Kathy Patalsky is the author and cook behind the very popular lifestyle blog Happy Healthy Life. After trying her “Favourite Stuffed Sweet Potato” Recipe, Parvati Magazine caught up with her to talk about nutrition, vegan recipes and blogging.
Parvati Magazine: Your website is filled with beautiful photos of delicious food and your passion for what you do is present throughout the site. How did you know that becoming a vegan food blogger was the right thing to do?
Kathy Patalsky: When I started my blog, it was really more of a creative project to play with. It was 2006 so there were only a few food bloggers out there and “blogging” was barely a career option. I really just loved combining all my passions into one activity: cooking, love of animals, art, creativity, writing, photography, website building and creating a brand. And most of all, actually connecting with people and sharing my passion and knowledge of vegan cooking and living.
Somewhere along the way this actually became a viable career for me, and that transition assured me that I had invested my time and energy wisely.
Being an entrepreneur can be challenging because there is so much uncertainty from month to month. And competition in this field is so great these days. But at the end of the day I am doing something amazing for animals and the planet and people. Inspiring people and helping them choose plants instead of animal products is what truly lets me know that I am making a difference.
PMAG: I notice that you focus a lot on empowering people to make their own decisions regarding their food choices. Have you always been open to this idea or is it something that you have learned over time?
KP: It is beautiful to give people information and let them try food and then make their own decisions. I strongly believe that if people think of veganism as a trendy diet or are shamed or forced in some way to feel like they have to eat vegan, the lifestyle change will not stick. Changes only stick when you choose them and over time actually LOVE those changes. I believe in the power of vegan food! Cook amazing recipes. Try awesome vegan restaurants, and the average person just may start adding more plants to their diet.
My blog is for everyone. If you love delicious food, you’re in!
PMAG: On your website you speak of your struggles with an eating disorder through your high school and college years. How did you heal from this?
KP: It wasn’t easy and took years for me to truly heal mentally and physically. Eating disorders are truly addictions of their own kind. I guess my best advice is in two forms. To young girls playing with “diets” and who have poor self esteem comparing themselves to others, please recognize that you need support for these common issues. For some people, in times of stress or change, simple dieting can get out of control. That is basically what happened to me. Work on loving and celebrating yourself and remember that beauty comes from inside. Resist the urge to aim for “perfection.” It doesn’t exist. And also get help for any emotional struggles you may be having that may be the root cause of your food and body obsessions.
For those struggling with an active eating disorder, I say please ask for help. Find a good therapist who is experienced in eating disorders. Confide in a friend you trust. Talking about it helps beyond words. Also seek out a medical doctor who can reassure you that you are ok physically. And above all have HOPE that you can be a healthy happy person again who doesn’t think twice about eating to fuel their body. Healing is possible but it doesn’t happen overnight.
PMAG: Just so our readers can check out your best work, what is your most popular recipe?
KP: My most popular recipes include my Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with avocado, my watermelon frosty and really anything from my two cookbooks!
PMAG: If you could only select one piece of advice to share with the world regarding nutrition, what would it be?
KP: Eat more plants.
Kathy Patalsky is the creator of the lifestyle blog Healthy. Happy. Life. and is the author of two cookbooks, 365 Vegan Smoothies and Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen. Kathy is also the founder of the popular blogger-fueled recipe website Finding Vegan, which has over a million followers on social media. Her blog is a manifestation of her favorite things: art, food, wellness, animals, travel, style, photography, nature and community. For more information go to kblog.lunchboxbunch.com