for example; porridge with seeds and raisins serve with a 150ml glass of fresh orange juice.

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which means the body cannot make it itself therefore we must obtain this from food. Omegas are important for contributing to growth and development, brain function and inflammation. Omega 3 is commonly found in oily fish, so this can be hard to get from a vegan diet. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) advise those who cannot get their Omega 3 from fish sources to maximise conversion by avoiding high in saturated fat foods and to focus on adding plant foods that contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) as well as considering a supplement from algae derived DHA. Good sources of Omega 3 in plant-based foods include walnuts, flaxseeds, soya beans and chia seeds.

Calcium is mainly found in dairy products so when following a vegan diet then you are best to try and include foods such as; green leafy vegetables, dried figs, nuts, kidney beans and tofu to help towards your recommended intake of 700mg per day – the Vegan Society state that 100g of calcium-set tofu can provide a half of an adult’s recommended intake. Calcium is important for the maintenance of bone health.

Selenium content in plant-based foods can vary depending on the selenium content of the soil the plant is grown in. This is sometimes hard for those following a vegan diet to ensure they are getting enough however, the BDA say that by consuming just two brazil nuts a day can help you reach your recommended intake of 60mcg for females and 75mcg for males.


If you are taking part in Veganuary this year, enjoy it, get creative with new foods, exotic recipes, and embrace those indulgent vegan dishes in restaurants, just try not to deprive yourself of any foods your body may need. Do not feel the pressure to eliminate animal products from your diet if you don’t want to, this should not be a new year’s diet. Maybe having one day each week being vegan is enough for you… don’t feel pressured into changing your eating habits if it doesn’t suit you.

If you are unsure on anything then always speak to a medical/nutrition professional. Your body unique, nourish it well.