Saturday, 4 July 2015

USA 2015 Part 3: VidaVeganCon Day 1

Saturday was the first day of the conference itself, and this conference included an awesome breakfast and lunch! Breakfast was a Taco and Artisan Toast Buffet! It had everything, including Dandies for your coffee! Or, if you are like me and don't drink coffee, Dandies for your mouth!

Dandies and So Delicious yoghurts at VVC

Earth Balance at VVC breakfast

Breakfast Buffet

Even though it was Austin, I gravitated to the toast section for breakfast. I had toast with Earth Balance peanut butter, and toast with Heidi Ho cashew chevre, avocado and nooch. I also had some sides, including tofu, roasted potato and delicious Sweet Earth bacon, as well as some sort of cheese slices, brand unknown. And a So Delicious Strawberry and Banana Coconut Yoghurt. And then I went back for a second plate of more PB on toast and potatoes, but also some fruit salad and a grapefruit juice. And this is just what I had, there were all sorts of options to choose from! You can see a great round up of the breakfast options, including a recipe chia pudding that I didn't have but was apparently amazing, at Amey's blog.

Breakfast Day 1 Part 1 - PB on toast, Heidi Ho chevre, avocado and nooch on toast, Sweet Earth bacon, roast fries, SD strawberry banana coconut yoghurt, Chao cheese

Breakfast Day 1 Part 2 - PB toast, fruit, roast potatoes, grapefruit juice

We also picked up our amazing Swag Bags of Wonder! Eventually, once I make my way through it all, I will do a full post detailing each item and my thoughts, but for now here is a picture of what we got.

Swag Bag of Wonder

Then it was onto the morning's talks! For the first session I went to 'The Paths to a Mindful Life' by Gene Bauer, which was a great chance to hear the founder of Farm Sanctuary talk about his life and how he finds his way to compassion in a world that so often is not compassionate. There was also a talk on at the same time by Matt Ruscigno called 'Science is Awesome: Why we don't need to exaggerate health claims about veganism.', which I would have liked to go to as well. Thankfully Erika has done a great recap here.

The next session was the hardest to choose from, because Amey was running a Zine Making Workshop that I had been looking forward to, but it ended up being at the same time as the Feminism & Veganism Panel. Ultimately I went with Feminism, but it was a harsh choice. Erika has done an amazing write up of the feminism panel here.

After a short break (where there were cookies, but I didn't eat them because coconut oil), I went to a talk by Sayward Rebhal on Facing Failing Health as a Vegan. This was a great talk, with Sayward talking about facing her own health problems and the isolation she felt as a vegan with poor health, especially with the seemingly ever increasing focus in some circles on vegan as a 'health cure-all'.She has previously done a blog post on this issue here.

And then there was lunch! Saturday's lunch theme was 'Vegans Heart Bowls', and even though we were given plates there was so much deliciousness to go around! For my bwol I had brown rice, kale, spinach, chard, buffalo cauliflower with lots and lots of ranch sauce to counter the head, avocado (I love how generous they were with the avocado), some more Sweet Earth bacon, tempeh sausage rounds, coconut bacon, apple BBQ sauce, hummus and more Heidi Ho chevre. So good! For dessert there was a selection of puddings. I went with the blood orange sago pudding with ginger crisp. They also had constantly refilled iced tea.

Bowl Lunch - brown rice, kale, spinach, chard, buffalo cauliflower, ranch, avocado, Sweet Earth bacon, tempeh sausage pucks, BBQ sauce, coconut bacon, chevre.

Blood Orange Sago and Coconut Pineapple Panna Cotta Puddings

Here I am with Michelle, who goes by Food.N.Catz on Instagram and Twitter, and who did a talk on branding later on in the day.

Me and Michelle (Food and Cats)

For the next session I went to a fun Food Styling Workshop run by Hannah Kaminsky, to pick up some tricks to try and make my food look prettier! She made a frito pie out of store bought ingredients and it looked gorgeous! Another talk I was interested in during this session was Preventing Ex-Vegans: Strategies to Maximise Long-term Success on a Vegan Diet by Ginny Messina. Thankfully she has done a great blog post on the subject for those who missed out!

The final talk of the day that I went to was 'Can We All Just Get Along? Finding Common Ground in Different Forms of Activism: A Discussion', led by Christy Morgan. Once again, Erika has done a great recap.

After the conference, a group of us went to Rabbit Food Grocery, which is Austin's all vegan store. I will post more about it later, but it is awesome! It is also near Bananarchy, which is trailer that sells frozen bananas that can be dipped in vegan chocolate. Even though it was rainy, frozen bananas are important because of potassium and also it was fun for me and Josh to say 'bananarchy' in American accents. I had a half banana, dipped in chocolate, with chopped nuts and cinnamon. It was so good!

Banana with Vegan Chocolate, peanuts and cinnamon from Bananarchy.

Saturday night was also the 3rd birthday celebrations of Capital City Bakery. We arrived and had to line up for an hour to get in the door, it was so well attended!

Capital City Bakery

Capital City Bakery

Capital City Bakery

Here I tried my first kolaches, which are delicious! One was ham and cheese and one was scramble and sausage. These were amazing, and so filling! Ham and cheese was definitely the best!

Ham and Cheese and Scrofu and Sausage Kolaches from Capital City Bakery

I also had a piece of their strawberry cheesecake. Oh. My. God. I do not know what magic they do, but this is seriously the best cheesecake I have EVER had. In fact, all other cheesecake is now meaningless.

Strawberry Cheesecake from Capital City Bakery

On the topic of Capital City Bakery being awesome, here is a terrible picture of a piece of chocolate cake from there I was given by Randi. Best chocolate cake of my life? You know it!

Best chocolate cake ever from Capital City Bakery

The moral of this story is that Capital City Bakery is seriously amazing. I wish I had more time to go there and eat all of the things! We should all go there and eat all of the things. Book a flight to Austin now, you will thank me! Then you will cry because you can never eat cheesecake again without remembering the best cheesecake in the world. But it will be worth it, because you will have had the best cheesecake in the world! Not to mention all their other delicious goodies.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Scrunchy, the kitty at my AirBnB. Sadly Scrunchy has since passed on, she was a very old girl. I am thankful I got to meet her.


  1. Dandies for your mouth! I wouldn't want them in my coffee, but I do like to pop them in my mouth straight out of the bag. I may have done that once for breakfast. Or twice.

    I did see Amey's VVC breakfast spread blog post with all the awesome stuff that was there.

    That cheesecake! I feel like I haven't lived now because I haven't tasted that cheesecake. It looks like you didn't have to remove any pesky peppers from your food this time. WIN! :D

    Scrunchy! What a beautiful old kitteh. It looks like she lived a very long life.

  2. Great post. I need to go back and click on all the links about the workshops when I'm not a t work and have more time. It sounds like such a brilliant event and I am now inspired to try marshmallows in coffee which I never would have thought off!