Wellbeing - what it means to me

Wellbeing – what it means to me

By Sarmado Sibley

For the past 15 years I have been fortunate enough to explore the topic of wellbeing as I travelled the world and lived in places such as India, Australia, Thailand, Sardinia, Ibiza and Bali.

My journey was initially an exploration of food and nutrition but expanded into personal development and holistic practices. So when Marcus asked me what wellbeing means to me, I lit up.

Wellbeing to me means being able to maintain a sense of peace and calm regardless of what is happening externally and the ability to find gratitude in each moment.

That’s the end point. It isn’t where my journey started at the age of 16 and the start of my career as a chef, training in Michelin starred kitchens.

At that time, I was fuelled by passion and the love of the craft. Adrenalin and will-power were my markers of satisfaction and career success and, at that time, I considered this to be wellbeing.

Fast forward 20 years and I had moved away from the pressure of high-end gastronomy. I’d been introduced to a new world of holistic nutrition and meditation.

I learnt that foods can be our medicine, enabling a more balanced approach to life. It’s a constant journey of learning and discovering, which I find so exciting. Whether its raw vegan, paleo, plant-based, macrobiotic, Ayurvedic or even a standard conventional diet, it’s our relationship to the foods which is most important.

A connection to the earth, understanding how and where our food grows, is a relationship that sustains us all. It really is no different to the nurturing we give and receive from our friends, families and colleagues.

We must learn to make friends with food and not let it become our enemy. Everything we put into our bodies can affect us mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. What we consume can change our perceptions and experiences. When we can work at this level then change becomes possible and goals come within reach.

Here are just a few of my personal recommendations for upgrading your wellbeing by working with what you consume:

  • Of course, I would highly recommend Barbershop Botanicals. The natural ingredients and essential oils are top of my list when it comes to male grooming products

  • Meditate, not medicate. Find a way to balance yourself by reducing or eliminating highly processed foods like sugar as well as caffeine and alcohol

  • Seek out empowering and motivational books and websites to keep you inspired

  • Join online meditation groups

  • Sign up for holistic and health conscious cooking workshops. They’re a great way to connect with new people and have new experiences. Things can shift quickly when you incorporate new foods into your life

  • Get out into nature and learn how to grow your own food. Connect with local growers and producers. Shop locally to support independent food businesses and start having conversations with the people behind them.

I am a keen supporter of consuming local produce as much as possible, but we'd also do well to eat according to the seasons.

Cooking food is possibly one of a few skills where all five senses are engaged simultaneously, and I am passionate about teaching life skills through the kitchen.

During these Covid days my classes are online at www.sarmadosibley.com. I offer various modules on plant-based cuisine. These include raw chocolate, gourmet plant-based desserts and plant-based ‘dairy’.

When you sign up for a session, we send out all the recipes and shopping lists in good time to allow you to fully participate and cook as we go along. All the trainings are recorded so you can play them back at any time.

I offer these sessions on a donation basis. This way everyone should be able to participate and that ,in turn, supports our growing communities.

Hopefully soon we’ll be able to connect and share food together once again at my plant-based supper clubs here in Somerset. One of my recent guests kindly shared this:

"Sarmado is an extraordinary being. He not only feels the essence of living food but also brings out the best of their flavours in the chefs' dance between raw and preserving the nutrients in the cooking process. The world needs more chefs like him, who see the big picture to sustainable eating, not only for the environment but for the frequency of each being."

Finally, I highly recommend the following websites and resources:


Plant-based vegan training and workshops. Subscribe and receive a 365- page e-book containing recipes and inspiration from the world’s leading plant-based chefs. You will also receive my monthly newsletter with updates, recipes and inspiration. I regularly post updates on Instagram and Facebook.


Create the future you wish to see by joining one of the upcoming events and discover how to tap into your innate potential.


Upgrade your current nutrition with some of the best supplements and superfoods. Many of these products can be used in plant-based recipes. They are a very high standard.

Chef Sarmado is Europe’s leading raw plant-based educator and Europe’s first chef to offer Michelin-style raw plant-based living workshops, restaurant consulting and menu planning in Europe and world-wide. 

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