Vida Vegan Con 2013

We just got back from our little tour of the Pacific Northwest and I’m dying crying a little inside as I scan through my pictures. Oh Portland, how I miss you already!

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There’s no way to capture this magical fantasy-land all at once so I’ll start with the main attraction, the Vida Vegan Conference 2013.  Most of which took place in the Mark Building of the classy Portland Art Museum.IMG_0622 _Snapseed

Right outside the art museum was a large span of green space where I could sit and chill with Abe while basking in the Portland sun (yes, the sun did come out!).IMG_0624 _Snapseed

I could probably write a tome about all the wonderful talks that took place at Vida Vegan Con, but I’m just gonna highlight a few of my favorite tidbits. For a full play-by-play, visit Sews Before Bros.

  • To take vegan ethics beyond the plate, it’s good to seize intersectional opportunities. For example, the fire at the Bangladesh factory was a good way to introduce the idea of ethically sourced products.
  • There’s always something I can do better in my veganism. The point is to do the very best that I can.
  • I gotta stop using palm oil (see above).
  • Filter amazon searches for vegan cookbooks by “publication date” and request review copies in advance…who knew?!
  • Be authentic! There’s only one me who can tell my story in my voice. This tidbit came from Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen who I got the pleasure of meeting. She is just as luminous in real life as she is on her blog and videos.
  • Do the things that bring me joy and my passion for these things will translate easily to readers. More words of wisdom from Cadry.
  • I gotta get Adobe lightroom, which surprisingly works with jpeg files, to post process my food photos. Susan Voisin from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen gave a real time lightroom demo and wowee! Her entire presentation on food photography is here.
  • When reviewing a recipe, put a twist on it to show it’s adaptability. This came from the incredibly talented Hannah Kaminsky from Bittersweet who I also got to meet! I didn’t get to see her first talk on food styling, but she put a recap on her blog.
  • Stop self editing myself while I write blog posts. That is what second and third edits are for. Free writing is where the magic happens. This advice came from none other than Isa Chandra Moskowitz herself in an intimate writing workshop.

In addition to the treasure trove of talks, I got to hobnob with other vegans like Kylie from Life of Kylie and of course stuff mah face silly with all the vegan foods. Everyday the exhibitors in the ballroom tempted me with their vegan eats. And I succumbed to the temptation. every. single. time.vvc2013_vendors1vvc2013_vendors3vvc2013_vendors2

Veggie Grill fed the VVC participants the first night of the conference with a kale salad marinated in their ginger-papaya vinaigrette, chickin’ wings and a chicken’ wrap served with ranch and buffalo wing sauce.


It was so tasty that Neal and I ate there later that night. He got the Chipotle BBQ burger and mac and cheese.IMG_0560 _Snapseed

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I had the Baja Fiesta salad which had papayas and was served with that delicious ginger-papaya vinaigratte.

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Portland, I may not be able to live with you just yet, but the dream is still alive.
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Viva la Portland! IMG_0692 _Snapseed

53 thoughts on “Vida Vegan Con 2013

  1. Jean of all Trades

    Great write-up! I’m glad I read this. Looks like we attended completely different workshops (probably explains why I didn’t meet you). I learned a lot from your post. Thank you! Great pictures too. I miss Vida Vegan Con and Portland 😦

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      The conference was so big with so many sessions going on that it was often difficult to choose between them all. I am also going through Portland withdrawal at the moment.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      They had one other Vida Vegan Con in 2011. I didn’t go to the first one, but based on how this one went they will probably continue to have them. Avoiding the palm oil is freakin’ difficult. I went to the store yesterday and picked up peanut butter and didn’t even think about it and of course it has palm oil. This is going to be a tricky one for me.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I didn’t want to lug around my big dslr on the trip so I actually was using my little Canon power shot point and shoot- this little camera has surprised me with its photo taking abilities especially in really low light. It is great for travel and when I want to be a little more incognito in restaurants and such.

  2. Molly

    I’m so glad to hear that you had fun! The food!! Oh my. I would have given into it every single time, too. It all looks so delicious!

  3. Jackie at Vegan Yack Attack

    I love your recap!! It’s informative, but concise, and I like the goals/reminders that you have for yourself. I wish that we had met, last weekend!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! There were so many great talks and so much information that I absorbed it was hard to narrow it down. I’m sorry we didn’t meet as well…there is always the next one 🙂

  4. Andrea

    What a wonderful recap. You’ve really caught the flavor of Portland and VVC with your words and photos. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you but it looks like we attended some of the same sessions.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      There were so much more that I could have included because the conference was simply wonderful. Also it was hard to meet everyone because there were so many attendees. I think we need to walk around with huge boards with our blog names on it next time 🙂

  5. Starr

    I am so jealous of you! I would have love to attend Vida Vegan Con, and I’ve been dying to visit Portland. I need to get my butt in gear and get a passport!… Interesting what you said about not editing yourself when writing a post. My boyfriend keeps telling me to write now, edit later. I try but have such a difficult time with it. Did you try not editing while writing this post? If so, how did it go for you?

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      That’s a great question. I really did try not self editing for this one. When I sat down to write it I just typed and typed. A couple of times, I caught myself erasing sentences and trying to reword it but for the most part I did free-write. I found it helpful. On the second edit, I could see the ideas I wanted to get across but spent more time writing it in a more concise digestible format.

      The main difficulty I have when writing blog posts are how to “tell a story” while keeping the blog post fairly short and maintaining a unique voice (which I’m still not sure if I have one).

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you!! Hopefully they will continue to hold Vida Vegan Cons in the future. They offer “scholarships” and such to try and make it accessible to as many folks as possible.

  6. RunCrissieRun

    Great recap of the weekend! I love all the Portland (aka, non conference) shots you got too. It really was a magical weekend, and I hope I get the chance to meet you at the next one!

  7. Cadry's Kitchen

    What a fabulous weekend! Reading your recap is like experiencing the fun of Portland and VVC all over again. Thank you so much for the kind words about my presentation. It’s so lovely of you to say! I’m glad that I said some things that resonated with you! It was such a treat getting to meet you!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Definitely! Being an introvert, I had trouble initiating conversations and feel like there were so many people that I didn’t meet. I wish there were a Veggie Grill here in Atlanta.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      You are quite welcome. There were so many great talks going on that it was hard to decide which one to go to. I would often be sitting in a talk wondering if I should try to catch the tail end of another. The great thing is that many of the presenters have posted summaries of their talks online. I think the vegan blogging community is so rad!

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  10. Richgail Enriquez

    You finally showed your face! haha Wow what an amazing experience. I wish I could have made it there as well. But thank you for sharing what you’ve learned, at least I get to take something from it too. You and Neal look so cute in that pic!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Haha! I started including pics b/c I figure if my students find my blog then so be it. It’s not like I’m blogging anything inappropriate and who knows, maybe they’ll think about veganism a little because their cool teacher is one 😛 Maybe next Vida Vegan Con, we’ll both go and we can meet in real life!

      1. Richgail Enriquez

        Yeah you can count on next year, I’m def there. And yes, don’t be afraid to show your face! your students will likely appreciate the knowledge on your blog 🙂

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  12. celestedimilla

    What a fantastic recap! It sounds like you had such a blast and learned so much. I hope I get to go next year. I’m going to go check out some links now. Celeste 🙂

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