Even with the vastness of the internet, Kathy Patalsky is one of those people who you’ll eventually stumble across. She’s everywhere. A serial entrepreneur constantly trying new things. You’ve probably stumbled across one of her recipes or websites and not even known it. We caught up with Kathy to ask her about some of her projects, and to find out what kind of people-food her cat likes…
You’ve got a new book coming out called “365 Vegan Smoothies”. What was the toughest part about writing that book?
The volume of the number of recipes was quite a challenge to balance in my head. As a creative person, the organization factor of writing a book is the biggest challenge for me. But it worked out better than I had expected. I can be surprisingly organized when I need to be! Since I did both recipes and photography, it was quite a project! But I’m so very excited for everyone to see it next spring!
Your website has mouth watering pictures of vegan food. Do you take the photos yourself? Any food-photography tips you can share?
I take all the images myself. I am self taught. I have a great post on food photo tips if you want to delve into that subject.
You make some amazing recipes. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am easily inspired by high quality ingredients. I can simply foot the rockery store or farmer’s market and find some amazing produce and center my recipe around what I have found. I am also inspired by my own childhood food memories. I love vegan-izing old favorites like pizza, holiday desserts, classic sandwiches and more.
You’re clearly an animal person, how many pets are around your home? Do they sample the food you make?
I have one cat, Nelly. She is going on 12 years and my pet soul-mate. I adopted her in LA when she was a kitten. She has been everywhere with me, LA NYC DC and even a cross country road trip. Obviously since she is a cat, she doesn’t eat much people food. But she does have a nose for sweet potatoes.
How did you come to be vegan/vegetarian? Did you have an ah-ha moment?
I was a teenager and just always felt grossed out by meat. I’d pick out the veins of chicken and ask my mom what they were. And when it finally clicked in my head that this was a living creature, I shunned meat for good. My vegan aha moment was in 2000, I was standing in my kitchen cooking some scrambled eggs and had a deep long thought about just what an egg was. It just hit me and I knew I couldn’t eat another egg. Dairy soon followed and soon I was vegan. Of course I was vegan on and off for the first few years, adjusting to a new diet. Frozen yogurt was my biggest weakness. But thank goodness SO many vegan soft serve spots now exist and are way better than dairy! Cashew pumpkin pie for yo from Lula’s in NYC? Yes please!
What kind of Food did your parents serve?
Traditional California food. Lots of farmers market veggies, but still meat, eggs and vegetarian options too. Lots of cheese and dairy. Pasta and Mexican food.
What was your favorite food growing up?
My mom’s Vegetarian Spinach Tomato Ricotta Lasagna and homemade guacamole.
Do your friends/family support and understand the way you eat?
Yes. There are very few people in my life who think I am nuts for eating vegan. Most people are envious and curious about my lifestyle.
Who are some vegans/vegetarians out there that you admire and why?
Oh gosh, so many. You can take a look at my Veggie Girl Power interview series to see a few of my favorites. I don’t like name dropping just because there really are SO many amazing vegan bloggers, cookbook authors, speakers, activists, fashion designers, restaurant owners and more.
Ever relapsed? Any non-vegan/vegetarian food you still crave?
Just in college a bit. I was stupid and tried Atkins for a month. Worst month ever. I felt like complete crap. I reverted to my vegan ways and never looked back.
What would be some advice you could give to those trying out a plant-based diet for the first time?
Make sure you have a few favorite meals and foods that are easy to make. You never want to feel like you have to grab some mainstream food simply because it is the easy way out. Vegan eating can be easy, if you put some time into finding go-to foods and recipes you love and crave.
Are you an early riser? Or night owl?
Both. Does that mean I don’t sleep? Sometimes. It depends what coast I am on.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Probably a lot like yours, only I have a cat on my desk, maybe my pajamas on until noon, and I get to eat my work.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Paris with my husband. I also love anywhere tropical, sunny and flip flop-shoe approved.
How do you like your caffeine?
Matcha is my new favorite energy boost during the workweek. I make a matcha shake on most days. I usually have one soy latte a week for weekend brunch.
What’s your work-out schedule like?
It depends how crazy my work schedule is. But I am always happy to fit in tennis, yoga or a few long walks or jogs when I can.
How is exercise an important part of your life?
Exercise is a way to de-stress and energize / strengthen my body. I am in awe of marathon runners and people who really do go to the gym everyday. I’m just not that person though. I’d rather do a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing than force myself to do a heavy workout on a day when I am just not feeling it.
Titanic (cliche but true)
Favorite piece of kitchen cookware?
Where can people learn more about what you’re up to?
I update my blog quite regularly, so you can find any updates there.
Thank you Kathy for your time!