Hello friends! I just got home from the 1st Vida Vegan Conference in Portland, Oregon. I will be writing tons more about my experience, but it was incredible! The creativity, intelligence and passion amongst all of the attendees was inspiring and even a little overwhelming. Before I nestle into my couch and catch up on a little veg-time (no pun intended), I wanted to write a post about how I ate healthfully over the 4 days I was on the road.
1. Pack a meal and bring snacks you like.
I used a simple insulated lunch bag to pack my lunch. It helps to start out the trip on the right foot. I also brought along several of my Chocolate Oat Energy Bars for snacks. The key is to bring something you really want to eat so you aren’t tempted by unhealthy options that will be calling your name.
2. Avoid restaurant food.
I’m not ashamed to admit I didn’t eat at one restaurant in Portland. Vegan or not, restaurant food is 99% of the time filled with ingredients that are not health-promoting. Even the healthiest spa food may contain sauces that are loaded with sodium. Instead, I ate at the salad bar at Whole Foods for every meal I didn’t eat at the conference. Here are some photos of my creations:
And this one:
3. Indulge wisely.
Did I just eat kale and brown rice and fresh fruit this weekend? No way! I tried a lot of the goodies offered at the conference and absolutely helped myself to the coconut ice cream sundae bar on Saturday night. The food at this conference was by far the best I’ve ever had and there were a lot of healthy options available. I happily filled at least one plate (maybe two) at each meal, but I felt I made good choices overall.
4. Have a healthy meal planned for when you get home.
Since I was only gone 4 days, I had an avocado, bell pepper, broccoli and spinach in the fridge that I transformed into an Avocado & Vegetable Blender Soup in less than 10 minutes from walking in the door. It was knowing that I could easily make this meal that helped me speed past Chipotle on the way home. These veggies plus soy milk and almond butter:
made a fresh and health-quenching soup topped with hemp seeds:
Dessert was some sliced kiwis. I am energized by the conference and my healthy eating choices and can’t wait to share more with you soon, including meeting some really special people including this guy: