Sarah Danna, the creator of Sarah & Spices is a healthy vegan food creator on a mission – she wants to show you that eating well and filling up on veggies is super simple and incredibly affordable. Did I mention that she’s only 16 years old? How freaking impressive is that?!
Sarah’s passion and enthusiasm shows us that healthy eating is truly enjoyable and achievable for people of all ages. Her passion for cooking is truly contagious. And I know you’re going to adore her creativity (the recipe she’s sharing with us here is pretty bonkers amazing).
So without further ado, I’d love to introduce you to Sarah:
Meet Sarah – Vegan Food Creator and the mastermind behind Sarah & Spices:
Tell us about your health philosophy.
I believe that eating plant based is the healthiest way to live. Not only are plant foods richer in fiber and nutrients, they are proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, and certain cancers. I’m passionate about sharing how easy and delicious the vegan lifestyle can be.
What’s your favourite part of your health-esteem journey so far?
My favorite part is finding a delicious, healthy way to live. I love that vegan food leaves you feeling satisfied, while providing the nutrients you need.
Why do you think self-love is an important aspect of someone’s health?
You need to be able to love yourself to fully love others. Believing that you are deserving of love is part of a holistic philosophy of being physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced. It’s so important!
What changes were necessary in order to achieve your state of self-love?
I had to notice that it doesn’t matter what others think about you, as long as you are happy.
What inspired you to become the Healthy Foodie you are today?
I can’t really recall a specific time when I decided to become a healthy foodie. I started to become interested in food and cooking when I was about nine and my food allergies inspired me to be creative and discover new foods and recipes.
Why did you choose to switch to a plant based diet?
At the end of April, my sister came home from college and told me she was transitioning into veganism. I was totally against it! I tried to come up with a million reasons why she shouldn’t. “It’s not healthy.” “It’s expensive.” “vegan food tastes horrible.” Yes, I was one of the “vegan haters”😂
She begged and begged me to watch a vegan documentary and I finally agreed to watch Cowspiracy. It was 1 in the morning when I knew I wanted to go vegan. I had only watched 45min of the documentary, but my mind was set. It was shocking to learn the truth of the meat industry. I had this fantasy idea of animals living happy lives on farms. And I assumed that when they died we ate them; no harm done. My little sweet dream world came to an end that night and I never ate meat, milk, eggs, or honey again.
Any tips for those wishing to add more plants to their plates?
Spice is life! I know that’s a little cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason – it’s the truth. Add spices and herbs to your veggies, create dips and learn to make things more flavorful. It makes all the difference!
Describe a typical day on your foodie plate.
Pre-breakfast: I will normally have a piece of fruit before the gym.
Breakfast: In the winter I love oatmeal or baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon and berries. In the summer I’m more into fruit or smoothies.
Lunch: I normally bring a salad or quinoa bowl to school, but if I’m home I may have something different depending on what I’m craving.
Dinner: Everyday is different. Could be pasta, rice bowl, salad, baked potato wedges, sushi, curry, etc. I love to experiment!
What is a daily health ritual must?
Drinking a tall glass of water with lemon when I first wake up. Also, having at least a few handfuls of greens with lunch and dinner.
What advice would you give for someone wishing to make some health invoking changes?
Find your motivation. For example, if you’re thinking of switching to a vegan diet or adding more vegan food to your plate (we can all benefit from eating more plants) it may be for health reasons or for the animals or even the environment. Whatever you decide, find what reason speaks to you and keep it in your mind as you change your lifestyle. Change and detox take time, so try to stick it out for the first three weeks and then it should become easier.
What’s your biggest health misconception pet peeve?
That one needs animal products for protein. You can get enough protein and complete protein from plants.
What is your favourite health food staple?
Market plates are such an easy and affordable lunch or dinner option. Pick a base of grains or greens. Top with different veggies and starches. Add plant protein, like beans or tofu. Top with nuts or seeds for crunch and a creamy sauce or dressing. Yum!
What’s your go to healthy snack?
My go to snack is fruit. It’s super easy to prepare, but perfectly satisfying. If I’m feeling like I need more than just fruit, I’ll make apple nachos. You can treat yourself to the recipe right here.
What does Health-Esteem mean to you?
Health-Esteem is realizing that you are worthy of being healthy. Your body is a temple that you will live in for the rest of your life, so treat it well. Change takes time, so it’s important to still feel comfortable in your body as you make healthier choices.
Please share a favourite healthy recipe
Chickpea Flour Tofu
Lemon Herb Chickpea Flour Tofu
This amazing take on tofu is 100% soy free and simple to make. Enjoy it as a side dish, appetizer or in stir fries and salad bowls.
Chickpea Flour Tofu
- 1 Cup Chickpea Flour
- 3 Cups Water
Lemon Herb Seasoning
- 1 Lemon Juiced
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (Or a mix of soy sauce and maple syrup)
- 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
- 1.5 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Basil
- 2 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tsp Rosemary
- 1 Tsp Cracked Pepper
Chickpea Flour Tofu
Bring 1.5c of water to a boil.
Mix together 1c chickpea flour and 1.5c water until there are no lumps.
Add the chickpea flour mixture to the boiled water. Continue to mix the mixture for 8-10 minutes, or until you have a thick consistency.
Pour mixture into a glass dish and clill for 1hr.
Lemon Herb Seasoning
Slice the chickpea tofu.
Squeeze lemon and drizzle coconut aminos over the chickpea tofu.
Sprinkle the spices and herbs over the tofu.
Grill the tofu for 2-3 min aside (you can also bake or sautéed the tofu).
Awesome post! I think there is a misconception that vegan food tastes bad and is boring. I am glad this interview touched on that. There are so many spices and herbs that can be added to any dishes to enhance the flavor. I always remind people that even when you ate meat you still added spices and herbs. It’s the same way with veggies, you just doing something good for your body by eliminating animal products. Thank you for sharing!
You’re absolutely right Dagmara! Such a great point! Seasoning adds life to any dish, no matter what’s in it. It’s even the same with grains – alone they’re so plain but with a little dash of the right spices you can really create something special. I’m so happy you liked the interview! <3 I'm so inspired by her drive! :)
Great post! I plan to share it with my 9 year old food allergy daughter when she gets home from school, I hope it inspires her to take a more active/healthy role in the kitchen. Thank you!
Oh I’m so happy to hear that Nicole! I hope that Sarah’s story motivates her to get involved. Cooking is an art – it’s so fun to get creative and so satisfying when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. And the wonderful things that good food can do for our health is just incredible. The best news is that there are so many different options available today that it’s usually possible to find allergen free options of old favourites. Wishing you a wonderful time in the kitchen! <3
Thanks for posting this! People have no idea that being healthy is your best asset as your whole well-being is elevated. Not only you could accomplish more in life, but also everyone else would be influenced by you. Keep up the good work.
I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Your health truly is your most important asset. It’s so important to invest in it. Honestly, without our well-being, nothing else matters. I’m really glad that you’re sharing the same message (and adored your happiness tips <3). Here's to being happy and healthy :).
Of course! Studies have done for older people who exercise 5 days week for 30 minutes each day would eliminate their medical bills by $2500 per year for heart related problems alone. I am sure a lot of people who have kids want to see their kids grow up and influence their kids to become better peoples.
Great post! Can’t wait to try the recipe. Truth is that being vegan is medically associated with better health and it helps the environment by cutting down on cattle farming (which produces greenhouse gases). I’m not saying to cut meat out entirely, but it is really best to use it sparingly.
I’m so glad you’re excited to try the recipe Michelle! Me too! I saw soy free tofu and I was bonkers excited. What a creative and unique idea. Sarah truly is a magnificent recipe creator and I’m so inspired by her drive.
And you make such great points about cutting meat out or reducing your intake. I absolutely agree with you. Not everyone can or will go vegan and that’s absolutely ok. I think the most important thing is that people try to be more mindful of where their food comes from and support ethical farming practices (even if they choose to eat meat). And, of course, that plants be the main basis of our diet, since that’s truly where we’re going to get the most nutritional goodness :). I hope a yummy plate of healthy goodness finds it’s way to you soon! Wishing you a wonderful day <3.
I’m so incredibly impressed by this girl!! I’m a wellness coach and spout nonstop about the sh*t food my step-daughter eats and she couldn’t care less. She’s walking around with extra weight, terrible skin, and is sick ALL the time. I am so proud when kids and teens take the initiative to actually learn things like this and take care of themselves, because it’s so much harder to relearn habits like self-care and eating right when you’re older. I especially like this recipe, too–I’m not an advocate for soy, so I really like the chickpea substitute–I can’t wait to try it!!
It’s amazing how much our food affects our health and how little we’re taught about it growing up. Nutrition, in my opinion, should be a mandatory subject. What we eat affects us daily and can have a life long impact and you are so right – so many young (and older) people don’t think twice. I hope that she learns to appreciate your help in that department <3. It's definitely true that it's much easier to create lasting habits when you're young. And you truly don't want to wait until you NEED to make those healthy changes because of an illness.
I'm so excited about that tofu too! I avoid soy as much as possible because I have Graves Disease… so I miss out on tons of awesome recipes that have tofu. Really excited to explore new possibilities with this alternative! I hope you get the chance to treat yourself to some too. I'd love to hear your thoughts Stella! Wishing you a wonderful day!
Wow 16 and so inspiring to others!
Absolutely! I think it’s awesome 😊. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the interview Makell! Have a gorgeous day.
That chickpea tofu looks oh so Yum. And it’s super cool that she’s young and on the Health train. 🙌 So inspiring!
Absolutely! It’s wonderful! I was busy living off of junk food and thinking nothing of it at 16 😅. I am so inspired and happy to see her drive to share the goodness at healthy eating. It really goes to show that a healthy diet is fun and achievable for people of all ages 😊. So happy you enjoyed it Deirdre!
So incredible that she’s only 16!
Right?! I definitely didn’t have that much drive at her age. I am so inspired. 😊 She’s such an awesome lady ♡.
Nina | Lemons and Luggage
Interesting post! Such a young girl and already quite wise!
It’s truly inspiring! I’m so happy you enjoyed the interview Nina! 🙂
Dr. Elise Ho
This young lady sure sounds as if she has a strong head on her shoulders. It is great to find your passion at a young age.
It truly is Dr. Elise! And not something we all achieve at that age. I’m very impressed with her drive and passion. I’m so happy you enjoyed the interview too! Wishing you a fantastic day <3
Such an inspirational post.. I especially like the tip about making sure to start the day with water and lemon, I too often reach for coffee first thing but water always helps me to feel hydrated and more motivated to start the day. Sounds like Sarah is very mindful of her eating habits – and at such a young age. Fantastic!
Right Heather?! I am so incredibly impressed with her. Honestly, to be so motivated and passionate about healthy eating at 16 is just wonderful.
You are so right about water! That’s the first thing I do upon waking, and it always helps me to start the day on the right foot.
Wishing you a marvelous day gorgeous! <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview.