Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vida Vegan Con, Day 2: Everything In Its Right Place

Day Two of Vida Vegan Con was wonderful, but I was incredibly exhausted from Day One (see all the excitement here and here and here), so I didn't quite have the same stamina for all the events.

I skipped the communal breakfast and ate my own at home, having suffered from cross-contaminated dining all day Saturday. I'm not complaining, but such is the life of a Celiac - it's very challenging to eat at public events, and I really should have thought of that before stuffing my face. However, nothing beats fresh, seasonal fruit, so I was very content with the breakfast I had.

Here, again, is a link to the agenda, and below are the panels I chose to attend.

1. Budgeting and Meal Planning, with The Spicy Vegan and Mo Betta Vegan.

the budgeting ladies

Tips:
-buy foods in bulk
-buy food at Cost Plus World Market (apparently, you can get a small bottle of saffron for an unbelievably low price)
-use up wilted vegetables by making a stock and then freezing it in ice cube trays until you need it
-freeze sad kale to use in stews or green smoothies

2. Extreme Food Writing Makeover, with The Urban Vegan.

the lovely Urban Vegan
Sidenote: This workshop inspired me to really go forth with my longtime goal of becoming a professional writer. Also, I learned waaay more than I could possibly write in one blog post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Dynise!

Tips:
-ask: "why am I blogging?", "what differentiates my blog from others?", and "does my writing reflect my personality?"
-food is 3-D and very sensual, and you should SHOW it to your readers, not TELL about it
-think about the five senses when describing food; paint a picture and recreate an experience
-adverbs are like MSG
-invent new words
-revise again and again before hitting publish

3. Product Reviews and Ethics, with Vegan Crunk, Laziest Vegans, Vegan Vagrant, and Prairie Vegan.

the panelists

Tips:
-visit a restaurant multiple times before reviewing it to give it an honest assessment
-mention if a restaurant just opened in your review
-inform readers that you received free products or services when writing your review

Lunch:



I enjoyed lunch from the ever-wonderful Homegrown Smoker, located a mere block from the conference. I actually tried something new in honor of the conference, ordering the plate of sides. Substituting sweet potato fries for the macnocheese made it entirely gluten-free and delicious.

clockwise, from left: stewed greens, baked beans, sweet potato fries with spicy mustard, cornbread, chipotle slaw
When I got back to the lunch hall, I discovered that Coconut Bliss had set out leftover pints from the Galarama the night before and I stuffed my face even more with some Lunaberry Swirl, my all-time favorite Coconut Bliss flavor. To taste this flavor in your head, simply imagine the best fruit smoothie or milkshake you've ever had, in a bowl.


4. Publishing Panel, with Bryanna Clark Grogan, Vegan Latina, Everyday Dish, T.O.F.U. Magazine, Just the Food, and moderated by The Post-Punk Kitchen's Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

the panel

the moderator

Tips:
-look in acknowledgment pages in vegan cookbooks to find vegan-friendly agents
-self-publishing has its rewards in that you pay very little money up front, and you get to keep the profit; the downside is that no one ever hears about the book

Wrap-up:
more swag

Kristina and JL, two of my favorite ladies

giving out final prizes

closing address by Isa and Terry
I met amazing people from all over the world, and even some in my own town, and I'm excited to continue the dialogue with them, either in person or via blog-reading.

A fire has been lit inside me that makes me truly want to improve my writing and communication skills and share what I have to say with as many people as possible.

I want to visit Toronto, NYC, and Salt Lake City and eat, eat, eat to my little vegan heart's content.

There are so many thoughts rushing through my brain, but in the interest of brevity, I'll end here. If you were at this year's VVC, I'm so glad to have shared this with you! If you weren't, I can't wait to see you at the next one, in 2013.

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