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Apr 5, 2018

Om Shanti Yoga Expands to Vegan Cafe

There’s a new place in town to have an array of vegan and vegetarian foods. Only one month since its opening, Om Shanti Cafe is an expansion of the well-known yoga studio. Tonight in Healthy Living, we visit the cafe to find out what one can expect from an all vegan and vegetarian menu.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Veganism is named as on the of the food trends for 2018. This practice, though, of not consuming animal products is certainly not new as many have subscribed to a vegan lifestyle for religious and health reasons for many years. In Belize, there are some places offering vegan and vegetarian food and now there’s one more business to add to the list: Om Shanti Belize Yoga, Spa & Cafe. Best known for her yoga teaching, Michelle Williams explains why it was the right time for the expansion of services.

 

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams, Director, Om Shanti Belize Cafe

“After class I would offer green juices that I would make or smoothies that I would make or if made any kale chips I would offer it to my students and so it happened just organically. And when we moved into the new location it just kind of like a natural transition.  It’s incorporating all aspects of the yogic lifestyle and on a business perspective vertically integrating all the aspects so that they fit together rand they work together and kind of there is a natural flow from yoga to vegetarian to veganism to maybe natural therapeutic remedies for relaxation and stress.”

 

The typical assumption is: vegan meals are all lettuce and nuts but the variety of snacks offered at the cafe proves otherwise. From ceviche to cashew cheese to muffins, vegan chocolate pudding and even brownies. Now, for those of you new to this way of eating, it’s important to note that there is a difference between vegan and vegetarian.

 

Michelle Williams

“There are some food products that have absolutely no animal products but we do offer vegetarian as well. So we do offer both. And vegetarian would mean? That they will consume maybe dairy.  In the modern day veganism can be quite creative. If you like the taste of cheese there’s the vegan alternative of nut cheese and there’s different ways of making that taste very cheese you can even nachos from say cashew cheese. It’s creating a well balanced meal or lifestyle consumption through without even eating any meat or any or animal products at all.”

 

The cafe offers an additional source of food for those already practicing this style if eating but ultimately, it’s for anyone willing to give some new food a try.

 

Marleni Cuellar

“How have you found the interest in Belize so far?”

 

Michelle Williams

“I think from a health perspective, people are becoming more and more aware of the effects of eating maybe too much meat too much red meat if you have heart disease and just as far as your digestion is concerned. It’s eating meat really does take more of your toll on your digestion that eating say fresh vegetables or unprocessed food items. In fact, we had somebody come here the other day two friends and the woman said do you have soft drinks? No. Do you have any nachos? No. Do you have any burgers? No. So what do you have? The friends was just like just try she ended up having the mango ceviche and she had the vegan burger and she realized she was the one that said. You know it’s the spices. It tastes just like meat. It’s the spices that make the meat so delicious. We’re finding friends who already transitioning are bringing their friends to taste it and be exposed to an alternative. It’s not necessarily full-fledged or be too regimental about it but just introduce to them so that they’re taste can become more aware.”

 

The snacks at Om Shanti Cafe can cost from three dollars to twenty dollars for a meal. It’s located at the old Harbor View building in Belize City and opens from eight a.m. to eight p.m.

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