Going Veg- It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Deciding to go Vegetarian? Your first stop should be the Vegetarian Food Festival in Boston, MA. The free 2-day event is hosted by The Boston Vegetarian Society. I attended the 17th annual event this past weekend at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center. I have been a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian for the past 12 years. This event not only rejuvenated my Vegetarian lifestyle, but also served as a great resource for those individuals needing a bit of persuasion into the Vegetarian world.

Where do you start? Visit “How to Go Veggie” at BostonVeg.org. First, start by having two or three plant-based meals a week and increase the number over a few weeks. Then, look at the meals you already eat and you’ll find many that can be made vegetarian with simple substitutions like using Gardein Garden Protein products. Some of my favorites are crispy tenders or beefless burgers. The Gardein company had samples available and gave out coupons. For a list of their products visit their website at www.gardein.com. Your next step should be to explore the world of plant-based cuisines through local vegetarian restaurants. The event brochure listed a variety of restaurants including, Life Alive- organic whole foods cuisine, in Central Square, Cambridge and Peace o’ Pie- vegan pizza in Allston. For further listings visit the BVS website at www.BostonVeg.org/restaurants.

In addition to food samples, information stands, clothing & animal rights groups, the festival offered guest speakers throughout Saturday and Sunday. Dr. Michael Greger,the only speaker to return year after year due to popularity, provided an engaging and interactive quiz show presentation format that gave advice on how to prevent, treat, and even reverse chronic disease. Each year a presentation on Dr. Greger’s latest nutrition work has been given but now followers can catch new information daily on his website at www.nutritionfacts.org. I am almost convinced to give up egg consumption after hearing the startling fact that eating an egg a day shortens a woman’s life as much as smoking 5 cigarettes a day for 15 years (or 25,000 cigarettes). Visit Dr. Greger’s site to learn more.

Again, the event provided great resources to current and future vegetarians and was free for everyone, an overall win-win. If crowds are not your favorite, I would strongly recommend purchasing the $5 ticket for advanced admission from 10am-11am on Saturday. The venue was a bit on the small side and after a few hours I found myself very thankful that I went to the early admission. Access to the venue was very easy by vehicle with free parking at three close parking lots and also by T with the Subway stop across the street.

A special thanks to the Boston Vegetarian Society for their volunteer work to host this event and to over 100 exhibitors and one dozen guest speakers.

 

To check out more of my favorite vendors from this event see the list below.

Pukka Herbs – www.pukkaherbs.com

Boston Organics- www.bostonorganics.com

Theo Chocolate- www.theochocolate.com

Coconut Bliss Ice Cream www.coconutbliss.com

Navitas Naturals www.navitasnaturals.com

Cedar’s Mediterranean http://www.cedarsfoods.com

Gardein Garden Protein www.gardein.com

Way Better Snacks www.gowaybetter.com