Vegan chef, Ursula Lake, graduate of the Vegan Natural Chef course at College of Naturopathic Medicine, shares how she found confidence to run yoga retreats and write a vegan book thanks to her training.

I turned vegan five years ago but had been a vegetarian since the age of 16. I was increasingly aware of the impact of the food industry on the environment and the connection of food to our general wellbeing and mental health. 

Having become increasingly involved in the yoga community and attending retreats, I decided to combine my passion for both vegan food and yoga by qualifying as a naturopathic chef. This was so I could nurture others through food and also run yoga retreats with my friends.

Vegan food qualification

I wanted a course that would give me a vegan food qualification and also teach me more about nutrition, so when I found the CNM Vegan Natural Chef course it seemed to provide the perfect mix of nutritional and holistic information plus practical food skills. And this was exactly what I got.

What I especially loved about the course were the lecturers, who really had excellent knowledge and expertise. It was great to learn from them. I also enjoyed the camaraderie of the group I was in.

Educational, practical and fun, the CNM course gave me the confidence and skills to run my own yoga retreats and set up my own business collaborating with yoga teachers.

This has now been rather impacted by Covid-19 and I am not sure when I will be able to run another physical retreat but I am excited and optimistic about the future.

Writing my vegan book

During lockdown I wrote a vegan recipe book called The Vegan Lockdown Larder, which contains 40 recipes. I crowd funded the book and have been overwhelmed by the great response I have received.

I’ve donated 30 per cent of the profits to the Trussell Trust charity, which supports food banks across the UK.

What I love about being a chef is all the time spent in the kitchen. Time pottering about, researching and creating is my happy place. It’s a joy to create food for others, especially knowing I’m contributing to their health and wellbeing.

I’ve really enjoyed the process of adult education at CNM. I’ve loved learning again, especially at an age when I understand and appreciate the value of what I am learning.

It’s also great to be involved in a profession that actively encourages the wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants.

The College of Naturopathic Medicine has a superb 22-year track record training successful natural health professionals online and in class. 80 per cent of graduates are now practising. Call 01342 410 505 or visit