Good day all,
It was an extra early-rise day Saturday, but the chilly wind helped keep us all high energy and functioning. It was very encouraging to see how many volunteers showed up for the 6 a.m. shift–20+ to be sure–and humbling to experience the functionality of people coming together for a cause that we all stand behind. We completed all of the ‘set-up’ tasks far before expected and we were all able to help out in areas we did not initially expect to, which was both a positive learning experience and a true test of multitasking. One of the many highlights of my volunteer experience was the fact that I was able to spend my entire volunteer shift with my husband, which is incredibly rewarding, being able to experience the fun together. Another highlight was a young mother who decided to bring her young baby along with her the entire morning by carrying the baby in an Ergo type carrier, marsupial style. She was one diligent marsupial momma and she became my inspiration for that particular day and days to come. It was encouraging to see someone being active and volunteering as a woman and mother, deciding to not let her world stop because she is now a mom. She chose to involve her young one and display an act of community giving that is priceless. I know I’m about to sound terribly cliché, but it made my heart grow three sizes bigger. I was so taken aback, I had to tell her!
After our volunteer shift was completed, we decided to disguise our VegFest tees’ and become official guests of the event. Though we were a little rushed, I feel like the time we spent went swimmingly! The flow of the crowd seemed to be better circulated than in years past due to–in my opinion–better organization of the booths. Also, there were many more vendors and food stops where you could get information, samples, and a full-blown meal!
While walking around and getting to know the vendors–some old hats and some newbies–we came across a new company called Uber Foods that makes energy bars. After just one small sample and hearing about their new company from an eager young man, I decided to buy a bar; ‘dos cacao’. It’s made here in Austin, has only six ingredients and it’s gluten-free and vegan! It was pricy, but I never mind paying a little more for quality and in support of a growing company.
My tummy was soon grumbling for a meal following our volunteer shift and I had my eye set on Aster’s Ethiopian booth. It was good gloop! What’s wonderful about Ethiopian food is the manner in which they go about eating. They not only use their hands, but they consume the food with a spongy bread call injera made with teff flour, which is rich in amino acids and several vitamins and minerals. Some Ethiopian restaurants add wheat to their injera, however, Aster’s is 100% gluten-free! Happy tummies all around. 😀
We ended our Texas VegFest time, much like we did our second year, with a bowl of Sweet Ritual ice-cream–salted caramel. No sprinkles were on hand this year, but the ice-cream left nothing to be desired for a sweet tooth.
Attending Texas VegFest was a pleasant reminder that we should all take a moment to re-evaluate the way we approach our time and how we devote it, not only to the food we eat, but to other people around us. You get what you give in life, so let’s all try to give a little more. And if you can, involve the little one’s in your life in your activities. Experiences are the best gifts you can give and will last longer than all the toys in the world! Oh, and remember…bite responsibly!
Good day everyone,
I must admit, I am currently under the influence of one heaping scoop of cocoa powder in my morning smoothie, and ready to talk about Veg Fests! This coming April 5th, here in Austin, TX, we will have our very own Texas Veg Fest (year 3), and I know it’s going to be even bigger and better than the last two years. The first year I just attended, but last year I was a volunteer with the information booth and this year I’m volunteering with the AV team, and I’m excited!
Let’s start with a little about Vegfest. Vegfest is just that, a festival that focuses on vegetarian cuisine and more specifically, 100% plant-based, not animal product cuisine and oftentimes sustainability through lifestyle choices and animal rights. It occurs annually in different cities and in different formats in each city.
Texas Vegfest of Austin, occurs by the beautiful Lady Bird Lake and is loaded with over a hundred vendors, cooking demos and lectures, music performers, speakers and tastings galore! I don’t suggest attending this festival while doing a ‘cleanse’ as there will be far too many temptations.
I am looking forward to Saturday where I’ll get to help out, meet people, try new things and mingle with veggie thoughts. I hope you’ll join me and many others! Be sure to stay tuned next week for ‘Veg Fest Vol.2’, where I will discuss post-fest topics and what went down.
Short and sweet to the sole today–love you Dandies. And remember…bite responsibly!
Good Afternoon Everyone,
I hope you’re all faring well. Today, I’d like to highlight the Texas Veg Fest, soon to be in Austin, TX for its second year running. After attending last year’s first Texas Veg Fest, I’m anxious to see what changes there will be. Last year, I was able to sample a tremendous amount of food, I scored tons of great coupons and freebies and chatted with some helpful and informative companies/vendors. I would say if you’re into trying new, funky vegetarian/vegan variations of foods like faux migas, faux cheese (that melts :p ), and some of the best dairy-free ice-creams out there, this festival is for you! You will also get connected to businesses that are in the holistic and naturopathic vein, which is incredibly beneficial if you’re new to a plant-based diet. Having a support system is incredibly important during any transition and there were numerous outlets of info last year and many more to come, this year. My hope is that there will be more of an abundance of veggies and whole foods this year, but only time will tell.
Here’s a breakdown of Texas Veg Fest, straight from the source:
Texas VegFest is a family-friendly festival celebrating plant-based foods, with a focus on health, physical fitness, the environment, and compassionate living. For this year’s event, more than five thousand attendees will gather at beautiful Fiesta Gardens on Town Lake on Saturday, April 6th from 11am – 6pm. With engaging activities, vendors, speakers, demos, and, of course, great food and live music, you won’t want to miss Texas VegFest!
Our Fabulous Speakers and Cooking Demonstrations
Come see best-selling cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz cook delicious cashew-based meals like Caesar salad, Creamy Chickpea and Rice Soup, and cheesecake. Executive Chef Ayinde Howell, the entrepreneur behind Hillside Quickies in Seattle, will be serving up some amazing vegan soul food including Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Texas BBQ Rubbed Seitan, and Mini Sloppy Joes. The Blissful Chef Christy Morgan will demonstrate easy protein-packed snacks that everyone will love.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, the author of five books and frequent guest on Food Network and PBS, will captivate you with her presentation “From Excusitarian to Vegan.” Champion boxer Omowale Adewale is coming all the way from New York to share his presentation on how to incorporate positive habits into your life. His presentation will be interactive, so come prepared to learn a few moves. Dr. Baxter Montgomery, the founder of Montgomery Heart and Wellness, a cardiology practice and wellness center in Houston, will speak about all the health benefits of going plant-based.
Fantastic Activities for Families
In our kids’ area, enjoy youth yoga and face painting by Austin Bhakti Yoga, Austin’s premier nonprofit yoga center, or watch Austin’s healthy cooking school, The Natural Epicurean, demo recipes for kids and teens. Food is Free Project will share their model of simultaneously growing food and community through seed planting and seed ball-making activities. The captivating Brooke Chavez of Sunny Day Farms will be speaking to kids and teens about animal compassion and awareness. Sunny Day Farms is the largest farm animal sanctuary in the Central United States. For some quiet time to balance all this activity, Vegbooks.org has donated fantastic kids’ books for our reading and coloring zone.
Hungry for Food and Knowledge?
Hungry attendees can feast on a variety of food such as curry, Tex-Mex, funnel cake, fresh juices, cupcakes, falafel, and veggie burgers from some of Austin’s most-loved restaurants. Or sample delicious treats and great products from companies across the nation. It’s all delicious, and it’s all vegan!
Explore local produce, tempeh, earth-friendly cleaning products, agave nectar, plant protein mixes, an electric car, blenders, baked goods, and other items showcased by Texas VegFest sponsors Plant Fusion, South Point Nissan, Natural Epicurean, and Wholesome Sweeteners, Vitamix, Clif Bar, Health Force Nutritionals, Dr. Lucy’s, Greenling, Johnson’s Backyard Gardening, The Hearty Vegan, Veggietopia, Way Better Snacks, Ecos Earth Friendly Products.
Nonprofits like Mercy For Animals and Vegans Rock Austin will be there to answer all your questions about how you can help protect animals. And people of all ages can enjoy a few moments of guided mediation by the Isha foundation on the shore of Town Lake.
Talented Music Line-up
It wouldn’t be an Austin festival without live music, and Texas VegFest doesn’t disappoint! Musical backdrop for Texas VegFest 2013 includes:
· Ray Prim
Keep an eye out sometime next week for my follow-up post on the festival, where I will give a ’round-two, Veg Fest breakdown’. My thoughts, exciting new discoveries, critiques and more. I’ll break it down for you!
Thanks for reading, tell all of your friends, and I hope to see you there. And remember…bite responsibly!