You Are Going to Love Vegfest
March 2017

by Stewart Rose and Amanda Strombom

We all love to eat. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the foods we love to eat could love us back by making us healthier? That’s what plant-based (or vegetarian) foods can do. In fact, not only does eating plant-based foods make us healthier, it also protects the environment and saves our  animal friends. What’s even better is that they taste so delicious. A wonderful opportunity to find out just how delicious plant-based foods can taste is at Seattle’s Vegfest, the largest
vegetarian food festival in the country, coming up on April 1 and 2, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street.

VegFest 2017

Vegetarian foods, based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, come in all shapes and sizes these days and Vegfest has over 500 different kinds of foods to try. With the plant-based food market growing rapidly, this year’s Vegfest includes many new food products to sample. Some of the ones that caught my eye are chocolate covered quinoa, an almond mousse from Almetta, and a new dairyfree ice cream from NadaMoo. Exciting new food items from Lightlife Foods and Field Roast are also rumored to be debuting at Seattle’s Vegfest for the first time. Try the new egg-free eggs by Follow Your Heart. And for those who like the exotic, why not give Health-Ade Kombucha mushroom beverage a try? And of course, what would Vegfest be without the delicious flavors of Indian Life Foods or the Oriental delights of Sensei Sauce.

Throughout the weekend, cutting-edge chefs and cookbook authors from around the country will be demonstrating just how easy it is to make your own gourmet vegetarian dishes at home, and doctors - specialists such as urologists, internists, and even an OB/GYN - will be talking about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. More doctors than ever before will also be on hand to provide health checks, with free blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests, bone scans and ultrasound artery scans, giving people the opportunity to discover just how much a vegetarian diet can help improve their health. A huge selection of cookbooks are available at the Vegfest bookstore, and the kids will enjoy the clown duo, Zero and Somebuddy with their skits on healthy

VegFest 2017

The food scene in our region is changing fast. Vegfest will feature several vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants with samples of their extra special treats. Many restaurants, looking to cater to more veg-interested customers in the Puget Sound area, are happy to provide coupons for a free meal to people who join Vegetarians of Washington at Vegfest.

Vegfest takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Mercer Street. Admission is only $9 and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, visit SeattleVegfest. org or call 206-706-2635. Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose are president and vice president, respectively, of Vegetarians of Washington.

East West Hosts 10 Year Old Author of "365 Days of Gratitude"
March 2017

Muskan Virk, author of the newly released 365 Days of Gratitude, will give a book talk and hold a Q&A session at East West Bookshop in Seattle on Saturday, April 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. The event is free.

Readers say Virk’s message reminds them they are perfect, whole, healthy, and complete just the way they are, and has also helped them understand how practicing compassion and expressing unconditional love allows them to see the bigger picture of life.

In addition, Dena Marie will interview Muskan Virk on Lift Your Spirits With Dena Marie between 8-9 a.m. on April 14 on 1150 KKNW.

An Evening of Love and Gratitude with Muskan Virk takes place Saturday, April 15 from 7-8:30 p.m. at East West Bookshop, 6407 12th Ave NE, Seattle. Free.

For more information: MuskanVirk.com.

Magic In The Woods: Souldust Summer Camp
March 2017


There’s magic in the woods. Or at least something that most certainly leads to it—friendship, community, classes and campfires and s’mores, for adults of all ages. It all happens April 21-24 at Camp Souldust, which takes place at Camp Coleman in Longbranch, Wash. and will feature camp favorites such as trails, beaches and cabin competitions and combine them with introductory “ soul work” experiences such as meditation, art based on dreams, chakra energy, and yoga for anxiety.

“Camp Souldust taught me mindfulness,” says  former camp attendee Melissa Von Ruden. “A negative mind will never give you a positive life. I have enjoyed the self-discovery and the positive energy in my life since my first Camp Souldust experience two years ago,” she continues.

This year, Von Ruden will return as a camp counselor for the upcoming camp, where camp attendees are assigned to cabins based on gender identity. During the day, campers enjoy workshops, rowboats, a ropes course, hikes, delicious meals served in the dining hall, and more. Many campers say the atmosphere offers the very best of summer camp, plus opportunities to connect to likeminded individuals and even oneself.

“It was a much needed reminder that it's important to spend time away from your day-to-day,” says former camper and returning counselor Maureen Jann. “The time I spent at Camp Souldust has given me the opportunity to connect with my intuition and trust myself more.”

Jann notes that not only are there great people to meet (an expected 200 will attend this upcoming camp, the largest so far), but camp is a chance to truly unplug.

“If you're looking for an opportunity to drink in the medicine of nature, learn something new about yourself and have a great time with like-minded weirdos, I highly encourage you to go,” Jann says. “You'll come back refreshed, recharged and with a new tribe of people to love.”

Von Ruden agrees, noting that investing time in learning and discover is critically important for everyone. 

“If I asked you to name all the thing that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?” Von Ruden asks. “Self-care is a divine responsibility.”

Camp Souldust: Magic in the Woods takes place April 21-24 at Camp Colman, 20016 Bay Road, Longbranch. $700/$625 early registration. For more information: www.campsouldust.com or www.souldust.com.

Seattle Natural Awakenings Turns 6 Years Old
March 2017

This month, Seattle Natural Awakenings is six years old. The magazine was brought to Seattle by publisher Ann Dorn in 2011 as the local edition of a franchise that features over 90 editions throughout the United States. The family of franchise publications was founded by Sharon Bruckman, who started with a single magazine in Naples, Florida in 1994. Natural Awakenings is now the world’s largest healthy lifestyle magazine, with editions published in over 90 cities nationwide. The Seattle edition has 40,000 readers and sponsors a local radio show, Lift Your Spirits With Dena Marie, that will celebrate its three year anniversary in April. 

“This journey has been amazing so far,” Dorn says. “I’ve met some of the most incredible people through publishing Seattle Natural Awakenings magazine–our readers, advertisers and people in our community who have partnered with us or supported us in any way have all played an important role in shaping the magazine.”  Dena Marie agrees and notes the combination of print and radio offers a powerful combination for raising awareness of local organizations and individuals working in the community, promoting businesses and events, and more.

“I’ve been thrilled to hear about the connections and conversations that are happening in the community as a result of our work,” Dena Marie says. “It’s exciting to know we are drawing like-minded people together to create new possibilities and a healthy, sustainable future.”  Dorn says a large part of her motivation in publishing the magazine is to keep independent, local media thriving and a powerful platform for connection. “More than ever, we need to be able to speak about things that matter,” she says. “Independent niche media is critical for ensuring all voices have a chance to be heard, and not just the ones that are backed by corporate dollars.” 

 For more information: SeattleAwakenings.com or LiftYourSpiritsWithDenaMarie.com.

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