This smoothie was exactly what I needed today!!! Anyway, now that I have that out of the way... as promised, let's do a recap of Veganpalooza. This year's Veganpalooza was so inspiring and informative and was hosted by Dr. Will Tuttle and Steve Prussack! They offered chances to win prizes for the participating audience, VIP features, and the option to download the entire transcript for those who were unable to listen to the featured speakers. The overall theme was filled with love, compassion and excitement. Here are some of the highlights from my Veganpalooza experience:
Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich kicked off the event with a lovely message of compassion and our spiritual side connecting with the Earth and compassion for it's creatures. Dennis had powerful messages like "We live on the Garden of Eden" and advocating the need to protect it.. starting with our food choices. Mr.Kucinich also stated how "the consequences of our food choices have a huge effect on the environment and the world."
Dr. Michael Greger is the nutritional power-house behind NutritionFacts.org. For those of you who want more scientific facts behind your vegan and plant-based beliefs, this is the website for you! It is filled with tons of mind-blowing facts about what we eat and the effects on our health. His research has found that 14 of the top 15 killers of the nation can be prevented and even reversed by following a strict whole-food, plant-based diet. He is also a firm advocate of everyone supplementing B12, because of the poor quality of our soil these days being stripped from important minerals and nutrients.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer is the founder of TrueNorth Health Center and specializes in supervised nutritional cleansing and fasting. Through his practice and research he has found that there is a "pleasure trap" that we experience from the dopamine in our brains. These food cravings come from chemical additives in processed food and more common additives like Sugars, Oils, and Salts. He stated in his lecture that in order "to achieve optimum health, we need a plant-based diet and no sugars, oils, and salt."
Dr. Michael Klaper is another physician at TrueNorth Health Center who has a lot of experience and research about the connection between diet and disease. He believes that "if done properly, everyone can thrive on a vegan diet." He has witnessed in his patients how overly processed foods can do a lot of damage to your cells, and how salt is a really big issue because it stiffens the arteries, affects autoimmune disorders, and raises blood pressure. He also believes that ALL sugars, oils, and salts should be completely removed from our diets.
Chef AJ is a certified plant-based nutritionist and author of the book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight. She jokingly refers to sugar, salt, and oils as "the evil trinity." However, she goes on to explain how these ingredients are found in almost every processed food and are "highly inflammatory, highly irritating to our bodies, and can cause disease." She also explains how the sugars, salt, and oils are highly addictive, which is why processed food companies add them to their products. Chef AJ offers cooking classes and also has DVD's available on her website if you are wanting to learn more about an unprocessed, plant-based lifestyle.
Mark Reinfeld is a raw food, vegan chef is the author of several Vegan Cookbooks and is a co-founder of VeganFusion.com. Mark is passionate about promoting a raw food, plant-based lifestyle. He offers classes, workshops and raw food vegan retreats! He encourages people to become fearless in the kitchen and embrace the positive aspects of a vegan lifestyle as he stated "What goes on in the kitchen reflects your life in general. Keep a positive attitude." He explained during his lecture how the overuse of hyper-palatable foods like sugar, salts and oils change our taste buds to not enjoy the taste of produce in it's raw form . Once these additives are completely removed from our diet, then our bodies adapt and will no longer crave sugar, salts and oils.
There were so many other great speakers at the Veganpalooza conference! I wish I had more time to go over every single detail and give a shout out to each and every person at the Vegan World Summit, but instead I will provide a few more key websites mentioned at the conference to help you learn more about the vegan lifestyle.