When I think of vegan food blogging superstars, I think of Kathy Patalsky. Even if you’re not a vegan eater you will absolutely fall in love with the dishes Kathy dreams up on her blog Happy Healthy Life. Expect vibrant and nutrient-packed smoothies and breakfasts, inventive entrees and good-for-you desserts.
I started following Kathy a few years ago when I got into vegan baking myself, finding it a healthier alternative to many of my favorite desserts. Thankfully, people like Kathy have blazed the trail in making healthy food actually taste good. For that reason I highly recommend you follow her kitchen creations on Healthy Happy Life (also known as the Lunchbox Bunch) where she just released her first cookbook, 365 Vegan Smoothies.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kathy about her blog and her approach to a healthy life. Here’s what she had to say.
Why did you start your food blog?
I wanted to merge my passions: Writing, art, animals, food and nutrition. And it just so happened that I was vegan. Luckily vegan cooking has become much more popular and sought-after than it was when I began over five years ago! And luckily I was able to teach myself photography along the way, too! I was a point-and-shoot girl five years ago! I never thought “blogging” would become my full-time career, but I am so glad it has. And now that I am an author, I am more excited than ever to share my recipes with an even wider audience!
How would you describe your approach to eating/health?
I eat when I am hungry and try to stay away from any rigid rules involving food. There are no “bad” foods in my book. Healthy eating as a vegan (for me) is all about portion control and eating as much of the good stuff as possible. After that, I barely have any room for less healthy foods! Good stuff to me includes grains, fruit, veggies, legumes, nuts, healthy oils in moderation, seeds and more. I try to eat the rainbow and less ‘beige’ foods like bread, pasta and flour-based foods. But truly, everything (vegan) in moderation. My no-rules approach has helped me stay stress free in regards to food…a topic that can easily stress people out! I simply choose to make healthy choices for myself, and include treat foods when I crave them. My must haves are one protein smoothie a day (sometimes more than one!) and I embrace both raw salads and veggies as well as cooked whole foods.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life?
I remember laying on my living room floor, feet in the air, reading a nutrition/wellness book made for teens when I was in grade school. I think I read through it 100 times. I loved it. I loved learning about food, nutrition, cooking, fitness and recipes from a very early age. That passion has never died. And my surroundings certainly encouraged me – growing up in Santa Cruz, California where healthy fresh produce, Farmer’s Markets and vegetarian cuisine was plentiful.
What is your favorite (or a few of your favorites) food/ingredient to use in the kitchen?
Sweet potatoes. I could eat them every day. I also appreciate a simple frozen banana. It makes every smoothie so much better! And fresh beautiful greens like kale and chard. Raw greens salads have endless possibilities. And beans! So much you can do with beans – and so many nutrition benefits. And avocados – swoon.
Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?
Yes. I have learned how to cook much more efficiently than before. I can churn out 2-3 recipes in one session, store any leftovers appropriately and clean up in a flash. Practice makes perfect.
What three recipes would you like to share with our readers?
Kathy is the seventh in a series of spotlights on healthy food bloggers. Be sure to check back next Sunday to meet another healthy food blogger in our midst.