My First Vegetarian Summerfest – An Uplifting Experience
I owe you a recap of the Vegetarian Summerfest conference I attended and spoke at last week. To say it was a blast is an understatement! This was their 40th anniversary and I would be lying if I haven’t wanted to attend this event for the last 8 years it’s been on my radar. When I got the call to come do a cooking demo I jumped at the chance! Finally, I got to go to the infamous Summerfest.
I felt so much positive energy the entire time. Everyone was so incredibly nice, uplifting, freely throwing around compliments, I felt no judgement even though there were all kinds of eaters present. I especially felt a lot of camaraderie with my fellow female speakers most of which I have known for years, but also met some new faces! Everyone supported each other. After my cooking demo, the other chefs were munching on my food back in the kitchen and raving about it. After coming home and getting back to “reality” the realization hit me that I’ve longed for that connection and closeness with my peers. Basically, the last year and a half I took off from speaking engagements to focus on my fitness stuff. I was a little nervous going into this, having never spoke or attended Summerfest. I am pleased to say after giving a 2 hour cooking demo I’ve still got it and everyone loved the recipes I made. It felt amazing to be teaching again! This time with sexy guns 😉 Big thank you to the amazing cooking demo staff and volunteers that made it all possible!
This event reminded me how much I love traveling, connecting with like-minded people, and showing people how darn tasty vegan food can be. Getting to rub elbows with the movers and shakers of the vegan/plant-based world is always a plus. And I always learn something new during the classes even though I’ve been at this vegan thing for 12+ years. I made new friends and got to eat some of the most amazing food prepared by Mark from Vegan Fusion. Thanks to all the kitchen staff and chefs for feeding our bellies! Each meal had gluten-free, oil-free, and raw options available and I dabbled in all of them. Let’s just say the sugar cleanse went down the drain as I ate desserts at every meal. Oops! It’s hard to reset when it’s right there for the taking!
If you have kids they has a special camp and did this awesome musical performance. My ankle was killing me most the conference so the only exercise I got was a little hula hooping and I used the fitness center once for some lifting. Then the last night of the conference we danced till the wee hours and thankfully some advil helped make that possible. I didn’t want it to end, but I’m so thankful for the time I had there and the new friends I made. Many thanks to all the NAVS staff and volunteers who worked many long days and nights on this truly special conference. I feel like part of the family now!
If you ever get a chance to go to Vegetarian Summerfest I highly recommend it! There really was too much awesomeness for me to go into here so you should check it out for yourself!