Pandora Symes Rooted London 2

I’ve known Pandora for years as a Beauty, fashion and wellbeing PR. She know has taken her passion for health and wellness to study naturopathic nutrition and become a yoga teacher as well as creating She believes in listening to your body and feeding your soul. 

Why did you start Rooted London?

I’ve always been a big foodie and really into health and nutrition. As I approached 27, my life focus changed and I decided to start a nutrition course and start tailoring my personal time into something wellness focused that I could turn into a business.   I wasn’t 100% sure what this would be, but I knew I wanted to educate people on wellbeing and make people happy. ROOTED was initially planned to be  a platform for food workshops and a monthly supper club. I felt that many of the ‘health’ focused supper clubs and workshops in the arena were not balanced enough and unattainable for many of my friends who yes, wanted healthy food but yes, wanted to a delicious glass of red wine! Aside from food, my next love is yoga and it was only when speaking to the owners of Stretch in London Fields where I practise, that the plan for ROOTED steered towards food. They were looking for a brand to serve healthy food from their studio so it made perfect sense to extend the ROOTED idea into the ROOTED KITCHEN where I could not only hold our supper clubs but also educate and serve the food I so loved harping on about! And so it began…

The ROOTED food philosophy is Listen to your Body and Feed your Soul. Our objective is give balanced advice and real, healthy food. We cut through the crap and ditch the fad diets, serving food that is equally delicious as it is healthy, so much so you forget the basis is health. We are here to build a lifestyle, not a quick fix and our food reflects that being sustainably sourced and rooted in nature. We sell from Stretch and also deliver to business and households, as well as cater for events.

Chia and Gluten Free Cashew Bircher

What 3 top tips can you suggest to people who want to become more mindful of how they eat?

1. Eat seasonally and local as possible. Whether that be your local shop or making sure you choose the most local supplier from the supermarket, just stop and look at where the food you are buying is from. We have seasons for a reason so stock up on beets and squash in Winter and strawberries in summer;  it will likely be home grown and the taste will be at its best.

2. Take Your Time

We are a generation of multi-taskers but when it comes to eating, it pays to take your time. Rushing not only causes havoc on your digestive system but also means you could be eating much more than you realise. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognise when your stomach is full, so if you’ve packed in a big portion in 10 minutes at lunchtime, you’ll get a delayed reaction and likely feel heavy for the rest of the afternoon.

3. Listen in to Your Body

Listen in to what your body might be telling you. Do you really need that extra portion? Are you hungry or thirsty? Are you craving sugar because you’re feeling low, in which case go for a jog and see how you feel after…it’s likely you’ll have perked up. You see where I’m going here! For me, this is where yoga plays such a huge role in the ROOTED philosophy. It allows you to connect to your body and listen in to what it might be saying.

Do you have any recipes and advice for sugar addicts like me?

Carrot cake smoothie bowl

Try our Carrot Cake Smoothie bowl. Use a strong blender and mix together 2 organic carrots, 1 ripe banana, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 date, 40 grams of gluten free oats, 1 tablespoon MACA powder, 2 tablespoons yoghurt and a splash of any nut milk. The cinnamon is perfect for banishing sugar cravings and the sweetness of the carrots and banana makes it so nourish you forget you’re even eating fruit and veg. It’s sweet in nature’s most natural form. I’m addicted!

What recipes advice can you give to help people get more energy to help people feel less sluggish?

There are certain foods that can support you when you feel sluggish or it’s the change in season, such as magnesium rich oats, millet, pumpkin seeds and almonds and B vitamins found in the form of legumes and brown rice. Personally, I recommend tasting the rainbow by eating a mix of seasonal fruits and vegetables and incorporating warming spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Why not try something new with them in the kitchen?  Not only with this give you an opportunity to get creative but also take control and feel good about your food intake, something for you, and your health!

What can people eat or include in their diet to help strength their hair and prevent breakage?

For great hair and skin, both vitamin E and A are key, as well as a diet rich in anti-oxidants and zinc. Spinach and blueberries aren’t called ‘super foods’ for nothing…they contain a host of nutrients and are full of anti-oxidants. Sunflower seeds and almonds are a powerful source of vitamin E which is why almond nut milks are always on the ROOTED menu. You can find zinc in oysters and vitamin A in sweet potatoes and carrots, which are great this time of year. My favourite dish is a sweet potato, red lentil and coconut stew, slow cooked and full of flavour!  Make sure you soak the lentils first so they are easier to digest. Upping your intake of good fats can work wonders too – think avocado, fresh wild salmon and walnuts. I personally use coconut oil on my hair as a mask once a week; my hair has never been so shiny!

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