Harvest + Gather with Sarah Bell
Date Posted:12 April 2018
She's a qualified nutritionist, mother of three and the first contributor to our Harvest + Gather series, creating the most delicious Autumn salad - trust us, we made one and loved it!
Talking all things wholefoods and food styling, Sarah has inspired us to step up our food and photography game with her stunning photos. You can find her on Instagram here or check out her website for some more delicious recipes.
Keep scrolling for the recipe to her delicious salad.
What inspired your decision to study nutrition and follow a whole foods lifestyle?
From a young age, I was passionate about being active, eating healthy foods and cooking. My mum and nan were both big inspirations for me when it came to cooking, always getting us involved in baking. Because of this my sister and I were making pancakes all by ourselves when I was about six years old.
I floundered for a little while after finishing school, not really knowing what to do but then I saw an ad for Endeavour College in the newspaper and it just clicked. Studying nutrition was a natural next step for me. In my early twenties, I suffered from disordered eating, was obsessed with counting calories (and burning every single one I consumed off at the gym). It was a perilous roundabout and when I started learning about whole foods at uni, I started to realise that when you eat healthy, whole foods there is no need for dieting. Because I was getting all the nutrients I needed from my foods, I stopped craving sugar and found it easier to have self-control around not-so-healthy foods. I felt amazing and knew that there was no turning back. I would never diet, or calorie count again.
With three beautiful children, how do you ensure they get all of the nutrients they need?
I have three children, Dylan is seven, Evie is three and Frankie is nearly one. I decided from early on that I would never cook separate meals for the kids (mostly because I just didn't know where I would find the time). Because of this, they have always had a varied diet and I'm lucky in that they are open(ish) to trying new foods.
Sure, they all still have their picky phases but they soon realise that if they don't eat what we offer, then they don't eat. It sounds harsh but we have followed this principle from the start and my eldest, Dylan will literally eat anything that we give him. Still, given their healthy diets, it can be really hard to make sure they get all of the nutrients they need and so occasionally we will give zinc, magnesium and fish oil supplements. They also get probiotics (my kids refer to them as bugs) regularly to help with their gut health and immunity.
We love the photos you share, do you have any tips for aspiring food photographers and food stylists?
Oh gosh, don't get me started on food styling and photography - I could go on all day! There are a few really important things to factor in when photographing and styling food.
Firstly, you need to have good, natural lighting. I shoot next to a window and pull a sheer white curtain across if the light is too harsh. When I first started out I was taking photos at night time under the kitchen lights (gasp). It does not do any favours for the food, trust me!
Secondly, you need a great backdrop. You can buy vinyl ones but I prefer to make my own with paint and ply. Thirdly, use beautiful linens and muslins for creating movement and texture in the shot.
Lastly, make sure the food is pretty! You can have all of the backdrops and beautiful props in the world but if your food isn't drool-worthy then it won't make for a good picture.
She's a qualified nutritionist, mother of three and the first contributor to our Dine with Linen series, creating the most delicious Autumn salad - trust us, we made one and loved it!