Woman's mission is helping others eat healthily
July 07, 2017 10:41 AM
ALBANY - Sharon Lastique is smiling on the inside. It happens whenever someone orders from her café, Healthy on Lark. She says it's an opportunity for people to choose to eat clean.
"I'm always thrilled when people walk in and say, 'Could you help me make these changes?' Yes, yes I can," she beamed.
Eating clean for Lastique began when she was 15 and became a vegetarian.
"I read a book called, 'Diet for a Small Planet' and once my eyes were opened as to the factory farming industry, my conscience wouldn't allow me to continue to eat meat," noted Lastique.
Working in the criminal justice system for 13 years, she says she saw a connection between what inmates were eating and how they behaved.
"I could see the lives that they had, the choices they made and the food that they ate, the environment they were in. It was really impacting their consciousness, their behavior," pointed out Lastique.
Feeling that there had to be a way to help people, she became a certified health coach. When a site on Lark Street went up for sale two years ago, she bought it.
"It is vegetarian only and we have vegan options every day. Our specials are almost always exclusively vegan, maybe one vegetarian item," explained Lastique. "The highest we go on the food chain is egg and dairy."
In fact, Lastique, who says she learned to cook from her Romanian mom, has breakfast, lunch and dinner on the menu. She also promotes employee wellness programs, keeping that promise to help people.
"One of the things that I'm really impressed with is her connection to the community," acknowledged Lisbeth Calandrino, a customer. "We did a women's focus group here a couple of weeks ago. Now, who would even want to do that? She's concerned about women."
"I actually consider this my church of clean living," proclaimed Lastique.
Updated: July 07, 2017 10:41 AM
Created: July 06, 2017 07:06 PM
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