Episode 11: Upgrade Your Food Game with Malcolm Saunders

Malcom Saunders is the founder and owner of Calgary’s health food joint, the Light Cellar.  With products like reishi mushroom, chaga powder and your choice of cacao nibs, paste or powder, he’s opening up a whole new world of health foods to this city.  The store also has an elixir bar so that you can get your superfood fix as you shop.  In today’s episode we hear about how this world traveller found his passion in food.  Malcolm also gears us up with tips, advice and a new perspective on how to eat. Spoiler alert: it’s more basic than you think. 

But first, a little bit more about Malcolm:  Malcolm Saunders’ mission is to deeply connect people to their food. He has worked in the field of food and nutrition for close to 20 years and is a public speaker and intuitive chef who specializes in sharing the alchemy of superfoods and superherbs. Through his videos, workshops and seminars he has helped thousands of individuals recreate their relationship to food. He has an expertise and passion for creating and teaching others how to make energizing and healing foods, including chocolate, elixirs and ferments. Malcolm’s desire is to inspire others to live and eat from a space that honours the sacredness of all Life, illuminating the power of influence our food choices have on ourselves, other beings, and the planet we live on.

Key Nuggets:

  • If you want to get into superfoods or even just healthier foods in general, think about it as upgrading your food.  Kind of like the boosters that you can choose when you get a smoothie at a juice shop.  It doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul in one swoop.  Perhaps today it’s a tablespoon of hemp seeds in your salad and tomorrow cacao paste for your hot chocolate.
  • To get started with intuitive eating (eating by listening to what your body needs) follow these steps:
  1. Remember and recognize that your body is self -healing and self- guiding to begin with.  For example, you get hungry when you need more nutrients; you get thirsty when you need hydration.  It can be that easy!
  2. Go natural – ditch the processed foods and move toward foods that are fresh and in its most natural form as possible
  3. Tune into your hunger, know what full means to you
  4. Find a teacher – find opportunities to learn whether it be tutorials on websites, talking to an expert at a health food store or finding speaking events to attend
  • A new perspective on food groups - an ancestral food guide based on the 4 kingdoms of life:
    • Plants: abundant, colorful and vibrant.  A basic guide is that each color represents a nutrients (ie. green = chlorophyll, orange = beta carotene)
    • Animals: understanding that all parts of the animal provide nutritional value
    •  Bacteria: like yogurt ,miso, or kim chi. These are living foods and are important because they help free up nutrients that we wouldn’t normally be able to digest
    • Fungi: from single cell yeast (ie. for bread), to white button mushrooms, this group acts as both food and medicine
  •  Malcolm’s recommendation for a top key superfood is the reishi mushroom, which is grounding and supports the cardiovascular system among other benefits.  You can drink it as a tea or take it as a capsule in powder form.
  • Author Terry Willard has written many books on the natural remedies and in specific, the beneficial properties of the reishi mushroom.
  • This absolutely mindblowing episode about the secret life of plants from Rabiolab.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

It matters just as much what you eat as how you eat it.  Be mindful of what has your attention at the dinner table.


If you have any questions for Malcolm or want to learn more, connect with him through his websites.  Both have free e-courses that can help you learn more: