Vegetarian Summerfest 2018

We just got back from our annual trip to Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, PA and picked up some new ideas we want to share!

If you’re not familiar, Vegetarian Summerfest is a plant-based summit of nutrition and health experts, cooking demos and fitness classes, from around the country that has been happening annually for over 40 years! You’ll regularly see such experts in the field as Campbell, Esselstyn, Greger, Barnard, Kahn, Klaper, as well as professional chefs and fitness experts who are all giving lectures, seminars and classes you can attend. All meals served in the campus dining hall are plant-based, and there are special plenaries and movie screenings as well. Whew, it’s a lot of good stuff! Check out some of the grub!

This year we taught three packed classes and I appeared on the panel for the screening of Eating You Alive. (Dr. Klaper even came to our talk about Creating Muscle Building Menus, and thanked us ). And, since it was the first year both of our kids were old enough to spend most of the day at the vegan kid’s club, not only was it like a vacation for tired parents…we were actually able to attend lectures from other presenters! And we learned a few interesting things we’d like to share:

  • From Dr. Kahn’s lecture Ketogenic Diets, we heard about all the dangers of following an animal-based ketogenic diet, some new standards for gauging nutritional research, the rise of tick born meat allergies, as well as some interesting research on following a ketogenic diet using only plant foods.

  • We learned that after all of these years being sneakily named “Vegetarian Summerfest”, they had now decided to change the name to “Vegan Summerfest”. It’s been vegan anyway, but once upon a time the word vegan carried too many negative connotations. That’s changing!
  • We skimmed through some interesting books by Jonathan Balcombe, a speaker at the event, who reports on animal’s inner lives in books such as Pleasurable Kingdom, What a Fish Knows, and Inside Animal Hearts and Minds: Bears That Count, Goats That Surf, and Other True Stories of Animal Intelligence and Emotion 
  • In another lecture of Dr. Kahn’s, we learned about the ten things he makes part of his routine to stay healthy and fit. The most interesting part (for us) was his monthly practice of following a Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), as prescribed by Dr Valter Longo – which we’ll be discussing in a separate post soon!


And for personal stuff, we got in some great meals, a couple solid workouts, and really (really!) enjoyed some downtime while the kids were at the kid’s club! And on the final night, Miles and Maxine got to go up on stage with the rest of the kids and sing to an auditorium full of people. Maxine wound up stealing the show once she saw us because she started singing louder than everyone else: “You have a friend as me!” (Instead of: “You’ve got a friend in me” 😀 )


It was a great trip and we learned a lot in addition to mingle with a great group of like minded people. Come see us there next year at the first ever VEGAN Summerfest! We’ll be at the front of the line to drop our kids off at kid’s club 😉