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

VegFest 2013
Speakers, Chefs, Classes and Experts
Past VegFests
2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009

John McDougall, MD

Limited seating available and on a first-come, first-served basis.

John McDougall, MD is a physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine. He has been studying, writing and "speaking out" about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years. Dr. McDougall believes that people should look great, feel great and enjoy optimal health for a lifetime. He is the author of four best-sellers on reversing chronic disease through diet without drugs.

11am Saturday Presentation: Marketing Milk and Disease: Fighting the Big Fat Lies with Fat-Free Truth

The first foods to remove from your family's diet are the dairy group. These mammalian secretions are at the root of the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, allergies, constipation, and autoimmune diseases. Dairy is also dirty - contaminated with environmental chemicals and infectious agents, including cancer causing viruses.

3:30pm Sunday Presentation: The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!

Understanding starch is key to permanent weight loss, strength, beauty, and longevity. Starch (rice, corn, potatoes, beans, etc.) is the traditional foods of human beings. These foods lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They are the key to curing constipation and coronary artery disease. Starch is also the solution for fat vegans.

Brenda Davis, RD

Brenda Davis, RD is co-author of eight books, including Becoming Vegan, Defeating Diabetes, Becoming Raw, and The Raw Food Revolution Diet. She is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Brenda is currently involved in a major diabetes intervention research project in the Marshall Islands, where diabetes is rampant.

2pm Saturday Presentation: Becoming Vegan… In Great Health

Vegan diets can provide numerous health advantages, but they are not fool-proof. Nutrients that may be of concern to vegans include protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and essential fatty acids. This presentation provides detailed information on each, including practical guidelines to ensure that all nutrient needs are met.

5pm Saturday Presentation: The New "Paleo" Diet: Facing Facts

In this presentation, Brenda Davis compares the nutritional composition of true paleo diets (based on nutritional anthropology) with new “paleo diets” and vegan diets. Be prepared for some surprises.

11am Sunday Presentation: Plant-Based Diets in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease

This presentation provides an overview of the latest scientific findings on plant-based diets and in the prevention and treatment of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Hans Diehl, DrHSc

Hans Diehl is the founder of the Lifestyle Medicine Institute of Loma Linda, CA, and its Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a lifestyle intervention program with more than 60,000 graduates. His pioneering efforts with Nathan Pritikin and Dr. Denis Burkitt have shown that many of today's diseases are truly reversible through some simple lifestyle changes.

2pm Sunday Presentation: Eat More, Weigh Less!

We Americans love to eat, but so do people from other traditional cultures around the world. Why is our eating leading to rising obesity levels and diabetes, and their eating is not? What has caused our weight to rise so quickly over the last 30 years?

Susan Levin, MS, RD, CSSD

Susan Levin is the director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). She researches and writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Through her work, she also addresses the need for nutrition guidelines that reflect PCRM’s New Four Food Groups (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains).

12:30pm Saturday Presentation: Food Policy, Nutrition, and Health

Do government food policies promote healthy nutritious food, or are they severely weakened by pressure from entrenched business, agricultural, and political interests? What diet and nutrition advice should you rely on?

3:30pm Sunday Presentation: True Science Behind Paleo, Blood Type, and Atkins

Diet books are best-sellers, but how valid is their advice? Can some of these "weight loss" diets actually make you sicker? Susan Levin will let us know what science says about the impact of these diets on health and chronic disease.

Will Tuttle, PhD

Dr. Will Tuttle, author, educator, pianist, and composer, has lectured and performed widely throughout North America and Europe. Author of the acclaimed Amazon #1 best-seller The World Peace Diet. His Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition and altruism in adults. A former Zen monk and a Dharma Master in the Korean Zen tradition, as well as a 30-year vegan, he is devoted to cultural healing and awakening, and has created seven CD albums of original piano music. He presents over 150 lectures, retreats, workshops, and concerts annually.

5pm Saturday Presentation: The World Peace Diet: Being Healthy While Saving the Planet

Dr. Tuttle will offer powerful ways we can all experience healing and peace and contribute to a positive transformation of human consciousness.

12:30pm Sunday Presentation: Time to Wake Up!: Veganism and Social Change

Join Dr. Tuttle for a fascinating and empowering exploration of the core of our culture, revealing how it is hidden in the most unlikely of places: our daily dinner plates! Inquiring deeply into veganism takes us to the core of our culture and beyond.

Lani Muelrath, MA

Award winning Lani Muelrath specializes in helping people who struggle with health, weight and energy levels transform their bodies - and their lives - without going hungry or grueling, excessive exercise. Lani is the author of Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts and creator of Lani Muelrath's Plant-Based Blueprint. Lani is presenter and celebrity coach for the 21-Day PCRM Vegan Kickstart and VegRun Programs and is the Fitness Adviser for the Dr. John McDougall Health and Medical Center Discussion Boards. Lani overcame her own lifetime struggle with weight more than 15 years ago when she lost 50 pounds, which she has easily maintained with her coaching tips.

12:30pm Saturday Presentation: The Power of the 5 Minute Fitness Break

Food may form the foundation of your health, yet how you move - or don’t move - your body holds just as much power for creating vibrant personal health. In this session, learn what the research says, and learn a few Fit Quickies – 5 minute fitness challenges – that you can do anywhere, anytime.

2pm Sunday Presentation: Show me the Plants! How to Carve Your Figure with Your Fork

How to be full without being fat, amp down your fat genes, and disarm stress. Come learn the 3 rules of satiety and other secrets to lasting weight loss - without going hungry or working out like a maniac.

Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan

Victoria Moran is the author of 11 books including Main Street Vegan, which VegNews calls "the vegan Bible, New Testament." A professional speaker, journalist, and a two-time Oprah guest, Victoria is founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying Vegan Lifestyle Coaches.

3:30pm Saturday Presentation: Living Well and Loving Life in the Real World

Come join the veggie bandwagon - either all the way, or to the extent that you're ready - with the fast facts you need to respond to questions from the curious; how to add far more to your meals and your life than you subtract; as well as tips for choosing foods that will help you love your body now and for decades to come.

11am Sunday Presentation: The Eat Green, Live Lean, Feel Amazing Lifestyle

There’s a formula for getting the glow, making peace with food and weight, and living long without growing old and you'll learn in this fast-moving, content-rich presentation that will cover how to move into a high-vitality diet at your own pace, how to manage daily stress, quick detox techniques, and more!

Armaiti May, DVM

Armaiti May is a vegan animal advocate and housecall veterinarian for dogs and cats in LA. She obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis. After graduating from veterinary school, Dr. May spent 20 months working at a 24-hour emergency dog and cat hospital in LA. She then became certified in veterinary acupuncture and started a housecall practice for dogs and cats. As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. May educates people about preventive medicine as well as holistic options that exist for treating their companion animals’ ailments.

3:30pm Saturday and 5pm Sunday Presentation: Vegan Diets for Dogs and Cats: Risks and Benefits

Scott West, Sea Shepherd

Scott West retired from federal law enforcement in 2008 and began working with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Scott is the Director of Intelligence and Investigations - traveling around the world investigating marine wildlife destruction and working to end such practices. Scott and his daughter Elora Malama (crew member and Board of Advisors) will discuss their campaign activities, and share stories about their global travels in defense of our world’s oceans. Come hear about their efforts, learn how to get involved, and what you can do to support the organization.

2pm Saturday Presentation: Operation Infinite Patience

12:30pm Sunday Presentation: Operation Ferocious Isle


PlantBuilt is a nonprofit volunteer organization, founded in the fall of 2012 by a group of seasoned and novice physique competitors with the shared goal of promoting a plant-based diet. Vegan athletes in the full spectrum of fitness and bodybuilding participated in Austin's “Naturally Fit Super Show" this past July. In a field of over 150 competitors 15 vegans stormed the stage and took home top finishes in several categories as well as four out of ten of the overall awards.

5pm Sunday Presentation: PlantBuilt Vegan Muscle Team panel

The panel will feature six PlantBuilt members who will share their individual stories, present footage of the Super Show, and Q & A.
Dani Taylor - Co founder of PlantBuilt and competitor in 2014.
Giacomo Marchese - Co founder of PlantBuilt and competitor. Placed 3rd in his division.
Pam Kalstad - Competitor. Won her pro card, placed 1st and 3rd in the two divisions she competed in.
Stephanie Rice - Competitor. Placed 2nd in her division
Ed Bauer - Competitor. Placed 2nd in his division.
Sara Russert - Competitor. Placed 1st in her division and an overall winner.

Jamie London

Jamie London is the Animal Care Director of Animal Place’s 600-acre sanctuary where she oversees the care of its 300 rescued animals. She also oversees the care of the rescued animals at Animal Place’s60-acre Rescue Ranch adoption center. She earned her Bachelor's in Animal Science from the University of Florida where she was also a vital part of Animal Activists of Alachua, as their Communications Director. To date, Jamie has worked in the animal protection movement for more than 12 years, largely working with farmed animals in a sanctuary setting.

5pm Saturday Presentation: Turlock: documentary of the largest animal rescue in California history

5pm Sunday Presentation: Turlock: documentary of the largest animal rescue in California history

Cooking Demonstrations

Miyoko Schinner

Miyoko Schinner, vegan chef, cookbook author, and tv cooking show host, has been promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for the past thirty years. Her latest cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, is a top-selling book on Amazon. Her book has been pegged by reviewers and bloggers as "groundbreaking," and "revolutionary." She is a co-host of the brand-new national cooking show on the Create Channel, Vegan Mashup, and stars in her own whimsical online show, Miyoko’s Kitchen. As a cooking instructor, she teaches regularly in the McDougall Program, and at major festivals and events.

11am Saturday Presentation: Quick, Cultured Cheeses: Cream Cheese and Boursin

Learn how to ferment and culture plant-based ingredients in order to achieve cheese-like sharpness. Miyoko will create and sample out two styles of soft cheeses, a cream cheese and her herb and garlic-infused Boursin.

2pm Sunday Presentation: Cheeses in the Fast Lane: Fondue and Almond Ricotta-Stuffed Shells

Miyoko shows how to create artisanal flavors in a flash with two cheeses that don't require culturing or aging - Gruyere Fondue and Almond Ricotta. Sample Miyoko's Almond Ricotta-Stuffed Shells and Gruyere Fondue.

Karyn Calabrese

Karyn Calabrese is Chicago's premier vegan and raw restaurateur and champion for holistic living. Her timeless beauty, youthful physique, and boundless energy are testaments to the lifestyle habits she advocates. At 66 years old, Karyn looks nearly a generation younger - naturally! The Karyn’s brand includes her three vegan restaurants: Karyn’s Fresh Corner and Raw Bistro, Cooked, and On Green. Also a holistic spa, natural supplements, catering, home meal plan and skincare/makeup line.

3:30pm Saturday Presentation: Soak Your Nuts with Karyn: Healing SuperFoods!

Join Karyn in making her healing super foods morning green smoothie, raw spinach stuffed raviolis, and her 30 year old original carob pecan cake. Samples too!

3:30pm Sunday Presentation: Soak Your Nuts with Karyn: Raw for the Whole Family!

Learn excellent ways to get children involved with raw foods. Watch Karyn create and then sample Karyn's favorite muffin, a wild rice and barley pilaf and a decedent chocolate shake.

Chef AJ

Chef AJ has followed a plant-based diet for over 36 years. She is a chef, culinary instructor, professional speaker, and author. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman, and more.
Her book,Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, is half confessional memoir, half delectable recipes. Many of her recipes can be seen on her YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian.

2pm Saturday Presentation: Get Ready to Spill the Beans with Chef AJ

12:30pm Sunday Presentation with John Pierre: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Without Sugar

Chef Al Chase

Chef Al is a vegan chef, educator and consultant with over 22 years as a vegan and over 40 years in the culinary world. Al graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and combines his love for cooking with his passion for teaching. He is currently working on his e-cookbook and online DVD series designed to teach and inspire folks to embrace an organic, plant-based lifestyle with gusto. Contact for more information.

12:30pm Saturday Presentation: In Celebration of Cacao: Sweet Alchemy Three Ways

Cacao has been called the food of the gods. Chef Al will take you on a sweet journey as he demonstrates Raw Cacao Euphoria, Raw Cacao Confection, and the most divine Chocolate-y Good Dessert. Sample Al's delicious Raw Cacao Confection!

Movement Classes

John Pierre, Nutrition and Fitness Expert

Renowned nutrition and fitness expert John Pierre is sometimes referred to as a “Trainer to the Stars” because he trains Hollywood celebrities, rock-stars, and Fortune 500 executives. Assisting a wide range of clientele, including military personnel, hard-core athletes, and people of all backgrounds and fitness levels, John’s passion is to help everyone. He published The Pillars of Health, which discusses the four solid principles that provide everyone with a strong foundation for lasting, lifelong wellbeing.

11am Saturday: Fun Fitness Boot Camp

Join in a fun-filled Boot Camp that will wake up both your muscles and your laughter. Discover why everyone is flocking to John's classes and reaping the health benefits as a result.

Jiivapriya, Yoga Instructor

Jiivapriya has been practicing yoga and meditation for 15 years. She has enjoyed teaching yoga classes for both children and adults in Portland for the past seven years. She is also a co-founder and teacher of Tender Leaf Preschool, a Neo-Humanist school in SW Portland, which uses yoga, meditation, vegan diet, art and nature study as the base of its learning curriculum.

Suman S. Barkhas, Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor

Suman S. Barkhas, nationally certified (E-RYT-500) Yoga therapist, Yoga teacher trainer and Tai Chi "moving for better balance" master instructor trainer offers Holistic Health therapeutic classes of Yoga, Chair Yoga, and Tai Chi for better balance at Peace Health River Bend Oregon Heart and Vascular Institute. Suman, born in Mongolia, has traveled as a yoga monk throughout 46 countries. He currently resides in Eugene, working as a holistic wellness coach and has been a vegetarian for more then 21 years.

Teen Area

Elora Malama West

Elora Malama West is a home-schooled teenage activist. She is on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) Board of Advisors for Children’s Education and Activities. She is currently 19 and attending community college with plans to soon transfer to pursue a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Multimedia/Journalism.

In the fall of 2010 at age 16, Elora accompanied her father, Scott West, to Taiji, Japan for the first SSCS Cove Guardian campaign. They spent three months on the ground reporting everyday about the plight of the dolphins. While there Elora began a blog, A Teenage Activist: This Girl's Soapbox and encouraged thousands of people to call the Japanese embassies in their area to protest the dolphin slaughter. Her young age combined with her blog reports brought international attention to what is happening in Taiji, Japan. Elora wants to inspire kids to stand against cetacean captivity, protest swim with dolphin programs, and other institutions that exploit marine mammals.

Free Photo Booth!

Get your face painted, pose with your friends and create an ocean-themed memory at this year's VegFest and enter to win a raffle full of veg books, treats and clothes!

Kid's Activities

Face painting, "Taste the Rainbow" and "Play with your Food" tables, crafts and games, and an interactive vermiculture exhibit!

Rick Reynolds, MEd

Join Rick Reynolds, MEd, author of The EverGreen Twins Activity Book, and Marco the Molecule for a variety of fun activities, including “Worm Bin Magic!” Kids will investigate a working worm bin and learning everything they need to know start one at home and keep it going. Red worms are vegetarians, so they make the perfect “pets” for fellow vegetarians; they turn your veggie and fruit scraps into compost—fast! Other free activities will include a “Pollination Maze,” Eco-doku™ puzzles, and more! The EverGreen Twins teach ecology and sustainability to kids of all ages in fun ways while integrating other key learning concepts and skills in science, math, language arts, social studies, technology, and art. Made in Portland with 100% recycled materials, the books have been well-received by kids, parents, teachers, and the press. In fact, they may be the most eco-friendly, fun, and educational book on the planet! Learn more at

Ask the Experts (Exhibit Hall)

Experts on nutrition, health, cooking, fitness and veterinary care will be available at various times throughout the day. Experts remain available both during and in between other scheduled presentations.

Wendy Abraham, ND

Dr. Abraham is a naturopathic physician in Portland. She has over 20 years of experience as a medical reflexologist helping people deal with pain. As a naturopathic physician she helps people with lifestyle changes often starting with food. Dr. Abraham promotes a plant-based diet to address many health issues including inflammation, heart disease, pain, and weight loss. She taught vegan cooking classes for The Cancer Project throughout Portland. Dr. Abraham has had two healthy vegetarian pregnancies and spends most, if not all, of her free time with her two girls. She is currently practicing in SW Portland and accepting new patients.

Grant Butler

Grant Butler is a features writer for The Oregonian's Foodday section and MIX magazine. He writes the twice-monthly Going Vegan column, which explores plant-based living and eating, and features interviews with local and national authors, chefs and health figures. Grant also explores plant-based nutrition and issues of sustainability in his writing. At the Ask The Experts table, he'll answer questions about favorite recipes, cookbooks and favorite vegan restaurants.

Wendy Gabbe Day

Wendy Gabbe Day is a vegan cooking instructor, author of a whole-food cookbook, Scatter Vegan Sweets, and former board member and coordinator for Northwest VEG. She attended University of California, Irvine and played Division 1 college basketball. Wendy has been a vegetarian since birth and a vegan since the age of 5. Wendy and her husband, Eric, are proud parents of a vegan toddler.

Stephanie Lucas, RN, MS, MPA

As an RN for over 25 years, Stephanie has seen first-hand how our Standard American Diet has contributed to dramatically increased rates of obesity and chronic illnesses. As a parent with a vegan teenager, she can share practical advice on motivating healthy eating. Stephanie is also a member of NW VEG's, Veganic Gardening Group, and she is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about gardening without the need for animal by-products.

Armaiti May, DVM

Armaiti May is a vegan animal advocate and housecall veterinarian for dogs and cats in Los Angeles. As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. May educates people about preventive medicine as well as holistic options that exist for treating their companion animals’ ailments.

Lani Muelrath, MA

Award winning Lani Muelrath specializes in helping people who struggle with health, weight and energy levels transform their bodies - and their lives - without going hungry or grueling, excessive exercise.

Gail Nelson, MPH, RD, ACSM-CPT

Gail is a Registered Dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Certified Personal Trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Her focus is helping people achieve healthy lifestyles and weight loss using the power of plant-based foods as well as healthy exercise. As the mother of two active young boys, she draws upon her own experience to teach people how to get healthy meals on the table in a hurry. She also specializes in helping busy people "sneak in" cardio and resistance exercise throughout the day in order to meet the ACSM recommended "30 minutes of exercise most days of the week."

Alison Ozgur, RD

Alison Ozgur is a registered dietitian, author, and motivational speaker, specializing in plant-based nutrition. She is an instructor for the T. Colin Campbell Foundation's Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition course through eCornell and co-author of the plant-based nutrition and fitness book, Go Beyond Good. She writes monthly columns for newsletters, hosts nutrition talks and grocery store tours, and is the Washington and Oregon state coordinator for the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Northwest VEG strives to ensure that our activities are fully accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations, please contact us at as early as possible so we may attempt to fulfill your request.