Sprout Wholefood

Nutritionist, Maria, from Sprout Wholefood shows me a simple, seriously tasty and nutrition-packed salad.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 0 mins
Serves: 4 sides or 2 main serves


1 bunch of kale – chopped (not the stems)
¼ cup goji berries
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 shallots – chopped

Apple cider vinegar
½ Lemon juiced
Dash of Olive oil
Himalayan salt to taste

To make the salad

Simply toss all the ingredients together in a large salad bowl.
Place all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and mix or shake to combine. Start with a small amount of apple cider and keep adding to taste.
Drizzle salad dressing over the salad, toss and serve.

Maria’s nutritional benefits

I love this salad because it’s easy, beautiful and truly tasty. The crispness of the kale, the sweet chewy goji berries, combined with the crunch from the pumpkin seeds really makes this salad satisfying. Shallots are an excellent source of the mineral sulfur, which is known as the beauty mineral—of course I love finding ways to sneak it into my meal plan. The pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc – a mineral many are deficient in.

We choose a simple dressing that is healthy and does not over power the delicious flavors of the salad. This is a great dressing for people getting off processed dressing.

Check out our talented photographer, Erika Raxworthy’s inspiring blog and Instagram.

Sprout Wholefoods offers such a premium quality range of products through the store and meals, snacks and drinks through the cafe. What is your overall philosophy and mission behind the brand?

The Sprout Wholefoods wellness team has one main mission, to provide an honest space where our guests can eat. We are not only passionate about our own health and wellness, but also for those in the community. We have a strict philosophy–if we won’t eat it or feed it to our families, then we most certainly wont serve it to yours.
We sample every product before stocking it and are very diligent about what ingredients are included. The café & grocer source quality organic produce and we love to support local suppliers that are producing or growing their own products.
Our aim was to have a space where people could eat and know that what we say is in the food is exactly what you will get, no substitutes or inferior products ever get used. This is very evident when you eat a meal at Sprout Café – you leave feeling nourished and know you have consumed an amazing portion controlled organic meal/drink/desert.

You post some gorgeous photos on your Instagram and Facebook. Do you take these yourself??

The most exciting thing about my life is that I get to combine my passions and do what I love everyday. Photography is something I have always had an interest in, and at Sprout Wholefood, I often get a change to photograph my favorite thing—food! But I can’t take all the credit, as a huge proportion of our photos are shared with us by our loyal patrons.

With your background in nutrition, what do you find the most satisfying about your work through Sprout Wholefoods? And what lead you to start on this path?

Sprout is an amazing place for someone who is as passionate about nutrition as I am. Each product that we stock is gone over with a fine-tooth comb. If we don’t all believe in it, then we don’t serve it. It’s so exciting to be able to contribute to these decisions and to make a real difference in a community. It’s an integrative center with an amazing café and grocery store, but also with an Xtend Barre studio on the second floor, and I provide classes on nutrition, private shopping tours and nutritional one on one coaching. We aim to make the transition to a healthy active lifestyle as fun and simple as possible.
My own journey started as a quest for my own healing, but I found the road incredibly frustrating, as there were so many contradictions when it can to the subject of nutrition. It was out of this frustration that I decided to study nutrition, so I could use science, research studies and real facts to come up with my own philosophy that I could not only have confidence in, but also be able to teach my clients with conviction, in a way that resonates with them.
I admit I get the greatest joy when I assist someone with a struggle I have personally experienced—it is for this reason I love to specialize in the brain/gut connection, emotional eating and food cravings/addictions.

There is so much confusion around healthy eating and messages coming from everywhere about what you should and shouldn’t consume. If you could give people five simple tips on positive eating, what would they be?

There is no simple diet plan that works for everyone as we are all biological different and have varied nutritional requirements, but a few simple guidelines that everyone can benefit for following would be:

Eating seasonally
Eating local, organic produce as much as possible
Eating wholefoods and avoiding partial or refined foods (the fewer ingredients the better)
Eating an abundant of live fresh vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit
Eating a variety of different foods, while including a prism of colors—red, green, purple, orange, blue and so on.

Of course healthy living is not only about the food we consume. How do you balance your lifestyle and what other considerations do you make to ensure you live a holistically healthy life?

I am of the mindset that holistic health is a three step approach; a healthy mind—continually learning, growing and expanding, while focusing on thoughts that work to serve me; a healthy body—eating well and keeping physically active; and a healthy life—doing what I love, living congruently, and making decisions for myself and others that are rooted from a place of love rather than fear.

You see a lot of people coming in and out of your venue everyday. What would you say is trending the most in food at the moment?

This is a button for me, as I don’t believe in food trends or treating our diet the way we do the latest fashion. Although the paleo diet, which you could call a trend, is actually thought to be the diet humans followed for hundreds of thousands of years–so it’s not so much a trend. This diet seems to be gaining popularity quite quickly and I find it exciting to see people going back to the basics. Unfortunately, there is a lot of miss information on that diet and I fear too many people are jumping on the bandwagon without educating themselves on the true Paleolithic diet.
It’s great that organic wholefood has become popular, but I think this is not only because people are following a trend, but more so that people are taking a greater interest in their health and are seeing what bad eating habits are doing to our health.
I think the green smoothie movement is trending – many people who never eat their greens are getting into juicing and green smoothies. I think the next movement could be elixir/tonic bars….. Stay tuned!