By LENORA S. DERNOGA
Did you know that poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of early disease and premature death in our country? According to the Mayo Clinic, a poor diet is more detrimental to health than smoking or genetic factors, contributing to the development of many chronic conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Magdalena Gebreckristos and her daughter Adia Cotton, have wholeheartedly embraced a healthy lifestyle, including adopting a vegan diet. The two opened Love Life Coffee, in 2021, to offer fresh, healthy plant-based food and beverages in a cozy café environment.
“Due to the limited availability of delicious and wholesome vegan options in the area, opening a vegan café was a natural choice,” Gebreckristos said. “During the COVID[-19] pandemic, a moment of inspiration struck, which led to the inception of this café as a way to fill the gap and provide our community with delectable and nutritious vegan fare.”
The owners sought a professional chef to create a menu of wholesome and satiating items. Starting with their beverages, options include fresh brewed coffees, espressos, teas (chai is a top request), non-coffee beverages, fresh-pressed juices and frozen drinks like caramel or mocha frappé. Their loaded toasts include hummus, mango or cashew butter and jam, and the classic, highly requested, avocado toast. There are several choices of handhelds (wraps) and bowls for breakfast or lunch, including a roasted vegetable wrap or breakfast croissant, and an açai bowl (a favorite) or power bowl. The café also serves beer and wine.
Gebreckristos and Cotton decided to adopt a vegan diet after a decade of following a vegetarian diet. “As we delved deeper into the world of plant-based living, it became evident that a vegan lifestyle offers not only personal health benefits, but also the opportunity to promote the well-being of our planet and animal welfare,” Gebreckristos said. “Our decision to go fully vegan was rooted in the desire to embrace a healthier way of life characterized by lower risks of chronic diseases and improved weight management. We were also drawn to the ethical aspects of veganism, aligning our choices with the humane treatment of animals and the reduction of our environmental footprint. This holistic perspective has enriched our lives and motivated us to share the benefits with others. “
The response has been very positive.
“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our valued customers,” Gebreckristos said. “Skeptics become regular patrons of our café, drawn in not only by the delicious food, but also by the knowledge that a vegan diet can be both nutritious and satisfying.”
This positive response exemplifies how an open-minded approach to trying new things can lead to a delightful culinary journey and, ultimately, a more health-conscious lifestyle. Remember, what you eat is going to reflect how you look and feel.
The café also displays works of art from local artists. “We love our local community and are very proud to support them,” Gebreckristos said.
Love Life Coffee, is at 929 Washington Blvd. Go to thelovelifecafe.com for more info.