health

Interview with Katarina from Lola’s Cookie Jar

Today I am so happy to share with you all my interview with Katarina, the lovely founder of all natural veggie pet bakery: Lola’s Cookie Jar. Katarina kindly sent some vegan treats for my gang to try out and they were big fans (read more about that in my last post), so I was really excited to get to know more about this awesome little business and how it all got started. I’m sure you’ll love reading Katarina and her gorgeous pup Lola’s story as much as I did ▹▸▹▸

lolas cookie jar treats

Q: I love that your business sells all natural veggie & vegan dog treats as they are so hard to find! Tell us all about Lola’s Cookie Jar and how you became a small business owner. What were your main inspirations and influences?

A: 10 years ago I got Lola from a Windsor Pet Shop that got closed down for selling sick puppy mill puppies. Lola was a half Yorkie half Dachshund puppy that stole my heart with one glance, I looked at her, she looked at me and in that moment I knew she was gonna be my dog and I was gonna be her human. She is truly the best dog a girl could have. We traveled the world together and Lola got to go to Europe 2 times. She spent over 6 months in Europe on the coast of Adriatic Sea before she turned 1 – I seriously took her everywhere. She got to see Cancun Mexico and the Bahamas 2 times and she absolutely loves to travel. When she sees the suitcases she gets so excited that there is no doubt in my head that she knows that we are going somewhere for vacation.

Although we have lots of fun together not all of our 10 years have been fun and games. Lola has had a series of health problems, probably 10 times more problems than an average dog. She is in and out of vet offices and we usually have to have at least 2 surgeries per year. I had to work 2 jobs to pay my vets. Lola has an extra vertebra deformity that pressed on a nerve and caused severe pain in her back legs. She is doing great now but not long ago she was completely on bed rest. I had to carry her out to pee and hold her up in the air, she couldn’t do anything alone for 4 months. I even traveled to see an out of country Neurologist in the US that specializes in these issues to try and help her the best I can. Thank God she is doing great now but for the rest of her life no stairs or running. She has also had issues with Cancer, Liver, Kidneys and that’s what got me into the low protein, holistic, vegetarian food and treats.

Currently Lola is on a Renal Diet and I prepare her food from scratch. Her diet is mostly vegetables and Sol fish and fish oils. She can’t have chicken, beef, pork or lamb. Only a low protein, kidney safe diet. I love the fact that both of our lifestyles include fresh foods. I believe that nature has a solution to every problem if you look hard enough. Nature’s little miracles are not just for humans but for animals too and that is why I use nature’s power food and herbs for our furry kids. Milkthisle has helped my Lola so much, and Chamomile, don’t even get me started on Chamomile, and Turmeric – I love giving her my Heart Healthy Treats.  So to sum it up the cookies were all for her, she is my motivation for everything. What can I say? My love for her brings out the best in me.

katarina and lola

Q: That’s awesome that a predominantly veggie diet has been able to help with Lola’s health problems! Have you got any tips for someone hoping to start up their own small veggie/vegan business?

A: My tip to anyone starting their own business is to make sure you choose something you truly love!!!! Something that comes natural to you, something that you are truly passionate about, and once you start don’t let anything hold you back!!!

Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: And if I could eat one last meal of food I choose Pomegranate!!!!! Pomegranate is my favorite fruit. I have a tree in the back yard of my Croatia home and I miss that fruit more than anything in the world. Since I was a kid I would clean 4 or 5 of them and eat them all, that’s how much I love it. What can I say? I love my fruit! If you ask any of my girlfriends they will tell you I am fruit crazy lol.

vegan dog

Q: Describe a day in the life of Katarina…

A: My favorite day is a day with my family. We love to go to the beach and lay and feel the sun on our skin… Lola loves to nap on the beach in the shade and go on walks in the park. I am a simple girl who doesn’t need fancy things to make her happy. All I need is my dog Lola, and my mom, Lola’s Granny, feels the same way. Seeing Lola happy is instant joy to both of our hearts. Some people have their kids, we have our Lola.  My family is my everything.

Q: Do you have a favourite inspirational quote to leave us with?

A: My inspirational quote of the day is “Believe In The Glory Of Your Dreams”.

Thank you so much Katarina for sharing yours and Lola’s story with us. It’s so inspiring to know how beneficial a holistic, veggie diet can be for our furry friends too. To learn more or to order some yummy dog treats, check out Lola’s Cookie Jar here.

Lola’s Cookie Jar – vegetarian and vegan all natural dog treats

Lola’s Cookie Jar is a cute little pet bakery offering vegetarian and vegan dog treats made with all natural ingredients; meaning no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. As I’m sure you all know, I am obsessed with my four beautiful dogs (Poppy, Panda, Teddy & Kitty), so naturally I want to feed them the best and healthiest food to help them live long, happy and healthy lives. This is why I was absolutely thrilled when I came across Lola’s Cookie Jar on instagram, as it can be so hard to find dog treats that are not only vegan but are also made from wholesome, natural ingredients (unlike many of the commercial dog food brands).

Katarina, the lovely founder of Lola’s Cookie Jar, kindly sent me three bags of the vegan treats in her range for my gang to try out. Luckily the treats arrived on the day I left for Australia, so I got to have a little treat tasting session with the dogs (they thought it was all of their birthdays and Christmas rolled into one), and of course, take lots of cute pictures.

lolas cookie jar treats

▹▸▹▸ “Just Relax” Calming Treat

As you can tell from Poppy’s ‘must not look at treats’ face, the dogs found these ones pretty hard to resist. Poppy, who is normally the fussiest eater, absolutely loved them so they must be pretty darn tasty .

vegan dog treats

▹▸▹▸ Lola’s Lucky Charms

After nudging them around a little, the dogs were big fans of the Lucky Charms. I’m not sure if this had something to do with the colour (particularly for Teddy, as he loves all pink anything!) but whatever the reason there wasn’t a pink crumb in sight.

lolas cookie jar vegan treats

 

▹▸▹▸ Carob Bone Truffles Delight

True to their name, the truffles are definitely the most luxurious of the range. They look and smell so good that I was even a little tempted to give them a try, and it is safe to say that the dogs definitely shared my excitement with these ones being their favourite!

vegan dog food

I absolutely love finding and supporting awesome small vegan businesses, so I’m really happy we found Lola’s Cookie Jar and I’m sure we’ll be placing our next order very soon.

To check out Lola’s Cookie Jar’s delicious range of treats, go to lolascookiejar.com

You can also follow Lola’s Cookie Jar on instagram @lolascookiejar and on facebook Lola’s cookies and bits.

I’m also really excited to be able to share with you all my interview with Katarina about the inspiration behind Lola’s Cookie Jar and what it’s like to run a small vegan/vegetarian business, so look out for that later this week.

Endorphins make you happy

Since being back at university, I have absolutely loved having the time to get involved with workouts and sporting activities on a regular basis. As we all know from legally blonde, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy, so keeping fit is not only good for your body but also for your mind.

legally blonde meme

In the past few weeks, Maria and I have been to an awesome yoga class and have entered a netball team in an intramural netball tournament where we are currently second in the league, can I get a hell yeah?! One thing we haven’t got back into yet is running; so today, whilst it was pouring with rain and thunder storming, what did we decide would be a great thing to do? Why, go for a run of course!

nike trainers in leaves

Earlier this year, we started the couch to 5k program – a 9 week running plan for beginners that gradually builds you up from couch potato to running a 5k. As we never completed it and haven’t run for months, we decided to start again at week 3. It was a good way to ease back into it but we felt we could push ourselves a bit more so did the podcast twice. The park we ran in looked absolutely beautiful with all of the orange, yellow and brown autumn leaves falling around us. Autumn is definitely the most beautiful time of year to me; check out those incredible colours ▷►▹▸

running in the autumn leaves

Like any mature adults would, we rewarded ourselves for our hard work with a post-run play session in the children’s play area. Whilst Maria got all flexy on the bars, I of course headed straight for the slide without noticing there was a huge, muddy puddle at the bottom. Oops.

pink running girl black running girl

As if this wasn’t enough exercise for one day, I also played my first ever game of squash this evening! Hitting a ball against a wall as hard as you can initially seemed a bit crazy to me, but turns out it’s actually really fun… that is of course until one of your friends hits you in the stomach with a squash ball – thanks for that Seany!

squash

Now, curled up in bed with my favourite Hotel Chocolat Gianduja Bombes, I can confirm I definitely agree with Elle Woods when it comes to exercise making you happy. What is your favourite way to keep fit? Have any of you tried the couch to 5k?

My top three vegan summer must-haves (or must-eats!)

I have been LOVING the heatwave we are having in London at the moment and have been making the most of it by chilling out in the sun (of course with my dogs and torts), and enjoying some vegan summer treats. Here are my favourite 3 that I wanna share with you.

summer fun

 

1. Fresh lemon and lime water

I nearly always start my days of with a mug of freshly squeezed hot lemon water, because as my mum has been telling me for years, lemon is a great antioxidant and helps to push our bodies to the required ph alkaline state; which in english means it makes you feel great! In this hot weather, a chilled version of this is perfect. One of my favourite drinks has always been lemon and lime flavoured water, and nothing beats the natural version!

What’s great is that this super healthy drink is so yummy and also really easy to make:

  • Slice 1 lemon and 1 lime in half
  • Squeeze half of each into a glass
  • Pour in water and stir
  • Decorate glass with 1 slice of lemon and 1 slice of lime (if you’re a little OCD about making your drinks look pretty like me)

lemon and lime water

 

2. The summer smoothie

Fresh smoothies are so good for you, and also happen to be incredibly yummy; win, win. This morning, I created my first Jade’s Vegan Diary smoothie recipe: the summer smoothie. One word, yummy!

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate

Instructions

  •  Chop bananas and kiwis into chunks
  • Put all fruit and almond milk into a blender/ smoothie maker
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour into a glass and sprinkle pomegranate on top (love those bad boys!)

summer smoothie

 

3. Orange sorbet ice cream 

Orange sorbet is the perfect desert for a hot summer evening, and I was really surprised when I found out how easy it is to make. I think I will definitely be having a lot of orange sorbet this summer!

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup/ carton soya milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Instructions

  •  Chop oranges into chunks
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add in soya milk and vanilla essence
  • Blend until mixed together and smooth
  • Pour into tub and put into freezer
  • Stir after one hour (to prevent crystallising)
  • Leave in the freezer for another hour before serving
  • Add raspberries and pomegranate (mainly for decoration, but also because they’re yummy )

orange sorbet