Do you know those people who glow from the inside out? Sami Bloom is one of them. The plant-based nutritionist and yoga teacher radiates health and is passionate about helping people like you to eat with pleasure, not fear, and to eat in a way that fuels your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. She’s been vegan for three years, and says she’s never felt better. Naturally, we had to take a peek into her pantry to find out exactly what she eats to feel – and look! – so good…
1. Be creative with protein
Move over, tofu. As a vegan, Sami aims to eat half a cup of beans and legumes every day. They’re an easy, plant-based source of protein, and there's a bunch of ways to incorporate them into your daily diet. She throws chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and lentils into her salads, and if she’s in the mood for a warm, cooked meal, she’ll whip up a lentil bolognaise. Pour it over pasta or brown rice, and you have yourself a nourishing, balanced dinner!
Top tip: Nut butters are a source of protein, too. In Sami’s pantry, you’ll spot peanut butter, almond butter and tahini, which she uses in dressings and dips.
2. Don’t waste money on pasta sauces
Instead, do as Sami does and make your own using canned tomatoes, oregano, olive oil, garlic, onion and any Italian spices that tickle your tastebuds. She stocks her pantry with a few tins of tomatoes, so she always has the DIY option. Not only is this budget-friendly, but it’s healthier – as you know exactly what’s going into your sauce.
3. Choose raw, unsalted nuts whenever you can
The nutritionist’s favourite nuts are cashews (she can’t resist them in raw desserts!), with walnuts and almonds coming in at a close second. In the health world, there’s a lot of conflicting information about nuts, but as Sami puts it, “these nuts aren’t necessarily healthier, but they’re full of good nutritional value.” For nuts to be a healthy habit, the key is to stick to a quarter of a cup a day, and opt for raw, unsalted varieties.
4. A colourful plate is a healthy plate
The reason is simple. Sami explains that every seed, nut, fruit and veggie has a different nutrient profile depending on its colour, so it’s important to mix it up and eat your way through the ‘rainbow.’ That’s why she has both white and black sesame seeds in her pantry!
5. Mushrooms are the overachievers of the veggie world
Open Sami’s pantry, and you’ll see wild forest mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms lining the shelves. These unique mushrooms tick all the right boxes: they’re versatile, downright delicious, and have a long list of health benefits. They’re high in iron and antioxidants, and are known for their immune-boosting qualities. She eats them every day, and we’ll be following suit!
6. Get your iodine fix through dulse
Since vegans don’t eat fish, it can be difficult for them to reach their daily iodine intake. Enter: dulse – aka seaweed. Sami has two forms handy: she uses dulse leaves in curries and stews, and sprinkles dulse flakes on her salads. All you need is two teaspoons a day. It tastes slightly salty, so you won’t even notice the new addition to your diet.
7. Make the most of nutritional yeast
In Sami’s words, nutritional yeast is a vegan staple. With a cheesy texture and taste, it goes well with just about any dish. She adds it to salads and pasta sauces, and uses it as a topping for her favourite warming recipes, like mashed cauliflower (yum). She also makes her own, vegan version of parmesan with nutritional yeast, ground brazil nuts, garlic and parsley. Trust us – you won’t miss the ‘real’ version.
8. Enjoy a balanced breakfast
You’ve heard this one before, but we’ll say it again: don’t skip breakfast! Take cues from Sami, who has a green smoothie packed with power ingredients like spirulina, spinach and flaxseed to keep her full until her next meal. Her milk of choice is Coco Quench, a blend of rice and coconut milk that’s sweet enough as it is, and perfect for smoothies. On the other days, the nutritionist eats porridge, bircher muesli, or a slice of sprouted bread or sourdough with avocado and nutritional yeast. While Sami says she’s “pretty much” gluten-free, she’s also flexible – so if she feels like sourdough, she’ll have it, and savour every bite.
Top tip: Sami doesn’t ditch dessert, either! Her go-to sweet treats are raspberries stuffed with dark chocolate chips, and creamy matcha cacao lattes.
9. Hemp is here to stay
Sure, there are vegan protein powders on the market (e.g. pea), but lately, Sami has been opting for Hemple. The hemp-based product is less processed than traditional protein powders, and packed with omega-3, -6 and -9 for healthy, glowing skin and satiety. It also contains fibre, which helps with smooth digestion.
10. Ultimately, eat what makes you feel GOOD
In the video, Sami explains that she’s been vegetarian from the age of four. Her mum told her she’d eat everything on her plate except for the meat. Now that’s she’s an adult armed with nutritional knowledge and clinical experience, she realises that her body probably doesn’t have the digestive enzymes to break down meat. As a toddler, she intuitively knew that eating meat didn’t make her feel good, so she steered clear. Sounds simple, right?
Sami says she did go through a disordered eating phase in her teens and early 20s. She was yo-yo dieting, and began eating fish and chicken in the hope that it would help her to lose weight. But it didn’t, and she didn’t enjoy eating it. She didn’t digest it with ease, either.
The takeaway from this story is: don’t force it. Eat what makes you feel well. As Sami points out, if you’re a vegan, there are plenty of protein alternatives… which brings us back to #1. Be creative in the kitchen, and you won’t get bored!
She also has a brand new eBook being released soon called Rest, Renew, Rebalance - a 3-step protocol to guide you toward digestive ease, optimal detoxification, boundless energy and vibrant overall health so keep an eye out for that!