vegan dog food

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.

Berlin vegan guide

This summer, instead of our typical beach holiday, my mum and I decided to do something we’d wanted to do since I was in High School: travel around Europe! Our first stop was Berlin – voted the most vegan-friendly city in the world here, and with a wide range of vegan restaurants, a veggie/vegan hotel in its centre, and an entirely vegan supermarket, it’s not hard to see why.

Throughout our 3 day stay, we visited so many cool vegan places and I’m really excited to share those that we loved the most with you guys. Not only were the vegan options abundant, the city had so much culture and all of the people we met were really friendly and helpful, making our entire experience amazing. I can’t wait to go back and am already dreaming about my next trip!

▹▸HOTEL▹▸

We stayed in Almódovar Hotel, an organic, vegetarian spa hotel. It is located a short walk from Ostkreuz train station, from where the main tourist attractions are easily accessible.

The beautifully decorated modern rooms are extremely comfortable and spacious. The rooftop spa is equally stunning with a big relaxation area, a lush balcony and a glass-walled sauna overlooking the city. As part of our spa in the city package, my mum and I both had a full body massage and agreed that it was the most relaxing massage we’d ever had.

almodovar hotel berlin

In addition to the beautiful facilities, the hotel also offered delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The buffet breakfast at the hotel was 100% vegetarian and mainly vegan, meaning we were spoilt for choice.

breakfast at almodovar hotel

There were delicious cakes, fruit salads, and my personal favourite: a vegan twist on traditional german cuisine. The staff were all so friendly and helpful, and our waitress recommended lots of vegan restaurants/cafes for us to visit during our trip.

breakfast at almodovar hotel

My mum and I both loved our experience at Almodovar Hotel and next time I visit Berlin, I will definitely be staying here again!

▹▸RESTAURANTS▹▸

Almodovar Hotel Restaurant

almodovar restaurant

On our first evening in Berlin, we were feeling super tired as we’d been up since 2am, so decided to eat in the restaurant in our hotel. We ordered bread with a red pepper almond dip to start and paella to share for our main. Both dishes were amazing!!!! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to snap a picture of the paella, but it was filled with veggies and faux meat sausages and was by far one of the best paellas I’ve ever had. The red pepper almond dip was also delicious – I am definitely going to try to recreate it at home and if it turns out well I’ll be sure to share the recipe with you guys.

Sfizy Veg Pizzeria

vegan pizzeria sfizy veg

On our second evening we visited Sfizy veg, a vegan pizzeria recommended by one of the lovely waitresses in our hotel. It was a little far from the centre and was so busy that we had to wait a while for a table but the food was so delicious that it was definitely worth the trip. Once again dark lighting + iPhone camera made for very bad photos, so I unfortunately don’t have any to show you guys but rest assured that my pizza and my mum’s spaghetti pomodoro both went down very well. The cheese on my pizza was extremely dairy-like so if you’re newly vegan/missing the taste of dairy then you would absolutely love it! Whilst I really enjoyed the pizza, this meal confirmed to me that after just over a year as a vegan I do not miss dairy at all!

▹▸SUPERMARKET/CAFE▹▸

Veganz aka vegan heaven, is an entirely vegan supermarket chain that stocks everything from fresh fruits and veggies, to vegan cheese and mayo, to vegan pizzas, to vegan dog food. How freaking cool is that!? Oh, and as if that’s not enough, the branch we visited also has a vegan cafe annnd on the second level, there is a vegan shoe shop and a vegan restaurant! Basically, I never wanted to leave.

veganz

We bought lots of treats for ourselves like vegan ice cream and yoghurts, and also decided to get some vegan dog treats for Poppy, Panda, Teddy and Kitty. Like all dog treats, they look kinda gross but I’m sure the dogs will love them.

vegan dog treats veganz

On our last day in Berlin, we had veggie burgers and green juices for lunch in the Veganz cafe and they were so yummy! I really wish we had a Veganz in the UK as it would be amazing to have somewhere where you can eat delicious vegan food and do your weekly shopping. Veganz – come to the UK!!!

veganz cafe berlin

 

Overall, my mum and I had an amazing time in Berlin. I’m already planning my next trip there as I can’t wait to take my boyfriend and all of my veggie/vegan best friends to all of the cool vegan places we explored.

Have any of you guys been to Berlin? I’d love to hear if you guys have any cool vegan finds to add to this list!