Vida Vegan Con Recap Part II
Ok, back to the much delayed vacation recap. It’s hard to concisely wrap up Vida Vegan Con because so much greatness happened that weekend.
Saturday, I got up early for breakfast. There was a huge spread including food options for those who were raw, gluten free, nut free, and soy free.
I picked fruit, chia pudding, a fluffy gluten free pancake, and plenty of coffee and juice. The coffee was from Stumptown roasters—I wish I’d bought some when I was in town! There was also lots of coconut creamer. During breakfast, Laura Beck of vegansaurus! gave funny and moving opening remarks.
After breakfast, I was off to a photography workshop conducted by Isa, Hannah, and Susan. I have DSLR, and I took a photography class in college, but I still have a lot to learn, particularly about food photography.
Isa, Hannah, and Susan’s blogs were some of the very first I read as a new vegan, and they continue to be sources of inspiration, both with their beautiful photos and creative content.
It was interesting hearing how different approaches can all produce great photos. The time went by quickly, but I learned a lot. This is one of the shots I took:
I wish I had their help with all of my photos!
Then, I attended a nutrition panel with Wendy Gabbe Day, Bryanna Clark Grogan, Gena Hamshaw, and Ginny Messina, moderated by Grant Butler. Bryanna has been cooking vegan food for her family for over 25 years, Gena offers a balanced approach to eating raw, Wendy believes there is room for wholesome sweets in every meal of the day, and Ginny Messina offered a refreshing viewpoint.
It was refreshing to hear that there is no reason to avoid any vegan food unless you have an allergy or intolerance, and that having a little sugar, some cooked food, and moderate amounts of oil will not hurt you. I love green smoothies, green juice, and huge raw kale salads, but sometimes I want a vegan doughnut or some tater tots, and I have them.
Next was the Accidental Journalist workshop, hosted by Gabrielle Pope, Dawn Quinn, and Michele Truty. These ladies did a fabulous job covering topics from grammar and profreading to plagiarism. Giving credit costs only a few seconds, but gains you good karma and probably even friendship.
Then, it was time for lunch! I piled up my plate with barbecued tempeh (hiding under the kale), some incredible orzo salad, raw purple cauliflower hummus, and of course, heaps of delicious lemony kale salad. I also inhaled a chocolate Coconut Bliss bar.
After lunch, I attended the positive blogging panel with Gena, Janessa, Leigh-Chantele Koch, and Christa Shelton. This was an excellent presentation about how we can be positive, but still speak our minds. I think I have a generally upbeat attitude, but as a fairly open person, I share the good and the bad.
Then, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau‘s talk on compassionate activism inspired many and wrapped up the first day of sessions.
After a brief break, it was time to change and head to the Galarama and silent auction benefiting Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. I left my giant camera, so I didn’t take photos. Many thanks to the lovely Jocelyn for giving Panda and me a ride to the event.
There was so much food – Sizzle Pie, burgers, Gardein chick’n tenders, fresh spring rolls, and more. There was an amazing sundae bar with Coconut Bliss ice cream and homemade caramel sauce! I also witness some major action on the dance floor.
I won an amazing flax package from Royal Harvest—probably because I scared a few people away with my intense desire to win. What can I say, I’m secretly competitive, and now my Omega 3s will be balanced for years. I still don’t know what I’ll do with 4 bags of flax meal and six bottles of flax oil in banana, coconut, chocolate, and caramel.
After the fun was over, I still wasn’t done eating for the day. Mo and I decided to head out to the vegan mini-mall for some Upton’s sandwiches, and thank goodness—Kittee and her friends gave us, and my giant box of flax, a ride. They also delivered my flax to the conference the next day.
First, I bought a kale tote for my flax from Herbivore, and a cute little bird necklace.
Then, we headed over to Food Fight (I wish this was my local grocery store!), where the folks from Upton’s Naturals had a sandwich shop set up. I ordered a seitan pastrami with sauerkraut. The seitan pastrami was tender, thinly sliced, and peppery, and was covered with crispy, fresh sauerkraut—simply amazing.
While we were standing outside eating, an ice cream truck showed up out of nowhere, and the woman had several coconut cream-based sorbets. She gave us generous samples, but we were both too full, despite the amazing flavors. Coconut passion fruit and coconut lemon saffron! As it turned out, she’d only stopped because she saw people hanging out. Portland!
Mo discovered my serious lack of navigation skills without my smartphone, but luckily Michele and her partner Tom took mercy on us and gave us a ride back to the hotel, and Jess shared some of her tots with us. It just goes to show how much these wonderful organizers went out of their way to make sure we were all taken care of. Then, it was off to bed to rest before the final day.
MoFo is quickly approaching, so I’ll wrap up the conference, and the rest of my vacation this week!