Kripalu Guest Stories: Kate S.

From Corporate to Culinary

One woman’s journey to her true calling.

Why am I here? That question surfaced insistently over the 18 years I worked in corporate America. The job—in a fast-paced, straitlaced environment—was fundamentally at odds with my personal values. I couldn’t avoid asking myself the big questions: What was I doing to benefit the world? What was I doing for myself?

In 2005, I went to Kripalu for a program on food and its addictive qualities. Immediately, I was impacted by the peacefulness and the serenity of the environment. I felt like I fit in. It served as a stark contrast to my job at a pharmaceutical company. Instead of health being defined by popping a pill, Kripalu stressed the importance of both emotional and physical well-being.

Over the next few years, every time I faced a crossroads, when I felt that I had a choice to make, I would find myself at Kripalu. It’s the place I go to get my head on straight, and the atmosphere where I feel most inspired.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues and decided to take the Detox for Health and Healing program. I learned a huge amount about organic food, how to make sound nutritional decisions, the importance of eating local, and much more. I was already cutting down on animal products, but I decided to go completely vegan. The problem was what to feed my family. I found inspiration at Kripalu. The vegan options I ate there were amazing. I bought a few Kripalu cookbooks and jumped in with questions like, How do you cook tofu? Tempeh? Can I make seitan from scratch? There was a lot of trial and error.

My body felt better, but more change was necessary. During another visit to Kripalu, I had an epiphany. I couldn’t continue to live the way I was living and be true to myself. I needed to leave my job. My company had just decided to restructure and I had the opportunity to take a severance package.

I took the leap and opened a small vegan restaurant with my husband. I’m not expecting to make a lot of money. I just want to share with others the wonderful food that I’ve learned how to make, and add positivity to my environment. I’m so thankful for Kripalu for providing a space where I could discover what was truly important to me.

—Kate S., Mystic, Connecticut