Misc. Kathy content... And How it All Began.

..This page is a mess of goodies. Continued from my About Kathy main page.

History. I grew up in Santa Cruz California in the 80's and 90's. High school class of '99. Go AHS. I sang in choir, loved English and Creative Writing and adored drama - and any stage I could hop on. Talent show? Yes please! And I totally remember things like VCR's, beepers, mix tapes, Madonna in her prime, watching Titanic about seven times in theaters, truly identifying with my soul via the Spice Girls - I was Posh in our friend group, Gwen when she was just that fun girl in No Doubt and Justin Timberlake when he was just my favorite member of *NSYNC. I also remember the first website I ever created in the early 2000's .. a fan page for 90's TV shows like Saved by the Bell and Full House. Yup.

I followed that up with a website called Britney's Comeback. No, I am not kidding. I made it on TMZ folks. Oh and I know all the moves to the "Oops I did it Again" dance.

Blog Life: How it all began. I casually started this food blog in 2006 with no real clue what I was doing. I liked food. And taking pictures. And writing. So this "blogging" thing sounded like fun. I was stumbling through a chaotic (yet exciting!) transition period in life when it all began. All at once: I was newly married. I scarily decided to drop out of Grad School since it wasn't making me happy. Plus, I abruptly left my full-time job, one I loved and co-workers I fell in love with. Then we moved. To NYC. Hello inspiration!

I started HHL about a year after we moved to downtown New York City. I was instantly inspired by the food culture of the city. I was thrilled to find so many plant based friendly restaurants, farmer's markets and brands. So into my kitchen I went. Creating and cooking. Then sharing. With the world. Or the one or two people who stumbled on my new "food blog." Whatever that was! Blogging as a career was a wild idea back then.

As time went on I upgraded my camera and tried my best to teach myself food photography. I quickly learned that starting a blog or any website and building a loyal audience is not as easy as it sounds. Just starting out, all I had to motivate me was my inner passion. There was nothing real to grasp (readers, monetary value, social following, etc). But I could see the long-term vision for my blog, and I was devoted to giving 100% to this new path in life. Eventually it paid off. My goal for Healthy. Happy. Life. was to show everyone who would listen that vegan recipes are fun, diverse, satisfying and delicious!

Through Healthy. Happy. Life. I hope to inspire you to get in the kitchen and embrace your inner vegan chef. HHL is a resource for everyone, not just vegans. Even adding a few plant-based meals a week to your diet is a great place to start. Embracing vegan is not about perfection. Everyone starts and ends where they feel comfortable when it comes to plant-based eating. Every body is different.

PS. Silliness = a must. Just call me the Plant-slayer...

* Dubrovnik

More about my wellness philosophies..

In regards to nutrition + food facts: There is a lot of misinformation online, every headline isn't fact. And vital to remember: Every person is different. You know you best. Here on HHL, the lessons and guidance I give are through sharing my own story and being an example of someone who believes in the power of a plant-based diet.

Veganism is not a cure or miracle worker - yes, there is absolutely such a thing as an unhealthy vegan. I mean, there is a vegan Ben & Jerry's line now! So in that regard, only you can decide how virtuous you wish to eat. What works for you and your family.

For me, moderation is key. I used to count calories and forbid ingredients like white flour from my pantry. Those days are long gone, and I feel better for that. Those little nutritional details of my diet do not matter because in the end, I feel solid in heart, doing what I 100% believe is best for animals - my reason for being vegan.

So how much does your diet matter in health?? In my teens and twenties, I thought that food + exercise was like 90% of my health, but I have slowly realized that wellness reaches much deeper than that. Diet and exercise are very important, but wellness reaches far and wide in your soul, and there are truly six areas that contribute to your wellness. How you nurture your emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational and social health is just as important as how you treat your physical body.

But above everything, listen to your body. Practice the art of being quiet and following your gut, your heart. It is a challenge these days, in a world so filled with noise and distraction and cute cat videos. But this practice is where I find so many answers in my life in regards to wellness, my career, relationships, my purpose, my path, my happiness and more.

"But I want a bikini body..." Try to resist gawking at those before/after photos on social media.

There is no "after" photo. Our bodies and lives are constantly in motion. A photograph only captures one moment. It is awesome to have photographs of yourself that capture moments where you feel well + happy, where someone says, "Wow, you are glowing!" I have shared many of those photographs for me here on my blog. But I try to also keep things in perspective. For everyone, those photographs only capture a moment in our journey. Our souls are much more than one frame of time.

Everyday, I am trying to realize and share how there is beauty in all our emotions and not just joys, but struggles -- the moments of sadness, confusion, uncertainty, anger, grief, heartbreak and every other human emotion that rarely makes it on social media. It is all life. And life is beautiful. My personal posts share some of that journey for me.

"Lets Widen the Circle" - Leanne, Vaute Couture -- I love that many of my family members, fans and friends have gone vegan or adopted plant-based eating habits because of this website!

* FindingVegan.com
* 365 Vegan Smoothies published by Penguin/Avery in 2013.
* HHVK book

Presenting at D23 in 2017, Disney's annual fan convention...

On Food. What are FIVE recipe posts that define me best? Try these..

1. My Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Avocado
2. My Secret Ingredient Matcha Shake or my Watermelon Frosty
3. My Raw Chard Salad (any raw chard or kale salad!)
4. This drink that I enjoy each and every morning (when possible!)
5. Something sweet. I love a good treat!

And yes really, I am always in the mood for a vegan smoothie..

My first book! 365 Vegan Smoothies - Penguin / Avery - details. My second book: HealthyHappyVeganKitchen (2015, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

My Camera and Lenses: I use a Canon 6d with a few lenses. My faves are my new 100mm Macro and my 1.2 50mm fixed lens. I also love this lens.

*photo by Sabrina Hill

Live Events. I have presented at several live events including The Seed NYC. I hosted several children's classes at Whole Foods Market in NYC via MY self-published children's book brand The Lunchbox Bunch.

Cover photo on VegNews Magazine..

*photo by Caroline White Photography

Presenting at The Seed NYC, Spring 2013 (with Gena ChoosingRaw.com):

*photo by Sabrina Hill

Featured in VegNews summer 2013..

*photo by Caroline White Photography

Brands + PR:.. Download my press kit here or email me at kathy at lunchboxbunch dot com - or check out KathyPatalsky.com I do not post in exchange for free product or samples, serious inquiries only.

Image Use Policy. All photographs on Healthy. Happy. Life. were taken by Kathy Patalsky, unless otherwise noted. The photos taken by Kathy are copyright Polished DC, LLC. PR folks, bloggers, journalists, etc - you must email me for permission requests. DO NOT re-post my images without specific authorization first. Contact me if you have interest in image licensing. contact at lunchboxbunch dot com.

More info on KathyPatalsky.com