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DREAMER & DOER: Alessandra Lanot of Pipino Vegetarian Restaurant by PINO

[I’m starting this segment, DREAMER & DOER, to feature various inspiring people I meet, and whom I believe you guys can draw inspiration from as well. I’ll be featuring travelers, entrepreneurs, vegetarians, yogis, designers, writers, planeteers, or people who are a ridiculous mix of this all…the big dreamers who are also big doers; turning their passion into action.]

Sometimes, you come across people that make you go “damn, I want your life”! That is Alessa to me.

I’ve gotten to know Alessa through our Punchdrunk Panda blogger hangout at Pipino last March, our cooking session 2 weeks ago, and Lois Yasay’s Passion Test the other Sunday, which Alessa and I participated in, and incidentally, was also held at Pipino (I’ll be writing about that next).

Alessa is one of those super slashies who still manages to to do well with each slash. She’s a vegetarian/vegan restaurant owner/designer/blogger/wife/teacher/crafter, and a DMC brand ambassador too!

She slowly and steadily went vegetarian since high school and claims that it was relatively easy to make the transition. “Every time I make a decision to ‘drop out’ a certain type of animal meat, I don’t turn back or ever cheat”, she shares. “Aside from being good to your body an not ingesting unwanted hormones from animal meat, you offset or lessen your carbon foot print by at least 60%! The resources you need to feed 1 meat eater can support 11 vegetarians”, she adds.

Being vegetarian is really an advocacy for the planet (it’s my primary reason for going veg too), and she definitely furthers this with Pipino, the green sister of PINO, an omnivore-friendly restaurant that she put up with her now husband PJ when they had just started dating. PJ supported Alessa’s dream of opening a vegetarian restaurant, so much so that when PINO moved to a bigger location in Malingap in 2010, they decided to introduce 6 Pipino dishes as well. After seeing the response to Pipino’s dishes, they realized it was time to open a full restaurant.

[Pipino’s power couple]

Because vegetarian dishes are normally compared against their meat counterparts, there’s always that challenge, but a challenge they willingly accept. With their intent to deliver healthy vegan options, they also opted to stay away from gluten & soy protein in order to highlight vegetables (or fruit) as the main dish.

With Pipino’s undeniably charming interiors, and their mission to integrate yummy vegan options to our diet, I have no doubt in their continuing success. Alessa hopes to open a Pipino branch in Makati by the end of this year, and dreams of having more vegan packed/cold storage products available in groceries to support people’s veg lifestyles at home.

And I’ve only really talked about her work with Pipino. This is only skimming the surface of all the amazing things Alessa does. So I asked her:

“How do you manage Pipino, your blog, graphic design, workshops, travel, and your marriage? You’re amazing! But seriously, how do you do it?”

To which she replied:

I don’t know either. Sometimes I think I’m a bit crazy for involving myself in all these things, but they definitely make life exciting. Everything I do now is for the purpose of living the life I dream of. I guess when you find what matters most to you, it won’t be hard to ‘schedule’ all the things on your plate. Although it DOES help that I sleep at 10pm and wake up at 5 or 6 every day.”

So that’s her secret (along with the added energy her vegetarian diet gives her).
Aaaand I’m posting about finding what matters most to you next.
In the meantime, check out Alessa’s pretty blog for creative life inspiration! 

Peace out,

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