Vida Vegan Con 2013 & Healthy, Compassionate Inspiration

Good morning and hope you are having a great weekend!

Vida Vegan Conference:

I’m writing this on the morning of the last day of the Vida Vegan Conference in Portland, but I wanted to slip in a post here before I get completely overwhelmed by the photos, and information, and experiences I’ve been having.

By far, the best part of this event is getting to know more of the amazing people in our community. I feel that each and every person who is working on a plant-based diet in any form is a member and I absolutely love the interaction.

Just like the first conference back in 2011, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my heroes. I was completely starstruck in this photo with Gena from Choosing Raw and Angela from Oh She Glows:

Carrie with Gena from Choosing Raw and Angela from Oh She Glows

Both of these ladies are incredible forces of nature and have inspired me so much on my journey.

I knew ahead of time that Gena and Angela would be at the conference, but it was a surprise to meet the gorgeous Whitney from Eco-Vegan Gal. Talk about talented, Whitney’s website is incredible and I could spend all day watching her videos on healthy, eco-friendly living. What a treat to meet her in person:

Carrie and Whitney from Eco-Vegan Gal

I’ve also enjoyed meeting Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen! She was the inspiration by my still-developing love affair with the pressure cooker, and I refer to her book The New Fast Food on a regular basis; it is an amazing resource for everything and anything you want to know about making healthy, easy meals in very little time:

Carrie and Jill, The Veggie Queen.

It was a true pleasure meeting Hannah Kaminsky again from Bitter Sweet and attending her class on food styling. She’s a true professional and I hope to incorporate some of the tips I learned into my food photos:


Lastly, do you know about the site Viva La Vegan? It’s run by an amazing activist named Leigh-Chantelle from Australia. We also met at the conference last time, but it was fantastic catching up with her:

Leigh-Chantelle from Viva La Vegan with Carrie.

Although it is hard to pick a favorite of the class sessions I have attended, I was so inspired by Jasmin and Mariann’s talk on incorporating an animal-rights message into your blog:

Jasmin and Mariann during their session.

These ladies are behind the website and podcast Our Hen House. It was only my second time hearing Jasmin speak in person and my first time seeing Mariann present, and I was very moved by the thought they had given to communicating an ethical perspective on veganism. Jasmin got questions and input from the audience. At one point, there was a microphone in my face (yikes!):

Jasmin getting input from the audience.

I left this session with a renewed sense of why I am blogging and even my mission in life. In many ways, their talk came at the perfect time for me as I move forward in my career and start to think about what I really want to accomplish. I had some time to myself yesterday morning and came up with a very simple mission statement that sums it up: “to inspire healthy and compassionate living.” Should be easy enough, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Other Conference Adventures:

A trip to Portland would not be complete without a trip to the farmers’ market on the campus of Portland State University:

Carrie at PSU farmers' market.

There aren’t a whole lot of fruits in season just yet here, but I ogled the vegetables from afar and enjoyed taking in the experience again.

I was so proud to see the ad for Vegan Delish, my healthy recipe app for iPhones and iPads in the conference program (get the app here!):

Vegan Delish ad in the VVC program.

And, no conference would be complete without some swag. This is my vegan swag pile that has taken over my bed:

Vegan swag from VVC 2013.

It’s been an effort to try and stick with the healthier vegan options here. I’ve had some indulgences, but for the most part have done pretty well with my choices. One of my favorite meals was last night at Canteen. I had the Southern Bowl with collards, brown rice, soy curls, black-eyed peas, and BBQ sauce that really hit the spot:

Southern Bowl at Canteen.


I’m off to enjoy the last of this adventure. Since I am traveling all day tomorrow, I will do my regular post on Wednesday of this week. In the meantime, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Chef Amber Shea’s Practically Raw Desserts cookbook here (I’m picking a winner this coming Friday).

See you again soon!


  1. says


    You are a beautiful soul. Your message to this world is infinite and bright. Thank you for discovering your passion of educating and sharing healthy food. I wish you the best in your endeavors. Your unique personality is greatly appreciated by the heavens.

    Your new friend,

    Dania ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Patricia says

    Looks like a great time; however, I am hearing that many of those attending are not tipping local vegan establishments as they should. Vegans need to remember to support vegans providing their delicious meals for them. I’m not suggesting you are among them, but hoping perhaps your larger vegan audience will read this and remember to be more courteous at the next vegan gathering, or anytime they visit a vegan establishment.

  3. says

    WOW – what a super fun and fantastic weekend =)
    I can’t believe you got to meet Gena & Angela!!!! I can’t believe they got to meet you! I have to go to this thing next year =D
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • says

      Thanks, Kimmy! Yeah, it was a bit of a surreal experience. You must come next year, you will love it! (The date and location of the next conference hasn’t been announced yet).

  4. says

    I’m so jealous, it hurts.

    But seriously, sounds like an awesome time, and Jasmin and Mariannโ€™s talk sounds so great and important. I think a lot about incorporating animal rights messages into my blog, even if it’s just me writing about cooking. Just in case a non-vegan ends up there, or someone on the cusp, I want to make sure that the true message of radical compassion gets communicated.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Melissa. J and M’s talk was so interesting because it’s a real balancing act to inform people without alienating them. That will be my challenge going forward.

  5. says

    It really was a great weekend! I wish I had the opportunity to meet you but maybe next time. I only managed to meet a few of the amazing bloggers that I follow and who have inspired me. Still the weekend was so inspiring I feel renewed.

  6. says

    Not a bad photo of the two of us at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’re such a sweetheart, it was a real highlight to meet and chat with you, despite how briefly. We definitely need to stay in touch through the blogs! Until the next VVC….

  7. says

    Thanks for posting. Given that FL is about as far away from WA as possible, this was a great way to live vicariously. Blogging can be such an art. You’ve got it mastered!

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words, Ellen! I feel like I have so much to learn about blogging and food photography, but I really love doing it and I appreciate you reading. ๐Ÿ™‚ The gossip is that the next conference might be in Chicago, but it hasn’t been announced yet.

  8. says

    I was vicariously living through all of your photos of the conference! Thanks so much for the recap and sharing with those of us who could not make it.

  9. says

    It was great getting to meet you in person, Carrie, after enjoying your blog for a long time now! I’m sorry that I missed Jasmin & Mariann’s talk. I’ve heard such rave reviews of it. There were just so many interesting talks to see and people to meet! One last thing – you looked stunning in that blue dress! That is your color!

    • says

      Thank you for the sweet note, Cadry. I also very much enjoyed meeting you and experiencing that fantastic writing workshop together. I’m jealous of your natural writing abilities! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to see you at the next conference, if not before.

  10. Courtney says

    I would love to attend Vida Vegan Con; I’d love to add a Black face to the mix.

    I absolutely love the bag that you brought to the farmers market. Is there a place I can purchase it online?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *