VegFest 2014

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Film Screenings

Fitness & Fashion


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Past VegFests

2014 - 2013 - 2012
2011 - 2010 - 2009
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Ed Begley, Jr.

Sunday Presentation: Live Simply, So That Others May Simply Live
Limited seating available and on a first-come, first-served basis.

As environmental issues become more pressing, there are two possible responses: forget it and hope that government and corporations will figure it out, or take action yourself. In the “take action yourself” camp, a few individuals are leading the way. One such person in California is Ed Begley, Jr. Turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, Ed has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on the boards of The Coalition For Clean Air, The Thoreau Institute, the advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and many others. He currently lives near LA in a self-sufficient home powered by solar energy.

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including The Dr. Oz show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly. Dr. Fuhrman’s own hugely successful PBS television shows, 3 Steps to Incredible Health and Dr. Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution bring nutritional science to homes all across America.

Caroline Trapp, MSN, APN-BC, CDE, FAANP

Caroline Trapp is committed to changing the way diabetes is treated. Pills, injections, finger sticks, portion control, going hungry, carb-ophobia – there is a better way! Ms. Trapp is the diabetes nurse practitioner with Premier Internists of Southfield, Michigan, and the director of diabetes education and care for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Ms. Trapp has been a certified diabetes educator since 1994 and an adult primary care NP specializing in the care of people with diabetes since 1998.

Saturday Presentation: "Food for Life: The Power to Heal Diabetes" Documentary

Health has been lost as diets changed, but there is hope. Meet three Native Americans and their families who reconnect with ancestral wisdom to reclaim their health. Attendees will receive the DVD, which features Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM and cooking lessons by award-winning chef, Dr. Lois Ellen Frank. Executive Producer Caroline Trapp will discuss the making of the documentary.

Sunday Presentation: Food as Medicine – A New Approach to Type 2 Diabetes

Welcome to the “Diabetes Diner!” My name is Caroline, and I’ll be your waitress. What’s on the menu? Lots of choices. Some are great. Some are very expensive. Some have side effects. Some have safety concerns. It can be a bit overwhelming. How can you decide what treatment(s) are the best option for you to prevent or treat diabetes?

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Ellen Jaffe Jones is "THE VEG COACH," aka "The Broccoli Rep." Because as she says, "Who else IS the broccoli rep?" An inspiring motivational speaker, she is also a personal trainer, running coach, author, and exceptional cooking instructor.
Ellen's best-selling book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day rapidly became one of her publisher's best-sellers due to Ellen's use of social media. Her next release, Kitchen Divided, was written for vegans who are sharing a kitchen with an omnivore. For her latest book Paleo Vegan (co-authored with Alan Roettinger), Ellen researched different versions of paleo diets on the market and was able to combine the essence of paleo diets with vegan principles.

Presentation: Paleo Vegan

Ellen Jaffe Jones is determined to redefine and reclaim the paleo title, since our ancient relatives were way more gatherers than hunters anyway. Come learn the basics of getting plenty of vegan energy that even our paleolithic ancestors would approve.

Sharon Palmer, RD

Presentations: Global Traditions for Plant-based Eating, and Meeting Nutrients of Concern on Vegetarian Diets

Sharon Palmer has created an award-winning profession based on combining her two great loves--food and writing. As a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience, she channeled her nutrition experience into writing features covering health, wellness, nutrition, and cuisine. Sharon is also a passionate writer about food and environmental issues. Her book, The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health Beginning Today was published in June 2012. Sharon is also the editor of the acclaimed health newsletter, Environmental Nutrition and writes every day for her popular Plant-Powered Blog.

Hope Bohanec

Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years and recently published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and is currently serving as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns,. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals.

Saturday Presentation: Chickens - Exploitation of the Innocent

Chickens are arguably the most abused and exploited animal on the planet. Billions are bred, confined, tortured and slaughtered behind the dark doors of animal agriculture. We will explore the life of a chicken in the food industry, both in large and small scale production, exposing the truth behind “free-range”, “cage-free” and other new labels. We will discuss the pros and cons of backyard chicken-keeping and raising chickens in urban areas.

Sunday Presentation: The Ultimate Betrayal - Is There Happy Meat?

This presentation lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding alternative animal farming. Drawing on peer-reviewed research, worker testimony and meeting the animals themselves, this presentation explores the recent shift in labeling animals processed for food. Is free-range better for the environment? Is organic humane? This presentation offers answers to these critical questions.

Cooking Demonstrations

Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan, is a pastry chef, culinary instructor, cookbook author, and such an international authority on vegan desserts and baking she is known as the “Queen of Vegan Desserts.” Those desserts—captured in her cookbooks, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and her latest: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, as well as numerous magazines and television programs—are sophisticated and delicious enough to satisfy anyone who loves dessert, whether vegan, omnivore, or somewhere in between. Fran lives, teaches, and lectures in New York City, where she runs the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®, and at conferences throughout North America and Europe.

Alan Roettinger

Alan Roettinger is a writer, food designer, blogger, and public speaker. As a private chef for twenty-five years, he has served clients (including a president and a prime minister) in the United States, Europe, and Australia. His cookbooks, Omega-3 Cuisine, Speed Vegan, Extraordinary Vegan and Paleo Vegan (with Ellen Jaffe Jones) showcase his ability to bring health and pleasure together in a wide range of dishes that are simultaneously sophisticated and accessible for the home cook. Alan is dedicated to encouraging and empowering people to make smart choices in what they eat.

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Complete bio above.

Kitchen Divided: Coping When Others Don't Eat the Way You Do

As more people go vegan for health and animal rights reasons, often friends and relatives don't quite "get it" just yet. If you live in a divided household, or in a world that doesn't eat the way you do, come find food samples to streamline your life and make you less like a short-order chef.

Talya Lutzker

A certified Ayurvedic practitioner, Talya Lutzker is also a nutritionist, professional chef, yoga teacher and founder of Talya’s Kitchen Catering Company. Talya’s passion for holistic medicine and innovative, healthy food sparkles through in her intelligent, warm, fun and inspiring teaching style. Through cleansing programs, cooking classes and one-on-one consultations, Talya helps people learn to love cooking, self-care and eating well. She co-runs the Santa Cruz Aushadi Health Foundation, an Ayurveda-By-Donation clinic that originated in her teacher’s panchakarma treatment center, the dhyana Center. She is the author of The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen.

Rebecca Gilbert

Rebecca Gilbert is the founder of the Yummy Plants vegan lifestyle website and the author of It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan! YUMMY PLANTS 101, a step-by-step plan to help you start eating vegan today. She has been a featured speaker at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, Paris Vegan Day, and Vegetarian Summerfest. In her book, Rebecca suggests vegan protein sources, easy egg and dairy substitutions, how to stock a vegan pantry, and how to stay vegan in social situations. The book also includes tasty, easy-to-prepare vegan recipes. A former competitive figure skater, Rebecca healed from chronic joint pain by switching to a vegan diet. She launched in 2010 to celebrate vegan food, connect vegans around the world, and help people switch to a vegan diet. Subscribe to the Yummy Plants YouTube channel for videos including recipes, interviews, and restaurant reviews.
At her cooking demo, Rebecca will be preparing two recipes from It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan! YUMMY PLANTS 101: No Chicken Salad and Cream of Broccoli Soup. During the presentation she’ll be sharing tips about substitutions for turning traditional recipes into vegan delights.

Rebecca's talk shows us how easy it is to start eating vegan today. Her presentation includes information on easy egg and dairy substitutions, how to stock your vegan pantry, and tips to make a vegan diet workable both inside and outside of the house.

Fitness Stage

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Ellen Jaffe Jones is an inspiring motivational speaker, personal trainer, running coach, author, and instructor of healthy cooking classes designed by respected doctors and registered dieticians. See the rest of her fascinating bio above.

Senior Fitness with Ellen Jaffe Jones

Age is just a number as certified personal trainer and running coach Ellen Jaffe Jones will demonstrate. 7th in her age group in the US in the 1500 meters, 10th in the 400 meters and an age group winner in 71 5K or longer races since '06 'just' on plants, Ellen has been a high school volunteer cross-country and track coach. Her sprint times are just seconds slower than NCAA college girls. It is rare for anyone with her sprint times to have ever finished a marathon. But she's done that twice, as recently as January. She runs faster now than she did at 28. Come watch/join Ellen as she demonstrates what warm-up/cool-down routine has kept her injury-free (mostly) over 34 joyous years of running on plants. You can do this too!

Teen Area

Free Photo Booth!

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

Kid's Activities

"Taste the Rainbow" table
Face painting
Crafts and games
Interactive exhibits and activities!

Ask the Experts (Exhibit Hall)

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

Sharon Palmer, RD -- expertise: Nutrition

Sharon Palmer has created an award-winning profession based on combining her two great loves--food and writing. As a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience, she channeled her nutrition experience into writing features covering health, wellness, nutrition, and cuisine. Sharon is also a passionate writer about food and environmental issues, having published a number of features on plant-based diets, hunger, agriculture, local and organic foods, eco-friendly culinary practices, sustainability, food safety, and food security.

R.J. Dannemiller, MA -- expertise: Vegan Minimalist Lifestyle

R.J. Dannemiller is a minimalist lifestyle expert, sociologist and founder of Simple Savvy Holistic Living-- "The Voice of The Minimalist Lifestyle". At the Ask The Experts table, he'll answer questions about living, traveling and snacking from a vegan minimalist perspective.

Wendy Gabbe Day -- expertise: Raising Vegan Families

Wendy Gabbe Day is a vegan cooking instructor, author of a whole-food cookbook, Scatter Vegan Sweets, NW VEG board member and former coordinator for the organization. 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 and are expecting another little one in December.

Erin Lehn Floresca -- expertise: Vegan/Gluten-free Baking

Fellow veghead Erin Lehn Floresca has been a writer and editor in the healthy living realm for over 10 years. Several years ago, this avid baker began exploring the gluten-free lifestyle for digestive health reasons. However, she didn’t want to give up the flavor or texture of her favorite baked goods. After much trial and error, she finally learned the secrets behind what constituted a good gluten-free flour blend. Stop by and chat with her about how to ensure your homemade vegan/gluten-free baked goods taste amazing! Connect at

Kathy Peterman, RN, MA -- expertise: Raw Juice Cleansing

As an RN for 33 years, Kathy has explored nutrition and how to be the healthiest we can be. One way to supercharge nutrition and healing is through juicing and a high raw vegan diet. If you have considered doing juicing, a raw cleanse, or trying a raw diet, drop by to ask questions, discuss how to ensure your success and increase your intake of healing fruits and vegetables.

Stephanie Lucas, RN, MS, MPA -- expertise: Health & Veganic Gardening

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.

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.