DNA testing – GenSmartMe – Nutrigenetics







Eating well is undoubtedly one of the most important pillars of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition has become a big part of our lives, with all the information, commercials and weird-sounding, exotic products available to us, everyone might feel a bit confused and overwhelmed.

Here are some of the basic and well-known rules that we hear:
- 5 a day (5 portions of fruit and veg per day)
- Do not skip breakfast (Often quoted as the most important meal of the day)
- Stay hydrated (Or, drink lots of water)
- Cut down sugar (Hidden away in so much of the processed food that we eat these days)
- Energy balance and calories counting (Carbs for lunch, protein and lower calorie intake in the evening)

These basic rules generally work for everyone, but we need to remember that no two humans are the same. Each of us is different, we have different habits, lifestyles, occupations, personalities, weights, heights, metabolic types and GENES.

It might seem hard to believe but everything is related to our DNA – our hair colour, body type and apparently nutrition preferences as well. It would seem that our individual DNA has likes and dislikes (You could call it a personality) and reacts differently to what it is exposed to.

Wouldn’t it be useful to understand our DNA’s personality and thus be able to influence it in a positive manner?

The growing and fascinating world of Nutrigenetics (The study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression) make this possible!
Thomas Olivier – Nutrigenomics Practitioner, Speaker and Author of “Cracking your health code” is revolutionising modern (yet proven) genetic theory and the way, we as humans see ourselves.

Thomas Oliver was the first coach in the UK to offer fitness and nutrition plans based on your individual DNA make up.


Thanks to his home testing “23andMe” saliva kit (Yes, just a little bit of spit is all that’s needed to lock the secret personality of your DNA) – gene analysis is simpler than ever and easily affordable to everyone.

No more guess work or irrelevant information overload, and even better – no more inadequate, strict fad diets that do not fit with your DNA’s personality.

This simple test helps us to unlock the answers to questions like:
- How my body metabolises fat?
- Do I need to avoid carbs?
- Do I suffer from any food intolerances?
- What are my individual nutritional needs?
- What ingredients should I focus on today?

Make the most of your DNA test with free access to Thomas’s GenSmart App (available on AppStore)

As well as exploring the above questions it also includes personalised life-hacks, recommends meals, and ingredients all linked to your personalised DNA test.

At Vital our philosophy has always been Eat Your Way. We believe in giving you variety and choice with every meal you enjoy with us. We are always looking at ways to expand on this philosophy and have recently launched our Eat Your Way hot menu.

If you are interested in DNA testing and exploring this new level of personal wellbeing, Vital has the perfect menu to complement your findings. Why not drop us an email and let us know what you think. We would love to open the debate on DNA testing and have the knowledge and support of Thomas to answer all your questions.

Your health – Your responsibility – Helped by Vital Ingredient.

10 Vital Ingredient Smoothies Warriors

Let’s talk about super-charged meals in a glass. In fact, smoothies are everywhere and drinking them is a major trend in our healthy living lifestyles. We’ve been surprised at Vital, how many people have been trying to get healthier by replacing meals with pre-bottled high sugar content drinks. By blending random raw, green ingredients with water and nothing else to create an ultimate “trendy” drink. Recipes are often so complex –  a long list of fruits, vegetables and ingredients that you have never heard about before? At the grocery store, you forget which ingredients you need, or you can’t find the key ingredient and you end up filling your shopping basket full of ingredients you will only ever use for your smoothie so much of ends up in the bin.  Finally, you get everything home and into the kitchen, you blend your ingredients and it tastes awful? You’ve spent so much money on fancy ingredients and you’re never going to use them again.  It’s so frustrating when you are trying hard to improve your diet!

smoothie blog 1

Does this sound familiar to you?

If you’ve answered yes, we’re guessing that you’re also struggling to find a shop bought smoothie that’s not packed full of sugar or preservatives and with that underlying taste of banana, so often used as a cheap option to pack them out!  They can also be so bland and tasteless that you can’t force yourself to drink it.  Fear not, we have a great alternative.

At Vital Ingredient, we want to make everything as simple as possible to you. We worked with a qualified nutritionist and have selected delicious, fresh ingredients that work amazingly together through testing multiple combinations in different quantities.  We finally created range of our 10 superhero smoothies, each with unique characteristics, to come to your rescue.

So, how are you feeling today?

  • Are you a little bit down and unmotivated? Did you have a killer long day at the office yesterday or were you tossing and turning all night in bed? We say, go for CACAO NUT& SEED BOOSTER.  It will help reduce fatigue and tiredness.  It contains 100% Arabica coffee beans, raw cacoa nibs and selection of nuts for an extra energy kick.
  • Try our VIRGIN MOJITO if you are looking for a classic green smoothie. It provides your two out of five a day and it is simply delicious.
  • Are you hankering for something sweet, but you are looking for a healthier alternative? VIT C HIT and SUPERCHARGER are your perfect solution, packed with fruits, they will help you to keep your sweet tooth under control.
  • Were you persuaded to have a ‘quick one after work’ last night which transformed into a full on, epic night?  Let’s face it, this happens! Feeling as delicate as a flower today?  Vital smoothies to the rescue.  Our BRAIN FIXER is your dream cure.  Packed full of ingredients that will replace your lost minerals and help to re-hydrate your body.
  • Do you need a post-workout boost to increase muscle synthesis and restore glycogen stores?  We’ve got it covered with our PROTEIN POWERHOUSEPacked with hemp protein powder, a vegan, plant based source of protein and a hefty portion of pumpkin seeds.  Both containing essential fatty acids and omega 3 and omega 6.
  • Do you set yourself lofty diet goals, yet feel like all you ate yesterday was chocolate, carbs, sugar and fat? Today, you should sneak in a MEAN & GREEN or MATCHA PUREVitals’ detox smoothies!  They taste exactly as a detoxing drink should as they help you flush out toxins and help get you back on the right track.
  • Does your digestive system need some support today? TURMERIC&GINGER is a gut friendly smoothie, it might help to relieve bloating, cramping and nausea.
  • Are you feeling unwell? Do you think you are getting sick? Do not waste your time with runny nose and fever – try VITAL IMMUNE BOOST instead.  Cranberries are great for your bladder and contains a high amount of vitamin C.  Ginger has warming qualities and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamins in fruit and vegetables diminish quickly during storage. That’s why we insist on all our smoothies being made daily, with super fresh (NEVER FROZEN) raw ingredients.  They are blended to order with your choice of mineral water, fresh apple juice, coconut water and almond or soya milk. At Vital you eat your way, you drink your way!

If you are looking for your next favourite smoothie, you’ve landed in the right place.  Now you know where to find it!

smoothie blog 3



We are very excited about our new range of healthy and delicious super food lattes. Discover three very different but all equally delicious flavours:
• Turmeric spice
• Beetroot & Cacao
• Matcha, Wheat Grass and Mint

So, would you like to know more about what makes them so special?


Golden Turmeric Latte


The active substance responsible for its beautiful golden colour is curcumin. It works primarily as an anti-inflammatory. it also has strong antioxidant function – deactivates free radicals which are formed during stress, intense workouts, high mental or physical work.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, adding black pepper (which contains piperine) assists with the absorption of curcumin – we added cayenne and black pepper to help boost your metabolism. You will also find the hint of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. We want everything that we sell at Vital to not only be healthy but also delicious at the same time so our turmeric latte is sweetened with lower GI coconut blossom nectar which eliminates the need for any extra sugar!
Nutritionists also recommend that you eat turmeric with fat for best absorption and that’s the reason why it works so well with any milk you desire in your latte. You can even ask for a blob of raw coconut oil to improve this even more. After one hour of consumption the concentration of metabolites of turmeric is the highest – it makes golden spicy turmeric latte a tasty, healthy and nourishing alternative to regular coffee.


Turmeric benefits:
• Speeds up the metabolism
• Strong antioxidant property
• Anti – inflammatory – helps fighting the infections
• Antibacterial



Everyone knows how good dark green vegetables are to us, so it is worth remembering that beets are in the same family as swiss-chard and spinach and are a rich source of folic acid, vitamins B6, B12 and B2.

The good news is that beets work well as a latte so pop into your local Vital store to warm and nourish yourself with a blood cleansing drink. The beetroot is complemented with organic cocoa (a rich source of iron), ginger and cinnamon. This hot, sweet, vegan treat that really cannot be BEET and will completely change the way you view beetroot.




This is a potent antioxidant elixir made with organic matcha. It offers a hefty dose of matcha green tea goodness in a delicious dairy free latte.
So, what do we mean when we say goodness?
Matcha has become one of the most popular superfoods and its reputation is well-deserved!
It contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as fibre, catechins (antioxidants), caffeine, L-theaniny, beta-carotene, zinc, potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, vitamins of group E, A, B and C.

Matcha tea helps weight loss and fat burning by speeding up your metabolism, It also helps to remove toxins from your body.
It has antioxidants that fight free-radicals in our bodies;
- 7 times more in the dark chocolate
- 60 times more than in spinach
- 17 times more than in wild berries
- 6.5 times more than in goji berries
One serving of Vital Ingredient Matcha tea is equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea. Served hot with an additional boost of wheatgrass and uplifting peppermint.
To further enhance the health benefits of these latte’s, we also give you the option to “bulletproof” any of our lattes with some raw coconut oil which we think works well in the mornings as it gives you an energy boost for a few hours. It also stops cravings which is why its gaining followers amongst people on a low-calorie diet.
It has been extremely popular all around the world, especially in the USA where the idea originated.

Dave Asprey – author of healthy eating blog popularised it after his visit to Tibet. He was fascinated with a local custom of adding butter (made of yak’s milk) to coffee.
If you want to explore this subject in more detail then check out his website;
“Discovering Nutrition” – Paul.M

Healthy, delicious lunch for the office? We’ll deliver.

There have been quite a few changes, updates and improvements over the last year or so at Vital, and the most recent (and exciting, even if we say so ourselves) is the overhaul of our delivery service.

Firstly, we’ve worked with our food heroes to create a shiny new delivery menu, which includes platters, side dishes, sweet treats and various other delicious bits and pieces, inspired by global influences, variety for those with dietary requirements and of course fresh, healthy food for breakfast and lunch.

Bites include generously filled wraps and sandwiches, salad platters, crisps and dips, crudités, juicy spiced chicken skewers, protein pots, brownies and delicate macarons.

Secondly, the new menu comes with a brand new online platform and delivery service, which means:

  • Delivery across zone 1
  • Late ordering – we’ll deliver until 8pm
  • Dedicated delivery teams
  • Food at your door within an hour

You can also place your delivery order via the app, which has the added bonus of loyalty points! You’ll get your usual 10 points per pound spent, meaning if it’s a big enough order there’ll be enough points for lunch on the house for you!

If it’s raining (it’s almost biblical outside as we’re typing this..) or you don’t fancy going out, we’re also on Deliveroo so even if it’s just you, we have it covered.

Have a look at the new menu, and let us know what you think. Hope to see you soon.


New year, new you…?

Hold on, there’s nothing wrong with the old you.

You probably indulged over the festive season, but 1. who didn’t, and 2. it would be pretty sad to refuse all that delicious food and drink when it comes around so infrequently.

The thing to bear in mind is balance – getting back in the swing of things. Cycle to work, get to that pump class, do some yoga in front of the telly if you fancy. The leftovers (if you have anything left) can even be a bit healthier than the original if you throw them into soups and salad, eat the cheese and chocolate sparingly and save the leftover jar of goose fat for another roast down the line rather than spreading it on toast (as someone we know likes to do!).

Detoxing is actually a myth, peddled by companies who make huge amounts of money from the concept. Just use common sense, eat a balanced diet through the year and enjoy a few treats here and there.

Like they say, it’s January to December that counts, not December to January. #dontdetox.

See you soon!


The Vital Ingredient App

We like to stay ahead of the game at Vital, and as such we’re about to release our very first Vital Ingredient app!

You may have noticed that we’re always asking for your feedback, and the reason is so we can make changes that you actually want – introduce new food items, start new initiatives and take away aspects of Vital that you don’t like.

One of the things that hasn’t been working 100% effectively is our Club Vital cards – you told us that they don’t always scan and that the tiered points system is confusing. The app will mean points are collected automatically in store without any cards to scan, you can pay with it, use it for delivery and always be able to see how many points you have at a glance. We’ve also upped the number of points available, so it’s more generous all round.

It’s almost ready for download and will be on iOS and Android.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy using it, and as usual, let us know what you think.

App page 2 App page 1

How important is it for restaurants to have a conscience?

Eating out, both at lunchtime and at evenings and weekends, is more of a key part of life than it’s ever been, and as such we have to develop more awareness of what we are doing to our environment, both as companies and consumers, or future generations won’t have anything left. Food waste is a huge issue, and something that all food outlets need to be aware of, no matter what their offering is. The food industry wastes 2.5 billon tonnes of food per year, and it’s something we at Vital are addressing, along with several other factors, as part of our partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good program.

We are also working with Paper Round, who help us deal with other waste in a sustainable way, and our Artillery Row store was awarded for saving over 15,000kg of carbon dioxide in 2015. We look forward to seeing the results for this year!

Something we often get asked about is our packaging, and you might be surprised to know that everything we use to contain your salads, hot food and coffees is made from recycled materials, and our plastic bags are recyclable too. We send our leftover food to be processed by an anaerobic digestion system, meaning we’re helping to produce gasses used for energy and fertiliser for more food. The circle of life in action!
The upshot is that although we are operating in a high-waste industry, our beliefs and ethos mean that we are always going to do as much as possible to limit our environmental impact. It is very important for all businesses to have an environmental conscience, and we do as much as we can to demonstrate that day to day.

The most important meal of the day

We’ve recently discovered that not a lot of people know we do breakfast. Not just any breakfast – the Vital create-your-own ethos extends to the first meal of the day, and allows you to pick your base, yoghurt and toppings from a wide range of options, so you can make it exactly as you like.

Vegetarian blogger Veggie Lad likes it so much he recently had one for dinner. What more proof do you need?

We also do freshly made porridge and bacon sandwiches for those looking for something a little more traditional.

The cherry on the cake is you can get breakfast with a coffee for £3.95, which is pretty much unrivalled.

See you soon.


Pic courtesy of Jess, blogger at Eating East.

Ordering Online is Vital

Originally posted by Balanced Busy Bodies

This month’s guest blogger is Balanced Busy Bodies, who has been trying out the Vital online ordering system.

Despite the media stories about growing obesity problems there is another one featuring a health craze. It appears that more and more people want to eat healthily, but seem to have less time available to preparing their own meals. At first glance Vital Ingredient is ‘just another salad bar’, but one of the things that sets them apart is the Vital Ingredient online ordering facility.

If you haven’t heard about Vital Ingredient before, they are definitely one to try. Salad making is a relatively straightforward business, but the folks at Vital Ingredient have really taken the time out to understand what ingredients work best together.

Standard menus include signature salads like our personal favourites – Nachos Grande and Super Cob, but also seasonal winners like Maple n’ Pear and Beef n’ Butternut Squash.

Although there is a menu per se with recommended combinations, you can also choose your own salad base and toppings. There are some pretty cool bases to choose from such as spiralised veg, quinoa and slaw.

The salad chain is so popular that it is not uncommon to see queues snaking out of the door.

This is why we thought we would give the online ordering a go. Although the queue moves quite quickly, nothing beats being able to walk in, grab your order and be back out the door and across the road before the traffic lights have changed.

So one lunchtime on a Friday, we jumped online to order a regular Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad and a pack of Tyrell’s crisps.

Placing the order was very straightforward: Go to the Vital Ingredient online ordering page, create an account (if you don’t have one already), select what you want from the menu, select the time you want to collect your order and pay. You can even customise your salad online the same way you would in-store.

Vital Online Ordering

Our order was placed at around 1245 and when we arrived at the branch at 5 minutes past 3, the salad was prepared and patiently waiting behind the til.

If you are super crunched for time, you can order for delivery if your delivery address is within a few miles of the branch. To use this service, though, your order needs to be over £20 and ordered by 11am for delivery for around 12pm.

The only drawback that we found to the collection service is that is not eligible for the Club Vital loyalty scheme, but if time is money it might be a worthwhile trade off.

How was the salad, you ask?

It was LOVELY! The Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad is made with rare roast beef, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, beetroot, Emmental cheese and kale pesto dressing. We think it’s great with either the suggested crunchy slaw base or the cos lettuce.

Vital ingredient Beef n Butternut Squash

Vital Ingredient also cater to all of the BBB profiles – their downloadable Allergen information sheet is comprehensive and even covers celery, mustard and sulphites so that customers can be well informed before making an order.

All in all, the Vital Ingredient experience is generally a good one and if you happen to be time poor, you’ll find their online ordering service very useful.

In with the new!

We like to keep things fresh at Vital, as we know you need access to the newest and most innovative food and drink out there, so as well as our fresh salads and hot food that we prepare in-house, we also keep a good supply of other products to fulfil your every need. Since it’s spring (kind of) we’ve brought in some light bites and refreshing, healthy drinks to keep it fresh, and add some variety. Check out our new friends below:


Ugly doesn’t see why everything should be full of sugar, so they’ve created a range of unsweet water – refreshing fizzy drinks with no sugar or sweetener and nothing artificial, in grapefruit or lemon and lime.

Rebel Kitchen 

For those who are off the dairy, or those who just like a lovely creamy milk drink, Rebel Kitchen provides dairy-free coconut milk in a variety of flavours with no refined sugar.


Saving the world one apple at a time, Snact use fruit that would’ve been wasted to create fruit jerky – so you can snack whilst acting to reduce food waste and save the environment. And they taste lovely!