Meet Sara, an exceptionally inspiring (new) Instagram food blogger who already has a huge following behind her beautifully presented family meals. I mean, have you seen the marble effects on her breakfasts and the way she carves an avocado?? Sara is a gluten and dairy free vegetarian, Cael (her son) is a dairy and egg free carnivore. Most people would struggle at the thought of the same meal for the two of them, but not Sara.
1. What inspired you to start A Table for Two?
My life completely changed in direction as I entered motherhood. The father of my child walked so I had to relocate from Dubai to London at 7 months pregnant leaving my entire career behind. It was an emotionally challenging time and that had a major impact on many areas on my life, including my diet. I decided to track my food and that's how the Instagram started. It was purely a blog to provide accountability to myself. I had no idea people would enjoy it as much as they do! It fills me with joy that I am able to help others make better choices whilst on the journey myself!
2. How did you come up with the name?
I was looking around at some of the food blogs on Instagram and noticed the kids meals were almost always pictured alone. That wouldn't have worked for us as my son and I have eaten together since day one. I saw a space for us within the Instagram community with the #onefamilyonemeal theme in mind and I wanted the Instagram name to reflect that!
3. Which meal do you enjoy cooking most? Breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Breakfast for sure! I wake up excited to make it as it's the meal I can be really creative with when making smoothie and oatmeal bowls!
4. Does Cael ever cook with you?
He loves to help out, especially with baking! I give him the easy stuff to do like mixing and throwing things into the blender. I keep him away from the oven and the hob – The less he knows about that the better!!
5. What are the 5 staple items you purchase in your weekly shop?
Almond milk, eggs, avocado, bananas, vegan/gluten free bread. A few others too but those are the items that are used almost daily. I buy most of my vegetables frozen as it's more economical and it lasts longer so my weekly shop is generally quite small. I buy nut butters and superfoods whenever I see them on sale to save money too.
6. How do you plan your meals for the week?
The nutritional breakdown is the first thing I think about when meal planning. That each meal is balanced with the right ratio of protein, carbs and fibre. Breakfast is easy as it's always oatmeal or smoothie bowls. Lunches are quite simple because of the little time between nursery pick up and nap time. We tend to have sandwiches and salad. Dinners need the most planning but I rotate the foods so that we get a wide variety of nutrients every night.
7. What advice do you give those who have unhealthy cravings? Such as sugar / lots of carbs etc?
Start exercising! Working out in the morning tends to set you up right for the rest of the day and you're more likely to make better food choices! Don't keep any junk food in the house and drink water! Plenty of it!
8. What are your favourite kid-friendly healthy restaurants to eat in London?
Leon! Without a doubt! It's cheap, cheerful and delicious! So many vegan and gluten free options too! We are big fans of Leon here!
9. Are you vegetarian by choice?
Yes! I've been a vegetarian since I was 10 but I've chosen not to impose my own beliefs onto Cael. I want him to make his own decision when he's old enough to understand. It was a bit of a challenge for me initially. Firstly because of the animal issue and secondly because I had no idea how or where to even start with cooking any meats or fish! But I've learnt the basics now and I often batch cook to make things easier. Tomato based sauces are perfect for this! I make huge pots of beef bolognese and veggie quorn bolognese in the slow cooker and freeze them in individual portions. Take one of each out the night before, boil some pasta and there's a homemade meal from scratch in 10minutes!
10. What advice would you give to parents who are wanting to introduce a healthy eating lifestyle at home?
Always make sure your meals are balanced to the right ratio of carbs, protein and fibre. Focus on savoury instead of sweet (that includes fruit) and stay away from processed foods. Always read the labels and learn to make better choices by doing so.
11. What are your fave superfoods?
Chia seeds! They are SO versatile and so good for you! It takes no time or effort to incorporate it into your diet – simply mix into your oats, into your smoothies. Or make chia pudding in 5 minutes! (see recipe)
Also Baobab super fruit powder from Aduna. It's rich in vitamin C which makes it the perfect immunity boost for the entire family! I fully support the ethics behind the Aduna Brand. They have campaigned to make Baobab famous as a global trade could create income for 10 million families – most of whom are struggling to survive on less than $1 a day.
Lastly, please can you share your favourite recipe:
Ahh It has to be Chia Pudding! The most versatile superfood of all time! Packed with health – an excellent source of fibre, protein and omega-3 fatty acids and it takes only 5 mins to whip up!
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup milk of choice
1. Add chia seeds and milk of choice to a bowl and whisk together. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then whisk again to avoid clumping. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight.
2. Once it's set, pour chia pudding into serving glasses/mason jars/small bowls.
3. Top with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or even a thick smoothie! Be as creative as you like!
To follow Sara's journey and see more of her wonderful recipes, click here.