Monday, September 19, 2011

Portland VegFest! My Faves From The Conference

Hi friends!
I had the most amazing weekend, and I give full credit to Portland VegFest 2011!

For those of you who missed out, wow, I'm sorry, because it was amazing. It completely rejuvinated me and reinforced my decision to go vegan. It was exactly what I needed. My biggest regret was only making it for one day, if I'd known what to expect I would have spent the entire weekend there.

Since I missed most of the speakers and demos (ughhhh bummer), I spent my time at VegFest checking out all the booths in the exhibit hall! A lot of the products I'd tried before, because lets be honest, I've devoted an entire blog to finding new products i can eat. But there were a few that were new to me that I'm really excited about!

First of all, my boyfriend Joe bought a Vitamix, which means my smoothies and soups are about to reach a whole new level of awesome. Stay tuned for recipes!!

Oregon Ice Works - I'd seen their food cart before, but never had a chance to try their stuff, so VegFest gave me the opportunity. Wowza. They make vegan Italian Ice in all sorts of flavors. I got to try the marionberry and the vanilla which were both out of this world. The only drawback is that their products are sweetened with cane sugar (although it is fair trade which is nice!). But other than that its just water and fruit! Pretty great, right? You can get more info at their website:

It's Alive - So this is one I've tried before, I'm actually a regular buyer of their raw dill sauerkraut, but they have some new flavors and products that I feel deserve attention! Like....their seaweed kimchi! I know it sounds weird, but if you are a fermented foods junkie like myself, you'd LOVE this stuff. It would take a pretty great flavor to pull me away from my beloved dill sauerkraut, but this one did it. Because its new, it isnt available everywhere yet, but they do have it in bulk at Peoples Coop which is awesome! The other product that's amazing is their dehydated snack mix, which is a mix of seeds and spices that was absolutely to die for. My favorite was the Wasasbi Nori. For products and locations, check out

Foods Alive - Ok, this is a bit random, but I've never had oil as tasty as their flax oil. Oh my god. I would eat that stuff straight out of the bottle. And its full of vegan omega 3s, which is an added bonus! They also make salad dressings that use the oil as a base as well as flax crackers that are pretty dang good! Unfortunately, they can't be found locally, but its totally worth buying online:

Al Amir -  Al Amir is a lebanese restaurant here in Portland, but they make some of their dips and sell them through grocery stores. We tried their garlic sauce, and WOW was it good. We kept going back for seconds and thirds and fourths, and if we'd had the cash both my friend Ilan and I would have bought it on the spot. This stuff is amazing, and its available at a bunch of places apparently, even Fred Meyer! Also a plus, their restaurant serves gluten free falafel, so heyyy, that's a win!

But of all the vendors, I did have a favorite...drumroll please

And the winner is....Solstice Snacks!

Oh my stars. They make these goji snack bars that are like rice crispies and fruit and all sorts of yummy goodness and I think I probably had at least two samples of every flavor (unfortunately some of them have peanut butter). Of all the flavors, my favorite is a toss up between Chocolate Mint and Thai Spice. I noticed the thai one isn't on their website, so it must be fairly new. These little snackies are sooo delicious! I can't wait to go buy some once I'm off my cleanse! More info can be found at

So I did kinda lie, I actually had a product I liked as much as the Solstice Bars; Sorta Sausage Hemp Burgers. I was all ready to write them this glowing review, when I checked their website and found out they contain corn! I'm so bummed! I was dumb for not asking ahead of time, especially because I had enough samples to equal a whole burger. I like want to cry. It was one of the best things I've ever tasted. I'm hoping to write to them and comment that they should make a corn free version. However, if you aren't allergic to corn, you HAVE to try these. Find out more here:

At the end of the day, Ilan, Joe and I stuck around for a screening of the film Forks Over Knives, which was the final straw in convincing me to go vegan 7 months ago. If you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's out on video now and its also available on Netflix. What gets me every time about this movie is how well researched it is. With so much conflicting info out there about nutrition's part in health, its easy to get confused. I still do, after all this time. But this movie really reminded me that I am doing the right thing. I think the thing that makes this movie so awesome is that it presents the information from a health standpoint, rather than being a slasher film full of clips of animal cruelty or an intimidating and annoying liberal protest-fest. This movie focuses solely on the research that proves eating animal protein can lead to the growth of cancer cells, as well as cause diabetes and heart disease. It appeals to such a wide audience, which is really what I'm trying to accomplish as well. So seriously, SEE IT! It will change your life.

I can't even express how perfect VegFest was for me this weekend. After being run down from my cleanse, it was exactly the boost I needed to remind me why I live the way I do. It got me excited about veganism again. I was seriously glowing after I left, my whole being was filled with energy. I definitely plan on attending more NWVeg events, and I'll keep you all posted on each one! And be on the lookout for more VegFest related reviews, I have a couple new restaurants to try and tell you about!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ready to get Clean!

This summer has been a ride...

With the drinking (and hangovers that keep getting worse), eating out, and never ending stomach issues, I think my body needs a break.

About a month ago I ran across a book called "Clean". The author, Alejandro Junger, discusses why it's important for us to detox our bodies, and how to go about it without derailing our busy lives. It completely fascinated me, and although I've done cleanses before, this one seemed to be way legit. He's an M.D., so I feel comfortable knowing that he went through med school and still believes that this is the way to go. It definitely takes a more mainstream approach to the idea of fasting.

I'll be deviating from his cleanse just a bit, but you can find out more about his program here:

After talking to my natropath, I've come to the conclusion that although my stomach is improving quite a bit, eating a ton of raw veggies may not be ideal for my healing process. So instead of eating a solid meal at lunch, I'll be eating smoothies, blended soups and juices throughout the day. I feel confident that with this cleanse and the homeopathic supplements I'm taking, I'm on the right path to full healing.

I'm going to be giving a day to day account of my progress on my other blog, including recipes for the smoothies and juices I create. I'm hoping to also post some of those recipes here, but the other blog is the best place to follow me on my journey. Also, I'd definitely recommend checking out Dr. Junger's book, it's really interesting stuff, and it appeals to a wide audience in that it definitely applies to everyone.

Stay tuned, I'll be all clean before you know it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Portland VegFest 2011 is Coming!!

Hi all!
I know not all my readers are vegan or even vegetarian, but I assume if you read my blog you love good, healthy food that makes you feel great! Maybe some of you are even a little veg-curious, but don't know much about plant based diets or aren't sure how to transition to one. It can definitely be intimidating to ask for answers from hard-core vegans (I'll admit...that scares me a little too!).

But hey, it doesnt have to be that way!! My recommendation? Come to Portland VegFest!! This two-day conference, held at the Oregon Convention Center, features guest speakers, chef demos, family activities, resturants and vendors, and best of all, free food! It's a great place to explore vegetarianism and get your burning questions answered.

I'm most excited to see Dr. Neal Barnard speak...he's an MD who specializes in healing the body through a whole foods, plant based diet and he's been featured on numerous talk shows like Ellen, plus he has a best selling book out. He'll be a fantastic resource for vegan and veg-curious attendees alike.

Also a plus for you veg-curious types, the documentary Forks Over Knives will be screened during the conference. This is the movie that convinced me to go vegan back in February! After seeing this movie, you'll have no doubt in your mind that veggie is the way to go. And don't worry, its not full of grotesque images of abused farm animals (although that tends to get the job done as well); its all about how your health can truly benefit from a plant based diet, and it shows success stories of people curing their diabetes and other chronic illnesses with this way of life. Very inspiring, and very cool!

Here's the info on the event, I truly hope you'll join me in attending this fabulous event! I've been looking forward to it for months :)

What: Portland VegFest 2011
Where: Oregon Convention Center
Date: Sept. 17-18
Time: 10am - 6pm
More info: Check out