Good morning! In my Sunday review post (have you noticed the new “Mark Your Calendar” section highlighting vegan events?) I promised to recap my experience at the First Annual Connecticut Vegetarian (and healthy living) Festival. I announced the event on the local vegan Meet-Up and eleven RSVP’d – pretty impressive since it’s a nearly two-hour drive! It was a two-day festival; my friend Marcia, from the Meet-Up, and I drove up together Saturday and had a wonderful time!
It was the first annual event so, as you can imagine, they had a few kinks to work out. Eager vegans like Marcia and I were at the door at 10:00 a.m. – when the festival was scheduled to begin. The doors didn’t open until 10:40 a.m. Frankly, in those 40 minutes that we waited we were able to just visit with one another, which was great, and to watch the event space fill up with anxious vegans, vegetarians and veg-curious folks.
My main objective for the day was to attend two sessions. One with Ginny Messina, The Vegan RD, and the other with Jasmin and Mariann of Our Hen House. Walking up and down the vendor aisles was secondary, but great fun. I got some fun stuff!
- Kathie’s Kitchen pizza-flavored SuperSeedz
- Friend’s of Animals “Support Animals: Eat a Vegetable” sweatshirt
- Upton’s Naturals t-shirt (Thank you!)
- The SimplyBar(s) -2 pecan cinnamon and 1 lemon coconut.
- Bienna Roasted Chickpea Snacks (Lime & Chili)
- Notes from Ginny’s talk
- Compassion Co “Cruelty Free” t-shirt and four fun buttons (Honey belongs to bees; Go Vegan, it’s easy; Vegan; It’s okay to give a f*ck: Compassion)
Ginny gave a standing-room-only talk on “The 7 Habits of Healthy Vegans.” With her permission, here they are:
- Eat legumes
- Eat a variety of fruits & vegetables
- Get enough calcium
- Choose whole grains
- Be smart about fats
- Don’t shun supplements
- Be flexible and enjoy vegan food
She shared really great information on current research and provided a Vegan Food Guide chart with recommended foods/nutrients. You can find more about this topic in Ginny and Jack Norris’s book Vegan for Life.
Jasmin and Mariann, co-founders of Our Hen House, also gave a fantastic presentation: “Think Vegan: Ten Tips To Get You Started.” If you listen to their podcast you already know that they are sharp, smart and wickedly funny. That’s their presentation style, too! Their talk was really targeted to the new vegan or the veg-curious. (Did you know that at events such as these there are more non-vegans than vegans?) They gave very practical advice on what to consider when going vegan (the reasons) to how respond to annoying questions (“but what do you eat?”) to how to order vegan at a non-vegetarian restaurant. They do such a great job of covering the range of veganism – from the food to the environment to, quite naturally, the animals.
All in all, a great day! Congratulations to the organizers of the First Annual Connecticut and Healthy Living Festival. A job well done!