Archived Story

Kat’s Hot Talk: Tips for healthy living

Published 8:00am Friday, September 21, 2012

Greetings, Off the Water readers. My name is Kat Barry and I am a St. Joseph native. Living a healthy, active and full life is something that has always been important to me.

Growing up on Lake Michigan, we were outside all the time. I spent countless hours in the lake, on the beach and climbing around the dunes in all types of weather. In the summer, my mom took us to farm stands to stock up on local tomatoes, corn and beans.  In the morning, there were always local berries ready and washed for our pre-swim-practice fuel. In the winter, all of our family vacations focused around cross-country ski trips in forests throughout Michigan. Mom always packed homemade GORP trail mix so we could have wholesome snacks to sustain us.

Moving back to the area two years ago, these were the memories that made me excited about downsizing from big city life to my Michigan beach town. Year-round outdoor activities and bountiful local produce are, to me, the best features of living in Michiana.

I’ve experienced first-hand the power of switching from the typical American diet to one based in whole, plant foods, and I’ve found that close access to so many delicious fresh fruits and veggies at affordable prices not only makes healthy eating simple here, it’s one of the biggest benefits of the area. You can literally know the farmer who grows the food you feed your family, or in my case, your customers. I’ve had an absolute blast taking advantage of these natural resources; it’s made my life as a vegan yogi in a small Midwest town fairly easy.

Many people I meet in my business and social life seem overwhelmed by taking their health into their own hands and learning to cook some simple plant-based meals, get outside and hike or make it to the beach for light yoga and meditation. As a totally overbooked entrepreneur, I’m here to tell you that making healthy choices in your daily life doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or overwhelming. It takes some commitment, but what better thing to commit yourself to than feeling great so you can enjoy life?

I’m thrilled to share my experiences and adventures in food and fitness. I am a health foodie, recovered cheese addict and exercise junkie who’s learned to simplify routines as life becomes more complicated. I have lots of tips and tricks for how to eat healthy, get fit and feel energized, despite a hectic modern life and little free time. Each week, I will be sharing a tidbit with you. You’ll get to learn some of my favorite recipes, tips on healthy eating-on-the-go and quick, efficient workout ideas.

I also look forward to sharing local wellness events and information to help demystify the latest health food ingredients.

Take away what works for you now, and file the rest for later. As my yoga teacher once said to me, “We can’t learn if we’re not ready to hear.” If nothing else, I hope you’re ready for some fun and creative thoughts on healthy living in Michiana.

Kat Barry is the owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes, a vegan snack food and catering company based in Bridgman. She is a self-taught vegan chef, freelance writer and certified yoga teacher.

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