Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

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Northwest VEG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Portland, OR that works to educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
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Volunteer Spotlight: Kris Eisenman

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November 29, 2016


How long have you been veg and why?
I've been vegetarian for over 35 years. Although I always leaned toward a plant based diet, I became exclusively vegan about 2 years ago. I am vegan for my health, the environment and the animals.

How has being veg impacted your life?
I do not have any of the chronic illness that plagued my parents and continue to plague my siblings. I've also have met the most wonderful and compassionate friends through events hosted by NW Veg.

How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
I started volunteering with NW Veg when I moved to Portland about 5 years ago. After I finished the Master Veg program in 2015 I started volunteering more frequently.

What is an interesting hobby, talent or passion you have?
Cooking and Birdwatching are my two greatest passions. I teach people how to cook through PCRM's Food For Life program and I bird watch with anyone who happens to be walking along side of me.

What is something left on your bucket list of things that you would like to see, do or accomplish?
I want to visit Australia and Iceland.

What advice would you give an individual wanting to try a veg diet?
Just do it. Don't obsess about the future and what you won't eat. Just take it a meal at a time and explore all the delicious and healthy food out there. Also learn to cook. Making your own whole foods plant based meals is the biggest thing you can do to improve your health.

Earn $ for NW VEG as you shop for the holidays!

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November 29, 2016

Help us raise money to further our mission of creating compassionate community by choosing Northwest VEG as your charity of choice as you shop this year.

Click here to link your Fred Meyer Community Rewards to Northwest VEG. You can search for us by our non-profit number (90573). Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Northwest VEG earn a donation! Don't worry: you still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you may do currently.

Click here to link your AmazonSmile account to earn money for Northwest VEG.

Thanksgiving Memories

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November 29, 2016

We celebrated Thanksgiving festivities with nearly 1,000 people this past week. Thank you for being part of our community.
Here is a sampling of special moments beautifully captured by Northwest VEG member and volunteer Amit Zinman.

22 Day Veg Challenge - Challenge your friends and family!

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November 29, 2016

Northwest VEG's free 22 Day Veg Challenge is a great opportunity to kick start the new year in a healthy, compassionate way with a plant-based diet. Sign up today, then forward this newsletter to your family and friends and challenge them to join you!

Here's a sneak-peek of some of the challenges coming your way:

  • Cook a new grain (like millet)
  • Watch Vegan: Everyday Stories (available for free with Amazon Prime)
  • Check out a vegan restaurant (tons of amazing options in the greater Portland area)
  • Try a recipe from a vegan cookbook (so many to choose from!)
  • Attend informative community events

  • This program is great for all levels of experiences. If you're new to veganism, we will lead you through the basics of a plant-based diet and connect you with a kind and knowledgeable support system. If you're a longtime vegan, the challenge will encourage you to try something new and introduce you to new friends.

    Plus, with our mentorship program we will connect newbies with experienced vegans who can answer their questions and provide additional support. Interested in being a mentor? Click here!

    It will be fun and easy, with lots of support available to answer questions and share tips. There will be a kick-off event on January 7th and a wrap-up event on January 28th (details to be posted on the Facebook page). We hope to see you there!

    Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Canibano

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    November 1, 2016


    How long have you been veg and why?
    I have been a vegan 30 years because even as a child I could not reconcile loving animals and gaining sustenance from killing or exploiting them.

    How has being veg impacted your life?
    When I first became a vegan it wasn't mainstream. I was in grade school and there were no other kids like me. The whole experience of choosing to live consciously has made me more aware of my own power: as a self advocate, a consumer and an educator.

    How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
    When we moved to Portland we didn't know anyone or any places then we saw an ad for VegFest. This past year I really wanted to dive into volunteering so I contacted NW VEG about sponsoring the kids area and blending my love of veganism with my passion for early childhood education.

    What is an interesting hobby, talent or passion you have?
    My husband bought me a Little Free Library for outside of our vegan school. I painted the whole thing with the covers from childhood books and its been featured on a few LFL blogs. I love being a little free librarian; my library rolls my hobby, talent and passions into one.

    What is something left on your bucket list of things that you would like to see, do or accomplish?
    I've been creating vegan treats and eats for decades and sometimes dream of a career change in that direction, but the food industry can be volatile so I'll settle for visiting the Herbivorous Butcher.

    What advice would you give an individual wanting to try a veg diet?
    Don't get caught up in anyone else's dogma, all well worn paths start with a step.

    A note of gratitude on behalf of Northwest VEG

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    October 24, 2016

    Thank you so much to everyone who helped make Portland VegFest such a celebration this past weekend. We had a record number of volunteers (over 400!), a record number of exhibitors, incredible speakers and film screenings, and the best attendees. An additional thank you to all our sponsors who help make an event of this size possible.

    At the core of our mission at Northwest VEG is compassion - for ourselves and other humans, for our planet, for all the non-human animals with whom we share the earth. One of our esteemed speakers this weekend emphasized that his journey to a plant-based diet started with his wife's compassion toward animals and to him as a then-omnivore. This weekend, the compassion that livens our community was present in spades: volunteers for whom this was their twelfth year helping to run Portland VegFest smoothly; the awe of those for whom this was their first VegFest; the growing all-vegan companies that have blossomed, driven by passionate, compassionate entrepreneurs; the increasing number of omnivorous companies that have launched vegan product lines to meet increasing consumer demand; the many other organizations spreading their own missions of compassion.

    If you are not already a member of Northwest VEG, now is a great time to show your support for NW VEG and all our events held throughout the year, along with the compassionate, health, and environmental outreach we deliver! More information on joining here.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your dedication and commitment to our community.

    With love and gratitude,

    Jaclyn Leeds, Executive Director


    Photo credit to Enoch Thomas.

    Volunteer Spotlight: Jamie Loken

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    October 7, 2016


    How long have you been veg and why?
    I went vegetarian 9 years ago, and I've been vegan for 6.5. My choices stem from multiple areas. Health. Environmental. Spiritual.

    How has being veg impacted your life?
    It's elevated it in ways I probably don’t even yet fully recognize. Making decisions in an effort to align internal intentions with external action shapes every moment of every day. The entire world appears different.

    How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
    After moving to Portland this spring, I saw a notice for the VegFest planning committee. I'd previously worked with environmental organizations, but I really felt as if it were time to direct my energy into a different world-shaping approach that was also a significant aspect of my life.

    What is an interesting hobby, talent or passion you have?
    I love shooting… and not with a gun. Framing what feels like the perfect shot is startling and exceptionally subjective. I spent over a decade involved in film before I moved to Portland. It's lovely to stand behind a camera and witness how the simplest adjustments can shift perception and the viewer's vision of things.

    What is something left on your bucket list of things that you would like to see, do or accomplish?
    Egypt. I'd love to wander Egypt.

    What advice would you give an individual wanting to try a veg diet?
    The majority of messages you receive every day are in place to sell you something. Ultimately, the most important story you'll ever tell in life is the one you whisper to yourself.

    VegFest Sneak Preview: This Undercover Rebel in a Lab Coat Wants to Set You Free

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    October 7, 2016

    Interview of Dr. Alan Goldhamer by NW VEG Member and Volunteer Jamie Loken

    Portland VegFest is October 22 and 23 at the Oregon Convention Center. Click here to see this year's fantastic lineup of speakers.

    You don't have to be nice to be vegan.

    That's a message Dr. Alan Goldhamer would like to communicate. He doesn't care if you're vegan to save the animals, the environment, or your place in heaven.

    He wants you to save yourself.

    Vegans are stereotyped as bleeding hearts for a reason. It can be a difficult to hear we need to stand up for ourselves and our health, but that's exactly what VegFest 2016 speaker, Dr. Alan Goldhamer, wants you to do.

    Usher in the semi-rebel vibe.

    Though co-author of The Pleasure Trap and founder of the largest medically-supervised fasting center in the world, TruthNorth Health Center, it seems Goldhamer's name is only commonplace in certain circles. With the powerful messages he imparts, it's mysterious that he's not more well-known. [...]

    Click here to read more.

    Health Conference Early Registration Extended

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    October 5, 2016

    Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference

    Oregon Convention Center
    Friday, October 21

    On October 21, Northwest VEG and Adventist Health will co-host the fifth annual Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference, a professional conference featuring five top speakers exploring the science behind plant-based nutrition. Speakers this year include:
    • Neal Barnard, MD: Plant-Based Diet for Diabetes and Obesity
    • Milton Mills, MD: How Plant-based Diets Improve the Interaction between the GI Tract and the Microbiome
    • Julieanna Hever, RD: Transforming the Future of Healthcare
    • Alan Goldhamer, DC: Fasting, an Ancient Approach to Modern Problems
    • Brooke Goldner, MD: Healing Autoimmune Disease with Supermarket Foods
    Early-bird registration has been extended through Monday, October 10. Visit the website for information on our speakers, continuing education credits, and the schedule.

    Volunteer for Portland VegFest 2016!

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    August 18, 2016



    Portland VegFest 2016 is almost here!

    Did you know that we need more than 400 volunteers to make Portland VegFest happen? We are still looking for dedicated volunteers to help make the Portland VegFest awesome, and that's where you come in. Click here to volunteer for 2016 VegFest, and invite your friends to sign up to volunteer with you!

    Volunteers under 18 will need to bring a signed parental consent form.[...]

    To visit the VegFest website, click here.

    Click here to read more.

    EARN MONEY FOR NORTHWEST VEG WHILE YOU SHOP!

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    August 17, 2016

    Northwest VEG launched a shop! Check out our brand new merchandise at our new shop! A percentage of every purchase made goes directly toward funding our mission to support people in their transition toward making healthier, more sustainable & compassionate food choices. So you can look sporty and support a good cause!



    Or, help us collect earnings while you do your regular shopping at Fred Meyer or on AmazonSmile.



  • Click here to link your Fred Meyer Community Rewards to Northwest VEG. You can search for us by our non-profit number (90573). Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Northwest VEG earn a donation! Don't worry: you still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you may do currently.


  • Click here to link your AmazonSmile account to earn money for Northwest VEG.



  • Welcome Tara, our new Volunteer Coordinator and Event Planning Assistant!

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    August 1, 2016

    Northwest VEG is thrilled to have Tara Hathaway join our team. We hope to see you at the Portland Potluck on September 18 for our Meet the Staff night. The potluck begins at 5:00pm, with a relaxed staff introduction beginning at 6:30pm. Friends Meeting Hall, 4312 SE Stark St., Portland.

    From Tara:
    Love, compassion, animal rights, social justice, environmentalism, sustainability, the future, life, health, respect, activism are all important issues I'm passionate about and why I'm so excited to be part of the NW VEG team. At the age of ten, I proclaimed to my meat eating parents [...]

    Click here to read more.

    Recipe of the Month: Northwest Blackberry Crisp

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    July 31, 2016

    Oregon and Washington are "blessed" with an invasive wild blackberry whose informal name is the Himalayan Blackberry, although it is native to Western Europe and was brought here in the late 19th century. The thorns are unbelievably large and sharp, but the berries bake up like regular blackberries...and the price is right! You can find them everywhere. I adapted my fruit crisp recipe especially for these berries -- this one is low in added fat and a definite winner.

    Recipe by Linda Tyler, whose website, www.graciousvegan.com, features original and curated vegan recipes intended to please omnivores as well as vegans. Linda joined NW Veg when she moved to Portland last fall from New Jersey.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a medium bowl, combine:
    1.5 cups blanched almond flour
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    Pinch of salt

    Pour these over the mixture and stir them in with a spoon or your hand until you get uniform crumbs:
    2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (or grapeseed or walnut)
    1 Tablespoons agave nectar

    In a separate large bowl, gently fold these together:
    7-8 cups wild "Himalayan" blackberries (or regular blackberries), well rinsed and dried
    1 Tablespoon corn starch
    2 Tablespoons sugar

    Put the berry mixture in a small ceramic or glass casserole dish (I use a rectangular one about 8" x 10", but any shape is fine, or even a ceramic pie plate). Sprinkle over the top of the fruit 1/3 cup brown sugar Sprinkle the almond meal mixture over the brown sugar. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. (My oven runs cool, so I set mine at 360 degrees.)

    Master VEG Graduates the 13th Class

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    June 6, 2016

    I had the pleasure this past April and May of jumping into the Master VEG program so dutifully organized by board members Peter and Cindy. For eight consecutive Wednesdays, our Master VEG class met at People's Food Co-op and heard from experts on health, animal behavior, the intersection of human and animal welfare as pertains to industrialized farming, the effect of dietary choices on the environment, the joys and challenges of running a vegan-focused business, and what we can do to make a positive difference in both our own and others' lives. [...] Fun facts aside, I have been reflecting over the past week on the most valuable thing I gained from Master VEG: a couple dozen new friends.

    Click here to read more.

    Schiffler Park 4th of July

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    May 22, 2016

    Northwest VEG: 4th of July at Evelyn M Schiffler Memorial Park, Beaverton

    July 4, 3:00 to 6:00 pm

    Schiffler Park is located just north of SW Allen Blvd. and south of SW Berthold, between SW Erickson and SW Menlo. We have reserved the picnic shelter near SW Erickson. For GPS purposes, use 5600 SW Erickson as the closest street address to the picnic shelter where we will gather. See the Google Street View and map below. Bring your croquet, badminton, bocce balls, or any other lawn or table games! We have reserved a number of picnic tables, but you may want to bring lawn chairs or blankets

    The park features a grassy field for play and sport, and a playground with structures for both young and older children, including a large swing set, a skate park, basketball hoops, a 2-acre wetland/natural area with boardwalk, and a community garden.

    Parking is available on the street on SW Erickson, and there are small parking lots at the access to the park on SW Berthold and on SW Bonnie Brae. A number of bus lines run within 0.4 miles of the park, including:
    • the 76 and 78 bus at SW 10th and Watson
    • the 88 bus at SW Allen and SW Erickson
    Use the Trimet Trip Planner to find out the bus schedules.



    Interfaith Effort for Save Endangered Animals Oregon

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    May 15, 2016

    Are you interested in helping to get the word to your congregation about the Save Endangered Animals Oregon ballot measure campaign? The Humane Society of the United States is offering a multi-church informational event on Sunday, May 15, to discuss the role that people of faith play in animal protection along with ways you and your congregation can get involved in this and other areas. The event will take place at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, 1211 SW Main St, Portland, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the Daisy Bingham Room. Refreshments will be offered. This is a great opportunity to help build animal advocacy networking among our area churches. For more information about this event, email Keith Iding at idings@comcast.net.

    Exploring Veganism Series Begins in April

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    April 6, 2016

    Are you looking for in-depth information on a healthy, plant-based lifestyle? Would you like to delve into issues surrounding veganism and meet like-minded classmates?

    Each class in the 8-week Master VEG Program series looks at a separate but related issue of a plant-based lifestyle. We'll talk about health, nutrition, doing cooking demos, how food production affects our environment, animal thoughts and emotions, philosophy, animal law, social aspects, and lots more. After the classes, there will be fun field trips and projects you can get involved in, including implications for our health, the environment, social justice, and our relationship with animals. The series is modeled after the very popular Master Gardener and Master Recycler programs.

    The next session of the Master VEG Program will begin on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, from 6-8:45pm, and will take place at People's Food Co-op located at 3029 SE 21st Ave. in Portland.

    The program's lineup of diverse speakers includes Daniel Redwood, DC, (pictured) who is the Director of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program at the University of Western States.

    Click here to read more.

    Veganic Gardening Overview for the Home Gardener

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    April 4, 2016

    By Stephanie Lucas

    Many people are unaware that it's possible to garden without animal inputs and that doing so is easy and inexpensive. A sad irony for vegans is that many conventional, organic and even homegrown fruits and vegetables are fertilized with factory farmed manures and slaughterhouse by-products. However, the happy truth is that, just as we don't need to eat meat, eggs and milk to be healthy, we don’t need the blood, bones, flesh, feathers, nor even manure of animals to grow healthy plants.

    Click here to read more.

    Interview with VegFest Chef: Beverly Lynn Bennett

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    April 1, 2016

    We are excited to have Beverly Lynn Bennett present at VegFest 2016. Read on to find out more about this creative chef and author of many well-known books.

    Beverly Lynn Bennett is a vegan chef and baker who is passionate about creating easy, delicious, and healthful vegan recipes. Beverly is the author of several books, including Vegan Bites: Recipes for Singles; Spiralize! Transform Vegetables and Fruits from Ordinary to Extraordinary; Chia: Using the Ancient Superfood; Kale: The Nutritional Powerhouse; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, and others. She hosts VeganChef.com and lives in Eugene, Oregon.

    Q: What's your favorite fruit and what do you like to make with it?

    A: Definitely apples, because not only are they delicious, they're also quite versatile. I enjoy eating one plain or with some nut butter, as part of my morning green smoothie, as an add-in for pancakes, as a chopped or shredded ingredient in a slaw or salad, and in baked goods of all sorts, from muffins to desserts.

    Click here to read more.

    From Our New Executive Director, Jaclyn Leeds

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    March 31, 2016

    Dear Friends,

    It is with great pleasure that I greet you as the new Executive Director of Northwest VEG. Over the past few weeks, I have very much enjoyed getting to know some of the extraordinary volunteers, board members, partners, staff, and members whose tremendous work and dedication have built this organization into such an asset to the Pacific Northwest community. When I moved to the Portland area six years ago, VegFest was among the very first of my experiences into the plant-based culinary magic of this area. Joining the team at Northwest VEG feels like a natural fit.

    I want to tell you why I am excited about this organization and about all of you. I began eating vegan while I was interning in Hong Kong at Animals Asia Foundation, where I read about the horrors of the dairy industry. What I found most remarkable about Animals Asia's work is that they had formed an accord with the Chinese Government, allowing them to not only rescue farmed Asiatic black bears, but to also take away the farms' licenses so that this cruel and totally unnecessary farming could not be perpetuated. I moved to Oregon to attend Lewis & Clark Law School with the specific intention of ultimately working at either a legislative or judicial level to implement more sweeping and lasting change for animals.

    Click here to read more.