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Pandora Rooted London

How I achieve my balance - Pandora Symes

Pandora Symes Founder of Rooted London shares her insight on finding food for the soul...

Pandora Symes Founder of Rooted London talks to us about balancing a busy business, the importance of natural food and listening to your gut...

1. Tell us about a typical workday for you?

My days vary but a typical day with ROOTED starts bright and early at 6am to either teach a private yoga class or to deliver food to clients throughout London. I usually munch on whatever we have on the ROOTED menu for the week or try out a new recipe for future menus. I love a good breakfast smoothie with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein to keep me full of energy until lunch time. My carrot cake smoothie is the absolute dream and quite often pops up on the ROOTED breakfast menu. After deliveries I like to dedicate a good hour of my morning to my yoga practice. This helps me stay grounded and gives me time to think about the tasks for the day. After yoga, I tend to cycle around doing errands, visiting clients and meeting potential new business partners for catering or brands to work with. In the afternoons I like to dedicate my time to the kitchen, either prepping for the next days deliveries or creating a menu for a event. I’ll use recent café trips and Instagram for foodie inspiration to develop new menus and try out new flavour combinations. I’ll always manage some time for some admin and once all the excitement of the day is over, if I’m not teaching yoga again, you’ll find me relaxing with friends, cooking, or reading a good book.

2. The Rooted mantra is ‘Listen to your body, feed your soul’ do you think food can have an impact on our mood?

Totally! I believe that food is there to be enjoyed! There is no need for restriction, as this will only deflate your mood and make you control your eating habits – this is not good for the soul. If you start to eliminate pre-packaged foods, high in salt and additives, and replace them with nourishing whole foods, you’ll naturally experience a boost in energy, concentration and in turn, a happier you. Food shouldn't be confusing, it should be eaten in its purest form and enjoyed!

3. What are your go-to ingredients when you want an instant boost?

Fresh turmeric and ginger are some of my favorite instant pick me ups. I love blending them into soups, juices and nut milks for a burst of energy. Cacao is also a great ingredient to add to sweet treats for that afternoon slump. It’s also an awesome anti-oxidant so doubles up as an immune boosting alternative to sugar.

4. Why do we crave food that isn’t particularly good for our wellbeing and is there a way to balance this without feeling deprived of treats?

As a teen I went through a lot of yo-yo diets, a constant cycle of restriction and indulgence, so it’s easy for me to see why so many people crave foods that aren’t particularly good for our wellbeing, and why we often rely on these sugar laden treats for emotional support. Freeing yourself from deprivation is all about finding that perfect sense of balance. I enjoy a naturally sweetened treat every now and then and love good glass of red wine at the end of a stressful week. It’s so important to cut yourself some slack. Don’t be hard on yourself, treat yourself with compassion always and if you need a chocolate, have a chocolate!  One of my favourite sayings is “would you rather eat mung beans on your own or pizza with friends?” It’s true – enjoy food – just work to find a loving balance with your body.

5. In Rooted Reset you offer a personal one-to-one coaching service, why is it important we get advice specially catered to us?

Everybody is different and things that work for you may not necessarily work for others. I offer one-to-one coaching to work specifically around the busy lives of lots of different people. It’s a huge part of the holistic approach I like to take, as ROOTED is about far more than just healthy food. It’s about you being you in your purest form and listening to your body and what it needs.

6. There are a lot of health fads and healthy food trends; will Rooted Reset give us some honest insight on eating well?

The philosophy behind ROOTED seeks to eliminate all the fads and bring healthy eating back to its simplest form. I honestly believe that health can be achieved by this and that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In my view, all foods are superfoods that do wonders for your body, mind and soul and they shouldn’t be there to daunt or intimidate you. All you really have to do to embrace the ROOTED lifestyle is make balance your priority and try and eat as many different fruits and vegetables as you can each day. Reset works to reset your opinion on health and embrace moderation, daily movement and healthy ingredients.

7. Breakfast, lunch, dinner –if you had to choose to eat the same meal each day, what would your menu be?

My go to breakfast will always be my carrot cake smoothie, it’s an endless love affair. For lunch I’ve got to say I’m absolutely loving spring frittata combinations at the moment. It’s so fresh and simple, simply fill a pan with coconut oil, asparagus, and buckets of spinach, fresh peas and spring herbs. And it’s an excellent way to get into batch cooking, making healthy eating a breeze. You can cook up a wicked frittata and have it for lunch, then save the other servings for breakfast the next day. Dinner is all about sushi at the moment. Japanese food is some of the freshest out there and who in their right mind doesn’t fall head over heels for a seaweed salad?!

8. When you’re cooking for a catering event how do you decide on a menu?

One of the first things I look at when catering for an event is the seasonal produce of the month. For me it’s so important to eat the freshest food available and looking for ways to incorporate seasonal fruit and vegetables into my recipes helps me achieve this. For example, during summer months I love creating simple salads with courgetti spaghetti, fresh mint and basil, and garden peas. I also tend to make most of my dishes heavily plant based to open people’s eyes to the awesome flavor combinations you can create from plant power!

9. One ingredient you just can’t live without?

It’s got to be Tahini. It’s full of good fats and protein, and works incredibly with both sweet and savory dishes. It’s my saving grace when I need to boost a simple dinner.

10. When you’re feeling out of sorts, how do you bring your life back into balance?

Yoga every damn day is what helps keep me sane, along with my morning meditation. If I’m feeling out of balance or overwhelmed I like to create a list of all my tasks and methodically work through them. I’ve recently also been learning to reach out and accept help from people. Particularly with starting a new business, reaching out to old friends has given rise to so many awesome opportunities and I am so grateful to the people who have helped me along the way. It’s all about karma. One night a week I also love to turn off my wifi, hide all my technology and read a great book by candle light. If it’s still proving too hard to unwind in busy London I take a trip to York Hall Spa to relax; it’s where I get some of my best creative ideas.

Discover more about Rooted London and the Rooted Reset here.

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