Notes from VVCIII – Preventing Ex-Vegans. 10 Strategies to Maximize Long-Term Success on Vegan Diets – Ginny Messina

Saturday Session – Preventing Ex-Vegans – 10 Strategies to Maximize Long-Term Success on Vegan Diets – Virginia Messina, MPH, RD Reasons People Stop Being Vegan Health concerns Not confident they’re meeting their nutritional needs Lack of social support Lack of convenience Missed taste of animal foods (meat/cheese) Didn’t see diet as part of their identity Found it difficult to reach purity (avocardo) Believed they could reach all of their goals without being veg. Helping People Stay Vegan Promote realistic benefits (relates well with Matt’s talk) There are accurate and legitimate benefits to eating a plant based diet – but some of those claims are exaggerated and many ex-vegans began to doubt the benefits of their vegan Vegans may have lower risk of cancer – but vegans still can and do get cancer, and a vegan diet cannot reverse cancer. A vegan diet is not going to make you look youthful forever – sets people up for disappointment (setting appropriate expectations) Promote ethics and ethical reasons behind following a vegan diet. The ethical and animal rights argument for veganism are unique, universale (or pretty close) and stickier. (because most people like animals – campaigns like Why Love One but Eat the Other?) Makes the diet part of their identity. Humane research council survey Understanding successful behaviour change: the role of intentions, attitudes to the target and motivations and the example of diet. Vegan diet does not automatically equal weight loss. When people don’t achieve their goals, they will pursue other angles or other…

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Notes from VVCIII – Science is Awesome – Matt Rusigno

I wanted to share some of my notes from day one of Vida Vegan Con and some of the talks I attended. On day one – I went to Matt Rusigno’s talk Science is Awesome! – Why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism.   Matt Rusigno started off by telling us that with everything he says he’s coming from an ethical vegan perspective, but has concerns about  concerns about the positioning of veganism and ridiculous health claims, and will tell us a few things we might not agree with, but things that are based on the current available scientific evidence. Difficult truth: Reality is that there are people that have had great results from paleo. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26003334 Nutr Res. 2015 May 14. pii: S0271-5317(15)00097-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.05.002. [Epub ahead of print] Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations. There is very little research comparing vegan athletes vs non-vegan athletes, and very difficult to design a study showing clear connections (how to define vegan vs non-vegan, starting point in fitness, etc) Looks at The Potato Diet – 60 days of potatoes Result was weight loss. Cholesterol, blood glucose all went down. Other ridiculous diets – like twinkie diet, and more. (also had positive impacts on some basic bio measurements like cholesterol, blood glucose, etc) Dangerous and ridiculous facebook page shares – energy frequency food vibration pyramid (whut?!) We’re very influenced by our own experiences and often actively seek out evidence that supports…

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Austin, TX – I’ve made it to Vida Vegan Con 2015 after all.

For the last few months I’ve been waffling about going to Vida Vegan Con in Austin, Texas. JC and I have been working on a business, and everything was coming together for a launch right around the end of May/beginning of June. That’s all still true and we are still launching a business very soon, but after that happens, I’m sort of hopeful that I’ll be too busy to travel. We’ll see! After expressing my fear of missing out on the final VVC festivities, and watching me plan out a variety of different convoluted and increasingly ridiculous ways of getting to and staying in Austin, and probably some what in response to trying to cheer me up about our foster cat Martha, my sweet human encouraged me to go, and I literally booked the plane ticket the day before leaving. And the hotel gods inexplicably smiled upon me with a room, in not so expensive hotel, within walking distance to the conference center. I wish JC could have come with me, but he’s holding down the fort and doing some business stuff. Yesterday morning, after somewhere under an hour of sleep, JC dropped me off at the airport, and I entered the second longest customs line I’ve been in thus far. But somehow it moved much quicker than expected. I flew in on Delta, which has biscoff cookies, and power napped against the wall between Toronto and Atlanta. Highlights of the Atlanta airport – I was rushing off to my terminal (I got…

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VidaVeganCon – Day Two Recap! TL;DR? – It was awesome.

I woke up too early on Sunday, mostly because I was still on Eastern Time, but it gave me the opportunity to run around the Rose Quarter for a few miles before it was time for breakfast! Of course, I ended up arriving much too early, and paced around hungrily (snacking on mini larabars) until 8:30am (Note to self: don’t forget to read your program and confirm times before leaving early!) Breakfasts at VVC, and I know I’m not alone in this, made me discover just how good chia seeds can be. We had a “raw chia parfait” and the recipe is here on The Svelte Kitchen. Having only played with it in the ground up form, I just mentally paired it with flax seeds and never gave it much thought beyond that.  It wasn’t exactly pretty, but very tasty. I’d insert a photo of it here just to prove it, but uncharacteristically, I almost entirely stopped taking pictures of my food for most of the weekend. I did take a picture of my plate, but everything is just jumbled together. I really liked the Vegan Vagrant‘s VVC food photo collection (as well as the links to all the other VVC recaps!) and of course you the VidaVeganCon flickr feed is worth checking out. First panel of my morning was The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: The Marketing Panel. This was something that snapped my interest right away when I flipped through the program, since it fits in with…

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Vida Vegan Con – Day One!

My inner monologue has changed from “I can’t wait” to “I can’t believe it’s over!” Or maybe… “I can’t wait until the next one in 2013…” To really sum it up, this weekend’s Vida Vegan Con was an incredible and inspirational experience. The organizers (and the other volunteers!) did such an amazing job bringing all of us together and making it all happen. It was a whirlwind of vegan activity. Surrounded by 200+ vegans at breakfast and lunch was exciting and nearly unbelievable. The speakers were fantastic, the food at the conference and the surrounding area was delicious (I’m looking at you HomeGrown Smoker) and I feel like I’m leaving with both a renewed excitement about blogging and a sense of joy at the real life connections I made with the people that attended. I left with a new list of people to follow on twitter and countless new rss feeds to add to my regular google reader rotation. After breakfast I started day one slowly, spending most of my morning trying to figure out how to get back to Toronto within a reasonable time frame, but I did catch the end of the nutrition panel with Wendy Gabbe Day, Bryanna Clark Grogan, Gena Hamshaw, and Ginny Messina. These are some of the people I’ve been following and reading on and off the net, in some cases for years. The works of Bryanna Clark Grogen have frequently appeared in my cookbook collection (as well as my mom’s), so it was…

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Vida Vegan Conference August 26-28 2011

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be speaking at the first ever Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference August 2011 in Portland, OR.  There are so many awesome people on the speakers list, I’m so excited to get the chance to meet the people behind blogs I’ve been reading for years! It will be a great excuse to go back to Portland, Oregon and check out some of the old haunts. I can’t wait to have brunch at Sweetpea Bakery again and check out some of the new food carts! From the Vida Vegan Blogger Conference Website: Mission: Uniting vegan bloggers from across the globe! What: Workshops, Discussion Panels, Speakers, Special Events, Vegan Food, and more. This conference will celebrate, explore, and fine-tune the practice, and ever-growing community, of vegan bloggers. Topics Include: Blogging, Vegan Parenting, Culinary Endeavors, Veganism in the Workplace, Dating & Mating Panel, Ethical Dining, Activism, and more! Date: August 26-28th, 2011 Where: University Hotel & Conference Center at Portland State University in Downtown Portland, OR Check the Vida Vegan website and be a fan on Facebook to keep up with updates!

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