Kim St. Clair
Kim works at the Olive Branch Cafe in Lewiston, Maine, where she is the kitchen manager and absolutely loves what she does. She has worked in the restaurant business for 30 years on and off and finds working at this vegan restaurant very rewarding. Kim is the mother to five kids.
1. How Long have you been eating plant-based? I have been plant-based for 3 years.
2. What made you decide to go plant-based? I had toyed with being plant-based for a while but I didn’t make the change until I saw the prophecy seminar here at the Olive Branch when it really clicked for me. Becoming a seven day adventist has helped me understand the health message that the body is a temple and only good for you foods should go in your body. The science is coming out to support the benefits of a plant-based diet as the best nutritionally. My Dad has also become plant-based. His blood sugar before eating plant-based was 300 with an A1C of 10. After changing to a plant-based lifestyle he has lost 40+ lbs, his blood sugar now is 110 and is A1C is normal.
3. What are the benefits eating plant-based have done for you? I have fibromyagia which got a lot better. I am in much less pain now, I have significantly more energy, no more migraines, weight loss and I generally feel better. I couldn’t do the job I have as kitchen manager without making this lifestyle change to eat plant-based.
4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of eating plant-based? For me it was harder giving up dairy and cheese. Also most people think vegan is going to taste like cardboard, that it is limited with only salad, and they won’t get to eat as many options. Not all of my family is open to it yet although our family doctor is now vegan. There needs to be more education done about this. When people come into our restaurant and find that it is vegan, they want to leave. We try to get people to at least try it and they find that the food is very delicious. Also a lot of people say if you make it for me I would eat it. We give out our recipes because we want people to eat this way. A big piece of the restaurant is the education we provide.
5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Breakfast: I am not a big breakfast person so a lot of times I will make a green smoothie. Lunch: Since I am usually at work I usually eat the cranberry chickless sandwich here at the Olive Branch cafe. Dinner: Dinner is a bit challenging because of the family. My husband will usually cook for the rest of the family or the kids are old enough to cook for themselves. The kids do call before I leave work and ask me to bring home some of the vegan options here at the cafe. They like the soups, the salads, the haystacks, and quesadillas.
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook, tip or recipe to share? Here is a great fall recipe from our restaurant.
For the restaurant website check here: https://www.lewistonark.com/