I attended the 2012 CT Veg Festival this past Saturday and I have to say that I was in Vegan heaven! I was surrounded by like-minded individuals, and experts in nutrition and wellness.
I attended the speaking topic: The Seven Habits of Healthy Vegans 7 presented by Ginny Messina, MPH, a dietitian specializing in Vegan nutrition. She is the author of Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-based Diet. I found her to be very inspiring, intelligent, and an expert in her field. She also writes a blog titled: The Vegan R.D. where she shares information on the vegan lifestyle from a professional perspective. In the 45 minutes I spent listening to her speak, I learned a world of vital information. Mostly importantly, she recommends every Vegan take a B12 supplement (25micograms per day or 1,000 micograms 2-3xwk), iodine supplement (90mg-150mg 3-4xwk), vitamin D2 supplement, and a DHA & EPA (from algae) supplement in order to maintain optimal health. What I liked most about her what her was her genuine honesty when she revealed health studies that highlighted vitamin deficiency in Vegans. Though she had plenty of reasons to promote the lifestyle, she did make sure the audience was aware of the risk factors for developing vitamin deficiencies. I will definitely be following her blog.
I also attended a food cooking demo presented by local Whole Foods stores. I learned how to make Black Bean Orzo, Brown Rice Risotto, Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing, and Chocolate Pudding! You'll never believe it, but the chocolate pudding was made out of dates, avocado, almond milk, and vanilla extract....that's it! It was wonderfully sweet thanks to the dates and creamy thanks to the Avocado. I have already tried the Brown Rice Risotto recipe at home which I will share with you in my next blog entry this week. All of those recipes and more can be found on their "Health Starts Here" section of their website. All of the recipes were full of flavor due to the variety of vegetables and spices they used. I left feeling armed with ideas and new cooking skills.
Walking around and visting a number of exhibitors and trying a number of food samples a few stuck out to me. Mama Micki's All Natural Bakery cookies were so incredible that I bought a bag of the Vegan Chocolate Orange with Walnuts. The cookie literally melts in your mouth with flavor. I am usually not a huge fan of nuts mixed in with my treats but the pieces of walnut are so finely added in that they provide just a nice gentle crunch to the treat. Soya Foods were also memorable to me, especially their Jamaican Jerk tofette sample which is causing my mouth to water even as I just write about it. I am looking forward to purchasing some at the store and following one of their recipes that they have posted on their website. I was also able to try a number of tortilla chips at Pan De Oro All Natural Tortilla Chip's table, and purchased a bag of their pre-release herb and garlic chips. It took me about two days to polish those off, they paired well with refried beans and guacamole dip. Last but certainly not least, Vegan Pockets also made the list of my favorites. I am a fan of convenience foods that are packed with nutrients and flavor when faced with a busy day or no time to create a healthy meal. I can see Vegan Pockets being real life savors in a crunch for time! All of the products I mentioned can be found in local health food stores including Whole Foods.
Their was so much more to see and do that I ran out of time to participate in any more of the activities or attend anymore of the speakers. I look forward to returning next year and also attending similar events in the near future!
Coming Soon: My experiences enjoying pizza with non-Vegan friends, enjoying a chili festival, and recipes!