Last weekend, Rob and I attended the World Veg Festival in San Francisco. It was held on Saturday and Sunday, but we only attended Sunday.

Overall, we enjoyed ourselves. Here’s an overview of what we did, saw and ate.

Dr. Michael Greger: How Not to Die

I’ve been a fan of Dr. Greger for awhile. I enjoy watching his videos. I appreciate the science-based approach he takes as well has his dedication to taking the time to help normal people understand scientific studies and nutrition.

I also love small hacks and tips that he promotes to add nutrition to your day. My long-time favorite is adding amla to my big water bottle of tea every day.

His presentation was by far the most engaging talk I saw at the World Veg Festival. He’s incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the information he talks about.

Dr. Greger is an upbeat, intense person. I snapped this picture while waiting in line to have him sign my copy of How Not to Die. It makes me chuckle.

Dr. Michael Greger San Francisco World Veg Festival 2016

I was surprised by how tall he is in person! When I saw him for the first time, I was taken aback. I always imagined him to be much shorter, but he was taller than me (I’m 5′ 8″). Even though I know he’s a plant-based doctor, I was also surprised by how lean he is. Headshots of Dr. Greger in stiff suits don’t do him justice.

Sara Binde and Dr. Michael Greger San Francisco World Veg Festival 2016

I told him about my habit of adding amla powder to my tea every morning. Funnily enough, he thought it was gross. He must not have heard that I add Splenda to counteract the harsh bitter taste of the amla.

Other presentations

Rob and I attended a few other presentations at the World Veg Fest. Dr. Greger was definitely the headliner as the auditorium was packed for his presentation. Here are a few others we saw:

  • Health Eaters— With Cancer? by Dr. Tel-Oren
  • Easy Cheezy: Learn how to make Lisa’s Rawcho Sauce, Oat “Cheese” and Zucchini “Cheesecake”– by Lisa Books-Williams
  • Mastering Migraines with Food– Dr. Blake

I sat in on the first presentation with Rob for the first 10 minutes. While the content he presented was interesting, compared to Dr. Gregor, Dr. Tel-Oren was lackluster. I switched to Lisa’s cooking demo while Rob continued to listen to Dr. Tel-Oren.

Rob and I enjoyed Dr. Blake’s presentation together. Though neither of us suffer from migraines, it was still an engaging talk. The information I learned intrigued me to learn more about how different stimulants affect our bodies and brains.

Produce Boxes: Imperfect Produce & Farm Fresh to You

Two companies offering discounts on delivered produce boxes were at the festival: Imperfect Produce and Farm Fresh to You. Imperfect Produce is a produce box that focuses on finding homes to ugly fruits and vegetables so they don’t go to waste. Farm Fresh to You is a certified organic California farm that delivers their produce to customers’ homes.

We already got our box from imperfect produce. We were pretty happy with our variety and quality. Luckily for us, our first box was (almost) free thanks to being at the world veg festival. Use my referral link to get $10 off your first order.

My Imperfect Produce Discount link: http://imperfectproduce.com/#hmpPXYpiiFmhUMT1.03 

 

Imperfect Produce in San Francisco Bay Area

Our box arrived on Tuesday night (October 11th). It was filled with a bunch of beets with stems, 2 pomegranates, a bag of grapes, 3 large heirloom tomatoes, a butternut squash, 2 heads of broccoli, a bag of mini bell peppers and 3 small bags of mixed greens. We added the mixed greens because they were such a good price.

I expected the produce to be misshapen, but I didn’t consider any of it “ugly”. All of the produce we got was produce I would buy at the farmer’s market or grocery store without a second thought. We haven’t tried everything yet, but everything I have tried has tasted great. The only complaint I have was that a pomegranate was going bad on one end. Most of it was still usable though.

We’ll get our discounted box of produce from Farm Fresh to You on October 26th. I look forward to getting it and comparing the two produce boxes.

Update: We got our Farm Fresh to You box and have tried all the produce. The box had more produce than the one we got from Imperfect Produce, but overall I didn’t think the produce was as tasty. We got some mandarins that were yellow and under ripe, which was disappointing. In addition, they rang our apartment at 1 am to let them in. Their delivery method would work better if we lived in a house and they could leave the box on the porch…

If you’d like to try Farm Fresh to You (and you live in the Bay Area), you can use my referral code to get $15 off your first order.

My Code: SARA8796

Products we tried

Go Raw Sweet Spirulina Bar

Go Raw Sprouted Spirulina Bars– I think this ended up being our favorite thing that we tried at the world veg festival. They were giving out tons of free samples, so we each had one with our homemade sourdough empanadas at lunch. We went back and took a few more to enjoy later.

They’re sweet but not too sweet. The sample bars we got were less than 100 calories per bar. The sesame sesame seeds are sprouted, too. There’s no added sugar or oil— the bars are sweetened with bananas and dates. The only downfall is the coconut.

I grabbed a free bag of their coconut crisps, too. We haven’t tried them yet.

Better Than Coffee Vegan Energy Bar

Better Than Coffee Energy Bar– I was the only one who ate one of these since Rob isn’t a fan of coffee. I normally don’t handle caffeine that well but I grabbed one to try. The day after the veg festival I had one and I enjoyed the noticeable effects. I was extra alert but not hyped up the way I am after most caffeine.

The bar was bittersweet and had a slight flavor of coffee. I’m not sure if it was the bar or not, but the day I ate it my digestive system had a thorough cleansing… if you know what I mean.

Alo Allure Aloe Vera Drink– I grabbed this drink when I was at the table with the coconut crisps and spirulina bars. I took a sip of this drink but that’s all I had. Rob drank the rest. I wouldn’t pay money for this as it’s mostly just sugar and water. Sure, the taste is pleasant, but it’s not healthy.

Parma Vegan ParmaseanThis is another product we haven’t tried yet. I took a sample at the world veg festival but didn’t want to use any before I found out what the ingredients were. The ingredients are pretty simple: nutritional yeast, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp and Himalayan salt. The only problem ingredient is the salt. We’ll try it eventually but won’t don’t plan on buying any.

There were other vendors at the festival but none these are the ones we received free samples of.

Thoughts on the World Veg Festival

The main reason Rob and I attended the World Veg Festival was so we could see and meet Dr. Greger. There were activities going on after the last presentation we saw but none of them interested us enough to stay.

It was smaller than I anticipated it to be as it called itself a World Veg Fest. But what can you expect? There aren’t many vegans in the world and you can’t expect people to travel across the country (or world) when there are festivals like this in every state and most countries.

For the price we paid (less than $20 for the two of us) it was worth the price considering that we met Dr. Greger and got a decent amount of free food. I’m glad I went.

 

  • Updated 7 months ago
Sara Binde
 

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.