Try something different at Kat’s vegan kitchen

‘Veganuary’ – the trend which involves going vegan for January – might officially be over but the lifestyle is going nowhere.

Compassionate eating has become a phenomenon, as we think more carefully about where our produce comes from, and an increasing number of people are adopting a vegan dietary lifestyle – or a plant-based diet – for a healthier and happier way to live. The benefits have proven to be bountiful, including weight loss, increased energy levels and clearer skin.

Since Kat Hale opened her vegetarian and vegan cafe in Keswick, the amazing response she has received from her customers has helped her on her own journey towards veganism.

Kat, a vegetarian transitioning to a full vegan diet, spent eight months researching before opening her doors back in August last year and believes this to be the way forward.

She said: “Since I started here I have personally lost two stone through physically changing my diet and having the access to this food all the time, it’s nice, it’s healthy and it’s enjoyable, I don’t miss anything in particular.”

However, the prospect of making such a huge lifestyle change can be daunting for us omnivores. This is something Kat knows well and is why she wants to help others on the path to a plant-based life.

She explained: “If you’re an omnivore or a pescatarian it is a bigger step change but I think the key is to look at it as moving into a plant based diet. If your motivation for doing it is health and compassion for animals, then moving to a plant based diet is a good way to start because it’s not that difficult.”

Her kitchen offers a large selection of gluten and dairy-free options and as everything is freshly home-made, they are able to accommodate any dietary requirements. The relaxed eatery has become a haven for diners in Cumbria where up until now vegetarian options have been few and far between. Customers from Newcastle, Manchester, Northern Ireland and even Canada, have got in touch to ensure they have somewhere tasty and welcoming to eat during their visit to The Lakes.

Kat said: “The key to this place is we want as many people as possible to be able to eat here.”

She added: “Often they’ll go away and are generally impressed because the food is nice, it’s tasty and it’s filling – just because there’s no meat doesn’t make it any less filling.”

Kat has built up quite the repertoire and her dynamic menu is frequented by specials such as the popular Shepherdess pie, Moroccan stew and black bean chilli made with chocolate. Over the coming issues, Kat will be regularly sharing some of her favourite recipes and tips for approaching a plant-based diet, exclusively for Guide readers.

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