The Vital Balance – from Louise Pyne

There’s a good reason that 80 per cent of diets fail. You start your week with good intentions only to cave in a few days, (or even hours) later. Depriving yourself of food is likely to spell disaster, luring you to go in search of a quick pick-me-up when motivation starts to wane.

But there is a simple way to keep your weight in check without having to curb your indulgences 24/7. Eat smart! Chowing down a balanced diet composed of lean protein, good fats and complex carbohydrate is the secret to beating the bulge for good. Add in a few golden rules such as watching portion sizes, loading up on antioxidant veggies and fruit and snacking at regular intervals to keep blood sugar levels stable and you’ve got the perfect recipe to harness your slimming potential. If you eat this way 80 per cent of the time, you can even enjoy the odd treat without worrying about packing on the pounds.

Healthy eating is made super-simple at Vital Ingredient – with on-site chefs preparing fresh meals every day, you can build your own salads, choosing from a variety of delicious healthy ingredients or even opt for one of our hearty hot meals to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. To make sure your healthy diet stays on track, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow lunchtime meal planner to get you through the working week feeling fabulous from the inside out. There’s four make-your-own salad options to tuck into from Monday to Thursday along with a hot meal and a treat to enjoy on Friday.

Your 5-day lunchtime meal planner

The make your own salad bowl, (quinoa, pulled chicken breast, cucumber, mixed peppers, fine green beans, mixed seeds and broccoli with mango, chili and lime dressing).

The make your own salad bowl, (baby spinach, Greek feta, vine ripe tomatoes, mixed olives, red onions, grilled vegetables with honey balsamic dressing).

The make your own salad bowl, (mixed leaf, juicy prawns, spicy avocado, crispy croutons, beetroot, grated carrot, spring onion with fresh lemon juice).

The make your own salad bowl, (cos lettuce, grilled sweet potato, free range egg, asparagus, spring onions, sweetcorn with extra virgin olive oil).

Tofu ramen noodle soup followed by a jelly pot treat

Tell us what your vital ingredient is & you could win 12 free salads!

Share a photo of your salad on Facebook for a chance to win 12 free salads and have it featured on vital menus across London!

As you know, Vital Ingredient is all about eating your way. We pride ourselves in offering up a wide range of delicious foods so you can choose the way you eat. One of our most popular foods is our ‘build your own salad’ and we’d like to find out what makes it YOUR Vital. We’d like to know all about how you make your salad ‘yours’.

So we have decided to run a competition; just send us a photo of your salad with a name and your base, ingredients and dressing, and your salad could end up on our menu! the winner will get 12 free salads and there will be 5 runners up prizes of free salad lunches.
For instance, your entry could look like this: ‘My Vital Ingredient is a mixed lettuce base with tuna, mixed beans, asparagus, grilled vegetables and mixed seeds with a honey balsamic dressing‘ or ‘My Vital Ingredient is a brown rice base with prawns, vine tomatoes, spring onions, sweetcorn and peanuts with a mango chilli & lime dressing‘. You can even get creative and add one extra ingredient from our list if it helps. Have a look at our ingredients page for some inspiration or drop into our stores and try for yourself!

Then enter your suggestions on facebook at, instagram or email us at including the hashtag #myvitalingredient. The suggestion with the most likes by the end of november 30th will win – so get your friends and family voting! See or our a-z ingredients for some inspiration and ingredients. Good luck & happy eating!

Terms and conditions: applicants must be over 18 years of age. winner will be the applicant with the most facebook ‘likes’ by midnight on 30th November 2013. Five runners up prizes will be awarded to the next 5 highest ‘likes’. Winners will be notified by email by 6th December. We may use entrants email addresses for occasional email newsletters but will not share any of this information with any third parties. Competition is limited to one entry per person.

Welcome to the new Vital Ingredient blog from Louise Pyne

Hello foodies! We know that balancing healthy eating with a hectic schedule can sometimes be a struggle – no matter how strong your resolve, so here at Vital Ingredient, we aim to take the fuss out of good nutrition, making sure you reap the benefits of a nutritious diet.

Our new blog is a one-stop-shop for all your nutrition needs. We’ll be posting regular updates on the latest food trends, need-to-know diet secrets and practical advice to keep your healthy eating on track. We’ll be separating food facts from fiction, offering science-based recommendations to kick-start your goals.

The philosophy at Vital Ingredient is simple – great tasting food that’s good for you. From our scrumptious build-your-own breakfast bowls to our delicious grab and go salads, pots and healthy puds, we strive to make the most of delicious, high quality raw ingredients to provide you with a whole heap of vitamins, minerals and super-nutrients, which ensures that you feel amazing from the inside out. We don’t believe in focusing on the foods you shouldn’t eat, but instead we celebrate real food which is freshly prepared every day by our team of expert chefs. We pride ourselves on going back to basics to offer a simple way of eating that tastes utterly fantastic – making it easier to achieve your goals. What more could you ask for?

Deciphering the mixed messages surrounding nutrition is often hard work. These days many of us get fixated with counting every calorie that passes our lips. It’s hardly surprising given that for years we’ve been told that a low calorie diet equals a slimmer waistline. Well listen up! Calorie counting is only half of the story when it comes to successfully shifting the pounds. In fact there’s so much more to feeling and looking fabulous than totting up your daily calorie intake. Research shows that calorie restriction isn’t sustainable for the long-haul and actually encourages us to cave into temptation over time. On the other hand, cutting out processed rubbish in favour of a balanced diet can help you reach your wellbeing goals, boosting the metabolism and helping to melt away unwanted fat.

Whether you want to lose weight or simply improve your general health – getting food-savvy is rule number one to help create change for the better. We believe that eating smart is not about restrictive diets but more about nourishing your body with the fuel it needs to keep your cells – the building blocks of your body’s systems healthy. Our meals and snacks are freshly prepared in front of you to ensure that you know exactly what’s going into your body. The focus is on ingredients which are naturally high in satiating nutrients such as lean protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats, plus we also pack in tons of yummy fruits and vegetables. Since healthy eating should be about choice instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach, we encourage you to build your own bespoke meals, selecting from over 40 raw ingredients to create the perfect breakfast or lunch. Short on time? There’s also the option of choosing one of our pre-prepared dishes which are all free from processed nasties and packed with goodness. Whatever you choose, our food will keep you feeling full and buzzing with energy so you’re an all round happier and healthier person. Result!

Introducing our new nutritionist – Louise Pyne

We know how much our customers love good food. Vital Ingredient is all about ‘eat your way’ meaning you get to choose how you eat. Many of our customers are interested in the nutritional values of their food and look to Vital for new ideas in their diet. So, to keep you up to date with all the new trends, information on ‘fads’ and how to eat a healthy balanced diet, whilst enjoying your food at Vital, we’re starting a regular blog from Vital Ingredient’s new nutritionist, Louise Pyne.


Here’s a bit about Louise… “Louise Pyne is a BANT registered nutritionist and established health journalist. She is features editor of best-selling national magazine, Women’s Fitness where she regularly writes about the latest diet trends, health and fitness news. For more info on Louise, visit:

You can look forward to bi-weekly updates from Louise only at

Things are hot at Vital

There’s a change at Vital… everything’s gone hot!!

We’ve introduced a whole new range of exciting new hot meals and hot breakfasts to complement our already great offer at Vital Ingredient.
There’s new hot bacon, egg or sausage served up on an artisan roll with your choice of sauce. You can even mix and match filling to give your breakfast that Vital edge.


Remember those tarts you used to pop in the toaster for a hot breakfast treat? Well, we’ve given them the Vital Ingredient makeover with breakfast sweet toasties. Your choice of fresh fruit and fillings like peanut butter or jam. They’ll put a real spring in your step!

In the hot section you’ll notice the addition of ‘Street Food’ to our stores. Street Food is our new range of hot meals which, as the name would suggest, has been inspired by street food dishes served all around the world. You’ll find a new dish popping up on the menu on a monthly basis and even old favourites like tasty Tostilocos. To start there’s ‘Jamaican me crazy’ – jamaican jerk chicken stew with brown rice, bean salad, fresh herbs & chilli. Watch menus in store for more exciting options coming soon.

mac&cheese-smlAdd to that all of your favourite hot soups, toasties and ramen noodles – all washed down with our range of sublime fruit teas and ethiopian coffee – and you’ll find yourself spoilt for hot food at Vital Ingredient.

Vital uses street art for Street Food

With the exciting launch of our delicious new hot food offer Vital have been busy searching far and wide for inspiration. We discovered a whole new world of cooking in ‘street food’ with its new and exciting flavours.

Having spent months researching and tasting a selection of extraordinary hot meals we decided that plain old packaging just wasn’t up to the mark. We really needed something to reflect the roots of real street food. Something more real, more gritty and more ‘Vital’.

As the food was born from street culture, so we looked to the street for inspired artwork. We stumbled across Cholo Apolo, a Peruvian street and graffiti artist who now lives in London. We were immediately taken by the quality of Cholo’s designs – bright, colourful and punchy but with that Vital edge – Cholo was the perfect partner to help to create our designs.


Using a large studio and custom made canvasses Cholo set to work to our brief and created 2 impressive images for us – both of which now adorn the walls of our head office in London’s West End. You can watch the video of Cholo creating his masterpieces here

Other than being one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, we think Cholo’s artwork looks stunning on our promotional and packaging materials. You can see them all in stores across London now.

Watch this space for more exciting ideas from Vital coming soon.