Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Veg Fest

We went to the VegFest at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds last weekend.  Apparently, the VegFest has been meeting since before Sean was born.  We went both Saturday night and Sunday.

Sean and I have been transitioning from vegetarian to vegan since June 1st.

After reading The China Study, I have been avoiding eating animal products as much as possible.   One of the main things that scared me was the strong association between animal protein and cancer. The book is well written and based on well performed research.

I'm a doctor, I have been through medical school and still feel like nobody knows what we should be eating.  I do recall a 2 hour nutrition lecture that was recently added to the curriculum. That qualifies me as an expert, right???? ;)  Most of the nutrition "standards" are promoted by the people who make a profit by getting people to eat that way. 

I am highly skeptical of any diet that says that people are "cured" of cancer just by changing their diet.  According to the medicine I have been taught in school, there is no cure for anything.  There are however, drugs that make the symptoms less or slow the progression of the disease.  That being said, millions of dollars are spent on "medical" research and in my opinion we haven't gotten very far.  

As far as diet and nutrition goes... the only thing that is consistently recommended by almost everyone is that moderate exercise and fruits and veggies are good for you.  The other consistent piece of advice is that food should as close to it's natural form as possible.  

And then I think about what people ate in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man.... just fruits and vegetables.  And then there was Daniel and his men in the Bible who ate vegetables and water for 10 days and came back stronger than all the king's men with the high class meaty diet.  Queen Esther was thought to have been so beautiful because of her plant based diet.

The book is pretty convincing and we really don't have anything to lose from trying a vegan diet. 

Sean has been influenced by Scott Jurek's success in the ultra running world eating a vegan diet.  Jurek claims that eating this way minimizes inflammation and allows him to recover faster.

We still have some dairy and egg products hiding in some of our foods in our pantry and freezer.  Milk products are lurking in all sorts of seemingly innocent products we have like: bread, veggie burgers, spaghetti sauce, granola bars etc. 

Sean has had the hardest time with breakfast because he craves something salty in the morning and eggs have been his staple for a long time.  Sean had been eating oatmeal with me lately. 

I miss cheese and dairy the most.  For me, cheese goes on almost everything.   Lately, I have been experimenting more with nutritional yeast to give foods the cheesy flavor I miss.   

Back to the VegFest....

Multiple vegan food trucks were parked outside for tasty treats if you didn't get enough samples inside. 
Ba.nom.a.nom "ice cream" made only from fruit.  I had the banana flavor and Sean had the strawberry banana flavor.
They had a variety of sweet and savory vegan waffle sandwiches.  I had a hummus/sprout  sandwich.  

Baba's Food Truck. Falafel, Hummus, and Pitas... my favorite.

We took the kids on Sunday after church.  The boys even approved of the food.  They had  homemade marshmallow s'mores cooked with a blow torch, a chocolate truffle, a chocolate shake, and some chips.  The boys would not mind going vegan at all if I spent my days making chocolate treats for them and called it dinner.   The key thing, they might have missed is that vegans eat vegetables.... a lot.  I don't think the older kid will go for that.   His idea of a balanced diet is cheese pizza and chocolate. The younger one actually really likes vegetables and fruits and wouldn't have much trouble going vegan.

There were lots of food companies there giving out samples and coupons including Tofurky,  Tasty Bite, Vega, Dave's Killer Bread, Nooch Vegan Market, and Arbonne. 


As you would expect, there was the usual talk and images of the cages the animals are forced to live in and the slaughtering process.  I always try not to see or hear that because it is so awful.  If you know me, you know that I love animals and can't stand to see them in pain or tortured. 

They also had a variety of books, t-shirts, and  bumper stickers for purchase.  There was also lectures, cooking demonstrations, tai chi, yoga, and movies and a play room for the kids.

I couldn't resist this cookbook... lots of simple, quick, and budget friendly recipes.

picked up some stickers

To end the veggie weekend... we watched Vegucated.

I think we are sold.


  1. Great!! I thought you guys were mostly vegan already. "The Supermarket Vegan" is also a great cookbook, because the recipes are pretty straightforward and relies on whole foods, not processed "meat substitutes".

    How do you feel about tofu? You could do scrambles in the morning with tofu, or lately I've just been doing black beans, peppers, onions and green olives with tomato and avocado (I buy big jalapeno-stuffed olives at costco and just snack on them - yum!)

    I consider myself about 95% vegan, because sometimes some egg or milk does sneak its way into processed foods. Or I "forget" that those cupcakes my classmate made have cream and eggs in them. No one is perfect, right? ;-)

    When I first weaned myself off cheese, it was when I was still vegetarian but was following the "eat clean" diet. So I could have cheese on my cheat day once a week, but no other time. At first I craved the cheese, I really missed it. After only a few weeks though, it started kinda grossing me out and then even on my cheat days I didn't want it.

    Rich Roll is another great plant-based endurance athlete I really like. I read his book and enjoy his podcast.

    Best of luck!

    1. So sad, I replied, but it disappeared :(

      The supermarket vegan cookbook sounds good. I too am afraid of "meat substitutes." We do eat some tofu, but I don't want soy to become the majority of my diet.

      We have been meaning to make a veggie scramble with tofu, but seem to always be in a hurry in the morning. I think I will experiment with that for dinner in the near future. Then we can have everything ready in the am if we want it for breakfast.

      Milk and eggs are very sneaky. I just found some dairy in our veggie dogs. I am finding that you have to read everything. We are probably about 95% vegan too at this point.

      I made some ricotta like cheese the other day with tofu, spices, nutritional yeast, and salt. Not bad. I tried some soy cheese today, it melted surprisingly well. The cheese cravings are dying down though.

      Just listened to an interview with Rich Roll on No Meat Athlete. Now to find his book.

      Hope you are doing well!!