Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vida Vegan Con Wrap Up (and a Giveaway!)


The Vida Vegan Conference is a life changing experience.  No two ways about it.  When I was packing to head out for this year's event, I couldn't help but think to myself that there was no way it could live up to the experience I had the first time.  I mean, on the first go round there were hundreds of vegans all in one place. People from all over coming together to talk about blogging about veganism. Was this for real?  And the food, don't even get me started on the food. I was proved wrong.  Very wrong.  This year not only reached the level of the inaugural event, but in many ways, blew the roof off of it.  My only regret is that I didn't take enough of my own pictures.  Thanks goodness that other people did, and I can live vicariously through theirs!  In order to make any sense at all, I am going to have to break this post down into sections.  This post is pretty long, but there's a prize at the end, so hang in there!

The Place
Portland, Oregon is a pretty mystical place to begin with.  I mean, it is really surreal.  Whenever I am there I really do feel like I am in an amusement park, and I can't for the life of me figure out how anyone could live there permanently and not simply become overwhelmed with the constant overstimulation.  Don't get me wrong, this place is magical, and I absolutely love to visit at least once a year.  In fact I have a new little place I now call my "vacation home" above the BarBar on Mississippi. It did, however, rain almost the entire time we were there.

You can take the girl out of California...
I think most cities in the US could take a few cues from Portland.  The public transportation is super easy to use and pretty cheap to boot.  The city is broken up into quadrants, making navigating pretty easy.  The out of this world food scene is pretty fantastic as well.  In addition to the many all vegan establishmnets (Yes, there really is a Vegan Strip Club in Portland!)  almost every restaurant had some sort of vegan menu.  But most impressive was the lack of big box superstores, fast food establishments, and unattractive strip malls.  It seems as though this town thrives on indie business and entrepreneurialism.  And I really like that.

The conference itself, was held at the Portland Art Museum, which was gorgeous. Located downtown, it was easy to get to from our apartment on the bus, and close by to shopping, restaraunts and other fun stuff.

Photo Credit: the Vida Vegan Con website
The BarBar
The BarBar is a bar adjacent to the Mississippi Studios music venue. The vibe is hip, the music is good, the cocktails are made with fresh fruit and quality ingredients, and they have a vegan burger and fries on the menu.  Outside is a giant patio and fire pit, but the real gem is tucked up above the bar behind a barely noticeable door.

The BarBar on 3943 Mississippi in North Portland, adjacent to the Mississippi Studios music venue.
The apartment.  Yep, the owners of the venue rent out the apartment above the BarBar through Airbnb.  I had stayed there with my sisters before, and thought this would be an awesome place to stay for the conference.  And it was.  Located so close to everything we needed.  Walking distance to tons of vegan food, and did I mention it was above a bar?  Perfect.  This was our home for the week.  And I will personally stay there everytime I visit Portland.  Even if I go there by myself.  Ha!

Why, yes, there is a ginormous painting on the wall of our dwelling!
The People
The power of the internet brought together a pretty fab five. Jackie of VeganYack Attack, Michelle of Vegan Cooking with Love, Kelly of The Vegan Cookie Connoiseseur, Lou of Louzilla Lovegood Letters, and I all stayed in the apartment together. To be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I had already met Lou and Kelly at the last VVC, but Michelle and Jackie I only knew through facebook and their blogs.  (And we all know that bloggers don't always do so well in real life social situations.)  I couldn't have been more excited once I finally met these ladies, because they are all pretty awesome.  And, Jackie, well she only lives less than an hour from me, so I now have a new friend at home too!  We also were lucky enough to have Joanna of JoannaVaught.com move in for the last few nights of her stay.

The M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I Apartment Crew (L-R) Jackie, Michelle, Lou, Kelly, Joanna, and me!
And there are about 300 other people, some I was fortunate enough to meet, others I was unfortunately unable to.  But let me just drop a few names of some of the amazing folks I got to spend time with over the trip.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz, JL Fields, Jared Bigman, Terry Hope Romero, Laura Beck, Demetrius Bagely, Amey Matthews, Erika Larson (who blogged extensively about the VVC on her blog Sews Before Bros, and I highly recommend having a look), Amber Shea Crawley, Dawn Quinn, Bianca Phillips, Sayward Rebhal, Christy Morgan, Julie Hasson, Kittee Berns, Melisser Elliott, Chelsea Lincoln, Gena Hamshaw, Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan, and of course the amazing trio who put the whole thing together...Jess, Michelle, and Janessa.  I know I met so many more of you, and I am sorry if I didn't mention you here, please know I still love you.



The Conference
So what is the VVC?  In a nutshell, the Vida Vegan Conference was three full days of workshops, classes, mingling, and eating with like minded vegan bloggers from all over the world.  Seriously, all over the world.  There were bloggers from as far as Australia and England making appearances this year.  The impressive trio of Jess, Michelle and Janessa are responsible for making it all happen.  And this year was amazing.  The conference took place in the Portland Art Museum, and the space was simply divine.  The gorgeous ball room was the main meeting spot for the conference, and inside was the sponsor showcase, which featured about 25 different vendors showcasing their vegan products and keeping our bellies full of delicious sample goodness in between classes and meals.

The Workshops
This year's conference was packed with amazing classes and workshops.  I was honored to be selected as a speaker, and I was on three separate panels. You can see the full agenda and read full class descriptions here.  There was something for everybody.  From how to classes on everything from food styling to creating your own 'zine,  to in depth discussions on ethics, sensitivity, and body image.

This is an amazing illustration (page 16) of my three girls from the "Official-Unofficial Vida Vegan Con 2013 Cookbooklette" which was hand drawn and put together by the amazing Amey Mathews of Vegan Eats and Treats.  Each of the giveaway packs contains a copy of this cookbooklette.

I participated in 3 panel discussions:  Path to Cookbook Author (with Julie Hasson, and Bianca Phillips), Publishing Avenues (with Nava Atlas, and Ryan Patey, moderated by Michelle Truty), and Interdietary Cohabitation (with Dawn Quinn and Bianca Phillips).

Of all of the classes I attended, there were three that really left me talking and thinking about them for days on end.  I am truly living the lessons I was taught in these classes, and I will continue to deliver the messages that I learned from them from now until the end of time:

Why and How to Expand Your Message to Include Animal Rights (with Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan)
This workshop was like listening to the Our Hen House podcast live...but even better.  Jasmin and Mariann really hit it home by reminding me about why I do what I do, and that just because I am writing this blog mostly about vegan recipes, there is absolutely no reason why I cannot add in some animal rights messages as well.  They both gave us plenty of easy ways to slip in messages with out alienating my readership.  And these ladies really know what they are talking about!

Sensitivity and Trigger Words (with Gena Hamshaw, Chelsea Lincoln, and Gabrielle Pope)
I probably got the most emotional during this class when the topic of "diet" came up and led to a full on therapy session about how the words we choose to write can influence the feelings of others and trigger negative feelings about body image and health.

Body Image Acceptance & Veganism (Chelsea Lincoln, Gabrielle Pope, Nicole Sopko, Michelle Truty, and moderated by Laura Beck)
This class focused on all the different shapes and sizes that a vegan body comes in.  Fat shaming, skinny shaming, the use of the word "healthy", and many other things were discussed.  The expanding void between "ethical vegans" and "vegans for health" was discussed.  We were also given tools that we were able to use immediately (as in right after class wen we walked into the ballroom for lunch!) to improve our own self accepatnce as well as impart a sense of confidence in those around us.

I attended many more amazing workshops:  Food Styling: Keeping it Real (with Hannah Kaminsky), Monetizing your Blog (with Nava Atlas and Susan Voisin), Ethics Beyond the Plate (with Laura Beck, Jamie Hagen, Leigh-Chantelle, Erika Larson, John McDevitt and moderated by Jason Das), Privacy Lines & Oversharing (with Dreena Burton, Joanna Vaught, Susan Voisin, and moderated by Sayward Rebhal), Restaraunt Reviews with Authority (with Grant Butler), The Other Side: A Reader's Perspective (with Maeve Connor, Gabrielle Pope, and Jess Scone), and finally Artful Food Photography (with Kelly Peloza).

The Food
I was in town for a whole week, and I barely scratched the surface on all the amazing vegan eats in Portland.  The first day I was in town, Wednesday, Jackie, Michelle and I walked down to the Mississippi Marketplace to get our first meal in PDX.  And no trip to Portland would be complete without a food cart experience.  Native Bowl and Homegrown Smoker are both 100% vegan carts that make up the "vegan corner" in the marketplace.  I got myself a Mississippi Bowl from Native Bowl and a side of Mac'no'cheese from Homegrown.  I cannot think of a better way to start my trip.  Bellies full we checked in to our apartment.

The Mississippi Bowl from Native Bowl (Photo Courtesy of TahiniToo)
Later on we ventured out to grab some apartment essentials from Food Fight! and then got ourselves delicious bowls from Canteen.  The next morning, Friday, we couldn't help ourselves.  We had to get "Dutch Tacos" from the Flavour Spot which was walking distance from our apartment.  I didn't snag a photo, (Click here to see Jackie's) but let me tell you, it was a delicious giant waffle folded in half filled with maple cream and pecans.  Normally they are filled with veggie sausage, but too many vegans were in town (haha) and they ran out of the sausage.

The Portland Bowl from Canteen 
Then we headed to Herbivore (in the vegan mini mall) to do a little shopping, then to Hungry Tiger Too for lunch and drinks.  Being the social media mavens that we are, we noticed on Instagram that Joanna was across the street at Sweetpea, so we naturally told her to join us!

Tempeh BLT with Avocado from the Hungry Tiger Too.
And by this time it was time to head over to the White Owl Social Club for the Official Unofficial Meet and Greet for the conference goers.  Still full from lunch I had to wait until Monday before I could enjoy their famous Mac and Cheese Burger.  After that, we headed to a screening of the pilot for the Intrepid Herbivores International Vegan Travel Show.

Photo Courtesy of Bianca Phillips
Then we headed over to Back to Eden where I picked up a piece of delicious Peanut Butter Fudge and had a nice cozy cup of Hazelnut Milk Hot Cocoa, which really hit the spot, because it had been raining all day, and I was soaking wet from walking around without an umbrella. After that, it was over to the Bye and Bye for drinks and bar food.  In my case it was a big bowl of chips, hummus, and the Chili Pie (Fritos and chili with sour cream and cheese!) and of course, their signature drink, the Bye and Bye.

Cocoa and fudge from Back to Eden
The next morning, Friday, we checked in for the conference then headed for a quick bite before the conference officially began at 12.  We walked over to Veggie Grill.   We have veggie grill here, but three of the five women I was with did not have one in their area, so I didn't feel too guilty. The evening was wrapped up with a quick reception with appetizer sized portions of goodies from Veggie Grill.  After the first day of conferencing was over, many of us headed back over to Food Fight! for the Uptons Natural's Gordita Pop-Up.  This was epic.  A crunchy vegan taco, filled with Upton's taco meat, of course, wrapped in a soft white tortilla glued together with Food for Lovers Queso.  Think Taco Bell Double Decker Tacos...but VEGAN!  Whoa.  Not to be filled by one taco, Joanna and I joined up with a few others, and we walked around the block to Red and Black Cafe for Reubens.  And they were delicious!   I stopped in to the Sweet Hereafter for a drink with an old friend, and then called it quits for the night.

Vegan Double Decker Taco from Upton's Naturals and Food For Lovers
(Photo Courtesy of Food Fight!'s Facebook Feed)

But we weren't done eating yet!  Saturday started with breakfast provided to us by the conference itself.  the Portland Vegan Breakfast Showcase, in which nine different restaurants brought sample sized portions of delicious foods.  From pizza to quiche to gluten free donuts to bagels, we certainly were not left wanting for more!  And after the morning session of classes was over, it was back to the ballroom for lunch, which was a Portland Style Build-a-Bowl buffet.  So good.  Saturday Night was the Galarama.  A fancy-ish social gathering which also happened to be a fundraiser for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  There were two food carts serving up dinner, I chose the Hot Dog Cart, and got myself a hot dog and nachos.  I also got myself a vodka root beer float at the bar.  Ha!  After the Galarama, a bunch of us headed over to Karaoke.  I watched as other VVC attendees rocked out.  And some of them were really, really good!

Sunday started with breakfast served up by the conference.  Hot cereal with toppings really hit the spot and I was feeling good and ready to tackle the day.  Lunch was also provided by the conference.  Build your own sandwiches with a seemingly unlimited supply of fake meaty and cheesy goodness to pile up on bread.  So very good.

The conference was now over, but the food was still flowing.  After the conference, the ladies and I, along with the help of the amazingly wonderfully friendly Demetrius Bagely, got the apartment ready for a "VIP" post party.  With four vegan pizzas and 2 orders of vegan cheesy garlic bread from Mississippi Pizza, tons of beer, chips, dips, and a super duper delicious tray of brownies courtesy of Capital City Bakery, we were set for an evening of drinking dancing, and hanging out without having to worry about getting up early for classes the next morning!  Click here to read Kelly's breakdown of the VVC and the party.

Monday was my last full day in Portland, and I decided to spend it all with my sister.  We started out at Junior's Cafe for breakfast, and then walked to Anatomy Tattoo to get sort-of-matching sister tattoos.  After that, we headed to White Owl for drinks and so that I could finally get my hands on one of those above mentioned Mac and Cheese Burgers, which was amazing.

Big Sis, Lil Sis Love
The Swag (and the Giveaway!)
Let me just say that I had to check an entire extra suitcase on my flight home in order to bring back all of the swag I brought home from the conference.  Not to mention the stuff I also bought.  Way too much stuff.  Full size samples of Teese, a whole box of cereal, kombucha starters, Lara bars, So Delicious coconut milk, not to mention all of the coupons cook booklets and other stuff.  Seriously there is just too much to mention.  Which leads me to the giveaway.

Swag Bag Giveawy Pack #1 
Swag Bag Giveaway Pack #2
There is so much stuff that I am feeling just a tad guilty.  So much so that I have put together two huge swag bags to giveaway to two lucky readers of this blog.  And these bags are huge.  Unfortuantely, due to the contents (food, liquid) this giveaway is limited to those within the United States only.  So sorry to my international readers.  To enter, please leave a comment below stating what type of things you would want to learn about if you attended a vegan conference.  I will choose two of your responses, at random, and send you some swag.  I will make those choices on Sunday, June 16, 2013, at 10:00 am PST.  So check back to see if you won!

CONTEST NOW OVER!  Congrats to #49, Dana, and #52, Kaycee, you guys are the chosen winners to receive the two huge swag packs!  Please send me an email with your snail mail addy to joni AT justthefood DOT com so I can send you your swag!



79 comments:

  1. I would want to learn about vegan meals that are most pleasing to picky eaters (kid and husband).

    Also, love the tattoos :) And that bowl!

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  2. Awesome give away! You rock! And the taco looked like it rocked so I'm having lentil tacos for dinner tonite :)

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  3. What a great write-up! It's so great to read about the conference, as it means that I feel like I get to participate by proxy. I'd love to hear more about ethics beyond the plate -- how you can make choices in other areas of your life that aren't solely dietary, to live a more balanced (if that's the right word) life.

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  4. I'm sure I'd want to see everything ever, but I think I'd be most interested in cooking demos and trying new products that I can't find locally.

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  5. I would like to attend a class on vegan cheese making.

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  6. I would've really enjoyed Jasmin and Mariann's presentation on how to include Animal Rights messages in blog posts (and day-to-day conversations, too) without alienating people. I'd like to get better since it is something I am so passionate about!

    Thanks for the great recap. :)

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  7. Wow, such awesome swag! (Btw Booda butter is from my hometown and I just love the stuff!) Conference Topic: I've become really interested in learning how to close the gap between ethical vegans and health vegans because it seems like the people we hear the most about (celebrities, athletes) are health vegans and they tend not to stay vegan :( which sometimes makes us all look flaky. Would like to learn how to get them on board with the ethical side.

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  8. i would be most interested in the new products, and cooking with whole, unprocessed ingredients.

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  9. I need more recipes and info on how to cook things like Quinoa (I hear you have to wash it 3 times) and cooking lentils. I wish there was a vegan con in Milwaukee, these are more meat and potatoes people here.

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  10. I agree with Sarah about learning to please picky eaters. Also, I would like to learn more about things I can substitute for animal products like eggs. I have tried several egg substitutes while baking but the consistency doesn't always come out right.

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  11. I was thinking the same as Cindy, I would loved to learn more about vegan cheese making!

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  12. I'm still kicking myself for not going! I would have loved to have been at the Body Image Acceptance seminar, as well as any seminar led by Hannah, Isa, Gena, Sayward, Amey, or you (I hope I'm not leaving anyone out!). Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  13. So jealous of all the conference and Portland pictures! For those of us who weren't at the conference, we want it ALL! I would have loved so many of these sessions, and would be interested in a vegan fitness session too (like if the Vega/Thrive people did a session!).

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  14. That conference sounds so amazing. I'm only starting on the blog, and pretty bad at posting, I guess I would like to learn about planning blog posts :D The Body Image seminar sounds great, I am really tired of seeing fat shaming in some corners of the community! Thank you for this opportunity!

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  15. I would want to know about nutrition and health, as well as new products.

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  16. I want to learn about staying healthy...in regard to absorbing nutrients I'm eating. I would also love to know how to make "dairy" items such as sour cream, cheese, etc. my yogurt maker may get a test drive this weekend, LoL!

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  17. Stopping by not for the swag, but to say how great it was seeing you Joni! I really wish you lived here year-round! xoxo

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    1. YES! And I still owe you that drink :)

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  18. I would be interested in learning about the nutrition, body image and products/ways to prepare food that my Texan husband would eat that would help him to give up some of his meat in-take. I would also enjoy the networking at the conference what a wonderful opportunity to meet like minded people and pick their brains! Plus to be at a conference and not have to wonder if I'll be able to eat would be amazing!

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  19. I would have LOVED to go to the Body Image Acceptance & Veganism conference! I am a large gal, over 200 pounds, and pretty much have always been big, even when I went vegan 4 years ago. When a famous vegan doctor was on the vegan shame train, even going so far as to say we shouldn't be advocates, I pretty much lost it. I became even more of an advocate, because I'm vegan for the animals, as well as to be healthy, but if it doesn't make me skinny, I'm not going to quit being vegan! (Been vegetarian for 20 year before that, btw.) Sure, sometimes I wonder if people are turned off by my size, though I think that their perceptions of the sickly looking vegan are crushed when they meet me too! I think that I can still testify that a lot of people DO lose weight going vegan, and that they WILL get healthier if they eat a plant based (fruits and veggies based) diet. Most of all, it's a lifestyle, not a diet. Thank you for posting this! :)

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  20. Man, I live in Portland and haven't even been to some of the great spots you hit up. I would love to attend VVC, but I am not a food blogger and didn't have the scratch. I hope to go in the future, though--it looks amazing! If I did, I would love to learn about bridging the gap between vegan processed food eating and healthier eats--I used to be so into the latter but now I really like to have a lot of Daiya, gardein, soy dairy, etc. etc. I'd also love to attend a panel about vegan fashion. Vaute couture could be one of the panelists maybe!

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  21. Thanks for the info on the conference. I think if I attended this type of conference I would be interested in new products, as I like to try new stuff especially in the "cheese" sector. Also, it would be interesting to talk with people about recipes and new ideas to keep me interested in cooking, as I can get in a bit of a rut and make the same meals day after day, almost on auto-pilot.

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  22. I would love to learn more about making vegan cheese and developing recipes.

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  23. I would like to learn how to make vegan meals that knock the socks off of non-vegans!

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  24. That conference looks so, so aweesome, and I'm not even a blogger! Your Interdietary Cohabitation seminar sounds interesting. I'm not a vegan but live with my fiance who is, and I do almost all of the cooking in the house. We eat vegan at home, and since I take my lunch to work, end up eating about 95% vegan. I still like hearing that there are couples like us out there!

    I'd also be interested in something about creating a vegan menu. We are trying to have an all-vegan wedding, and some of the caterers we are talking to are open to it but looking for guidance in creating the menu. It's a bit overwhelming!

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  25. I would like to attend everything. It would be too hard to narrow down to one thing! Cincinnati is rather bereft of many vegan things.

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  26. I'd like to learn about how to present veganism to loved ones who really need to go vegan for health reasons. I'd also want to learn how to make some classic non-veg this a little more friendly for those who are new to veganism. My nutritional yeast sat unopened for 6 months...I was afraid of it thinking it would be like brewers yeast, now, it's a staple!

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  27. I would love to learn more about creating a cookbook and body image acceptance!

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  28. I'd love to learn how to prepare new dishes, what products are out there, how much better a vegan diet is for the body and the environment! SO MUCH STUFF to learn!

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  29. I want to go to Portland since all the Vegan Bloggers that went there, had an awesome time.
    Hmm how to start a blog and keep at it, maybe thats what I would want to learn

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  30. I would like to find more local or regional cookbooks. Amazon is cool but they don't have everything.

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  31. I would like to learn about taking good food photos. All of mine are very unimpressive!

    Courtney

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    1. Me too, Courtney! Mine are poor, and mediocre at best. Haha.

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  32. I would love to learn about more vegan options for cheese, sour cream, etc. I am ok without them, but hubby is having issues ;) He has not found anything that he likes. And just to see all of the different products out there, I know there is so much more than the little I can find at the store.

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  33. We (my fiance and I) go to the Vegetarian Food Festival and Green Festival here in NYC, and our favorite part is trying new foods that we would actually buy - many times there are too many processed foods and meat/dairy substitutes.

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  34. I'm not in the US, but I loved this post anyway! I can't wait to be there next year, I hope we can meet then! And again, your new tattoo is super cute.

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  35. I definitely would like any cooking demos to help interest my omni hubby. The body image class (I'm not thin at all!) & closing the gap among ethical/health vegans. It sounds like an AMAZING time!!!

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  36. I would definitely want to work on strategies for helping people do more reflection on their food choices and how to help people do the most affordable vegan eating.

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  37. What a wonderful post about VVC. I have to admit with each VVC post I read, I get more and more jealous! The food, the people, the conference, atmosphere, etc. I wish I had been there!

    As far as what I would like to learn; vegan baking and cooking, food styling for sure. I am also really intrigued by the Interdietary Cohabitation. I am the only vegan in my family with an omni husband and 3 kids.

    I love the swag you put together. Living in a small rural town I have extremely limited access to anything remotely resembling vegan friendly food!

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  38. I really REALLY want one of those mac & cheese burgers! Mmm...

    I've considered starting a blog just to have a reason to go to VVC! All the workshops looked really interesting. I would most be interested in the recipe development and vegan advocacy sessions, I think.

    P.S. Love the tattoos! Who was your artist?

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    1. I got my tattoo from Ryan Jacob Smith. He is a vegan, and uses only vegan inks. http://instagram.com/ryanjacobsmith

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  39. Sounds so amazing! I would want to learn about all the current trends going on, products and meet people, especially the ones I've connected with online.

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  40. i would want to learn about international vegan cuisine

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  41. I'd love to have attended the Body Acceptance and Veganism session. I struggle with this.

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  42. I'd love to have attended Recipe Creation & Testing, as well as Vegan Professionals in a Nonvegan World! And eat all the delicious Portland food of course...

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  43. Oh my goodness! That is some amazing SWAG! My biggest hurdle that I face when preparing vegan meals is cooking for one person only. I am a single lady living in a big city and am in need of simple solo recipes. I'd be grateful for any ideas :)

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  44. I'd love to learn about how to be a more healthy vegan, and how to get people past the impression that vegan food doesn't taste good!

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  45. I am posting this on behalf of Jennifer: Jennifer Greer-Shrier I couldn't get my comment to post on your actual blog but wanted to say the entire conference sounds awesome! All the classes sounded interesting and I have spent so much time trying to get my posts to work I forgot what 2 classes I'd take! Ha! You & your sister are both adorable and you made me want to head to Portland just to ck out the vegan scene. Yummah!!!

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  46. I'd like to talk with other vegans about the best way to respond to questions about veganism without coming across as preachy and also how to react when people want to challenge my own veganism without getting defensive.

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  47. I would love to meet the vegan bloggers I admire, and also would want to learn more cooking techniques that I've been afraid to try or just haven't taken the time to do. It'd also be nice to take a class where they educate you on blending different flavors and which herbs/spices/foods go best with one another.

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  48. i would love to know about different kinds of vegan products and cooking techniques (since i am still a relative newbie) and how to get my husband to try new viggies...

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  49. I really wanted to go this year. Having JUST started my own blog (after 6 years of lurking), i thought it would be a chance to get some starter tips and tricks. I plan on going next year so I can meet all of my idols, and hopefully by then I will have good content to contribute as well! :)

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  50. Better ways to communicate the animal rights vegan message.

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  51. as a vegan newbie, I would be most intetested in cooking demos/recipes/menu planning.

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  52. I would love to learn more about food photography and vegan blogging. It would also be helpful to know what giveaways and reviews benefit and which ones could hurt a social network.

    Looks like you had an amazing time. I hope to go next year!

    Awesome giveaway!

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  53. I would love to learn about monetizing your blog and food photography. I would love to attend a workshop about ways to make non-vegans more receptive to trying a plant-based diet. Maybe one day!

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  54. I want to start blogging, so I would be interested in all the beginner stuff. Photography, recipe development and writing style would be at the top of my list. Thanks for the chance to win some cool stuff!

    gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

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  55. I would want to learn about all the new products!

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  56. I want to learn how to cook more plant-based without resorting to fake vegan meat products like not dogs etc. Would also like to learn how to make a few things on the weekend so I could have healthy lunches for the week. I would also like to learn how to be a frugal vegan. Thanks for having the giveaway!

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  57. This whole thing looks amazing, but I guess the thing I'd want to see the most is cooking demos. I'm a good cook, but I need to simplify my process, which is currently ... let's say slow. It'd be great to see what other people do differently.

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  58. So many of the workshops I've read about on your blog and others sound wonderful! I would have liked to attend Why and How to Expand Your Message to Include Animal Rights, and Monetizing Your Blog mostly because Susan and Nava are so classy and I'd like to hear their take. Fun giveaway, and thanks for sharing your experience!

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  59. Whoa! I am so glad to see the content of the conference expanding. I think the top workshop that stuck out to me was body image acceptance! It's such a huge issue for me personally right now. Seeing all these veganism as diet articles has been really triggering.
    Also I am really interested in the privacy and over-sharing conversation!

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  60. I would love to hear the workshop on becoming a cookbook author because well, that's a dream of mine. I also think the workshop on acceptance would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I would have enjoyed the talks on including more animal rights messages on my blog and the trigger words/body image seminar. I've been bothered lately by the subtle orthorexia in the vegan blogging community. After reading JL's blog post about how people's comments really bothered her at the conference, I'm reminded to be more mindful in my own conversations with people. I want to portray veganism in the best light, so leaving room for treats without guilt is important.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'd love to learn how to make my blog more engaging with readers, rather than just having a one-sided conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  63. This might sound lame but I grew up pretty sheltered so I'd love some kind of workshop dedicated to identifying vegan staple foods and how to prepare them in simple ways so the grocery store would be a little less daunting every time I feel adventurous (I just learned what chickpeas are....and hummus....and falafels lol). I'd also be interested in learning about how to promote a plant-based diet within the community, tips on the best choices for eating out and maybe even a discussion about the concerns with soy and additives in processed products.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'd love to meet more vegan artists and crafters and learn more about their work, the cruelty-free materials, methods and resources they use, the causes they support and of course what I can buy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. EPIC RECAP!! Lovely to see you as always!! Until next time! <3

    ReplyDelete
  66. I would love to learn more about vegan cosmetics and vegan meals for children.
    nurse_mommy(at)live(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Awesome wrap up, nice work! I would love to learn more about monetizing your blog, and food photography. One can always learn more about food photography!

    ReplyDelete
  68. I would love to learn about new products, menu planning and products beyond food. I also would like to learn about how to stat blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I would love to hear the panels and discussions on body image and other health-related issues.

    xmeliss182x at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. I'd like the panels on body acceptance and also some lessons on using agar

    ReplyDelete
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni